Saturday, April 23, 2011

Much T'do, How 'bout Nothing

It's 7:30. The peanut is in bed, dinner is going to be quick, the hubby is at work... and the house is a mess. And for some reason (a 23 lb very active reason) I feel absolutely NO motivation to do anything about it. I have 5 metric tons of laundry to fold, toys to put away, a guest bed to strip. I just can't be bothered. Not even to feel guilty about it. So my dear readers, join me in my full blown sloth. Lazy loves company!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

One Less Worry

When Alex was born, I was super hyper in the way that an inexperienced first time mom is prone to be. There was a whole world of dangers out there that our over media-exposed brains are forced to process. Chemicals in diapers! Vaccines and Autism! Baby seats that harm rather than protect your baby during a crash!

I've now addressed all of these and more. While I'm not as concerned about chemical burns from diapers, I do cloth my kid. I've got a really great Britax car seat that I would never have discovered on my own. I owe that one to Facebook and Sarah Yarborough. He's had vaccines, and while I am personally no longer concerned about links between Autism and vaccines (I've done my personal research, so I'm not looking for a debate here) I do have Alex vaccinated one shot per visit. I do this to minimize the guessing game that would be involved were he to have multiple shots and then have a reaction.

This brings me to my biggest worry to date:

Ah yes... the dreaded peanut allergy. Alex's cousin Josh has the allergy and it's worried me a bit. While Dennis and I may not be peanut junkies (aside from Dennis' hardcore addiction to Peanut M&Ms) we do have things in the house that include nuts, are surely "from a plant that processes nuts and nut products," and occasionally crave the random PB&J. I was hoping not to have to go through all the machinations of school notes, reading every line of every product I bring home and medic alert bracelets. I have mad respect for the parents that have to do this... anyone who has to worry about a simple common item causing anaphylaxis in their kid, I don't envy you. So I thought about the ways I could knock out this worry. Hand the kid a cracker with peanut butter and have a spoonful of Benadryl ready to shove down his throat? Take the peanut butter jar with me to the Pediatrician and feed it to him there? Or better yet, feed it to him in the drive of the local emergency room? Then I had one of those moments where I talked myself off the over-protective ledge: "Amy, you're being ridiculous. It can be a serious situation, but you are making WAY more out of this than you need to, considering Alex has had Honey Nut Cheerios and taken a bite of your Snickers Ice Cream bar with zero issues." So I bought a jar of organic PB at Giant (might as well allow myself this little fraidy cat concession) and brought it home. I gave Alex a teeny bit on the end of his baby spoon. He smacked his lips, gave me look and reached for the jar. I had to pry him away from the gooey goodness with promises of his first PB&J this evening as long as there was no reaction. So far so good, which makes for one less worry.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Ms. Direction

I have no problems with "some assembly required." Usually. The ole wedding anniversary is coming up at the end of he month, but with Alex's Auntie Donna coming for a week, Kristi possibly coming for a weekend, the Otter's baby shower and the snip heard round the world (a subject for another time,) there was no time like the present for, well, a present. Alex and I went to Lowes to get Dennis a new grill.

Last year when we got to town Dennis and I realized that it was the first time in our history together that we weren't at least two stories off the ground. It was time to start grillin'! Only one problem: we were really REALLY broke. So on a trip to Lowes we picked up a cheapy grill. Well in the time honored tradition of "you get what you pay for," it was ready for the big BBQ in the sky after 4 months. The lid hinge hanging on by a thread finally gave out a month ago, sealing the sad little grill's fate.

So it was time to get a sturdier model. I knew Den didn't want a gas grill (what's the fun in that?) so I pointed out the charcoal models the last time we went in for veggie seeds and a wheelbarrow. He pointed to one non-commitally, but I knew that was as big a confirmation as I would get without tipping my hand. So here we were, ready to buy.

Got the sucker loaded into the back of the HHR and headed home. Alex fell asleep on the way, so I thought "score! Time enough to assemble." Or is it? I pull in the drive, roll down the windows and leave the monster in his seat. I spread out the pieces, read the directions, then start with #1. I get to #2 and realize the directions weren't clear on the position of the base posts. Soooo back to #1. Get back up to #2, proceed to #3. Notice that the holes for the wheel axle don't line up. The directions didn't mention to look out for this in #1... so it all came apart again and back to #1. Get to back to #3, proceed to #4. Directions didn't mention that the holes on the top of the base were at a slight angle to attach the grill body. And that said angled holes need to be FACING IN. Apart the base went once more and back to ratchet fratchet fringo }¥#*#$;&:$??!!! #1.

After this, Alex woke up. So what would have been a completed grill was only half finished. Now I had a monster on the loose. I pulled out the outside play pen. Alex let me know in no uncertain terms that this was quite unacceptable (read: shrieked his head off to the point that neighbors poked their heads out to see who had lost a limb.) So out onto the lawn he went and the rest of the grill assembly proceeded like this: line up a bolt and nut, turn bolt 2-3 times, say "Alex, come back here buddy." Turn bolt 2 more times, run around the car, grab runaway monster, tote him back. Rinse, repeat. By the time the grill was put together, tulips had been de-petaled, enough dandelion seeds had been dispersed to weed the entire neighborhood, baby shoes were missing, baby socks were nearly black and I had a sunburned neck {insert lower Delaware joke here X}. I rolled my finished project to the back lawn and walked away from it shaking my head. What should have taken 40 minutes took 2 and a half hours. *sigh*

In the end, Dennis likes his grill, Alex got to play outside on a pretty day and I didn't have any spare parts left over. All indicators that things started with the best intentions, while sometimes taking a crazy path, finish with great results.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Two Great Tastes That Taste Great Together

So it's no great shock that I'm a huge fan of craft beer. Especially Dogfish Head. So that's why I'm not afraid to pull the wifey card once every month during the off season in order to enjoy the fruits of my hubby's labor. Beer dinners are the best of two worlds: The creative and groundbreaking world of small brewhouses trying to cut their way through the swath of yellow fizz, and the long standing tradition of culinary chemistry pairing with potent potables. If you see my non-Kate Moss sized body, you can guess that I am a fan of good food. So it makes me absolutely giddy that some of Dennis' best work thus far in his career has been at these beer dinners, of which I have enjoyed every one so far. As I write this segment, I'm sitting at the downstairs bar enjoying a Ta Henket and waiting for the festivities to begin. As usual, I will be joined by my partner in dine, Maizie Wallace.

Alright... Here I am, upstairs at last. It's another sold out event, so it's nice and noisy, the way a truly social event should be! Here's the menu:


Welcome- Fungus Tea'Mungus

Awesome beer... very little left. Brewpub exclusive as a small run.

Trio of She Crab Soup with Wit Spiced Rhum, Pimento Cheese with Baguette, Fried Chincoteague Oyster with Lemon Cayenne Aioli
Served with Midas Touch, 60 Minute IPA, and Lawnmower

She crab with the Midas: the crab was rendered all the more sweet by the midas.
Pimento Cheese with the 60: The semi aggressive hopping of the 60 was just what was needed to cut through the richness of the cheese without overpowering the pimento.
Oyster with Lawnmower: the Lawnmower is often swept under the rug as a "starter beer" but held it's own tonight against the lightly briny oyster and the nicely spicy aioli.

Maizie Says: "More Oysta's please!"

Sweet Tea Glazed Salmon with Fried Green Tomatoes, Fried Chevre, Local Lettuces and Peach Vinaigrette
Served With Aprihop

The hoppy-ness of the beer was great for toning down the salmony-ness of the fish, but the light sweetness of the glaze was highlighted by the Apricot in the brew. It was great to have the compliment of the dressing against the beer, and the goat cheese and fried green tomato were just acidic/tangy enough to add nice bright notes to the dish.

Maizie Says: "MMmmmmmm" (mostly because her mouth was full)

Shrimp and Grits-Huge Woodgrilled Shrimp, Stone Ground Crispy Grit Cake, Homemade Smoked Pork Belly Sauce
Served with Ta Henket

The Ta Henket, which is a phenomenal beer, almost needed to be a bit more bold in order to shine through all the richness of this dish. That being said, the in-house smoked pork belly AND BACON were incredible! The giant shrimp were grilled perfectly, down to the little "snap" when you bite into them.

Maizie Says: "Holy CRAP! That's rich!"

Warm Cream Cheese Pecan Brownie with Brown Honey Rum Caramel Sauce and Fresh Whipped Cream
Served with World Wide Stout

Buzzzzzzzzzz.... Sugar... chocolate... rum-caramel.... World Wide Stout.... yup. It was that amazing!

Maizie was:

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Being Well Read

As some of you may know, Alex has not been very cooperative in the sleeping department. At a year old I had visions of a well rested baby waking after a full night's sleep. That was fantasy land. Instead, he wakes up at the very least twice a night. Therefore, so do I. I want it to be known that this is not a bid for advice. Trust me, I've heard it all... And most of it from people who have no kids. This makes me laugh maniacally at their expense as soon as they're out of earshot. The point of this is that I refuse to beat myself up over my lack of blogging. Trust me, I still have plenty to say, I'm just too tired to say it! So I'll make my readers a deal... If you read my blog but don't "follow" it, sign up! If I get 10 more followers I'll immediately get on the stick and write away. If not, you'll just have to wait until I get a little more rest. So motivate me!!!