Monday, January 19, 2009

We're having a Pah-ttay!

as in POTTY party :)
The day has finally come when he used the potty - and for #2 no less!!! It brought tears to my eyes - I seriously never thought such a moment in life could "move" me so much (pun intended). I had promised him a party with balloons and cake if he went on the potty. Maybe that sounds a bit overboard - but it has been many months of trying to get his cooperation to even try going on the potty, so I promised him something rather big. And after he got up and turned around and saw his "accomplishment" he was so excited he was clapping and jumping and so happy with himself, so I am happy to throw a party for such a milestone! And this morning we had success #2...for #1 - so I think he's finally starting to take some small steps towards potty training. Now mommy and daddy need to be vigilant and keep asking/encouraging/putting him on it until he realizes this is the way to go. The rewards going forward will be less "grand" but we will still come up with some rewards to encourage - like if he goes a whole day with going on the potty we'll get to watch his favorite DVD, or have a piece of candy, or something like that. I'm not above bribery. Boy would it be great to not have to buy all those pull ups - those suckers are expensive. But I'm getting ahead of myself. I think my plan is to keep putting him on the potty, keep reminding him to remember to try to go - and after a week or so we'll try putting on big boy underwear - and that might be a mess, but it might really show him that his days of pull ups are ending soon. I'm excited! I'm proud!

Now I need to run out and get the balloons :) I'll post more pictures soon! (Of the party, not the potty!)

Oh - and Gordon has a new BEST EVER FAVORITE (his words) book - it is funny because I remember the same book when I was a child and I loved it too - and so I love reading it to him, and now he has so much of it memorized he can read along with me - it is:

Friday, January 16, 2009

Pulled Pork in the Crockpot

The house smells like a barbeque pit. I made one of our favorite dishes early, we'll eat it over the weekend. I love this because now I have dinner ready for both Saturday and Sunday. And if for some reason we've not polished it off after two nights, I can freeze the rest. I'm going to try to always do crockpot meals on the weekends (chili, soup, stew) It is nice to have the free time to relax instead of cooking and doing so many dishes. We usually have a big breakfast on Sundays, so that is all the cooking I want to do anyway. And I also try to do some cooking ahead every few weekends to have meals on hand for those crazy nights when I can't even think about "what's for dinner".

This is a fantastically easy recipe from Recipezaar which I adapted to the crockpot. And it is yummy. Here's the full recipe (it is slow cooked in the oven)

1 whole pork butt (I hate that term, but it is what it is, and it is yummy) It should be a good sized one - they are a large roast, and not too cheap, but you'll have enough to feed quite a crowd. Make sure it will fit in your crockpot - I have an extra large crockpot so it just fits fine.

Make the Rub
1/4 cup black pepper
1/4 cup paprika
1/4 cup turbinado sugar (easy to find in the aisle with all the other sugars, and not too expensive)
2 tablespoons salt (I put in a little less, fix to taste and blood pressure tolerance!)
2 teaspoons dry mustard
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Mix all of the ingredients well and rub this all over the roast - all sides and use all of the rub. If you want you can let this "marinate" for overnight - I never plan that far ahead so put on the rub and throw that butt in the crockpot. I put it on High for the 1st hour. Then I turn it down to Low for about 8-10 more hours. The house will smell divine. Then, when you think it is done, check before lifting it out of the crock pot - just take a fork and see if the meat falls off the bone. It should just fall right off if it is ready. I've tried to do this in less than 8 hours and it just won't work - so make sure it is really falling off the bone tender before you try to serve this. If it is, start lifting out the meat (and some juice) onto a serving platter - one that wells enough so the juice stays on the platter. Use two forks to "pull" the meat - just keep separating it until it is all shredded - setting aside the bone of course. Now get your favorite barbecue sauce. There are tons of recipes for barbecue sauces, but I am in love with BullsEye Original - it is so good I don't see the need to try to make one on my own. So I take my bottle of sauce and start mixing it and tossing it with the meat - adding how much you want according to taste. Serve this on lightly toasted buns with a side of cold fresh cole slaw (something else I don't make but prefer to buy at the store!) Actually if it was my choice I'd just have a cucumber salad on the side, but in the Carolina's I've already broken the sacred barbecue rule by not using the "vinegar" based sauce - which I hate - so I won't push the cole slaw issue. Some people actually put the cole slaw on top of the pulled pork on the bun...go figure. Anywho - this is what we'll be dining on this weekend. Yee haw!

The Every Day Things

A few random pictures of my favorite subject, all from this week. Every day this little boy makes me smile, every single day.

I was cleaning up stuff - putting things up in the attic, taking empty boxes down to recycle, and I realized one box was gone and found it in the living room:
A little privacy please...
His new passion. Trackmaster Thomas. He played with this all day. All day. Until Bedtime. He turned down going outside. I love Thomas the Train. Note the book over the track. That is a tunnel.

That fire in the fireplace was absolutely necessary. It was 12 F this morning. Rose to a whole 24 F today. Yikes - it is supposed to be colder tomorrow and up to 17 F on Sunday morning, and with "precipitation" - at 17 degrees I am assuming that means ice. I hope everyone is staying warm and safe in this deep freeze. Global Warming where are you? (That was rhetorical, no answers required :P)
A little summary of this week
  • I went to a new dermatologist, he didn't find any signs of cancer, that is a big relief! I do go back next month for some "removals" - fun stuff. With the family history of melanoma and having lots of moles and freckles, I need to be more vigilant on getting this checked out.
  • I survived week 2 of single parenting as Shannon was gone all week, it is hard, and I'm glad he's home again and will have off Sunday and Monday.
  • I am almost totally caught up with my work (breathe!) and it feels wonderful - I'm determined to keep caught up, but that never works, so I'm just going to enjoy the respite while I can and have a lovely weekend of thoroughly cleaning, running errands, and taking care of all the stuff that I've totally neglected in the past few weeks.
  • Shannon's work is looking worrisome - they've laid off employees in VA and it looks like TN is next, we are praying things stay stable here in NC for the company. No matter what, we know we'll be ok, but we'll breathe easier after a couple more weeks pass and we find out some news.
  • Gordon is making progress - slow but sure -with the potty training.
  • For this week, everyone was healthy...I'm not superstitious, if I was I'd surely be looking for some wood to knock on!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Just a Day in January

It has been a fun year so far.

Gordon is doing much better at school - I think the chaos of the travel to Florida in November, having company, and the whole excitement of the holidays was probably not the ideal time to have him adjusting to his "new" class - he wasn't doing badly, just was not happy about going and it was starting to concern me. But now he's doing even better than before - loving school again (although he does have to be convinced to stop playing with his trains to go to school - but once I promise they will still be here when he comes home, he's game!)

  • We've started a new habit - organized his room to make room for a chair beside his bed that I can sit in to read to him. He LOVES getting to pick out the books and then sitting in bed during story time. He gets very excited about the story now - before in the living room he would often get distracted by things in the room if the story was a little long, now he hangs on every word, frequently interrupting with questions or comments. Then we fold our hands and we say our prayers together and he quite happily snuggles down into his bed, waits for a kiss, and then says "good night mommy, I love you" while I turn on the cd and then shut the door - bedtime has never been so sweet :)

  • Tonight Daddy is out of town - actually is for most of the week, again. So I picked Gordon up and decided we were going out on a date. I announced this to him as he was climbing into the carseat at school. He said "but I don't want to go on a date" LOL...nice. We went anyway - to Applebees so I could have a big salad. On the way we passed a horrible car accident, the kind where a large crowd of people are standing around, with 8 emergency vehicles assisting - there were 4 vehicles involved in the crash - the jaws of life were being used on an upside down SUV, which had another car on top of it and a third one was smashed into its side, the fourth one was into a wall. It is one of the worst I've seen in a while. I get very emotional when I see things like that - I feel for those poor people involved, no matter who was to blame - and I just pray to God I never have to be in another accident in my lifetime - and that Gordon is never in one. Having a child is the most amazing experience in life - and also the scariest - every fear I've ever had for myself or a loved one is multiplied when I think of something happening to him. I try not to think of such things, but I can't help it when I see such carnage on a street that I use every day to and from school with Gordon. Boy that was a tangent...of a tangent. Where was I, oh yeah, the date. So we went to Applebees - my little boy was such a perfect date - he held my hand, he sat next to me in the booth, we had great conversation - he was so polite to the waitress, every time she gave us something - drinks, napkins, dinner - she was treated to a quite loud and jolly "THANK YOU!!" She laughed every time. Then he got a balloon on our way out, he was over the moon.

  • I had been wanting to stop at Target, so I asked my little date if we could make one more stop before going home to play with trains. He said we could stop at Nar-get. No one warned me that there was a huge clearance sale on toys. I was sucked into the Thomas the Train aisle. I thought I would like to see if they had any people to go with the train set - as in Sir Topham Hat. Gordon likes to pretend and I thought he might like that to go with the trains. No figurines. But momma fell in love with the trains that actually run - we have the "Take Along Thomas" - which I'm not loving. We have several of the trains which is why I got this system, I didn't want to have to buy all the trains when we have so many. But the 'take along' tracks aren't great - I'm just not impressed. But I fell in love with the Thomas Trackmaster trains & tracks! They fit together much better and the trains actually moving just thrilled Gordon. So I bought Duck, the train, and a package of Trackmaster tracks. Gordon was so excited he could hardly speak. From the toy aisle to the register and then to the car he clutched Duck to his chest with his arms and repeated how much he wanted to thank mommy for buying duck. I am such a sucker I know. I am spoiling him. I know. But it was soooo much fun! We opened up the track and popped a battery in Duck and Gordon's face was just pure joy when Duck whirred to life and whipped around the oval track. He loved it. And he was so thankful (so how can he be truly spoiled??) And - he still went to bed on time when I told him it was time to go. We'll keep the Take Along Set and this Trackmaster set and use both - he won't get any more train toys for a good while - I promise.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Finger Painting 101

Gordon had only one request on the way home from school today, he wanted to "fingerpaintlikewedidoutsideatthetableplease" (said all together in one word just like that). I remembered that the last time we did finger painting was this past summer, at the little table out on the deck. I'd never had him paint inside. Since he asked with a please at the end I couldn't refuse. After dinner, which he actually ate at record pace where normally it is a long drawn out affair, I put out a plastic cover on the table and got the stuff out, here's my boy relishing the joy of having squishy cold paints in between your fingers.

Monday, January 05, 2009

It is Thundering

It is January right? Just checking. Thunderstorms in January - neat. It took me a while to figure out what that sound was, I thought for a minute my stomach issues were returning.

I Found a Great Diet That Works Lightning Fast!

But I don't recommend it, not even to my worst enemy. I lost a LOT of weight in just 2 1/2 days, I'll spare you the details of how. I'm back at work today, although I think it is still too early as I'm very weak and shaky, but I had an audit appointment I just had to keep and I really need to get working since I've been out so much lately. I feel like the last 3 days have been stolen from me, but if nothing else, it made me just that much more grateful for the good health I normally have, and more determined than ever to try to live healthier. My tip for you in 2009? Wash your hands, a lot.