Friday, October 30, 2009

Halloween Eve

Uncle John and Aunt Connie came to our home bearing gifts (ice cream and apple pastry stuff, plus a bear dressed up like candy corn for String Bean). String Bean put on her Darth Vader costume and showed off for everyone.

It is the start of a great weekend.

Happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Under the Weather

It has been cold and rainy here in Chicagoland the last several weeks. As a result, I've stayed home a lot more. The Nut family has been feeling under the weather physically speaking, and it seems I may be coming down with something as well.

Let's just say the snot factory is working overtime.

I was hoping to get through this cold/flu season without incident this year. That might not happen.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Monday Night Football

We are watching Monday Night Football - Washington Redskins versus Philadelphia Eagles. Since the game is at the Redskin's stadium, FedEx Field, the Redskins logo is painted in the middle.

String Bean firmly believes the Redskins logo is the picture of a monkey, just like the monkeys on her pajamas. So, we heard our fair share of monkey noises tonight.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Toddler Wake-Up Call

There are things in life that only a mother gets to experience. Take for example, my short-lived nap yesterday.

First, I'll admit I shouldn't have been taking a nap on the couch because Mr. Bean wasn't home and String Bean was wide awake. Second, I'll admit, I shouldn't have poured a full cup of ginger ale and put it on the coffee table beside me before falling asleep.

Despite my mistakes, I should mention that it was not my intention to fall asleep with a glass full of ginger ale on the table. Early morning + late night + pregnancy = One tired mom.

I can't say for sure, but I think my nap lasted a total of 1 minute. I awake to String Bean standing over me, a sensation of cold wetness on my arm, and the screams of "Pill! Pill! Pill!" echoing in my ear. Seems I looked thirsty and String Bean was giving me a drink, but spilled it all over me, the couch, the floor and herself in the process.

What a lovely way to wake up from a nap!

I can give you an exact count of the number of times Mr. Bean has been spilled, on peed on, pooped on, puked on or otherwise led to demise by our toddler. Two. The one and only time String Bean flung her poo, he stepped in it. The one and only time she pooped in the bath tub, he was in there with her. (Thank goodness I do not have any poop stories such as these to share.)

Can I even begin to count the number of times these same maladies have hit me? Not even close. Too numerous to count. Too dreadful to remember.

Oh, motherhood.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Baked Potato Soup

I got a hankering for a creamy soup this evening. At 7 pm, I dragged String Bean to the grocery store to pick up the items I didn't have on hand (onion, sour cream, and shredded cheese). While feeding her, I made the worlds best baked potato soup. Found the recipe online, but I altered it. Oh. My.

Baked Potato Soup

6 to 8 large baking potatoes
1 small onion
1 stalk celery (optional)
2 cups milk
4 cups chicken broth (32 oz)
2/3 cup flour
2/3 cup butter
8-12 strips bacon, cooked
1 cup sour cream
8 oz. cheddar cheese, shredded
salt and pepper to taste

Cube potatoes. Put in water and boil until soft.

While potatoes are cooking, chop and saute onion and celery (optional) in a tsp of butter.

In a large soup pot, combine butter and flour to make a roux. Cook for 1 minute, then slowly whisk in the liquids.

Add salt and pepper, potatoes, onion, celery, cooked bacon, and cheese. At the last minute, stir in the sour cream. Season to taste with salt and pepper before serving.

Serves about 6.

Add milk when reheating, if you have leftovers.

Bon Appetite!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Home Delivery

Since we have so many apples from our expedition yesterday, String Bean and I loaded up her mini-Radio Flyer wagon and delivered apples to some of our neighbors.

Donna, an elderly lady who lives directly above us opened the door and was delighted to see String Bean. We enjoyed a brief visit before we went to see Nancy. Nancy was not home, so she will be surprised to find apples on her door step. Finally, Mary, who lives across the hall from us opened her door to String Bean holding a large shiny red apple out toward her. With glee, Mary accepted this apple and three others.

String Bean loved the field trip out to visit the neighbors. It was fun to see her learn the joy of sharing with others.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Apple Orchard

Royal Oak Farm Orchard is a new family favorite. If you live in northern Illinois or the Chicago-land area, we highly suggest it for a fun, fall, family outing!

String Bean discovered today the joy of eating an apple straight off the tree. I am not sure we'll be able to turn her back to applesauce or yogurt with apples in it ever again. Mr. Bean mimicked what we both assume String Bean was thinking while sitting in a red wagon chomping on a fresh apple, "How come you guys never told me about apples before? This is great. I am almost 2 and you never shared this wonderful food with me. If I had only known I would have been eating them all along!"

I hope to share photos with you soon! (This orchard is a Nut family favorite, too!)

Monday, October 19, 2009

Rescue 911

Remember that show? They detailed stories of real emergencies, reenacted them, and highlighted the heroes who saved the lives of the people being profiled. I could have been on an episode of that show tonight!

I got a phone call around 6:15 pm. I didn't recognize the number or the name. I answered anyway and heard heavy breathing that was obviously coming from an old person. I said "hello" several times before I got a response. The old man said, "I think I'm having another heart attack!" and continued with his heavy breathing.

My response was, "Sir, you have the wrong number, but I am going to call an ambulance for you." Heavy breathing continued for 10 or 15 more seconds while I grabbed my cell phone so I could continue to talk to him. He hung up just as a 911 operator answered the phone.

I gave the operator the phone number from my caller ID and the name associated with it. Then, I got to work on Google. Found out the number was coming from a local retirement community. I Googled the last name and our city and found the Facebook page of this man's son. I confirmed it was the right person via photos on Facebook where the dad was tagged and looked to fit the mold of someone who might be having a second heart attack. (He was pictured with an oxygen tube and tank and was obviously elderly).

I left a message on the answering machine for the son. Hopefully they were able to connect, and hopefully Glenn is okay!

If I hear any updates, I'll be sure to let you know.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Pot Roast

Best Pot Roast recipe. Hands down. And I'm not even charging you for it.

1 roast, thawed
1 bag of baby carrots
1 onion, chopped
3/4 of a 5 lb bag of potatoes, peeled and chopped
2 cups of water

Put roast in large crock pot. Add all other ingredients. Turn crock pot on low. Wait 6 to 8 hours. Salt and pepper to taste.

I usually check mine around hour 4 to see if it needs to be turned onto high to speed up the meat cooking. You know when the meat is done when it starts to fall apart easily.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Wear Them Out!

Monkey Joe's is a great place to wear out your toddler and your husband. Two birds, one stone. Can't beat that.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Pill! Pill! Pill!

String Bean repeats words over and over when she's really excited or until you acknowledge what she's talking about. Today, I learned that she picked up a new word from somewhere. Whenever a new word comes out of her mouth, it is a bit of a guessing game to figure out. Well, not today.

I was in the kitchen heating up a bowl of homemade chili (cue drooling) when String Bean came racing in and grabbed the kitchen towel and screamed out and back into the living room where she'd been playing.

From the living room, I heard her yelling, "Pill! Pill! Pill!" Of course, it peaked my interest since "pill" is a word I'd never heard her say before. When I walked into the living room, I saw the surprise of my life. She was trying to wipe up the spill from her sippy cup leaking water on the couch. It was literally 3 drops, but she was eagerly trying to clean up the mess.

Immediately, I wondered where she'd learned the important life skill of cleaning up a spill right away. Certainly not from me!

A few minutes later, she took the towel back to the kitchen and hung it up herself. Wow. WOW!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Afternoon Delight

I know there is some connotation associated with the song of the same title as this blog post. I'm not implying anything other than a delightful afternoon.

I've mentioned before that String Bean has some foster grandparents. Neither my folks nor Mr. Bean's live nearby. At best, it is a 12 hour drive or a 7 hour flight for one or the other of our parents to make it. As you may imagine, we don't get a lot of visits from either set of String Bean's grandparents.

Well, Uncle John (foster grandpa) and "Aunt Connie (foster grandma) have a young adult son, who we refer to as Uncle Rob. Rob requested an afternoon with our String Bean and we settled on today as being the best day in our schedule to make it work.

Mr. Bean and I enjoyed a movie (Up) and dinner followed by ice cream. From the squeals we received when Uncle Rob dropped off String Bean, we knew she missed us. Aunt Connie and Uncle Rob took her to a local farm that had a pumpkins and a petting zoo. String Bean decorated Mr. Potato Head style a pirate pumpkin. She ate a lot of food and capped the evening with ice cream and the play land at McDonalds. What almost-two-year-old wouldn't LOVE that playdate?!

When all was said and done, we spent about $30 on our afternoon. If we'd had to pay for childcare (and if we had gone to the regular movie theater instead of the $1.75 a seat theater), we would have spent about $90 for the afternoon. Can't beat that deal.

Thanks, Rob and Connie!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Kick, Crunch, Snap

Today's afternoon with our friend Aimee:

Button the coat.

Strap on the hat.

Kick a ball.

Crunch leaves.

Snap the sticks.

Run across the lawn.

Giggle uncontrollably.

Play hide-and-seek.

Enjoying the fall weather with String Bean.

Sunday, October 11, 2009


When I was in college, I used to love going to dinner on Sunday nights at a place called Pockets. Every time I went in, I'd order the tuna pocket with carrots and lettuce. Oh it was the closest thing to heaven I'd found at that point in my life.

Here I am 10 years later still dreaming about that place and thrilled to learn they are moving ever so closer to opening a franchise in my town. MY TOWN!

Well, tonight, I just couldn't bear the thought of not having a pocket from Pockets for dinner. Call it the pregnancy cravings or whatever, but I ended up making my own. I had all the ingredients.

The ranch dressing wasn't right. the tuna wasn't near as delicious. The lettuce was the wrong blend. I think I got the carrots right. The pita was good, but not a Pockets pita. Sigh. My homemade pocket was good, but nothing like what a Pockets pocket should be.

Dear Management at Pockets:

Please send reinforcements to my town. Stat.


Thursday, October 8, 2009

Why Birthdays Rock

My birthday is on Tuesday and I love free stuff. That's why birthdays rock.

So far, I have gotten coupons for free things from: Caribou Coffee, Noodles and Company, Qdoba and Cold Stone Creamery.

Who doesn't love birthdays when you get free stuff just for having one?!

(You can sign up on their websites or in their stores for free stuff on your birthday, too!)

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

A Better Post

Rather than read something I have to say, I'm going to refer you to this post which is far more worthy of a read today than anything I could write.

Zach and Allyson's prayers have been answered!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

What is the Flu?

It isn't a stomach virus. It is a respiratory illness. You've probably had it and thought you just had a really bad cold.

Please stop confusing the seasonal flu with a stomach virus. They are not the same thing. You can have vomiting with the seasonal flu, but most adults do not.

For more information, check out the info provided by the Center for Disease Control.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Cooking up a Storm

String Bean and I spent a good part of our afternoon cooking today. We made cherry jello, chocolate pudding (with chocolate chips), chocolate chip cookies, and ravioli for dinner.

String Bean loved using the measuring cups and spoons. I'd fill it up while she held it and then she'd dump it in the bowl. Another highlight was watching the cookies in the oven as they cooked.

All evening she's been asking for cookies. I tried to give her the ravioli and the pudding and its a no-go so far. When the jello finishes setting, we'll have to try that. I'm not holding my breath.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Finally Catching Up

String Bean's first birthday was about 48 weeks ago. She got this really cute dress from our babysitter, Lexie. It was a 12 month size corduroy jumper. Just today we were finally able to let her wear it since it finally fits. String Bean is finally catching up to last year's wardrobe. (Although she did wear a pair of newborn size shorts last week.) At 23 months, the 12 month clothes actually fit.

Now to see if she hits the weight requirement to turn her carseat around at her 2 year appointment. Most kids hit that weight milestone before their first birthday.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Ode to my Sciatic Nerve

When I stand, my leg gives out.
When I sit no position is comfortable.
Some days I forget you are there
Then so lovingly, you send pain.

Shooting pain in my butt
Helps me remember your importance.
Yes, you are under appreciated
But don't treat me this way!

In 7 months time
I will forget how you hurt me.
But if I get knocked up again
I'm sure you will be there in my butt.