Wade and Dad started the day off with a game of racquetball – something they both love. We had a quick lunch at home with Alex entertaining us all:
Then Dad and Wade got to work. Today they were working on the risers and the trim to cover the concrete pad. Alex was really interested and wanted to be around them:
After Alex’s nap, he was content to snuggle with Laura while finishing his milk:
Dad and Wade finished their goal for the day:
Then we all cleaned up and headed for a dinner at LuLu’s Cafe – great place!
Month: May 2010
Wade and Dad started the day off with a game of racquetball – something they both love. We had a quick lunch at home with Alex entertaining us all:
Alex is turning into a real little boy. I’m sure I’ll be seeing skinned knees for a long time to come.
Due to church and a planned lunch out, Dad and Wade got a late start on the stairs. We had brunch at the Whitefish Bay Inn on the patio and all thoroughly enjoyed the meal. (The German pancake was awesome!)
After a quick nap, Dad and Wade got to work on the stairs:
Trying to steal Dad’s extension cord when he’s not looking.
My Dad and Laura came to visit for the long weekend. We quickly put Dad to work helping Wade tear out our concrete entry steps. When we bought the house there was a noticeable crack between the porch and the stairs. Over the last two years the crack has gotten quite large. The steps made it to the top of this year’s project list. Wade brought home an electric jack-hammer from work and they spent all afternoon working on it (sorry for the noise neighbors).
The beginning of the day:
The end of the day:
I love trying new recipes. I have discovered that most chocolate desserts that contain cocoa powder and white sugar are never sweet enough for my taste. I was excited for this cupcake recipe which called for Hershey’s special dark. The cupcakes were edible, but I only had the one. At least I got to practice decorating.
Practicing for a pony.
While Melissa was in town we went to the Aveda Institute of Beauty and Wellness for pedicures. I got my hair cut there a while ago and noticed they were set up for manicures and pedicures. Although I loved my haircut, I did not love the pedicure. It is only slightly cheaper than other places, doesn’t have the comfy vibrating chair, and the woman cut my nail into the quick. The end result was a good looking pedicure, but I don’t think I’ll be going back.
Playing before morning nap.
One of my favorite birthday presents included plants and labor. Last year I had planted knock-out roses along our back fence. This year they were actually smaller than when we planted them. I decided to try white hydrangeas instead. Judy and Jerry not only gave me the plants, but had them in the ground (the cages are to keep Madison from running over them) when we got home from our trip. They are coming along really well and I can’t wait for blooms:
My tomato plants don’t appear to have grown at all in the last few weeks. Maybe I should have done a little research before putting them in the ground. Time will tell.
King of the backyard!
Abram (my two year old neighbor) is in heaven. Twice in the last couple of weeks he has gotten to see firetrucks (his favorite thing in the world) right outside his house. Last time it was for a house fire (nobody hurt, but smoke damage on the inside). Tonight it is for a transformer sparking.
Eventually the power was turned off on the opposite side of the street with hopes to have the transformer replaced in a few hours. Alex slept through it all (with windows open facing the street).
Not quite ready for bed, but close.
Melissa and I decided to take Alex on an outing to Chuck E. Cheese. I had no doubt he would love the pizza – and he did:
He was also mesmerized by the stage with the dancing and singing mouse:
Then we showed him the rides and games:
T-shirt courtesy of Aunt Lissy.
Melissa got into town late last night and today we played! Early this morning Alex saw Aunt Lissy for the first time and walked right over with hands up to be held. I was shocked. He never does that with anyone but Wade or I. Then he chose Aunt Lissy over me to cuddle with while having his milk. I’m feeling the love.
Playing with Madison is a guaranteed way to get giggles from Alex. Melissa joined Alex and Madison for a game of tug:
Then Alex showed us what he had learned:
Water, water, everywhere.
On several recent occasions I have seen Alex observe a behavior and copy it. Normally he watches older children and then repeats the next day (such as riding his toy lion). Today I watched him copy Madison. He was playing at his water table and she came over for a drink. He watched her and immediately did this:
Alex didn’t stop with one drink. He kept doing this all afternoon (and of course I was laughing and taking pictures):
Who me? I’m not inching over to the books I’m not supposed to touch.
Alex has hit the stage where he loves stuffed animals. He started with this frog and now wants to love on any stuffed animal he finds. I have had the frog pictured below for years and Alex recently found it in the guest room:
He tried to carry it around the rest of the day, but it’s bigger than he is so there was a lot of falling down (on the frog):
I think he realized in the end it might be best to just love on the frog:
We actually started this project in 2008 and got it 90% done, which you can see here (look at the baseboards beside the doors). Wade started installing the base molding and realized the closet walls didn’t have appropriately placed studs (inside and out). Essentially there was nothing to nail into. We put the project on hold and didn’t even think about it until recently. Wade decided the closets need to be finished and now they are!
Madison was a Christmas present from Wade the first year we were married. That makes her 5.5 years old. She’s definitely mellowed out and calmed down (believe it or not) in recent years. She has quickly adjusted to Alex and realized he is a great source of snacks. She comes running when she hears the high chair tray being put into place. She also beats me to his door when Alex wakes up and knows to lay on his rug until stories are finished and he is in bed.
Madison has also adjusted to my new habits. Madison knows on Mondays and Wednesdays that when I grab my car keys she gets to come with me to pick up Alex at Mother’s Day Out. She knows that on Saturdays I get to sleep in and she’s allowed in the bed when Wade leaves. She also knows as soon as I pull the blanket from the back of the couch that I’m going to take a nap and she’s allowed up on the couch. I love my dog.
All about the green apples (just like mom).
Loving on the monkey pillow.
I used to be really good about sending birthday cards – to everyone. I used to send birthday cards to people I kept in touch with but hadn’t seen in years. Then I got pregnant and had Alex. At least that’s the reason I’m giving for suddenly being really bad with birthdays. I don’t even remember to post a Happy Birthday wish at the bottom of my posts anymore (although periodically I go back and catch up). So here’s a Happy Birthday to everyone I have missed in the last 1+ year.
Alex just discovered a new basket of toys.
It should come as no surprise when I say Rice Krispies Treat Cereal is my new favorite. I was shopping the cereal aisle and got really excited when I saw the box! We make Rice Krispie Treats on a regular basis and I often have them for breakfast with a big glass of milk. The only thing missing is the chocolate I usually add to mine.
The church we’ve been attending (Transformation City Church) meets in a rented movie theater, but owns a house. The house is the “Community House” and is located in a rough area of Milwaukee.
The house was bought to intentionally invest in the community. The house was a foreclosure and is in rough shape. There are two single guys sharing the upstairs unit and a married couple overseeing the children’s ministry will be moving into the bottom unit at some point. The hope is that they will all build authentic relationships with the neighbors. Some church events are held at the house and there is frequently a work day, like today. Wade was in charge of replacing some boards on the front porch and had a neighborhood helper (age 10) before too long:
In the backyard a garden was being planted (after the brush was removed) and the back was being painted:
We’ve been playing outside all day. Can you tell?
Wade and I are always house hunting. We have no immediate plans to move, but you never know what might be out there. We saw a listing last week that sparked some interest. The house had our two main requirements – old and at least an acre of land. The surprising part was the price. It was much too low and we couldn’t figure out why. We went today to see the house and now we know.
616 W Green Tree Rd
The house is on 3.4 acres, but sits right next to the interstate. The house is old, but lacks character. The house also needs some major work. If we had a lot of money and a lot of time, maybe. The owner is the realtor and we all agreed someone should come in and do a complete layout overhaul. It will not be us.
Madison causes the cutest giggles.
Right now we are waiting. Wade and I have done everything necessary for the home study. Our social worker is waiting on background check information before writing up the official document. She had hoped to complete it by the end of April, but evidently the State of Georgia and Milwaukee County are a little slow in returning documents. When it is done and submitted to South Korea we will officially be on the waiting list for a child.
It appears that we chose a fairly easy country when it comes to paperwork. South Korea doesn’t require near the documents, forms, etc that most countries require. (In fact only the home study is needed) The home study wasn’t bad at all. Wade and I both filled out autobiographies – about 50 short answer questions ranging from our childhood, past relationships, current relationships, reasons for adopting, parenting styles, etc. Then we each met with the social worker separately to discuss our answers. She asked Wade questions about why we wanted to adopt and our relationship. She asked me about my relationships with my family, Wade’s family, and past relationships. I think she was trying to clarify information we had written so that she could write the official home study She didn’t really seem to care what our answers were.
I was actually surprised at how easy and stress-free the process turned out to be. They gave us a little grief over our reasons for adopting. Evidently most people have fertility problems and we don’t. We also didn’t have a great, concise answer for why. It’s something I have always wanted to do and Wade knew that before we were married. He’s always been open to the idea. Now we are pursuing it.
My favorite question of the process:
Social Worker (SW): What would you tell your adopted child if you got pregnant right after adopting?
Wade and I looked quizzically at each other because this is actually our plan (at least right now).
I said: You are going to be a big brother/sister (but I definitely had a puzzled look on my face and a question in my voice).
That was evidently the correct answer. She said some people at that point no longer want the adopted child. Crazy.
Smiles all day.
He definitely wants popcorn.
Alex just discovered the pantry and has spent the last few days fascinated with the contents.
I get a kick out of watching him examine all of the appliances. His favorite is definitely the air popper.
Note: My genius son is trying to put microwave popcorn into the air popper. Maybe I should just be impressed he is trying to put popcorn into the correct appliance.
At 15 months – 23 lbs and 13 oz. (37 percentile) and 31 1/2 inches (66 percentile).
Wade and I have been on a kick of trying new restaurants. In the last few months we have visited:
Bunker’s in West Allis. We went on a Friday night and had quite a wait. The restaurant was very small, dark, and had a large crowd. We enjoyed the food, but I’m not sure it would be on the short list for a return visit.
Comet Cafe in downtown Milwaukee. This place was awesome! Not only was the food great (I had the Rosemary chicken sandwhich), but we got a basket of bacon while we waited. I’m not sure if they do this everyday, but definitely on Sundays. We hear rumors about a special sandwhich not on the menu, the Akimbo burger, which does not use a bun but a grilled cheese sandwhich on each side of the meat.
Glass Nickel Pizza Co. was a carry-out. I love any place that has calzones. They have been a little hard to find in Milwaukee. Wade liked that you could get a personal pizza. It’s definitely on our list to order from again.
Daymaker Cafe in Wauwatosa. I’ve already mentioned this one, but wanted to add it to the list. Definitely a local place, but the food and service were great! I had the french toast and Wade and Alex had burgers.
And he’s all over the place.
A few weeks ago I went to a 1154 Lill Studio party and spent some of my birthday money. Now I have two new bags that I love – just like this one and this one. I have loved my red-dot purse, which is the Hadley. This time I decided to get the smaller version, the Nikki. I also couldn’t resist a big bag for days when I need to carry both Alex’s stuff and my own. This bag is the Lilli. I have just treated them both with Scotch guard and can’t wait to carry one of them tomorrow:
Alex and I were in the grocery store and as we were checking out he happened to look up. He immediately got very excited and started to point and say, “Ba. Ba”. I looked up and saw a balloon. (Alex has a long history of loving balloons.) At this point everyone around us is watching Alex and smiling at the joy he is showing. We of course had to buy the balloon and conveniently it said, “Happy Mother’s Day”.
To celebrate the day, my guys took me to lunch at Claim Jumper. This was a true gift on Wade’s part. I love the restaurant and he hates it. My mom and I always go when she’s in town because it is the only time I get to go. This was Alex’s first time and we were shocked at how kid-friendly they are. They not only provided a plastic place mat that sticks to the table (we normally have to use our own), but they also have a complimentary baby plate. They bring the baby plate while you are waiting for the food. It had two kinds of cheese, turkey, mandarin oranges, and apple sauce. Wow! Wade even mentioned trying the restaurant out again sometime. Yay!
We celebrated Mother’s Day with Oreos.
I always tear recipes that look good out of magazines. Then once or twice a month I pick a bunch of new dishes to try. Normally we have about 50% that both Wade and I like that we would make again. This week we loved both of them!
Wade was a skeptical of the zucchini-wrapped pork (from Better Homes And Gardens) and he’ll try anything. In the end we both loved it.
1 small zucchini
2 Thick pork chops
1/3 cup purchased basil pesto
1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Line a 15x10x1-inch baking pan with foil; set aside. With a sharp knife or vegetable peeler, cut zucchini lengthwise in thin slices (you’ll need 8 slices). Cut pork crosswise into 4 equal portions. Press meat down with the palm of hand to flatten slightly.
2. Wrap each portion of pork with two zucchini slices (reserve remaining zucchini for another use.) Place in prepared pan. Lightly brush with oil; sprinkle with salt and pepper.
3. Roast, uncovered, 18 to 20 minutes (12-oz. tenderloin) or 25 to 30 minutes (16-oz.), or until meat registers 160 degrees F. Spoon some of the pesto over each pork portion just before serving and sprinkle with basil leaves. Serve with remaining pesto.
We also tried Crispy Parmesan Chicken (from Woman’s Day) and added it to our recipe file.
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/4 cup nonfat or lowfat buttermilk
1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
3 large egg whites
1 Tbsp skim milk
2 tsp hot sauce
3/4 cup finely grated Parmesan
1/4 cup ground flaxseed
1. Slice chicken into strips or nuggets.
2. Place the chicken in a ziptop plastic bag. Add the buttermilk to the bag and seal it. Squish the contents around to ensure all of the chicken is coated with buttermilk. Marinate for at least 30 minutes or up to 24 hours.
3. Heat oven to 425ºF. Line a baking sheet with foil, and coat the foil with nonstick spray.
4. Set out 3 shallow dishes for a three-step breading station. In the first dish, combine the flour, onion powder, salt and pepper; mix well. In the second dish, combine the egg whites, milk and hot sauce; whisk together until slightly frothy. In the third dish, combine the Parmesan and flaxseed; mix well.
5. Shake the excess buttermilk off one of the chicken breasts, and press it into the first dish, coating both sides with seasoned flour. Shake off the excess flour, then dip it into the second dish, coating both sides with egg mixture. Finally, lay the chicken in the third dish, coating both sides with the cheese-flaxseed mixture. Place the breast on the prepared baking sheet, and repeat with the remaining 3 chicken breasts.
6. Mist the top of each breast with nonstick spray. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes, or until browned and crispy.
“Mitts” the bubble blowing dog is always a favorite.
I have no idea where this toy came from. I don’t remember buying it for either the dog or Alex. I’m not even sure when it appeared, but it now lives in the toy drawer. This doesn’t necessarily mean it is a baby toy. Alex loves to get all of Madison’s toys out of her toy bowl and put them with his. At this point it is a baby toy, regardless of how it started. Madison has no interest in it, but Alex loves it.