Sunday, April 27, 2008

First lasagna

I think I have mentioned before that Wife makes the best lasagna. I really like it. I think that her secret is that she makes her own sauce. I found a recipe in a newspaper years ago that really turned out well. It was an old family recipe that a columnist was writing about because her grandmother that passed on to her had passed away. It was an incredibly vague recipe with no measurements included. For example, the most precise instruction was the amount of garlic to use. "heat some olive oil in a large saucepan. Break up some garlic into the oil and let simmer for a while. Capture all of the garlic and throw it away." Anyway, once Wife had figured out what measurements of what that she wanted to use, we harvested all of the tomatoes from the garden and made gallons of sauce. When everything was said and done, we had 57 quarts of sauce canned with either ground beef, venison, or turkey sausage. The turkey sausage version became the lasagna sauce. And when she makes lasagna, it is all we can do to not finish the pan the day she makes it. I may be in physical pain from eating two or three plates and will still nibble on the pan.
Well Kat is getting old enough to try more solid foods and I decided to introduce her to the best lasagna she will ever have. I reheated a bowl from the freezer and put a tablespoon aside for her. She ate a couple of cheeri*s while I inhaled my serving, then I cut it up into strips and mashed everything up as fine as I could. Then came the experience of alternating between feeding her and letting her pick up stuff on her own and try and get it into her mouth. Trust me when I say that I did much better than she did. She would pick up a noodle and put it in her mouth but not let go of the noodle as she moved her hand away. So she would taste, but not eat, the food she put in. She usually dropped it either back on the tray or into her lap.
In spite of all this experimentation, you can see from the picture that this wasn't a particularly messy experience. Altho, I am a complete idiot for doing this while she is wearing her best white sweater! Judging from the smile on her face, she thought it tasted pretty good. And she is right.
This Tuesday, I want to try spaghetti. That may be messier.

Soaking up love

Another weekend draws to a close. Several loads of laundry. A couple runs through the dishwasher. Wife cleaned like a maniac Friday evening, after tossing the Kat to me. Saturday, Mom came up and watched Kat while Wife and I did stuff around the house. We got a wild idea to go see a movie since Mom was here and went and saw Tina Fey's new movie. We laughed and laughed all evening long. Pretty corny, very predictable, easy laughs through the whole movie. A nice relaxing time. After Mom left and it was Wife and I trying to get the Kat calmed for bed, we sat on the couch, the three of us. My favorite part of the day with Kat. She knows it is bedtime. We have a routine. Part of that routine is for her to not calm down. Just ask her, she will make it clear that SHE is not ready for bed. So she climbs all over me. She starts on the floor, wanting up on the couch. Then she is in my lap, arms around my neck, trying to see out the window. Then she has grabbed the back of the couch and is trying to climb over the couch, almost as though she wants to lay on the back of the couch and stare out the window like Maddie does. During all of this I take the time to smell her hair and hold her close to me. I feel her heartbeat and take in the essence of my precious Kat. All to soon she will be 11 years old and way to cool for her old man. So I soak up all the play and love that I can, while I can. And I treasure that very moment, when she has been caught in my arms and I cuddle her to my chest as she finally winds down. That very moment when she falls asleep and her entire body falls limp. One moment she is still resisting the peaceful slumber, the next, she is a limp little girl asleep in the most protected place in the world. Her fathers arms. During that moment that I anticipate so much, I feel so important. My life has such meaning to hold, protect, and nurture this little being into a person. At that moment, while I look forward to and anticipate Kat growing into the woman she will become; at that moment, I don't want anything to change from the little girl asleep in my arms.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

flat spaces

Ok. I am not quite a slob. But I do have a problem with organizing and putting away my stuff.
And it isn't fair to Wife, who desparately wants a neat and tidy house, to have to guess where to put my stuff so that I can find it again when I need it. We communicate pretty well. And after 15 years of marriage, I have a good idea of how she thinks about some things. So I can usually find things after 10-20 minutes of looking.
But I need to do a better job of sorting, filing, putting away or throwing away. Instead of just laying everything on a flat space that is convenient.

Friday, April 18, 2008

typical (?) evening

I am now done with school. For now. There may be things I want to learn or get certified for. But until Wife is done with her school, I am done with school. So I get to have my evenings to myself. Sorta.

Wife has class on TTh evening. So I race out of work at 430 and drive like a maniac to get the Kat. And I swear, I don't learn or remember anything from each experience. Every evening is like a new adventure for me. Last night I ran errands before picking her up, then got her and took her to WalMutt to pick up milk and cereal and a couple of other goodies. I knew I was done shopping when she told me so. I was looking for a footed sleeper for her (couldn't find one, she slept in sweats last night. again) So she kinda whine howls at me that she is ready to go, ummm, NOW. Check out, install her in the car seat and get her home. Once we are at home we have the adventure of eating. Feeding her went really well, food wasn't too runny and she was HUNGRY and ate her puree'd peas and drank her formula and was ready to play.

So we played. crawled all over, and I read her a book. Crawled some more, I read her goodnight moon. Let the dog in from the rain and then Kat and I played with the dog who REALLY wanted to play. She was bouncing around in front of Kat, nosing her then spinning around to nose her again, only to bound away and back. Kat obliged by waving her hands in the air, all excited by the goofy dog in front of her.
Then came bedtime after only an hour of play. The challenge and adventure of changing and dressing for bed. She was in better form this time and actually escaped. It was harder to get the diaper off, and when I did, I ended up wiping her while she was standing and putting her diaper on while she was standing! Little stinker. Then dressed her in sweats, cuz we don't have sleepers that fit her. but when I tried to lay her down for bed, she stood up and howled at me.
Now comes the good part.
I picked her up and went and got the bottle I made while she and Maddie were playing on the porch. I carried her to the couch, her all wrapped in the blanket her G'ma made her, snuggled her in my arms and let her have the bottle. She drank 3 oz and passed out. In my arms. On my lap. I took the bottle and gave it to Maddie to finish and just held her there. In my arms. Her angel face asleep so peaceful in my arms. Holding onto my arm, snuggled in my armpit like her mother does. breathing deeply and peacefully. In my arms.
The emotions that swirled through me were overwhelming. I am still in shock that I have a daughter with fine, soft hair and a button nose. Me? God has trusted me with this little person, this miracle of curiosity and energy? I hope I am up for the task, because all I can offer her is all of my love. I know I don't know anything about raising a person into an adult.
Then I lay her in bed.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

wrasseled a b'ar

Or at least that is what I feel like. She may be 90% for height and 50% for weight, but she is all energy and does. not. want. to. stay. DOWN.

Wife tells me that bedtime routine is change the diaper and put her in her sleeper. after the FIASCO of the other night, I had to find a sleeper that had snaps, not buttons.

So I find the sleeper, lay out the clean diaper, open the wipes container, and pause. Pause long enough to find some jOLT cola left over from college and wash it down with RED B*LL. And now it is my eight seconds of exertion.

Lovingly lay her down like I am her loving father. She bounces back up like one of the ladies of R.A.W. So I flop her on her back like I am roping and tying a calf. She twists out and kicks my arm out of the way and gets a leg over the rail of the crib like an olympic freestyle wrestler. TWO POINTS for that escape and she is off and running around the crib like this is a high dollar endurance match and all she has to do is outrun me for two minutes like one of the 3 stooges. I intercept her in the corner, spin her around like dancing with the stars, put her into a dip with all of the panache of a ballroom dancer and drop her on her back like a sack of potatoes. Manage to hold her with one hand while I pick up her legs with the other hand, then take my other hand and rip off the fully LOADED diaper. Then I grab a wipe with the other hand and wipe, while holding her legs up in the air so she cannot escape. I get her all wiped (smearing myself only a little, thanks Kat) and fling her back down on the clean diaper I laid out - quick, attach the side stays and adjust the cheeks for coverage AND I AM DONE! Now to get rid of the diaper as we both race for it (it is a prize, don't you know) and I win (?) and toss the diaper outside.

She has rested those critical minutes and stares me down as I pick up the sleeper.

"Good luck!" she seems to say, "give it your best shot. You are old and tired and I am young and fast"

I hate to admit she is right. I resort to brute force to wiggle her legs into the sleeper and stuff her arms in the sleeves, then flop her on her back and quick snap it up.

It only take five or six minutes, but it is as intense of a workout as any person could take on.

sheesh! and she looks so cute! I really feel like I rode a pro rodeo bull for 8 seconds or wrassled a b'ar, Daniel Boone style. I am gonna need a nap before I go to bed.

74 feet below Ft. Lauderdale

Attached is a picture of me from my dive on Sunday in Ft. Lauderdale beside the wreck called "The Scutty" I am at 74 feet beneath the surface. Or as the Dive Instructor pointed out, my feet are about 75' below the surface, my head was 68.5' below. As you can see, everything is "O.K."

I had a great time diving. I had decided to begin dives for my advance open water certification. In order to get that, I need a navigation dive, and a deep dive (deeper than 60') along with three other adventure dives such as night dive, drift dive, wreck dive, boat dive, computer aided dive. There are more, but in this one dive I actually completed the wreck dive, boat dive, deep dive, and the computer aided dive. Mike the instructor only signed off on the one dive, the deep dive. Since the purpose of diving is to get more dives, he didn't want to sign one dive as four. Makes sense, as I want to dive more, anyway.
This picture is of the captain of the second wreck we swam on during our deep dive. Before the dive, Mike told us that when we got to the wheelhouse that there would be a 'cuda hovering inside. When we got there, Mike looked inside and gestured that the captain wasn't in. About that time I noticed the biggest 'cuda I had ever seen. With eyes as big as saucers, I pointed out that the captain was over the wheelhouse. The picture doesn't do him justice (Bekah was afraid to get to close, I think). The captain is over 6' long and as big around as my thigh. And I would judge that he had a solid foot long jaw, FULL of teeth. Very impressive.
The picture at the end is of my fin and the fish that followed me across the bottom. Bekah said that this goofy fish followed me around like a pet. It hung around long enough for her to get a picture, which takes awhile.

We were supposed to have a nigh dive Wednesday night, but the weather didn't cooperate. Since the three of us hurled on the boat when we finished our dive (and those were only 4' waves), Mike called the trip Wednesday which saw 6' waves.

Monday, April 14, 2008

wonderful Monday evening

I got home before Kat tonight so I was able to quickly microwave some leftover lasagna (Wife makes the BEST lasagna!) and then follow it with applesauce before the cutest daughter I have ever had descended upon me to spend the evening playing. She likes to play the game of climb over dad and escape from dad.

She has found that there is alot of dad to try and climb over. But she doesn't give up. She has her mother's determination and is pretty much convinced that there isn't any obstacle that she cannot conquer.

She has also discovered that dad's armspan nearly covers the width of the living room. Kat looks all cute and sneaky, then tries to crawl as quick as a Kat and get away from me. I let her get away until she is juuuusssst within arms reach and then hook her by the ankle and drag her back. We can play these two games pretty much all evening until bedtime.
I am so glad to be home to play with her.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

dog and kat meet

As promised from a long time ago, here is the picture of one of the first times that dog and Kat met each other. Certaintly not the only time. Nowadays, dog wants to play with Kat in the worst way. When Kat is on the floor, dog will jump around and throw toys at Kat, hoping that Kat will throw them around the room for dog to fetch and bring back. The result is usually three way catch. Dog drops the toy near Kat. I take the toy and throw it, then dog bounds to fetch it and bring it back to Kat. Once in a while Kat will throw a ball or a block and the dog is in heaven! A chance to play with the baby!

3 letter body parts

A shout out to Brenton for the latest quiz that I wasn't able to complete.
What are the 10 body parts that are 3 letters long?
put them in the comments and help me out.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Going to school

Here I sit in my hotel room in rainy Ft Lauderdale, FL. The days have gone by pretty quick, classes have been really enjoyable and very thought provoking with lots of good conversation. The evenings have been long and I have stayed pretty busy every evening.
Since I am not on vacation, I will remote into work in a few minutes and catch up on the days events.
Of all the times I have traveled and been away from Wife, I feel this trip most keenly. I miss being able to talk to her about any interesting thing that comes across my mind. I even miss Kat, I haven't been bit by those two little teeth since Friday.
One of the people that dove with me got a picture of me underwater at 74' on the bottom. I will post it when she sends it to me.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Mothers Day - May 11!

OK, I am looking for as many suggestions as I can get, readers.
What is the right thing to do for Mother's Day?
Is a card sufficient? Do I get one from me & Kat? Or one each from me and Kat?
Should their be a gift involved (suggestions are appreciated)
Is it enought to get flowers and a card?
Or if you really know Wife, should I get her a card and some compost?
Let me hear what you think, send me suggestions please.
And if it isn't too much trouble, tell me amusing Mommy Day stories that you may have inflicted on your mother/spouse/Mother of your children or have been inflicted upon you. Has anyone gotten a spatula for Mom Day?
And she STILL isn't awake.

Tuesday evening

I am enjoying a few minutes of downtime. Kat fell asleep on the way back from WallMutt. She nearly fell asleep in the cart. She was in such a deep sleep that she didn't wake up (I left her in her carseat) even when I carried all the groceries in. She was sleeping so soundly that I locked the car doors, ran inside, nuked leftovers, and snarfed them down while standing and watching her sleeping face through back window of the car from the porch. She was still asleep, so I ran downstairs, got the laundry from the dryer and carried it up to the couch to be folded and then went and put dog food in the dog dish - then dashed to the porch to see if she had come awake yet. Nope, she dozes. I really felt I was pushing my luck as she had been asleep for about 30 minutes at this point, so I quick went to the fridge and got her leftover bluberry/apple/pear baby food on the table with two spoons (one decoy spoon) and made a bottle and put it on the table 'cuz when I wake her, she will be hungry, then dashed to the porch to see if she had woke up YET. NO. So I went and got her out of her car seat and carried her inside. She fell asleep on the way in. I put her in her bed, noticing that it was 630 and thinking that she will be really hungry when she wakes up. Now it is 730 and she hasn't peeped. I have ordered a replacement cord for my sonny camera that I must have thrown away (which is why I haven't posted pictures of my Kat lately), read some funny blogs (sweetenedtaters.blogspot, growinglikeastanfield.blogspot, mamatulip.blogspot) taken some books upstairs, signed the Fed Tax Return (YIPPEE!) for Jill to deposit, looked for the camera/computer cord again (why would I throw it away? I may not be the fastest knife in the drawer, but jeez.., put away a BUNCH of laundry, put dirtys in the dishwasher and that child still has not decided to wake UP!
So do I let a sleeping child lie?
Daycare said that she napped from 1230 to 3pm then drank 5oz of formula then at cheerios at 430.