Monday, January 30, 2012

So-Gal's Recipe: Apple Pie Explosion

You will need:
  • 3 Granny Smith apples
  • 4 Braeburn apples
  • 1 tsp. of ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup of butter
  • 3/4 cup of granulated sugar
  • 1 cup of firmly-packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 package of frozen 9" pie crusts
  • 1 egg white
1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Peel apples and chop into bite-sized wedges.
3. Put apple slices in a medium-sized bowl. Toss with 3/4 cup of granulated sugar and 1 tsp. of ground cinnamon. Set aside.
4. In a 10" cast-iron skillet, melt butter over medium-high heat and immediately add brown sugar. Stir for two minutes until thickened. Remove from heat.
5. Set one of the pie crusts in the middle of the sugary/buttery skillet. Yes, you will feel silly doing this because it is smaller than the skillet. Don't worry--trust me.
6. Spoon the apple mixture into the pie crust.
7. Set the other pie crust on top of the mixture upside down. In other words, mirroring the other pie crust.
8. Whisk egg white and brush onto the top of the pie crust.
9. Sprinkle 2 tbsp. of sugar on top of the pie crust and then cut 5 slits in the top. Yes, it will look ridiculous--but it will taste ridiculously good.
10. Bake at 350 for 1 hour. Serve with vanilla ice cream!



Yum, yum, yum. Make this. You will thank me forever. :)

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Thirty Minutes

Having a medical spouse means that you have to grab time together when you can get it. Sometimes, that means two whole hours. Other times, it means two weeks straight working weekends and conversations over a quick dinner. And today, it meant thirty minutes at the park. Glorious.

We had a wonderful time swinging, laughing, and running around the playground after the toddler while trying to carry on a conversation. Moments like this that we get to share as a family are priceless. I soak up time with my boys, especially when it's the three of us together.

We call this park "Christi's Park," because it's in my friend's neighborhood. And we love, love, love it. Mainly because it's perfect for the toddler's age, and there's never anyone there. (Nothing kills the fun at the park like "big kids". . . moms, you know what I'm talking about.)

On weekends, the toddler becomes extra energized and . . . um . . . extra cranky as a result. If I can find an outlet, like a trip to the park, to expend some of that energy, then yippee my day just got a lot easier. :)

I think he looks like his daddy here. Most of the time, everyone says he looks just like me.

It's still so weird to me that he can go down slides all by himself!

[Come on. There's no way that picture doesn't make you smile. Oh gosh, I could just eat him right up when he's being that precious.]

These two. They're where my heart lives outside of my body.

We added a new element to the swings today: swinging while blowing bubbles. It was a hit. Duh.

I love the moments when the stress of the Terrible Two's melts away into swing sets, bubbles, slides, and laughter. Aren't moments like this what keep all of us going? When we get to enjoy time with the ones we love. When we get to laugh. When we get to forget about everything else, if only for thirty minutes. :)

Saturday, January 28, 2012

I Cannot Tell A Lie

I really wish I could honestly say that this was the first year we've done this. But I'd be lying.

Yes, we are those people.

Those people who . . . take their Christmas lights down on January 28th!

I know, I know, we're like that country song about rednecks. But I think what it really says is: Hello, we really are a normal family. But one of us is in medical school. And one of us is way too terrified to get up that high on a ladder. And one of us is obsessed with chalk and being adorable and has no business being anywhere near a ladder.

Every year, it kills me. I mean, I just about have a panic attack.

Wielder of chalk.

Dad, you're the coolest.

Getting sugar from Momma.
So, get excited, dear neighbors! At least for the next ten months, you no longer live next door to "those people." :) 

Thursday, January 26, 2012

The Terrible Two's

Yep, we're there. And I feel like a passenger on a leaky lifeboat with sharks circling in. What is happening? Where am I? Just yesterday, wasn't I sitting on the sand sipping a pina colada while my adorable child obeyed my every word? Is this the apocalypse? The twilight zone? A very long episode of Punk'd?

While my metaphor might be slightly over the top, I have to say: the Terrible Two's stink. I'm ending the day feeling much more exhausted than I can remember feeling in a long time. Today, as I was cutting coupons and going through the mail, the toddler had a death grip on my leg and was pushing against me as hard as he could because he didn't like where I was standing. Yeah. And when I walked back to his room to put away the diaper bag and he ran after me screaming, I'm not going to lie...

...I really, truly, seriously contemplated hiding in the dark next to his changing table. Hiding. From my child. Oh Lord, when does this end? We're not even to two yet!


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Hilarious Mom Moment

After spending two hours on the phone with our insurance company, driving to NLR to drop off my SUV, picking up my hubby's truck so that I had something to drive, making two trips to Babies R Us (one to unsuccessfully get a pair of shoes for the toddler and then again when we realized that Bear-Bear was no longer with us), cleaning up the puzzle display that my son knocked over in The Toggery, shuffling through my purse for my license after already completing my entire week's grocery shopping (it got misplaced dealing with everything for the car accident), finally making it back to my husband's enormous truck which I had to park on the moon since it takes up so much space, and stuffing the toddler in his car seat as he screamed for goldfish, I was just about ready

I was looking around for my keys and my phone and stifling whatever tears/screams wanted to burst out, when the toddler said, "Mommy! Mommy! Mommy! Mommy!"

I looked up, "Yes! Yes! What?"

His little face got very calm, and he looked me straight in the eyes and said, "Patience, patience."

Oh, out of the mouth of babes! :)

Monday, January 23, 2012

Protecting Life

What an intense day my yesterday was.

2 AM--Woke up from a dream that one of my organs was failing and that I had six weeks to live.
2 PM--Marched down Capitol Avenue protesting abortion with thousands of other Arkansans.
8 PM--Was in a car accident with my husband and son.

Yeah. Like I said. Intense.

My totally-freakish dream aside, the March for Life is something that I am very passionate about--and not just because my father has devoted his entire life to protecting and saving innocent lives as a neonatologist and pro-life advocate. I remember I was about nine the first time I marched to the capitol. It is always very emotional for me, because I feel so convicted that abortion is wrong. I feel so convicted that every single life, especially those that don't have voices, are precious and should be protected.

I marched with my dad and my brothers. The weather was awful, and yet thousands of people showed up.

"An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity." -MLK, Jr.

"He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it." -MLK, Jr.

"Jesus said, 'Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.'" -Matthew 19:14

"All human life--from the moment of conception and through all subsequent stages--is sacred, because human life is created in the image and likeness of God. Nothing surpasses the greatness or dignity of a human person [...] If a person's right to life is violated at the moment in which he is first conceived in his mother's womb, an indirect blow is struck also at the whole moral order." -Pope John Paul, II

It is always empowering to be surrounded by thousands of other people who believe in what you believe. And I am grateful to live in a country where people are free--free to protest and free to fight for what they believe is right.

And as if my day wasn't intense enough, we got in a car accident. We had dinner at my parent's house, and on the way home we swung into Walgreen's to pick up the little one's prescription. I was making a left with a green arrow, and driving slowly because the roads were wet, and out of nowhere a woman ran the red light at full speed and without ever hitting her breaks smashed into the right back corner of my SUV. I was driving and my first thought was my son. We pulled over, the police came, the woman who hit us never got out of her car to even ask if we were okay. I held it together until my mother-in-law called, and then I started crying. If that woman had hit us an instant earlier, she would have hit where my husband and child were (although we were very grateful that the toddler's carseat was in the middle!). The only other time I have been driving and been in an accident was when I was completely stopped at a red light and someone plowed into me. Today, we are sore, and I am pretty shaken up.

Life is precious. So precious. It's worth fighting for. And it's worth being grateful for.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Up Since 4:30

When I was getting my hair highlighted today, I complained, "Ugh, I've been up since 4:30."

And what I meant was, "My son woke up screaming for me at 4:30. He probably had a bad dream. I mumbled something to my husband, and he said, 'I'll get him.' But little man wanted me. His mommy. And that screaming toddler was brought into the darkness of our bedroom, and plopped into my arms and down under the covers with me. And then, instantly, he stopped crying.

He nuzzled into my side and immediately fell asleep. My exhausted, ticked-off-that-it's-4:30 self felt an energizing burst of joy that I could be a calming presence, a security to my son like no one else could.

And then that sweet angel, taking after his momma (look, honey, I'm fessing up), snored loudly right into my face from 4:30 until 7:00--making it impossible for me to actually fall asleep. And so I nuzzled and snuggled and oscillated back and forth between feeling warm-fuzzy-momma love and typical-nerve-fraying-momma frustration.

And when we all stumbled into the living room, wondering what Mommy was going to make for breakfast, there was that little angel, tugging at my finger, saying, 'Come here--yogurt? Come here.' I followed the toddler with his teddy bear jammies (who I would place in time-out about six times later in the day) into the kitchen for strawberry yogurt.

So, when I say I'm exhausted and that I started my day at 4:30, what I'm really saying is that I have the greatest job in the world. And I'm blessed beyond belief. And it feels indescribably wonderful to be the comfort that your child needs."

Thursday, January 19, 2012

An Apple A Day

Today, after our afternoon walk, the toddler wanted to play outside with one of his favorite things in the world: chalk. Since the weather was uncharacteristically amazing, we stayed in the front yard and chalked to our hearts' contentment.

Just as I had finished chalking my third requested helicopter, I sat down and watched the toddler draw little bursts of red fire all over everything (complete with sound effects, of course). And then, a family about eight houses down came outside to get in their car. The next thing I knew, the toddler stopped chalking, stood up, yelled, "Children!" and started running in their direction. For all of about one second. And then his shoe caught on the concrete, and came flying off as he also flew through the air and landed face first on the concrete. I am telling you I heard a thud like a  melon had been dropped from the roof.

It really was one of those do-I-have-to-look? moments. I was sure that he had knocked some teeth out and would be bleeding profusely from his nose, chin, and/or forehead. I was extremely relieved when I picked him up and this was the extent of the damage:

Immediately, he began screaming, so I rushed him inside, laid him down on the couch, and grabbed a bag of frozen corn to put on his forehead. Not surprisingly, he wouldn't let me hold the bag to his forehead for more than 2 seconds at a time, so we settled for sitting on the kitchen floor and dining on an apple together. It seemed to make everything better. :)

Being silly. It's what we do best! :)

Saturday, January 14, 2012

The Manly Outdoorsmen

Who are busy looking adorable.

And inspecting the leaves.

And chalking up the walkway.

And melting my heart.

And wielding green chalk.

And discovering an enormous icicle.

And then deciding to devour it.

And devour it.

And devour it some more.

And posing with the gigantic icicle.


And sitting contemplatively, wondering where that icicle got off to (thrown over the fence by the larger outdoorsman while the smaller outdoorsman was distracted).

And dumping leaves.

And being perfect. :)