Thursday, June 26, 2008

Two Very Different Boys

Last night for dinner I made a new recipe, Thai Chicken Pizza (TCP) that I found on the food network website. I had actually never had TCP until recently when I was at a friend's house for a playdate.  She offered to make me lunch, which was very nice of her, and offered the pizza as an option. I was a little nervous because Brandon orders TCP from Zeek's alot and it kind of grosses me out, but that is also because it has no cheese on it. Seeing a pizza without cheese is just wrong.  Anyway, the pizza was good and I have been craving it ever since. When I stumbled across this recipe I thought I needed to give it a try.

Fast forward to last night, I have my 15 month old screaming pretty much the entire time I am making dinner. I had already tried measuring spoons, mixing bowls, dried pasta, and everything had been met with more screaming. I finally put him in the highchair with a bowl of grapes and worked frantically to finish the pizza. About the time I was ready to put it in the oven my little one had finished all the grapes and was once again crying.  I handed him the spatula I used to spread the peanut butter sauce with and thought, well this might amuse him for a minute or two.  When I turned back he had completely cleaned the spatula and had peanut sauce all over his face and hands. I was surprised he liked it because it had garlic and ginger in it but he really did.

When we all sat down to dinner I was feeling optimistic about the meal. It looked really good and I was excited to eat it. I gave a piece to my baby and he started eating all the toppings off of it before eating all the crust with sauce.  I was thrilled! Then I gave a piece to my 3 year old. He took one bite said "BLECH" spit it out and looked at me and said in an accusing tone: "It has peanut butter on it!" What could I say, it did, I just thought he would like it as much as his brother.  He managed to pick off a few pieces of chicken before proclaiming himself "full" and wanting to be done.  Apparently, he is not a fan of Thai Chicken Pizza. Oh, well, 1 out or 2 isn't bad.

This little boy had pizza...

This little boy had none....
On a different note, for those of you who know the ups and downs of my relationship with my three year old. We had another rough day yesterday and I was feeling frustrated with it all when I went in to check on my boy at bedtime. I leaned down to give him a "hug & a kiss" when he put his arms around me and said "Mommy, you are my friend". 
Oh, how I love him.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

"Uncle Erik is a man"

That is what my three year old had to say about seeing Uncle Erik for the first time in 6 months. I was worried that J. would not remember his uncle so for the last few days I have been constantly telling him about Uncle Erik. I told him Uncle Erik was coming home soon. I told him Uncle Erik would be so happy to see him. I told him Uncle Erik was not going to stay with us but with Oh-cho. On Friday I told J. that tomorrow was a "mommy/daddy" day and he said "no it is an Uncle Erik day".

I can't even describe how exciting it is to see a unit that has been deployed overseas return home. The waiting is no fun at all, especially in the freezing cold, but still knowing they will be home to us in just a short while is overwhelming. I thought that nothing could compare to the last time his unit was deployed. We actually were standing on the runway and saw the plane they were in heading to us. As soon as we saw it people started screaming. It landed on the runway, but too far away, and then taxied to where everyone was. As soon as the doors opened and men (and some women) started streaming off the crowd went wild. I have to admit they all kind of look alike in their fatigues so we screamed "ERIK" as loud as we could until we found him.

This time we were not on the runway but in a gym. Not even at the airport. The unit was going to arrive, then board a bus to come to the place where we were waiting. When we finally got the announcement that they were on the buses and headed our way, everyone headed outside. We stood there for a while, freezing, trying to not step in goose poop, and turning at every loud sound hoping it was the unit.

Finally we heard it, the buses were here. Around the side of the parking lot two blue buses came into view, full of men (and again a few women) in desert fatigues. The crowd started screaming and waving. You couldn't make out faces but could see bodies, heads, and arms. I don't have words to describe the feeling standing there among families who have been separated for months, watching the unit make the last few feet of the journey until they will be reunited. All I can say is before anyone even came off the bus I was crying.

There was a brief unfortunate incident with a "first kiss" that we will not go into but then it was guy after guy coming off the bus closest to us, but no Erik. Once that bus was emptied we all turned to the other bus, still no Erik, finally one of the last men off the bus came around the corner and there he was. "ERIK!" was screamed so he would know where we were (even though he had probably seen us we were within feet of him) and then he was there. Right next to us.

Uncle Erik is a man ... one who has been gone to long. Welcome home.

Friday, June 6, 2008

"Tomorrow, Tomorrow...."

Everyone now singing at the top of your lungs:

"Tomorrow, tomorrow
Erik comes home tomorrow,
It's only A DAY A WAY!!!"

Welcome home Erik! We missed you!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

"Uh-Oh, I forgot Blankie"

That was the horrible thought that entered my mind as we stopped for lunch on our way to Seaside. My heart sunk as I realized in the haste to leave my house I had packed food, clothes, beach toys, nebulizer, medicine, strollers, kids, anything I could think of that would make the trip fun for all of us. But I forgot one important, irreplaceable item, J's blankie.

I remember how excited J. was when his aunts, cousins, and grandma arrived. We grabbed the few last items, J. grabbed his soccer ball and we were off. I did a quick walk through of the house just to make sure we had everything that we needed. I never saw blankie laying on the couch.

As soon as I realized this terrible mistake I started to think what my options were. Do we turn around and drive back to Seattle, we were only 1.5 hours into the trip, do I try to find a replacement at the outlet mall, do I try to find a Pottery Barn Kids and buy the exact same blanket and hope he doesn't notice?

My sister had been through this exact same horror the first year we went to Seaside. After arriving at the hotel D. asked where his blankie was. A moment of panic followed where we searched for blankie and tried to think of suitable alternative's (his aunt's silky underwear?) But theirs was just a moment of panic and blankie was found hidden in D's pillow. All was good.

I was not so lucky I knew we didn't have blankie with us. After a panic call to my husband and a terrible mis-order at Burger King the decision was made. One car load of people (those trapped with me) would drive to Tigard, just outside of Portland, to the closest PB Kids, the other car would head to Seaside. It was the best I could do. My poor husband called the store to check that they had "My Best Blanket" in green so the trip would not be in vain. They did. So, we were off on a rather lengthy detour.

Now, you might be asking why we did not just turn around then and there, we were only in Centralia. It seemed at the time that moving forward, not backward, was the best idea. We made it safely to the mall, thank god for GPS, and ran into PB Kids. I found the row of blankets and my heart sunk for the second time that day. The blankets on the wall were not the right ones. I went up to the cashier, opened the PB Kids magazine and pointed to the blanket I needed.

"Oh", says the very helpful employee, "Those are catalogue/internet only"

I reluctantly bought the closest blanket I could find, knowing it would not be a replacement to blankie. With a heavy heart and a slow tread I walked back to my sister and her two kids to tell them that this lengthy detour did not have quite the results I had wanted.

Later that night after a rather scary drive on a road my mom calls a "death trap", a yummy fish and chips dinner, and our first trip to the beach and the pool, I laid down my with 3 year old. "Where's blankie" he asked. Umm, well, we don't actually have it but I have this other one that is almost the same. He looked at me, pushed the blanket away and rolled over to face the wall.

By the end of the weekend J. had made peace about not having his blankie and even allowed me to cover him up with the new one. We made it three nights without it, but the first thing we did when we came home was say "There's my blankie! I found it!"