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Sunday, July 24, 2011

Random Photo: Hair Duo

"Big Bird, you have silly hair!" 

May 2009

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Why People Have Kids

I loved my foster/adoptive children. I really did and still do. But I would be editing myself if I didn't admit the transition from "two of us and a dog"  to "five of us and a dog" didn't smash our world into smithereens!

Oh, sure, it started out cute. On the first night together, we decided to have a movie night and announced for everyone to get into their PJ's. The kids made quick work, with the 4-year-old boy emerging in Spiderman pajamas, the kind complete with webbing attached under the armpits so when he spread his arms out, he looked like he might be able to fly. He was at the top of the stairs calling for me to "hurry up" when I said, "Wait, let me get my PJ's on."

That boy put a hand on his hip, and said, "Don't tell me you have the same PJ's as me!"

And sure, there were some initial conflicts between child and adult. On the same aforementioned night, the 7-year-old boy insisted we rent out a slasher movie in tradition with movies he had thus far been allowed to watch. He could not understand why, there in the middle of Blockbuster Video, we were arguing against his gathered suggestions. We settled on "The Adventures of Shark Boy and Lava Girl". (In hindsight, Freddy Krueger would have been less nauseating.)

But less than a week into parenthood, my husband and I found ourselves cowering in our bed late one night wondering aloud, "Why the heck do people even have kids???!"

Being the intellectual I am, I developed some theories that went something like this:

1 kid = The adults thought it seemed like a good idea.
2 kids = The adults were absolutely stupid and did not use protection.
3 kids = The adults clearly have a mental illness. 
4+ kids = The adults had given up hope of normalcy and allowed themselves to be engulfed by The Kid-Abyss.

There was no other logical reasoning.

Eventually, I outgrew some of my cynicism and revised the reason for "2 kids" to "The adults thought the first one needed a friend and 'maybe it won't be so hard this time.'" All the other explanations kicked down to the next number.

Several years have passed since I first developed my thoughts regarding kids. What do I think now that I have two beautiful children of my own, and David insists on a third?

I stand by my theories.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Peanut Butter and Fruit Sandwich

As you may know, one of my favorite snacks is the grilled vegetable sandwich. Another sandwich I enjoy is the grilled fruit sandwich. This sandwich was born out of necessity when I had my three foster/adoptive kids and the 4-year-old was not yet in school. He constantly wanted to eat and I was having quite the challenge coming up with healthful snacks to give him throughout the day. As a result, I came up with this alternative to the traditional peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

  •  Two slices of your favorite whole grain bread
  • Natural peanut butter (spread on bread slices)
  • Bananas sliced thinly lengthwise
  • Apple sliced in thin wedges
  • Raisins or berries (strawberries being the more common berry I use)

Assemble sandwich.

I used to make this for my 4-year-old Alex. Now, I make it for my 3-year-old Adhis.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

What Do You Do All Day?

I've been asked this several times over the years. The surprising thing is that it has been asked by other women, some who are stay-at-home moms, some who are working moms, some who are friends, some who are acquaintances. What is it about me that people see and wonder, "What the heck does Adhis do all day?"

I have been a stay-at-home woman for the majority of my married life to David, a big contrast to my life the year before I met him in which I had 10 jobs! I've been home and had no kids, home and had foster children, home and have birth children. I've been asked the question through all of these stages.

"What do you do at home all day?"

Mainly, I sit in bed reading novels, eating Twizzlers and ice cream all day. The children come into my room once in a while to replenish my bowl and ask, "Mother, we just finished cleaning the kitchen and the gutters; how else may we serve you?" It's a charmed life really.

One word to describe how I spend my time: Learning.

Using two words to describe what I do: Too much.

There is so much to learn before we die and not much time before we do! How can anyone ever be bored? There are so many causes that need volunteers, so many people who need a friend, so many books to learn from, so many activities from which to glean experiences, so many hobbies to explore, so many places to visit!

Perhaps, I will begin posting occasional shorts about some of the things I spend my time doing. I wouldn't want you to think I really do eat ice cream all day.

That reminds me, my bowl is empty again. Where are the children?

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Random Photo: Little Patriot

I was all smiles when I emerged from the naturalization ceremony making me an official United States citizen. But my funny bone was tickled when I posed with the only niece I had at the time and told her to salute with me for the camera.

May 2007
Rose Wagner Theatre
Salt Lake City, Utah

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Google Search

Do you remember when Google's email service, Gmail, first came out? You could only open an account if someone invited you. I would have been completely oblivious to the event, but it was all my husband could talk about.
"... And only a few people have one, and you can only have one if someone invites you. Now, I just have to find someone who has one and have them send me an invitation."

Oh, he looked and he asked around, but no one he knew had the elusive Gmail invitation.

So, you can imagine my husband, who is a HUGE Google-anything fan, was devastated when I, his technologically-naive but virtually-socially-connected wife, received an invitation to open a Gmail account.

I was at home trying to figure out an email name since "Adhis" was one character short of the required six. I decided to tease my husband. David was on his way home from work, unaware of my new virtual acquisition, when I called his cell phone.
"Honey, could you help me with something?" I asked innocently.

"Sure, what is it?"

"I'm trying to come up with a name for my new Gmail account, but it says 'Adhis' is too short a name," I complained.

"WHAT?? I want a Gmail account!! How did you get a Gmail account???"

"Oh, some friend sent me an invitation. So, what name should I choose?"

He sounded just like a little boy trying to be supportive without crying about the woeful state of his world.

I continued, "Oh, I'll just figure it out. Love you, sweetie!" and hung up with a big smile on my face.

I chose a name my husband would love. When he got home, I showed him the account with feigned naivete as he coveted it and told me about all the great features. Then, I told him I was giving it to him. He almost cried. I am not exaggerating. His face broke down in emotion, he was near tears and kept expressing his undying gratitude to me through words and hugs. It was one of the oddest things I have ever beheld in our 10 years of marriage.

To this day, I can bring up that moment, and I'm a hero, though looking back now, he does feel a little bit sheepish about his reaction.

One would think he would have by now outgrown his feelings of "Google exclusion" but man, oh man, you should have seen his face just a year ago when Google sent me a postcard confirming my AdWords association with them. It was like I had been invited to the Google Mansion and had been specifically instructed to not bring him.

That boy does love his Google!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Southwestern Tuna Casserole

From the Fast Life (24 July)

(Umm... good thing it only took me two years to realize I never published this post.)

After making regular, plain ol' Tuna Casserole since the 1900's, I finally thought to try something new. Here is Cat Cora's Southwestern Tuna Casserole.

Serves four? I say, "YUM! Serves ONE!"

The recipe says serve immediately; I don't know why the rush, unless the plan is to melt your family members' mouths shut with delicious bubbling lava.

Southwestern Tuna Casserole
Recipe created by Cat Cora

Serves 4

• 1 Tbsp. olive oil
• 1 medium onion , chopped
• 1 1/2 cups frozen corn kernels , thawed
• 1 can (10.5 ounces) reduced-fat, reduced-sodium cream of mushroom soup
• 1 cup store-bought bottled tomato salsa
• 1 tsp. chili powder (optional) ***I used about 1/4 tsp***
• 1 can (6 ounces) tuna , packed in water, drained and flaked
• 2 1/2 cups whole wheat pasta , cooked according to package directions
• 1 cup shredded cheese (cheddar blend preferred)

Preheat the oven to 350°. Grease a 2-quart casserole dish with olive oil and set aside.

Place a large skillet over medium-high heat. Coat with the 1 tablespoon of oil, and when the oil is hot, add the onions.

Cook and stir until softened, about 3 minutes. Stir in corn and cook 2 minutes longer to incorporate. Stir in the soup, salsa and chili powder (if desired) until well blended.

Add the tuna and cooked pasta, stirring just to coat. Pour into the prepared greased casserole dish. Sprinkle the top evenly with cheese.

Bake for about 25 minutes or until bubbling, remove from oven and serve immediately.