Friday, August 28, 2009

Dear new home developers,

I have a simple request, if you don't mind. Please stop building with these nail plates that tack the joints of wood structures together.

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The nails only go about 1/4th of an inch into the wood. Do you know what happens to the outer 1/4th of an inch of wood when it burns?

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It turns to charcoal. Brittle, crumbly, non-load-bearing charcoal. And then the structure falls apart, potentially on my firefighter's head, even though the wood isn't burnt all the way through.

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Good ol' regular nails go in deeper, keeping the joint from failing so soon. So, if you have the choice, please don't use these plates. I kind of like my firefighter's head un-bonked, and un-burnt.

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Thanks, I appreciate it.

Sincerely,

Fire Wife Katie

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

One of those weeks...

Do you ever have those weeks when you just don't have it together? Where the fog is so thick, all you can manage to think about is the moment right in front of you? One of these days I'll feel like I'm keeping up with life again--just not this week.

Highlights of the last seven days:
-Out of the blue, my 5 year old wet her bed. Well, technically it was my bed, while I was in it, and it pooled all around me.
-My near 3 year old peed on me, too. Thankfully, not in my bed. (Amazingly, the baby is the only one not to get me this week!)
-More pee--I had to collect a urine sample for my daughter's annual check-up. Have you ever tried to collect a urine sample from a five year old?
-One by one, we all came down with a nasty cold, which meant very little sleep for me. I have been running on empty for a few days now, the kind of empty where an afternoon nap just won't cut it.
-One morning was particularly bad. After getting all of about 52 minutes of sleep, I had to drive my husband to work at the crack of dawn since his car isn't working. Then I had to haul all 3 children, kicking and screaming since we've all been under the weather, to my daughter's follow-up appointment. At said appointment, her TB skin test came back positive. So, down to radiology for a chest x-ray with the whole crew. Now don't worry Grandmas of said child, the x-ray showed that the tuberculosis wasn't active, so no big worries. Just a looooong course of antibiotics--9 months--to make sure every little organism that might be there is dead. I foresee lots of yogurt in her future!

There were some great moments from this last week, too. My daughter officially turned 5.

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We set up a little after school surprise party for her.

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She was so excited, and cute, and sweet. I couldn't help but forgive her for peeing on me.

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I'm excited for next week. We should all be healthy by then, and my firefighter has planned a date for the whole family. He won't tell me what we're doing; just to be sure to bring the camera.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Vintage inheritance

I love these little child-sized aprons that were given to my daughter by her grandma. They came from the house of my firefighter's grandma.

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I love that the stitching is imperfect. You can tell these were home made.

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I'm debating between keeping them safe and clean, or letting my daughter actually use them (and potentially destroy them).

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They're so cool, I'd hate to see them get stained or torn. However, if her great-grandma were still around, I have a feeling she'd want them to be used and enjoyed.

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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Firehouse Recipe - Curry Chicken and Broccoli Casserole

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Some other fire wives and I were discussing how we have to put up with the presence of women out there who would gladly take our men off our hands. This recipe is probably one of the top ten reasons why my firefighter would never leave me. It's not gourmet, but this is the meal my firefighter would eat if he could only have one dish while stranded on a deserted island. Sure, that 21 year old clingy girl may be beautiful, intelligent, fun, and may not have this 32 year old body that's given birth three times, but can she make chicken and broccoli casserole? No?? I didn't think so!

Well, I guess she can now.

Oh well, at least I have the other 9 reasons why my firefighter would never leave me!

Ingredients:

3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
16 oz (one bag) frozen broccoli florets
2 tbsp butter
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 1/2 cups mayonnaise
1/2 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp savory
1/2 tsp rosemary
1/2 tsp curry powder
1/4 tsp sage
A pinch of salt
2 cups Monterrey Jack cheese, shredded.
Salt and pepper to taste.

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Preparation:

-Preheat oven to 350.

-Grill or fry the chicken breasts until done, approximately 8 minutes on each side, medium-high heat or until no longer pink in the middle.

-While the chicken is cooking, slightly under-cook the broccoli according to package directions.

-Add butter to the drained broccoli and salt to taste. Layer the broccoli in the bottom of a large casserole dish.

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-Combine in a large mixing bowl the cream of chicken soup, mayonnaise, seasonings, and 1 cup of the shredded cheese.

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-Cut the chicken into 1/2 inch cubes and season with salt and pepper to taste.

-Fold the chicken pieces into the mayonnaise mixture.

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-Layer the chicken on top of the broccoli, and sprinkle the top with the remaining 1 cup shredded cheese.

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-Sprinkle lightly with curry powder.

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-Bake at 350 for 45 minutes.

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I have to call and apologize if I make this while my firefighter is on duty.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Mom, a.k.a. Zombie

I'm pretty sure he's throwing a baby gang sign here...

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See how his thumb and fingers form an A, as in Awake? He's a member of the "No Sleep" gang.

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It's a relatively recent development. After a rocky start, he was only waking up once or twice for a couple of months. However, this last week it's back to 5 times (or more) a night. Someone please tell me that this is a growth spurt, and that it will end shortly.

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"Pink blankets? I eat pink blankets for LUNCH! Nom nom nom nom nom!"

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Oh, and he hasn't pooped in three days... I'm sure you all wanted to know that...

Saturday, August 15, 2009

I had to share...

I came downstairs the other day to find my daughter sitting at the dining room table, carefully making drawings.

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I asked her what they were and she said she was making a treasure hunt for her dad. Apparently she got tired of being told "not today" every time she asked for another treasure hunt, so she took matters into her own hands.

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She enlisted my firefighter to help with spelling the words. I'm still trying to figure out what, exactly, she was trying to say here.

Can you guess what this one is?

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As impressed as I was with my firefighters drawings, I think these win the prize. The slide on the swing set:

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I can't decide which of the two enjoyed it more.

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They had a lot of fun together.

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She was very thorough - there were about 15 pictures. Here's the fridge, with the freezer door covered with pictures:

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The prize at the end was, of course, a drawing.

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Thursday, August 13, 2009

First day of school

Before I was married, I was simply Katie. Then we moved into my firefighter's home town and for 10 years I was known as his wife.

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This week marked the beginning of the era where I will be known as my daughter's mom.

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My daughter was excited and ready to go to school. She knew one girl in her class, so they linked arms and ran around the schoolyard together during recess.

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Even though they're not looking at each other, they are good friends.

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They weren't the only kids avoiding the intensity of the moment by looking down:

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I made it through relatively unscathed, as did my daughter. There was only one slight mishap...

When she came out of her classroom, she left a trail of drips behind her, falling from her monster-sized backpack. I opened it up to find that she had dutifully thrown her trash away at lunch--but put back in her lunch bag everything that wasn't eaten yet. This included her half eaten sandwich (without the sandwich bag, since that was trash,) her apples and the accompanying opened dip, and an opened, half empty juice box or two.

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The anatomy of the first day of kindergarten:

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Monday, August 10, 2009

My daughter's room

I've got several interior design projects floating around in my head at the moment. I think we have a direction for the living room, and now I think I have a direction for my daughter's room, as well. While she and I were shopping the other day for school supplies, we ran across this child-sized chair at Marshall's (only $27!)

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She was so excited to find it. I told her she could have it as one of her birthday presents if she put back one of the other items we were going to buy. (That's how I handle the 'Mom, I want this' moments while shopping - she knows she can buy only a certain number of things, and if there's something else she really wants, she has to exchange it for an item already in her basket.) So, she returned one of her outfits, and we walked out with this instead. Let me tell you - there's no graceful way to walk through a mall carrying a bulky bright pink chair!

I've been looking for a direction to go with her room. If she had it her way, every item in her space would be various shades of pink--fuzzy pink would be even better. I'd rather go with something that she won't despise in 10 years. I'm going to work with the black and pink in the chair. I'm thinking gray for the walls, with one accent wall of pale pink to placate my Kindergartner, with white and hot pink accents throughout the room - maybe some lime green in there too. Not sure yet.

I'll put together some palettes and let her choose one. If you have any suggestions on a direction for the room, based on the chair, please share!

License to speed

Look what finally came...

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Ok, so maybe it's not a license to speed, but it can't hurt to have this stuck on my back window!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Treasure Hunt

I took my daughter to Target to stock up on supplies for Kindergarten this week.

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Does she look ready to go to school to you? I can tell you one thing for certain, of the two of us, I'm much less ready for her to be in Kindergarten.

While we were away, her dad decided to set up a treasure hunt for her.

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(It's what happens when you watch 13 hours of Blue's Clues in a car.)

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It was very sweet of him to do it.

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My daughter was wide-eyed and giggly when she saw the first clue.

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I love the pictures he drew.

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I also love that it's written in the standard all caps handwriting of the industry.

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"MOM!! This has a picture of the BATHTUB on it!!"

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She thought that was a very silly hiding place.

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Of course, now she has asked for a treasure hunt every day since then.

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I can't blame her. I thought it was pretty cool, too!

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She wouldn't eat the banana, even with such an elaborate bribe. Apparently we're not very good at bribing!!
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