Saturday, March 27, 2010


Here are some favorite Maddie-shots from yesterday's walk by the Missouri River. As it turns out, this little park in Leavenworth was the perfect, safe place for the Madster to run around and explore (no cars; access to the river fenced off), which she did with gusto.

After exhausting herself, Madelyn declared "Up!" and pointed to the backpack. Papa obliged, we loaded her in, and he began walking. Whenever he would pause, though, Maddie would say "Boing! Boing!" rather insistently. When he would resume walking she would sort of sing along with every step, very sweetly "Boooing... Boooing... Boooing..." She loves to bounce up and down. And I love her increased ability to express what she wants!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


"Reptiles" is the theme at Jillson's preschool this week. I know this because her teacher very kindly sends home a newsletter telling us the theme, color, letter, and shape of the week in advance.

At dinnertime the Gutsy Dad and I like to talk with Jills about her day. Last night it went something like this:

Mommy: What did you guys talk about at school today?
Jillson: Aminals.
Mommy: Oh. What kinds of animals?
Jillson: Turtles and snakes and...
Mommy: What else?
Jillson: Crocodiles.... and lizards. I got a purple lizard.
Mommy: That's awesome. So, what are all those animals called all together?
Jillson: Idiots.
Mommy: What?
Jillson: Idiots.
Mommy: Interesting. We call them reptiles.
Jillson: No, we do not. They are not reptiles.
Papa: They sure are!
Jillson: Well, I just call them idiots. Not reptiles.

We decided to move on to other topics.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Random Updates

(photos courtesy of Sarah's iPhone.)

1. Who knew the waterfall at the Westin would be so much fun?

2. Maddie has become, over the last 24 hours, obsessed with green beans. She calls them "bings" and would like to eat them by the cupful.

3. I finally made it to a Whole Foods and stocked up on some food items I have been longing for for ages and can't get anywhere else. (Hello, Parrano cheese, you're all mine.)

4. This previously-Mizuno-obsessed Asics-lover is now a Saucony-wearer!

5. Disney on Ice for Chris's 41st birthday, followed by 8 inches of snow. What?

6. Jillson is officially registered for her new Pre-K for next year. (Making the switch from Ancilla to Xavier.) This mommy is happy to have research, visits, and decisions done.

7. Disconnected pipe in kitchen = water dripping down the walls and from the ceiling in my studio underneath it. Wishing for some of those cool water-damage recovery fans from the Ransom Center right about now to rescue my papers.

8. The other day, Jillson went on and on about wanting "tiger lines" for snack. After I made it clear that we didn't have any tiger lines and that, further more, I had no idea what she was talking about, she said, "Well, I will explain it to you then. Tiger lines are orange and crunchy and we eat them at Christmas." I bet my Dad can guess what she meant.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Cocktail of the Month - Prickly Pear Margarita

As you can see, I was excited to share these with my friend (from the Texas years) Sarah, who drove over from Oklahoma for a Spring break visit. We did some good eating and drinking and sleeping, had a few good runs, and did a fair amount preschooler-approved sight-seeing. (The zoo, Union Station, Fritz's, the Crayola store...) I know, I know, it's exactly what you all dream about when you dream about Spring break.

We used the margarita machine for these (set for 2 servings), but you could just as easily use crushed ice, serve on the rocks, or strain them to enjoy straight up. Since prickly pear (i.e. cactus) juice is not exactly a staple of the rural Kansas marketplace, I ordered prickly pear puree from the Perfect Puree of Napa Valley (along with white peach and pomegranate purees to be used in the near future).

Prickly Pear Margarita
1/2 cup crushed ice
1 oz freshly-squeezed lime juice
1 oz undiluted frozen limeade
2 oz tequila
1.5 oz triple sec
1 oz prickly pear cactus juice (or puree)

Mix all ingredients together in a blender. Perform taste test and adjust for sweetness. (We found these to be perfect and refreshing without additional sugar.)

Makes 2 servings.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

The Good, the Great, the Weird

So much I want to share, I better get started. I'm typing to you from my very own, brand-new computer, a MacBook Pro laptop. I could bore you with the long story of how and why this beauty of a computer has come into my life, or I could just cut to the chase by saying my sweet husband was tired of listening to me complain and I was tired of ripping my hair out.

We're now 24 hours into our fledgling relationship, and all is well. There's just something about the pretty glow from that apple on the outside of the machine that makes me feel comforted and progressive all at once. It's just so "nerdy second-grader playing Sticky Bear Basket Bounce on the school's one Apple is all grown up with her big-girl 'puter now."

Add to this my other recent acquisition, the Canon Rebel XSi, and you can tell that I have lots of homework and fiddling ahead of me. New technology, new software, new awesomeness just waiting to be absorbed.

Can you tell that the tax men cameth and lo he was good to us?

Now, on to other random updates.

The dogs have had their teeth cleaned at long last, and in addition to having pearly whites again, Zephie no longer is playing host to that strange wart flap thing that was dangling from her elbow.

My friend Sarah from the Austin days is coming to visit next weekend, and I cannot wait because we love her, but also because I realized that her visit here will make her the one person I know (aside from my parents) who has visited me everywhere I have lived since I met her. I love that. (It helps that she often has work-related conferences nearby, even in Germany.)

Jillson is going through some major tantrum/meltdown, irrationality, and control freakout sessions these days which are grueling to navigate through. More on this topic later I am sure.

Madelyn is showing early signs of brilliance by being able to correctly locate and name her nose, though truthfully her favorite pastime is digging through the dirty laundry basket in the girls' room in search of Jillson's underwear, which she then pulls onto her head, after which she lopes/runs out of the room shrieking in glee. I know. It's gross. We're working on a solution.

The fact that we get to stay here in Kansas for an extra year means, among other things, that I will get to sing Mozart's Requiem with some really talented Kansas City musicians this summer. Lucky me. (I don't know which completion yet.)

We finally ate at Jack Stack this weekend, and I am in love with their burnt ends and coleslaw sandwich.

Lastly, I was recently sent a membership packet from AARP. It came with my own pre-approved membership card and everything. Just need to pay my $16 and I, too, can receive AARP magazine along with the rest of my 50-and-over friends.

I have more to say (shocker), but I'll hold off for tonight.