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Archive for February, 2009

when life gives you lemons…

I’m really trying to look on the bright side of this situation…

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This is my fridge…not even 5 years old.  It’s supposed to be reliable and look pretty…and it’s NOT supposed to do this:

This morning I woke up to find puddles of water all over my kitchen floor and the contents of my fridge and freezer to be less than cold.  When I explored further, I realized the puddles of water were coming from the icemaker as the ice was melting and the water was running down the side of fridge all over the floor.  I have been making freezer meals to have when the baby’s born…those were nicely thawed.  The meat that I’d been freezing to have come April…also nicely thawed.

What to do?  First, as any extremely emotional pregnant woman should, I had a good cry.  Next, I called our trusty appliance repair man.

Finding out he would be to my house between 9:30 and 10:30 gave me enough time to load up Owen’s red wagon with my frozen goods that were still salvageable and take them over to my neighbor’s house to steal some of her freezer space.  Then I stocked our tiny “beer fridge” in the basement with as much of our refrigerated stuff as possible.

The repair man came…and then left.  Telling me that our compressor is broken and that I needed to call the manufacturer to fix it because the fridge is still under warranty (praise God…because he also told me that if it isn’t covered under warranty it will be at least $700 to fix…yikes).  I waited for 30 minutes on hold with the Frigidaire people until someone finally told me that, yes, this is definitely still under warranty and that someone would be to my house between the hours of 12 and 5 (don’t you just love those big vague time windows they give you??).

After realizing I had an hour, I raced to the gas station and bought ice.  I found our cooler (which of course was on the VERY top shelf in the garage…a fun thing to get down in my very pregnant state) and stocked the cooler with the rest of the fridge stuff.

Trying to see the bright side of this situation (because at this time I thought my fridge would be fixed by dinner tonight and life would be jolly again), I decide that this was a perfect opportunity to clean my fridge!  I got rid of everything that was old or expired and washed every shelf and made it look nice and sparkly.

Then the Frigidaire guy showed up…and left.  It took him about 2 minutes to look at my fridge and then tell me that it would take up to 2 weeks to get the part required to fix the fridge and they’d call me when it was in.

He probably thought I was very dense because I kept asking questions like “Wait, so you’re not fixing my fridge today??” and “So you’re telling me that I’m going to be without a fridge for 2 weeks??”.  Then he left, just like that.  He did give me some advice…”Ma’am, maybe you should buy a small fridge or something to hold you over until you can get yours fixed.  Have a great day!”

Yeah right.  A great day?  The next 2 weeks are going to be mighty interesting.  Again, I’m trying to have a positive outlook on this, but I’m having a hard time with that.  Here are the positives so far:

1.  This is covered by our warranty so we should only be out the service fee. (I wish I got paid $70 to drive to someone’s house and declare their fridge unfixable!)

2.  My fridge is now clean…something that I wanted to do before #2 comes.

3.  This didn’t happen the week after #2 arrived…I think that and the hormones that follow childbirth might just have pushed me over the edge.

4.  Owen was  a dream while all this was going on.  He loved watching 2 hours of TV (my mommy guilt set in on that one…but what’s a mom to do when she’s on hold with repair companies and trying to mop up puddles of water before it seeps into the basement and ruins something big?).

5.  My frugal mind is already thinking about how I can make it the next 2 weeks without a fridge and without eating out every single meal.  I love a good challenge.

Anyway, if you read this to the end, thanks for listening to my little vent session.  If anyone knows any great recipe ideas that require no refrigerated items…shoot them my way!

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cars-vitaminsToday I bought these vitamins for Owen. He really hates those vitamin drops…and I can hardly blame him. The smell is enough to make me gag. I’ve known that gummy vitamins exist, but I also have known that the labels say they are for ages 2 and up due to a potential choking hazard. While in the vitamin aisle at Target, Owen saw this box and started yelling “CARS! CARS!!”. I decided it was worth paying a little more for the excitement of eating a Lightning McQueen shaped vitamin. (And he’s pretty close to 2 and does a great job of chewing, so I figured it’d be worth a try.)

I paid $5.24 for this bottle of 60 vitamins. So this should last me 2 months. Maybe by then he’ll be so excited about eating gummies that we can switch to a cheaper brand. Anyway, I was a bit apprehensive about buying these only because of Owen’s aversion to trying anything new.

Whoever created these vitamins knew what they were doing. We now call them Owen’s “Car cookies”. He thought they were fantastic and wanted more. Now the challenge will be helping him understand that he can only have 1 per day.

Now that I’m sure Owen is getting his vitamins, I won’t stress as much about what he does (or doesn’t) eat.

By the way, I tasted one of these gummies. I actually wanted to eat more than one, too!

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how did dinner go tonight, you ask?

This picture should give you a pretty clear picture…

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If that picture didn’t give you an idea of the fun we had, maybe this one will…

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One final shot of the look of anger Owen was giving us (well maybe me…I guess I was taking pictures of his tantrum)…

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So in the comments section of my last post, I explained that I had a plan I was going to try during dinner tonight to see if it worked.  Here was the plan.  I made Baked Ziti for dinner.  Owen was going to get Baked Ziti on his tray, nothing else.  Normally he gets to have bread and applesauce (things he enjoys).  I realized that he is probably getting full on those things and not needing to try the other foods to satisfy his hunger.  I also decided that Travis and I were not going to make a big deal of anything he did.  We were going to keep dinner low-key.

Dinner started off okay.  Owen actually ate the pasta noodles in front of him, but he picked around the meat.  Things were pretty peaceful for a few minutes.  Then he finished the noodles.  He started gesturing towards our plates, and I asked him if he wanted more noodles.  He said yes.  I told him that he could have more but he needed to try a bite of his meat first.  Then the screaming began (as the above pictures prove).  Travis and I calmly continued eating our meal.  Every once in a while I would say that if he wanted more noodles, he needed to try his meat.  He started pounding his fists on the tray, smearing pasta sauce on his face, and he threw his cup on the floor.  All of this I chose to ignore because I knew that he was trying to make me angry in hopes that he would get his way.  I hoped that he would see that these tactics weren’t working, but I also realize that one night of trying a new strategy isn’t going to change our lives.

At the end of dinner, he had eaten a few pasta noodles and a cup of milk.  So he did eat.  Just not a lot.  Like many people said in their comments, he isn’t going to starve.  I’m going to try to be consistent with this strategy for a while and see if it works.  If we do it for a while and it doesn’t work, I’ll try something else.

Thanks for the comments and advice.  It’s nice to hear other moms say that they’ve been there!

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Lately, Owen has developed some SEVERE food aversions.  To the point that I want to pull out my hair.  I’m going to vent…then I’d love some advice.

Owen used to love to eat.  He’d try anything!  As he’s gotten older, he’s become more and more picky.  He used to love to eat vegetables (the baby food version).  Now he won’t eat anything green.  He used to love pastas.  Now he puts them on the end of his fork and tries to hand his fork to me while saying “none” (his way to say “done”).  He used to love PB&J.  Now he sees it, shoves it to the corner of his tray and says “NOOOO, not!”.

Here are some things I’ve tried to do to get him to eat…  I’ve tried mixing vegetables in with other foods he likes.  (He finds them and picks them out.  Even if they’re already in his mouth.  He has this really amazing talent at deciphering the different tastes and spitting out those he doesn’t like.)  I’ve tried saving food that he doesn’t eat and then bringing it out at the next meal.  (He doesn’t care.  He still won’t eat it.  He’d rather starve.)  I’ve tried giving him his least favorite foods first in hopes that he will eat them.  (He won’t.  We’ve had many tantrums and the food will just sit there, uneaten, and he’ll go to bed hungry.)  We’ve tried making dinner time a really low-key time.  If he doesn’t eat…no big deal!  (We hoped this lack of attention to his food aversions would help.  It didn’t.)  We’ve tried so many other things that I can’t even remember right now…and my creativity is zapped!

I know that all kids (or at least most) go through phases where they are difficult to feed.  My frustration at the moment is that Owen won’t even try foods that don’t look like hot dogs, macaroni and cheese, or applesauce.  He turns his head, says his typical “NOOOO, not!”, and clamps his lips together.  He refuses to even let the food enter his mouth.  It’s been WEEKS since he’s actually tried something new.

Something else he’s weird about…mixed foods.  I don’t know if maybe he has some texture issues?  He loves bread and cheese separately.  Mix them together to make a scrumptious grilled cheese and he won’t have anything to do with them.

Now it’s your turn…  Does anyone have any advice for me?  Should I not stress about this?  I mean, I know that Owen isn’t starving.  You’ve seen pictures of the kid, for pete’s sake.  I’m sure he’ll grow out of this.  But at the same time, I can’t remember the last time he tried a bite of my dinners.  I really don’t want to resort to making a separate “Owen dinner”…mostly because that sounds like a lot of work every night to make one meal for us and one meal for Owen.  But maybe that’s what I need to start doing?

Advice…please!

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hoops ‘n movies

I realized today that two significant cultural events are going on in the lives of Emily and I right now, and we have neglected to comment on either for you, our loyal readers (hi mom and Becky!):

1. Mizzou is the #10 college basketball team in the nation.

2. Tonight is the Academy Awards, and we managed to see a couple of the nominees.

So…

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MIZZOU IS #10 IN THE NATION! And #3 in the Big 12! Can you believe it?! Sure, everyone knew we would be good in football this year – but #10 in hoops?! Em and I have caught every game since pre-season began (the wife and I both agree that college hoops – that of Mizzou, specifically – is our favorite sport to obsess about). I’ve loved Mike Anderson since the Arkansas days (he was the guest speaker at my junior year sports banquet in high school), and am so happy for his and the team’s success. The next four games are huge.

And…

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The Oscars. We’re still bumming The Dark Knight got snubbed and The Reader got in (we feel safe assuming that The Reader isn’t as good). We managed to catch two of the Best Picture nominees. We saw the favorite, Slumdog Millionaire, a few weeks ago and both feel it’s a worthy frontrunner. Well made, great story, and you can’t help but love the characters. We’re actually watching the Red Carpet pre-show now, and love the fact that the whole ensemble – including the adorable little kids – are there together. I’m rooting for it all the way.

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We also saw The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. We really liked it, but aren’t so sure it’s a Best Picture winner. My biggest issue was believing that Benjamin would be so in love with Cate Blanchett’s character (Jenny to his Forrest Gump). She’s rather unlikeable. But as a whole, a thought-provoking, touching movie.

Okay, off to watch the big show.

Go Tigers!

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As posted here, Owen got a ridiculously awesome Millenium Falcon from my parents for Christmas (well, technically I got the Falcon, but O-man’s the one who plays with it). He especially loves its array of sound effects.

One day as he was playing, I wondered: “How will Owen respond when he sees the Falcon in action for the first time?” So I fired up the DVD player, threw in Star Wars: A New Hope, and watched with pride as the boy soaked it all in.

So here it is, a landmark event that will presumably be re-experienced hundreds if not thousands of times in his future: the video of my son seeing Star Wars for the first time (he really starts reacting about halfway through the video).

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21 months!

One thing that sums up Owen at 21 months is this progression of pictures.  These are my attempts at getting him to sit on his “Owen” chair and smile…

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(If you notice in this first picture, he even has the top button of his pants undone…typical male!)

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(Don’t you love the little mischievious smile that says “I know what you want me to do and I’m just not going to do it!”.)

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It took Rowan and Savannah to make Owen smile while I took the picture.  My stubborn, active little man.

Here are some things that sum up Owen at 21 months:

*  He is repeating so many words and phrases.  It cracks us up!  Currently, his favorite expression is “Oh man!” and says it all the time.  I’m glad that’s been my phrase of choice when something goes wrong…

*  One of his favorite times of day is after bath time.  He loves to run around the house naked yelling, “nakey!”.  At this age, it’s pretty darn adorable.

*  He does not like to stop moving…making trips in the car a bit miserable.

*  He has two favorite movies, “Cars” and “Finding Nemo”…and he wants to watch them all the time.

*  He loves kissing the baby.  He knows both the boy name and the girl name, and has spilled the beans to at least one of my friends!

*  Owen will be a big brother exactly 2 months from today!

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