Archive | August, 2013

Summer Recap

30 Aug

While it hasn’t been a terribly busy summer, it has been eventful.

We took an awesome family trip to Vail, CO.

Alex received a craft table and chairs from his grandparents.  Coloring is now Alex’s favorite activity.  I’ve loved it, too, once we worked past his desire to color all the furniture, the windows, and the TV.  (Thank God for washable crayons!)

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Alex has been having a blast with his little pool in the backyard.

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Alex met his cousins for the first time.



I set Alex up in the bathtub with shaving cream mixed with food coloring and let him go at it.

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My long-suffering cats have been hugged and pretend fed by Alex.  Doogie usually runs away, but he got hugged by Alex a couple of weeks ago when he was frozen in place, puking.  Insult to injury.  Alex saw an opening to hug a cat, and he took it.  Poor Doogie.  That’s okay.  He’s enjoyed playing Lord of the Dogs with the new craft table.

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And finally, we’ve survived a bout with scarlet fever, regular strep, a stomach bug (me), and a very nasty mystery illness that resulted in high fever followed by a blistered, oozing rash.  That last one took down both Alex and my husband.  It’s been a not-fun couple of weeks around here.  Hoping for better health come fall.



The Feeding of Cats and Toddlers

14 Aug

I don’t believe in feeding little kids a bland diet.  While Alex did, of course, start out on the typical rice cereal and baby food fruits and vegetables, once he started eating what we eat, I didn’t dumb it down for him.  I didn’t shy away from spices with him.  I think this has a lot to do with why he’s such a good eater now.  We can eat just about anything, and he’s happy.  Tex-Mex, Chinese, Korean, Indian… he’ll eat it all.  (When I made Korean BBQ for my husband for Father’s Day, Alex ate the Spicy Miso Dip like pudding.)

You know what he doesn’t like?  Fast food!  He’ll inhale French fries (who won’t?!), but chicken nuggets?  Burgers?  No interest.  Generally, I’d consider this a very good thing, but it was a pain in the butt when we were coming home from vacation and didn’t want to take the time or spend the money for sit-down restaurants on the last day of our drive home.  But it is good to know that his little palate knows that this food is inferior.

Does anyone else have issues with children’s menus at restaurants?  They’re all the same.  Chicken nuggets/strips, hamburger, grilled cheese, macaroni and cheese.  My son doesn’t care for the first two, and the second two are too dairy-heavy for my mildly milk-allergic son.  He eats too much to share my own meal, yet it pains me to pay $10 or so for an adult entree for a not-quite-2-year-old.

It’s so much easier (and cheaper) to just eat at home.

The only truly difficult thing about feeding this child is that he picks and chooses when he’ll like something.  One day he’s thrilled to eat panko-crusted pork cutlets with katsu sauce and a salad of cabbage with a dressing of peanut oil and ponzu.  But the next day, he rejects the same meal.   I guess it’s a toddler control thing.  Truly, I can’t complain.  My kid isn’t insisting he can only eat chicken nuggets, macaroni, and applesauce, as I’ve heard many other little kids do.



Feeding my cats, on the other hand, has been difficult since moving here.  Doogie eats a prescription renal diet for his kidneys.  My new vet doesn’t carry his brand.  This is problematic, as switching foods is hard on a cat’s stomach, and both Doogie and Ninja have sensitive tummies.  (You can actually read about our issues with Doogie in Chicken Soup for the Cat Lover’s Soul.  Shameless plug.)  Our vet in Texas was happy to continue to supply us with Doogie’s food, but she can’t do that any longer, as she hasn’t seen Doogie in over a year.  It finally occurred to me to check Amazon.  I used to buy our former cat’s medicine from a supplier on Amazon without a prescription.  Sure enough, I found a company selling Doogie’s prescription food without a prescription.  Yea!!!

The other problem we’ve had is that Ninja eats a high-quality wet food that I can’t find here in town.  So I’ve been having to drive to Tulsa an hour away to buy his food.  (He needs this food to supplement his diet, as the renal food doesn’t have enough protein for a young cat’s needs.)  I did try some other brands that I can get here in town, but he just didn’t like them as well.  What can I say?  I’m a sucker for my furry boys, and I want to make them happy.  For the first time, I recently found his food on Amazon for less than I can buy it at Petsmart, so he now has a shipment set to arrive soon, too.


Sometimes it feels as if feeding all the small creatures takes up way too much of my time and energy and thoughts!  But a healthy diet for all is too important to do any less.


9 Aug

We packed up the family, baby’s antibiotics (*sigh*), and seemingly half our household goods and headed to Vail, CO for a family vacation.  Instead of doing their usual 3 weeks in Vail, my parents opted for 3 condos for 1 week (they have a timeshare there) so that my sister’s family and my family could all go on holiday together.

It was wonderful.

While Steven loves his job, he was ready for a break.  And even though I still had to make some meals and do laundry and attempt to keep chaos and clutter from drowning us in our condo, it wasn’t anywhere near the same as being at home with a 4-bedroom, 2-story home to clean.  So yes, it was very much a break for me, too.  Sometimes when Alex took his afternoon nap, I read a book.  Bliss!

I don’t think I mentioned this before, but my sister’s family, who has lived in London for the past 7 years, moved back to Texas this summer.  Alex got to meet his cousins for the very first time in June when he and I went home for a wedding.  He adores his 4 beautiful cousins, who adore him right back.  So a week spent with them in Vail?  He was in heaven.   Those girls doted on him and all vied for his affections, and he ate it right up.  We often went swimming with the girls in the evenings.

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In the past when we’ve vacationed in Vail, Steven and I were childless.  So we went spelunking (on a tour), whitewater rafting, hiking.  With a toddler, things were very different.  Sometimes we’d head into town just so Alex could ride the bus.  He thought the resort’s shuttle bus and the in-town bus were the most fun things ever.  I guess when every other ride you’ve ever taken has involved being strapped into a carseat and riding backwards, the freedom of a bus ride is exciting.  Who knew that making a 22-month-old kid happy could be such fun?  Oh, how life has changed!

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We did buy gondola tickets and ride up and down the mountain.  That wound up being a whole-family activity.  Alex was quite nervous about the gondola at first, but then he got comfortable and loved it.  Even better, he was with his grandparents and cousins!

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Steven spent a morning hiking, I got to visit a fun little bookstore (and bought a new cookbook to add to my other 50 or so cookbooks), we ate out a few times, took Alex to a children’s garden and various playgrounds in Vail, and just generally had a nice time being away from home and in the beauty of the mountains.  We are so blessed to have opportunities like this.

But it’s always nice to come home.  I missed my cats like crazy.

Oh, and if anyone wants to know a great way to keep a toddler entertained in a hotel room, just blow up a bunch of balloons and toss them into his pack-n-play.  This seriously kept Alex happy for an entire hour one day!  And he wanted to do it every day, never tiring of his makeshift ball/balloon pit.