Monthly Archives: February 2012

To Baby on Board or not to..That is my question

For years I made fun of these” baby on board” signs.  As far as I was concerned they were pretty lame. Worst of all the people who had these ridiculous things hanging on their cars drove like they were 90 plus years old. Frankly put they annoyed me.

 Now I am the one driving as if I was transporting plutonium. Having my daughter along for a ride, I’m on high alert. “Don’t people understand I have a baby in the car”! Wait a minute …Do I need one of those informative “baby on Board” signs?

So this is my dilemma. Please help me deiced whether to have a baby sign or not to have a baby sign on our car. When you see one on a car do you change how you are driving? Does it even matter at all? I am very interested to know. Please post your feedback or comments and I will let you all decide if I hang one of these things up or not. I promise a pic of the final deal not matter how it turns out! Have fun!

Snowblind for Mac & Cheese

Being a skier this winter has been especially tough for me. Not getting to be on the top of the mountain 1 or 2 times a week has put me a bit out of sorts.  If nothing else I am a skier, so without that who am I?

It’s now Feb 26th and the closest thing to skiing I have done is bring my skis to be tuned, and watch Warren Miller movies.  Oh yeah, hold on there was last month on my 40th birthday. I was supposed to do a day trip with my Uncle and Nephew who had taken the day off work just to go.  Totally rained out!  No peak access, all lifts closed.  Super Fudge! 

This brings me to day present.  We were to be up at our home away from home Jay Peak VT.  As I have mentioned we are very lucky to have 2 wonderful friends that live up there.  We all had planned for us to go up there for this week.  This was to be our one ski week; my wife was given the all clear for her Dr.  I desperately needed some time in nature.   Unfortunately, we also needed a little help watching our daughter so we could ski together even if for only a day.  Those plans fell through by way of my mom getting some extra work she couldn’t pass up. I don’t blame her, in this economy you got to make hay when the sun shines. 

So last week I called our friends and cancelled.  It actually hurt my feeling a little bit to do so.  But the thought of lugging up all the baby stuff.  The travel crib, the rock and play, the dipper changing stuff, the boppy, the tummy time stuff.  O my god I can go on forever… then there was the fact that there was no snow in the woods.  On top of all that it would just be the 3 of us.  That would mean one parent at a time gets to go, and one stays back at the chalet.   Man it all sounds like so much work.  We easily talked ourselves out of going.  Besides there hadn’t been any real snow to speak of in weeks.  The very next day after canceling, I turned on Al Roker on the Today show.  “Are you kidding me” it’s going to dump 12-18 inches in northern VT. 

Trying not to obsess (I only checked their site twice yesterday), I got the call.  “Were snowed in up here”, Foot and a half and it’s all Fluff (powder).  That was at 7 last night.  I woke up this morning checked Jay’s site.

24” since yesterday and 47” in the last 48 hours.  “Someone please just punch me right in the face” Then I looked at the pics of the day.  Bad move- it looks awesome. 

So now in order to keep me from punching myself in the balls, or at least in the place they used to reside. I have resorted to lying to myself.  I can go up Tuesday…Yeah Tuesday I can ski. 

Until then here is a recipe that that always made me feel good as a young person and still does today.  It is my grandmothers’ Homemade Macaroni and cheese and is a classic.  Everyone likes this one especially young people!  Be sure to make a lot and refrigerate leftovers overnight.  The next day this recipe makes “Wicked Awesome” fried mac nuggets!!  So who am I without skiing?  I’m a husband and a Dad and that aint so bad.

Baked Macaroni and cheese ingredients: 

 1 eight oz. package elbow macaroni,

2 cups bechamel (white sauce) 

1.5 cups grated cheese 

Little bit breadcrumbs 

Half cup to a cup of shredded cheddar 

Bechamel sauce: 

2 tablespoons of butter, 2 tablespoons flour, 2 cups warm milk, pinch nutmeg salt and pepper to taste. 

Cook and drain macaroni, than pour half of the pasta in a buttered baking dish. Sprinkle with half the shredded cheddar and grated pecorino cheese, cover with remaining pasta and shredded cheddar. 

For béchamel, melt butter and whisk in flour, salt and pepper.  Add milk gradually and whisk smooth.  Bring to a boil constantly whisking for a min or so.  Sprinkle in nutmeg.  Pour over pasta, and put the rest of the grated cheese and bread crumbs over the top.  Bake for 30 min at 350.  Let cool and enjoy!!

Hooray for my DVR

I haveen’t posted in a couple days because our little girl had to get her first round of vaccinations.  Those of you who have been thru it know it can be a heart breaking experience. I had a fleeting moment when I thought, grasp her and run out the door.  “You’re not going to do that to my baby”!  Luckily cooler heads prevailed and she did pretty well considering.  We both did our best to comfort her.  Because of this I haven’t felt very funny.  My daughter was a little cranky and not feeling her happy self.

 This brings me to my new affection for our DVR.  Wow if you’re going to have a baby and like watching TV, you will like to have one of these.  When my daughter is screaming I can’t hear myself think let alone the television.

Perhaps the government would be interested in using a recording of her voice to break up those protesters I see on TV.  A half hour program with baby takes 1 hour. A movie? 2 days. But at least you get to see your show through. 

 Anyway our daughters is feeling better and now so are we!

Excuse me sir, are you Santa Clause?

I straight up gained 30lbs while my wife was pregnant.  30lbs! Not cool daddy,not cool.  For the record I have never been little.  I have been 6’3 225lbs for along time now.  If you read my blog you know that we are avid skiers and outdoor athletes.  So this 30lbs is really holding me back.

I am writing this from my chiropractors’ office.  I sit here with the eletro shocky thing pulsing away on my SI joint.  Is that a new watch on him?  Did I just buy him that from the last 2 months of visits? Well who cares he helps me feel better.

Good news is,  now the only clothing I fit into are sweat pants and snuffys.  Our word for sweat shirts.  Yep nice and comfy and increasingly fat.  I caught an extremely unflattering look at myself while holding my daughter.  Dude are you going to enter a santa clause look alike contest?  If you clipped into skis and thru yourself off cliff you end up ass over tea kettle from all the front wight.  Time to do something about this.  I got to join a gym and find time to work it out.  You know its time when clipping your toe nails requires help.

Perhaps all my cooking hasn’t been asset to my waist line.  Maybe less butter.  I don’t like how this is sounding…

Super chili recipe

I hope that you enjoy this recipe.  It may seem like a lot of work at first but it is all prep.  after that its really easy and does come together really nice.  Please let me know what you think.

 Ingredients:

 2 celery stalks diced

2 carrots diced

2 cloves garlic diced

½ large onion- diced

1 to 1 1/4 lb. ground hamburger

1 jalapeno pepper- diced

1-2 Habanero peppers-diced

1/2 tsp. chili powder

1/8 tsp. red pepper flakes

1/8 tsp. cumin

Pinch mustard powder

½ tsp. corn meal

 1 tbl flour

3 cans tomato sauce

1 beer, I like a blue moon pale ale.

2 tbl dry red wine

2 tbl olive oil

2 pieces cook bacon

1 can red kidney beans- rinsed

1 can canelli beans- rinsed

1.5 can water

1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Salt

Pepper

 Directions:

In a large pot or Dutch oven brown ground beef, then strain and set aside. In same pot pour olive oil, onions, celery, carrots, and bacon crumbled up. Sauté on med high till clear about 5 min. Drop temp a notch and drop in the garlic and half of the diced hot peppers.  You will save the other half for the last half hour of cooking if you would like it spicier. Sauté for 3-5 min more. Stirring to keep it all moving keep an eye on the garlic you don’t want it to burn. Pour in wine and deglaze pan scraping up any bits 1-2 min. Now it’s time to pour the 3 cans tomato sauce and beer and the can or so of water. Turn the heat to high and add the chili powder, cumin, mustard, cornmeal, and flour and whisk together taking out any lumps. Bring to a rolling boil for a few min and then back heat to a low simmer. Once simmering add the strained ground beef and the beans. Let simmer and stir occasionally for the next 2 hours. In the last half hour if you like drop in the remaining diced hot peppers for an extra kick or not. Pour in bowls and sprinkle with the cheddar cheese.  Serve and enjoy

Diaper Roulette anyone?

I remember being an adolescent boy watching the movie “The Deer Hunter”.  It was the first time I understood what it meant to lose at the game of Russian roulette.  Never ever say “yes” when asked to play that game. 

As fortune has it our baby daughter has forced both my wife and I into a life of Diaper Roulette.  In this game when hours turn into days the odds increase and the stakes grow very high.  Holding the baby on day 3 of no poopies is like flirting with disaster.  You know a bomb is coming but when?  Now is a good time to have to run to the store and pray the explosive air strike size smash occurs while you are out.  You’ll know if you’re the victor if you come home to “Oh my god!” And “It’s horrible”!   Now is the a time for very quiet victory, you won this round whew.  Unfortunately you know you can only play Russian roulette so many times until there’s a bullet with your name on it.  This is diaper roulette and the bullets can be as deadly as napalm.  And there is one with your name on it trust me. 

I was on a 3 day winning streak when the inevitable happened.  “Oh my god”, it’s horrible”   suck it up soldier its only poopie!  You will learn to love the smell of napalm in the morning.  It smells like…victory.

Warning this next post is to be read by dads ONLY.

Now that your wife is pregnant your wife is forever changed. That awesome partner that was into everything you were, is now been eaten by a soon to be momzilla. Prepare yourself for every waking conversation to be about babies. And god forbid; do not bring up golfing with your buddies or any other activity that contains beer and non-baby fun. This will do nothing but annoy her. Worst of all this opens the door for the “Honey do list”. Or as I began to look at it the “Nag list” You know, the list of things that she is keeping in her head of all the things you should be doing to prepare for the babies arrival.

 The coup de grass of this IS the baby’s room. Painting it, and all the other things that will need to be done. All the other things? What other things? Just go ask your wife you’ll see she knows. On this don’t make a habit of bringing home a swatch book or something like a Benjamin More children’s room paint catalog. Sure as the stuff you change every day in your baby’s diaper, you will be tasked in recreating every last detail in her favorite one. This is exactly what happened to me. After 4 days including a fairly beer induced afternoon with my father in law, we hired a professional.

One last thing before I go make a bottle. READ the baby book! You know the book she is always talking about. For me it sounded something like this. “If you just read the book you would know what I’m talking about”. Trust me you don’t what to hear this play for the next 7 months. I waited till the last month to read it. I could think of 50 things I would rather do, but it was an easy read and I did learn quite a bit on what to expect. When we did finally go to the hospital, I was happy I did read the thing. As I knew a little about what was going on and what to expect. I hate it when she’s right…

New Dad Survival guide tip #1.

This is your wake up call.  You have about 8 months to become proficient in the following: 

Cleaning

Grocery shopping

Back and foot rubs for your wife 

Lessons in bargain shopping will pay off once baby arrives.  After hearing that our local Stop and Shop was the most expensive in the chain, I started to compare prices.  I tried Wal-Mart, Target, and other markets and found them to be more trouble than good.  If you watch weekly circulars and clip coupons it’s possible to do well saving on small grocery loads but to save big you need to buy in bulk. 

After a week of research, I choose to purchase a small 5 cubic foot freezer for under $200 delivered to my door.  I also purchased a Food Saver.  These two purchases ended up saving me money in the long run.  I now shop at Costco.  Instead of $5 per lb for hamburger, I pay $2.79 per lb for 5 pounds.  I “whack it down” into 5- 1 lb packages. 

If you have the storage space, buying in bulk makes a lot of sense.  Create a pantry and start stock piling non-perishable products when they go on sale.  Paper products, flour, sugar, pasta, coffee, rice, etc. are all so much cheaper in bulk.  As a result many of my meals end up costing less than $4 and end up with leftovers.  This is when you will feel the pride of a home cooked meal, health benefits, and the financial advantage.  Now that’s a positive adjustment.  Go Daddies!

 

Babies coming

I was so happy during the 3rd ultrasound when we were able to see a little profile of babies face. That was it for me. That was when life began to change for me. It was a reality. The 2nd ultrasound looked like a flickering grain of rice…my wife was way more excited about it than I was…but this time was different. That was the day we found out we were having a girl. Not 30 seconds later the Doctor said we have couple of “markers” that could be a sign of Down syndrome. We were sent to talk to a Genetic Counselor where we were asked about our family history. So now should do an amniocentesis test and make sure all was well with the baby. However, this procedure comes with 1 out of 100 risk for miscarriage. OMG, I had 30 seconds of relief and happiness and now it’s full on worry and concern. We made the choice to have the amnio test…it happen and hour later. The next days were a lesson in worrying. Our daughter was already teaching us how to be new parents.

Everything turned out to be fine with all the tests and we now have a healthy and happy, 8 week old girl to prove it. I bring this up as all of these events helped me wake up and smell the responsibility calling. I had to get my SHIP together. Yes, my SHIP…I really miss swearing!!

First thing I did was make a list of all the major projects around the house that needed attention. I recommend that you do the same. Make sure your list is complete as you will be busy for the next year or so. For me, my list consisted of:

Staining our 2-story house
Demo and rebuilding of 2 sets of steps
Cleaning out all un-needed items to sell on Ebay and Craigs List.
Fix gutters
Eradicate the squirrels now living in our shed
Patch holes where squirrels gained entry to shed

During this time your will need to make friends with the fact that it is time to learn to cook. Dinner needs to be prepared every night so plan easy meals for project time. Making tacos, steak and salad, and broccoli pasta are all good meals that come together quickly.

Our Story Begins

Our story begins a mere 13 months ago.  It was my 39th birthday and we were on a dream vacation skiing in Lake Tahoe.  We stood atop Heavenly with one ski in Nevada and one in California.  The landscape’s contrast was intense.  One side the high alpine lake surrounded by towering green sequoias.  The other side a noticeable distance lower was the brown flatness of the playa.  I remember thinking well you did it, you’re here now it’s time to try for a family again.  It had been a sore subject as we had gone through two miscarriages previously.   One of which was an emergency as my wife fallopian tube ruptured.  Those were absolutely horrible experiences.  It did change me a little bit.

For the next two months we tried to pregnant.  It was great!  I love a quick afternoon matinée.  If I only knew that these would end up being the last time we would be having sex, I would have planned things a little better.  We always planned to get pregnant by March so we could ski out most of the season.  Ensuring the ability to ski the second half of the following baring any major issues.

I am glad to say all our HARD work paid off. We were finally pregnant!!  Nice… Thanks I knew we could do it. We were so stoked but found myself a bit guarded emotionally having gone through the last two.   

It was the last day of our season or was to be my wife’s last anyway.  We were at our favorite East coast spot Jay Peak.  We are lucky enough to have some awesome friend that live up there and treat us like family so we get to ski there often.   Anyway we were side country and having way to much fun. She got close lined by a sizable white birch tree.  We had tried so hard to get pregnant and against all doctors’ orders  we were skiing.  Worst of all we were pretty deep in the woods, well past the ski area boundary, slaying the knee deep booter on a warm spring afternoon.  All was perfect in my world then BAM! My wife hit a tree.  I had to keep her calm and get us of out there.  She could still ski. Most of the impact was taken across her chest and in her wrists.  She was bruised, sprained, and scared!  I was pretty scared too.  It was one of those moments of fear when you bargain for leniency.  It was time I be more responsible for all of us.