Hunter started taking his first steps last week. Now all he wants to do is toddle around. He looks a bit like a little old man shuffling his little feet. Tralee took her first steps three days after her first birthday. Hunter took his about three weeks before his. I wasn't expecting him to be walking so soon. Before long he'll be running, and then I'm really going to be in trouble.
I came across some old photos of Jim and me yesterday. We were dating at the time. We were smitten. We were in our own little world of love where we believed there was never a more attractive, happy, in love couple than we were. We knew we would someday get married.
While looking at these photos it also occurred to me how much time I put into my appearance back then. I busied myself with blushing, tanning, whitening, curling, lotioning, polishing, and plucking. I'm lucky if I get a shower now-a-days. I kind of miss the old Leslie. The pre-kids Leslie. For one, she was thinner and didn't have battle wounds (stretch marks) from having babies. I miss my old jean size. Maybe it's vanity, but I think I might try and invite some of the old Leslie back into my life.
I, like so many other moms, put my own personal appearance on the back burner, and focus on my kids. It's completely normal for me to go out with Tralee and Hunter both in cute clothes, hair both done, and looking put together while I'm in my sweats with my hair (that needs to be washed) pulled back in a pony tail. I figure most people will be looking at my cute kids, not me. The same goes with food. I'll prepare two plates for the kids at meal-time, making sure I have every food group properly portioned out. Then I turn around and grab whatever is easiest for me to eat quickly. I need to care about myself again. I always feel better about myself when I make a little effort. I know Jim will appreciate it too.
Jim ALWAYS comments positively if I put on a skirt, or slap a bit of make-up on before he comes home. He loves it when I wear skirts, and I usually only wear them on Sundays for church. I used to wear skirts all the time (like back when these pictures where taken), but they just don't seem practical now. I mean, how can I wear a skirt while climbing a jungle gym apparatus to help Tralee get down? I'll flash everyone my underroos if I wear a skirt. Maybe I should invest in some leggings to solve the problem. The point is, I need to take a little time to feel pretty again. I just feel like Mom. I love the role of Mom, but while playing this roll I've neglected Leslie. She needs a little TLC from me too. I'm gonna start working on it. My first goal is to fit comfortably into my pre-pregnancy jeans again. They fit now, but not comfortably. So. . . it's an achievable goal (I hope).
Hopefully before long I'll feel like the old me again. I know I'll never look that young again, and my body will always show traces of pregnancy, but I want to feel like I felt back when these photos were taken. I felt great. Maybe it was new love. Maybe it was the effort I made. Maybe it was because I was ten years younger, and didn't have kids to wake me up too early, wipe their boogers on me, and throw tantrums while leaving the park. Whatever it was, I want it (at least some of it) back.
Tralee got a hold of my lipstick marker the other day while I wasn't paying attention. I knew something wasn't right when she ran up to me with the marker, the lid was off, and she was saying something about how pretty Baby looked.
They both had a bath that night. Luckily, the lipstick came right off, so we were good for church the next day. Phew!
Hunter's pretty good at giving kisses. Usually he does a "mwah" sound when he delivers one, but when I pulled out the camera to capture his kisses, the sound effect was silent. Typical. The video is still cute, even if you don't hear him mwah.
The Asian Shrimp and Pineapple recipe turned out okay. If I make it again, I'll probably tweak it a bit more to my liking. For instance, the jalapeno pepper will be put in the dressing to flavor it, and then removed before tossing it on the salad. Those little bits of jalapeno are killer. I like a bit of spice, but not that much.
I also think Karma reared her pretty little head today. I couldn't find my keys prior to leaving for therapy. I searched the house. I called Jim to see if he moved them. They were nowhere and the clock was ticking. I finally knelt down and said a little prayer. A few minutes after that, I check the diaper bag in the car. The keys were at the very bottom of the bag. I have no idea how they got there, but I was happy to find them. We ended up being eight minutes late for therapy because of the key fiasco. I DID remember the recipe, but BonApetit was long gone. I looked through the magazine rack and all I saw were Newsweeks. So. . . I kept the recipe. I figured Karma and I are even now. Plus there's a sweet potato cake with mango and pineapple chutney recipe on the same page I want to try next. :)
I've been hinting for a bike and a trailer for a while now. My dreams came true last night. Jim got me a bike and trailer for an early Mother's Day gift. The kids and I used it today.
My neighborhood has a whole bunch of flowering trees lining the sidewalk. I'm not sure what they're called, but as you bike by they smell heavenly. As I peddled I kept thinking how great it would be to come across a little park near our home. Well, what do you know! It just so happens there is one!! PERFECT! We had to bike home first, because Tralee wasn't wearing any shoes. After we had all of our feet clothed, we biked back to the park and the kids played. I laughed at the graffiti. It's so different than the stuff I read on playgrounds in Milwaukee. Idaho graffiti is a lot cleaner.
I am too. . . but I don't think I would say it quite like that. Or write it on a playground.
I've had a guilty conscience ever since. I was sitting in the waiting room during Tralee's speech therapy. Hunter was sleeping, so I took advantage of the time by flipping through a Bon Appetit magazine.
Oh. That recipe looks delish, but too much work to make.
Man. I really should have eaten a bigger lunch. This magazine is making me hungry.
OOOooooo!! Asian Shrimp, Pineapple, and Peanut Salad! That sounds wonderful! Let's read through the recipe to be sure. Lime juice (yum), fish sauce (I've always wanted to try and cook with fish sauce!!), olive oil (got it), sugar (got that too), shallots (easy), jalapeno (oh yeah), fresh mint leaves (never tried to cook with fresh mint leaves either), shrimp (yummy), pineapple (bring it), avocado (not my fave. . .but probably good with the rest of the ingredients), peanuts (I like it), and lime (I LOVE the flavor of lime juice). Oh wow! I've GOT to try this recipe! Hmmm. . . shoot. No pen to copy it down. Let me read through it again and see if I can remember everything. Are you kidding Leslie? You'll forget before you even turn the page. Maybe the receptionist will make a copy for me. Maybe I can offer her a quarter to make me a copy. But, what if she thinks I'm totally ridiculous and gets really annoyed at me? Hmmm. . . is it a ridiculous request? If she's a foodie, maybe she will understand. But what if she's not? Then I'll just feel stupid if she says no. Would it be totally horrible to rip out this recipe? Is it stealing? YES! The recipe doesn't belong to you. You can't rip it out. Then again, I've seen people walk out of here holding People magazine and US Weekly, and they CLEARLY aren't there's! I'm just talking about this one little recipe, and there's an ad on the other side of the page, so I won't be ruining an article for the next reader. Let's just see what happens if I rip it a little bit.
Oh Leslie. Stop! This isn't right!!
I REALLY want to try this recipe, and I can't go up to the receptionist now and ask her to make a copy, she'll see that I've already started ripping it, and then she'll know what I am. . . A RECIPE THIEF!!!!
TEAR. pause. TEAR. pause. TEAR. . .
. . . and we're done. I wonder if that lady sitting over there noticed my indiscretion? Just in case, I'm going to fold up this recipe really quietly and tuck it away. Now I feel guilty. Maybe I should put it back. No. NO. The deed is done.
And that's my lurid story of stealing!!!! I walked right out of the therapy building with stolen recipe! Now everyone knows. . . I'm not perfect.
Hello. My name is Leslie, and I'm a recipe thief. I'm planing on returning the recipe to Bon Appetit magazine on Wednesday . . . but not before I copy it down, and cook it on Tuesday night for dinner. I'm even feeling the need to take some of my own old magazines down there as an act of penance. I mean, most of the magazines there are Newsweek (I've flipped through them, but it's not really up my ally. I'm not sophisticated or politically savvy enough to really enjoy it), a butt-load of hunting magazines (uh. . . not my thang), and like I mentioned the People magazines and Us Weeklys are usually already being read or are MIA. I have some Country Living, BHG, and Ladies Home Journal magazines that I don't need anymore. I'm thinking of sprucing up the selection in the therapy waiting room. Mostly to ease my conscience.
And just in case any of you find yourself in a waiting room, with page 55 of last month's Bon Appetit staring up at you, whispering for you to rip it out and take it home with you, DON'T DO IT! I'll share my tainted spoils with you below:
Asian Shrimp, Pineapple, and Peanut Salad
2 TBS fresh lime juice
2 TBS fish sauce
2 TBS olive oil
1 TBS sugar
1/2 cup thinly sliced shallots
1 small jalapeno chili, thinly sliced
3 TBS (packed) fresh mint leaves
16 peeled diveined cooked large shrimp with tails intact
1 large avocado, halved, pitted, peeled, coarsely chopped
2 TBS salted peanuts
1 lime, cut into 8 wedges (for garnish)
DRESSING: Whisk lime juice, fish sauce, oil, and sugar in small bowl until sugar dissolves. Stir in shallots, chile, and mint.
SALAD: Toss shrimp with salt and pepper in bowl. Add pineapple, avocado, and dressing; toss to coat. Divide among plates, top with nuts, and garnish with lime wedges.
Seriously. . . karma is on my mind now. Maybe one day I'll be sitting in a waiting room, reading a mind-boggling article when I turn the page only to see that the next one has been ripped out. I guess I'll deserve it. Or maybe my payback will be that after all this, the recipe won't turn out. That'll be a bummer. . . but we're still gonna go for it tomorrow night.
Jim' cousin started a non-profit organization called Joete's Playground. The goal of this organization is to provide playgrounds and other necessities to underprivileged children around the world. You can read more about it here. Joete's Playground is currently having a Mother's Day auction. Check it out here. If you're wondering what to give your mom, grandma, sister, cousin, aunt, nice next door lady, or yourself for Mother's Day click on the link above to view gift ideas. Plus, you can feel really good about the purchase because it's not only benefiting the receiver, it's helping impoverished children. Kay, now go check it out, and if you hear someone say, "I don't know what to give my mom for Mother's Day." Show them this, this, or even this. All cool stuff!
Spring has come to Idaho. For starters, the weather has been gorgeous. The trees in our neighborhood are blossoming, and perhaps the most exciting tell-tale sign of spring is. . . .
Griffin and Adelaide's eggs have hatched.
We thought there was just one egg, but we were wrong. There were four! Four lovely baby birdies!
Spring has sprung!
Update: The babies now have names. I told Jim he could name two, and I could name two. Their names are: Turd Bucket, LaDouche, Addison, and Harper (I'll let you guess who came up with which names. . . it'll take a stretch of your imagination, I'm sure.)
Here are some pictures from our Easter Day O' Fun at the other Jacobs' place. Pictures are courtesy of Audie's blog. I would just link you to it, but it's a private blog, so I stole her pictures and I'm re-posting them on here. Click on the pics to see them a bit bigger.
Thanks again other Jacobs family. We had a blast playing with you, as always.
Easter happened while Jim was out of town. The morning was spent watching conference, opening a care package from G-ma and G-pa Labiszak while they watched via ichat, and that afternoon the kids and I hung out with the other Jacobs family. We ate a yummy dinner prepared by Audie, went on an egg hunt, dyed eggs, and made jewelry. It was a fabulous Easter, and I'm glad we spent it in good company thanks to Audie, Jared, Jovie, and Oakley.
When Jim returned from his trip, he wanted to see Tralee hunt for eggs as well, so we did our own little egg hunt in the backyard on Tuesday night. Tralee and Hunter got baskets with a few little gifts from the Easter Bunny, then we went in the backyard and searched for eggs.
When all was said and done, we broke out Tralee's new bubble blowing machine and blew bubbles the rest of the night.
I had to put the above picture in to show the kids' chocolate faces.
Pure unadulterated joy! She had just popped a bubble.
While Jim was gone, we called each other every morning and night. During one of these conversations he asked, "What do you want me to bring home for you guys?" My very PC reply was, "yourself." The fact of the matter is, I meant it. I didn't want/need anything but Jim to come home. He still brought home a gift for the family. What was the gift you ask? A bag of 100 balls and a toddler baseball bat. It's a VERY Jim kind of present, and we all LOVE it!! We spent the next day in our backyard playing baseball, or at least attempting to. Tralee's still trying to get the swing of things (pun intended).
Hunter wasn't too sure about being outside, as you can see from his face. Or maybe he's making that face cause it looks like the baseball bat is about to hit him. It wasn't, so no worries.
I even tried my hand at a little swingin'. I'm trying to make a tough baseball face. It must have worked, cause Jim chucked those plastic balls at me REALLY fast!
Running the bases.
Tralee followed me every time I ran the bases.
Hunter just played in the outfield through it all. He never caught one ball. However, he would crawl around them, pick one up eventually, and drool on it.
He did the same thing once he got a hold of the bat.
We had a lot of fun. Our backyard has been scattered with 100 plastic balls everyday this week.