Dream Shard Blog: The Scintillating Adventures of Our Household

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Aug '08

New Favorite Pastime

Since Wes has learned to pull himself to standing in his crib his poor toys are at his mercy. His new favorite pastime is assaulting his Winnie the Pooh mobile and eating the ears on his musical puppy. I figure it’s good practice for his balance.

Aug '08


Being a mom, you don’t really get paid vacation hours. Or unpaid vacation hours. Or vacation hours of any kind.

But, unlike with normal desk jobs, you’re not limited to x-number hours of vacation. You can go where you want, when you want, for as long as you want. You just have to take your work with you. And he or she has to be somewhat cooperative with your plans.

So today I took Wes to Salt Lake City for a little sight-seeing. After living around here for nearly ten years, I realized I’ve never done proper touristy-type things, and there’s no time like the present. I also got to try out our new lightweight stroller. I needed something light and compact (unlike my very bulky, very heavy jogging stroller) and after some research and hands-on experimentation I decided on the Maclaren Triumph. It only weighs about 11 pounds and turns on a dime. It’s fantastic.

The first thing Wes and I did was take a guided tour of the Conference Center. It was the first time I’ve been on the roof to see the garden up there. Wes and I enjoyed the view of downtown Salt Lake.

Then we stopped in at the Lion House Pantry and picked up a lunch to go (chicken, mashed potatoes, veggies, and a world-famous roll). It was “to go” because I had to go and feed the parking meter again. Two hours went by fast.

Next we toured the Church History Museum and peeked in at the original 1847 log cabin right next door.

Lastly, we walked around Temple Square, took some photos, and watched a wonderful presentation on eternal families in the Visitors’ Center.

With all the construction happening in the downtown area, walking through Temple Square really does feel like the most peaceful experience on Earth. You can’t hear the construction (which, I can attest, is loud). It’s so quiet and comfortable. Here are our attempts at photos on Temple Square.

We stopped at my brother’s place in the Avenues for a visit with his wife and their two kidlets. Wes got to play with his six-month-old cousin Ethan. This photo makes Wes out to be a giant, but actually Ethan has the edge on Wes in the size department.

There was a lot of this going on:

On the way home we listened to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows on tape and stopped in American Fork at my favorite bakery, where we had ice cream and a slice of Asiago cheese bread and bought two cupcakes to go.

Aug '08

“I bruise like a grape.”

Such are the immortal words of Mo Rocca, and such is Wesley’s forehead. He’s starting to accumulate a collection of bruises on his forehead from all his bonks. Today alone he bonked his head twice–once at home against the coffee table and once at Tucanos (a Brazilian restaurant) on the table edge. He had a hard time recovering from that last one because right after he stopped crying over his traumatic head injury the Brazilian singers trounced in with their drums and loud voices to sing happy birthday to three tables of people. And Wes wasn’t much a fan of the noise. He didn’t cry again, but his lower lip kept pouting out like he was certainly thinking about it. So John took him out to let him recover a bit more.

Also, we have a potential jailbird on our hands now. Wes learned how to pull himself to standing in his crib. Sometimes we’ll sit him in his crib to play, leave for a minute, and come back when we hear a loud thumping noise to find him standing up and hitting the wall with his hand. Mostly I think he pulls himself to standing to get a better grip on the crib with his mouth so he can chew on it.

Lastly, and I know this is heathenish to include in a post essentially about Wes, but I am so darn proud of my newly reorganized pantry. Just look:

I should have taken a “before” picture because it would have made you pass out from horror. Imagine the shelves of your local grocery store after an earthquake, except with the boxes and cans intact on the shelf but at odd angles and in no particular order. Also with expired freshness dates. And a few weevils wandering around.

I am a fan of these under-counter baskets that I use to store my plastic wrap and storage bags.

I feel so empowered by my new pantry. Last night I went grocery shopping and instead of standing in an aisle staring at an item and wondering, “Do I have any of this at home?”, I could clearly picture the organized shelves and know for sure. Few things give as good a high as getting organized.

Aug '08

Speech therapy

I just wanted to report that Wes did much better with his speech therapy visit today than last time. I wasn’t sure how Wes would do since he had been yawning and was obviously ready for a nap. But once his therapist walked in and started playing with him he perked up and smiled a lot. She said that today he was like a new baby; he has improved so much since her last visit.

Hah. I knew my baby was smart.

And he really has come a long way since she came a month ago. He’s making more sounds, especially when he’s mad or tired or needs something. I hear him say “mamamamama” when he’s tired of being in the crib, and I hear the same sound with a lot more oomph when he’s getting angry. Sometimes I just stand there and listen to him making these great noises, even though technically the noises are meant to spur me to action. It’s so darn cute hearing him talk.

His therapist had a lot of other good things to say about Wes, like how he goes after toys (leans toward them) with definite purpose and throws a small ball really well. (We should probably get him a bigger ball to start rolling around.) She said he is responding well to stimulus and is taking turns and can understand cause-and-effect toys. And she said he was so adorable that she’d be more than happy to pack him up and take him home with her.


Park Day

Today we went to the park.

Wes swung on a swing.

And didn’t crack a smile once.

I guess he must’ve been a little tired. But we had fun anyway.

Aug '08

Moderate Cooking Success!

I was grocery shopping this morning and the most amazing thing happened: As I was touring the aisles I saw ingredients and had ideas for multiple dinners! This is usual for some people, but for me, who is not a great cook, this was landmark.

Today I saw husks of sweet corn in the store and just couldn’t resist. But I didn’t want to boil them, so I found a recipe in my Weight Watchers cookbook for oven-roasted corn. It’s super easy and turned out really good, even though I had to substitute half the ingredients with things I actually had.

Oven-Roasted Corn on the Cob

Here’s how I made it:

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon water
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1-2 tablespoons fresh herbs (I used basil, tarragon, and thyme–it’s what I have growing in my kitchen planter)

Brush the oil/herb mixture on four shucked and cleaned cobs of corn. Wrap each cob in a double layer of aluminum foil and place directly on oven rack. Roast for 25 minutes, turning occasionally, until kernels are tender.

Per serving (1 ear of corn): 109 Cal, 4 g Fat, 1 g Sat Fat, 0 g Trans Fat, 0 mg Chol, 14 mg Sod, 18 g Carb, 3 g Fib, 3 g Prot, 3 mg Calc. [Nutrition facts from the Weight Watchers cookbook]

The actual recipe calls for cilantro instead of herbs, and lime juice instead of lemon. The flavor is so good that you don’t need anything extra. It makes the corn healthier for you since you’re not lathering on butter with every bite. And it was so easy I might never boil corn again.