Tuesday, February 5, 2013

January in the Steel City

Pursy eating breakfast with her Papa
December was job changes for both Grant and I, travel to TN and OH and the blessed holidays. Oh the holidays... looking back on it, I can say I thankfully survived and even sometimes embraced the chaos. I go way overboard with Christmas cheer and presents, and this year the babes were just young enough to think pulling ornaments off the tree was more fun then sitting quietly on the couch snuggled up next to their dear Mama basking in the glow of her Christmas decorations that I spent HOURS PUTTING IN JUST THE RIGHT SPOT SO YOU WOULD ENJOY IT, YA UNGRATEFUL LITTLE KID. And even though my favorite ornament met an unfortunate demise (Becki, could you paint me another red ball ornament with Martsolf Family 2011 on it??)  no children or husbands were harmed over the course of the holidays. It wasn't Norman Rockwell rosy cheeks and twinkly lights perfection, but it was ours. And we had fun.

8 Years of Wedded Bliss
January is my least favorite month. Other then our wedding anniversary (which happens on the 4th, leaving the rest of the month to drag on foooorever) I always look forward to the last day of January. It takes me a little while to get over the crazy happiness of Christmas and by the time I emerge from that and realize there is all this now- pointless snow on the ground, I am in a bourbon-only fixing funk. Fortunately for me, Grant plans and executes our anniversary trip every year and for our 9th (!) he took me away for a night to the Mansions on Fifth where we ate dinner at Legume in Oakland, saw a midnight movie in Squirrel Hill, had a sazerac or two in the bar, spent the night in a gorgeous room on the 3rd floor and had coffee delivered to me in bed in the morning.

 In January we realized that the sounds Knox has been making repeatedly had become actual English words- he turned 15 months on January 19th and his vocabulary includes: Mama, Dada, bubbles, book, cat, mooo, banana, gabba, cheese and roaaar. He tears around the house with his belly leading the way, running into furniture and tripping over the play food Pursy leaves scattered all over the floor. We taught him to get back up after a trip, put his hands over his head and say "TaDa!" which he does all the time, much to the amusement of strangers and grandparents.
Roosta Head!

Purslane is now in her second session of tots gymnastics at the Sarah Heinz house and loves performing all her floor exercises for any and all audiences. (including her androgynous baby doll she named "Teri". We are not sure if Teri is a boy or a girl or how she even learned the name Teri, but Pursy is adamant. Grant keeps trying to convince her that her other favorite baby doll should be named Pat but so far, that doll remains affectionately named "Blue Baby") She has a playdate every Wednesday morning at the Pittsburgh Toy Lending Library with her friend Ian, while I have a grown up playdate with Ian's Mama, Allie. I am not sure who looks forward to Wednesday mornings more...

The Infamous Parsley Plant... alive!!

January also included weeks of traveling for Grant. He spent 5 days in California and 3 in Boston while the babes and I cried in our soup at home. We entertained the idea of us joining him during one of the trips for about 2.3 seconds before both of us shook our heads and waved goodbye. Traveling is not near as fun when half the travelers are pooping in their pants.

Speaking of pooping in their pants, January is also the month that we did round 2 of potty training with Pursy. The first foray into this maddening parenting sport included pounds of Trader Joe's gummy bears, Hello Kitty stickers and anything else we could possibly think of to reward Pursy for taking care of business on the toilet. This time we decided to motivate her with the deepest desires of her heart- to be in charge. Every time she has dry underwear, she gets to make a Big Girl Decision. That could be where she sits at the dinner table, what color cup she uses for her juicewater, what pajamas she wears to bed, etc. Any decision we can think of that puts her in charge of her own destiny she gets to make- if she poops and pees on the potty. Sometimes we regret our first offer of motivational decision making... her outfit to church last Sunday may or may not have included a polka dot dress, chevron purple tights, a turquoise flower in her hair and orange mary jane shoes. She looked CRAZY but so proud.

For my January, I can sum it up in two words- Dutch Oven. (Grant is laughing, I can hear him now...)But a literal dutch oven- a Kelly green beauty that my Mama gave me for Christmas which has become my favorite kitchen tool. I make everything in it- corn chowder, pork loin with tomato ragu, onion saffron lentils, bacon and leek linguini, mushroom and fontina frittata... it literally makes every dish amazing and so easy. It sounds dramatic to claim that I don't know what I did before I had it, but I do feel like I have Dutch Oven amnesia. (Grant is chuckling again)

This is what I feel like when I create amazing things in the Dutch Oven

The last few days of January ran into the first few days of February while we spent time with some dear friends of ours who moved to West Chester in June. Mark and Kim were in community with us in State College and have two fantastic babes, Cole and Peyton. It was so good to be together again, and to watch the next generation of good friends get to know each other.

Love the Chaos in this Photo
Watching Finding Nemo

Teaching Cole how to play "Tawa" (her made up game)

Guys and Doll(s)

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