Thursday, April 29, 2010

Twenty One and Counting

Pricey Poo-

You are 21 months old.  I cannot believe that in 3 months, you will be two years old.  You have been giving us a glimpse into what we may have in store for the terrible twos.  And all I can say is, "God help us!"  I do love you, lots and lots and lots, but I do not like the whining, fake crying, screaming and head hitting.  I do not like when you throw yourself on the ground because it's time to come inside and you want to stay outside.  It's very hard for me to ignore you when you behave like this because it makes my ears bleed it's kind of embarrassing when you do it in public.  I hope that this is just temporary.

Luckily for all of us, you spend most of your time happy and content.  You are such a crack up. You are getting more words and FINALLY starting to make connections between the words you hear and the things you see.  You are slightly obsessed with your penis...  it concerns me, but your father assures me this normal for a guy.  You love to pull up our shirts and give us raspberries. You think it's as funny as we do and you laugh and laugh, now if you could only figure out an appropriate time to do it, instead of say, when we are out to dinner at a restaurant...

Oh yeah, you have a new addiction to trains.  You say "choo-choo" All. The. Time.  You take your train everywhere, you love trains.  It's really cute and it came out of nowhere.  I think I know what your birthday theme is going to be...

You've been in swim lessons for a month.   You like the water, but go straight as a board when you get in the pool.  You are so busy watching everyone else (you are definitely my son), you forget to do what you're supposed to- you don't kick, you don't splash.  You just look around and smile, until I try to get you to kick, float, splash.  Then you get mad. (And when I see my face in the pic below, I no longer really wonder why people don't approach me- my concentration face is awfully sour puss).

Except for the toddler tantrums, you really are fun.  we have a good time and you keep me smiling and on my toes.  You've also figured out that standing on your toes gives you just enough height to grab things off the kitchen counter.  Luckily, I remember to keep the knives pushed back, but I forgot to move the sour cream the other night.  And you grabbed the container and left a trail of it throughout the house.  Isabelle LOVED you for that, your daddy wouldn't let me take a picture- but it was hysterical.

You are a sweet, precious boy.  You are growing up so fast. And I love you more than I ever knew I could.


Saturday, April 24, 2010

When Life Hands You Lemons

For me, one of the biggest adjustments in becoming a mother is trying  to let go of being self-centered.  I'm not a selfish person, but for pretty much my whole life, in a way that I think most slightly insecure, mildly introverted, obsessively introspective people can be, I was (still am in many ways / instances) self-centered and maybe even a tad bit self-absorbed.  I still sometimes choose having a late lunch with friends over getting Price home in time to take a good nap.  There are days when I leave Price chirping happily in his crib in the afternoon so I can finish updating my blog.  I even am guilty of turning on the tv and letting Price watch Sesame Street (or the entire afternoon programming block on PBS) so I can spend some quality time with my kitchen.  Basically, I put myself first in ways that maybe aren't always the best for P Man.  I don't think I'm a bad mom, I just sometimes put my selfish needs over his- who knows, maybe this is healthy??

I think our month of being crazy busy with missed naps, late lunches, new foods, late nights, early mornings and lots of time spent in the water has finally caught up with us.  My little man has come down with a random fever.  Maybe it's his teeth, maybe it's some weird Guam virus, but whatever it is the little guy is sick.  It happens so often, like seriously once a month, that I don't really worry about it.  I just feel bad for him that he doesn't feel well.  And then when I get an invitation to spend some fun time with friends in the making and knew I'd have to turn it down because I have a sick kiddo, I feel bad for me.  I know, poor me....  And even though there were some temptations to bring my feverish little man with me (we can all use some fresh air right?), I knew that I had to put him first and stay home and let the stupid fever run its course.

So as my mood began to match the rather grey day we were having, I looked over and spotted a bowl of bright, yellow lemons.  My mood instantly brightened and my mouth began to water at the thought of the tanginess they could bring to my life.  I immediately wanted lemon bars.  I haven't had lemon bars in ages, they remind me of my Mom Mom who always made them.  So, I found an easy recipe by Ms. Paula Deen herself and away I went.  

Apparently, this lemon was super tangy.  Enough to trigger a 5.4 magnitude earthquake.  That I somehow failed to feel.  So, after a brief interlude of texts, phone calls and Facebook updates to discuss said earthquake, I continued on and finished my lemon bars.  I think I over cooked them a tad and will add more lemon zest, less sugar next time, but they turned out pretty delicious.  Almost like a one-sided lemon Pop-Tart.

Since I was feeling the lemony sunshine pour back into my soul, I decided that dessert was not enough and I HAD TO MAKE the Pioneer Woman's Baked Lemon Pasta.  It tasted great, but I didn't have parsley to make it look pretty, so I'll leave you with this image instead....

Sunset is often a magically pink time our little island.  This was the view from my back porch last night as I was finishing up my lemon creations.  Everything turns pink, I haven't been able to capture it yet, but it is one of my favorite things about living here.  And it's God's way of reminding me that there is always something special in a day, even if it isn't going to a party.

Sunday, April 18, 2010


Spamboy, this post is for you :)

SPAM (the kind you eat, not the crap that gets sent to your inbox) is a pretty big deal in these parts.  I'm not sure why that is (I guess I need to scour the interweb to find an answer).  Apparently, Tabasco sauce is the drink of choice to swill it down with.  Did you know that there are many varieties of SPAM (hot n spicy, turkey, original, reduced sodium, bacon, garlic, lite, hickory smoked- the ones in bold are ALL pictured)?

I did not.  That is until I moved to Guam.  Where not only is SPAM eaten regularly, it is also discussed quite frequently.  After listening to, but being unable to participate in several SPAM related conversations (other than awkwardly interjecting the tidbit about having a friend whose nickname is Spamboy in desperate attempts to remain in these conversations) because we had no recollection of ever wittingly eating SPAM, Don asked me to pick up a can.  We hemmed and hawed over what type to buy, there are soooo many choices after all, and finally- several months ago- picked up a can of Hot & Spicy SPAM.

For the entire time we've owned it, it sat on our pantry shelf.  Mocking me each time I struggled with coming up with an idea for what to eat for dinner.  It sat there so long, I grew quite used to it sitting there, it became almost pet like.  I would open the door, acknowledge it's presence and then grab food I actually wanted to eat.  That all changed yesterday, when after yet another SPAM related conversation, Don asked me to make SPAM for dinner.

I am not a huge fan of processed foods, there is something especially unappealing to me about who knows what animal parts ground down and pressed into an oddly shaped tin can.

But being the dutiful wife with a husband about to have a rough week at work (and who had her own major craving for processed meat in another form- chili dogs, but was too lazy to do anything about that) decided it was time to break out the SPAM.  But how should we eat it?  How do you cook such a delicacy, it does need to be cooked right (actually, no according to the label you can eat it straight out of the can- blech)?  So, I turned to the most trusted source I could find (after not getting a response to my SPAM SOS from my SPAM eating neighbors) and found millions plenty of SPAM recipes on line.  I settled on SPAM fried rice. I figured we like everything that was going into the rice, except possibly the SPAM, so if the SPAM was as revolting as I imagined, we could just eat around it.

And off I embarked, on my first ever attempt to cook and eat SPAM.

When the food you are about to consume comes sliding out of it's tin with a "jello like sucky noise" (thanks Kristen for that dead on description) and looks like this and smells like cat food, it made me thankful that I am not pregnant.  Because had I been with child, I would have been puking.  SPAM smells, it really has an unpleasant smell.

Luckily, the recipe suggested smooshing it before cooking...

I am glad.  Once I did this, I was able to pretend I was just browning up some canned tuna (which is odd too and probably not something I would do). The things we let ourselves believe to get through the tough times...

Anyway, once the SPAM was all good and brown, I followed the rest of the recipe and this is what we ended up with.

Maybe we've all eaten SPAM before?  Doesn't this look really similar to the fried rice you get at just about any Chinese restaurant?

And to be perfectly, 100% honest it wasn't that bad.  It was spicy. It was salty.  I can almost see where the affection for SPAM comes from.  But I also know what it looks like and smells like before it's cooked and that's why SPAM probably won't be a regularly featured item on our menu.  Except for one small problem, Price LOVED it.  He had seconds last night and leftovers at lunch today.  I'm trying not have hurt feelings that he loves SPAM and dog food more than  as much as all of the really good stuff I cook.  I'm now seriously worried that people have just been lying to me all of these years when it comes to my cooking.  So, now I've opened a can of SPAM and my own can of insecurities, but I'll save all of that for another post.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Dear So and So

Dear Don's Cough,
GO AWAY!!!  I would really like Don could really use a night of uninterrupted sleep.

Sick of you,

Dear Hubster,
I am only going to ask nicely one more time.  Please go talk to one of your doctor friends and ask them to give you the magic yellow pill that will make you stop coughing.  YOU NEED TO SLEEP. ALL NIGHT.  WITHOUT WAKING UP. HACKING.  I think our house might be a more peaceful place if you get a full night of sleep, especially with the week we have coming up.

Love you, hate the cough,
Your Adoring Wife

Dear Sleep,
It was nice going to bed a little earlier than usual tonight only to we woken out of my deep sleep (see letter above).  Is it still called a nap when you only get to sleep for two hours in the middle of the night before waking up to begrudgingly play nurse to lung hacking husband?  Anyway, I miss you and hope that we are reunited soon.


Dear Huggies Swim Diapers,
Thanks for helping a girl in need.

The Girl (formerly) In Need

Dear Hubster,
You are sound asleep and I am wide awake.  It's 3:00 in the morning.  Be nice to me in 4 hours when Price wakes up unaware that we want to sleep late and I include you in the joy of early morning parenthood. I'll try to be un-grumpy to you.

Love you, still hate the cough, but glad that it seems to have stopped,

For more So and So letters, visit Kat's blog...
Dear So and So...

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Fun In the Sun

One of the really great things about living in Guam is the weather (she says after only being here for 7 months, experiencing one of the most pleasant "dry" seasons on record according to those who have come before her).  We are currently in the dry season (we have two seasons- wet and dry, there is no spring, summer, fall and DEFINITELY no winter for us).  Dry season just means it rains less than it does during the rainy season- we may get two or three days in a row with little to no rain compared to two or three hours without rain in the rainy season.  In either season, unless there is a monsoon or typhoon, the rain usually moves in and out quite fast.  We have been blessed with pretty amazing weather since November.  While we are still getting trade winds and and the humidity is relatively low, the sun is getting hotter- I know that sounds odd and I think I wrote about it when we got here, but it wasn't the air that was hot, it was the sun.  It really beats down on you.  But once the sun starts dipping behind the hills and the trades pick up, it is truly glorious.  And, I think I've been here too long, at times it can even feel chilly.  Since we're having such nice weather, we are trying to spend time outside (it also helps the day go by faster).

Yesterday, Price and I braved the blazing morning sun (we both needed a healthy dose of vitamin D) and worked on a painting project.  

I need to remind him that the purpose is to paint the paper, not himself.  He's also still got the attention span of a gnat when it comes to painting, so this was a quick project.  Fortunately, it was less messy than our first attempt at Christmas and he didn't try to eat the paint as often.  I'll try again soon (I actually found out in his play therapy session today that I should try with big brushes instead of the potatoes, plastic bottle and tp roll that we used.  It will help him develop better coordination and pre-writing skills.  If he takes after me in the hand writing department, he's going to need all of the help that he can get).

Later in the day, we broke out our new silly sprinkler and had some of his big kid friends over to splash and play.  He wasn't quite sure what to think of the water flying out from everywhere, but he sure had fun watching the big kids run around.

Of course, he was very curious about what the fuss was all about, and well he had to strut his stuff-  big belly, droopy drawers.  Doesn't he look like a man inspecting something and then giving his opinion?  I think it's the tilt of his head, the the chest puffed out.  Oh to be the 20 month old expert. on everything.

"Hey big kids, I'm just a little dude.  That's wayyyyy toooo much water!!"  Or, I'm sure if he could say it, "MMMMMMMMMMMOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM"

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

You Lucky Dog...

I bet there are 3 of you who have been waiting with bated breath for this post.  The one where I reveal the winner of last week's giveaway.... Congratulations to my awesome cousin Shauna!!   Thanks to all three of y'all who entered and to everyone who visited Amy's Etsy shop.  I plan on doing more giveaways in the future, so get brave and step to the mic.  I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE reading your comments.

Shauna- these earrings are on their way to you soon,

and there may just be some extra Guam goodies for the little fellas living at your house.

Thanks to number picker for RANDOMLY choosing the winner,

Sunday, April 11, 2010

My Mood...

We have had a nice lazy day hanging around the house.  But, now that late afternoon is drawing near I am ready to get out of the house.  I can't help but think of this song,

 The beach is calling my name.  I need to be outdoors!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Zucchini Goulash

Growing up, my mom often made a dish that she called Goulash.  Basically, it was an end of the month meal or in the lean times (that's the genteel way of saying when we were pretty poor) we had it often.  What I grew up knowing as Goulash is really not a goulash at all, but basically a combination of whatever you have laying around at any given time.  There really isn't a recipe since you basically just dump a bunch of stuff in a pan and let it cook.  There is definitely NOTHING Hungarian about this recipe, it leans more towards Italian.  Since I made this on a Monday, which is also known as "no grocery shopping is done due to the Commissary being closed day," and I had no meat, we went vegetarian, but you could easily add meat if you choose.

Here are the basics (aka known what I had on hand in the pantry at dinnertime)
2 zucchini, sliced and quartered
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 medium onion chopped
2 cups of uncooked pasta (I used broken lasagna noodles, which made me happy.  I HATE using broken lasagna noodles in actual lasagna and there are always broken noodles in the box)
2 8 oz cans of tomato sauce
1 15 oz can of diced tomatoes
2 C water
1 C shredded mozzarella
salt, pepper, and any other spices to taste

If needed, break up lasagna noodles.  Add zucchini, onion and garlic to lightly greased skillet.  Yes, this in fact the same skillet that Gus the Gecko was hanging out on last week.  I broke my own iron skillet rule and scrubbed the sucker out with soap and water before using it to make this.  Next, add spices.  I probably used about a half teaspoon of each, you can always add more later. Sauté until onions are becoming translucent and zucchini doesn't look raw (you can see the seeds a bit more), be sure to stir often to prevent sticking. Add pasta.

(Don't you love that picture?  Can you tell that the good camera is working again- Easter Miracle!! and that I'm playing around with angles and shots?) Next, add tomato sauce and diced tomatoes.  Stir.  Add water (as you can see, I just used a poor man's measuring cup- the tomato can). Stir.  Bring to simmer, then reduce heat and cover.  Simmer for about 12 minutes (may need a little more or less time depending on what type of pasta you use. Be sure to stir occasionally.  When pasta is al dente and most of the liquid has been absorbed, sprinkle with cheese, cover and and return to heat for about 3 more minutes until cheese is melted.

Remember that I am giving away an awesome pair of earrings!  Here's the scoop.  The contest ends at 11:00 p.m. on Friday (CST), so hurry up and enter!!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Eat It Up

Here's what we're eating this week....

Monday- Zucchini Goulash
Tuesday- Chicken Tenders with Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Wednesday- Undone Stuffed Pepper Casserole ( got this idea from Rachel's cooking page on Facebook, the Food and Family magazine that it originates from is a GREAT resource for inexpensive and easy meals.  I miss my subscription and wish they mailed to Guam...)
Thursday- Broccoli Cheese Soup
Friday- Leftovers

Remember to enter my giveaway for a great pair of earrings! Contest ends Friday, April 9.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Delay of Game

As a mom, you expect your child to have many labels- good kid, sweet kid, funny kid, quiet kid, kid with those incredible cheeks.  Some labels are easier to accept than others and some labels, when handed out make you hope they don't stick around forever.  Price was recently given the label of being "developmentally delayed."

It started a few months ago when we went in for his 18 month check up.  I know he's a smart kid, but I expressed some concerns to our doc that I was having about his communication skills (or lack thereof).  At 18 months, he didn't have very many words that he used on a regular basis and when he he did, I wasn't sure if he really was making a connection between the word and the object he was identifying.    People always tell you that boys are slower to talk than girls, that only children don't talk as much because they don't have to, that all kids talk in their own time. Plus, being the loquacious gal that I am and being someone who gets a true delight from words (expressed both written and orally) and the connections they have and where they come from, I thought maybe I was just expecting too much from my tiny tot. Yet I couldn't shake the feeling that something was a little off.  The doctor agreed and referred us to the local early intervention services.

After several evaluations, Price was admitted to the program with the diagnosis of a developmental delay.  It's very hard as a mom, who wants nothing but the best for her children, to see on paper at an early age his name associated with failure (I am not saying that he is a failure because of his delay, but he failed several of the language tests and it was hard to see his name and the word "failed" next to it).  Of course, my irrational side questions what I could have done differently when he was younger to have changed this course, could I have sung more songs, could I have read his books differently, did having the tv on so much when he was little do this?  My logical side reminds me that there is nothing I could have done differently and that we are on a good course and will help him overcome this delay.

Fortunately, we have some great people working with us and he is starting to pick some things up on his own.  Every time he adds a new word to his vocab and uses it correctly, we have a victory and we are one step closer to overcoming this challenge.  I am looking forward to the day he finally says, mom, mommy, momma- I don't care which one he chooses, I just know it's going to be the sweetest sound I ever hear.

Goody Goody Giveaway

Happy Monday!

Thanks for stopping by today, thanks for stopping by any day.   I really love (and sometimes can never believe) that there are more than 3 people, people who aren't even related to me, who read my blog.

One of the first non-related people to read my blog is one of my favorite Guam bloggers, Amy.  Not only is Amy one of my favorite Guam bloggers, she also happens to be one of my favorite people on Guam.  She is kind, patient and I don't think she has a snarky bone in her body (which is good for me, since I probably have enough for both of us).  In addition to all of her great personal qualities, Amy is a ballerina.  When I was little, I soooo wanted to be a ballerina.  I took ballet for years, until I had an unfortunate run in with a fish aquarium and my figure became less girlish and more womanly at the ripe old age of 10.  But I have remained enamored with toe shoes, tulle, foot chalk, Sugar Plum Fairies, Black Swans and the movie The Turning Point.  My inner 12 year old is secretly in awe of having a friend who is a real ballerina.

Unfortunately, Guam isn't the ballet capital of the Pacific.  While there are some opportunities for Amy to dance here, she's kind of had to take the wool out of her toe shoes and hang them up for a bit.  That's the bad news.  The good news is she has found another creative outlet- she has started designing jewelry.  She uses gorgeous stones and her designs are earthy, yet feminine, and they are very original.  You can see all of Amy's current pieces at her Etsy store,

In fact, as a thank you for reading my blog and visiting her Etsy store,  I will be giving away this great pair of earrings...
These quartz crystal and silver-plate earrings hang approximately 2 inches from sterling silver ear wires

To enter the contest, all you have to do is visit Amy's Etsy store, Winding Wire Jewelry.  Then come back here and leave me a comment.  The contest will be open until 11:00 p.m. Central Standard Time (see how nice I am to not make you figure out Chamorro Standard Time?) on Friday, April 9. (To give you some insight into the difficulty calculating ChST- that will be 9:00 a.m. Saturday, April 10 here in Guam. Are you confused?).  I'll randomly select a winner from any comments I receive.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Easter!

What a wonderful Easter weekend we had.  Friday night we had some of Price's girlfriends (and their parents) over for a Good Friday Fish Fry and Egg Dying Party.  We had fish tacos, shrimp and crab bisque.   I also made a bunny cake, a long time family tradition.  So easy to do...

Make two round cakes (I made a carrot cake that tasted so-so, but you could make any flavor that goes well with a white icing)
Pretend that I made two perfectly round, uncracked cakes, both worthy of having their picture taken.  

Next, take one of the round cakes and cut like this...

Now, on a large platter (or like we do in my house, an upside down cookie sheet covered in foil) place the remaining whole round cake in the lower middle of the platter.  Next, stick the two ears on top and the bow tie on the bottom.

Cover in frosting and let the kids go to town adding a face and any other decorations.

After dinner, we decided it was time to throw caution to the wind and start the dying of the eggs.  Fortunately for us (and our still new to us Persian rug) Price only got his hands dirty.  He thought it was SUPER fun to move two eggs back and forth from one cup to another...

"I'm king of the egg dying world!"

Who needs a spoon?

No, his hand is not jaundiced, it is just yellow from the dye.  It will stay that way (thankfully lesser shades) for the next two days.

Saturday morning, we woke up pretty early and headed out for the base Easter egg hunt.  Unfortunately, Price was more interested in anything in his line of vision the wagons, strollers and all the people than the eggs that were strewn out all over the field.


Or maybe it was his ridiculously short outfit, and he was just too embarrassed to go out in the sea of toddlers and fight for silly plastic eggs. Anyway, he ended up with the whopping three eggs pictured above.  We are TOTALLY raising an over achiever.

To celebrate his mad egg hunting skills, we took Price to Hooters for dinner.  Yes, my son and I both went to Hooters for the first time Saturday night.  He may not be able to pick up an egg laying in a field, but he can pick up the chicks who work at Hooters.  All the Hooter girls came by to say hi (which the guys at our table loved).  This one loved him the most (pardon the picture quality, we forgot to bring a camera to document Price's first trip to Hooters.  Don has a phobia of cameras at Hooters thanks to his bachelor party)

Today, we got up before the sun to celebrate the resurrection of the Son.  We went to sun rise service and celebrated Easter service as the sun rose over the Pacific Ocean.  After church, we walked home to see what the Easter Bunny brought Price.

Apparently a bunch of Easter grass and no clothes.  His clothes are missing because he PUKED all over them right after church, as we were standing on line for breakfast.  Everyone standing behind us was THRILLED!  Luckily, he was fine post puke, so we were still able to go out for brunch later in the day.

After church, brunch and naps Price and I headed down to the beach to give Don some time to study.  We met up with our neighbors and enjoyed popsicles, wine (I enjoyed this), cheese and watching the sun set over the Phillipine Sea.  

We couldn't have asked for a better weekend.  Hope you and your family have a wonderful, blessed Easter!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Dear So and So

Dear Whoever,

Is it whoever or whomever?  I never really know...  Anyway, sorry I haven't posted anything in a while.  As I mentioned earlier this week, it started off crazy busy and never really slowed down.  I finally had a chance to write last night, but it didn't feel right.  I had funny, light hearted things to write about, but there was an ambulance down the street at a house where a baby lives, I have a family member with some concerning health issues, I have a dear friend whose year is off to a rough start, Don's got some work stuff going on.  And all of these things just weighed my heart down a bit and I couldn't muster funny and light.  So, I did the the only thing I could do and said some prayers and counted my blessings.

-The Empathetic One

Dear Other Mothers (and daddies too)-

How do you teach your child to share?  Short of having another brother or sister (which isn't in the cards anytime soon), I don't know what to do.  Price is really me focused, which is, I guess, normal for an only child his age (which is one of the reasons we want him to have a sibling at some point).  But I don't know what to do when we are in a public place and he sees something that belongs to someone else and he just walks up and takes it, even if they are holding it or playing with it.  I try to explain to him he can't, I say no, I remove him and try to get him interested in something else.  I get very frustrated and embarrassed and sometimes I want to swat his hand, but he only does it when we're in public surrounded by other people whose children don't seem to have this problem so I don't want to be labeled as the "mom that hits," plus I really don't want to swat his hand or any other part of his body.  What I really, really want to do is carry him home.  Yet what I don't want to do even more is teach him that he should just pack up and leave every time he doesn't get his way.

Wishing they came with instructions,

PS- To the moms who bring their own toys to the play place, don't be surprised when other kids want to play with the "new" toys, but thanks for being mostly understanding about my little grabby grabberson.

Dear Price,

I sure am sorry that I fed you mold and almost let you drown.  I appreciate that you still love me.

Bet you wish we had to get a license before having you.


Dear Gus the Gecko,

I really don't mind that you have decided to take up residence inside my house.  Some cultures believe it is good luck to have a gecko in the house and I think it's good luck that you're here to eat any bugs that come inside.  However, if I promise to let you stay inside, will you promise to stop sneaking up on me?  And more importantly, will you promise to quit hanging out on my cast iron skillet?  It freaks me out to have you watch me cook.

Slightly ugged out,

As always, if you wanna join the so and so  fun, click the button below.
Dear So and So...
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