Weekend Mash-up

This week’s menu:

Monday: Tuna Fish Hot Dish (since we didn’t have it last week)
Tuesday: Roast Chicken and Vegetables (we didn’t get to it last week either)
Wednesday: Chicken Soup (broth is from last night’s chicken carcass)
Thursday: Tortellini and Marinara Sauce with Broccoli and Garlic Bread
Friday: Taco Pizza
Saturday: Firecracker Salmon with Brown Rice and a vegetable
Sunday: Leftovers or canned soup and grilled cheese sandwiches
We had a great weekend here. We had decided to wait until the weekend to fully celebrate Munchkin’s second birthday, so on Saturday we went to the Oregon Zoo and froze our butts off. Nah, it wasn’t that bad. We brought Husband’s golfing umbrella and I packed extra jackets and a blanket for Munchkin, so we were all set. While many of the animals were just as unimpressed with the weather as we were, there were a few that were great to see, like the zebras and the giraffe (which was, admittedly, inside, but he or she was looking out his or her observation window at all of the people on the deck outside. Lemme tell you whut, giraffes have HUGE heads!) and the fish, which are always a hit with Munchkin. Also, we jumped into the penguin exhibit just when they were starting the keeper’s talk. I thought the keeper dude seemed familiar, and it turns out that he (and the penguins, of course) was featured on Animal Planet’s “Growing Up…” series, which I watched ceremoniously when we had just moved to Oregon and I was pregnant with Munchkin. Yay! I met a pseudo-celebrity! 
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Later that evening, Husband’s sister and her boyfriend came over for dinner. She brought Munchkin a fairy costume and some books. Munchkin was impressed. We had yummy soup and chocolate cake, and talked about armageddon and government take-overs and gardening and religion. By the time I went to bed at 1:20 a.m., my head hurt from all the talking! I lurve TL and it was great to see her and Randy.
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On the home front (har har), we had a heater dude come out to look at the furnace on Saturday, and he said that it needed repair but still was functional. Bummer, because I wanted him to say that it was an explosion hazard and it needed to be removed immediately. Oh well, I guess we’re stuck with it for now. He was nice and didn’t charge us, though. How awesome is that? 
We have the sewer line inspection and the appraisal tomorrow. These should be the last things we need to do before final negotiations and then the underwriting, which sounds like it’ll be three or four weeks of hellish nothing. Just waiting and stewing in our excitement and anxiety. Ugh. 
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Planet of the Monkeys

Do you know that I have an entire monkey troupe in my home? An entire extended monkey family! Let me count them in my head…after the three we got this week, the count stands at ten. Ten monkeys. And they’re all Munchkin’s.

When she was a littler munchkin, she bonded to a couple of similar-looking (of course) stuffed monkeys. One was a monkey that Husband got me for Valentine’s Day when we were still dating. The other one I picked up on a whim at the mall when we still lived in North Dakota. (I admit: I like monkeys, too.) When Munchkin came along, I naturally just gave most of my stuffed animal collection to her, and those are the ones she liked the most. Now she needs to sleep with one of them, and when she wakes up at night upset, she cries for it: “Monkey! Monkey!”
Well, we all thought this was cute. Munchkin became known as a monkey girl. And as an unfortunate side effect of living more than a thousand miles from either of our families, no one knows what to get her for her birthday or Christmas. So more often than not, it’s something monkey related. And it’s starting to add up.
Don’t get me wrong: she’s lovin’ it. How can she not? But geez. I feel like they’re going to gang up on me and torture me while she sleeps. I wonder how long it’ll be before they stage a revolt and take over the house.

My Baby is TWO!

On this day two years ago, my belly was cut open, and out came a baby.

While I could’ve done without the hack job, I can’t complain about the baby. She has been the most angelic tot that ever lived in the history of the entire universe. Well, except for the sleeping part, but she’s getting better. Now she only wakes up one or two times a night. I’ll take that.
I remember after her birth, when all the commotion had died down, how sweet it was to revel in her. The medical staff had all gone on to more important matters, her daddy crashed on the cot in our room, and her auntie TL had stayed to watch over us. “I can’t believe I’m a mom! I can’t believe she’s mine!” was all I could say, as there are really no words to fully and accurately describe the feeling on the day they pull a child out of your body and let you keep it. 
You were perfect, Munchkin, except for those little things that were “wrong” with you, but you were perfect to me. Those things were minor and added to your beauty. They still do. 
And today, as you lay on the cusp between babyhood and childhood, this magical time called toddlerhood, I’m thinking that this is the perfect age. You are tiny still, able to curl up in my lap as you nurse no differently than a nine-month-old would. But you have your own will and your own opinions. You tell me what you want, what you don’t want, what you like, and what every animal that you see sounds like. You help out when I ask you to. But when you wake up crying at night, all it takes is to hold you like a baby and rock you a little to get you to drift back to sleep. I have my baby and my child, all wrapped up into one twenty-something-pound lump of giggles and kisses.

A Walk to Remember

Today was brilliantly sunny, so Munchkin and I took a walk. Rather unfortunately, I forgot to take my camera. Bummer. She was so engrossed in her environment that it would have made some beautiful pictures. She was digging in the dirt with sticks and exploring all the micro-ecosystems on her level. She could have stayed out there all day long if I let her. She’s just like me: when Husband and I go for hikes, he wants to just get to the destination, but I want to stop and smell the flowers and look at all the cool things that grow in the woods. Sometimes he gets a bit irked that I’m taking so long, because he just wants to GO! Munchkin and I have the same relationship, except that I am Husband and she is me. “Come on, Munchkin, we have to keep walking! Munchkin! Let’s go! I’m leaving now! Byebye!…Seriously, come on!”

Another thing that just makes me swoon is that she points out everything she knows the name of, which I recognize is something that all toddlers do, but it’s cute. “Baby plants! Baby rocks! Airplane! Bird! Stick! Leaf! Duck? Where’d duck go? Where are you, duck? Bug! BUZZZZZZ!”

Diving in? do IT! do IT! do IT!

This week’s menu:

Monday: Leftover General Tsao’s Chicken and Rice that I made on Sunday
Tuesday: Sloppy Joes
Friday: Pizza
Saturday: Spicy Chicken Soup with Homemade Rolls and Chocolate Cake in honor of Munchkin’s second birthday!
Sunday: Tuna Fish Hot Dish, or leftovers if we have a lot left
Well, it looks like Husband is the first one in tears over this whole homebuying thing. I didn’t see that coming. 
Lemme back up. It’s been awhile. Pull up a chair.
We are pre-approved for a home loan through the UDSA program for an insane amount. Check. We found a real estate (buyer’s) agent that we like. Check. She showed us a bunch of houses. Check. We picked one and made an offer (for well below our “approved” amount). Check. Our offer was accepted. Check. The next step is home inspections, which are on Thursday.
Except that NOW Husband finally went through the taxes and budget and decided, basically and condensed, that if we were to buy this house we would basically be living close to paycheck-to-paycheck for the first six months. And there were tears of sorrow. (Not mine.) *Sigh* This poor man (pardon the pun) has never really endured economic hardship, but to suggest that we might need to spend more consciously for half a year makes him scared out of his noggin. And it won’t even be as bad as I just made it sound. This will be a temporary situation, and no, I’m not basing that on anticipated raises or bonuses for Husband. It’s a tax thing, and will resolve itself in 2010. Moderate household emergencies are already prepared for, and for major ones, we could still get by unscathed. We just won’t be pumping juice into savings for half a year.
The truth is, it all boils down to the inspection and appraisal, and how much the sellers are willing to negotiate. Seeing as how the house has been on the market for eight months (!!!), I think we have some leverage.
I’m done talking about the house for awhile, mmmkay?
Munchkin has been super cute lately. This is what went down in the van yesterday:
Scene: Pulled into our parking spot after going grocery shopping. Turned off the van and was listening to a story on NPR for about thirty seconds.
Munchkin: Mommy?
Me: Yes?
Munchkin: WE’RE HOME!
Haha. She is saying just about any word you tell her to say, and she’s starting to use commonly-used phrases in the correct context on her own. She can also put several words together to relay a thought, although it’s still missing adjectives, pronouns, etc. For example, every day this happens:
Munchkin: Watch…Nemo?
Me: No.
Munchkin: Watch…Elmo?
Me: No. 
Munchkin: Watch…Meggenl? (which vaguely translates to VeggieTales)
Me: No. 
Munchkin: Piece of cheese?
Me: Argh, alright. Here’s a piece of cheese.