Sunday, January 20, 2008

Who wants a Chili Dog?

Before we were married, Ricardo had been a bachelor for going on 17 years. (Yes, I know, that makes him sound so old). He cooked like a bachelor. He ate like a bachelor. The extent of any homecooked meal was scrambling some eggs and frying bacon for a breakfast burrito. I remember coming over to his house and looking in his freezer and being tremendously shocked at the amount of frozen food that had taken up residence there. His favorite was some really horrible frozen salisbury steaks, which came 6 to a pack. He would cook the whole thing and eat them all with a half a loaf of bread.

I know.

It doesn't get any more unappealing than that.

So enter ME. I love to cook, and have accumulated quite a few tasty recipes over the years. Don't get me wrong, Ricardo likes my cooking and appreciates home-cooked meals. He will compliment them and let me know when he especially likes something I've made. But sometimes I wonder if he doesn't secretly long for the days when he could have Frozen Fat and Sodium every night for dinner. It cracks me up when I occasionally ask him what he would like for dinner. His answer?


Or Chili Dogs.

Or frozen pizza.

Now, I am not discriminating against these fine foods. They all have their place and I have certainly relied on them in a pinch.

I like to think that I have turned his eating habits around, but I know that's not entirely true. Oh, sure, he eats better overall. I sneak ground turkey in place of ground beef whenever possible. I have eliminated his white bread for the healthier stone ground whole wheat variety. Same with whole wheat pasta. And more veggies. But I'm afraid his true love still remains with those frozen foods of (mostly) bygone days.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

More than Enough

I won't lie, I have been a little nervous about the new business venture. A little apprehensive. Ok, a lot apprehensive. It's not that I believe that Ricardo will not do well, because I know that he will be a success at whatever he puts his mind to. It's just....well, the not knowing. Not knowing how soon things will take off. Not knowing how long our emergency fund will hold out. Not knowing how much he will have to travel initially and how many nights he will be gone out of town. These things and more have kept me up for more than a few nights. I've gone over the budget again and again, whittling it down to make it stretch as far as possible. I hate to admit that I have worried over it, because that sounds like such a complete lack of faith.

I read a verse the other day that jumped out at me. It was Proverbs 27:27. This is what it said:

"You will have milk enough for your food, and for the food of your household, and for the maintenance of your handmaidens."

It was so simple, but just what I needed at this time. I am not big on pulling verses out of the Bible to make them fit whatever need I have at the moment. But, this one just really hit me all on it's own. The preceding verses are pretty great, too. Verse 23 says to be diligent to know the state of your flocks. Verse 24 says riches are not forever. Put it all together and there is such a perfect balance. God expects us to work hard at what He's given us to do; He expects us to be diligent in knowing what state our business is in, to use the talents He's bestowed on us. But He didn't give us this so that we would worry ourselves sick about it. He doesn't want us to get so wrapped up in the riches, the money part of everything, that we lose our focus. He'll take care of us. We will have enough because we have Him. And that's all I need. Just Him.

Friday, January 11, 2008

I dream of Potatoes

For those of you whose weakness is your sweet tooth, you won't relate to this. I am talking, of course, about the love of my life, potatoes. Ah, what I wouldn't give right now to curl up with a nice steaming dish of mashed potatoes. At this point, I'd even settle for a plain baked potato with absolutely nothing on it. But I recently learned that the glycemic index of this most beloved food is an 85. Now, a month ago, I had no idea what glycemic index even meant. Still not sure that I totally understand it all, but suffice it to say that since I may or may not be insulin resistant, I am playing it safe and staying away from all white sugar, white flour, and....potatoes. Sigh.

We went to Furrs on Tuesday to eat dinner. Now, since the whole prospect of starting the new business came up, we have drastically cut our lifestyle, which includes going out to eat. However, we had a coupon, plus a little gift certificate, and we calculated that the 3 of us could eat for under $10. That was too good of a deal for even frugal folks like us to pass up, so off we went.

Here is what Ricardo ate:

Chicken Fried Steak (smothered in gravy)
Chopped Sirloin Steak (smothered in gravy)
Mashed Potatoes (need I say it? smothered in gravy)
Green Beans
Strawberry Fluffy Salad
Chocolate Pie

Here is what I ate:

Baked Fish
Tiny bit of Roast Beef
Green Beans
Broccoli and Carrots
Cucumbers and tomatoes

Now I ask you....if you were Savannah, which plate would you want to eat off of?


As I usually do, I dished up a bowl of delicious vegetables for her. She took exactly 3 bites before the Strawberry Fluffy Salad caught her eye. That signaled the end of the voluntary veggie eating. She whined and pointed and asked for the Fluff. Of course we told her, no, eat your vegetables first. Well. This did not go over so well, as you might imagine. She had a little bout of tears because she was so hurt over Ricardo telling her no, so she ended up coming over to me and sitting on my lap as I attempted to eat. At this point, I happened to look at Ricardo's plate and saw that he was already eating the Fluff and the Pie. I looked at my plate....I had most of my food left. I thought a few unkind thoughts about how it always ends up being the mom that doesn't get to eat until about an hour into the meal at a restaurant (ok, I'm exaggerating), but Ricardo must have read my mind, or maybe seen the look on my face, because he told Savannah to come to him. Of course she was more than happy to go, and got in on her fill of Fluff and Pie. Ahem. Just so you don't think we are terribly irresponsible parents who let her eat whatever she wants, after her little foray into Dessert Land, she did end up coming back to me, and eating all of her veggies, roast beef, the cucumbers, and fruit. We decided that from here on out Ricardo is going to have to wait to get the pie until the very end.

Monday, January 07, 2008


I have to admit, I was a little..teeny...bit...secretly proud that it took Savannah so long to start saying, "No". She was probably about 20 or 21 months by the time she actually started verbalizing it. So, there I was, so happy that my little darling was being "considerate" enough not to bombard us with that wonderful little word, and I was even daring to imagine that she would just bypass it altogether. Ah, the impossible dreams we have. Once she discovered it, she eased into it, saying "no" infrequently enough to keep my hopes alive of an obedient and oh-so-compliant child.

And then she turned 2.

Ok, so maybe it wasn't quite that cut and dried. But seriously, in this past, oh, week and a half since she has been 2, I have noticed a dramatic rise in the usage of this now favorite word of hers. It really cracks me up when Ricardo and I are having a conversation, and she picks up bits and pieces of whatever we're talking about.....and if she doesn't like it, she goes into overdrive.
"No, no, no, no, no!" I guess just saying it once doesn't suffice.

Tonight Ricardo asked me, "Is this little one ready for bed?"

She knit her little brow in consternation and said, "No! No! No! No!"

She also says "No!" as a reflex answer, sometimes before she actually hears and comprehends the question. She loves blueberries, so I'll say, "Savannah! Do you want some blueberries?"

"No, no!" Then she realizes what is actually being offered, and changes her tune. "Yay, more, more!" From one extreme to another.

The good news is, despite this, she is still obedient and compliant. Mostly. Really, she is pretty well-behaved, despite the strong will that courses through those tiny little veins. Of course this is in conjunction with some well-deserved and loving discipline. :) It's amazing how much they understand at this age, I still can't believe how much she is getting through that little brain of hers. It's nice that she can understand and comply when I tell her to do something. It's so much fun to have her run around for me and get things....she's amazingly helpful.

I left for Dallas on December 21st to help Jamie move to LA. I was only gone a little over 2 days, and it went so well. The plan was for me to fly there, help her pack, and then drive with her here to NM where she would spend Christmas with us before heading onto to LA. Notice I said the plan was for me to "help". In actuality, this is what I did....the night that I arrived, it was pretty late, so we went to dinner at the Cheesecake Factory, ate some delicious Lemon Chicken, then drove around downtown Dallas so I could see what had changed since I moved away. The next day we went shopping at the Northpark Mall. I love this mall! I was very embarrassed to take Jamie to our malls in NM after being in this mall. :) We didn't buy anything, but it was fun just looking around in all of the great stores (Sephora, anyone?). When we got back home, I was all geared up to help Jamie pack. Here is the extent of my help....I disassembled her computer chair. That's it. I felt really bad but at the same time I felt like I would get in her way if I tried to read her mind to figure out where she wanted things. So I watched a movie and read an entire book (although I had to stay up until 2 a.m. to finish it).
I didn't really even miss Savannah all that much. Is that terrible? Now that I think about it, I feel sort of bad I didn't miss her more. It was my first time away from her for more than a few hours, but Ricardo did such a great job with her, which I knew he would. I talked to her several times on the phone, and when I heard her tiny little voice say, "Hi, Mama!", I almost cried. Just 'cause it was so cute. :) Anyway, Jamie and I drove back on Sunday, and arrived around 8:30 or so. I walked in the house with Jamie right behind me, and we peeked around the door where Ricardo was standing holding Savannah. She looked at me for a second, and then saw Jamie.

"Dje-dje!" she said. That totally cracked me up, because she was way more excited to see Jamie than me. She gave me a hug and then went straight to Jamie and pretty much wanted her to hold her the rest of the night. It was nice to see that she remembered her, because she's really only seen Jamie a few times in her life. Jamie was here 6 days, and after she left on Saturday, Savannah would periodically look up from whatever she was doing and ask, "Dje-dje?" And I would say, "Jamie went bye-bye".
"Oh, Dje-dje bye-bye," she would say, and then go back to whatever little project she was doing.

I have determined to start going to bed earlier. I don't think it's that great for me to stay up so late, because I really feel it the next day. However, it is 1:13 a.m. right now, so obviously I am not following through on my resolution. I'll leave you with a picture or two from Savannah's birthday party....

The Diego cake

Opening her fun box of dress-up stuff...she loves her pearls!

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Spinach Artichoke Dip

Spinach Artichoke Dip - so good you will want to eat it with a spoon.

Cream 1 pkg. of softened cream cheese with 1/4 cup mayo, 1/4 cup Parmesan, 1/4 cup Romano cheese, 1 clove minced garlic, 1/2 t. basil, and 1/4 t. garlic salt. Add 1 14 oz. jar of artichoke hearts, drained and chopped, and 1/2 cup spinach, cooked and chopped. Chop 2-3 Roma tomatoes and mix in. Crumble 5 pieces of cooked bacon and add, stirring well. Add salt and pepper to taste. Spray an 8X8 pan with Pam, pour in the dip, sprinkle with mozzarella cheese, and bake at 350 for 25 minutes or until top is brown and bubbly.
Serve with crackers or garlic bread. Enjoy!