Carter Goes to College

31 03 2011

Last weekend the l-pod packed up their belongings, a pack-n-play, a car seat, a stroller, and a suit and headed on a last minute trip to Berkeley, California. We thought we’d go get a dose of that famous California sunshine. Yeah. Right. It was chilly for most of our trip, but we did get a good hour in the sun before we flew on Monday.

scott in front of sather tower

The real reason for our trip was an interview. Scott interviewed at the school of business for an executive MBA program.

pruned london planes

That’s right. Scott’s going back to school!

enjoying college life with a view of the distant golden gate bridge

He found out today he was accepted to the program. He needs to investigate the schedule just a little bit and make sure all is good, but it looks like our house is getting a little smarter. And busier!

beautiful berkeley campus

Carter thinks it’s awesome. While we were there, he skipped naps, he broke curfew and even got to party at a college pub (ok, kidding there). He had a great time and charmed all those college students.

my boys breaking curfew

Actually, Scott and I got a good laugh on Monday. I cruised through campus with my buddy in a stroller to meet Scott after his interview by the bell tower. I got A LOT of funny stares from students. I decided it was a nice little reminder of how to behave with all the freedom being a college student allows.

scott teaching cj about the dinosaurs in the life sciences building

Anyway, that’s what’s going on in the Lpod house. Scott might soon be a Columbia¬†University¬†& Cal Berkeley student all in one (the program is a joint offering from both universities – whoa). We won’t be relocating to the bay area or new york, and Scott will keep working. It’s a program where he’ll travel to either university about every three weeks for a few days. It’s definitely going to be an undertaking for all of us! We’ll know for sure which way we’re going in the next few days. Exciting times!

Meatless Monday: Lemon-Basil Pasta

29 03 2011

What has two thumbs and loves meat? This girl. BUT – we all know animal protein is not very good for us in large quantities, so I’ve always tried to cook a few meals each week that contain no meat and isn’t loaded with cheese. My recipe stash for meatless meals is a little thin so I’m always on the lookout for a filling, healthy meal that sounds delicious too. If it doesn’t even sound good, you know you’re in trouble and doomed to order that ridiculously caloric take-out.

I found this recipe in Better Homes & Garden’s March 2011 issue. I modified it a bit with what I had in the house, but stuck to the recipe as much as I can (it’s really hard for me to cook according to the recipe, it feels so constraining!). My slightly modified version is below:

Lemon-Basil Pasta
start to finish: 25 minutes

10 oz. fresh pappardelle (sorry y’all, I’m OBSESSED with pappardelle)
1 15 oz. can white beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 lemon, zested then juiced
1 small garlic clove, minced
3 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup packed fresh basil leaves (recipe calls for 1 cup, I would have liked more, but my basil was not looking so hot)
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper

1. Cook pasta according to package directions, adding beans for the last two minutes. Remove 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid; set aside. Drain pasta and beans; cover to keep warm.

2. While pasta is cooking, heat 1 Tbsp of olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic, let sizzle for 1 minute. Add lemon zest to garlic and let cook, stirring constantly, for another minute, until lightly golden.

3. In food processor combine cooked lemon peel & garlic, remaining 2 Tbsp of evoo, juice from the lemon half, salt & pepper. Cover and process until smooth. Add reserved cooking liquid, 1 Tbsp at a time until desired consistency, processing mixture after every addition.

4. To serve, toss hot cooked pasta mixture with lemon-basil mixture.

The result was a delicious, healthier meal for us! I will definitely add this to my meatless rotation.

Sorry for the lack of pictures, some days we’re lucky dinner made it to the table!

This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things

25 03 2011

I used to say a version of this all.the.time to my husband. Sometimes, I would attempt to be more tactful. Others, I’d just be frustrated and say it straight out. Even if I’m the one who messed up the nice thing.

Enter small human. Who makes bigger messes than anyone I’ve ever met. Let’s get this straight. I love the boy. More than I ever imagined. But I suspect my frustration at day 7 of rice cereal is merely the tip of the proverbial¬†iceberg.

spreading the love

We started cereal! He loves it! He so badly wants to feed himself! Cute, he’s grabbing the spoon full of cereal! OMG it is everywhere!

Last night as I was crawling into bed, I wondered what the crust was on my shirt. Yeah. A 6″x4″ crusty spot of cereal. On my back. How does this happen?

And this introduces a new series on lpod. I’m just guessing, but think this will be the first of many posts about the things my child will destroy with his cuteness over the next 25 years.

Spring Has Sprung!

21 03 2011

Yay for spring! This La Nina winter was a little brutal, and I’m sure it has some more to offer, but we got a little dose of spring weather this weekend. It was in the 60s and sunny on Saturday (double woo for a weekend day too!). Our yard always needs much attention on that first sunny warmish day, so Scott, CJ and I spent our day outside. I brought my little garden gnome out in his bumbo with plenty of toys and deadheaded/pruned our 4 hydrangeas while Scott whacked the wild rose bush to the ground and mowed.

Halfway through, I realized Carter Joe has barely spent any time outside in his short little life. He’s been out for many walks with me, but he’s usually bundled up and we hurry on through our walk and get back into the warmth as soon as possible. So I took a break from my pruning and laid in the grass with him. At first, he was in a trance just taking in his sights and sounds. Then it just sort of clicked for him and he let out this big belly laugh and started enjoying himself.

my little garden gnome

I sat him in the grass to give him his first feel of it. He was a little unsure of it, but then started to grab at it with his hands. I suspect next time we’ll be trying our hardest to put handfuls of it in our mouth.

Here’s to softer breezes, warmer days, longer days, and the impending summer. Regardless of the weather, I have a feeling it will be the best spring and summer yet.

The Monica Closet

10 03 2011

Admit it. You have one. A secret closet crammed full of disorganized insanity. It stresses you out, but you have it.


*hangs head in shame*

I’m the only one?

Hi, I’m Lpod. I have a Monica BASEMENT. Yeah. An entire floor of my house is disorganized piles of insanity. I have to walk past jump and teeter through it to do laundry (which is now every day, thanks CJ), to go to my car in the garage, etc. Our basement is actually beautifully finished and has a lot of daylight. But it is a furniture graveyard and box storage nightmare.

So, I’m confessing it to you all. You’re on the inside now. Now you have to hold me to my newest project: Transforming that nightmare into a cool playspace for carter joe.

It’s a 14×20 foot room with a fireplace tiled in neutral orangish tone tile and rust stained concrete floors (what? you can’t tell that through the clutter?).

I have a few chairs from Marmie (my mom’s mother) that need some repair and recovering. I’m working on that part right now. It will probably take me a couple of months to get the project finished, but I promise to keep posting updates (it’s the only way I’ll get it done)!

For now, I will leave you with the inspiration page I created for the room

Five Months

3 03 2011

February was a short month! Can you believe Carter is already five months old?

i've learned how to stick out my tongue...good trait for later

He’s developing quite the squirmy, happy personality.

i can't sit still for very long

These “birthday month” photo shoots are getting more difficult.

full of smiles and giggles

Because someone I know is trying to sit up on his own in his little chair.

whoa mom, that camera is close but look at me sit up

And surprises himself when he gets a little of that independence.

did you see, mom?

But he can’t sit still for long. Most of the 300 pictures I took look like this.

gotta go. there are plastic giraffes that need squeezing.

He rolls right out of his chair and sits on the floor. Hey, at least I can snap some pictures near his chair.

oh, i'll sit here for a bit

His other favorite thing to do is put EVERYTHING in his mouth. Anything. And everything. Let the babyproofing begin.

can i eat the chair?

He’s a lot of fun though. He’s a giggle box. He sometimes will laugh completely unprompted. Just lets out the giggles. Especially if he sees another little person. They’re the funniest.

sweet baby

He’s finally started liking hats. When I used to put hats on him we’d have a screaming fit like no other. He seems to like them okay now.

the apple of my eye

At five months, Carter weighs 19 1/2 pounds and is around 28 inches long. He’s a big dude. One of his favorite activities is pulling both feet up to his mouth. He’s successfully chewed both big toes in one sitting a few times, but usually only has one at a time. He’s still not rolling from back to front, but he is very close. When he lays in his crib, he’ll arch his back and look up at the camera watching him, he almost flips over to his belly when he does this. Little stinker.

He’s still quite a snuggly baby. Especially when he just wakes up from a nap. He loves his daddy. If he doesn’t get to see daddy one day (sometimes he has to work late), he sleeps poorer and is not as cheery as normal. I think it’s related.

He’s really ticklish. If you tickle under his armpits he lets out an adorable belly laugh. That belly laugh will brighten any gloomy Seattle February day.