T: Amazing Husband ST: Three-year-old Wonder Prof. G: Advisor I Prof. C: Advisor II Julie: Stylish Sister Rob: Awesome Brother Belle: Our Cat Bill: Grumbling BIL Rita: Uncomplicated SIL SMU: Smallish Midwestern University Doctoral University: where I got my Ph.D.
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Sunday, February 19, 2006
Weekend Ends, Week Begins
We've had a very nice weekend here, despite the frigid weather that has severely limited our time outdoors. We've been able to spend a lot of time with ST, which is wonderful; during the week, he's always asking us if the next day will be one with "just Mom, Dad, and ST." It's nice to say yes to that on Saturdays and Sundays. When I finish a draft of the dissertation and feel good about it, I'm going to drop him down to three days a week at daycare, which is what I feel would be "ideal" for him. Currently, at four days a week, he's missing his days with Mom quite a lot, despite the fact that he has a ball at daycare with his friends and the daycare is only a block away from our house. I'm also missing him quite a lot, especially as he grows older by the minute and is more and more interested in learning and exploring new things with adult guidance. For example, he is obsessed with cooking now -- when I'm making dinner, he puts on his Paddington Bear apron and pulls a stool right up to the stove and helps me brown hamburger, make tomato sauce, measure ingredients, etc. I was a little leary of this at first because I don't like him so close to the stove, but he's quite careful and knows that he cannot be near the stove unless I'm right next to him. It's fun answering his questions about cooking, letting him smell ingredients, and asking him questions like "Would cinnamon taste good in our spaghetti sauce, or oregano?" He's learned not to touch raw meat, learned how to crack an egg on the side of a bowl (almost!), and even how to whisk a roux with assistance. Quite impressive, I think! (And funny to hear a toddler talk about a "roux!")
We've played a lot this weekend, and also took him to his favorite restaurant (at the moment, Panera Bread, where he knows a cinnamon crunch bagel awaits him if he eats his lunch) and then to a movie. ST has loved Curious George books for about a year now, and so we saw the movie on Saturday afternoon. It was adorable -- unlike a lot of movies for children these days, this movie did not overtly try to appeal to adults. I enjoyed Toy Story, Monsters, Inc., and even Madagascar because there were a lot of little asides in those movies meant for the adult audience. There was nothing like that in Curious George -- this was a kid movie just for kids about a monkey who gets into trouble and forces the geeky Man in the Yellow Hat to go on all sorts of silly adventures. It was so innocent, and I think my favorite part of going was listening to the dozens of little kids behind me laughing hysterically at George's crazy antics, antics that would really only appeal to small children. After the movie, ST decided that he wanted a Curious George cake for his birthday in April, and his baking-obsessed mother happily agreed. (I thought that a chocolate cake of George's face would be excellent with some homemade banana ice cream. Clever, huh?)
Today has been pretty low-key as well -- we went to Mass in the morning and then to T's office, where one of the administrators there invited me for a peek into her latest obsession: jewelry making. T bought two of her bracelets for me for Valentine's Day and I loved them, and so she offered to show me more of her creations this afternoon. It was fascinating; not a hobby that I would have for myself, but it was a lot of fun listening to her talk about the wonderful beads she orders and to touch all of the lovely pieces she brought to show me. ST helped T organize his office upstairs while I browsed through bracelet after bracelet in leisure, liking one more than the next. It was fun.
Now T and ST are off to pick up sub sandwiches for our Sunday supper. T "officially" cooks on Sundays, but since he hates to cook he usually gets take-out, and usually subs or take-n-bake pizza. Today it's Quizno's because he has a coupon, which means I'll be biting into a delectable Cabo Chicken sub in a few minutes. But before I do, I thought I'd faithfully post my meal plan for the week:
Husband's Delight Casserole (T adores casseroles -- he is not into fancy food at all -- and so when I ran across this recipe on the web I thought I'd try it just for him, mostly because the name cracked me up -- so 1950s! It doesn't sound that great to me, but when T saw the ingredients he thought it sounded fantastic. So, casserole it is... my least favorite supper to make.)
Potato Black-Bean Quesadillas with Fruit Salad (Kiwi and Nectarines) -- black beans are on the menu every week, since they are my favorite ingredient of late
Linguine with Tomato Cream Sauce, Green Salad, and Garlic Bread (ST is in charge of making the garlic bread, which means it has A LOT of garlic on it!)
Wild Rice Soup (held over from last week) and kaiser rolls
Single Puff-Pastry Crust Chicken Pot Pie (ST's request) and Green Salad
And for dessert, On-the-Fence Brownies from the King Arthur Flour Cookie Companion (page 158). They're called "on-the-fence" because they're a compromise between gooey, fudgy brownies and cakey brownies. I like gooey, T likes cakey, so "on-the-fence" sounded perfect.
That's my cooking agenda. On the dissertation agenda, this week will be devoted to:
Finishing Chapter Four statistics write-up
Revising Chapter Three hypotheses section
Sending a polished draft of Chs. 1-5 to my advisors
Planning for Chapter Six
And if I have time, I'd still like to work on a syllabus or two. One of the major, more teaching-focused journals in my discipline had an awesome article this month about running a simulation in the classroom, and it looked like a lot of fun. I had planned a simulation for the upper-division course I'll teach this fall, and the type of simulation outlined in this article looked even better than what I had come up with. It should be fun trying to write this simulation into the syllabus in a way that will make it sound exciting to my future students. I can't wait to try it out!