Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Part Caretaker, All Servant

New Year's Eve came quickly and Jen and I planned (and hoped) to have our normal grown-up New Year's Eve dinner after the boys were nestled (passed out) in their beds.

Toddler New Year's Eve Countdown

In the afternoon Jen put on a countdown to New Year's that she found on Netflix and apparently the boys had a blast watching it. I didn't get the chance to watch as I was at work.

Bacon Wrapped Beef Tenderloin with Bairdi Crab Legs, Grilled Asparagus and Mashed Potatoes

For dinner I got home and quickly cooked bacon-wrapped tenderloin, grilled asparagus, truffled mashed potatoes, and steamed Biardi crab legs.

Chocolate Mousse

Jen made her traditional New Year's chocolate mousse, this year flavored with Grand Marnier

No Nap Quiet Time Watching "The Princess Bride" with Mummy

The following morning we had a sleepy New Year's Day where the boys snuggled up on the couch with Mummy and watched The Princess Bride for the second time. Despite the picture showing Martin asleep they loved this movie far more than we could have hoped. This was nice because it gave us an opportunity to not watch another kid's cartoon with them for a change.

New Orleans Barbecue Shrimp

That evening we made an impromptu, last minute New Orleans themed meal with barbecue shrimp . . .

Hoppin' John

. . . Hoppin' John . . .

Chicken and Andouille Gumbo

. . . Chicken Andouille Gumbo . . .

Collard Greens with Ham

. . . Collard Greens . . .

Roasted Garlic Clouds

. . . and roasted garlic biscuits.

A Day at the Shedd Aquarium

The following day we all took the kids to the Shedd Aquarium which was a pretty big hit, other than the horrible over-priced lunch experience. Lesson learned. Next time we pack lunches.

A Day at the Shedd Aquarium

A Day at the Shedd Aquarium

A Day at the Shedd Aquarium

A Day at the Shedd Aquarium

A Day at the Shedd Aquarium

The love for Dire Straits continues. It also continues to mystify us. Neither Jen or I are all that crazy about Dire Straits. We like them okay but I'm secretly worried that people are going to think I'm forcing my love of my favorite band on my children, trying to get them to have the same tastes as me. Nothing could be further from the truth. They're only lukewarm about my favorite bands. They love Dire Straits.

I'd say a solid 80% of the Dire Straits I've listened to in my entire life has been in the last year, almost entirely at the request of one or both of my sons.

After a Christmas with Toddlers

Soon enough it was Epiphany and time to take down the trees. The front room tree was easy enough as Martin and Elliott had done their best to denude it of 75% of its ornaments in advance.

Thanks, Guys!

Daddy Shoveling

The next day we got our first snow. My this time last year I had already shoveled about twenty times so I was not too broken up about the decrease in accumulation this year.

Martin Throwing Snow

We got to play in the snow. This was great for Martin whose favorite activity lately has been pretending to throw snow at people and asking them to pretend to throw it back. Now he got to experience the real thing.

Elliott in the Snow

Elliott enjoyed it too, despite the 45 minute long battle about whether or not he was going to wear his jacket outside. I think you can see who won this argument based on the above picture.

Lately Martin has developed this crazy running style where he swings his right arm wildly with bent elbow while leaving his left arm straight. It's been a cause for great enjoyment by all who get the opportunity to watch it.

Grandma and Elliott with Grandma's Retirement Cake

Grandma had a sudden and unexpected retirement which meant we had a sudden and unexpected retirement dinner part complete with Black Forest Cake.

Big Brother Practice

This morning the boys woke up and decided they wanted to care for Martin's doll, perhaps in practice to become older brothers. Elliott went to the other room and retrieved a Boppy. I had no idea that Boppy was even around or that Elliott even knew what it was for.

After breakfast they erupted into a celebration of Dire Straits and sang along to "So Far Away," a song that I'm pretty sure I didn't even know was a Dire Straits song until a few months ago.

Elliott Making Crafts

We spent a great deal of the morning making crafts as well. They ended up being Christmas-themed as much of the stickers and things we had around were from the holidays.

Martin's Craft

They both commanded me to draw certain things. Martin told me to draw a Santa, a little Santa, and a Santa in a sleigh. Perhaps this drawing is meant to recall the Great Christmas Schism of 1068 which brought so much war and devastation to the North Pole.

We live in simpler times now.

After their snack of peanut butter French toast they decided to have a Dire Straits slow jam where they really grooved to the moody guitar licks of Mark Knopfler.

I wish I could love and appreciate any music as much as they enjoyed Dire Straits. They don't listen to Dire Straits. They feel it.

Ruff Ruff's Lunch

Grandma came over for lunch and they both took care of Martin's dog, Ruff Ruff, by giving him Elliott's bowl of cous cous and then Elliott's milk. When Grandma told them that dogs don't drink milk they made me go get him some water.

That it what's like being a parent. You are part caretaker, all servant.