Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Five-year Plan

I want these.

Jack's latest antics:
  • At this very moment he is rolling and chasing a foam soccer ball all over the dining room floor and sort of singing to himself.  I love watching him play!
  • Yesterday while I was feeding him lunch (little pieces of leftover dinner, because he's so grown up and can feed himself) he picked up a piece of chicken and held out his hand to me.  It took me a second to connect the movement to the intent, but he was offering me his food!  Awww!  Thanks baby!  So now I am in that "pretend eating" phase.  That's right, I'll be the mom making exaggerated chewing faces and swallowing noises for the next few months. 
  • When I'm bustling about the house, especially when I'm making dinner, I still have a little shadow.  It is so, so endearing!  It makes it a little hard to move though, because if I stand still for too long Jack climbs right up my legs and stands that way, gripping my pants.  His balance is precarious enough that if I move too quickly, down he goes.  So I stand motionless or do a VERY slow motion shuffle across the kitchen floor.  But mostly I just laugh and then carry him back into the living room so that I have about three minutes to stir, taste, plate, before he is back, clinging to my leg.  
Perhaps it is an indicator that Jack will be more proficient in the kitchen than his father.  

For the sake of my future daughter-in-law, I sure hope so.

Although, GUYS, Andy made me dinner last week! It is true!  And, I think with a some slightly modified grocery purchases, he is willing to make dinner once a week.  I cannot even tell you what a giant leap this is for all of Aicheledom!  

I used to joke that I had a five-year plan to get Andy in the kitchen.  (His joke has always been that he married me for the food - It's only a joke people!)

The first phase of my plan was to send Andy on little grocery runs, all by himself.  For nothing too crazy, but things not found in the Hamburger Helper isle.  Maybe some garlic.  Maybe some olive oil.  Maybe some pimento peppers.  

An example of items on the list I give him looks like this:  Fresh basil - it is in the produce section, in the refrigerator case, on the top left hand side, in a little plastic box type thing, it should be 2.99.  Avocado - not rock hard, not too squishy, it should just give a little when you squeeze it.  

One time he OFFERED to get my whole list (double digit items people!).  I re-wrote the list in order of how he would find it in the store, isle by isle.

You may think I'm over the top, but the point is for him to feel like HE CAN DO IT!  Make it easy.  Make it not a chore.  

This was the first step.

Truthfully, I didn't know what would come after that.  But I thought, hey, five years is a good amount of time, I'll come up with something.

The next step ended up being Eggs Benedict.  Almost every Sunday morning we sleep in, get up and make coffee and toddle around for an hour or so, and then I make Eggs Benedict.  It is not a good thing to eat if you are watching your calories, or worried about cholesterol, but if you want to make your taste buds happy, give it a try.   

Anyhow, Andy KNOWS how happy it makes me to cook with people, especially him, so one morning he volunteered to help.  SERIOUSLY!?  YES YOU CAN HELP!  Be still my beating heart!

His big thing is he says he's not creative, he needs rules, instructions.  Well, the part of our brunch that has instructions is the sauce.  It is just a packet of sauce mix to which you add milk and butter and stir.  

So now, Andy squishes in the kitchen with me to man the sauce.  I love it.  I am grinning ear to ear just thinking about it.  

So I guess sauce mix was stage two.  

Thanks to Trader Joe's, we now are in stage three (I have no idea how many stages it will take to be cooking buddies, but I am now VERY optimistic that it will happen in my lifetime).  TJ's has very yummy frozen food.  In particular, I am thankful for the Orange Chicken and the microwave rice.  Andy has made this twice now, very successfully (I did sneak into the kitchen and add some broccoli, but veggies are a few steps away I think, so I'm okay with that).

I wish you could know the multitude of emotions that swell in my heart as he brings me a plate of food that I didn't have to lift a finger to prepare.  Gratitude, adoration, pride, victory, burning desire (after all, it has to be worth his while, no?).

Ah. Happy sigh.

The fine and tender nuances of married life.  

Andy, thanks for being willing to try something that you think you'll (and probably do) hate, just to make me happy. I appreciate you, and your efforts, very, VERY much.


For those of you not in the know, 
that is a kiss noise.  
Like a highfalutin pair of ladies 
holding each other on the shoulders, 
with pinkies up 
and leaving an air kiss on each cheek. 
 "Muah, muah.  How aaaree you daaahhling?"
In our case it simply means,
"If you were here right now I would kiss you!"
Feel free to borrow it for all of your lovey-dovey needs.

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