Sunday, October 30, 2011

I Never Really Got it Before

I'm exhausted. No...really....really exhausted. This weekend has been a crazy fueled mishmash of food prep (for Mouse), shopping (for us all), laundry (piles and piles and piles), cleaning (he got sweet potatoes caked where??), and desperately trying to get caught up on some office work. Hello!! It's budget season you know and as the Controller, it's the 2nd busiest time of year for me. And to top it all off, Mr. Mouse had a train show today so he wasn't home at all today.

Somewhere around 5pm today, Mouse hit his "end." You mommies know what I mean. Nine months old, doesn't want to play, doesn't want to eat, doesn't want to be held, doesn't want to be put down, tired tired tired, doesn't want to sleep. You know...the END. So, I pulled out my last tried a true trick. My hair.

See, I have reasonably long curly hair which I most often wear up. But Mouse loves it. He loves it when I put it down and he can pull on it and touch it. One of our all time favorite games is that we sit forehead to forehead and I flip my hair up over both our heads and tickle his face and neck with my hair. Yes, I know, it's weird. Couldn't even tell you when I first did it, but it's been one of the few things that can stop his "end" from becoming a full blown meltdown.

So around 5pm today, we're sitting on the living room floor. Only 1/2 of the laundry was done, haven't touched dinner, only got about 2 hours of office work in when I really needed 6. But here I am, forehead to forehead with my 9 month old with the world darkened because we're both now hidden by my dark hair. He's giggling as I'm tickling him and he's getting spit all over my hair because he has 2 teeth coming in and is a drool machine. He lets me cuddle on him now, he's tired and though he's never been a cuddling type of baby (who would have figured) he is now because he's happy and tired.

At that moment I really understood what I've heard others say about the love you feel for your child is like no other. I get it now. I get that every fiber of my being wants and WILL protect his body and spirit. I get a love so fierce that it's frightening.

I married late. I was 40 when Mr. Mouse & I tied the knot...first and only marriage for us both. Thus when we were blessed with Mouse, it was humbling and awe inspiring to us both. Before that, when I was in my 20's and 30's and all my friends were having their children I thought I knew about this kind of love. But I didn't. I had the first spark of it when Mouse was born and since that moment it's been slowly enveloping me. But not until today, did I really REALLY get it.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Almost Wordless Wednesday - Playing in the leaves!

Fall in West Michigan means crispy air, lots of leaves and enjoying the last few days of comfortable outside weather before winter hits and the accompanying many feet of snow. Mouse got to play in the leaves for the first time!

Okay, fun to look at and touch, but how do they taste?

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Herb Crusted Pork Tenderloin - Recipe

It's no secret that I want to be Paula Deen when I grow up. I had the extreme honor of meeting this wonderfully sweet, talented and just plain funny lady in 2008. So today I'd like to share with you one of her delicious and EASY recipes.

Prep Time: 15 Min. (I LOVE THIS!)
Cooking Time: 1 Hr. 45 Min. (approx. based on size of your roast)
Sit Time: 20 Min.

1 (4-pound) boneless pork loin, with fat left on
1 tablespoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried thyme or 2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme leaves
1 teaspoon dried basil or 2 teaspoons fresh basil leaves
1 teaspoon dried rosemary or 2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary

Preheat oven to 475 degrees F.

Place the pork loin on a rack in a roasting pan. (I spray the rack with Pam first to help with clean up.) Combine the remaining ingredients in a small bowl. With your fingers, massage the mixture onto the pork loin, covering all of the meat and fat. Make sure you get the sides as well.

Here's mine ready to go in the oven.

Roast the pork for 30 minutes, then reduce the heat to 425 degrees F and roast for an additional hour. Test for doneness using an instant-read thermometer. When the internal temperature reaches 155 degrees F, remove the roast from the oven. Allow it to sit for about 20 minutes before carving. It will continue to cook while it rests.

Here's my roast fresh from the oven.

A couple more comments. Yes the temp seems high, but trust the recipe. This allows you to roast without pre-searing the meat. Do not overcook! This will cause pork roast to be far too dry. Equip your kitchen with a meat thermometer and pull the roast at an internal 155 as directed. Finally, be sure to let the meat sit the 20 minutes as stated. This allows it to continue cooking slightly but also seals in the juices. Too often folks take roasts from the oven and cut right away. This is a huge roast no no!

And voila! Cut and ready to enjoy. You'll find this roast to me extremely flavorful, moist and easy to compliment with a variety of sides.

The evening I cooked this for dinner, I had a neighbor stop by the door to drop something off. He paid me a lovely compliment asking what was cooking because it smelled delicious!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Almost Wordless Wednesday - First Fair!

The Brouse House folks got to enjoy Mouse's first County Fair. He was so curious to look at all the animals (we walked through many of the barns). So much so that we had to switch carriers from our rear facing Ergo to our front facing MacClaren. Mouse just HAS to see everything and is happiest facing the world! I wish I hadn't messed up with the camera in the newborn animal barn because seeing him checking out the baby piglets (one of the 4H kids held one of the piglets in Mouse's lap letting him pet and touch the piglet) was just too adorable. Here's Mouse checking out the bunnies. Was just a special day all around!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

This was the first time Mouse pulled himself up onto his feet all by himself!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

VTech Peek At Me Bunny Giveaway at Being Alison

One thing I love about the world of blogs is all the GREAT giveaways. Not only is it helping my family save money by winning toys and gifts instead of buying, it also a way for me to be introduced to all sorts of new products and toys.

The first time I saw the VTech Peek At Me Bunny, I fell in love with it!

Right now, one of my favorite blogs, Being Alison, is hosting a giveaway for this great toy. Check it out! Being Alison VTech Bunny Giveaway

While you're at it, check out some of the other great infant and toddler toys offered by VTech. VTech Infant Toys