Sunday, January 09, 2011

Card Shark

 Some things of note in this photo: 
  1. As of yesterday, our Bugger-boo now wears glasses, which he is sporting here.  I won't lie and say that I was happy about this new development -- because what mom doesn't want a better life for her kid than she had herself?  It sucks having poor vision, and I'm sad that Ian will have to deal with it for the rest of his life.  However, I'm incredibly thankful for Eric's dad, the optometrist in our family, who provided this stellar care for Ian's eyes and even took care of the cost of the glasses, which are pretty pimped-out.  How does Ian feel about having those things on his face?  In his words, "Everything is wobbly," but that will pass as his brain adjusts to the new input.  Currently, we're bribing him with the Thomas' Misty Island logging track once he logs 30 hours with the glasses on.  We're keeping track of each hour with a sticker chart, and yesterday Ian completed seven whole hours total!  Today he's up to three, so he's ticking the hours away pretty quickly.  Hopefully by the end of this week, wearing the glasses will be a non-issue.  
  2. We're playing a lot of card games around here lately. This morning before breakfast, Ian and I played a round of "Monopoly Deal," which he just learned how to play yesterday...sort of.  Even with only being able to read about half the cards, and having no idea of strategy, he creamed me.  The dude must have his dad's luck in cards, for all I can figure. 
  3. That body-less stuffed animal/blanket he's holding is none other than the infamous Bear (original name, huh?).  That thing is Ian's confidante and his mode for expressing things he's otherwise not capable or willing to share.  It's no secret around our house that I'm not a big fan of Bear -- he's dirty, smelly, has a propensity for getting lost at the most inopportune times, and honestly, he's a whiney brat.  But my son loves him dearly, and for that, I wash him, accept kisses from him (eww), and engage in repeated rescue missions for him.   He's practically a part of our family and some day he'll end up in a box in a closet somewhere, which will be kind of sad.  
  4. I just love the look on Ian's face here.  Having just beaten his mom in a card game way over his head, he was a mixture of pride for himself and concern for the fact that I lost (and quite badly at that).  That, and he refuses to smile for cameras these days.  I swear that kid is four going on fifteen. 

Friday, January 07, 2011

Things that make me smile

These two chaps:

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Sausage Penne

Pretty much every family has a go-to meal that everyone loves and is easy to make.  This is ours.  It was first introduced to us by our good friends the Dunns, who found it in Food & Wine Magazine before we became subscribers of that now-beloved publication.  It takes less than 30 minutes to prepare, and even less time to devour.  For four or five years now, we've made it nearly weekly (with a few breaks here and there because I simply can't stand food ruts), and we still love it.  We usually serve it with a side of blanched and sauteed broccolini, but sometimes we'll do green beans or even a salad. 

So without further ado, an Oglesbee family favorite:  Sausage Penne

(Recipe adapted from Food & Wine Magazine, 2002)
1 box whole-wheat penne pasta, cooked
1 lb. hot Italian sausage
3/4 c. white wine
3 T. grainy mustard (like Dijon)
dash or pinch of crushed red pepper (optional)
3/4 c. heavy cream (we often just use 2% milk, though)
1 c. thinly sliced fresh basil

Brown the sausage in a large skillet or Dutch oven.  When it's fully cooked, add the white wine, scrapping up the browned bits; let simmer and reduce to about half, for about 5 minutes.  Add the mustard and crushed red pepper and stir to coat.  Add the cream/milk and bring to a simmer, stirring often.  Pour over the cooked pasta, toss to coat, stir in the basil, and serve. 

Monday, January 03, 2011


There's something really special about a relationship between a little boy and his dad. To Ian, his dad is the coolest guy ever (and I tend to agree with him) and he wants nothing more than to be like him and spend time with him.  Thankfully, he had the chance to do that these past two weeks as Eric was able to be home every day while on Christmas break (thus giving the mom of the house a much-needed breather as well!)

 On Saturday, the very first day of the year, the "two talking boys" spent the morning in the backyard digging...because what else is more fun on a warmish, windy January morning? 
One of our new favorite musicians is Frances England, who not only crafts songs that are enjoyable for kids and adults alike, but also has an uncanny understanding of the toddler psyche.  And of course, one of Ian's favorite songs (behind "Blueberry Pancakes") is "Daddy-O."  It seems to express the love he has for his dad in a way he's not able to on his own yet.  I love hearing him sing it with gusto and a huge smile on his face. 

(In the box below, scroll down to the bottom and click on "Daddy-O" to listen to the full song.)