Archive for May, 2008

Lentil Sausage Soup

Tuesday, May 20th, 2008

Another recipe from my kitchen. I love this soup in the winter but hadn’t gotten around to making it this winter so I made it over the weekend. I started on a quest to find a good lentil soup recipe after visiting Scotland. I went to an Indian restaurant there and my dad ordered the best lentil soup I’ve ever had. I didn’t even know I particularly liked lentils until trying that soup. This soup doesn’t come close to that (I’m pretty good at dissecting recipes but I’m not familiar enough with Indian cooking to guess their spices) but is good and comforting.

Lentil Sausage Soup

1 lb lentils, rinsed and drained
3/4 hot bulk italian sausage (use mild if you don’t like spice and turkey sausage works well too)
4 cups chicken or beef or vegetable broth
4 cups water (or you can use more stock – your choice)
1 cup sliced carrot
1/2 cup sliced celery
2 cans (14.5oz) diced tomatoes or 1 can tomato sauce (not spaghetti sauce – plain tomato)
1 yellow onion, diced
3 cloves garlic minced
2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
Parmesan Cheese to garnish

Put all ingredients except sausage into large stock pot. Bring to a boil then cover, reduce heat, and allow to simmer 60-80 minutes (until lentils are tender).

While the soup is simmering, brown the sausage in a skillet and set aside.

Remove 3-4 cups of the soup and puree in blender or food processor or with stick blender. Put pureed soup back in large pot. Add browned sausage into large pot. Allow soup to simmer for another 15 – 20 minutes. Serve with Parmesan cheese sprinkled on top (I’m all about fresh grated parm but I have to say Kraft works just fine with this soup).


Meeting Nashvillians

Monday, May 19th, 2008

Just a quick post from Michelle’s technical support team.

I very much enjoyed meeting other folks in town who share the same experiences as us. I rarely get to meet new people here in town as almost all of my time is taken up with work and being a dad, so interacting with other men (and women) who aren’t in that world is a big bonus. I’m really looking to meet some guys in my area who share common interests, and barring walking up to perfect strangers and asking, “Will you be my friend? I have beer, and my wife is hot!”, events like this are my best avenues.

As for the addition to Michelle’s site today, I am wholly responsible for that, so if you start seeing links that have nothing to do with the content of this site, please bear with me as I figure out the nuances of Google and get relevant items showing up.

I’m currently developing a small site that we can use to share information, pictures and details about any future picnics for us Middle Tennessee adoptive parents.

Coming soon to a theater near you….

And if you see any errors occur, please remember that it’s an undocumented feature…. not a bug.

Guat Picnic

Sunday, May 18th, 2008

Yesterday, we gathered together 14 families from the area for a picnic at the park. Despite the fact that no one really wanted to be in charge (I seriously don’t have the brain power to be put in charge of anything right now), the hastily thrown together picnic was a success. All of the families were wonderfully nice and the children (Guat and home grown) were beautiful. I had a great time chatting with everyone and admiring the darling kids running around.

I’m not sure who traveled the farthest…I think I heard someone say they were from the Memphis area and that person would get the prize. But Kristi came from Alabama (a little over an hour) and even if she didn’t make the longest trip, she gets props for getting herself permanently banned from I love fellow rebel-rousers.

We hope to make it a bi-annual event – once in May and once in October so we that can avoid the heat. My uber geek hubby will set up a password protected site to display the photos from the picnic and a group email thread for updates on upcoming picnics or events – so if you are in the Middle Tennessee area leave me a comment that you would like to attend in the future and we can get you added.

And because some of the attendees don’t like having their faces or their children’s faces splashed across the internet, even on my quiet little blog, I will stick strictly to Sabrina cuteness.

A little rocking chair just her size at Cracker Barrel (Steve guessed that perhaps some breakfast goodness might cheer me up after the consignment sale gone wrong). She is currently enchanted with chairs her size:


Showing daddy her treasures – a paperplate she found on the ground and a ball she stole from another family:


She was amazed that another mommy brought picnic supplies to a picnic! Her mommy certainly didn’t so she had to check them out.  She hasn’t experienced this phenomenon called preparedness:


And in between she tap dances…

Saturday, May 17th, 2008

I think Tessa is practicing her yoga poses today. Some seriously weird things happening in there.


Ya snooze, ya lose

Saturday, May 17th, 2008

I’ve been excited about a “big” consignment sale for weeks. It has its own website with photos of rows of cribs and strollers and outside toys. It is a sale for large items – no clothes or small toys. I have been holding off any baby purchases in hopes of this sale having the mother load of affordable baby items. I was hoping to find a crib, double stroller, and/or outside slide or play house for Sabrina.

It started at 8am this morning and was scheduled until noon. It is about 40 minutes from our house and we arrived at just about 9am. I’m not sure if the sale didn’t collect as many items to sell as it had in the past (they had photos!) or if there was a crowd of frugal moms waiting when the doors opened at 8 but when we got there, there was nothing left. There were 5 strollers – 1 double but it wasn’t one I wanted, 1 toddler bed, a couple of child desks, a dozen of those mats with the hanging toys for babies, a rickety crib, and an over priced changing table. That was it.

It is quite pathetic how heartbroken I was to find nothing we wanted or needed. I never dreamed I would have to line up at the door before it opened and throw elbows to make purchases. Anyone want to camp out in line with me for the next big sale?

Pad Thai

Friday, May 16th, 2008

I’m not going to try and tell you this tastes just like what you order in the restaurants but it is pretty darn good. I like that I can control the heat – the last couple of places I’ve ordered it have made it a little too blah for my taste. I want my nose to run a little while I eat it. So here is version that scratches the itch when I can’t find good Pad Thai here in Tennessee. I used shrimp, you can use no meat or chicken or whatever floats your boat.

Shrimp Pad Thai

1 8oz package of dry flat rice noodles cooked according to package directions (I used low carb pasta instead)

3/4 lb cooked, peeled, deveined shrimp

3 cloves garlic, minced

6-8 green onions chopped

2-3 cups of bean sprouts

1/2 cup shredded carrots

2 eggs

1/4 Cup chicken or beef broth

1 Tablespoon peanut butter (chunky or smooth – your preference)

3 Tablespoons lime juice

2 Tablespoons Fish Sauce

2 Tablespoons Oyster Sauce

2 Tablespoons Chile Pepper Sauce found in Asian cooking section of grocery store (adjust for taste – I use more)


Chopped unsalted dry roasted peanuts

Fresh Cilantro, shredded

Take broth through chile pepper sauce and whisk together.

Scramble eggs, set aside. Pour a small amount of sauce from above into a hot skillet with the garlic. Add already cooked shrimp, onions, carrots, and bean sprouts. Heat through. Add to cooked rice noodles. Toss with rest of sauce and scrambled eggs. Garnish with chopped peanuts and cilantro.


Quick Baby Update

Thursday, May 15th, 2008

I saw my new (non-crazy) doctor again today.  I heart her.  I heart everything about her office – there are staff! and other pregnant ladies! and no one makes me cry!  She laughed when I said it was my first experience with the fetal heartbeat monitor.  Seriously, Doc Crazy gave me an ultrasound at every single appointment (she could charge my insurance significantly more for that).  My new (non-crazy) doctor took me off yet another prescription today.  I’ve gone from 7 pills a day (1 pre-natal, 2 antibiotics, 3 progesterone, and 1 iron) with Doc Crazy to 2 (1 pre-natal and 1 antibiotic) with new (non-crazy) doctor.  I hate taking medication so that makes me quite happy.

Everything still looks good with Tessa.  She was originally going to start my weekly appointments at 30 weeks to do non-stress tests but decided that everything is going well enough that she would wait until 32 weeks to start that.

And my saga with Doc Crazy isn’t quite over yet.  She randomly sent me a bill this week for $3500.  No indication what the bill is for other than “Outstanding balance”.  I sent her a little note suggesting she itemize the bill and submit it to my insurance before billing me directly for whatever crazy things she thinks I might owe her for.  My insurance covered all of the services that she billed them minus a few dollars here and there that I paid along the way.  I’m curious to see how this plays out…is there an entity that can mediate billing disputes with private doctors?  Because I’m not paying Doc Crazy a cent unless she can prove to me it is legitimate.

I know every parent thinks it…

Wednesday, May 14th, 2008

But seriously Sabrina is the cutest child ever. Steve and I say it to each other several times a week. I worry that poor Tessa has an awful lot of cute to live up to.

Sabrina found a paper towel and proceeded to “clean” the whole house with it. Here she is wiping the floor (maybe I should have put some cleaner down so she could actually get it clean).  I wonder where she learned this because it wasn’t from me:


She is trying to be sneaky. She is signing that she is all done but has hidden the rest of her bananas in the drink holder thinking momma might not notice. Yes, I’m mean – I made her eat them after I took a photo.


And finally – just enjoying some outside time. Unfortunately the cement on our little porch slab is pretty rough so we’ve had to pull out the bandaids for some skinned knees for the first time.


How flipping cool?!?

Wednesday, May 14th, 2008

I won a video camera! How fun is that? Stephanie at Metropolitan Mama is always doing neat parenting topics and giving away neat products. For Mother’s Day she gave away one of these:


The Flip Ultra!  And I won! I am so excited!

Camcorders are one of the few gadgets we don’t use in our house. We own one…we have just never known where the camera and the charging cord and the USB port cord (or whatever you plug into the computer to upload your videos) are at the same time. We had one brief summer that we used it on 1 vacation. I’ve never seen that video but I hear it still exists somewhere. If I want to take a quick video of Sabrina, I just use our digital camera. But now we will have the ability with this slick, tiny little camera to always be able to whip it out and record her so we can show it off to her prom date in 16 years.

Once I receive it, I’ll let you all know what we think of it.

Slings N Things

Tuesday, May 13th, 2008

I’m still contemplating the double stroller but I do hope to spend the first few months with the baby in a sling and Sabrina in her single stroller. Sabrina loved her sling during our first couple of visits – until she was about 6 months old. After that she loved the Baby Bjorn (which killed my back) and her stroller.

I had a pouch sling for her. By the time I moved to Antigua to foster, I had lost enough weight that the sling was too big for me and it didn’t fit snugly enough to put her in it on my hip and she wasn’t happy if she wasn’t sitting up and looking around. I was always eyeballing everyone else’s carriers to see what appealed to me. For the older kids, there were several I liked the looks of better than the Bjorn (mine was an older version…it looks like they’ve improved the weight distribution with an additional strap or two now). But for babies, I always thought many looked too complicated. The Mei Tai wraps are lovely but I don’t think I have enough hands to put it on by myself. And the ones that you wrap around yourself in a special way start with 5 yards of fabric and I can’t imagine how hot that would be in the summer and how difficult it would be to keep that fabric out of the dirt while you are trying to wrap yourself up. So the pouch slings and ring slings always looked like they made the most sense to me. My only issue with the ring slings (I like that they are adjustable – when I lose baby weight I can make it smaller and Steve could make it larger for him) is that long tail of fabric that trails down you – does it bug you?  Does it feel bulky?

So tell me about your favorite and most hated baby carriers. Did you love the pouch or the ring or another version? Did the fabric tail of the ring sling get in the way?  Was it hard to adjust to the right size?  Did it loosen itself?

In case you aren’t sure what I am talking about –

The Pouch


The Ring Sling:


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