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Who’s Number 1?

July 30th, 2006

Do you ever have moments where it occurs to you that you are becoming remarkably self-centered, if not in your actions, but in your thoughts?

Sure ~ as human beings we are naturally self-centered, and our natural instinct, unless deliberately curbed, is to focus on self-preservation.   That doesn’t mean that we are purposefully not caring for others, it’s just the natural state.   Unless we deliberately ~ that is, to “de-liberate” ~ ourselves from thinking that way, we are prone to think in the me-center state of mind.

So I’m not talking about self-preservation.   I’m talking about starting to get into a thought pattern of “Me, Myself and I” as the top three bananas on your tree, then everyone else falling somewhere below that.   I like to think that I daily deliberately try to put others before myself.   Definitely in my actions.   But I’m starting to fall into thought-traps, especially at the end of the exhausting days of motherhood, where I think things like, “Ok – when do I get to relax?   When do I get to go sit down and read a whole book?   When do I get to have a cup of coffee at the end of the dock and just sit and watch the fish jump?   When is someone going to look at me and say, ‘oh, she’s so cute!’ and grab the camera to catch it forever?”  

I am so guilty of getting into little mental pity-parties.

And there’s another ugly side to the fractured arrangement of priorities that can creep up on us.   I remember before Kenny was born, Casey and I would talk about the importance of keeping our marriage first, and how the best gift we could give our son would be the strength of our relationship with each other.   It seemed so easy to make those promises when Kenny was just a future human being.   We hadn’t even met him yet!   Even at the begining, when he was first born, in the midst of the awe that he was actually ours, his little personalilty hadn’t really peeked out yet, and all we really had to do for him was feed him and change him and he thought we were the greatest thing since… breast milk…

July 06 031.jpgBut now he is this little circus.   This bundle of spastic energy (which never wanes enough to nap!).   This whole encyclopedia of preferences, desires, needs and humor that multiplies by the day.   He is Joy and giddy fun ~ a barrel of monkeys and the sweetest new kid on the block.   He makes us laugh, cry, giggle and sigh in wonder and frustration all at once.   He is innocent and mischevious and demanding and ever grateful, and those big green-brown eyes make your heart melt.

And it’s really hard not to defer to him when I’m faced with both his needs and the needs of my husband.  

I’m not saying that I am ever forced to choose one’s well being over the other.   But I do find myself putting Kenny first a lot more than I thought I would.   Take tomorrow night, for example.

We have tickets to a baseball game.   Ok – we have season tickets to the Orioles, and we haven’t gone to a single game all year yet.   Casey really wants us to go.   We can’t find a babysitter.   At the moment, our only option is to take him over to our awesome, wonderful friends’ house so they can watch him while we go out.   No worries, right?   But I’m hemming and hawing, because that plan means that I drive 30 minutes to take him over there before bedtime, get him settled in and fed over there, hope he goes to sleep nursing in my arms and stays asleep in a strange bed, then drive 45 minutes to meet my husband at his office to then go to the game.   Then drive back to pick him up, wake him into quasi-sleep to get him into the car, then drive home and hope that the dog doesn’t jump on us and wake him up when we get in the door.   To me, from my perspective, it looks like a whole lot of hoopla and a really bad night’s sleep for the boy all for the sake of going to a losing team’s  ball game.

Is this me putting Kenny’s needs before Casey’s?   Or me putting my preferences before my husband’s?   How many times have I, even without thinking it through, put Kenny before Casey?   What am I showing my son?   If being the best wife I can be will make me the best Mommy I can be, why am I not starting the pattern now and remembering that Casey is my first love in the things I say and do?

And even now, I’m sitting here blogging about it, when I could be snuggled up with a glass of wine on the couch watching the sunset with my beloved.

I think I just answered my own questions.   I gotta go…

Sweet Saturday Slumber

July 29th, 2006

Kenny is taking a nap.   Imagine a big smile on my face and a big sigh of relief.   We couldn’t get him down this morning, but after some hard playtime and a big lunch, he’s in happy baby dream land.  

I have to confess that this week, I have really let the whole nap / no nap issue get to me.   Up until now, I have managed to remain very mellow about it ~ Kenny is truly the happiest baby I know, and his lack of napping really didn’t do any harm, other than giving me a long day with no breaks.   But this week, after reading a few different books on babies and sleep, I somehow came to the conclusion that if I couldn’t get my little boy to nap, I was failing as a parent.   One of the books even went so far to say that a baby who doesn’t nap is a product of incompetant parenting.   Another source traced learning disabilities and ADHD to parents who didn’t enforce  nap and bedtimes.

So I started  fearing that my lack of resolve was somehow setting Kenny up for all kinds of trama  and woe later in life.

You know what?  I need to have a little bonfire in my yard with a few of those books.


For starters, Kenny is a really great nighttime sleeper.   He always has been.   Yes, after our trip to England, his bedtime got to be an issue, but we fixed that in one night, and he’s back to sleeping very well, and through the night every day this week!

And as far as the napping thing goes, he’s never napped, and he’s never seemed to have any ill-effects because of it.   Yes, he gets tired during the day, and this week was particularly cranky, but he’s smart, social and physically well past the definitive milestones for his age.    The only real problem he had this week that had anything to do with napping, was that  his Mommy was so stressed out over it, he was seeing  my angst and fighting sleep all the more.

 July 06 036.jpg Consider the nap  war over.

I will still try diligently everyday to get him to take a morning and an afternoon nap.   I will still let  him cry for a while if I  need to.   I will still make sure that we are  home, calm and in a soothing pattern to facilitate those naptimes.   But you know what, if he doesn’t nap, I’m going to  forget about it, enjoy my sweetest littlest guy, and try again next time.

I feel better already.


Canine Award of Excellence

July 27th, 2006

Thank you to all who have written encouraging notes and bits of advice for me and my continuing adventures with No Nap Joe.   A special thanks to Karen for her book recommendation.   The earlier bedtimes are definitely making a difference, though naptimes, no matter what time, are still a matter of a challenge.

It occured to me today (though not for the first time), that Kenny might very well have been a great napper if not for our wild dog Dudley.

Kenny, July 008.jpg

Dudley is a weimaraner, which is German for “dog who needs more exercise than any human can possibly supply.”   When we initially got Dudley, we definitely had the capacities and time to furnish as many exercise opportunities as one could resonably expect.   Now, however, he is resigned to my every-other-morning training run and our daily 2 mile walk with the stroller.   As a result, his unused energy manifests itself in generally being a big pain in the rear.   His favorite pastime, when not stealing whole sticks of butter off the kitchen counter, is waiting until I am quietly nursing Kenny, who  looks moments away from drifting off into a sweet ellusive slumber, trotting into the room and either 1) walking a few inches away from the rocker and  shaking  his head  violently, tags jingling and spittle flying, covering Kenny and I in a cold shower; 2) grabbing a toy off the shelf and proceeding to chew it to bits from just a centimeter out of arms reach; or 3) coming into the room with one of my few expensive shoes in his mouth, showing it to me, and then trotting gleefully away with the air of “catch me if you can!”

Needless to say, any of these fully wake up my sleepy boy and that’s all she wrote.   Yes, I’ve tried closing the door.   This results in a frantic whine in weimaraner which, roughly translated, means “oh my gosh the baby’s got her in there and how do I know they are safe without me oh my gosh I need to get in there and save her NOW!”

Dudley also causes many a mealtime challenge for Kenny and me.   Yes, he is very well behaved, and sits patiently just behind the highchair, waiting for crumbs to drop, but every once in a while, he sees the bits of deli turkey and cheerios fall into Kenny’s lap, and then he’s nose-in, where no dog should dare to tread.

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(Kenny says, “Mommy, Dudley’s nose is cold!”)

But today I was also reminded that our dog is most likely the best, most gentle canine on the planet.   He is so patient with Kenny and seems to know instinctively that Kenny is a little person to be protected at all costs.

At one point today, I sat Kenny in the living room floor with his favorite toys (the TV remote and the stereo remote) so that I could unload the dishwasher a few feet away.   Within a minute I heard a wild cackle coming from Kenny’s tiny throat – the kind of cackle that is usually only instigated by his Dad the tickle monster.   I looked up, and there was Kenny, standing up, laughing like a hyena, holding on for dear life to the folds of skin under Dudley’s neck, swaying back and forth as Dudley licked every pore on his perfect face.   Was my first thought, “Danger!” or “Germs!”?   No, it was “Oh my goodness, where did I put the camera??”

But I instantly came to my senses, and did the Bo Duke hood-slide across the granite counter top to land in front of this fiasco and swoop Kenny up.   But I didn’t actually grab Kenny away.   I saw that they were both kind-of having fun, and aside from the dog-saliva, there was no harm as long as I stayed close.   Dudley gently nosed Kenny’s nose and Kenny quietly replied, “Daadeee!”

Boy’s best friend.   Thanks, Dudley.   You’re a pretty good rascal, all considered.

Kenny, July 014.jpg


Coming Clean

July 27th, 2006

Back in the days of my wild youth… I got a tattoo.   I was 22, sitting in the lawn of my sister’s college campus, playing bongo drums and sipping an early afternoon beer, and it just sounded like  a good idea at the time.   I was working full time as an actress, and I was going through a little bit of an edgy phase.   So my sis and I hopped into the car and drove over to the local ink doctor, and I had a permanent picture injected into  the smooth, sensitive skin on my lower back.

Fast forward  7  years, and I am blissfully planning my wedding the man of my dreams and starting to realize that I just don’t like that tattoo anymore.   It’s not that a tattoo  in and of itself is bad, but the one I got was more than a little edgy… it was about 3 inches by 3 inches, black and the picture of a dragon skeleton with Chinese characters inside the belly.   Ok – it was ugly.

So right after the honeymoon, I found a local laser doc who removes tattoos for a huge fee, and I started what should have been a series of 6 to 8 sessions.

I had session number 8 right before I got pregnant.   And the tattoo was less than half gone.

Fast forward again to post-pregnancy, post c-section, smack in the middle of having fun going to play groups, and Kenny and I went to our  first toddler pool party.   To be frank, I had completely forgotten that I even had a half-dismantled tattoo, and it was the first time I ventured into a bikini, post-delivery.   Feeling pretty decent about my body (even the little flap of skin above my belly button that waves in the wind when I run), I was happily splashing in the water with Kenny, when I hear a little two-year-old voice behind   me saying, “Kenny’s mommy has a boo boo.”

To make a long story short, I ended up forcing 10 mothers to explain to their innocent little ones that Mrs. Cook obviously made some decisions in her life that she regretted and was now trying to erase.   You have to understand that  the half-removed tattoo looks lots worse than the original tattoo ever did.   Its’ uglier than ugly.

So yesterday, I went into the laser doctor for the first treatment since I was pregnant.   He took one look at me (20 months after my last apearance in his office) and said, “YOU.   The one completely intollerant to any pain.”   (ok, the laser used to make me scream.) I fixed him with a steely glance and gritted my teeth.

You know, the pain of labor is just about the worse pain there is.   Consider laser tattoo removal a very close second.

Returning home to where my loving Mommy had been watching Kenny, I gingerly picked him up, my skin flaming with every move.   His perfect little face smiled up at me, unconditionally loving without artiface or judgement.

Oh what joy and bliss is this life!   Even through the pain I am filled with wonder at the beauty of us human beings.

And you’d better believe that my little boy is NEVER going to get a tattoo.

Post Script

July 25th, 2006

So I let the poor little guy cry for the one hour limit.

Never again.

Neither of us really  recovered from it the rest of the day.

But he went down like an angel at bedtime.

I had never known that love this strong could feel so tangible.   My very fingers tingle when I think of the little guy and how fiercely my heart beats for him.   Isn’t it funny how diffferently our loves manifest themselves?   C.S. Lewis, in his book, The Four Loves,    writes of how our capacity to love falls into different catagories.   Affection, Infatuation, Eros and finally Agape.   You know, the huge and boundless love I have for Casey fits into all four.   But the first three come easier than the third, which is deliberate.   The boundless  love I have for the One who created me is easily the last – the Agape love – and yet I strive to also feel the giddy affection I know that He deserves.   But the love I have for Kenny… that is all together different.   Definitely the uncompromising, unfailing Agape love – he is my son!   I was an instrument in his very being! – and unquestioningly Affection and Infatuation.   But there is also another I would need to add to Lewis’s four catagories.   That of  Mother Love.

Have you ever drawn a picture, played a beautiful sonata, woven a sweater, cooked a masterpiece of a meal and at the end of it all, once sharing it with others, felt a swell of unanticipated joy and love in your heart with the knowledge, “I made that?”   That’s a glimpse into the Mother love I feel for Kenny.   Oh, I know that I didn’t make him all by myself.   God knit him together in my womb – he’s a miracle!   But I carried him while he was being formed.   Out of my body he was born.   I am the one who nurses him and supplies his daily nourishment.   I am his Mother.

That’s a powerful feeling.   One that I could have never understood before holding his tiny body in my arms.   He is my son, and I am in awe of the wonder of it all.

Oh I know there will be more days  in our lives together when he will wail and cry and protest something that I am doing for his own good, but that sweet little one, Oh!   He will never be left alone to cry like that ever again!

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Lungs of Steel

July 25th, 2006

Kenny is screaming.   Screaming alternately with babbling things that are starting to sound vaguely like “Mommy, I thought you loved me come get me out of this crib now my heart is breaking!!!!”

So this sleep-solutions book, which is expertly written and sounds brilliant and coherant when you are reading it, says not to let them cry more than 1 hour at naptime.   If they last an hour and are still crying, go in, and go about your day as if they had napped and try again at the next nap time.   Sounds fine, right?

Except that’s my little boy crying in there!   Not some text-book case-study on sleep deficiencies in babies.   He’s my Kenny; my little guy, my sweetest, loving little kid, and he sounds so sad and lonely.

The idea in enforcing the naptime is sound.   Babies who don’t get enough sleep are not only irritable, but they can suffer later on from stress, anxiety and learning disabilities.   And Kenny is not getting nearly enough sleep for his age.  

So if I go to get him right now, which I desperately want to do, I am faced with the fact that he’s been wailing for 20 minutes, he’s even more tired and cranky than before, he still hasn’t napped, we’re both stressed, and the next nap time will be even harder when I lay him down to sleep.   We won’t be any closer to getting him to nap on a regular basis, and both of us will be frustrated with this whole thing even more than we are now.

So I’m going to let him cry, right?

I hate this part of the Mommy Game.   Who ever knew loving someone would be this hard?   This heartbreaking?   I know, all the seasoned Moms out there are saying, “just wait until he’s a teenager.”     So this is how it feels to know what’s best for your child – sleep, in this case – and have them fight against it and you with ever fiber of their being.   Would  I give in if he acted this way when I put him in the car seat?   Would I give in and say, “ok, honey, you can ride up front with me; we’ll try that car seat thing another time.”   NO!   Is this the same idea?   Or is this a totally different ball game?

If I let him cry, am I fostering feelings of abandonment in him?   OR If I don’t let him cry, thus not letting him nap, am I setting him up for greater harm down the road?

I don’t know ho much more of this I can take.

Anyone else out there having to use tough-love at naptime?   Nighttime is going really well, it’s the naps that are killing me.

Kenny, July 06 014.jpg


Joe Has Met His Match

July 24th, 2006

My sweet little No Nap Joe is going to start napping.   He is going  to start going to bed at a real bedime.   The little bluish circles under his big brown eyes are going to disappear.

From the outside looking in, Kenny really is the happiest baby you would ever see.   At the grocery store today, he sat in the cart like a minature politician, waving wildly at all of the men and cooing and smiling at even the homliest of the women.   If he could have reached the other babies present to kiss them, he would have.   He is bright, charming, really smart, joyful and just plain fun to hang around with.   But he also nets less than 9 hours of sleep in many 24 hour periods, and I fear that the sleep deprevation is starting to take its toll.

Bedtimes are getting later and later and naps are really just a wishful joke.

So Casey and I bought a book on “sleep solutions.”   I can’t believe I’m saying it, but we are actually going to *gasp!* get Kenny on a schedule.   We’ve tried to be hip; to fit Kenny into our lifestyle without missing a beat (other than the fact that I now drive an SUV instead of a convertable,  and my stylish handbags have become  dowdy diaper bags).   But it just doesn’t work!   How can we expect our precious littlest guy to go to bed at night when his bedtime is completely reliant on our whims and social calendar?

So last night we put him to bed at bedtime and let him cry.   I thought I would throw up, it hurt that bad to listen to his wails of despair.   But after 17 minutes, he was OUT.

This afternoon, I tried the same thing at naptime, but I was also hosting a 6’5″ man from Eastern Africa who barely spoke English as he steam cleaned our carpets to rid the berber of its dog dander and rawhide chew stains.   And Kenny’s bed was in the guest room, and I don’t think the little guy has ever even been in there before today.   I let him cry, thinking that within 17 minutes or so he would be pulling zz’s, but he just kept at the screaming, amplified no doubt by the helpful carpet cleaner, who kept saying things like, “Aren’t you going to attend to your little one, Ma’am?   He is clearly crying,”   and “Oh, my heart would be breaking if that were my son making those sounds.”

Thanks, man.

At 6:30, he was bathed, nursed and rocked.   Casey went in to give  him a hug and put him down, and he cried for 14 minutes.   And then he… went to sleep like a baby…

Stay tuned… if I can overcome these nap battles, I may actually start having an adult life a few hours out of every day.   My house will be cleaner,  I will start showering on a regular basis (my husband will really appreciate that one!)  and I will be much saner I’m sure.

Do you want to know something funny, though?   I actually miss him when he’s asleep.   I start to imagine his warm little body and how it feels when he snuggles up to my chest, and suddenly I can’t wait until he’s awake again.   Ironic, isn’t it?

Mr. All That

July 21st, 2006

Kenny is quite a looker.   I know that I am biased towards his good looks, being his Mommy, but every time I take him out anywhere, I am constantly stopped by someone who tells me that he is a really handsome kid.

Yesterday I was at Nordstroms, turning in a pair of shoes for repair (ok – I need to buy Dudley more chew toys), and the three women at the counter  completely ignored me to start  fawning over my little guy: “Oh, would you look at those eyes!”   “Lois, he’s smiling at you!” “Would you look at Mr. All That?   Are you Mr. All That?   Yes you are…”

And Kenny, far from being shy, has begun to recognize the attention and play it for all it’s worth.   He has started this little thing where he turns his head ever so slightly, gives a little two tooth grin and then says something witty like, “BaaaaaBAAAAAA!”   Flirting is an understatement.   He grinned so much at the teenage girl bagging items at Target today that she started blushing and said, “Little man, you’re just tooo young for me!”

And he’s got this Momma’s number, too.   While trying to change his diaper earlier today, he swatted my hands away and managed to grab a chunk of my face in a vise-grip.   I took his arm firmly but gently and gave a stern, “No!” just like all the books say to do.   What does my little Mr. All That do?   He coos “Maaamaaaamaaam” and caresses, no joke, the same throbbing spot on my face and smiles while looking deep into my eyes.  

How am I ever going to tell this kid “no” when he asks to borrow the car in 2021?

No Nap Joe, Part 2

July 20th, 2006

I’m sorry to have been away from writing for a few days.   Our computer died along with several thousand (no exaggeration) pictures of Kenny from the last 10 months that haven’t gotten printed yet.   My sweet resourceful hubby is spending a small fortune to recover them, so we can prove later on to our little boy that he did in fact grow up with us, in case he ever hits the teen angst years of wondering if he were perhaps adopted away from saner and hipper  parents.

And the no-napping saga continues.   I have to admit, 9 days out of 10 I can come to terms with the fact that some kids need less sleep than others.   That Kenny is a bright, energetic, social little guy who just doesn’t want to miss a minute of the party.   But that 10th day… it starts getting hard to cope with.   Can you imagine an office job that lasted from 6 in the morning until 8 at night with no lunch break, no coffee break, no go to the bathroom without a 21 pound wiggler either in your lap or clutching your kneecaps… you’d demand some sort of weekly spa package as compensation.   Me, I’d settle for just the private bathroom break most days.

This week has been a tough one.   It started Monday afternoon.   Kenny  was  so tired, so cranky and wired; all of which is highly unusual for him: he’s normally the happiest baby you’d ever meet, sleep or no sleep.   But he was honest-to-goodness exhausted and absolutely adamant about not sleeping.   I nursed him, I rocked him, I sang, I jiggled, I pleaded, I put him in there to “cry it out” (yikes!), I actually got down  on my knees in the living room to pray for help.   (Unfortunately, Dudley took that gesture as some sort of submissive acknowledgement of his leadership and ran over to bite me in the back of the neck in glee.)   But his screaming continued and got more frantic by the second.  

So I did what any other desperate Mommy would do.   I swooped him up into  a big hug, then plopped him down into the kitchen floor with a big pile of pots and pans and spatulas and let him have at it.   Meanwhile, I hacked away at my emergency stash of chocolate chip cookie dough in the freezer with a dull paring knife.   As  I  dug out the rich chocolate morsels, I started thinking that if I were ever to become a restauranteur, I would offer big spoonfuls of fresh cookie dough on the dessert menu.   Thinking about rich desserts, I started to think that chocolate this good needed some shiraz to go with it.    I glanced at the clock.   4:45.   hm…. a little too early for a glass of wine.   I glanced wistfully over to the wine rack in the dining room, and thank goodness I did because moments before, Kenny had abandoned his calphalon drum set and set out over to the dog bowls where he was inches away from sticking his perfect pink tongue into Dudley’s water.   With lightening speed, I covered the space and snatched him up, only to be awarded for my heroics with fresh, frustrated cries.

I decided that 4:45 was really practically 5 o’clock anyway, and maybe that glass of wine was a fine idea.   I poured myself a tiny glass and took a long sweet sip.   The mere fact that I was calmed seemed to calm Kenny and I set him back in his pile of noise-makers and went back to my rapidly-defrosting pile of cookie dough.

“Maaamaaaam   …. Maaaaamaaaam…” I looked down.   Kenny was holding out a spatula to me with a big grin on his face.   “Yes, you have a spatula!” I said with a smile, going back to the chocolate.   He started on a fast crawl into the living room.   “Maaaaamaaaa!”   I looked up.   He’d crawled over to his giant neon green  beach ball, and was holding it proudly above his head.   I started to say, “Yes, you have a ball!” when he smiled from ear to ear and threw it with all his might in my general direction.   “MAAAAMAAAAAAAAM!”  

That’s when it hit me.   He didn’t just want to play instead of nap.   He didn’t want to be distracted with random objects to play with.  He wanted to play with ME.  

I put down the cookie dough and walked over to where he was sitting.   I sat down next to him, and he immediately climbed up into my arms, covering my chin with his slobbery bites that are undoubtedly kisses.   “maaamaaaamaaaamaaa” he nuzzled into my chest.   Oh is there any moment sweeter than this?

So Kenny doesn’t nap.   Every day this week we’ve had an hour or so when he’s desperately tired and desperately against any sort of sleep suggestion.    A couple of times I’ve packed him into the car and let him snooze to the sleepy sounds of the highway.   This afternoon we took a quiet tour of our yard and back deck and counted boats and birds.   I’m still eating too much cookie dough.   And I wouldn’t trade a single second of his sweet smiles and baby talk for 100 days straight of nap times.


Bistro La Leche

July 13th, 2006

I’ve avoided this topic long enough, and I’ve been itching to write about it.   Let me preface by saying that I am a definite proponant of breastfeeding, and I am so grateful that my baby took to it so well.   That said, I  cannot resist venting, in a loving way of course, about Kenny’s new feeding methods.

“Easily distracted” is an understatement.   Oh he’s not distracted with things going on around us… not the dog chewing noisily on his whistling choo choo train, not the phone ringing, not the sound of the kids next door committing hari kiri with plastic swords… he’s distracted by the strange enthusiasm with which he enjoys (to out it mildly) his meal.

He starts off innocently enough, but then, like the dark horse in a county fair pie eating contest, he starts warming up to the frenzy that inevitably comes.   First, he twists his body from the polite and textbook feeding position so that he is either kneeling or standing in my lap.   Then he grasps my breast with both hands, even sometimes pulling away for a minute to admire its function and beauty, and dives in like there’s no tomorrow.   Sometimes he gets so excited he even laughs a little and tries to jump up and down with glee, all the while firmly attached to my poor flesh.  

Do I try to hold him down?   Cut him off?   Allow him to feast at will?   And I can’t even get mad at the poor little bugger because he’s obviously so happy!

I suppose I should have expected something like this to present itself in his personality.   I too am a “foodie.”   I went to culinary school many years ago, and even though I no longer work professionally in the food industry, one of my passions is cooking and entertaining.   In fact, when the “going gets tough” sometimes, I’ll plop Kenny in to his highchair and put on an episode of “Cooking with Momma Cookie” in the kitchen.   We made a double batch of chocolate zucchini bread last night, in fact, in between preparing the steaks and vegetables for dinner.   Being in the kitchen relaxes me ~ it revives me and stirs up my creative being.   But the fun isn’t just in the making – I love to eat, too!   Give me a big glass of dry merlot, a rare filet mignon with roasted asparagus, crunchy salad with vinigrette and finish off with a cappucino and plate of warm gooey chocolate cake, and I find myself jumping up and down with glee, fanatically and enthusiastically savoring every morsel, wanting to laugh from the sheer joy of the flavor in my mouth…

hmm… perhaps Kenny and I aren’t so different in our feeding habits after all…

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