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Taste Testing September 30, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — houseofyoung @ 3:10 am

Tonight after dinner, we had our very own Taste of Suwanee…well, maybe Taste of Our Fridge would be a better description.  It all started when the girls and I had sliced tomatoes with Italian dressing.  I don’t even attempt to place such dishes in front of Taran anymore, knowing he will kick and scream all night before he ever tries a bite.  Instead, I utilize my best child psychology tricks to make him think that trying new foods is a game.

Near the end of dinner, Taran asked what I was eating, and I told him about the Italian dressing and showed him how much the girls liked it.  Intrigued, he prodded, “What does it taste like?”  I told him “sour” because he loves sour candy (and vinegar is sour, right?).  I casually poured a dollop from the bottle onto his plate and said, “Here, try it.”

He made a horrid face and shook his head, but I went to the fridge to see what other sauces he might be interested in trying.  His eyes lit up when he saw the Ranch dressing: “I know that! Some kids eat that!” Bin-go!  I put some on his plate, and he was still hesistant…

He took a deep breathe, squinted his eyes, and with all the courage he could muster (poor kid! :)), stuck his finger in his mouth.  And…

Success!!

He tried the Ranch dressing and actually liked it!  I was super proud of him for trying it, and even more happy that he found something new that he likes.

He eventually tried the Italian dressing and some Honey Dijon dressing also (seen on his plate above).  He didn’t like them, but that is A-OK with me.  I heaped praise on him because he used to refuse to even consider trying something new.  I guess he has gotten braver (and more mature) with age.

The girls were not going to sit by and watch Taran enjoy this culinary experience by himself.  I soon got a chorus of, “I want some! I want some!”  I gave the girls the same array of dressings…and they asked for more…

And more…

I think we spent at least 45 minutes at the dinner table.  Clare and Laurel had at least 7 helpings of dressings…meanwhile, Taran slowly licked the one portion of Ranch off his plate. 🙂

As a Mommy, these are the moments I most treasure – just sitting with my kids, interacting with them, and learning the unique facets of their personalities.

Speaking of personalities…Laurel has definitely distinguished herself as the “rebellious” twin.  “Laurel, can you come here?” is code for, “Laurel, please run around the room laughing maniacally while Mommy frantically tries to chase you down.”  She definitely takes after me…from all the stories I’ve heard, I was an obstinate child.  My first word was, “No!”, which is a typical response from Laurel (even when she means yes). While Clare can be mischievous, she is usually very agreeable and quick to respond to guidance or instruction.  When we pray (or sing, or do anything with repetition involved), Clare loves to try and figure what I’m saying, so she’s just a hair behind me as I speak.  So when I began bedtime prayers, she immediately put her hands together and bowed her head, repeating after me…”Deaaar God…Thank you for this day…Thank you being our friend…Please forgive us when we don’t listen…We love you…” Laurel, in the meantime, was sitting in my lap scowling and squirming.  After we said “Amen,” I looked up and noticed Clare was still praying, with her eyes tightly shut and an intense look on her face.  “Deeeear, God.  Please hep Wa-wul <Laurel>. A-men.”  I had to laugh out loud. 🙂  Laurel is a sweet and happy little girl, but is also a spitfire.  I wonder how her personality and temperament will play out in the years to come.  Good to know that her concerned sister has started praying for her already! 🙂

A typical Laurel face

The look of mischievous glee on Laurel's face after I caught her climbing up the stairs.

Sweet Sisters!

Just because...can't leave Taran out! The three kids at the awesome playground at Marietta Square.

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A Very Happy Birthday September 26, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — houseofyoung @ 4:36 am

We celebrated Ari’s birthday this weekend with a trip to Charleston.  We’ve been several times, but never got to stay for long, and never without the kids.  We decided to stay in the historic district to get the most authentic Charleston experience.  We picked the King George IV Inn, a beautiful bed and breakfast in a 200-year-old house.

Our location was perfect – we were able to stroll along the beautiful streets of the historic district and get to dozens of shops, restaurants, and historic sites.  We probably walked at least a couple of miles throughout the weekend.  On Saturday morning, we walked to Marion Square on the north side of the historic district, as the innkeeper recommended checking out the local farmer’s market.  Not only did it feature several stands of fresh fruits and veggies, but also art, handcrafted jewelry, homemade soaps and scrubs, and best of all, lots of food stands…crepes, Asian tacos, barbeque, homemade pastas and sauces…if I had known about it, we would have skipped breakfast that morning!

After the farmer’s market, we headed to the City Market area and took a guided horse and buggy ride.  No better way to see Charleston!

My favorite part of Charleston was the Battery Park area, which is at the tip of the peninsula.  The homes here have amazing history, many of them dating to the mid 1800s.

The park itself is an expansive, lush area shaded by dozens of gorgeous angel oaks, overlooking the Ashley and Cooper Rivers.

At this point, we had walked most of the day and were ready to take a break and people watch…and find other ways to amuse ourselves…

We ended the evening by a taking a walking ghost tour.  Unlike the tours in Savannah, this one wasn’t kitchy at all, but was rich with history and the tragedies and injustices that befell some early residents of Charleston.  The guide has written a book and told us everything in a very matter-of-fact manner…that almost made it creepier!

Randolph Hall at the College of Charleston...not actually haunted, but it's a beautiful building and looked pretty creepy at night!

One of the best parts of the whole weekend was the food … Charleston is probably best known for its seafood, but has an eclectic variety of all kinds of cuisine.

The Noisy Oyster

Tazkiki's, a little cafe with the best Mediterranean food...and a view of the Apple Store across the street, much to Ari's delight

32 Degrees, a frozen yogurt shop. I got a mix of chocolate-marshmallow and white chocolate mousse yogurt with fresh raspberries on top....yum!!

We also went to a comedy show at the College of Charleston featuring Gary Valentine, who is the brother of Kevin James.  We saw the marquis and decided it would be fun to check it out.  (I’m a planner…a urban planner, an emergency management planner, a trip planner…so spontaneity is kind of rare for me. :))

When we got home on Sunday, we had a little party at home for Ari.

Taran even had a party game ready…Pin the Tail on the Monster 🙂

All in all, it was an awesome weekend.  We missed the kids, but it was great to have a little getaway.  Happy Birthday, Ari!!  Thank you for being a wonderful husband, doting daddy, and my best friend.