Saturday, December 5, 2009

What We Be Eatin' Exclusive: Thanksgiving!

Happy Turkey Day everyone!

As many of you know already, Turduckin was the star for Roby's first Thanksgiving. It seems to me that we should start our run down of the What We Be Eatin' Thanksgiving Day Exclusive with an interview of the star.
I have to admit, Turducken seemed like a mythical beast, like a unicorn or a Liger, before I began my journey to create one. I had heard of people making them, but only audacious fools with thick creole accents and funny white golf hats. Even the portmanteau "Turducken" summons images of something unsightly--as is the common result of forcing some unlikely combination together.

BLOG FAIL: I forgot to post this at last year's Thanksgiving. Wow, I suck.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Slacker: Life with a baby, grad school, work, volunteerism and tooth decay!

Hey Everyone,

I want to convey a rather hollow apology for my absence here on House of Thurmond. I have been pretty busy but, I know what you are thinking, that is no excuse. Maybe I am kinda mean in this department but my sympathy runs about a deep as a kiddie pool for the "I am so busy, I ran out of time" excuse. So on that hypocritical note, here are a few pictures from Roby's first Halloween (that I am posting while writing a term paper, changing a diaper and learning how to make a goat out of a napkin for Thanksgiving):

(Here is Sylvia dressed as Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds and Roby dressed as a pumpkin that just pooped it's pants)

(Here are Roby's buddies, Conner and Avery, pre and post Purell. I'm pretty sure copious amounts of hand sanitizer is part of the new health care reform bill. Sorry for the fuzzy picture--these monsters would not sit still.)
(Not quite big enough to knock on doors)

(Avery as a Lady Bug--she may have pooped her pants right then too)
(One final shot for her Halloween lay-out)

Everyone had a good time walking around the neighborhood looking at the costumes and avoiding H1N1.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Roby Fix Coming Up!

More Roby can be found here!

Friday, November 6, 2009

What We Be Eatin'!

Chef's Log: November Six this year of our loins 2009.

Tonight we be eatin' salad. But this was no extraordinary salad but a perfectly mundane salad. You see, I didn't have a lot of prep time for a magnificent mixture of greens and things. This evening I went for my the first workout at the Denver Athletic Club (DAC). I was to be both Lewis and Clark and my task was to chart locker rooms and scout out smoothies bars. Sylvia and I joined the for the child care but stayed for the iron pumpin'. Anyway back to the salad. We had mixed greens with steak (the rib-eyes were on sale), green onions (scallions for all of you macaronis), Monterey Jack cheese and Blue Cheese dressing. I know it seems sinful to combine Jack and Blue Cheese dressing but we are in America--where all cheeses are free to intermingle. In fact, I encourage you to mix your cheeses when they are as ordinary as Jack (that is cheap Jack not like fancy Sonoma Jack). Anyway, be sure to put everything in bowl and toss it really good. Try to get some dressin' on every leaf. Also, it is very import to season your salad. Make sure to add a little salt and pepper so that your salad pops!

(here is a salad of mixed family) Very Hop on POP!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

What We Be Eatin'!--Rad Rib-eye

(No plate wiping here)

Ok, tonight we had a nice rib-eye (we shared a single steak) with roasted yams and acorn squash and green beans.
It was a simple prep. For the squash, I didn't bother to peel it. I cut it into wedges, took out the seeds and guts and put in a bowl. I also didn't skin the yams. I quartered them potatos and threw themin the bowl too. I added some melted butter, cinnamon, ginger, brown sugar, black pepper and salt and tossed everything together. I roasted the potatoes and squash separately so I could take them out when they were ready (they cook at different speeds due to their density and the size of the cut).
(Notice the differing sizes--my teacher chefs would be tres costerne!)

We also had green beans that were blanched and sauteed with butter, salt and pepper. Easy Peasey!

For the Rib-eye, I rubbed it with salt, white pepper, smoked paprika and garlic. I seared it in a cast iron and finished it in the oven. Most importantly, I rested it for about 10 minutes.
(Go Meat!)

Then it was time to eat!

Addition to the Blog: Get ready to Drool!

(Aebleskivers with salted caramel and pear chutney)

Attention! Attention!

I've decided to add a blue-plate special segment to the House of Thurmond blog called: What We Be Eatin'!

People are always asking me about the food I make each night for Sylvia so I thought would include in the blog. To tell a little secret, for the first year of living with Sylvia I did not cook her the same thing twice. We were still in the romantic stages of our relationship and my wooing stemmed directly from my cooking. I think I did alright, she married me didn't she?!?

There were, however, a few misses. Sylvia often retells the evening when I prepared a dish of Ramen noodles and sauteed Moose meat--not her favorite. We won't dwell on the past but focus on the future. I hope I will inspire you to push your culinary boundaries or at least know what to make for tomorrow night!

As always, thanks for reading and Bon Appetite!

(Lobsters on the Grill al fresco!)

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Snowy Day!

(Roby's First Big Snow Day!)

Hi Everybody!! I'm sure you are all speculating about our snow situation. For those of you who are realists, you have probably surmised that we received just a few inches and are readying ourselves for a Snickers-filled Halloween. For those alarmist who always call me and ask, "are you buried under ten feet of the white stuff?!?," today is your day Chicken Littles! We are indeed getting covered with fluffy, white, wonderful snow. (Our house receiving a feather-hammer double knock )

Of Course, this mere 8 to 12 inches of snow did not stop us from commencing with our usual business. I needed to remove the snow from our renter's driveway and sidewalk. I got into our new Snow Machine (the big police truck) and drove over. The snow was great to plow through. Generally, the city ignores our streets due to the glut of family toting SUVs here in Stapleton. So, I was cutting "first tracks." It kinda looked like this.
I got over there by about 6:30AM and found that my renters were ready to shovel. I guess it slipped my mind that they were from Canada. We shoveled the drive and I headed home.
Next, I had a dentist appointment at 9am. I elected to cross-country ski there rather than drive. I had a beautiful 2 mile ski over to the dentist. The snow had drifted in places that were waist deep and I enjoyed a few tele turns on our small hills in Central Park. After meeting with my minister of pain( that's what I call the dentist), I started towards home. On the way, I met with our friend, Patricia out enjoying the snow with her boys, Ronin and Aidan. After pulling them on their sled, I dropped them off at their house and continued on.
When I got home I found a surprise! Our street, and only our street, had been cleared!

(The clearest street in the land!)

Turns out that nothing will stop the construction workers from finishing their projects! They got out their Backhoe and pushed all of the snow outta the way! This was pretty awesome for most. For Kim, this may not have been the best thing. They created a big berm next to her car, "the Tan Can (that's what I call it)." It is seen here with a big snow puff on its head:

I decided to check out the backyard after seeing the condition of the Tan Can.

The door to my garden wonderland had gone from welcoming to foreboding! I was very impressed by Old Man Winters fury! Here is what the patio area looks like normally:

Here is what it looks right now:

Wow!, Right? Lots of snow! Here is a picture of a huge drift hanging off the house:

Here is a picture of Gov'na enjoying the wintery atmosphere:

But not everybody is outside enjoying the day--there are happenings inside the house as well. Roby is trying on her Halloween outfit courtesy of MiMi :

You didn't think I would write a blog entry without showing Roby did you? Mama and baby are staying in today and resting. Roby was very vocal last night and kept Papa and Mama up all night, but she looked pretty cute in her pumpkin hat so all was forgiven.

Anyway, we are all doing fine in the snow! I am headed to get a mumps shot--I never got one or it never "took" or something and then we can settle in for the night. Tata for now!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Pool Party!!!: Baby's First Bath

Bath time with Roby is so much fun...for us. We think she is still on the fence. Check out the video here.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Enter New Baby: The Epic of Child Birth!

You all know the new baby is here! That means I am shutting down the blog now. Good bye. Just Kidding. Now it's time to reveal all of the gory details that so many of you hunger for.

I think it is fitting to begin with some vital information about the baby's due date:

1. Baby was not due until November 2, for those of you not in the know.

2. Parents were not expecting baby until November 2, for those of you in the know.

3. Father was kicking himself for such ill planing on his part (no attending his favorite Halloween party this year, for those of you in the know.)

With that in mind, Sylvia and I settled into bed on Friday night. Sylvia was tired from staying home that day. She had not been feeling well and thought a day crammed with nesting minutia might relieve her sullen attitude. I think our heads hit the pillows around 9:30pm.
At 1:20am or so, I awoke to the sounds of soft giggling and a light under the bathroom door. I cracked the door and found Sylvia trapped on the commode like a barnacle stuck in a tidal pool. And like the ocean, her waters had broken their chains and were flowing uncontrollably. At this point, I went into complete shock.

(Actual photo of actual clock used for documenting actual time of departure to hospital and actual time of my mind loss)

We were able to sandbag the levee long enough to collect the effects we would need for labor. I had planned weeks ago to have a birthin' kit composed prior to the labor. It would include movies, lip balm, ipod, massager, aroma therapy and girlie magazines (like this, this, and her favorite). I just realized when I said 'girlie magazines' you probably though I meant my favorite magazine. Anyway, after Sylvia slapped me and I got a hold of myself, I quickly tried to assemble our stuff so we could shuffle off to the hospital. Sylvia was as cool as the other side of the pillow as we got in the car and began our trip to Family Land and the pending GBE at 1:39am.
(hastily assembled bags)

When we arrive at the "Baby Place" at St. Joseph's Hospital of Denver, we were met with a measure of skepticism about the baby's early arrival. After some strange tests (the beginning of a battery of tests that are required during the labor process) it was determined that indeed Sylvia's waters had broken and a baby was eminent. Now off to the labor suite!

We were ushered to a new room where the tike was to be born. Our new environs were a fantastic hybrid of a Holiday Inn Honeymoon Suite, chicken hatchery and that laboratory from Jurassic Park. I then set up shop while Sylvia got acquainted with the bed and a bevy of nurses and would-be probers. I opened the afore mentioned aroma therapy device and asked Sylvia what movie she would like to watch while we waited...for something to happen. We were waiting for something to happen because, unbeknowst to us, the breaking of the waters does not mean the baby comes right away. To be honest, after I had found out her water had broke, I thought I would have to deliver the baby in the back seat of a cab or something.
(Sylvia still smiling and me even further out of my mind)

After Sylvia had settled in, the nurse explained that she would need an intravenous drip or IV. Sylvia has a strong aversion to needles. In fact, last time she had contact with a needle she got the vapors and collapsed in waiting room of our oral surgeon's office! I was hoping not to see a repeat performance. The nurse had a great idea and after inserting the IV, covered the area with a cut off baby hat--we had the MacGyver of nurses. Sylvia got a little woosie but didn't vomit! We were all very proud.

(the cleverly devised Cut Hat Intended to Keep IV's Not Noticable or CHIKINN)

For the next five hours we waited. We waited for contractions. We waited for tests. We waited for more probing. We waited for baby Thurmond. We waited. Finally, a nurse named Elisa Patterson, whom we had met before coming to the hospital, came in. We were very happy to see her. She was our favorite nurse in the seemingly endless nurse/doctor interview process we went through before baby time. She was direct and told it how it was. Sylvia and I both appreciate this approach.

Elisa came and told us that we had two options to get the contractions started. First, we could wait a few more hours, see what happens and then introduce Pitocin. Or, we could introduce the Pitocin now and get the show on the road. Not ones to dilly-dally, we opted for the latter. Elisa was pleased with the decision. Within a half hour, Sylvia was hooked up with the rapid fire baby solution and we were off and running. We were now creeping up on the eighth hour and the nurses were hopeful that we would have a baby in the next 8 hours--we felt the same. Jeez!

The hours of waiting to quicken their pace as Sylvia's contractions increased in frequency and painfulness. At hour ten, Sylvia called for the anesthesiologist to administer the epidural. Moments later as guy who looked like a slightly thinner Drew Carey walked in proclaiming he was the fastest catheter slinger in the West. He said he was on his 600,891 catheter for the night and was aimin' for more. He assured us that he knew the arachnoid mater like the back of his hand and was a meninges mastermind. His confidence astounded us and we said, "fire when ready!"

However, like Achilles, Oedipus, Agamemnon and George W. Bush, hubris would be his ultimate downfall. Nurse Drew inserted the the long hose that was to deliver the goods to Sylvia's nether region and provide a blissful semi pain-free delivery. Sylvia was as brave and didn't squirm an inch as Nurse Drew practiced his love of women. With the epidural catheter in place, we were ready for baby!
(Sylvia's "Let's Do This Face!" Notice the CHIKINN once again)

After another couple of hours things got very serious. Sylvia's contractions were becoming sharp spikes of pressure and her face was doing some really weird stuff. It was apparent that the Earl of Epidurals, Nurse Drew, had missed the mark and Sylvia was feeling it. Quickly, the nurses called for the more senior catheter wrangler...Dr. Franklin. Within minutes, Dr. Franklin floated in like the Mary Poppins of pain management. He sternly but sweetly called in a rich British accent for the movie we were watching to be turned off. He adjusted the lights and went to work. After only a few moments, Sylvia was where she needed to be for the final push.

By 3:15pm, Sylvia was dilated enough for her to start really pushing, so she pushed. The nurse we liked, Elisa, rejoined us for the finale. Sylvia gritted her teeth an gave three hard pushes every contraction. I held her left leg while Elisa held her right. Elisa put my hand on Sylvia's belly to feel for the contraction and sound the alert to start pushing. After about twenty minutes of hard labor, I could see dark black hair. The baby was coming. For the next twenty minutes the head got bigger and bigger. Sylvia pushed hard and smiled in between each contraction. I have never been so impressed by anyone.

(Blurred for your convience. You didn't want to see the slime anyway.)

Finally at 4:46pm Roby Marie Thurmond was born. I don't think I'll miss the Halloween party one bit.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Sonograms: what the hell are we looking at here anyway?

(Looking at sonograms is like looking at clouds. I see a frog.)

Sonograms are weird. The whole process is weird. The people who perform the sonogram are weird, the doctor who analyzes the sonogram is weird and the ten other people in the room are weird. Matter of fact, I think I am kinda weird during the sonogram.
I am a little put out by the extreme amount of goo that they squirt on Sylvia's belly. It looks like she has been busting ghosts. I also find it strange how comfortable the doctors are with poking the belly. Don't babies have soft head to allow the fetus to cross through the pelvis? Is poking the head a good idea?
Man, speaking of mailable heads, we watched a video at the baby training and the baby they were featuring came out looking like a slimy baby pope. He had a tiny miter on. The doctors slapped him and lit a fire in the fireplace. Lets hope baby Thurmond doesn't have such a piked noggen.

Anyway, here is a picture of the first sonogram:

As you can see, the tiny fetus was very dapper in its first few days of life. This is no doubt due to superlative genetic componentry. The "peanut" as we called it could do a mean Charleston but due to its size, it went unnoticed. The peanut did not stay this size, however. It began to grow rapidly. Sylvia often complained of cramps that I surmised could only be caused by tiny one-armed push-ups. There was not a question in my mind that our baby was training. Training for the big event. The GBE. The infant had plans of shooting out of the womb like a russet out of a potato gun. Here is a photo of the fetus at about 10 weeks:

(Impressive, I know.)

At our next sonogram, I noticed that our child was showing a affinity for the arts. Here you can see Baby Thurmond playing a lovely Baroque piece, I believe Orazio Vecchi's L'Amfiparnaso , on the clavichord:
By 25 weeks, Baby Thurmond was showing that there was no field out of reach for this child. Check out this special glimpse we got one afternoon:

Baby Thurmond is demonstrating the formula for velocity and calculating his/her trajectory by which he/she will engage in the GBE. Maybe that's why he has to have a cone shaped head. Maybe Baby Thurmond is going to try and shoot across the room like so many spuds fueled by Aquanet.

Well, even through the miracle of modern science that is the sonogram, we have seen Baby Thurmond as a very advanced fetus, I guess we won't know how talented he/she will be until he or she pops out. I think parents can only hope that their children will be very special. I can only imagine how proud the parents of the child below felt when they had a baby with a full beard:

One can only pray for such a special child. Chuck Norris's parents must have been very excited.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

A Note on Hyperlinks

For those of you who aren't sure why some of the words or phrases in the blog are a different color or underlined, let me take a few moments to explain. These are called hyperlinks. Hyperlinks are a great way to communicate important information that may or may not directly pertain to the information you are reading. Hyperlinks also can convey a concept or image sometimes in subtle manner. For the blogger, the hyperlink is an important tool in his or her toolbox and offers the reader an added dimension of enjoyment.

Here is the boilerplate definition of a hyperlink. Please note that the definition includes many hyperlinks which, contrary to what your 8th grade English teacher told you about using the word in the definition, is OK:

In computing , a hyperlink is a reference in a document to an internal or external piece of information. The most common usage is in the Internet to browse through web pages: some text in the current document is highlighted so that when it is clicked, the browser automatically displays another page or changes the current page to show the referenced content.

To make these magical texts come alive, simply click on them. Some will take you to exciting videos while others will show you photographs. You will also find that I will refer to an old post by utilizing a hyperlink. Hyperlinks are very fun and I encourage you to click on them when you see them. Thank you. The Management

Sleepy: the drowsy life of a pregnant lady

Recently I have noticed more and more that Sylvia cannot keep her eyes open. Her spry, generally alert state has been subsumed by a tired eyed, hazy automaton. Not to say that she isn't still fun to play with. Of course, her lethargy is not the result of a drunken night at the boutique tequila bar or extreme exercise but due to her increased girth and fetal movements! As you saw in the last post, Sylvia's belly has indeed increased in size and mass indicating the growth of the uber-fetus that is my progeny. Said fetus is preparing to enter the world shortly and therefore Sylvia's body must ready itself for the Great Baby Eruption (GBE).

Many changes are occurring simultaneously. Sylvia's pelvic joints are now loosening themselves like so many snakes unlock their jaws to consume their meals. Also, increased hormone levels, especially progesterone have interesting effects on mom. At first, I thought this meant she would grow a mustache or a unibrow but the internet cleared up that misconception for me. Lucky for me and unlucky for the county fair, progesterone only serves to make Sylvia sleepy (among other things like strange effects on the esophageal sphincter--not what you think) and is a signal to the body that the GBE is happening soon.

It's not only hormones making her tired. She is being bothered. Unbeknowst to me, babies can have hiccups. Hiccups! The baby hasn't been drinking anything nor eating too fast. Apparently, the hiccups are so striking that Sylvia can be awaken even in the deepest of sleeps. Therefore, I have devised a plan to combat the fetal synchronous diaphragmatic flutter. First, I will hide in
the closet dressed as Rush Limbaugh and pop out exclaiming, "where is my precious grandbaby and Vicodin?!?" If that doesn't work, I will help Sylvia perform some of the inverted maneuvers we saw at Cirque De Soleil hoping for a diaphragm restart.

After all this has been said, I have to admit that I am the main reason Sylvia is not getting enough sleep. Because of my shoulder surgery, I cannot get comfortable and move around more that the baby ever does. We have tried to position so that I don't wake up and disrupt Sylvia but it is to no avail. We have stripped down the bed to allow for freedom of movement and we have built up a tower of buttress pillows to prop the shoulder. Nothing works (except Vicodin). I toss, she tosses. I turn, she turns. Unfortunately, after a visit to the doctor today, I found out that I am far away from being healed. In fact, four months from being a super pater familias. But don't worry grandmothers, I will be able to hold the baby, help Sylvia with everything and be able to lift the bottle of Jack so I (and Sylvia) can sleep. I wonder if Jack Daniels is good for hiccups?

Sunday, September 20, 2009

baby to be: porro ago ova

Sylvia is now approximately 42 days away from babydom and she is finally looking pregnant. For many weeks now, the general public has questioned her pregnancy due to her size and many mothers-to-be have been upset with her sculpted abs and all-around pleasant outlook on carrying a baby to term. But now, there is no doubt in her progress in gestation - see these helpful illustrations:

As we were creating these informative photographs we began to feel obligated to include some more sensitive examples of belly.

Here is the famous heart photo popularized by Anne Geddes etal. :
Here is a funny one of me thumping her belly to check for ripeness:

Here she is looking like a beautiful pregnant flower:

Hopefully this will quench your belly lust. I suppose I take for granted the belly since I see it everyday.


Hello family, friends, countrymen and countrywomen!

Welcome to our new family oriented blog. Some of you might have been wondering why we haven't created a family-themed blog until now (or not). Well, we felt like we didn't really have a family to necessitate a blog but that's all going to change soon, as many of you know. In just a few weeks (or sooner) Sylvia will give birth to our new ubermensch named either Roby Marie or Cannon James (CJ). Yes, we understand that these are not main stream names. However, we think that our progeny will be held to a extraordinary standard due to his or her extraordinary name. No pressure, though. I am sure the baby will be a normal, well-adjusted child, even though destined to be a super squirt. We plan to post photographs and cute quips about the baby's progress. We wouldn't want any of you miss some of the "firsts" like the meconium or the first time I get peed on. But the new baby is not the only thing we will blog about in this forum.

For the family, we will review the going-ons of our day-to-day lives-- which I am sure you will all find riveting. I know I will be on pins and needles. Sylvia or I will update you on things like job changes, home alterations or every time I go to the emergency room. But that's not all. We will also provide exciting Gov'na coverage like what happened this morning:
Last night, we (S, J and K) went to our friends house to watch the Arkansas vs. Georgia game. Because I dislike watching football, I decided to drink bountiful amounts of flavored beers and mango-grapefruit greyhounds. I think you can guess what happened. After the game was over, we came home and went to bed. Then something strange occurred.

At 5:34am, I heard Govy urinating in the prison we keep him in at night. I shot out of bed, ran to the cage, and forced him out by swatting wildly at him with a t-shirt. He was visibly and audibly upset and peed all over the room. It was like backing over a fire hydrant filled with Mountain Dew. He yelped and ran towards the stairs to escape to the backyard. I let him out and he continued to leak for the entirety of his journey. Poor Gov'na. I consoled him and his leaky bladder on the steps of the patio. After he was restored to his jovial self, we returned to the scene of the “accident.” When I got upstairs I realized I had made a staid error, perhaps spurred by my alcoholic haze from the night before. I went to the cage where I believed the urinating had prematurely commenced and found no urine. I checked his bedding, his little sheets, the surround wall and found no evidence to support that a wee-wee crime had been committed! Yes, in fact, I had dreamed the whole thing and, because of the impulsive nature of my actions, had scared the whiz out of Gov! What a bad dog owner! I now owe the Gov many walks and perhaps a pig ear. Anyway, this is the kind of content that you can expect in this blog. If you enjoy pee stories then please return and, if not, respectfully piss off (to be read in a Gordon Ramsey accent)

For friends, we will provide an account of the misadventures of our social lives and public humiliation—which, for me, there are many. We will tell tales of epic sporting exploitations, broken bones, miscalculated home improvement projects, giant paper mache creations, stoopid pet tricks, insane commitment to outlandish goals, Bacchanalian meals and parties and of course, stories of great love for life. It will be good, so stick around.

So, that is all for now.

I personally apologize for the urine themed welcome. It is not indicative of the blogging to come nor is it something that Sylvia would approve of with any regularity. Welcome and see you soon. Thank you for reading.