Sunday, May 10, 2009

Chop Stick Success

This week I've had a bad cold ... the kind where my skin and hair hurt--yeah, that kind. Luckily it was not Swine Flu ... but it still was not pretty. And of course, it wasn't just me who was sick, but 2 of the kids as well. Actually, on a normal week this probably wouldn't have been too bad--hey, we all get sick and mothers always rally to their call, right? But this week was especially long. Our youngest son had not been feeling the best for 5-6 days prior to this and was waking up 4 times a night which is very unusual and left me very tired! I thought it might be teeth coming in or just a brief sore throat ... nope ... it was double ear infections! And our middle son got a cold too ... and every time he started running around (because for some odd reason when kids get sick they don't mope around like us adults) he'd start a coughing fit and end up coughing so hard he'd throw up! Ug! But the kicker was that it not only was Mother's Day this weekend, but also our anniversary on Wednesday. And of course the cold hit the morning of our anniversary and lasted right through Mother's Day (although it's clearing up amazingly quickly considering I didn't know if I'd make it through Thursday alive.)

But I'm not writing for pity ... I'm just glad to say that I'm feeling better, the kids are on the upswing and the biggest news is that we even got to go out to eat this weekend for our anniversary. Yes, the two of us ... sans kids! Love our kids, don't get me wrong ... but it is a rare moment that I enjoy a meal where I don't put down my silverware 100 times to get something for someone else, feed someone while feeding myself or get to the end of the meal and wonder if I had what was in the casserole dish or the babyfood dish.

It was an evening that I was looking forward to ALL day. I must admit I was a little disappointed when my husband seemed a bit more excited about his plans for putting in the new screen door on the back porch and spraying for weeds instead of thinking about supper plans all day. And then the babysitter was about 45 minutes late due to a long soccer tournament and forgetting that it was Saturday night and where she was supposed to be ... but ... it ended up being a blessing as we were able to get our little guy his meal and medicine and settled in before leaving. And we actually tried a new restaurant that is usually packed. But since we were a little behind the supper crowd our wait wasn't unreasonable.

Now, I am not against trying new things ... but, we tend to default to Olive Garden all the time--their salad is just so good and we go out so rarely we hate to be disappointed. Saturday night though my husband decided to insist we try something new even though I was a bit more than hesitant ... boy I'm sure glad he insisted. It was SO good! The restaurant is named "Jiamen," and it is a new restuarant in town and it's claim to fame is "Innovative Asian Cuisine"--(it's probably a chain but please don't tell me because I want to believe this is something unique and special.)

Now what scared me was the word "Innovative"--it's not a word I associate with food very often. But after being greeted by life size stone warriors out front and taking in the calming Asian atmosphere and then being seated right in front of the Hockey playoff games in the bar area while we waited for a seat for dinner how could we complain! Unfortunately my sense of smell has yet to return but Jeff said the food smelled so wonderful and our meal was nothing short of wonderful! But the biggest thing I have to mention is the fact that for the first time in my life I was able to use chop sticks! I actually just picked them up to humor myself only to find that somehow I was suddenly able to move the ends of them to actually function the way I wanted them to! I was stunned. I had to pause and just flat out say to my husband how bizarre this was and how I was going to have to put my mid-Western humbleness away and just be proud of myself for the evening! In fact, I decided I was going to try to eat my whole meal with them ... the only thing was I was afraid to set them down for fear I'd never figure out how to pick them up again and that it was sincerely a fluke thing. I did finally put them down so I could get a drink of water and it wasn't a fluke thing--I was able to get them to work again. I just cannot tell you how weird this is because I have sincerely tried in the past and it just has not clicked. I'm thinking that maybe my mind has been working on it without me knowing or something. Or maybe it was because I was so enthralled with the neat little white bench that they had to rest them on next to my plate. (I think it would also work great for resting my watercolor paint brushes.) In any event it made my day. Jeff tried but said he didn't think it was his thing and he hoped that if he travels soon to China for work that it will not reflect poorly on him if he uses Western silverware (maybe I should pack him some just in case they aren't available!)

Anyway, about a month and a half ago I made an Asian inspired meal for my family (remember this would be a 3.5 year old and a 6 year old along with my husband so it was NOT all that ethnic)--but just for fun I set the table JUST with chop sticks. Oh the funny look on their faces when they sat down to eat after saying grace and found sticks! Easton decided to give them a try and here is a photo of his way of using them :-) Maybe it was his perserverence to figure them out that inspired me?
Enjoy.

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The family

The family