As we leave the house for summer camp one morning, Nariah asks can we take her American Girl doll to Maliyah’s house that evening as she’s going over there after camp to stay until Toya gets home from work. I have tickets to the advance screening of the Lone Ranger, but its in Tysons Corner and the “rules” say be there by 7, so I would have to leave prior to Toya making it home. Those familiar with DC metro traffic will know that from Germantown to Tysons in rush hour is not a good idea.
Sure thing baby, matter of fact… I’ll get Emily and put her in the car so we’ll already have her when I pick you up and we won’t even have to go home first!
Yeah daddy!!! Thanks!!!

Flash forward…
Literally sitting in traffic with co-worker Lamont (going to the movie also), on the way to pick up Nariah (which is about 30 mins in the opposite direction of the movies during rush hour) and it is not moving at all. We have to be at daycare by 6pm and it is not looking good. Kim, (Maliyah’s mom), calls me around 5:45 “Hey Ryan… just letting you know, I’m home now so you can drop Nariah off whenever!
Oh ok cool, but we’re still far away and traffic’s not moving…
Well, did you want me to go pick up Nariah? I’m just down the street
Hmmm… that actually might work! I think you’re still on the list. I’ll still head that way just in case but I’ll try to call and verify

So we’re now we’re driving towards the camp and slowing down by each exit in case Kim calls and gives the green like for us to make our U-turn exit. We finally get the “OK, got her” confirmation and proceed for the next exit. I ask to talk to Nariah to apologize for not being there and to wish her lots of fun with Maliyah. And this is where it began. I don’t have the audio to give you, but if you know Nariah, please imagine full on sad face poutiness in a voice that would make you give her that last piece of bacon off your sandwich.

Daddy??? I don’t have my American Girl doll…
I know baby, I’m so sorry, I’m stuck in traffic and Ms Kim was able to help and pick you up for me. You will be ok right?
But daddy, we were going to have an American Girl party…
I know baby, I can make it up to you, I promise!
Can’t you just still come? We can wait for you here….” (voice starts to crack at this point)
Baby, we turned around and headed to VA right now, remember I’m going to the movies? I’m in traffic on the other side now
But daddy…. what if Ms Kim takes us to the movies and then you bring it outside to us?
Nariah, that’s a good idea but we’re not at a movie theater close to home. I’ll tell you what, what if I pick you up early tomorrow, and we go to Walmart and you can pick out whatever toy you want?!?!
Nariah whimpers… “Please can we come get Emily? I really want her
I know Nariah… I feel really bad. What about Target? we can go there??

At this point Lamont says “man down man down!“, and takes the phone from me to try to help the situation. I don’t know exactly what was said by Nariah, but he gave me the phone back looking defeated…
Playing this all back, Lamont gave me his version of what he saw. It was a boxing match, and Nariah had me on the ropes, and was beating me down. Body blow, upper cut, cross! He wanted to throw in the towel, but said I gave a look like “don’t do it coach!“. What he described as what happened next was that it was like the last 5 seconds of the final boxing round, I have no chance of winning the match, Nariah is still beating me down on the ropes, and then out of nowhere I pulled out the victory punch.

Oooooh Nariah… I just thought of something… The mall that we are going to for the movies, that’s where the American Girl store is. What if I run down there, and buy you a new outfit and some accessories for Emily?
You could hear the whole scenery change at Nariah’s location thru the phone. You could hear the sun coming out, the birds started chirping, babies were giggling in the background. I could tell by the voice that Nariah was smiling and what ever tears she had, they were not there anymore!
Really daddy!?!?!!?!?!!? You can do that?!?!?!!?
I looked at Lamont, and mouthed with a sigh of relief “WHEW!!!
Yes baby, I can do that, would that help make you feel better?
Yes daddy
Ok, so I’ll call Ms Kim’s phone when I get there and I can describe to you the outfits and you tell me which ones you like ok?
Ok daddy, thank you daddy!!! Do you want to talk back to Ms Kim now?
Sure baby… I love you!
I love you too daddy! You’re still the best daddy ever!

Kim comes on the phone and snickers “Soooooooo, how much did this doghouse set you back? hahaha
When I got off the phone, Lamont says “Man… you got out of that one! I’m impressed! I thought you were out for the count! She had you on the ropes!
Who you telling? I thought I was done too. I don’t think I could’ve gone home tonight if I hadn’t come up with that idea!

Kids… They make this all worth it! Find joy in the many ways to make your children smile…  Knowing that the morning will be like Christmas morning to her when she sees what I got for her on the breakfast table will definitely mend the guilt.


We’re standing outside of the dining hall at a wedding during cocktail hour, waiting to be seated. As we’re killing time, Nariah says out of the blue, “I wish Unca CJ was here“.
Unca CJ? Why you say that?
He’s fun and would get the party started.
Ohhh, you want unca CJ because he dances and stuff?
Yeah…
What about daddy? You already know I get my dance on. Can Unca CJ do this?
I proceed to do a number of different routines in front of her, in the narrow space, full of people. There is obvious some sort of slight embarrassment going on between both Toya and Nariah at this point.
As I break into my 3rd different dance, saying “Well what about this? Can he do this? Huh? Can he?“, Nariah cuts me off. She points at me with this semi “shaking my head” look mixed with a little of “you’re so not cool daddy” look and says : “Daddy???? Stop….. This is not a competition…..

Toya busts out laughing at my expense of course while Nariah goes back to eating her hors d’oeuvres with a face that kinda looks like it’s saying “finally!”

I laughed a little but on the inside I was saying “Fine! Go and get your Unca CJ then, hmph“. It was indeed funny, but I couldn’t laugh too much since she’s played me. LOL.


Wow, really? 100? Never imagined when I started this blog that I would ever get a hundred posts about things Nariah has said.  Very cool milestone! Here’s to many more! Also coincidentally happening with this post is Nariah’s first official post on her own blog, a critique of Texas Roadhouse (the setting for this blog post actually) over at The Littlest Palate. So go ahead and subscribe to her blog for her perspective on life from a little foodie’s standpoint. The email subscriptions are managed separately from this one for some reason. And now… on to #100 🙂

We’re out in the mountains of Virginia for a wedding and we have a few hours to kill before heading to it. Nariah wants to swim in the pool, but we tell her we have to eat first, and if we have time, we’ll swim before heading out to the wedding. Since there isn’t a Texas Roadhouse “near” us, we almost have to go to one whenever we travel and see one. Their bread with the cinnamon butter…… OMG…… oops, sorry, I digress…

We end up telling the waitress that my birthday is in two days and I made a point to tell them if they bring cake and ice cream, don’t bring chocolate due to my allergy. “Oh… we don’t do that… I don’t know why tho, but I know we don’t give away free dessert. At my other job, they always give out some dessert or something for birthdays, its very cool… But yeah… sorry“.

As she leaves, I start to think what I can do for dessert since the dessert menu for some reason looked bleak today. “Ooooooh, I think I want to go back to Cookout and get that Cheerwine Float, now that would be awesome!
Ummmm No daddy…
No? What you mean Nariah?
No you can’t have that. If you get that, you’re gonna poot in the pool and I’m not having that!

She got me. No comment….


First off, let me apologize for the delay in posts. I have food posts lined up to share on here and there have definitely been other “Nariah” moments, but life has just been hectic lately between the job and family life. Blogging just took a back seat. Not to mentioned we just started up Nariah’s own blog on the side for the world’s viewing pleasure. 😮
http://thelittlestpalate.wordpress.com/about/

Soooo, with that out of the way and without further ado….
(This is not “overly” humorous, moreso it was a cute pick-me-up based on the day I was having, I personally did laugh tho…)

The evening started off pretty wacko. I was at home, getting ready to leave to go get Nariah from after school care. I was kinda rushing as to not be late. I had just woken up from a 30 min nap (feel free to use this in my defense of what is about to happen), and opened the door to witness a monsoon happening. Now I knew it was raining, but not of the monsoonativic nature that was going on. So I grabbed my umbrella and stepped outside when my phone did the loud emergency distracting beep. “What now?? Oh… flood warning… ugh, that’s just great…

So I close the door, and walk to the car…. “My keys!?!?!?
Next was like a scene from the Old Spice commercial, look at your man, now look at me. I looked at the door, looked at the car, looked at the door again, looked at the ground, looked at the sky, looked at the car, “are you serious??!?”, looked at the door yet again, looked down the street, looked at the ground, looked at the door one more time, looked at the phone for the current time, “Oh snap, I’m gonna be late!!

Needless to say I had to walk to school, in the monsoonado, and in my nice semi-suede grey Jordans, which now have become like anchor weights as water in some spots are up past my ankles. I also noticed that I’m out of shape during this hike as well, but we won’t go there.  Luckily at school, one of Nariah’s friend’s parents offered to give us a ride home, to where we sought refuge in the neighbor’s house while we waited for Toya to come home. This wait would easily be an hour due to DC area traffic in monsoonomic weather.

Striking up conversation, as Miss Nariah is easily capable of doing, we talked about everything with our neighbors over some cookies and juice. Two of the household members were in a bad car accident not too long ago, and we compared that with the bad one Nariah and I were in last year, which Nariah ever so animatedly described. Somehow this convo lead into talking about this house’s direct neighbors being nosey and like the police, as they were always coming over their house about every little thing.
The Police?!?!!? Daddy, I wish we knew that last year…. when we had that accident.
Why you say that baby?
Because we could’ve used them to help us out when we got hit, instead of waiting for other police.
Ha ha, no baby, what she means is that the neighbors act like they are the police sometimes by the way they do things.
With an “ohhhh I get it” look on her face she says, “Ahhhhhh, They think its Halloween… I don’t think that would’ve helped us.”


Its the first day of spring break and Toya’s mom has surprised Nariah with bringing up her two cousins from Florida along with her as they visit with us. Unfortunately for Toya and myself, we both have to work today, but to the kids, that’s a day without parents. Shortly after eating breakfast, Nariah starts off a conversation :
Mama Caiden… you’re in charge today ok?
Ok, I’m in charge. Now the first thing… you and your cousin need to come back in the kitchen and clean off your mess from the table.
Aww man… why?
I’m in charge right?
Yeah but… you’re supposed to be in charge of FUN stuff, not that kinda stuff!

http://agimpylife.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/in-charge3.jpg


I know it’s been a minute since I’ve posted anything. And no, Nariah hasn’t stopped with her humorous ways. I’ve just been slacking. I’m trying to get back on the ball.
We went to the playground today, and Nariah ends up meeting and playing with a couple of girls, one of whom is a couple of years younger. They are playing with a baby doll the other girl brought with her when all of a sudden she looks at Nariah’s face and says, “Wow… why are you teeth so big!!?!?!?!?
As a parent overhearing this you wonder if your child is about to get their feelings hurt, start crying or any of the other possibilities. Silly me… I forgot who I was talking about, this is Nariah. She, in a almost “duh…” type response, replies “Well… my teeth fell out….
Now the other girl is even more shocked. “Your teeth fell out?!?!?!  What the what?!?!!“.  Ok, so maybe “what the what” wasn’t said, but my mind surely did insert that into what seemed like the next logical thing out of this kids mouth was, given the conversation.
Yeah, I’ve lost 4 teeth, and I have 3 loose ones right now…“. Nariah then started giving this girl history of her teeth, from the fateful day when a wagon broke her first tooth at daycare to how she gets Tinkerbell instead of the Toothfairy to deliver her teeth money.

Toya and I just sit on the swings chuckling as we witness what started out as an potentially sensitive topic become a campfire storytelling session.
What’dya know? Crisis adverted.

big teeth paci


Unfortunately, Nariah has fallen victim just like kids around the country to the recent trend of illness. Everybody all over the country is getting sick right now. Going through the trials of being worrisome parents in not knowing if its the flu, strep, this, that, or the other one over there, you notice the progression in life. As infants, you just have a crying baby, and have no clue what is wrong. You try any and everything. Then you get to the stage where they can talk and tell you what’s hurting, and you think this is the most wonderful thing in life that now you “know”. That then rolls into EVERYTHING being a stomach ache. Is it something they ate? They don’t want to go to school? Do they really know the difference between aches and pain? All in all, nothing pains you more than seeing your child suffering and not knowing what you can do to help him or her. Nonetheless, there always seems to be a silver lining to be found.

Toya and I have been tag-teaming home duty and today she took Nariah in to the Dr’s since her fever made a return late last night. I just received this email from Toya’s blackberry, and while it doesn’t give out “information”, this is pretty much one of the best forms of assurance I’ve received as a parent from a 5 year old child that things are “OK”. (copied as sent) :

Dear.   Dadddy.    The.     Apontmamt.       Is.  Over.  We’re heading out.  Love.          Nariah 🙂

Love that girl!

http://bookwormsreadmorebooks.files.wordpress.com/2011/05/sick.jpg


We’re sitting at the dinner table on Christmas day. Somehow the subject came up about Ledo Pizza. I mentioned “Man… Mommy and I do not like Ledo’s! But it seems everybody in MD loves them for some reason!
My mom asks, “What’s wrong with Ledo’s?
Well, I think its just not good, that’s all. I mean, they only give you one pepperoni per slice of pizza, and its like a pepperoni cup, filled with grease, lol
Eewww daddy!
I mean, the last time I was there, I didn’t even get pizza, I got lasagna… And they served it to me in a bowl!
Toya looks up from her plate; “A bowl? come on now Ryan…
I’m serious! It was in a bowl, and it looked like soup, there was a layer of grease sitting on top of it. I literally soaked the top of the lasagna bowl up with some napkins… Hmmm, does that make me bourgeois bougie?” (I know “bourgeois” is the right spelling, but “bougie” just looks and flows better)
Toya contemplates; “Uhhhhh
And then Nariah chimes in; “No daddy, that doesn’t make you bougie!
It doesn’t? Why thank you Nariah!
It makes you particular!

Now the whole table is laughing at me. I think even Toryn was laughing too. And the whole time Nariah has this look that said “That was good wasn’t it daddy? Come on… give me some credit!

Hmph!


Its Sunday afternoon. We’re leaving the indoor pool from Toryn’s make-up swimming lessons. Normally after lessons during the week, Nariah goes to Subway for dinner. She asks can we do Subway for lunch. Toya replies “Subway is for people who actually get IN the water, did you get in the water?
No… but can we still get it? I’m hungry.
Toryn can get Subway, but I don’t think he wants any, so we’re gonna eat at home.
Please, I would really like some Subway.
Daddy bought a lot of groceries last night, we’re gonna eat at home.
That’s right, I spent $228 dollars last night at Giant, we have plenty of food to eat at home.
There’s about a 4 second moment of silence in the back seat, but you can hear the gears turning in her brain.

I was gonna suggest that you use mommy’s money to get Subway…

This girl gets her manipulation on!


A couple of years ago, we went to my parents for Thanksgiving. They didn’t have their deep fryer anymore and I was broken-hearted. I refused to go back to regular baked turkey, so I embarked on a grilling method since they still had their grill. My mom didn’t want me experimenting with her baked turkey so she bought me a turkey breast to experiment on. Since they have a normal grill and not a smoker, I used a technique to create a makeshift smoker. I will say this… the bacon weave turkey was the first to be devoured. 😮

  • One turkey breast, cleaned and skinned.
  • Turkey injector marinade (I used Creole Butter)
  • Your favorite rub (I used garlic powder, Jane’s Krazy Salt, and a little bit of oregano)
  • A pack of pork bacon (Turkey bacon simply does NOT have enough fat, it will crisp up and break apart while on the grill)
  • Apple juice (In a spray bottle. Any spray bottle from the walmart travel hair section will do)
  • Olive Oil
  • Wood chips soaked in water overnight

If you have the time to let the turkey sit overnight, definitely do the turkey prep part first and let it sit in the fridge. Following instructions on the injector marinade you are using, inject the breast meat and apply the marinade while withdrawing the needle. The guidelines on the bottle usually say half a bottle per turkey, but I use the whole bottle for this breast. Lightly coat turkey breast in olive oil and apply rub liberally to the meat.

On a large cutting board, prepare to start bacon weaving. line up 7-8 strips (however many strips it takes to equal the length of one strip of bacon laid across lengthwise) of bacon vertically side by side and starting at bottom (or top), lay one strip of bacon horizontally, going over and under. It may help after this first row to put toothpicks on the end to keep the ends in place. Fold each vertical strip that is on the “under” side of the horizontal strip down over that horizontal strip so that only the “over” strips are still lined up. Lay another horizontal strip of bacon above previous horizontal strip and over the vertical strips. Now fold back “up” the vertical strips  you folded down before and then fold down the strips that were previously “up”. Repeat this step until to you get to the end and you should have a nice bacon weave. There are other ways to weave but this worked out easy and efficiently for me. It will definitely help to have extra hands to help you transfer this to the turkey or you can lay the turkey breast-side down on the weave and then pin the edges of the bacon to the turkey with toothpicks. (Let sit overnight in fridge if you have the time available)

Prepare the grill for indirect grilling with a drip pan in the middle. With aluminum foil, put a handful of the soaked woodchips into the middle and loosely roll this up into a tube, leaving the ends open (so that the smoke can escape). Be prepared to either have multiple tubes ready or to refill the ones your using throughout the cooking process. Place one tube on each side of the grill, directly on top of the coals. Place the turkey into the center of the grate and close lid. Spray with apple juice every 10-15 minutes, but very quickly as to not let the heat/smoke escape. (The apple juice add flavor and helps keep the bacon from cooking too crispy or burning. When the bacon looks nice and done, after about 25-30 minutes, remove turkey and wrap with foil and then return to grill and cook for another 20-25 minutes. The time depends on the size of your bird and this was just a breast. For a whole turkey, say 15 pounder, you’re looking at about 3 hours total cook time. And always check the meat to make sure its done deep down inside.

Remove turkey to a dish and unwrap from foil into dish. You will want a dish with high edges because as soon as you cut into the turkey, juices will be flowing. Make sure you get your plate first before serving everyone else, they may not leave any for you.  Enjoy!  (This also works with cornish hens).
The slideshow below shows the detailed steps. I apologize for not having a picture in process of the weaving, I did this 3am while everyone was sleep.

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