Friday, December 10, 2010

Catch up time!

Kael jumping for 37 minutes in a row!
Halloween 2010 - Let it be known that (my) kids eating too much sugar can result in intoxication and drunken behaviors.

First top tooth lost!
My belated birthday present to Kael; I made it, with instructional help from my mom. He loves it!
Baby shower.  Two friends threw it for me, and I got to invite a lot of people I hadn't seen in a while.  I got lots of beautiful and useful gifts, including a group gift of a new infant car seat in girly colors.

My 3 beautiful children all ready for church. Kael is looking especially sharp, I think.

And last but not least, our latest addition.
Lorelai Olivia was born November 26, 2010, minutes after I got to the hospital, and without drugs. 
She weighed in at 8 lbs 10 oz, 20" long, my biggest baby yet.
She's been the perfect little baby, doing everything well. I even get sleep at night!
She has the cutest chubby cheeks with dimples, and has captured the hearts of all her family.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Doctors... Why?

I'm feeling belligerent.

I don't want to go to the doctor.

Oh, I know what they tell you: Once a month until 32 weeks, then every other week until 36 weeks, then every week until you deliver. But why? So they can poke and prod me until I'm sore and my blood supply (which is already stretched) is low? So they can tell me what I already know-- that my baby is doing well? Like the almost constant moving and stretching and pushing she does isn't enough to tell me that. 

And what's with all the tests they want you to do? Are they really ALL necessary?  And I really don't care about what the doctor thinks about how often I should have a pap smear done.  I don't want anyone down there!  I've never had an abnormal result, and I don't think now is the time to try to get one!!!

And what are they going to do to me if I don't go? Or if I don't agree to every test they ask for?  Send me to my room without any supper? I mean, come on.

So, I don't want to go to the doctor.

So there.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Fun at the Children's Museum

So Tristan had a birthday.  He's 3 years old now! And in honor of his birthday, we took everybody to the Children's Museum here in Tucson.  We were all prepared to pay, but when we got there, we found out it was free in honor of the holiday! Great present to us! The kids (and grown-ups too) had a blast, as you'll see below, so much so that they ALL conked out on the way home, as you'll see in the second picture.  All in all, a great day!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

A Sad Day

Today is a sad day. Tristan is officially out of naps. :(

We've been struggling with his sleeping habits ever since we got here, to Arizona. It seemed like he just needed time to adjust, but we were wrong about what he needed to adjust to!  This is especially sad for me, because I still need naps, being pregnant and all. Luckily, Mom is around to keep an eye on him, and Rhydon sometimes too, so if I really need one, I should be able to get one. And if all else fails, he loves the DS we have, and that would get me at least 45 minutes.  And movies have been so rare here, that now they're a special treat and that might get me another 30-45 minutes.

It's not all bad, though.  In two weeks, we will celebrate Tristan's 3rd birthday, and in this family, that means potty training (dut dut duhhhhhh....)!  No naps will make that transition easier, I think.  It also means that in the relatively near future, he will be out of a crib and into a big boy bed, and I've found it nearly impossible to keep my kids in bed for naps once they make that change. So all in all, it all works out.

But I'm still a little sad... ;) :(

Friday, June 25, 2010

Extra! Extra! She finally spills the news!

So I guess now it's time to tell everyone the news... I'm pregnant! And yesterday, I found out it's a girl!  I'll get my sweet little Lorelai sometime in late November.  We're still thinking about middle names, although Olivia has recently topped the list.  Here is a picture of my little cutie: 

Isn't she beautiful?!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

When Life Gives You Pumpkins

We've all heard the phrases. Cliche, quaint, overused phrases people use when bad things happen.

Every cloud has a silver lining.
When God closes a door, he opens a window.
When Life hands you lemons, make lemonade.

But what about when life hands you pumpkins?  And sometimes, that window is really high off the ground.  And it sure is hard to see silver when there's no sun shining.

That's when it's time to turn to Heavenly Father.  He knows when the sun will shine, He knows what to do no matter what life hands you, and He knows how you're supposed to get out that window, whether it's climbing down the fire escape, or grabbing on to Him and flying.  And I'm ready to make some pumpkin pie.

I will soon begin a new chapter in my life as a single mother.  To start, I'll be taking the kids and moving back in with my wonderful, supportive parents in Arizona.  And that means getting rid of a lot of stuff, and starting fresh. I'm going to have a HUGE yard sale (or two), so if you're in the Rexburg area, be sure and stop by!  Everything must go! Liquidation sale! Going out of business!

It wasn't easy getting here, but I know that He understands, and is with me every step of the way.  And with faith in every footstep, I'll go where He wants me to go.

P.S.  Along these lines, I have changed my blog address. This won't affect those of you who are already following my blog, or who get email updates when I post something new. But it is different, and I hope will symbolize this new phase of my life. It is

Thursday, June 3, 2010

I can see clearly now...

... but it has nothing to do with the rain!

Today I took Elizabeth and Kael to the eye doctor for the first time.  Last Saturday, Elizabeth started complaining that her vision was fuzzy, and that her eyes hurt.  It was much upon those years that I got my first pair of glasses, so I couldn't poopoo her complaint. It was too late however to call then, and it was a holiday weekend, so I was pounded with inquiries and reminders all weekend about calling the doctor.  To determine if it was for real a little on our own, Matt found an online test for eyesight not much different from the doctor type, and of course everyone had to try it (at least the ones who knew their alphabet).  Kael had some problems, too.

So first thing Tuesday morning, I made the appointments for Elizabeth and Kael.  And today we went.

Kael got to go first. We all went to the first room where they have that really cool table that rotates to all the different diagnostic instruments. The kids only got to use 2 of them, the "binoculars" and the one where you stare at a picture.  After Kael, was Elizabeth, and then we all went to the examination room.  Kael hopped up in the exam chair with great enthusiasm. It turned out to be kind of an involved process because it turns out Kael is VERY far-sighted!  This surprised me, as I am very near-sighted, but I have since learned that my dad is far-sighted, so there you go.  The doctor even dilated Kael's eyes because the eyes were compensating so much that it was skewing the prescription.  He got his glasses today, and he looks great!

Elizabeth was next. It didn't take nearly as long, because it turns out, ironically, that she doesn't need glasses at all. She's "practically perfect in every way."  She was very upset, however, that she didn't get glasses! So Matt took her to a dollar store and got her some cool reading glasses in the lightest prescription possible.  She looks good too, but I'm not sure I'd be okay if she actually needed to wear them all the time.

Kael is very happy with his new vision, and if he knew the song, he'd probably sing: "I can see clearly now my glasses are on! I can see all obstacles in my way!" Hahahaha.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

A breath of Fresh Aire

Today, I woke up, looked outside at the gloomy, rainy day, and decided it was a Mannheim Steamroller day! Just seeing that kind of day, so common in the spring in Minnesota, where I grew up, threw me back in time. I felt for a moment like I would turn around and be in our house in the country, with its seafoam green siding, large lilac bush, and tree swing.  I decided to start by playing out of my Mannheim piano book, which has select pieces from albums 5, 6, and 7 of Fresh Aire.  I reveled in the music, and gloried in the soreness it produced in my arms from not practicing in a while. :) But I'm a mom, and many other things, and I couldn't really just sit at the piano all day. But what to do? Ahh, my electronic music collection!

cdcovers/mannheim steamroller/fresh aire vi.jpgI went into my music player and made a new playlist of Fresh Aire albums 2-7 (don't have number one... Family? Ideas?)  As soon as it came on, I could remember lying on my aged lace comforter on my lopsided double bed, in my pink room with the two-toned pink shag carpet and large orange dresser, reading The Secret Garden, Jane Eyre and Little Women. Or playing with my barbies, or dolls, or whatever I did in  my room, because I spent a lot of time there!

Isn't it amazing the power of music in evoking memories? One strain, and you can remember almost anything, from your first day of school, to your high school boyfriends/girlfriends, to your wedding dance, to just the feeling of your mother's love.  It's comforting to know that whenever I'm missing someone, or something, all I have to do is find the music that recalls it to my memory.

But we must also be careful, as inappropriate music choices can damage or stain memories forever.

Music is power. And with great power, comes great responsibility.
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Friday, May 7, 2010

Leaving Facebook

I took the plunge and severed ties with Facebook. There were many reasons for this decision.  Mostly, it is a major time-sucker. I had over 300 friends and checking their sometimes multiple statuses even just once a day took a large chunk of time, not to mention all the fan pages. I had also got sucked into some of the games, which took even more time.  Also, Facebook has no respect for anyone's privacy, and their "privacy" policies are only to cover their own butts. Plus, every time they would make a change, everything would default to a public option. Not cool.

I am joined in my leaving by my mother and brother.  My husband remains on, because he is addicted to technology, but I love him anyway. I know I also have several friends considering the move also.

I'm going to link to a couple articles I found influential in my decision, and helpful in my attempts to complete it.

How to Delete Your Facebook Account (because they don't make it easy)
10 Reasons to Quit Facebook

And a funny video about how absurd Facebook can be.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Adventures in Bountiful Baskets #1: Asian Cabbage Soup

So I do this AWESOME thing called Bountiful Baskets.  Basically a whole bunch of people put their money together and buy fresh produce and some other things for a discount.  They have a regular basket, and then some optional add-ons, usually including a themed set of vegetable. This week the theme was Asian.  So we got fresh basil and cilantro, ginger, garlic, green onions, a coconut (still not sure exactly what to do with THAT), bok choy (also a mystery), and napa cabbage. Today as I was cleaning the kitchen I was struck with a fabulous idea: Asian Cabbage Soup!  It turned out really well, so here is the recipe:

Asian Cabbage Soup

1 head Napa cabbage
1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced
Fresh Ginger, need 1/4 cup grated
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
2 large cloves garlic, pressed
1 32-oz box broth *I used Imagine No-Chicken Broth because we're vegetarian
1/4-1/2 cup gluten-free soy sauce (to taste)
Tabasco (optional)
Crushed red pepper flakes (optional)

Quarter cabbage lengthwise, then thinly slice cross-wise.   Add everything to large soup pot, bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 10 minutes or until the cabbage is tender and the flavors start to blend.  Serve hot, topped with Tabasco and/or pepper flakes, if desired.

Here's a fun fact about cabbage: it's full of Vitamin C!  That's right, there are more ways to get your Vitamin C than drinking sugary orange juice.  Cabbage, especially cooked or fermented (like sauerkraut), is good for digestion.  Enjoy! Let me know if you try it and like it, or if you made any fabulous changes!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Adventures in Baking: Episode 1: Sourdough

So, it's been a month of no blogging. Sorry!  I've been very busy getting settled in our new place.  We got a FABULOUS deal, a four bedroom house for $650 a month! It's only through April, and then we renegotiate (or move?), but until then, we're making the most of it.

So, we recently decided we weren't going to take any more help from the government, so we're trying to save money, especially in the food area.  Oh, but we do love those artisan breads!  So I decided to go crazy and make my own sourdough starter, and then bread.  It sure was torture waiting those first couple weeks for the starter to get started! And the first couple of loaves weren't very sour, but it's gotten better and better as we go, so YAY!!!

Several of you, my readers, have asked me for tips, tricks and a recipe!  Well, I just used this one from Better Homes and Gardens, which I actually got from the recipe book that my mother-in-love gave me for my first birthday married to Matt. (Thanks, KathieMom!)  I don't think I've ever had to change anything, except to vary how much flour I use, which changes according to the weather.

I have learned a few things, though, both from experience and research.  One thing that may throw a lot of people off is that sourdough tastes different based on where you live. No matter how hard you try, even if you bought starter from San Francisco, you cannot make San Francisco sourdough unless you live in San Francisco.  Sorry.  Sourdough gets sour from the various bacteria and things in the air, and the air is different in San Francisco than it is in Rexburg, Michigan, Arizona, or Alaska.  So you must first accept this fact.

Also, it takes a while for things to ferment. You don't need to age your starter for a year (like most wines) or longer to get it good and sour, but it does take longer than a few weeks.  My starter actually smells stronger now than it did when I made my first loaf.

Last, I've learned that I need to double my starter, because my family likes this bread, and it is usually gone within a couple of days, and the first loaf is gone the first day. So in order to make it more often, I added more replenishing stuff to my starter last time. I think I may need a bigger container.

My next adventure will be based on the book: Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day, by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois.  I've only read a little, but what I've read is very exciting, and may very well revolutionize my baking life! So stay tuned for the next episode of... Adventures in Baking!!!!