Friday, December 18, 2009

Snow!

Dear Houston airport people,

this is what real snow looks like. Not the half inch dusting that ended up delaying my flight 21 hours. Seriously.







Sincerely,

Annoyed Mom who spent 9 hours sitting at the airport with two small children, only to make the hour long drive back home to spend another night at her own house...

Monday, November 23, 2009

Monday, Monday....

We've been having a nice and busy day today. Kids are already off school, so we've been enjoying each other's company. Wilbert, a family friend who is currently living with us, got some gingerbread houses for the kids, and we decorated them this morning. The kids had a blast! So did I. I don't think I've ever decorated one before. We each had a little house, and we ended up making a little gingerbread village. Cute!



I actually spent most of the morning sitting on the couch with Elly. She has some bug and has been really sleepy all day. She also has a low grade fever. I hope it's a fleeting illness, since we have plans to go to Arkansas on Wednesday to spend Thanksgiving with Dave's brother's family...

Right now, Bryan is at gymnastics, and I just finished harvesting a bunch of produce from the garden. Exciting times! The garden is doing really well, actually. Today, I got green beans, kohlrabi, bell peppers, one little broccoli, and lettuce. Yum! I'm not sure about the broccoli, it didn't get very big, but it did look like it was ready to harvest. Don't know how the other plants are going to turn out, we'll see. For the green beans, this was actually the second round. I already picked quite a lot a couple of weeks ago, and made some yummy green bean soup. These ones I'm going to probably cut up, blanch, and then freeze, for more green bean soup later this winter. :o) The kohlrabi is very good and tender, we just eat it raw. The lettuce is excellent, too, and I'm happy we still have a few bell peppers out there! There aren't a whole lot left, and they don't grow all that big anymore, but they're nice for a snack. I have one kale plant out there this year, and that is growing nicely, too. The sugar snap peas are getting flowers, so we should have some snap peas to snack on soon! The carrots are growing nice and big, too, though they'll probably be a few more weeks. Carrots take a long time to grow... So there, my garden update! Just for you, Christie. ;o)

Monday, November 16, 2009

Journey in mothering

I've been a mother for nearly a decade. A decade! That's a mighty long time. Well, to me, anyway. :o) During the last 10 years, I have learned a lot. Mothering has been a journey. I think the single most important thing that having children has taught me is to trust my instincts. Forget what the books say. I am the only expert when it comes to raising my children. Well, Dave is to some extend, but let's face it, I'm the one who spends the most time with them. :p When it comes to labels, I suppose I would fall under the category of what some call "attachment parenting". I think I prefer to call it "instinctive parenting". Over the years, I have learned to trust my own instincts enough to drop parenting practices that are often considered important, or convenient, or beneficial for fostering independence, or whatever. Take, for example, the cry-it-out approach to sleep training. There came a point where it just didn't feel right. While everyone seemed to be telling me that it was important for my children to learn to put themselves to sleep, it just didn't feel right to put them in a room, close the door, and let them scream for however long it took for total exhaustion to set in. Or for them to give up on you. So, sleep training is no longer practiced at our house. Sure, there are mornings I wake up wondering whether I ever even went to sleep, but ultimately, it's worth it to me. Another one of those practices that just "feels right" is allowing the kids to breastfeed past the age of one. What's so magical about the first birthday, anyway? Breastmilk certainly doesn't lose its nutritional value overnight, and I feel allowing the child to set the pace when it comes to weaning is beneficial in more ways than just nutrition. I think I have come to a point in life where I look at "mainstream" parenting practices, and I can't help but wonder why? Why are we in such a hurry to make kids grow up? Why do we think we need to teach them independence by sticking them in a crib in a dark room and making them scream when they're just a few months old? In many ways, trusting and following my instincts when it comes to mothering has been really liberating. It has removed a lot of stress from my life. Instead of looking at children as mini adults and expecting them to behave as such, I am learning to look at them and take them for who they are. I am learning to respect their needs, instead of forcing on them my perception of what their needs should be. It is an ongoing process, of course. Today, I know I am not the same person I was yesterday. I am constantly striving to be a better mother, and to be able to better help my children become the best they can be. Throughout this journey, I have had the priviledge of getting to know and learning from other mothers. I am so glad I have had the opportunity to make friends who are wonderful moms to their children, and who inspire me to do better, and be better. One of these mothers who is a true inspiration to me is Arianne. We only knew each other for a short time when we lived in Logan, but it has been wonderful to keep up with her through her blog, Still Parenting. She blogs about her own journey in mothering, in raising and teaching her children. I know it's going to be a good day when I open up my google reader and see a post from her. :o) My hope is that I will be able to continue to learn, to improve, and to get to know my children better each day. After all, they are the most important thing in my life, and raising them is the most important thing I will ever do.

Monday, November 09, 2009

20 Years

November 9th, 1989 was a historic day. It was the day the Berlin Wall fell. Of course, the way to the German reunion wasn't just a single day occurrence, but the fall of the Wall became the symbol of freedom for the people of East Germany (and ultimately what was known as the East Block, several countries in central and eastern Europe that had been under Communist rule). It all started in the summer of '89, when Hungary decided to open up the border to Austria, and allowed East Germans to cross into Western territory. Later, the Czechs followed suit and began to allow East Germans to travel into West Germany. I was only 11 at the time, but I vividly remember watching the news, and seeing trains packed with people crossing into the "forbidden" land. Soon, people inside East Germany began to congregate and organize, and started up the "Monday Demonstrations". All of these events, as well as involvement from great foreign leaders on both sides of the Iron Curtain, ultimately led to the fall of the Berlin Wall, and subsequently the Communist government. Initially, my little 11 year old mind had a difficult time grasping the gravity of what was happening. In fact, I dare say most East Germans had difficulty grasping just what all of this would mean for them. Freedom, after all, came at a price. High unemployment rates (we're talking upward of 20% in some parts of East Germany), a struggling economy, and a continued rift between East and West are realities many Germans face to this day. Facing capitalism was, in many ways, a rude awakening for many people. Living under a Communist dictatorship was no easy lot, but neither is being slave to the cruel realities of a capitalist society. A realization many are still struggling with. Still, I believe the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall is cause for celebration, and hope for the continued effort on both sides of the now invisible wall to turn Germany back into a truly united country. :o)

Sunday, November 08, 2009

First week - Success!

I can't believe we already finished up the first week with the kids' chore charts! Overall, I think it went really well. Tyler totally loves the structure it gives him. Bryan is getting into it, as well. Kaylee still hasn't quite grasped the concept/point behind this whole idea, but she's getting there. She does enjoy putting up her stars, but I still have to remind her most of the time of what she needs to do and when she needs to do it. Hopefully she'll catch on as we continue. :o)

Friday, November 06, 2009

New record!

Bryan set a new personal record this evening, when he managed to hold a handstand for 47 seconds. The kid never ceases to amaze me with his mad gymnastics skills. Every Friday, I go watch him during his practice, and every Friday I am blown away by what he is able to do (he goes on Tuesdays and Thursdays, too, but I don't get to stay and watch those days). He has such amazing control over his body, is incredibly strong, and he has great form, as well. The routines they practice for the meets are compulsory, meaning everyone does the same elements. Each apparatus also has a bonus option, and he actually performs all of his routines with the bonus. It's, well, amazing. He also set a personal record on the mushroom (the last apparatus on this little video) today. He managed to go around 5 times (and a half, he insists!). He keeps asking me to get him one for Christmas, so he can practice at home. I told him we don't have a money tree. :p Love that kid. :D

Thursday, November 05, 2009

For your reading pleasure

You may have already seen this one. If you're like me, it's in your google reader. It's hilarious! I will never look at cakes (especially on store display shelves) the same way again. :p

Cakewrecks

Seriously, check it out. It'll be worth your time, I promise. :D

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

The quest continues...

The quest to become more organized, that is. I had a little system in place with the kids last year, over the summer, where we kept a sort of schedule of everything they needed to do each day, and the time they spent watching TV and playing computer. It worked quite well, but once school started, we abandoned the schedule and got back into our normal routine - of not having one. haha Of course, with 4 kids, life doesn't get any less busy. While I'm not a huge fan of too much structure, we were getting to the point where something had to be done. We were always busy busy busy, yet the kids seemed to magically find time to constantly bug me about playing the wii or computer or watching TV. Enough is enough, I said. Something had to be done. I've also been wanting to get myself more organized, and to waste less time (namely, on facebook...). So I decided I should get myself one of those awesome whiteboard calendars that you can write in each month. While at Target the other day, I went to look for one. That shopping trip ended up being a success all around. Not only did I find the kind of whiteboard calendar I was looking for, but I found these awesome chore charts with little star magnets, made just for kids! And some delicious artisan sourdough bread and Ritter Sport chocolate. Told you the shopping trip was a success. :p Anyway, I digress. I ended up getting each of the kids their own board (except Elly, she's too little). They love them! I've worked out the initial plan for getting important things done, earning time for electronic entertainment, and being accountable for time spent playing/watching said electronic entertainment. So far, so good! It's a work in progress, and I'm sure things are going to get changed around as time goes on. I'm just glad I've found something to hopefully cut down on the TV/wii/computer time, and help give the kids some sort of structure. We'll see how it works out over time. :o)

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Halloween

Better late than never, right? (And yes, I know I already missed a day for NaBloPoMo...) We had a pretty fun day Saturday. I'm not a huge fan of Halloween, to be honest. I had no idea what Halloween even was until a few years ago, and now it's spreading throughout the world like a wildfire (or so it seems). Globalization? Commercialization? Well, whatever the case may be, the kids do get excited for it, so I try to be nice and play along. I still refuse to spend $30 on a cheaply made costume, though, so we reuse, reduce, recycle at our house. :p Tyler was a ninja (in his karate costume, so creative, I know!), Bryan was wolverine for the second (or third?) time in a row, Kaylee wore a tulle skirt we bought at a silent auction to benefit the young women at our church, and a pair of fairy (butterfly, whatever) wings she got at a friend's birthday party, and Elly wore Kaylee's costume from last year (a bit big, but hey, it worked, and she'll probably get to wear it a couple more times, hehe). Earlier in the day, we carved our pumpkin. When I pulled off the top, this is what I saw.



Cool, isn't is? I've never seen anything like it before! The gardener in me had a really hard time not just taking those little babies and planting them in the garden. It took some convincing myself that it is Fall, after all, and even in TX you don't plant pumpkins in the Fall. Unfortunately. When we were done carving the pumpking, we took it out to the front door, along with a few smaller pie pumpkins that the kids decorated (and that are going to be un-decorated later this week, to be turned into pumpkin pie, or pumpkin bread, or pancakes, or something).

Later on, Dave took the kids trick-or-treating.



I stayed home so I could play on facebook. Uh, I mean, answer the door for the large numbers of trick-or-treaters we expected (all 20 of them, hehe).

The kids fared well. I'm glad I decided not to hand out candy this year (playdoh and little games are so much more fun, aren't they???), so at least I didn't add to the pile of candy that is now sitting in a bowl on top of our fridge (and that is mysteriously shrinking by the hour...).



And that, my friends, is the story of our awesomely scary (not really) and FUN Halloween. :p



Don't you love the one eyed pumpkin without a nose? He got two ears instead. We had to compensate somehow, you know. I think next year we will go back to a more traditional model of the jack-o-lantern. :p

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Welcome NaBloPoMo!

Yes, my friends, it's that time of year again. National Blog Posting Month! Maybe now that'll help me get back in the habit of writing. Join me if you want! One post a day for the month of November! :o)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

What? A post? You mean I'm supposed to write something?

I found out I do have some fans who still check in from time to time, and have been disappointed to not find a whole lot in the way of random ramblings or deep thoughts. Also, this IS supposed to be a sort of journal, and 2009 isn't looking so great with only 55 posts to date (this being #56). Maybe I should cancel my facebook account, I'm sure I'd have lots and lots of time to sit down and blog again. Saskia, I blame it all on you. You're the one who told me to join FB! hehe Ah well, what's done is done. I promise to be back more regularly, with exciting (and not-so-exciting) updates of all things random and deep. Crist, I'll try to cut back on the number of gardening posts, too, just for you. Okay, maybe not. Maybe you should just learn to appreciate the art and excitement of growing your own food. ;o)

That being said, it's now 2:30 p.m. and I'm still sitting around in my pj's. Better go get ready before the kids get home from school and we begin our busy Wednesday afternoon routine. Stay tuned for more (I promise!)!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Muscle Man Challenge

Bryan got to go to his first gymnastics competition yesterday. It was a strength competition. He won second place in his age group! Here are a few tidbits. :o)


Sunday, August 23, 2009

Six weeks later

Yes, this is another garden post. :p It's been six weeks since I put the seeds in the ground and put in the tomato and pepper transplants. Everything is doing well! We've been busy harvesting squash, and I have plans to make zucchini bread today. Yum. The pepper plants have tiny peppers on them, and the cucumbers are growing all over the place. I'm expecting to be able to harvest the first couple of cucumbers in two to three weeks or so, we'll see. The tomatoes keep putting out flowers, but no fruits so far. Hopefully soon.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Here's to the babies!

Lest you think my only interest lies in gardening and watching the squash grow (which it is!), I do also love watching my children grow. I especially love when they get along great and play together. :o)

Friday, August 14, 2009

Just call me the Pollinator

Last week, I had the first big beautiful flower open up on one of my squashes. It never got pollinated, however, and the little squash is shriveling away to nothing. Determined not to let that happen to my other squashes, I've decided to take matters into my own hands and help nature along a bit. I now go for my morning garden inspection armed with a q-tip. If the bees don't want to do their job, I will do it for them. So I've been going out and pollinating the little squashes. There are one or two open every morning, along with one or two male flowers. Just call me the Pollinator. Ha! It's certainly interesting how the bad bugs seem to have no problem finding my little plants, but for some reason, the good bugs don't seem to be getting the message that there's food to be had. Go figure. Everything is growing pretty well, though I have lost a couple of zucchini plants to the squash vine borer. I decided just to pull them out when I noticed they were affected, since I don't need more vine borers hatching from my garden next Spring... The remaining two zucchini plants are doing really well, and I should be getting some zucchini not too long after the yellow crookneck. Can't wait! Cucumbers are growing nicely, too, and I've noticed the first couple of little male flowers opening up. Hopefully the females should start coming up in another week or so, and then we'll have cucumbers soon! The peppers and tomatoes both are putting out flowers, as well, though I haven't noticed much in the way of fruit yet. Maybe I'll have to help those along, too, I don't know. Will have to bring more q-tips along for tomorrow's morning rounds. :p



Friday, August 07, 2009

More garden pictures!

I didn't think I was going to post more garden pictures so soon, but I am just blown away by how quickly everything is growing! I only put seeds in for the squash and cucumbers 3 weeks ago, and they are getting huge! The tomatoes are putting out flowers now, but if they grow anything like last summer, they won't actually set fruit until it cools down a bit, maybe the beginning of September. We shall see. I am really happy with the garden so far, I hope everything continues to grow well and we'll get to start harvesting soon!



Friday, July 31, 2009

Garden at the end of July

Well, here it is, for all you fans of gardening! After we got back from Germany, I didn't waste any time in getting my summer garden going. Sure, I am at the late end of it, but according to some nifty planting schedule I found for this area, I should hopefully be able to still grow some veggies. Or rather, fruit. Since, you know, many of the things we call veggies are actually fruit. Who knew? :p I got three different types of tomatoes, three different bell peppers (green, yellow, orange), and put in seeds for zucchini, yellow crookneck squash, and cucumbers. The seeds sprouted amazingly fast (less than a week!), and the plants are growing nicely.

The whole garden, cucumber trellises on the right will be changed (the really green stuff in the middle are marigolds without flowers....).


One of the peppers is already growing!


One of two yellow crooknecks, getting big already!


One of four zucchini plants, supposedly these are a "spacesaver" variety.


One of four cucumber plants. I need to space a couple of them some more, and make a nice trellis for them to grow up on.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Yes, yes, we are still alive!

I've been suffering from blogger's block lately. Hence no posts since the beginning of June... Oh, and I've also been rather busy. And facebook is a time sucker, people! Goodness. Anyway, thought I'd stop by for a quick re-cap of what we've been up to. Since this is not only a blog for your enjoyment, but also sort of a journal for myself. :p
  • Went to Germany the end of May, for 7 weeks!
  • Spent June hanging out with my family, fun times!
  • Dave joined up with us the end of June, and we spent a week at the Baltic Sea. Awesome!
  • Back home to hot and humid TX mid-July. Brought some rain with us! Yay!
  • Got Bryan and Kaylee enrolled in gymnastics. Bryan is now on the level 4 boys team. Kaylee is getting pretty good with the handstands.
  • Tyler celebrated his 9th birthday while in Germany. Can't believe only one more year to double digits!
  • Dave is crazy busy with work right now. Gotta love deadlines... But at least he has a job!
  • Got my summer garden planted. Tomatoes, bell peppers, cucumbers, yellow crookneck, and zucchini. So far, everything is doing great. :o)
That, my friends, is it in a nutshell. Stay tuned for more! I have, after all, set a goal to blog more regularly again. :o)

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Food, glorious food

We're still alive! Gotta find time to blog at some point. Here are a couple of pictures to hold you over. :p



Monday, May 11, 2009

Right, I have a blog!

Goodness, life has been busy. Actually, Elly hasn't been quite herself for a while now. First she got a tooth, then last week she was busy incubating something that ended with some throw-up and a fever on Saturday. She's slowly returning to normal, but she's been nursing A LOT lately, and waking up 5 or 6 times a night. I'm exhausted. I almost find myself longing for her newborn days when she'd regularly sleep 6 or 7 hours in a row. She's got the whole sleep thing backwards, I'm afraid. I'm really hoping that she'll go back to a normal sleep pattern now that she's beginning to feel better. Sleep deprivation does not for a happy mother make. :p I do have some cute pictures to post, but the power cable to my laptop got fried, so I have to wait for new one before I can get on to upload from my camera (can't find the USB cable to upload to my desktop). So, keep checking back, and I'll have some pictures and a longer and hopefully more interesting post coming up soon!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Time to harvest

After the heavy rains last weekend, I was really worried about the potato plants. The water just wasn't draining well, and potatoes don't like sitting in wet soil. Throughout the week, I've been watching as the potato plants seemed to be slowly withering away. I considered them a total loss. Today, I was talking to my neighbor, who had also planted potatoes around the same time I did (in fact, I'd gotten my seed potatoes from her). She told me she'd decided to take out her own plants, since they were all dead, and she actually found potatoes. She was pretty surprised. So I decided to go back and dig up my garden, too. Lo and behold, I found potatoes! And tons of earthworms. Yay for healthy soil! I was rather excited. Now I don't know if the plants were wilting because the potatoes were done, or if it was indeed the water that did them in. I'm leaning towards water, because there were quite a few small potatoes that still had a lot of growing to do. At least it wasn't a total loss, though! Out of six potato plants (about 1.5 pounds of seed potatoes), I got 6.5 pounds of potatoes. Not a huge harvest, but at least it's something! Actually, I probably had closer to 7.5 pounds, but some of the potatoes I had to throw out because they were all mushy (I'm thinking spoiled from sitting in the wet soil). So for dinner tonight, we're having fresh boiled potatoes with butter and sour cream. Yum! I also decided to pull out my one and only kohlrabi plant, and we already at it up. If you haven't eaten kohlrabi, you should try it sometime. Just slice it up and eat it raw (you could dip it in veggie dip if you wanted to).

potatoes and kohlrabi


We also have an abundance of carrots. They are delicious!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Fruits of my labor

Or rather, vegetables. :p I processed the second batch of kale today. I tore out 6 of my plants, which had somewhat fallen over after the heavy rain and winds on Saturday. They were the plants that I had already harvested a lot of leaves from, so they were a bit more susceptible to the weather, I guess. Anyway, I tore them out and took off the rest of the leaves to process today.

cleaned and ready to be cut


blanching process


nearly 8 pounds of vacuum packed kale, in 5 bags


Today's harvest doubled what's already in the freezer. I now have kale all ready for 10 batches of soup. Yum. I also saved some of the blanching water, to use as stock for soups or something. Now to figure out what to do with all the rest of the kale that's still growing out there. I may try freezing some without all the processing, just to use in frittatas or green smoothies or something. My freezer is going to be full of kale, haha!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Texas Downpour

Insane!

backyard


frontyard


neighbor's car


fire hydrant on our street

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Go TEAM!

I knew this day would come. There's been talk of it for a few months now. Well, today, Bryan officially got invited to participate in the gymnastics team. He's going to start level 4 after we get back from Germany in July. The coach who talked to me said that he actually already has some of the skills for level 5, but they're starting him in 4, anyway. To start slowly, so he (hopefully) won't get burnt out. Good thing, too, I'm going to need a slow start on my wallet... :p I've known for a long time that Bryan has an incredible talent. Like, when he started climbing out of his crib at 18 months. Learned to ride a scooter at 2.5 years old. Insisted we take the training wheels off his bike just after his third birthday. Started doing flips from the recliner onto the couch and vice versa. Learned how to do a headstand just after his fourth birthday. Spent a full two months in his preschool gymnastics class before being promoted to the big boys' class when he was only 4.5 (and half the size of those boys...). He's incredibly strong and coordinated, and has amazing control over his body. It's really fun to watch him, and it was great to see a gymnastics coach be so excited about Bryan's talent and the prospect of having him on the team. I hope he's going to enjoy working harder, and starting competition. Let the fun begin!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Portraits

They are all done! My talented friend Tearese finished all the drawings she did of the portraits I had sent her (that my other talented friend Chalice took when we were in AZ). I love how they turned out, and can't wait to put them all up on my wall! :o)







Friday, April 10, 2009

Hair!

Let me tell you, I've been waiting for this for a long time! Now maybe people will stop referring to Elly as "he" (yes, they still do, never mind the pink pants or shirt she's wearing...). And yes, that's a fat lip. Don't ask. :p

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

She eats!

Elly, that is. We had a strong start with solids around 5 months or so. She was ready to eat, and she loved it! So much so that by 7 months, we were up to two feedings a day, almost ready to go to three. Then something happened, around 8 or 9 months. I'm not entirely sure what, but it resulted in Elly not wanting to eat solids at all. She started nursing more frequently again, and I wasn't overly concerned. Maybe her budding teeth started bugging her? They didn't poke through until 10 months, but I'm sure she could already feel them. Anyway, so she started refusing solid foods. She did like the little baby snacks, but those hardly even deserve to be called food. :p As Elly started approaching her first birthday, however, it became apparent that breastmilk simply wasn't enough for her anymore. She started picking up frequent night feeds again, every two hours around the clock. I know. Exhausting. She didn't even wake up that often as a newborn! We really needed to put more effort into getting more calories into her during the day. But feeding her was such a chore! On top of not wanting solids, she refused to sit in her highchair, as well. She had to be on a lap, and then she would eat a few bites. I did notice that on the days she ate well, she only woke up a couple of times during the night, so yeah, she needed more food! I talked about our issues with my doctor at Elly's one year check-up, and she didn't seem overly concerned. She said Elly was doing just fine, and breastmilk was just great for her. I said on principal, I totally agreed with her (and have I mentioned I love this doctor???). But the fact that I was waking up every two hours at night was not okay. :p She gave me a few suggestions, and encouraged me to just be patient and give it time. I went home feeling good about the fact that Elly was still thriving on breastmilk, but not so fond of the idea of putting up with such frequent night feeds for much longer. Then one day last week, I talked to a friend (or family member?) on the phone (or in person?). I totally can't remember who it was I was talking to. Blame it on sleep deprivation. ;o) Anyway, the dreaded feeding topic came up, and we started talking about the much-hated highchair. Then the idea came up to just take off the tray and push the chair up to the table. Maybe she just felt like she wasn't part of the action, with the tray blocking access to all the food fun. Hm, I thought, worth a try. On Monday, I finally got up the courage to take off the tray, and approach the highchair with Elly on my hip. In the past, Elly would start screaming before her feet even touched the chair. I tried every so often, always with the same result. Now, the tray was off. As we got closer, Elly curiously eyed the chair. I put her in it. Much to my surprise, she not only tolerated it, she loved it! She had a good time! I sat down and started feeding her, and she ate! Wow. A miracle. She now willingly sits in her chair, and lets us feed her. Or she feeds herself, depending on what's on the menu. Sitting in the chair helps keep her focused on eating, too, so she takes in a lot more food than she has before. Most excellent! So to whoever it was I was talking to, thank you thank you thank you! You more than likely helped save my sanity! :D

Here she is, loving the food.


Bananas, when mashed in your hands and put in your hair, make for an excellent "do". :p

Sunday, April 05, 2009

The Voice

My niece posted this on her blog. I can't stop listening to it!

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Girly!

During the last couple of weeks, Kaylee has been all into coloring her toenails and fingernails. Almost every day, she takes a purple marker and 'paints' her nails. Then she gets all sad when the color washes off when she cleans her hands or takes a bath. Today, I pulled out some of my nail polish, and got to work. She totally loved the result. I did our toes, and her fingernails, too. I didn't color my own fingernails, can't stand the feel of it. Kaylee was all over it, though! Fun times. :o)

Friday, April 03, 2009

Sometimes, the system works!

A while back, I wrote a post about the awesome family doctor we're seeing here. I've seen her a couple more times, and she really is great. She's actually part of a big medical group, which came in quite handy today. You know how sometimes, when your kids get sick, you get the run-around to get all the tests done and whatnot? Well, today was one of those days that could have potentially turned crazy. But it didn't! Tyler's been sick for a little while. He had a bit of a cold last week, but then started getting better. Then Wednesday, he came down with a pretty high fever and a headache. I thought maybe he had caught the flu. He looked better Thursday, but then early Friday morning, the high fever and headache returned. With the weekend coming up, I thought it would be a good idea to call the doctor's office to see what they thought. They wanted to see him, of course. Our regular family doctor wasn't in today, but one of the pediatricians was able to see us. Tyler and I got there shortly before 11 a.m., and were called back pretty quickly. Saw the nurse, and within a few minutes, the doctor came in. He was really nice, checked Tyler over, then told me he'd like to do a quick blood test just to see. He thought it was viral, but said there's a possibility it's bacterial, and he just wanted to make sure. So off to the lab we went. Two doors down. For a seriously quick blood draw! The lady did it so fast, Tyler almost didn't even realize it happened. Awesome! Then we waited 15 minutes for the results. The doctor came back to the waiting area to see us, and said that Tyler had an elevated white blood count, and he wanted a chest x-ray done. So off we went, up to radiology on the 4th floor. Signed in there, got called back, and within a matter of about 15 minutes, we were back down in pediatrics in the waiting area. A little while later, the doctor came out again to call us back. He told me Tyler had walking pneumonia, and would be put on antibiotics. Then he gave me a quick run-down of what to look for etc., and then sent in the nurse with the rocephin shots. Two of them, in Tyler's bum. Poor kid. I'm not entirely sure we really needed rocephin, but the doctor thought based on what he saw on the x-ray, he'd feel better pulling the "big guns". The rest of the course is just oral antibiotics, for the next 5 days. We ended up having to wait another 15 minutes in the waiting area after the shots, just to make sure there weren't any immediate side effects from the antibiotics. Then we were off. All in all, it took us an hour and a half. Which, considering everything that happened, felt like no time at all! It was all so smooth, no extra paper work to fill out for the lab work, etc. etc. etc. One bonus point for the medical group. :p

Friday, March 27, 2009

Garden at the end of March

For reference, this is what it looked like four weeks ago. Here it is now. From left to right, there is kale, carrots, and potatoes in the back, green onions, chives, parsley and cilantro in the middle, and my lone surviving kohlrabi plant surrounded by lettuce in the front. There were supposed to be a couple of zucchini plants in the big empty spot, but for some reason, they never came up. Don't know if the bugs ate them? My sugar snap pea plants are on their last leg. We've harvested most of the pods, and they have pretty much stopped flowering now. They've also got an ugly case of some type of mildew on the leaves. I'll probably take them out in another week or two, once we pick the remaining pods. The lettuce that is growing by the pea plants has now bolted, so I need to take that out, as well. We ate from it all winter! Amazing. The spots of color you see are the marigolds (for bug control).



Our citrus trees are in full bloom right now. I love standing by them, the scent in the air is delicious!





I also planted a blackberry bush a couple of weeks ago. It's doing really well!



Here are some pretty weeds growing in my grass. They will be pulled tomorrow.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Kale Frittata, take 2



So I tried again today, and it was absolutely delicious!

3 eggs
1 large kale leaf, stem removed, cut into small pieces
1 green onion, cut up (regular onion would work, too, but I have tons of green onions in my garden, so that's what I used)
1/4 to 1/2 cup of shredded cheese (I used cheddar, but I bet swiss would be awesome!)
pinch of salt and pepper

With a fork, beat egg with salt and pepper in a bowl. Add cheese and mix well. Add kale and green onion and mix everything really well. Preheat an omelette pan on low heat, add a little vegetable oil (the spray kind works nicely). When heated well (though not too hot), add frittata mixture. Cook on low heat until egg looks mostly set. Turn over to finish cooking (make sure all the egg is cooked thoroughly). All done! And oh so good!

Monday, March 23, 2009