Tuesday, December 18, 2007

In our heart

Why is it that when I don't have time for blogging the most "blog worthy" stuff happens?

Last week my son and I heard the song that starts out with little kids singing happy birthday to Jesus on the radio. He got all excited that Christmas was Jesus' birthday and then he started singing the song "Happy Birthday to God" which I thought was adorable.

Later that same day he asked me "Mommy, where's God?" I was somewhat distracted at the time and replied with, "God is everywhere, he's always with us." That wasn't the answer he was looking for however because he asked me twice more. After starting to give the same answer for the third time I gave him my full attention, realizing I was almost missing a big opportunity here. I explained how God is in our hearts and we ask Jesus into our hearts. His resounding "okay" was enough for me to figure that he got whatever he needed out of this answer.

Then today we were talking about how even though Daddy is at work he is still part of our family. Just because he's not in the car with us, we are indeed still a family. My son joyfully exclaims from third row of the car "Daddy in my heart just like God!"

Yeah, he really is listening all the time!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Taking a break

from vacation pictures (I do have a few more to edit) to share some current stuff. I slept for 6 hours in a row last night! The scary thing is that I went to bed an hour and a half after my daughter fell asleep nursing at 9:30. She slept for 7.5 hours and I'm so not ready for that - I'm just now feeling like my supply has leveled out for the day. Think Dolly Parton but more on the scale of Angelina Jolie really (I could only wish.) Alas, I digress.

On Saturday we went to a local learning center that has environmental events once a month and this one was about "how to have a green Christmas." It was fun and free, we all made ornaments out of used items. I even made (a quite ugly) one out of little red and white legos. In theory I think it might be nice to have one ornament that it's okay to play with since I only glued some of them, the rest can be rearranged. We'll see how that works out.

I also was pointed to this website, Eartheasy.com. It has tons of great information, I've been reading off and on all day. They have some great information on how to have a green Christmas. Amongst tons of great ideas my favorite fact is, "Over a 30-day period, lighting 500 traditional holiday lights will cost you about $18.00 while the same number of LED lights costs only $0.19." Talk about savings.

We also made an oregami gift box which was fun. My son keeps asking me to make more out of magazine pages. Click on the link for directions. Just thought I'd share, hope all my 'puter friends are having a wonderful Christmas season!

Friday, December 07, 2007

One is never enough

There's no way one picture could actually sum up an entire 10 days of multi-generational family fun so we'll test out just how many I can put in one post ;o)

Let me back up for a minute, before our trip we took out some books about vacations and airplanes to prepare. My son was prepared for everything, check in, security, waiting at the gate it couldn't have gone more smoothly. Boarding and finding row 11 even buckling and unbuckling the seat belt was a breeze. Taxiing out to the runway, he knew take off was imminent. "We're taking off, we're taking off." Was gleefully heard at least 4 rows either direction.

We got above the clouds and I hear this little, "Mommy we going to land now?" Apparently no book can prepare you for the 2 hours 20 minutes of flying time in between those two great airplane trip events. I'm just grateful it was so short because he kept asking about every 10 minutes or so until we were about to land. On the return trip it was after we landed that he kept saying, "Mommy I want to take off again."

We arrived midday on a Sunday and spent the rest of that day visiting with my wonderful Aunt and Uncle who kindly let us turn their house upside down with kiddo stuff. The next day since we were still well rested we decided to go to the zoo which was a ton of fun. Our little girl slept the entire day away in her carrier and our big kiddo was off to the races, excitedly exploring snakes, elephants, koalas, pandas and polar bears to name a few. I was tired at the end of it all and he walked almost as much excepting one small piggy back ride from Daddy. Here's a couple pictures of the zoo day.

Our 3 year old thought the Gorillas were in a time out sitting with their backs to the glass viewing wall.

My Gram and my son during one of their many play times. It's awesome for me to see her playing with him since I have so many memories of her playing with us. And hello how many Great-grandparents actually get down on the floor to play with their great grand kids! She's so awesome and while I won't mention her age she'll be 81 years older than my son at the end of this month. She is another one of our many blessings!!!!

This one was taken the next day when we were at the beach I described yesterday. a rouge wave had just knocked him down as happens to us all when we turn our back on the ocean. Mom and Dad were both yelling RUN and he stood there looking at us blankly. It really wasn't that big but more of the surprise factor for him.

Making holiday rolls (a family tradition) with, from my son's right: Great-Gram, her sister Aunt Lucille and Aunt Mimi (her back to us).

Hangin' out with the guys.

Since it's getting late, I'll end with this cutie one for now.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

If one picture could define our vacation

this one is it.

This little rocky outcrop is just up the road from where Adam and I were married. It was so nice to breath in the cool ocean air and reminisce. Looking out to the buoy from here (you can't see it in the picture) that we used to swim to and dive down seemed incredibly far. I'm not sure how we did that with all that gear on. It seemed odd to have kids in tow at all of our old favorite places and odd that we never noticed one of our favorite places to have calamari was a bar so we had to get our food to go and eat it at the beach (oh, the suffering!).

We walked down to the beach from here even though it was one of the coldest and windy days we were there and it was just so peaceful. There weren't many people and we almost had the little cove to ourselves. Afterwards we walked up the steps and over to the street carrying our shoes and I was brought back to my wedding day carrying my train and veil over one arm and my shoes in the other going back to the reception after taking pictures on the beach. Looking at the two wonderful blessings we've been given since our wedding day was completely wonderful and overwhelming. Stunning places God provided, wonderful companionship and two amazing children. We are indeed blessed beyond measure.

Monday, December 03, 2007

It's our fifth day back from our San Diego visit and we are getting reacquainted with freezing temperatures and caught up on stuff around here. Plus we enjoyed having my hubby's Mom here for a weekend visit and desperately trying to remember this feeling...

More pictures and stories to come. It was so nice to visit our old haunts, I've been in denial of just how much I missed the beach. It was weird again to see Christmas lights on palm trees and to have shorts on in November. But now I'm rambling when I should be folding laundry and starting dinner.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Our not so traditional tradition

Last year I mentioned some of our Holiday Traditions but I never shared my recipe for the yummy Salad Spring Rolls that we make most every year for Thanksgiving. They are so delicious I actually get a craving for them and the peanut sauce is really yummy over rice noodles too!

Peanut Chile Dressing
  • 1 Cup good peanut butter
  • 1 T honey
  • 1 Cup boiling water
  • 6 tablespoons cider or unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 T Chinese sesame oil
  • 1 T Soy sauce
  • 1 tsp salt (I omit)
  • 1 small (2 inch) serrano chile, minced (seeding optional for milder)

Place peanut butter and honey in a medium- sized bowl. Add about 1/2 cup of the boiling water and mash with a spoon until uniform. Add the remaining water and ingredients, stir until well blended. Store in a tightly covered container in the fridge(will keep well for weeks) Whisk vigorously from the bottom before using.

Vietnamese Salad Rolls
  • 12 round (8-9 inch diameter) or 24 square rice paper wrappers
  • 6-8 leaves romaine, cut into very thin strips
  • 1 C mung bean sprouts
  • 1 large carrot, julienned or shredded
  • 1/3 C cilantro leaves
  • 1/3 C mint leaves
  • 1 C firm tofu, cut into thin strips (about 6 oz.)
  • 1/4 C peanuts, minced
  • Peanut chile dressing

I can find the rice paper wrappers in the Asian section of my grocery store but you may have to look at a specialty store or Asian grocer. You can improvise really any small cut veggies that you have on hand.

Fill a pie pan with lukewarm water. Place rice paper wrappers in the water one at a time in the water for a few seconds, then tranasfer to a dinner plate. Lightly moisten a paper towel and lay on top of the wrapper. Continue layering covering the last wrapper with a paper towel and set aside. (The paper towels keep the rice papers from sticking irreparably to themselves or each other.)

In a large bowl combine all veggies, tofu and peanuts with about 1/4 C Peanut Chile Dressing and gently toss. Place about 1/4 - 1/3 C on the half of the wrapper that is closest to you. Fold in the sides and gently roll up and transfer to serving plate. Repeat for all rice paper and salad mixture.

Store in the refrigerator or at room temperature tightly covered with plastic wrap. The recipe says they will keep for up to one day but I think they are best eaten within a few hours.

Serve with peanut chile dressing for dipping and you can just devour them whole (hee, hee) or slice diagonally in half for a nice presentation. Enjoy!!! I can't wait for Thursday now!!!!

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Three Months Old!

Boy time really flies, I have no idea what happened to October and now November is half over too. Our little one is three months old and just a joy!

She's perfected the sweet art of smiling mid suckle with milky white corners and gleaming eyes. She'll follow big brother around the room with her eyes wondering what he's up to - is it any wonder she has been rolling over from front to back pretty regularly for about a week and a half now! Last Wednesday she weighed 15 and a half pounds and 3-6 months clothes are getting snug with or without cloth diapers.

What a reminder she is to just stop and enjoy every day. She LOVES to make eye contact and when she catches my eye, it's impossible to pull away. She's beautifully captivating!

Big brother still gives her the most kisses of anyone and other than being a touch rough at times still, is just the sweetest sibling ever!

We are to that point where I almost can't remember what life was like before two kids. (Not that I'd really try.) This is one time when it's okay to say two is better than one! I know they both will love to have each other.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

I know I'm a goof

We recently rented an Elmo goes potty video from the library and I got a kick out of the end when like on Sesame Street they said "this was brought to you today by the letter P and the number 2."

I know I'm a dork but it made me giggle!

Speaking of potty training, I would consider my son mostly potty trained. We are leaving on Sunday for a 10 day visit to my Aunt and Uncle's in San Diego and I'm not sure what to do as far as taking a newly trained boy out of his usual environment. Anyone have any advice on what to expect?

Of late, the only days he seems to have accidents is when his number 2 is not regular, i.e. he doesn't go first thing in the morning. And for weeks and weeks now he's been keeping number 2 in the potty. He's still in a diaper at night and training pants for his nap so I'm basically just a bit concerned about bladder control during the day.

Granted for much of the time we will be at my Aunt's or other family member's place so there will be laundry access but I don't want to be ruining my Aunt's rugs and or be in the middle of the Zoo (of course I'll have a spare) and not have enough clothes.

I guess what I'm asking is do we revert to pull ups (which really didn't work for training since he'd just go in them) or do we just go for it! Don't worry Aunt Mimi, he's been going 4+ days without accidents I'm just trying to cover all my bases here! Thanks for any input you have on training travel :)!!!!

Make it from scratch carnival is up at Laura Williams' Musings. There are many seasonal contributions this time and I'm currently into 10 Home Improvement Projects that Actually Pay off from the Frugal Panda and Make Your Own Refrigerator Magnets from Mental Mosaic.

Is there just no end to the amount of things I can learn from fellow bloggers? I hope not. Blogging fills many different things but my quest for knowledge is certainly overflowing! Enjoy your Tuesday!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Fire Starters

Growing up we had a wood burning stove for awhile as well as a fireplace. My Dad was a pro at making a wonderful fire. I have fond memories of standing by his side carefully rolling newspaper and stacking kindling. Later I can remember my Mom making fire starters to help things along.

We have a gas fireplace in our current house which is I'm sure better for lots of reasons but lacks the ambiance of a crackling fire. I love how homey a fire makes a room with it's popping and crackling and warmth like a giant hug. So a couple years ago my hubby got me a little fire pit chimney for outside. I love it and so I decided to make some fire starters to use out there this winter.

How to make firestarters...(They are SO easy!)

First collect a couple of cardboard egg crates and your dryer lint for a week or so, depending on how many you want to make and how much laundry you do. ;)

Take the lid off the egg carton and recycle it or use it as kindling. Then stuff the egg pockets with the lint.

While you are doing this you can start a double boiler melting some wax. I just used some candles I've never used and some small ends of already burnt ones. When the wax has melted pour over the lint allowing enough to soak a bit into each section of lint in the carton.

When dry cut each section out and you're done. Depending on the size of your fire you may need more than one, but one is usually enough to get things going. Just light a corner of the cardboard on fire and it will burn for about five minutes.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Sleep has done us all well!! Here we were last night! :) Enjoy your day!

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Keepin it real

Today is a wonderful day. Lord I am grateful you have given me this day. Thank you for these two little blessings and especially my hubby! Please bless the rest of my day as well!

It really is a great day, it just feels forced. This morning I woke up to my son saying that he needs to watch TV. Adam was getting ready for work and suggested that he needs a month long break from it. I agree but I think one 30 minute show a day is more realistic

When the little one came along TV became a nice way to let us all rest during the day, or first thing in the morning. Boy am I regretting it now. Along with those days that we were in pj's all day. Still when I say "It's time to get dressed." His reply without hesitation is, "Where are we going?" But that's another story.

Needless to say, if I don't want him to watch TV first thing I have to get up at 7am when he does, ugh. I am indeed grateful for this time we have to share. On many mornings I can sneak out of bed to feed my son and I breakfast and spend some time with him while baby sis stays asleep in our bed. Today she slept for awhile so we had time to eat and play. I put him in the ergo baby carrier while I did some things and he kept asking me to run or go up and down the stairs, which I obliged. Seriously my quads are now on FIRE! It was fun though having him attached to me while I did things - I knew where he was and he loved getting a birds eye view. Plus it also appears to have been a wonderful workout!

When the little one awoke I met all of her needs which lead to and exorbitant amount of spitting up and two changes of clothes for both of us. By the time were were ready to leave to go to Costco it was already 10:OO and I wanted to go to Fred Meyer afterwards which mow meant I needed to pack a lunch - 5 more minutes. Loaded all of us and an ice chest in and off we went. My son and I singing merrily, lulling my daughter to sleep.

With her asleep in the sling the shopping was fairly easy. 45 minutes and we were in line. Here's where we hit a snag. See my I'm not actually a Costco member. I snagged my hubby's card because I didn't want to waste a Saturday going together. Apparently they don't like that, to say the least. After a bit of arguing and begging (my daughter was awake by now) they let me pay for my stuff - hello do you want to lose the business or make some money? Seems silly but it worked out anyway.

After a diaper change and nursing in the car (involving more spit up), my son and I ate pb&j on the way to our next stop. When we got there, another little snack for my daughter and we were off. I seriously get stopped by every Grandma telling me how smart it is to have my baby a carrier, or how cute my kids are etc. Today, I just wanted to get in and out but that didn't happen. First thing I took my son to the bathroom, he's doing really well with his potty training but it had been awhile. The womens bath was closed for cleaning - the wonderfully nice Fred Meyer employee let us in anyway. Finally, we were back out in the store getting the many items on my list - plus a few. When my daughter wouldn't settle down in the sling - we were only half way done.

I see a bench at the front of the store - I'm still not terrific at sling nursing. We sit on the bench and nurse as my son counts the number of people and everyone smiles back at him. Too cute, and I was pleasantly surprised at the number of smiles and approving nods I got from people walking by since we were right in the front by the cashiers there was lots of people.

Back to the bathroom - the guy was still trying to clean it - for a diaper change. What no diapers. I could have gone and bought them but that would have required two trips through the check out. Not an option! I ripped through the diaper bag and found a diaper cover and receiving blanket...should work. And back out we went to attempt to get this all finished.

The baby fell asleep in the sling shortly and we made it through produce and the rest of the shopping! I find my favorite checker and we're out of there! It was then almost 2pm. I took us forever and when I got home all I wanted to do was sit, my legs are seriously very sore!

Once I decided there were enough leftovers for dinner, I relaxed a bit. Finishing a book about attachment parenting and nursing while my son played outside. It seriously was a wonderful day and I think I'm just tired. It's also just exhausting to make two grocery shops in one day, maybe next time I'll plan ahead and order from Amazon or something.

Seriously though after the last year, I'm so grateful that my hubby has a good job to pay for groceries and that I'm healthy enough to carry my kids around and truly appreciate life, even if it's forced. I used to work with a gal who would smile and say "fake it till you make it." That's sort of what I felt like today, I'm not sure if I'm explaining it well but I'm betting if I get off the computer and get tot bed it will do me some good.

Oh, did I mention that when Adam came home I had my son on my back and my daughter in the sling talk about almost 50 extra pounds. It was fun and someday soon I might upload the pictures. Not now though, sleep is beckoning!

Seriously!

An actual conversation with my 3 year old. (My hubby just happened to be on speaker phone at the time so he didn't have to miss out!)

He comes inside and says, "Mommy I eat two bugs in my tractor, I really, really I do."

Insert awkward silence here.

I say, "You really ate two bugs?"

He says, "Yup, they yummy in my tummy!"

My reply, "Thank you for telling Mommy, next time lets just leave the bugs alone I think they are yucky." He expresses more interest to go play outside I say sure and then say, "Hey, you have no problems eating bugs, but spinach and broccoli you have trouble with?" A little "Yup" follows as he runs back out and Adam starts cracking up!

After about a half hour he comes inside and says, "We don't eat spiders blaaaaah. We do eat bugs they yummy." After taking off his shoes and sweatshirt he asks me. "Mommy what do spiders eat. (This is a very common question that he's asked about every animal he knows - I've actually had to look up the answers to some like, "What do Beavers eat?") Anyway, he says, "What do spiders eat?".

I say, "Um, spiders eat bugs and flies."

Maybe for next Halloween Spiderman will be more appropriate.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Caution

There may be many days when parenting in this manner will leave your house a wreck similar to this!

Which is why today I've tackled the laundry. I try to do two to three loads a day (one each on Saturday and Sunday) so that laundry isn't so daunting a task. However the daunting task lately is finding the time to fold and put it away. Clean loads first get dumped on the chair in the back left corner and move counter clockwise around the other sitting surfaces. My one task for the day in between nursing, playtime and during quiet time was folding and putting it away.

It's not all put away yet but at least the baskets are upstairs and we can once again live in our family room! It will be nice for my hubby to actually have clothes in the appropriate places tomorrow morning! I am so lucky that he never complains when the house looks like this. A couple days last week all I was able to do was take care of kids and get dinner going and I was a little upset. I actually said' "What if someone stops by." He said they'll know that I'm taking great care of my kids! Am I lucky or what! I do feel good having gotten some housework done too.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

What makes a GOOD baby?

Why does our culture judge a good baby on sleep? Why are we so geared up to get a newborn independent after week one of life? They spent 9 months inside their mother and then we expect them to be sleeping through the night at 9 weeks. Hello! How does that really make any sense. I may be throwing you all for a loop but I'm an attachment parenting mama and proud of it!!

I don't believe that crying is good for a baby's lungs. I do believe it is a cue that the baby has a need that only it's primary caregivers can meet.

I don't believe that a baby needs a feeding or sleeping schedule. I do believe that babies should have their needs met when they need them, when they are hungry, tired or need the comfort of Mom or Dad.

I don't believe that my child needs to sleep in a lonely dark room down the hall. I do believe that we are very comfortable and safe sleeping together in a oneness where we both wake and sleep with a rhythm of togetherness.

I don't believe that my child should be put in a pack and play or play pen so they won't get into trouble. I do believe they are safer close to me and/or in a sling carrier.

If meeting my babies needs on cue means I'm spoiling her then gosh darn it I'm spoiling her every minute!!! I find it impossible to believe that my baby is manipulating me by wanting to nurse often, only that she is hungry, growing, or needing comfort. I believe manipulation is more of a learned behavior.

I by no means am judging you if your parenting choices differ from mine I also believe that each set of parents are THE best decision makers for their own family. Each parent must listen to their own intuition and do what is best for each individual within what is best for their entire family unit. Each family has different situations.

I could go on but this loving, happy and healthy baby is worth letting her nurse all day and night for a relatively short while. Before I know it she'll be three and telling me to take off my shoes when I come inside, spelling words and having way less time for cuddling her Mama!

Saturday, November 03, 2007

The Battle of Toys

Why is it when I go through his toys and commit to getting rid of two of the three different types of building blocks does he consistently play with the two I was going to give away????

I'm not sure if three years old is too young for this but I've already told him that after Thanksgiving he and I are going to go through his toys and he'll need to pick out 3 to give to kids who don't have many toys. He just looked at me and said, "oh." I'm sure that he doesn't really have the life experience yet to understand but I thought we'd start this year and see what happens. I went through some of his toys the day that I put them away and already have a pile started to be given away.

I've noticed now that there's less toys, not only is there less mess but he plays with more of a variety of them every day. They are also much easier for him to put away. Though it still takes 20 minutes for him to put away what would be 3 minutes of work for me I know that I'm enabling him to be responsible for his things and his own mess by it being his job.

Friday, November 02, 2007

My 3 year old loves to play with my neighbor's kids. They have four boys ages ranging from about 4th grade down to 4. On most of the nice days lately my son goes out to play in the backyard while I'm getting dinner ready - even if it's cold. The other kids are usually out then too so my son calls their names until they climb up on the fence to talk to him - they are really nice kids. I'd love to be able to say yes one of these days when he comes in asking to go over to their yard or play out front with them. (He does play out front with them but only if one of us is out in the garage or in the front yard too.)

These evenings, I just can not say yes - they have a trampoline in their yard and many times I see multiple kids jumping at once and I can't expect them to look after my son. Their Mom is also preparing dinner or housework inside so she's not watching either. It just pains me that my kiddo wants so badly to play with other kids and he's surrounded by them, yet can't see or play with them, only hear them having fun. He does play well by himself but I just really want him to get to play with other kids. I'm planning on setting up a play date with my neighbor but we have nothing in our yard to entice them to come play over here...motivation to bug my hubby to build that swing set we've been talking about I guess!

Anyway, I am sticking to my gut and keeping him in our yard - plus it's funny to watch him try to pull things over to the fence to see if he can climb over. One of the other kids directs him to try different items and I chuckle my way through food prep keeping a good eye. He's a Mr. Steady though as soon as he doesn't have sure footing or good grip he stops, it makes it easy to trust him.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Inquiring Minds Want To Know

Are you the type that digs in and gets your hands dirty or no thank you I don't want that under my fingernails?

I love to run my fingers through wonderful smelling, soft earth. (Locally ours is like clay so it needs a bit of amending to get to that nice soft dirt that I remember from childhood.) With finger paints I'm not so fond of them getting under my nails but I do have fun doing it and getting messy. So yes, I'll get my hands dirty, how about you?

He recently received a book that he loves to read that has mud pies in it...you can guess what we were doing in the pictures!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Wonderful Service!

If any of you are considering ordering custom cards I would highly recommend checking out weelittledesigns.com. The owner Jamie blogs at all things avery and her daughter is just the cutest thing ever.

Last Saturday I finally went through our pictures to pick some for our little one's birth announcement. The hardest part was deciding on one design because I loved so many. We ended up choosing the Mia birth announcement and it is just perfect.

I don't want for forget to mention that as I said I ordered last Saturday and I had proofs in my inbox on Sunday afternoon AND the finished prints are sitting in front of me right now. I am just so thrilled with the service I received from Jamie, the quality of her work is impeccable!

Thanks!!!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Little Giggle!

Finding time to fit in exercise with a wee one is trying. I've been able to go for a couple of walks this week but I need to fit in some toning exercises. Since we were all playing on the floor earlier I thought I'd take the opportunity to squeeze in a few minutes of abs and buns pilates exercises.

Soon I find myself on my back, knees bent doing shoulder bridges lifting the two kids sitting on my lower abdomen, talk about a work out! And what wonderful motivation my sweet daughter and son were. My son was laughing and my wee one was all smiles and even let out her first giggles!!! We tried to recreate it for the video camera tonight and got the smiles but no giggles. My buns are already sore and even still I may do more tomorrow!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Sending prayers to all my family and friends in Southern California. I've heard that much of San Diego County has been evacuated or is on alert. My hubby and I lived in San Diego for 6 years and the last large fires there came within a mile of our home so we can relate. But these fires are exponentially worse and we pray for those families who have lost their homes and hope they can find comfort and pray that God will keep the firefighters and residents safe in his hands.

We have plans to spend the Thanksgiving holiday next month with my Aunt and Uncle and other relatives who live in San Diego - you are all in our thoughts and prayers!

UPDATED:While we're on the prayer subject, please pray for my blogging buddy Lisa, she just had her baby girl! There are some complications so keep her in your prayers too!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

If you have a minute

Please join me in telling the EPA to reverse it's approval of methyl iodide . It is to be used as a fumigant pest control by farmers and despite more than 50 scientists opposition (including 5 Nobel laureates in chemistry) the EPA approved the use of it. Fumigants are some of the most potentially dangerous pesticides in use because the toxic gas can evaporate from the soil, exposing farmworkers and drifting into neighborhoods. Studies have shown permanent nervous system damage, miscarriages, and thyroid tumors.

It would be used primarily on strawberry fields and the scientists, mostly chemists, warned that "pregnant women and the fetus, children, the elderly, farmworkers and other people living near application sites would be at serious risk." There is plenty of info on the link above - let's ask the EPA to help farmers find healthier more sustainable ways to fight crop pests and diseases.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Ahhhhhhhhhhh

Thanks for your comments and support! I just pampered myself with a long shower while my Mom took care of the babe and my Dad took my 3 year old to the park. What a difference from my typical 3-5 minute shower with the door open and curtain cracked. Shaved and exfoliated, I feel wonderfully human!!

I plan to go out with a couple friends on Thursday, with the baby of course, but adult conversation will be nice. Yesterday I remembered that I used to take baths every once in awhile with my son as a baby. It was fun bonding time and water is just so soothing for me. I'm scheduling one of these baths with my baby about once a week from now on and hopefully these little things will help maintain my sanity!

Monday, October 15, 2007

It must be normal?!?!?!

I love my kids with all my heart but I'm feeling overwhelmed and like I need a break. I cried when I said it out loud to my hubby today who said that it was normal to feel like I needed a break and understandable. For some reason I feel like a bad Mom if I admit that I need some time to myself.

So tell me, what are some ways that you find time to rejuvenate in your life??? My parents are passing through tomorrow so I'm hoping to get a bath in or something.

The Little Stuff Counts

Today is blog action day and the theme for this year is the environment. I must admit that lately I've been tired and some weeks I just don't want to sort my recyclables. Then I look at the reasons I'm tired and remember that I want them to be able to enjoy the Earth too. So I drag myself out to the garage for five minutes of sorting on trash day and my paper, cardboard, plastic and metals all get sorted. Glass I save up in a box and take to my local recycling center since they don't pick it up.

Americans waste enough wood and paper to heat 50,000,000 homes for 20 years!

What I've been trying to figure out is how to convey the message of reduce, reuse, and recycle to my three year old. He knows where the paper bags for recycling are in the pantry. He sees me sorting, using reusable shopping bags, taking the few plastic bags we do get back to the store to be recycled, vermicomposting, buying used items so as not to let good things go to waste. Still I really didn't know how to convey to him the beauty of our planet that is God's gift to us.

It takes 200-500 years for an aluminum can to decompose!

Then I realized that it is in all these little things that he will see the bigger picture. By exposing our kids to the wonders of nature; collecting fall leaves, planting seeds, picking noxious weeds, smelling flowers and sitting in the shade of a huge tree watching squirrels all help kids learn about the beauty of what we've been given. I think it's important for little people to see that even though they are small, they too can make a difference.

We could save about 555,556 trees every Sunday if we recycled all our newspapers!

I was reading an article in the Dr's office a couple of months ago about how to get your kids to go green and there was a wonderful idea that we are having fun with. It spoke of a family that had a basket were they kept scraps of paper, cardboard, bits of broken toys, fabric. or yarn. Anything that can't be used by itself and they look through it when they have crafts or art projects. Since my son is into gluing lately we've been doing this and it's great, he doesn't really care what he's gluing or making and I don't have to buy any extra supplies, it's all stuff that would have ended up in the landfill already!

It takes about 450 years for a plastic 6-pack cover to decompose!

When I look at all these little things individually it's easy to think "Nothing I can do will actually make a difference." In reality though if you add it all together these little efforts our children see us making by using cloth diapers or even less paper towels by using washable cloths and dish towels in the kitchen, it all matters. Our grandchildren just might thank us one day that we took responsibility for our gift.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Happy Two Months Baby Girl

Updated to add this picture of you at two months:

Today you are two months old, it's hard to believe that time goes so quickly. You have brought such amazing joy to our lives and are a wonderful addition to our family. You are a champion nurser, at 3 weeks old you were 10 pounds 2 ounces and at 7 weeks you already weighed 12 and a half pounds now you are 23 and a half inches long. Plus Mommy's back below pre-pregnancy weight - thanks to you!!

Your smiles are like the stars in the night. Your big brother loves to kiss and hug you and make you smile. He'll make silly faces at you and you smirk at him.

Your eyes are a deep ocean blue and your hair a soft and sandy brown with a hint of strawberries. You radiate a beautiful chubbiness that is oh so kissable and squeezable. You have the interesting talent of being able to burp without coming unlatched and you already play the "other cheek" kissing game with Mommy and Daddy.

I love the way your hair stands up when it's newly washed and your ruby red lips as thy suckle. There's just nothing cuter than a nursing babe and you are adorable.

Daddy and I just couldn't be happier that God chose you and your brother for our children. Seeing and loving you is evidence of God and his love. From your tiny toes to your perfect ears and button nose we love every bit of you. Beautiful Girl.

Top picture: 1 day old. Bottom on your baptism day at 7 weeks 5 days old wearing an 84 year old dress. The dress was made by your Great, Great, Great Grandmother for your Great Grandmother who wore it first. Your Granny and Mommy also were baptized in it as well as many Aunts and Cousins too.

Friday, October 12, 2007

New Recipes for us this Fall

Recently Adam asked me to make taco's for dinner. Now if you haven't guessed by now, I'm not into buying those little spice packages that have a million extra ingredients in them, so we never eat tacos or sloppy joes. That's all changed now... these recipes are quick and easy and I've got two more dinners to rotate in with normal stuff this Fall! Why didn't I think of this sooner!

Taco Seasonings

I just eyeballed the amounts - and you could adjust the spiciness to taste, it's fairly mild on the heat.

  • 1 Tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp each salt and black pepper (I used less)

In a small bowl mix all ingredients together and add to saute pan with ground beef or chicken. Can be stored in an airtight container. I find it's enough to season 1 - 1 1/2 pounds of meat or so.

Super Sloppy Joes (from Rachel Ray - 30 minute Queen)

  • 1 Tblspn extra virgin olive oil, 1 turn of the pan
  • 1 1/4 pounds ground beef
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tsp to 1 tblspn steak seasoning blend
  • 1 mediun onion, chopped
  • 1 small bell pepper chopped
  • 1 tblspn red wine vinegar
  • 1 tblspn Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 cups tomato sauce
  • 2 Tblspns tomato paste
  • 4 crusty rolls split, toasted and lightly buttered

Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add oil and meat to the pan. While meat is browning combine brown sugar and steak seasoning. Add sugar and spice mixture to the skillet and combine. When the meat has browned add onion and red peppers. Reduce heat to medium and cook onions, peppers , red wine vinegar and Worcestershire sauce with meat for 5 minutes. Add tomato sauce and paste and stir to combine. Reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes longer. Spoon onto rolls and serve. (I just made homemade biscuits and we spooned them over those.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

I love my hubby

Yes, that's what a pound and a half of carob chips looks like. To give him credit, the list specified a years supply!!!! I really am so very grateful that you are willing to go shopping for me honey, Thanks!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Blog Action Day

October 15th is Blog Action Day. Each blogger will post about the environment in their own way in relation to their own blog. I already had a couple environment related posts up my sleeve for a rainy day so I'm getting them ready! If you feel moved to participate visit the web page for more info.

Tender moments

Eight days old.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Thanks Ashlee!!!

My wonderful blogging buddy Ashlee who blogs at Mama's Nest and is the owner of Nest sent me a sling! I've used it every day since receiving it on Friday, it's my first adjustable sling and I love it! Plus I love the fabric, it's very well made and I think more stylish than my wardrobe!

It is so easy to put it on quickly even just to do one small task, with other carriers if I'm going to put it on it's not really worth it if I'm just taking out the garbage before I change her diaper. This one I just plop her in and we're ready to go. Like my son, she doesn't like any of the horizontal positions, just upright which is fine with me. I have figured out how to nurse in it but I still have to hold her with one hand. I think I may go to my local La Leche League meeting on Thursday because I know it's possible to nurse hands free so hopefully someone will be able to give some advice. For now, it's nice to have to take a break to sit and nurse but soon it will be nice to be able to nurse on the go.

I also LOVE the tail of the sling, it comes in really handy for shielding the sun out of her eyes and covering up while nursing or when she's asleep.

If you need encouragement on why it's good to wear your baby Ashlee's got a great list here. My favorites are *Carrying infants lowers the level of stress hormones and adrenalin circulating in the blood stream of the infant, as well as the parent/caregiver. *Continuously carried infants actually initiate separation faster and become more emotionally self-reliant. *Babies who are carried have a lower mortality rate than infants who are denied this constant contact. - Well there are just too many to list here!!!! Thanks again Ashlee!!!!

Monday, October 08, 2007

More Three Year Old Speak

The other morning while we were cuddling in bed making baby sister smile (my son gets the biggest smiles from her) he says:

Mommy she's the cutest ever, ever, ever come out your belly!

Friday, October 05, 2007

The struggle to be consistent

Since we moved I've had a hard time getting my son to pick up his toys. I started to reread Toddler Love and Logic and a couple weeks ago got a bit more serious. Giving my son choice until I was blue in the face. ME: "Would you like to put your left shoe on first or your right?" HIM: I want to play with my trains ME:Well that wasn't an option, let's do the left.... ME: "Bath or shower?, Would you like to leave now or in 5 minutes? Spoon or fork, bowl or plate, red or orange, la, la, la...."

Things seemed to be looking up again (remember to stay consistent Mom and Dad!) except on the toy front. Oh, I thought I had done what they said in the book: if they won't pick up their toys give them a choice of them doing it or you. Then Mom and/or Dad put it up. I had done that with a handful of toys but it never seemed like he missed them. One day a couple weeks ago after his quiet time in his bed room toys were EVERYWHERE. I said OK buddy, you may come downstairs for a snack after all your toys are picked up. He looked at me and said "No, you can do it."

I stood there about ready to go ballistic and then thought - you are messing with the wrong Mama kiddo. Took him downstairs and I went back up and picked up EVERY toy in his room and put them up on the top shelves of closets. I had no mercy except that his night time cuddle guys were on his bed and not part of the mess so I left them.

He was upset when he saw his very empty room later that afternoon. I showed empathy, I consoled him. I asked if he wanted them back tomorrow or the next day. He said the next day and I held him to that even though I really don't think he got that it was longer without the toys. Ever since those toys have been back picking up a room has never been so easy, nor has my 3 year old ever been so willing.

Unfortunately the lesson didn't carry over to downstairs and currently all the downstairs toys are in the garage or up high as well - this morning when he say the empty shelves he did choose getting them back tomorrow instead of the next day. It's just reassuring that when I don't mess it up, this Love and logic stuff really works!

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Presto!

The other day my son was playing at my feet while I was nursing. My daughter popped off and burped to which my son said, "Excuse you Daddy."

His new favorite TV show is Super Why! and now he says "Presto" all the time. The other morning it was raining and he asked to play outside in the rain. I said as long as he got dressed in something warm it would be okay (it was more of a drizzle at the time). Then he said something to the effect of, "No it's raining outside." I said yup it was. He replied with, "Oh, it's raining outside. How are we going to do? Super readers!!!!" I was rolling on the floor. Then I had to bring up the fact that God is the only one over the weather - and we started to sing "God is over, over, over the wind and waves."

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Freeloadin' and lovin' it!

One week old in a carrier made by a good friend of mine. (If she ever wants to sell them I'll let you all know!) : The only way dinner gets made (one monyh old):

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

It's not so bad being awoken during the night to find...

These were taken last week and the baby acne is almost all gone now!!!

Monday, October 01, 2007

So....

Last evening I realized that one nursing pad was missing. (Not the disposable kind - the washable ones). By the way I nursed in public places - one of which was church!!!! Yikes!

Friday, September 28, 2007

Let's go fishing!

When we were in Las Vegas this summer visiting my Mom in law we went to the FAO Schwartz store in Caesars Palace. There I saw this fishing game and knew my son would love it. He pretends strings, ropes even my hubby's cell phone ear piece are fishing lines but I couldn't justify the 20 something dollars for a bunch of cardboard fish and things that I knew my boy would fold and crumple. Plus when I showed it to my hubby and his response was "Oh, we can make that so much better."

So one of my last nesting projects 6 and a half weeks ago was making this fishing game for my son. I found a small tupperware bin at a local thrift store and decoupaged the inside with strips of light blue tissue paper. The bin is large enough to store all the pieces and to play by fishing the pieces out of it. I had Adam drill holes in four dowels and painted each one a different color for each different player.

I tied string to each dowel and dabbed the knots with super glue to make it extra secure. At the opposite end of the string I tied a magnet with the help of hot glue to secure it before I tied it, then reinforced the knots with super glue as well.

For the fish I printed pictures that I found online (i.e. clown fish, crab, blue whale etc.). I also printed the names of all the fish and taped them to the backs. After slipping on a paper clip I covered both sides of each cut out fish with self laminate to prolong their life span.

It was really pretty fun to make and for $15 I made two of them, one for my nephew also - I think a pretty good bargain! I have been thinking that if you printed the fish on cardstock you could use packaging tape to cover the smaller size fish instead of the laminate which was the most expensive component. With older kids you might not even have to laminate at all.

We are just having fun learning how to take turns but really your imagination is the limit. I think it would be fun to fish for letters and make words or with words to make sentences etc.

If you want to participate in the Make it from Scratch Carrnival Stephanie from Stop the Ride is hosting this week and she's got a theme. She wants to know where in the world we are - country or state. Get your post up and submitted by Sunday for next Tuesday's carnival!!

Hours of fun!!!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

When Daddy takes him to get a haircut!

I usually cut his hair with clippers but a couple of weeks ago he was over due and for some reason I couldn't find the 30 minutes to cut it! So Daddy and him went together and came home with glue!

Monday, September 24, 2007

Mommy Do!

From long....

to short.....

I had it done on Saturday and I'm still getting used to it but it's definitely a lot lighter and more fun.

My little beauty is dong well, she'll be 6 weeks tomorrow. We call her a little squeaker because she makes all these wonderful baby noises and squeaks that are too adorable. She is very strong and has good head control and is starting to smile more! If only I can catch it at just the right moment for a pic!