Sunday, August 31, 2008

Breakthough

The weather was cooler today with a nice breeze and after spending the last two afternoons at our local water park this afternoon my son came in asking for a sweatshirt. What a relief to have an afternoon with nothing planned but productivity.

There were those dishes again, laundry, folding all those mountains and then the putting it away and cleaning a bathroom in between. Usually the putting away is my downfall but this afternoon the kids and I played dress up and put away laundry we were cowboys, superheros and prince and princesses. It was great.

There was also lots of singing and craziness and time for me to choreograph an entire dance to my new favorite song Natalie Grant - I Will Not Be Moved. It was so relaxing and wonderful if housework could be considered that.

Somewhere along the day I realized that I used to have way more days like this and somewhere along the way they became more and more scarce. Suddenly, filled with grief I realized that it was nearly two years ago when we lost our pregnancy that less and less days began to let music and laughter fill these walls.

I can be passive aggressive about dealing with life issues and I think it's hard to let go of the grief. Sometimes it's easier to hold on to things even if they are painful than to relinquish them knowing they will not be forgotten but tucked away with love. And that is what I have done.

With the memories tucked away in my heart I then had to fight the urge not to call my hubby and ask if he wanted to go out for sushi. This is the last night before the 30 days of nothing starts and I felt like one last hurrah. But what good would that do?

It's amazing how I'm telling myself we can't do something for a month and the urge to do it greatly overtakes all else. I also wanted to go buy some storage bins yesterday and Adam was like don't you think we have something you can use is it really necessary. This was a first, he's never EVER been the stingy one...so basically we are fighting the urge to have these wonderful luxuries while someone is making $2 a day in China or other parts of the world or even nothing at all. Hmmmm.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

I'm determined to get organized

Anyone out there have a good way to utilize the space on the top shelf of our master closet? We need the space to be more usable other than just throwing stuff up there that doesn't get used much so I'm hoping someone more organized than I will have a fabulous idea?!?

Oh, and I wrote about Nothing. yesterday and bloglines didn't pick it up if you want to check it out!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Nothing.

Mary at Owlhaven is giving us something to think about again with the 30 Days of Nothing experiment. Two years ago I thoroughly enjoyed reading about the bloggers participating and we "sort of silently" played along, but it definitely got us talking and thinking. This year we're in and I'll be blogging about our experience.

With our diet constraints I normally don't buy many prepackaged items but lately I have been buying some gluten free granola bars and cereals. My goal is to once again make much more from scratch and use these 30 days to budget better. With my husband out of work for a chunk of this year we are still under that debt which we want to pay down as quickly as possible.

Another goal for the month will be to get in the habit of menu planning as well as having a loose weekly family schedule of activities. With a one and four year old we don't have many, still it is sure make our household run more smoothly if we know which nights Adam is going to workout or when a trip to the library will fit in.

One of my downfalls is forgetting to take something out of the freezer for dinner or procrastinating and we end up going out. There will be NO take out or restaurant meals this month. Adam usually eats out for two lunches so that will be drastically cut down if not eradicated as well. I know how much easier life is with meals planned it's just a matter of doing it - so I am!

I also can't wait to link to some of my favorite non profit organizations. Talking about them during the month will help me focus on the goal of being able to have more money left over to give to others.

Discussing and answering the hard questions, this is the great stuff. As a stay at home mom it is nice to get outside of my little routine and focus on the bigger picture of life. In the end we'll be using some of our extra cash this month for (in some minuscule way) the betterment of humanity as well as paying down our debt more quickly.

You can keep track of the other participants at Owlhaven with me in September.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Dear neighbors,

I have had good intentions (the best really) of weeding my front flower beds this summer. But intentions just don't mean squat when everything else takes priority (the garden in the back that yields food!).

Please accept this simple and sincere apology for our overgrown weedy beds. I have begun to clean them out but give me some time, I have two small kids who need me but I should have the bulk of it done in the next few days. Hopefully next year we'll do better so that the sending of another nasty note from the HOA won't be necessary!

With sincere apologies,

Heidi aka Butterfly Mama

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

From serious to silly

So I'm going to start with something terrible. These cluster bomb things are absolutely inhumane what part of war is humane actually but anyway. You can sign The Peoples Treaty to help them become a thing of the past, it might not be a bad idea to let your public officials know how you feel as well. Just a thought.

* * * * * * * * * *

We've had a wonderfully spontaneous day today. Remember when I mentioned that sponteneaity was lacking in my Mommy life? Well today after running an errand this morning Adam walks in asking me what I have planned for the day. After me saying laundry, dishes, yadda yadda, he asked if I wanted to take a drive up to the mountains with the kids, do some hiking and just chill. Hello, a yes...

See driving has always just been our thing. It has always been, it started after our very first argument and became something we used to do to get out of the house at night pre kiddos. It was the most fun in his trans am with the T tops down and the heat on in the San Diego winter (if you can call it that!)

We end up talking about stuff that doesn't get brought up at home with many distractions. It was a fun day to eat up a half a tank of gas (cringe) and well worth it.

The proof is in the pictures...

My son insisted on bringing his back pack (oh how I hate to admit he was calling it rescue pack, lest you know just how much Diego we are watching currently!) with his binoculars and other essentials on our little hikes.

* * * * * * * * * *

And now for some silliness, I've started using facebook (not that I really have a clue what I'm doing yet) and really like I needed something else to suck time during the evenings but I immediately found my sister and cousin and some other friends and it seems curious. The thing I find amusing is that facebook is very nosy, he seems to tell me what any of my friends are doing and who they are talking to - it all seems sort of well, at the risk of being redundant amusingly silly. Now to figure out twitter...it seems that I'm just not technical for all these things but so many others find it fun so maybe I'll get on the band wagon too. Maybe.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Just call me Queen of the Squash

My parents tell of this trip that we took across country when I was about 3, I think. They say that all I ate (just about) was cherry tomatoes and french fries. Not that I would eat one or two cherry tomatoes but bowls full.

Always a fan of french fries but there isn't much better than picking those small, gorgeous, red, juicy gems off their vines and plopping them straight in my mouth. (After a quick rub on my shirt for proper sanitizing.) Yummy! I ate them yesterday and today until my mouth hurt and I'll probably do it again tomorrow! Hey I might get on the raw band wagon yet... when I went to pick on Saturday my lunch consisted of them and raspberries and I think even my son was happy with that meal!

Here's a picture of stuff that we harvested today from our garden. Yes, the big huge white summer squash was overlooked! So not only have we been eating zucchini three or four nights a week for several weeks now but I've got summer squash coming on and the yellow guys (which I was supposed to pick smaller too.) Not to mention that still in the garden is acorn, butternut and banana squash each awaiting peak ripeness.

In the basket are some light green peppers, tomatoes and basil. Just so I remember, three basil plants does not yield the amount of pesto that I'd love to have been able to freeze. I'll need to double that for next year - maybe inplace of one or two squash hills.

Seriously, the acorn and butternut were volunteers from my compost bin and I was curious what kind they were, so I let them grow. Alas, we just might start getting a thicker green skin by the end of this growing season...even the baby girl eats zucchini now too!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Done.

I've loved the Olympics they are really the only sporting event that I enjoy. (Other than the occasional Yankee game) As much as I enjoyed them, I am currently happy they are through. Hoping that an earlier bed time will ensue. Alas, now I'm sitting here blogging instead of going to bed!

We've been getting teeth here...my daughter got one bottom tooth a couple weeks before her birthday and one more this past week. Now I think she's working on the top ones, yikes. Lots of screaming but still tons of the usual giggling and happy playing. So really it's not so bad!

My son is now four, 4 - a number he recognizes along with most others up to 20. He seems to have inherited my quest for knowledge because he seriously would rather do some of the school workbooks I got for him instead of coloring. We are working on that since I think coloring happens to be an important skill for a four year old.

Happy 4th birthday my wonderful, rough and tumble son! I love you.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Since it's been a busy week...

...some party pictures!

Unsure...
You've been holding out Mommy, this is yummy!!!
My little four year old!!

After writing about my cake obsessions I was offered the cool train pan which made the perfect cake - thanks to my hubby and to Grandma for assisting with the decorating. I also receive a wonderful easy to frost recipe from Linds thanks you guys!

You can see the cute little butterfly cupcakes in the first picture before it gets torn apart. All in all I think a successful day!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Blue

I took a break. Imagine that, I'm editing pictures and reading blogs when I hear little feet above me. I actually thought he would nap today since we've had four late nights in a row already.

Of all the ways to word things I ask, "Why are you not asleep."

And the little almost four year old voice answers, "Because I keep going downstairs and eating blueberries."

Ah, we will survive this day - at least we've gotten plenty of antioxidants!

Opening Ceremonies

Monday, August 11, 2008

Birthday Obsessions

This weekend we'll be having a birthday BBQ for our little ones since their birthdays are eight days apart. I'll be trying my hand at a Thomas the tank engine cake as well as making a bunch of butterfly carrot cake cupcakes.

My husband says that once I get something in my head I obsess over it until it happens. He's never going to let me forget my obsession with baby carriers during my last pregnancy, every time he would look at my computer I'd have another style that I was looking at. I did find all different kinds of styles that I wanted even though I already had two. Ahem, I think it's up to six now but who's counting anyway! (Yes, all of them are well used.)

Back to my point, I'm now obsessing over which cakes to make, what kinds and how to decorate. I'm obsessing and I need someone to share it with since my wonderful and loving husbands eyes glaze over the instant I begin sharing details of the entire thing. Since I can't see all your eyes glazing I thought of all my dearest friends in blog land. So my friends, here's what I've found.

If I were more like Martha Stewart I'd make my son his Thomas the Train cake to look more likethis one at Glads Passion. Isn't it just gorgeous? As it is I'll be lucky to make one that looks anywhere close to this one. Which I do think is very cute!

I really do enjoy the way fondant looks on a cake, but I just don't enjoy eating it. Since taste is at least half of reason to make the cake I'm just not motivated to even try to use it. It seems like it might be fun, like working with clay so who knows, maybe I'll have to try it once.

As for the butterfly cupcakes, there are a couple of different options I've found. I really like these with the chocolate wings. It just seems like a bunch more work having to make those delicate little wings. Especially, when these would be half as much work and still very cute.

I think it will depend on time. Especially since I need to do a total overhaul in every room of our house, cleaning wise. I should be obsessing about that! Not to mention that every evening this week is vacation bible school at church - late nights, busy chaotic days and early mornings = we might just be eating plainly iced cake and cupcakes not that my kids will really care.

I put a ton of importance on a home made birthday cake. It's something I remember feeling really great that my Mom usually did for us. Last year since I had a 12 day old baby at my sons party my hubby overruled and bought a cake. (My wonderful Mom still made my son one for his real birthday!) So for me it doesn't matter whether it looks like perfectly frosted perfection. It is a challenge and work from the heart that will in some small way show my love for them.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Sunday

I enjoy several blogs who include Sundays with bible verses and or devotions. I've always wanted to start something like it but I always doubt my own knowledge. Today I started realizing that it could be a good way to increase my knowledge, imagine that, learning by doing!

So I'm not committing to every Sunday but I'm going to try for a couple a month matching up some verses to what is going on in the Butterfly home. For this week it's one I've put above my sink where I'm our dishwasher!

Do all things without complaining and disputing, that you may become blameless and harmless, as children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world. Philippians 2:14,15

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Stop, Thief!

Seriously, my dog eats the raspberries. Hello! And he nibbles away at the ones just before they are ripe enough to pick. Between him and my son I think I've eaten two!

But seriously today at the mall I parked my daughter in the stroller next to a table with folded shirts on it while I was looking at another item. I turn around and she's dumped them all on to the floor. (Mental reminder of why I usually carry her around.)

After I've unloaded kids and items from the stroller back at the car in the 95 degree heat I see this random shirt in the bottom of the stroller. Hello! I stole a shirt.

Kids were already buckled, it was nap time, and I had apparently already got away with it so I decided not to go all the way back. (terrible!?)

Good thing my hubby works just down the way so Children's Place you will be getting your little shirt back tomorrow!

Hopefully we're done with the confessions!

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Zucchini coming out of your ears???

Anyone who's ever planted them in the garden knows that before long there is more zucchini coming off the plants than we know what to do with. We pick them small and tender at first eager for another years harvest. Steaming, sauteing, and then eventually they get big and huge and we stuff them and grate them into breads.

I thought others might be interested in trying some new recipes I've come across this year that my family is just loving. If we're gonna eat it all week long might as well add some new recipes in there!

Savory Pancakes (This recipe lends well to rice flour and rice milk to make it dairy and gluten free) 1/2 cup flour 1/2 tsp baking powder 1/2 tsp salt 1/4 tsp pepper 1 egg 1/4 cup milk 2 cups grated zucchini* 2 small scallions, diced vegetable oil sour cream and salsa (optional)

Stir together flour, baking powder, salt, and pepper. In a second bowl, whisk the egg and milk, then stir in veggies. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and combine thoroughly.

Add 1 T oil to a skillet over medium heat, when oil is hot, spoon the batter into the pan, about 1/3 cup per pancake for approx. 2 minutes on each side or until golden brown.

*Can also substitute one cup carrots for one of the cups of zucchini or 1 cup yellow squash.

My other recipe, isn't really a recipe, it's more like something I just throw together. Veggie Lasagna. Basically I just make the lasagna noodles (we use gluten free ones) and while those are cooking I make my pasta sauce. In another saute pan I add maybe 3 cups of 1/2 inch zucchini slices, olive oil, garlic (lots of it - yummy!), onions, pine nuts really whatever I have around (I've thrown in leftover broccoli and spinach too). Season with your favorite spices or herbs. Then I layer the noodles, veggies and sauce (you can add cheese if you eat it but we all enjoy it without.) and bake just for 15 or 20 minutes to let the flavors blend together.

Yummy, I was just thinking that this might be yummy with pesto sauce too. I am so addicted! We are having pesto on our homemade gluten free pizza now too and it is SO yummy!

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Simply Perfect

My almost one year old is finally jumping onto the solid food bandwagon! As our weaning road begins to take shape, she nurses almost exclusively before naps and at night. Naptime is simply perfect. I never want to give up this opportunity to lie down with my little beauty.

Yes, usually I'm pestering my almost four year old to keep it down and that quiet time means Q.U.I.E.T. or impatiently waiting to do one of the million things on my to do list. Recently however, I’ve been overwhelmed and I’m finding solace in the simple. Time where I am just there with my daughter. Thinking about how much bigger her head is than it was almost a year ago. Breathing in the sweet smell of her while tucking a stray wisp of hair back behind a tiny ear, knowing it will never again be this small.

Sometimes she is so busy that she'll begin attempting calisthenics. Rolling onto her tummy, keeping her head fairly still, she’ll walk her feet up actually lifting her bottom off the bed. Softly I place my hand on her chubby, rosy cheek whispering a reminder that it's time to be going sleepy. Gently I'll pull her lower body close, letting the weight of my arm rest there, holding her still enough for sleep to wash over her.

While last week I was comforted skimming words and silently turning pages, this week I find myself scanning a gorgeous face, memorizing the exact hues of blue in her eyes and beautiful red of her lips. My thoughts wander a bit to the sandy blonde wisps of hair, curious if the hint of strawberry will fade away as more years pass.

Tiny fingers clasp my seemingly giant index finger so softly at first and then strongly they pull my finger toward her chest right below her chin. Tiny toes tickle my pale stretch marked tummy as her little eyelids do touch and goes.

I linger a bit longer, knowing that dishes can wait for a Mommy to marvel over a miracle of life. My own breathing a bit slower, my spirit revived and my heart full, admiring the innocent look of peace sleep brings over my daughter’s face. I soften my footsteps out the door and down the stairs knowing that so much more than perfect nutrition was just shared.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Six things of randomness...

Ashlee from mama's nest tagged me to play along and share six random facts about myself.

  1. I am currently addicted to reading anything by Dee Henderson. A very good friend lent me a couple of her books for our trip to San Diego last Thanksgiving and I've read at least one a month since then. And while we are on the subject of reading I'm anal about reading every single word. If I think I skipped one word, I'll read the entire sentence again...a speed reader I am not!
  2. I love pesto sauce. (We make it without the parm- just a couple handfuls of basil from the garden, a couple - or more - cloves garlic, a handful of pine nuts, a sprinkling of kosher salt and about a third of a cup of olive oil blended together.) Pure heaven to me lately!
  3. I am quite technically challenged. I am confident that I could learn much more than I currently know about computers and other high tech stuff but since my husband is quite proficient at it, I trust his judgment and I just learn what I need. I figure it saves time that way. Not to mention technology doesn't always like me either. We had a computer when we lived in CA that would flash an error every time I used it and sometimes when Adam would be using it and I entered the room. It was sort of freaky.
  4. My Gramp taught me how to water ski when I was a kid on our annual visits. When I was in high school and dying to learn how to ski with a single he was SO patient and for probably more than an hour since I just couldn't seem to get passed all the spray in my face and make it up. He suggested a break to rest my legs and I reluctantly laid on the dock for a bit. I can remember the first time I got up he smiled a wonderful grin and drove the boat on - so much fun. Now I'm realy wanting to spend a day out on the water :)
  5. The last week or so I have a vendetta against squash bugs. Three years ago they invaded my garden and were all over every plant. I'm keeping them in check pretty well this year but they seem to like just a couple plants so I go out and squish them in the evening after I get kids to bed. It's sort of satisfying for some odd reason!
  6. I used to be way more spontaneous and carefree before I had kids. Lately, I've been really missing that (not that I'm wanting to go skinny dipping or anything) just doing something here or there to keep the days from being so monotonous!

THE RULES: Link to the person who tagged you. Post the rules on your blog. Write six random things about yourself. Tag six random people at the end of your post by linking to their blogs. Let each person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their website. Let your tagger know when your blog entry is up.

I'm gonna break the rules and say if you feel like you want to share six random things about yourself - please do and let me know in the comments.