Monday, January 31, 2011

20 favorite things

Suggested blog post... so here it is!

20 of my favorite things:

I'm intentionally leaving out my kids, my family, etc. Those are really obvious so I'm skipping them in the name of revealing more!

1. Homemade bread. (Probably obvious to anyone who is paying attention... I'm not sure if there are very many food things that are better than a slice of homemade bread with jam on it.)
2. Strawberry Jam. It has to be homemade.
3. Nature walks. As we call them in our little family, I love to put on my tennis shoes and get walking in the outdoors. As long and as far as possible.
4. History.
5. French Pastries and Parisian Bistro food. (I haven't really ever met a French pastry I didn't like, but my favorite is Tarte Framboise...raspberry tarte. I think my favorite Bistro food is just plain old poulet (baked chicken) with pomme frites (fries).
6. Disney World.
7. Slide-on New Balance shoes. They're tennis shoes, they're slip on... what could be better?
8. Buffalo Chicken. Wings, Tenders, Breast Sandwich...delish.
9. Water. Better than any other beverage. Great for bathing, swimming, keeping plants alive. I'm not too keen on it in the form of snow, but water is my favorite drink and I love swimming!
10. Goat Milk Soap.
11. Steak. Nothing better than a big, delicious steak on my plate with a baked potato (just butter).
12. Ohiopyle State Park. It combines several of my favorite things: nature, nature walks, water, small towns. Just a great place to visit in the summer & fall.
13. Small towns. I love quaint towns with a little main street that has shops and a wide sidewalk.
14. Wide open space. If I could live out in the country and still be close to the city somehow, I would. I love great big yards and maybe even some cows, fresh country breezes blowing across my face... ahh.
15. Capri Pants.
16. McGinnis Sisters' food market.
17. Pink. The color. And purple too.
18. Lilacs. My favorite flower by far.
19. Summer fruit season- strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, peaches, apples. Yum.
20. Pumpkin.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Might be my new favorite food blog...

I stumbled across this Pittsburgh blog last night and was totally amazed.

Today I made her light wheat sandwich bread. Fabulous.

I will be making many more of her recipes soon.

YUM.

And the fact that the author's name is Lauren?

That's Burghilicious.

http://burghilicious.com/

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Ian's Despicable Me Moves



Ian learned these dance moves from the movie Despicable Me... and then there's Aaron, who needs some new moves, but is obviously feeling pretty good these days. We took this video before bath 2 nights ago. So funny.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Just call me Mrs. Fix-it

This morning, first thing, I went down and started the load of Lauren's diapers that had been soaking over night. When it was done, I returned to the laundry room to run a second rinse cycle and noticed the mop sink wasn't fully empty from the first cycle, but it was going down so I kept moving.

We were late leaving for a playdate. Ian's ridiculous behavior delayed our departure from the house by thirty-five minutes this morning. Every single delay tactic he could muster. I finally got the kids all into the van & ran back to hang up diapers...I stepped into the laundry room onto the rug in front of the washer and promptly soaked my socks.

F.L.O.O.D.

Our washer drains into our mop sink. Personally I think that's kinda dumb, but whatever. Something was keeping the water from draining out of the mop sink and it overflowed. It does that occasionally. usually when someone mistakenly leaves a rag or something in it and the drain gets blocked. I try to stay upbeat about it because, hey, our laundry room floor gets washed...with soap!

But this morning I just saw doom and gloom. I noticed recently that our sink drains have been running slow too. And then the flood in the laundry room. The last time this happened our entire garage backed up with sewer water & we had to have Roto Rooter come after my handyman dad came and cut a piece out of our pipe. It was a major mess & hassle. That was 5 years ago. Enough time for the tree roots to grow back, right? Crap.

I'd also noticed our town's water/sewer authority "Ram-Jet" truck has been running up and down the road all week. So maybe the problem was actually with the street/town instead of us. Roger called them. They came and checked. All was clear on their end. Dang.

Before we tried chemicals (I don't really like using them) or calling a plumber or something, I decided to try the plunger on the mop sink on last time. Gave it a really good plunging. I think I was taking the day's frustrations out on it. I was praying while I was plunging. I was just about to get the Arm & Hammer Washing Soda (a "plugged sink" remedy my mom has used forever) and woosh! The water rushed down the drain & I could no longer keep any water in the sink!

Clear!

Praise God!

Why am I blogging about my clogged sink?

A long time ago I came across a quote (of Mason Cooley) that says, "Faith moves mountains, but you have to keep pushing while you're praying."

I love that quote. I kept a piece of paper I scrawled that quote on taped to my computer monitor all through college.

Today, I'm thinking, "You have to keep plunging while you're praying!" 

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

French Dip Sandwiches

I was going off of this recipe:

http://allrecipes.com//Recipe/Easy-Slow-Cooker-French-Dip/Detail.aspx

I say "going off of" because here's what happened:

I went to walmart to buy the ingredients since there were a bunch of other things we needed like lightbulbs and shampoo. Walmart, unbelievably, was OUT of French Onion Soup. There wasn't a single stinkin' can in any brand, size, etc. Apparently there is a run on French Onion Soup? So I ended up with Lipton powdered french onion soup/dip mix and a can of College Inn lower sodium beef broth.

I bought a roast.

I bought the nicest looking sub buns I could find (they weren't super, but they were ok.)

I bought provalone cheese.

Then I came home and put the powdered soup mix through a wire strainer to get out the big pieces of onion because I don't like onions. (I don't mind onion flavored stuff so much, but I do not want to chomp down on a hunk of onion in something...gross!) Added the onion soup mix to the crock pot with the roast and the beef broth and an extra can of water. (I filled the beef broth can up with water and dumped that much into the crock pot.)

Then I remembered the beer in the recipe. The only beer we have is one bottle of some special kind Roger picked the last time he did a mix-n-match 6 pack. I don't think he would've wanted me cooking with it. So I left the beer out.

Flipped the crock pot on high (it was almost 1pm by this time) and hoped for the best!

At 4:40pm I turned the crock pot off and took the meat out so it could cool a little before I tried slicing it.  Cut the buns in half, put them on a cookie sheet, cut the provalone slices into half-moons, turned the broiler on, then sliced the meat, put it on the buns, topped with cheese and into the oven.

Served with french fries and sweet potato fries, mixed veggies, the jus for dipping, & horseradish & mayo for Roger's sandwich.

They were very good.

The kids did not like them. Next time I will just cut meat like normal for the kids and not try to make them eat sandwiches. The kids love roast beef... not so much sandwiches. *sigh*

We will be having this again.  I'd like to try it with the beer added... maybe... but I liked it the way it was today, too!

Let me know if you try it too!



Did you notice I changed the table cloth?! 

Monday, January 24, 2011

Lauren's 6m Stats

At 6 months:
your child is 16.875 pounds, and that is
at the 59th percentile for weight.
your child is 25 inches, and that is
at the 16th percentile for height.
Head circumference of 43cm. 

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Blueberry Bagels

It must be blueberry season in Chile. The fresh blueberries in our stores are not insanely priced right now.

I tried my hand at blueberry bagels this morning. Making bagels isn't that hard, but I definitely need more practice. I've tried a wheat bagel recipe & now the blueberry one. They taste good, but didn't rise like I thought they should.

Note, if you try this recipe, Make sure you read the "comment" about the recipe on the bottom. Also, I would not recommend using fresh blueberries like I did... it was one heck of a mess. I wanted to just quit, but I couldn't let myself waste the fresh berries so I pressed onward. Just beware. I will not make it again with fresh berries... only dried.



http://dairyfreecooking.about.com/od/breadsbakery/r/blueberrybagels.htm

Blueberry Bagels

User Rating2 Star Rating(1 ReviewWrite a review
By , About.com Guide


Bagels are one of those breads that are often--but not always--dairy-free, but, like so many things, making them at home is so fun and tasty, and they freeze and keep well for rushed mornings.
Makes 10 to 12 bagels

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups warm water
  • 2 .25-ounce packets dry active yeast
  • 3 T. plus 2 t. white granulated sugar (I prefer unrefined cane sugar)
  • 5- 5 1/2 cups all-purpose white flour
  • 2 t. salt
  • 2 cups blueberries, fresh or dried (I prefer fresh tiny varieties)
  • Cornmeal, for pans
  • 10-12 cups water

Preparation:

1. In a medium-large mixing bowl, combine the warm water, yeast and the 3 T. sugar, stirring gently until dissolved. Allow the mixture to stand for 5 minutes or until bubbly. (If no bubbles surface, this means that most likely your yeast is no longer "active"; discard your mixture and use fresh yeast.) Add in 4 1/2 cups of the flour and salt gradually until the mixture comes together into a soft dough. Fold in the blueberries gently. Add the remaining flour 1/4 cup at a time until the dough is stiff but not dry. Turn out the dough on a lightly floured surface and knead until the dough is elastic and no longer sticks to your hands, adding flour as needed, about 7-10 minutes. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, turning to coat, cover with a clean dish cloth and set in a warm place to rise until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
2. Preheat the oven to 400 F. LIghtly oil a large baking sheet.
3. Punch down the dough and divide it into 10 to 12 pieces, depending on how large you want your bagels. Shape each piece into a ball and then, using your fingers, make a hole in the center, gently stretching the dough until the hole is the size of a large coin. Place the bagels on the prepared sheet as you work, then cover with the clean dish towel and let rise for an additional 25 minutes.
4. Lightly oil another large baking sheet and sprinkle lightly with the cornmeal. Bring the 10-12 cups of water to a boil in a large pot with the remaining 2 t. sugar. Working in batches (about 3-4 at a time), gently submerge the bagels into the boiling water and boil until they rise to the top, about 3-5 minutes. Transfer the bagels to the prepared baking sheet and repeat until all of the bagels have been boiled. Bake for 35 minutes, flipping after the first 5, until golden brown. Serve warm or at room temperature.

User Reviews

 2 out of 5
Good ingredients, poor instruction, Member pineapple.express
While the end product tasted good, the entire process of making these bagels was incredibly stressful, mainly because the directions were very unclear and also gave a very inefficient method. I have a few recommendations: 1) Use high rise yeast. I found that the dough rose a twice as fast as the recipe said and made the job go by somewhat faster with the same end result. 2) Before you put the dough in an oiled bowl to rise you MUST mead it with a lot of flour. I'm not sure this recipe calls for enough flour in the initial mixing process. 3) Instead of punching the holes with your fingers, roll the dough out into strips and pinch them together into an O. This is much easier and it is how they do it in bagel shops anyway, I have now clue why this recipe wants you to do it differently. 4) Separate dough into very small sized bagels. Trust me, they with rise a lot! I also found that when you boiled the dough, it did not sink to the bottom of the pot. I was kinda confused about this, but it didn't seem to have a negative impact. Also, this recipe appears to be a little out of order. You want to mix the dough, mead it, put it in a bowl to rise, punch it down, separate and shape it, let it rise again, boil, and bake. I was a little confused about how it was written, but it wasn't to hard to sort out. I also put an egg glaze on top and sprinkled them with sugar before baking.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

A Half Birthday

We celebrated Lauren's half birthday today.  (We celebrated half birthdays for all of our kids... I blogged about Ian's & Aaron's too. <--ok maybe I didn't blog about Aaron's, but we definitely celebrated it. There's a picture somewhere!)

So today I made a half birthday cake for Lauren--white cake with my mom's butter frosting. YUM. Grandma and Grandpa Spaceship just happened to come over this afternoon and we had Lasagna for dinner.

We also had a sunny day today!  It was only a high of 11 today, but it was sunny! We took pictures of Lauren at her 6 month mark.

She's rolling everywhere. She can get up on her hands and her knees, but not both at the same time. She's scooting all over the house. She can maneuver herself from one side of the room to the other and pick up even the tiniest little shneebly of crayon paper and put it in her mouth.

She screeches and squawks like neither of the boys ever did. She loves pears, peaches, peas, green beans, and bananas. She does not love baby cereal of any kind. She screams at the table if we don't feed her as fast as she thinks we should. She can pick up puffs and put them in her own mouth (and eat them.) She can also eat single-grain oat cereal... aka organic (not general mills brand) cheerios if we break them into little pieces. We don't focus on food and we're not pushing her, but she wants to eat when we're sitting at the dinner table. If we don't offer her something to eat like a big girl, she gets really mad. She is breastfed and will not even entertain the idea of a bottle. (Neither would Aaron... until he was about 9 months old and he saw big brother drinking from a sippy cup... Aaron went straight to a sippy cup and never did bottles at all.)

Lauren's favorite place is in the Ergo carrier on my belly. She still hates the car. She sleeps in her crib for her naps and for the first stretch of the night (from bedtime until about 2am). She will suck on a binky, but really could take it or leave it.

She doesn't babble a whole lot, but blows a lot of raspberries. She enjoys being talked to, sung to, rapped to, and to play patty-cake. She adores her brothers (who adore her right back) and she thinks daddy is pretty cool too.

She's a delight! A very pleasant baby. I love my boys, but gosh, I love my girl! She's so special. So sweet. So snuggly. She's just fabulous.

I can't believe it's been a half a year already. By the time I publish this, she'll be closer to a year old than to a newborn. How is that possible? Wasn't it just yesterday that we first saw her little bean shape wiggling on the ultrasound monitor? Now she's looking at me with those big eyes, yelling at me to shovel food faster, and going all over the living room. Unreal.









Friday, January 21, 2011

We made playdough

I used this recipe. 

I let Ian & Aaron each have a sauce pot on the stove to which they added the ingredients we measured together.

Then I stirred them with the heat on until it was done.

I dumped it out onto parchment paper on the table and kneaded it until it was cool enough for the kids to handle.

And then they played and played.

For the record, I found the link for the playdough recipe at this awesome website.

Also for the record, I know we need to change our table cloth. And that we're still in our pajamas at 11am.


Thursday, January 20, 2011

Last minute tips

A topic suggested by a friend. He & his wife just happen to be having their first baby in 6-ish weeks. Do I detect a little bit of freaking out? (I'm joking... or am I?)

So you're about to have a baby. What are my Last Minute Tips for you?

1. Don't worry about getting everything perfect.

I know you want to. I know you're making lists and lists and planning projects down to the last minute before you leave for the hospital. I did it too. The last 6 weeks before Ian's due date arrived, I spent every waking moment and a lot of the moments I should've been sleeping trying to get things perfect. I folded, refolded, organized, reorganized, cleaned, re-cleaned, paid bills ahead, packed my bag, repacked my bag, installed the car seat bases, put up the pack-n-play, assembled the swing, bouncer, exersaucer, laid out the diapers, bought 7 different kinds of creams and lotions, etc. I had it all ready. I was so ready that in the week after my due date I just sat around beached-whale style, twiddling my thumbs. 

With Aaron, I had big plans to do all that again, but he came early. 

When we brought the baby home each time the exact same thing happened:  we were too dang tired to CARE about anything but sleep. It didn't matter whether the windows were washed or not. The laundry piled up faster than it ever did before and in mere days you couldn't tell I'd gotten every last piece washed & put away before the baby came. In fact, Aaron didn't even have a room for his first 7 months (and neither does Lauren for that matter) and in the long run we were much happier the 2nd & 3rd times around because we just didn't pressure ourselves to be perfect. 

I also know that it doesn't matter that I'm saying this because people said it to me too. I still wanted everything perfect. But that's my first tip... don't try to be perfect because nothing ever is. 

2. Make your wishes known before everyone is already at the hospital. 

If you want to be alone (just husband, wife, baby and medical staff) for delivery, you need to express those wishes before you are in labor. It is the only way to save hurt feelers. And it is totally your prerogative to be alone in labor and delivery.  I'm not sure if anyone told you yet, but labor and delivery is NOT pretty. It isn't fun. It is actually pretty gross and very exhausting.  Just know that, before you invite a whole party into the room. And nobody in that room with you will ever look at you the same way once they've seen you birth a child. 

3.  Plan on being tired for a year at least. (I don't actually know how long it is before you get real rest because by the time Ian was sleeping well enough to afford us a decent night's sleep, we already had another baby.)  You'll do best if you learn to exist in a happy way while you are completely exhausted.

4. Grow a thick skin. Stat.

You can't unhear things. And people say MEAN stuff. There is always someone who will think how you're parenting is awful. There will always be people who don't have any filter at all and will feel no qualms about telling you you're wrong. It's best to start growing your thick skin now... and march to the beat of your own drum. And just do what feels right for you. Brush everything else off your shoulders and move on. You can't please everyone all the time. 

5. Let people do things for you. 

As soon as someone offers something, accept it. This goes for letting someone vacuum your house, bring you meals, etc. This also goes for the hospital. Let the nurses change the diapers. You're going to change 3000 some diapers (per kid) in your time as parents so you might as well let someone else do it whenever you get the chance!

I'll admit this is a really hard one for me. I don't like letting people do things for me. And with breastfeeding it is really difficult to let someone care for the baby while I do something like...sleep. (Doesn't matter anyway, if any of the kids is awake, I am too. Even if I had soundproof walls in my bedroom it wouldn't matter.) But I'm trying to let more people do more things for me. I'm a work in progress.

I'm going to put the kids down for naps and come back to this hopefully. I think I've hit all the major things... 


Sleep, Precious Sleep

In the last month or so, I've been asked several times how Roger & I regularly manage to get all three children sleeping at the same time. I decided that, while I'm certainly no expert, I could blog about it.

It is no secret that our kids haven't always been good sleepers.  In fact, they sucked at sleeping. 

But  it seems that we've stumbled upon a method to get all of our children down for naps and bed at the same time, most of the time.

First, we do not abide by the old adage, "Never wake a sleeping baby." Well, actually it depends on your definition of "baby." Beyond the newborn stage, we do not abide. Why not? In order to get all the kids sleeping at relatively the same time, they need to be tired at the same time. If Lauren falls asleep at 11am, that's fine, but if she sleeps longer than 20 minutes she won't be ready for an afternoon nap. So...I wake her. I don't startle her awake or abruptly wake her, but I do make an environment that makes it more difficult for her to sleep. (Read: I put her down.) Same story in the afternoons... We never let the boys sleep past 4:30pm. If we do, they won't go to bed before 10pm and that makes for a tired morning.

Second, we do the same routine every afternoon before nap and every night before bed.

Around 12pm, we have lunch. Then we watch a show and drink milk. Around 1pm, I take one of the boys (usually Aaron) to his bedroom, read a story or two, give kisses, and into his bed. Then I do the same for the other boy. Then I nurse Lauren until she's sleeping and she goes to her bed. Then...I don't make ANY noise. Yeah, yeah, yeah, your kids "should get used to sleeping through noise." Nope. Not in this house. My kids are incredibly light sleepers. If I want them to sleep, I don't make noise.

For bedtime, we do a bath most nights, the jammies, a show while eating a snack & drinking milk, do medicines (for Aaron), brush teeth, read stories, give kisses, into bed. Sometimes Roger does it all himself at bedtime (awesome to have daddy be so great at bedtimes & very useful too.)  It really is a good idea to have more than one person able to do bedtime with your kids... you know, in case you have to stay overnight in the hospital or something...

We are by no means perfect.  And our kids had to Cry-it-Out eventually, but this is what is working for us now!

Stay tuned, though, because we are about to move Ian and Aaron together and most likely will have to make some changes.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

My Kids are Fresh Food Snobs.

I didn't really think too much about it when it happened, but a couple of days ago my mom and I were at the grocery store and the following conversation happened:

Mom: "Do you need fruit? DelMonte canned fruit is 10 for $10 this week."

Me: "Nobody in my house likes canned fruit, but me."

Mom: "The kids don't eat canned fruit?"

Me: "Nope, they're so used to fresh that they won't eat canned."

Mom: "Huh."

Am I raising food snobs? My children will eat frozen fruits and vegetables. They eat a wide variety of fresh fruits and vegetables... more than any other almost-four-year-old and 2 year old I know. But they won't eat canned anything.
Read more »

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Feeling Better

Is it just me or does his face look different already?











Monday, January 17, 2011

Ian's Preschool Progress Report

I know it's kinda hard to read, but our big preschooler got his mid-year progress report from his teachers. He's doing well, as you can see. :-)



Aaron's growth

I'm going to do a post just for Ian in a second, but I wanted to get down Aaron's growth measurement from Wednesday.

In October, Aaron was 32.75 inches, 26 pounds and 48cm head circumference. (At 2 years exactly.)

On Wednesday January 12, 2011, at age 27 months, Aaron was 35 inches, 25.8 pounds, and 49 cm head circumference.

So he has grown! He didn't gain any weight, but added 2.25 inches in height. Excellent news.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Sunday Sweetheart & Trumpette Socks

We might not get anymore sunshine before Lauren turns 6 months old, so these might just turn into her 6 month photos. (I hope not. Not that I don't like them, but I really hope we have another sunny day before next weekend...)

We took these photos of Lauren wearing her Trumpette socks from her Great Aunt Sam.  There's a contest going on Trumpette's Facebook for the most "likes" or comments on a fan photo... so if you want to help Lauren win, you can go to her photo and like it (or comment.)

While we're talking about Trumpette socks, let me just go ahead and say that I love them and if I wasn't so cheap Lauren would have a whole bunch of different kinds of them. She's growing out of her 0-6 month size Trumpette socks and I'm so sad about it!  *sigh*  We've worn the dickens out of the pairs she got from Great Aunt Sam!  PERFECT for dressing up her feet without wearing shoes.  We're in the "don't wear shoes unless you have to camp.

So without further rambling, here's dear Lauren in her cutie-patootie socks. (and Carter's outfit from Grandma Spaceship.) Roger took these photos...if you notice, I'm in the background making sure she didn't lose her balance and crack her noodle on the floor. She's getting really good at sitting, but she's not 100% yet. Roger's a much better photographer than I am. He taught himself before he had kids, unlike me who didn't decide to learn to use the camera until I was juggling all these tots and the camera.






Friday, January 14, 2011

Adenoidectomy

I didn't blog the last few days. We spent pretty much the entire day at Children's hospital Wednesday with Aaron. He was having his adenoids out. And then he stayed overnight with Roger.









He did well. He wasn't feeling very good for the first 24 hours or more, but has since perked up quite a bit. At first he wouldn't fall asleep. (More than usual...) Aaron is our best sleeper and he was refusing to lay down (or even to fall asleep while being held).  He seems to have gotten past that now, though.


Our challenges are 1. Finding enough soft foods that are interesting to him. Aaron is a good eater. He has a very balanced diet.  Have you ever tried to convince a 2 year old of anything?  Convincing Aaron that he should try a food he doesn't normally eat, especially when he's not feeling well has been really hard! And just because he ate something the first time you offered it, does not mean he's interested in it again. (Read: jello, macaroni and cheese, popsicles, etc.)

2.  Keeping him from getting too rambunctious. His discharge instructions said he could return to school on Monday (if he goes to school, which he doesn't...) and no exercise for 14 days. When was the last time you spent time with a 2 year old? He runs everywhere. He jumps around. His normal movements could very easily be considered "exercise." So how do we keep him from moving?

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Monday, January 10, 2011

Winter. I loathe it.

I used to love winter. I loved winter sports. I loved shoveling (to the point that I would shovel the neighbors' sidewalks when we lived in Erie just to be nice.) I loved being out in the chilly air. I loved winter. I didn't even mind driving on awful roads. It was just life in the snow belt. You either learned to love it or you were in misery for 4 months each year. So I loved it.

Then I had kids.

5 years ago, when I wanted to go outside (or in the car) during winter, I just threw on a coat & went. Now?

Multiply the following process by 4 (to include me):

Get up, wash, dress, eat breakfast.
Put on socks & boots.
Buckle into car seat.
Arrive at destination.
Stand out in the elements while I:

Put on coat.
Put on hat.
Put on mittens. (can't wear a heavy coat under car seat buckles...)
Hoist children from van because heavy, puffy coat renders their movements unproductive.
Drop something into dirty, nasty slush in parking lot.
Get salt/dirt all over my pants/coat trying to hold a child's hand with each hand all while wearing a baby.
Slosh through dirty slush into building while repeatedly telling children to hurry and they won't be cold once we get inside.
Remove coat, hat, mittens so as not to overheat and sweat while indoors.
Try not to lose any of the coats/hats/mittens while inside.
Repeat entire process to go home.
Clean salt & dirt from floor inside door repeatedly.
Hang coats/hats/mittens to dry so we can use them again in an hour.
See if cell phone I dropped in slush is still working. 

Etc. Etc. Etc.

And you don't just do that once a day, you have to do it lots of times. And day after day after day. It's exhausting.

Winter is just plain old crappy. 

I need some sun and warm to recharge my batteries.


Saturday, January 8, 2011

One of my fave photos

I think this is one of my favorite "parenting" photos of myself. I was carrying a tired, tantrum-y Ian through the cemetery in Philadelphia where Ben Franklin is buried. It was really hot, way past naptime, and I was 7 months pregnant with Aaron.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Since Monday

I've been tracking my foods that I eat & trying to stay under a certain number of calories shooting for weight loss, taking into account that I'm breastfeeding right now.

I've been doing quite well, minus lunch yesterday when I was convinced the horrible headache I'd had since Tuesday was "diet" related. (So I ate a "big" lunch of leftover beef & noodles & my headache went away...huh.)

Anyway, it was cold and snowing this morning, the kids are all snotty, and I *really* wanted to make cookies. And eat them.

Oh and I also discovered a "friction" hole in the crotch of my ONLY pair of blue jeans. My Tommy Hilfiger jeans. The size up Tommy jeans I bought just after Aaron was born to replace the ones I wore a friction hole in the crotch of two years ago. (I now have just 2 pairs of pants that are non-maternity and non-yoga-type. This is not good, people.)

You know what the friction hole means? It means for the past 2+ years my non-pregnant self has been slowly creeping up on the scale. My thighs are wearing holes in blue jean material, --not delicate, thin material! Denim!--, just from rubbing together while I walk. Really. This is not good. Not good. It was gradual so not very "painfully" obvious. I knew it was happening, but with everything else going on around here it is hard to put myself first. Much easier to eat a lot and make comfort food when I'm perpetually exhausted from sleeping in 4-hour-or-less intervals at night for the past 4 years.

Oh the excuses!

Instead of making cookies, I got everyone dressed, weighed myself & found a 3/4 pound weight loss, and went to Sam's club to buy the things on our list... mostly just to get out of the house so we wouldn't eat all morning...

It worked. My desire to make cookies has waned and I'm still good on my calories.

When you're addicted to food, every day is a battle. I'm taking it one day at a time.

Someone* tweeted yesterday:

Being overweight hurts. Being on a diet hurts. Choose your hurt. 


*I apologize I don't remember who...


GOSH, I WANT SOME BACON. AND BROWNIES.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

On sibling relationships

I've been running fewer errands lately in an effort to curb impulse purchases. So on Tuesdays & Thursdays we've been running any essential errands and coming home.

Aaron has discovered a whole new world of playing without Ian here! He gets the run of the house and doesn't have to fight for toys, etc. And he is loving it.

Interesting though, he'll come and ask me if it is time to go get Ian yet. So he misses him.

Isn't it just magical to watch the relationships between your children develop?

When Ian was 8-12 months old, I repeatedly said I wasn't having another child.  Ian really sucked the life out of me during those months and there was no way I wanted to repeat it! Then Aaron came along. Almost immediately Ian loved Aaron. He was never jealous. He never tried to hurt Aaron. Ian has always loved Aaron. Then Lauren came along and it was the same thing. Neither boy was ever jealous. Neither boy has ever tried to hurt sis. If anything they are both too helpful for my comfort.

Ian and Aaron are now reaching the ages when they want to play with each other and be near each other. Built in playmates. It's wonderful. And, obviously, exactly how God intended our family to be in 2011.

Ian and Aaron go to school together on Wednesdays and frequently I hear a report from Ms. JoJo that they were inseparable. When one wanders to the other room to play, the other misses him and starts looking for him. When Ian went to his friend's birthday party at Chuck-e-Cheese and Aaron stayed home with Daddy, Ian wanted to know why Aaron couldn't come.

They are both very capable of having experiences without each other, but they prefer to do things together.

I love it!

Of course, they fight over toys and get on each other's nerves, but for the most part, it is a wonderful relationship. I can't wait to see how Lauren factors in when she gets old enough to run with the big dogs!

I should mention that it was much the same experience for me growing up and now I have great friends and pillars of support in my siblings. I have the greatest hope for my children that they might continue their close relationships into adulthood!

Remind me I said all this in 27 minutes when we pick up Ian and the ruckus starts up again!

Anyone know a decent bathroom contractor?

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The Pacifier

I don't really like that my third child sucks on a binky. Neither Ian nor Aaron ever did. No matter how hard I tried, the just wouldn't go for the binky. They didn't suck thumbs either. It was so nice not to have that habit to break.

But sometimes I have no choice, having a preschooler, toddler, and infant, to have the baby suck on a pacifier. At least she will because there would be a lot more screaming than there already is!

Plus, she looks so sweet.

I really did not want to wake her this morning to go pick up brothers from school.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Did I mention?

I'm going to try and blog every day of 2011?  I already missed the first 2 days so I guess we wait and see how well I do. I had 140 posts in 2010. Shall we just shoot for 200 this year? I think you'll be awfully sick of me if I do 363...

Some things I've been thinking about lately:

A friend I've known for a long time... back to junior high school at least had something tragic happen over the holiday & while I don't know exactly what it was (nor do I feel like I should know) I have been thinking of her and praying for her.

My daughter is going to be 6 months old in January. My husband is going to be 31 on 1/11/11. This is the year I turn 30. My sons are going to be 4 and 3 this year. Insanity.

I probably won't actively wean Lauren, but I think by the end of 2011 I neither be pregnant nor breastfeeding a baby for the first time since 2006. I'm kinda looking forward to it!

Last year I knew 25 (at least) ladies having babies. This year so far, there are 5 ladies in our friends and family who are expecting, the first of those babies due to arrive in February.

I have resolved to eat better, keep a log of everything that goes in my mouth, and hope for weight loss! My pants are tight and I'm ready. My plan is just to log what I eat (keeping myself accountable just by being able to see on paper what goes down the hatch) and do what I do until the weather gets warm enough to get out with the tots and put some miles on the jogging stroller. Then it is time to rock and roll... Mondays & Fridays I'll have the boys in the BoB and Lauren in the Ergo. Tuesdays & Thursdays I'll have Lauren & Aaron in the stroller and Wednesdays I'll have to figure out what to do with just Lauren. Oh that's just until school is out in May, then I have to re-plan.

I have resolved to enjoy my kids more. To be slower to anger. To just take each moment and savor it. To not watch the clock, willing it to move faster to nap & bed times. To just smile, laugh, and be a champion of positive experiences with my children.  (For the record, I'm already pretty good a this, but my trouble times are in the morning when we're getting ready to leave and when I don't feel well.)

A post without a photo. I'm sorry!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Christmas Morning

Totally forgot I didn't post these.  They're not high quality. Oh well. And some of them are stills from the video. But you get the point.