Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The Sun and the Umbrella Plant

See the shadow design there in the middle?

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Whad'ya Get?!

How was your Christmas? Or Hanukkah? Or Solstice? Or Kwanzaa? Or day off work?
Mine was lovely, thanks.
Christmas Eve the girls and I met my parents at Crossroads for their big Awaited program. It was as amazing as I expected, even better than last year. Ziva gave us the gift of sleeping through the whole show. The girls and I got our pictures in the photo booth and the girls really enjoyed the train display and the Kid City playground. Last year they were both bored with the program but this year Elliet was on the edge of her seat the whole time. She's one step closer to going to the Over the Rhine Christmas show with us! That night, the children all went to bed on time with no fussing. Jt put together Elliet's bike and finished wrapping gifts while I made tags and watched Lost.
Christmas morning we opened gifts (I was surprised with a KitchenAid mixer!) and I made monkey bread. It was thoroughly cooked this year so that's a step up, but I'm still looking for the perfect recipe. Then we threw our stuff together and headed up to Dayton to gather with my family. We opened more gifts and ate the best dinner of the year and had a great time. More relatives came by and it was great to see everyone. Jt and I scurried out around 9:30 to see Sherlock Holmes. Great movie, Robert Downey, Jr. was perfect and is wow, kinda hot with the older, scruffy thing he has going on. We came back and crashed on an air mattress in the living room. My mom made bacon and eggs for breakfast and we played a few rounds of Monopoly Deal before heading back home.
At home, we cleaned and cleaned and cleaned until it was time to go next door for pizza and a movie. The kids had fun with their friends and we watched Four Christmases (pretty funny!). I made drinks with the shit-ton of liquor I picked up Christmas Eve. Over ice I poured equal parts Stoli vodka, Godiva liqueur and Frangelico then added milk to the top. SO yummy!
Sunday afternoon my brother and sister in-law's family came over. I adore them and was so glad we could spend a couple of hours together. We had chili and the kids played in the little bit of snow that was falling. Later that night we exchanged gifts with Flipper and Jayden. Jt and I finished off our holiday watching the latest Harry Potter movie.
I can't think of a better way to spend the holiday...except for maybe seeing even MORE family! Okay, and maybe avoiding awkward attempts by my parents at converting my sister's boyfriend and convincing us all that Fox News is TEH AWESOME.
What did you do? By which I mean What Did You Get???

Monday, December 21, 2009

JUST What You Wanted, A Christmas Meme!

(Lifted from Swistle who lifted it from someone else. Which I guess is what makes it a meme.)

Eggnog or hot chocolate?
I like both, but I don't drink either one very often. (I lifted this answer from Swistle as well, I don't REALLY need to re-word that do I?)

Does Santa wrap the presents or leave them open under the tree? We wrap everything but the stocking stuffers. We are still piecing together the whole Santa thing. When Elliet was very small I decided to tell them that Santa is a game we play. But then they really wanted to believe and people told me that they were't screwed up by this lie so I relented and now there IS a Santa but I'm not sure what he does. Does he give them ONE gift? The one big one? Just the stockings? I have NO IDEA.
The last time Elliet asked me ,"Is he REALLY real?" I was caught off-guard. She wants to believe but doesn't want to be fooled. I told her that nobody knows if Santa's real and I think she's decided that he is.

Colored lights on a tree or white? As long as Jt is the one do put the lights on, they will be white. I like both.

Do you hang mistletoe? No but only because I hadn't thought of it.

When do you put your decorations up? The first weekend after we get home from Thanksgiving in North Carolina.

What is your favorite holiday dish? My mother makes prime rib and Yorkshire pudding and rutabagas. Dangit, now I have to clean drool off my keyboard!

Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? The girls are both getting slippers this year so I think we'll do those.

How do you decorate your Christmas tree? Jt puts a whole mess of white lights inside the tree and then we all put on the ragtag bunch of ornaments. I try to see that they are spread out but we keep the bottom third of the tree empty anyway because of the baby.

Snow: love it or hate it? Love it, so pretty, so quiet, so fun! HATE it, so slippery, so wet, so cold.

Can you ice skate? No way, haven't tried since I was a kid but we'll take the girls next year.

What is your favorite holiday dessert? Hungarian Butter Cookies

What is your favorite holiday tradition? Presents. I don't know, we get up and do presents here and then spend the rest of the day in Dayton with my parents and sisters and Nana. It's a great day.

Candy canes: yum or yuck? Love them. I don't care for other peppermints at all but I LOVE candy canes.

Favorite Christmas show? The original Grinch.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

And Because I'm a Winner...

I spotted this ad in the business section of the New York Times. It took me a full 60 seconds to realize that it was not targeting Homeless people with it's cheap, soup kitchen meals.



Monday, December 14, 2009

I'm a Winner

It's true, I win things. I remember the very first thing I ever won. It was a pack of sprees I won on the inside of a sprees wrapper. I was 16 and had just moved from Kansas City to Dayton and I was missing my best friend. So I sent her the wrapper. It was a very special gift, see. I was giving her the only thing I had ever won and I was giving her what would be my FREE CANDY. For reference, she sent me marshmallows from her Lucky Charms. All smashed up in the envelope. What I'm saying is I like candy.
My husband won a very large television a few years ago. It was entirely too big for our house so I ebayed it. What an ordeal that turned out to be. But we had money and paid our bills so that was good. Then I won a trip to Hawaii. For real.
I still don't remember entering the drawing but I usually enter whatever comes my way if it's not a big hassle (hence all the winning). A lady called me and told me I had won and I didn't know what to say. "I don't remember entering that but I do shop at Bigg's so I guess maybe I did?" I think I let her down with my lack of enthusiasm. So there was some papers and some notarizing and then we just had to go. The kids were little so Jedd's mom came and stayed here with them. We had $500 to last the whole week so the fanciest thing we ate was Cheesecake Factory. We watched Law and Order reruns (we didn't have cable at home, it was exciting!) we ate a lot of McDonald's. They have rice as a side dish there and packets of soy sauce right by the ketchup. We walked the beach a lot but only swam once. We walked by the zoo and peeked through the fences. We hiked a big ass hill.



















We had a great time.
Then last year I won a CPR kit from Amazing Trips and last week I won an ornament from Haworth Handmade through Swistle's Review blog. I picked this one:

Cute, right? So, have you ever won anything?









Thursday, December 10, 2009

Christmas Cookies



So I'm curious, are you baking this year? What do you make and what do you do with the stuff you make? I think I'm just baking for family and the office staff at the girls' schools this year. I don't think I'll make a lot, maybe some mini pumpkin loaves and Hungarian Butter Cookies. The butter cookies are a family tradition and they are SO GOOD. I'm still looking for other recipes to try out so I am going to check out every link at The Mom Creative cookie recipe exchange for ideas.

Hungarian Butter Cookies
1# butter (that's how you know these are AWESOME)
1c sugar
6 egg yolks
4c flour
2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking powder

After you mix these up you have to refrigerate them for a couple hours. Take out half the dough at a time and work quickly so it doesn't get warm. Roll them out using flour* and cut into large circles. Roll them thin, maybe 1/6 inch? They need to be thin but they are very fragile so if they are too thin they will break. On half of the circles, cut another circle out of the center.
Bake at 375° for 4-6 minutes. You don't want them brown, just done. When cool spread the circles with raspberry or apricot preserves and top with a cookie with a hole in it. On the raspberry ones we sprinkle a little powdered sugar. My mom puts chopped nuts on the apricot ones but I don't like nuts so I don't really know how she makes them stick.

*edited, these are actually rolled out in powdered sugar, not flour!

Monday, December 07, 2009

Stuff with Beans

I made two of the easiest dinners ever this past week. On Friday I found some loose andouille sausage on clearance at Jungle Jims. I browned it (about 1#) and added two cans of red beans and one can of light red kidney beans (these are what I keep on hand for chili). I added a little Chachere's Creole seasoning, onion powder, garlic powder, black pepper and cumin. then I added two cans of chicken broth. Let that cook down a little, I served it over brown rice. So easy and SO good.
Then last night we tried Shredded Chicken Tacos from Tasty Kitchen that I first saw at Suburban Bliss (I love her "Did They Eat It?" posts). This was so easy, my favorite way to cook, you just throw everything in the crock pot and you're done.

1 package frozen corn
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts - these can be frozen (even better!)
1 jar salsa
1 envelope taco seasoning

Layer corn, then beans, then seasoning, chicken and then salsa on top. 6-8 hours on high or 3-4 hours on low, shred chicken and mix with corn and beans. Fill taco shells or tortillas.

I used taco seasoning and some Mrs Dash Southwest Chipotle seasoning. I also don't like the texture of onions or cooked peppers so I pureed my salsa. We served these on tortillas with a little cheese and sour cream. My mom added chicken broth to the leftovers and made soup!

Fixed anything new lately? Extra points if it's easy!

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Dreaming Little

My friend Suzanne at List, Lust, Lost made a list recently, a sort of life list. Some people call it a bucket list. She had some little things, some bigger, things to learn, things to experience, places to go. I thought I would try this but I couldn't think of much. Then I did one of those surveys on Facebook and one question was "where would you visit if you had the chance?" and I said Alaska. No, really.
It was then that I realized I had stopped dreaming big. I have no idea what this means. Is it good? Is it part of learning how to be content where I am? I have felt very content lately, not wanting for much. An idea will come up and I think, "nah, I don't really need that" Or is it bad? Is it evidence I've contracted the sickness of mothers, the one where your dreams just don't matter anymore? I really don't know. I don't want to go through life always wanting for something. But I also don't want to go through life accomplishing nothing because I stopped trying.
So here's the list, I'll try and think big where I can:

SKILLS AND KNOWLEDGE

-Learn some basic Swahili - I just like it, it's a beautiful language

-Learn a craft, right now I'm leaning toward quilting. I have tried knitting a few times but I have tension issues, which is also why I didn't get anywhere with piano. I can't seem to make my hands and fingers do things gently.

-Learn enough Spanish to get by in a Spanish-speaking country for at least a few weeks

-Get enough medical training (probably RN) to do medical outreach here and abroad. This one is hard because I don't really want to be a nurse. Well, sometimes I do but usually I don't. But I want something important to offer the world.

TRAVEL
These are harder, these are the ones that have me wondering how driven I really am to include them on the list. Part of this is just wondering if I will ever come to a point in life that the expense for these trips is justified or even available.

-Travel to Africa, not sure where yet. See the wildlife.

-Travel to Australia, see the outback (that's a thing right?) and the reef.

EXPERIENCES

-Work in an orphanage in Romania for not longer than a month (unless Jt goes with me)

-Have a big dog

-Go to Burning Man at least one more time

-Keep chickens, just some laying hens. No more fretting over finding free range eggs.

-Switch to local, humane, clean meat

CAREER

-Have one. That really is as far as I've gone with this one.

RELATIONSHIPS AND FAMILY

-Find my half-brother, whether he wants a relationship or not. I just want to know who he is.

PHYSICAL FEATS

-Complete an XTERRA race

-Finish Burning Man tattoo (not exactly a feat, I know)

If you want to make your own list, start here:
Raptitude.com:
How to Make a Life List You’ll Actually Do: A Comprehensive Guide

Thursday, November 12, 2009

This Week on Facebook

I know a few of you aren't on Facebook so I thought I'd share some of the fun stuff that's been over there this week...

Videos of dogs
greeting their returning owners/veterans. Need to cry? There you go.

I've been enjoying a thread on the 9 News page about a billboard put up by a group for atheists.
Sounds pretty harmless, eh? So you can guess how Cincinnatians responded, uproar and threats.

Then there's this hilarious link that's been going around with a recording of two messages some guy left for some girl after trying to pick her up. Go now and listen. So hilarious. It reminded me of this guy I met at a used car lot. One afternoon my friend Tamiko and I went out to a local used car dealership to look around. We were approached by a man named Sunny (Sonny?) who had me fill out a form, I don't remember what for, I wasn't buying anything. That night he calls me. AT HOME. He wanted to tell me that I was very pretty and that he had a good, solid job and a home. He has a nice group of friends who I would like very much. I (being unable to shake the need to be a "nice girl") told him how I was in college and happily living with my sister and two dogs. Or was it a dog and two cats? I don't remember. Anyway he tells me how his house has room for all of us, my sister too. I called the dealership and tattled.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Tomato Curry Chicken and Rice

Curry is one of those things that you either like or you hate. Sort of like licorice. I love curry and it turns out Kenai loves curry too! I had never actually cooked with it so I was happy to get this recipe from my good friend, Taffany.
Taffany is one of those people who just makes you stop and go, "Oh. Wow." She's incredibly driven and keeps going long after I would have given up. Just knowing her is like going to your first decent diversity training. I met her at church, a Christian/Church of Christ but she now attends a Nazarene fellowship. She was involved with the Mormons for a while and still had them come and pray with her before major surgery. The first time I had this rice dish she had made it for her daughter's birthday party. She had also made bbq turkey instead of pork because some of their friends who were coming to the party are Muslim. There were Latino friends, white friends and African friends; Christians and Muslims gathered around a huge spread of food, playing corn hole and running around. I hope it was something like what Heaven will be like.

Tomato Curry Chicken and Rice
vegetable or canola oil
onion (at least 1/2 large)
tomatoes (one can diced or fresh)
tomato paste (one small can)
boneless skinless chicken (I used 3 breasts)
rice - this usually calls for jasmine which is what I used but it has a particular texture that not everyone likes so long grain white rice is fine as well
salt, cumin, curry, garlic, goya (blue lid), red pepper flakes, tenderizer (optional)
water
frozen vegetables (peas are best)

First cut your chicken pieces into bite size, toss them with a little oil and all the spices listed above. Let them sit like that.
Dice your onion. You can do it as big or small as you'd like. I love the taste of onion but the texture makes me vomit so I chopped them until they screamed for mercy. I chopped the HELL out of those onions. Smaller than the onions on your McDonald's cheeseburger, these onions. See,

Cook the onion in your canola oil until it's tender (or if you are like me, very, very tender) Add the can of tomato paste and the diced fresh or canned tomatoes. I don't like large pieces of cooked tomato (I know I'm SO picky) so I got a can of petite diced tomatoes and then chopped them even smaller. Cook this down until it's a nice brown color. Add the spices listed above (minus the tenderizer)

While the tomato is cooking throw your rice into another skillet and brown it just a little. This brings out the flavor or something, I'm not sure. But it's fun and it smells good. I ended up using two cups of rice for the amount of chicken I had.

Add the rice to the tomato mixture with the amount of water called for on the bag. Then use the rice skillet to brown the chicken.

When the chicken is cooked through, add it to the rice and tomato. Add the vegetables. Taffany uses mixed veggies, I used peas and spinach. I would highly recommend skipping the spinach and going with just peas.


I LOVED this meal. Elliet tried it and didn't like it. Jedd didn't try it. Kenai ate it every single day until it was gone.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

My Dad and I

Allllmost talking politics.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Sincerely

Dear childcare workers,
Ziva is tall for her age. She is not old enough to be on the toddler climber alone. She is not old enough to sit in an adult rocker by herself. Oh, and don't give me a reprimanding note about bringing in a cup for her when I brought in a cup for her.

Dear voters,
Gay people are just PEOPLE. They fall in love, they build a life with someone and they have families. Your ignorance is HURTING them. This is not a theocracy, we do not legislate morals.

Dear orthopedic doctor,
Thank you for spending more than 60 seconds looking at my daughter. I know that now that she is post-surgery she's not quite as interesting as many of the cases you get. Thank you for taking time with her anyway and for understanding that there is more to orthopedics than surgery.

Dear November,
Thank you for mint m&m's and peppermint mocha creamer. You're my favorite.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Current Playlist

Run This Town - Jay-Z with Rihanna
I love all things Rihanna. Well, most things Rihanna. PS, Jay-Z "No Homo" is teh LAME.
Forever - Chris Brown
Yes, because of the YouTube video...
Down - Jay Sean with Lil Wayne
Which sounds so much like Forever that I sometimes confuse them
Whatcha Say - Jason Derulo
It grows on you
Don't Stop Believing - Glee Cast
They do it better than Journey.
Hide And Seek - Imogen Heap
I downloaded this to try and make it my friend's ringtone because we discovered the Dear Sister parodies while she was living here and it's a great memory. She called me up the other day when she heard Whatcha Say on the radio, we couldn't believe someone was sampling this song.
Bittersweet Symphony - The Verve
When Hide and Seek turned out to be non-ringtone compatible (fuck you very much, Apple) I downloaded this, one of my friend's favorite songs (from Cruel Intentions, one of her favorite movies) and it turned out to be non-ringtone compatible (no really, Apple) I should probably check compatibility before I download.
Please Don't Leave Me - P!nk
Because P!nk is the shit. And have you seen this video? So funny, I'll pin it to the bottom of this post for you.
Use Somebody - Kings of Leon
What is it about that guy's voice?
Dirty Little Secret - The All-American Rejects
I'm going to hell but I'm actually proud that Elliet knows the words
Sugar, We're Goin Down - Fall Out Boy
Very catchy
Know Your Enemy - Green Day
It's Green Day, everyone should have SOME Green Day. Take your pick, it all sounds pretty much the same!
Crazy Bitch - Buckcherry
Because my sister said it's my song... Plus it's not a good playlist unless there's one song I have to skip when the kids are with me.

What are you listening to?

No embedding of the P!nk video so here's the link!
Please Don't Leave Me

(I'm trying out Blip.fm so I'm going to try and embed these songs over there on the sidebar. We'll see how that works out. Don't worry, if it starts up automatically I will delete it.)

**Edit**The player was acting up so instead there is a link to my Blip page where you will find all of these songs.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

My Confession

I did not nurse Kenai or Ziva for very long. I had reasons for giving up, pretty good reasons I think, but I still feel guilty. I wear the shame and regret that has become the mother's uniform. I'm not proud of it, I'm actually more ashamed of the way I feel than I am about the original "sin". But I always come back to this feeling that I cheated my children. Usually, it's after talking to breast feeding advocates.

I'm not against breast feeding (Elliet was nursed exclusively for a year). I'm not against advocating breast feeding. What I am against is people making claims that formula kills. I'm against comparing the marketing of formula to women in the US to serious human rights violations. I refuse to believe the assertion that women are so easily swayed by a pretty can of formula that we shouldn't even offer it to them or they will turn away from the almighty breast. Formula doesn't kill. Lack of clean water kills. Lack of education kills. Starvation and dehydration kill.

They say instead of guilt, I should feel anger. That I should blame the industry for making me think it was okay to give formula, for being tricksy enough to fool me into thinking formula would nourish my baby. That still tells me that formula is bad and my children will be inferior because of it. It assumes I wouldn't haven't chosen to formula feed if it weren't so readily available. It assumes I don't want to take responsibility for my own choices. But I do take responsibility. I had all the information then that I do now but I still chose to stop breast feeding when it became too difficult.

The #nestlefamily ordeal on Twitter was I *think* supposed to be about Nestle's unethical corporate practices. This includes using cacao harvested by slaves and children and heavy-handed marketing of baby formula to women in developing countries who have then mixed it wrong or mixed it with dirty water, both of which can lead to serious illness and death. I'm not sure what else it includes. There were people who were also upset about things like free cans of formula being given to new moms (in the US). That's when I got into the conversation. I was surprised that in the midst of a discussion on serious human rights violations, people still wanted to make it about how formula is bad and shouldn't be marketed to anyone. It makes me very uncomfortable when people make an argument that sounds very much like, "If women had fewer options, they'd make the 'right' choice." I don't like it.

I'm not going to boycott Nestle. I don't really think boycotting is all that effective and you have to be REALLY dedicated to boycott a company that big (seriously, they make EVERYTHING). Instead of boycotting I usually try and support companies I like. I buy fair trade coffee, preferably from companies that only sell fair trade products, but I'm not boycotting Folgers. I buy Seventh Generation cleaners but I'm not boycotting Clorox. I can get behind fair trade chocolate but I don't really buy much chocolate. I have tweeted to @NestleFamily to ask them what they can do to eliminate slave labor in cacao farming.

What do you think of Nestle? Will you boycott? Do you think boycotts are effective?

Edited: I just saw that I had written "free trade coffee" instead of "fair trade coffee" Not really the same thing! Fixed.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Again With The Muffins

Ill-gotten gains on TwitpicI have been searching for a muffin recipe for a while now. All I want is something that is healthy, tastes good and isn't too hard to make. I'm either asking for too much or I just haven't found it yet. The last one I tried just didn't come out to my liking at all (even though I ADORE the blogger who posted it). Since then I've been making bran muffins using the original All Bran recipe. These are good. I use 1/2-n-1/2 whole wheat and white flour and I've been experimenting with adding ground flax seed. I also like things a teensy bit sweeter so I sprinkle a little cinnamon-sugar on top of the muffins before baking.
The bran muffins are good but I really want something with bananas in it. I have a killer banana bread recipe but it is SO not healthy and I find I am frequently in possession of browning bananas. Yesterday Kenai wanted to bake something so we tried out a recipe I found on the blog Sweet Savory Southern.

Healthy Banana Muffins

1 cup whole wheat flour (I used 3/4 cup)

1/2 cup all purpose flour ( I used 3/4 cup)

1/2 cup granulated sugar (you can use a combo of brown & white if you’d like)

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup chopped nuts (almonds, walnuts, pecans…whatever you prefer)

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

dash or two of nutmeg

1 egg

3/4 cup skim milk

1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup mashed bananas

Preheat oven to 400*

Using a whisk, combine all your dry ingredients in one bowl: whole wheat and AP flour, sugar, baking soda and powder, salt, nuts, spices).

Beat the egg lightly in a separate bowl. Whisk in milk, applesauce, vanilla to the eggs.

Whisk wet ingredients into dry ingredients. Fold bananas in.

Divide the batter among a greased or paper-lined muffin tin.

Bake for about 18 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

I used 1/2-n-1/2 whole wheat and white flour since I keep it mixed that way. Now that I think about it, I don't know the actual ratio due to some mishaps involving a husband who doesn't know he shouldn't just dump expensive bags of organic flour together all willy-nilly. ANYWAY. I used 2% milk and no nuts. I didn't have nutmeg so I added an extra dash of cinnamon. I also sprinkled cinnamon sugar on top. These were done (maybe slightly too done) at 16 minutes. They came out delicious and very moist. However, they have this thin outer layer that is kind of chewy. I'm not sure why that is yet, I've had this problem with other recipes.

In action on TwitpicThe baby loves the muffins (maybe a little too much). I like them aside from the slightly rubbery outside issue (it's like a skin). They were good straight from the oven but even better this morning with a little cream cheese.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Maybe I'd Want to Do It If It Weren't Called "Discipline"

Jedd and I started the Dave Ramsey program last night. I wouldn't say I'm a fan of Ramsey, he's a little too conservative about gender roles and money for my taste. But he knows his shit. Our finances are a joke. Seriously, it's ridiculous. Jedd makes a decent salary but we are always broke. We have no savings to speak of and plenty of unsecured debt. See, we really like to NOT plan for things. We like to be undisciplined in every way we can get away with. (yes, a preposition, shut up) We like to avoid planning dinner so that we have to eat out when dinner time rolls around and we realize we don't have a personal chef. We aren't *big* spenders, we might go to the mall once or twice a year for the Apple store and Godiva. We don't have expensive clothes, Jedd gets his hair cut at "Should Have Done It Your Own Self" Super Cuts. I go fancy so I only go once or twice a year. We don't have new cars, we didn't get a tv until the color went out on the old one and when we did we got it small enough that the kid at Best Buy asked if it was our "bedroom model". We got a new couch when the two-seater just wasn't enough for our family anymore and we only spent $400.
The fourth "baby step" in the program is Building Wealth. Building wealth requires discipline is what Dave Ramsey said. Discipline. Huh. I bet discipline could help us in a lot of other ways. I bet discipline would get me to the gym again. I bet it would help us be more gentle with the children. Discipline might even help me stop eating so damn much. So now there's a theme. Discipline is my theme. The conviction I talked about before requires discipline.
Now, how do you get discipline? Is it just something you decide to do? Is it a "fake it til you make it" sort of thing? It sounds hard.
I'm going to work on being disciplined with our money, with food, with exercise, with parenting and maybe with reading the (*Gulp*) Bible. Did I mention I can't remember the last time I read the Bible? Yikes. So I'm going to try this discipline thing and it's going to solve EVERYTHING!
I'll keep you posted.

Monday, August 10, 2009

I Made Some Dinner Tonight

I did. It was good and it was simple. I have a newish friend who is very cool and I'm finding that I sort of ADORE her. She is the one who convinced me to workout and then split a trainer with me. (mmm, delicious trainer)
Anyway, this friend told me she couldn't really cook. What I didn't realize was that she really can't cook. She and her brood came over for chili once and she wanted to know how I made it so I jotted down the basic ingredients. I mean, it's chili. She asked me how long to cook it after you put it all together. Uhh, until it's hot?
I mentioned this friend to my mom who reminded me that I had to ask her how to fry an egg after I got married. (I can cook a mean egg now. Shut up)
So anyway, from now on I will post occasional food things like I always have but they will be very basic so that my friend (should she ever read here) and others like her can figure it out. Given some time these people will be able to fry an egg and saute a veggie as well as the rest of us.
So today I needed to make dinner. I have to do this because my kids can only eat so many fried eggs, no matter how well I make them. Plus have you SEEN the price of free range eggs? Those bitches are pure gold.
So I made dinner. I had some zucchini and yellow squash that really needed to be cooked. I bought them because I like to cook them in a skillet with lots of garlic and eat them next to pretty much everything. But then I didn't do any cooking last week. So I washed them and sliced them. It doesn't matter how thick as long as they are all similar in size (keep the zucchini and yellow squash separate!). I heated a skillet on the notch above medium and put in a little olive oil, I'd say maybe a tablespoon or so? When it was warm (the oil gets shimmery) I crushed a few cloves of garlic into the pan and spread it around a bit. You don't want it in there very long by itself, once it's brown it changes the flavor of the garlic. So at this point I added in the zucchini and then about 1/3 cup of chicken broth and put the lid on the skillet. I have found that the yellow squash cooks faster than the zucchini. So about three minutes later I add in the yellow squash and put the lid back on. It cooks for a few minutes 5? 10? I'm not entirely sure, I'd say check it every 3 minutes. It's done when the pieces look more opaque, not so white anymore, and they are soft. It was early in the day so I took them out of the skillet and put them in a glass bowl. I used tongs so I could leave the broth in the pan. Then I threw a large handful of frozen carrots in the pan and covered it. I cooked this on the notch between low and medium for a few minutes until they were hot and soft. I let the carrots cool and then pureed them. I used a mini blender because I don't really know how to use the big one. Add in the juice from the pan for a little extra moisture. I added the carrot puree to two cans of spaghetti sauce (we like LaRosa's). At dinnertime I mixed the sauce, carrot puree and veggies together and served it over whole wheat pasta (Bella Terra is the best, trust me). It was really good and super healthy.
What'd you make for dinner?

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Conviction

I hate conviction. I hate it because it means I HAVE to do something. It will eat at you until you do. Tonight I felt convicted. But this time I'm pretty happy about it.
During the Summer of Love series at church we have been going through the ten commandments. The ministers approached the commandments with the premise that God is love so what are the commandments saying about love? Tonight was the one about coveting.

Exodus 20:17 You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or male or female slave, or ox, or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.

The preacher summed this up as "Love contentment" (each commandment had been re-worded as Love____). I cannot believe how bad this issue has become for me and how completely ignorant I was to it. I am not content. I want a bigger house. I want more money. I want to be able to eat out whenever I want without worrying about the money. I want more children. I want I want I want. It's ridiculous really.
So I feel convicted. I feel that I need to find contentment. I could start with being grateful for the things I have.
I am so grateful that Kenai is okay. Her surgery last year was successful and she hasn't had a seizure in over a year. Jedd has a good job and chances are, even if the company downsizes as a result of the healthcare bill, he will be one of the ones that stays on because they appreciate how hard he works for them. I am grateful that my family has come so far. It was not so long ago that I couldn't even talk to my parents and now my mom is one of my best friends. I am grateful for my old church and for my new church. I love them both for different reasons. LifeSpring is the first church I went to where I found family. I am certain I will carry some of those relationships with me forever. I am grateful for the church we are in now and their amazing willingness to serve the community and the world.
I have an idea of what this conviction will require of me but I will save that for another post. For now, I am simply aware of the problem and this is lightyears from where I was before the sermon.

Monday, July 27, 2009

In The Meantime

I'm having one of those moments. Actually this particular moment occurs with some frequency so maybe it should be called something else. Whatever it's called, it's where I have a few ideas floating around my brain for posts here but I cannot convince myself that anyone cares. I can't just write for my own self because, ugh, I got over that somewhere during (okay after) college. It does nothing for me so I come here to share with you. I'm not a writer by trade or even hobby so when I try to write about the mundane, it actually sounds mundane. Sometimes I feel like everything I am thinking about has been said (and better) elsewhere, probably many times over. So for now, I give you "The Reader Survey" that I stole off Schmutzie that she stole off someone else. I'm changing the last question because I couldn't answer hers. Tell me about yourselves, c'mon, humor me? I'll start.

(Answer these questions in the comments blah blah blah)

1. Your URL should you have one

2. Where do you hail from? (bonus, do you hate sentences ended with prepositions?)

3. How did you find this blog or how did we meet?

4. If you had an alter-ego what would her occupation be?

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Searching for That Thing

I'm looking for that thing. You know THAT THING. The one that will fix everything? You know what I'm talking about? When I wanted to quit smoking I couldn't find that thing. I needed something that would make me really want to quit. I never did find it until I was pregnant with Elliet. Suddenly I had the thing and it was almost easy to quit. Then I needed the thing that would make me exercise. I got a DVD, I joined the Y, I asked them to show me around the nautilus facility, I started going to classes with a friend. But the thing turned out to be a weekly session with a trainer. Now I work out 6 days a week. Spinning, weight training, hiking with the kids, water aerobics and yoga. I love it all and I can't imagine quitting! I feel so strong already. Level one of the 30 Day Shred is a piece of cake and I even did one and two back-to-back last time for an extra challenge! But I haven't lost even an ounce of weight.
I cannot stop eating. It's terrible. It's embarassing. Like my friend Emily posted recently, I eat like the food is going somewhere. It's like there's a subconscious fear that I won't be able to eat this ever again. It is reminiscent of my final year of smoking. I knew I had to quit so every pack felt like the last even though it wasn't. My smoking increased to a pack and a half per day. That's 30 cigarettes every day. At least. For a year. At least.
This is probably very similar. I know I need to get my eating under control. I had a real scare with the diabetes during this last pregnancy. (You'd think THAT would be the thing, eh?) The doctors were certain I had developed Type 2 as opposed to it being just gestational but so far I am testing okay. So I know I have to "quit" and soon. I have to find that thing before a diagnosis of Type 2 IS that thing.
What thing are you looking for?

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Dream House of the Week

I've decided on a neighborhood! I know, it changes all the time. But for now, I'm hooked on Glendale and I'd really like to go see this house. The living room would need some work, excessive wood paneling isn't exactly our style, but I love the rest of it. We drove by and the yard goes way back and ends in a park. At some point before the girls are teens, maybe even before they are tweens, we would have to add a shower to the downstairs bathroom. I first found Glendale when I started researching Princeton schools. They are a big district with great programs but unlike some of the other great schools in Cincinnati, they also have racial and socio-economic diversity. The more I've seen about Princeton the more certain I am that it is where I'd like to be. So we looked at houses in Sharonville, Woodlawn, Springdale and Glendale. Glendale is the clear winner of the four.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

It's Summer! Hip Hip Hooo-bleh

I took the kids outside today so they could splash in the tiny pool and build things in the tiny sandbox. I laid out a nice flannel sheet for the baby to park her bare ass on. I tucked my tshirt sleeves up under my bra straps to even out the smidgelet of sun on my arms. Then I filled up the pool, took the lid off the sandbox and plopped myself into a chair to stare at the sun. Sounds nice right? How long did it last, you ask? As long as it took for the baby to pee on the sheet. I went to spray her off and forgot that my foot had been wrapped in a soft cast this very morning. So I was holding the wet baby and trying to get my wet shoes off before the cast got any wetter. So obviously, that meant it was time for lunch, sorry kids, we're going in.
I decided to try again this afternoon. (I'm nothing if not hopeful) That's when baby decides to POOP on the new sheet. And I decided not to check before I plopped her into the pool. Oops. So dump baby on clean half of sheet, run and turn on hose (which is on the front of the house, total FAIL), run back to dump the pool, spray it out and then spray off the baby. This time, I managed to avoid my shoes. So I refilled the pool, laid down a towel for the baby and finished looking straight into the sun. Aaahh, summer.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Grace in Small Things - 91

1. Salted tomato slices

2. First strawberry from the yard

3. Lingering smell of cilantro after thinning the plants

4. Reading on the porch

5. Getting back in the water, complete with the overwhelming chlorine

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Phone Call

This evening Jt called me from work. It was about a half hour AFTER her should have been home.

Jt: I'm sorry, I just looked at my watch. I didn't know what time it was.

St: Ha! Wait til the girls are in high school and try to use that lame excuse!

Jt: Haha, yeah..

St: And I'll say, "Your dad tried that once. That's why you don't remember him."

Jt: Oh

Monday, June 01, 2009

Blogging for Equality


Wow, June got here right quick didn't it? I am excited to be posting for the 4th Annual Blogging for LGBT Families. In October, I wrote a little thing about why Same-Sex Marriage should be legal. I mentioned in that post that I don't believe homosexuality is a sin. A friend asked me why I believed this but at the time I was worn out and didn't feel like looking it all up again. (Kinda shitty of me, I know. I plead post-partum) Sometime during my college years I started wondering if there wasn't more to this whole "gay" thing than I had always been taught. I remember wondering how it was a perversion if it came so natural to people. The more gay people I came across the more I wondered and the more my conscience ate at me. So I looked it up. On the internet. I found Religious Tolerance and read everything they had and whatever else I could find around the web. That was how I came to my conclusions.
I set out to do some re-research last week in preparation for this post. This time I came across the hands-down BEST article I've ever seen on the topic. I'm going to mention bits of it here but I HIGHLY recommend you all read it. The article was written for Soulforce by one of its founders, Reverend Mel White. He approaches the text with reverence and sincerity.
I'm not all that interested in the OT references. The story of Sodom is clearly not about homosexuality. The passage in Leviticus...well, Jed Bartlett covered that for us. I'm embedding in case you haven't seen it. It still gives me a chill but that may just be my president-crush. (you know, like girl-crush only with presidents? shutup)

Romans 1:26-27 is a bit trickier. Reverend White explains the context this way:

Paul is writing this letter to Rome after his missionary tour of the Mediterranean. On his journey Paul had seen great temples built to honor Aphrodite, Diana, and other fertility gods and goddesses of sex and passion instead of the one true God the apostle honors. Apparently, these priests and priestesses engaged in some odd sexual behaviors -- including castrating themselves, carrying on drunken sexual orgies, and even having sex with young temple prostitutes (male and female) -- all to honor the gods of sex and pleasure.

The Bible is clear that sexuality is a gift from God. Our Creator celebrates our passion. But the Bible is also clear that when passion gets control of our lives, we're in deep trouble.

When we live for pleasure, when we forget that we are God's children and that God has great dreams for our lives, we may end up serving the false gods of sex and passion, just as they did in Paul's time. In our obsession with pleasure, we may even walk away from the God who created us -- and in the process we may cause God to abandon all the great dreams God has for our lives.

Did these priests and priestesses get into these behaviors because they were lesbian or gay? I don't think so. Did God abandon them because they were practicing homosexuals? No. Read the text again.

After this, the reverend tackles 1 Corinthians 6:9 and 1 Timothy 1:10 and the meaning of the words, "malokois and arsenokoitai." These words are included on a list Paul gives of behaviors the Christians should avoid. Here's what Reverend White says:

Greek scholars say that in first century the Greek word malaokois probably meant "effeminate call boys." The New Revised Standard Version says "male prostitutes."

As for arsenokoitai, Greek scholars don't know exactly what it means -- and the fact that we don't know is a big part of this tragic debate. Some scholars believe Paul was coining a name to refer to the customers of "the effeminate call boys." We might call them "dirty old men." Others translate the word as "sodomites," but never explain what that means.

In 1958, for the first time in history, a person translating that mysterious Greek word into English decided it meant homosexuals, even though there is, in fact, no such word in Greek or Hebrew. But that translator made the decision for all of us that placed the word homosexual in the English-language Bible for the very first time.


Fascinating stuff. Here's more:

In the past, people used Paul's writings to support slavery, segregation, and apartheid. People still use Paul's writings to oppress women and limit their role in the home, in church, and in society.

Now we have to ask ourselves, "Is it happening again?" Is a word in Greek that has no clear definition being used to reflect society's prejudice and condemn God's gay children?

We all need to look more closely at that mysterious Greek word arsenokoitai in its original context. I find most convincing the argument from history that Paul is condemning the married men who hired hairless young boys (malakois) for sexual pleasure just as they hired smooth-skinned young girls for that purpose.

Responsible homosexuals would join Paul in condemning anyone who uses children for sex, just as we would join anyone else in condemning the threatened gang rape in Sodom or the behavior of the sex-crazed priests and priestesses in Rome. So, once again, I am convinced that this passage says a lot about God, but nothing about homosexuality as we understand it today.

There is much more in the article and I would again recommend you read it, especially if you are interested in this conversation. I am happy to open this up for discussion.

And let me end with this. No matter what you believe about homosexuality, same-sex marriage has to be, and will be, legal. I am dead certain that I don't want my sins to be legislated. Have you seen this video? How would you feel if your rights were limited to what someone else believed was a sin?

*UPDATE-edited to include the link for the article and a few other things I decided to toss in just because I was back in edit and I could.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

90

1. This bush

















up close


















2. Re-potting all my houseplants in different sizes of these matching pots from Ikea
(isn't this shamrock adorable?)























3. Tomato plants are in the ground!

4. Cilantro seeds are planted!

5. Bird feeders are hung and VERY popular

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

89

1. Using one of my Mother's Day gifts















2. My baby stood up today!














3. Seed 2.0 I love this song so much. My love of Erykah Badu led me to purchase Things Fall Apart years ago but I hadn't kept up with the band. Then Brad put this song on a CD for us.

4. Recorded this today.


5. There's a bunny that's been hanging out in our yard all day. He was maybe ten feet from Kerewin but she didn't seem to notice.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

88

1. The variety of birds I got to see at my parents' house

2. Elliet's excitement watching the birds and learning their names

3. Good fudge

4. Big family dinners

5. Kids who want me to always be their mom

Friday, May 08, 2009

87

1. Kindergarten Mother's Day projects

2. Good Chinese food

3. Forgiving friends (friends who are forgiving, that is)

4. Those odd memories of the dead that spring up at the strangest times

5. Trader Joe's

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Afternoon Activity

Earlier this week I stopped at Subway with the girls. Their low-fat subs are okay but I recommend adding some vinegar and a little of your own low-cal mayo at home. But I digress. When we got out to the parking lot the girls saw a smear of blue on the ground. I know this because nobody would get (the hell) in the van so I was forced to investigate. I told them I thought it looked like a crayon had melted. They were so interested in this "melting crayon" business that I went on to tell them that you could make! things! with melted crayons. So in the next hour or so I heard "when are we melting crayons" no less than thirty times. So this is how we did it. From my own memory and with a little help from google.

Getting the crayons peeled and shaved is the first step. You might remember using a pencil sharpener to do this when you were little. Maybe you did and maybe pencil sharpeners are different now. Whatever the case, trust me, you'll want to use a cheese grater, the side with the small holes. Your kids will ooh and aah and think it's really neat when you lift the grater and the shavings are in the shape of a rectangle.














The next step is to sprinkle the shavings onto a piece of wax paper.















This is a good time to corral the baby, perhaps with puffs. Babies like crayon shavings and crayon shavings like the floor.




























When they are finished (or you decide they are finished because they start fighting or getting more shavings on the floor than the paper) it's time to melt! Lay another sheet of wax paper over the top of the design. Slide this onto a dish towel and lay another dish towel over the top.
Iron the design on the lowest or almost lowest setting. Keep it moving and check it frequently.















If one of the children carefully makes a heart design but it melts into one big glob of color, do not fret! All is not lost! Mama can fix this!
If you cut them into designs I'd recommend then laminating them with book tape. Some pieces will break off and fall out. After the kids see how beautiful their pictures look, wow them even more by holding it up to a window.





















If you melt it too long it will look gray and will take on the texture of the dish towel. If this happens to you I recommend surprising the artist by turning it into her initial!

86

Okay so I totally slacked off. What started out as a refreshing and even exciting challenge got really boring and I started to hate it. So I'm starting over, maybe a little break when I need it will help me get through the whole year.

1. Usbourne books

2. Maine. I could kiss your governor today!

3. Grilled chicken

4. Teethers you can freeze

5. Zyrtec

Thursday, April 30, 2009

She

She was my friend. A different kind of friend. She was a friend in the melodramatic way that only teenagers can experience. She was broken, we all were. She felt too much of everything and not enough of what she needed. When I saw her I saw myself. She gave me what I needed. I needed freedom. I needed to say what was inside without judgment, without repercussion. And that's what she gave me. We never spoke we only wrote. I knew her, really knew her and I felt like -finally- there was someone who knew me. And she still loved me. And I loved her like she lived somewhere deep inside me. That's how it felt. Like part of her soul was intermingled with mine. When I saw her, the times when we were both pretending, she was someone else and I fell in love with that part of her person as well. I can still conjure her laugh, her smile. And my breath still catches when I do.
But she is not who she was. Maybe in some ways she is, I don't know. We all changed, we had to. But I recognize the others. I don't know who she is now. And her laugh sounds different.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

85

1. Jungle Jims' oatmeal whoopie pies

2. Yo Gabba Gabba. I had no idea what we were missing. We don't have cable so if you love me you'll send me the dvds

3. Kenai said they were playing basketball at church but she couldn't "dunkle"

4. Finally moving forward with something I should have done ten years ago. Then again, maybe we're all better equipped for it now

5. A surprisingly funny movie. (Ghost Town, i <3 Ricky Gervais)

Monday, April 20, 2009

Mommy's Job

"That's not your job"
This phrase gets plenty of use seeing as it's the easiest way to tell the kids to back off. Kid being bossy? It's not your job to tell her what to do. That's Mommy's job"
The most recent example?
Do not throw shoes at the dog, that's Mommy's job.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

84

1. Woodpeckers

2. An answer to my celery problem. They're called stalks! (thanks, Swistle)

3. Seeing an old friend

4. Meeting her new baby

5. New friends who make me workout

Yep, I skipped a couple. I know you're here everyday. Waiting. Now that I've skipped I can give up my goal of posting them every day for a year. It was a big goal and one I'm not sorry to let go of!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

83

1. Dirt under my fingernails

2. My face getting warm under the sun

3. Elliet, the squeamish child who is terrified of bugs, holding an earthworm. She even said, "awww"

4. Freshly weeded flower beds

5. Muddy shoes on the front porch

101 Uses For Ham

Last week I bought my first ham. It was spiral sliced, smoked and had honey somewhere. It was really cheap because now that Aldi has had a makeover I can buy perishables without shuddering. For the first few days we just pulled slices straight off the ham and heated them up or ate them cold. It's pretty good for maybe three days. After that you're left with more than half a ham and a family that is thinking of skipping Easter to avoid the ham being served.
So I needed to do something with it. Ham and beans! Easily one of the best dishes using ham. What else? I've never made split pea soup, let's try that!

I started with the stock. Jt had trimmed the meat off the bone (leaving a nice bit on there) so I put it in my biggest pot which is now not very big since Jt ruined his second piece of cookware not long ago and it happened to be my nice, big stock pot. Anyway, in goes the ham bone with water to the rim of the pot. Add celery and half an onion, the first onion I've EVER purchased and cut in my own kitchen. Blech. Salt and pepper and simmer all day.
Around dinner-time I diced some carrots and celery and cooked it in a little oil. Next time I'll skip the oil and simmer the veggies in broth which is what I ended up doing anyway. I poured two cans or chicken broth into the pan with the veggies and put it at a near boil until it was all soft. Next goes the ham, chopped small, and four cans of canellini beans, rinsed and drained. You can use any white bean, I just happened to have these in the cabinet. (I was going to make Garlicky White Beans and Kale from The Expatriate's Kitchen but never got around to it) Since the stock was still simmering in the pot I poured four or five big ladlefulls into the beans. Then I topped off the stock with more water since I had a few more hours I could let it simmer.
These came out really good. Jt eats his with ketchup (ew) and my mom said she sometimes puts a tiny bit in when she first makes it.

On to the split peas. I haven't had this in ages but I liked it as a kid and I love anything that can be made in the crockpot. I put this together that same night so that I wouldn't have to find room in the fridge for the ham stock. If you wait, you can chill the stock and skim off the fat.
In the bottom of the crockpot I put chopped celery with the leaves, maybe three good size...things (any idea what those are called?), about a cup of carrots, diced small, and two crushed garlic cloves. Then goes two bags of rinsed split peas. I poured all of the stock over the top. I'm not sure how much broth there was except that once everything was in there it was very close to overflowing. I'd suggest using one bag of split peas and less broth but I wanted to use up the broth. (I just looked it up and you'll want 1-1/2 quarts of liquid for 1# of peas) I cooked it on low for 10 hours. Stir it really well when it's finished to break up the peas even more. This came out very, very good. The kids didn't like it and Jt hasn't tried it yet but I like it so whatever.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

82

1. Children's ibuprofen for the one with the sore neck

2. Infant's ibuprofen for the one with the teething

3. Extra Strength Excedrin for the one with the headache

4. Pepcid complete for the one with the spicy dinner

5. Ibuprofen for the one with the muscle pain (from that damn Jillian)

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

81

1. Sending the kindergartener back to school

2. Time alone with Kenai, watercolors, a batch of muffins and a sink full of soapy water

3. Automatic nightlights

4. My new down comforter

5. An updated MySpace profile

Monday, April 13, 2009

80

1. Clean kitchen

2. Making a good dinner without a recipe

3. Laundry running

4. Another parent offering to take Elliet to her field trip

5. Tomorrow's dinner in the crockpot

Sunday, April 12, 2009

79

1. A joke passed between good friends with only a look

2. Homemade mac and cheese

3. Fat, roasted asparagus

4. Grandpa recording video of the kids:

G: Say "Happy Easter!"
Elliet: "Happy Easter!"
G: Kenai, say "Happy Easter!"
Kenai: Happy Easter!
G: Jayden, say "Happy Easter"
Jayden: Nope!

5. Cottage cheese

Saturday, April 11, 2009

78

1. Easter choirs

2. Little girls in their Easter dresses

3. Little boys with clip-on ties

4. The two out of thirty kids who say Jesus is their favorite part of Easter. Yeah, sure. Whatever, kid

5. Kindergarten altar calls

Friday, April 10, 2009

77

Companies that are making my life easier

1. The place hold feature at the library

2. Ikea's Smaland

3. The mini carts at Kroger

4. Walgreen's pharmacy drive-thru

5. Target's popcorn and Icee deal

Thursday, April 09, 2009

76

1. Frisch's cherry coke

2. Frisch's ice - it's small and sort of...soft

3. Frisch's ranch dressing

4. Frisch's hot fudge cake

5. Frisch's french toast with extra powdered sugar

Why no, the diet's not going so well. Why do you ask?

Purple for Maddie

I didn't know about Maddie while she was alive. I'm sorry that I didn't because what a funny little cutie. She died suddenly and unexpectedly. So the blog is going purple in her honor for a little while.
There are pictures of Maddie here or visit the family's website, Remember Maddie.

Donate to the family (Paypal - send money to formaddie@hotmomreviews.com) or donate in Maddie's honor to The March of Dimes

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

75

1. New baby goats

2. New baby calves and the way they stretch their heads waaaay up so I can scratch their necks

3. The little hop new baby calves do when they want to get somewhere

4. Crazy goat eyes

5. The one little goat who would only take one little piece of food at a time

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

74

1. A good stroller

2. Dinner of hot dogs at Ikea

3. The new couch was delivered today

4. The love seat we got in college whose prior life was in a hotel is now at the curb

5. The teething, SCREAMING baby is finally asleep

Monday, April 06, 2009

73

1. Thoroughly enjoying Elliet's spring break

2. Found the cutest jacket for Ziva at Target today












3. Fresh sheets

4. Penn Station fries

5. A new rose bush

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Tardy 72

You may have noticed that I missed two days of Gracing. Or maybe you didn't and I've outed myself. Either way I'm here to explain that Friday night I was recovering from a nasty stomach bug. Saturday night I was re-learning how to knit and I completely forgot to post (as opposed to forgetting just a little?)

I have been wanting to pick up the needles again for a while now. I tend to focus better on things when my hands are busy. I learned this about myself when I was working in a parking garage downtown. I occasionally had a shift with one of our friends who liked to listen to books on tape. I have NEVER listened to a book. I cannot retain a single piece of information if I hear it and do not DO something with it. I religiously take notes in school or church even though I rarely go back through them. So when our friend would listen to his books I would play a handheld solitaire game. I found myself following his book because some part of my brain was occupied with the game.

Anyway. I also have a killer addictive nature. I have been addicted to so many things it's not even funny. I'm hoping to replace my habit of eating -any time I'm not moving- with the knitting. It's harder to eat that way. Yes, I've already tried.
I started with this tutorial by Jen at Amazing Trips who happens to be one of my favorite bloggers. I also watched this video.

And now on to Grace
1. I've already come this far with my knitting!














2. While it does have to be earned by a night of horrible, acid puking the day spent in bed recovering is pretty nice

3. I'm in another good book, The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

4. Tonight at dinner I traded Kenai some of my omelet for a piece of bacon while Jedd traded Elliet toast with jam for a piece of her bacon

5. The other night Ziva found one of Kerewin's squeaky toys and scared herself when it squeaked

Thursday, April 02, 2009

71

1. Thunderstorms at night

2. Anticipating how the air will smell when I walk out tomorrow morning

3. Dark Willow (why yes, I am a Buffy geek)

4. Late night beer/formula runs

5. Living in a neighborhood where nobody looks at you twice when you're buying beer and baby formula

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

70

We'll just call today Humor in Small Things. A day so ridiculous I had to laugh at it

1. After I showered, I went to bathe Ziva. On the way to the tub I undid her diaper with one hand. It was not just wet. It got on my shirt

2. On the way to Kenai's therapy I drove through for a diet coke. Which spilled directly into my lap

3. When we got home from therapy and I was getting ready to put both(!) girls down for a nap Elliet's teacher called. Could I bring in a change of clothes?

4. Load up the girls. Bring new clothes to the school. Found her usual spare set still clean in her school bag

5. Decide to go to Target to kill an hour since the girls missed their first nap window. Run in the house to get a bottle for Ziva. The dog has torn into the favors I put together for Elliet's Easter party. Clean it up. Get the bottle. Get outside and Kenai's squealing. I NEED TO GO POTTY!!!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

69

1. Magic Bullet. And I don't mean the blender

2. Bathtubs built for two

3. The right music

4. Private patios

5. Freshly shaved legs

It's post number 69 after all

Monday, March 30, 2009

68 - I <3 houseplants

1. My purple heart plant from Jen

2. My umbrella plant from my mother-in-law

3. The heartleaf philodendron I took from my sister's room when she left for college. She's 38

4. My rubber plant from Jen. It's really sad looking but I love it so I just keep trying

5. My new shamrock

Sunday, March 29, 2009

67

1. I will be watching (watching NOT HAVING) a brand new baby come the end of the year

2. We're getting a really nice armoire in exchange for some of that babysitting

3. I've got some blooming hyacinths

4. I spotted the girl from Sarah Connor Chronicles on Angel
(you'll learn-if you haven't already-that I LOVE when I can spot people in bit parts)

5. I made the Beer Braised Pork and Black Beans again tonight only with the right amount of liquid and they are soooo good

Saturday, March 28, 2009

66

1. The complete suckiness of the acting in Twilight has exceeded even my very low expectations. The train wreck is entertaining

2. I got to babysit the cutest little guy today















3. Ziva tried to steal his binky















4. We can't stop laughing at Jasper. He reminds me of Edward Scissorhands but even more he reminds me of Kyle xy



5. Alec Baldwin on SNL. Nobody does it better

Friday, March 27, 2009

65

1. Turtle Chex Mix (thanks a lot Jenn, don't think I've forgotten that you're the one that got me hooked!)

2. Cut daffodils on clearance

3. I spotted Denny (from Grey's but you already knew that) on Angel. He looked way different

4. One of the couples in our Bible study do not censor their language and that makes me ridiculously happy

5. Good coaches

Thursday, March 26, 2009

64

1. City Barbecue

2. Jt working out the knots in my back

3. Even though I heard it over and OVER in the car today I will never regret teaching the girls "Guess what? Chicken Butt"

4. Elliet made her own PB&J today

5. Diet Dr. Pepper

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

63

1. We brought about 30 books to the waiting area where Kenai has therapy

2. The smell of rain

3. Just finished a good book - Bones of Faerie

4. Gazed at our old houses on Google street view

5. Elliet pet a snake at school today and she liked it!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

62 - Grace in Small Easter Candy

1. Peeps

2. Freckled Eggs

3. Brach's jelly beans

4. Cadbury eggs

5. Robin eggs

Monday, March 23, 2009

61

1. Sleeping til 9:15 on a Monday

2. Curly fries dipped in cheese sauce

3. Talking to the girls on Skype

4. Ramen noodles. Total comfort food. I like the beef flavor with a little soy sauce. And I use chopsticks. It's part of the comfort

5. The Reader Next button for Google Reader

Sunday, March 22, 2009

60

1. Cornify. The button is over there ------> on the sidebar
(via Suburban Bliss)

2. My parents came down and took the two girls home with them for a night or two

3. We picked out our couch (here)

4. Jt took off Monday so we have a three-day weekend

5. Grilled scallops

Saturday, March 21, 2009

59

1. Ziva started blowing raspberries today

2. Had so much fun messing around with Elliet tonight

3. Our firstborn seems to be as much a smartass as her parents

4. Ziva's attempts at crawling look like Bambi on the ice pond

5. PERFECT weather (cool and sunny)

Friday, March 20, 2009

58

1. The pleasure of doing a thorough job

2. The excitement/fear of a new commitment

3. Good coffee with a heavy splash of cream

4. Hungarian goulash

5. Four Square, the game that is