Saturday, July 30, 2005

I almost feel as if I shouldn't blog anymore until I'm in a better mood. It may sound like I'm crabby 24/7, but really, there are good stretches through the day where I'm happy, good-natured and playful. Unfortunately, those times don't stick out in my mind so much, and the unhappy stuff gets recorded here. But I assure you, I am happy and in a good mood a good amount of time :D

So, Ethan was up at 6 again. Jason left early for work and Ethan woke up right after he left. Tomorrow, I'm putting a fan in his room to create some white noise, and hopefully help him sleep longer. When he gets up that early, everyone suffers.

From the moment I got up, my vision was being wacky again. I took half a Labetalol to try and stop the headache I knew was coming, but it didn't work. The entire day it felt like a hot poker was stuck right behind my right eye. Nothing helped it. Luckily, it started easing off late this afternoon, and I feel almost normal now. What I would do for an effective pain-killer! I'm almost tempted to call Becki and see if she can get my OB to write me a prescription for Vicodin, since these Percosets just mess me up and my neurologist appointment won't be for a bit.

I started taking this herbal supplement called Fenugreek. Its supposedly very helpful for increasing milk supply. A side effect is that you smell like maple syrup. I kid you not. Its not the worst thing in the world to smell like at all, and maybe I'll be able to save on deodorant... just kidding ;) Seriously though, there is definitely the smell of maple syrup surrounding me. Mmmm... pancakes.

Today I ran back out to FM to exchange a pair of pants I bought the previous day. I accidentally picked up the wrong size. While I was there, I got Ethan two pair of jammies, since he's nearly grown out of his current stuff. I also got him the cutest little hat. Its a John Deere hat. I did not know this, but there is quite a bit of John Deere stuff for little boys! I probably wouldn't have gotten him a John Deere hat had there been others there, but since there weren't, and with all this sun Ethan needed protection, there ya go.

Here's a pic of him in one of his new jammies, and in the hat. Note that both are out of focus. That is because my little monkey-butt doesn't sit still for more than 1 second!

Much to my dismay the two new sets of jammies just fit him now. They'll probably last another month or two at most. Good thing I got them on clearance! Its really hard for me to imagine him needing bigger than a 2T, but this kid is just growing like a weed!

It was scorching hot, so we had Tuna fish sammiches for dinner. My carrot cake is even better the day after :)

Oh, yesterday, my Dad stopped by and picked up all the crap that had been sitting in our garage for like forever. There is now a big empty space... which we can fill up with more junk ;)

During the days, I have all these public service announcement that I want to share with ya'll, but by the time it comes to write my blog, I'm too tired to do so. Here is the short version:

Baby Formula is scary. The marketing and manufacturing of it is scary. Seriously. After stumbling across information inadvertently, then doing some research, I will not give any kid of mine formula unless 100% absolutely necessary.

It is no ones business how many kids we have, and how close they are together. Do not assume that I'm 1) irresponsible or 2) stupid because my children are 13 months apart, OR because I plan on having more. For all my little complaints, having children is a whole lotta fun and if I want 15 of them (I don't, butjust saying), that's my own darn business. Since when did children become such a negative thing, and since when did strangers, or nearly strangers, think it ok to share their ignorant thoughts on the matter with me?

Ah hem, that is all.

Friday, July 29, 2005

Ethan tried to wake us up at 4am, much to our dismay. I decided I could not deal with getting up this early, so I went in there, made sure his diaper was ok, gave the bink, restarted the music and left. He cried for about 30 seconds and then, much to our surprise, he went back to sleep (and slept till 8!). Thank you Jesus! Of course, then Gwen was awake for a feeding, but she is easy to settle down :)

I felt like making a carrot cake today, which is strange because I'm not generally a big fan of carrot cake. But for some reason, the thought of a carrot cake with ice cold cream cheese frosting sounded very good. The cake was a little sunken in the middle... not sure why that is. I may have over-blended it, since this recipe calls for using a food processor to mix the batter.

Jason came home early today, since he'll be working tomorrow. As soon as he got home, I took off for the store. I needed to get away, and, (though I didn't tell Jason this) I wanted to buy some clothes! The only pair of 'summer' pants that fit are my capris and I needed at least one other thing to wear, particularly when we go to Chelan and laundry is not easy to do. I came home with three things that I'm quite happy with. Didn't hurt that everything was on clearance either!

For dinner, I made Stir-Fried Pork, Eggplant, and Onions with Garlic and Black Pepper for dinner. Long name for a fairly simple dish. I've never used eggplant before, but now I wonder why... Its basically tasteless (kinda like zucchini) and takes on the flavor of whatever you cook it in. Completely non-offensive. I shall use it again. Ethan, still not feeling up to his usual gluttonous self, only wanted rice. Therefore, I felt beholden to eat his portion and now regret eating as much as I did. Bleh

He's doing a lot better, though still not his regular self. I've been giving him half breastmilk, half milk in his morning/evening bottle and that seems to be helping a bit.

Gwennie has been growing by leaps and bounds. She can hold her chest off the ground, and is pretty close to figuring out how to roll over. She can get the lower half going, but still hasn't figured out how to move the arms. She talks and babbles all the time, and is generally very easy to please. She responds to just about anything with a huge smile. Lately, she's been grabbing at faces, and many times when I'm breastfeeding her, a hand will come flying up and land on my chin and she'll give me a little grin of mischief. She's gonna be trouble when she's grown up :D

Thursday, July 28, 2005

We were woken by our dear son at 5am this morning. He had diarrhea :( Poor baby. I have to admit that I was an super-cranky Mommy and snapped at him when I went to get him (before I knew he had the diaper problem). I'm just so dead tired and my patience has worn away.

I've tried to keep fluids in him, but he wasn't interested. I tried all sorts of things, including breastmilk that I had pumped. He actually liked it, but still didn't want to drink much of anything. Luckily, he's still in fine spirits and full of mischief, so we know he must be ok :)

My Mom IM'd me and asked when my doctor appointment was and could she come over? Not being one to keep my Mom away, I said yes :) She arrived about 10 min before I left and she cleaned the house top to bottom (including putting away my laundry) before I got home an hour later.

The doctor, unfortunately, didn't have too much to tell me. She did say that she believes the incident on Tuesday was migraine related, and not stroke or symptom of something else. If it had been a stroke, I would have lost consciousness, or experienced more physical signs like paralysis. She recommended that I see a neurologist. She brought up a good point that the head bashing that occurred like 3 years ago when I slept walked could be causing these instances to be worse, which makes sense. Prior to that, I don't recall ever seeing auras or having random dizzy spells like I'm having now. I wish that she would have been able to diagnose and give me medications NOW, but I can also understand that a neurologist is a good step considering that the head injury could be part of it. Various doctors have been recommending that I do it for years. So, I will need to make an appointment here in the next couple weeks.

I say next couple weeks because next weekend is the church campout (which, if you know me, you'll know I'll need the entire week to prepare!) and then that Sunday, Jason leaves for a conference in San Francisco for 5 days! I will be staying with my Mom for at least some of the days. If the kids and I start wearing out our welcome, we'll come back here and I'll just drug myself to sleep every night... though Becki just called and told me that she'd be willing to stay with me. Awww, she's so sweet!

My eating habits have been dreadful the past couple days. With the stress and exhaustion, I've been not watching portions and eating a lot of crap. I'm scared to step on the scale! Maybe once I get a good nights sleep in I'll feel ready to start dealing with that again.

My Grammy sent me the sweetest little note the other day about being a Mom and making time for things that are important. Grammy, thank you! I do have to say though that for me cooking nice meals every night is not a burden, its a stress reliever (generally). Its my time to be away from the kids and do something I really love. But your points were well taken. Thank you for taking the time to 'grandparent' us, even when you're so far away.

I put up a few new videos on our site of the kids doing random things.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

La di da... the fun continues. After posting last night, Jason arrived home and Ethan started crying. An hour previous, he had woken up and started crying, but quickly went back to sleep. This time, Jason wanted to go in there and say goodnight, and give him some teething tabs. We opened the door and were hit by an enormous stench. Ethan had vomited massively over every inch of mattress and himself. It was quite horrific really. Poor little thing was crying and shaking and very afraid :( He'd been acting sickish at my Mom's, but we thought it was teething. Guess not!

We hoped that after this ordeal he'd sleep in. Nope, we were up at 6 :( And he threw up his morning bottle too.

The whole day was hard. Ethan was still not feeling well... feverish and uber-cranky. It was quite horrendously hot and even good natured Gwennie was sticky and fussy. I didn't make dinner... Jason stopped on his way home and got us some food. Too hot and weary to think about turning on an oven.

Things didn't get better after dinner. Ethan threw up again (though not very much) and since we put him down an hour ago has been on and off again fussing. I'm so burned out on kids right now. Gwen acted as if she wanted to eat, but when she was on, she pulled off and she couldn't get happy. I had to just give her to Jason and run into the bathroom because I was crying too hard and was too exhausted and hot to have any more patience. I jumped in the shower to cool off and I feel slightly better now.

At last... Ethan stopped crying. I think he's finally down for the night. I'm heading to bed too. One has to hope that tomorrow will be a better day, right?

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Last couple days have been tough. Bad headaches, dizzy spells and a general feeling of malaise. Top it all off with bad sleep and I'm not a happy Mommy. Ethan, and I think Gwen, are teething and its been rough.

Today, I went out to my Mom's and on the way I started having vision distortions. This particular type I've had before... Its blank spots in my vision (i.e. if I move my head, an object will disappear) along with a thick fuzzy line across what I could see. I stopped at McDonalds for lunch and when it was my turn to order, I couldn't speak. It was bizarre. I waited there and was thinking, "Speak already... say you want a chicken sandwich' but nothing would come out. I managed to squeak out the number of the meal I wanted, but had similar issues with ordering Ethans food. At one point I needed to say 'orange juice' and I couldn't say orange. I even pictured an orange in my head, and the color orange and even looked at the word orange, but my mouth wouldn't say it. When I tried to say 'Coke' I kept saying 'coach'. I said it like 5 times trying to get it right, but it never came out correctly. I think the poor order taker thought I was mentally impaired!

I basically cried the entire way to my Mom's because I was rather frightened and feeling so discouraged. Then, of course, I dropped my sandwich on my pants, which left two huge stains and made me cry harder.

Long story short, I left my Mom's feeling a wee bit better, but on the way home I made a doctors appointment. I don't like the idea that I couldn't speak. That really worries me. Along with the dizziness and vision problems, I need to get things looked at. I'm going in on Thursday to see what the deal is.

Jason's out late tonight at an M's game... He got to use a suite provided by one of his vendors, and it sounds like he's having a good time. Of course, this means I'm home alone and will probably be thoroughly scared by the time he gets home. Or maybe not. I'm so exhausted that I think I could lay down on the floor and fall dead asleep.

Please send prayers and kind thoughts our way. I'm so discouraged and feeling worn down right now. The daily grind is really taking its toll on me the last couple days.

Oh, yesterday Gwen was 3 months. Can't hardly believe it. Here's a pic I took of her and one of Ethan too, for good measure.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Some days, even if you do nearly nothing, end up draining you more than the busiest days.

Really didn't do much... I made some foccacia. The lovely, heavenly foccacia that I adore so much. Crisp and salty on the outside, tender and light on the inside and just about the best thing you could ever eat. I had to move it out of my presence because I swear I could down it all in like an hour, no problem.

I had some shoulder pain and a headache all day, which made everything more difficult than it had to be. Also, Gwendolyn decided that she was not going to sleep more than 5 minutes at a time. She did take her morning nap, but did not sleep between 12 and 9pm. Just a bit ago I got her to fall asleep, finally. Ethan was teething something fierce and was very grumpy.

We had a Spiced Pork Tenderloin for dinner, along with some garlicky spinach thrown together from frozen spinach and minced garlic. Also had some of the foccacia with it. Very good, but due to poor Ethans hurting mouth, he only nibbled on some bread. Poor little guy :(

I'd not made a pork tenderloin before, but was very impressed! Its as lean as chicken breast, but exceedingly tender. You cook it just to about medium so as to not dry it out, and it has a very pleasant porky flavor. Two come to a pack, so I think I may grill the other one tomorrow or maybe stir-fry it.

So it is settled! Lake Chelan, Sept 1-6. Yay! It should be fun. I was shocked to hear that no one had been over there since November, since the weather had been so nice this spring. Gosh, if it were my cabin, I'd be over there ALL the time and making all sorts of improvements. I think its important for us to go because we don't know how long it will be available, and I want Ethan and Gwen to build as many memories as possible (even if its only through pictures) of that place. It was so special to me growing up... Many fond memories of summers and winters there. It really does break my heart to think of Ethan and Gwen not having memories of that place. *sniff*

anyhow, I looked up a pic from Chelan last year. Ethan was 5 months.

Well, I surely have a lot of work to do tomorrow. The house really did not get cleaned at all (besides the kitchen) this weekend, so toys are everywhere, and it needs to be swept badly. I'm rather bummed that I didn't get lots of stuff done. For instance, today, I wanted to finish laundry, sweep, vacuum, mow the front yard, mow the back yard, wash my windows and install a few more baby latches. But, for various reasons (laziness in some part) none of those things got done. Its frustrating! All that gets done is the same boring stuff (sweep, vacuum, mop, dishwasher) and there is never time for the other stuff. Blah.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Today was pretty much a mad sprint from beginning to end. Woke up, made a bigish breakfast... Dutch baby (i.e. puff pancake), sausage, fruit. While I was making breakfast, I started making a double batch of chocolate chip cookies. Some for Dad's b-day, some just for us :) Right as I'm in the middle of doing cookies, Ethan goes down for nap, but screams forever, so we get him back up for a bit. As I'm finishing up the cookies (it made like 100 of them!), Ethan goes back down and stays down. Gwennie goes to sleep, I jump in the shower, I get out, Ethan gets up, Jason feeds him while I get dressed, I give Gwen a quick bath (and nearly drown her in the process, per usual), get her dressed and we're out the door. Off to get coffee at Brynnes coffee stand, then the library (3 more books, yeehaw), then to King Charley's, then to Mom's for Dad's b-day party.

Mom & Dad's old friends, Ardell and Connie, came by. I hadn't seen them in forever. I'm not sure if they were at the wedding, but if they weren't, it would have been nearly 10 years at least since the last time I saw them. They looked no different at all! Very nice and social people :) Its good to see my parents have friends outside family and church. Not that there is anything wrong with just family and church friends, but I think its good to have some people freshen the pot now and then, know what I mean?

Looks like we'll be going to Lake Chelan over Labor Day weekend. I'm glad we were able to finally get a date somewhat set in stone. Uncle Greg left a message for the Newmans early this week saying that if they didn't call us back, we'd assume it was ok for us to go Labor Day weekend. Haven't called back yet, so we think by tomorrow we can assume its good.

Grandpa & Grammy said that they will be back second week of August. I'm soooooo thrilled to hear this. I've missed them like crazy this trip, and I'm hoping they'll feel up to going to Chelan with us. Its always fun to have lots of people there, because then someone always is available to play games, go swimming, talk, etc with you. Besides, the more people that come, the less work it will be for us to watch Ethan. Just kidding... (not really) ;)

Friday, July 22, 2005

Nothing much happened today. Jason came home early, I went grocery shopping and that was about it! Oh, it rained, can you believe it? Was very nice to wake up to rain drops. Cleared the stale air from the warm days we'd been having.

We had cream of red bell pepper soup. Deeelish. I made some mods to it though. I threw in a few pieces of sun dried tomato for added color and flavor boost, and because I had forgotten to buy half/half I put in some leftover coconut milk I had in my fridge. The coconut milk added a not unpleasant sweetness to the soup and made it very creamy. Had with grilled bread drizzled with olive oil, salt & pepper.

I also threw together a pea salad for my Dad's b-day party tomorrow. Of course, he will not eat it, but others will :)

Oh, today Ethan is 16 months old. Wow.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Jason said my blogs are so depressing so I will try to be more upbeat today. Actually, today was better than the last couple days. Kids napped, and there were no toddler fits or nasty notes.

Today has been the hottest day yet, though our house seems to be staying a wee bit cooler thanks to a new system I'm trying out. During the morning and early afternoon I leave the back bedrooms open and their fans going full blast (along with my kitchen and living room fans). This gets a lot of cool air into the house early... In fact, we're usually FREEZING in the mornings. When the sun moves to the other side of the house, I close up Ethans room and the office, but keep our bedroom open (since it faces North). This seems to block out a lot of the warmer air, while still drawing in cooler air from the North side. Its still hot, but not unbearably so.

I spent a lot of time reading and doing a little housework today. I'm reading a book called, 'How to Cook a Wolf' by MFK Fisher. It was written just before WW2 and goes into a lot of information about food rationing, etc. Wolf, in her book, refers to starvation and hunger. Its really interesting to hear her tell stories of how 'a man I knew lived on 7 cents a day for a year by eating nothing but whole wheat gruel and stealing fruit every morning from the chinamans cart parked outside his apartment'.

Speaking of food, we had another good dinner. I had some of that delightful spicy peanut dipping sauce from last night leftover. So, I took 3 chicken breasts, sliced them about 1/2 in thick, and marinated them in some soy sauce, rice vinegar, chile-garlic paste, garlic, peanut oil and brown sugar for about 30 min. I threaded them on skewers, then grilled. They were done in flash, and in fact I overcooked them because I wasn't paying attention, but they were still excellent. We had grilled zucchini, yellow bell pepper and onions on the side. Another very filling, but extremely healthy meal. This has to be the most nights in a row I've ever grilled. It keeps the kitchen cool and fairly clean! However, I do end up feeling a little cooked myself between the heat of the grill and the scorching sun setting right in front of me. Yowch!

I've taken a few cute pics of Gwen over the past two days. Thought I'd share:

I'm going to engage in gratuitous Mommy bragging and say gosh-darnit, my kids are the cutest kids I've ever seen!

Well, with me watching my meals and making an effort to get more walking, I'm happy to say I've lost 5 lbs... but that's it. No movement on scale since those were lost. I just know I need to be more active, but when? Must I be forced to spend the little free time I get to exercise? If only I had a free room to put my treadmill in, so I could watch TV and use it. I won't bring that monstrosity back into the house if it has to be in my living room tho.

So I was checking the stats on my blog the other day and wow, I have a lot of visitors :) I did find one thing peculiar... A number of you dear readers are apparently coming to my blog from a 'CamGirls' site... Now, I went to this site and, uh, how shall we say... Its not a site catering to blogs about being a Mommy and what that Mommy had for dinner. I have no idea why my blog is linked from that page. Bizzare huh?

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Ugh. I know I sound like such a complainer, but today was so depressing.

Like yesterday, it started off ok, until I tried to lay Ethan down for a nap. He screamed and screamed and screamed, so I got him up and tried laying him down 45 min later. This time he fell asleep, but my nerves were already frayed.

Gwen is in a growing spurt. She's eating every 2 hours or less (except at night, thank goodness) and does not want to be put down. She's barely napping either.

Ethan woke up and fed his entire lunch to the dogs. So irritating. He thought it hysterically funny to throw it as far as he could and see the dogs scamper away for it. After lunch, he didn't really want to play or do much, so I put him on the couch (Gwen too) and raced around trying to get the house clean. I managed to sweep, vacuum, take apart the vacuum to replace the belt (and clean out the dirt build up), have the belt break (wrong size, oops), replace the old belt and vacuum again to pick up the dust that I had removed, and then mop. It was kinda funny to watch Ethan running around one the wet floors because his feet just slid everywhere.

I put Ethan down for his second nap kinda late (4:30) , but much to my dismay, he woke up at 5:00. At this point, Gwen is still nursing like ALL the time and I'm tired and I just wanted to sit down and read but I couldn't. Totally felt like I was going to lose it. Its so frustrating to get no real peaceful time. If both the kids are sleeping, then I have to prep for dinner or clean. If one of them is sleeping, I have to tend to the other. Relentless.

For dinner we had grilled chicken wings. I'm beginning to be a huge fan of those things. They are cheap, quick to defrost and cook and there are tons of different ways to use them. I brined these for 30 min, then grilled. Made a spicy peanut dipping sauce that had peanut butter, ginger, garlic, fish sauce, coconut milk, red pepper flakes and honey all pureed up in a blender. 'Twas very good. Ethan loved it! Grilled up some zucchini as well.

I had a craving for apricots, so I spent a few minutes searching out a recipe for an apricot tart, using the dried apricots and frozen puff pastry I had. Well, I couldn't find any specifically for what I wanted, so I made something up. I took a good number of dried apricots, boiled them in water until soft, drained them, then boiled the apricot water down to a glaze. Roughly chopped up the apricots, spread over the puff pastry, covered with the apricot glaze and sprinkled some 'Sugar In the Raw' over the top. Had a minor problem with the puff pastry. It was chilling in the fridge and somehow a ramekin of coffee turned over and ruined half of it. It made me cry.

Anyway, I cut off the coffee covered part and its cooking now. Smells great. I can already see where I messed up though. I should have at least partially precooked the pastry because its going to be soggy on the bottom. I have it on my pizza stone and cranked up the oven, so we'll see if that fixes it.

Well, I got my 5 min of freedom. Gwen is already crying so I'm off.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Today sucked. No two ways about it.

It started ok. I had killed my battery the night before by leaving my lights on, so Jason had to jump me this morning. Then, we noticed that my newly planted azalea by the side of the driveway had been hacked to death. I had noticed a neighbor child the previous day with a big stick walking up and down the street. Some leaves were missing from my bush, and I figured it was just childish mischief and he'd gotten it out of his system. Apparently not, and my poor plant met a violent death. The root ball is still in the ground, but I don't know if it will make it.

Mom came over on her way back from Costco, cleaned the house while I got the kids ready, then we headed down to the library (7 books checked out, all for me... muahhhhahahah), then out to walk. Despite the heat and increasingly fussy babies we managed to do our two miles.

I get home and notice a piece of paper on the front door. A stab of panic hits me right in the gut. That cannot be good. I pack in the kids, put Ethan down to bed, then get the note. It was typewritten, and, to paraphrase, 'Your dogs bark all day, every day. They also bark all night, starting at 9pm. In the interest of neighborhood harmony, please resolve the issue'. It was unsigned.

I was furious.

Firstly, my dogs don't bark all day. They are inside the house with me. Secondly, they most certainly do not bark all night. They are inside the house, with us. I hate barking dogs, and I try to keep it to a minimum. So, not only does this person leave me a nasty note, but what they're complaining about isn't even me (there are dogs that bark all the time a few houses away), AND they don't leave me a way to correct their grievous error. I do leave the dogs in the house when I go out, and Tilli in the kennel. Tilli does bark while she's in the kennel and we're not home, but its certainly not 'all day, every day'. Heaven knows I barely leave the house.

I want to move. I HATE this neighborhood. I have a number of explicative that just want to rage out about this. Seriously, this makes me so mad and angry. I told Jason that if I had to work part-time or work at home to get away from this stupid neighborhood I would. I just hate it so much.

So after dealing with that, I tried to calm down and relax before having to worry about dinner. Poor Gwennie, for reasons I do not know, did not want to sleep or be put down. I managed a quick shower, but after that I had to hold her the entire evening. I managed to get dinner prepped before J got home by putting her down, running around like crazy, then picking her up before she got too wound up. It was too hot for my pouch unfortunately.

Jason came home stressed out about the stupid note and some work related stuff and we basically snipped at each other until dinner was ready. Ethan was running around screaming randomly for no reason than wanting to hear himself and I think Jason and I both felt like running out the door.

Luckily, dinner was good. It was shrimp that I brined for 20 min (to help them stay juicy), then tossed in a garlic paste consisting of garlic, salt, cayenne, paprika, olive oil and lemon juice. They sat for about 30 min, then I threaded them onto skewers and grilled them. Only took about 3 min per side. The only downside was that their shells were on (they grill much better that way) so it took some work to eat. I made a Asian salad of cabbage, grated carrot, sesame seeds, cilantro, rice vinegar and sesame oil. The whole thing was extremely healthy and delish. Even Ethan liked his first taste of shellfish and gobbled down the shrimp and salad.

I'm so tired and worn out right now. Just feel like bawling my eyes out. Days like these wear on me and make me think back to how simple life was before I had kids, and even before I had a husband. Its not that I regret my decisions, but sometimes I wonder what would I be doing now? Where would life have taken me? Truly, I do not think I would have done things all that differently, but some days you just want to escape from the moment and ponder the different paths you may have followed.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Lordy, it was HOT today. I escaped the house at about noon to get Ethan new tennies and to pick up some groceries. We ended up getting him some really cute Nemo shoes. The fishies light up when he walks. Man, when he saw those he did not want any other shoe!

Here are a few pics:

Ok, he is not picking his nose! I just happened to catch his finger at the wrong place at the wrong time! I love this pic because its just *so* Ethan lately. That look...

After the shoes we went to Fred Meyer. I wanted some salmon steaks, and I thought it would be no problem to get them since I see them all the time. Well, they didn't have any, but if I wanted to buy a whole salmon, they'd be happy to cut it into steaks for me. Sorry, but if I wanted a whole salmon, I'd just ask my Dad!

I asked Jason to look for salmon steaks at Safeway on his way home, but THEY did not have any either! Jason, bless his heart, headed down to Central Market because they usually will have whatever the other stores don't. Amazingly, they also did not have salmon steaks Why not? I'm so confused about this. I was quite deflated when he told me this, so I asked him to get one of the gourmet sammiches that are at Central Market cuz I had lost my will to cook. I got a muffuletta sandwich (many kinds of meat, olives, vinaigrette, cheese) and Jason got an Italian Grinder. They have some GREAT sandwiches there. Generally my favorite is the NY steak and blue cheese one, but I felt like something different. Ethan was still asleep when J got home, so we got to eat in peace, then when he woke up he had a GoGurt (yogurt in a tube), 2 clementines and some potato chips.

I've put two new videos up... Be warned... One of them is of Ethan peeing in the tub. He can go potty when we ask him now. So, if you don't want to see a boy peeing, don't watch that one :)

Gwendolyn has, out of nowhere, developed massive upper body strength. I had just been getting a wee bit concerned because I didn't think she was holding her head up very well when BAM! she's doing it like a champ. In fact, today she was 'inchworming' a bit... something Ethan didn't do until he was much much older. She can lift her entire chest off the floor now and will push up with her feet and lift her lower half off the ground too.

Here's a pic I took of her today:

Today my breastpump finally came! Yay! I bought it off Ebay at a steller price. It was supposed to be here on Friday, but FedEx messed up and it ended up in Burlington somehow. It came today and its electric and although its noisy, I expect it to work quite well. Now, lets just hope she'll want to take a bottle :)

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Yesterday we went to the Mariners game and had a great time. Shelly came at 4 to watch Ethan, and we went to Jasons work first, so he could switch out some hard-drives. From there, we cruised down I-90 and into the stadium with an hour to spare. Because we knew we'd be leaving early (and we had Gwen), we parked in the garage right across the street instead of some far-flung lot a mile away.

We grabbed some food inside Safeco (J had Korean BBQ beef, and I stir-fry noodles. 'Twas edible, but not great). We found our seats, which were quite good. Right behind home plate, 30 rows back. We sat next to two old guys, who thought Gwen was the cutest thing. She really flirted with them too... She'd tilt her head down then gaze up at them through her long eyelashes. She learned from her Mommy already ;)

I nursed once, before the game started, with no incident. However, after the game started and the older guys came, we were rather squished and there was no way, even if I hadn't wanted to retain a semblance of modesty, that I could nurse! So, I headed off to the family restroom, which had a "chair for nursing". Well, this restroom was disgusting, but indeed, it had a chair for nursing! When I first got there, the bathroom was occupied. I waited outside, and lady and her son came in line behind me. I couldn't hardly stop staring at this boy. He looked EXACTLY like Ethan, but about 6 years older. He had the same hair, the same large eyes, and the little bow shaped mouth. It was unreal.

Anyway, I nurse, and walk out the door to go back to our seats. As soon as I come out of the door I hear someone yell, 'Kristi!!!'. I turn around and there, to my amazement are two ladies I used to work with at Infopop... Jenny and Natalia. It was sooooo good to see them. I hadn't seen Jenny since October, and Natalia waaaay before that, since she had left to study in Spain 2(?) years ago. Natalia had her Spanish boyfriend with her, who seemed quite nice. They oohed and ahhhed over Gwen and even took pictures of us :) It really was so great to see them. They had been strolling around the lower level and Jenny just happened to see me out of the corner of her eye. Good times.

We left at the 8th inning and were able to get out of the parking garage and back home without a bit of traffic. The M's ended up winning too!

Today we got to sleep in (yesterday Ethan awoke at 6) a bit. We had biscuits and gravy for breakfast (J and E's fav!). Its a heavy breakfast, so it kinda slowed us down... I did manage to haul myself outside and weedwhack and mow the front lawn. Our backyard has returned to jungle status, so Jason will try and tackle that tomorrow (it needs at least two days to dry out after a rain because its so long). For lunch we had egg salad sandwiches. Ethan still wouldn't eat it, or some pickles, so... I had to give him a large dish of broccoli. He just loves that stuff, and I love that he loves it. For dinner I made an interesting dish called BLT Bowties. It had bow-tie pasta, tossed with canned tomatoes, green onions, bacon, basil and arugula (but I used spinach cuz J doesn't like arugula). It was quite good actually.

I've been having trouble sleeping at night. About every other night I have to take a Tylenol PM to help me sleep. I just cannot stop thinking 'scary' things. Someone breaking in, someone hurting us, etc. Don't even like having the back door open when I can't see it because I'm afraid that someone will jump the fence, get past the dogs and into the house without me knowing. I've always had these fears, but they have gotten worse and worse over the past year or so. For instance, last night, after we were in bed, Jason's cell rang. This was at 11pm so it surprised us. He couldn't find the phone in time, but the person didn't leave a message. Ok, no big deal, probably wrong number... But then, about 30 min later, our home phone rings but no message left. So this freaks me out. We haven't gotten a call after 9pm in like years, and yet we get two (with no message left, from people we don't know) in one night? It could be completely coincidental, but it terrified me so completely that I was nearly shaking. Poor Jason was quite irritated I must say :)

Friday, July 15, 2005

Today Jasons half-sister, Nicole, dropped by for a visit. She was on her way up to Bellingham to see her bf, and stopped off here for a few hours. Good to see her!

I had a bunch of blueberries I had bought from Costco and since they really wouldn't last another day, I made them into a delicious cobbler with a cookie dough type topping. I must have used too many berries, since it overflowed generously. Luckily, I had placed the pan on a cookie sheet, so my oven was saved. I'm still confused by this, perhaps someone can enlighten me. Is a pint of blueberries measured by volume (i.e. cups) or weight? The reason I ask is that my recipe called for 3 pints of blueberries fresh, or, 36 oz frozen. Well, I had 2.75 lbs of fresh blueberries. I assumed that they were measured by volume, so I measured out 6 cups of blueberries, which used up the entire container. However, the pan was very full, and overflowed, so it seems as if I used too many? Why would they give ounces for frozen, but pints for fresh? Gah!

We had a delightful dinner. A dinner that is perhaps my most favorite thing to eat. Sun-dried tomato risotto. Rice, sauteed in oil with onions and garlic. Throw in some chopped sun dried tomatoes. Add wine, simmer till wine is absorbed. Add broth, 1/2 cup at a time, until rice has absorbed most the liquid after every addition. Near the end, add a bit more wine. Rice will be creamy and rich. Add a generous amount of grated parm. You are left with perhaps one of the most delicious things on earth. Soft rice, al dente in the middle, bathed in a ethereal sauce that is brothy, winey, crazy good. The Italian cook who created this dish is brilliant.

Tomorrow we will be attending a Mariners game. Shelly will be babysitting Ethan, Gwen will be with us. I'm looking forward to the game because Safeco is such a wonderful place and even if the Mariners suck (which, chances are they will) you still have a good time. However, I am worried how Gwen will do. Cross your fingers!

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Too exhausted to write much. Traveled up to Lynden to A. Mary's house to go through Great-Grandma Hazels stuff. I got a few things, my Mom got tons :) It was good to see everyone. Jennifers baby, Micah, is two weeks younger than Gwen, but (like most babies!) he dwarfs my little petite Gwennie Pooh. Funnily enough, Gwen was born on his due date, and he was born one day short of hers... She two weeks early, him two weeks late.

The drive up and down was tough. Its a long ways for kids to sit still, and it was not helped by my Mom not having air conditioning :)

Off to bed. Maybe I'll read, but I doubt I could keep my eyes open!

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

So yesterday Mom came over and I went to Costco. Of course, as one is prone to do at Costco, I spent too much money. After returning home, we unloaded, then went on a walk around a very long block (about a mile or so). Lots of exercise.

We had homemade chicken noodle for dinner, and I indulged in two pieces of my pineapple upside down cake. It is soooo good, even 2nd, 3rd, 4th day after. I should have only had one piece, but I was ravenous and I figured my body must have needed, right? Right :p

Today, we didn't do much. Puttered around the house, swept, vacuumed, etc. Walked to get the mail. Had grilled flank steak tacos for dinner. Num.

Gwennie has started giggling now and then. Its pretty cute. She has to be in a fabulously good mood, and wound up to do it, but when she does it its a darling little squeak!

I've been working with Ethan to do somersaults. So far no luck. He likes me flipping him over, but he now thinks it funnier to be really stiff so I can't bend him over to put his hands on the floor and curl his head under. He giggles wildly when I try to make him bend. Toddlers find the strangest things funny!

Tomorrow we're leaving the house early to go to Mom's and carpool up with her to A. Mary's in Lynden. We are going to be able to pick some things out of Great Grandma Hazels belongings for memories, then help A. Mary mark the rest for a garage sale this weekend. Hopefully the kids will behave on the 2 hour drive up.

Here's some cute pics of Gwennie the Pooh in her new hat!

Monday, July 11, 2005

I think I say I'm exhausted in nearly every blog entry. Not being one to break a habit easily... I'M SOOOOO TIRED! Truthfully, I am though.

Gwen and I woke up at about 6. I fed her, but was still dead tired so tried to go back to sleep. She wouldn't have it, but I wasn't ready to get up, so I ended up laying her on top of me and that did the trick. Next thing I know its 9am! I've realized that sleeping in this late does nothing but throw off your groove for the rest of the day. By the time we got our breakfast done it was like 10:30 and I didn't even get my coffee until after 12! I managed to get a shower in, sweep, make a pineapple upside down cake (which was very good) but nothing else. When Jason got home I decided to blow my 3rd day of dieting and go to King Charley's off HWY 9. They just have the BEST burgers. So good. We stopped at the library too and this time I managed not to make a fool of myself, or take 20 min to check out :)

I started one of the new books already... Its called, 'Being Dead is No Excuse: The official Southern Ladies Guide to Hosting the Perfect Funeral'. Yes, strange, but quite funny. Its about the Southern culture surrounding death, funerals and the food that goes along with them.

Tomorrow Mom is coming out here to go walking, then will watch the kids while I run to Costco to get some doggie food and return Jason's monitor. Have I mentioned recently what a blessing my family is? How incredibly grateful we are that they willingly watch our kids and dogs whenever we ask AND do nice things like clean our house or burn our crap? We owe them big time for all that they do for us.

I decided to cancel the research study for Gwen this week. Frankly, I'm too mentally wore out right now and since there isn't any huge financial incentive to go, why bother, unless I'm really up for it? I do want to do it, so next time they call I'll go, but just too weary right now.

My computer time has skyrocketed lately. I am now moderator of the breastfeeding forum on the message board I visit and while there is really nothing for me to moderate (everyone is so polite!) its made me visit the boards WAY too much and it just eats up my time like crazy. I'm having to actually resist visiting any of my websites until Ethans first nap just so I can get stuff done.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Soooo tired. Last night I couldn't get to sleep at all, till about 3:30. I had even taken a Percoset to deal with headache and back pain and still couldn't get to sleep. Jason was sweet and let me sleep in late, but in the end, I think it just made things worse because our entire day was thrown off. We didn't finish eating breakfast until nearly 11, and we just never got fully in gear. I'm in the same clothes I woke up in!

Yesterday we didn't do much either. Stuck around the house, cleaned up a bit, went out and got a few groceries and got Ethan a potty chair. The potty chair is going back though because the opening is much to small, even for Ethans tiny hiney.

We decided to go camping at the church campout, and to stay in the group camping area instead of our own site. We figure it will be more fun for Ethan, and easier for us too :) I'm both nervous and excited about doing this.

I've been doing well with eating better and smaller portions. Its hard, because I usually go to bed super hungry (guess I'm used to all that late night snacking!). I also set the Tivo to record some aerobic shows to see how those go and if my slow moving self can keep up with them :)

Very sleepy, so will sign off for now. Oh, here's a pic I took this evening of the kids. One day I will be able to get a cute pic of them actually sitting WITH each other, but as of now, sitting CLOSE to each other is pretty good!

Friday, July 08, 2005

This weather has been unbelievable! I would never have thought that, in July, I would see wind, driving rain and chilly temps (59 degrees at 2pm).

The weather cancelled our walking plans for today, but I still needed to hit the library and get some groceries. We stopped at the library and, as is everything I do, its a major production. I had to put Ethan in the single kid stroller, load the books I was returning into the back, then put Gwen in the pouch. All while I was standing in the rain getting soaked. We make it inside, and I picked up the books that were on hold for me. There was a paper saying that they had more for me in the back and to go to the desk. Well, we go to check out and Gwen is fussy and Ethan is impatient and, well, long story short, the library screwed up and admitted it, but then tried to blame me for what they just admitted to! Its too confusing to even explain, and its not a big deal, but I left kinda embarrassed because everyone behind me had to wait like 20 min.

Anyhoo, went over to Top Foods to meet Mom to grocery shop. Picked up some acidophilus. I'm going to try taking it and see if it helps with little G's gas problem! I really really really really do not want to cut dairy from my diet. I love cheese! I love butter! I love milk!

I made a very delicious dinner tonight. It was Sweet Chili Glazed Chicken Wings. Had it with steamed rice and sauteed spinach. Jason said it was the best Asian food I'd ever made. They marinated in a garlic/ginger/soy/pepper flakes/peanut oil mix for 2 hours, then were baked for 20 min (I hit them with the broiler for another 15 or so to get crisp), then tossed with a rice vinegar, sugar, garlic, pepper flakes/chili-garlic paste mix which had been reduced down to a syrup consistency. I gave Ethan a couple drumettes to gnaw on and Grandpa, he did you proud! Those bones were cleaned thoroughly. Not a bit of meat left!

Ethan has been demonstrating more affection and concern for Gwen as of late. Today, before we left, I was in the bathroom getting ready and Ethan was with me. Gwen was already buckled in her seat. She started to cry and Ethan went to the bathroom door and wanted out. I let him out and he ran (well, as fast as his little clumsy legs can run) out to her seat, bent over and put his head on her chest. It was the cutest thing ever. She started calming down and by the time I got there things were nearly under control.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Well, this day did not start out well. Gwen woke at 5 for a feeding. Jason was up and getting ready to leave for work when unexpectedly Ethan woke up. Sometimes he'll do this and fall straight back asleep, but this time he did not. So, I had to slog out of bed at 5:30 and take care of him. I hadn't gotten to sleep until about 1 (stupid insomnia!), so I was really dead on my feet. I laid Ethan down at 7:30 cuz I was falling asleep on the couch and just had to get some sleep. He woke at 9:45 and I was able to get in some sleep. Luckily, Gwennie slept through it all, waking only to feed. She was a gem.

I called my Mom to find out when we were going to go walking, and she could tell that I was pooped, so she very graciously dropped her activities for the day and came over with Shel and Jenni. Bless them. They cleaned my house exceedingly well (Jenni, the toilet was beautiful ;) ) while I went outside and weed-whacked, weeded, pruned, mowed and swept up the whole front of the house. It really needed to be done, and I just needed to get some hard labor in. There is something very cleansing and satisfying about it for me. Really, I think if I could do it every week my head would be a lot clearer.

Foolishly, I decided that I would join and find something workable there for me. No such luck. It just wasn't what I needed. Their menu plans were overly restrictive (in my opinion) and too complicated. I just couldn't find one that would have worked for our every day life. Of course, I figured out that all I really needed was a spreadsheet to keep track of certain things AFTER I went through the whole registration process and paid (warning, you can cancel *anytime* but there is a late fee for doing so). Gah. Disappointing. Oh well, Michelle said she may loan me an exercise video and I did calculate my caloric intake today and it was only 2072, which, given that I'm breastfeeding, is not a huge amount, since they say to add 500-1000 calories to the amount you're supposed to intake (about 1200-1500). Just need to burn more. I'm motivated to lose 40 lbs by the end of this year. That should bring me back to where I was before kids, and then some. I'm not so concerned about the weight as I am about sizes and measurements. My weight has always been 'high' for my height, even when I was in small sizes. Me bones are heavy!

Yesterday I got a call from the UW about having Gwen in a research study. I called back today to see what it was for. Its a hearing study, to test infant responsiveness and also how they 'learn' to respond, by rewarding them when they do. I'll hold her the entire time, and the appointments are only 20-40 min. If I need to bring Ethan, they can arrange a professional nanny to watch him. We're only paid $15 per session, but no matter, it should be interesting! We go twice next week, then once the week after that.

So, people, I need opinions. Should I cut my hair? The length I'm thinking of cutting it to would be right below shoulder level. I wouldn't have bangs, so it would all be one length. Well, I may have them frame it around the face a bit, but it wouldn't be like in my eyes or anything...

Tomorrow we go walking w/ Mom and I hit the library again! I've been on a rampage of book reading and putting things on hold. Last I checked I had 14 items on their way to me. I don't think I could ever run out of things I want to read!

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Another tiring day! Everything seemed to go wrong. I needed to hit the grocery store and it took me 1 1/2 hours to get out the freaking door! How is that possible! Ethan was on a rampage today. He found out that he can throw things into the kitchen sink and now everything goes in the sink. While I was getting Gwen dressed, he went into the bathroom and pulled everything out of two drawers.

Our house is a disaster... I can't even count the number of times I tripped over toys, clothes etc. My kitchen was horrendous. I was so irritated at everything! Later, I managed to get the kitchen clean, but that's all. Maybe tomorrow I'll try for the rest of the house.

Went out to A. Deannes for Caitlyns 17th b-day. Had a good time. She got her belly button pierced. It looks really cute, but she said it was super painful. Brave girl!

Yesterday was odd. The weather was very humid and heavy and my brain felt all mushy. I was having a hard time putting words together when I spoke. I couldn't remember what I was doing an hour before. I have these days from time to time and they are always so strange. Its like I woke up and my brain never fully engaged.

Some people look in the mirror and think they look a lot worse than they really do. I'm the opposite. In the mirror, I think I look better and thinner than I do in real life. How do I know? Well, a good number of pictures were taken of me over the weekend and after looking at them I was appalled! My hair is flatter and thinner than I thought, I'm definitely more chubby than I thought and my clothes do not fit as well as I thought. Where is the person that I see in the mirror? I do not think I'm some sort of super good looking person, but I did not think I looked THAT bad. Its motivated me to think about cutting my hair short (to shoulder length perhaps) and doing something about getting this baby weight off. I just don't see how I could be taking in too many calories when I'm nursing and chasing kids around. Its not like I eat super fattening foods. I make nearly 100% of all my meals and most are very well balanced. I had planned to try and lose like 50 lbs but I don't see how I can possibly do it. I could eat better than I am now, but I have no energy to exercise more ( more than walking), let alone finding the time to do so.

Sigh. Off to bed before I depress myself further.

Monday, July 04, 2005

Wow, what a long and tiring, but enjoyable weekend.

We managed to leave for Spokane early on Friday, thanks to Ethan waking us up at 5:30. We made good time and the kids did pretty good, considering. We immediately went to see Angela and his Mom over at Angelas house. It was good to see everyone and see how much Matthew and Jamie had grown! Even though we had seen them just two months ago, they'd grown like weeds :) After visiting for awhile, we headed over to David, Christy and Tylers house. Ethan had a great time over there as well. He was in heaven playing with all the new toys and people! We then took off to our hotel. Ethan and Gwen slept fairly well in the hotel, but we never got enough sleep to feel rested... Just too many kids to wrangle and keep track of :)

Saturday we celebrated Matthews 6th birthday and had a BBQ afterwards. Good times. We got back to the hotel at about 8. Jason helped me change and feed the kids, then he took off to visit with his friends for a few hours, leaving me all alone! It was ok with me though... Its good for Jason to have some friend time. I was able to get the kids to sleep pretty quickly and read my book until he got back.

Sunday, we left Spokane at about 8:45am and made spectacular time back... Kids slept the entire way. One of the good things about long drives is the time that it gives one to reflect. You can truly zone out and think over many things that you never have time for otherwise. This is particularly true of the Spokane drive because there is nothing but empty fields to look at! I was able to think over many things that I simply have had to push to the back of mind for lack of time and/or energy.

We made a brief detour to see the Denny Creek campground at Snoqualmie Pass. So very lovely. We'd like to camp there. We made a brief stop at home, then headed straight out to Mom's. We had debated if we should go to the July 4th (well, celebrated on July 3rd) thing at Phils, and finally we came to the conclusion that the kids schedules were already messed up and we'd just veg at home, so why not go. We had a good time. I lit off lots of fireworks and Jason was overly protective (giggle) and the food was great and the big fireworks were amazing. Have to say that Phil knows how to throw a superb party!

A lady at the party said that Gwen looked just like a doll and resembled the babies that an artist by the name of Bessie Pease Gutmann painted in the 40's. I can kinda see what she means, but I'm biased and think Gwen the cutest thing ever of course :)

We finally arrived back at our abode at about 11:30pm. I was able to get a load of laundry started and read a bit before I ran completely out of steam. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to sleep very well... Had weird dreams that I had two Ethans. The big Ethan, who was sleeping in his bed, and the 'little' Ethan, who I couldn't find. I got up out of bed and was starting to look for the little Ethan, when I realized how crazy I am and put myself back to bed :D

Today we didn't do much. Everyone slept in. We had a good breakfast. The worst thing about traveling is the food. I feel like I need to detox after all the junk we end up eating from fast food and crappy restaurants. Ick. For dinner we had a healthy and deeeelish meal. We had ribeye steaks (seasoned with a spicy steak seasoning) with tons of grilled vegetables. Red bell pepper, corn, onions, tomato. Oh, so very good and healthy too.

After dinner we set off some fireworks, and Ethan was unimpressed, perhaps because of all the great ones he saw yesterday?

I'll have pics and video up from the weekend tomorrow. Not enough energy to do so today. We've never been at home on July 4th and WOW, it is insanely noisy. There are just tons of fireworks going off all up and down the street. They're going off right over the house and next to the house and amazingly Ethan is still sleeping, though I can't imagine how.