Friday, December 29, 2006

I'm really struggling today. Well, not just today, but today I feel it heavier than usual. Perhaps its from all the illness circulating amongst friends and family and the holiday let down and all that.

My therapist said a few weeks ago that she thinks I'm the type of person who finds parenthood hard to accept. That its my sense of responsibility that keeps me on track, not an overflowing love of children and/or parenting. At first this took me back, but I'm beginning to understand that its true. In all honesty, I don't really enjoy being a parent, at least not at this point. When people say to enjoy this age with the kids, I nod and agree, but inside I'm thinking, "Huh? This is the worst time. I can't wait for them to be older and more self-sufficient".

This doesn't mean that I don't love them. I do. And perhaps even more importantly, I feel a great sense of responsibility for their care and upbringing. Even on the days that I don't feel much love towards them, that responsibility remains.

When the kids were at my Mom's last night, despite being sick, I felt blissfully free. We went out to dinner, and then breakfast. Over to the library, got new tires, all with no rush or stress or concern. I was happy to see them when we got to my Mom's, but as soon as we left the oppression returned. I don't know how else to explain it other than oppression. It feels so ugly and heavy and it makes it impossible to enjoy having children. It sucks all the motivation and enthusiasm out of me. It makes me angry and resentful and bitter. Its an utter hopelessness of looking forward and seeing nothing but hardships and trials and drudgery for the next 18 years.

Oh, I know it sounds all dramatic and such and probably tomorrow I'll snort and say, "I can't believe I wrote that" but tonight its a heavy burden on my back.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

I'm ill... AGAIN... so this blog will be short and to the point. I have tonsillitis. It hurts and makes me uber-cranky, but we're dealing :)

Our Christmas started on Saturday when Grandma Karen, Grandpa Les and Aunt Nicole came to visit. We had a great time and the kids loved their gifts. We played the Wii for hours and Grandma Karen even smacked Ethan on the head with the Wii-mote in the heat of bowling. Good times!

Sunday we got the children all dressed up and headed off to church. After socializing for a bit, we went home and hung out... prepping for the BIG day. Before bed, the kids put out cookies and milk for Santa and were quite excited that he'd come while they slept.

Monday morning came and the kids came down to find a whiteboard/chalkboard easel and some humongous cardboard blocks that came from Santa. A few hours later, the whole clan (Nana, Grandpa, Aunt Becki, Aunt Shelly, Uncle Mike and Aunt Jenni) came over and we had an orgy of gift openings. I got lots of cool stuff (cookbooks, gift cards, etc).

After they left, we got ourselves dressed and headed out to Nana and Grandpa's house for Christmas dinner. Due to the kid's colds, Poppa and Grammy couldn't join us for Christmas dinner. The first time in a VERY long time that we didn't get to see our beloved grandparents on the holiday. They were sorely missed.

Jason is home all this week. My Mom graciously took the kids today and we'll go get them tomorrow. We are looking forward to going to bed when we want and waking when we want, especially since I don't feel well at all. After dropping off the kids, we went and got one my presents... a new cell phone. Finally, my own phone, not a hand-me-down with cracks or other flaws. Yay! I got a Katana, which is an ultra-slim phone similar to the RAZR The best part is that its pink :) We went to Chang's for dinner (haven't been there in ages) and then home. Tomorrow we might hit a movie before getting the kids.

I'll put some pictures soon. Right now I want to go get into comfy clothes and veg for a bit.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Well well well.

If our week before Christmas hasn't been rough enough, my oven stopped working tonight. It worked earlier today just fine, but wouldn't heat for dinner. The broiler and burners work and after some sleuthing, J and I narrowed it down to the electric ignition (we think). Its a gas stove and we are not very familiar with it but that seems the most likely cause.

So it won't be fixed before Christmas. I will have to manage somehow.

I don't even want to think of what else may go wrong with our current run of luck.

I'm not feeling very jolly.
I'd like to take a moment and remember the son of a friend of mine.

Marshall Potter left this world today, 4 years ago. He was only 4 months old, and died as a result of SMA (spinal muscular atrophy).

His mother, Laurie, was the lady I visited in Boston in October. I was able to play with his sister Murphy, see the beautiful home where Marshall spent his short life and enjoy far-too-few hours with this very special family. I wish they didn't live so far away.

Our thoughts are with you today Potter family.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Also, wanted to show off this cute skirt I had custom made for Gwen for only $16! The waist is adjustable and based on how much adjustment they gave me, I think she could easily wear it until she is 4! Its a patchwork skirt, with a good bit of twirl.

Here are some pictures from Spokane. There were some taken of all the kids together and also a family picture, so I'll put those up once we get them (we didn't take any on our camera).

The boys (Tyler, Matthew, Ethan)

The girls (Jamie & Gwen)

Awww... they really did like each other!

Gwen barely tolerated this hat

Daddy and Ethan reading Bob the Builder

Gwen and Aunt Christie

Ethan doing his normal mess-making with popcorn

"Wow, this tree has decorations on it!" (our tree just has lights)


And for good measure, a picture of the bread I made with that recipe I posted the other day. The only change is that I cooked it in a 3qt saucepan instead of the 6-8qt dutch oven. Purty, isn't it?

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

There is much to blog about since I've been offline for so long.

However, I don't feel like typing it because we have been hit with a flu since Sunday.

Imagine being so dreadfully sick and having to drive 6 hours home. Two hours into that drive, imagine that your daughter starts throwing up too. Monday, all is good. You think, hey only two of us got hit, yay. But then imagine that right before bedtime your son starts throwing up and throws up all night. Then your husband starts today.

Luckily this nasty bug lasts only 6 hours, but its a horrible, draining 6 hours. Its been two days since I had it and my body is still weak and weary.

Now that I've really got your mind on pleasent and lovely things, I'm going to share a recipe.

Its probably the easiest and best tasting bread you'll ever make, hands down.

Its called no-knead bread and it was originally published in the New York Times. Its sweeping across the internet and makes the best homemade bread I've ever tasted.

I'll paste the recipe below, but if you click here you can download the recipe, with pictures, plus the original article and further notes from the author. Well worth the read in my opinion.

No Knead Bread

3 cups all-purpose or bread flour, more for dusting
¼ teaspoon instant yeast
1¼ teaspoons salt
Cornmeal or wheat bran as needed.

1. In a large bowl combine flour, yeast and salt. Add 1 5/8 cups water, and stir until blended; dough will be shaggy and sticky. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let dough rest at least 12 hours, preferably about 18, at warm room temperature, about 70 degrees.

2. Dough is ready when its surface is dotted with bubbles. Lightly flour a work surface and place dough on it; sprinkle it with a little more flour and fold it over on itself once or twice. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest about 15 minutes.

3. Using just enough flour to keep dough from sticking to work surface or to your fingers, gently and quickly shape dough into a ball. Generously coat a cotton towel (not terry cloth) with flour, wheat bran or cornmeal; put dough seam side down on towel and dust with more flour, bran or cornmeal. Cover with another cotton towel and let rise for about 2 hours. When it is ready, dough will be more than double in size and will not readily spring back when poked with a finger.

4. At least a half-hour before dough is ready, heat oven to 450 degrees. Put a 6- to 8-quart heavy covered pot (cast iron, enamel, Pyrex or ceramic) in oven as it heats. When dough is ready, carefully remove pot from oven. Slide your hand under towel and turn dough over into pot, seam side up; it may look like a mess, but that is O.K. Shake pan once or twice if dough is unevenly distributed; it will straighten out as it bakes. Cover with lid and bake 30 minutes, then remove lid and bake another 15 to 30 minutes, until loaf is beautifully browned. Cool on a rack.

Yield: One 1½-pound loaf.

Ok, all for now. Off to tend to the sick family.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Hey look, we're back. After 1 1/2 weeks, our blog was finally fixed. Wow. Perhaps my standards for customer support are too high, after doing it for 5 years myself, but 1 1/2 weeks to fix a problem, with no contact from support letting you know what is going on is rather irritating, to say the least.

But, that is behind us now. I have returned!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

I am tired.

I am weak.

I am lazy.

I am frustrated.

I am unmotivated.

I am distractible.

I am obsessive about some things and careless about other things.

I am stressed.

I am selfish.

This makes me feel sad.

This makes me feel angry.

This makes me feel ambivalent.

This makes me feel like a failure as a wife, mother, human.

I think I need a good cry.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

This blog will not be about the inane little details of my life, nor about my occasional obsessions with finding just the right Christmas dress for Gwen.

No, this blog will be a brag about Ethan and Gwennie-pooh.

Next time you see Ethan, ask him if he had a dream and what it was about. He really loves to talk about his dreams and they are sometimes quite facinating. For instance, for a number of days, every morning he told me that he dreamed of "Mommy being home". Sweet, but a little boring don't you think? Sometimes he'll say he dreamed Blues Clues, or Wonder Pets. Other times, its about elephants. This week, he surprised us by saying he dreamed about dragons. Dragons? Where did he see/hear about dragons? The best we can surmise is that he saw that trailer for the movie, Eragorn, which is all about dragons. Sometimes he dreams about car washes and those are always scary.

He's also quite the singer and belts out, "Twinkle Twinkle" or "Row your boat" or "ABC's" quite often while we're in the car. Of course, his favorite song (much to my embarassment) is "SexyBack". That kid will demand you play the song over and over and over again.

Gwen is no slouch either. Lately she has taken to hopping all over the house. Well, we call it hopping, but her feet rarely leave the ground. Rather, she propels herself up on tiptoes over and over again. Sometimes she actually gets air. Its a work in progress. Its terribly cute though :)

Her verbal skills are coming along very well. She's at the point where she will say a whole sentence, but you'll only make out a word or two. One of her favorite queries is, "Momma?", "Yes Gwen?", "Sound?" when she wants to know what she just heard. Its cute.

Ok, well, thats all for now... I'll include pics of what we did today and funny story to go along with it.

First, what we did.

Yep, we put up lights. Its the most lights I think we've ever done. We didn't do the front peak as its quite high and even with the ladder I just wasn't feeling brave enough to do it. It was a lot of work, mainly because we had to coordinate so many cords on so few outlets.

So here's the funny story. I go out to take these pictures at like 8pm. Jason locks the door behind me so the kids can't get out. Well, I head off the porch and spot this small white dog in the street. No big deal. There seems to be quite a few small dogs that wander around here.

However, this dog sees me, starts growling and dashes right at me. I turn back and try to open the door to the house, but its locked. The dog is now at the bottom of the steps and is growling and I'm swinging the camera thing that goes around your neck at it trying to keep him away. Keep in mind that the slightest nudge of my foot would have sent this dog flying but for some reason I was terrified. I'm yelling at Jason to open up and the meanie is laughing SO hard that he is incapable. Finally he does and I barge in and slam the door on the vicious little wretch. As son as I was inside, the humor became evident and I started laughing too.

After peeking out and seeing the coast was clear, I went back out and took these pictures. J was still giggling when I came back. Evidently, seeing your wife terrified of a small dog is good for a laugh :)

Friday, December 01, 2006

I'm struggling with something.

A dreadful addiction.

It occupies my mind, I can't stop thinking about it.

I just spent two hours seeking a fix and feel like I could go for hours more.

Holidays or special occasions always make it worse.

What is this craving?

A dress for Gwen.

Uh huh. A dress. Thats all.

And yet it haunts...

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Haven't blogged lately as I'm still fighting off this dreadful cold. It eases during the day, but wipes me out in the evenings. Adding to that is Ethan's dreadful behavior of late. Jason are rather baffled what to do with him. He's mean, purposely destructive, challenging our every word and demanding. These last 2-3 weeks have been so tough, perhaps even more tough than when we brought Gwen home and dealt with all that.

Here are some pics we took on Monday when we braved the incredibly icy roads to go to my parents house. We were suffering extreme cabin fever and had to do something. A little adventure is the perfect remedy.

On the Newburg (road my parents live off of). It might look safe, but it was a solid and thick sheet of ice.

We slid a long way before being able to turn into their driveway (where the mailboxes are)

Going down the long driveway. The snow was very deep through here, and it was very "magical" with everything still so white and fresh.

Ethan and Mommy, ready to sled.

Down we go... there was so much snow blowing at us that I was perpetually squinting!

Yes, that's Tilli. Yes, she did ride on the sled with me for a good distance. Yes, she did enjoy it! After she jumped off, I grabbed her collar and she pulled me further!

Gwen's turn. She did not enjoy it as much as Ethan or the dog :)

Warming up and waiting for our clothes to dry in the house. Note the hot chocolate beard Ethan wears with style.

Just a few minutes after we'd left... tired babies.

A serious accident closed off our regular way home, so we had to take a back route

Thought this was kinda pretty with the sun, snow and clouds...

Sunday, November 26, 2006

You know what I love the most about snow?

How it insulates things.

How the world becomes eerily quiet.

No cars, no distant sounds of freeways, construction or kids waiting for buses.

Blissfully, perfectly, quiet.
Pics from our snow outings, yep, we had two this evening. One before dinner, waiting for our pizza guy to come... we had to help push him out of the snow to get going again and we are not hopeful that he made it back to his work! Ethan and Gwen insisted on round two after dinner.
They LOVE snow!

A tree by our front door, it was standing fully upright just a few hours ago.

Their first snow experience. They were wary.

Mommy building...

and building more, with help


Round two, more confident and ready to roll!

We waited for a serious good laugh to come from this, but she lucked out and didn't get flushed with snow :)

Mmm... snow yummy

It came up to his mid-calf

"Mommy, I'm a dog! I dig!"

I added a dog/cat/rabbit friend to our snow lady.
Ugh. So much to blog about!

Ok, the week started off well, with the new rug and all. Tuesday I took the kids out to my Mom's while I went to therapy and did the last of my Thanksgiving shopping. J and I went out to dinner (eeew, Ixtapa in Snohomish) and then headed out to my Mom's to get the kids. We had a rather nerve racking time there, due to some family stuff going on. I can't really go into detail, but please keep my Aunt and cousins in your prayers for continued strength, healing and peace in this time of change.

Thursday was the big day and we had a good time. My grandparents were able to come which was a huge blessing. We wore Grandpa out quick (no surprise, the kids do that to a person!), but we were so honored that he would come when he was feeling so weary. Grammy came bearing her lovely smile and snacks. We love ya Grandpa and Grammy!

After dinner, something happened that I haven't seen in a long time. My Mom played a game. And not even a board game, but Texas Hold'em! Yes, she played Texas Hold'em and pretty decently at that.

I kicked everyone out at about 8 and zonked out. The next morning I woke with a sore throat, achy head and sinus pain. Ugh.

Despite not feeling well, I worked the entire day on finishing up Jenni's birthday present... Wanna see it? I'm pretty proud, as I'm not crafty in the slightest. I was inspired by my friend Laurie who sent two lovely fleece tied blankets for the kids. Jason didn't tell me I was holding it upside down, so if you can't make it out, its a horse pattern. Its backed with a cream fleece. Oh, and for perspective, I'm standing on the table and its touching the ground... its a huge blanket. I'd say over 100 inches long and about 50 some wide.

Saturday I made some soup for the family get together. It was a potato, leek and fennel soup. Well, I used some homemade turkey stock which was very... turkey-ish. It resulted in a soup tasting like mashed potatoes and turkey gravy, with a hit of fennel. Or that's what I heard anyway, I couldn't taste a thing with being all stuffed up. It was really good to see the Hollenbecks, and our Brynne who had moved so far away was there too.

Today I worked on getting the house picked up, putting out our Christmas stuff and getting laundry done. I've come to an understanding with myself about laundry. I don't mind fetching it out of a basket. I do mind fetching children's clothes though, so I work on putting those away. Otherwise, I don't stress it. I feel somewhat freed by this understanding.

Speaking of Christmas stuff, Ethan and Gwen are utterly fascinated with our nativity set (inherited from my great-grandma Hazel). I'm thinking I'll get them a play nativity because this one is too special to allow much handling.

It was snowing on and off all day, but this afternoon it really started coming down and sticking. The only way we were able to get the kids to nap was to promise that they could go out after they got up.

I'd say we have 2+ inches of snow, easy.

This pic was taken when it first started sticking, around 2:30.

3 hours later...

Monday, November 20, 2006

Guess what? I got a new rug. Woo hoo!

Its wool and burgandy and the pattern on it perfectly matches my curtains. I love it!

The kids love it and were rolling around on it after bath, hence the nakedness :)

Sunday, November 19, 2006


Ta-da! Here's the new stuff!

Our new dining chairs. Plain, simple, stainproof. Its all we can really expect at this time of our lives :)

The new sofa

New chair. Please excuse the mess. Things have been a little loose the last couple days.

Love seat

I forgot to blog about it yesterday, but we took Marsh Road out through Snohomish and up to Everett. The devastation from flooding was shocking. Really, the worst I've seen since that one time years ago when homes were floating down and hitting the trestle.

All the new nurseries that had gone in, the corn maze, the fruit and veg stands, the espresso stand, everything trashed. The one place that sold flowers had been pushed down to the very far end of the field and was half sunk. The water was, I'd say, at least knee deep in most of the fields and there were hundreds of geese! People were stopping and taking picture because there were so many. Water was still over the road in places. It was quite sad. We drove that road nearly every day when we lived in our old house. That espresso stand had just been bought and struggling to stay in business. So all this destruction and the worst of the flooding had been done for about a week now :( I can't imagine what it looked like at its worst.

Oh, going back to today's activities, I cleaned all the carpet upstairs and it looks so good. Once again I can enjoy putting my piggy toes into it and not thinking about all the ick. I worked pretty much from when the kids left (10am) to about 5pm. Moving, cleaning, building. I was so ravenous I broke my pizza plateau and ate an appalling 5 pieces (in all fairness, 3 were kinda small). Ah well, with all the activity, I'm sure I've just broke even, right?

Saturday, November 18, 2006

We spent most of today out shopping.

You know how I said we were shopping for new dining chairs. Well, um, it grew into more than that. We ended up with a 3 piece living room set (love seat, sofa, chair) and 6 dining chairs. WAY more than we'd planned on.

However, I can't regret it... our sofa (as many of our visitors know) has been through hard times. Its been peed on, many a coffee has been spilled on it, spots have been worn through the fabric. Honestly, we didn't expect any better of it because it only cost us $300 in the first place. Its purpose was to only last a few years, and it did that well. I've listed it on Craigslist, along with the huge recliner and hopefully they'll go quick so we don't have to store them too long. If anyone is interested, especially after I gave that GREAT sales pitch a few sentences back, let me know. A friend will get 'em for free, we just want them gone.

Our new set is leather like material (its not leather, but it looks and feels just like leather) in a warm latte color. We have come to the conclusion that anything but leather or wood or other wipeable material isn't worth it at this point in our lives. We have dogs and kids. There was a fabric replacement warranty that we purchased. For $60 they will replace any rips, tears, etc for 5 years. We figured that we will need this at least once and only one time would pay for itself. We really didn't spend a ton either. We plan on this set lasting us another 5 years or so and upgrade then, when the kids are mostly past their destructive phase.

We really liked the furniture place we bought from. Huge selection, good quality and decent prices. Even better, both their enormous warehouses are 10 min from our house.

Anyway, we go and get the stuff tomorrow. Mom is graciously coming here in the morning, dropping off the flatbed, taking our car and the kids to church so we can get everything moved out and later that afternoon, everything moved in. I'm also going to try and get the playroom and kids bedroom carpet cleaned.

No trial run on the turkey this year. Just don't have the time! I'll be doing a salt-roasted bird which should be fabu. Since our Thanksgiving group will be small, I can do a regular sized, 14lb turkey. I don't think I've cooked one under 20 lbs in years!

Friday, November 17, 2006

So we've been hitting a lot of parks lately. Most in Snohomish are either completely water logged or closed (our beloved Pilchuck Park has been closed for at least a week now). Yesterday we did Ferguson Park, which was ok. When its dried out and the lake has gone down, I could see it being fun, as its right on Blackmans Lake with lots of ducks.

It was rather funny because Ethan had to go potty RIGHT now, but the bathrooms were closed for the season which makes no sense because a playground is pretty much a year round activity. Anyway, beings as we were the only ones there, I found the most remote tree possible (which wasn't easy given the location and sparse treeage) and had him pee on it. Oh, that really did thrill him. Gwen wanted to take off her diaper and try too, but I had to stop that right there. I can't have the kids thinking that its ok to just drop trou and pee on trees whenever they like!

Today we tried Pilchuck Park again, but still closed. So, using this very un-detailed map I'd printed off online, we tried to find Morgantown. Well I drove all over with no luck, but then I saw it from a very long distance and managed to find it. Its really tucked in a very unlikely place. The kids really liked this one because they could see the river and throw leaves into it, from a distance of course. The wind was pretty lively and Ethan was getting a kick out of throwing leaves and having them come right back at him.

For dinner we had a recipe recommended to me by a message board friend (with my substitutions). Tilapia with creamed spinach. I liked it alot, as did Gwen. Daddy and Ethan were "eh". Its quite simple.

Set oven to 450.

Spray baking dish with cooking spray

Season tilapia with salt and pepper and place in dish

Combine defrosted creamed spinach (I made my own) with 1/2 cup breadcrumbs and 1/4 cup parm

Place mixture over tilapia, sprinkle with more parm

Bake for about 20 min, or until done

We had ours with mixed fingerling potatoes, which included those cool purple ones. I love purple potatoes just because they look pretty.

Tomorrow Becki will be coming to babysit while J and I shop for dining chairs. Once they were doused with milk, it was quite apparent they needed to be replaced.

Off to read and eat my Blizzard that J picked up for me :)

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Tonight we had soft tacos for dinner. Incredibly messy and called for a bubble bath, with a good rub down of soap AND shampoo. Generally we only shampoo them once a week and soap even less frequently, but this needed serious intervention.

The wind and rain has been crazy here since about 2pm, but still the power remains on. So nice.

We got some excellent news about my Grandpa. The tumors in his chest have shrunk 40%! He's also lost 12 more lbs of water weight. They won't know about the brain stuff for another week or two, but chances are that if the chest tumors have shrunk the brain ones have too. This is such an answer to the many many prayers that have been surrounding my Grandpa and Grammy over the last weeks.

My new favorite (but its actually kinda old) song:

Reasons not to walk in the driving wind and rain:

  1. You will become soaked. Soaked down to your underwear, despite a hardy rain coat.
  2. The children, while finding it amusing at first (with the rain at their back), don't take to it very well when the rain is now blowing in their faces on the return. This is complicated by the fact that they are strapped tight into a stroller and unable to move.
  3. People will drive by you very slowly and ask if you are need of a drive home.
  4. The wind may kick up strong enough to blow the stroller away from you while you stop to tie your shoe. That's 35lbs stroller weight, 35lbs boy weight and 20lbs girl weight, all moved by the howling wind that is also pushing rain into your face, as previously mentioned.
  5. Your son may keep kicking off his shoes because he finds it humorous that Mommy has to fish the shoe out of puddles to put it back on.
  6. Eventually Mommy stops putting the shoes on and now appears to be a doubly irresponsible parent for taking her children out in the rain and also for taking them out shoeless.
  7. Your daughter may chant, repeatedly, "Wet Mommy! Bath! Wet Mommy! Bath!" If she doesn't receive acknowledgement, she chants louder and with more gusto.
  8. You may become breathless and unable to respond to your children, which can make you appear to be a thrice bad parent (out in rain, shoeless and now ignoring the darling little babes).
  9. When you arrive home, you remove the children, drain, set them down and they immediately want more rain. NOW.
  10. Its ever so exhausting (which I suppose is good from a working out perspective)

Monday, November 13, 2006

After recovering from the milk incident (which was one of the worst messes I've had to clean up from either dog or child), I brought the kids to Mom's house so that she could watch them while I went to therapy. Afterwards, Jason and I went to a nifty little restaurant called Alligator Soul in Everett. We would highly recommend it. The cuisine is Cajun and very unique. There was nothing on the menu familiar to us. The place itself was small, but they had worked in a stage and a guy was there playing and singing the blues. It was just a really awesome place, and the prices were quite affordable. Definitely the best place we've been to in Everett, and the ambiance was fun.

Saturday we tried to go to Pilchuck Park in Snohomish (our favorite local park) but it was closed due to flooding. The soccer fields were completely under water :( So we hit that small park by the library and the kids had a good time, though they were super tired and rather cranky by the time we left.

Sunday was the football game of course, so we didn't go far from the house. We took the kids on a short puddle splashing walk, then lazed around watching the game, reading and playing a new game on the XBox.

Today we went out early to Grammy and Grandpas house to try and fix their printer. Grammy kindly played interference with the kids so I could talk with Grandpa and do my work. After about an hour we were able to narrow it down to a faulty ink cartridge. Generally I would have tested that first, but it was new cartridge so it wasn't high on my suspect list. We brought them some beef stew from Sunday along with some brown rolls. I hope they enjoy it!

I did go back on my Zoloft a few days ago. My therapist really gave me some strong words about going off cold turkey and I won't try that again. I will be cutting the dose in half, then in half again over time with the aim of being off completely maybe by the first of the year. We'll see.

Ethan and Gwen have been growing and learning. Ethan talks incredibly well now (though with a lisp at times) and has quite an attitude. He is *very* terrible two! But he's also very loving and gentle and caring. During the bad times last week, he went out of his way to comfort me and ask me what was wrong and hug me. He's a really good boy. He wears diapers only during nap and bedtime and although he does have an accident here and there, he's done really well with the potty training thing.

Gwen is sassy. She has more personality in her little finger than any other child I know! She has these little "poses" that she does just for the drama, and she is always into something. She loves shoes and wears any pair she can find, including Mommy and Daddy's! Her hair is touching her back now and finally she lets me put "pretties" in her hair and most of the time she won't pull them out. Her talking is far advanced, much farther than Ethan was at this age. Its still strange to see this tiny little thing flying around the house at top speed, fearless and free. Oh, she has gone on the potty a few times. I wouldn't call it potty training per se, but she knows what it is and how to do it. I think in a few months we'll be ready to start officially.

Friday, November 10, 2006


1 full gallon of milk
Your dining room table
Your dining room chairs, which yesterday had their protective covers removed so they could be washed, leaving your chairs vunerable to spills.

Just imagine how bad it could be, then x10.

I'm beginning to feel like the stay at home Mom version of Job.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Last night we had something out of the ordinary (for us).

I had picked up some Tilapia fillets, frozen, at Costco and we cooked them in foil packets for dinner.

I julienned carrots, fennel and onions (basically all the leftover veg in my fridge), sauteed them briefly in olive oil, then threw in some minced garlic at the end. A bed of veg went on the foil, then the seasoned fish, then more veg on top, a hit of wine and olive oil, seal 'em up and into the oven at 375 for 20 min. Served over rice. Even J liked it.

Today I'm feeling a bit better emotionally, but my head is "jolting" quite a bit. It feels like my brain is trying to make some connection and is missing, and then tries again and makes it. I realize that sounds bizarre. It gets worse when I'm stressed out or feeling overwhelmed. Its uncomfortable.

We're back to torrents of rain, which I don't mind so much. The kids love to splash outside. Jason said the Snohomish valley (right at Marsh road) was pretty much all under water. A few more days of rain and hwy 9 will be closed again through there. Tomorrow I'm going to drive over the trestle and I'm curious to see if the river has breached the levees yet.

Off to watch some TV with Ethan and drink my coffee.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Very tiring and draining day. Didn't seem to go more than 5 min without bursting into tears. Perhaps I'll try to write more tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

I tried going off my Zoloft... this was my second day. I was having some frightening side effects, despite this, I was fairly set on braving it out.

However, I've decided to go back on it. Not because of the side effects of withdrawl, but because, well, I just am happier when I'm rather numbed out by the drugs. Thats an honest statement right there. Before quitting two days ago, things were pretty smooth, nothing ruffled my feathers too much. Things are already ruffling my feathers and I don't want that and so perhaps its best that I just stay on the meds. I'm ok with the fact that I may need to be on this for years and years longer. Its just what I need to manage right now.
Gwen flashing her new cheesy smile. She's got killer hair though ;)

Monday, November 06, 2006

Check out this enormous leaf I picked up at my Mom's.

The one on the far right is one that I got from the park the other day, thinking that it was pretty big. Ha! The leaf on the left totally pwns the leaf on the right :)

(excuse my man-hands)

I measured and its height (not counting the stem) was 13.5 inches. Its width at the widest spot was 18.5. Yes, I took the time to measure a leaf. Occassionally, nature deserves a geek out :)