Friday, September 29, 2006

I've been a bit out of sorts the last couple days and haven't felt up to doing much of anything...

Thursday, Tim returned from Iraq. Tim is Holly's (who is my cousin) husband. He was gone for 4 months in Baghdad working at the airport there. It was really good to have him back, and fascinating to hear all the stories and see the various things he brought back with him.

My Mom watched the kids while I went to therapy and while making a quick stop at Target the woman parked next to me had a dead battery. So, her and I worked at it and eventually remembered how to jump her car. It was really rather funny. It made me late and I still had to get lunch so by the time I arrived at my appointment, everything was kinda out of whack in my head. Nonetheless, it was still a very useful appointment, as all of them are.

Jason stayed home today because someone from Comcast came to put in digital cable. It sucks. But we're rather stuck because DirectTv's customer service sucks even more. I won't even go into how terrible they've been. Ugh. But their Tivo setup and software is far better than Comcast. Its like going back into the dark ages of television.

So you know I made that really icky eggplant dish earlier this week? Well, I figured that not all the recipes in the book could be bad, so I tried for another one which was lemon marinated pork chops. You thinly slice potatoes, then put the pork chops on top, then drizzle with the marinade and cook. Easy enough, and the individual ingredients sounded good.

Well it tasted like poop. And smelled like poop. And after 1 1/2 hours of cooking in a 375 oven, the darned potatoes weren't even soft. They were cut like 1/8th inch thick so there was no reason they should be hard. Its like the awfulness of this dish changed the structural makeup of the potatoes and kept them from softening against all odds. Anyway, luckily we had leftover pizza so the kids and J were saved. I had made some delicious blue cheese dressing to have with an iceberg wedge salad, so I had that. That dressing rocks. Here's the recipe.

Blue Cheese Dressing

I used Point Reyes blue, but the recipe suggests Stella or Danish Blue. Something not extremely strong...

6 ounces blue cheese, crumbled (1 1/2 cups)
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons buttermilk
1 garlic clove, minced or pressed
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sour cream
6 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Using a fork, mash the blue cheese, buttermilk, and garlic together in a bowl until the mixture resembles cottage cheese. Stir in the sour cream, mayonnaise, vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper. The dressing, covered, can be refrigerated for up to 4 days, stir to recombine before using.

Ethan and Gwen have developed their own language of late. Its a series of grunts or screams. One of them will start, and the other will answer. And they will go back and forth, louder, softer, longer tones and shorter tones. Its cute and irritating :)

Today I took the kids to the little playground by our house and all by himself Ethan "swam" down the slide. Lately he's been very proud of his "swimming" which is when he lays on his stomach in the bathtub and moves his arms and legs like he's swimming. We did not teach him this! Gwen is starting to pick it up too. I'd love to put them in some sort of swimming class, but that would require me to get in a swimsuit and er... that is not going to happen.

Oh, and one final thing. Ethan went #2 in the toilet 4 times today! I could not believe it... he is doing so well with his potty training.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

The kids recently pulled out this photo album that my Mom had given me on my 21st birthday. I had completely forgotten about it! It has all sorts of pictures from my childhood. Since we don't have a scanner, I took a picture of the pictures... not great, but still good enough to see. I thought you might enjoy seeing these.

We always had to preform at family functions.

I sang a duel role in Cinderella... a lady in waiting and the fairy godmother!

Me as Widow Douglas in Tom Sawyer. I had to kiss that boy in the picture on the cheek and I remember thinking it was soooo risque.

Awww, look at all of us!

Oh dear. Tie-dye, denim, socks with dress shoes, "the perm". My teen years.

The picture that started it all... this is what I sent Jason when we first met online ;)

There are lots more, but this is all I did for now!

Monday, September 25, 2006

We had a dramatic failure for dinner. I got this cookbook from the library with recipes from La Mancha which is in Spain. Many looked good, so I chose a stuffed eggplant one for dinner.

Well the eggplants were very firm and not particularly tasty. And at the last minute I decided to make a raw carrot and onion salad which no one liked either. So basically we ate the filling out of the eggplants and I ate all the carrot salad. Everyone else had canned peaches. Oh well, it happens.

I forgot to mention yesterday that Ethans potty training has been coming along VERY well. The day we decided to go back to diapers is when he really improved. We have very few accidents now and half the time he doesn't even want the reward. Hopefully this will continue!

Tomorrow we're hoping to meet a lady and her kids at a park. I met them through a Mom site. Her kids are almost exactly the same age as Ethan and Gwen... it would be perfect! She just moved to Lake Stevens and lives on the Machias Cutoff.

All for now, off to bed.
I just haven't felt like blogging. There have been plenty of things to blog about, but the desire just hasn't been there.

Over the weekend Mom, Dad, Shelly, Mike, Becki and Jenni came over and had dinner here. I hadn't seen Michael in forever, or Shelly or Becki. It was really good to hang out and catch up.

Gwen is saying all sorts of new words. This weekend she started saying "more" after Daddy gave her some of his espresso in her cup and she was not pleased with the small amount! She also says, "all done", "Tilli", "up", "bottle", "binky" and tons of other words. She is much farther along verbally than Ethan was at this age.

Now Ethan, well, where to start. This little guy is talking up a storm about everything. He can sing lots of songs, sing the alphabet, identify 3-4 colors and hold a very decent c0nversation. He has some problem with the "sp" sound, but he's coming along.

Both the kids are sick right now with bad colds. I'm bummed because we joined a playgroup and finally we were able to make it this week, but I can't take the kids when they are this sick. While they aren't very sluggish or anything, they have very drippy noses and are heavily congested. Can't make them play outside when they are like that.

This month has just flown by... In under 2 weeks I'm going to Boston, yay! I went and got an enormous stack of books and am holding myself back on two of them so I can take them on the trip with me. My facination with Henry VIII and Elizabeth I has returned and I have big thick biographies to get through.

The change in weather is very pretty here. The NGPA behind the house is changing colors... our yard is filled with those heliocopter things (which Ethan loves to throw and the dogs love to chase), the days are cool, which you know I love, and I'm reminded of why I adore fall so much. My favorite season without fail.

Well, the kids are causing all sorts of havoc, so I will sign off.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

The good news is that I did not have strep and my sore throat is pretty much gone. Whew!

The bad-ish news is that the dogs have been very sick after eating a whole batch of homemade play dough and I've done nothing but clean up mess after mess. Again, I thank the Lord that we have wood floors. The damage would have been substantial on carpet.

The kids and I took a walk today... about 1 mile round trip. On the way back we stopped at the little play area by our house. Its not really very good, and a little too old for Ethan, but he tries really hard and is getting better. He can almost climb up this big net to get to the slide. Gwen is WAY too small for any of it, so she amuses herself by waiting at the bottom of the slide, waiting for Ethan to come down, then running away giggling hysterically when he lands at the bottom.

We picked up a new XBox game over the weekend, Lego Star Wars II. At first I thought it was going to be really corny and not at all good, but boy, was I wrong. Not only is it totally funny and cute, but the gameplay is good, and downright challenging at times. I, um, am ashamed to say that I somehow lost 3 hours today while playing. The kids went down for nap, Jason came home, and next thing I know, the kids are getting up. Yikes!

Friday, September 15, 2006

I think I'm getting strep again.

The throat is itchy and irritated, just like it started when I had three hits of it a couple months ago.

Oh please please please let it be gone by tomorrow. I cannot bear being sick right now.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

The last couple days have been rough.... The kids and I have been fighting off illness I think.

Monday and last night the kids did not sleep well at night. One of them is crying about every 2 hours or so. Monday night Gwen fought for 30 min to go down, something that is very uncommon. She then woke up repeatedly through the night and into the early morning. Last night Ethan came down with a high fever and woke a couple times through the night. Luckily this morning he woke up fever free and in much better spirits. Can't say the same for me though :-/

Two nights with limited sleep makes me a very cranky Mommy.

Oh, last night, our dogs tried to kill us too. I was up with Gwen at about midnight and as I was walking to the kids room I heard this clicking. It was one of the burners on the stove trying to light. My guess is that one of the dogs jumped up to lick the stove or something and must have turned on the burner. So, the house was filled with that nasty gas smell. I have no idea how long the burner was on. Oddly, the smell was not bad in the kids room or even the living room, but very very strong in our bedroom (which is directly above the kitchen). It was actually burning my throat. Ugh. So, I sat up with all the windows opened until it was aired out, then went back to bed.

Today my Mom, Jenni, and cousin Ben are coming over and we're all going to head down to the Everett Childrens Museum. I'm hoping that the weather holds and their rooftop playground is open. Its SO incredibly awesome and something that the kids can really enjoy (the rest of the museum they really like, but its a smidge old for them). As long as its not raining, I think it will be open. Keeping my fingers crossed!

So Jason watched this docu-drama called "Path to 9-11". I just couldn't watch it. I couldn't watch ANY 9-11 coverage. Even 5 years after, its so painful for me to read or watch anything abut it. Well, he was watching the last part of this movie last night and I'm in the kitchen cooking dinner and so I have to hear and see the planes hitting the buildings and all that and I'm like just crying right into our dinner while its on the stove. Seriously. I was not too happy with him that I had to see the one part that I most wanted to avoid! After being avidly curious about 9-11 right after it happened, I just can't bear to watch anything about it now. And it didn't help ease my mind about flying cross country in a few weeks either :(

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Its been a long time since I blogged, wow. The pictures I posted on Saturday were ones I've been meaning to put up for awhile....

Gwen looks adorable in pigtails, but they don't stay in very long!

And that little outfit she was wearing I bought on Saturday and thought she looked so cute I just had to show her off.

So our red car's transmission died on Tuesday without warning. We were able to get it to a local shop to be repaired and found out that it had to be completely replaced. Ugh. It cost more than we'd probably be able to sell the car for, but what could we do? So we were down to one car until Friday when we picked it back up.

Saturday we had a goodbye party for my cousin Brynne who is moving to a far away place in Idaho. We will miss her :( Early that morning we awoke to find that the dogs had gotten into the pantry and eaten a bag of flour, some matzo meal and confectioners sugar. They didn't eat all that much, but they certainly spread it around everywhere. That is not the best thing to wake up to.

Today we just lazed around, picked up the back yard, mowed. Nothing too much. I made some cookies and stuffed bell peppers with sauteed artichoke hearts for dinner.

Ever since the fair last week I've been starving and eating like crazy. I feel like a turkey being prepped for its Thanksgiving demise! This week, my goal is to go out walking or biking at least 3 times. I'm hoping to pick up a bike trailer this week or next so I can bike around here with the kids. Everything is sidewalked and fairly easy (some gentle hills) so its a good place to bike.


Saturday, September 09, 2006

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Here are the pictures from the Evergreen State Fair

Right after lunch. Yummmm... Check out Ethan still working on his enormous corn dog

Posing in front of Ethan's favorite construction equipment. Scoop!

Gwennie carrying her basket through the maze... she had to gather up two apples, dig up two potatoes, collect two eggs :)

Ethan feeding a goat at the petting barn

Ethan vs. Chicken!

Ethan and I waiting for the roller coaster to start. I hate roller coasters, but I did it for him :)

Gwennie and I resting on the grass

I don't know if I've blogged this, but Ethan thinks himself completely capable of driving a car. In fact, every time we get in the car he says, "Me drive Mommy, I DRIVE!". So you can understand why he liked this ride so much....

Monday, September 04, 2006

Guess what? I'm going to Boston next month!

Shelly is going over there to check out Boston U (her choice for graduate school) and to visit Peter, her boyfriend. I'm gonna fly over with her and sightsee and maybe meet up with my favorite message board friend, Laurie :)

Yesterday we went to the fair and had a great time. The kids loved all the excitement and people and even went on some rides. I'll try and upload the massive amount of pictures we have tomorrow. We were there a LONG time. From like 2:30-7:30.

I ate so much at the fair. I love fair food! I had a chopped bbq beef sandwich that was incredible and was served with garlic mashed potatoes. Later we nibbled on an elephant ear that we got for the kids, then got some delish blackberry ice cream in a waffle cone. After that, I just had to have my own elephant ear, so I had that. All in all, the scale shows that I gained 5lbs, but in my defense, that was probably because I drank a lot of water too. In any case, good good stuff. Man, I'd go to the fair just to get some good eats.

Today we went out to my Mom's for a Labor Day get together with Becki's friends. Pitroffs were there and as always, it was good to see them. Its a little like seeing my own siblings... I love those guys. The kids didn't sleep at all today in naps, due to a very, er, messy incident involving Ethan, a poopy diaper and his removal of said diaper. Not fun :( They fell asleep in the car on the way home and we laid them straight to bed. Poor things were dead tired.

Anyway, that's all for now. I have a movie to finish watching.

Oh, I have a movie recommendation... Ghandi. It was put out in the 80's and is superb. Really really good. Highly recommend!

Friday, September 01, 2006

Tonight we went to Teatro ZanZinni which was totally fun. I'm far too wiped to post all about it, but here is a picture of me before we left. Its not often that I break out the good jeans and the heels and the wonderbra all on one night :)

About midway through the dinner/performance, they came by, put boas on us and took our pic :)

I'll post more about it tomorrow, but it was well worth the $$$. Very fun!