Monday, October 30, 2006

So much went on this week.

We came home on Thursday to give my Mom a breather before the busy weekend. This meant that I spent a night alone in the house with the kids. It would have been fine except that on the way from my Mom's to home, the nightlight bulb broke. Well, I thought I had more but I didn't and after rifiling through the garage while the kids were screaming upstairs, I decided to just leave the door open for light. Yeah, that didn't go over well. 2 hours later, the kids finally fall asleep, then Tilli noses her way in and wakes them up. Then back to sleep they go, but waking through the night because its too dark. Fun times.

Saturday we went over early to my Mom's to visit with everyone, then came back home to put the kids down for nap. We were chilling downstairs when we heard this very loud THUD and then Gwen crying. The little monkey had crawled out of her crib and fell out. Then Jason and I started freaking out because we are not ready for her to be in a bed! AHHHHHHHHHHHH!

Time was pressed since I was attending Shelly's play that night, so we decided to put her in the Pack 'n Play which has higher sides. It worked. And yesterday we put her in Ethans crib, then turned it around so that the higher back side is in front. This worked. She can't climb out now. Thank goodness. We are not ready to deal with the move to a bed yet.

Sunday we carved a pumpkin (didn't turn out as good as I would have hoped) and I made seeds in a totally different way than I usually do. I used this recipe from Martha Stewart: Sweet and Spicy Pumpkin Seeds

Here's the full recipe.

Sweet and Spicy Pumpkin Seeds

Makes 1 cup
Pumpkin seeds must be completely dried out in the oven before combining with spices. Whether for cooking or carving, choose an unblemished pumpkin that feels heavy for its size; it will store well, uncarved, at room temperature, for up to a month.

1 medium pumpkin

5 tablespoons sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

Pinch cayenne pepper to taste

1 1/2 tablespoons peanut oil

1. Preheat oven to 250°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut pumpkin open from the bottom, removing seeds with a long-handled spoon. Separate flesh from seeds, and reserve the flesh for another use (see Pumpkin Pie). Pumpkin should yield 1 cup seeds. Spread seeds on parchment in an even layer. Bake until dry, stirring occasionally, about 1 hour. Let cool.

2. In a medium bowl combine 3 tablespoons sugar, salt, cumin, cinnamon, ginger, and cayenne. Heat peanut oil in a large nonstick skillet over high heat. Add pumpkin seeds and remaining 2 tablespoons sugar. Cook until sugar melts and pumpkin seeds begin to caramelize, about 45 to 60 seconds. Transfer to bowl with spices, and stir well to coat. Let cool. These may be stored in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

I doubled the recipe since we had a big pumpkin. Oh, and I left out the cumin because cumin reminds me of a smelly, sweaty man. Sorry, it just does.

These are really good... sweet like candy, but with a warmth and spice behind it. Yumness.

Heree are some pics from the last few days.

My cousin (err, technically second cousin I think?) Cedric. At 3 months, this little guy is almost Gwen's weight!

The kids, especially Ethan, doted on him.

And this right before we headed out to Ben's 5th birthday party. Doesn't she look so cute in her sweater dress?

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Grandpa had results from his in depth scan yesterday and they are not good. Not good would be an understatement. They are terrible and horrible and awful. I'm in shock right now and don't really feel anything but disbelief that this is happening to my Grandpa.

Yesterday when I was putting Ethan down for nap, he was using the toilet and saw a potpourri container that looks like a lattice top pie. He got all excited about it and said, "pie! pie!". He was heartbroken when he discovered it was not real.

Thus inspired, I decided to make a pie while he was sleeping. Jenni recommended using the berries in the freezer that had been picked right off their own bushes in the summer. We used a mix of blackberry, blueberry and just a few raspberries to give us enough. It was delish. Like maybe the best pie I've ever made. The top was sugary and crispy, the filling was a perfect mix of sweet and tart. Total yum. I could have eaten the whole thing myself!

Ok, all for now. Just wanted to brag about my pie.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Jason left very early this morning for Cincinnati. He'll be gone through Friday. His schedule is packed solid with meetings and tours of various facilities over there. He's not looking forward to it.

We are heading to my Mom's this afternoon to stay through Friday. I realized this morning that I'm not afraid to be by myself here anymore, but rather I'm afraid to deal with the kids all by myself!

If anyone needs to get ahold of me, email is good, or ring me at my Mom's.

Off to do laundry and start packing.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Mom and Jenni just came by and got the kids... They are meeting Aunt Deanne, Ben, Aaron and Caitlin at Stockers to get pumpkins, then across HWY 9 to the corn maze. I was so not feeling like going, even though it would have been a great photo op.

Our family get-together went well... we're going to have another next weekend when Tim & Hollly fly back to GA. Lately, family gatherings have left me feeling sad and in a funk. This is highly unusual. Most of the time its the opposite! I think much of it has to do with my Grandpa and his struggles right now. Its hard to see him in this position.

Off to shower and run to the post office to mail Peter his cookies :)

Saturday, October 21, 2006

I made a nummy dinner...

Varkenhaas (Pork tenderloin with mustard sauce)
Braised Fennel
Baked yams

Very delish.

Today we went to Haggen and got some pumpkins and gourds. I got a white pumpkin this year and I feel that I need to do an extra special design on it. We got a really big one for the kids... I'm thinking we're going to do Blue from Blue's Clues. I got some blue christmas lights to put in the pumpkin to make him really blue. Ethan should love it.

We are still searching for a car. Its hard to know how much to spend and what to get. Such a blessing that my parents lent us Dad's commuter car.

Tomorrow we are heading to my Mom's for lunch and a visit with Uncle Shawn and Aunt Jenni, who are stopping here on their way from Alaska, headed to Europe. So jealous of their world travels! Aunt Daralyn also came in from E. WA to see Grandpa and so she will be there as well.
When I was at Target the other day, I picked up Ethan's first lesson book... Its called Let's Sticker & Paste and is put out by the same people who do the Kumon tutoring centers. I wasn't sure how it would go because Ethan has a hard time staying focused on these types of projects... like the one I tried earlier this week involving leaves, glue and cardboard. It left me traumatized.

Anyway, he really likes them. So far its been just putting stickers on paper, but as the book progresses the exercises get more complicated. He loves sitting down to do his 5 minute "lessons" every day and proudly hangs them on the fridge. After he completes this book, I'm going to pick up the others in the series.

Friday, October 20, 2006

I'm a big fan of the Dove commercials and marketing campaigns. A while back, I posted about how they had an ad with a co-sleeping and nursing mother, which totally impressed me.

You should watch the ad at this link, put out by the Dove Self Esteem Fund. I love the concept and think its important, especially for teen girls, to realize how manipulated most advertising is.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

When it rains, it most definitely pours. If we didn't already have enough stress and worry on our plate, we heard officially today that Jason's car (the Mystique) is dead. When his co-worker (who used to be a mechanic) was driving the car to meet us in Monroe for the pickup (he'd done some basic maintenance for us), the engine seized and I guess it needs a completely new engine now.

This is after we dropped $2200 on a new transmission just weeks ago.


Jason's Mom was also taken by ambulance to the hospital today for breathing problems. I haven't heard the latest, but I hope she is ok.

On a brighter note, I got my camera that I'd left in Boston back today. Laurie, bless her heart, made the kids blankets and sent those along as well as a very cute note with Murphy's art all over it.

The kids LOVED the blankets (so do I!). Ethan's has Cars characters on it, and Gwen's has a colorful flower pattern. They are fleecy and soft. These came at such a good time because Ethans orginal blankie is so beat up... needs to be replaced badly. I'm hoping that such a charming blanket may make this transition easier.

Here are some pics.

First, trying out each others blankets...

Then cuddled up with their own. They really loved them so much!

As a bonus, two pics I snapped earlier today

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Guess who used the potty chair today? Ms. Gwennie-pooh! She's been talking obsessively about pee and poop (poop being her new favorite word for everything) since I got back from Boston and today she actually made it to the chair in time. She was incredibly proud!

Please keep my Grandpa in your prayers today as he is in surgery to remove his lymph nodes.

Monday, October 16, 2006

This is what happens when you let an 18 month old decide how and where she'll eat her cheerios.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

It turns out that my Grandpa did not have surgery, due to a few complications. He will be going in on Tuesday.

There is much to say about it, and other things that have been happening, but... ... ... I just don't want to talk.

Since coming back from Boston its been hard for me to want to write about things. Everything that has been going on has brought me low.

On a lighter note, here are some pics:

You know your baby is small when at 18 months she can still fit in a 6 qt pot with room to spare!

Tonight we all got together at my Mom's. Gwen LOVED Uncle Michaels guitar. He played us a few songs. Even as adults we are still bullied into these impromptu performances :)

Part of the audience.

These are my ghetto "scans" of the kids pictures. I have all these in a variety of sizes, so if you'd like any, email me and I'll mail them to you, snail mail style.

Friday, October 13, 2006

I've just heard that my Grandpa has gone in for emergency surgery to biopsy his lymph nodes for possible cancer.

Please keep him, and my Grammy, in your prayers right now. This is a frightening time for all of us.
Boston was fabu. If I ever have to leave my beloved Northwest, I would like to live in New England.

There is so much to write about, but it will have to wait. Gwen is crying at my feet.

I do have pics (though most of them are crappy thanks to a disposable camera) and I will put them up shortly.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Just a quick note to say and let you know how our trip is going.

We were held on the tarmac in SLC for about an hour due to bad weather. Then we were in air for about 4 hours. By the end, Shel and I were going cabin crazy. And we were starved. They didn't give us dinner, but just crappy little snacks and stuff.

Peter met us in baggage and awww, it was so cute to see him and Shelly hugging and all that. I snapped a picture of it :) It sure was good to see him after our long travels.

We got to our hotel at around 1:30 am (Boston time, so 10:30 Seattle time) and were ravenous. Nothing was open so we had a pizza delivered and fell upon it and devoured!

I zonked at about 2:45 and woke up about 7 hrs later. Shelly says I kicked her out of the bed but that is so not true!

Peter came and took us to lunch at Applebees, then we headed off to Laurie's. We took the long way, which was so beautiful. The foliage and architecture around here is vastly superior to what we have. It was a very pleasent trip, especially after we found a Starbucks and got our coffee fix.

We arrived at Laurie and Mark's house around 3 and took a walk with them around their beautiful property and a graveyard that is next door. Its so nice out here. I just love it! Their daughter Murphy is just darling and I've really enjoyed my time with them. A mild bout with nausea (along with a headache) kept me from dinner, but after a nap I felt so much better and just ate a delicious piece of pie that Laurie made.

Tomorrow we venture out to Boston on the subway to see Mark finish his marathon. Should be fun.

Love ya all, but especially my babies.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Snapped this today when the kids were wrestling on the floor.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Today we took Ethan to get his hair cut... Its much shorter than we've ever gotten it, but its good! It also makes him look a lot older.

And just because she's cute...

I'm rather overwhelmed with everything that I need to do before I leave on Friday. Tomorrow I must start my to do list... no more putting things off.
Pics from our recent jaunt to the park.

Little coffee stealer!

Darling, isn't he?

Love this :)

Exausting days at the park wind down like this...

and finish like this!