Friday, July 24, 2009

Been sooo long!

Ugh! My blogging has been terrible lately.

I don't even remember what has happened in the last 13 days. Have to consult the calender...

Last week I decided to take Ethan to a naturopath to consult about his allergies. I've been feeling like following the "accepted" medical course of action wasn't enough. I wanted to do due diligence so that he doesn't have to suffer and take medication his entire life. So we went to a doctor in Snohomish that my Aunt highly recommends (and had good ratings online as well). She explained her viewpoint as the teacup principle. Right now, Ethan's teacup is full with inflammation from from foods he's ingesting. When he has a reaction to grass or cats or the other things he's allergic to, the teacup overflows into symptoms like puffy eyes, congestion, etc. The goal is to reduce the inflammation so that when he has an allergic reaction, the teacup fills up, but doesn't overflow into symptoms. I hope I explained that clearly!

So we had him tested for food sensitivities. We will then remove those sensitive foods from his diet for about 3 months and then slowly re-introduce them to find the level that he can take in without the allergies "overflowing" the cup. Its worth a try in my opinion. I just can't accept that my 5 year old needs to be on steroidal nose sprays and shots and stuff for the rest of his life. Before I can accept it, I need to make sure I'm not overlooking other options, no matter how strange they may sound. I just pray that he's not allergic to wheat or dairy. That eliminates about 90% of what he eats!

After our appointment, we headed out to Biringer Farms in Arlington to pick raspberries. Aunt Jenni joined us and we had a great time! We were there only an hour and I picked over 5 lbs of raspberries and Jenni picked 4!

(I had a smudge on my lens apparently)

The crew

This sums up who was the better picker... One focused on picking, the other doing everything but picking :)

Our bounty

Last Saturday we went with April and Gregg to try a new restaurant, Marimba. It does South American food. April blogs about it, with pictures, here so I won't repeat it all. It WAS good and different though. The ceviche was delish and probably my favorite thing of the night.

Tuesday, Ben came over to spend the night with us. Its the first time the kids have had a friend spend the night and boy were they excited! WE really enjoyed having Ben here, and he even mowed our lawn :) The next day, he spent the money we'd paid him for mowing to buy everyone ice cream from the ice cream man. What a kid.

Later that day, we all journeyed down to Aunt Michelle & Uncle Peter's house in Federal Way. We played in their community pool and then had dinner and dessert with them. We had a great time!

Gwen wore this dress many times. I am happy that Elly can wear it now too!

Ben with the water wings that soon came off. I don't think they were "cool" enough

Elsa LOVED the water. Check out her face!

She also enjoyed bopping anyone who came near her with this noodle

Chilling with Aunt Shelly on the steps


Gwen loved swimming around by herself

Ethan... not so much. He held onto me the entire time

Uncle Peter entertained Elsa quite a bit. Thanks Uncle Peter!

Gwen even swam without a noodle. She did really well

Our dessert... berries that the kids picked at my Mom's house the day before (huckleberries, salmonberries, blueberries) and a flan

Michelle made us some homemade ice cream too!

A baby sized barbecue!

We had a great time and everyone was thoroughly exhausted. We all actually slept in till 7:30 the next day which is bizarre for us! Nice though :)

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Long week

This last week has been full, but enjoyable.

The kids were at VBS at the church we've been attending, Lake Country Baptist. I was VERY nervous about how they would do as they are at an age where they are overwhelmed by large groups of kids (ok, I'm still at that age :) ) and want to be very clingy. The first day I stayed with them for about an hour, following their group (the Ducklings) around. I'm happy to say that every day afterwards they were just fine. In fact, they were super excited to go! They absolutely loved it and had a wonderful time. They came home singing lots of cute songs, talking about God and Bible stories and of all the friends they'd made. Since the church is close by, we walked there and back most days so we got lots of exercise too :)

One of the days they were there, I went for a haircut. I was just going to get a trim and my layers re-cut. Well, the hair lady did that and I left. I then went to Target and tried on some clothes. As I was doing this, I examined my hair more closely. I did not like it. Oh no, I did not. She'd cut the front part of my hair, the part that would fall on my shoulders, above my shoulders. The only "long" part was in the back. I'd been given a mullet shape, without the mullet. Short in front, long in back. Usually I have a few light layers around the face and crown, but nothing this drastic. From the front I had a bob. From the back I had long hair. So I did something I've never ever done. I went back in there and told her I wasn't happy with how it looked and could she cut all off so it would at least be even all around.

This is the result (un-styled, right from the salon. Not even blow-dried).

Its taking some getting used to. I'm not sure I like it. Its WAY shorter, obviously. I'd say she cut off about 8-10 inches. I think the cut needs more refinement, because she kinda just hacked it all off when I came back in. But I'm learning to work with it. I do have to say that showers are now much faster and my head feels lighter and I no longer get tangled up in my hair at night, which is very nice :)

My garden is doing amazing. Everything is growing well and my tomatoes are making me the happiest girl on the street. I take that back. When I can eat them I'll be the happiest girl on the street. Right now I'm the girl with the anticipation! Compared to last year I'm having a bumper crop. Bunches and bunches of fruit everywhere and more blossoms every day.

My cherry crop

My Early Girls

The cayenne pepper plant that the kids got for Daddy is doing very well too!

The kids are loving summer and spending much of their time outside on the swing set and in the sprinkler. That swing set. Best. Purchase. Ever. (for the kids).

Elsa is still not walking, but can take many steps at a time. I want her to walk so badly! She doesn't like to have skirts or dresses on when she's crawling so I have to wait for her to walk to put her in darling things. Hurry up Elly!

She IS, however, developing quite a will. This morning in bed she was pinching me and I said, "Elsa, please don't pinch Mommy" and moved her hand. She grunted, in the way she does when she's a little miffed, and yanked my hair! This got her a stern reprimand and being removed off the bed. It was hard not laugh a little though :)

This is her new trick. The little stinker. If you forget to put her straps on and turn your back for even 1/2 second, she's on that tray in no time. And she knows she's not supposed to do it too.

I'm on day... um, oh probably 16 or 17 of the 30 Day Shred and its still hard! I haven't lost any inches and maybe only a pound or two, but my body feels strong and toned. Its doing something, even if I can't see it too much.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

The 4th (and other stuff)

The past week the kids have had only one thing on their mind. The 4th of July!

We had my friend April over earlier in the week. It was so nice to catch up with her and wee little baby Garrison! I hadn't seen them for almost a month and he'd grown so much. After letting the big kids play for awhile, we headed to King Charleys (yum) for lunch and let the kids run some more in the big field.

Jason stayed home on Friday and so this weekend has seemed very long. It was quite warm and I had to start my chili for the 4th, so I set up my turkey fryer burner out in the yard and did all my sauteing out there. It worked really good, and that burner is powerful so it took no time to brown my meat and all the other things that take so long using indoor stove. Jason said I looked rather strange, cooking out there in the grass with my accouterments spread all around, but I thought it worked great to keep the house cool!

Saturday, the kids were stoked from minute one. They woke up ready to go! After lunch we headed out there and when we arrived, found a good number of people already at my parents house! A lot of people had been playing Airsoft for hours (even though the heat was quite bad) and so the party had started early for my Mom :)

The blinds on the hill that my brother Michael and a couple of his friends spent much time constructing for the games. They wanted them to look natural so they can leave them there and not have it be an eyesore. There is actually a game going on so if you look closely you can see some guys. Most the time they play back in the woods, but sometimes they play on the hill so we can watch.

The kids had never been on a slip 'n slide before and they really really enjoyed it! I have to say I was temped to try it myself. It was so hot out!

Elsy baby's first pigtails!

View of the crowd from the driveway

The kids setting off a few fireworks

Gwen was just thrilled that there were two girls there. She doesn't have many girl friends in our circle!

Sparklers (Gwen was afraid it would burn all the way to her fingers... but it didn't).

You can really see how smoky it was getting from all the fireworks, and it wasn't even dark yet!

Me and my friend Jen doing roman candles

My two filthy little children roasting marshmallows at the fire pit

I think Independence Day is becoming my favorite holiday (ok, second favorite after Thanksgiving). Its full of visiting, catching up with old friends, games, fire, water, food, how can you go wrong? We got home around 11pm or so and we took a backstreet to get to our house. We'd never done that before on the 4th. We could barely get through because people were setting off fireworks right in the street! The trash was unbelievable! No sign of it today though, so that is good. It was VERY loud here. I think because we are surrounded by 3 cul-de-sacs that people congregate at its like in stereo. They were still going strong at 11pm. And 12pm. And 1am. At 2am I was still hearing a few but most were done. I was up because I had too much caffeine and even though I was so tired I couldn't get to sleep! I fell asleep around 2:30 and then the baby was up at 5:30. Ouch!

On Friday, I decided on a whim to make Gwen a sundress. She'd been asking me to make her a new dress, but I had a self-imposed hiatus on sewing anything but the quilt for my sister and her husband. However, I weakened and whipped out this dress in a Tinkerbell fabric I'd been saving for awhile. Its a little big, but the good thing about kids is that they grow :)

Earlier in the week I went through my mess of a fabric stash (stuffed into my coat closet and overflowing) and sorted it, tossed some, and made neat stacks in an armoire we were given. Its in the garage and gave me a good sense of order and accessibility to my things. I'm quite happy. The drawer is my patterns. There are two more drawers that hold things like my notions and interfacing and such.

Last week, I went into Ethan's room to put him to bed and found this... he loves to play imaginative games. All these things were his "friends" and wanted to sleep around him. We did eventually have to create an opening so he could get out without knocking any of them off, but he was oh so proud of this setup.