Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Activity of the day

Tent over the table.



They were laughing their heads off and bumping them all at the same time. These were too cute to pass up.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

the spinach salad

I first discovered this salad at Macaroni Grill. There, it's called, Spinach Florentine. A friend shared a website secret with me. And now I no longer have to pay $10 for this wonderful salad.

I've made a few modifications to make it a bit more healthy and to appeal to my palate. It's really versatile and works with lots of different dressings. Here is their dressing if you want to try it.

Here's my version:
2 servings

1 heaping handful of baby spinach thinly sliced
(I buy the big organic pack at Costco - very cheap and already cleaned)
2 Tbls of sliced olives
2 Tbls pine nuts
2 Tbls capers
2 Tbls grated Parmesan
1/2 cup cooked orzo pasta
1 chicken breast grilled and sliced thin
4 Tbls Newman's Own Light Balsamic vinaigrette

*I omit the Sun dried tomatoes but you can add them, just make sure they are the ones packed in water
**Another great dressing is Light Italian vinaigrette.

Toss together with dressing and serve up in your favorite salad plate.


I'm such a picky eater and this is my favorite lunch to have on hand. It's easy to make and the ingredients can last for at least 5 days in the fridge.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Nursing? A great diet plan?

YES!!!

I just stopped nursing Lily 3 weeks ago.

Half of you are thinking, "Great job!" and the other half are thinking, "Really? That's kind of weird".

I completely understand where both thoughts are coming from. My plan was to nurse both girls until they were 1 to avoid having to buy formula. With Eloise, I got pregnant when she was 8 months old and my milk was gone by 10 months. With Lily, she never took a bottle and there was no reason to end at one year.

I wasn't nursing all the time. Just 3 times a day after a year and then weaned from there at 16 months.

I'm not emotional about this stage of life with her being over. I'm devastated about the fact that I can't eat anything!

I joined WW after Lily was born and lost 35 lbs in 6 months doing their nursing program. I could eat like a queen. Well, maybe not ice cream and candy all day long, but I definitely didn't have to figure out how to deal with being hungry. I don't know how to eat without nursing and as a result I've gained 6 lbs in 3 weeks!!!!

However, I have found a great spinach salad that makes all this less eating a bit easier to swallow (pun very much intended). I'll post that next.

So all you breastfeeding mamas, enjoy your diet now, b/c when it's gone, it's gone.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

creative mom day

I got a bright idea at 6:20 a.m. to have Lily give her baby "medicy". Worked like a charm. No more screaming.


Then Eloise and I had mommy time while Lily and daddy had their time. We made brownies and chocolate milk. (Yes, I am completely aware that there are raw eggs in the brownies. I have yet to get sick and my favorite dessert is cookie dough or cake batter.)


And just because they are cute.

Friday, July 25, 2008

sickie strikes again

I honestly cannot believe that we have come down with a cold in the middle of summer. Really? What crazy thing has happened in the germ world to cause this many sickness in one year?

Sickness never really overwhelmed me with Eloise. Okay, well maybe it did but I wasn't a crazy person when it happened. I'm crazy now.

Since Lily's last cold in which we discovered she has Viral Induced Asthma, I knew that the next cold would be a bit stressful. But I didn't expect it 6 weeks later and in the middle of July!

Yesterday when she started having symptoms, I knew. She barely slept last night, and did the whole gasping for air thing. They gave us an inhaler, which I'm glad I had filled in advance (I got a free $10 gift card at Target) because I needed it at 3 a.m. last night.

We had to take her in again this morning b/c she wasn't responding to the meds. Or rather, her mother wasn't making her scream long enough to inhale them properly. Her levels were low, but not as low as before (probably b/c I didn't wait as long to take her in). We now have an action plan. I have an asthma kid that needs an inhaler everyday and SHE HATES IT! Screaming bloody-murder hates it. But we need to do it twice a day. If she sails through the next cold without an attack, we are okay. If not, further treatment is needed.

The good things. This asthma is not the kind to develop into full blown asthma. And it's also the best trigger (colds) to have. It's treatable and will just take some patience and time. It's not a terminal illness, but one with a few inconveniences.

Here's what I've learned. RSV as an infant doesn't just last for that particular cold. Lily was diagnosed with RSV at 10 days and every subsequent cold is a continuation of that. I am now very aware of when I, or my children, have a cold and if there is an infant within 10 feet. I used to brush it off and think, "oh, it's just a cold", but who knows what it could turn into.

What I am thankful for. God is a good God. He gives me patience when there is no way for me to muster it up on my own. (my girls were in rare form today) He gives grace for the impatient mom who yells at her kids when they don't deserve it. For a husband who lets me sleep when I'm weary and the cuddles from two busy girls who never stop moving. God is good and I'm thankful that he gave me the strength to get through today.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

reader

I LOVE Google reader. It's the best.

However, it hinders me in a few ways.

1. I can't see people's blogs. Half the fun is looking the their designs and checking out their links.

2. I don't update my blog to reflect who is on my reader.

3. I rarely comment. I'm horrible. And for some strange reason, it doesn't link back to my blog. It says my profile is hidden. So if you get some strange comment from a girl named Kate and her profile is hidden, it's me.

So, change #1. I've updated my blog to reflect most of the links in my reader. Enjoy!

**I should have been taking a nap while my girls were asleep the last 2 hours. They are both sick and I'm sure it will be one of those days. But hey, Wednesday is now $1 waffle cone day. Maybe we'll have to head out for a treat.

Monday, July 21, 2008

10 things I know I love

I have always admired people who are assured of their likes and dislikes. They never waiver on those things, they just know they know.

For example, people who don't like chocolate. They know they don't like it, so they don't eat it. First, I think that is an amazing gift to have the dislike of chocolate, but to follow through with it and actually not shove their face full of it when someone serves it, is serious. That is one confident person who knows what they like and don't like.

So it got me thinking, what 10 things do I really love. Those things that bring me the biggest smile and the greatest satisfaction. (Jesus, my kids, and husband are a given)

Here goes:

1. Old Navy basic T's: This is a funny one b/c I dislike ON with a passion. I've tried to search through every nook and cranny, every sale and non-sale item and I've come up empty everytime. The only item that works for me are their t-shirts. They are long (I have a long torso) and fitted (of course, I would never wear them without something over them...um, I've had 2 babies).

2. Cool Whip: My mother and grandmother are passing out on the floor right now. I grew up with nothing but heavy whipping cream. Cool Whip is 100% fake. Nothing real. Bring on the partially hydrogenated oil. I love it, I buy it every week and I would eat it straight out of the tub. (okay, my grandmother may have just had a stroke)

3. Black Shoes: Well this explains that. However, I did just have to make an emergency purchase of brown sandals and I may be warming up to the idea that a black shoe doesn't fit all fashion needs.

4. Target: I love their clothes, their baby stuff, their isles, the food court, etc... I honestly believe that they have done something with their lighting to make it addictive. I think I'm there at least 2 times a week. Sometimes 3. (I always try to go to the one that's closest for gas reasons)

5. Throwing stuff away: The actual physical act. I become giddy when a product I'm using gets to the end and I am allowed to throw it away. One more piece of clutter gone.

6. Hoodies: I'm so addicted. I have 12 or so. These are the best baby-belly-hider's. Who doesn't need a cute hoodie to throw on when you feel like you don't have any clothes?

7. Safeway Cookies: I think I have something with hydrogenated oils. There is nothing like a fresh baked Safeway bakery cookie. I usually head to Safeway on Saturday night for a newspaper and a few other things. I always tell myself that I won't pick one up, but they just draw me in.

8. Checking on my kids before I go to bed: It's the most precious time of the day for me. They are peacefully sleeping and in the oddest position. It's so cute.

9. Filling out forms: I love going to a new doctor b/c they send you forms in the mail. I get so excited when they arrive b/c I can fill them out that evening. I know the appointment isn't for a month, but it doesn't hurt to be ready, right?

10. Starbucks Carmel Syrup Americano with a little whole milk: Delish! I'm really just posting this one so that if I ever have one of those days, here's what I love.

I want to know your list too. I can think of so many people I want to do this. (I really just want to tag Angela as a sorry attempt to get her to blog something). So if you do it, comment and let me know that you have your list done. I can't wait to see it.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Time outs and "are you kidding me?"

Tonight Eloise put Dave in a time out. He was having some frustration issues with our washer and didn't react appropriately. When he came in to apologize to us, Eloise told him that he needed a time out. She walked him to her room and had him sit in the time out chair.

She then walked back out to the couch and waited. I told her she had to let her daddy out of time out. When she retrieved her dad, she told him, "I forgive you dad".

Then a while later we were talking about the story of Joshua. She's been watching it on Veggie Tales lately. Dave and I were trying to get her to remember how many times Joshua walked around the wall. She wasn't recalling.

Me: Eloise, Joshua walked around the wall 7 times.
E: Are you kidding me?

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Blueberry Lily

Here's where I find Lily about 2.5 seconds after I open the door to the backyard.


Standing by the blueberry bush, shoving them in by the mouthful.


She even gets the green ones and may very well be eating the leaves too.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Just Be...

So I’d love to admit that I enjoy every moment with my children, that it brings me pure joy to hang out with them and to teach and train them.

If I wrote or said the above, I would be lying to you.

It’s not that I don’t enjoy it, I just get side-tracked and immersed in other 'things'.

I’m a planner, organizer with a strong dose of tenacity in me. I never stop until I get a project finished (ask my friends about when I move and how long it takes me to unpack boxes and get things on the walls) or a task completed. It’s obsessive.

So in an effort to sit with my children and play, I’ve had to plan (of course) and be intentional. This travels all the way down to meals.

Today? Success!

I waited to turn on the TV and turned it off well before I normally do, to read and to give them a chance to learn to play with each other (that lasted 15 minutes before they started fighting over a toy).

I planned lunch (Asian turkey lettuce wraps – DELICIOUS – I’ll post recipe later). Um…and no, my kids did not eat this. But I did, so a well fed mama is a happy mama.

We walked to the park and played on the toys just long enough for Eloise to fall off the slide and yell out that she had to poop.

Then I made Tortilla Cigars out of the Deceptively Delicious cookbook (this is one of my favorites) with black beans and rice and had it all on the table at the same time with no one crying or yelling. (remember – I do dinner solo, so this is a tough task some nights. They did watch a video while preparation was taking place). Then we ate Pumpkin Pudding and “special treats” (chocolate chips).

Topped it all off with lots of play outside, dirty faces, wet fannies, and a bath and bedtime.

I saved all the crazy work for after bedtime and I felt so much more refreshed.

The Lord has been nudging me for a while to not get through this stage but to live in this stage. My children have been entrusted to my care and I want to do whatever it takes for them to remember a mom who listened to them and was available for them. I don’t want to focus on meaningless tasks that amount to little. My goal is to make a series of choices throughout the day to be with my kids.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Nana Hangover

We have, in our house, a phrase we use to describe the days following a return from nana's house. It's called the 'Nana Hangover'.

And we are in the midst of one.

I believe Nana's house should always be fun. Nana has already been a mama and it's her time lay on the fun times. We do try to remind her to make sure they have meals and to put them to bed on time. However, it's the small stuff that my kids know Nana will cave and mama won't.

So we deal with the after effects. The tantrums when we ask them to sit in the high chair, the drastic meltdown and refusal to eat dinner when we plead with them to eat ONE pea, and the repeated attempts to get mom or dad to change their mind.

Despite all the Nana hangover's we've been through, we still appreciate our nana and the time she spends with us.

Friday, July 11, 2008

mama and daddy time

ahhh. That's all I have to say.

I love my children. I love them very much. I love their sweet voices and faces. But I loved being away for 2 days this week with just my husband.

We went up to my parents and stayed for a night. The next day Dave and I headed off to Bellingham, leaving the kids with their nanny and poppy.

The moment we arrived in Bellingham we sat down and talk with adult without interruption.
We had dinner with friends, Breeze and Colin, Rob and Willow, at a beautiful restaurant, Boundary Bay. We had laughed, talked, gazed at the sunset, and watched all the hippies dance in a Hula Hoop/Reggae party.

Then we walked downtown and stayed out until 10 p.m.

We slept all night without interruption and woke up late (8:30 - not so late, but my body is used to 7:00). Had coffee and spent the whole day playing, helping, shopping, and cooking for my BFF Michelle who just had her 3rd baby a couple of months ago.

Later, we sat out on the lawn with our friends, Lance and Jenny. She is my mommy mentor, I love her dearly.
Then had take-out Mexican with Rob and Willow and stayed up late talking while our husbands went to a movie.

Again, we slept without one interruption and woke up refreshed and ready to head home. Stopping for a brief lunch with my two childhood friends, Steph and Steph.

We arrived to two little girls in their cute swimsuits hanging out with their nanny in the front lawn. Eloise wouldn't hug mama, only daddy, and stayed glued to him for the rest of the evening.

We finished off tonight with a family dinner at the farm, looking at piggies, cows and kitty's. Then off to bed and bath.

Dave and I feel so refreshed. It was our moment of re-collection. The time where we take a deep breath, get refocused on ponder on what we love about each other and our children.

I think this is a must for any parent (s). I think as moms we need a break to rest and sometimes we don't settle into true rest until we've been away for a while. Again, I love my children, and I loved coming back to them even more, but I love my husband too and this was a great time to listen to him, laugh with him, and just be with him without interruption. It was wonderful.

Monday, July 7, 2008

time for a vacation

we're off for a week of family, friends, and fun. Can't wait to see what our crazy Eloise and funny Lily come up with this week.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

The preschooler of many talents

Look what we discovered Eloise could do today? This kid is hilarious and definitely NOT two. I'm almost certain she is going to break a bone before she's 5.

video

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

just pictures

We've been so busy that I've forgot to post these cute pictures of all our activities.
Here we go.

Now I know why Kate Gosselin freaks out when her kids get within 30 yards of a mess.
It's alot to clean up and we've had several days like this.


Family ice cream night in our jammies.


Lunch with friends


Lily's new pool.


My friend Stephanie came to visit with her kids, Luke and Audrey.


Luke and Eloise had fun chasing each other around the yard with squirt guns.


They enjoyed filling them too.



Just for laughs. Lily, mid-meltdown, and I still have a smile on my face.
(and my tongue sticking out?!?)