Tuesday, September 30, 2008

almost 32

At 12:01 tonight I'll be 32. That's right friends, I'm heading into my mid-thirties. (Or is that technically 33?)

Anyhoo...the best gift you can give me, if you want to give me one, is COMMENTS, COMMENTS, COMMENTS.

Comments are like chocolate, right? Not really, but they sure do make a girl feel good. All those ladies who read, Betty, Breeze, Angela, someone in Kansas, Canada. Let me know who you are. You can even comment anonymously. Just write something small just to let the birthday girl know you stopped by. It will make my day that much brighter.

Here's how I celebrated in my lame mid-thirties, but really exciting to me, kind of way. I decorated for fall with my free pumpkins. I'm so glad my birthday is in Autumn.

Monday, September 29, 2008


This weekend we headed home to celebrate my grandmother's 80th birthday. It was a big party with lots of friends and family.

My grandmother is amazing. She has survived 4 cancer's (throat, colon, breast and lung) and is currently experience congestive heart failure. My grandfather died 8 years ago next month and if she survived living with him for 50+ years, she can survive anything. LOL

As an only child, she has produced 4 children, leading to 9 grandchildren and therefore, 13 great-grandchildren. (she started young)

Whenever she comes to my house, it's always her mission to shine my sink to perfection and make sure the kitchen is clean after every meal.

Pie crust made from scratch is the only way to go and she has the corner market on the perfect crust. Mixing just the right amount of shortening and ice cold water.

She never sits still. After lung surgery to remove the cancer, she was attempting to work in the garden and slipped and broke her shoulder. There is no mystery as to where I get my tendency to go and go until sheer exhaustion. However, I have learned to modify that behavior.

As a good Catholic woman, she has served well. Offering communion throughout the week to those who are housebound, serving at the local donation center that her church offers and helping to teach ESL to the Hispanic community. She knows Jesus is her saving grace and looks forward to meeting him someday. Hopefully not too soon.

Happy birthday Grandma
the best picture we muster up. how come i'm the only one looking?

Thursday, September 25, 2008

listen up boys

The girls and I were on our way to a friend's house for dinner. While sitting at a stop light I glanced over at a teenage couple standing at the crosswalk.

They were both around 15, dressed normally and I didn't think much of them until a slight hand movement caught my further attention.

At first, he moved closer to her. He casually rubbed her back to give the indication that they were dating. Cute, respectful. Looks very tender...at this point.

Then, his hand slowly moved down to grace the booty. That's right, he was feeling out her booty! What in the world was this boy doing? The mama in me and the woman in me wanted to yell out the window, "get your slimy hand off her ass!"

When did 15 year olds start acting like...? I would say a married couple here, but I don't remember the last time Dave touched my booty in public (um, never). Or for that matter...ANYONE!

As a mother of only girls, I can tell you that I want the utmost respect for my girls when it comes to dating relationships. And that is one of my greatest prayers is that the young women I raise would be confident, honorable, loyal, committed, and most of all, self-respecting. I want them to be what I could not muster up the strength to be. Someone who says...'wait, my future is worth more'.

Fifteen is so young to me. And it reminds me that this was a time in my life that I made significant decisions that led me down a path that was not corrected until I was in my 20's. I'm well aware that people need to make their own decisions and mistakes, but matters of sexuality and intimacy are deeply wounding and I will do anything to spare my girls from that. I pray the Lord gives me the patience, grace, instruction, and tools to help teach them and guide them through these decisions.

To all those 15 year old boys (b/c I know they are all reading my blog), "keep your hands to yourself!"

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Spice racks and spice cookies

I've jumped into Fall with both feet by baking Pumpkin Spice Cookies with friends. My good friend Teresa came over with her daughter Kambrie. We attempted to joint cook with our kids. I actually think it's better than cooking alone with my kids. At least I have someone to keep my anxiety level down. Eloise likes to taste everything...including flour.

That's Eloise in her leotard, her new favorite attire.
While cooking these wonderful cookies I came face to face with another problem: my spice organization. I buy spices in bulk, go through them quickly and that makes for a giant mess. I need help. I want something that is space saving, easy to dump my spices into, and inexpensive. Any suggestions?
And just b/c Lily is so cute helping me carry in tomatoes.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

It's the most wonderful time of the year

And I'm not talking about Christmas. I'm talking about Autumn.

Fall has begun and I am breathing a sigh of relief. The summer is over. Don't get me wrong, I love to play outside, I just don't like to do it in weather that is over 75. I'll take a partly cloudy, 68 degree, fall day anytime. Makes me want to light my pumpkin candle and start making cookies.

So what are my favorite things of fall?

*The changing colors of the leaves. Honestly, could it be any more beautiful?

*My birthday - it's in October. I'm not a big b-day person, it's another great reason to celebrate the season with friends.

*The pumpkin patch. It's really just a great photo-op for a picture that NEVER turns out right. You spend most of the time chasing those little ones around trying not to break your ankle on a pumpkin.

* Pumpkin butter from Trader Joes. Pair it with their pumpkin muffins...yumm...I can't wait to get there.

*Christmas pictures in the leaves, or at least an attempt to.

*Candles and oil burners with that great scent from the body shop..pumpkin/tangerine? I forgot, but I'll never forget the smell.

* Pumpkin spice lattes from Starbucks. I'm giving this one a place on the list for all my friends. My defective stomach can't handle all the milk, but a sip sure is delicious. Maybe they should make pumpkin spice americano's. Hey, maybe I'll try that one.

*Packing away summer clothes and bringing out all the long sleeved shirts. No more shorts and tank tops.

*Soup. My favorite is cream of curried peanut at the Bagelry in Bellingham. I haven't had it in years and I wish I could find the recipe. It was amazing.

*Pumpkin anything. Cheesecake (made by Jodi), muffins, cookies with chocolate chips (I need to find that recipe - katie, your mom's is the best), breads, pies, etc...you name it. I do have a quick one for all those WW girls.

Pumpkin Mousse
2 pkgs instant vanilla pudding (the small box)
1 big can pumpkin
2 cups milk
1/2 tsp pumpkin spice
1 container of cool whip

mix everything except cool whip together until blended, then fold in cool whip. Chill for 2 hours. 1 cup = 2 pts. Enjoy!

What are you favorites of fall?

Friday, September 19, 2008

weezy fell what?

how many times can that girl say, "weezy fell down"? This was cracking us up for hours.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

the pipes are flowing again

Praise God!

After a VERY long day, lots of dirty mess, stinky pipes, and a tired husband, we reached peak flow again. hooray!

I was secretly hoping that my salad had not caused all of this mess, however, the moment I heard Dave say, "come here and look at this", I knew. There it was, the nasty cabbage all over my garage floor. Nasty!

We did have many highlights of our day. We spent the morning jumping a trampoline. Which is enough to make any day great in Eloise's opinion.

Then my sweet friend Jodi offered to have the kids so I could get a few things done around the house. That was such a blessing. Then Jodi called to tell me Lily had a fever. I rushed over and we got her all fixed up with some Tylenol and the fever was gone in an hour. We had dinner over there and I came home with two tired girls.

Let's hope for no more pipe debacles.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

what do these have in common?

Cabbage Salad

Garbage Disposal

Mac and Cheese Crockpot Recipe


It all started off innocently last night when I proceeded to throw away a leftover Chinese chicken salad from Eloise's party. I didn't want to throw it in the trash b/c we have the mighty garbage disposal. Don't those things handle everything? It's the next best thing to a chipper, right?

Um, no. Apparently the sheer volume of salad I threw away didn't bode well for the mechanics of this almighty disposal. And our pipes.

You guessed it, CLOG! I didn't think much of it last night b/c the water went down. No big deal, problem solved. Until....5 p.m. this evening. More on that in a moment.

After a sigh of relief over a potential clogged drain had passed, I moved on to my new exciting adventure. Crockpotting.

I love to cook. Crockpot's don't really excite me, but all my friends are trying it so the peer pressure set it.

I decided to try a few this week and I began with the mac and cheese recipe. The blog I went to did note that I was to proceed with caution b/c so many people had difficulty with it. Curdling, pasta not cooking right, not setting up, etc. But I cook part time for a living so how hard can this be? (what's that saying, pride goes before a fall.)

2 hours later, the mac and cheese was just as the commenter's had described it. A curdled, mushy, gross mess. And I used 1/2 a brick of cheese! Okay, it's not a big deal, just throw it out.

On top of this ruined meal, my kids were whining as if it gets them whatever they want and Dave and I seemed on edge. I put the kids down for naps, Dave went to the gym and I went straight to quiet time with the Lord. It was wonderfully refreshing and just what I needed to remind myself that he is sovereign.

It's a good thing my heart and mind settled b/c 5 pm. hit and so did "you know what" to the fan.

Our washer was flooding our garage. Apparently that cabbage salad hadn't gone down the way I thought.

Yep, I backed up all the pipes. Dave was at work and he is SO not handy. I called over our friend Tone and his wife and kids and they were so sweet to come help me out. Tone worked like a champ to get this clog out with no luck. But he did save Dave a ton of time trying to figure out the problem.

So tomorrow Dave is headed for Home Depot to rent the monster snake to get this thing going. The sad part is, we have experience in this snake rental. And not b/c of a previous cabbage salad but b/c some idiot put lame pipes in our house.

Pray for Dave tomorrow. He doesn't do well in situations that require patience and quick thinking. I'm praying the Lord gives him quick hands, swift thinking and a patient heart. And that I will be an encourager and a help to him as he needs it. We also can't use our sink, so the dishwasher is filled and there are still dirty dishes on the counter. I'm wondering what's on tap for dinner tomorrow. I don't think it's going to be a Crockpot meal.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

3rd b-day party

We had such a fun time celebrating Eloise's birthday with all our friends and family. It was a "yum-yum" (M&M's) party. There was LOTS of sugar...but it was great fun!

The birthday girl and her new trike from Nana and Papa

Great Friends!

Wonderful gifts!

Great Food!

Silly Kids!

tired sister

proud parents
beautiful 3 year old Eloise

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Birth - day

When my water broke it was like a balloon popped. Dave was downstairs watching TV and I yelled that it was time. His face went white and his hands started to shake. He asked what to do and I told him he needed to change the sheets and stay calm. I called Ellie (my midwife) and she told me to lay down for a bit and call her when the contractions got a bit harder and closer together.

I laid in bed and searched for my rhythm to deal with the pain. The contractions came fast. At first about 5 minutes apart and within an hour they were two minutes apart and lasting 45 seconds. And they stayed that way until transition and then got closer and longer.

Dave came up to check on me and I told him to call my mom and Ellie. My mom jumped in the car with my dad and drove as fast as they could.

Ellie arrived at 3:30 and started to fill up the birth tub.

I had found my rhythm of dealing with the pain...counting. I counted to 100 through every contraction knowing that when I got to 50 it would be the height of pain. And I wasn't just counting in my head. I was counting out loud for all to hear. Dave said that he almost corrected me when I missed a few numbers. Ellie stopped him short.

I moved into various positions to find comfort. Very little helped.

My mom arrived in hysterics and ran upstairs thinking she had missed the birth of the baby. Everyone thought this baby would fly right out because I was dialated to 4cm for 3 weeks. Well, she certainly didn't fly or fall out of me.

My dad came up at one point and pushed on my back, one of the ways I found relief. It drove me a bit crazy because he was clicking the pen that he was using to write down the contractions and their timing.

At 7 a.m. I was finally complete. It was time to push. Again, it took me a bit to learn how and a good coping mechanism.

I tried to push in the tub but the baby was stuck behind my pubic bone. I needed to lay flat with my knees as far back as possible. My midwife, an assistant, an apprentice and my mom were all holding my legs back.

I was yelling ALOT. I remember Dave sitting on the stairs with his head in his hands. He doesn't handle pain well, especially the pain of loved ones. I wanted him to be able to do what he needed to do during my birth. I didn't have any expectations of him being supportive or encouraging to me during the birthing process. That's why I hired a midwife and her team. It's a group of women helping another woman birth. It feels so natural and so pure. And it worked well for Dave and I.

I pushed so hard for 3 hours. THREE HOURS! The memory of that pain is burned in my mind for life. Dave helped hold my legs for the last hour and was so encouraging.

Finally, with two hard pushes the head and body were out. The baby was flipped onto my belly and I started yelling, "what is it? what is it?". As if planned, in unison, they all yelled, "it's a girl!" and started crying.

She was here. My Eloise Caroline.

I was shaking intensely from the adrenaline. I didn't care much about the baby laying on my chest, I was just amazed I had just endured the most intense pain of my life and it was over. It was FINALLY over. With that I proclaimed, "I deserve a shopping spree. I deserve a freaking medal". I did get a spa package a few weeks later. I guess that will have to do.

Today my sweet Eloise is 3. She's 3! I'll let you all know how we celebrated in few days.

Friday, September 12, 2008

3 years ago tonight

I was gigantically pregnant with my first born, had cankcles (sp?), and the worst rash, PUPP's. I was a week overdue and ready to go insane.

My wonderful friends Jodi and Angela took me out for Thai food. On my way home, extremely uncomfortable, yelled at my belly, "Come out baby!"

A few hours later, at 1:30 a.m., my water broke all over our bed with a loud pop. So it began...

Thursday, September 11, 2008

nana's house part two

The Fair!

I have not been to the fair in years. While in school, we got free tickets, so it was a given to go every year. Now that I don't live there, and it's super expensive (notice the picture says free fun...ummm, no it's not), we just haven't been interested.

This last weekend was opening weekend and mom and I thought, "why not? Let's go. The girls will have a great time".

We looked at piggies, horsies, cows, chickens, goats, your name it, we saw it.

The girls also had their first rides on the merry-go-round.
Eloise loved it and Lily took a bit to warm up.

Then we let them ride two rides together. It was the cutest sister moment ever. They loved the canoe and the cars. They were both heartbroken when we told them they had to get off. They went into the "limp legs". You know, the ones where they can't walk. It was really fun.

So stinkin' cute!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

nana's house part one

Last weekend, I had planned to celebrate a weekend away with the girls, katie, breeze, and angela. Poor Katie, who is 7 months pregnant, got the horrific stomach flu and so did her daughter. Her flight was canceled and so was girls weekend.

When I told Dave the weekend was off and the girls and I would be staying home, a horrified look crossed his face. This is NO WAY means that he does not love his family, it's just that we had an agreement. He would watch the girls while I was in NYC and I would take them to my moms for girls weekend so he could have a break. He was paranoid his manly weekend would be canceled. Which, btw, consists of him sleeping in until noon and going to movies.

We borrowed a DVD player and we were off to Nana's. Lily drove.. Isn't that hilarious!

What did our eyes behold when we arrived...DRESS UP CLOTHES!

Until now, Eloise has not been into princesses, dress up clothes, or all the other girlie things. Until, last week at Dinner Club when she spent the entire time in her friend, Noelle's play clothes and jewelry. So they obsession began.

My mom had two dresses from when my nieces were young. Eloise has been living in hers ever since and Lily, well, she only likes it every once in a while. Eloise loves to twirl.

As if dress up clothes weren't good enough, there were KITTY'S!

My parents have a farm separate from their house with cows, pigs, and kittens. The girls were in love. The kittens were so kind to these two little girls mauling them. Here's evidence. (the pictures are a bit fuzzy b/c they were moving so fast my camera didn't have time to catch up)

Eloise with Oreo

Lily with Pepper

enjoying a moment of peace, sort of.
Those poor cats. They are going to be traumatized every time we visit.

Monday, September 8, 2008


We have been buried in activities, dress up clothes, trips to nanas, and a first time visit to the Puyallup Fair. All have been fun. I'll post more this week of all our fantastic pictures and adventures.

This was our activity of the week last week. Dollar store spray bottles.

This was great, but Lily had a hard time getting her little hands to work the trigger. I wrote their names on them and let the girls decorate the bottles with stickers. Eloise loved it and had great fun squirting mama. I think the line was, "Mama turn around." squirt squirt

Last week we also enjoyed a great dinner with our friends Jace and Jodi and their 3 little kiddos. I love this little pic of eloise holding baby Maisie (did I spell that right Jodi?). After this picture was taken, M started crying and Eloise threw her hands up and said, "I'm all done".

That night, Dave asked her if she wanted a baby sister.

D: Eloise, do you want a baby sister?
E: No, I already have a baby sister, baby lily?
D: Do you want a baby brother?
E: No, I already have a baby sister, baby lily? I'm okay, I have enough babies.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Random thoughts

>Three words keep coming to mind. (mostly during prayer) Lean. Consume. Gluttony. You would think these would just pertain to food, but I'm finding it's all facets of my life. Am I willing to live lean financially? And give the excess to others in various ways? Do I consume more than I need? Am I consuming Christ in all His glory? Am I being gluttonous with wanting more and more and more? (This also pertains to food, which I love, especially sweet treats!) It will be interesting to see where the Lord leads.

>I've been thinking about another baby. Just thinking, people!

>I want to buy every pair of cute leggings at Target for Eloise and Lily. And the babydoll tops to match. It's Target, of course they have cute things.

>I'm thinking about doing preschool for Eloise (and Lily b/c she loves her sister and can't stand to be away from her for more than 5 minutes). I'm probably going to copy my friend Jodi with the ABC's throughout the year. Because, why reinvent the wheel?

>I need another cooking client. Any takers?

>Eloise still has binki's (still the 0-6 month ones) and turns 3 in two weeks. Should I be worried? She loves to hold them more than anything. I really don't want to rip off the band-aid. It sounds absolutely horrible. And it's not like she's walking around Target with them in (not that that is in any way bad).

> Last week I went to the grocery store 4 times. I almost burst a vein in my head when I realized on the last trip that I may have forgotten something. I remembered...phew!

>And this is just too funny for words. That's the dog. She really did take it everywhere. Even to the potty. She will really hate me for this one. She's not pooping, just waiting on mom to wipe.