Friday, October 31, 2008

the monkey fairy and the dragon

Happy Halloween!

This year was the first year Dave was able to join us for the Annual Halloween Bash at the Davis house. He usually works nights so he took off work just so he could join in on the kid food, dancing, pictures, and trick-or-treating.

Eloise: the monkey. This almost didn't happen. For some reason she was a little cold towards the monkey. She spotted one of the moms dressed up with fairy wings and decided this was her key to wearing the costume. She would only wear it if she could have fairy wings over the top. Done.

Lily: the dragon. She was easy. Put her in a costume and go. She did take a few breaks in the stroller. It was just an excuse to get in and look at all her candy.

We wrapped up the night hitting a few more houses in our neighborhood and watching Mickey's Treat. It was a great Halloween.

As a treat for you all, a look back on the last 4 years. We just keep having babies. Started with 5 now we have 13!




Thursday, October 30, 2008

the good thing about towing

Our super fabulous friend Rebecca was gracious enough to let us use one of her AAA tows. I love AAA. It's so easy and painless.

Thankfully Dave had the foresight to park next to the Trader Joe's parking lot. What a great husband. So when Rebecca and I made our way down there to meet the tow truck driver I remembered what I loved last fall. TJ's pumpkin butter. Pumpkin really is the best ingredient in fall, but to top off all that deliciousness with pumpkin butter? It really doesn't get better than that.

So after an intense month, week and day, the girls and I did what we know how to do best. Bake! Pumpkin bread and muffins. After dinner we enjoyed our little creations. Unfortunately they don't share my love of pumpkin butter. Oh well, just means more for me.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

one more on the blog perfect day

I know that last post was long. I always get annoyed reading long posts, sorry. But that day had to be documented so that my children would see what a typical rough day looked like.

But let's add one more to that blog perfect day....a double ear infection. Lovely.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

the blog perfect day (long)

I would love to write the blog perfect day. You know the one where I get to write how I want you to believe today turned out. Where I get to write in fancy words to convey to all what a wonderful perfect life I lived today. I think it would look something like this:

The kids slept until 8 a.m. Woke happy, dry, and ready to be obedient and helpful. They ate their entire breakfast, helped with chores and even asked what else they could do. They dressed themselves and waited patiently without videos until I was ready to leave the house.

We headed off to Bible study where both girls danced into their rooms without a whimper. I learned an abundance about Revelation and took to heart every word Jody spoke (okay this part is true - it was amazing!).

Then home to have lunch with the family, naps at the same time, errands in the afternoon and a beautiful Black Bean Lasagna in the oven.

Bedtime at 7:30 and mama time for the rest of the evening with no interruptions. perfect

Now do you want the real, unrefined, not-so-blog-perfect day?

It all started in the middle of the night when Dave decided that I would make the perfect body pillow. Why didn't I push him off? I don't know b/c at 5:30 a.m. when Lily decided to have a coughing fit and needed a breathing treatment, the body pillow experience hit me with full force with a kink in my back. Bonding right?

Lily thankfully went back to bed until 7:30 when I discovered her cold was still in full swing and she sounded like a smoker. I decided to spare the moms at bible study.

Bible study was a refuge and a place to set my heart straight. I'm glad it was at the beginning of the day b/c I needed the focus to prepare for the latter part of my day.

I took Eloise to the grocery store with me. Yay me! We actually went to 3 of them. We had lunch, she did great and I thought I was a super star mom getting all my errands done before 1 p.m.

At 3 it all started to turn upside-down. I had planned to finish the rest of my errands and hopefully get Eloise to take a small car nap. Just as we were about to walk into the store I get a frantic call from Dave. His car is freaking out and he's on the freeway.

Sidenote: Dave's honda is old. It has 250,000 miles on it. I actually predicted it would die at 225,000 and he guessed 250,000. Looks like he may be right. Anyway, we were planning to take my car in tomorrow which has transmission issues and will likely cost $2000. Yes, $2000! Kinda makes me want to vomit. Needless to say, we've canceled that appointment.

I drive downtown to pick him up and take him to work.
Problem #1. Who is going to pick Dave up at 12 a.m.? Hmmmm.....Rebecca (check)
Problem #2 How are we going to get the car to the mechanic? Hmmmm....Rebecca's AAA (check)
Problem #3 What is Dave going to drive for the next 3 days? Hmmmm...Will's car (check)

Praise God! Almost all problems solved, except our savings account. That could be padded just a bit more. But God is good and I'm always certain he'll provide.

Oh but wait, the day isn't over yet.

Next my gas light comes on after we leave Dave's work. No problem, stop at Costco. They have cheap gas. Apparently I'm not the only one who knows this today b/c every lane was 6 cars deep.

Should I go into Costco and hope the line goes down? I don't have dinner, so it looks like it's pizza night. I look back and both girls are asleep. Crap! Lily already had a nap and I don't know how long they have both been sleeping. And it's 4:30.

I pick Eloise up to put her in the cart and I'm instantly drenched. She peed her pants while sleeping. More pee? I put a towel underneath her and we forge ahead into Costco hoping for a good sample day. We ended up with overdone pizza and a wet towel.

I gave up at this point. I no longer cared. I gave into the whining, let them eat pizza in the car and listen to whatever music they wanted too. No yelling was involved, but the will to parent was gone.

Lily still needed a prescription at Target and it was time to start over. We headed home, cleaned up and put on our jammies. Target always provides a little stability for me when things are out of whack. And I didn't buy anything!

On the way there Eloise asked, "So. What was your favorite part about today?"

After laughing hysterically, this is what I came up with. That God gave me the grace to get through today. That when I had absolutely nothing left in me, I managed to push down my frustration and tears and walk through today without losing it. That God gave me mercy at just the right time. That my children went to bed without a fight and my husband and I managed to work together. That I listened to him instead of taking control, and that was not on my own strength. That I was able to laugh at a pee stained sweatshirt and enjoy sitting in a line of 6 cars waiting for gas talking with my kids. And the gas was $2.29! Those were my favorite parts about today.

Oh and this:
Lily in the car after dinner
Lily: "Toes hungry. Toes need dinner"
Me: "Your toes are hungry?"
Lily: "Uh huh"

Monday, October 27, 2008

Nothing like friends

I am blessed to have as many great friendships as I do. They are all so uniquely important. Each one of my friends brings perspective, support, and love into my life. Without them, I would have a hard time staying grounded.

This weekend I had the privilege of enjoying a few of my friends that have been around the longest. I met Michelle in preschool, Stephanie F. in 1st grade, and the other Stephanie N. in 7th. The bond wasn't there immediately, but it grew over time. High school was great but we had some rough times. College life brought us back together. We lived together our sophomore through senior years and then Michelle and I lived 1 more year together before she got married.

We have done so many things together. Sports, parties and other stuff associated with that (not proud), cried over boyfriends, fought, stood up for one another on our wedding days (except Stephanie N., she was smart and got married in Jamaica), pigged out on junk food, celebrated new babies, grieved over the passing of parents, and laughed until our belly's hurt.

We don't have very many chances to see each other. We've all moved about 2 hours apart and it's rare that we can sneak away from family to get together. So we made a plan. A plan for a night away with no children or spouse's. Just 4 ladies shopping, celebrating another new baby, and eating and shopping until we no longer could.

We enjoy high tea in the morning. For 2 hours we sat, ate, and drank delicious tea. We then headed over to Bellevue for shopping and wandering. We managed to get free hand massages from Aveda and our makeup done at Bare Mineral's. We checked into our hotel and then down to dinner. We sat, ate, drank, and laughed until we were crying...for 2 1/2 hours! We talked about being moms, wives, and how we have changed so much from those college days. We offered advice to the first-time mom, hopefully not bringing with it too much fear, but hey, we had to be honest. It truly was a carefree day.

The plan after dinner was to hang out, paint toe nails, and watch TV. I think someone was quoted as saying, "you're not going to bed at 8:30!". She was asleep at 9:30. We all vowed to sleep in and then two early riser's woke at 6:30. Darn kids, they really have changed our clocks. Off to coffee and breakfast and sad goodbye's.

I can't wait for the next weekend.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Family Photos

I am so excited to share our new family photos. I have yet to pick my favorites so I need your help. I don't know if they are numbered, but if there is one you think would be a great Christmas card, let me know. You can also see a few here.

And yes, I let Dave wear a black sweatshirt. It is because every time I buy him something to wear in a picture he hates it and I find it buried in his closet unable to be returned. So I compromised. Isn't that what marriage is all about? Huh, I thought it was cute family pictures. Apparently Dave thinks differently.


We made it through the night. My friend gave me some fantastic instructions to get her airways open quickly. I never would have thought to do it but it worked. I had to administer her inhaler in her sleep a few times and managed to do it without waking her.

So this morning, she is breathing good, just lots of coughing and normal cold symptoms. Thanks for your prayers and hugs.

I'm headed out for a girls night in Seattle with my childhood friends so I'm hoping that she will stay clear for my parents. I've been looking forward to this weekend for 2 months and hoping that kids stay healthy. But isn't that way motherhood is - always unpredictable and never concerned about the plans we've already made.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Never easier

I am currently in the midst of Lily's 5th asthma attack since June. I have to say, it doesn't get any easier. We've been on medicine, increased doses, worked on action plans to head this off before it starts and without fail, we are still at the same place we were in June.

My doctor is great and I have a wonderful pediatrician friend who has adopted us and is more than happy to help a fellow mom in need. But it doesn't take away my mom fears. I'm still freaked out she's going to stop breathing at any moment and feel stressed just watching her breathe.

I know this will pass and soon she will grow out of it, but it doesn't make any cold easier. And I can't stop my life this winter. I want to go to church, attend my bible study and go over to play dates. In times where things are okay, I am hopeful that the next cold will be minor or that we can make it longer than 4 weeks between colds.

This is not anywhere near catastrophic. It's just 48 hours of anxiety and waiting to see if the medicine is going to work or if we need to go to urgent care. I'm hoping 48 hours from now, she'll be bouncing off the walls again, and that it's not from the steroids she's on.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

'No soup for you'

I really hope you all got that. My favorite episode.

Anyway, here's a great one. Of course from this month's Healthy Cooking. I seriously love this magazine and my mom is getting me a subscription for Christmas. Yay!!

Rustic Italian Tortellini Soup
modified slightly :)

3 Italian turkey sausage links, casings removed
1 onion chopped
6 garlic cloves, minced
2 cans (14.5 oz) chicken broth
1 3/4 cups water
1 can (14.5 oz) petite diced tomatoes
1 9 oz. package of refrigerated cheese tortellini
1 pkg. frozen spinach, thawed and drained (you could also use fresh - 6 oz coarsely chopped)
3/4 tsp. basil
1/4 tsp. pepper
Shredded Parmesan Cheese (optional)

crumble sausage, onion and garlic in dutch oven over medium heat and cook until meat is no longer pink.
Add broth, water, and tomatoes and bring to boil.
Add tortellini and return to boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5-8 minutes or until tortellini are tender.
Add spinach, basil and pepper, cook 2-3 minutes longer or until spinach is wilted (if using fresh)
top with cheese.
4 pts for 1 1/3 cup (Add the extra point if you pile on the cheese)

This is great with a good peace of soft bread.

Lily eats this up and Eloise has to be convinced it's princess soup. She won't eat the tomatoes, but she'll eat the 'leaves'. Silly kid.

Happy Fall-Soup-Dinner to you all!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

sought after lady

This is Themina. I found her hanging out on Dave's nightstand.

This is the only doll my girls have. They have lots of babies, but no dolls. Themina made her way into the house last Christmas via her cousin Tristan and has been well loved ever since

She's a Snap-N-Go girl. Her outfits snap on and off for easy changes. The clothes have found there way into the bottom of some toy basket in the house never to be found again. Thankfully, her makers decided not to leave her naked and exposed for all the world to see.

Her popularity is based solely on who has her at the moment. If Eloise is washing her hair (which she often does at bath time) than Lily for sure wants to play with her. If Lily is trying to snap on her hard-to-find clothes, than Eloise snatches her out of Lily's hand bringing forth a blood curdling scream and lots of broad swipes from Lily. And we all know what follows...meltdowns.

Today she stands alone. Traded in for Mickey hands, puzzles, and princess dresses. She's currently staring at me as I write this. I'm half wondering if she's going to make her way to the bottom of a toy box or if the girls will renew their interest in her again. Should I move her or wait to see who grabs her first?

I think I'll wait. The house is much quieter that way.

Saturday, October 18, 2008


We are surviving the great binki fairy.

It's been a rough week in some sense, but a great relief on the other. She seems to have returned to her normal sleeping self. There have been a few bumps in the road, but for the most part, she handled it well. Eloise was cranky for the first few days, but snapped out of it pretty quick after day 3.

Now Lily, she may be an entirely different creature. Today she was asking for her binki all day. Ughh....I'm not looking forward to that one.

More posts on our week to come. We had a great time with our friend La La.

Monday, October 13, 2008

the great binki fairy

The binki fairy made my job so easy. I completely stole this idea off SuperNanny, so I really can't take any credit. Here's the timeline of events.

Walking out to the mailbox to get her special gift from the Binki Fairy

Getting it out of the mailbox

Heading to put all her binki's in the envelope. (it's 7 p.m. - of course we need shades)

Putting the binki's back in the mailbox

The next morning! We made it! Her special gift from the binki fairy.

The suspense is building, what did she bring.

It's a...

...Princess dress (She loves to dress up, so it's a big pretty dress to twirl in)

Tips and Tricks:
*Every kid is different and their love of binki's are too. Eloise used it only at naptime and nighttime. We weaned her early on of using it during the day (probably 9 months or so). But she did love to hold them. She always had 4 in her bed and made sure they were in her hands. This was what worried me the most. We made sure she had a sippy cup and a few other favorite comfort items close by.

*We talked about the binki fairy ALOT. So much that she started talking about when the binki fairy was going to come. We knew we had to jump on it or we would pass our window.

*I had to set my mindset to the fact that this was not only the breaking of a habit but a grieving process for her. That sounds TOTALLY cheesy, but it made me have ALOT of compassion for her when she was crying. She had this for 3 years! If I had something that long everytime I went to sleep, I would be sad too.

*Following the above, tenderness. When she cried, I made sure to say, "I know it's hard, but remember where the binki fairy took them, to all the babies". I kept reminding her that the binki fairy was coming in the morning with a special gift. We also did LOTS of cuddles.

*I knew it was going to take a LONG time for her to fall asleep the first night and I had to be okay with that. We tried to skip her nap that day, but she fell asleep. I would recommend skipping the nap. It made tonight, so much easier.

*the middle of the night was hard, but I let Dave deal with that ;)

*Prepare for the worst and hope for the best. It will only last a few days and then you will be back on track.

*She did ask for it at naptime, but we reminded her again where they went and she snapped out of it really quick. She didn't take a nap, just a rest so I'm eager to see when she'll nap again.

*remember: what works for some, may not work for the rest.

Good luck all you binki fairy's.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

binki fairy

The Binki Fairy came to visit Eloise tonight.

So far, she is still awake and it's 10 p.m., but she's fading fast.

Her envelope arrived in the mail this evening. We put all the binki's in the envelope and walked it out to the mailbox. We then asked her who the binki fairy should give her binki's too. "All the babies".

She is eagerly awaiting a special gift in a big box upon waking.

Wish us luck.

Friday, October 10, 2008

why pee?

My girls have an obsession with water. Eloise would drink it by the gallon and Lily insists on it at every turn.

I believe that water is a great drink for kids. I never had juice growing up and I don't think it adds any nutritional value anyway. But I do understand that some kids would rather go into dehydration than drink a drop of water, so in that case, juice might be your next best option.

Eloise is potty trained, except for nighttime. Lily, well, I have no goal for potty training her, she will just do it. But this nighttime diaper thing is really starting to break me down.

This morning I go in to get Lily at 7 a.m. After cuddling her for a moment, I notice that the front of my bathrobe is wet. That's weird.

I walk over to her bed and feel around. She has peed through her jammies. Okay, I know the drill, let's just take off the sheets, jammies, and all the other pee items. Of course, as I'm trying to pry Lily's jammies off her, she's yelling, "Jammies On. Jammies On!". At this point Eloise isn't up, so I'm trying my best to keep her from screaming.

I change out of my pee drenched bathrobe and into my sweats. Lily is watching the Wiggles and I turn the coffee pot on. I figure I have another 1/2 hour before Eloise gets up.

Nope. She's awake.

When Eloise wakes up it goes something like this, (yelling) "MOM. CAN YOU GET ME SOME MILKY PLEASE?" This is the first thing this child says every morning.

I get her some milk and pull back the blankets. And what do my mommy eyes behold...PEE stained sheets and jammies. Are you kidding me? Again?

I get her out of bed, jammies and diaper off. Of course the entire time, she can't break her mouth away from the sippy cup making this process all that much more tedious.

I tear off the sheets and send her out to the couch. As I'm walking back out of the room I step on something wet and soak my feet. Gross. I left the diaper on the floor and I've just soaked my sweats and my foot.

It's not even 8 a.m. and I'm covered in pee.

One would think that I took a shower right away. No. This is normal. Doesn't phase me anymore. It happens about 2 times a week on average. I cleaned myself off best I could and headed straight for my coffee.

There really is nothing like motherhood to teach you humility and grace.

*note: I try hard not to give them water before bed and I need to buy the 'good' diapers to solve this problem.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

the pumpkin patch

I've been blogging and helping out so much over here, I've forgotten to blog here.

A few weeks ago we made that run to my parents for my Grandmother's b-day.

One of the wonderful things I love about my parents is that they are creators and workers with their hands. They are frugal, innovative, and creative. I would call them organic, but they think that's just for hippies.

They have a farm where they raise cows and pigs, grow small trees and have a small garden and orchard on the side. My mom decided that she would put in small pumpkins this year.

Learning my frugality from her, I swooped up all her little pumpkins for kid projects and fall decorations.

My brother also inherited this 'create with your hands' philosophy from my parents. He grew the big pumpkins, so we stole some from him too. Viola! Free pumpkins.
The girls picked out their pumpkins while chasing the kitty's. Then my mom and I discovered an apple tree in the horse pasture. We quickly snagged up my 6 ft,5 nephew and made him climb the ladder. After fending off the horses we managed to come away with a healthy crop of apples for pies and applesauce. Of course Lily had to jump in on the action and eat. Eloise got to help my mom peel the apples with her fancy hand-crank machine.

(Eloise in her big girl panties, her usual attire)

I am so thankful that my parents taught me to create and make something out of nothing. They taught me to see value in the small things and it will help to create surplus when you need it. I appreciate that my girls can share in that too.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Tomatoes? Really?

I have tomatoes coming out my ears and apparently everyone I try to give them to, has the same problem.

So what am I to do with all of them?

I don't like tomatoes raw. I like them in Salsa or Spaghetti sauce, raw...NO WAY. I can't stand the smell and looking at all those juicy seeds...makes me queasy just thinking about it.

That is why I believe Lily may not be my child. I know I carried her for 9 months and gave birth to her, but she eats nothing like me (or her sister). She clears out entire bushes of blueberries, eats peas straight from the pod, and now, eats tomatoes like apples.

It makes me want to start vomiting when I watch her do it. She pulled one off a bush the other day and took a bite. She loved it, she kept eating.

Tonight, she caught site of them on the counter and practically flew out of my arms to get them. The whole time she is yelling, "Mato, Mato". I've never been more okay with my child spoiling her dinner. Which she didn't b/c she ate an entire bowl of mexican beans and rice with ground turkey. Where does she put it?

To prove her love for tomatoes, I took a picture.
What a cooky kid? And look at that grin.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

post birthday

THANKS!!! You all know how to make a girl feel good.

Dave and the girls made me a cake and put 32 candles on it. It was the funniest looking cake ever, but I loved it so much b/c they made it. There was frosting and chocolate all over my kitchen, but it didn't bother me a bit.

I want to post more but it's been an insane day. A good friend had a horrible post labor last night and this is what I've been coordinating today (story is at the bottom). Sad b/c mama has still not held her baby for more than 30 minutes and probably won't be able to nurse.

My mind is mush...I need to unwind. I'll update more later and post a pic of my beautiful chocolate cake.