Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Avatar


Dr J and I rarely go to the movies. When you have three kids and are thirty year old students, finances are usually to tight to swing tickets and a babysitter. Mostly we don't mind. A long time ago we got Netflix and in general that satisfies our need for movies and dates. Occasionally though a movie comes out that you must see in the theater. Avatar happens to be just that. The first thing my sister said to me this Christmas break was, "You have to go see Avatar. It is the best movie I've seen all year. It has everything. You will love it." The only thing I'd heard about it was that it was the most expensive movie ever, but her words made me weary. My whole family swore up and down that Nacho Libre was hilarious. It wasn't. I've often asked my self if the build up I gave the movie was the problem. Free babysitting though is hard to pass up, so the day before Christmas I headed to the theater with Dr J, two of my babysisters, one of their spouses, and my two younger brothers. Tickets were almost completely sold out so we found ourselves down in the front area. I was prepared to be disappointed but instead was amazed. I am not going to promise that the story is without flaws. I'm still confused as to what tree is first bulldozed and why they chose to have the Avatars have human like hands versus the hands of the people of Pandora. My brother tried to argue that the story was a tired mix of Pocahontas, Fern Gully, and Dances with Wolves, but the story line stays interesting even if it does borrow. There are times when it gets a little preachy, but I think a little preachy is ok. The story line is good. The action is great. The computer animation is AMAZING. A must see on the big screen!!! There is one part in the story where I almost chocked back a sob. For those who have seen the movie it involves a the line, "I see you." Embarrassing I know but the story has it all. Definitely worth the babysitting money if you are on the fence about seeing it. We walked out of the theater and I spent most of the night thinking about the movie and how good the graphics were. Later that night we watched GI Joe with my brother and sister in law. I wanted to throw something at the screen. What a waste of space. My sister is right, Avatar is probably the best movie of the year.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

I Love You: In which woman discovers whe will never be able to compete with father.

“I love you, you, you!” screams G bear as she points to her dad. G bear has just recently started to use those words in reference to family members. Of course Dr. J noticed it first. “G bear told me she loves me today,” he mentions at breakfast. “Really,” I said, “she’s never said that to me.” “Well I told her first, so that’s probably it.” Probably it? Is the man insane? I probably just tell that child I love her twenty times in a day. She probably could respond at least ten of those times, but has she ever chosen to. Of course not! And thus begins what I believe to be the total unfair distribution of a child’s love for dad versus mom. While I may have been the one who:

made these babies,

baked them in my womb for nine months,

leached my bones to make them,

destroyed my hips to squeeze them out,

gave up five years of my life to lack of sleep,

feed them from my body,

smothered them with love and care,

dressed them,

feed them,

cleaned their rooms,

read countless stories,

brushed hair millions of times,

kissed a plethora of booboos,

who do they love the most……………..DAD!

If there was an unfair shake for woman for that whole Eve and the apple thing, I’m telling you that is it. Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad they love their dad. I just wish they could love me half as much, and so I began a quest to hear her say it. Every time I said, I love you, today I patiently waited to see if she would respond. Finally right before dinner I said, “G bear I love you.” She was in her father’s arm and said, “I love you.” “See,” Dr. J said, “She said it.” But then she yelled, “I love you Peach.” And then she yelled at her dad, “I love you, you, you,” and each you was punctuated with a jabbing point on her index finger. Like I said…

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Toyota Sienna, One Small Glitch?

Last March we bought a Toyota Sienna. In all ways it has surpassed my expectations but one. Yesterday, when it was 20 below with the wind chill the sliding doors froze shut. Yes I had to put my baby in her car seat through the window. Definitely not ideal!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Rain Storm Rescue

I recently posted about a moment in my life where I wish I would have asked someone if they needed help. Here is one where I actually did the right thing:

Today it has been raining all day. Considering the state I live in, this is not an unusual occurrence. We get weeks of rain where the sun never shines and there is a constant drizzle. We get freezing rain in the winter that sticks to the ground and makes you feel like you are walking on marbles. We get torrential storms, often with dangerous winds, sometimes even tornadoes. It is a rainy place. One night, Dr. J and I were returning home from a movie. It was pouring and as we drove past a Pickadeli's we saw a man in motorized wheelchair stuck in a drive way, unable to get his scouter chair up to continue on his way. dr. J and I looked at each other and we turned the car around. dr. J jumped out to see if he could help the man. The man said, "If you can just push me up the driveway I'd appreciate it." At this point dr. j was soaked. He said, "Look, I can't leave you out here, let me take you somewhere." And thus began us trying to shove this guy and his scooter chair into our tiny lancer. It was a difficult feat. First we had to unhook our car seats which of course were latched in (any parent who has latch car seats knows what a pain that can be). Then we had to get this disabled guy, into the car. He suffered from some type of muscle weakness and was a little drunk, so the task took some time. Finally we were trying to figure out what to do with his chair. We didn't want to leave it out, but didn't see what choice we had. At this point a family in a big SUV pulled up to see if we could use some help. They had a full trunk but with some finagling we got their stuff into our trunk, the scouter chair into their trunk (although they had to leave the trunk open and a teenager had to hold the scooter in) and we all headed off to the guys house. We then had to repeat the process in reverse. At this point we were completely drenched. There was not a single wet part on either of us. Our hair was streaming, our underwear were clinging, and we were freezing. We got home and gave our very surprised babysitter some money before sending her on her way so we could take a warm shower and warm up. I know this will sound weird but to me it was one of the funnest dates we ever had. I'm so glad we didn't leave that guy out there in the rain. I'm so glad I have a hubby who is willing to try and take on a task like fitting a scouter chair in a lancer trunk when it is raining cats and dogs.

Monday, December 7, 2009

video

The first word my son ever learned was No! Five years later and it is still his favorite. The fire in his eyes cracks me up. It just goes to show that with kids it only takes a second for a good time to go down hill.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Peanut Butter, Marshmallow, Bread, Honey Sandwich

E decided to make his own after school snack yesterday. He took two pieces of bread and generously covered them in peanut butter. He then strategically placed about ten marshmallows on each. He ten poured honey all over both slices. He covered those two slices with two more pieces of bread, added a small layer of peanut butter and stuck the whole thing together to enjoy. It was a four bread slices, many layers of peanut butter, marshmallow, and honey sandwich. It seriously only took him about two seconds to down the whole thing.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Six Movies That Made Me Cry

I'm a cry baby. I can't help it. My husband describes me as sensitive, and I have to say he is probably right. The first movie I can remember seeing was Bambi. I went with my nana and remember crying for the first twenty minutes. When we left the theater she asked me if I liked it, I'm assuming she meant the movie. I was sitting in the back seat of the car. There were clouds a little way off, but where the car was there was sun, and I could see a rainbow. There were also raindrops. I remember thinking, wow it's sunny and raining. I told her yes, I had liked it. I think I was talking about the crying. This began my love of "crying movies" and "crying books". Sometimes it just feels good to cry about something that doesn't really matter. Here are six of my "crying movies" that I can think of off the top of my head.

The Green Mile-I watched this movie with my good friend Leslie. The story is about a death row guard who becomes certain that one of the inmates is not only innocent but possesses "magical" powers. The story was written by Stephen King and is a good example of his quirky dark side. The movie was ok, not anything I found particularly compelling but as the Tom Hanks character has to prepare Michael Duncan to be executed I was crying like a baby. Of course I was in a theater, with no Kleenex and my nose was running all over the place. I'm grossed out to say it but I wiped my snotty hand on my sock. Sick I know. If only I could say that was the only time I'd done that. Now as a mom of three I swear I always have snot somewhere on my clothes!

Braveheart - Back before the pre-divorce, antisemitic incident people used to know Mel Gibson as an actor/director. This movie was directed by Mel and won a slew of awards. It tells the fictional story of William Wallace against the true story of the Scots trying to free themselves from English rule. Early on in the movie Wallace loses his wife. After 177 minutes of blood and gut filled action she returns. It is at that moment I lost it. Braveheart has lots of action for the men with some true love to entertain the ladies.


Up- I recently watched the animated film Up with my hubby and kids. Talking dogs and a chubby little wilderness adventure kid kept the kids laughing. They were to young to understand why mom was crying in the first five minutes. I'm a sucker for love stories, and Up begins with a great one.





The Curious Case of Benjamin Button- Benjamin Button was interesting on a variety of levels. I love movies that artfully weave the running of history throughout their fiction. The best example of this was Forrest Gump but Benjamin Button does a pretty good job. The special effects are often interesting, some things like the battle scene are done in a very obvious way to add to the fact that this is "fiction" but the age regression is completely seamless. Pit really does appear to be a child old man, and when they regress his age to a very young man when he returns to see his wife, well lets just say it has been a long time since he has looked that good. Once again it was the love story that got me crying.

The Painted Veil- If you like Edward Norton this movie is a must. The story involves a doctor serving in China and a wife who married him because she feels she has very little options. They don't love each other and the viewer is stuck watching to see if they can move past betrayal. I cried quiet a bit the first time I saw it and the second time I started crying about 2/3 in because I knew what was going to happen. It so compelled me that I actually did a review of it here.


Life is Beautiful - This movie is about a father trying to make the holocaust bareable for his son. I should preface this by saying I've never actually seen the movie. One day on a trip home from Salt Lake my mother started to tell me the story. When she got to the part about the tank, I yelled at her, "Stop, stop I can't take it anymore." I was sobbing! I don't know if the acting takes away from the story or not. I haven't actually been able to see it. I cried so much in the car it made the actually thought of the movie unbareable.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

TV Detox

You know you need a TV detox when the TV breaks and both your two oldest cry when you tell them. I'm just bummed I won't be able to watch "So You Think You Can Dance." It might be cheese but I love seeing those dance routines.

McDonalds and How I enjoy my Pad Thai

One weekend last winter some girlfriends and I meet at the McDonald's to enjoy some kid socializing time. One girl had grabbed Pad Thai on the way to keep us from having to ingest and mc nastiness. As our kids were eating nuggets and playing in over sized tubes we enjoyed chicken and beef deliciousness with a squirt of lime. About twenty minutes into the meal a manager came up and told us that we could not eat outside food in the restaurant. I happened to be in the bathroom with Grace at the time but the memory still grates on me. There is no way I would have gone had I thought I'd be stuck eating a mcflurry. This perfectly highlights the battle I am constant in with my kids. They have the taste bus of well...kids, and picky kids to be sure. Although I have been hoisting veggies on him since six months of life, my son is a sworn meatatarian. He has no interest in vegetables, and only gets fiber in the fruit I force him to eat and the whole grains I sneak into his bread and cereal. My daughter on the other hand will eat salad and loves cucumbers but still would prefer to get about half her daily calories from milk, which has forced us to start adding fortification to her milk in an attempt to keep her from getting vitamin deficient. Last night we wanted to go out to celebrate hubbies birthday. This time we got McDonalds to go and headed over to the Golden Wok, my current favorite Tai place. They appear to have no problem with the McDonald I haul in, although we did get a weird look from the one other white couple in the joint. While the kids were eating nuggets and fries, Dr. J and I feasted on pad thai and coconut curry chicken. Delicious!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Google Wave and a Birthday!

It is the last day of November and it is official...I sucked at the blog every day thing. I was doing pretty good until the last ten days. Then I just feel apart. I'm going to blame my three kids and the holidays :). So today I got Google Wave. I've been coveting this feature for about two months and finally I have it. I watched the movie on what it can do. Ten minutes, not the 80 minute one. I was so excited to try putting it on the blog. The picture upload was awesome. I posted about ten pics in a few seconds...pictures of me as a baby and pictures of Peach along with a quick survey to see if people thought she looked like me. Then I tried to figure out how to post it to the blog. Um it was definitely not as easy as those little wave people made it seem. I searched around a few places. Finally found what I think was reliable code and decided I just was up for the ten or so steps necessary. So now I have cute pictures of Peach and cute pictures of me, and a survey on Google Wave that only four of my friends can see. Isn't it funny when life doesn't quiet reach expectation.

On a completely unrelated note, something that surpassed expectation, Happy Birthday Dr. J! My sweet hubby is 32 year old today. I know he is going to hate this picture and the fact that I posted it but I couldn't help it. Who pulls their socks down and their pants up like that and flexes their toes on the coffee table. It was just too five years old to me. He was probably checking basketball scores as well. Pretty much my whole adult life has been spent with this man. I love him! Eight years ago on this night I took him out for Italian and sealed my fate with a kiss. I guess the lesson is if a man ask you for a birthday kiss you had better be sure you are prepared to be all in before you give it. He has given me three great kids and a life that I love. He has given me the security I desperately wanted as a kid. He keeps me on my toes and busy. Here is to a great 32 years! I love you honey!!!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving

I suck at blogging every day. I can't help it I just do. Lets just say Thanksgiving was good...and I give up on blogging every day!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Home

Someone in my home is itching to go home. On a related note we will be in Utah over Christmas. Hurray!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Sunday Walk

In the summer we enjoy walking after church. With our one o'clock church time and winter there really isn't enough light left to do much walking after church. Today we decided to walk the 1.75 miles to church. It was fun. Partly because we have a heavy duty stroller that can handle such urban jaunts with ease. Thanks to our Mountain Buggy's air filled tires, pushing two little girls is no problem. Even with the extra weight of their older brother (he jumped on when he got bored with walking) the handling was still a breeze. We left at 12:15 and got to church with plenty of time for copy making and a bathroom break. The walk home was even more enjoyable because mom wasn't worried about time. The girls slept, E had an adventure, and the parents felt good. Normally after dinner on Sunday I have this horrible post dinner slump where we get really tired. Not so today, lots of energy left. I wish we could walk every Sunday.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

New Moon, Opening Day

Last night my sweetie watched our kids and I went with seven girlfriends to see the nine o'clock showing of New Moon. Personally I think it was quiet the sacrifice he made, but I saw my friend Sara and her hubby coming out of the seven o'clock show, and I'd like to say I think Larry made an even greater one :) It was fun to be out with the girls. The group ran the spectrum from Jenny who had not seen the first movie or read a single book, to me who hated the two books I read but liked the movie, to April who not only was planning on crying in the movie but was also proudly wearing a "Team Edward" shirt specially designed by her baby brother and varying layers of fans between. Here were my feelings on the movie.
  • I still hate Bella. She is intolerable. I think if you can relate to her in some way that makes her more enjoyable. I can't. She watches a whole group of people go to their deaths and doesn't say a word. It kind of makes the whole in love with a vampire thing just not worth it. This is nothing against Kristen Stewart, just the character of Bella. I think Kristen is adorable in a sort of brooding, chew on your lower lip kind of way. She really is cute. It did my heart good to see she wasn't quiet as cute when she comes out of the ocean wet. People should only be allowed a certain amount of cuteness to be fair to the rest of us.
  • The special effects were slightly better than the first movie but still left a lot to be desired. Why not hire the guys who did Benjamin Button. If you've seen what they do to Brad Pit in that movie you'd agree.
  • The relationship with Charlie was weird. Last movie Bella's dad was so awkward...which fit well with a relationship where the daughter hasn't been around for years. Now this movie he is a loving, caring, good joking guy. His character is extremely likable, which was just a fast jump for me.
  • There was a lot of cheese. The guy sitting next to me would literally choke when it got a little heavy and most of the time I had to agree. At one point most of the audience actually laughed/groaned out because it was just so silly. If you've seen the movie think a dress, a vest, and running. I guess though it is to be expected and if you like the books it surely will not bother you.
  • Personally for me the most romantic moment in the whole movie came with the wrong guy. Anytime someone is telling you they love you in another language...well I'm sorry that is just dreamy. He might just be seventeen but if I had to pick a t-shirt mine would say "Team Jacob".
  • Finally this isn't a problem with the movie so much as it is a problem with the books, but what is the deal with the vampires and the werewolves hating each other so much? I mean come on, you're both supernatural, which makes you way more cool then humans. Why not hang out instead of having this little brawls. It is just a little to west side story for me :)
So that's my listed, and I figured I'd unload it so maybe I could think about something else today :) I totally had fun with the girls though. I love my hubby for watching my kids, and yes I probably will go to the next movie.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Morning Games


I'm part of a carpool for drop up and pick up of little E from school. One week I do both, the next week my friend Erika does both. On the weeks she is driving, the girls and I stay in pjs and I only have to get E out the door. On the good days it gives us a few minutes between when she gets here and when he finishes breakfast. I try to utilize this time in thinking games close to the door so he will be ready to walk very slowly out when she gets here (seriously he practically crawls like a snail). We play eye spy or rhyming games. Now that it is getting colder we've started writing words on the foggy window. He loves it. We take turns. I write a word I know he can sound out. Then he writes one of the sight words he has memorized, or a number. It helps him with letter recognition, writing, sounding out...all and all it is a fabulous game. Plus we can see Erika the second she gets to the our door :)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Busted

Dr. J came downstairs and I switched the TV off. "Hey what is the deal," he asked. "You are just itching to kick me out of the room aren't you." "No," I told him. "I don't want to distract you from your homework." And it is true. The man doesn't do homework and then I feel responsible. I mean seriously it should be normal to eat dinner with your family or help put kids to bed but these are things that I feel guilty when he does them. There are some 3rd years with kids, but not many. When it comes to having him watch TV with me, certainly I don't think he has the time for that and I don't want him getting sucked in...but if I'm honest with myself there is also a part of me that likes the alone time that comes after bed time. It is such a rush, after E gets home from school, getting dinner done, homework, baths, bed, night time nursing. By the time all three kids are in bed I do enjoy the silence of the house, being able to read or watch what I want...and yes sometimes my husband disrupts that silence. Busted!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Regret...the wheat from the tares

Life if full of regret. I find this to be especially true of motherhood. My oldest child is only five but I already feel like I have a basket full of guilt. There is the regret of places or choices I didn't make. I still regret not buying those U2 tickets. Four times they've come close, why haven't I gone to see them? I've given up regretting my O Chem grade. I'm the mom of three. No one cares. I guess regrets are just part of life, you pick some up, you let some go. Regret is just something you learn to live with. There is one moment in my life though that I just can't get over. I think on it at least once a week. In my mind I see it as a test that I failed terribly, and there is no going back. My sister and I were exploring Chicago, the Windy City. We'd left our car in a parking lot at the peer and had walked several blocks into the city to eat at the Grand Lux. The meal had been particularly enjoyable but the kids were tired, the wind was blowing, the sun had gone behind the sky scrappers, and it was getting quiet cold. We were rushing, wrangling our kids down the magnificent mile, trying to get across the street before the light changed and then I saw him, this guy, a kid really, sitting, slumped down next to one of the grand buildings. He was in clean jeans and white t-shirt on a cold fall day. He wasn't begging, he was just sitting, but something about his face just struck me. I wanted to ask if he was ok. If he needed some help. If he needed a jacket. I tried to look back at him as we crossed the street, but a car honked, and the light turned and I just kept going. When I looked back he was obscured by hurrying pedestrians. It is a moment I will always live to regret. Why didn't I ask if he was ok? Maybe he was perfectly fine. Maybe he needed nothing. Maybe he would have looked at me like I was crazy, answered me he was fine and I would have walked off with my kids and sister, feeling stupid but I would have forgotten the experience. Maybe he really needed help though. Maybe I walked passed someone who needed me and I missed it. Maybe some day I will have to answer to God for that one. I think of that moment when someone ask me for money in a parking lot. I think about that when I look at the extra coats in our closet. I can't go back but I hope to never miss another moment like that again.

Monday, November 16, 2009

He Can Do It!

I went to church and left Dr. J at home with three sick kids yesterday. I also had rising dough on the dryer. I said, "Um if Peach wakes up can you give her a bottle, and by the way that french bread dough is going to need to be made into loves." Then I started laughing. I couldn't help it. The laugh just rose out of the pit of my stomach and before you know it I was practically in hysterics. "You don't think I can do this, do you," he asked. I think the laughter answered that question. When I came home two beautiful loves were sitting on the table ready to put in the oven, the two older kids were happy and feed, and the baby was back asleep after a bottle. He not only did it, he did it well. What I learned, my husband actually would be quiet helpful if he actual had the time to be around. I guess retirement will be nice :)

Sunday, November 15, 2009

The Beatles


There is a tiny little children's museum in our town. The museum is basically housed in the lobby of an old theater. We bought a year pass last year with Christmas money and have enjoyed going ever since. The displays are small, and there are really only two main parts but my kids are small and more rooms would only be more places for them to run away and hide. Veterans Day I went there with the kids, my Swedish friend Katrin, and her three kids. While we were eating lunch on the balcony that looks over the theater I noticed they had pictures of acts that had played the theater before it was shut down. (Later is was saved to become the museum). Out of the corner of my eye I saw four unmistakable mop tops. I couldn't believe it so I had to get closer. Sure enough it was the Beatles. The Beatles played my po-dunk town, in a dinky little theater (think no bigger than a small movie theater). There are pictures of the girls screaming and the boys plugging their ears. It must have been incredible, and yes I am jealous! I can assure you nothing that exciting has happened since.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Rated T for Toddler

I have a son who loves rap/rock music. Even as a fetus in the womb he would get especially active during the weekly top 40. This recently came to a head when he found an old radio alarm clock. He thought it was so fun that he could change the stations. Dr. J and I didn't mind for about two minutes but then we walked upstairs and heard the word erection crackling on the weak little speakers. That was it. The radio alarm clock had to disappear. I felt sort of bad for the kid. He just wanted to listen to some music and I'll admit lots of stuff has great beats. Not everyone wants to listen to five little speckled frogs every day. It made me wish that musicians would drop records with a T version, as in rated T for Toddler, sort of in the way they have the "clean versions" and the adult only versions. I saw this Jay Leno and thought, hey maybe I should petition Jamie to lead the way. I also had to grab Dr. J's favorite, Baby Got Bible.




more about "Jamie Foxx Performis "Blame It On The...", posted with vodpod



*Big E also loves classical. He definitely has varied taste.
**This is my Saturday Post an hour and half early. I'm just going to have to deal :)

Integration

How long does it take to integrate into a family? I love my darling third daughter. She truly is a peach, a joy to have around. She is a smile girl, always giving off big smiles, laughing, blowing bubbles. She is extremely curious and is always trying to get around. She loves her sister and brother. In the morning she doesn't cry to be feed, instead she wakes us up with "talking". She will giggle and coo until someone comes to pick her up (this person is usually her dad, and she rewards him with a big smile. When he hands her off to me she gives me a big smile as well). Since about a month old she has slept through the night, and because of her easy disposition we have come to call her peacemaker peach. Sometimes though I'm still surprised that she is here. It's like she's some jolly little visitor, and I'm having difficulty wrapping my mind around the fact that she is staying forever...well at least eighteen years, and then she will probably leave for college putting me and father in a state of tears that could last a few months. Maybe it is part of being the third child but I feel like I never really had the opportunity to dwell on being pregnant, to come to grips with the fact that I was having a third child. We weren't trying to get pregnant, in fact I was fairly certain I wasn't pregnant and only found out that I was the day after her father left for a 35 day trip to Amman, Jordan. For the sake of good video I then tried to keep it a secret from everyone. I thought it would be awesome to surprise him at the airport with a T-shirt that said, "Welcome home father of three." So for a month I had no one to talk to. This of course was blown when he asked to stay another week with four days left to go. I broke down and said, "But I'm prenant." Still the damages was done. Being home alone with the two kids it was just go, go, go. Even after he came back it has been run, run, run. I bought a pool pass for the summer and we went up until Peach was born. In fact the night before I went into labor my friend Erika and I had a swim race across the pool. Within two days of her birth I had family in town and that visit was quickly followed by more visits. We were back at the pool within just a few weeks, running errands at the library, and going to the small children's museum in town, trying to enjoy the last bits of summer. Within six weeks of her birth her older brother went off to full day kindergarten and that threw mom for another loop. Even now between helping at school, church callings, G bear's speech, keeping up the house, car pool for school, trying to keep up with a husband doing his third year of medical school, well the child has to catch most of her naps on the run. I love this little girl, I just wonder when it is really going to sink in that she is really mine :)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

News Flash...eye drops sting ;)

With three kids in the house I found myself at the pediatrician no less than six times in three weeks. There was the typical four month check up, a speech referral, and Big E getting croup (It happens multiple times a year). Then there were the extras. The steroids weakened the immune system letting a bad ear ache take hold. I'm positive it was the steroids because this is the first time in five 1/2 years that a single one of my three kids has had an ear ache. A miracle I know. Then there was a sever cough, more croup, the flu, and my personal favorite Peach got some sort of pink eye conjunctivitis. I'd heard that breast milk could clear it up so for two days I squrited her in the eye when we'd nurse. Maybe it works for some kids, but for Peach it just got worse. Her under eyelids got so swollen it looked like she'd been punched in the face. I went in and the doctor gave me drops the clear it up. They were a nightmare. For a week I'd have to hold her eye open as she wiggled and screamed, mad beyond belief. I'd have to nurse her immediately after to calm her down or we'd have a screaming child for hours. Then a week into treatment I lost the drops. I put them down after nursing her and couldn't find them anywhere. It should have been fine, the infection should have been gone, but it wasn't. The next day her eyes were puffed up and her last gunked up. I called the doctor and took her back in. He said, lets try a gel to see if that will stay better, and proscribed Erythromycin in a gel form, the same stuff they put in babies eyes when they are born. I was worried beyond belief. If putting drops in her eyes caused a near freak out, what would gel do. The first night I had Dr. J help me. We pulled her eyelids open with her wiggling and squirming and put a huge line of gel on both her eyes. Nothing happened. She blinked a few times and then gave us a huge smile. This continued every time we had to put the gel in. I felt like an idiot! The kid wasn't screaming because I was putting stuff in her eyes, she was screaming because the Garamycin burned. Good job mom!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Since when do guilt trips work?

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

New Moon and Hulu

I've mentioned before that I'm not a fan of the Twilight books. They were so just over the top sappy. They made me want to vomit. I do happen to be a fan of the movie. It is embarrassing to admit but I thought for a teen drama, it wasn't half bad. That is why when a friend mentioned she was going to see New Moon opening night I mentioned I might be interested in going with her. Tonight I got word the tickets were bought. The last time I went to a movie opening night was Harry Potter when I was 21 years old. Now as an almost thirty year old I have tickets to an opening night teen flick. I should be embarrassed but I'm actually just excited, although a little worried about the teen drama in the theater. I saw the preview and all I had to say is wow Taylor Lautner. Nice swim scene. I just looked him up...his birthday is February 11th, 1992. Wow that makes me feel dirty. I'm not a Saturday Night Live fan, but I love the site Hulu and caught this clip there. It made me laugh. Wow they put some time into this.



Speaking of Hulu I found a new show to watch. Its called Intervention. There have been quite a few people in my family affected by addiction and this show really opened my eyes. The cases are emotionally involving. You hurt for the families and when the people go in for their interventions, sometimes I shout out, TAKE THE INTERVENTION...GO...GO! DON'T SAY NO! I think this is the image we should be giving our kids of drug use. I guess though that is the problem with being a teenager. People can tell you about consequences but it is so hard to understand consequences when you are young. Anyway check out Hulu.

Monday, November 9, 2009

46 Chromosomes and One Fat Toe

In a former life I loved science. I majored in zoology, with a human biology emphasis. I came into the major my junior year of college. I'd been a chemical engineering major who burned out, turned to anthropology for solace and interest, but returned to science because I'm just not the kind of person who enjoys an easy A. Give me a struggle for a B and I'm much happier. My core classes taught me many things. In my former life I could assay fruit flies to test for genetic variations. Frozen flies happen to be just as disgusting as live flies. I could isolate caffeine out of a cup of tea. It's white by the way, and looks just like some other drugs that are white powders. I could name all the bones in the human body. I could open a Tupperware full of embalmed male genitalia and not vomit. I used to be able to explain the Krebs Cycle. Those days are gone. It has been years since I've been in a lab. Over a half decade since anyone has called upon my scientific knowledge. What has never left me though was a great appreciation for the human body and all the marvels that go into one single being. Take a chromosome for example. That single piece of DNA can be upwards of a million nucleotides long, and in the variation of those nucleotides holds all the information necessary to make all the difference in the world. It is what makes me, me and not a chimpanzee or a sheep. It is what makes me, me and not my neighbor Julianne. The normal human gamete holds 23. When two gametes meet and fertilization occurs a 46 chromosome zygote is born. That cell contains all the information needed to create a human being. It is fantastical. Nothing we've created on this earth nears this in simplicity or complexity. These gametes are created by a system of meiosis. It takes one cell, doubles the genetic material, and then splits it twice so that four daughter cells with half the genetic material are created, giving rise to genetic variations in future generations. Take two individuals gametes together and you have mounds of possibilities . It makes it fun when children are born, trying to pick out the pieces of them, guessing, where they got their nose, where they got their eyes. Some traits are recessive and so they are a big surprise to see. Some traits aren't. Dr. J and I both have very bushy eyebrows. No surprise all three of kids do as well. I have brown eyes, and Dr. J has blue. Thanks to a recessive gene from my mother we have two with blue and one with brown. Today when I was nursing my daughter Peach I noticed she has an incredibly fat big toe. This is not the case for either of her parents but my sister has a fat toe as well so I'm guessing somewhere in my gamete there must be a fat toe gene :)

Sleep Issues

Why is it so hard to remember to write every night? Shesh, I'm definitely lousy at this challenge. Well forgive and forget let's move on. Every night is the same. My five year old son insist he is not tired. We get him ready and he lays in bed saying, "Mom I can't fall asleep." "Mom, I'm not tired." "Mom are you watching anything on TV." This goes on for at least a half hour. Every morning though the story is the opposite. "Mom I'm to tired to get up." "Mom I'm to tired to get dressed." "Mom I'm cold and tired." When you have three kids to get ready before carpool it can be maddening. I got an alarm clock for his room that has a beep that speeds up until you turn it off. He now jumps out of bed, turns it off and jumps back in. How do I get him to go to bed so he can wake up when he is suppose to?

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Visitor?

I'm sitting on the couch watching a little TV and what do I hear...stuff moving in the closet. Do I have a visitor? YUCK. I yell up to Dr. J. "Um honey, I think we have a mouse." "I'm not surprised he says. The kids leave crap everywhere." What do I want...I want him to come down and find the thing and kill it, kill it with his bare hands if necessary. In the least I want him to put some d-con out or some traps. I hate rodents, and I spend almost all of my day in this house. I can not feel safe thinking there are mice here . Does he care. Nope not one bit. Looks like I'm going to be wearing shoes everywhere I go. I'm so grossed out I want to throw up. I hate vermin.

Already Messed Up

Well that is a shame. I already missed a day. Last night I came up stairs to nurse a sick baby, she has some kind of eye infection. While I was in bed the kids finished their movie and came up and feel asleep in bed with me. When I woke up this morning I had all three kids in bed and hubby was still asleep on the couch. Nothing got done last night. I left the salad on the table and I certainly forgot blogging. Bummer!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Night Out and two veggie dishes

Some girlfriends and I went out tonight...WHAT A BLESSING! I was starting to just feel a little worn down. It is amazing how great it feels to eat a meal you didn't cook, and then to leave the dishes on the table knowing you don't have to worry about the pans. An awesome feeling. Thanks girls, and to hubbies that watched kids and made it possible!!!

We at at this local restaurant most of us love. They have a good variety of pretty much everything and because they are on the more liberal side of the two towns they have quiet a bit of vegetarian fare. I'm not saying liberal = vegetarian but we have noticed that people that identify with the title of liberal often enjoy local places that sell local fare...often with lots of veggies :) This is not a hard fast rule. Anyway my friend Erica and I shared two veggie meals (these were not vegan).

The first was roasted artichokes on a whole wheat bagel.

On whole wheat bagel, open faced. Cover with roasted artichoke hearts. Add a chopped olives and grated carots. Place a slice of cheese on top and roast until cheese is nice and melted. DELICIOUS!

The second was a pesto pita. Why have I never thought to do this. We eat pitas and pesto almost every week...just not together.

Take a pita. Spread pesto on it. Put down some Swiss cheese. Toast. Cover with chopped tomatoes, lettuces and a little bit of red onion. Also supremely delicious.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Bad Dreams

Little E occasionally has bad dreams. It isn't often but the child is prone to anxiety (like his mama) so it occupies a lot of his thoughts before he goes to bed. Every goodnight prayer has to include, please help me not have bad dreams. He has also started a ritual where he wants to talk out ideas for potential dreams. "Mom give me some dream ideas," he ask from his top bunk. Okay I say, "How about you dream about going to party and all the games you would play there." "No mom, that is too complicated." "Alright how about you dream about playing with your sister." "No," he yells. Apparently he gets enough of that at home. "OK what about being WALL-E flying around in space with EVA." "Yes," he says with a big smile, "That is a good one."

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Dentist

I took Little E to the dentist today. When we walked up to the doors E said, "I'm feeling a little nervous. This is a new place. Also do they have prizes here?" I reassured him it would be fine and there would be prizes. The hygienist was great. She let E try out all her tools. He actually shot her and the window with the sprayer. Nice. They had sun glasses to keep the light out of his eyes. Really a brilliant idea. I'm thinking about bringing some to my appointment on Thursday. She let him pick what flavor of toothpaste he wanted. When he picked grape she said, "Wow grape is my favorite too." I'm sure any flavor picked gets that response but you should have seen him smile. He was putty in her hands after that. As for the fluoride treatment, she painted it on with a tiny little brush, after she told him she was painting vitamins on. Totally painless. It maybe me think back to the misery of swishing when I was a kid. My mouth would start salivating immediately and by the time the dentist would come in to tell me I could spit, I looked like a frothing rabid chipmunk. Really this way is much better. When the dentist came in I had a stutter moment. I'd met a dentist in the lobby. He was an older, balding, Indian guy with buggy eyes. Our dentist meanwhile looks like some character off a CW show. He was young, unmarried, good looking. I thought about mentioning I had single sisters. It wouldn't hurt to have a dentist in the family. The best part of the appointment, new toothbrushes, flossers, sand timers, and prizes. G bear scored double, no appointment but they let her have all the booty :)

Monday, November 2, 2009

Public Broadcasting Service

I love PBS...so much so that when the TV signal went digital and our converter box wouldn't work well enough to pick it up I insisted we get basic cable. So now we spend nine dollars a month to watch "free TV". It is totally worth it. What I love:

Sesame Street-I watched this show as a child. Now my children love it. ELMO drives me nuts. That little voice is so annoying but everything else is great. Murry Had A Little Lamb cracks me up every time.



Word Girl-Teaches awesome vocabulary.

The Electric Company-Both my kids love this show. A lot of language art skills are still above their pay grade but it amazing what they pick up. The story lines are silly but tolerable for parents and I love seeing the different ways they introduce topics.





Masterpiece Theater - Um everything. I love everything. To many jewels to mention. The same goes for it's sister series Mystery. Many of these productions were produced in England and they are of English works. I love English writers, especially mystery so this is a treat for me. BBC produces many of them. Who doesn't love BBC for their news. Just one more reason PBS is the best. Dr. Who is another personal favorite. Do we see a trend emerging. I tried to tell Dr. J we need to spend some time in England. He doesn't get it. I might be obsessed.

Nature is awesome. Last night we were watching a special on babies...mama lions trying to prevent their babies from being killed by the new king of their group. It was intense. I could go on and on. But I think I've made my point :)

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Mac Book...I wish!

Our laptop is on its last leg. We bought it the summer before G bear was born. At almost three, G bear is doing great, not so for the three year old computer. Each day she gets faster the laptop gets slower. More knowledge increases her abilities...not so for our little Dell. Dr. J and I have started hinting around to each other that maybe it is time to move on to a new computer. At Sam's while we peruse the shelves we talk about how laptops today have more memory than our desk top. We talk about speed. We talk about nifty options. We mention the fact that decent memory is actually very affordable. At our home computer advertisements are being looked at and left out for the other spouse to see. Each day involves a yelling session at our dell about how slow it is. Secretly I hid my birthday money and a cash back visa card and figured that after Dr. J's b-day we'd add his loot to mine and go out and get something new, fast, and sleek...something that can handle life more like our daughter. What I had not anticipated would be the Apple Dilemma. You see I come from an Apple family. I can still remember our first Apple computer. My mom bought it used from some business park when I was in first grade. It had a tiny screen, maybe ten inches diagonal and the only colors were green and brighter green. There was a writing program and some sort of drawing program. I swear it was called kidpics but that is probably just my imagination. It had a printer that used reels of paper. It had this awesome little rainbow apple logo. I thought it was the greatest ever because I could typed out my cub reporter articles rather then turning them in hand written. I could use spell check, although I rarely did. That computer was probably the only cool thing my family ever accomplished. My mother recognized computers were going to be household objects long before the rest of the public did. Since that time my family has had many different computers and during my mom's second marriage we even had a long stint of PC use, but since her divorce she has reverted to her Apple loving days. I think it has something to do with her being a teacher. These are the people in my immediate family who own a Mac Book. My mother, my sister JoJo, my sister Flo, my brother David, and my brother Danny who actually owns two. Meanwhile my sister Ang and I, the two married ones, are using Dell computers. For the most part I haven't minded. In fact for years I got irritated at Apple for their obvious branding (stupid white) but in the interest of good research I decided to check them out again. One of the most disappointing feature with our laptop has been it's battery life. Enter the Mac Book....I feel like angles should be singing. Their computer has a seven hour battery life. Add to that the fact that it is suppose to last five years...well seriously lets shout a hallelujah! Have you ever paid to replace your battery? It is not pretty. Another irritation has been our susceptibility to viruses. Even using our firewalls we've been hit a couple times. Apple, because of it's smaller market value has been largely left alone. Apple also has cool features like built in web cam (although most new PC have this feature as well) and great programs like garage band and movie making software. And then there was the whole Windows fiasco. Did I really want to join the Vista crew? Was it worth it to switch everything over to Windows 7? The thoughts are just exhausting. I actually decided I was going to opt in to the fruit business my family so fully enjoys. Then reality struck. For your money Apple is just so much more expensive. How did my family afford to go this path. Have they picked computers over food? My mother says if you love something you are willing to make sacrifices, but seriously folks, the thing is like three times as expensive when you add everything you need. How depressing. So here is the Apple Dilemma. Now I'm itching to take a bite but realize I'm going to need a whole lot more birthdays to be able to afford it :(

Coolest House On The Block

Four words: Full Sized Candy Bars
I was standing in Sam's looking at my Halloween candy choices. There were bags of fun sized bars. I think a bag of 120 was close to ten bucks. An aisle over I could get a box of thirty full sized candy bars for 11. I contemplated the decision for all of about thirty seconds and then grabbed the box. When I came home Dr. J (the cheapskate...it can't be an insult if the term is self bestowed) asked me if I was nuts. No honey I told him, "I just want to be the coolest house on the block." It was worth it. While Dr. J took Little E and G bear around in the wagon, I waited for unsuspecting tricksters. They would walk up to my door, admire my four awesome holiday pumpkins, and then ring the bell, giggling with anticipation. I'd open the door to a chorus of "Trick or treat". Then they would see the bucket. "Oh my gosh! You're awesome. Mom, dad they have full sized bars." the older ones would yell. The little ones would just get big eyes and gulp. There were a few set backs. At one point after Dr. J was back, I heard him tell one quick little trick-or-treater to please put the second, third, and fourth bar he'd grabbed back, but overall it was a huge success. At one point after a particularly grateful crowd went through little E excited yelled, "It is a contest to pass out the most candy and we are winning!" Had I bought the fun sized bars I probably would have tossed three or four in each kids bag and the end results of sugar and calories would have been the same but something about seeing those large bars just captured the imagination. I guess I just love adoration and am willing to buy it...with full sized candy bar love :)


Tuesday, October 27, 2009

When Looking For a Job it is All About Who You Know

When looking for a new job it is important to remember that almost as important as what you know is who you know. My baby sister recently got an AWESOME JOB working for an Internet company with whom I have many interactions. The pay is great. The insurance benefits are some of the best I've ever heard of, there is college course reimbursement, lots of room to move up, stability, and stock options. She heard about the opening because her boyfriend's brother works for the company. She applied but three weeks later had not heard back. When she mentioned this to her "brother-in-law" he made a trip over to human resources and told them they should pull her file. This was crucial in her getting an opportunity to interview for the job. It turns out that she was just one in over a thousand applicants who had applied. With that many applications it is easy to get looked over. Her "brother-in-law" made it possible for her to get an interview, than she used her skills to land the job. It reminds me of my days as a student. There was a job board at our school but it seemed like every job up there had either already been filled or was quickly filled by a friend of someone currently working the job. After six months of looking for a job that's how I finally landed mine. My roommate was an afternoon secretary. When the morning secretary quit she told me to apply. I remember my interview. I went in to meet the department chair. He looked at my resume and said, "So I see you are a zoology major. I'm reading this great book about Jane Goodall." And then we spent the rest of the interview talking about Jane. He never asked me how fast I typed. He didn't question my filing, phone, or computer skills. We simply spent twenty minutes talking about Jane and chimpanzees. After I left he asked my roommate if she liked me. She told him I was great and next thing I knew I had the job. Friends and family are a great resource when looking for work. They can let you know about job openings, they can make sure your resume gets noticed, and in the end they can be your number one reference. Just a reminder on one of your best resources when looking for work.

Blindside

I was watching So You Think You Can Dance (an incredibly embarrassing addiction I have) and noticed a movie preview for The Blindside: Evolution of the Game. I'm not sure how the movie will go, I'm just not a Sandra Bullock fan, but I think the book is excellent, a great read! It is my favorite kind of non-fiction, a great story with interesting dinner conversation facts. The story describes Michael Oher a homeless African-American high school student who is adopted by a white upper middle class family the Tuohys. Michael Oher was a survivor. He was blessed by God with incredible athletic talent and survival instincts but without love, supervision, and support his life was heading nowhere fast. The Tuohy family was blessed with financial security, love, and grace. They saw Michael and instinctively reached out, in the process joining him to their family. If you're curious about his story there is a good video clip here. In between Oher's story is the story of the evolution of the leftside tackle, the position Michael plays, and how it became so important that it's pay grade is second highest, only beat out by the quarter back position. I think this book is definitely worth checking out. I wonder what the world would be like if every forgotten child could find their way into the arms of a family like the Tuohy family.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Sometimes it isn't just about motivation...

So I went back to the gym, two days in a row. The first day I alternated walking and running in two minute stretches for 20 minutes. That ten minutes of running killed me. I thought, am I really this out of shape? Apparently I am because at that point I quit and just walked my last ten minutes before doing the weight circuit. The next day I ran a full mile. Then I quit and walked. It was encouraging. What happened next can only be describe as ironic. My kid got the flu and my foot hurts every time I flex it back. So now I have the motivation to work but can't take the kids to the gym, and even if I could even walking is painful. I think I'll go eat some chocolate chips :(

Saturday, October 24, 2009

When I was a kid, an OCD moment

When I was a kid and I would step on a crack with foot A, I would than have to step on a crack with foot B, but with less force so that the feeling I was experiencing on the bottom of foot B would match the feeling I was experiencing on foot A. Sometimes I'd have to step on the line several more times with foot A and B in order to get the feeling "right". When I told Dr. J this last night and asked if he'd ever done something similar he gave me the look that says, "You are a nut ball and do my children have these genes?". What I didn't tell him is that when I said kid, I could have included a year ago...eek! I was thinking about the whole thing because I'd just finished:

Life in Rewind: The Story of a Young Courageous Man Who Persevered over OCD and the Harvard Doctor Who Broke All the Rules to Help Him.

Terry Weible Murphy was the author. Edward E. Zine was the Courageous Man. Michael A. Jenike was the Doctor.

This story was interesting. The writing was decent although the title is misleading. Edward Zine had OCD. It was bad. To find out how bad read the book but for a teaser lets just say a bed covered in green slime. Dr. Michael Jenike started a clinic that deals with OCD. You can tell Terry Murphy thinks he is a saint. Edward and Michael are friend. Michael tried to help Edward. I'm really unclear on what "all the rules were that he broke". I guess the common sense ones? The "establishment"? Well whatever rules, he didn't really help Edward. More like he had to leave Edward because even for him Edward was just to hard to deal with. One day Edward managed himself enough to come back to the functioning world. Both men live intesting lives. The story definitely made me think about mental illness and my own family. The writing is good, but certain things about the organization make me feel just not quite "right" :)

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Small Family?

Is a family of five still considered a small family or have they moved on to the realm of a mid sized family? Growing up Mormon has irrevocably altered my perception on these things.

Friday, October 16, 2009

That Magical Age

Today is my birthday. I've reached what my mom calls THE MAGICAL AGE! Why is it magical? It is magical because it is the age that no woman ever goes past. Welcome to 29. How is it possible I have reached this point. In my mind, I'm still 21...which I realize considering all three of my younger sister have passed that point is physically impossible. So it is time to say goodbye to that point. I'm 29. I think back to where I thought I'd be at this point. Am I there? Have I made it? What have I accomplished in my life.

1) I've known my husband now 8 years. Seems like just yesterday he stopped me on the street. Now we are forever entwined.
2) I've pretty much finished my childhood and college scrap books. Now I need to get back to my kids'.
3) I have a bachelors degree in a field I actually like.
4) I've worked on several published studies and am currently working on one of Dear Dr. J's. Maybe someday we will actually finish it.
5) I survived a transatlantic flight with a two year old and pregnant belly.
6) I've seen the pyramids...the ones in Egypt people :)
7) I've learned how to make a perfect loaf of wheat bread.
8) I've been the primary president in two wards. When we move from here I'm going to make a strong push on our next bishop that I'm ready to try something new :)
9) I have three beautiful children, Little E took 38 1/2 hours of labor.
10) G bear had me the skinniest I've ever been in my adult life at five months pregnant.
11) Peach has to survive with parents who have two other children.
12) I've been married over seven years. This anniversary will put us at having the longest first marriage of any of our parents.
13) I survived my first bad parent teacher conference.
14) I taught myself how to sew.
15) I know what a runners high feels like.
16) I've painted my walls colors...something my mother would never allow when I was a child.
17) I've enjoyed hair all the way down to my butt and a pixie cut.
18) I own a mini van and actually love having it.
19) I've been married to a student for almost eight years, which means I know how to get more for my money and what it is like to be a single mom with a boyfriend who occasionally stops by :)
20) I finally joined a cell phone plan.
21) I can cook a cheese cake that is not out of a Kraft box.
22) I've driven 18 hours with three kids, all by myself.
23) I've overcome a shoe addiction.
24) I maintain three bogs...although one is severely neglected.
25) I can braid baby hair.
26) I keep my bathrooms clean.
27) I know what I want to be when I grow up, and Dr. J is finally through school.
28) I love my family and still talk to them at least once a week or more but can survive living on the other side of the country.
29) I actually enjoy the city of Chicago. This took years so it is an accomplishment.

What more do I want to do in my life.

1) I want to go back to school. I want to become something really cool. I'm waiting for Dr. J to finish first :)
2) I want to write a book.
3) I still want a National Geographic article...but since it doesn't really fit with my school plans we will have to see.
4) I want to raise three outstanding citizens of this world who have something to contribute and love each other.
5) I want to always support my husband and for us to always be happy together.
6) I want to figure out all the settings on my Cannon.
7) I want to print my Jordan blog out in a scrap book.
8) I want to learn to make jewelry.
9) I want to make a difference in this world.
10) I want to live somewhere I can pick up an accent.
11) I want to be a vegetarian but just can't figure out how to give up meat...I LOVE IT :)
12) I want to go to Hawaii.
13) I want to learn to wind surf and sail.
14) I want to run again.

Luckily for me I have a lifetime of 29th birthdays so I can get this all done :)

Friday, October 9, 2009

Worth It

Woke up in Denver: 3:30am. Left Denver: 5am. Ate lunch in Kearney, Nebraska: 11:30am. Nursed at some random rest stop in Iowa: 3:00pm. Listened to kids scream for two hours. Ate dinner in Des Moines with old college roommate: 5:30pm. Left her house and bribed kids with candy and donuts: 8pm. Listened to kids complain for two hours. Propped eyes open with coke: 10pm. Got to central Illinois: 1:30am. Unloaded the kids into beds by myself: 1:45 am. Curled up next to my still sleeping honey who had no idea I wasn't staying in Des Moines last night: 2am.....TOTALLY WORTH IT!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Whole Wheat Cookie Bars

This recipe is for whole wheat cookie bars. They are totally delicious and a great way to get more fiber into your kids. Thank Erika for showing me the way :)

Whole Wheat Cookie

Mix:
2 eggs
1 cup oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon backing powder
1 teaspoon backing soda
2 unpacked cups of brown sugar
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
3 cups oatmeal
1/2 bag to a full bag of chocolate chips

Spray pan, either 9 by 13 for thicker cookies or half a baker sheet for thinner.

Put in oven at 350 for 20-25 minutes.

Let cool slightly and cut into bars.

video



video


video

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Wrong Type of Praise?

This is awesome. My friend is in this video telling a little untruth to her daughter. From what I understand her children have ribbed her about it pretty hard. I wonder if she realized she was part of the experiment. I'm definitely taking this video into consideration on my parenting style. We recently had a very poor parent teacher conference. In less than fifteen minutes our son's teacher mentioned structured preschool three times. We are still a little unclear on if she was suggesting we should have put him in structure preschool or if she was suggesting we should pull him from school and put him in now. It was very discouraging. We came home and evaluated what she had said. With somethings we agree with her. He is shy and immature. This manifest itself in the fact that he doesn't sit perfectly in his chair at all times and is timid about projects. With some things we totally disagree. One frustrating aspect was the fact that she marked him incapable of doing things that we have proof that he does, which means he either does not do these things at school or she isn't spending enough time with him to actually see him do them. Also frustrating is to have a teacher prepping you for holding your child back at the end of the year when two months in he is already capable of doing all the things you were capable of doing at the end of a year of kindergarten. Thank you no child left behind legislation. We have conflicting views on how to deal with his "issues". She wants me to make home life more structured to match school and to push him to work more on his penmanship. I think that is nuts. I have been inspired by this tape though. I liked how the Hong Kong mom's responded to their children's bad test scores. They helped them find ways to learn the material so their children could do better. We are trying something similar at home and with very little effort are seeing big pay outs. We've started journal writing at home. Invest in some five cent notebooks and you are set. Friday night E spent a significant amount of time writing stories about making a pizza and checking a video out from the store...the two fun things we did that day. I'll also made some simple flash cards with scrapbook paper I never use. We've also been working on following directions and I've been working on stressing, "Good effort" versus "You are so smart." Because I do think he is so smart...but apparently that doesn't help a child to hear :)

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Ms. MD

When you are married to a doctor and the Saturday shift is suppose to end at noon...it is no big surprise when you get a call at 1:30 saying, "I'll be home in just a second, I just need to finish filling out some discharge paperwork." It is also no surprise when a 10pm shift doesn't end until 1:30am, because when there is a baby on the floor seizing how are you going to leaving. Just one reason your friendly doctor deserves some bucks...because you know he owes his wife nice presents to make up for the "over time" :)

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Breastfeeding: The Stresses, The Joys

Breastfeeding is such an emotionally issue for me. You carry this child in your body for nine months and almost everything that makes it comes from you. You support it, you feed it, you keep it warm, and protected. Then you birth your child and it is once again up to you to support you child, to protect it, and to most importantly feed it. Breastfeeding is a natural thing; humans have engaged in the practice since the beginning of our species. It is something with share with all the other mammals on earth. For thousands of years it has been an integral part of our species propagation and yet it does not always come naturally.

With big E, it took 72 hours for my milk to come in. Those three days were torture. My baby was hungry and was crying for food almost constantly. He was jaundiced and had lost a pound since his birth. I knew he needed food and I wanted to give it to him, but nothing was coming from my breast. My hungry baby had sucked my nipples into scabs and still nothing. Finally after 72 hours the milk came in. I can remember that euphoric moment. I was sleep deprived, had sore breast, and could barely sit without wincing but when little E choked on that first mouthful of milk I wanted to jump up and scream for joy. I won't say that I totally loved breastfeeding, but for the first year of my son's life it was the way I feed him. He loved it and it was no surprise that he was quickly in the 90% percentile in weight. I didn't mind and all in all it went pretty well.

When G-bear was born my milk came in a whole day earlier. Unlike her brother though, G-bear was a horrible nurser. From birth she was a finicky eater. She would eat just enough to get my milk to let down and then she would fall asleep or pull away to play. When she was ten months old my appendix burst and after three horrible days of trying to deal at home with a "swollen lymph node" (the diagnosis of the idiot emergency room doc). When my family doctor finally figured it out, I was sent to the hospital to have an emergency appendectomy. A family friend at the ER gave me a blessing and took my kids home. That night my daughter was weened. I guess it was a blessing she was never that into nursing. Still I will always love Liz the sweet woman who took my kids that night.

When Peach was born I thought that breastfeeding would be cake. I figured my milk would come in even sooner than it did with G-Bear. I was wrong. Peach was a vigorous nurser, and I nursed her every two hours, and anytime she cried. At the hospital the only thing that got us was scabby nipples. When we came home my milk still was not in and Peach was quickly losing weight. At three days old the pediatrician had her come in, and then because of her massive weight loss requested I come in the next day. I nursed her all that day, and still my milk did not come in. We had actually passed the 72 hour mark of my milk coming in and there was nothing. In desperation that night I gave her a little formula after she has nursed twenty minutes on each side. I repeated this regiment after each feeding that night and again in the morning. Finally when I went in to the doctor her weight loss had stabilized but I still had no milk. There was no let down and I could see her getting no milk. At this point I was in tears. After having a baby your hormones are crazy, you are not getting any sleep, and not being able to feed your own child puts you over the edge. I would sit on the couch or on my bed crying while Peach frantically tried to get milk to come. I spent quit a bit of time at the breastfeeding clinic at our local hospital. They were amazing! These women are so calm, and they are such good advocates for mom and baby, a calming force in a sea of hormones. They watched me feed her, weighed her, and gave out lots of advice. Finally at a week she was able to get a little milk out. It wasn't much but she was finally getting enough to measure on a pre feeding/post feeding weigh in. I kept at it, nursing every two hours, and at two weeks she hit close to her birth weight and had a three ounce feeding. After that I was able to relax a little. Since that time Peach has become a champion nurser, and has quickly gained in height and weight. She is far from obesse but has the look of health. My milk supply is different then it was with my other children. I don't spend lots of time engorged and for the most part have no need for breast pads, but the milk is there when I needed it, and Peach has been able to get enough to sleep through the night since she was a month and a half. I'm happy for her. I'm grateful to my body for finally pulling through for me.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Slum Dog Millionaire

Who hasn't heard about Slum Dog Millionaire, between the Oscar buzz and the Human Rights violations Slum Dog had the world talking. There didn't seem to be a day that went by that I didn't hear some new tidbit. A couple of weeks ago I brought It home from the library. When I told Dr. J it was about a boy on the Indian version of Who Wants to be a Millionaire he fell asleep on the couch. Five minutes in I knew I had to wake him up. It was so bright, so full of life. From the moment the boys start running through the slum I could tell it was going to be something special. The premise is ridiculous and genius. The acting can be cheesy and heart breaking. There is violence, evil, extreme poverty, desperation, exploitation, murder, and yet somehow at the end I was happy. There was an overflow of color. It is not a movie to be taken lightly. I didn't realize until after the movie was over that it was rated R, but I wasn't surprised to find that out later. Multiple murders are witnessed. A man is set on fire. A young boy is blinded. A girl is exploited. Poverty abounds. Still though there is something about it that just catches the imagination. I had to add it to my top five favorite movies. The list currently includes:

Edward Scissor Hands
Forest Gump
The Painted Veil
Benjamin Button
and now
Slum Dog Millionaire

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

A delicious snack!

Looking for something light and delicious...try a small bowel full of frozen grapes. I've actually started getting an extra bag of grapes to freeze. I rinse them, pull them off the stems, and throw them in a freezer bag. Delicious.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

A Hero's Funeral

My cousin buried her husband today. My mom said the chapel was completely full of just family. I wish I could have been there. You are a good wife Brooke. We all love you and are thinking of you everyday.

To My Baby Sister

Please explain what you want me to tell my daughters :)

Spider

I came out with little E on Friday when his carpool showed up. Anchored to my van and a tree was this crazy spider web. This of what an engineer feet it is to have created something so complex in a night that but for four anchors was completely free standing. It was incredible...and creepy. Spiders make my skin crawl. To truly understand how amazing this is, check out picture numero 4. That brown dot about three inches off the hood of my car, right above the tree is the spider sitting in his web.




A side shot. The wind was blowing and he just kept surfing it out.



This incident of course made E's day.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Afghanistan

My favorite cousin growing up was Brooke. We were only a year apart in age and so we would spend all of our time together playing at family parties. She was funny and sweet and we had a lot of fun trying to avoid housework and our little sisters. As we've grown up she has continued to be funny and sweet. She served a mission for our church. She went to college and became a teacher, and than just two years ago she married Cory Jenkins, an equally sweet and fun guy. He was a physicians assistant who moved her to Washington where he had been stationed with the United States Army. Brooke got pregnant and had this sweet little baby Reagan just a few days after my little Peach was born. A month later her husband shipped out with his group for a year tour in Afghanistan. Monday he died. His convey drove over a roadside bomb and he and the three other people in his vehicle were killed. In an instant that was it. Cory Jenkins, loving husband and son, brand new father, healer was gone from this world.

I don't want to debate about the politics of the war in Iraq or Afghanistan. My personal feelings on Iraq are mixed but I'm sure of my feelings on Afghanistan. Long before September 11th that country was taken hostage by an extremist group. Afghanistan was a functioning country with a well educated population, but the Taliban shut away half that population forbidding them to be outside their homes without a male relative. Health care, education, and politics were crippled, which led to a downward spiral in quality of life for almost the entire country. I was in college at the time, a member of Amnesty International, calling jewelers to find out if they had blood diamonds in their shops. We watched what was going on in Afghanistan and prayed someone would step up to help but no one did, and we were just dorky kids who didn't know how to do anything. When September 11th happened the US went to Afghanistan but the majority of the troops were sent to Iraq. Over time the Taliban gained strength again and the fighting in Afghanistan has continued on, and for many people including myself become almost background noise. I've watched Good Morning America where they mention, "Four soldiers died in Afghanistan or Iraq today" and the number briefly registers and then I move on with my day. I lost sight of the fact that when they say, "Four soldiers died today," what they are really saying, is that today for four families the world has essentially stopped turning. Forty-Five military families have lost someone this month alone. Lets not forget that this isn't just numbers but these are families lives. Here is a site that helps military families. I'm going to try and be more aware of not just what is happening in my own family but what is happening all over the world.