Spring Break: Day One
Lucy is walking now!
Officially, Travis has Spring Break this week and it couldn't have come at a better time. (I'm burned out). So, aside from my usual no-shower, lie-on-the-couch morning routine, we have planned to tackle the basement.
It just might take more than the three hours we have while our friends watch the kids this afternoon.
It might take the whole week....


Once Upon a Potty
I've been gradually building Finn up for serious, no diapers potty training. He knows how to go pee in the toilet and up until this morning had not tackled the #2. So, I've talked and talked and talked about the #2 process, hoping he would get excited and just want to do it. Well, this morning after several tries and false starts, he managed to sink the big one. I think his motivation was the little metal garbage truck sitting on the shelf at the Children's Museum that I promised he could have if he did the deed. So, he went, we got Lucy up from her nap, went to the jungle (aka museum), weaved through the lines of people waiting to pay and picked out some trucks to last us the next few days of pooping. The way I see it, it's cheaper in the long run to get a few trucks at the beginning because I don't have to keep buying diapers. Lots of praise helps too. So, when we got home, Finn said, "Uh-oh. I'm wet." We're still working on the timing of going pee. One step forward, two steps back, or something like that.


Being Me

I tried uploading pictures twice now and I figured since I've changed two poopy diapers, cleaned up an apple mess and read some Domino mag and they still haven't uploaded, it wasn't worth the wait. They were just pictures of the kids in the bath, and frankly, I'm even sick of seeing pictures of them.

I'm just tired of being a single parent. I am very trunky. I babysat for a friend who's husband will be done with dental school in a few short weeks. I was so jealous! [I know, I know, take this whole epistle in stride: I'm just venting. Things could be alot worse, I know. ]

And, don't go to the Cleveland Children's Museum during Spring Break week. It's a madhouse. I've never seen it that busy and that ridiculously impossible to navigate through. And the parking...we won't even go there.

All I'm saying is that I just need a break. The only problem is since I've been with child, all of my creative, project-excited juices have been sapped. Do I force sewing something to feel domestic? Do I go through the motions of making sugar cookies just to feel like I've still got the Betty Crocker gene? Why am I so indecisive about everything? And, why do I lose my temper so stinking much? Finn is probably sick of me too. Well, that makes two of us.


Shots of the Shower

Last week I mentioned I was hosting a baby shower. Here's some pictures of the food, because what kind of shower doesn't have a decent spread of food? I can't take any credit for the cake, but isn't it pretty?


Spanning the Distance

Lucy smiling at Hank.

On days like today, when I've eaten two breakfasts, only keeping one down, I miss my family. I was excited to see new pictures of my nephew, Hank, on my sister's blog. Lucy and Finn were too. The miracle of the internet and blogs. They bring us a little closer to those we miss and love.


Easter Morning in Pictures

Very seriously eating her candy.

Finn and Mr. T. watching the magic capsules grow into foam dinosaurs.
Overall: fun and simple. I like things that way.


I posted the recipes for Turtle Brownies and Roasted Eggplant Spread here.
Musings on the Big Picture

I went to a special Easter meeting this week given by a man who has studied my religion and it's connection to this area's history for many, many years. We talked about the last week of Christ's mortal life and he challenged us to read about each of the events according to the day of the Easter week. He played a slideshow with pictures of the Savior corresponding to the music of Handel's "Messiah." It touched deep down into the core of who I am, a place seldom rattled or disturbed.

I rarely share my feelings about the Savior to the public audience, but I felt like it changed my life to learn more about him during this Easter season. I don't understand how he took upon Him my sins and those of all mankind. It is truly miraculous and He showed the greatest love of any being who has lived. I am sure that just as He gave His life and died, He rose from the grave and conquered death for us all as well. He was born in a stable, lived a humble, service-oriented life, and did for us what we could not do for ourselves.

So, with all of the egg-hunting, candy-eating and ham-baking this weekend (which I will be doing as well), I hope a little reflection and introspection is also a part.

Happy Easter to each of you!


And It Goes On and On
We're here and it's been one of those mornings. The kind where you force yourself out of bed to the beckoning call of a groggy child. Where everything you do becomes a question of doing it without hurling over the sink. Where the energy and patience to love and understand are mostly invisible. Where everytime I try to type this entry, Lucy hits the space bar or Finn's tower falls onto the keyboard, bringing up other boxes on the screen and changing the font. I'm hosting a baby shower tonight at my house and I'm excited to have the people here and the good food. Once I make it to the store and get my house clean, I will feel lots better. If only because usually by late afternoon I don't feel like puking. So, come today, with all of your challenges and tantrums and ironies. It can't get any worse than wearing oversized t-shirts and having two little urchins clinging to your drawstring pants.


Finn fingerpainting while the Scouts painted their pinewood derby cars.
I've been thinking...
...about this little girl's hair...
...the little mullet fuzz patch at the back. Should I cut it off or let it grow free?
And, these creations are calling my name today. "Dip me in chocolate!" say the turtles. "Put me in cellophane bags," cry the pretzel rods.
So much to do, so little energy!


Easter Candy Making
I got a little carried away at the cake-candy store a couple weeks ago. I thought, "How fun would it be to make my own chocolate Easter candy every year?" Plus, the store kind tastes pretty plasticy. The molds weren't very expensive ($1.75 to $2.50 a piece) and it really doesn't take that much chocolate to fill the solid bunny mold.
You just melt the chocolate, let it cool to body temperature, and pour it into the molds.
This one is a double-sided solid chocolate bunny. You fill both sides of the mold, then clothespin them together. Then, you prompty stick it in the freezer for about ten minutes.
Voila! Chocolate candy! It's so easy. You can also add peanut butter filling, crisp rice or marshmallow filling to the pre-set chocolates. I have yet to tackle those...
Then, you wrap in foil wrappers or cellophane bags. The packaging options are endless. I was smiling putting the bunny in the bag. There's something about the finishing touches that is so fun.
Just make sure to get good-quality chocolate with lots of cocoa butter and even taste it before you buy it! That's the fun part!


Loose Ends Monday
This was what we found under Finn's pants yesterday. He had put his Lightning McQueen underwear on, only he forgot that there are two leg holes. He had his whole waist in one leg hole.
So, today, after doing my usual sleep-on-the-couch-kids-watch-movies-thing for an entire morning, I've got the energy up to do laundry, pay bills, clean my kitchen and plan my Easter candy (I will post pictures this week). The signs of Spring are appearing on my kitchen counter....little blades of green that will soon be long and pretty.
Happy Saint Patrick's Day!


Okay, Okay, Okay
So "The Challenge" was issued by this gal and now I'm going to play along and with all the optimism I can muster I will mention some of my characteristics.
  • I have always liked having green eyes. They're not super-common and when I wear green they look even more green.
  • I like being blonde. I'm kind of strawberry-blonde like my mom and I can't afford to highlight it now, so it is pretty dark blonde.
  • I like my teeth. Dr. Dart put braces on them when I was 16 and I still wear my retainer some nights, so they're still pretty straight. I also whitened them in college. (That's not really natural beauty, but that still counts, right?)
  • I like that I don't have very nice, long strong nails. I keep them short. My toe and finger nails must be short or it drives me crazy. I like that because it means I don't have to fuss about them.
  • I am glad I have a prominent forehead. This has been a blessing and a curse my whole life, but today I think it's cool. Finn has it too. I like the soft baby hairs along my forehead hairline.

Okay, so I just have to mention some things I don't like and never have:

  • Having invisible eyebrows.
  • Having lots of moles.
  • Being so fair I have to wear sunscreen everyday in the Summer.

Overall, I'm thankful for a body that functions well, serves my needs and is amazingly complex.

I loved this quote from Russell M. Nelson about our heart:

"The heart has four delicate valves that control the direction of blood flow. They open and close more than 100,000 times a day- 36 million times a year. Unless altered by disease, they are able to withstand this stress almost indefinitely. No man-made material can be flexed so frequently and so long without breaking. Each day, the adult heart pumps enough fluid to fill a 2,000-gallon tank. At the crest of the heart is a source of electricity that transmits energy down special lines, causing myriads of muscle fibers to work together."

Amazing, miraculous, divine: our beautiful bodies!


Taco Ring Today, Babbaganoush Tomorrow

(not really, but we can always dream)

First, you brown one pound of hamburger, drain the fat and add half a packet of taco seasoning mix. To the hamburger, you add about 1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese and stir all together. Then, you take two cans of crescent rolls and arrange them overlapping into a ring shape (like above). Put the hamburger mixture around the ring. Then, you wrap the crescent points around the hamburger and tuck the ends under the ring.
Continue until the entire ring is wrapped like above.
Bake on a greased cookie sheet at 350 F for about 15-20 minutes.
Serve warm with avocado, lettuce, sour cream, salsa or anything else you like.
(Recipe courtesy Whitney.) Thanks for saving my dinner dilemma!

And what little tot isn't cute in just her diaper? I thought I'd share this with you as an omen for a happy Thursday!


Some Thoughts on Diet

I think about food alot. I eat food alot. I have to. At eight weeks along, I have figured that if I eat enough often enough, I won't throw up. It seems to work. (My two previous pregnancies were pretty pukey and I tried lots of different medications. I'm so glad that this time eating has proven effective.)

So, anyways, here are some of my random thoughts on food lately:

  • Sugar gives me headaches.
  • Just because you are craving muffins, cake, cookies, and most starchy things in general doesn't mean you should eat them.
  • Nature's bounties are the perfect thing to nourish you and your baby.
  • Sometimes eating a peanut butter and jelly sandwich at three in the morning is the only thing that will help you not feel nauseous (like last night)
  • Eating small, balanced snacks throughout the day is probably the best thing for me right now
  • No, you can never get enough hummus and pita chips or avocadoes. That's a personal law.
  • Why does babbaganoush sound so good right now?
  • Chocolate milk is so good. I could drink gallons of it a day, but good thing I don't.

Here is Finn testing out the new rocker. I give it a 8 for looks, 6 for comfort (it's a little on the hard side for something upholstered) and 9 for rockability. Overall, I'm glad we got it.


Look, Ma, Snow!

Our neighbor, Shane, made the backyard into a giant maze after the blizzard Sunday.

Finn thought he'd died and gone to heaven.

He hadn't played outside like this since Fall.

Can we do this again soon?

A little strumming after FHE last night.


Photo Shoot

Here's some of the photos Kendra took. I liked how they turned out. Thanks, Kendra!


Snowed In

We got hit by at least a foot of snow last night. During the breakfast prayer, I prayed that the snowplow man would come (he is not very reliable). And, guess what? He did!
This allowed us to go to the gym, run some other errands and only get stuck once.
We also saw:
  • mail truck stuck
  • snowplow stuck
  • four huge snowplows rush by, hurling snow at us
  • the library closed due to weather
So we came home and Travis made blueberry muffins with Finn (and a little help from Lucy).
I'm excited because I got our family pictures back from this talented lady. I'll post them soon!


He Rides Again

Well, we cancelled the carpool idea and Travis got his bike all rigged up yesterday. He walked out the door at 7:22 AM and I hope I see him walk back in around 5:30 PM today. He sort of reminds me of a missionary, with his helmet and glasses (minus the facial hair). And, yes, I was hugely relieved in not having to drive him to school today.
That allowed me to go back to what I was doing: watching movies on the couch while the kids climbed all over me and I tried to rest. For the record, I haven't really thrown up yet and I'm 7 weeks. Usually, I'd be puking right now. Maybe my body is used to the hormones by now or something. Hooray! (I just feel nauseous).