Monday, July 13, 2009

happy birthday to you

My dearest most darling D girl is turning 11 today. Sigh, the years are passing more and more quickly. I swear she was just walking to the bus for the first time, at our place in Houston, looking very tiny and nervous. Now she'll be in 6th grade, heading off to the big and scary world of middle school.

We hosted 4 of her good friends for a beauty filled slumber party this weekend and it was a blast. My mother in-law came over and helped give the girls facials, manicures and pedicures. They loved it, but I was surprised with how well they just found things to do (I was prepared to have to entertain the entire party). The evening was filled with lots of fun, girlie movies and they all finally passed out around 2:30am. Needless to say, I am still recovering and could use 1 more good nights sleep at least.

At her request, we are grilling tonight. She's not a cake girl (and this would have been her 2nd cake), so we're doing ice-cream sundaes after dinner.

The years go by so quickly, I should be thankful (and am) that she still wants to hang out (sometimes) and that she still thinks I am cool (sometimes) and that she loves me so so much (always). I know several of those things will change as she continues to age, and then hopefully change back as she matures in to an adult.

I wish I had some pictures on the computer of her baby years, but here are a few from our past. My big, sweet, loving girl...

Friday, June 19, 2009

life in general

It's finally starting to feel like summer and that means that we've been outside a ton. Great for me, the kids, life in general. Not so good for keeping the blog udpated!

Not much new to report. D is in partial-day arts and crafts summer camp and we are in the process of registering L for preschool! Work is going well for Andy and I am excited to get started with school in the fall. Just hoping that some of the federal grant funds come through so that I can actually afford it!

I've been busy knitting whenever I get a free moment. Socks are still my passion, however I have a wrap and a shawl on the needles, as well as a very neglected sweater that would be super cute if I ever finished it!

I'll leave you with some current (or at least recent in D's case, preteens HATE having their pictures taken) photos of the kids!

Friday, April 24, 2009

off to have some peaches

Wow, my father in-law will be here in less than half an hour to pick me up and take me to the airport. We're bringing along the kids, and my brother in-law just in case the dude starts to melt when I actually get out of the car. I don't think A will have any clue what is going on, she' s used to me going places and wouldn't get that I was going on an airplane. Ah, as I sit here typing this, dude is hugging me and saying "Mom, pweese don't go on an airplane. I want to come too." Oh boy, this should be fun.

Once I get passed the leaving the car part my only worries are getting passed security with my knitting needles (I have the TSA statement printed out in case they give me a hard time), and take-off. God I hate take-off. I figure I'll be able to eat lunch and have a Starbucks before I have to board, both of which will help my nerves greatly.

So Atlanta, Amanda, Stitches South.... Here I come baby!!!!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

the never ending illness


We've been sick for almost a month now counting Andy and the kids. D had it the least of the bunch, just a headache/sore throat for a few days but L and A were hit hard. Almost two weeks for each of them, both getting a break for about a day and then getting a lot lot worse before getting better. L has really been hit hard. He started feeling bad the Friday before Easter, got a bit better, then worse, then better, then worse. Both he and Miss A fought high fevers for almost 5 straight days, and his has come and gone too. Tricking the poor dude (and us) in to thinking he was better, only to come back harder within 24 hours.

I am hoping that he is on the last part, as his fever has stayed away for more than a full day and the congestion has moved in to his chest where it can get broken up and stay gone. It has meant an upset stomach and lots of hacking though, neither of which are pleasant.

D took an overnight trip with school to a camp in WI to have two days (and one night) of in nature learning. They will do/have done a rock quarry, a pond viewing and looking at scum under a microscope, along with some really fun craft times too. Both Andy and I went in the 5th grade, it's a bit of a rite of passage around here and something that is really looked forward to by anyone even approaching 5th grade. I was shocked by the price at first, but then found out that it included all meals, transportation on a nice Coach bus with a movie (not the old yellow school buses), all activities, etc. So while still painful on the wallet, it was worth it. She comes home tonight and I cannot wait to hear how it went. We sent her with a camera, so if I get the pictures developed soon I can scan them in to the computer and post with her trip details.

Just a small update from our corner of the world. Pics and camp details to come soon.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

totally not kid related

So just to share a bit of what is going on in our world that is not kid related...

Andy is doing great at work, we feel very blessed to have his job and his skills keeping us afloat in these times. It's golf and baseball season, so I am trying to get a better understanding of both in the hopes of actually enjoying these things with him this time around! If I can get him to teach me to golf, it might be a fun thing for us both.

I have applied for school, and while I was hoping to start this summer it looks like it will have to be this fall. That's okay, what ever puts me on my path to getting my RN. I am hoping that I will be admitted to Oakton's nursing program, it is pretty competitive so I need to take a few classes and really ace them in order to stand a chance. Fall will be very busy for me, for us.

Besides school and the kids, I am just really enjoying cooking, baking and knitting. I'm still going to my weekly knitting group and loving it more and more. Getting out of the house for "me" time once a week has given me a much healthier life balance. Speaking of getting out of the house, next week I am flying to Atlanta to spend the weekend with my friend, Amanda, without the kids!!! Andy will have all three Friday through Sunday and this will be my first trip by myself since Deja was 2 or 3. I am very nervous and very excited. She's got a great weekend full of food, running, and Stitches South (a most awesome knitting convention) planned for us.

I'll leave you with a few pics of non-kid stuff just for fun.

One of several pairs of socks that I am working on (this one has been finished, its mate is on the needles now)

Homemade tomato soup, my current favorite

Focaccia fresh out of the oven (and seen above paired with the soup)

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

two whole months

Wow, I logged in today and realized that it's been two whole months since I've posted anything. And longer than that since I've posted any updates or current pics of the kids. So so bad, so so sorry! There was a three week fiasco where we switched internet providers and lost all service (but yea for large credits) and honestly, I'm up to my ears in toddler mayhem on a daily basis. Good toddler mayhem, but it keeps me up and moving and away from the computer for most of the day.

Little Miss A is such a toddler now, she's talking more and more and she is a dare-devil in the worst way. She can climb on almost anything and has no sense of fear. She loves pushing buttons and especially has her daddy figured out when it comes to that.

L is insanely smart (yes, I know all parents think that about their kids). He's thriving on puzzles and sports and anything that lets him move or think. We're currently getting over a bout with the flu, but he's handled it like a champ.

D got a shining report card and is really thriving in school which is wonderful. She's discovered a few book series that she likes, and it's great to see her get in to reading as much as I did (and still do). Her best friend moved in above us and it's been non-stop running back and forth which is about all I can ask for as a parent of a pre-teen. So thankful to have someone that she likes so close by.

I'll try to be better on the updates, there is more, but I don't want a mile long post. So for now I'll leave you with some newer pics of the kids...

Monday, February 16, 2009

6th Photo Tag

Well, between having no internet for a few weeks and the kids and I enjoying the slightly warmer weather, I've yet again neglected the poor blog. I will be better, I swear. Got some great pics of them at the park that I will post soon.

For now, my dearest friend Cat tagged me and now I must post, lol. The game goes like this...
"Open the 6th picture folder on your computer, open the 6th picture in that folder, and blog it. Write something about it and then tag 6 more people to do the same."

This is from last fall, when I was first getting used to staying home full time with the kids. Just a goofy moment when they both decided to look at me and smile at the same time I was taking a picture (a rare moment to have them BOTH looking, smiling, etc). I love the sunglasses on L's head and A looks so much smaller there!

Okay, I tag....





and well, because I am a loser when it comes to blogging communities, and a chicken to include blogs I read but never comment on, that's everyone I can tag!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Marvelous Menu Mondays

So I've been getting back in to menu planning. Thought I would post them here weekly (on Mondays) in hopes that it will help me stick with them. The goal for the year, along with healthier eating in general, is to make as much as I can from scratch and stay away from super refined foods. That said, I think I am keeping King Arthur Flours in business single handedly, with all of the baking I've been doing. I'm absolutely hooked on their flours.

I received possibly the most awesome cookbook ever for my birthday back in December and I am finally putting it to good use, almost daily. If you need (or want) a good vegetarian cookbook, this is the one that I would list as a "must".

As we are a split household on the veg'n/meat eater front, I will often list two items as main dishes (or lots of smaller dishes) as I aim to please all parties seated at the table.

Monday (already done): Sloppy Joes with homemade wheat rolls/baked tofu nuggets, and corn

Tuesday: Tomato soup, herbed chicken breast, salad

Wednesday: Pasta with homemade sauce, steamed green beans

Thursday: YO-YO (you're on your own)/left-over clean up night

Friday: Pizza from scratch (OMG yum) and salad

I don't cook much on Sat, and only some Sundays. Those tend to be left-over clean up or eating with extended family days.

If I ever talk about anything on here that peaks your interest, please feel free to ask for a recipe. I'm always happy to pass them along!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Harder Times

I have never been one to do well with hard things. I tend to pretend like they didn't happen until whatever it is festers long enough and I explode. I don't know why, it is something that I have actively tried to change and yet can't. From fighting to dealing with death, it's what I have done since I was little. So forgive me for not posting about these things in a more timely manner, I have been avoiding it.

First, our complex had a fire the weekend after Christmas. Andy was in Houston with his dad and brother, D was spending the weekend with my parents and thankfully the babies and I were with my mother in-law for the night. She and I heard the fire engines starting just before 10, and she commented that it was a heck of a night for a fire, the winds were bad. The engines kept coming, and eventually we both went to sleep, thinking that it must be a bad fire somewhere. Around midnight, she wakes me to tell me that the fire is at our apartment complex (about 5 minutes away)... Our place is fine but the units directly across from us were on fire and it was bad.

I drove over and had to walk in two blocks due to the amount of emergency vehicles that were there. I've never seen a response like it in my life and hope never to see anything like this again.

We know two out of the three families well, and the third in passing. The fire started on the second floor, in D's best friend's apartment. Thankfully they were not home, neither were the third floor tenants. Those units were the worst with fire damage. Our friends on the first floor were home, but made it out safely. All three units are destroyed. I could see straight through the roof on Sunday morning before they boarded everything up. Two cats did not make it out but no human lives were lost, thank god.

Our place still smells of smoke when the wind blows, and it smells strongly outside still. I didn't think that it would affect me as much as it has, given that we weren't here when it happened. However, every time I have heard sirens or seen a fire engine pass, I still check out my window. I can't wait until that response passes.

The view from our bedroom window....

Tape still left from when the area was blocked off across the street...

Additionally, this past weekend marked the one year anniversary of a very good friends passing. Andy made a beautiful cross to put at his grave site and we spent good times with friends remembering him. You were and are very loved Rob and we all miss you so very very much.

Friday, January 2, 2009

all wrapped up

I cannot believe how badly I neglected this over the holidays. A huge part of it was the constant right up until Christmas Eve knitting like a mad woman. I've never finished anything so close to a deadline including for work or school! It was all worth it though, everything was more appreciated than I could have imagined and it brings me so much joy seeing them wear their hats/socks/etc constantly.

So that was right up until Christmas, the actual holiday was great. We had our traditional Christmas Eve with my in-laws, started by going to preschool mass this year (very smart move in theory), dinner and then opening some presents with them.

When Andy and I had the kids in bed by 10 we thought we were set. We waited and waited to put out the presents, and it ended up being close to 1am before we hopped in bed. Wouldn't you know it... Our heathen children were awake at 4, 4:30 and 4:45am so we were opening presents before 5am. I have never been so tired, ever! We could have made D wait, she'd get it at 10, but A was the first awake and would not go back to sleep, so there was no fighting it.

Christmas day/evening was spent at my parents house and it was another awesome time. We left rather early given the length of time that we'd spent awake earlier in the day, but made it home okay.

I won't bore you with New Years stories or resolutions. We had an awesome time with a small home party that came around last minute. I honestly hope we get to do it again next year.

There was a horrid something that happened. There is too much and it would make this post too long, so I will update more about that tomorrow. Our lives were touched, but not damaged or changed. Some of our friends were not as lucky.

Much love to you all in the new year!