Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Advant Calendar

So I've always been envious of people who do an advant calendar.  That doesn't mean I've been especially anxious to put one together which is why I'm thinking about this November 30th, today though I came across this.


I have a muffin tin.  I'm totally going to do this, but instead of the activities she put in I'm going to fill it with these scriptures


Then we'll just read one each night unitl Christmas.  The positive on the muffin tin is there should be enough room in there to sneak in a Hershy Kiss or two.

Day 40 - Alone, 33 Things I Happen To Love About My Husband

1) He has the most amazing eyes. A perfect blue that stand out so bright when he wears blue shirts. They of course are framed by amazingly long eyelashes.
2) He is incredibly smart. That isn't the say he is always right, but he is often right and isn't afraid to give a wrong answer. If he gives a wrong answer he learns the right one and then he isn't wrong on that again. When you are a medical student this is a highly valued skill.
3) He has a great sense of humor.
4) He is always making up little songs, songs about the kids, song about life. It makes me laugh.
5) He has a huge smile. It is is the first thing I noticed about him.
6) He keeps the bed warm.
7) He smells delicious. I wish I could bottle his smell and sell it for money!
8) He is a hard worker. He has spent the last eight years working his buns off while going to school so that I could stay home with our kids.
9) He complements efforts rather than results.
10) He has a great sense of adventure. I remember one of our first dates it was snowing. We were leaving an activity and the church parking lot was empty. All the sudden he started doing wheelies.
11) He loves nature.
12) He takes me for drives.
13) He shares the same political beliefs I do. It makes it easy to talk politics.
14) He explains sports to me.
15) He lets me pick out his clothes.
16) He loves to play games and never rubs in when he wins, a major plus when you are married to spoil sport.
17) He has an iron stomach and will eat whatever I put in front of him.
18) He has an amazing ability to recall minute facts from books he's read.
19) When our children wake up in the night he is the one who gets up with them.
20) After nine years he still gropes me in the kitchen when the kids aren't looking.
21) He tells me I have a perfect body....what wife doesn't want to hear that.
22) He thinks exercising together is a date.
23) He washes the dishes and is the one most likely to sweep the floor.
24) He has a look he gives me that makes me feel like he can see into the very depths of my soul.
25) He is extremely complementary.
26) He encourages me to be more social.
27) He always takes my bets.
28) He served in nursery for over a year with no complaints because I needed his help.
29) As he goes through this interviewing process he is constantly asking himself, "Is this a place that my family can be happy." It is his number one concern.
30) He has been writing me poetry and love letters since we first got together.
31) He is my very own sleep aid....I kid you not he is a cure to my insomnia.
32) His children adore him.
33) He is constantly telling us he loves us.

I could go on, but in honor of his 33rd birthday I'll stop there. Happy Birthday Baby!  Loving you is Cherry Pie!!!!!

Captain E says, "I love you dad, I hope you had a good day. And remember you will come back on Friday and then we'll have some fun time!"

Gigi, "I don't want to say anything. Come home soon."

Peach, "Dhuh, hi dada!"

Monday, November 29, 2010

Day 39 Alone - My Three Wishes

Today was a rough day.  Too many details would be painful but how about, teething, clingy daughter, fit over mittens, Hershey Kiss ground into the carpet, a living room that is still a mess even though I've tried picking it up five times today, a fatty dinner, a son who told me my Thanksgiving Turkey wasn't as good as the one he had at the first grade Thanksgiving Party, a stain cleaner that has made my favorite shirt blotchy, etc.  I'll be honest I want chocolate!!!!  So here is what I have energy for today; These are my three wishes from a magic genie!

1) Kids who listened the first time at least some of the time.  I don't want baby robots, brained washed children, midgets with no personality or sense of personal ability or space.  I want my children to be able to freely make their own decisions, but just once in a while I'd appreciate it if they would act the first time.  It would make me feel like I was actually accomplishing something.

2) A non chubby body.  I weighed more than my mom at ten.  I have three beautiful sisters who wear clothes in the very low single digits.  My hubby is a good man and tells me I have a perfect body, but I'm a girl and I know better.  I would mind not having to worry about those extra holiday pounds.

3) An always clean house.  Wow that would make my life so much easier :)

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Day 38 - Alone Two Lives, One Day

He: Woke up at 1:30 am.
She: Said, "Will you get out of bed and turn that alarm clock off."
He: Got dressed in the dark and then asked, "Would you mind if I turned the lights on?"
She: "Fine."
He: Got in a cold car with only a Dr. Pepper and a book on tape about one depressed Mr. Lincoln for company on the 3 hour drive to St. Louis.
She: Has no memory until...
He: Due to bad directions by google maps ended up going north instead of south.  When he saw no airport signs he called.
She: Woke at five to the phone ringing.  "What," she said.  And then had to turn on her computer to try and figure out the correct way.
He: Turned south and made it to the airport with plenty of time to park, check in, and be told his toothpaste had to be check because it was larger then 3 ounces, something he had been told by...
She: Spent several hours looking at GPS units online.  This was the second time in a week she'd been woken to correct Google map inadequacies.
He: Started reading Hunger Games on the plane but then promptly fell asleep.
She: Let the kids run wild and then reigned them in for lunch and church clothes.  She showered with the eighteen month old because when Peach heard the shower start up there was no keeping her out.
He: Got to San Diego and called his hotel to come pick him up.  Going outside he realized he had entered the Garden of Eden or maybe the Land of Oz.
She: Dragged three kids to the car grateful for the sun and the rather warm 40 degree weather.  She entertained, begged, and pleaded with three kids to stay in their bench during sacrament meeting.  She dropped two off at primary and then followed the third one into nursery where she spent the rest of the afternoon singing songs, playing with toys, hoping no one would kick her out for being there with her not quite eighteen month old daughter. 
He: Was caught up in the book and never left his hotel room.  He said, "This is GOOD!" about the book.
She: Called him after church.  "So how is it?"
He: "It is beautiful!"  And by this he meant he was close enough to smell the ocean, the sky was blue and perfect, the grass green, the weather balmy.
She: Rushed home to pick up the living room and throw together a vegetarian lasagna to be put in the oven before the home teachers showed up.
He: Took a shower and was chauffeured to a dinner date with the other Med Ped interviewees and residents.
She: Spent dinner listening to potty jokes and watching sauce get squished into tights.  She got kids ready for bed.  She washed dishes.  She swept the dinning room floor.  She finished reading the last 1/3 of Harry Potter Seven.  She actually cried when she Professor Snape shows his silver doe patronus.  She sat in bed writing this blog and is deeply embarrassed by the words in the previous sentence.
He: Went to bed after a night of getting to know yous and good food.

Day 38 - Alone Again :)

When do you know it is time to get a GPS....maybe when you've been woken up for the second time in less then a week to explain not clear google map directions!!!!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Day 37-Alone

Today I Am Thankful For: Being only one state away from my husband.  As I type this he is barrelling through a major rain storm, that apparently is covering most of the Midwest because it is pouring here as well.  I don't know if he is going to make it all the way home tonight but I know he is close, closer then he has been in a long, long time.  When we were first together and my hubby felt like we weren't able to spend enough time with me he said, "Quality time is quantity time."  I'm looking forward to a little quantity time with hubby, even if it is only for three days :)

Today I didn't:
-do scriptures with the kids.  I don't know what happened.  We were in the room ready to go and then I said, "Ahh get in bed."  Quick kisses and I left.  I think I'm getting a little buggy.
-get the rolls done for tomorrow.  Blah Thanksgiving :)  J/K...a holiday devoted completely to gluttony...MY FAVORITE!!!!

Today I:
-cleaned my bedroom....yes!!!!  I guess I figured since someone else was going to see it, it was time to get it going.
-made pumpkin pie, stuffing, and brined my turkey.
-Picked up the living room three times, I kid you not.  Thanks kids for making that one happen.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Day 36-Alone

Today I'm Thankful For: Early winter nights.  Wow today was a doosie.  Captain E spent his time home from school tyring to determine which of his high pitched squeals I didn't hate.  Guess what, I dislike them all.  Gigi got in the makeup again but this time broke out all the blush and eye shadow, got it all over the floor and her pjs.  Then I spent a significant amount of time asking her not to walk on the back of the couch and finally sent her to time out.  This is when she said, "You are ruining my life!"  Nice.  Peach fell and cut her mouth.  She took a ten minute nap.  She only ate dinner when I was holding her.  At 6:50 I was tired, so I put the kids into jammies and sent them to bed.  Luckily is was dark and they thought it was time to go to sleep.

Today I didn't:
-finish the dishes.
-finish cleaning the house.

Today I:
-put the Christmas Tree up.  We didn't put any ornaments up, we're waiting for Thanksgiving but it makes us happy just to have the tree up.
-talked my husband out of Arizona, he's in on his way to New Mexico.  Yeah us. 

Monday, November 22, 2010

Day 35-Alone

Today I Am Thankful For: Places to take the kids.  The library, preschool, school, Tae Kwon Do, you get the picture.  I love my kids but when we just hang out at home things get a little dicey.  I'm grateful for new places for them to play and places for them to get their wiggles out.

Today I didn't:
-do dishes...I can't help it...no fun.  
-catch Peach's third pooh of the day.  I put her in panties and the girl did good, that is until the end of the day when she had a diarrhea in her panties.  GROSS!  Some things about being a parent are great, some aren't.  Bodily fluids are one of those not so great moments.

Today I:
-shaved my legs.  My hubby is coming home in three days.  Time to start grooming again.  
-made nested eggs for dinner.  Captain E begged for them.
-got a peek at the Back Friday sale adds.  So something I want goes on sale at 12:01 am, Friday at Wal-mart.  Dare I go?  What a pain. 

Whole Food Thanksgiving Pitfalls

As a girl who appreciates food Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays.  There is something about is, family oriented, wholesome, delicious, and yet some of the foods that we think of as wholesome are not only calorie laden but are far from whole food.  Here are some of the most common Thanksgiving Pitfalls.

Pumpkin Pie:  I bought pie pumpkins this year and thought I was so ahead of the game.  Then I threw a can of of evaporated milk into my cart.  Ingredients: Milk, dipotassium phosphate, carrageenan, Vitamin D3.  It isn't a ton of stuff but I really just wanted milk.  Want to add Ready Whip to the top: Cream, milk, corn syrup, sugar, mono-and diglycerides, natural and artificial flavors, carrageenan, nitrous oxide.  A frozen pie crust: Enriched Wheat Flour (Flour, Niacin, Iron, Thiamine Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid), Vegetable Shortening (Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil), Water, Dough Conditioner (Dextrose, Wheat Starch, Salt, Baking Soda, Calcium Propionate [A Preservative], Vegetable Shortening [May Contain Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil and/Or Cottonseed Oil], Sodium Bisulfite), Salt. Contains: Wheat, Soybean.

OK, NO THANKS!!!  I found this recipe on a whole foods site by Rachel Wood and this is what I'm going to make...although I'm going to try coconut oil instead of butter.  I'm going to top it with cream I whip myself.  Make sure yours is just straight cream, some have weird preservatives in them.

Pumpkin Pie
Accompanying article: Pumpkin Pie from Scratch
Makes one 9-inch single-crust pie
For the crust:
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon unsalted, cultured organic butter, well chilled
2 to 3 tablespoons cold water
For the filling:
1 sugar pumpkin
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups organic cream
1/2 cup unrefined cane sugar
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Combine the flour and salt in a large mixing bowl. Cut the butter into 1/4-inch cubes and add them to the flour mixture. With your fingertips, quickly and deftly rub the butter into the flour to make a dry, crumbly mixture. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of water over the mixture. Using a fork, rapidly stir the dough until it gathers into clumps. If the mixture seems dry, add more water to hold the dough together. Gently form the dough into a disk. Wrap in plastic and place in the refrigerator to rest and chill for 15 minutes to 1 hour.
Meanwhile, cut the pumpkin in half, remove the seeds, place the pumpkin halves in a pan, shell side up, and bake for 1 hour or until the pumpkin is tender and exudes liquid and the shell starts to sag. Scrape the pulp from the shell and purée it with a fork or potato masher or in a blender. Measure 2 cups of the purée and set it aside. Reserve any additional pumpkin for another use.
Lightly butter a 9-inch pie pan. Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and, starting from the center out, roll the dough to about 2 inches larger than the size of the pan. Loosen the pastry, fold it in half, lift it and unfold it into the pan. Press it into place, trim off the excess dough and crimp the edges.
Increase the temperature of the oven to 425°F.
In a large mixing bowl lightly beat the eggs. Add the puree and the remaining ingredients and stir to blend. Pour the mixture into the dough-lined pan. Bake for 15 minutes and then reduce the heat to 350°F and bake an additional 45 minutes or until a knife inserted comes out clean. Allow to cool slightly before serving.

Stuffing: A typical bag: Enriched flour, malted barley flour, niacin, reduced iron, thiamin, mononitrate (vitamin B1), riboflavin (vitamin B2), folic acid, partially hydrogenated soybean oil, whole wheat flour, high fructose corn syrup, contains 2% or less of each of the following: yeast, spices, dehydrated onion, salt, wheat gluten, ascorbic acid, dehydrate parsley, autoyzed yeast extract, distilled vinegar, TBHQ, soy protein.

Great, yuck.  Instead for stuffing I like to just chop up bread and toast it in the oven (it can be homemade bread if you like).  Chop up half an onion, half a thing of celery, add parsley, and a little onion salt.  Meanwhile I boil the giblets on the stove.  I add the chopped up giblets and then shove a bunch of it i the turkey.  I know they say you shouldn't but I still love it that way.  The rest goes in a cake pan and I add a little giblet water.  Then I bake it in the oven with foil over the top.

Cranberry Sauce: Wow who doesn't want to say yes to that can shape...um gross.  If you want to make your own.

12 ounce of cranberries
1 cup sugar
1 cup orange juice

1) In a saucepan, dissolve the sugar in the orange juice.  Stir in the cranberries and cook unit the cranberries start to pop (about 10 minutes).  Remove from heat and place sauce in a bowl.  Cranberry sauce will thicken as it cools.  Wow so easy!

Gravy: Canned gravy: Wheat Starch, Enriched Wheat Flour (Flour, Niacin, Reduced Iron, Thiamine Mononitrate, Riboflavin, and Folic Acid), Lactose (Milk), Salt, Monosodium Glutamate (Flavor Enhancer), Chicken Fat, Turkey Meat, Silicon Dioxide (Added to Make Free Flowing), Onion, Torula Yeast, Caramel Color, Spice, Natural and Artificial Flavors and Sulfiting Agents.

Wow.  Tons of stuff in a little can.  My gravy is so easy.  I melt butter in a sauce pan and add flour until it has balled up.  Then I just use my turkey baster to suck out turkey juice from the bag.  I always cook my turkey in a bag.  It keeps it nice and moist while you are waiting for the dark meat to cook all the way.  I use a whisk to whisk butter, flour, and turkey juice and watch it thicken on low heat.  Super easy, super delicious.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Day 34 - Alone

Today I'm Thankful For: For the village of people who help me with my kids.  We had stake conference today.  Elder Bednar from the quorum of the twelve, part of the head of my church, was there to speak.  On the best day stake conference is a challenge.  The kids are trapped on hard metal chairs for two hours of speaking.  It is like double sacrament meeting except the only part of sacrament meeting they actually enjoy, the sacrement isn't present.  Add the stress of the fact that I was flying solo and we had a general authority there and my stress levels were pretty high.  We avoided the gym, the seats were mainly full, and the idea of being in there with the kids...well it wasn't pretty.  Instead we headed to the relief society room where conference was being projected on a the TV and the seats were padded.  My visiting teacher was there and three friends from my old ward.  Their kids entertained mine.  They helped share toys.  They offered up other entertainment.  We made it until the closing song when I finally took the kids out into the hall, and then I jetted before the closing prayer....Peach was on the edge of a melt down.  It was an interesting conference.  Going to BYU I had several opportunities to hear general authorities speak but this was my first stake conference with one.  Our stake president focused on the ten virgins and Lehi's dream.  He pointed out that 5 of the virgins were at the right place, they were dressed correctly, and they had the right desire but they were not prepared and thus missed their chance to enter into the wedding.  His challenge to us was not be like those virgins.  Then Elder Bednar spoke.  He did something I've never seen done before in any meeting.  He essentially reemphasized our stake presidents talk.  He started by pointing out the right our stake president has to receive revelation for our stake and then went through President Lunt's talk, pointing out the words he gave that should have clued us into the fact that this was revelation for us and restated his main points.  This was the only part I was able to jot down:  This will sound counter intuitive to most of you but Testimony is not an ending point.  Instead it is only the beginning a place to step off of.  It is just the starting place.  True conversion is being true to what we know to be true, to our testimony.  Alma chapter 23.  He emphasized that like the five wise virgins to the five foolish, no one can give you conversion.  That is something that you have to work on for yourself.  He also said that the rock of our conversion must be Jesus Christ.  You can not stay truely converted if your testimony is based soley on a person, an event, or a program.  He ended with a blessing on the congregation to be in conjunction with the song How Firm a Foundation, but at this point I was pretty stressed out and my ability to feel any peace had left with my daughter's fuss to try to get to the drinking fountain.  Regardless his comments left me with a lot to think about and some ideas to implement in my life.  So end story, it might not have been pretty but we made it, thanks most in part to the Lukes, Jones, and Washburns.

Today I didn't:
-wash dishes.
-put laundry away...I folded the stuff I did on Saturday but it is still sitting on the floor.

Today I:
-explained to my daughter that she is only allowed to put on makeup when I'm in the room with her.  I was made aware of the problem when Captain E said, "Hey what is wrong with Gigi's face?"
-took my daughter out in the hallway and hugged her during stake conference when all I really wanted to do was spank her bottom.  The nice thing is she hugged me back.  Then I felt better and we got to continue on.
-heard Peach say, "This is a ball," while she was holding a ball out for me to see.  It was so freakish I said, "Um did you really just say that."
-had to tell my kids, "No guys, we only kiss people we are married to on the lips."  
-had Captain E read a verse out of the Book of Mormon for us.  We usually do a picture and scripture story for scripture study but I decided since Captain E is reading we should probably revert back to some actually scripture reading again.  I thought he could read a verse each night and then we would tell our picture story.  I helped with the words he didn't know and you could definitely see his excitement.  He said, "Mom I read more words then you, didn't I?" 

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Day 33 - Alone

Today I'm Thankful For: The family I married into.  Dr. J is headed to Utah today.  He's picking up 200 pounds of wheat, 2 Christmas dresses, my diamond engagement ring, and Christmas gifts for the kids, so my mother in law and I did some chatting today.  I love my in-laws.  Popular media says that a daughter in law is in competition with her in laws.  Mine help take care of me.  Today my mother-in-law told me she's going to take the summer off, she teaches preschool, to come out and help me move where ever it is that we are ending up this year.  This news brought a great relief to my heart.  I've been concerned about the move, uprooting the kids, uprooting ourselves.  Now I know I'll have the help I'll need.

Today I didn't:
-sleep...I mean really.  I went to bed at five and woke up a eight.
-make lunch.  thank you left over pizza for saving me.

Today I:
-barely can my eyes open writing this.  Sorry folks but this girl is tired and going to bed. 

Friday, November 19, 2010

Day 32 - Alone

Today I'm Thankful For: Resolve Carpet Cleaner.

Today it saved my sanity.  I was carrying my Green Smoothie out the door this morning when Gigi asked me to help her put her boots on.  She was sitting at the bottom of the stairs and when I handed her my cup and asked her to hold it while I slipped her shoes on.  I distinctly remember thinking, "Man this is a bad idea."  Almost at that exact second she sat the 16 ounces down beside her and knocked it over.  Green Smoothie went everywhere, the wall, the floor, the door, my pants, shoes, and worst of all half of the entire bottom stair.  Blueberries, ground up spinach, and banana on a tan carpet, bad combo!  Mentally I was freaking out.  I grabbed two towels and tried to wipe up as much as I could.  Then we headed out the door to school.  "What am I going to do?" I kept asking myself.  After Captain E and Gigi were safely at school Peach and I headed over to Wal-mart to check out the carpet cleaners.  After some debate I grabbed a bottle of Resolve Triple Oxi Advance.  It took over an hour, lots of Resolve, tons of water, three very used rags, and my spot cleaner to suck up all the green foam and water but I can now walk in the door without seeing a huge green splotch.  Resolve carpet cleaner is my hero.

Today I didn't:
-kill my daughter after she spilled green smoothie on the floor.
-let my kids have any Halloween candy, believe me they asked.
-do my dishes.
-actual do anything productive.

Today I:
-get spinach and berries out of my carpet.
-dropped my toys off at one week boutique's toy sale.
-spent an hour chatting with my neighbor JaNae when I went over to pick the kids up.  Poor girl had talk with a numb, sore mouth, thanks to a dentist appointment.  I was definitely grateful for the adult conversation.
-spent significant amounts of time trying to find a great deal on Band Hero.  There are none.  Looks like I'm going to have to go out Black Friday.  
-took my kids out for Pizza.  Yup I was just that lazy.  Usually we do homemade but that whole dish issue...well I'm serious about not doing them :)

Check out this picture of my mom and Nana.  I always felt visually challenged in my own family.  My nana and my mom are the two woman I love most in this world.  I know parents/grandparents either don't have favorites or don't admit to them but that didn't keep me from wanted to be the favorite.  In fact I think it is safe to say that these two woman were probably my first great loves.  Like all children I tried to pick the parts of me that matched them, my primary care givers, the ones I loved.  As a child is was deeply unsettling that I could find so few similarities.  Brown eyes to their blue.  Brown skin to their pale.  They both have brown hair but while theirs was light enough that it could easily be dyed to another color mine is dark enough that for simplicity sake many people just refer to it as black.  Curly hair to their straight.  My family has a very distinct nose, the Lucas nose.  While my nose was far from small it was more sharp, a monument to my father.  My grandmother had nice full lips, my mothers are much thinner, mine are some place in between.  They had cheek bones, my cheeks have always been round.  They both have high foreheads with high hair lines, a great place for bangs, mine forehead is narrow, my hair comes down far.  So few are our similarities that even now as an adult I have the list memorized.  My hands and feet look just like my Nana's.  My stubby eye lashes and thick calves are from my mom.  Ironically my teeth were gapped just like theirs and I got rid of that in my early teens.  But the rest of the similarities I hold around myself like a comforting blanket.  I wonder if the same will be true of my own children. 

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Day 31-Alone

Today I'm Thankful For: Being one of two when it comes to parenting.  Captain E has a spelling test tomorrow.  We've been working on the words all week but when we did a practice test this afternoon E remembered one.  It was frustrating.  He was grouchy, I was grouchy.  I think I set us up with some perfect scores earlier in the year.  Plus I'll be honest I'm just a stress case.  So when I felt like freaking I called my partner in crime.  He calmed me down and gave me a few suggestions while I cried it out.  I really felt overwhelmed when I called him.  Ten minutes later we were back at it, happy, and motivated.  Within thirty I called daddy to tell him I was thanks and Captain E told his dad all the words he know had memorized.  Parenting is a hard job.  If you are going to do it, it is best to be part of a twosome. 

Today I didn't:
-catch Peach before she peed on the floor, or pooped in the bathtub.  Shesh little girl way to show momma she is not on her toes.  Peach had sat on the potty and did her business but I guess she had a little more to give.  Ick, so...

Today I:
-cleaned out the tub, no surprise there.
-had a friend over for lunch.  Yeah for veggies!
-helped Captain E with his spelling words.  Thanks for Dads help.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Day 30 - Alone

Today I'm Thankful For: Day 30!  Woohoo!!!!  I made it a month people.  This is Dr. J's last week in Oregon.  He had an interview today.  The department chief basically asked him what makes you so cool, in much more professional words of course :)  Wow I hate job interviews.  It makes you want to say, "Well I'm pretty much the most awesome person I know."  Awkward!!!  I mean really.  Tomorrow he has to get all his paper work turned in.  Friday he has another interview.  Saturday he drives to Utah.  Monday he drives to Arizona.  Tuesday he has an interview.  Wednesday he starts driving home.  Sometime Thursday, Thanksgiving I should see my baby again.  He'll be home Friday and Saturday.  Sunday he flies out to California for another interview.  Tuesday he flies home again.  Thursday he interviews in Ohio.  It will be so crazy busy but I'm thankful for those two days he'll be home. When I was pregnant with Peach, Dr. J was in Amman, Jordan for 36 days.  Even though I have tone extra kid this time and have to do 4 extra days alone this time has definitely been easier.  1) I'm not pregnant, wow that stinks!  2) I have three talkers at home.  It definitely helps to have someone to chat with.  Man they can be chatty.  Sometimes I just want a moment of silence...definitely preferable to having too much of it.  3) I have two kids in school.  It makes grocery shopping easier.  4) Three kids means more things to do.  We are busy, busy, busy, running around.  It is harder to miss daddy when you are constantly moving.  4) This time I actually got to have my birthday with my hubby.  Last time he was gone over my birthday as well but this time I got to see him :)  Holidays are better when you spend them with the one you love.  5) Netflix...I'm not going to lie it makes my evenings go by faster.  I heart Netflix.  6) Having him in the states is certainly easier then out of them.  Two years ago it was so expensive to talk.  Now we can chat for an hour a day for free!  Yeah for me.

Today I didn't: 
-yell one single time at my kids...yeah for me.
-make dinner.  It was a subway night.  I'm so grateful for that veggie delight.  It is a life saver!!!

Today I:
-cleaned my house...hurray!!!!  My floors look great.  Why do I ever let them get messy.  I feel so much better when my house is clean.
-I made puzzles out of Captain E's spelling words.  He loved that.  I'm always looking for new ways to try and help him learn things.
-contemplated Christmas.  What should I get the kids?  I mean really.  Who knew being Santa would be this stressful.  I want them to have fun.  I want toys that help build them.  I want something I'm not going to be cursing two months from now when I'm stepping on it in the middle of the night. 

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Day 29 - Alone

Today I Am Thankful For: A warm coat.  The weather has turned and it is getting chilly.  I have to bundle the children up each morning before school.  Gap warmest coat, gloves and mittens, like little kittens I march them out to the car.  There was a day in Chicago one day where I saw a man without a coat.  I wish I would have given him mine. In the great debates about rights and what we should have a right to, in our right to life I never hear anyone mention coats.  But when you live in Chicago and it is cold, well a coat is a pretty important thing.  As is food.  I once heard a story of an Anglican Priest that found himself in the midst of a battle when he started preaching from the pulpit that people with no food should have the right to take it from the store.  It caused quite a stir.  There are no laws to make coats or food free, which means around this time of year, when it is cold and times are hard we need to watch out for one another.

Today I didn't:
-pick up the toys downstairs or wash the dishes.  I'm debating going downstairs now and doing it but I'm trying to keep Netflix busy so a certain almost Dr. husband will study for his EM test instead of watching Asian War Movies :)
-yell...I'm trying not to yell at all.  Rough stuff for me, but it is actually going pretty good :)

Today I:
-finished transcriptions on my list of like thirty.  Go me!  The negative on this...the kids watched tons of TV while I was working.
-laughed when Captain E told me, "Mom I wish I'd been born a girl so that I didn't ever have to do anything."  This comment came after he asked me why I wasn't in school like his dad.  I told him, I'd finished school and now someone needed to stay home and take care of him, the girls, and the house.  After daddy was done with school then I wanted to go back.  That's when he dropped his ever have to do anything line. 

Monday, November 15, 2010

Day 28-Alone

Today I'm Thankful For: Water.  Yup that glorious H2O, pretty much the only thing I enjoy drinking.  Last night Captain E started pucking red velvet cupcakes.  He came out of his room covered in red velvet chunks.  The bed, walls, his pj's, his hair.  I threw him in the shower and hauled load after load down to the washer.  He continued to throw up until there was nothing left.  Then he went back to bed and sometime in the middle of the night managed to find something else to throw up.  It was so nice to have a washer and dryer in my house, to be able to give him several long showers, to flush the toilet twenty times.  When we were in Jordan we got two loads of laundry a week.  We took a shower every third or fourth day, a bucket shower.  We had to haul or drinking water into the apartment.  It was a dessert and we had to act accordingly.  Yesterday, today, always I was grateful to have clean water, in my home, lots of it.

Today I didn't:
-pick the toys up off the floor before I went to bed.
-leave my house.
-go anywhere.
-manage to keep Peach off the top bunk bed and yes she did fall off.

Today I:
-taught my kids about nocturnal animals...ok well mainly just taught Gigi and Peach.  Turns out Captain E knows quite a bit about nocturnal animals.  
-cleaned out tons of toys to sell and get rid of.  Yup it is time to do a major clean out.  With Christmas coming and Gigi's birthday, well we needed room on the shelves.
-washed dishes.
-finished up tons of laundry.
-vacuumed upstairs...yup a Christmas miracle.
-made bread sticks to go with dinner, they were yummy!!!
-got a little snippy with my husband.  I know he is doing the best for us, but mama is getting a little worn down. Poor man, poor mama!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Day 27 - Alone

Today I'm Thankful For: A belief in Jesus Christ.  I was born and raised a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  Regardless of whatever else was going on in my life I've been consistent in going for three hours almost every Sunday since my birth.  Today was no exception.  Me, three kids, alone in a pew.  It went as good as can be expected.  I got all three of them to fold arms for the sacrament prayer.  That was a huge step.  For the most part they played or wrote quietly after that. There was a moment when I had to take Peach out to settle her down.  She hates church and complains bitterly.  The fact that it is right during the time that if I could get her to nap she would nap, does not help.  I stood up and walked out.  When I peaked in a few minutes later to check on the other two they were running behind the pew.  I grabbed them and forced them outside with me.  Times like these you have to question the sanity of coming to church with young children, especially while you are on your own.  Why then do I do it?  From a social perspective I enjoy the programs of the church.  While I think sacrament completely lacks any stimulation for children, primary is a great place for my children to be.  Young women's and young men's equal good.  I enjoy the companionship of other woman that I find in Relief Society and while I sometimes find visiting teaching and home teaching awkward in it's attempts to force friendships, I appreciate the idea of having someone to check in on.  I like knowing I will have a Christmas Party every year and I enjoy not having to worry about Halloween because there is always a Trunk or Treat.  This alone though is not enough to get me out of my house every Sunday.  I go to church every Sunday because I have always had a testimony of the fact that there is a Savior, one Jesus Christ who died on a cross for me and has a desire for me to better myself so that I can feel of his love and direction. Church focuses that for me.  It provides motivation to be better and gives me a sense of satisfaction and peace that I am trying to commune with him.  I by no means think that my church has a monopoly on being able to do that but I am a believer in it's power to bring families together and focus energies towards good.  I bring my children to church every Sunday even when I'm alone because I want my children to have the same opportunity to feel that.  I'm grateful for a belief in a Savior that in an world that sometimes doesn't make any sense is a foundation that keeps me firm, for Amazing Grace that saves a soul, even one that is so insignificant as mine.

Today I didn't:
-make dinner.  It was my friend Erika's birthday and she invited us over for dinner, that she cooked, plated, and then cleaned up after.  She is amazing and I love her.  Happy Birthday Erika
-get my flour picked up.  It is a disaster.

Today I:
-stressed over the fact that my hubby missed his flight.  It turned out ok although the detour flight to LAX he had to take cost us an extra 50 dollars and made him late to dinner.
-manged another Sunday alone with the three kids. 
-risked body parts in the mouth full of teeth.  Peach is still nursing.  I've been trying to cut her back but until her dad gets home I have no plants to tackle the morning and night feeding.  Unfortunately she is becoming a shark with a mouth full of teeth.  She has eight teeth, four in the front on top, four in the front on bottom and then the rest of her gums are huge and bumpy with more.  Four molars are just barely poking through in the back.  I risk nipple and finger every day trying to take care of her needs without losing any skin.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Day 26 - Alone

Today I'm Thankful For: Free Heat!  Yup that is right.  On top of my cheapo rent, $544 for a three bedroom townhouse, we also don't pay for gas.  That means on today the first really chilly day of the year I cranked my heat up to 74.  Yes I was freezing.  And I don't have to worry one single minute about it.  This year I'm thankful for my free gas.  I don't even want to think about next year.

Today I didn't:
-wash dishes...there is a huge pile on the counter and I have no intention of doing a thing about it but on the positive...well I spoke to soon on that one.  The thought of coming down to a pile of unwashed dishes, well it was just too much.  The job is done :)

Today I:
-cleaned just about everything else.  Yes I folded the huge pile of clothes on the table.  Yes I cleaned the floors.  Yes I vacuumed.  Yes I organized all the toys.  Yes I vacuumed the stairs.  Yes I picked up the rooms.  Yes I am amazing :)

Friday, November 12, 2010

Well Now I Never Want To Fly Again...

So check out right around 2 minutes....yup the last thing I want is to think about someone looking at my bum like that.  Ironically I imagine my bum would look very similar to that.  Flat guys bum.  Yeah if I can see that much detail I certainly plan on never going through one of these :-)  Drat I really wanted to go to Hawaii, Cancun, Spain, Austrailia, Egypt again.  I understand you want to keep us safe TSA but there has to be a better way then a machine that shows all our rolls and dimples.  Talk about the worst job ever!!!!

Day 25 - Alone

Today I Am Thankful For: All my good girl friends.  I've had some great friends growing up.  My first best girlfriends were my sisters.  There were four of us before any brothers arrived and growing up was a blast.  We played Barbies and tons of different make believe games.  Those early years set me up for loving the companionship of other girls.  In grade school all my girlfriends seemed to be named Tiffany or Erin.  It must have been the times.  Junior high became the era of Pamela.  Our moms made us have a slumber party.  We clicked and spent almost every weekend together.  Pamela had a friend from school named Leslie.  We had a friend Melissa from church.  The end of junior high to high school we were always together.  There was Christine, Katie, and Hillary.  There was never just one of us around.  Then college came and we went our separate ways.  Christine and Melissa went to Easter Arizona.  Hillary went to hair cutting school and then to ASU.  Pamela and Leslie started out at Arizona State University.  Katie and I both ended up at Brigham Young University although I'm pretty sure neither of us even knew the other one was applying.  We were in separate apartments and while we did hang out, my new roommates became my family.  There was Amy, Candace, Whitney, Rebbecca, and Shanna.  I don't know what happened to Becca and Shanna, but Amy and I still talk on the phone regularly.  Candace and I talk med school (she's an ER doctor) on facebook.  I keep track of Whitney through the occasional e-mail.  I went back home for a year and half while my grandmother was sick and picked up with my high school friends.  I used to sleep at Leslie's place three times a week.  We'd watch Conan and eat cheap pizzas, some of my best memories from that time.  I came back to Utah and got a new set of roommates.  Rachel, Heidi, Becca, Patty, Michelle, Noelle, Megan, and Heather, oh Heather how I loved you!  The sweetest girl I ever knew.  Thanks to blogs, facebook, and e-mails  I keep track of most of them.  Then I met Dr. J.  All of the sudden my free time was taken.  I no longer had a group of girls that my mom, my school, my housing threw me together with.  I had a best friend and he also happened to be my hubby, my lover, my companion for now and forever.  I love him and all the time we spend together but I sometimes miss the companionship of my sisters.  Luckily I now have children, my ward, and my hobbies to throw me together with other woman.  I don't spend hours talking with them on the phone, or chatting over dinner, playing barbies, or hanging out at dances talking about boys like I once did, but I get to see these ladies at relief society, at volunteer events at the schools, at the library or the pool.  I get to chat with them outside my door on warm days, at the post office, or the grocery store.  We laugh about our children, discuss how to make our budgets work, feelings of inadequacy or questions of faith.  I get joy out of serving them and joy from the service they render me.  I am thankful for my sisters, my female friends who bring so much joy to my life, help me with my children, and keep my spirits up during the rough patches, like when my husband is gone for two months :)

Today I didn't:
-clean the living room.  I'm thinking we need a clean up day on Saturday :)
-fold any laundry.  It is all washed but sitting on the kitchen table, which thankful happens to be very clean :)

Today I:
-made granola.
-made a chocolate cake with beets.  Very interesting.  I wouldn't say it was the best thing I've ever had but it certainly was interesting watching Captain E and two of his friends who are all self proclaimed veggie haters gobbling it up.
-went to my friend Linda's for dinner!  So nice to have adult company!!!  Thank you Linda!!!!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Day 24-Alone

Today I'm Thankful For: Books to read.  I've always loved reading.  As a child I used to make my mom read to me until her voice was gone.  Learning to read was liberating for both her and I.  By third grade I'd read all the Nancy Drew books at my local library, something like 125...I was crazy about mysteries even then.  I loved reading so much that I would read all my text books within the first two months of school.  I just needed some new reading material.  My favorite type of book, a good English/Scottish Murder Mystery, or non fiction about some totally average topic but written like a great fiction story, or even sometimes a little teen love drama/comedy.  I love to read to my children, my favorite is books that work in verse that I can memorize, bright pictures books, funny true life stories, even sometimes comic books.  Right now I'm reading in tandem Compromised, The Replacement, Artemis Fowl, and this other book about a girl who can smell death.  This is how I work.  I'll get several books and I want to read them all that second.  Books have brought so much joy to my life.  They entertained me in the summer when it was to hot to go out to play.  They keep me company when my hubby is to busy to talk.  They bring me closer to my children.  They open my mind to new worlds and new knowledge.  I love books. 

Today I didn't:
-pick up the living room...I think I'm in a state of denial on the whole thing.

Today I:
-made three lasagnas, yum.
-cleaned up the kitchen.
-did laundry....yeah me.
-gave my hubby a hard time.  Isn't that what wives are for ;)  Congrats to Dr. J.  He got another great interview today.  He has so many now the question isn't really will he match, the question is where can he match that will be the best place for him as a professional and us as a family.  It is a daunting responsibility.  We probably need to cut some interviews but it is so hard.  We want to find the best place.  It is just as much about us interviewing them as it is about them interviewing us.  I''ll be happy when Match Day, the third Thursday in March has come and gone!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Day 23-Alone

Today I'm Thankful For-Good Fall weather.  I grew up in Arizona.  We have one season.  Unbearably hot summer and then relatively cool summer.  The humorous part of this is that as a kid I actually thought we had seasons.  We bought a coat every year, and we actual wore them, at least a few days a year, although come to think of it I'm pretty sure we never zipped our coats up. Also I never needed gloves or a hat.  If you hate cold Arizona is the place to be.  The Midwest is a different place.  We have winter...it stinks, freezing rain, wind, yuck!  We have spring, lots more rain.  We have summer, stifling humidity.  Finally, we have Fall.  It isn't beautiful and colorful like other states but it is nice.  It isn't cold, it's sunny.  Really it is the best season we have.  Today was gorgeous.  We had so much sun, enough warmth to wear flip flops, but still a good cool breeze to keep me from sweating while I was chatting with my friend while the kids played outside.  Man I love Fall. 

Today I didn't:
-have a break down.  It was way better than yesterday.

Today I:
-made yogurt.
-made taco salad for dinner.
-watched the kids play outside.
-took Peach to the library.
-bought something fun to show my hubby when he gets home...go marriage!!!

Man Cold

I stole this off my friend Bridget's blog.  Anyone who has a father, husband, brother, or grown son knows how absolutely true this is.  It should be made into a service announcement :) 

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Day 22-Alone

Today I'm Thankful For: Not ever smoking or drinking.  I think if I had any addictions they would be full blown driving me right now.  Dr. J is going to be doing that interview in Arizona.  I guess he decided it would be good practice which means he's not going to be back until Thanksgiving day, which means I have eighteen more days to go, eighteen more days.  I have a headache, my neck is tight, there is a tickle in my throat, and I'm pretty sure I'm suffering from sleep deprivation.  Smoking and drinking, oh I'd be under the covers right now drinking away and then where would we all be...up a crick without a paddle.  My grandfather had a serious addiction.  My father has serious addictions.  There are people who can dabble with no problem but I've always known I wasn't one of those people, that's why growing up I avoided addictive substances like the plague.  Addictions, they drive people's lives.  Dr. J had the opportunity to do a ride along on the ambulance yesterday.  Twice they had people who needed an ambulance ride who begged for ciggies before they got on the ambulance.  Who needs that?  Thank you teenage me for having some common sense.

Today I didn't:
-sleep well.
-eat well.
-no freak out.

Today I:
-washed dishes.
-read to the kiddos 
-ran myself ragged running the kids around...Tuesday is my hardest day.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Day 21 Alone-We've Made It Three Weeks!

Today I Am Thankful For: My daughter Peach.  I mentioned she broke all my earring last night.  I told my sister this and she blamed me for creating little destructos.  There is a possibility she is right on this.  I think I just happen to have three times the destructive force living under my roof, and three has an additive effect.  Anyway I want to mention that while I was really sad about this whole thing, sad and a little mad, I would never choose to have those earrings back over my little Peach.  Everyone in our family loves Peach.  A perfect example of this, I'm up stairs today putting laundry away and I hear laughing, laughing, laughing.  I come down and find that they have made themselves into a taco using a couch throw.  They love making her laugh.  Peach is our first brown eyed girl.  She looks like her mama and she is a mama's girl.  Sometimes she can be so demanding but she is also so fun.  She is very liberal with the kisses and hugs.  She loves to sing, especially songs with actions.  She loves walking and running away.  She has these cute little square feet with the fattest big toes I've ever seen.  It is adorable.  She is a great talker.  My favorite is when she shakes her finger and says, "no, no, no!"  Cute.  Anyway my point is I'm grateful she is my daughter...even if it is hazardous for jewelry.

Today I didn't:
-go anywhere because I'm just that cool. 

Today I:
-cleaned my house...for hours.  It was such a mess!!!!!  It is amazing how when you have children if you aren't picking something up you are behind.
-continued to be super emotional.  Thank you monthly friend.  You are turning me into a freak of nature.  I've been crying all over the place...once again in church this week, randomly at the counter while I was making lunch, in the carpool lane when I was thinking about a lonely dog, and then today at the end of Home Alone.  Are you kidding me?  That was embarrassing.  The kids were like, "Mom this movie is funny, why are you crying?"

Day 20 - Alone

Today I'm Grateful For: a good nights rest.  Yes for the first time in weeks I was asleep before midnight, eleven, ten, even nine.  Sometime around eight thirty I fell asleep while patting Peach on the back praying she would fall asleep.  The positive on this I got some much needed rest.  The negative...while I was sleeping she got off the bed, knocked my earring holder onto the ground and broke all but two pairs of my dangle earrings.  Peach I do not appreciate this!!!!!

Today I didn't:
-clean a single thing in my house.  As a result Monday morning it looks like a dump.  Looks like I have a day of cleaning to do.

Today I:
-chuckled when someone in church said, "Wow Dr. J is going to be home in two weeks, that went by fast."

Saturday, November 6, 2010

I love Matt Damon.  He might not be the best looking actor in the world but I love watching his movies.  This is one I'm excited to see...partially because the music is so perfect.  It is amazing how music can make a good movie better or kill a mediocre movie.

Day 19 Alone

Today I'm Thankful For: My daughter Gigi.  Gigi is such a fighter.  I don't mean the fact that she is in that stubborn three stage, I mean the girl honestly loves physical fights.  She's my own personal Million Dollar Baby.  Pretty much since birth her physical prowess has been amazing.  At six months she would hold herself up on the monkey bars.  She would also push herself into a standing position in the middle of the room.  One day we watched her climb on top of a bin of toys and then stand up on it.  Not an ounce of fear.  At seven months she took a step and then then two days before she turned eight  months old she put two steps together.  That week she walked across the room.  I told her dad she was walking.  He didn't believe me and I had to film it and put it up for debate on the blog.  I won, even by his admission after that.  When she was two I put her in gymnastics.  She would lead the class in dare devil stunts.  She's always been a brave girl.  In new situations she walks forward, head up.  She likes new situations and new people.  She knows what she wants and she isn't afraid to make that known.  Gigi has a great smile, and she loves a good joke.  Captain E is her best friend.  She follows him with a followers devotion.  She is a great big sister and is so loving to her baby sister.  I was raised in a family of four girls and so I can honestly say that my life would not have been complete without a daughter.  I'm so grateful for the joy G bear brings to my life.

Today I didn't:
-pick up my room...yup it is still a mess.  Luckily no one is here to see it.
-get the perfect fall picture of my kiddos.  I spent tons of time picking out cute outfits and checking the camera to make sure I had enough room on my memory card.  We drove twenty or so minute to Allerton.  When we got there I took two pictures and my camera died.  My batteries were GONE!  OH!!!!  I was so frustrated.  I managed to get a few more pictures.  I found a decent spot.  Posed all three of them and got six more shots before it died for good.  Oh the frustration.  What can you do?  We still had a good time exploring and then Captain E and I had a race.  I was ahead in the beginning but the little devil ended up beating me.  Quiet impressive considering he fell down midrace and had to start again.

Today I:
-vacuumed, because I'm still holding to that crazy belief :)
-negotiate The Great Breakfast for Dinner Treaty of 2010 between my two oldest.  I asked what they wanted for dinner.  One wanted nested eggs, the other waffles.  I asked the first can we have nested eggs tonight and waffles in the morning?  No!  I asked the second can we have waffles tonight and nested eggs in the morning?  No!  I was about to say that I was going to pick and then it hit me...french toast!  Both were happy.
-talked to my husband while he was finding sand dollars in Seaside.  I'm not going to lie, I was JEALOUS!
-watched Alice in Wonderland.  It was weird and quirky and I thought Anne Hathaway's character was a little annoying but I definitely enjoyed it.  Somewhere in Portland hubby was watching it as well on netflix.  I wonder what he thought.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Day 18 Alone....Wow I'm Almost At 20!

Today I'm Thankful For: My Cell Phone! I don't want to exaggerate but that phone saved my life today.  Gigi and I were having a disagreement.  She wanted the stool closer to the sink while brushing her teeth but refused to get off it so I could safely move it.  Meanwhile Peach who had been been  in big girl panties all day long climbed up on top of the toilet and started peeing all over it.  At the same time I hear this crunching noise.  Captain E was trying to break the girl's Tinker Bell lunch box in half.  Mom had a mini melt down.  Enter the cell phone.  Thank you t-mobile for mobile to mobile minutes.  Thank you cell phones for the fact that I could reach my hubby even though he was out sight seeing in Portland.  Thank you hubby for your kind loving words to the kids, for giving a scripture story on the spot, and thank you cell phone for making it all possible on speaker phone.  Forty years ago this wouldn't be possible.  Shoot two years ago we didn't have cell phones (I know we were a little behind).  Today I'm thankful for media that lets me feel close to my hubby even when he is half a continent away. 

Today I didn't:
-finishing cleaning my bedroom.  I started it, got to the point where everything looks like a total disaster and then quit :)  

Today I:
-cleaned the kitchen and living room
-finished laundry
-put Peach in undies...well until she peed all over my toilet.  No one freak out on me here, I'm not potty training her yet, I'm more just setting up the ground work :)
-made homemade pizza for dinner, 2 parts white flour, 1 part wheat.  I was doing all wheat flour but the kids keep telling me it tasted weird so we are back to baby steps.
-sold some stuff at a local consignment store.  I'm unloading some of the toys that rarely get played with and the outgrown clothes.  It is a good idea before Christmas comes to clear a little room on the toy shelves, plus I figure the money I make can help supplement Christmas.  It is a win/win.  I actually discussed it with Captain E.  I told him, "Sweetie how about we sell some of your old toys you don't play with anymore to help pay for new ones."  It didn't take longer then a second for him to agree and then start dancing around singing about new toys. 

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Day 17 Alone-I'm thankful for Captain E

Today I am thankful for:  I was going to write a humorous blog about my mini van and the crazy stuff that was in it, but that post will have to wait because today I want to talk about my oldest, my only son, Captain E.  Captain E is a self proclaimed meatatarian.  As a small child we tried to start him out right on veggies before fruits, he never bought it.  With fist and mouth he told us no.  When his words came in he said it loud and clear.  At some point in his very young life he heard the word vegetarian and when he learned it's meaning he declared himself a meatatarian.  He will choke down a vegetable hear or there to humor me but for the most part he stays far away from them.  Tonight I made artichoke for dinner.  I melted some butter and put it on the table.  I said, "Captain E, tonight we are going to try a new fancy vegetable."  "No way, you know I...," at this point I cut him off.  "Sweetie, this hear is a special treat.  You are going to try one bite and then if you don't like this special treat you don't have to eat another piece."  I grabbed a leaf, dipped it in the butter and handed it over to him.  "Clamp your teeth around the end and then pull," I told him.  The little sucker did it and then he smiled.  "That taste weird," he said as he grabbed another one, and then he proceeded to eat 2/3 of the artichoke.  "This is my new favorite vegetable.  Corn used to be it, but now it is this."  "What about carrots?" I asked because occasionally he'll eat one of them.  "Oh I just eat those to help my eyesight.  I used to like cucumbers but then all you would buy were the bitter ones."  He is right on that point, for a couple months in the late spring every cucumber I bought was bitter.  "Tomorrow I'm going to tell my best friends that I love artichokes.  They are going to be grossed out," he said with a laugh.  Then he started telling me about how last year a little girl in his class said you could only have one best friend, but she was wrong because he had lots.  I told him he was right, that daddy, he, Gigi, and Peach were my best friends.  Then he named off all of his, "You, Dad, Gigi, Peach, Tommy (neighbor), Bix (neighbor), Brooklyn (our friend who moved to Utah), Benjamin (our friend who went back to Denmark), Gigi (a little girl in his class last year), Ethan (friend in school this year), Gavin (friend at school), Akash (friend from school)..." then he pauses in the middle of his list.  "Wait," he says, "Who do you love the most out of that list?"  I paused for a second hoping not to do any major damage and said, "Well daddy of course, but I love you and Gigi, and Peach almost as much.  I love you guys a ton.  But being married is different kind of love."  He says to me, "I love you the most, more than the whole universe.  And then I love dad second."  Good boy.  He sits quiet for a second and then says to me, "How do you get a girl to marry you?"  I say, "Well first you finish school and go on a mission.  Then you come home and go to college.  You find a girl you like and then when you've dated for a good long while, you ask her to marry you."  He starts to laugh and says, "And she says yes?"  And I say, "Well honey you only ask if you really like her and you know she really likes you, but that is a long way away and you don't need to worry about it."  I didn't want him to get stressed out.  A few days ago I'd explained a colonoscopy to him and had to promise him he didn't really have to get one when he was fifty unless he was comfortable with it because the kid couldn't sleep worrying about having to have it done.  Silly kid.  Then later after they'd been in bed for about twenty minutes he calls me upstairs.  "Mom, you've got to come see this..."  Turns out he pulled a tooth.  Blood was all over his chin and hand but I've never seen a sweeter smile.  He was so proud to get this one out all by himself and not need dad and his pliers.  I love this kid, bigger then the Universe. 

Today I didn't:
-wash the dishes, blah....

Today I:
-went to institute
-organized my winter clothes...yup it is suppose to be cold in the morning!!!!!
-did the laundry, the one positive on Dr. J being gone, my loads are half the size...
-cleaned up the doll house.  I rearrange the furniture all the time and then the girls play tornado :)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Day 16 Alone

Today I'm thankful for: My townhouse.  As our time here comes to a close there are times when I just don't appreciate it like I should.  I get tired of not having a garage, of having all my closet space taken, of how tiny my kitchen is...the truth is though this place is awesome.  For under $600 a month I have a nice big three bedroom townhouse.  I have a washer and gas dryer in my house...and I don't have to pay for gas.  I have two bathrooms, something my friends in older homes in town don't have.  We have a pool, a work out room, tons of playgrounds for the kids to play on.  I'm surrounded by people from my ward which has saved me more than one time.  We've even earned interest on our place.  It is a great place to live.  I'm so thankful for my townhouse.

Today I didn't:
-make dinner...thank you subway veggie for saving my life again

Today I:
-cleaned the floors...I didn't do it yesterday and yes I really do think I was going to go crazy
-was able to keep it together with the three kids at Tae Kwon Do graduation.  Captain E is now a yellow belt.  Congrats Captain E!  I don't know what happened.  It is like a switch turned in him...all the sudden he is really serious about it, his punches are so strong now, his kicks are getting better, he actually yells when he does his moves.  Today he broke a board with a side kick.  It was awesome!!!!
-went to lunch brunch.  It was good to be with the girls in my ward.
-went grocery shopping...good to have some new fruit in the house

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Day 15 Alone

Today I'm thankful for: The right to vote.  I'm not going to lie.  Sometimes it can be pretty disappointing.  My first presidential election I was voting as against Bush in a Republican State.  That goes for my second election as well.  It didn't turn out the way I'd hoped but I have to say I'm still thankful for the opportunity I had to participate.

Today I didn't:
-wash dishes after dinner.  Don't tell Dr. J that always grosses him out :)
-get the desk top fixed...it has some freaky weird virus.  In all fairness it lasted seven years, which is pretty darn good in my book.  Thanks for that Compaq.
-do my guitar lesson...I intended to but then a certain piece of fruit daughter did not got to be until eleven.  Thanks a lot late nap.

Today I:
-cut Captain E's hair.  We are not a home haircut family.  One time when we were first married I tried to cut Dr. J's hair...we ended up having to buzz it.  Since then it has seemed worth the $15 dollars every couple of months to get it done.  The same goes for little E, but the idea of entertaining both my daughters around all those neatly stacked shampoo bottles, well to be honest it was just horrifying...thus I pulled out the clippers.  I have to say it didn't go nearly as bad as I thought it would.  Ok sure it isn't even close to a professional job and multiple times during the cut Captain E said, "Oh this is a bad hair day, this is a bad hair day, I'm going to get made fun of at school tomorrow," but luckily for me he hair is fairly forgiving and it looks ok, better than a lot of home haircuts I've seen in my time...well at least ok enough to pass until Dr. J gets home and can take him to a professional :)  Reason 319 "I'm so glad when daddy comes home."
-played a game, Dinosaurs Roar with Gigi and Captain E.  Super fun and thank you Peach for taking a nap so I could actually do something.  I also played checkers with Captain E, but instead of playing to win or having him play to win I was really focusing on strategy.  Yes that is right, I want my kid to be a checker wiz...please no chess!
-congratulated Captain E on his 12 out of 10 spelling test.  The kid really rocks those test.  He does not get it from me.  I was so grateful to be out of grade school where you got a grade for that.  Spelling my worst subject ever.
-had the surprise of my life while Peach was on the toilet.  We put our kids on the potty fairly early.  Poop is gross and the less I have to clean off a bottom the better.  With Captain E long before he was two we just started throwing him on the toilet when we knew he was going to poop.  It made potty training a lot easier later.  With G bear we started long before she was one and by 12 months I never had to change another poop diaper again.  Peach has not been so cooperative.  When she was really young she just hated the toilet and would scream an squirm when I put her on it.  Somewhere around 13 months though she decided it was ok and would sit there a few seconds.  Then she started doing little pees and would clap her hands to let you know she was happy.  She still would not pooh on the toilet.  Today after her nap I put her on the toilet.  I let her sit there for a second and when she didn't pee I went to pull her off (understand she is balancing with my help on the big potty, I never got her to like the one her size).  She said, "No, no, no, pooh, poop."  I looked at her like she was crazy.  I mean the girl isn't even a full seventeen months yet.  I checked in the toilet, but there was nothing.  Again I went to pull her off and again she yelled, "no, no, no, poop."  So I sat for a second and then she did her dirty little business.  After that clapping and cheering abounded.  Here's hoping to more poohs in the potty, less in the pants...and also I'm so gratefully that she is getting words to communicate.  So cool!!!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Day 14 Alone-Menu Item on Monday

Waffle and fruit syrup recipes at the bottom!!!
Today I didn't:
-clean the bathroom
-make my bed
-get dressed until two
-make dinner, thank goodness for left overs

Today I:
-clean up after dinner
-vacuum and clean the floor of course...have to keep the mojo :)
-made homemade granola and yogurt
-helped Captain E with homework and Tae Kwon Do.  How do people deal with homework and extra curricular when they have more than one kid?  Like the Duggers, I mean seriously how do you get all the stuff done...I mean seriously.  
-missed my hubby like crazy

Today I'm thankful for: My hubby!  Oh how I miss you Dr. J.  I know we'd had this conversation a ton of times.  I'm always giving you a hard time saying that I do all the cleaning around here...well apparently I was wrong.  I am sweeping and vacuuming every day and there is still a ton of mess on the floor.  I knew you took care of the floors occasionally, I just didn't realize how often it was :)  Can't wait until you are home to sweep for me again!!!!

We eat a lot of waffles in this house.

A week ago I tried some of Robyn's Pumpkin Oatmeal Waffles-This recipe is so/so in my opinion.  I thought it tasted good but I just struggled to get it to cook right.  The outside would get nice and toasty but when I went to pull it out it would split in two because the center just would not cook.  I think I'd like to try it again in pancakes.  

2 c whole wheat flour (soft white preferable)
2 c regular rolled oats
1 (30 oz) can pumpkin
1/4 c coconut oil (liquid)
3 tbsp sucanat
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. sea salt
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder (no aluminum)-reduce by 1/2 tsp. if you soaked grains overnight
1 c yogurt or kefir
2 1/2 c water
2 tsp. vanilla
3 eggs

mix oats in your blender to a coarse meal.  Mix the whole-wheat flour, oats, yogurt, and water together, then cover and let it sit overnight.  In the morning, add the remaining ingredients and mix by hand but don't over mix.  Batter is dense, and baking time usually must be longer than waffle timer indicates.

This recipe works out a lot better for me.  It is my favorite Betty Crooker Recipe with some variations
1 3/4 cups whole wheat flour
2 tablespoons sucrant
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 egg
1 1/2 cup coconut milk
3 tablespoons melted coconut oil

Mix batter and put 1/4 cup on hot, lightly greased griddle.  Yum, they are good.

As for syrup options these come from Robyn and they are delicious!!!!!!
Quick Raw Applesauce
4 large Jonathan or Fuji apples, washed, cored, and quartered
1 cup water
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/3 cup maple syrup
Pulse all ingredients in your high power blender for a chunky sauce.  Serve over waffles or pancakes.

Berry Sauce for Waffles/Pancakes
6 cup frozen mixed berries
1/2 c maple syrup
1-1 1/2 c hot water
Puree or pulse all ingredients in your blender until desired consistency is achieved.


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