Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Do the Math-Uh-Oh


The answer...1 mean girl+ 1Dr. J = 1 family + 9 years = 5 family members, mean girl, Dr. J, Captain E,
Gigi, and Peach.  My neighbor asked me if I was pregnant today...I realized I wasn't clear enough on this equation :)

Thursday, April 21, 2011

My Foot Fetish

I hate feet, have a major aversion to them.  I can't tell you when it started, it seems like it's always been part of my psyche.  I can't stand the way they look, feel, or smell.  Just thinking of someone touching me with their feet makes me retch.  When I was in college I remember sitting around watching conference with a bunch of my roommates.  At one point one of my roommates fell asleep on the floor.  A friend was over and started brushing her purple painted toe-nails through my roommate's hair.  That image seared itself in my brain and to this day gives me nightmares.  Dr. J still won't let me live down the fact that when we decided to get married I made him take his socks off and show me his toes to make sure I could stand sleeping next to them for a life time and more.  My main problem, while I wish I could avoid them my mind instantly makes a little file of all the feet I see, skinny long toes, white bloated feet, yellowed toe nails, hair, my mind insist on memorizing them all.  It makes the beginning of summer a difficult time for me, all these white, soft feet hidden away for a whole winter are suddenly trust on the world...a terrible time for me to be sure :) 

Speaking of feet, "A Day Without Shoes" was freezing, I mean just so cold.  Just the week before it was 70, April 5th I was running kids to school in 32 degree weather.  Thankfully it warmed up fast!  I realized my feet are pretty darn wimpy, baby soft.  Walking to the car was fine, driving fine, taking Gigi into preschool not so fine...my feet started to hurt.  Can you believe it?  Only my second stop and I was thinking, man where are my flip flops?  The concrete, asphalt and gravel were tearing them up.  Sometimes I forget how cushy, comfy my life really is.  I am warm, I am full, I am protected, I am lucky! 

Dr. J and I are always looking for new things to watch on Netflix and this movie we stumbled upon by accident.

"Waste Land" documents an amazing project by the Brazilian modern artist Vik Muniz.  Modern art isn't my thing.  I want beauty and technique, if I'm stuck looking at something mundane searching for meaning I'm out, but Muniz combines both beauty and meaning.  His concern for the aesthetics as well as the message are clear.  At one point he talks about what lead to the creation of these sugar children, it was something that spoke me on a deeper level.
Vik Muniz, The Sugar children: Valentina, the fastest; Jacynthe, loves orange juice; Lil Calist can
"Waste Land" is incredible.  I've found myself pondering on the lives of the people, struck by how amazing all of God's children are.  If you have a chance you should check it out.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Motherhood Lesson #78

 Sometimes we eat at our table but most of the time we just play....

Peach says, "I want to be a baby mama."

G bear, "Has anyone seen my giraffe?"

Captain E, "Do you want the truth?" To the question of, "Is that hi-ho cherrio cherries you are dunking in your milk?"

Chicken Soup

Every family has a couple of go to comfort dishes, and chicken soup happens to be my personal favorite.  My mom would chop up the veggies add tons of chicken and then we'd garnish with lime, cilantro and chips.  The combination of salty, tart, and just a little sweet was always divine.  Last week when everyone was still sick I decided to cook up a pop of chicken soup.  My kids love their soup with noodles so I threw in some egg noodles.  Egg noodles how I love you.  A make a pile of flour in a bowel and mix in a sprinkle of salt.  Then I stir in one egg.  Too sticky, add more flour, too dry add another egg.  When I have a nice dough I roll it out, cut it into strips and add the noodles to the boiling pot of soup a small handful at a time.  They take 10 minutes to prep, 2 minutes to cook, and just a few seconds for my kids to eat.

Lesson in motherhood #56


You Get What You Pay For?

My whole life I've heard this and to some degree I actually believe it.  It's the reason I have the sweet red cruiser and the Sienna minivan.  It's the excuse I'm going to use to buy an Apple computer and that Nikon 300 someday.  It's why I'm pretty sure the last two portable DVD players we've had died within the first year.  It's why I'm totally amazed that the $10 DVD player we got four years ago is still kicking.  That being said I felt a slight reserve when placing Gigi in her current preschool.  The cost was many times what we paid for Captain E and about $100 more a month than what other programs in the area might cost.  We felt really good about it though and because of some of the concerns we had about Gigi, especially her speech we decided go for it.  Many times over this year I have felt a reassuring spirit that we made the right choice.  This week I had two.  The first: We came into class and Teacher Katie said, "Gigi come here I have something special for you."  The teachers had covered the underside of one of the tables in the middle of the classroom and put a mat on the floor under it.  Gigi and Katie went to the table, climbed underneath and started to draw.  Other kids came under and did the lines but Gigi drew out this family.  Daddy is the one with the ears.  Mom the big one with hair.  Peach the tiny one.  Captain E the one with no hair at all.  Gigi the small one with tons of hair.  Teacher Katie told me later she'd come up with the idea specifically for Gigi because she's a little girl who really enjoys activities that are "outside the box".  Then today when I brought Gigi in she was really grouchy.  She woke up late, ate toast in the car and was at school probably within 30 minutes of first opening her eyes.  The girl was unhappy.  Later when I talked to with her teacher she told me that Gigi had just wanted to lay on the little couch in the classroom when she first got there.  It remind Katie of a story about a dad who was trying to figure out which of his kids was hiding under a blanket.  She went looking for the book and a blanket.  She read the book to Gigi and then asked her if she wanted to perform the story for the rest of her class during circle time.  Gigi said yes and from then on her bad day was gone.  I'm so impressed with how much consideration and personal attention is put into the activities, curriculum, and daily care of each of the children in the class.  I'm happy to say that in the case of preschool we are definitely getting what we paid for :)

Friday, April 8, 2011

The Cove

Documentary love...check
Beautiful animals...check
Borne identity type operations, equipment, guts, intensity...check
Villain character...check
Horrific imagery...check
Shady government buyouts...check
Scientific proof of the ridiculousness of the current status quo...check
A man doing everything in his power to be able to forgive himself and find redemption...check
Tear jerker...check

Seriously a must see!!! In the words of Dr. J, "I have no problem giving that movie a five out of five."  And just in case your thinking that I'm just picking on something because it isn't my culture I just wanted to say that  the next movie in my queue is Temple Grandin...the woman who revolutionized the slaughter of cattle...my steak :(  Should be interesting.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Eating Animals - Jonathan Foer

Eating Animals
My sister and I trade a lot of book and movie suggestions.  This one came from her and I totally HATED IT!  I mean there is some decent information here but I just felt so judged.  Hello Jonathan I just like the way meat taste.  I'M SORRY!  Stop being so self righteous and judgemental.  Which of course maybe he isn't.  Isn't it funny how we feel judged by other people's choices.  It's as if someone living one way makes your way wrong or vice versus which of course isn't true.  Nope never mind the man is judgemental :)  I mean I'm a meat eat sparingly person and I think if we went to a meat sparingly culture instead of meat all the time culture everything (general health, the environment, animals) would be a whole lot better off, but reading this book I felt like there was no middle ground.  You either had to jump in and never eat a piece of meat again because it was moral wrong, or you were just horrible.  And I just can't do it.  Like I said, I just like the way it taste.  I mean I never even had a steak until I was a married woman and now that I've gone there it's just to hard to say I'll never go there again.  BUT HERE IS THE MAJOR IRONY, ever since reading this book I can't eat shrimp.  I see it on menus in the restaurants or at the grocery store, I pause and then I just have to keep on moving.  Shrimp was the first sea food I would eat as a kid.  We went on a trip to San Francisco and my mom bought us sshrimp in a sourdough bread half on a pier.  It was one of my first great food memories, completely delicious, and now I can't eat it.  Turns out that trawl fishing for shrimp results in the highest amount of bycatch or incidental catch of non-target species.  Turns out 20 pounds of bycatch for every 1 lb of shrimp, the high, or 5.7 lbs average for every 1 lb.  That's a lot of dead animals for my 1 lovely pound of shrimp.  Just a little too much guilt.  No wonder I hate this book so much.  THANKS A LOT FOER!

She also suggested I watch The Cove.  Looks totally exciting.  I'm waiting for a free night when I can check it out on Netflix.

The Walls Have Ears, Mouths, Eyes, and a Brain

My sister took a little trip home last weekend and I was telling Dr. J about what she did while she was there.  I told him one night she went to my moms for a family dinner, my sister Jo made Indian food with her boyfriend. I was struggling to remember his name.  In my defense I'm horrible with names, especially when I'm on the spot and I've never meet him.  So I'm sitting there trying to tell this story and I just can't remember his name and Captain E says, "You mean Jo's boyfriend Travis."  Hello how did he even know that?  They've never meet, and he really isn't part of the relationship talk but apparently he's been listening to a lot more then I realized.  As our kids get older things are getting more dicey and I'm thinking mom and dad need a little more privacy, a separate language, and definitely our own bathroom. This is a TMI moment so if that makes you squirm just skip to the next paragraph.  A couple of nights ago mom and dad decided to have some alone time.  Keep in mind this was about an hour after the kids had been put to bed but not at our normal post midnight hook up time.  After we were quietly chatting in the bathroom when all the sudden who should appear in the doorway but one Captain E.  "Why are you guys in the bathroom at the same time."  Awkward! We will definitely be looking for a house with a master bathroom!

Gigi is always cracking me up.  Last night she was singing, "I'm a little tea pot, short and hot, touch my spot and burn. Hahahaha!"  Silly girl.  Then tonight we were eating dinner without daddy, a practice I'm fairly sure is common in most doctor families.  To pass the time Gigi was telling knock, knock jokes.  Most of them revolved around underwear and poodles...and there were like 100 of them!  I never realized how much of a comedian she was.  She also is gaining confidence in being bossy.  When her brother says something she doesn't agree with she'll say, "Your wrong E."  And then they proceed to argue about who is right for ten minutes.  The arguing I don't appreciate but the fact that she feels confident to go toe to toe with big brother I do. 

Peach oh Peach.  What a girl.  Today was Grandma's birthday and she was singing right along with the rest of them.  The girl loves to chat.  She was reading a book today and I said, "Are you reading now."  She replied "I'm reading a book now, yes."  Cracks me up.  She is also the most polite child I've ever seen.  She is a please a thank you girl.  This weekend Dr J had a huge sneeze and from the corner of the room there was a little tiny, "Bless you."  Dr. J looked over, saw Peach and said, "Thank You."  To which she responded, "You're Welcome."  :)

Sunday, April 3, 2011

April 5th-A Day Without Shoes

As one of six children, raised by a single parent elementary school teacher I knew well the disappointment of not having the in clothing.  Fast forward twenty years to a grad school family with a tight budget and I often find myself focusing on my relative poorness.  All things are relative though.  In my travels outside of the borders of this country I have often found myself face to face with real poverty, children who spend their days begging or working instead of going to school, poorly clothed, often shoe less regardless of the temperature or environment, distended bellies and bleached out hair due to malnutrition, enough disparity to know that I have spent a life blessed in wealth.  Have you ever heard of Toms shoes?  It was started by Blake Mycoskie a few years ago.  On a trip to Argentina as he befriended local children he was struck by how many of them lacked even a single pair of shoes.  The price of shoes, often ones that had to be made outside of the country was too high for many parents.  Lack of shoes keep some children out of school, they put them at risk of injury, and in many countries increase the chance that they are going to get parasitic diseases like Podoconiosis (mossy foot), schistosomiasis, tungiasis, hookworm, etc.  Blake wanted to do something, and the idea hit him, "What if I start a shoe company that every pair of shoes bought was actually two pairs of shoes bought, one that goes to the client, one that goes to a child in need."  He started the company in 2006.  As of September 2010 over one million pairs of shoes have been given, which is totally awesome.

To raise awareness to the cause A Day Without Shoes was started.  People all over the world go barefoot to show their support.  April 5th will be the fourth year, so if you see me walking out the door to speech with no shoes, now you'll know why.  May we always be lifted up with how blessed we are and how much we can give, rather then be dragged down with longing for that which we don't need.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Ain't No Fool

I waited until the last minute to plan my day today so I turned to Family Fun to solve my April Fool's day dilemma, such a great site for parents!

 I found these cute little donut seed packets.  Print, cut, glue, fill with Cheerios...the kids loved these. 
 Breakfast was french toast cut into strips with jam.  I told the kids we were having french fries and ketchup for breakfast.

 They had this game of memory, where none of the pictures matched.  The first time I looked at this I thought yuck how jerky.  I could just imagine my kids getting frustrated, one of the reasons I'm not a fan of pranks.  But then I thought, this would be a perfect way to get dad.  So I printed off the memory.  When Dr. J came home Captain E was ready.  "Dad will you play memory with me."  It didn't take long for Dr. J to realize no pairs were popping up and then Captain E got to yell, "April Fools!" 

For dinner we had grilled cheese and pie :)  The grilled cheese was toasted pound cake with orange frosting and our pies were deep dish pizzas.  I was going to make a Sheppard's pie with "frosting" potatoes but I just didn't have the stomach for it.  Can we say it was long whiny day for my kids.  This was fun as well.  What kid doesn't like pizza and the kids sure were surprised when they bit into there "grilled cheese". 
Miss Peach has been sick for a week.  Can you tell by looking at her hair?


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