Sunday, August 28, 2011

Sunday Confessional - When I Feel Threatened I Get Snippy

It is a matter of shame for me but if someone points something out about me that makes me feel threatened my natural instinct is to attack.  I guess I'm just a flight or fight girl, who is more prone toward fight.  Last Sunday I had to give a talk in church.  Later that night my husband said I got a little braggy.  I WAS MORTIFIED!  That was so not my intention.  I went over what I said in my mind, thinking why did he say that, thinking about each word, thinking about what I had intended and wondering if my words were misplaced.  What I really wanted to do though was start in on my husband.  I stood at the sink and my mind filled with all these snippy comments I wanted to say to him.  I think of things that he does that annoy or bother me and I let them fly.  Now Dr. J and I have talked about this little piece of me extensively and I'm not the kind of person who isn't self aware so I knew exactly what was going on.  There are many times in situations like this where I just let the comments go creating a major fight all to avoid some personal soul searching. What could I do?  I decided that just this once I wanted to be nice, I wanted to hear a criticism and rather then nit pick my husband do an internal self check.  I literally bit my tongue to keep from saying anything.  I stood washing dishes, biting my tongue, so frustrated I was literally in tears.  I said to my husband, "I want to say mean things to you, but I'm trying to be mature.  Would you mind stepping back for a second."  The man got out of there fast.  And you know the amazing thing is things worked out just fine.  I finally settled.  No fight ensued.  I was able to enjoy the rest of my evening without trying to take a chunk out of my husband.  You think somehow because you've reached adulthood that you reached this pinnacle of how good you are going to be.  Sometimes your forget that there are so many opportunities to continue growing and changing.  We don't have to be confined at the place we are when we are 18, 21, 25, 30, +.  In the same vein is interesting watching the way we interact in our marriage grow and change.  I like that as time goes on it seems like we've become more comfortable discussing these sorts of things.  This morning I told my husband that please, I didn't want to hear any more comments about the cleaning of the house.  I told him I did almost everything in the house and if there was something that was really bothering him he could take care of it himself, otherwise for my sake and out of respect of the fact that this job has been placed almost solely on my shoulders could he please bit his tongue and just hold out for it to be done.  When I was first married that would have been the kind of comment I might have been tempted to say in a fight when the house was a total disaster and I was feeling overwhelmed.  Ten years later I realize that this wasn't a snippy point of contention comment.  This was something I needed as a stay at home wife who spends her day doing menial/repetitive jobs that are mind blowingly dull that are almost immediately disregarded or destroyed but are totally necessary for a happy life.  This was a favor I needed from my husband, not a cut to throw at him when I wasn't happy with the fact that he pointed out I hadn't gotten to the dishes.  And so I asked for it as a favor, and it was well received.  Here is to growth!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Pregnancy and Cooking?

How about a no!  The unfortunate truth about pregnancy is that it wreaks havoc on my desire to eat, in turn annihilating my desire to cook.  I don't want to eat, I do want to eat, I have to eat right now, nope now I'm not feeling good, that smell makes me sick, food I just need food, I want strawberries and nothing else, no only raisin bran will do.  There are so many conflicting messages going on that my brain says, "I give up crazy lady, I've got nothing for you."  A perfect example of this...our menu so far this week.  Monday, Nested Eggs and fruit.

My kids and husband love this meal, so it really wouldn't have been a crime except...Tuesday, Egg burritos and fruit, where I found out that egg burritos actually taste OK after sitting on the table for three hours and my husband learned if you want your full dinner don't bring it upstairs at ten to eat next to your pregnant wife. 

Then there was Wednesday, fruit and ham and cheese sandwiches in the sandwich maker.  Once again, really nothing wrong with this meal...if perhaps it was lunch time or maybe any other week.  This time hubby had the sense to stay downstairs and I came down and ate yogurt instead.

And that brings us to Thursday's gem, pasta salad, green salad, cherries, and corn on the cob.  I'm not going to's what I desperately wanted to eat.  The rest of my family was just along for the ride.  I'm at block here ladies.  What are some go to easy meals you actually want to make when you are pregnant?

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Sunday Confessional - My Childen Are Normally Horrid At Church

Today Dr J and I had the "privilege" of speaking in church.  We were it, the whole show, and since both of us had to speak we decided to stay in the pews until the last possible second.  I got to go first, managed to take up most of the time, and then returned to find my children in the right row, quietly working on sticker books, for the most part not talking or fighting, not grinding snacks into the carpet, not crawling under benches, not screaming, not trying to write on the walls, carpet, seats, or hymn books with colored pencil, and not trying to kick each other.  Dr J went up and gave his talk.  They stayed perfect.  We sang, prayed and then we were free.  The gentlemen sitting behind us was from the stake.  I didn't catch his name but can tell you he had a beautiful tenor voice.  He said to us, "Thank you brother and sister for your talks, and your kids, well they are just so well behaved."  We looked at each other and started to laugh.  "Normally they are horrid.  They have a lot of energy and we've yet to figure out how to make a mellow child" I said.  He chuckled but the truth is this was no show of modesty,  normally they are horrid.  We've tried to be consistent, we provide entertainment, and a small snack, we beg them to whisper, we practice, but our kids are little balls of energy shoved into a tiny walkway, bouncing back and forth.  I look around and notice the kids that sit quietly.  They read their Friend without throwing it.  They stay with their buns flat to the seat rather then trying to wiggle out of arms to stand on the pew.  They smile discreetly at their friends instead of yelling across the room.  Is there some magic pill I haven't heard about?  Do people replace their children with pods?  Where can I get one, just for Sunday mind you, between the hours of 9 and noon!

Peach loves to hang out in the windows. I'm constantly telling her, "Get off the back of the couch and out of the windows." Like I said, "Bouncing off the walls!"
 We had the missionaries over for dinner this week. Captain E got it in his head he needed a picture with them. Heaven help us! That is one family I don't want to be. I had a friend in college whose family took pictures with all the missionaries and kept a book with their pictures, names, and home address. Not so shockingly she ended up marrying one of those missionaries. Let's just say I already worry about 17 year old Gigi!

In pregnancy related news, 20 weeks today.  Officially Half Baked!  We went to back to our old home yesterday to drop off library books a certain husband had been holding onto.  We visited with a couple friends.  Neither of them "noticed" I was pregnant.  I guess I should appreciate my friends love me regardless of fluctuating weight and don't say anything but still.... :)  So far, so good.  Most of my nausea is gone now.  I'm not feeling tired and can still paint my own toe nails and climb around on the floor.  Unfortunately me desire to cook is at a zero so we've been doing lots of breakfast for dinners.  Hurray me!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Robyn's Granola

This is a Green Smoothie Girl Recipe...that I totally love.  It is super easy to make and the ingredients are stuff I have in my house.  If you don't have some of the dry ingredients you can leave them out and be fine.  Today I left sesame seeds out because I couldn't find them.  I know I have some, they were just lost in the disaster I call my pantry!

Mix Well:
8 cups rolled oats (not instant)
1 cup raw wheat germ
1 cup shredded coconut (I buy this at the health food store, unsweetened)
1/2 cup freshly ground flax seeds
1 1/2 cups nuts (walnuts, pecans, cashews, almonds, pumpkin seeds...pretty much any variety or type you like)
1/4 cup sesame seeds
2 Tbsp. cinnamon

Heat on stove until barely melted, stirring together:
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup molasses or Grade B maple syrup (maple syrup is my favorite, but today I used molasses because I have some that is never going to get used otherwise and it still taste great, maybe just not quite as sweet)
1/2 cup water (haha, I forgot the water today and it turned out great, in fact I'd say that I actually got more chunks which is my favorite part)
1/2 cup coconut oil
optional: 1 tbsp. maple flavoring or vanilla

Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until distributed evenly (this takes a few minutes).  Bake at 250 degrees, stirring every 20 minutes for 45-90 minutes or until dry (I usually only do 40 minutes because I don't want to risk burning it).  Keep in the pantry for up to 2 weeks in cooler weather, or the fridge for up to six weeks. 

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Sunday Confessional - I used to think I was good at not getting pregnant...

I blame you ladies with babies closer then two years apart for this false sense of security.  Recent events made me reevaluate this self belief.  The truth is Dr. J and I always intended for our children to be spaced three years apart, especially this last child because who in their right mind would be pregnant and moving, have a child in intern year, be pregnant while switching insurances, you get the picture.  And yet our spacing is almost  2 1/2 years between each child.  So we started doing some number crunching, and the results were shocking.  Between each of our children is 30 months.  Nine months of that time I'm pregnant with the upcoming sibling so the math goes 30-9=21months.  Then you have the fact that I've been blessed with a body that doesn't ovulate while I'm nursing, no periods until a month following the weaning of my baby.  Yes I know I'm lucky.  21-13=8.  That means that I'm only good at not getting preggo for 8 months.  While trying not to get pregnant, I can't even make it a full year.  Which means I'm not nearly so good at not getting pregnant then previously thought.  Dr. J and I just about died when we figured this out.  Here we thought we were so careful.  But here is the truth about humans, we are biological creatures, and it turns out that biology plays little tricks on our mind...and somehow two people with almost 4 college degrees between them can't figure a little thing like ovulation dates when said ovulation is present!  I guess that's what they mean when they "This birth control method is only 80% effective under "normal" use."  Family planning doesn't seem to be getting any easier and we may just have outgrown the usefulness of condoms.  Guess we're going to need a back up plan!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

First Day of School Jitters

I am a shy, awkward individual so the first day of school, especially at a new school where I knew no one was always torture for me.  I remember the liberation of going to college, thinking, "Thank goodness there is no need for me to talk to any of these people, or find someone to sit with at lunch, or a friend to play with at recess."  And so it was a disappointment when I came to realize when it came to social graces my son was exactly like me, because the truth is, what was torture to bear as a child, as a parent it almost inhumanely overwhelming.  Last night during family prayer, Captain E prayed that he would be ok at school.  Dr. J then pulled him aside and gave him a beautiful father's blessing.  He blessed him that he would be excited to learn, and that he would have the concentration to stay on task.  He blessed him to love his teacher, to find friends, and that there could be one person who would make him comfortable and help him through this awkward time.  Then we bundled the kids off to bed.  Later, long after they were asleep, I had a good cry and begged heavenly father to take my little son into his comforting embrace and help him feel good during this transition.  Then I braced myself so that in the morning I could present an excited, happy front.  At breakfast Dr. J again prayed for E to find peace and then we sallied forth for the walk to school.  It was a pleasant time.  The weather has cooled significantly from the last few weeks and E and I had fun pushing the girls together.  When we got to the school I was so glad we had walked.  Not only was I able to snap this fun picture but I was able to avoid the craziness of carpool.  Our city was unable to get voters to agree to a tax increase for the district, so the district was forced to cut busing unless parents were willing to pay $450 a child.  As a result of the 700 students at the school, only 78 are now being bused.  The lines wrapped around the block.  I'm hoping to keep walking until the weather gets too cold.  Also a blessing, I saw his teacher at the door and asked her to keep a special eye on him because he was so shy.  I also encouraged E while on the walk that he make eye contact and say hi to any kids who said hi to him today.  He told me he had forgotten how to make friends since last year, and I told him, just responding with a smile and hi when people talked to him would go a long way.  And then I got to hug him.  Second grade here we come.  I'm excited for all the things he will learn this year, all the growth he will see, and I pray that his anxiety will wane and he can make some great friends.

My 2nd grader!  Time is going so fast!

Peach and Gigi...this is the first time I've gotten Peach's hair into pigtails.

Homemade Magic Shell

Childhood memories are so sweet.  Who didn't love a Dairy Queen dipped cone?  They actually have a product called "Magic Shell" which allows you to relive that memory at home.  Turns out you can make your own with chocolate chips and coconut oil.  Thanks to a friend's post on facebook I got the recipe here at . 

Measure 1 1/4 cup chocolate chips into a bowl and add 1/2 cup solid coconut oil.
Microwave 1-1 1/2 minutes.
Dribble over ice cream (We used a medicine dispenser but you can also just pour).

That's it, easy peasey.  I put the finished product in a jar in the fridge where it can be reheated in the microwave whenever we need.  I love being able to make products like this at my house with stuff I just have in the cupboard.  Hurray for facebook and cooking blogs!    

1 1/4 cup chocolate chips, 1/2 cup solid coconut oil.

Just mix after melted.

Easy way for the kids to disperse it!

This was the most delicious desert I've had in years...Homemade raspberry pie, a scoop of ice cream, magic shell on top.  SO YUMMY!!!!!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Sunday Confessional - I still owned my baby blanket, up until last month...

Up until last month I still owned my baby blanket along with a bunch of childhood mementos.  Dr. J and I only had three feet in and ABF truck when we moved cross country eight and half years ago, so we packed up all our childhood memories and stuck them in my mother-in-laws basement.  Then we moved five times, and I've been so grateful they were safe, but with the buying of this house and the settling down of roots we decided it was time to bring our childhood memories home.  I decided to go through my boxes and found tons of treasures.  Shorts my father bought me when I was four, which like all of the clothes my father ever bought me were from the boy's section.  He never got over the fact that I was a daughter.  I also found my baby blanket which for years I slept with, I mean like into high school and an original pillow pet that my mother made me 26 years before the trend.  I was going to daycare/preschool at the time while she finished her teaching degree and they insisted each child could only have a pillow.  I was devastated because I was a stuffed animal collector and so my mother sewed both me and my sister a pillow that looked just like a stuffed animal.  We seriously were the luckiest kids ever, although I'm realizing now we should have patented the idea.  Also floating around in the boxes were all my school reports, report cards, an article I wrote while a cub reporter, all of my art work, letters from every missionary friend I ever wrote, all the letters my family and friends wrote me while I was in college, and what appears to be every note/piece of creative genius given to me by my high school best friend Pamela W.  It was an incredible trip down memory lane.  Like for one, I had no memory of the fact that Eric Lopez wrote me letters while he was on his mission, I thought he hated me in high school.  Also if you had to pick who I loved most on shear volume, it's amazing I didn't marry Pam :)  I decided though that some pieces needed to be thrown out, and so I tossed all the missionary letters that weren't from really good friends, or my high school boyfriend (who by the way dumped me while on his mission because he found someone while out he "loved as well".  I actually got a big kick reading that letter again.) or the letters from the boy I loved in college (52 exactly, one every two weeks from across the ocean), or all of Pamela's stuff (I mean it really was art and she was my best friend, which is why Peach's middle name has double meaning for me), and the letters from my mom and my sisters from when I was in college because that is part of my history.  I also kept all my school stuff, but decided it was time to say goodbye to the shorts that had been loved almost to bits, the blanket that was bits (I actually wish I would have kept it, which is partially why I threw it out, a little concerned the taters would have found their way back onto my bed), and the pillow pet that my mother took from me to take to her classroom.  I of course kept my wedding dress and my college journal,but tossed wedding thank you cards that I couldn't find address for but had been holding on to for years.  Sorry if you were one of them.  Thanks for all your love.  As for doctor J's stuff I hauled it back site unseen.  Who knows what treasures wait for us there, just waiting to be uncovered.  
I used to wear these when I was four.  They are definitely too short for E, but not to lean.

My baby bro showing off my blanket.  Notice the blue.  I told you my dad wanted a boy.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Berry Picking

We feel so lucky about the neighborhood we moved into.  We've found amazing friends!  On Thursday we went berry picking with our friend A, and her daughters B and K at at a u pick farm about 30 minutes away.  G bear wanted to make sure she looked nice before the outing :)
Do you like my headband?

Because I love it?

Captain E looking for berries.

Hmmm, where are more berries?

Maybe over here?

Working together.

Peach spent most of her time eating berries.  Her siblings an I kept adding berries to her bucket only to find it almost empty each time we returned.  Watching her for a few seconds and I realized why...every time we filled her bucket, she started filling her mouth.  It didn't take her long to munch through our offerings.

Here is B gathering her offerings.  She kept telling me she was going to use her berries to make a special treat with her dad.  What a cutie!

Here are the fruits of our labor.  I don't know if you can tell but this is a lot of berries.  We made one pie, jam, froze some, and kept some to just eat.  The kids worked hard!

Freezer jam?  This is the thing that drives me crazy about jam, look how much sugar goes into this sweet stuff.  I have a recipe for sugar free pectin but I didn't have any grape juice to make it and so far I've had little success with sugar free jam setting.  Has anyone had any luck?  Oh well, this white drug is what my kids were eating today and boy did they love it.

The whole time we were picking berries G bear kept saying, when we get home we're going to make a pie. 

She was so excited to be baking.

Peach is standing around waiting to help.  Do you like the scratch on her head?  She was sitting on the bench at church and then she was falling forward on her head, got a piece of the bench in front of us on the way down. 

This farm is amazing...not only do they have berries, but they also have apples, pears, peaches, tomatoes, and squash.  They also have frozen veggies/fruit that they do themselves, peas, corn, mushrooms, and berries.  They also do apple cider slushies.  Can I say I was in heaven :)

OCD Shower?

She showers and organizes!

Pool Fun

One of the major perks of our HOA is the pool.  Our fees help maintain a really large main pool, a baby pool, and two life guards who are always on duty.  With all the 90+ degrees days with humidity the pool has been a very happening place.  We are lucky to go often with a couple of friends.

Loving the bucket our friend A brought.

G bear carrying a heavy load :)

This is our little friend K.  She and Peach are in our nursery together...she cracks us up with her hair dipping routine!

No more pictures please :)

All I want for Christmas...this week Captain E lost both his front teeth.  His new lisp cracks me up :)  I have to get him singing for the camera.

Last year Captain E wouldn't even put his head in the water, now he's teaching himself to swim.  He's actually getting pretty good.  Maybe he's finally ready to take lessons from the life guards :)

This is my favorite in the series.  Captain E likes to swim around the pool with G bear on his back. 

Our friend B likes to join in the fun!

Look at those eyelashes!

No qualms about jumping in the pool!

G bear has these cute little freckles that have shown up this summer.  Freckles and eyelashes, I've got some really cute kids.

Have to love the matching swim suits!


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