Tuesday, December 22, 2009

What have we been up to?

Pardon all the photos...I use pictures to remember what it is we have done in the long time since I have felt like I have had anything to post.

We had Grandpa Earl here for Thanksgiving and went to see Santa and his reindeer (in the back, you can't really see them). Had a lot of Fun with grandpa and are excited that he will be moving to Utah so we can see him more often.
Just after he left, we had a cold spell...really cold. Below freezing for several days and in the middle of it, I had this visitor. Nightly, I would bring in the bummingbird feeder and put it out first thing in the morning and this guy was waiting for it. I'd have to bring it in a few times a day to thaw out and he seemed appreciative (it hangs just outside my kitchen window, so I have something to look at while I do the dishes). Now that it isn't so cold, I haven't seen any hummingbird activity.
We bought our Christmas tree and decorated it using mostly ornaments the boys had made (using perler beads). It's a pretty little tree I think, and sitting on top of the table, it doesn't look as small as it is.
We had friends over to decorate Gingerbread cookies (one of the favorite things I have done this holiday season).
We are the cookies when we finished. Quincy with his....in his favorite sweater (he found it in a box of Finn's out grown clothes and wears it, even to bed. I have to peel it off him to wash it. He does the same thing with his favorite truck socks).
lil brig and his cookie.
The twins having a little nap on the couch. I'll admit it, there was melatonin involved and they were still in their jammies, but they were grumpy and I had to get things ready for christmas.
Paxton pushed Quincy off the ottoman and onto the edge of the hearth. It was a bad cut with a big bump, but he was okay as long as he had a band aid on it. Then when we took the bandaid off, he banged it again and split it open again.
Now, Paxton is sporting his own super glued spot...he got out of a bubble bath to go potty, and slipped against the tub getting back in, splitting his chin open. And here are the bubbles...we like to do them really bubbly, thanks to the aid of our "bubbleator" (some crazy gift my mom had never used and we found it in her closet).
Happy Christmas to all of you!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Retake Success!


See, I do have a handsome kid!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Retakes? Anyone?


Finn got his school pictures back today. He wasn't feeling well, and I still sent him, because it was picture day. He came home with a fever and was sick for 4 days after. At least we can tell he tried. But we are sill going for retakes.

(In todays "digital" age, are you really telling me the photographer couldn't take another one? I guess they really want to come back to school.)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

"Movember"


Tom Selleck?
Nope, it's my brother Jake. He's trying to raise money by "changing the face of men's health". Funds donated benefit the livestrong foundation and the prostate cancer foundation.

If you are interested in growing a "stache" and want an excuse to do it, or just want to learn more, or DONATE, go here.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

There's a mouse in my house!

His name is Quincy!


Last night, Quincy wouldn't eat his dinner. He kept asking for bread and getting up from the dinner table. After dinner this is what we discovered. (you can't tell from the picture, but I had to cut 3 thick slices of bread to have a peiece with out a hole in it.)

Today, he was saying he was hungry and I discovered this after I served them lunch.



Luckily, we also discovered a chore Quincy likes to do yesterday. Guess I'll have to make that "his chore," because he isn't hip on doing much else.

Fortunately, he only puts the sippy cups on the floor to assemble them.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Halloween

This is for Jen, who asked me to post something so she wouldn't have to keep seeing Paxtons' finger. Halloween was a bit anticlimatic this year. Finn had gotten sick, then Paxton, then Alvin and finally Quincy (H1N1?) and that left all the preparations for me, and I just didn't want to do it. That means no pumpkin carving at our house, maybe we'll have pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving.

Fortunately, we had a few costumes in the closet that fit the twins and Finn said he wanted to be a vampire in front of a neighbor, who offered a vampire costume.
I didn't have any green make up for Pax and Finn didn't want make up, so it was pretty easy.
The weather cooperated and we barely needed coats. Instead of our usual trick or treat to all the merchants in our little town, we went to a neighborhood and I realized that Finn doesn't remember going door to door in our old neighborhood. He and Gabe ran to each house with Paxton toddling behind, asking if we could please go to another one.
Quincy didn't feel well enough to even put his costume on for a picture and surprisingly, hasn't said too much about the candy, except, "Paxy, where did you get all this candy?" Paxton's reply, "from the tick or teat!"

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Kind of gross...

but you know you want to look.
We had to bribe him with 5 hershey kisses to let us change the bandage(Sarah sent me some macadamia nut kisses from Hawaii and I bought a bag of kisses for the boys so I didn't have to share). He's still not using the finger and worried that its going to hurt, but otherwise he's fine!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

ER Visit

I knew I'd have to take someone to the ER eventually, but I never thought it would have been Paxton to make the first trip.

Yesterday had been trying for me...yes, they all are, but this one was particularly bad. And when I decided to get into the shower and leave Finn in charge, it got worse. Actually, I disrobed and stepped onto the bath mat, only to discover that it was sopping wet. A glance to my right and I saw the toilet had overflowed. (Anyone else think my boys need to go work at Kohler and teach them what a toilet really needs to flush?) Quincy had put a BIG wad of TP in it earlier and our crappy plunger wasn't working. Alvin had to go to work, so he said he would deal with it later. Of course, someone flushed a few times and I got to deal with it. With out sharing all the details, I was able to clear the clog. I left the water on the floor and hit the shower, practically in tears. A few second in and the door slamming and screaming starts. I got the shampoo and distractedly started rubbing it into my dry hair. I add water and Finn bursts through the door; "Paxton's slammed his finger in the door and he's bleeding really bad all over the floor."

I jumped out of the shower, dripping all over the already wet floor, thinking I'd give a kiss and hop back in. I have no contacts or glasses on, but I can see the blood and it's bad. With shampoo dripping in my eyes, I send Finn for the phone and the downstairs neighbors (finally have some). I call my parents and of course they aren't there. I call Alvin and he begins the drive home. Finn comes back and neighbors are gone. I called Brad and while he was coming over from the farm, I call Jen and quick explaination, she calls the urgent care place and finds out that we should take him to the ER. Brad arrives, I finish my shower, get dressed and gather stuff for an afternoon in the ER. Alvin gets home, Brad takes the other boys and we head off.

I'm always afraid that when I go to the Doctor or ER that they will tell me, it's fine, so I was a little afraid we'd get there and they would look at the cut and say it's fine. I was a little relieved that they wanted to do an x ray amd said he'd need stitches.
Little trooper waiting...
Getting the news that he'll need stitches
With the duck and bear they gave him in the ER

Paxton did great and only cried when expected, when they washed it and when they numbed him and when they stitched it. He practically smiled for the xrays (nothing broken), but he didn't want to look at the wound. I admit, I was almost in tears every time he cried.
All bandaged up and ready to go home.

Paxton woke up in the middle of the night when his bandage came off...Alvin thinks he was afraid he'd have to go back to the doctor. We rebandaged and he slept until 10am.

Since it was his right index finger, he's going to have a hard time doing some things. Fortunately, he's got a big brother who feels bad for him.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

We love visitors!




Last weekend, our friends, Shannon, Taylor and Tanner came for a visit. It wasn't really to see us, rather Taylor is looking at schools and Seattle U is very very very interested in her.
I'm rather ignorant about school sports, but she is a Junior and has already been offered a partial scholarship to play soccer for them in 18 months. I take it this means she is an incredible athlete.
While Shannon and Taylor did university stuff, I took Tanner and am ready to adopt her. She is old enough to be helpful and young enough to have fun with the kids. We went to the local beach, played at the park, then took a family bike ride up in Seqium (12 miles) and hit our favorite glass beach on the way home.


It was great to see Shannon and Taylor too, and we hope that Taylor will go to school here, so we can see a lot more of them.

Our Pumpkins

A few weeks ago, we took our pumpkins in to be weighed. Paxtons weighed 40 pounds, Finn's was 45 pounds and Quincy's was 22 pounds. They aren't record breaking, really, but we are certainly proud of them...and will be carving them right before Halloween.Here's a few other pictures I found on the camera:


We got a new couch and I have yet to take pictures of it, because the ottoman needs to be recovered. I might move it out of the way and take pictures later. We are loving it because there is enough space for all of us to watch tv, and we can even all lay down on it.
Last Sunday, we tried a recipe in the crockpot that Kim recommended. I used it as an opportunity for Finn to make dinner. He loved being allowed to use the sharp knives and taking credit for making dinner.

Last week was beautiful here, this week's been rainy. Here's Paxton sitting in the sun, reading aloud one of his favorite books...the Big Red Strawberry. The other boys were off playing, and he looked so cute amusing himself.






Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Here's the "recipe"

I would love to share my lasagne recipe with you, except there is no recipe...I throw stuff in the pot. But, for you, I will tell you what I threw in the pot and kind of how I did it.

Brown a pound of ground beef (italian sausage too if you have it) with a chopped onion. When it's done, add about 8 cloves crushed garlic, 2-3 stalks chopped celery, a green pepper, a red pepper, a package of sliced mushrooms, a zucchini (grated if you don't want the kids to pick it out) and maybe some grated carrots. I do this in my dutch oven and if you don't have one, ask for one for christmas...and you can bake bread in it too. Then you stir it, (theres some techinical term for it, I am sure) until the vegetables are sufficiently wilted, add a generous splash of balsamic vinegar . Then add 2 large cans of tomato sauce (I used frozen sauce made from the tomatoes in our garden) and at least one can, but maybe 2 of tomatoes (I have been using the crushed ones lately, because Finn complains about the chunks of tomato). You bring this up to a boil, toss in some italian seasonings...basil, oregano, marjoram, rosemary, thyme, salt, pepper. Turn the heat to low, put the lid on it and stir every couple minutes for about 4 hours. If I would have had time, I might have cooked this in the crockpot, on low over night. Taste it, and if it needs it, season more.

Then take 2 pints of ricotta cheese and mix with 2 eggs and a big handful of parsley.

Then put a cup of sauce on the bottom of your pan, a layer of noodles (no boil are okay, but I prefer the way the boiled ones turn out), a big helping of sauce, a portion of the ricotta cheese, a handful of grated mozzerella, and repeat until your pan is almost full...then top with tons of cheese, parmesan cheese, and some more flaked parsley. Cover with foil and Bake at about 375 for an hour or more. Uncover and cook until cheese browns. Oh, I sprayed my foil with pam and it didn't take all the cheese off with it.

So how much does this make...I would guess about 2 9x13 pans, but I wanted it thick, so I used a smaller, deeper casserole and it made 2 of those. You make less, or make one pan of lasagne and save the rest of the sauce for spaghetti, or spaghetti pie (now you want to know how to do that...mix the same ricotta mix with about a pound of cooked spaghetti , put at the bottom of the pan, layer the sauce on top, sprinkle generously with cheese and bake until bubbly...tastes just like lasagne, only so much easier). Sauce freezes great.

Enjoy!

Happy Birthday Alvin!

I was too busy making a feast for Alvin's birthday to post. I made home made lasagne with meat and tons of fresh veggies and even used tomatos sauce made from tomatoes grown here. It was delish: good thing because we will have it for lunch and dinner tonight. Ironically, I served store bought bread, because I didn't have time to make bread and then make it garlic toast. Alvin did say that it was the best garlic bread he'd ever had.

For his birthday, he likes ice cream cake, but it can't be from baskin robbins, because that has cake in it. Lucky for me, we have a dairy queen closer than Baskin Robbins. I buy him the biggest cake they have, and we eat it for days. Alvin got a new coat, the Wii fit plus game, a receipt scanner and the game boggle. He's addicted to this game online called scramble and boggle is just like it, except you don't have to sit in front of the screen (one drawback, boggle can't tell you if it isn't a real word). He opened the game and played immediately while the kids watched.
The coat is orange...and it's kind of bright, but I've decided we need some brightness as winter approaches.




Monday, October 5, 2009

Kate, this ones for you!

http://gibbonsfamilyblog.wordpress.com/2009/10/05/arabians/

A family friend of ours was at the farm yesterday with his parents and son...and this is the footage he shot. I'm not much of a horse lover (Kate should be picturing me gallopping right now...thinking about it makes he laugh to the point of tears), but the horses look pretty good in this.

Finn makes a brief appearance too, mostly just his body, no head. But did Kate recognize the shirt he was wearing? For the rest of you, it was my soccer shirt from 30+ years ago.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Morbid subject...death wishes

While arranging a playdate yesterday, the other mother told me that her mother in law had past away this weekend, and funeral plans weren't going the way she suspected her mother in law would want them to go. However, this brought her to a discussion with her husband about what to do in the event she/he died. It got me thinking...

And if I tell you all, you will know...and there might be less confusion.

I want one of these biodegradable caskets...

Of course, I want more flowers than pictured here...tons more. I don't want to be embalmed (which is possible in Washington state) and wrapped in a cotton shroud. (if money is an issue, I am fine with a brown cardboard box, but still with tons of flowers) And no viewing please!!!

For a while I considered cremation, but I don't think it's for me...not very green; at least this way, I can really fertilize a tree. Here's an interesting article about it... http://www.greendaily.com/2008/01/11/green-deathmatch-burial-vs-cremation/

Alvin and I don't have a will (shame on us!) but we both know that we want my parents to finish raising our kids, should something happen.

Now I have to find out what my husband wants.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

I have arrived!

Looks like I am finally a member of "that" club. Translation: you are the meanest mom on earth

Finn was sent to his room and asked to clean it. He didn't want to and after much shouting at me, I locked his door (from the outside). I went in a few minutes later, to find him trying to get out the window (it's only about 7 feet off the ground). He was told that if he climber out the window, he could stay outside until he wanted to clean his room, but wouldn't be allowed in for anything else. I also told him that he couldn't play Wii with friends tonight. Then I left and closed the door. A few minutes later, this was pushed out under the door.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Way Back When...


Jeanette, a roommate from my sophmore year at Ricks (yes, I went there...and if you don't know what it is, don't worry), posted these pictures today (1989) and a little blurb about the trouble we got into. Got me thinking about who I was back then.
Not one to talk about weight, this is hard...I've always seen myself as the "FAT GIRL" and looking at myself, I can see that wasn't always the case. I recall one guy, who I liked, asking an aquaintance if I was the one with child bearing hips (I'd like to introduce him to my OB...he told me there was a slim change I could deliver vaginally...and he was right). I had friends who would tell me that I wasn't as thin as they were. I had huge boobs and was ashamed of them and maybe it was easier to feel fat than well endowed.
My friend, now, always tells me not to think FAT...think Thin, maybe she has a point. I'm going to try to change that thinking from 25 years ago.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Why didn't I think of that?

We had to get a new toilet. Okay, we didn't have to, but I wanted one that was more water efficient and one that was less intriguing for the boys to flush things down. Friday, I was sick (not pregnant) and not anxious to go to home depot, but after Paxton flushed a toy boat and clogged the toilet, I had to go.

Anyone else saying..."AGAIN?"

The toilet was going to have to be taken off, again and rotated until the thing fell out, so this was the perfect time to replace the old. So we went with a comfort height toilet and the boys now have to stand on the stool (FINALLY!)

And I know you aren't reading this to see pictures of my new, home depot generic toilet, but here it is, with the coolest item I have seen! For years we have had a little plastic potty seat on the floor next to our "throne" that gets dutsy and dirty and rarely cleaned. This solves all that.

(I cleaned right before taking the pictures, so that is cleaner bubbling up in there)


The little seat is magnetic and stays in the lid, and comes down easily.
Now if only the boys would use it!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Happy Birthday Paxton and Quincy!

Today Paxton and Quincy turned 3. Those 3 years have gone quickly, but the days sure seemed to go slow.
The day started out well, breakfast with Uncle Jake (I forgot to take pictures) who shares his birthday with the twins. A playdate, played all afternoon, while I got ready for their party, and tonight we had a little party.

The boys don't have a lot of little friends, but they love Finn's friends, whose parents are my friends. Mimi and Grandma joined us too (and G-ma made her delicious potato salad, unfortunately I'm not feeling well and couldn't taste it too well). We had dinner, cake and ice cream, gifts and a piniata and still had the boys in bed by 8:00.

Yep, those boys wear me out, but how could you not love them?

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Skip that last post!

For those of you that haven't read my post last night, don't bother. I was just venting after a terrible bad day.

For those that waded through my last post, Thanks for listening to me blow off steam for my bad day. And now I know who to call.

So why not just delete it? I don't really know why, but one friend told me I should keep it (probably so I can go back and read it on a really, really, really bad day, and laugh at how easy I had it) and so I am.

PS...today has been much better, probably because I didn't take the boys shopping with me. Boys! They hate shopping at a really early age!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Just do it.

Yeah, if I sit down and write about the little bit that has gone on, then I will have done it and can move forward when something exciting happens.

Friday, my dad suggested that we take the kids to the fair. Okay, I haven't been to the fair since I've become a mom...the kids should like it. Animals are fine to look at for a little bit, but when you have cows, horses and the like in your own yard, it isn't that exciting. Except Paxton saw a miniature horse that was black and white spotted and insisted that it was a small cow. The rides were expensive and only sort of fun, but Finn complained that he didn't get to go on enough ($4 a ride, how many rides would you pay for him to go on...especially after one he insisted he ride, only to declare it was boring when he got off). And after we had been there only an hour, the kids were on a ride and we turned around and someone had stolen a stroller.

Okay...little tangent here....HOW FREAKING DESPERATE are you to steal a stroller? I mean, you are tired of carrying around your kid, so you make some other parent be just as miserable when they came prepared? You can rent a stroller for a few bucks! I only had 1 stroller and 3 kids that wanted to ride (towards the end).

Overall, fair was okay, but too expensive.

So I probably didn't say a few weeks ago that we bought a new couch. It' s been more than a year that we've only had a love seat and a chaise, but I finally had enough fighting over the loveseat, that I insisted we buy one...and they called today to schedule delivery. It was the brightest spot in my day.

Today, I had to go pick up my mother in law at the airport. I had the day all planned out and was going to do great and fun things with Paxton and Quincy. Of course, as things go, I had to use the restroom on the ferry. I had to haul both boys upstairs and after I let them walk around the ferry. BAD IDEA, because they have video games with steering wheels. I had the walk of shame back to the stairwell, carrying 2 SCREAMING boys past commuters and people who weren't humored at all!

Picked up Grandma and the first stop was to go find a pinata for the twins party Thursday. But I was going to leave them in the car with Grandma, but they were unfamiliar with her and who ever was behind her cried...for sitting behind her (in the new car seat...which everyone wants to sit in, except for today). Party store hears a lot of whining, he pinched me talk, and finally I said something to the boys, like, "Do you think there is any one in this store that wants to take home a whining little boy...I'm about ready to give you away." Come on, parents say things like that, right? Some man had the nerve to say, "Ma'am, there is a police station down the street that would be happy to take your children, no questions asked."

And we get back to the car and encounter more screaming, because Quincy doesn't want to sit behind grandma. He screams at the top of his lungs for at least 5 minutes, and his scream is ear shattering, before I finally pull into a parking spot, let him out to scream for close to 10 minutes. I seriously thought the police would show up, and I wouldn't touch him. Finally, I held him tightly and told him there would be no more screaming. AND IT WORKED. He got in the car, drank his milk and calmed down.

We headed to Ikea. The boys are potty trained, so I thought I could put them in the kiddy land, right? I took them potty first, and signed them up, only to be told that they couldn't come in until they were 3... a meer 48 hours away and you send them away crying. So we walked though Ikea with 2 crying sad boys, saying, "I'm super duper mad at those people for not letting us play." I convinced them that the toy section was a playland and they were happy once we got there. That is, until Pax fell about 2 feet and hit the back of his head on the floor. He screamed. Quincy wouldn't leave and I had to "go," so Grandma watched him and he was fine. Time to go eat...love those free meal coupons for kids, but Q didn't want to leave. (You are getting the hang of my day, right?) He screams. Until we get to the play area by the food. G'ma goes for her food, and the boys play, until someone had to go potty and I had to peel the other boy away from playing. Go in the bathroom and someone screams because I made him stop washing his hands...those short sinks are really convenient. Go back, leave the boys under g'mas care as I get lunch for us...and with a tray full of food, I hear it. Paxton come running across the restaurant screaming.....because Quincy pinched him.

Ahh, I can sit down and eat, and the boys will play, right? Do you think my boys are angels? No, dropped forks, don't want food, someone has to go potty...if I got up less than 6 times, I would be surprised. And as we are leaving, Paxton bumps his head, again. More screaming. Made it thru the rest of the store with minimal crying, because I promised another play area ahead, if they put their heads on pillows I tossed in the cart and pretened they were asleep.

Back to the car, more screaming. You know what I look like? That mom you see in the store and say, "she could use a drink!" I have twins, I looked WORSE than her, you could tell by the way people were looking at me.

Boys fell asleep and the rest of the trip was uneventful, except I got to go into Trader Joes, ALONE, while they slept with Grandma.

And then I get home, and I get sad news. For 5 years before Finn was born, I worked at an accounting firm and one of the women I worked with died last week. I found out about it from our paper supply rep who happened to find me on Facebook a few weeks ago. She read Tammy's obituary and told me. Okay, I feel really bad, because when we went to Utah in April, I had heard she had been sick, and considered going to see her, and I didn't.

But the part that makes me teary (crappy day makes it easier to cry) is this: She was he youngest of many children and she told me once that she always knew she would take care of her parents and because of that, she knew she wouldn't marry or have kids. And I recall thinking, when her parents die, she isn't going to have anything left, but work. Apparently, her mom passed on a few years ago and her dad died 32 hours before her. I just keep thinking, her job was done.

Tammy was very selfless, very kind, so happy to share in any of my good news. She used to bring pumpkin rolls to the office and they were deilcious. And for an office fundraiser, she made chili that was incredible (I was super surprised, because I don't usually do meaty chili). And I have never gone into a Cracker Barrel with out thinking of her: she was from South Carolina and loved to shop in the store...bought my wedding gift from there. I'm grateful to have known her.

And with that, I am putting this terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day to bed. And I hope that tomorrow is better...and if it isn't, I have a bottle of wine I won't hesitate to uncork about noon.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

First Day of First Grade


First grade already? Finn was nervous all summer long about first grade, but was so excited to leave this morning. We read him a few books on the subject and it seemed to calm him down.

This year school starts at 7:50; a huge change from 9:30 last year. Finn has to catch the bus at 7:20 and I imagine many mornings waiting with him in the dark on our busy road. The positive side is that most mornings Alvin will still be home and I won't have to take the little boys out there (and Alvin might go some mornings, and sometimes I can send him with Brad, Gabes dad).

We are so excited this school year!

Happy Anniversary, Bay-bee

Yesterday Alvin and I "celebrated" 8 years of marriage. If you didn't know, we are pretty low key and since we didn't have a babysitter, we did it up with frozen pizza (spinach and mushrooms for us adults) and a pre-recorded Wipeout episode.

Proudly showing off my gift to him...not a chipmunk or and adulterer, but so he can match all the other boys around here (I made them shirts too...you'll see plenty of pictures later).

Sew Proud of Myself

Saw this cute purse on Katies Blog and decided I had to try it myself. I was excited because I could use basically scraps of fabric I already have, but of course I had to go buy a few supplies and had to buy fabric too. Alvin thinks it's too small, so when I figure out how to make a stronger strap, I am going to make one bigger. It was simple enough, I am thinking of all my girlfriends with birthdays coming up and Christmas is coming too.