Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Fun in the Snow

First a trip out on the sledding and four-wheelers in the snow. What will Idaho introduce us to next?
Last Saturday Uncle Alan called to see if we wanted to go out and have an adventure with their 4-wheelers. Of course, we said yes! We all loaded up and headed out into the afternoon snow. Don't worry, I didn't go on a sled or a 4-wheeler. And I didn't walk around or explore much either. As soon as the 4-wheelers and driven around a bit, all the ice under the snow was exposed and it was quite slippery. I mostly watched the fun and took pictures and videos.

Here comes Tadd down the hill with both kids.

Caroline is quite cold, but happy. The tears streaming down her face are from the freezing wind.

Ezra's tears are for his sled which got left behind on the trail : ) Don't worry, they went back to rescue it.

That is quite a group of kiddos!

These boys were very much like bear cubs, wrestling around and rolling in the snow all day.

Aunt Heather kindly took Caroline for a ride up the hill and back down on their sled.

What more can I say than, Boys...

will always be boys!

I might be a biased Auntie, but I sure think he is cute!

Of course, our delicate little flower who gets cold quite easily gave up well before the rest of the group. She sat in the van crying and moaning about her cold feet. Finally we listened to her cries, packed up the cars and headed home. Thanks Uncle Alan and Aunt Heather for a fun suggestion!

And this is how bed time goes down at our house. Daddy either making up or reading stories to the kids. Makes for one thankful Mama!

No Baby news so far. I'm still not uncomfortable enough to be wishing for a birth this early. Maybe by next week, I don't know. It's just so easy to take care of the Baby the way it is right now! And I'm still getting ready. I did make an attempt at packing up some bags for the hospital last night. And Tadd and I took a quick tour of the birthing facility since this hospital is new to us. We now at least know what floor to go to : ) I'm sure my blogging will stay lazy for the next while...but I'll be sure to keep you posted if the blessed event occurs!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Hey! Kiki and Debris--This is For YOU!

So, Kiki or Debris (I can't remember which one) over at Diaries would love to go ice fishing. We've been watching ice fishermen and women out our front window for the past few months. I figured I should get some shots and post them for the girls : ) Now, I know they have an uncle who lives not too much beyond our house...but if their mom wanted to shorten the drive a bit--they could always come here to do their ice fishing.
We have been curious about how thick the ice is on the reservoir out in front of our house. Lately we've been seeing lots of fishermen pretty far out on the ice. I've seen 4-wheelers driving around and families pulling sleds with all sorts of tents and gear. A few clues that the ice is fairly solid. I've also heard rumors of ice shacks on another portion of the reservoir and men who drive their pick ups out on the ice to get to their shacks. Who knew?
Saturday the kids and I drove 1/4 mile down the road to the boat launch and got out to explore.

This is the bottom of the boat launch. Normally the dock would be visible just behind the kids. It's now hidden under the ice.

That is the dam just behind that group.

Now I know that extremely pregnant ladies are pretty much advised to stay as far away from ice as they can...but it's not like I was strapping on skates or anything. It did feel a little sketchy holding one tiny hand in each of mine rather than sticking my arms out at my side for balance. Plus, I had a camera and two lenses bouncing off the front of me. We walked very slowly and with shuffling steps, don't worry. I was also a little scared about the ice breaking. You can see many cracks that have "healed" all over the place. "What if we're all a bunch of dumb sheep following the others' lead and taking it for granted that this is safe? How would I save my kids if the ice broke? The camera should be the least of my worries--but we couldn't afford to lose it" were the thoughts roaming through my mind. Obviously I wasn't worried enough to stay off the ice. We walked around and listened to everyone having fun.

A little boy was escorting his freezing cold brother back to their truck and informed us that they had just caught one. Another group with lawn chairs was grumbling about "nobody catching anything".

It was cold and windy. Caroline was the first to admit she was done, and I have to admit I was glad. Ezra wanted to stay there all day. I dragged him off with the promise that sometime soon we would dress more appropriately in all of our snow gear and he could go spend a longer period of time with Daddy on the ice.

Come visit us, Kiki and Debris and you can join Ezra on the ice!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Sew Shall I Begin

Ahhh, this sewing adventure I've embarked on. You must understand that it has been a very, very long time since I've sewn anything. When I was a little girl, my mom sewed everything. Whatever elaborate costume we needed, super cute Sunday School dresses, matching Sailor suits for all of us kids and eventually many of my prom and formal dresses. I never had to worry about someone walking in wearing the same thing. I wanted to be able to sew just like her. Most anyone who knows us thinks that I look just like her...but let me tell you...there are many differences. For instance--she is a perfectionist. not. I am a teacher. To be a primary teacher and a perfectionist is asking for a very early and painful death. My work in every area of life is full of mistakes, and I'm pretty much okay with that. But for a perfectionist to teach her 9 year old mistake-making daughter how to sew would have been a nightmare. And I thank her for recognizing that. So, two different times she paid for me to take summer lessons at local fabric stores. I had so much fun! I loved sewing and I loved making things. We even made a dress for ourselves in my second class. But then I fell away from sewing when some other thing gained my attention.
That dress is not exactly the last time I sewed anything. When I first started teaching I had grand vision for my classroom. The blank slate I had been dreaming of was finally awarded me after years and years of waiting to, working towards, and dreaming of teaching first graders. I wanted very cozy reading nooks for my kiddos. I wanted pillows to lay on during silent reading. I wanted a lot of things that would have cost of a lot of money. But hey, pillows are easy to make--my mom has a machine, I knew the I resurrected the rusty skills and threw together some pillows. I've searched my computer--but there are no pictures. I didn't want to spend money on fabric so I found all my old t-shirts that I was done with and stitched up the end of the arm holes, the neck hole and the bottom and stuffed them. T-shirt shaped pillows--the kids loved 'em and I didn't have to pay for anything besides the stuffing. I also cut up some old shorts and used the back pocket portion along with some other piece of cut up clothing to make more traditional rectangular shaped pillows. I didn't feel so bad throwing those pillows away when I traded in my teacher's hat for my mommy hat either (There was NO WAY I was keeping those germ infested things and by the time I go back to teaching some day way off in the future I'm sure I'll have more t-shirts to sew up).
Now THAT was a loooooong story to bring you up to par on how long it's been since I've sewn. But somehow, the bug bit me again and I thought it would be fun to get back into it. So, my dear husband bought me this for Christmas:

And while in the San Diego area I visited Maisonette. I wanted to get the best fabric I could to mess up on my first few projects : )

This is a little kit Madeline sent me away with. It has some cute little baby projects that I can start cutting my teeth on.

I wanted to make a baby blanket for the new little one on the way. I figured I'd pick out fabric for a boy and a girl since we don't know who this little one is. So many choices--I took a very long time to decide. But this is what I came away with for a boy:

And this for a girl:

I opted not to buy rick-rack for the edge this time around. I kind of wish that I had. But I was trying not to go too crazy with all that I was buying. These fabrics are so beautiful that I thought they could speak for themselves. The ultra-soft backing is in white for both blankets. I debated about how to sew them up...and after consulting my mom finally opted to simply pin them wrong-sides out and do it the simplest way. They are not perfectly square and fairly puckered, but someday my child will understand this is a good representation of his/her mother!

And...voila. I've considered buying some satin blanket edging to stitch around the edges. But I think we all know that this is how they'll stay. Now for a softer than silk, warmer than warm, grunting, wiggling, rooting, make-me-fall-head-over-heels-before-I-can-take-a-breath-Baby to wrap it around. One month from today is the due date, you know.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Oat Bran Muffins

Sick of the same old cereal or oatmeal every single morning? That's how we feel around here sometimes too. And eggs or pancakes don't always hit the spot either (unless you're Ezra or Caroline who would eat pancakes every morning). I am a serious muffin-lover and have several recipes I like to rotate in and out. There are two favorites though, that will never leave the rotation--oatmeal blueberry (Thank you K Lamb for giving that recipe to my mom back when I was 8) and bran. Bran muffins seem like such a warm and healthy start to a cold winter morning. The bran muffin recipe I have is such a large recipe that we never ever finish them all. Even when I freeze them the last bag or two always get lost in the freezer and shrink into freezer burned discs of dough. Since granola is also something I love to make fresh and eat as a snack or breakfast, I keep oat bran on hand. A few months ago after making a batch of granola the recipes on the side of my oat bran box caught my eye. Why not try "applesauce oat bran muffins"???? So I did. And they were wonderful! The recipe only makes a dozen, perfect for two mornings worth of breakfast and a mid-afternoon snack or two. Using applesauce in the recipe allows for adding less sugar. It also keeps the muffins moist as can be. The oat bran I happen to buy is the "Hodgson Mill" brand. This is their recipe. The only changes I have made so far are to add some chopped apple (if I have time) for texture and extra flavor and to put a dash of cinnamon on top of the muffins before baking.

Yum! Always puts Tadd in an extra good mood to have a hot healthy muffin waiting for him on his way out the door to go with his home roasted and brewed coffee. A little of our favorite yogurt from Trader Joe's goes down wonderfully with muffins. By the way, oat bran is very high in fiber and folic acid.

A breakfast fit even for a princess--so crowned by her brother. The crown was broken about two minutes after this photo. The brother decided he wanted to be the princess and a fight broke out. Now no one can be princess--the Queen threw away the broken pieces!

Also, these cookies pictured below are going to be my destruction. They are my newest best friend/worst enemy. Thanks so much to my sister-in-law Megan for introducing us. SOOOO delicious! I mean, come on, shortbread and dark chocolate!!!! What's not to love???? I keep going back and forth between wishing I had purchased three extra boxes and thinking I shouldn't have even bought the one : )

One of these bad boys will undo all the good those oat bran muffins did for sure!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

The After

These are the faces of two little girls feeling much recovered. They were the first two to go down and the first two to be back to the land of the happy.

Little Miss Mia was so fun to be around. It was also a reminder of how much work we have ahead of us with this new little one on the way!

We were supposed to leave for home on Saturday. We had decided to make the trip in two days rather than get up before dawn and push it all the way. So, we were able to get up and relax that morning with most people feeling better. Aunt Megan took me to Trader Joe's to buy all my goodies that I've been missing. And then Tadd informed me the forecast was for 80 degrees and sunny--why were we leaving? We made the executive call to spend a couple of hours at the beach before we hit the road. And we did. And it was glorious.

So this picture of me is terrible, but I'll show it for two reasons. Megan and I managed to wear matching outfits that day : ) And also, you can see that giant 8 month baby belly.

I love the way the salty humid air intensifies her curls.

Family picture--a rare occurrence. I don't think there are any with all of us looking--but that's appropriate.

Mommies and their daughters.

We reluctantly peeled ourselves off of the sand and hopped into our loaded-to-the-max van and hit the road for home. And what a long road it felt like. We watched the temperature go from 83 at the beach all the way down to 26 when we got home the next night at 8 PM. We did enjoy a night in St. George and swimming in the motel pool the next morning. And I got one more In n Out fix on our way through Las Vegas. We felt like we missed out on seeing several friends because of the stomach bug, but really we can't complain too much--it could have been muuuuuch worse. I even got my visit in at Maisonette before everyone got sick. I was able to visit with Madeline, Natalie and Ava. And my mom and her BFF met us there to help me with fabric choices. Last night I conquered threading my machine and winding a bobbin--whoo hoo! Now I have to conquer those baby blankets. Maybe I'll post about the baby blankets next week. It depends on how badly I butcher the fabric : )