Friday, May 28, 2010


Just a quick post to share some of my recent food successes:

This bread recipe is awesome.  It uses whole wheat flour and honey, and it relatively easy as far as bread making goes.  Turns out chewy and soft.  Ian totally loves it, and he and I *may* have eaten an entire loaf by ourselves one day.  If you have any willpower at all, it is also good for sandwiches and French toast.

These oatmeal cookies were good, too.  They are light and soft, but still made with whole wheat flour and honey.  I gave 2 to Gavin for breakfast this morning and he totally made a giant crumbly mess, but loved them.

These vegan scones are incredibly easy and delicious.  They use canola oil instead of butter, so you don't have to cut the butter into the dry ingredients (the most annoying job about making scones).  I made them with cranberries and orange zest/juice, and also subbed the orange with lemon (and THAT combination was YUM!).

The new staples in my freezer- Buttermilk Ice Cream and Lemon-Basil Frozen Yogurt.
Buttermilk Ice Cream
1qt buttermilk
1 c heavy cream
1 c sugar
1T vanilla

Mix all together until the sugar is dissolved, then freeze in ice cream maker.  How much easier can that get?  Oh, and the recipe is from the book Passionate Vegetarian, by Crescent Dragonwagon.  If you need another reason to try it, it is fun saying her name when people ask you about it.

Oh, it is also especially good topped with fresh strawberries.  It reminds me of Cold Stone Creamery's sweet cream flavor.

Lemon-Basil Frozen Yogurt
2 large containers of plain yogurt
1 c thinly sliced fresh basil
zest from 3 lemons
juice from 1 lemon
1/2 c sugar

Line a colander with cheesecloth or coffee filters, and place in a larger bowl.  Dump all the yogurt on top of the filter, and let sit in the fridge for 8 hours or overnight.  Mix the strained yogurt with all the other ingredients, and freeze in the ice cream machine.

I'd like to try the yogurt recipe with some of the fresh mint from my garden and strawberries, or maybe some shaved dark chocolate.  Or maybe with lime and cilantro.  The possibilities are endless!!

Alright.  Now that I am craving all the above foods, I am off to spend some time in the kitchen...

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Ianism- Birthday Special

Ian tells me in the car:

Mom?  You know how on my birthday I felt very very special?  Like I was always excited to see what was next, or what kind of food we would eat, or what games to play?  I think that I feel special like that every day.  Like I am always feeling like it is my birthday.

Talk about a happy parent moment.  Maybe I am doing this mommy thing right.  I mean, despite the fact that I don't ever get anything right all the time, despite my struggle to balance my time and energy between all 3 boys, despite the feeling of frustration when I can't be there all the Ian feels like he is birthday special every single day.  

I had quite a sappy talk with him (hollering back and forth from the driver's seat to the back seat) about how every day that we have here on Earth is a gift, and that when we take time and try to enjoy every minute of it, and make the best out of all of our opportunities, then we are creating the very best life that we can.

I love that kid.  Good thing I have him here to teach me this stuff.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Guy Guy is 11 Months!

One month left before the big 1!

At 11 months, Gavin:
*can stand unassisted for maybe 5 seconds.
*barely has 3 teeth- the 2 lower middle ones and the upper left canine.  It is so funny- his teeth are coming in SLOW, but in the same order as Ian's did (although, by this time Ian had all his teeth already!).  Funky tooth babies.
*cruises the furniture, but prefers to crawl everywhere.
*hates the grass (he throws this little foot stomping tantrum when you put him down on the lawn).
*loves sand.  Not only playing in it, but eating it as well.
*eats only table food, and will go in baby defensive arm waving mode if you try to feed him something he doesn't want.
*can crawl up the entire staircase unassisted, and gets mad when you won't let him.
*is the first person Chase wants to see in the morning when he wakes up and when he gets off the bus.
*can climb up the baby slide and slide down by himself.
*signs 'milk' very enthusiastically.
*signs 'more' intermittently and possibly on accident.
*still has not had a haircut.
*quit the boob.  Yay for normal bras!!!
*wears 12 month clothes.
*loves to babble "dadadadada" when I say "mamamama?"
*blows raspberries when he doesn't get his way.
*is learning the art of throwing tantrums (but he is still mostly a content, happy, amazing kid).  Awesome.

Love you so much, little Guy Guy!!  We are so lucky to have you in our family!!

PS- I really really really appreciate you deciding to sleep more.  Kisses!!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Ian the Soccer Star

Ian is playing in the Upwards league this season for soccer, and he LOVES it (and we do, too!).  They are so good with the kids, there is a good structure, and good sportsmanship is valued above all else.  He has learned so much and had such a good time.

He is practicing one evening a week, then has a game on Saturday mornings.  He loves wearing the uniform and carrying around his official water bottle.

We were a little nervous at first.  He was just about the slowest kid on the team...dribbling the ball down the field took  Seriously.  He was Saaallloooowww.  And when I suggested that we practice at home, he totally blew me off, saying that he practiced enough with his team on Tuesdays.

But thanks to some good coaching (or a miracle...not sure which), he has turned out to be a pretty good player!  He is all about defense, and has a knack for getting in front of the ball and turning it around on the other team, and also for last minute saves.  A couple times in each game, he has buzzed right in front of the goal and headed off the opponent's goal kick at the very last second.

He is so freaking cute, and I am so proud of his spirit in the game.  He cheers himself ("WOW!  I have such a good, strong kick, don't I, Mom?") and his teammates on ("Catherine is the best goal getter today!").

Also- their practices and games have a playground and a giant hill that Chase can play on while Ian practices. Chase's favorite thing to do is to climb to the highest point and then give me a heart attack while he hangs off the edge of the swingset, and also running up and down the hill, which gives everyone else a heart attack because they always think he is running into the parking lot.
And Guy is mostly happy to hang out on the blanket and clap whenever he hears anyone else cheer :)

And look!  I am a soccer mom!!

In, Out, & Under

My little trooper of a son went through another scope procedure last week.  His digestive track still isn't what it should be...Dr. Sandberg tested for more allergies and other possible things (syndromes?  diseases? ) that could be making his system work in fast forward.

I hated to do this to him because 1) I had to pull him out of school for 2 days just when he is really kind of in the swing of things, 2) i hate having to put him under for a bunch of things (there was a study somewhere linking attention/learning problems with anesthesia somewhere, PLUS it is unnerving to put your kid under and always wonder if there will be some weird complication that happens and he will never wake up), and 3) the prep for it is seriously gross and not fun for anyone involved.  BUT, if we can figure this out, then I feel like Chase will be happier and healthier on the whole, because how many nutrients can he absorb when everything is being pushed out so fast?

Anyway, on Thursday, prep started at 9am.  Miralax every hour and only clear liquids until Friday morning.  I thought it was going to be horrible, remembering that last time we did this Chase was NOT a fan of drinking that much juice and was generally a cranky, grouchy, mess.  This, however, was not the case this go around.  He happily drank his spiked apple juice every hour, scarfed some lemon jello, and never even noticed that every time he wanted food, I gave him a banana posicle.  In fact, I think he rather enjoyed this new diet and was a little upset when it ended, asking me for "Juice...?" all the following day.

Bryan took him in for the procedure at 5am Friday morning, and Chase (not so much Bryan) was all smiles at that wee hour of the morning.  The whole thing was uneventful, except he said that the whole staff thought Chase was just the cutest thing ever.  The doctor found swelling in his esophagus, but everything else looked normal.  We are awaiting the test results to figure out just why there is swelling, but he seems to think that if we can correct the top of the system, then the bottom will follow.  Acid?  Allergies?  Some other weird random thing?  Who knows...?

I'm really hoping we get some kind of a solid, correctable answer this time.  I am just happy that the Miralax cocktails are over for the time being.  A mom can only handle so many diaper blow outs before she gets out the duct tape.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Chase Advice

Right now I am taking a Mommy Time Out.  Here is my dilemma:

Chase is doing great in school, but is using up all his good behavior on his teachers.  He is coming home, and causing every kind of trouble he can cause from 2:30-6:00.  He is swiping things off counter tops, taking toys from the other kids, pushing Gavin down, pulling Gavin's shirt, throwing his cup, throwing his food, throwing his toys, throwing the blocks.

I've tried time outs, natural consequences, and even a swat on the butt.  Reward systems don't work for him yet.  He doesn't have the ability to understand that concept yet.  I try to positively reinforce the good behavior, but it seems like the positive stuff during the afternoons is very VERY rare.

I hate this.  I hate that I don't see him all day, and when I do, he is acting like a hellion, and then I am disciplining him all afternoon.  And not only that, poor Guy Guy is being beat up.  So frustrating.

I know he is overtired.  He hardly ever naps at school, and when he gets home, he refuses to go down.  I left him in his room today for about a half hour, and he played for a while and then started beating the door with a Little Person.

So, short of serving dinner at 3pm and putting him to bed at 4, what do I do?  Drugs?  Alcohol?  Get a nanny from 2:30-6 every day?  Is anyone else having this problem?  Is it 'normal' for him to need a 2 hour nap every day still?  Halp!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

For Realsies

We are done with the faux hawk.  I gave Chase the real thing today.  I think he rocks.

Monday, May 10, 2010


Chase rode the bus home from school for the first time today.  His teacher called me this afternoon, wanting to make sure I had all the bus info before she put him on to go home.

He has about a 20 minute ride, and he is usually fine in the car, so I didn't really have that many concerns.  I know that there is an aid on the bus, so he won't be responsible for knowing when to get off and whatnot (can you imagine?  He would be riding all over town, all afternoon!).

But still.  It is strange (again) to give up complete control of Chase- to put him on a bus and expect that someone else will get him where he needs to be, without my help.

So I was watching and listening for the bus, and I heard it (10 minutes earlier that it was supposed to be- so I had to book it downstairs and out the front door to meet him).  She opened the door, and he poked his little head around the corner- grinning from ear to ear.

He LOVES the bus.

The bus driver and the aid and I had a quick conversation about how they couldn't believe that this was the first time he had ridden the bus, and how he was the BEST bus rider they have ever had.

And I was worried.  Ha!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Notes on Growing Up

*Chase is doing GREAT at school.  I talked with his teacher this afternoon and she said that she was expecting him to have an adjustment period, as far as keeping up with the full schedule.  She thought it would be a bit before he had the stamina to make it through the day.  But guess what?  Not so!  He is happy and well adjusted, loves to play with his classmates, sits at the table and eats his breakfast and lunch on his own, and has only napped once this week (the other days he has just laid quietly on his mat.)

He is totally big enough to handle this.

The first day he took a nap after school.  Zonked for almost 3 hours.  But since then?  Nothing.  I actually just brought him down from his room because I opened the door to check on him, and there he was, quietly playing with his Little People.

*Gavin was playing on his own in the playroom while I was devouring half a loaf of fresh bread fixing a snack.  Chase was sleeping and Ian had just gone outside.  It was very very quiet.  I decided to sneak over to the playroom to see what little man was up to.  So I tiptoed over, and found...that he was not there.  Huh.  I looked in all the usual spots, and then noticed that someone (Ian!) had left the gate wide open and the stairs unguarded.

He wasn't on the stairs, so I went up to see exactly what kind of trouble he had found up there...and found him quietly sitting in his room, looking at a bunch of picture books he had spread all over the floor.

Where did my baby go??

*Ian has an alarm clock in his room, and he gets himself up and dressed in the mornings now.  How crazy is that?!  He helps entertain the kids, gets his own drinks, and bosses other people around.  So grown up.

Monday, May 3, 2010


Can you tell we are fast approaching summer?  Look at what happens to Gavin's hair when the weather is like this:

Come on.   Even a clippy in his hair is better than buzzing that goodness off!!!!

Happy 8, 9, and 10 months, Gavin!!

Poor Gavin.  He has 3rd child syndrome!!  We blew past his 8th, 9th, and 10th months.  Here's a recap:
February 25th- 8 months!  You cut your 2 bottom teeth this month :)  You learned to pull up and stand in your crib, and then on everything else in the house.

March 25th- 9 months!!  You love swinging.  You still only have 2 teeth.  You still pull up on everything, especially on my pant legs when I am trying to move about the kitchen...

April 25th- 10 months!  Big boy!  You cruise along the furniture, you eat all table foods (thanks, because I was running out of ideas for baby purees), and you still only have two teeth (but you know how to use them!).

...annnnnnd he's off!

First day of preschool:

I know he looks terrified, but he really wasn't.  He was happy when he woke up, we chatted about "new school"...he had time for a smoothie and an episode of Gabbagabbagabbagabbagabba before leaving with Bryan for 7am drop off.  

Oh, yeah- I sent him in his Happy Life t-shirt :)  Thanks, Becky!

Good thing I have 4 other kids to occupy me today, or else I would be calling the teacher all day long asking for updates...

Sunday, May 2, 2010

7 Hours and Counting...

...until Chase starts Big Boy preschool.

I have his bag packed.  Diapers and wipes, extra clothes, lunch money, butt cream.  Not the normal back-to-school get-up, but it works.  I think.

All the paperwork is filled out.  His outfit is laid out.  Smoothie mix is ready to be blended before we shuttle him out the door.

I am a crazy mix of excitement, anticipation, and sheer terror.

What if he doesn't like it?  What if the day is too long?  What if I'm forgetting something?  What if what if what if what if whatifwhatifwhatifwhatifwhatif....?!

Ack.  Going to bed now.