Thursday, August 26, 2010
Sunday, August 1, 2010
Colin and Brennan found another little boy, and the three of them played together for a time, drawing in the dirt with sticks, running around, and playing hide and seek in the blueberry bushes. Niko sat in the stroller for a good while, until he got hungry and wanted out. I held him for a bit while I continued to pick berries, and I'm not sure if a berry fell into my hand (the one that was holding him), or if he'd grabbed one off of the bush (this baby seriously has the best hand-eye coordination of any 6-month-old I've seen). In either case, I found him nom-ing a blueberry against my fingers. I fed him several blueberries that way, and he seemed to like them. He ended up with a diaper rash and spitting up the rest of the day, though. Today when I gave him a couple more blueberries, the spitting-up started almost immediately. Poor guy :( He just isn't ready for solid foods, yet.
We took a break for a while when Colin and Brennan got tired, and ate peanut butter sandwiches by the car. And then we picked even more! When we finally finished, we had three pails full of blueberries, plus some Colin and Brennan had each picked in their pails.
Colin ran ahead as we were bringing our blueberries to get weighed and pay. The man at the booth poured Colin's into a box and gave it to him, free. He had about a pound, maybe a little more. I was impressed he'd picked so many! Then he gave Brennan the little bucket he had with the (dozen?) blueberries in it, free. Bennan had eaten most of the blueberries he picked! It reminded me of a story I read to the boys last year, Blueberries for Sal.
Heather and I gave our berries to the man, and he weighed them at about 18 pounds. We'd talked to him for a few minutes prior, and he'd seen the Marine Corps bumper stickers on our van. So he asked if we were military, and I told him my husband was a Marine. He said, "Okay, I'll give you a military discount. How does $5 sound?" He gave us 19 pounds of blueberries for $5! I was so excited! We thanked him, of course, and paid, and got all of the boys 'n' berries in the car. I gave Colin and Brennan a cup of berries to eat on the way home, but those poor guys fell asleep almost as soon as we started driving.
After we got home, I sorted through the berries, and put them all in baggies. We filled 9 1/2 quart baggies! Most of them went into the freezer, but I left some out to munch on, and some to make blueberry pancakes for breakfast. Yum!
Thursday, July 15, 2010
It started raining today, and rain always puts me in the mood to bake. I made a yellow cake, cut it in half to make two layers, filled it with strawberry jelly, frosted it, and added colored sugar sprinkles. The batter had made two 9" cakes, but they turned out a lot higher than I wanted a double layer cake to be (this time). So, I froze one for later.
I also made hummus today, minus the lemon juice. The boys didn't like it, but I did. Nikolai managed to grab a piece of the flatbread while I was listening to something Brennan was saying, and started to eat it. I guess he's ready to start solid food, even if I'm not!
Saturday, May 8, 2010
I've been trying out new recipes the last few days. Well, one was a repeat- banana bread- but I really needed to use those bananas, and it's such a rarity for bananas to get to the banana bread stage that I wasn't going to waste them on something I new to be less than fabulous. Although I did reduce the sugar by half, omit the oil, and add 1/2 c of applesauce to the mix, because I thought about it, had applesauce on hand, and wanted to make it healthier. I hate adding a cup of sugar to anything, it's just so excessively gross when you've accustomed your body to not having that much sugar. Thank you, Colin!
So in addition to the banana bread, what worked: dairy-free oatmeal pancakes, which were, in fact, so good that I think I will make them more often than normal pancakes from scratch. A little more work, but definitely worth it! Challah in the bread machine. I really had doubts about this one. But it worked. And it is good.
Dandelion fritters, which Heather gave me the recipe for a few weeks ago. Our yard was ripe for harvestin' before the lawn guys came to cut it. So Brennan and I harvested half a bucket of dandelion flowers (that part was a lot of fun, and I really enjoyed spending the time with only him), then while they were supposed to be taking their naps, I made them into fritters. They take a little getting used to, but they really weren't that bad. They were much better drizzled with honey. Crockpot Chicken Adobo. I found a new food blog, A Year Of Slow Cooking. Last time Matthew was gone for an excessively long time I found Smitten Kitchen. Look them up. Drool over the pictures. Cook a lot. Anyway, back to the chicken adobo. It was pretty good. The vinegar flavor was a bit strong on the veggies, but the rice evened it out a little, and the leftovers cold for lunch today were phenomenal. The vinegar had mellowed out (or maybe it was because I'd drained most of the liquid), the chicken was still moist and yummy, the bits of pickled carrot and onion that were left were perfectly delightful. I couldn't decide last night if I wanted to make this again, but I think I will, and will refrigerate it and serve it cold next time. It would make a really good summer dinner, cold. Maybe toss it all together with some pasta for a pasta salad sort of dish. Mmmmm!
What didn't work: yogurt. Maybe I did something wrong, maybe I didn't use the right type of milk or starter yogurt (though from what I've read previously, I probably did something wrong. It probably needed to be kept warmer than it was). I tried it twice, and the best I got was the whey separated from the curds, and the curds tasting like sour milk. Wait a minute, curds? In yogurt? Yeah... I think something went wrong. I found a different method for making it in the crockpot (at the aforementioned site, again), and I know of a different method still that would probably also work better. I'll try one or both eventually. But for now I'm going to buy another couple tubs of the ready-made kind. And more flour. Because the co-op won't be ordering again for another couple weeks, and I need flour before then.
So, I'm happy with what I've accomplished in the kitchen. I still need to make some more granola bars, and I'm itching to just go off the deep end and bake fifty things at once, but for the sake of our health, I'll probably abstain. And maybe bring some of this bread to church tomorrow. Or maybe not. I don't like sharing yummy stuff. Though I probably should, if I want to make more. Maybe I'll make a care package for Matthew.
In other news, we got a dog a few days ago. He's a 3-year-old collie named Boomer. Colin loves him. You'd think no boy has ever had a dog before, that's how happy and proud he is. It's fun watching him. Having the dog hasn't been quite so bad as I thought. I really feel a lot safer at night, and I can just send him outside if he's getting to be too much. It's also given Colin something to focus his attention on, instead of his little brothers. I think this has turned out to be a better choice than I first thought it would be. Brennan is really freaked out, but he's getting better. The first night he wouldn't even let me put him down, and I've never heard him cry that way before. He was really afraid. He's gotten a little bit braver now. He's actually okay walking past Boomer if he's laying on the floor, and tonight even let him sniff him for a minute without starting to cry. Another week or so, and he should be okay with him. Just in time for us to go to DC for the weekend. He'll probably end up regressing.
I got the living room rearranged, and unpacked the rest of the boxes out there (I think). Still need to get stuff up on the walls, and finish unpacking the rest of the house. And I really need to start on my bedroom. It's a disaster, which is sort of amazing considering almost everything is still packed.
But anyway, that's all for tonight. Today seemed to be about three days long. I looked at the clock this morning and was shocked and dismayed that it was only 10, when I would have sworn it was at least lunchtime. The day didn't get much better from there. I'm exhausted, and we're going to church in the morning. Goodnight!
Tuesday, May 4, 2010
So after doing a load of dishes and a breakfast ordeal involving far more omelets than I had intended to make (and really, if you're going to pick everything out of the omelet, why not just eat scrambled eggs?), we went to Target to look for a cake pan for Colin's birthday. Didn't find one there, but I did find some couch covers that I liked, so I got those, and some coordinating pillow cases for the pillows. Next stop, Michael's, where we found a 3-D car cake pan. I'm almost as excited about making it as Colin is to have a car cake!
After that we went to Chick-fil-A for lunch and playtime, and saw the pastor and another lady from church. I'm completely drawing a blank on her name (Denise? I don't think that's right), but she lives near our old house, and has a son a little older than Colin. They had a great time playing together.
After lunch we went to Sam's Club and Walmart, and got groceries and a bunch of stuff I've been putting off buying. Poor Brennan fell asleep between Sam's and Walmart, and I felt horrible about waking him up so we could finish shopping, but I really just wanted to get it done. And hey, it meant he and Colin both fell asleep early tonight! I put them to bed by 7:20, and they were both asleep by 8:30. Nikolai just fell asleep a few minutes ago, after fighting, spitting up, and everything else. Usual routine, not that I want to keep it that way. Ugh. I'm tired. Too tired to fold the laundry and wash the dishes that I've been trying to catch up on. But that's what tomorrow is for. There has to come a point every night where you say "enough". This point is it. I did clean up the living room after we got home, because I couldn't stand it anymore, and tired was one thing, but that messy was another. It got cleaned, and I got happy :)
Talked to Matthew for a bit, chatted with Misty online, now Heather's on the phone. I like having people to talk to.
I still haven't heard from our landlord about whether we can get the dog or not. As much as I want a dog on the one hand, I'm kind of hoping we don't get it on the other. We'll see what it turns out to be.
Monday, May 3, 2010
Our newest house is pretty nice. In some ways, I like it better than the last one. The back yard is even bigger, and more fun, and has a mulberry tree (!!! squee!!!), there's a playroom/second living room built onto the back, a huge shed, wood floors throughout, and only one bathroom. I'm happy about that because I really don't like cleaning bathrooms. Although the bad part is, I have two young boys who make it necessary to clean the bathroom almost every time I need to use it. You gain some, you lose some.
Some of the things I don't like: the only phone jack in the house is in Colin and Brennan's bedroom, our bedroom closet has the air filter thingummy in it, which takes up half the closet (which is tiny to begin with, so small, in fact, that we bought a freestanding storage closet unit that's bigger than the closet!) The laundry room is outside, there's no dishwasher, and the last people who lived here had problems with a Peeping Tom. Which leads me to:
I'm getting a dog. Male collie, three years old, named Boomer. I'd been debating, even while asking permission from our landlord, but Delaney next door came over and introduced herself this evening, and told me about that little incident, and that sealed the deal. Dog will be acquired as soon as I get the go-ahead. And no, I do not do laundry at night anymore.
I'm getting the house all cleaned and unpacked and in order, getting rid of more stuff (a perpetual task, just like doing the dishes or laundry). I've gotten horribly behind on the dishes, partially because I took Saturday off to spend the day with Matthew, and also on the laundry. The playroom was a disaster this morning, but has been cleaned up. Yesterday I unpacked eight boxes, the first boxes I'd unpacked in about a week. I don't know what I did all last week, but it must not have been anything useful, if I'm so far behind on everything now!
But anyway, the house is starting to feel like home again. I first started thinking of things in that perspective about a month after we got to Hawaii. Matthew was gone, and I'd just discovered one of Nathan's CDs in my CD case, Blackmore's Night, Fires at Midnight. There's a song on there called Home Again, and it's about travelling the world, and discovering that home is where you belong. One line that repeats in the chorus is "Oh, it's good to be back home again." I was listening to that song, nearly five years ago now, and realized that I was home again. I belonged there, then, in that little housing unit with my flowers and herbs on the porch, hardly anything in the house at that point, but it was ours, and it was home, even if Matthew was gone on an exercise. I was home. Each move, I've taken a deep breath, and smiled, and told myself I'm home again. Today has really been that day for me for this move. The living room is a little less "boxed", things are getting cleaner, my hot spots are occuring again, routines are falling into place. I'm home again. And I don't want to be anywhere else in the world.
Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Tuesday, yesterday. We went to playgroup and Walmart. As I was getting the boys out of the car at playgroup, Brennan ran over to the ditch and sat down in it. Fortunately, I'd packed an extra pair of pants for him. Unfortunately, I didn't pack extra shoes! Then after playgroup, when we were getting back in the van, Brennan tripped and skinned his chin. Poor guy!
At Walmart, we bought a few groceries, some stuff for the boys, a jumprope, and some flowers. The jumprope is supposed to be for me to help me get enough in shape to start doing Parkour, but Colin has been trying to use it, too! The flowers were potted pink, purple, and rosy red tulips, and two pots of daffodils. Tulips and daffodils are some of my favorite flowers, and I wanted something springy and pretty to decorate the front of the house.
We didn't do much else after that. I cleaned the house, the boys played, we made some dinner rolls. I watched a couple movies and did some sewing after I got the boys to bed, and it was really nice. Nikolai was kind of fussy, because I'd had some chocolate. I really should get some dairy-free chocolate so this doesn't keep happening.
Today, we've stayed at home. I needed some rest time from everything we've been doing lately, and I'm sure the boys did, too! I cleaned the house this morning, and attempted to catch up on the laundry. I'm beginning to doubt I'll ever be caught up again! I'm starting to understand the challenges mothers of large families face. I think I'm also starting to understand my role and responsibilities better, and am getting better at managing my time. I'm doing a lot better at keeping the house clean and getting the chores done, and still doing fun things with the boys.
I made cupcakes again today, yellow this time. We each ate one when we came back from our walk. I'm going to start getting dinner ready soon, and then it'll be bedtime for the boys, and hopefully more movies and sewing for me. I've gotten one of six placemats done, and still haven't finished the diapers. Hopefully I'll have at least the placemats done by the time Matthew gets home.
And one other piece of news: Nathan is back in the States from Iraq! He's in Wisconsin now, he should be back in Texas on Friday.
Sunday, March 28, 2010
Today didn't go as planned, but it wasn't that bad, either. RoseMary had mentioned us coming to her house, but never ended up calling us. We went to church, I talked to Audrey, and she and her kids are going to come over sometime this week. After church, we took a very nice, long, three-hour nap. Well, Nikolai woke up partway through, and kept me up for a while, but I still got a good amount of sleep, too. After naptime the boys played while I... what did I do? Made dinner, took care of disasters, played with the boys, did some laundry. I guess that was about it. Nikolai got fussy again after dinner, and I'm pretty sure it's tomato sauce that's causing it. We'll see if eliminating tomato for a while helps. I hate this restricted diet every time I start nursing. At least this time I haven't gotten thrush or mastitis, or got sick and lost my milk. Those are things to be thankful for. And I can have yogurt. Woohoo! Dairy! Maybe I can freeze it so I don't have to eat that coconut milk ice non-cream. I'll have to try.
The boys stayed up kind of late tonight, but they were mostly behaving, and it was a pretty good evening, with the exception of Nikolai screaming. I got the house picked up again, and all of the dishes done. It's so much easier to keep the house clean when Matthew isn't home, and I don't understand it. The boys are the ones who make most of the mess, but I guess they do clean up everything in the evenings before going to bed, and Matthew doesn't. Part of it could also be I don't have that mental divider in my day between "work" and "Matthew's home, therefore it's time to relax", and keep working steadily from the time I get going to the time I get ready for bed.
I got out one of the puzzles I bought at the thrift store, and started putting that together today. I haven't done much yet, but I got maybe a third of the edge done. I haven't put a puzzle together in a long time. I figured it would be something to do in the evenings, and a nice way to relax when I don't feel like doing anything else, but don't want to go to bed yet, either. I didn't do any sewing today, even though I wanted to. I'm kind of disappointed, but I don't even want to get up to make sure Colin and Brennan are covered like I usually do before I go to bed. I'm in bed now laying down as I type this! Nikolai is sleeping peacefully beside me, snoring a little every once in a while. He has such a cute little snore. And he's so precious when he's asleep! He's precious all the time, except when he's crying. I got some cute pictures of him today, and a couple good ones of Colin and Brennan, too. I'll post them later.
Tomorrow the boys and I will probably be going to the Aquarium. I told Colin we could. I really do like the Monterey Bay Aquarium better. It's so much bigger, and there's so much more to see and do, and I'm really sad that we'll probably never get to go there again. But this Aquarium is okay. There's an outside part, which at least makes it a little more interesting. If it was only the inside, it so wouldn't be worth the drive. Though, we'd probably still go anyway, just because it's something to do, and for kids that young it's just as good as any other Aquarium. I wish I could find some other places to bring them. There's a children's museum in Wilmington, but that's an even farther drive than the Aquarium, and I'd prefer not to do that if I have any say in the matter. Anyway, all of this has been to say, that if we do go to the Aquarium tomorrow like we've planned, I'll probably be posting pictures then.
I'm so tired. And it's now just about 1. And Nikolai has been asleep for about half an hour, so I think he's going to stay that way. Here's to everyone sleeping well tonight!
Saturday, March 27, 2010
Friday, March 26, 2010
~baked chocolate cupcakes and a double batch of granola bars
~met with the realtor, RoseMary, to see if there was anything in our application to keep us from being able to rent a house (there wasn't. Quite the contrary, in fact.)
~went to the park for a while
~did some basic cleaning: filled the water filter, did a load of dishes, handwashed some stuff I keep not washing, did some laundry, picked up the toys before the boys went to bed
~I did our tax return, finally
~got the stuff out to make the placemats I'm intending to have done by Easter. I started to actually cut them out, but Someone woke up right as I was starting, and now I'm debating if I want to do any more tonight or not
I am so tired, and so worn out. It feels like I was in the sun too long today, and, yeah, it was warm when we were at the park, but I didn't think it was that bad. It was partly cloudy, kinda breezy, really nice weather. Maybe I'm just tired because I woke up four times last night, and Thing 1 and Thing 2 don't take naps anymore. Quiet time is only mildly successful.
All in all, it was a great day, even with Matthew being gone. I tried keeping him company while he packed last night, but ended up falling asleep on the couch at around 10. I could tell I was about ready to fall asleep, and I was really trying to stay awake, but I just completely crashed. I've fallen asleep on the couch three times this week, although last night was the earliest it's happened. The other two times were trying to get Nikolai to stop screaming and fall asleep. I think there's something else I'm eating that he doesn't like, but I haven't been able to figure out what it is. Matthew thinks he's just being a baby, but I think if it was colic or whatever, he'd do it more consistently. Some days he doesn't cry at all, and sleeps wonderfully day and night, other days, he'll scream until he passes out from exhaustion at about 2 in the morning, and then will sleep for ten hours, only waking up once or twice to eat. Matthew doesn't think it's something I'm eating because on the screaming nights, if he holds him, he'll settle down. I don't know, it's just exhausting and wearing me out. It's almost 10 now, and all of the boys are (finally!) asleep. Maybe I should do the same.
Friday, March 12, 2010
Today has been a good day. Grandma and Grandpa left this morning, which was sad, but the boys haven't been too bad today, and they got to play outside for a bit while I did some cleaning. It's been raining for the past couple days, and was still drizzling a little while they were outside, so they stomped in puddles and got dirty and wet, and had a good time. At least it isn't really hot or cold right now, and they were able to go out and run around.
Brennan wanted to sleep in my bed at naptime, because Colin usually does, and Nikolai is now, so I tried to let him again. I've tried several times, but he won't lay still, and keeps getting out of bed. I give him a couple warnings, then put him in his own bed. That's where he is now. Niko and Colin fell asleep at about the same time, less than five minutes after Brennan went to his own bed. Brennan is still awake.
I've continued looking online for a house in the area, but I'm about at the point where I'm wasting my time. I'm not seeing many new listings. There aren't any in our price range that have a fenced backyard, though, so I guess I'll have to either wait a couple weeks and look again, or settle for something without. We have until the end of June. I'm sure God will provide the perfect place for us, so I'm not really worried. Colin keeps asking when we'll get our new house, which I think is kind of funny. He still every once in a while says he wants to go back to our old house in California. He doesn't understand the moving process yet.
Off to continue cleaning the house, and hopefully find some sort of chocolatey yumminess to enjoy while no little hands are present to take it from me.
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Grandma and Grandpa (Pearson, Mom's parents) are here for another few days. We all went to the park this morning. The weather was wonderful! The boys had a good time, as usual.
After the park, I brought everyone home, and Nikolai and I went to meet Matthew and get some stuff done on base. We had a miscommunication issue that resulted in things going from bad to worse, I ended up trying to do some stuff without him, and came home with nothing accomplished except finding out that Matthew needs to do a laundry list of nonsense to get put on the wait list for base housing, and we'd be better off finding someplace else off base to live come this summer. Not like we have much choice.
Sunday, our landlords told us that they won't be renewing our lease because her mother is moving to NC, and will be living in the house after we vacate it. Our lease ends in 3 1/2 months. The wait list for base housing is 6-10 months. Problems exist in that timeline. I've thought about going back to Texas for a few months, but I really don't want to live in someone else's house for that long again. I've thought about moving into a temporary house between this one and base housing, but that would be two moves in the next year, and apart from the general unpleasantness of that in itself, the military only pays for one local move per duty station. The third option we have is renting someplace off-base again, and ditching the idea of base housing alltogether. The problem with that is, Matthew will be gone most of the next two years, and I don't want to live outside of base housing with him being gone that long. Plus the whole saving money if we live on base thing, and having other military wives around us, and playgrounds on every street, and the safety of a gated military community.
It's just about time to start making dinner. Colin and Brennan are snacking on everything, and Nikolai is sleeping- finally! I'll try to post pictures up here later.