Saturday, February 28, 2009

A Quickie

The last few days:

Zion colored herself purple. How I knew, she told me she had to wash her hands when I called her into the room where I was and then I overheard her say "NO! Go 'way!" to Gabe in the bathroom. Hmmm, wonder what's up. Purple child, that's what. Complete with belly stripes and a fully filled in belly button. Nice.

Gabe puked. Seriously. I'm not kidding. Yes, I'm totally sick of having sick kids. Luckily he said his tummy felt "awesome" shortly after and didn't seem to feel bad the rest of the day.

Gideon feels better. Gideon cried his way through what was supposed to be his 9-month photo shoot (shut up about his actually being 10 months now, I've been busy 'K) and then cooed and played all the way home.

Rob is part of the way back to his post. I've gotten a couple of e-mails from him and a phone call. He sounds in good spirits. Wait until he finds out what I just bought for his next care package. Let's just say I think he'll say "yum" at least.

Me. Emotions. I'm still trying to figure out his leave periods are worth another "goodbye" especially when you spend most of that time scratching your plans in order to take care of sick kids. I'm just a smidge bitter. And I don't even like dark chocolate. (Cause dark chocolate is bitter, get it? OK, my sense of humor is a bit off right now. Give me a few days. A few days of no sick kids. A few days with no sick kids and a few nights of good sleep. Yeah. I'm not holding my breath, don't worry.)

On a happy note, I just picked up a whole bunch of holds at the library. Knitting books, both the pattern type and the fiction type. Fun! Gotta go!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Craft It Forward

I was poking around on some of my favorite blogs and discovered that Rachel over at Just Another Day In Paradise is participating in a cool giveway - of sorts. This is the description from her blog:

My friend Marci at All Things Wonderful has *started* a great giveaway.Here's what it's all about:If you want to win a handmade ♥GIFT♥ from me. Be one of the first 3 bloggers to leave a comment on this post, which entitles you to a handmade item from me. Winners must post this giveaway on your blog, meaning that you will {Craft it Forward} too, creating a handmade gift for the first three bloggers who leave a comment on YOUR post about this giveaway! The gift that you send can be any price range and you have 30 days to make and ship your item(s).Now do you see why I thought this idea was genius? How fun is this gonna be? Remember, it’s the spirit and the thought that count! When you receive your gift, please blog about it! If you are not one of the Top Three to comment on this post, you can still play along. Please start your own {Craft it Forward} chain, and encourage your blogging friends to do the same.I must admit, I'm not the most crafty person....but, I think I've come up with a neat idea that even I can do! So, go ahead and leave me a comment. You know you want to!

I signed up of course because I have nothing but time. So by all means, sign yourself a comment on my blog right here and I'll send the first three people something homemade. I can't wait to see who will sign because I think I'm going to wait to plan my craft until I see who they are and then make something especially for them. And of course by signing up that means that you'll craft it forward too - how cool is that! I am so looking forward to seeing what people make, I hope you'll post them and let me know.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Happy Birthday, Gabe!

Oh how I hemmed and hawed over which to write first, the Long Beach post or the birthday post. Well, I figured you guys would want to see Gabe's birthday party 'cause it was so dang cool. I still can't believe my little boy is five! And I'm especially thrilled that Rob got to be home for his birthday. So, I put in a little extra effort and actually planned ahead for some special decorations and cake. First, the cake. 'Cause there's nothing like getting a house full of preschoolers all hopped up on sugar.

Yeah. This is the world map from Super Mario 3. And it's a cake. I'm not sure which of the Mario games is Gabe's favorite to be honest but once the inspiration for this cake hit I just knew I had to have it. I was also pretty sure that I didn't want to try to do it myself. Charis Covington at Charismatic Cakes whipped this little puppy up for us - awesome isn't it?

Look a tiny little angry Goomba. Don'tcha just wanna jump on his head? OK, that might get a little messy since he's made of frosting.

I found a site that sells Super Mario birthday party supplies so the table got all decked out.

And there were plates and napkins and cups...

And I hit up my sister to make so more Mario character costumes for Gabe so now when he has friends over they can all be Mario, Luigi, Bowzer, Yoshi and Princess Peach.

Oh yeah.

Gabe/Bowzer cracks into his presents. Lincoln Logs for the little engineer.

And a very cool book from Jamie that is autographed by the author and Al Uncer. I'm just a smidge jealous that Jamie got to meet him in person, that's is so cool!

A very red helmet and knee pads to go with...

Gabe's new bike! Now the weather just has to get nicer so he can go for a ride.

We borrowed Mario Kart from my sister. It is serious fun for the whole family.

Poor Gideon is wicked sick and spent most of the day sleeping, fussing, coughing or puking. I spent about two hours in the middle of Gabe's party taking him to a walk-in clinic just to make sure he wasn't getting too dehydrated. He should be OK as long as he can keep about an ounce of pedialyte down each hour. He promptly threw up all the pedialyte. And did it again and again and again. I decided that what he really needed was to give his tummy a rest so as soon as we got home I put him in bed. That was about 5:30 and with the exception of one short nursing session he's been sleeping since. Poor baby.

Our friends Matthew, Nora, Jonathan, Isaac, and Sara gave Gabe a couple of Mario shirts. This one is my favorite.

So Gabe, how do you really feel about your super-duper-exceptionally cool Mario cake?


Gabe and his hero, Mario.

I can't stand pinatas. It's inevitable, someone's going to get bashed by the darn stick. But I like these pull string versions. Nice. No weapons.

The party is coming to a close. Guests are parting. Zion is getting geared up. Apparently you can run a lot faster by making yourself all aerodynamic like so. Try it sometime. Then send me a photo.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Right Now

Right now I am home after spending a few days on the coast with my family. We had a great time, walked the beach, got ice cream, ate at some yummy local eateries, spent a LOT of time in the car and even got to visit a local yarn store.

Right now I'm glad that I went despite that all of the kids started out sick or got sick while there.

Right now I'm relieved that my mom is awake, off the vent, off sedation and seems to be doing better. It is my understanding that her septic shock was related to the site where her doctors removed a clot in her leg a few days earlier. Thanks so much for your prayers!

Right now I'm excited that my first born turns FIVE tomorrow! He is awesome. Every single day I'm amazed by him and blessed to be his mommy.

Right now I'm hoping that I get the house cleaned for his party on Saturday. Not to far to go but I have been away for a few days and that always leaves me feeling a little discombobulated.

Right now I'm thinking that I'm tired enough to NOT write the post about our mini-vacation including the many pictures that I took. You'll just have to wait.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Prayer Request

We found out last night that my Dad called an ambulance for my Mom and she is in septic shock. They have sedated her to let her rest and put her on antibiotics. She is already so weak so this could be very bad. Please pray. Thanks!

Update: My mom is being kept sedated and intubated to let her body rest and for the antibiotics to work. My Dad has said we shouldn't worry and not to visit since she won't know we're there - and two of the kids are sick and have fevers. Yippee.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Catching Up

I know I've got a lot of catching up to do. Zion is sick this morning. Has been for weeks really but just in the last few days her fever has been worse so she's kind of homebound (gee, this seems to be a pattern when Rob gets to come home. Last time it was Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease. Ugh!) The doctor that saw her on Friday tested her for Strep and Mono and ran a CBC. Strep and Mono came back negative, the CBC showed slight anemia. Her temp was 102.5 then. Since then it's been running around 100 to 101.5. She has a wicked cough. So the doctor's conclusion was that she may have a little pneumonia and if she isn't better after a few days to bring her back in for x-rays. A few days puts us right about the time we're supposed to leave for a few days on the coast. Naturally. So when she still had a temp this morning I went on her ped's website and schedule her an appointment for tomorrow. I'm hoping that she'll have a miraculous recovery and be fine tomorrow morning and we can cancel her appointment and pack for our trip.

Anyway, my point is that I'm stuck at home with Zion while Gideon naps and Rob and Gabe went to church. Might as well take the opportunity to update the ol' blog. Warning: this post is picture heavy!

The other morning I was nursing Gideon in the rocker in my room when Zion woke up and screaming her head off started calling for me. I asked Gabe if he would go in and talk to her while I finished with Gideon. Things got quiet but for the occasional giggle. When I finished I found them in a dark room watching the little projection on the ceiling from Zion's "birdy box". That's what we call the little Fisher Price soother that attaches to her crib and plays music and shows a light up scene on the ceiling. Gabe had managed to get Zion's ginormous pink Pegasus into her crib and they were both nestled in and watching the "movie". How sweet!

"Got pots and pans in my rock and roll band!" Some lyrics from one of our favorite Children's music CDs Dog Train by Sandra Boynton. Gideon was definitely gettin' his rock on this day. Bang! Bang! Bang! goes the pots and pans while he laughed and laughed.

Until, of course, it was time to taste them.

Speaking of tasting, guess who has FIVE teeth! Well, I guess technically we all have five teeth and more but Gideon has busted through three on the top to add to the two on the bottom and last I checked 3+2=5! What a little snaggletooth.

All the better to bite you with! Or at least annihilate the few pieces of brownie I let him try the other day.
And some banana, one of his favorite foods.

Zion kicks back after finishing a meal.

Gabe has been mastering scissoring and gluing lately. He loves to draw and then cut out of the pieces and glue them together. This little guy is a Bob-omb from, you guessed it, a Mario game.

Zion got washable markers for Christmas so I can stop making her cry by telling her she can't use Gabe's which are so not washable that I now have permanent colors on my nice dining room table. Lovely.
Gabe and Zion really enjoy the AquaDoodle mat. They get to color with the water pens and it just dries up in a little while and they can do it again. And Mama doesn't have to clean up a mess.

I suppose I should be honest and confess that Rob's being home isn't the only thing keeping me away from posting this last week. In November I took a knitting class but had a hard time picking it up outside of the class and had a harder time finding a sitter so I could get to class again. In December I was determined to keep it up but then forgot my knitting at my sister's at Christmas. Jamie got me a book called Stitch N' Bitch which is a title I can't even say in front of my children but is excellent and I've referenced it on many occasions. Now I want the other titles, Stitch N' Bitch Crochet: Happy Hooker (OK, I want this one the least but the naughty side of me likes to say the title so I included it), Stitch N' Bitch Nation and Son of a Stitch N' Bitch.
I also discovered Ravelry and Knitting Help. The last one has really great video clips for people like me who get home from and can't even remember how to 'knit' or 'purl' let alone fix a mistake or attempt something like cabling. But, you may recognize that the above photo of my very first project ever does indeed have a cable (that's the chunky twist up the middle of the scarf). And now I want to shout from the rooftops "I'm doing it! I'm doing it!" because I never thought that I could and look - it's working! Since I took that picture I've multiplied the length by about five times and I'd say it's about half way done (and it doesn't really flare at the bottom, it's just an odd picture). Yesterday I bought yarn and needles for my next project which will be a simple rib stitched neckwarmer only to add in a challenge it will have buttonholes and buttons. I'm trying not to think about that though. I haven't even bound off my first project yet. One thing at a time.

Zion my fashion diva. Had to sneak in this picture when she wasn't looking or I knew I wouldn't get one at all. When she out grew the hat I added it to her dress up collection so now she wears it with random outfits.

Gideon loves these little "pancake puffs" that I make. I freeze the extra and they make great teethers. One of these days I'll try them with whole wheat so they'll be a little more healthy but by the time I get around to that he'll probably have his driver's license - ha ha.

Look who joined our family!
For about 30 hours anyway. Gotcha for a second didn't I? We just got to puppy sit this cutie for a little while. Neither Zion or Gabe wanted him to go home. In fact, I don't think Towzer did either. Personally I was quite fine with him heading for home. His little visit cemented in my mind that I don't want a puppy any time soon. Not that he was bad or anything, just one more thing to take care of and I need that right now like I need a hole in the head.
But Champ the pup and Towzer had a blast playing in the yard sometimes running into each other like demolition cars.
Zion especially loved having Champ around. When he was in his kennel in the living room she would take her block puzzle over there and simply play in front of his door for an hour or more.

And she just stood in the yard laughing at the Champ and Towzer play until I drug her back in due to the cold.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Miss Me?

I didn't realize just how long it had been since I'd posted - yikes! What could possibly be keeping me so busy? Maybe this will give you a clue:
Yes. That's me and Rob. No, this is not an old picture. Tee hee. Rob is home on leave and we have been having a blast having him home. Tonight the two of us got to go out to dinner and do a little shopping, mostly for Gabe's birthday which is coming up.

But back to dinner. Our favorite restaurant is Mama Stortini's. I made the reservation weeks ago, before I was even sure that Rob's leave would bring him home on time. I couldn't take any chances with it being Valentine's Day. And it's a good thing. I overheard that if you didn't have a reservation the soonest you could be seated was 10PM, more than five hours after our reservation. Worth it if you're waiting for their Adriatic Chicken, my hands down favorite menu item. Tonight I ordered the filet mignon, prawns, rosemary mashed potatoes and asparagus. Rob had the cedar plank salmon.

Please stop drooling, it's getting all over your keyboard.

The kids have been getting their share of Daddy too. First, we got to pick Rob up at the airport on Tuesday afternoon. The gleeful shouts of "Daddy!" coming from the back seat brought a little joy to the load/unload zone at SeaTac. The next day we went out to lunch and the whole lot of us, even Towzer, went to the park. We were blessed with a sunny day. Unexpected since the day before it was snowing.


Quite the look of mischief there, Gabe.

One of the best photos of the whole day.

Towzer got to try out the Gentle Leader that the behaviorist recommended. I don't know why I didn't try this before, I used something similar on a previous dog. He hated it but seemed to be getting used to it by the end. I'm hoping he'll figure out that when he wears it that it means that he gets to be with us.

Is there a limit to how cute one baby can be? If there is, he just passed it.

Too bad Towz moved his big noggin in the way at the last second. Stinker.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Contest Alert!

Oh me, oh my, oh MeeUp! There's a contest goin' on over at 4 Little Men and Girly Twins and you can win yourself a MeeUp baby pouch. Back when I thought granola was a bad word (and WAY before "granola" became "crunchy" when describing an all natural - or mostly natural - way of mothering) I would have scoffed at the thought of "wearing" my baby. Granted, this was also during a time when I didn't like children but it took a long, long time for that feeling to wear off. Well many things have changed since then and I love to wear Gideon now. OK, I haven't actually worn him in a while but that's because he outgrew my baby sling so I really, really hope that I win this contest. Yeah, I know, slim chance but still. I really, really hope that I win so I can start wearing him again. Especially since today I took out the Wii Fit and tried to hula hoop while holding him. He loved it, laughed the whole time, I can't say much for my score though. It didn't help that Zion thought she'd try too and by try I mean stand in between my legs and laugh herself hysterical. Picture it, me on the Wii Fit board, toddler between my legs, baby in my arms all of us laughing our heads off. Good times, good times.

So am I still a "crunchy" mom if I want the sling so that I can wear my baby while I hula hoop on my Wii Fit?


Remember a while back when I reported that our dog, Towzer, had nipped Gabe? Well I sought a recommendation for a behavior specialist at our vet's office and received the name of Kathy Sdao at Bright Spot Dog Training. Towzer and I met with her on Wednesday and I fought the urge to slap my forehead through much of our meeting. A lot of what she recommended were things that we used to do with Towz. Feeding him using food puzzle toys (he's ultra smart and needs to have that mental stimulation) and playing games. Her training philosophy is a stark contrast to the trainer we used when Towzer was a pup and that is a good thing. No, a GREAT thing. Against my instincts that trainer convinced us to use techniques that I was uncomfortable with and ended up having a detrimental effect on Towzer and his trust of us. We have lots of "homework"to do but I am confident that we're on the right track now. He is such a very cool dog as anyone who has met him agrees (well, except for maybe Nora but that's just because she's the antithesis of a dog-person but she's my best friend, what can ya do?).

Look at that handsome mug!

Cooling off last summer with Gabe.

Maisy and Towzer, best friends.

Sunday, February 1, 2009


I would have blown milk out of my nose when I saw this.

Had I actually been drinking at the time.

The trainer holding the tray of cupcakes is trying to teach Stains the dog to "leave it" (only she uses the command "away" only that seems awkward to me so I revert back to the command that I'm used to). His face is awesome.
Kind of reminds me of this picture of Gabe that I took when he was three-months old that also involves a stare down with a cupcake.