Thursday, September 30, 2010


I love all the documentaries on Netflix instant watch.  Perfect way to get people's messages out. I lean toward the serious ones. First was Food Inc.  Then, when Brian left for a while last month I picked a few for the queue that might be too heavy for him. He's a softie.

Sometimes I hear people say "I don't watch the news, it's too depressing."  Outrageous!

Maybe learning about horrible things going on doesn't drain me as much as others.  It definitely changes me, but hopefully to appreciate my own life more and find a way to help others.  Locally or globally. With money or time.  All of the above.

So while he was gone I watched The Devil Came On Horseback, it's about Darfur. I've always wanted to know the situation.  I'm embarrassed to say that I don't know much about history or current events.

A couple of weeks ago was Beyond Belief about two 9/11 widows from Boston raising money and awareness to help hundreds (of the hundreds of thousands) of widows in Afghanistan be able to sustain themselves and hopefully be a hand in peace and their own healing.

Brian picked one last night, by National Geographic about North Korea.  Especially disturbing.  We just wanted to grab those starving babies right out of the TV.

It all boils down to change.  How does it come about?  Who can make the decisions?  What does it take to get leaders to act?  What is the best action?  Being in a high up position in powerful governments must be quite a burden.  Having knowledge and the ability to act, but maybe not knowing the best thing to do.  And how to get re-elected, another heavy one on their minds.

So, if anyone has any other documentary recommendations.  Doesn't have to be depressing..

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Golden Boy

(will flip as soon as I figure out how)

 So Brian turns 28 today, on the 28th.  Very big deal, right? I think he's happy that I didn't make the biggest deal about it. I did insist on the traditional flourless cake, made of only melted chocolate, eggs, and butter.   I didn't realize he was so shy that he even took his birthday off Facebook and Skype so he wouldn't get any attention.  Luckily we surprised him work with these cupcakes for him to share.  We were a little sad that none of those nerdy guys would notice the gourmetness of chocolate cupcakes, topped with chocolate mousse and ganache.  Oh well. 

I had to bring balloons to embarrass him just a little.

Cubicle Party.

I knew he would prefer a quiet night at home, rather than socializing and entertaining.  So it was just the 4 of us.

Eli ended up giving him the best present of all.  I had him color a picture, tell me a message to write, and then told him to sign his name. I figured it would be a little squiggle, but he actually WROTE HIS NAME!  We've never even shown him how to write letters.

Brian was so excited he started the boy on a writing lesson before we even had any cake. It was so exciting. He told Eli that was the best present ever.

And Esme? She practiced for her big day in a month or so.

Happy birthday to the best husband and dad ever. 

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Esme's Diet


The Butter Diet, I call it.  She has been riding the growth curve on the 5th percentile line, but at her 9 month appointment she was 14 pounds 1 1/2 ounces, only one pound more than she was at 6 months, and below the line.  It's normal for their weight gain to slow down at this point because they get so active, but the doctor showed some concern and told me to feed her as much as I could and come back for a follow-up appointment in 6 weeks. I was surprised, figuring she was eating enough since she slept 12 hours at night.  She prefers to feed herself, but the most fattening stuff, like her cream of wheat with equal parts cream of wheat to butter and heavy cream, I had to do.

Today was the weigh-in. They called us so fast I didn't have time to get her last snack in her. I've been doing my best to feed her more often, give her toys to distract her while I try and get bites in, and load every mushy bite with butter, heavy cream, and momma's milk.  It became the most stressful part of my day. Each bite felt like a struggle and triumph. And the result?  3 ounces! So she's now 14 pounds 4 ounces after 6 weeks of the Butter Diet.  The doctor now wants us to go see a Primary Children's Hospital.  The location freaked me out a bit. Can I just tell her, she's a small girl, she's developing fine, what is all this going to accomplish?  I talked to another mom this past week, a doctor actually, whose daughter was tiny too.  She said some kids just fill out later than others.  When is it appropriate to say "Actually, Doc, I think she's fine."? Or will she call DCFS saying I'm starving my child and refusing medical treatment?

I wonder if the Butter Diet would have a similar affect on me.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


We still love our condo after 3 years. We've definitely made it our own- painting every room, adding curtains, tile in several places, new flooring. There's plenty of space, we're near the freeway, nice views, close to many attractions and shopping, two playgrounds near, quiet neighbors, tons of storage, etc. And when we signed up for the CSA I thought, this is perfect, no need to ever have a yard or garden and all the work that comes with it.

But I now feel the opposite way. Brian and I dream about having a nice big yard, fun for the kids and a place for a serious garden. We think about what we want to grow and what kind of fruit trees would be best. I want the kids to grow up having a garden, learning to work and love fruits and vegetables.

I've been thinking about a house for quite a while, but not wanting to move "just because." I want a good reason to sell the condo and find a house (keep this place spotless, leave the house for showings [if there are any], figure out where to live in between, cleaning, packing, unpacking, living with everything packed...hmmm maybe I'm changing my mind now). I thought about my reasons and realized almost all have a green influence.

Live in town
-less commute for Brian
-to be in walking distance of necessities like school and a grocery store, and therefore go down to one car
-live in a city that makes recycling easy

Have a yard
-garden with a compost, I think about it several times a day as I throw away veggie scraps
-to be able to line dry cloth diapers in the sun, they require germ-killing from a hot dryer or the sun
-safe place outside where the kids can play while I work

-find a good school and hopefully be able to afford something in its boundaries
-live in the neighborhood for a while before Eli starts elementary school so he starts with friends

Last night we went to Curt's grandma's house. Eli was so excited he didn't know what to do first, climb the apple tree, drive the power wheel truck, jump on the trampoline or pick grapes. No plans yet, but we're hoping for a house in the next year.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Sunset Photowalk

My friend Annette and I got a break from the kids last night and went to a photowalk to hopefully get some good shots of the Salt Lake Valley from the hills above Draper. The professionals were so nice, walking around to answer questions and give tips. I was sad there were no clouds for extra color. Tonight there were clouds. Clouds from smoke. Here's the view from my bedroom a few minutes ago of the fire now spreading over the same mountains.

Posted by Picasa

Friday, September 17, 2010

Grow Your Own Sprouts

Update. Well, here's a recipe, but I didn't have the same ingredients, so I just did this:
Finely chopped/minced 1/4 onion, 4 mushrooms, one carrot and stems of bok choy sauteed in sesame oil until tender. Added a little salt and microplaned ginger. Turned off heat and added finely chopped leaves from bok choy, basil, and sprouts.
Dipping Sauce: equal parts soy sauce and water. Dash of rice vinegar and a little ginger.
Now that I have tofu I'll add that in. Apparently you just smoosh a block of extra-firm.

I'm so glad my friend Wendy gave me the idea to grow sprouts. Such an easy, cheap way to keep anti-oxidant and protein rich veggies on hand. I thought it would be great for Eli to learn about seeds, watch their development, and be able to enjoy the fruits of his (minimal) labor very quickly. These took 3 or 4 days and were so simple to grow. Soak overnight, and rinse every 12 or 24 hours. Piece of cake since the perferated top (cheese cloth, special lid, or mesh) which allows air in also makes rinsing and straining quick.

Last night they went into this pot-sticker filling. Sorry, no picture of the final product, we at them too fast. I wonder if Brian even noticed there was no meat.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

I don't know what's come over me. I feel like a pregnant woman nesting or a squirrel preparing for the upcoming change in seasons. I am neither one of those, but seeing all the fruit and vegetables in season right now is making me want to buy extra and store for winter. Probably because I just read this book.

I've heard several times that the most important way to reduce your impact on the environment is to eat what's local and in season. It's more crucial than the kind of car you drive or the light bulbs in your lamps. It's also the healthiest option. Freezing keeps more of the vitamins than canning. Add in the fact that I have never canned anything and you get this:

Our new freezer. Brian was very proud of himself for finding it 75% off. Eli was so excited about finding it this morning that he started filling it right away. Then we went to a Rojas Farm about a mile away. The fabulousness we get from the CSA is not quite enough for us now, so I needed to get extra to freeze. It's not necessarily organic, but they only spray the corn with pesticides, so I went a little crazy.

Most of the pears were a little dinged up (unlike these ones on top), so I asked for a discount and and the lady just gave them to me. She even held Esme while I shopped. She said we could go out and take cucumbers too, since they decided not to pick them. Maybe next time. We'll go back when they get more peaches, another Brian request.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Just Another Trip To The Fair

Nothing special, really. Just a Monday night visit to the State Fair. First came the all-you-can-eat ice cream ($3) tent, then the mini farm, then running into the prophet, and onto some bunny rabbits.

That would be the back of Eli's head in the second to last picture. He gave President Monson his usual I-don't-know-you frown and ran back to me. AHHHH!!!! Curt was more friendly.

Lesson of the day: You never know who you'll run into in the pigeon exhibit, so don't skip it.

Saying Goodbye

So you all know who Seth and Carrol are by now. They were our soon-to-be neighbors that we met the day before we got married. They helped us move in and promised to think about us at 12:45 (time of our sealing) the next day. If we had known what good friends we were going to be we would've invited them to the wedding.

They were between housing contracts (getting ready to move to Ohio for grad school) and needed a place to sleep the last couple weeks of August. We were happy to be able to see them a little extra before they left. Eli and Emi were especially giddy. Here are a few things they did together.

And the best for last:
"Hold hands to cross the street" meant each others, not ours, I guess.

We're going to miss you guys.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Birthday Season

It starts soon, with Brian's birthday in a couple of weeks and ending in 2 months with Esme, most of my family members in between. It usually stresses me out, what to buy, what to sew, getting to the post office... in time. For some reason I have decided to start working on Esme's gift first. I'm just too excited about this tutorial and making Esme's first doll. I'd better get to it while the house is quiet.

When she's finished you'll have to help me pick a name.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Have I mentioned that Brian's been leaving us a lot lately. It's especially terrible when its for the weekend that I wait all week for, only to have him gone and come back in time to go back to work Monday. So far this summer he's gone to Colorado a couples times, New Jersey, Orlando for a week, and now Idaho to go backpacking during the last weekend of summer. Hopefully he'll come back so sore, tired, and hungry that he won't want to leave home anymore.

So Saturday I looked down at Esme's cuteness and thought, Grandma Corrales hasn't seen her lately. Accidentally forgetting about a couple of responsibilities for the weekend I packed the kids and we went for a sleepover at grandma's. Eli is finally getting better at warming up to people, family being most crucial. It was always embarrassing when we'd go and he would never hug his great grandma and only give her grumpy grunts and frowny faces. This time he talked a lot and was super-affectionate.

Jealous of Esme's turn, so he climbed on too.

Reading Grandma his Alphabet Book.

Grandma singing Esme a song in Spanish that she's now sung to 3 generations of babies. Something about these little feet going to pick watermelons.

I'm so glad we went. The kids were great in the car and Brian's grandma, aunt, and cousin got to oogle over our beautiful little Esme.

Friday, September 3, 2010

10 Months

Esme traded her usual smiles in for seriousness thanks to the prickly grass. Brian likes to point out that she's even cute while crying, not that I was trying make her. She even closes her lips like she's trying to hold it in. It's the saddest thing.

And somehow I never got a picture of Eli in his dad's newborn shirt. Oh well, Esme looks more like him anyway.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Everly Tuesday

Look who we get to play with every Tuesday morning when her mom, my friend Anna, goes in to the office. Two month old Everly. Eli and I are totally enamored with her, and Esme doesn't really notice her, which is better than jealousy. I have to admit I had a hard time handing her over to her grandma when the time came.