Thursday, October 28, 2010

Tweet, tweet

Esme's going to be a bird for her first Halloween. I was smitten when I saw the idea on Martha. And it gave me motivation to make this cute hat I saw a tutorial for a while back too.  She gives up trying to take it off since it's im-possible.  I can see myself getting addicted to making these.  Another great project to use up scraps. Why am I trying harder with two kids.  I'm supposed to be doing things to make my life easier.

Cutest baby bird ever!  Totally worth it.

Family Pictures

Saturday we got family pictures taken. In my searching for a photographer I found an ad and recognized the family in the portfolio.  A friend from the ward is starting up a photography business.  I couldn't be more pleased.  We were able to be comfortable at home with a friend behind the camera.  Jed did a great job and I"m jealous of his photoshop skills. Thanks Jed!  You can check out his site here and the rest of our family pictures here.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

1st Snow

I'm sure every Utah mommy blogger is doing a post on the snow we all woke up to today. It was just so thick, which doesn't happen often. And Eli is finally liking it. Last year he said it was too cold and only went out once for a few minutes. Today he was excited to show it to doggy and helped his furry friend climb trees and dig for bones in the snow. I hope it keeps coming, not just so my sister will drive out from California to go skiing, but so winter is fun, not just dark and cold. I love how experiencing things with a child makes everything magical again- Halloween, Christmas, animals, puddles, trains, bugs...snow.
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Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Big 0-4

Eli has been waiting impatiently for his birthday since his dad's a month ago when he had to give presents, cake and sing to somebody else. His wishes were surprisingly simple.  A toy turtle, pancakes, a hard-boiled egg, hot dogs, and a brown cake with green ice cream.  I suppose I should start using the names of flavors, not just the colors.  Last night we took him out for a couple of things he didn't think to ask for. Brazilian food and a dinosaur museum.

"Eli 4" 
Chocolate chips are hard to read. 

This morning he woke up to several of his wildest dreams. Banana-chocolate-chip pancakes, chocolate milk, and a hard boiled egg. Sometimes I wonder if the only way I know how to spoil someone is with food.  Well, Esme was also a fan of his mac-n-cheese with hot dog lunch. 

The climax for him was singing "Happy Birthday" and having his cake, which he wanted ocean-themed with a turtle on top.  He didn't even notice the tortoises we bought don't actually swim in the sea. He's so detail-oriented, I can imagine him being bothered by such a mistake in the future.  

He's been the same since he was a small baby- shy, cautious, clingy, and even obedient, yet goofy and hyper when comfortable at home. Lately he's become quite the story teller.  Tonight's tall tale was his reason for not wanting to go to school.  Apparently there are monsters there.  One followed him home and died outside the window.  If you're lucky enough to be on the other side of one of his phone conversations you will hear a long, colorful story.  Still trying to figure out if he's lying or making up stories. 

It's been so long since he was small, it's hard to believe he was a tiny baby. So here are some pictures from around each birthday up to now. 

I love you, my little man.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Chore Chart

I still haven't figured out if Eli is lucky or not. This is his hand-made present from mom for his birthday coming up Sunday. I thought of a chore chart many months ago in an attempt to teach the little guy about time (days of the week), work, money, tithing, independence, patience, etc. I looked around online and couldn't find anything good to copy- my preferred method of brainstorming. I wanted something visual, making it a little more fun, easier for a non-reader, and versatile. Dishes could be, setting the table or helping put dishes away. Clothes couuld be folding, sorting, or putting away. Anyway, I hit a snag and the pieces have been laying on my desk for months. Today I finally finished it.

The magnetic strip my sister gave me years ago has come in handy again. So hot glue holds the felt figures together and the magnets on, which hold them to the magnetic strip. The chores to be done will be on a small bottom strip and each day, he does a chore and moves its felt representation up under the day of the week.  Don't worry, he's not working too hard.  Sunday is church/rest and Saturday is Pay Day.

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Thursday, October 14, 2010

Squeek, Squeek!


We were excited this year when we realized Eli finally understands Halloween, picking out a costume, building up to the day, not just the immediate gratification of trick-or-treating. I showed him some Martha costumes and he came up with his own. He loves mice, has lost 3 of his 4 stuffed rodents because he takes them everywhere. A couple of days ago I sewed up some ears, nose, and a tail with felt. I couldn't find any tutorials, so this is what I came up with. What do you think, does it need something more? Maybe a round of felt on the belly? Is the nose piece too big? His cheese sack is my favorite part of the whole thing.  I feel like a genius when I see it. Haha.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Home Canning

I can't imagine ever being bored as a stay-at-home mom. Even when the kids get bigger. Then I will do things like home-made bread and pasta. There's so much I want to learn and make. So my nice friend Wendy had us over last week to show me the ropes of home canning. I've been too scared up to now, worried I'd give us botulism or something. Jam/jelly seems to be the easiest, thank goodness. Processing (boiling), after the jars are filled isn't even necessary, like with fresh fruit.

Sadly I didn't get a picture of Wendy or the buckets of concord grapes she brought from her mom's garden, but here's the juice coming out of the steamer. Then it was cooked with sugar and pectin and went into hot jars. I halfed the sugar, despite warnings on the box, and it set up perfectly with a little extra boiling. I was happy to learn on something that didn't require the post-processing or a pressure cooker, needed for vegetables and such. I have scary visions of sealed jars exploding. Yikes. Baby steps.

Eli gasped when he saw Wendy's garden. It was cute. I've been trying to get him excited about growing vegetables.  I gasped when I saw how much basil, lemongrass, and heirloom tomatoes she sent us home with. We've been eating plenty of caprese, pesto, and even some Thai chicken soup.  Wendy also told me about a book by a woman that only ate what she grew or got from the local farmer's market for 1 year. Not sure if I could ever do that. It's a lot of work, self sufficiency. I knew that, but realized a little better that you can't be wimpy. While plucking grapes I squeeled a few times when I found earwigs making their way up my hand.

I'm hoping to do lots of homework on gardening so things will go as smoothly as possible when the time comes.  Natural pest control, where to plant what, what grows well here, best way to water, etc.  So I'm grateful for Wendy's advice.

So today I'm excited to have canned by myself for the first time.  Making my own batch of grape jelly. Each pop of the lids going down was a relief.  It worked! Now I definitely sound crazy to experienced canners and those with  no interest, which probably represents everyone.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Butter Diet Update

So, it's been a week and half since visiting the dietician. I'm relieved I don't have to weigh all her food anymore. It was stressing me out, but now I'm stressed thinking now I have a list of things to do to get more weight on her, but what if I can't do it. Somehow I have to double or triple her milk intake, add formula and microlipids to pumped milk, hold her down to take an antihistimine (no she has to allergies, but it has the side effect of increased hunger, which I've yet to notice) and get her to gain 15-30 ounces a month.

After eating her meals dripping with butter her clothes, high chair, table, her hair are smeared with grease. At first I looked forward to the clinical feeding evaluation the dietician recommended. Finally, people will understand how hard it is to feed this child. But I haven't scheduled it because I know she eats enough (as long as I have enough toys and games to coax each bite in), she just doesn't drink enough. The dietician noticed she's a very content baby. Who knew an easy-going baby could cause so much worry. Lets pray for a more demanding, needy girl.
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Sunday, October 3, 2010