Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Something Beautiful


Amidst the blood, sweat and tears of the past few days I decided I needed something beautiful, both to look at and to eat.  So today baby sis and I made this beautiful strawberry layer cake. Isn't it lovely? Fresh organic strawberries, a little orange juice in the frosting...mmm, fruity, decadent deliciousness.  

Except, it tastes awful!  Really, really bad.  
Maybe it was because Maya dumped one egg down the cupboard and it hit the floor (& Star refused to eat it!) and then she poured some of the sugar in the mixing bowl but a lot of it landed on the counter and all over her.  So, I had to make some adjustments but, unfortunately, it didn't work out.  It tastes like raw flour and straight-up buttermilk. And, like my last batch of strawberries, these are still quite tart. Ick.

Now, what do you think of this next picture?  This was one of our dinner's from last week. Gross huh?  It looks like a frog died on top of the polenta but before it did it squirted blood all over the plate (and what's that gross stuff oozing out of the chicken?)


But it was delicious!  
It was the creamiest polenta I've ever made and the dead frog look-alikes are caramelized onions from a fresh red onion I bought at farmers market.  The chicken recipe was gorgonzola-stuffed chicken breasts with strawberry gastrique...scrumptious!  I used blue cheese instead but it turned out moist and flavorful and the red frog blood is actually a reduced strawberry sauce (the gastrique).  

I don't know why I'm pointing all of this out. There has to be some cool life lesson there somewhere.  Maybe I've seen too many episodes of Olivia, or I need a better camera, or I need photography lessons, or a solid night of sleep...hmmm. 

Okay, and this photo is of my angels feeling a bit better today and giving each other some love. Aren't they sweet?  Owen got the bloodiest bloody nose I've ever seen today...c'mon!  Uncle, mercy, I give in!  No more fevers and coughs and simultaneous pandemic alerts about the swine flu. Geez, OM's mama can't take no mo! 

And this last photo:  another man down!  Woody never (ever) complains.  The only way I know if he feels bad is by how he dresses.  Even in 32 degree weather, he wears shorts and tee shirts after work, always.  Except when he's sick.  When he feels bad he changes into sweats, long sleeve shirts or sweatshirts and puts on a hat.  And lays on the couch (instead of the floor).  So, I'm the last man standing.  Think good thoughts that I at least stay healthy!!

Monday, April 27, 2009

And Owen gets another double...

ear infection:(  Aye Owee...

I phoned the pediatrician this a.m. and they told me to keep doing what I was doing (rest, tissues, fluids, fever-lowering meds.) until they got better.  Then Owen woke up from his nap and looked awful so I called the pediatrician again.  I apologized for being that mom and calling all the time but I was worried when his eye got all puffy (and I sent a picture-text to Debbie and she urged to me to call again too).  

Anyway, I emailed them this picture:

and they called me back and asked how soon I could get there!  Final diagnosis was double ear infection and the doc skipped the amoxicillin and went straight to the hard core white chalky super-duper bacteria killing stuff.  Aye yi yi...

But, Maya is much improved and was wanting to dance and play today.  She seems to get the mild version and then Owen gets the full strength butt-kicker.  

And, I was offered the job!  And, I accepted:)  This is a link to my new supervisor discussing the cord blood bank and this is a link to the website for the program.

Puzzles, Moon Sand and the F-L-U...


We've been hit again!  Thankfully not by the stomach flu, but by it's equally vicious cousin, the regular flu.   Fever, runny nose, cough, puffy, watery eyes..overall miserableness.  Tough season for us this year.

Owen put the puzzle together last night and even though he was sick he added in a couple of goofy faces for me.  When he finished it he pointed to Florida and said, "that's where Grandpa Hinson lives" and I said that's right, where is that? and he said, "Africa." :)

These next few photos are of OM having fun with moon sand.  It's awesome stuff!  Woody was having a lot of fun with it.



And Maya and AJ hanging out this weekend.

Gotta run.  Today is the worst day (so far) and OM like to have both eyes and hands on me at all times...

Saturday, April 25, 2009

O*W*E*N

Owen can spell his name!  He's been spelling it O*w*n*e for awhile but on Thursday it all came together for him and now he spells it perfectly every time. Very exciting!

So, sorry for the gap in postings.  It got a little busy around here. Mainly because I had a job interview Friday. It was for an umbilical blood bank program coordinator position at OHSU (the hospital where I interned).  I feel good about the interview so regardless of the outcome I had a positive experience.  I wasn't planning on it, but part of my interview was in Spanish.  The program director, a bone marrow transplantation surgeon (!), came in during the interview and asked if I spoke Spanish, in Spanish.  Thankfully it kicked in even though it's been quite awhile since I've really used it. She's from Puerto Rico originally and said my accent sounded like hers. Nice, I love Puerto Rican accents, they're sassy!!

So, these are photos from the past week...a whole mix of stuff:

First, some self-photos of Maya and I.




Some play-dough fun...Owen was making "meatballs"...
Maya was making "cheese"...
And he was making snakes...
This is Maya in our bathroom making rows of toilet paper (which is an improvement from pulling it all off the roll and piling it into the toilet)...
Owen bowling...
And baby sis sleeping.  Right before I snapped the photo she moved her hand...she did have one hand on her baby's head and one hand on her own head...:)

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

maya sings...some more:)

video
I tried to video Maya singing a new song she just made up today called 'maya, maya, maya' but as soon as I started filming she stopped singing it.  Oh well, I'll try again.  Sorry about the jumpy camera footage..I was sitting too close to her. You do get to hear some of her singing though.  She sings ALL the time:) 
Owen has been trying to teach her to count but she can't get past three which frustrates him..."Mom", he'll whine, "baby sis won't say 'four'..it's funny.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Food for thought

Not having a refrigerator for a few days (sucks) and has had me thinking a lot about food.  
I like food.  Well, I don't like food, I LOVE it.  [As a side note: I make many references to Pixar movies in my emails and blog posts that Woody thinks are esoteric and no one gets.  Like when I wrote that email awhile back about Maya crawling & the title was, "we've got ourselves a crawler" clearly referring to Cars when Mack (the semi-truck) is hauling Lightening McQueen (race car) to California and the four hot rod cars pull up alongside a very drowsy Mack and say, "we've got ourselves a nodder" and then start playing Kenny G music to make him drowsier.  Deb, c'mon, you got me on that one, right? Anyway, that last sentence is a nod to Ratatouille when Linguine (the kid/chef) says to Anton Ego (food critic) "you're skinny for someone who likes food" and Ego replies, "I don't like food, I LOVE it."] 
Anyway, now that I have finished school and have an abundance of free time, I find that I want to spend it all in the kitchen.  I want to cook and bake and create.  Unfortunately, I have two little guys that don't enjoy food as much as I do and scream 'grody' (baby sis) and 'yuck', 'icky', & 'that's bisgusting' (Owen) when they come to the dinner table. 

But, I am so inspired by Alice Waters lately and her approach to food and cooking.  She suggests buying seasonally and looking for the freshest, best looking produce (or meat, bread etc.) and not messing with it too much.  A little olive oil here, a little roasting there and voila, a tasty, delectable dish.  The cookbook pictured above is wonderful and we've (just Woody and I) enjoyed many delicious meals (my mouth waters thinking about the roasted eggplant and tomato pizza).

OM?  They like their food processed.  Frozen waffles, oatmeal, cereal, crackers, Dora-shaped mac-n-cheese, frozen mini pizzas, chicken nuggets...you catch my drift.  (Of course, I am the one responsible for what is on their plates..Sigh..)

But there is hope.  They both like most fruits, yogurt, hummus, whole wheat cous cous, brown rice, fresh muffins, and Owen will eat a pile of green peas (not baby sis).   This spring and summer my goal it to increase their consumption of vegetables.  So, the picture below shows our new garden.  Woody built it and OM and I started a whole bunch of seedlings in little pots that we'll transplant soon and since farmer's market has finally started we'll be buying lots of veggies to plant from there too.  I cannot wait!  I'm hoping that the 'garden to table' approach will be the magic that gets them to enjoy fresh veggies as I do.

Below is a photo of my new black beauty (there will NEVER be a true black beauty like my beloved nissan pick-up [who, by the way, is living large south of the border in glorious Mexico...my friend's dad bought her and even had 'black beauty' painted on her and refers to her as black beauty..viva Mexico!!]) but my new fridge is big and the doors open all the way in the badly built space because we upgraded to french doors...hooray!!


Bon appetit...buen provecho...happy eating!!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Bunny rhymes with sunny...and honey.



It's sunny and 80 degrees!!  I'm wearing shorts and a tee shirt, no shoes!  Few things make me happier.  To fully enjoy the glorious sunshine we went to the zoo today.  For a Monday it was packed but Oregonians know the sun-filled days are few and far between so you have to take advantage of it.  We went with one of Owen's friends from school, Scott, and his mom.  So fun.  And did I mention it was glorious outside?  

A couple of weeks, maybe a month ago, Owen started connecting the sounds of two similar words (e.g., shoe/true) and would tell us they matched.  To which I would reply, yes, they rhyme.  Now he uses the word rhyme and he notices pairs all the time.  Today we ate some bunny crackers as a snack and I mentioned about a million times how sunny it was so he said, "mom,  bunny rhymes with sunny...and honey."  I love him!

Baby sis pointing to the bear down below.  See it?  She's knocking our socks off with her four and five-word sentences.  "I fun @ Eli's house" (we went to Eli's bday Saturday); "I take boots off"; "I pinch Daddy's face"...and many more.  I love her too! :)

Saturday, April 18, 2009

The sweet and not so sweet



These photos of OM leaving New Season's market captured an incredibly tender moment when Owen spontaneously grabbed Maya's hand and said they needed to hold hands b/c it was dangerous to cross the street.  Ahhh, so sweet!  He held her hand all the way to the car.


The last two photos capture another spontaneous moment when they both decided to pick their nose at the dinner table. Ahh, how not so sweet!  When I grabbed the camera Maya started digging for gold to get a good one.  Yin and yang I guess.

We  have a busy weekend of farmers market, selling diapers, bday parties, visiting newborn babies, going to see Monsters v Aliens and, unfortunately, shopping for new refrigerators and electric lawnmowers.  Documentation to come...

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Bug Explorers



Yesterday we watched Sid the Science Kid on PBS and it inspired me to go outside (since it was finally sunny!) and find some bugs for OM to check out.  The show was about magnification so I located a couple of magnifying glasses too and when Woody got home we overturned some bricks in the backyard and saw lots of rolly poley's, worms, and various other bugs.  Both Owen & Maya held the rolly poley's and I'm afraid Maya have squished a couple a bit too hard:(

Another idea I like from the show (I don't really like the show very much overall but yesterday's was good) is having a question box.  When Sid (the science kid) asks his parents a question they write it down and put it in a box.  I think that would be fun to look at at some point down the road.  







Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The creative side

In my efforts to be a more present, involved mother in OM's life, I've made a few discoveries. Despite my best intentions, it's hard to change who I am at the core.  My three biggest areas of improvement (as Woody would put it) are my cleanliness issues, control-freak issues, and taking things way too seriously issues.

Allowing OM free access to markers, pens, stamps, paints etc. is, well, messy.  It's hard for me to encourage them to create when I don't want them to get stuff everywhere.  But it is so cool when I do b/c Owen, my sensitive, doesn't like to get down-&-dirty kid, put his whole hand in some foam paint today and totally dug it.  Interestingly, baby sis wasn't that into it.  Then we moved on to coloring the sliding glass door and Owen rubbed his hands all over it and seemed to really enjoy letting go of his own cleanliness issues:)  I of course washed their hands thoroughly when we finished but I'm hoping we can all keep feeling free and intensify our exploration, despite the mess.

Regarding my control-freak issues, I feel like I'm always telling them how to do stuff instead of letting them figure it out.  After baby sis continuously dips her paint brush into the water instead of the water colors I always feel like I need to tell her the "right" way to do it.  So, who cares?  She wants to "paint" with just water, more power to her!

OMG, the last one, MRS. SERIOUS, is bad.  Considering I married a goof-ball husband and have two hilariously entertaining kids, you'd think I'd relax.  But maybe b/c I'm the mama and feel obligated to worry about every absurd thing, I forget to laugh sometimes.

BUT, I'm happy to say I'm working on all of it and hopefully OM will grow up to one day say their childhood was filled with joy and happiness (& creativity) and they love their mama to the moon and back (as Owen puts it:)






Monday, April 13, 2009

Ba Ba Black Sheep vs. ABCD

video
We've heard back that the last video from Maya's class was successfully viewed so hopefully this home movie will work as well.  
You've probably noticed that I changed the template/layout.  I was having trouble reading the other one (even tho I really liked it) and I feel this one is easier to view.  I'd love any feedback!

A whole bunch of bagels


Owen, the kid who always tells me he doesn't want to eat too much because he doesn't want to grow up and get big, told me today that he wanted to eat a whole bunch of bagels.  He was HUNGRY he said and needed to eat a lot!  So, we stopped by Albertson's on our way home from the play gym and bought a bag of mini bagels that he and baby sis happily chomped on while we made our way thru the store.  Baby sis ate about three bowls of cereal this AM and she drinks all the milk too.  It's adorable.  It's nice to have one child who will sit down at the table and eat breakfast while I drink my coffee.  


These two photos are from the play gym @ the rec center by our house (where they take swimming classes).  Today Owen was having fun crashing his tricycle into Maya, and she liked it too.  They play really well together out in public.  At home, it's a different story.