Tuesday, October 05, 2010

New Site

Hello everyone. Due to a recent event at our house, I'm moving the blog to a new site. Send me an email, private facebook message, or leave a comment if you want to follow our lives via our blog. I am not an intensely private person, so please do not be shy. If you know our parents and just like to check in and see pictures of the kids, we still want to share.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010


Of course Abby didn't like it.


But that's just how she is with new things.

Stephen thought it was pretty neat. It's a Phantom Dorsal Night Splint to be particular; plantar fasciitis treatment to be a little more simple. In layman's terms, I just hope my feet don't hurt when I get up to use the bathroom at night.

I'll just be wearing it at night, and during the day I can slip some new orthotics into my shoes. My original orthotics are from high school, so the podiatrist thought ordering a new pair was reasonable.

When I was getting my foot forms made for the orthotics, the tech offered to let Abby put her foot in a mold just for fun. But I figured she'd think he was a doctor and would be afraid of what else he was going to try. After her foot injury + boot for 3 weeks, she is not keen on letting strangers play with her feet.

If she were wiser, she'd learn to slow down so she doesn't have to go to the doctor to deal with injuries ...

Saturday evening she took a dive into the coffee table (which is not sharp). She didn't sustain an injury on the outside of her face, but her tooth cut the inside of her mouth pretty bad. The next morning it was gaping wide open and we were imagining how they were ever going to stitch her up inside her mouth. Thankfully, the nurse at Wilford Hall told us that we could just treat it at home and do our best to keep it from getting infected. Then last night we were leaving a friend's house and she fell flat on her face on the sidewalk. Didn't injure the mouth wound but did scratch her upper lip. Then after her rest today, she was in a hurry to race around Stephen to the kitchen and she fell and rolled into the piano. I feel like I'm always saying, "SLOW DOWN" to her.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Oops, oops, and oops

Last night, when we were winding down for the evening, we decided to fit a few more tasks in ... looking back on it, maybe we should have just gone to bed.

Ryan is having a photo taken today with the concert band, and he thought it would be good to clean his hair up a bit. So I got out the clippers and the cape and the stool and he sat down. All went well using a #2 and after I finished with his hair I took the attachment off to trim his neck. I took care of that briefly and then looked at him from the front. I noticed a few strands right on his forehead that got missed with the first swipe, so I took the clippers to it again. Only I hadn't put the #2 back on. I gasped when I saw what I had done, and in lieu of crying just started laughing. The whole time I was saying, "It's not funny! I don't know why I'm laughing! I'm so sorry I just messed up your hair!" He calmly said, "I guess now you get to have a bald husband." So we went back over his head with a shorter clipper. And all was well. (In my defense, I am not a professional. I cannot be expected to deliver a perfect haircut every time. However, I should not have received the haircut that I did last week from a professional ... who I will NOT be going back to. She would have kept cutting and given me bangs if I hadn't stopped her! I worked so hard to grow those out!!)

Also last night ... my phone needed an update, so Ryan hooked it up to the computer, and several moments later, the applications and music were all erased from it, too (though it was all backed up on the computer). Too tired to really be concerned with it, I just said, "oh, no problem," and I went to bed. This morning he had loaded some of them back on, but my iTunes problem is persisting. I guess we'll deal with that some other time.

Then this morning, I opened a new carton of orange juice before breakfast. The cartons are generally too full to shake well before the first glass. So I got Stephen's glass ready and then put the OJ back on the counter. After doing a few more tasks to prepare for eggs, bacon, and toast for breakfast, I went back to pour my glass. I picked that carton up and shook it -- only I hadn't put the lid back on!! HAHA! Juice flowed all over the counter and the floor by the fridge. Good thing no electronics were sitting there. I cleaned up as best I could and proceeded with breakfast preparations.

I guess Abby comes by her clumsiness honestly: It caused a giant gash on the inside of her mouth on Saturday night when she fell into the coffee table for no apparent reason! So far it seems to be healing fine on its own. Kinda difficult to put stitches in the mouth.

In other news, I am finally reporting that we are having lovely weather here in San Antonio!

Monday, September 06, 2010

Labor Day Weekend

With two weeks of school now under our belts, we had a long weekend. Hooray! Ryan was off and we enjoyed the weather cooling a bit--down to highs in the low 90s. Made for a beautiful morning at a river west of town. We gathered with our church group there at about 10 Sunday morning and the kids played and played in the water. They loved the rocks and splashing around with the other kids and even a few dogs. It was shallow enough in the area where we planted ourselves that they could roam pretty freely. The only near-disaster was when Stephen's shoe came off. A friend grabbed it and then we calmed a hysterical boy. All in all, the kids - young and old - enjoyed it quite a bit. Tyler took some photos.

Stephen turned 4 back in June, and we had thought about getting him a bicycle. Because of the heat in the summers here, we decided to wait until September to get one for him. Our outdoor time in the summer was largely spent at pools! So we headed out to test-ride a few. True to his usual experience of being a giant child, he is already at a 20" size, and his helmet size is 8!!

He is LOVING school. He sings the songs that he learns there so much that I'm getting them stuck in my head all day. (Thanks, kid.) Tonight Ryan said something to me about next January, and I immediately blurted out "January February Maaaaarch April May ..." I think each time Stephen belts out the days or months, he sings the whole list a minimum of 3 times. His teachers tell me that he is quiet in class, so I am hoping that he warms up and can be more interactive with the teachers and other students. At this point I'm fairly sure he's just absorbing it the best he can, as it's an entirely new experience for him. He had "homework" this weekend, which was to practice writing his name. The teacher said it was fine if they just got through one letter and that we shouldn't push them to do a lot right away. But he wanted to write it in 5 different colors so he wrote his name 5 times. Yup, already an overachiever.

Abby doesn't seem to mind the time alone with mommy every morning. I even asked her if she wanted to go to school like Stephen does, and she said, "No. I stay with mommy." Last week we got to go to Whole Foods and she pushed a little shopping cart. She was positively exuberant! We also joined some friends at a park one day and she played with her friend Nicholas another day. When we picked Stephen up on Friday, she was so excited to see him that she ran up to him standing against the wall where the teacher dismisses them and jumped up and down, chanting "OPPOSITES OPPOSITES OPPOSITES!!!" The only explanation I have is that she thinks he talks about opposites at school just like in the Arthur Goes to School book.

Big breakthroughs this week for her: She's been ASKING to wear her Elmo shoes instead of her red crocs. And pigtails stayed in her hair for a couple hours this morning. Must be time to have another baby. My baby is growing up.

On Monday we drove an hour south of town to Ryan's supervisor's house. They live on some land and have some chickens, goats, and even a donkey. We like that we can get farm fresh eggs from them!

In this first picture, you see a happy girl with a slightly less happy dog. A few minutes after she began to play with the dog, we heard a blood-curdling scream which was NOT preceded by a thud. I ran to find her holding the side of her face and screaming "THE DOGGIE HIT ME!!" We think he took his paw and clawed her nose, eyelid, and forehead, based on the scrapes we saw on her face. She pretty much left him alone the rest of the afternoon.

The next few photos are from our excursion outside to collect eggs from the chicken coop. Stephen actually grabbed a couple himself. But Abby also wanted to carry them. We had to watch that they didn't swing the bucket too fast. There's also a photo of William climbing up the windmill. I'm glad Stephen and Abby didn't try that.

Next up: the adventures of Tropical Storm Hermine!

Monday, August 23, 2010

First Day of School

I think I was a wee bit more nervous than he was. Will he sense the other students' anxiety and decide he doesn't want to stay? Will he tell the teacher when and if he needs to use the bathroom? Will he decide after one day that he doesn't want to go to school after all? But overall, Stephen, Ryan and I were all confident that half-day PreK was a good fit for him this year.

We got his supplies all in order, including a new pair of shoes and a backpack, and last week we met his teacher and the assistant. So far so good. Then yesterday, Ryan and I took him out for a pizza lunch and gave him a flip book of pictures that he could keep in his backpack.

Then today was the big day. We were instructed to meet the assistant in the cafeteria before school this morning, and from there Stephen would walk with his class to his classroom.

There were no tears from either Stephen or me as we said goodbye and watched him walk with the other kids down the hallway. He was so excited. And that was enough to make me feel confident walking out the door and leaving him there for the morning.

He hasn't said much about what happened during the day, but he has been happy since getting home. I did have a clue that he had enjoyed it very much: He asked me, "Can I go to school every Monday?" He was quite pleased to find out that he gets to go every day!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Meals and Recipes

I never thought the day would come when I would be sad about a recipe website changing hands. But it happened. Recipezaar, which I depended on to be able to always find something that would work, has become Food.com, and lost the feature which I most appreciated!

The ingredient sifter.

I would typically look for a recipe - such as shepherd's pie - and then be able to easily weed out the ones that contained ingredients I didn't want. Or didn't have. Their new filter doesn't do this. It just looks through main ingredients and lets you sort that way. The allrecipes site has a similar feature, but it just doesn't work the same way.

I still want easy access to some of the recipes I've found on there that I keep going back to and making time and time again. This is an easy way to do that AND share with my family and friends.

Curried Red Lentil Salad I got a little worried as I was pulling this all together to make for a dinner last weekend. The spices and main ingredients seemed quite varied and I wasn't sure how it would turn out. But it was fabulous, not to mention healthy and easy!

Healthy Energy Bars
I made these back when Abby really needed to start eating breakfast but didn't seem to like the options that we gave her. Since then, she has been doing better, but I still want to keep this recipe around.

Homemade Pie Crust Here's a simple crust for the baking-challenged, like me. I found it by looking for one that didn't use shortening!

Spinach Quiche We call it "egg pie" around here. The amazing thing is that both of my children eat it!

French Potato Salad I found this one looking for a potato salad that doesn't use mayo, just for something different.

Minestrone Soup Discovered when I was looking for a minestrone soup I could make from scratch with gluten-free noodles, this soup was a lifesaver when I was babysitting another little girl. I made the soup about once a month, then froze it in ziplock bags and reheated for our lunches. Stephen and Phoena both loved it!

Homemade Tomato Soup Ryan loves tomato soup, especially paired with grilled cheese, but I just have this thing against buying canned soups. So I discovered this recipe one day, and we love it! The kids even eat it--with lots of crackers, of course.

Artichoke Spinach Lasagne This recipe made the rounds in an online community I'm a part of. It's a great vegetarian lasagne that meat-eaters really enjoy!

Meatloaf Don't ask Abby if this is good--she wouldn't touch it last night. But Ryan and I both enjoy it and it's made with things I generally keep in the house, making it a simple meal when I don't think ahead :).

What sites do you like using for finding recipes? I've been on Tasty Kitchen, $5 Dinners, and Epicurious recently. And I'm reading Vegan Lunch Box ... some ideas that I'm hoping to use to make our lunches more interesting!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

An Aquatic Victory!

Abby swam some last summer, but after a winter out of the water, she wanted nothing to do with it this year. We take her to the pool but she just clings to us - with both hands!! This morning I took both kids to the kiddie pool at sea world and fully expected to just walk around with her the whole time while I kept an eye on Stephen. And then she surprised me! She said "get down" and started splashing around. Before I knew it she was going down the slides and running under the fountains. Way to go, little girl!!