Monday, October 04, 2010

Coming out of hiding... sort of

I realized it's been a long, LONG time since I've posted. I go back and forth about reviving my blog, starting a new one, etc. but mostly I just think about it. I'm not sure it is a priority right now, but we'll see. However, I have been really annoyed about all the negative attention babywearing is receiving lately. If you haven't already read about it, check out this article from Mothering Magazine and this post from Stephanie at Adventures in Babywearing.

So, I decided to ignore my indecisiveness over my blog for one day and link up in support of babywearing, which I honestly don't believe I could have lived without! I'm supposed to post a picture of my wearing one of my babies, but all of my photos from when the kids were littler (and my pics of them in slings/wraps, etc) are on discs and stored away. I only have more recent photos on this laptop. BUT, I did find a cute one of CeCe in our Kelty pack, which Carl wore her in frequently, so it will have to do.


Thursday, February 12, 2009

What a week

I am slightly disturbed that I wrote "you" instead of "your" in the title of my last post. I am even more disturbed that I just LEFT it! That shows what kind of week it has been.

Last Friday, our little dog, Badger, got into a bag of trash and ate a chicken carcass. I googled it, and everything I found said to feed them bread so that it would pad their stomach in case he ate too many bones. So, we fed him bread, and just waited. Sunday night, he was trying to (sorry, I am not sure if it is inappropriate to write about my dogs bowels or not, so I am!) poop and couldn't. So I still waited, but he still didn't poop on Monday. So Tuesday, I called the vet and they told me to bring him in immediately. But before I continue this story, I have to back up a little.

Monday night, I was leaving work at around 1:00 AM, and the Suburban wouldn't start. Luckily, our projectionist was still there as well (usually I'm the only one there by that point) so he tried to help me with it. We couldn't get it started, so he gave me a ride home. By this time, it was around 2:00 AM, so thank goodness he lives in Lakeside (he is the only of my co-workers who lives here also). We live about a 30 minute drive from town, so I hated to have to make Carl come get me when he wakes up at 4:00 AM as it is. 

As I climbed into this guy's car, however, I thought maybe it wasn't the best decision to ride with him. He had about 5 HUGE daggers on his dashboard, as well as about 10 pair of black leather gloves. In addition to this, his car smelled to high heaven of incense and weed, and we listened to reggae very LOUDLY. Mind you, this guy is in his late thirties and one of the more responsible people I work with, so I felt totally fine about riding with him. I began to question my reasoning once I was in the car, though! We did make it home safely, so other than enduring one of the weirdest conversations of my life, I was fine.

So anyhow, the next morning, when I realized I needed to take Badger to the vet, I also realized I had no car. Since our vet is in Lakeside and Lakeside is about the size of half a city block, it wasn't that big of a deal to walk him down. My sister stayed with the kids, and he and I set off with him wrapped in his big, red, plaid, flannel blanket. We looked more that a little ridiculous and received quite a few odd stares, but made it with no major mishaps. 

So, our car was fixed by my friend's dad today, but when I drove the kids to play at JuJuBee's it wouldn't start when we left. So we sat in the car for two hours in the freezing cold while my brother tried to fix it (Carl is at state wrestling in Billings). 

So one new starter and LOTS of dog x-rays later, I am here, alone, on Thursday night listening to Iron and Wine and drinking my own glass of Cabernet. 

I am SO glad I do not work for a few days!

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

What's in you food?

I just read this blog post over at Small Notebook, and thought I'd share it with you. It is sort of unbelievable. If you are at all concerned about what you put into your body on a daily basis, check it out!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Cold Remedies

I want to avoid these:

I have a cold that I can't seem to kick. Every few days I start feeling better, only to awaken with a throat that feels like it's been rubbed down with sandpaper. I went to the gym yesterday to workout, hoping that that would help, but instead I felt as if I was going to keel over on the elliptical. 

So, my question is: 

What home remedies do you have for cold symptoms that you can pass along to me? I really need something, so dig up your grandma's advice for me! 

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

iPod Magic

Carl finally got his Christmas present this weekend. Since it is actually a rather funny (in a sick sort of way), I will share the story with you. Here's what happened:

He has an 8GB iPod touch, but wanted the 2nd Generation with more memory. I had this brilliant idea (or so I thought) to check eBay first. Lo and behold, you could get a brand new 32 GB for the same price as the 16GB! So, I quickly bought the first one I won. In my defense, there were over twenty people bidding on each of the listings, so I was distracted by that fact. Because I was distracted, I failed to notice that the seller had NO feedback and was from THAILAND. Yup, you read that correctly. I chose to bid over three hundred dollars of our money on just such an item. 

Needless to say, we never received the world's greatest deal. I (thankfully) had paid through PayPal, and upon filing a claim for an unrecieved item, discovered that PayPal will give you a full refund if the seller does not respond to their e-mails. Of course our seller never responded, the case was closed, and we should have payment today or tomorrow. 

In the midst of all this, Carl ended up without a Christmas present from me at all. We had ordered him a new snowboard jacket from Steep and Cheap as well, but it was too big and had to be sent back. Not the best of Christmas luck! 

So, while I was at Costco stocking up on a multitude of things last week, I browsed the electronic section (quickly, so as to avoid children screaming) and discovered they now carried a 16 GB iPod Touch. The price was great, I knew we were getting our refund, so I bought him one. I think it did more for me than for him, since I felt awful about failing to give him a Christmas present, whereas I don't think he cared all that much. Nevertheless, he loves his new iPod and I do too -- I inherited his 8GB. :) 

Moral of the story: Don't order eBay items from sellers with zero feedback that reside in Thailand. I know, I probably don't need to state this fact, but I wouldn't have thought I would forget something so simple either!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Three Years and Counting

Tomorrow is actually the twins' birthday, but we celebrated it yesterday with a birthday party at JuJuBee's Playhouse. JuJuBee's is this great little old house-turned-toddler-fun-land that my kids LOVE. It is so much fun - they have a bouncy castle, dress up, play kitchens and work benches, a train set, dolls, trucks, bikes and the list goes on. I love having somewhere to take them in the winter to play, plus I can take them by myself and feel safe because it's set up specifically for kids their ages. 

Only a few of their friends were able to make it (5, to be exact) but it was perfect. They all had a blast, and it was easy since they were so entertained by all of the fun toys! I made these raspberry topped lemon muffins with this lemon glaze, along with a beautiful tray of fresh fruit (surprisingly delicious for the middle of winter!) and organic juice boxes and spritzers to drink. It was perfect for a brunch-type birthday party (I wasn't sure that anyone would want their kids consuming chocolate cupcakes at 10 A.M.)! 

I really cannot believe that Cade and Avery are 3 already. The last three years has flown by quicker than I had ever thought possible. They "graduated" from their NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) follow-up clinic last week and are progressing amazingly. We are SO PROUD of them! 

Their favorite meal is homemade pizza, so we made them that for dinner plus these chocolate ganache cupcakes for dessert (I omitted the coffee in the frosting, though. They were still good, but the coffee in the frosting REALLY makes these!). Also, even if you don't eat gluten-free, these cupcakes are TO DIE FOR. Seriously. The cake mix is the best ever -- they are the moistest cupcakes I have ever tasted. Ever. 

For anyone who eats gluten-free, I made the muffins with gluten-free flour and soy milk and they turned out DELICIOUS. No one at the party could tell they were different -- they all LOVED them! But I am sure they are good with wheat flour. :) 

Finally, here are a few pictures from our weekend:

Eating cupcakes in the buff!

The princess adjusting her crown while the prince looks on... for some reason, she would only answer to "princess" yesterday. Hmmmm.
Opening gifts
More opening gifts. I can just see him wondering if her gift is better than his!
Big smile from the birthday princess!
Birthday boy in the play house. He kept saying he was building a house for his friend Austin.
A platter of raspberry topped lemon muffins

Elyssa and Avery
Eating a delicious summery-tasting strawberry
The fruit platter
The closest I could get to the two of them in the same picture smiling!
A little potty try before hand! 

Monday, January 12, 2009

A few more cleaning recipes

I have a massive headache today, so instead of getting ready to go to town and pay bills, I am resting for a bit. I have actually had a headache for about two weeks now. It just won't go away! 

So, I thought instead I would share two more recipes. The first one is for dishwasher detergent, and all it amounts to is:

Equal parts Borax and Washing soda
Essential Oil of your choice

I mix two cups of the borax and washing soda and then store it in a mason jar (we're big mason jar fans around here! I use them for everything!) with a tablespoon inside for dispensing. When I wash a load of dishes, I just put one tablespoon in the little cup inside the dishwasher and then sprinkle a few drops of Tea Tree Oil on top. I started out using only the powders, but our dishes had a weird whitish film on them. Once I stuck with it, but added a few drops of the oil, it worked. Every now and again a dish doesn't come as clean as I'd like it to, so I re-wash it by hand. But for the most part, I have been very happy with this mixture. Plus, it is so nice for the Borax and Washing soda to be duel purpose. It makes things very easy and very cheap!

I have also been making an all-purpose cleaner:

1/4 cup vinegar
Water (to fill average size spray bottle)
12-15 drops essential oil of your choice

I use an old Mrs. Meyer's Spray Bottle, which I believe is about the same size as a Windex bottle. I mix it all up, and use it for all surface cleaning, from the kitchen, to the bathroom, to the dining room table or the front of the television. It works great, and once it dries you cannot smell the vinegar at all, only a hint of whatever oil you have used. I use lavender because I love it, but there are so many great smelling oils that will smell nice as well as fight bacteria. If you use it for windows and it streaks a little, just mix another bottle of the same mixture, but add a few drops of ammonia and that should do the trick. I find that this mixture works fine for windows/mirrors if I rub till dry and it's not too cold out. It just doesn't evaporate as well without the ammonia in it. 

For toilet bowl cleaner, I simple sprinkle baking soda around the bowl, douse it with white vinegar, and the sprinkle with lavender or tea tree oil. Let is sit for a bit, scrub thoroughly, sit again and then flush. Sparkly clean!

Friday, January 09, 2009

A New Year

So, my resolutions this year are really a series of small goals. I always overwhelm myself with a million vague-ish ambitions for the year that I forget about quickly (amid a sea of guilt). So this year, I am focusing mainly on being healthy and getting out of debt. I know, that sounds vague-ish, right? Well, it's actually not, because I plan on breaking my year up into little segments where I will focus on one thing at a time, while trying to forget all the other goal-like pressures I tend to impress upon myself. 

So, first off, I am reading Dave Ramsey's book The Total Money Makeover. His first step in achieving debt-free financial freedom is to save $1,000.00 for a small emergency fund. So, that is what I am working on first. I feel a little ashamed to say that we do not have that already, but oh well. Part of achieving freedom from debt is setting aside the expectations others (and society) have on us. So, that is number one. 

As for being healthy, I am going to focus first on squeezing in some time to work out, and also try to regularly drink enough water every single day. So, although even those few things somewhat overwhelm me, I feel like keeping focused on a few small goals will help me become closer to my bigger goals. Wish me luck! 

I thought I would also share another of my new recipes I have been using. This one is my homemade laundry soap. 

1 cup borax
1 cup washing soda
1 bar of soap, grated finely

I mix these ingredients together, store them in a mason jar, and use one tablespoon of the mix per load of laundry. I add a few drops of essential oil to the detergent once I have put it into my washing machine (I use lavender, because I love the smell and it helps remove bacteria, also) and the I add a capful of white vinegar for fabric softener. I thought this all sounded crazy when I first tried it out, but I now LOVE it. It gets my clothes every bit as clean as the old laundry detergent, but is SO CHEAP and all natural. 

So, again, don't be afraid by having to mix it up on your own, because it is way too easy for that!

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

The one where I share my Homemade Baby Wipe Recipe

For those of you that use baby wipes, I have been meaning to post the recipe I've been using for Homemade Baby Wipes. I have read countless ways to make them over the last three years, but have never attempted it until recently, figuring it would be to difficult or time consuming to be worth it. But, I was very wrong! They are so simple, so easy and so fast! Not to mention very cheap in comparison to regular baby wipes. So, do not be scared by the thought of one more thing to put on your to-do list -- these literally take five minutes to make. So here it is (go try it out, you know you want to)!

1/2 roll of sturdy paper towels (I've been using Viva brand and they are awesome)
1/8 cup baby oil
1/8 - 1/4 cup baby wash of your choice (I use Baby Magic because it smells so darn good)
2 cups hot water

Mix all the liquid ingredients in a bowl, cut the paper towels in half so you have two short rolls, put one into the liquid until absorbed (only a few seconds) and then squeeze out the liquid until they are as moist as you want them. I squeeze out quite a bit, I don't like them too wet. 

And that's it! They are so fast and super cheap. 

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Photo update before the New Year!

Our Christmas was wonderful. Busier than I had planned, but still enjoyable. Our meal turned out to be fabulous -- seriously, try some of the recipe links I posted -- they were absolutely delicious! It was so fun to enjoy Christmas through children's eyes, as well. The kids loved opening gifts, and loved everything the received. 

We went to my parent's house on Sunday for some snow playing time, which was a blast. This was really the first time the kids have actually played in the snow. We had tried taking them out last year, but they just didn't like it very much. This year, however, they were in love. They made snowballs, helped Nana make a snow-owl (very cute, by the way), pulled their little sled around and eventually played in the snow cave Carl built. All in all, it was one of the most fun days I've had in ages. I forgot how fun it can be to play in the snow! 

Well, I am off to bed. I will leave you with a few photos of our last week or so... 

Happy New Year! See you in 2009!


Kids covered in flour while making gluten-free sugar cookies. They turned out delicious, and all three kids were able to help (most of our cookies were littered with fingerprints!). Also, this is one of the only pictures I have of all three kids together and smiling. A Christmas miracle!

Carl and I at Ciao Mambo, an Italian restaurant in Whitefish. We were able to escape Friday night to have dinner with four other couples, minus all 18 of our children. Seriously, there are really 18 of them between all five couples. Crazy, huh?! There actually may even be 20, I just can't remember how many one family has. :) 
Our view from our house. The Mission Mountain range in the Rockies, with Flathead Lake below. 
We saw this face frequently -- she kept getting stuck in the deep snow. It was pretty funny.

My Mom and Ave's in the snow cave. The loved it, but it scared me to death -- I could just imagine it collapsing on someone!
This is what CeCe looked like when she wasn't stuck. So cute!
Avery in the snow cave again. 
This looks posed, but it's really not. Cade fell in the snow, then looked up at my Mom and laughed. It is so cute, but makes me think of cheesy photo shoots!

The girls looking out the big window at all the snow after a long day of snowball making.