Monday, January 31, 2011

Spoon ~ "I Turn My Camera On"

I've had this on repeat lately. 

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Free At Last!

Between Sydney, Garrett & myself, we have been dealing with illness in our house for 18 days.  I don't know how Allen dodged the bullet, but I'm thankful he did not catch the flu.  Today was Garrett's follow up appointment and his ears are clear!  Yay!  He gave us quite a scare & I'm thankful to see him acting like a typical two year old boy again.  Although, a few less tantrums would be nice.

In the midst of our sick fest, we had some exciting new things happen.  Sydney got her first phone call from a friend.  It was hilarious watching her jump out of her seat & run to her room for some privacy.  And I most certainly saw a glimpse into my future with a teenage girl. This is her shooing me out of her closet while talking on my phone.

Allen made us these yummy oatmeal chocolate chip bars when we were all sick. 

He did a great job holding down the fort & was reminded of how much I do around here. He was very relieved when I got back on my feet. He did really impress me though. He cooked from scratch, baked, did laundry & cleaned house! Most men would've just ordered a pizza and called it a day. He is a very progressive man. :) However, it did make me feel very useless watching him do my "to do" list while I laid there staring at the wall, fluctuating between sweating & freezing.  Did I mention the flu sucks?

Garrett had two big changes in one day.  We moved him to a big boy car seat because he is already 42 lbs at 2 1/2 years old.  Yes, you read that right.  He will be bigger than Sydney within a year.  He loves the new seat, but I quickly discovered a glitch in our new system...he can un-buckle the seat belt himself and has chosen to do so three times now.  If I have to pull over one more time because he un-buckled, he's going back to the toddler car seat.

His other exciting change is a big boy bed!  I was in no hurry to move him to a big bed because I knew not to mess with a good thing.  But he decided to start jumping out of the crib the night I got the flu, so we made the switch.  Luckily, the boy loves sleep so much that he stays in his bed.  I am having a hard time getting him to nap in it though, so I'm afraid napping may soon come to an end.  Poor Mommy.

He did a great job helping Allen take down the crib.  I was a little emotional.  We've had that crib for 6 years and now we don't need it. 

This is about the time we noticed the left side of his face starting to swell & he started running a fever. I rushed him to an after hours clinic {which ended up being useless} & Allen & Sydney finished the bed switch out.

And this is what we came home to.  Tada! By the way, we already had this bed.  I may end up painting it navy blue because I'm worried it looks too girly.  But then again, who am I kidding.  I'll be way too lazy to paint all the furniture.

Here's our big boy his first night in his bed.  Unfortunately, he spent the next two nights in the hospital for the ear infection that spread to his lymph nodes.  Hence, the facial swelling.  {Note to self, never trust the after hours clinic.}

His nursery theme was cowboys.  But now I'm re-decorating with a trucks & cars theme.  The boy LOVES all things cars, trucks & tractors.  I'm eventually going to get this bedding from Pottery Barn Kids.

Henry Quilted Bedding

He loves hiding in his bed & I think it's adorable that he really thinks we can't see him. 

This has been a horrible sick season in our area.  Nearly everyone I know has been affected in some way.  I am thankful my kids are back to normal & I will never take their good health for granted.  

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Mosters of Folk

Austin City Limits

Allen & I record Austin City Limits every week.  They always seem to have the bands we love & I love the live performance setting.  It's also fun to hear the little tidbits about the bands.  The other day my Sister told me my Dad loved watching Austin City Limits.  I never knew that!  It's cool when, at 32 years old, you find out yet another thing you had in common with your Dad {who just happens to be your hero}.  I definitely got my love for music from my Dad.  I use to email him YouTube clips of my favorite performances.  Back then, it was mostly Kings of Leon.  Songs like "Trani" & "California Waiting".  I wonder what he thought of my music.  He never really said.  I'm guessing he thought it was weird, like everyone else did.  I wish I could still share my favorite songs with him.  Instead, I'll share them here, in my little corner of the universe.  Here's Band of Horses from this week's Austin City Limits. 

Friday, January 21, 2011

She & Him ~ "Don't Look Back"


1  lb organic ground beef (cooked)
2  15 oz cans pinto beans
2  14.5 oz cans organic diced tomatoes
1  2 oz package chili seasoning

This is my favorite way to make chili.  It makes enough to have a lot of leftovers.  You know I love cooking once & eating 2 or 3 meals out of it.  I just use 1 lb ground beef because we have learned to eat much less meat than we used to.  Then I add in 2 cans of pinto beans & 2 cans of diced tomatoes to make it really hearty & healthy.  I usually mix it mid-morning & let it simmer in the crock pot on low until dinner time.  It makes the house smell great!  Another bonus, chili is very filling & a pretty healthy, low calorie meal.  I like to eat it the next day on a baked potato.  That makes for another hearty & filling, low calorie meal.

I buy the Williams brand chili seasoning because of the ingredient list & it tastes great. 

I'm pretty sure my Rival crock pot is one of the crock pots with lead in it.  It's on the long list of things I need to replace with safer alternatives. 

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Did You Ever Have One Of Those Weeks?

The last 10 days have been very challenging.  First, I came down with the flu.  I have not had the flu in a decade and forgot what it was like. The worst part is it zaps you of all energy and ability to function in society.  I could not participate in my own life for a few days and that really irritated me. 

Just when I was feeling better and could see the light at the end of the tunnel, Garrett got the flu & an ear infection.  After a few days on antibiotics for the ear infection, he took a turn for the worse.  He started running fever again & the left side of his face started swelling.  I took him to an after hours emergency clinic & they basically said, "duh, he has an ear infection" and sent me home.  In hindsight, going there was a big mistake.  The next day his face was horribly swollen & he acted miserable.  I took him to the pediatrician & they sent us straight to Children's Hospital ER.  I was terrified & confused.  All I really understood was that it could be one of two things: 1. The bone behind the ear had become infected & would require emergency surgery (Mastoiditis) or 2. The skin & lymph nodes had become infected & would require iv antibiotics (Lymphadenitis). I was praying for the second option. 

After being told to rush to the emergency room & make no stops because he might need immediate surgery, it was torture getting to the ER & WAITING 2 hours to see a doctor.  I was so terrified that every minute we spent wasting time could affect a healthy outcome for Garrett.  I am a control freak & feeling out of control when it comes to my child's wellness was about the worst thing I've ever experienced.  Lets just say I didn't make any friends with the ER waiting room staff.  Yeah, I was that Mom.

When we finally did a cat scan, the results showed it was not Mastoiditis & he would not need surgery.  Thank God.  We spent the next two days in the hospital & with every dose of iv antibiotic, his swelling went down and he acted more and more like himself.  That became a whole new challenge...keeping a 2 year old little boy entertained in a tiny little hospital room, especially while hooked up to an iv & monitor. 

Just as Garrett was getting better, Sydney came down with the flu.  There's nothing quite like worrying about the health of both your kids at the same time.  Thank goodness we have a close family.  Allen & I couldn't have made it through this without the help of my Sister, my Mom & Allen's Mom & Dad.

I'm so ready for my family to be healthy and acting like normal.  I'm ready to get back to cooking, playing, taking little adventures, going on dates & having movie nights.  

I drove by our church on our way home from the hospital.  The sign read "Life is not wrapped up in a bow, but it is still a gift."  And as I saw Garrett sleeping in the back seat, I understood what that meant.  Instead of being upset that this happened, I am trying to be thankful that I was able to bring my baby boy home with me, on the mend.  As difficult as my experience was in that hospital, I'm sure some Mother left the hospital that day without the sick baby they came in with.

"Life is not wrapped up in a bow,
but it is still a gift."

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Random Pictures

I have taken about 1000 pictures since getting my new camera on Christmas day. I absolutely love having a good camera and can't wait until I really know what I'm doing with it.  Here's a few of the random pictures I've taken.

Sydney on Christmas morning, playing with the DSI Santa brought her. 

Sleepy Garrett on Christmas morning.

Playing with new Lego's.

Garrett playing with the new train table Santa brought.

Doing man stuff.

The cute antique desk we bought for our bedroom.

Our fun Christmas lights.

A pink tree just for Sydney.

We're all about sight words these days.

The first snow of the year.  (more of a dusting)

Sydney's class doing a snowman presentation in front of the school.

Garrett was fascinated by her nose.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Toy Un-Organization

Remember that post I did about my great new toy organization system?  Well let me just tell you how that is working out. 

Sydney "mini me" loves the system.  She understands the system.  She respects the system.  It makes perfect sense to her.  She gets out the tub she wants, plays with the toys, then puts everything back when she's finished. 

Garrett "mini Allen" is not sure what a system is. 

He loves dumping the toys out of ALL of the tubs & then hauls the empty tubs around in his dump truck.  All while saying "look Mommy, I'm organizing!"  {yes, both my kids had the word "organize" in their vocabulary by 2 years old.}

Gotta love little boys!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Making Homemade Food Convenient: Pizza

We love having pizza night at our house, but on a Friday night I'm in no mood to whip up a homemade pizza crust.  And I don't like to pay for a greasy, not so great, take out pizza.  I won't buy frozen pizzas because of the ingredient list and lack of taste.  So here's the solution I came up with:  par baking & freezing my own pizza crust.  Every now and then I'll spend some time in the kitchen just making pizza crusts to freeze.  Here's how to make your own pizza crust, ready to freeze & use in a moments notice.

Note: It's always a good idea to have a helper in the kitchen.

Par Bake Pizza Crust
Pre-heat oven to 500.  Make your dough according to recipe.  After the dough has risen, roll out onto greased pizza pan, dusted with corn meal.  Bake for 3 minutes.  Then remove from pizza pan & let cool completely on wire rack.  Once cooled, wrap in saran wrap, then foil & store in freezer.

When you're ready to cook a pizza, pre-heat oven to 400.  Unwrap frozen crust & place on pizza stone (makes the best tasting crust).  Add your favorite toppings & bake 10-15 minutes until golden & bubbly.

The great thing about making pizza at home is you can top it however you want.  Like putting fresh parsley on one slice just for yourself since your family doesn't like it. ;)

Pizza Crust
2 1/4 tsp yeast
3/4 c warm water
1 1/2 c flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp oil

Stir yeast into water & let dissolve.  Mix into flour, salt & oil.  Knead until dough forms a ball.  Place dough in a greased bowl & cover with a towel.  Let rise in a warm place, about 10-15 minutes. 

Our favorite pizza toppings:
* extra virgin olive oil, mozzarella & parmesan
* red sauce, cooked ground beef, mozzarella & parmesan cheese