Thursday, January 27, 2011

When you have bad allergies, and bad eczema, it's good to roll around in wood chips.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Toothy Pegs

Lost two in one day! That one you see kind of dangling? Yep, it came out later that same day.
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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

This is the face of the child that is currently making me laugh the hardest.
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Weekend Recap

Boy, this was a great weekend. They aren't all this way. We've had our share of, "We're glad that's over" weekends. But this one was pretty great.

Iain came home on Thursday night instead of Friday, so we had a good running start. Nothing terribly exciting or eventful on Friday, but it was relaxed and easy which was good. I took the babies to a playdate and church and then we went to Chick Fil A for lunch with friends. Saturday was cold, rainy and dreary but we got some things done, napped and then had plans for game night with friends. My sister came over to watch the babies and we took Duncan with us. It was a great night with good friends, even though Duncan got to bed terribly late (for him) and had a couple of night terrors after we got him into bed. And night terrors? Are freaky. He sits straight up, trembles, is sweaty, rambles on and on, but is inconsoleable and does not respond to us unless it is a firm, direct order to lie down or put his head down. I was up alot with him over night and was totally done by Sunday morning...another cold, wet day. We stayed home from church, and I did my best to make it to 11:30 when Iain took Duncan to ride the train and to lunch and Claire and Finn went down for a nap. And so did I. I made something for dinner and all little children went to bed early so Mommy didn't die of exhaustion.

On Monday, Iain was off work and Duncan was off school so we packed them all up and hauled them to Fair Park to the Children's Aquarium. Fun! Sharks! Horseshoe crabs! Sea turtles! Finn loved it. Could not stand still and ran around from tank to tank yelling, "Daddy! Come here! Fish!" As soon as Claire realized there were alligators, she wanted nothing to do with any of it. We walked out of the park just in time to catch the MLK Day parade coming down the boulevard and into Fair Park. It was one of those really great family moments. Everyone was happy, having a good time and it was a real unexpected surprise. We got them all home, fed, then Iain took Duncan ice skating and I put Claire and Finn down for a nap. We had a tiny hiccup when Claire puked but it was just one of those quirky kid pukes where they never puke again and seem to feel fine. I bathed her and put her back to bed and she fell right back asleep.

After Iain and Duncan got home, and the babies woke up, I took them out to see my mom and sister for a visit, just to make sure we completely wore them all out. Which we did. After a nice visit at Becky's and Mom's it was back home and to bed for them all! Today, Iain had to fly to California but Duncan had another day off of school and I was really grateful for that. I just was not ready to get back in the full swing of the daily grind. In fact, I would keep him home all week if I could.

I hope you all had a great weekend, too!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

We had a very teary drop off at school this morning, which fills my head with doubts about sending Duncan to school. We are quite fond of his teacher, and believe she is doing a great job. I have no issues with her whatsoever. Nor do I really have any issues with what he is learning, or the amount of work. Monday nights are the most difficult, because we are coming off the weekend, Iain is often leaving town, and those are the nights that he often has the most homework. Usually 3-4 worksheets of writing, which is his weakest area. So, it can be a total beating.

Again, when I picked him up he was happy and had a good day. When I talked to him about his teary goodbye he said it was simply because he wanted to be with me. Sigh. As a parent, I hope it is always this way. But now, when he is 5 it makes it hard to get him out of my minivan on a cold January day and scoot him in the door to kindergarten. The soft and squishy side of my brain tells me "just let him stay home with you!" but I know better. It is hard for me, though.

We are three days away from the end of the third six week period of the school year. That is half way. I am shocked at how this year is whizzing by. We still do not know what we are going to do about first grade. Our options seem to be:

  • Stay where we are and hope we get into the Gifted and Talented program to provide him with more academic rigor
  • Sell our house and move
  • Get into Dealey (a Dallas ISD Montessori - there are about 36 spots for 1st grade next year)
  • Private school

Honestly, all of them have advantages and disadvantages and I'm all over the board about them. The Dealey option is the one we have the least control over. Staying where we are or private school is where we have the most control. Selling our house is possibly the least attractive to me up front, but if we did sell I would be deliriously happy.

Time is creeping up on us, though, and it's time to act. Ugh. With that, I leave you. Am exhausted now.

Thursday, January 06, 2011

My (mostly) Organic Cake Balls - Step 2

I had alot to do today, but on my list was to hunt down everything I needed to make an organic cake ball.

I hit Target first and the only organic ingredient I could find there was the flour. At that point, I had to go have lunch with Duncan at school where he would eat things that are definitely not organic. After lunch, I went to Michael's, where they do not sell anything organic, but they do sell fun things and I needed fun things for my MOPS Steering Retreat this weekend. After Michael's I headed to my beloved Central Market to find the rest of what I needed for my organic cake balls.

I will just say this. Central Market has alot of things. And an unbelievable wine supply where I came very close to buying the Mommy's Time Out white. But they do not sell organic chocolate chips. What is up with that? I got eggs and butter but no chips. I also got some juice for breakfast at the retreat, tomaotes for the soup at the retreat, and heavy cream. Also for the soup. After picking up Duncan, coming home to two happy babies playing in the back yard with the best babysitter anyone ever dreamed of, and somehow surviving the hours between 5 and 7, I got everyone in bed and started baking.

I also made a rookie mistake. I did not read my recipe before I shopped. I tried to do it from memory. So, started out without organic buttermilk and baking soda. I did have baking powder, so just subsituted. Just used regular (organic) milk but had to add non-organic lemon juice to it to give it acidity. Also did not have any or just used all butter. Cakes are now cooling and I'll see how they taste. Then will make my frosting and make the actual balls tomorrow.


Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Step 1

Woke up this morning with a terrible head cold. Tried to give myself some time before first child was awake and ended up with about five minutes. Somehow, got diapers changed, clothes changed, and Duncan fed and ready for school. Dropped off a kind of sad, mopey boy at kindergarten and came home. Took Sudafed and an ibuprofen chaser in hopes I will start to feel okay. If I were single, or even childless, I would have called in sick.

Trying to finish laundry and think about what needs to be done to consider putting our house on the market again. It seems overwhelming at times, but something I believe we need to do. There are more days than not that I feel like we are tripping over each other in the kitchen. Mostly because we are.

Iain is back in LA taking care of some critical and rather unpleasant business but will be home early on Friday and we have a date night of sorts planned. Our church has a once a month deal where we can bring our kids for free, attend a 45 minute discussion on a marriage-related topic, then have about 2 hours to ourselves to have dinner and talk. It's really great and does give us a chance to spend time together. And since the real fun doesn't start for another 8 or 9 years we need all the help we can get right now. The timing will be good, since we will have tweens and a teenager at that point. Duncan will be 14 and Claire and Finn will be 11. Anything that can keep us out of The Home as long as possible is good news.

I have had an itch to bring some income to the household for a while. More than just a financial need, I believe. I've tossed around a few ideas but have kind of settled on one in particular that appeals to me. I've been making cake balls for years, and am amazed at the cake ball interest. So, since it is something I really enjoy I am going to perhaps make and sell organic cakeballs out of the back of my minivan. It sounds kind of crazy when I put it like that and makes me think of people selling Mexican flags on the corners but I think it could work. I could tweet my location, and what flavors I have, and sell them at different spots around town. I could also bring my kids with me, which is key. I could also get one of those wrap advertising things for my van. This idea particularly appeals to me for some reason, but I am not sure why. It is odd. My genius husband helped me talk it through and is totally supportive. So, this weekend I am going to see if I can successfully make an organic cake ball. Step 1.

So, tomorrow, I shop. I will let you know how it goes.

Monday, January 03, 2011

I have decided, after two weeks of vacation from school, that I like this rhythm. I like the (relative) calm of the mornings. And when I say relative, I mean no lunches to be packed, no uniform to be put on, no backpack to be inspected, etc... I am not looking forward to bringing Duncan back to school tomorrow, which surprises me. I just want to keep him home and have fun, and read, and have quiet time, and tell him to stop stepping on his sister, etc...

As a side note, I am again getting sucked into The Bachelor. I did not watch Brad Womack's first season so have no ill will against him. And he's from Austin, so I kind of like him already. A few observations:
  • Vampire fangs should be reason enough to get a rose just so we can all watch the crazy as long as possible.
  • Really shiny sapphire blue satin dresses do not look expensive on television.
  • It is obviously very trendy to have very long hair, parted down the middle. Marcia Brady would be proud.
  • I am really glad that the producers finally figured out they do not need to hvae some token Bachelor/ettes of different races just to please the general public. They do, however, need to have Bachelorettes and Bachelors who are NOT WHITE.
  • America will not love you if you do high kicks when you get out of a a mini-dress.

Now back to our regular programming.

Iain and I face the new year with some decisions to make and actions to take. Why are we not living in our bigger house in a better school district? I wish I knew. Why are we still in this place? I do hope that things will start to fall into place so that we can get Duncan, and eventually Claire and Finn, into a school where they will blossom and we will be able to get involved. Gratefully, he loves his teacher this year and we do feel really good about her. But that is just about where it ends.

I also am planning to start my own business. More about that later. I have a few things that have been twirling around in my head. And I feel a need to provide income, for a few different reasons. So, I need to pray about it and move forward. Then see what happens.

Happy New Year!