Saturday, January 30, 2010

Helping me to help me

For the past week or so I have been getting a head start on the day. I shoot to be up by 6:30 or 7:00 since the kids come downstairs at 8:00. This one change has made such a difference in how the day flows and, best of all, allows me to greet the kids with genuine enthusiasm for the day.

As much as I don't enjoy waking early I really am a morning person. I don't even drink coffee. Heh. But I work well in this quiet time. I'm able to do things like drink a cup of hot, black tea while planning my day and reading the news, make a healthy breakfast, prep lunches, exercise, and get in a load of laundry. It may not seem like much but it's so nice to have some time to get centered and prepared before the chaos begins. Anything I can do now to make a future event (activities, meal times) go smoothly is helpful.

If I take the time in the morning to make myself a wrap for lunch I know that even if the kids are going crazy, the baby is fussy and the kitchen is destroyed I will still have a healthy meal to sit down to and eat with the kids. If I can clean out the sink I'll be ready for when the kids want to do water play. (2 cups, a spoon and a sponge each and they're in heaven.) And if I chop up some vegetables I can get dinner in the crock pot in under 5 minutes.

I've made some other changes to help keep me organized and on track through the day (daily planners, task calendars... I'll get to those later) but this one has been the most important and had the most impact. I feel... empowered, and that this is the start of some very good things.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Confessions of a 2.5 year old

Yesterday a certain little girl received an in-crib time-out for grabing something from the counter (a quick bite from a muffin top, or two) then screaming about having to complete said time-out. I went upstairs to get her after the timer went off and as I opened the door and stepped inside she said, "Iss ah no screaming. Eye Sawwy."
"Oh!" I said. "Yes, we don't scream. And we also don't..."
"Eh no bite."
"umm, that's true. But we don't take things from the counter without asking."
"Ehh, no cowrerr ah ask. Eye Saaaaaaawy."
"Yes, that's right, thank...
"Eh, no... um, no eeah toofpase"
"Ye... yes, Addie. We don't eat toothpaste. And your time out is over... unless you think of anything else you'd like to get off your chest."

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Sweet Potato Burritos

Seriously, these are wonderful. I was unsure of what to expect when tasting one of these but it's really fantastic. Wonderful flavor, slightly sweet and very filling these will become a regular at our house. (Thanks to Mellanie for providing a base recipe!)

One large sweet potato, peeled and shredded
half an onion, chopped fine
1.5 tsp garlic, chopped fine
3-4 ounces cooked, shredded (or chopped) chicken breast
1/3 cup water
ground chipolte chili pepper
2/3 can drained, rinsed kidney beans
2/3 cup sweet yellow corn

Combine onion and garlic in a large sauce pan with some olive oil and saute 2-3 minutes. Add chicken and seasonings (all to taste, more cumin than anything) and one Tbsp of water, simmer one minute. Add sweet potato and remaining water, cover and cook until potato is soft. Stir in kidney beans and corn.
Serve in whole wheat tortilla topped with sour cream, salsa or guacamole.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Friday, January 15, 2010


Addie is a sneaky little thing. She has a habit of asking a question, say, "Ummm. Toomaah es cans. Ehhh shoes?"
"You want to put on your shoes and play with the cans in the pantry?" I ask.
"OK!" Is her response. No, no. That was your question, I'm trying to clarify, not give permission. She, however, sees no difference.

Gabe is really starting to enjoy cleaning up. (Hooray!) He likes helping me unload the dishwasher, carefully picking up each item and handing it to me to be put away. Silverware is his favorite though. He pulls a chair over to the island and sorts (correctly!) all the forks and butter knives and baby spoons. He also frequently asks to use the vacuum. (We have a small, bagless model with an adjustable neck length. When pushed in all the way it's the perfect height for them.) After meals you will frequently find the three of us tidying the kitchen. Me with a sweeper, Gabe with the vacuum and Addie with a hand broom and dustpan. She, in particular, has become very adept at sweeping up, taking the dirt to the trash can and dumping it. She works slowly and makes several trash runs, picking up around 90% of anything I have swept into a pile. They both enjoy each task, really, and will switch back and forth asking the other to share using sign language.

Juliana had her 6 month well-visit the other day. She weighed in at 15.5 lbs, is 26.5 inches long and her head measured 16.5 inches (<25%) which is interesting since everyone always comments on what a round head she has. hee. We have started offering real foods like rice cereal and pureed fruits but she doesn't seem terribly interested. She does not care for bananas and pears, preferring plain, old rice cereal instead. She also adores her big sister who can make her laugh, smile and coo more than any of us.

Monday, January 11, 2010


This short video shows a wooded area through a years worth of changing seasons. I enjoyed the change from winter to spring the most. That dismal rain washed away the snow and bought forth a lush green.

One year in 120 seconds from Eirik Solheim on Vimeo.

She sleeps!

Ana's been sleeping a longer stretch at night, from around 8 to 3. It's been wonderful. She nurses once or twice more after that but sleeps (mostly) until close to 8. She's also been taking her naps in her co-sleeper instead of in swings and bouncers, another improvement. I'm hoping to get a crib set up for her soon, though she may still stay in our room. It would be nice to make use of our mobiles.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

On a journey... lose some weight. After I have children I seem to lose the initial weight quickly but in the following months pack it all back on again. I had hoped because I was nursing Ana that I would be able to keep the weight off, but no such luck. So, I am "going public" to keep myself motivated and on track. Steve is working to lose weight along with me so it will be a big help having someone with the same eating and exercising habits.
So, what are we doing? We're eating nutrient rich and watching our calorie intake with Daily Burn. As far as exercise goes, we're doing more strength and resistance training to build lean muscle.
Don't worry, this won't turn into a weight loss journal, but I will probably be posting some healthier recipes and sharing occasional updates of our progress.
Here's hoping we can be leaner and healthier by this coming summer!

Friday, January 8, 2010


Another successful recipe from my Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day cookbook.
And aprons! Aren't we cute!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Christmas 2009

I'm limited on time so for a synopsis of what this Christmas was like, head over to my sister Jens blog and check out her post. Wonderful. Chaotic. Family. Love.

Here are what pictures we have been able to upload. There are many more from when my sisters family came, but we're still waiting on those. (hint, hint ;)
The first pictures are of our family waiting outside on the neighborhood streets, lit with luminaries, for santa to arrive on his fire engine; a tradition since we first moved here 22 years ago.