Unique Traditions for Easter

When Ashton was two years old, celebrating his third Easter, we decided to do things a bit differently.  This was the first year that he would have a proper basket, and I wanted to make sure it was something special.  At the time Kohl’s had these wonderful Cat in the Hat stuffed toys, so we got him the stuffed animal and the book to match.    Sure, there were a few toys, some candy filled eggs, and the like, but the center piece was the book and the stuffed toy.  Since then, we’ve decided that we would make Easter a holiday of books.  Last year, Ashton received a copy of Where’s My Cow along with a cute little fluffy cow, and Anwyn got a Pat the Bunny book and toy set.

This year, Anwyn is getting a nursry copy of Peter Rabbit (a shortened version, for little ones) and a matching stuffed animal.

The copy of Peter Rabbit plus cookies and candy.

Some sidewalk chalk, but only because it has poka-dots.

They each got new water bottles.

For Ashton, I found a copy of The Giving Tree, but didn’t really have a good idea for what to pair it with.  So Aaron is going to run to Home Depot, where we found some apple tree saplings for a good price.  Ashton is going to get to help plant his own apple tree in the yard as an Easter gift.

This includes all of the same things that Anwyn’s basket did.  Switch out the chalk for a deck of Go Fish cards and they’re practically identical.  I added an apple to Ashton’s basket, to go along with the tree and the book.  Both baskets also include a windmill, because the kids love them and they were less than a dollar a piece.

I hope everyone have a fantastic weekend, no matter what they celebrate.

Published in: on April 22, 2011 at 8:58 pm  Leave a Comment  

Pie and Turkey Day

I was watching tv one day and came across Man Vs Food.  In this episode (which I failed to see all of) Adam visits a little place called Yoder’s Restaurant in Sarasota, FL.  He was there to discuss pies.  When he came to the question of the most popular pie on the menu, the woman said without a thought, “our Peanut Butter Cream Pie.”  Of course he then asked her how to make it.

As I watched this woman assemble the pie, only one thought screamed in my mind.  “Aaron’s family would love this!”  I knew at the next big event I would be making this pie.  And of course, as that was only a couple of months ago, the next big thing (outside of birthdays) is Thanksgiving.  What better time to make a pie?  So this last Sunday I made a test pie.  I have never made a pie before and I wanted to make sure it would work out before Thanksgiving Day.  A sort of dress rehearsal.  We went over to Aaron’s folks’ house for dinner, and they were more than willing to serve as a test audience.  I figured out what tweaks needed to be made, and everyone enjoyed the hell out of that pie.

Now I have to admit something.  I’ve been living with this idea in my head for about two months now, and couldn’t for the life of me tell you where it came from.  I vaguely remembered that I saw it on Man Vs Food, but couldn’t remember the name of the restaurant, or even where he was.  I had to look all of that up just now so I could write this post without feeling guilty about not giving credit where it was due.  In the process of looking it up, I found a number of recipes.  It hadn’t even occurred to me to look it up.  The whole idea seemed rather straight forward…

You start with a crust.  Whether you want to make the crust or buy ready made is completly up to you.  I cheated, and bought a Pillsbury roll and bake crust (they were on sale).  You make a mixture of peanut butter and powdered sugar (after some experimenting I worked out that it was 1 part peanut butter, 2 parts powdered sugar) and pour half of it into the crust.  Make home made vanilla pudding and pour that it.  Top with a little bit more peanut butter mixture, some whipped cream, and the rest of the peanut butter mix sprinkled on the top.

The first trick I had to learn was how to make home made pudding.  I had never even though to learn.  I am glad that I did.  It is amazing, blissful, and tasty.  I will never eat jello pudding again (I lie, but I probably won’t ever buy it myself).  If you want to use box pudding, you can.  It will make me sad, and your life will be just a little empty because of it, but you can.  After learning to make pudding, everything else was pretty simple.

I will make another pie this evening, to be served tomorrow.  If the reviews I have already gotten are anything to go by, it will be a hit.  For anyone who wants my pudding recipe, leave me a comment and I’ll send it via email a few weeks before Christmas.

Every year I collect my favorite recipes that I learn that year and send them to friends and family that I think will appreciate them.  Please let me know if you want to be added to that list.  Along with the pudding, this years recipes include…

  • Hot Chocolate Milk Mix
  • Chocolate Syrup (for chocolate milk or on top of ice cream)
  • Molten Chocolate Lava Cakes
  • Tomato Soup Cake (I know it sounds weird, but trust me)
  • My Granola Bars (a very adjustable recipe)
  • Acorn Squash Soup (which will also grace the Turkey Table this year)
  • “Butter Chicken” (Not a true butter chicken, but a tasty and fairly quick rendition)
  • Naan (to go with the butter chicken)
  • Zucchini Parmesan
  • Slow Cooked Whole Chicken (not so much a recipe as an idea and guidelines)
  • Slow Cooked Gingered Chickpeas and Tomato Stew

So if you want on the list, you have to tell me.  I will not send these recipes via facebook or any other means, only the people on the email list will receive them.

Published in: on November 24, 2010 at 8:10 pm  Leave a Comment  

A Day At The Farm

There is a place near by called Green Meadows Petting Farm (I don’t think it was a permeant location, I think it travels around with the animals).  We took the kids to it and had a wonderful day.  They had a hay ride, maze, and allowed the kids to pick out a pumpkin.  There were several animals that the kids got to pet, including baby chicks, ducklings, kids (goats), calfs and piglets.

I got to hold a baby chicken.  It was really neat, but those suckers are stronger than they look.  It did not want to be held, and had no issues expressing as much.  They let us feed the goats, which was an interesting experience.  When they put the feed in Ash’s hand, he threw it down where the goats could reach it.  He would not let them eat out of his hand unless one of us was right there with him.  Anwyn was only somewhat interested in the goats, and was much more concerned that we wouldn’t let her eat the goat feed.  She nearly had a fit when the goat did lick her hand… apparently she doesn’t like the feeling of goat saliva on her.  Ashton got to milk a cow.  He said it was really cool, but had a worried look on his face the whole time, and I’m fairly certain that he only said that because he thought we expected it.

The last thing we did before picking out a pumpkin was the maze.  Ash led us through it with very little issue the first time.  Then he had to do it again, to explore all of the other options.  Then he wanted to go through it backwards (which is when we told him it was time to pick a pumpkin and go home).

There are several photos over at the flickr site, so feel free to check them out.  Most are from our trip to see the animals, but there are a few random ones at the end.

Published in: on October 20, 2010 at 6:27 pm  Leave a Comment  

Anwyn Turns One

She’s a one year old.  She’s a toddler.  She walks, she mimics words, she expresses her self clearly.  She eats solid food, she drinks from a cup, she gets into everything. She is absolutely incredible.

A year ago today, I was in a hospital bed, surrounded by family, drugged out of my head (I had a cesarian) and held in my arms my little girl.  She was so tiny, at only 5 lbs. 5 oz. but already full of energy.  Even at one day old she had no issues expressing herself.  Now I can’t even recognize her as the same baby.  I look at her and think, “Was she ever that small?”  It’s strange how something can seem like it happened yesterday, and forever ago all at the same time.

So happy birthday to my amazing, expressive, creative, clever, beautiful little girl, Anwyn.  May you stay as curious and playful as you are today, and may your beauty always shine from within you.  

Published in: on August 31, 2010 at 9:19 pm  Leave a Comment  

Aaron Runs, And Blogs

My darling husband has started a blog of his own.  It’s at this link and is about his running experience.  He is doing a program called couch to 5k.  This blog (he says) is to keep track of his progress, keep him honest, and probably to talk about other things in his life.  Mostly he feels he has something worth blogging about (I guess he didn’t have that before.  A girl could take offense to that).

So, go visit, give him your support, and maybe even find out just what it is about this man that I love so very much.

Published in: on June 24, 2010 at 4:32 am  Comments (1)  

To My Father

Anyone who knows me knows how much I’m like my mother.  If it weren’t for her, I have no idea who I would be.  She’s given me drive, passion, and one hell of a sharp tongue.  I am so grateful to her for so many things.

It’s not always obvious that my father and I have much in common.  Our personalities are not as identical as my mother an I.  But when I think about it, he gave me so much.  So for fathers day, I have to say to my dad, thank you.

Thank you for being so protective over me.  For teaching me how to defend myself both physically and mentally against anything that might come my way.  Thank you for preparing me for whatever might happen.

Thank you for showing me how to live my life without fear of anything.  For showing me how to move forward with my dreams and desires.  For teaching me to believe that anything I want is well within my reach.

Thank you for all of the hard work you did to make sure your children had a good life.

Thank you for showing me what a husband and father should be.  For giving me a wonderful guideline in choosing my own husband.  And thank you for being as kind a father to Aaron as you have always been to me.

Thank you for being an amazing Grandfather to my two kids.  For always striving to entertain them.  For always lighting up their faces.

Thank you for all the love, wisdom, and joy you have given us.  Thanks for everything you have shown us.  Thank you for the amazing places you have taken us, the art and music you have shared with us, and the experiences that you have made possible for us.

Thank you.

(Of course now I’m going to hear it from my mom.  All she got for mother’s day was a phone call.  I guess I’ll have to make up for it next year.  Hopefully she’ll forget by then.)

So Much To Say

Life has been insane lately.  Isn’t it always?

Aaron is continuing to love his new job.  They love him back.  It seems they are always bragging on him and acting as if he were something special.  Of course he is, and they are just recognizing him for the awesome guy he is.  Things are going well there.

Ashton started school, and he loves it.  They’re ok with him.  He’s still not sure how to handle himself in school sometimes, but he is getting better.  He goes to HEB Music and Dance which is a preschool that combines academics and fine arts.  I love it.

Anwyn has teeth and knows how to use them.  In related news, we are starting to ween her off of the breast and trying to get her to switch to a cup.

This week was the fist week of Scarborough Faire.  We had fun the first day as a family.  We walked around, did some light shopping, saw people we hadn’t seen in a year, and enjoyed a beautiful day.  I found a couple of new shops that I’m sure I will be visiting again before the season end.  Ashton had fun in his pirate costume, and Anwyn had a new dress to show off.  This was her first time at this faire, but not her first faire all together.  We spent a day at Sherwood Forest Faire in March, where she got the lovely dress (it’s a shirt that is too big for her) that she wore this weekend.  When we made it around to the Bellydance show, we found out that they were going to need a drummer for the next day (the drummer that was supposed to be there had a family emergency and we send our love and well wishes to him and his loved ones).  Aaron agreed to do it, increasing the number of days that he would be playing this year to six.

The next day Aaron left early with his brand new costume, while the kids and I took our time getting ready.  I wanted to go out to see Aaron debut the new costume that his mother just finished for him (she outdid her self.  It’s beautiful).  I dropped them off with their Lala and Grandpa, and I headed out to faire on my own.  I forgot how much fun I could have just wandering around the faire grounds by myself.  I would occasionally meet up with a friend to walk around with for a while, I would stop at different booths to say hi to people, I got to have a drink.  It was extremely nice.  Aaron seemed to have a good day as well.  By the time we went to pick up the kids, Ash was asleep and Anwyn was starting to get irritated (tired or wanting to nurse, I’m not sure which).

I’ve updated my flickr account finally, so go check out the new pictures.  My sister in law Beth took some pictures of the kids at faire on Saturday, so I stole them off of her Facebook and put them on my flickr.  Go look and enjoy (scroll down, right side of page).

Today we have an appointment to get our taxes done, and I have no idea what we’re going to have for dinner.  Or when we’re going to get to the grocery store.  Yay!  It’s faire season!

Published in: on April 12, 2010 at 7:18 pm  Comments (1)  

Still here

Some day I’ll be able to start a post on this blog without an apology about how long it’s been since I posted. Today is not that day.  2010 is officially trying to kick my ass.

Aaron has a new job.  Nothing really to say there except that it’s awesome and everyone in our house is much happier.

My brother got married last weekend.  It was a beautiful ceremony, a fun reception, and everyone seems to have had a blast.  Well, there was one exception, but that person was being intentionally difficult and no one cared what she thought by the end.

Anwyn is huge.  Ok, maybe not huge, but she feels like she’s gotten really big.  She rolls around without any issues and she desperately wants to crawl.  She babbles and giggles and makes all sorts of noises at us.  She has two teeth, and today she signed “eat” along with her signing video.  Well, she signed something that looked like eat, but i could tell that’s what she meant.

Ashton started school!  He loves it, they love him, everyone is happy.  He’s going two days a week right now, and we might try to switch to three later on.  It’s an amazing preschool where they teach music and dance classes.  This means they wear his butt out and he actually takes naps again and oh my god did I mention how much I love this school?

Also on the Ashton front, Lissa finally made him a stuffed animal that she started ages ago and it’s kind of awesome.  Back story time:

When Ash was younger we had a yarn store down the road.  I went in there looking for a gift for Lissa, and the owner (who loved kids) grabbed my son and wandered off with him.  When they came back he was drooling all over a ball of green fuzzy yarn.  The owner said it was a gift for him, that that maybe someone could knit him something cute out of it.  She saw froggies.  I saw a baby plush Cthulhu.  Lissa saw things my way, got started on the toy, put it away to do something else, and there it sat.  For a while.

She finally got it finished, and now Ashton loves it.  At first it was his dragon, and then we explained that it had a name.  So he now calls it Lulu.  When we call it Cthulhu he corrects us.  And then asks why we’re giggling.

It snowed recently, and I owe you a picture post of it because it was a lot of fun.  We got about 12 inches, which is unheard of in North Texas.  We lost power for three days.  Fun times.

What did you expect?

Um… hi there.  So, I know it’s been forever and you all want to know how everything went after we had the baby and I swear I was just about to get around to telling you, but then life got in the way and… I have a baby… and a toddler…

Oh never mind.

I spent the rest of the day after having Anwyn drugged out of my mind.  Really, I couldn’t tell you anything that happened that day.  I was released a few days later.  The end.

But it wasn’t the end.  After getting home I took my sweet time healing, and ended up getting a uterine infection 5 weeks later.  That was one of the most horrific experiences ever, because apparently a sign that you might have an infection in there is that you bleed.  Lots of sudden blood.  I thought I was dying and my husband rushed me to the hospital only to find out they couldn’t see anything actually wrong with me.  The Dr. the next day determined that I had an infection and gave me medicine.  The whole thing seemed rather anticlimactic in the end.

Anwyn is huge.  Well, she’s normal, but to me she seems big.  She giggles and coos and makes weird faces when she farts and does all those wonderful silly things that babies are supposed to do.  She loves bath time and hates tummy time.  She will be four months old at the end of the month, and I think she might be getting her first tooth because she has suddenly decided she has to gnaw and drool all over everything.  She hasn’t rolled over yet, but I think she’s strong enough to.  She rolls onto her side and just stays there.  I can’t leave her on her tummy long enough for her to roll onto her back because my ears can’t handle the noise she makes when I try, and nothing in the world will convince her to roll from her back to her tummy.  So she rolls onto her side and makes silly noises and I’ll just have to accept that.

She’s so strong already.  Her legs, arms, neck, everything is perfect.  She doesn’t have the motor skills to do half of what she wants to, and you can see her trying to work that out sometimes.  She’ll watch Ashton do something and try to mimic him, figuring out how he does it.  She has started to show interest in other babies and kids.  She giggles and talk to them.  The only trouble is, she doesn’t seem to understand that the ones on t.v. can’t respond to her.  So by the end of most shows that feature kids she’s yelling at the television, determined to get their attention.  It’s kind of funny  to watch.

That’s about all there is to tell, really.  I’m dancing again and loving it.  Aaron’s still hunting for a new place to work (he has a job, but would like something new).  Life is pretty much still going on the way it was before.  We just have one more person in it now, is all.

Speaking of the new person… it’s time for her to wake up.  Wish me luck!

The O.R.

This could take a while to get through.  I guess I’ll just have to do it in installations.

Our O.R. nurse what a blast.  While I was in triage she cracked jokes with us, was hyper and silly as hell.  She kept telling us how much fun we were, and how most people were no fun at that hour.  I would have told her that I’m usually no fun when I’m woken up early, but since I never went to sleep it didn’t seem to be a problem.  I wasn’t even getting hungry, thanks to Dad’s nifty little super seed.

(BTW, they were chia seeds.  Yes, chia as in chia pets.  The seeds are apparently really good at helping you release sugars slowly, and are even better for you than flax seeds.)

When the labor and delivery nurse came in to talk to our OR nurse, our nurse made faces behind her back and rolled her eyes.  She was apparently not a fan of hers, and didn’t make any attempt to hide it from us, which made me like her even more.  The anesthesiologist came in to let me know what was going on, and exactly what he was going to do when we got into the OR.  He was so much nicer and calmer than the doctor I had when I had Ashton (and considerably younger, and a bit cuter).  Then they wheeled me into the room.

My sunny and bubbly disposition vanished.  I instantly began shaking violently.  They kept telling me it was cold in there, which I could feel was the case, but I knew I was terrified.  They got me on the table, numbed me from the waist down, and laid me down on the table to prepare for surgery.  Aaron could see through the window the needle that they put in my back.  Thankfully, I could not.  From the way he described it, I would have had an instant panic attack.

The music was an interesting mix of country from every decade, 80’s pop, and some more recent top 40 hits.  When Madonna’s Vogue came on, one of the nurses commented that she was unfamiliar with the song.  The others in the room where shocked to hear this, and talked about going out dancing to this song.  Jokes were made about my OB being a dancer and he declared that he was a disco king.  Everyone started laughing and I commented that I didn’t want to know what was happening on the other side of the sheet (they had the sheet up at this point, but had not actually started surgery yet).  For my benefit, my doctor came over to where I could see him, and struck his disco pose once more.

They let Aaron in the room, and got started working on me.  Most of it becomes a blur at this point.  I remember smelling burning flesh (I had a tubal while they did the cesarian section) and I remember feeling lots of pressure as they pushed her down (she was still sitting pretty high).  The only moment during the surgery that I remember was hearing the words “the gay-dar really worked on that one.”  Thinking this was an odd statement I asked what they were talking about.  (Actually I asked if I had actually just heard the word gay-dar).  They all laughed and told me that they were talking about American Idol, while they were cutting me open.  Seriously, I’m not sure how I’ll ever take my OB-GYN seriously ever again.

The nurse standing next to me smiled and told me she was out.  All I could think (and apparently say) was “Cry, cry, cry, come on cry, please cry.”  I needed to hear her voice and know she was ok.  Finally, once they got her airway cleared, she let out a very loud and healthy cry.  And I cried, and then I threw up.  I’m pretty sure those things weren’t related, just happened close to each-other.  My anesthesiologist tried desperately to give me anti-nausea meds, but nothing worked.  I was going to be sick whether they liked it or not.

They quickly finished up, I felt lots more pressure, and they wheeled both me and our new little bundle of angry to my recovery room.  As soon as she was out of the womb she was rooting (between screams) so I was able to nurse her right away.

Published in: on September 22, 2009 at 3:55 am  Leave a Comment