Friday, November 30, 2007
Last night we had pasta for dinner. I was shaking up the container of parmesan cheese, not realizing that the lid wasn't tightly fastened, when *poof* cheese was all over the floor. It wasn't in the middle of the walkway and I was in a hurry, so I just left it, intending to clean it up later. As I usually do when things get put off, I completely forgot about it. It blended in to the flooring, otherwise I think I would've noticed it.
This morning, we were making breakfast, and Wendy was toddling around wanting her cereal with applesauce as soon as possible. I was mixing it up at the sink when I hear a *whump* *thump* "Aaaahh?" (That's Wendy's reaction when something happens and she's not sure if she's hurt or not.) I look over to see my baby laying flat out on the kitchen floor in a cloud of parmesan cheese. She looked frightened. I scooped her up and dusted her off, cleaning the apparently slippery cheese off her little sock feet. I held my laughter in, not wanting to upset her.
An hour later, her Daddy was holding her while they brushed teeth together. He asked, "What's all this in her hair?" Then I laughed. Wendy had cheesy hair; it was all tangled up in her baby-fine blondeness, looking like little bits of dingy snow. Too funny.
Here are my blessings for this week:
1. Puffs with lotion. Whenever I have a cold, I'm extremely thankful for the tissues with lotion. Otherwise my nose starts to look like a strawberry and feel even worse.
2. Internet. However did we look anything up before the internet? I think I google some random thing a few times every day, and am rewarded with instant information. That's fantastic! And making travel plans - nothing beats it!
3. My fuzzy blanket. We got a new blanket for our bed this year, and it's great. It was from Target. It's lightweight but thick, and nicely fuzzy. Wendy even likes to rub it on her nose, like she does with the Blankie, so I call it Mommy's Blankie. It's very warm without adding a lot of weight to the covers.
4. Baby Einstein DVDs. I don't park Wendy in front of the TV for hours, but it sure is nice to buy time occasionally with Baby Einstein! Wendy loves all the puppets, and it usually holds her attention for a good 20-30 minutes. That's enough time to shower & get dressed, or to clean the kitchen without a munchkin underfoot.
5. Suave Kids' Detangling Spray. Wendy's hair is very fine, which leads to incredible static and bedhead. This spray is great. It's a very light conditioner with a yummy green apple scent, and it tames the static and the bedhead with a quick spritz and combing. I even put some in a little travel spray bottle for the diaper bag. I've used it on occasion, too.
Have a great weekend!
Thursday, November 29, 2007
1. I broke my right ring finger playing volleyball in P.E. my senior year of high school. I surgery to implant 3 screws to fix it, then a couple of years later I had surgery to remove the screws because my tendons were pulling on the heads of the screws. It's pretty much normal now unless I do a lot of knitting or scrubbing or something like that.
2. I've done intestinal surgery on a cow, without general anesthesia, who was just standing there chewing her cud. That's not unique for a vet, but pretty strange for the general population, I think.
3. I was hit by a motorcycle in Athens, Greece, when I was in kindergarten. We lived there at the time (I'm an Air Force brat) and I was getting off the school bus. I ran across in front of the bus (like you're never supposed to do) and was hit. I was knocked unconscious and had a few small scrapes, but I was fine. At the time what bothered me the most was that I peed my pants - the ultimate in humiliation for a 5 year old.
4. I don't like traditional Thanksgiving food: sweet potatoes, stuffing, pumpkin pie. And not just don't like; I mean those foods trigger my gag reflex. My mom says I'm just not American. I've gone many years eating just turkey, green beans, and rolls for Thanksgiving.
5. I sometimes daydream about giving all my pets away. Yes, it's true. We have 5 indoor cats and 1 small dog, and life would be a lot simpler without them! But then, who would be my nap-buddies? I wouldn't actually give them away unless we just had to for financial or medical reasons, because I do love them and have committed to taking care of them. But still, especially when I'm awakened at 3 a.m. to the sounds of hairball ejection...
6. I love the scent of lilacs and honeysuckle. I have in the past had Yankee candles in those scents, but they got used up quickly. I planted lilacs this summer, so hopefully I'll have some nice fresh blooms this spring. I didn't get a honeysuckle this year, but plan to in the spring to grow with my climbing roses.
7. I'm glad Wendy looks like me. Is that selfish? I wouldn't have been upset if she looked like James, and it's not that I think I'm all that pretty, because I don't. There's just something very rewarding in hearing people say, "She looks just like her Mama!" I love it!
And so, there are 7 more random things about me. Some you may have known already, some you didn't, and most you probably don't care about. :-) I'm going to tag Tiffany, Sandi, Amie, Leslie, and Tawn! Have fun!
I think as adults, our wish lists are much more practical. If someone were to ask what we wanted for Christmas, we’d say something along the lines of, “I could really use a new microwave,” or “pair of slippers,” or “ratchet set,” or “family portrait.”
Let’s fantasize for a moment, like we did as children.
If I could have anything for Christmas, it would be a clean and completely organized house. I mean with all the closets organized, all of the give away stuff gone, all the throw away stuff gone, all the Ebay stuff gone, and squeaky-clean. In our time as a married couple, we’ve never been “unpacked.” We’ve been married nine years and have lived in six houses. We plan to stay here awhile, though, so it would be nice to be organized for a change! Imagine – that way I could keep my house clean with a simple routine, instead of constantly fighting the clutter.
What would you really, REALLY like for Christmas? What would you never mention, because you know how impractical/expensive/complicated it would be? A cruise? To be reunited with estranged loved ones? That pair of diamond earrings you’ve always had your eye on? To have your soldier home from deployment?
I’m not asking just to get you to think – I’m really curious, and looking forward to comments!
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Hello, and happy Wednesday! I hope you've avoided the virus that has decided to invade our happy family this week!
My tip for the day is a hand-me-down from a good friend, and I use it myself every time I make spaghetti sauce. The tomato paste can - who can ever get all of that stuff out? I remember before using this tip spending time scraping with a spatula trying to get the goop into the pan. Then my friend Tassie shared this wonderful tip:
Open up both ends of the can, and push the contents out with the bottom lid! It works kinda like a plunger. Now there are still some bits of tomato paste that cling to the side, but it's WAY easier for getting the bulk of the goodies into the pan with minimal effort. (This will not work with the fancy new-fangled can openers that remove the lids from the side - only the good old-fashioned ones that leave the sharp edges!)
Less hassle and mess in the kitchen? Works for me!
Monday, November 26, 2007
*sigh* Gone are the days when I religously spooned cereal and super-healthy baby food into her mouth throughout the day. Now that she eats whatever we eat, our family diet needs major changes!
She must get her love of all things peanut-butter-and-chocolatey from me.
I hope everyone had a good and restful Thanksgiving! We had a great time, eating too much, watching too much TV, and staying up way too late. It was fun. I'm very glad our Christmas shopping is already done, but I don't think Santa has quite finished his list yet. I'm sure he will soon; he's not a last-minute kind of guy.
I haven't done any of our decorating yet. Normally I do it right away, on the Friday after Thanksgiving. This year, though, we have a toddler in the house, and I know the tree is going to be an awful temptation for her. I'm in no hurry. We'll get it all up sometime in the next couple of weeks. (I can just imagine how a Christmas tree looks through her eyes - a tree, indoors, covered with colorful sparkly lights and dangling toys - of course she's tempted!)
The menu for this week is very basic. I'm dealing with a cold and a very limited budget here, so don't expect anything exotic!
Monday: Macaroni & Cheese with tuna & vegggies
Wednesday: Chicken Noodle Casserole
Thursday: Survivor Night at mom & dad's
Friday: Cream soup of some sort (will find a recipe later)
Saturday: Eggs, Bacon, Hash browns, Biscuits
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Have you ever made a trip to the grocery store, only to discover on your return home that you forgot the toilet paper? The olive oil? The MILK?
When I was in college, we had a mini-whiteboard on the door of our dorm room, so all our friends could leave us messages. That thing got a workout; I even used it for practicing my structures for organic chemistry (yes, at one point in my life, I could write out the chemical structures for all 22 amino acids).
When I got married, I got another mini-whiteboard and put in on our fridge. It serves as a running grocery list. I write things down as we're about to run out, and use this to make the list that goes to the store with me. I've used the little magnetic notepad thingies before, but they aren't as easily-amendable as the whiteboard.
For example, the list reads: milk, butter, baby cereal, Kleenex, cat litter. I stop by the Target instead of the regular grocery store, and only buy milk and baby cereal, since everything else is a bit more expensive at Target than Kroger. When I get home, I can wipe off the milk and baby cereal from the list, leaving the rest intact for later. See?
That's what works for me. What works for you?
Monday, November 19, 2007
When did this happen? Shouldn't there be a ceremony or something? I remember as a child that on female-type shopping expeditions, my Grandma would drive. After awhile, my aunt took over, and my mom would fill in occasionally. It was a sort of unspoken passing of the torch in our family. The younger generations would step up to the wheel, so to speak, and the older generations would migrate to the backseat to chatter and cluck. (I mean that in a nice way.)
In so many ways, I don't feel old enough to be the Driver. I'm just a kid. But then I think about it - I've been married for 9 years, I'm a mother, I'm officially Dr. Allen - I guess I can handle it. And it was nice to drive and let everyone else take it easy.
This time of year I've heard people talk about the ritual of turkey carving, and handing it down through the generations. What's a passing-of-the-torch tradition in your family?
Friday, November 16, 2007
Here are my 5 for this week:
1. James - there are times when I think I must've married the most patient man on the planet. He is so helpful and so understanding and supportive during my difficult times. He is my rock, and reminds me that God is my Rock.
2. Wendy's silly sense of humor - nothing brightens my day like hearing baby chuckles when I pretend to feed her cereal to the cat.
3. Holidays - I love this time of year, when Thanksgiving is close and Christmas right after that. I love the decorating and baking and gift-giving. (I don't say "shopping," because I finished that in September.)
4. Weather - the variety God shows us is remarkable. Sure, bright sunny days are great, but if it never rained, we'd be living in a desert. I think those beautiful days would be monotonous and we'd take them for granted anyway. We had some very windy & stormy days this week, and now it's nice and sunny again. That variety makes us appreciate all of God's power & creativity.
5. Fenced-in backyard - after living with no fence in Jefferson City, I'm so thankful for our fence here! When it's cold or stormy and the dog has to go out, I can just open the kitchen door and just
I hope you can all think about your blessings today, and have a great weekend!
Thursday, November 15, 2007
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
But now...ah, now. Now she's a super-active toddler, and one of her I'm-never-going-to-take-a-nap strategies is to stand in the crib and pull her earrings out. She does it by grabbing the front and just pulling, which I think would hurt. I worry about her eating them, or chucking them in the floor to be found by an unsuspecting bare foot, or rolling over on them when she does eventually go to sleep and scratching her face.
And so, what I have gone to is the little clear plastic earring backs. You know the kind? The ones that come on dangly earrings but you don't really use? I found out that you can go to Claire's (or any other accessories store) and buy a little baggie of the things for super-cheap. They fit the post of the earring more tightly and provide more friction, so Munchkinhead can't take out her earrings as easily.
Cheap, easy, and safe - works for me!
For more great tips, head over to Rocks in my Dryer.
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Do any of you struggle with depression? I know it's probably more common than most people realize, but sometimes I think I'm the only one, and the rest of the planet is OK. You know? Like I'm the only one who doesn't have the motivation to do anything other than the basic Wendy care. So please pray for me that I can kick this soon.
Monday, November 12, 2007
Monday – Creamy Pasta Primavera, French bread, salad
Tuesday – Chicken soft tacos, beans & rice
Wednesday – Loaded baked potatoes, salad
Thursday – Survivor night at Mom & Dad’s
Friday – Chicken pot pie, salad
Saturday – lasagna, cheesy garlic bread, salad
Friday, November 9, 2007
Here are my five for this week:
1. Gas fireplace - it's been pretty chilly here, especially in the mornings. It's great to turn on the fire first thing in the morning, and feel it gently warm the living room. I wish it was better and distributing the heat, but my friendly household engineer has several ideas for future projects.
2. Safe travel - as we were driving in Kentucky, we got stopped in a construction zone for 40 minutes. As we sat, state troopers came zooming past us, then an ambulance, then another ambulance, more troopers, and some of the pickups from the construction site. We found out that one of the construction workers had been hit by a semi. It was a reminder of all we have to be thankful for when we arrive at our destinations safely - and slow down in construction zones!
3. Hospitality - while we were in Missouri we stayed with one of James's coworkers, who have perfected the art of hospitality. They live on a farm and are always hosting hayrides, bonfires, swim parties, trail rides, and picnics. They were wonderful people to stay with, and we really enjoyed being out at the farm.
4. Febreze candles - I've got one on the mantle that's an apple spice scent, and one in the bedroom that's meadows and rain. When they're lit, as I move from room to room I notice the pretty scent...much better than old house, cat, and diaper pail, which I am afraid my house smells like most of the time.
5. Ibuprofen & saline nasal spray - I'm not sure I could've done much at all this week without my trusty friends. Does anyone else get headaches when the furnaces come on? I think it's the combination of dry air and dust, but it's awful. I need to put the humidifier in our room, but it needs a new filter, and I never remember. Maybe the pain of the headaches will help my recall next time I'm at the store!
Thursday, November 8, 2007
You made your presence known
Wondering and planning
Learning and praying
Dreams of cuddles, kisses
Skinned knees and butterflies
Chasing lightning bugs
In the summer twilight
And then, just like that,
Your Father called you
We couldn’t keep you here
You had to go Home
And what are we to do?
When will we see you again?
Who are we to be
And now the house is quiet
No giggles or squeals
The rocking chair waits
As we all wait
As we question, God speaks
He has never left us
In His arms you wait
To joyfully meet us
And we begin to go on
Not forgetting, but loving
Bringing you with us
In our hearts
In our minds
You are part of us
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
My question for today is very simple - what's your best casserole, crockpot, or other one-dish recipe? I'm always looking for simple, healthy dinner ideas, so bring it on!
Tuesday, November 6, 2007
Menu plan Monday is making another guest appearance on Tuesday! We didn't get home from out of town until around 9 p.m. yesterday, so I wasn't about to sit down and blog. Our trip was great, and as usual it was great to be home. (Although I wasn't thrilled about the cat messiness on our new dining room carpet...) Today was spent dealing with the aftermath of being gone for a week. And I had to call James to come slay a dragon for us - more on that on Thursday.
So here is the meal plan for this week:
Tuesday - Oven-fried Chicken, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes
Wednesday -Chicken noodle casserole
Thursday - Survivor night at Mom & Dad's
Friday - Spaghetti & parmesan garlic bread, salad
Saturday - Dinner at Mom & Dad's as GM & GP pass through - to be decided later
Sunday - leftovers!
Thursday, November 1, 2007
I wanted to express my thankfulness for my two good friends Tiffany and Sandi. We spent a great day together, and I enjoyed it wholeheartedly. It's not often you find people you can bare your soul to, and I feel that these ladies are closer to me than family. I love you both, and I had a great time today - thanks for the camaraderie. (Sorry, Tiffany, that's a Harding joke.)