Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Merry Christmas!

No pics to post as we are on the road.  Just wanted to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.  We'll be home in 2008!  I'll have lots of pictures to post then.
For now, we're having a great time with our wonderful families.  We are so lucky!

Monday, December 17, 2007

12 years ago...

I was a college freshman, madly in love. He was too. He asked me to marry him. Ahhh, and the rest is history. I was scanning these pictures and thought I'd share. Please keep in mind that this was 1995--that's why my hair and glasses look like that. Of course, back then I had the time to use some hairspray and makeup. Yes, well....

Our Engagement photo at the Rose Garden in the winter frost.

A candid that looks posed. At the park where we were married.

The posed, formal pictures. Also at the park. The dress was my mom's.

And the rings. Very simple, but I love my wedding ring. We didn't do and engagement ring, and I picked out the wedding band myself. I have since added my inheritance from my Grandma L. Amazingly enough, the rings were the same size and style. She was married in the 1930's. We must have the same taste!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Goofy kids

Just a few pictures because I finally took some and transfered them to the computer. My kids are so silly!

G is such a ham. And he is always on the go. I get tired just watching him. And I hear this from at least one person every time we go out. So I'm not alone.

Such a sweet smile. E is such a happy baby. He smiles and laughs so easily. His brothers spend a lot of time "making him happy.

Silly face--close up.

Hmm, maybe I should be serious. What is that thing in front of your face?

M is growing up so fast. 9 years old and so handsome. He looks so much like his dad. I think it will be eerie to look at him when he is about 20 and see C as I remember him at that age.

Friday, December 14, 2007

And the award goes to...

I don't usually post news stuff, but I couldn't resist.

From The Center for Media and Democracy,

Bronze Falsie: "Impeding Breastfeeding"

Awarding a Falsie to groups spinning breastfeeding issues seems ... well, especially appropriate. Apparently the folks at Ban the Bags, a campaign against formula company marketing in maternity hospitals, agree. They posted a call for their members to participate in our Falsies Awards survey, and votes for the formula industry came pouring in. Is this spinning a survey on spin? Our judges were divided on that question, but ultimately decided to discount survey responses where people only voted on the formula industry nominee.

There's no question that the formula industry, represented by the International Formula Council (IFC), deserves the Bronze Falsie. The September / October issue of Mothering Magazine reported on "stealth" websites that "appear to be grassroots advocacy sites, but are actually mouthpieces for the formula industry." They include, an IFC website that opposes restrictions on formula marketing in hospitals as attacks on "women's access to information to make a legitimate choice."

In August 2007, the Washington Post reported on an IFC lobbying campaign that succeeded in getting the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to pull ads that dramatically illustrated the increased health risks faced by babies who do not breastfeed. The IFC portrayed the ads as "scaring expectant mothers into breast-feeding," and hired a former Republican National Committee chair and former Food and Drug Administration official to lobby HHS. It probably didn't hurt that most formula companies are "divisions of large pharmaceutical companies that are among the most generous campaign donors in the nation."

For portraying accurate health information as alarmism and intrusive marketing campaigns as "freedom" -- not to mention helping to keep U.S. breastfeeding rates well below those of European countries -- this Falsie's for you, IFC!


I used to hate marshmallows. Really sickening sweet things. Then C bought some from Whole Foods. Divine. Fortunately, not long after, the newspaper ran a recipe for peeps. I really hate those from the store. But these are so yummy. I've been trying to get the recipe to MIL, but not sure it's getting through. So here's my copyright violation backup plan.... It says "if making marshmallows" because I use the recipe for making marshmallow creme. Just stop the process and use before going on the curing process. Curing marshmallows is difficult at best in the middle of a really humid week.

2/3 c cold water (divided)
2 envelopes (2 tbsp) unflavored gelatin
1 1/3 granulated sugar
1/2 cane syrup or brown rice syrup
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
vegetable oil for the pan

If making marshmallows, line a 9x13 pan with foil and brush with vegetable oil

Place 1/3 cup cold water in the bowl of an electric mixer and sprinkle gelatin over the surface. Put the sugar, syrup, salt and remaining 1/3 cup water in a heavy saucepan with a tight fitting lid, and stir to dissolve the sugar. Cover the pan and place on moderately low heat. Remove the cover after 4 to 5 minutes. The steam will have caused any sugar crystals to dissolve and they syrup will be bubbling lightly. Increase the heat to high, insert a candy thermometer and boil the syrup without stirring until it reaches 240 degrees F. Immediately remove from the heat.
Fit the mixer with the whisk attachment. Slowly and carefully pour the syrup into the gelatin while the mixer is beating constantly at medium speed. When all of the syrup has been added increase the speed to high and whip for about 10 minutes. The mixture should be lukewarm, white and creamy. Add the vanilla at the end of mixing.
If making marshmallows, pour into pan, sprinkle with sugar, and let set out until dry to the touch. This can take several days. Cut to desired shape/size and toss with more sugar.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

blasted timing

My sewing machine, the darling of my possessions, love of my creative life, has pissed me off!
I'm in the middle of sewing below mentioned Christmas crafts, and it decided to commit to a life of sewing in reverse. And I can't fathom how I can get it to the repair shop and home and paid for before leaving for Idaho.
Good thing Mom brought me another sewing machine earlier this year. It's a p.o.s. singer, but it sews forward. Thank goodness.
In Oregon, we the Taxpayers, get a "kicker refund." Ours came this week. Wonder if I can talk dearest husband of mine into letting me go shopping for sewing machines. Only problem is I don't trust the computerized machines and finding a good, reliable, not made by some dump of a factory, mechanical machine is hard. If not impossible. Anyone know of a company that makes good quality old-style machines. Not really old, just pre-computerization. And I HATE Singer and White so don't even bother suggesting it.
What I have is a Viking 6030. It sews like butter. It is music to my ears. I just spent $100 getting it's gears fixed. Maybe I should just get things fixed on it as I go and see how long it lasts?

In other news, I found out how to calm a fussy E. Simple, take his clothes off and set him on the floor. Happy as a clam in a mud bed. He's going to be just like G in that regard I think. Then I'll have 2 naked kids tearing up the garden. Look out world.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Christmas is coming....Aaaack!

So, once again, I've ignored my rational voice that says to start Christmas preparations early. It is now mid-December and I am just now starting. Granted, I have few excuses I can whip out. New baby? Sick baby? A husband who was going to leave town for two weeks and mom and mom-in-law were going to be here the whole time to help with kids while I prepped and packed like crazy? Yes all of those. But still, if I had started back in July, like my rational voice said, it wouldn't be that big of a deal. Yeah, poor rational voice.
What would also help is if I didn't have this compulsive need to craft things for Christmas. Yes, I could go to the mall and find all kinds of things for my loved ones. But then I think how much more meaningful it would be if I made something. This year, I'm buying more than I usually do. If you are one of those getting a purchased gift, please don't hate me. It just means that your yarn or fabric will have to wait for next year. Maybe I'll stack it up at the top of the pile and it will be ready by July! Yay!

One of the things that does seem like it will get done (well 2 things) are the crowns I'm making for kid1 and kid2. I was actually searching for a hat pattern, and came across this. I just had to make it. One for each of course. But it's pretty fast work. And it's not plastic, not made in China, no lead, and doesn't have small pieces to worry about in the next few months as E gets bigger. Just felted wool. And 2 of course for obvious reasons. I'm making them out of grey wool and if I get them done and have spare time, I'll stitch on some felt or polar fleece "jewels" to make it look a bit fancier.

I moved some stuff around in the living room (well scooted the couch over after getting a rubbermaid box out to the garage) and decided that an entry way bench would be ideal. After searching around on the net, I found this adorable bench from Ikea. Great price, perfect size et al. The next thought through my little brain was "wait, it would be so like my kids for M to convince G to get inside on some pretense, then close the lid and sit on it. And feel immensely proud of himself. Then wonder why I am yelling like I want to rip his head off." On to look at more benches. This seemed like a much more logical choice. Small cubbies so everyone has their own and too small to fit anyone inside. Does this say more about my kids or my parenting abilities? Please say kids. A friend of mine says that 3 kids is where you officially cross the line from "normal" size family to large--where you consider things like whether or not kids will lock siblings in furniture you are contemplating purchasing. What fun.

Oh, and further complicating Christmas prep is the cold we have all come down with. It's yucky. I felt awful last night, but a little better today. But that means that the food gifts I was planning to make today and tomorrow are further on hold. I mean, do I really want to cough and sneeze all over the gifts for the neighbors? I think not. Maybe I should work on Christmas cards instead. Only I forgot to buy them at Costco so I need to buy them somewhere-which means going out with my sick self and hyper-sick kids. Yuck again. And the printer and computer are no longer on speaking terms-which means no letter this year unless I forward it to C to print at work and hand-addressed envelopes. No biggie on that since I keep losing my address file. Hmm, a digital family Christmas card is starting to look mighty appealing. I can even say we are being environmentally friendly this year. There, you've been warned not to expect a paper card. You can thank me when there is one less card to deal with in January!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Drying out

We figured out the rucksack carry, although the wraps I have aren't really ideal--not as comfortable. E seems to enjoy it for a little while, but then wants the security of being on my front. Fair enough.
E has arrived at the time that is my favorite thing about nursing--the nursing giggle. It's where they look up into your eyes and are so happy to be eating their favorite food that they risk havin to re-latch and giggle. I LOVE baby nursing giggles. It's absolutely the best. It seems to say, "Yay! We made it through the tough beginings and now we can just relax and totally enjoy each other."
This is turning into a total E post--anyway, he learned a new trick! If we help him figure out how to open, then close his fingers on his rattle, he can get it to his mouth. Victory!
And, finally, the finished longies. I'm really happy with how they turned out. And they work great. I made them way too long, but I'm sure E will take care of that in no time!

The "Storm of the Century" as one news station called it. Whatever--here's our teeny bit of snow that then turned to gushes of rain.
The storm has finally passed on! Well, I guess that should be the plural, storms. We got hit with a triple whammy this weekend. 3 storms in 1. Yuck. I'm still not sure exactly how much rain was recorded here, but I heard that Bremerton, WA recorded upwards of 10" in 24 hrs. We didn't get anywhere near that, but both local rivers are flooded, and many more in the area are as well. Our street was partially submerged for a few hours--you could drive on the other side and the water-logged side was passable still.
Growing up in Idaho, we sometimes had flash floods from sudden downpours, but living in Oregon has taught me lots about rain. For example, I used to read stories where the author would refer to "lashing rain." Now I know what lashing rain sounds like--it's rain being blown at your window at over 50 mph. It sounds like it's going to come right on in for dinner.
The kids are happy to be able to play outside again. Not that I'm against them playing in the rain by any means--I'm all for it. This weekend was just a bit too much for my tastes.
That reminds me--I forgot to tell the last G rain story.
I sent them out in their muck-muck boots, rain coats, hats and gloves to play in the rain a few weeks ago. It was pretty cold, but not freezing. Well, G, my child who is usually the last to ever come inside, comes up to the door and is just shivering too much to talk. I ask if he wants to come in and he nods. "Fffffeeezing mommmy" he manages to get out. I start stripping clothes off him. His boots have a few cups of water each I pour out, his pants look like they've been dunked, even his shirt and lining of his water-proof coat are literally running waterways. I ask him what happened. "Go fimming mommy!" he says proudly. Seems he decided that the gutter, having roughly the water level of a kiddie pool, was a great place for a swim on a blustery day, so he tried it out. Yeah, um, not so good. I don't think he'll do it again. It took awhile to get him warmed back up. At least he had the sense to come inside!
My kids....