Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Grateful for Health

We all got really sick a couple weeks before Thanksgiving. Carter started it all and developed croup, which spread to Jaden first, then Addison. I HATE croup, it is so scary to wake up in the middle of the night with a child who is having difficulty breathing. Jaden gets it really bad. Last year was our first experience and we had to take him to the ER in the middle of the night on Thanksgiving day. That was no fun. Now that we have some experience with it, so we know more what to expect, but it is always so scary! I let it go with Carter for a few days, hoping it would take care of itself but it got pretty bad so I ended up taking all of them to the doctors as it came up. I thought, "phew, at least we got through all that before Thanksgiving this year!" But that was just the beginning. Jaden developed a fever for a few days, and kept coughing so hard he would throw up. On night he didn't even wake up enough to come get me to clean it up and just fell back asleep. YUCK! After that Carter started Pink Eye, which developed during the weekend so by the time we got him in to the doctors again on Monday he had spread it to Jaden and Addison also.

All along Jeff and I kept thinking how lucky we were that we weren't getting anything from them. Unfortunately the week of Thanksgiving our luck ran out and I got hit hard. I lost my voice completely, I could only whisper, and my throat swelled up so bad I almost cried every time I swallowed. The throat thing lasted for 48 miserable hours and I didn't eat or drink and only slept fitfully. Jeff has since gotten sick also with his throat hurting a little, as well as congestion and coughing. Oh yea, our house has been full of joy this past month.

I thought Thanksgiving was toast, but thankfully I recovered quite suddenly. I remember the time because it was such a drastic change, it was 9pm Tuesday night when I realized I could swallow. So I rallied and made the rolls, chocolate pecan pie and these Thanksgiving turkeys:

They were quite fun to make, and gave a fun touch to our Thanksgiving. The kids loved eating them. This year we were acutely thankful for our health! You never realize how many times an hour you swallow until it hurts like the dickens! I was very grateful to be able to eat and enjoy our feast. It was a close call but we all enjoyed our day of gratitude.

Monday, November 1, 2010

If You're Happy and You Know it Clap Your Hands

Addison has just learned how to clap her hands! It is so cute, but very hard to catch with the camera. She usually does it when she is eating so Jeff just filmed her for awhile trying to catch it.

Another thing she loves to do while eating is smack the spoonful of food. This is her way of telling us she's done eating. If we keep trying to get her to eat things gets messy very quickly!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Addison: 9 months

Addison is nine months old! Since I haven't blogged anything about her since her blessing day I think I have some catching up to do! Here are some of the things we have noticed as she grows:

1. She loves to blow raspberries! It is the cutest thing, and quite hilarious during quiet moments at church, though decidedly not reverent-making.

2. She has become quite adept at putting her binky back in her mouth, though it was a learning process.

3. She is very good at sitting up and I am now confident to leave her that way. But she also loves to roll around and covers some pretty good distance.

4. Jaden and Carter absolutely adore her and Jaden is very helpful towards her. He always fetches her toys and still likes to put pillows behind her just in case.

5. She has the cutest little voice and we love to hear her making small squeaky sounds! She is starting to laugh more and more and is quite ticklish.

6. She already has he Daddy wrapped around her little finger and gets really excited when she sees him. He gets a much more enthusiastic greeting in the morning even though I'm the one who wakes up to get her up and feed her. Her whole body tenses up, her little legs start kicking and she gets the biggest smile and even sometimes laughs. It is the cutest thing.

7. She LOVES LOVES LOVES the swing. You can't see it in this picture but her faces just lights up when you give her a little push. She also loves to be thrown up and caught in the air. And often now when I'm holding her she tries to throw herself back. You can see the anticipation on her face as she leans her head back farther and farther, waiting for that fall.

8. It took quite awhile for her to warm up to solids, not at all like my boys who were ready right off the bat at four months. She would refuse to open her mouth or only open enough to stick out her tongue. It took many attempts between 4 and 6 months before she finally decided it was okay. Actually the turning point was when my mom gave her a taste of ice cream. At first she rejected it like anything else offered on a spoon but you could watch the emotion change on her face as she actually tasted it. It was hilarious the way she aggressively grabbed the spoon and tried to get it back in her mouth. After that she was much more willing to taste solids. Unfortunately, because she's eating more solid food now she's not nursing as much and her growth has dropped off the charts. We're trying different ways to get more fat in her diet, but after my experience with Carter who has the same problem I'm not as concerned. My mother had the same problem gaining weight as a child as did I (boy has that ever changed!) so I feel confident that she will progress at her own rate. To us she's perfect!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Seven Years=Breakfast and Lunch

Jeff and I have been married for 7 years now! It was our anniversary yesterday. Jeff let me sleep in for a bit then he and Jaden brought me breakfast in bed. Oatmeal just the way I like it, some fruit and a glass of milk. I was stuffed, I couldn't even finish it all. What a great Hubby I've been blessed with!

We usually go out to a nice restaurant to celebrate, but our finances being such as they are we were afraid to plan anything. Last minute we decided to go out for a late inexpensive lunch. We took Addison and Carter and had lunch at Thai Basil, Jeff's favorite Thai restaurant. We had Pad Thai, Sesame Scallops, and Chicken Curry, yum! We were so full that later, dinner was a small affair.

I am so grateful to be able to spend my life with such a wonderful companion. Jeff brings so much humor and fun energy into the home. He's always there for me when I need him, and supports me through the rough patches. Its so cute to see the boys growing up to be just like him. Who knew seven years would go by so fast!

We first met at the singles ward in California. One of the first things he said to me was "So, did you just graduate High School?" I had just finished my Bachelors degree, and still have not let him live that one down. Perhaps he was initially looking for someone younger, but I've got a year and a half on him. He had returned from his mission not too long ago and was working at In n' Out and applying for LAPD. I had just returned from a year of teaching English in Taiwan and traveling throughout South East Asia. Right after I met him I left to visit my sister Juli who was living in France and he was left wondering why I wasn't calling him back. Even while on vacation I thought of him and looked forward to my return to the states so that we could go on a date. Dating went smoothly and we were engaged three months later, and married five months after that.

Growing up I was a little afraid of getting married. While in my teens I often heard the phrase "if you think life is hard now just wait until you get married!" Considering that my teens were a very difficult time in my life marriage didn't sound too good. Even when I was engaged I expected married life to be hard. I guess the first year did take some adjustment, but everything since then has been amazingly easy and full of joy. Marrying Jeff has been the best thing I've done in my life, the thing that has brought me the most happiness. Here's to the next 7 years!!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

5 Things I HATE About Walmart

In no particular order:

5. Its always crowded. Trying to navigate the aisles is like trying to make your way through rush hour no matter when you go.

4. The products are not very fresh. I bought a whole bag of onions only to realize they were all rotten when I went to chop them for dinner. The "fresh" kale and lettuce sadly hangs limp over the edge of the shelf.

3. The produce is not well stocked. I don't know how many times I've needed parsley only to find they have none. Seriously?!!! I mean, its PARSLEY, the most commonly used fresh herb there is!!

2. Its too big. If I can stay in one section I'm fine, but if I need something that's located on the other side of the store we're in for a serious trek.

1. The checkers are agonizingly S....L....O....W. 'Nuff said.

Sorry for the grumpiness but I started making dinner last night when I realized that yet another product I bought at Walmart was rotten and I didn't have a replacement. I had to drag the whole troop down there for one thing when I had already spent an hour shopping earlier that same day. The line was long to exchange, which they made me wait in twice. All in all dinner was served right around bed time, and I was starving and exhausted long before it was done. Not such a great night.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Fun in the Sun

The sun was hot shining through the car window at 9am this morning. We had an early doctor's appointment so Jaden could get his last couple shots for preschool. We promised him a treat afterward so we swung by our favorite doughnut place on the way home. Right next door was a K-Mart so I suggested we check to see if they had any deals on little kiddie pools. I'd been thinking about getting one for awhile but just hadn't gotten around to it. We found one on sale for 10 bucks.

As soon as we got home I filled it up so there would be time for the water to warm up a bit, it is FREEZING straight from the hose. Jaden and Carter were so excited they didn't wait long. Right after lunch they got changed and ran outside. There was a light breeze blowing now but that didn't stop them from climbing in. Jeff and I brought down chairs to watch them. I thought we were just going to be spectators but before I knew it we had a family water fight. We were all laughing hysterically. It was really funny to watch Jaden dump all the water on himself when he tried to throw it on one of us, but with Jeff and I aiming for each other there was plenty of wet to go around.

After the fight died down we all laid out on the porch on the warm concrete and let the sun dry out our clothes and re-warm our bodies. It reminded me of being in California at the beach warming up from the frigid ocean. What a delightful afternoon in the sun.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Szechuan Green Beans withTofu

I made the yummiest stir-fry dish the other day that I changed so much I can put my own name on it. And hey, it turned out great, so I thought I'd share. Its only my second time experimenting with tofu and I was surprised at how delicious it was. The kids even loved it, Jaden kept asking for more tofu! It even started an amusing dinner conversation. Jaden: "Mom, I want more chicken." Me: "Honey, that's not chicken, it's tofu." Carter: "Toe-who?" Jaden: "No Carter, say toe-foo". Anyway, maybe you had to be there. So here's the recipe:

Margaret's Szechuan Green Beans with Tofu

one package extra firm tofu
frozen green beans (I use the ones from Costco), enough to fill a 12-inch skillet
2 teaspoons sesame oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon finely grated ginger
3 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 or 1/2 teaspoon dried chili flakes
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
salt and pepper

Cut the tofu into 1/2 inch cubes, and let marinate in the rice vinegar, soy sauce, chili flakes, sugar and hoisin sauce. Meanwhile, heat the sesame oil in a 12-inch skillet until hot, than add frozen green beans, garlic and ginger. Saute 5-7 minutes. Add the tofu and marinade stirring gently for a couple minutes until the sauce thickens. Sprinkle with the toasted sesame seeds and salt and pepper to taste. Serve with cooked brown or wild rice. (Try wild rice, it's so yummy with it!)

That's it! Its so easy, try it! Don't be scared, the tofu was actually good!