Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Growing like a weed

The other night Ryan was complaining. His leg hurt. His hand hurt. His arm hurt. Blah blah blah. I suspect this multitude of aches and pains were the result of the chores we had been talking about that needed to be done. Not wanting to straight up call him out on it I said, "Well honey, you probably have growing pains. You're growing like a weed!" After a long pause, and through clenched teeth he replied with, "Then reach in and pull that weed OUT."

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

I blinked

I blinked and Ryan is in second grade. 
I blinked and Lauren is one. 
A friend of mine said the days are long, but the years are short. Wow is that true. 
I'm overwhelmed. I don't get a shower every day. My house is a mess. The laundry seems to have a life of its own, multiplying faster than rabbits. I can barely keep up. But then I glance over and see those faces. And those little smiles make up for all the rest. Except maybe the shower part. Cause that's just gross. 

Monday, January 21, 2013

Apparently I forgot I had a blog...

The last time I posted, Ryan was getting ready to start Kindergarten. He's now half way through first grade. I was working at Providence. I haven't worked outside my home in seven months. I had one child. Now I have two. In my last post I was daydreaming about what I would do with a few uninterrupted hours in the morning. I was thinking about and planning for all the things I would do with my new found freedom. Well, it was fun while it lasted. And I didn't even really do much. I was still working at night and so I basically used all my new free time to sleep. Boring.
Then I got the surprise of a lifetime. Literally. In February I found out I was pregnant. PCOS, insulin resistance, inconsistent/ nonexistent cycles be damned. A little girl was going to wriggle her way into our hearts and family no matter what the obstacles. And so she did. I quit my job so I could spend my last "one-kid" summer with Ryan, spend the entire 41 weeks puking every morning, and basically freaked out for nearly a year. And then she was born. And it is totally different. And I freaked out for nothing.

 Turns out, a baby without colic is pretty cool. A baby without colic basically sleeps, eats, poops, and sleeps some more. A baby without colic is totally do-able. I'm not saying I'm not exhausted. I am. I'm not saying I'm not a tad overwhelmed. A wee bit more than a tad. I'm not saying my house isn't a disaster. It is.
But I can totally see now how it is that people choose to have more than one child. If Ryan didn't have colic and was like this one, I can see how I might have had a second child sooner. Ah, well. So now I have a six and a half year old and a two month old. Nothing like starting over.
It really is totally different this time around. And not just the colic thing either. I'm different. I'm older, wiser (ha-ha), more relaxed, and I've "been there, done that." I'm not as scared this time. I'm not as worried. Well, at least about baby stuff any way.

So now you know why I forgot I had a blog. The good news is I'm not working anymore and Ryan is in first grade now. Which means he's gone for six and a half hours every single day. So I can write in my blog in all my hours and hours of free time. Oh, wait. Now I forgot I had a baby. Free time. Hah! See.....I told you I was exhausted.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

A New Era

Ryan starts Kindergarten tomorrow. Gone are the mornings of sleeping in, watching cartoons, and eating cereal. Now we have to tackle breakfast, getting dressed, brushing teeth, and getting out the door and to school all before nine in the morning. For me this will be nothing short of a miracle. Having totally grown accustomed to my work schedule, it's not uncommon for me to go to bed at two am, get up with Ryan five hours later, pour the cereal, and go back to bed for a little bit. How I am supposed to actually get up and function, I have no idea. And drive too. Since we are in the "walking zone" there is no bus to pick him up in the morning.
Given that I can accomplish the huge feat of actually getting him to school....what then? Three hours every day of peace and silence. Three hours of opportunity. For the first time in five years there will be a consistent, daily block of time that is all mine. Completely empty time. To be filled however I want, with whatever I want. A new era. How strange. I think Kindergarten will be as much of an adjustment for me as it will be for Ryan.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Easy Artisan Bread

I saw a post for this bread on one of my favorite blogs, Frugal Living NW. It looked so easy I had to try it. Here's how it went.
Easy Artisan Bread
yields 3 loaves

3 cups luke warm water
1.5 Tbsp active dry yeast
1.5 Tbsp coarse salt or Kosher salt, or 1 Tbsp regular salt
6.5 cups all purpose flour (I used half white flour, half wheat flour)

1. Dump all 4 ingredients into a large container. The instructions suggested a large ice cream container since it has a lid and you'll need to punch holes in the lid later. I just so happened to have a spare one of these hanging out in the cupboard, so voila! Using a wooden spoon mix it all together really well until the flour is all mixed in.

2. Put the lid on (with holes punched in for gas expansion) and let it sit in a warm spot for 2 hours. Pretty easy so far, right?

This is what it will look like at the end of the 2 hours. It will have expanded to fill the container and will look nice and bubbly.

3. Shape the dough into three loaves. Make sure your hands are well floured or else you will become one with the dough. Each loaf should be about the size of a grapefruit and nice and smooth.

At this point you can wrap the other two loaves and stick them in the fridge for 1 to 3 days or freeze them for later. I didn't have foil to wrap them so I wrapped them in parchment paper.

4. Using a serrated knife, slash the top a few times. Place the loaf on a piece of parchment paper on a baking sheet and let it "rest" for 40 minutes. For an added artisan look you can roll the bottom of the loaf in cornmeal.

Place a shallow pan (like a cake) pan in the oven and fill it with water to create steam. Bake in a 450 degree oven for 30 to 35 minutes until the outside is golden brown and it sounds hollow when you tap on it.

And there you have it. Homemade bread in four steps. If you want to see the post I read to get the instructions go here. http://www.frugallivingnw.com/frugal-homemaking/making-artisan-yeast-bread-from-scratch/

If you want more bread recipes like this one, check out the book at http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0312362919?ie=UTF8&tag=frlinw-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0312362919

In the meantime, enjoy!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Which one you wanna pick?

So for a while now we've been working on choices. I give Ryan two choices, both of which I can live with, and he picks the one he wants. This way, he does something I want him to do while at the same time giving him the sense that he has some control over the circumstance. For example, "Okay Ryan, you can brush your teeth and then pick your jammies, or you can pick your jammies and then brush your teeth. Which one do you want to pick?" This way he has a choice but in the end is still brushing and picking jammies.
I have also started on the idea of "chores." Before I go to work I tell Jason and Ryan that they have "chores" for the night. It goes something like this. "Okay guys I'm leaving now. Here are your chores for tonight. First, finish dinner. Second, put your dishes in the sink. Third, put your dirty clothes in the laundry basket." Then I'm off to work. Getting chores done before Mommy gets home seems to be good motivation for them to do stuff.
This afternoon Ryan presented me with a strange mix of these two concepts. Here it was.
"Okay Mommy. You have five chores. Number one, you work and I go to Dylan's and play. Number two, I go to Dylan's to do chores. Number three, I go to Dylan's and do some work. Number four, I go to Dylan's and do some more work. Number five, I go to Dylan's and do some more work again. Okay. Which one you wanna pick?

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Sorry, lost my mind for a while

Apparently, I have skipped an entire season. Sorry Fall. What can I say? Ryan started pre-school. Jason started working in Bend. I got a new job back in the lab at Providence. And time flew. Now it's the week before Christmas and a family sized bout of pneumonia has slowed us down to a crawl. Literally. So I thought I'd write, catch up a bit. Nah, at this point pictures will do a better job. Here we go.

Here are some shots of Ryan when we went to the beach last summer. He was posing on some driftwood for me. What a big boy!

Also last summer, he discovered cowboys.
And super hero's. More on that later.

And here is his very first day of preschool.

Ah, the beginning of the Spider-man obsession.

And as we got closer and closer to Halloween, Ryan found Iron Man, and then it was all over.

When Jason started working in Bend and I was working at Providence, Wednesday night became Ryan's night to stay over at Uncle Greg's house. Here is a shot of his bedroom. He is so proud of it.

During part of the long Thanksgiving weekend, Jason took Ryan over to Bend to stay the night at his hotel and play in the snow. They made snow angels, had chocolate chip cookies and hot cocoa, and Ryan was so excited to tell me, "I threw a smowball at Daddy's beans!"

And finally, the most recent picture of me. Lovely, isn't it? Here I am in the hospital, on oxygen and IV antibiotics. Happy to be breathing and taken care of by the wonderful nurses at Willamette Falls Hospital.

And that's about it. At this point, my biggest Christmas wish is that my family is healthy enough to enjoy the holidays ahead and thankful enough to appreciate all the fun days behind.