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Monday, May 26, 2008

Rant: Food rut

(Desperate plea for help at the bottom. Please don't miss it!)

I have been in such a food rut lately. I can't find anything that I'm in the mood for that doesn't irritate anyone in my family and/or that does not require my undivided attention in preparation.
  • Sammy can't have: dairy, soy, peanut (or anything processed in a facility with peanuts), egg, peas, theoretically fish (although he tested allergic, we've not found one he'll actually react to, so allergist said keep giving it to him and just keep an eye on him). Won't touch hot cereal with a 10-ft pole.
  • I can't (or shouldn't) have: dairy, soy, egg, beans, yeast, possibly wheat, mushrooms, broccoli, chicken, pork, potatoes, anything white/refined/processed, too many carbs vs. proteins, anything that aggrivates reflux
  • My husband won't eat: salad, stir-fry (which the rest of us ADORE), anything that isn't drowned in cheese, anything with bell peppers, anything brown/unrefined/unprocessed, hot cereal except grits (very white/refined)
  • Katie: I haven't quite figured her out yet. It used to be there wasn't a meat she'd turn down. Now she doesn't eat very much meat. And she actually voluntarily ate a bite of bread for the first time ever yesterday. Don't let this one know if you have hot cereal for breakfast (or make extra for her) because she will eat at least half of it!
  • My brother: doesn't like beef. Prefers chicken. Doesn't even bother to eat with us anyway so I don't know why I'm bothering to list his preferences.

What I need to do is come up with a weekly menu and then if I feel that's too repetitive, have some alternatives. And to find some way to get us to eat more veggies, because nobody gets enough of those around here.

Okay, weekly rotation ideas. Here goes...

Breakfasts: Oat-Bran Muffins, pancakes, Oat Bran (hot cereal), Oatmeal (hot cereal), Quinoa (hot cereal), Bacon or breakfast sausage or ham (need a meat/protein every day)
Lunches: Salad, Sandwich, Pasta, Leftovers
Dinners: Hamburgers, Taco Bar, Spaghetti, soup when it's wintertime (which it isn't), pizza (spelt flour, baking powder instead of yeast, no cheese. Very carby so shouldn't have it often!)

That's it. That's all I can come up with. And half of those are not acceptable to everyone in question. See what I mean about a rut? I can't even come up with a week's worth. No wonder I despise meal planning/prep so much! I need some ideas. Please, please, please share any you might have!!! While you're at it, please share your 3 favorite veggies so I can have some veggie ideas, too.

Please pray

for my friend Stephanie and her family. (The same one who was here visiting week before last.) Her dad died unexpectedly last night.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Old phone pics

Found these photos that I had snapped with my phone but never actually shared.

4/10/07 - Playing at home

5/9/07 - Swinging at Zachary's house

5/11/07 - Swinging at the sand park. (There is NO WAY I could fit them together in this swing now!!!)

8/18/07 - Reading an early morning story (Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear) with Daddy

8/25/07 - At the new "don't play in it" (yeah, right!) water sculpture at America the Beautiful park

9/16/07 Eating strawberry applesauce at Memorial Park after Rachel's skating competition

1/4/08 - making "words" in the bathtub

2/4/08 - putting the numbers in order (he had them in the right order, but by the time I'd grabbed the nearest camera, he'd rearranged them and refused to put them back.)

Sand Park

My kids love the sand park. Last week our friends David, Stephanie, Max, and Gianna were in town visiting, so we met them all there to play. It was great fun! (I wish I had remembered to bring my real camera. But the cell one was better than nothing!)

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Water Table Fun

It was a nice warm day yesterday, so Sammy and Katie had lots of fun playing in their water table.
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She loves her new baby sling we got her at the LLL conference. (There is also a baby in the front, in case you couldn't tell.)

Happy the other day that Daddy got us some yummy cherries!
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One Word Answers Only

Found this on Kristy's Blog. (Anyone who knows me knows that I am wordy and this will be difficult.)

1. Where is your cell phone? downstairs
2. Where is your significant other? bed
3. Your hair? greasy
4. Your mother? Louisiana
5. Your father? Ditto
6. Your favorite thing? Love
7. Your dream last night? Unremembered
8. Your dream/goal? Organization
9. The room you're in? Hallway? Alcove? (I'm not sure what to call it.) (See, I couldn't do it!)
10. Your fear? Hell
11. Where do you want to be in 6 years? South
12. Where were you last night? Outside
13. Something you're not? Organized
14. Muffins? Oat-Bran
15. One of your wish list items? Van
16. Where you grew up? Swamp
17. The last thing you did? Sneeze
18. What are you wearing? Yesterday's
19. Your TV? Uncabled
20. Your pet? Dead
21. Your computer? over-demanded
22. Your life? Happy
23. Your mood? Worried
24. Missing someone? MIL
25. Your car/truck? Dirty
26. Something you're not wearing? Pajamas
27. Your summer? Favorite
28. Love someone? Everyone
29. Your favorite color? Green
30. When is the last time you laughed? Yesterday
31. Last time you cried? Estes
32. Who will resend this? Nobody

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Crowning Our Lady

One of the moms from the homeschooling community arranged a crowning of Mary at one of our local churches on Tuesday. I had volunteered to take pictures for it. Unfortunately, I was not on my best photography game that day. I had forgotten that I'd removed my faster lens from the camera bag to pack the video camera in it on our last trip south. So my photos were either too dark, or blurry, or I had to use a flash to make sure I got the shot. I had to do a lot more digital doctoring on this set than I like to do after a job.

I also had to contend with two fussy, and eventually hungry, toddlers and try to keep them from being too disruptive during Mass. While I was taking photos.

Sammy was so cute. During the practice round of walking up to give a flower to Mary, he left his up there with her. Did exactly what he was supposed to do! And was proud of himself for it. This left him without a flower for the real thing, though. We managed to find him another, and shortly after he got it, he went back into the church and brought Mary that flower, too. He was soooo proud of himself! I didn't have the heart to tell him he was supposed to wait and go with the group.

One of the big girls, Cat, held Katie's hand and walked with her. It was super-nice of her to offer to do that, which she did when she saw that I was busy with the camera.

These were my two favorite photos from the day:

(There are lots more photos in my online album. PM me if you'd like the URL to see them.)

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Little trip

We spent the weekend at the YMCA of the Rockies (near Estes Park, CO) at the Colorado/Wyoming LLL regional conference. It was nice to get away for a little trip. The weather could have been better - it was 40 degrees and windy and snowing all of Saturday, the only full day we were there. The speakers (at least the ones I got to see) were really good (well, some more engaging than others) and their information was superb. I took notes, and I hope to have time to post about some of the sessions in the coming week.

I only got to attend about half the sessions due to getting there at the tail end of the first day, needing to put two toddlers down for a nap Saturday afternoon (unsuccessful at that, I might add), going to Mass in Estes Park Saturday evening, and leaving early from being exhausted after being up half the night trying to calm some random and unexplained night terrors. The sessions I did get to attend were:

Here are some of the photos we took:

The herd of "reindeer" that wouldn't get out of our way as we were driving back to the park after fueling up in town. And the 2 refusing-to-nap toddlers in the back, after the initial "reindeer" excitement had worn off.

Some of the views around the YMCA of the Rockies complex.

Kids being kids and having a good time.

And of all the beautiful things to see in the area, these are what attracted our kids' attention the most. "Mama, look, Mama! A digger! Just like Bob the Builder!"

I left the cloth diapers at home this time, and as much as I hated to do it, it turned out to be a good decision. I would not have had time or energy to wash them. And may have been fighting too many other cloth moms for the machines anyway. We were able to get away with 1 bag of Seventh Generation (unbleached) disposables that miraculously fit both the 23 pounder and the 37 pounder. Still... $13 for 3 or 4 days worth of diapers!!! I'm SO glad I haven't been spending that every 3 or 4 days for the last 2 years!

I was too tired to even care that I did not get my Mother's Day family picture - the only thing I ever want for Mother's Day. (Don't get me started on Mother's Day.)

Friday, May 09, 2008

Please Pray

...for my friend Julie (Morgan's mom) and her family. Her dad passed away yesterday. She has been out there (Ohio) with him and her mom for the last month. He seemed to be getting better, and she was actually scheduled to come home yesterday. Thanks for your prayers!

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Rant: Unread

Speaking of things not getting read...
  • 400+ items in my gmail (I finally got smart and categorized and archived them all. That way they're at least not in my inbox making me feel guilty every time I check email!)
  • 423 items in my Google reader
  • 294 items in my Hotmail (junk & catalog mail) inbox, plus another 334 filed away in folders
  • 11 catalogs/magazines/newspapers in my to read when I get time (ha-ha!) pile. This was culled down this weekend from about 25 that were there.
  • 4 homeschooling books in the cabinet above my desk
  • 13 library books that I have had to return completely unopened this year
  • half a dozen Catholic parenting books I bought but have yet to open, or started but never finished
  • 3 or 4 homeschooling books I started but never finished

Ugh! No wonder I feel so behind. (And this list doesn't even touch the state of my house, or the fact that despite over a year of trying I still don't have us on a predictable schedule, or even fulfill my promise to myself to read my kids at least one book every day.)

Does anyone else have reading material overload, and if so, how do you deal with it?


I joined goodreads last night, on an invitation from Myste. It was really kind of ridiculous for me to do it, because a) when do I have the time to read anything? and b) when do I have time to browse the site? It will probably just gather dust in my favorites list like GiftieNation and NoBSPhotoSuccess and all the other BBs and sites I would love to learn from but don't have time to.

Nevertheless, if you're on goodreads, look me up as a friend. I'm on there under my hotmail address. I might make it on there twice a year or so...

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Zoo fun

We had a gorgeous day here yesterday, and decided to take advantage of the nice weather by making our first trip to the zoo since last year.

Sammy has apparently gotten over his fear of "giraffes at da doo," because he asked if we could feed them crackers before we ever even got there.

The little play area with the "huts" was the biggest hit of the day. So much so that we had to visit it on the way out, too. This is right next to our favorite little train, which sadly, has been closed every time we've been to the zoo since school started last August. Hopefully it will be opening back up soon!

The kids were nice enough to pose for some photos for mom... in the beginning before they got too tired from all the running around. (Can you believe that Sam spent less than 20% of the visit in the stroller this time!)

The zoo has free-roaming peacoks and peahens. We didn't see any hens today, but we did see two (or one far-travelling?) peacocks. I think this one smelled my bread, because it followed us quite a ways. They seem to have an affinity for people food...

Katie adores birds these days. Every morning we have to look for them out our back door, and any time we step foot outside the house. So her favorite place was the bird house. I almost couldn't get her out of there! They sell these little popsicle sticks with bird food glued to one end, that you can feed the birds with. A nice man gave Sammy his before the birds ate all the food off it. They loved feeding the birds.

It must be turtle mating season...

The new Rocky Mountain exhibit is finally open. The bear & trout exhibit is pretty high up the mountain. You have to take an elevator up to a bridge walkway to get to it. From the lookout area behind the elevator, the kids noticed the play-park down below and couldn't wait to get down to it!

This little guy in red's mouth and hands were covered in peanut butter from his sandwich, and he kept touching the glass, and reaching for Sammy with his sandwich hand, which made for one extremely nervous Mama! We quickly moved to a different part of the viewing area.

Aah, we finally made it to the "park!"

Sammy at the honeybee exhibit: "The honeybees are making honey for Pooh-bear!" (Aunt Roomie and her mama will be so proud!)

The playground is different. There are a couple of giant ants to climb on, some giant mushrooms that are too high for little kids to climb on, and a snake tunnel to crawl through. Also, the slide doesn't have a ladder, but holes. It's a pretty neat place.

The lion cubs have gotten very big!

As I mentioned, we had to return to the kids' area at the beginning to play in the huts again. These are right next to the meerkat exhibit, and Katie enjoyed watching the little guys for a while.

I tried to get some group shots before we left. Katie did NOT want to be in our picture!

I didn't know Uncle Scott had snapped this one of himself until I downloaded all the photos!

And we had to feed the giraffes one more time before we left, too.

It was a super-fun day! We all hope to get back there soon (maybe with Daddy this time!)