Monday, January 29, 2007

Busy Week

This picture was taken yesterday in front of Java, my favorite coffee place in Hyde Park. Steve left early yesterday morning for a business trip, but called around 8:00 a.m. to tell me that his flight had been cancelled and he wouldn't be leaving until 2:00 p.m.. So, the boys and I packed up and headed to the airport, picked Steve up, and spent the next couple of hours with him, which was really nice. Steve finally arrived in Maryland early this morning and is busy at a conference for the rest of the week.

As for the three of us - - we plan to keep quite busy this week. I'm hoping both Camden and Griffin will give their old mother a break and sleep well, while Dad is out of town. Griffin's got his 4-month checkup on Thursday, so I am anxious to find out how much he weighs now, and how he is doing in general.

I hear a baby paging me through the monitor, so I must wrap this up.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

A Little Cell Phone Rant

I've been stewing about this for a week or so, but am just getting around to putting it in writing. At the risk of possibly offending some of my dear readers, I must rant about public cell phone use. Mind you, I am guilty of using my cell phone in public - - let me just make that clear. I frequently call my parents while I am driving (bad, I know). My justification for doing this is that when I am in my car, it seems to be the only time during my waking hours that I can actually "talk". Kids are strapped in and occupied. Yes, I've also talked on my cell phone when inside a store, but I can confidently say that the caller is usually my husband, calling with a question or a request for something he needs while I am out running errands. Now, onto my rant.

Nothing makes me nuttier than walking into a public restroom, choosing a stall, and then discovering that the person in the stall next door is gabbing on her cell phone. I mean, really. In my experience, the conversation is usually loud, and about something that the general population does NOT want to know about. Not only that, but how does a person "take care of business" AND hold a teeny-tiny cell phone between their shoulder and ear? I have no clue.

Next on my list is the person who wanders through the store, talking on their phone the entire time. This is what I encountered last week at my local WalMart Supercenter. There I was, the World's Perfect Cell Phone User, minding my own business, shopping for groceries with my two young sons. Every aisle I entered, I ran into the same woman, talking very loudly about how so-and-so cheated on so-and-so, etc., etc., and plenty more details nobody needed to know. The worst part was that her two daughters were trapped in the grocery cart, looking miserable. We finally met face-to-face over by the pharmacy, when she stopped in the middle of the aisle to really get into her conversation, oblivious to the fact that there were other people trying to do their shopping. I tried to maneuver my cart around hers, when she turned and put her hand in my face as in a "stop" gesture, and glared at me with all her might. To that I replied, "Maybe you ought to pay attention to what you are doing!" I probably should have kept my mouth shut, but I sure felt better!

Okay, so maybe the WalMart Woman feels as I do, when I am in my car. Maybe she only feels that she can "talk" when she is shopping. Maybe the guy in the car behind me (while I'm jabbering on the phone) is pulling his hair out because I am driving 25 in a 50, so caught up in my conversation that I am oblivious to the other drivers around me. In my own defense, at least I'm having my conversation in private. However, I guess operating a motor vehicle should demand one's full attention. So much for my rant!

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Cabin Fever

I just deleted a post I've been working on for the past 10 minutes or so, because when I went back and re-read it, I was basically yammering on, not making much sense. This sort of goes with how I've been feeling lately. Long story. I'll spare you the details and instead just tell you that I am SO ready for spring, and ready to get out of the house. There is not a lot to do in this town (with small children), and driving to the city every day just isn't practical. So, while we wait for spring to officially arrive, we'll keep taking advantage of nice breaks in the weather as they come. Today it is supposed to reach 44 degrees, so we'll be packing up the stroller after lunch and heading out for a long, long walk. In the meantime, here are some recent photos:

Camden's new obsession: Paul Bunyan

Two of the reasons I don't get a lot of sleep. As you can see, there isn't much room for me.

Camden discovers the joys of Nutella

My boys

A picture from Steve's recent camping trip. Yes, in the snow, and it was 20 degrees below zero. Not kidding. That's Steve's partner in craziness, Chuck. At least they camped next to a hot spring!

Friday, January 19, 2007

Question of the Week

After only one week, Friday Fill-in-the-Blank has morphed into Question of the Week. It hurt my head too much to come up with another fill-in-the-blank. Sorry. So, I give you the Question of the Week:

Do you have a favorite weird food or weird drink combination? If so, what is it? If not, did you ever have one when you were growing up?

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Recipe of the Week

Many, many months ago, I claimed I was going to post a recipe every week. I think I did it three times, I can't remember. I'm going to go ahead and give it another try, because I'm always cooking and trying new recipes. Today I am going to share a couple of my favorite bread machine recipes. I use my bread machine three or four times per week - - I love my bread machine.

This first recipe is for Oatmeal Pizza Crust. I use this every Monday, because Monday night is "pizza night" in our home. I love pizza night because it is so simple, and the boys love it. My Aunt Jean shared a recipe for veggie pizza with me a few years back, and this is the crust from that recipe.

Oatmeal Pizza Crust

3/4 cup warm water
2 tbsp. peanut oil (I usually use canola)
1 tsp. salt
1 cup white flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup oats (I like to use different things here - - sometimes rolled oats, sometimes steel cut oats, and for extra crunch, some 7-grain cereal)
1 tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. yeast

Add ingredients in bread machine as suggested by manufacturer; select "dough" cycle. When cycle is complete, remove dough to a lightly floured surface. Flatten out and roll into a 12" circle. Place on pizza pan that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Form a rim by pinching the edges of the dough. Lightly brush the surface of the dough with some oil, and prick dough randomly with a fork. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and par bake the crust for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven, increase oven temperature to 425 degrees. Add desired toppings and return to oven and bake for 10 minutes.


This next recipe is the bread I make each week (2-3 times!) for our standard loaf of bread. This one is Steve's favorite. I like it too, as it stays quite moist, and tastes great. I love to toast it for breakfast, and spread some cashew butter on it.

Honey Whole Wheat Bread
(1 1/2 pound loaf)

1 cup, plus one tablespoon of warm water
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 cup honey
1 1/2 cups bread flour
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 tbsp. plus 1 tsp. shortening
1 tbsp. dry milk
1 tsp. yeast

Place all ingredients in bread machine and press start! I prefer to use the "dough" cycle, and when the cycle is over, I knead the dough lightly, then place in a bread pan and let rise to double. Then, I bake it in the oven at 375 degrees for 30 minutes.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Happy 40th Anniversary, Mum & Dad!

My parents were married 40 years ago today. Over the five years that I've been married, I've often thought about the fact that maintaining a marriage is work - - each person has to contribute to it to keep it going. I know I never thought about that, pertaining to my folks, when I was growing up. I think when I got married, I grew to respect my parents a little more, and when I had children, I respected them ALOT more. From my point of view, there are little things about my parents' marriage that mean the most to me. My parents never yelled at each other, or disrespected each other, in front of my brother and I. Ever. When my father came home from work at night, the first thing he always did was to go to my mother, and kiss her. Once, many years ago, my mother and I took a trip to Texas to visit friends. We were only going to be gone for a week. When we said goodbye to my father, my mother cried, because she was going to miss him. I think that was the first time that it dawned on me that they weren't just my parents, but something much more than that.
Happy Anniversary, I love you more than you could possibly know.

Camden and Papa, 2003

With Mum at the Boise Race for the Cure, 2004

Camden getting fitted for shoes by his Papa, 2004

With Nana, 2004

(I had a bunch more pictures picked out, but Blogger won't let me post them! Shucks!)

Friday, January 12, 2007

Friday Fill-In-The-Blank

Please go ahead and post your answer in the comments. Please note that I am using "word verification" in my comments section now (I was getting too much spam) - - just follow the instructions as stated - - very easy.

  • The one non-essential item I simply cannot live without is ____________.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

100 Posts!

This marks my 100th entry into this blog...I can't believe it! When I started this last April I never would have guessed that I would still be writing. At times I find it therapeutic, to say the least. I feel like it has given me the opportunity to become closer with all kinds of people, whether they are lurking in this blog irregularly, or reading it every day. I love reading everyone's comments, so please continue to leave them if you are so inclined. Thanks for reading!

Monday, January 08, 2007


I can't help myself - - I had to jump on and post this photo, taken by my sister-in-law, Kasey. As I mentioned yesterday, Kasey came to my rescue during the Squashed Finger Debacle. Apparently, Banzer and Griffin wasted no time yukking it up while Camden and I were at the hospital. Please witness, two of the cutest boys on the face of the earth (in my humble opinion):

Banzer, soon to be 8 months old...Griffin, almost 4 months old

Wasn't I Just Here?

Seriously. Wasn't I? I think it was a mere 7 hours ago. Usually, I make myself stay up for Griffin's "last feeding" of the evening, usually somewhere around 10 p.m. - - sometimes earlier, sometimes later. Last night, silly me, I fell asleep sometime after 10:00, BEFORE feeding the boy, only to be awaken at 12:00. If I'm woken up so soon after going to sleep for the night, I'm all messed up the next day. I don't know why, I just am. My eyeballs hurt, I can't form complete sentences, and sometimes I even drool a little, without realizing it (okay not really, but I might as well be drooling). What I THINK happened the rest of the night: Somewhere around 2 a.m., after Griffin had awoken for the second time, Son Number One let out a cry from across the hall, and then proceeded to stumble into our bedroom. Luckily, Steve sprang to action and got him tucked back in. Ahhhhh. Sleepy time. Not for long. Somewhere around 4:00, Griffin was up again, soon followed by Camden, AGAIN. What was waking Camden up? Why, the "scary choo-choo train noise", of course. Don't try to reason with a 3 1/2 year old at 4:00 a.m. - - it won't get you anywhere. That's when Steve told Camden he could get in bed with us. Fine. I was all for it, provided the offer would make Camden stop talking and go back to sleep. So, there I am at 4:00 a.m., sitting up in bed, breast feeding Griffin (who, as luck would have it, proceeded to have a "pee blow out" which would require a clothes-change as soon as he was done eating), Steve is next to me, snoring, and Camden is next to him, thrashing. When Griffin was fed, changed, and back to sleep, it was quite clear that there wasn't any room for me in the bed, so I threw in the towel and decided to get up and enjoy some "quiet time". Well, not long after I'd tiptoed downstairs, Camden appeared in the doorway, with his Naughty Chair in hand (this would be the little wooden chair we use for "time out", made with love by a convicted felon, purchased at the Maine State Prison Showroom). I asked him what he was doing up at 5:00 a.m., to which he replied, "Daddy told me to get out of bed!" I had seen that one coming before I had gotten up.
So, today ought to be interesting. I haven't been out of the house in days, and at this point in time, I'm rather sleep-deprived. My preschooler got up WAY too early, which usually leads to some sort of crazy melt-down later in the day. Luckily, Steve has the day off, so I have reinforcements. Let the games begin!

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Sunday, Bloody Sunday

So I was minding my own business this morning, happily spanking the disaster that was once my beautiful bedroom, into submission. Suddenly, I hear Camden's closet door slam shut, followed by a high-pitched squeal, followed by mass-hysteria. This happens quite frequently in our home - - those of you with boys know full well that they like to climb on things they aren't supposed to, wedge themselves into spaces they don't fit into, and hurl their bodies off pieces of furniture, no matter how many times they are told not to. I attempted to calm the boy down - - told him he'd be fine. That was, until I actually looked at his finger. The tip looked like a little club and was alarmingly large. Although some will tell you I tend to be melodramatic at times, I'm blessed with the ability to remain calm, cool, and collected when it comes to Medical Emergencies Involving My Children (okay, except for the time when Camden was 1 1/2 and decided to jump on the sofa, subsequently pitching himself head first over the back of the sofa, landing behind it on his head - - I freaked out that time). ANYWAY, Camden was still screaming as my eyes popped out of their sockets at the sight of his Gigantic Clubbed Finger. I decided to place a quick call to my dear spouse, who was safely away at Army drill, and therefore missing all of the drama. After a quick consult, I informed him that I would be taking Camden to the emergency room. That's when Steve reminded me that he had the car (yes, it is true, we only have one car). Plan B...I called my sister-in-law and thank goodness she was home. A few minutes later she was at my house to watch Griffin, while I took her car, and Camden, to our local hospital. Luckily, the finger wasn't broken, just slightly squashed. At one point, as the two of us sat in the emergency room waiting, it dawned on Camden that he, at long last, had me all to himself, which perked him right up. His mood was further enhanced when he realized nobody was going to amputate his arm. An interesting side note: As Camden and I arrived at radiology for an x-ray, we found the "x-ray table" (sorry - - I don't know the technical term) smeared with fresh blood - - not just a drop or two, either. After a few minutes the x-ray tech mumbled something about "cleaning up after the last patient" and proceeded to wipe the table with a teensie-weensie wet wipe. I am not kidding. Our old friend Lew had told me at one time that he'd rather keel over than set foot in our local hospital, and I'm beginning to understand why. Ick.
I'm happy to report that Camden has recovered, although I'm quite sure he'll lose a fingernail before it is all said and done.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Saturday Smorgasbord

Thought I would post a few pictures and give a quick update on everyone here. First, the pictures:

Here's Camden last weekend in Fairfield, trying out his new snowshoes (from Aunt Dani and Uncle Aaron)

Here's Camden, trying out our friend Dennis's four-wheeler. We went to Fairfield last weekend to see Dennis's new house - - it is beautiful (Dennis was Steve's commander while they were in Iraq)

Steve, trying out his new daypack on Christmas day

Griffin, trying out his Bumbo seat, while Riley checks out Griffin's new sweater

Love this one of Steve and Griffin...

I hijacked this picture from my sister-in-law, this shot of our nephew, Banzer with Steve.

Steve has drill this weekend, so the boys and I are "homebound" for three days. I thought I would go insane without a car this weekend, but so far I'm happy to report that I am completely sane. Besides working all the time, Steve has a ski trip coming up next weekend. He and his friend Chuck are going to ski quite a few miles into the wilderness and camp out near a hot spring (yes, in the snow). Steve's friend Dennis has decided to go too, and he is currently boarding a team of sled dogs on his property. The sled dogs are going to go along (with their handler) and haul the guys' gear in, so they can get a workout (these dogs have done the Ididerod). So, it should be interesting to say the least. Steve's got some business travel coming up this month as well, so we won't be seeing too much of him it seems.

Camden is busy, as usual. He informed me last night that he would like a baby sister. This morning, he added that he'd like her to be named Jessica. I told him he would need to bring this up with his father, which I'm sure will thrill Steve to no end (insert sarcasm here). Recently, Camden's become very interested in clocks, asking what time it is, etc. So, we are working harder on our numbers these days. He is still very obsessed with the movie "Cars", and everything that goes with it. He is all boy, and he keeps me hopping, pretty much around the clock.

Griffin is almost 15 weeks old - - I can't believe it. About two weeks ago, he started sleeping about 6 hours at a stretch during the night, which is a huge breakthrough for him because he had been getting up every 2-3 hours since he was born. He is also getting better at taking naps. He smiles all the time, and this week he figured out how to blow raspberries, so he is pretty much covered in spit at all times now. He is growing much too fast for me.

As for me, things continue to fall into place. The boys and I have a pretty good routine each day, and the time seems like it flies by. Next week will be particularly busy with gymnastics, dentist, Mom's group, etc. I've also decided to try out a couple of classes, which I am really looking forward to. One is this week - - baby sign language. Then, next week I'll go to a "snowshoe for women" class. Thought I'd try something new. It is going to be good to get out and do something just for myself.

That is all from here, for now. Happy weekend!

Thursday, January 04, 2007


I've been thinking about running quite a bit, recently. The other day, when I was thinking about my hopes for 2007, I thought about how much I use to enjoy it. About seven years ago, I set a fitness goal of running in a 5K, although I had never run before, nor had I ever been particularly athletic. So, I found a race to run in (The Close to the Coast 5K in Freeport, Maine - - I remember it well) and started running. Slowly at first, but gradually building up to a respectable pace. I completed that first 5K, and I kept entering races, even running in Joan Benoit Samuelson's Beach to Beacon 10K. Then, I got married, moved to Idaho, gained some weight, and sort of forgot about exercising at all. In the spring of 2002, Steve and I started running together, and entered a couple of races. I started to get that old feeling again. I ran my last race in September of 2002, with my fastest 5K time ever. I got pregnant with Camden a week later, and have never run another step since. Sad, but true.
There is something about running that is hard to explain. I guess for me, the best way to sum it up is, as a kid, I never felt comfortable in gym class - - I didn't like group sports, felt awkward, uncoordinated, and above all else, self-conscious. I just never felt like I fit in. When I started running, though, I felt like an athlete for the first time in my life. When I would participate in a road race, I didn't stand around at the starting line wondering if I was the fastest, strongest, thinnest, etc. - - I was just a plain old runner, like everyone else there. Another thing that I have always loved about running is that familiar acknowledgement that occurs between two runners when they meet on the road (you'll know what I mean if you've experienced this yourself) - - a quick smile, nod, or wave, but it is more than that. It is almost like a secret handshake is contained within that knowing glance, that nobody else knows about, unless they run, too.
I ran for a few minutes this morning, while taking my morning walk on the treadmill. It felt a little weird, which I'm guessing comes from the fact that I am still carrying extra baby weight, as well as the fact that this old bod hasn't done much exercising this past year, until recently. There's a 5K in Boise in March - - the first "official" race of the spring...maybe I ought to enter.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Somebody Has a Problem

Okay, so maybe this is payback for the countless times I've snickered to myself (or with my husband) about Other People's Children, or, Bizarre Parenting Choices Made by Friends. I dare say all parents are guilty of this - - perhaps witnessing something at a friend's house and thinking, "I would NEVER allow MY child to do THAT!" or "Can you believe THEY are raising their child in THAT manner?!?" I'm quite sure that I've had this smug attitude for awhile now - - most likely from when Camden entered the world, right on through until Griffin came along. Then, it happened. Maybe it is the utter lack of sleep. Maybe it is my "advanced maternal age". Perhaps it is the 3 1/2 year old cyclone, otherwise known as Son Number One. I don't know, but for whatever reason, I find myself doing all kinds of things I swore I would never do, just to get through the day.

I give you Exhibit A:

Exhibit B:Exhibit C:

For those of you who are wondering what the heck I am babbling on about, Griffin is a bit of a, oh, how shall I put this? A Mama's Boy. There. So now you know. He wants Mommy. All the time. Cries when I'm out of earshot or peripheral vision. It is getting bad. Thus, the various pictures of him strapped to my body, for I cannot hold the boy 24/7. Strapping him to my body only encourages him to want to be held more, you say? While the sensible part of my brain knows that, the part of my brain that hasn't slept through the night in nearly a year doesn't give a rat's you-know-what. And it isn't just the baby-wearing. There is a seemingly growing list of things I do, against my better judgment, in an effort to Preserve My Sanity and/or Prevent Both Boys From Melting Down At The Same Time. Having Griffin nap in his swing. Putting Griffin in bed with us because then I don't have to get my sorry behind out of bed x number of times during the night, when he wakes up. Bribing Camden with miscellaneous treats to ensure proper behavior in public. Sticking Camden in front of a video because I feel like my head will explode if I don't get a few minutes to myself. I could keep going, but I'd be here all night. Time to go. I need to give Griffin his nightly snort of chardonnay. I can't get over how much better he sleeps after he drinks it. Just kidding.
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