Sunday, September 30, 2007

A Brief Update

I'm officially hernia-free...yippee! I hate to be a wimp, but I must admit, that surgery was a little more than I bargained for. I guess I was thinking I'd be up and at 'em, ready to get on with my life pretty quick, but unfortunately I am very sore. Yesterday I basically layed on the sofa and whimpered all day. The day is still young, but today I am optimistic that I am going to be feeling a lot better than I did yesterday. The doctor ended up repairing the two abdominal hernias, plus one of the hernias in my groin. Luckily the 4th one was very small so he just left that one alone.

Can I also tell you how great my husband is? I mean, really. The man is in no way use to providing round-the-clock care for the boys, and he's just jumped right in there and taken over. I wish so badly I could give him a little break so he could go jogging or something. Besides caring for the boys, he's had to be helping me every time I need to get up or down, wait on me hand-and-foot, etc. Just wanted to give Steve a little public pat on the back, because I sure do love him and appreciate him. Thanks, honey!

Time to get back to my convalescing. More updates coming soon!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Behold...The Angled Bob

So. I went to the hairdresser this past Monday, and for the first time in my life, I asked the stylist to cut my hair however she wanted to. I'm guessing people don't say things like that very often, because she replied, "Really?!?" I also explained to her my whole 80's-big-hair, keep-styling-my-hair-the-same-way-year-after-year problem. This is definitely not a hairstyle I ever would have picked for myself, but I really like it a lot. It is sort of Jenny McCarthy-ish, only not as severe, and with bangs. I tried not having bangs last year - - not a good look for me. Anyway, I'm thinking I might even like it a little more stacked in the back. I think it is really the change I needed right now.

I am currently scurrying around, getting things ready here at the house for Steve and the boys tomorrow. They'll dump me off at the hospital at the crack of dawn tomorrow, and come back and get me sometime in the afternoon, once I shake the anesthesia. I'll be glad when I am back home! I hope I don't have to wear one of those shower cap things during surgery, and mess up my hair!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Happy Birthday, Griffin Peter

The joy you bring to my life is simply beyond words. The past year has sped by much too quickly, as I'm sure the years to follow will, too. For now I can still snuggle you close, and whisper to you in the dark, wishing time could stand still. Mama loves you, sweet boy.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Never a Dull Moment

Seriously. One of my friends from my former job told me, when I was preparing to become a stay-at-home mother, that the days would drag by, and that I would find myself biding my time until the weekend arrived. I may have had some days like that in the beginning, but I have to say, that is not the case at our house. I cannot believe how fast the days escape me, as well as the weeks and months. It seems we are so busy here, and sometimes it feels as though there aren't enough hours in the day. I really cannot believe that in a little over a day, my wee little Griffin Peter will be turning one. Where has the past year gone? It boggles my mind.

We celebrated Griffin's birthday this past Sunday, so that cousin Banzer could join in the festivities. Of course Griffin really didn't know what was going on, but I suppose putting on a first birthday celebration is more for a mother's sentimental heart more than anything, isn't it? We had a lovely day, and I really enjoyed baking and getting things together. Here is the cake I made, compliments of Martha's website:
It was so much fun to make, and there were even little video tutorials on the website (in case you were wondering, it is supposed to be a monkey!).

video
Unfortunately the little guy has a nasty cold, and I fear he may have another ear infection. We have a doctor's appointment on Wednesday for his one year check, but may find ourselves going to that a day early, if he doesn't show some signs of improvement mighty quick.

As for me - - I'm all kinds of messed up. I went to my appointment with the surgeon today, and found out that I don't have one hernia, I have FOUR. So, I'm going in for surgery on Friday, to get sewn back together. The doctor seems to think I may also have a hiatal hernia, which would explain the massive heartburn I've been having. For now I'll just continue sleeping on an incline, and taking my Prilosec!

Alas, I must get to bed before Griffin wakes up because he can't breathe through his nose. Closing with some assorted pictures. Enjoy!
Camden was pretty sure Griffin needed help opening his presents...

...and blowing out his candles

Griffin, eating the monkey's ear

Griffin's new favorite place to play

This morning, before my drastic new haircut (which I love, by the way!). I'll try to get a picture posted later this week.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Candy, Candy, and More Candy

Yesterday, I discovered the most wonderful store in Boise - - Powell's Sweet Shoppe, located on South Bown Way. It is the candy store to beat all candy stores, and I cannot wait to take Camden there! I needed some black licorice buttons and laces (for Griffin's birthday cake), and I had a hunch that I'd be able to find what I needed at Powell's. Earlier this year, I read an article about Powell's, when it first opened. It is a bit of a hike from our house, so I'd just never made it there. Now, I'm thinking it is a place we will visit often. They are know for carrying any kind of candy you can dream of, and they did not disappoint. When I walked in the door, I was met with a large display of candies from England, like Aero Bars, Flake, Violet Crumbles, etc. - - things I've only ever seen at the British Import store in Freeport, Maine (which, sadly, burned last year). I found the licorice I was looking for right away, but then ended up spending another 20 minutes or so because it was just so much fun. They have everything from Jelly Belly jelly beans, to chocolate covered ants. There was a display of old-time soda as well, so I grabbed a bottle of Moxie for Steve. I have to take Camden to Boise for a hair cut this week, and I'm pretty sure that we'll be making a trip to Powell's, too.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Comfort Food

What is it about the nip in the air that arrives in September, that makes us want to make stews, casseroles, and such? As you'll remember, I broke out my crock pot a few weeks back. Yesterday, I had such a hankering for meatloaf, and so I tried a new recipe. If you see the October issue of Everyday Food, pick up a copy - - it is loaded with wonderful "comfort food" recipes. There is an article in it, entitled, "Meatloaf Four Ways", and I made the version wrapped in bacon (I used turkey bacon, to cut down on the fat a bit). Boy, was it good. Tonight, I used the leftovers and made grilled meatloaf and cheese sandwiches - - yum! The other thing that has been on my mind lately is a bubbling dish of apple crisp...I think I need to pick up some apples this weekend.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

All Kinds of News

The past few days have been rather busy around here! Last Friday, I attended a conference in Boise called, "Story Times, Transformed!", which was hosted by "Read to Me", a service of the Idaho Commission for Libraries. The conference was spectacular, and I learned so much. It was centered around the six early literacy skills that children need, in order to become successful readers. It completely changed the way I will conduct my story time at the library. I was up late last night, revamping everything. As a result, I had the most wonderful story time today - - it just seemed to flow so nicely, the kids were attentive and involved, and the moms seemed more involved as well. At the conference, I also got some new ideas from other Children's Program Coordinators, so I am excited to put some of those ideas in place and try them out on my little audience. It was funny, as I was sitting there at the conference, I was thinking about how many conferences/workshops I have attended in my adult life, associated with this job or that, usually being bored to tears. This one was so different though - - I was riveted the entire day, and left feeling so motivated and excited.

After returning from the conference, I went over to my local hospital, in hopes of getting in at the walk-in clinic, as I'd discovered a lump on my abdomen a couple of days before. Unfortunately, the clinic was closed, but the nurse in the ER felt I should be seen. It turns out that I apparently have a hernia, as a result of diastasis recti. So, I have an appointment with a surgeon next Monday, to see what needs to be done about that. In the meantime, I am not supposed to be lifting anything over 10 lbs., which is really not feasible for a mother of a 19-lb. baby who needs to be lifted a zillion times per day. Anyway, I will feel much better after my appointment next week, when I know what the next step is.

Steve and I celebrated our 6th anniversary on Saturday, with a long-overdue trip to the sushi bar. We tried a new place this time, Koi, located within Mai Thai in Eagle. What a fabulous dinner, and it was so nice to spend time with Steve.

As for Griffin - - Steve and I took him to an Ear/Nose/Throat specialist yesterday, and he will be getting ear tubes on October 10th. Apparently, he has a very large and "split" uvula, which somehow contributes to his constant ear infections. We were a bit surprised when he also mentioned that Griffin's palate was close to being cleft. After discussing all of this with the doctor, he felt it would be best for Griffin to have tubes, and we agreed with him. It has been rather difficult watching him suffer with ear infection after ear infection, and we just want him to feel better.

This past Sunday, Steve's godson Patrick (who is also Steve's Uncle Rex's grandson) and his new wife, Yoshie, came to visit, on their way from Massachusetts to San Francisco, where Patrick will be starting a new job. We had a great dinner together that evening, and then they left the next morning, hoping to make it to San Francisco that evening.
Back Row: Steve, Rex, Patrick. Front row: Me, Camden, Banzer, Kasey, Yoshie (Griffin had hit the hay long before this photo was taken, unfortunately!)

Griffin has had a boom of development over the past week or so, it seems. He is standing all the time now, and climbing on everything. I'm constantly amazed at how much fun he and Camden have together during the day. I guess I wasn't expecting that they would actually play together, but they do. Camden is such a good big brother. I trimmed Griffin's bangs yesterday - - just a bit - - but he looks so much like a big boy to me now, just with that little change. I cannot believe that he will be one next week.

The days have gotten suddenly colder, and I can clearly see that winter isn't far off. Today was very dark and gloomy, which means I need to start planning for foul weather and keeping some variety in our schedule. Camden starts preschool on October 9th, and I am so excited for him.

I'll close with some pictures:

Griffie discovers the Cozy Coupe

Camden and Steve spent a recent morning creating a "treasure map", and then burying treasures in the back yard. If you are wondering what Camden is wearing...that would be his pirate costume.

Helping Daddy get the tub ready for bath time.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Treasure Hunting

Lately I've become infatuated with my local thrift store. I'm just kicking myself that it has been right under my nose all these years, and I've literally ignored it. This recent obsession started when my parents were visiting, and my mother and I stopped in at the thrift store one day. I found the most fabulous vintage deviled egg plate, and a couple of other treasures that day. Camden likes to go in and dig around in their big bucket of matchbox cars, so he is a willing participant, when I get the itch to go and look around. Yesterday, I found this, and this, for the boys, each for $1.50. I couldn't believe it! Both of them looked brand-new, so we took them home, cleaned them, and put in some batteries. The boys just love them! I'd always wanted to get the LeapFrog drum for Camden when he was a baby, but wasn't about to pay $34.99 for it! Some other great finds have been a handful of old copies of Martha Stewart Living magazine (!) for 20 cents, and a vintage Kromex tidbit tray. I love Kromex - - I have a vintage canister set and breadbox in my kitchen, so I was really happy to find the little tray for a dollar. I'm keeping my eye out for some vintage table clothes, but no such luck...yet.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Must. Breathe. Deeply.

Steve is off to the Pentagon tomorrow, and through an unfortunate turn of events (which Steve will claim is of my choosing), I will be car-less with two small children, for the next two days. Really, I know I will be fine, but just the thought of being car-less (with two small children!!) really stresses me out. Anyway, that's another story that at this point in the evening, I don't even want to think about anymore. So...on with the post...

Autumn is in the air, and I am loving it. I actually had to wear a fleece jacket the other morning...yippee!! Oh, how I love this particular change in seasons. The one I'm not so much looking forward to is the next one, when we head on into the long, dark, dreary winter. I would say that is the most difficult season, particularly as a stay-at-home-mom.

Griffin's first birthday is right around the corner - - I really cannot believe it. I am truly savoring every last little bit of "babyness" left in him, but it is slipping by much too quickly, and he is rapidly leaving all things baby, in the dust. I find my heart a bit heavy lately - - I am feeling all torn up over the fact that I won't be having any more kids. So, so grateful for my boys, but I just don't feel "done", if that makes any sense. Unfortunately, Steve does, so that's that.

Griffin's little party will be a very low-key event, as was Camden's, but I must say, I had quite a bit of fun the other day, perusing one of my favorite websites, where I found the cake I'll make for him, along with a few other cute ideas for the day. Thanks, Martha!

video

I recently noticed the little "video" icon on the Blogger posting page, so I thought I'd give it a try tonight. This is Griffin, earlier today. Notice his faithful companion, Riley, panting nearby.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Maybe I'll Just Go Britney and Shave My Head

Why is it that, although I've had hundreds of haircuts and quite a few hairstyles over the past 17 years, my hair always ends up looking like a version of my high school hairstyle? I graduated in 1990, people. I don't want that hairstyle anymore. But seriously, no matter how hard I try, I keep ending up with the same hair. Is there something wrong with me? Am I completely incapable of learning (and sticking with) something new? I do not want to be a 35-year-old 18-year-old. Frankly, I'd like to be a 35-year-old 35-year old. So, I've made an appointment at a swanky salon, and instead of showing up and saying, "Cut my hair in such-and-such a manner," I'm actually going to ask the stylist to cut my hair however she thinks would be the most flattering. Scary? Uh, yeah. Probably the only thing I miss about having a paying job, is getting dressed up and "primping" in the morning. I've tried not to let myself go completely, but yes, I wear jeans and a t-shirt every day. I usually have strained peas stuck to the front of said t-shirt, and if I'm wearing nail polish, it is from a manicure I gave myself 2 months ago. With the cold, dark months of winter approaching, I'm feeling the urgent need to change things up a bit. So, I'll start with the hair. I'm actually looking forward to my appointment, and I seriously doubt it could ever be any worse than my quickie-cuts disaster.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Worn Out

It seems that all four of us have "hit the wall". We are just plain tired. Steve had an exhausting day at work, Camden was in rare form, and Griffin was diagnosed with yet another double ear infection (his third in 9 weeks). As for me, I'm afraid my overnight in Boise didn't rev up my patience...somehow, it had the opposite effect! Oh well. Nothing a little sleep won't cure. Griffin's asleep, Camden is soon to follow. Then, Steve and I will visit over a glass of wine, and try to get to sleep early, ourselves. I'll be calling the ENT doctor tomorrow, for a consult on ear tubes for Griff. All I want is for him to feel better. Poor little peanut.

Here's to hoping I'll have something more inspiring to say, in the next day or so!

Monday, September 03, 2007

Jazzed-Up Burgers

Here is our favorite way to make burgers:

  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil leaves

Mix all ingredients together by hand. Form into 4 burgers, then grill to desired taste.

This is also really good with a slice of mozzarella cheese melted over the top. We made some of these burgers today, as a matter of fact.

********** ********** ********** ********** **********

Have you tried Glad Steam Lock Bags? I love them! My sister-in-law turned me onto them last weekend, and they are really great. I think they are available everywhere now, but I found mine at Target.

Labor day signals the end of summer, and I have to say, I'm not all that broken up over it. Autumn is my favorite time of the year, and it is a beautiful time of the year, here in Idaho. It also means our trip to Maine is that much closer!

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Rejuvination

I'm not even sure where to start...this has been a wonderful weekend. In a nutshell, Steve arranged for me to have a night in Boise, at a fancy hotel, ALL BY MYSELF. He surprised me on Friday night, and had made all of the arrangements. So, yesterday afternoon, I packed a small bag, took the wad of "mad money" Steve had given me, and peeled out of the driveway. I'd been given instructions to spend the money just on myself, and he didn't have to tell me that twice. Before I even got to the hotel, I stopped at WalMart and loaded up on a bunch of skin care and cosmetic items that I've wanted for quite some time, but always feel like I shouldn't buy because somehow it doesn't seem practical. Practical or not, that little shopping spree sure was fun! Next, I made a quick stop at the Boise Co-op for some grab & go sushi, some wine, and a Lindt peanut butter ball for dessert. Then, it was off to the Owyhee Plaza in downtown Boise. I had a beautiful room, and it was so wonderful to just relax, read magazines, paint my toenails, and binge on cable t.v. (we don't have cable, so I get a little nutty when I get to watch it). I'm pretty sure I've had my fill of the Food Network, and a show called "Flip This House"...I couldn't stop watching it! Anyway, last night was the first night of completely uninterrupted sleep I have had in a long, long, LONG time, and it was great. This morning, I took myself to my favorite place - - Java in Hyde Park, and leisurely read the Sunday paper while having the world's best mocha, and a delicious breakfast. It really was wonderful to have some time to rest, relax, and clear my head. Life has been pretty busy lately, and I'm afraid I've gotten a little burned out. Thanks, honey! You are the best!

I must admit, it was good to see my boys when I got back today. I'd never left Griffin overnight before, but of course he did great with Daddy. I spent the afternoon baking (a chocolate zucchini cake, and a batch of strawberry muffins), and before I knew it, the day was over with. Everyone went to bed long ago, but here I am, squeaking out just a little bit more "alone time" before I turn in for the night. We've got some friends coming for a Labor Day cookout tomorrow...can't wait!
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