Thursday, January 31, 2008

sorry ladies, he's taken

If only I could've met him um, 20+ years ago when these glasses actually fit! I'm keeping this hottie around for a long, long while...

toddler time

We may not have time to get dressed before 11:00, but we certainly have time to make play dough meals. This creation was a bowl of noodles with a fork. The best part was walking back into the room and seeing Sam actually eating the "noodles" off the "fork" that we created. I LOVE HIM!! I LOVE HIM!! I LOVE HIM!!

It's getting hot in here!!

Literally, it could be pretty hot! Don't worry, our heater is working just fine. Sam just insists on sleeping with 10 blankets, including the Winnie the Pooh infant sleeping bag. Must also mention that each blanket must be placed in a particular order every night. Is he is his mother's son or what!?

Monday, January 28, 2008

I've been tagged

My sister tagged me for 6 random things about myself. I'll list my 6 things and then I'll tag 6 more of you...

1. I don't wash my face every night. Actually, I probably only wash it 1 or 2 a week. I know how disgusting that feels and how horrible it is for your skin. I'm sure my skin will be horrible someday. It just always feels like so much effort...

2. I want to write a book some day. I don't really know what it will be about. Do journals count? If so I have already accomplished that goal about 2 dozen times. I've written all kinds: daily events, feelings, about my children, inspiring quotes, church meetings, and of course the infamous husband journal.

3. I like a lot of things but I don't necessarily get around to doing them very often... sewing, walking outside for exercise, reading, ironing, baking, decorating/remodeling our house, emailing friends who I don't speak to often, relaxing, and the list goes on...

4. Pete and I love game shows. We watch Newlywed Show reruns every night. We also love Family Feud. We have actually been planning to apply to be on Family Feud for quite a long time, but we just can't decide which family members to ask that would fit our strategy the best.

5. I cannot stay awake anytime I watch tv at night; I never have been able to. It doesn't matter if I'm at home, a movie theater, a friend's house, sitting up or lying down. I hate it. I especially hate that I fall asleep on the couch almost every night. It is so annoying to wake up on the couch at 1:00 am and then have to get ready for bed. No matter how hard I try I just can't do it.

6. I have a crush on Blake Lewis from American Idol 2007 (don't worry, Pete knows about it). It was a dream come true when we went to the American Idol Concert this summer. I got us tickets for our anniversary; not wanting to spend a lot I got us upper bowl tickets. Right before the concert started an usher offered us 2 lower bowl tickets. He failed to tell us that they were 5 rows from the stage!! It was awesome!! The best part was Blake's performance of the song "You Give Love a Bad Name". It was a wonderful anniversary, especially after all we had just been through with Will.

Well, those were random things. I now tag Desi, Lori, Stormy, MaryKate, and Jocee. Let us know some random things...

Sunday, January 27, 2008

there's just so much

I have spent the last hour looking at interesting blogs of people that I do not know. I have felt strangely inspired and a little down. It's so overwhelming to me that there is so much life to be living out there. Sometimes I just feel like my days are passing me by with no mark. What is my mark? Is my mark enough for my children? Perhaps it's just easier to see the mark of others and so much harder to see our own mark. Good luck to me and good luck to all of you to have a mark, to love your mark. Be who you want to be, there is just so much that we can be.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

What do you think of Sam's new look?

Sam has been interested in potty training for quite some time now. I have just finally gotten myself around to really helping him focus on it. He is doing great at it. This has become his new look: big boy pants, no pants on, and a treat in hand. He wants to wear the big boy pants because "only babies wear diapers". He rarely has pants on because he is constantly running to the potty anytime he feels the slightest urge to go to the bathroom, and we are too late when we have to pull the pants down. He gets a treat every time he actually goes to the bathroom; half the time I think he only goes because he gets a treat afterwards. I'm not quite sure how to explain the boots; he just loves wearing our shoes.
Last night I had to buy a box of diapers for Sam; I told him that was the last box I was going to buy him so he needs to start wearing big boy pants now. Well, that must have been exactly what he needed to hear. He has gone to the bathroom all on his own (without my prompting) too many times to count today. I am so proud of him!! It's hard to believe that I'm starting to have a child that's not so dependent on me. Kind of sad and kind of happy all at the same time!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Parenting survey

My mind is always obsessed with how to be a good mother. I could go on forever about my parenting strategies, but I want to know about all of yours. Take my poll and let me know what is the most important thing a parent can give their child.

Sam is sweet, too

I've been realizing these last few days that Sam is growing up so quickly. He is talking so much that it's hard for me to believe! His favorite word lately has been "why?" He questions everything about the way his world works. in an attempt to thoroughly teach him about how the world works I try to answer every "why" with a real answer. I don't think I ever used to talk this much in one day, even when I was doing hair every day!! We have a lot of fun though, and it makes me keep my mind sharp. His other favorite thing to say is "I'm sorry". Any time he gets disciplined for anything he immediately says "I sorry. I not do it again." It's so cute and sad that sometimes it makes me want to cry!
He's playing much differently now, too. He is starting to pretend. He is always pretending he is cooking lunch, going to the library, or riding a fire truck to Grandma Jane's. He is starting to sing a lot, too. Today he was sitting in the front room slightly out of sight. He was singing over and over "Thank you, Grandma Jane. That is so nice." After listening for a few minutes I went to see what he was doing. He had stuck a whole sheet of address labels to the hardwood floor. I asked him what he was doing, and he said "Grandma Jane is so nice for giving these to me." I'm not quite sure what he was pretending, but she had not given him the stickers. We had fun getting those off the hardwood floor.
The picture shows his greatest idea of the day; he wanted to take a bath in the bathroom sink. This is evidence of how big he is getting. Anyone found a way to keep them little forever????

could Will be spoiled?

It has been an interesting couple of days for Will. He has not let me put him down!! He is so smiley and happy when I hold him and crying hysterically when I put him down. I guess he is just realizing how much of a mama's boy he is. Or it could be all the new things in his life this week is causing him a little anxiety...
We took him swimming for the first time at the Rec Center. He didn't care as much for the water as we expected he would, but he was entranced with all the noise and things to look at.
He also had green beans for the 1st time; it was the 1st type of baby food other than cereal. His response was indifference. However, he loved the grape juice mixed with his cereal. He loved it so much that i put a few grapes in these mesh bags for babies to chew on, and he was chewing like crazy. He did love that.
He is still such a precious baby; I'm really enjoying him. I just hope I'm giving him enough of all the right things.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Tomato, Mozzarella, and Basil Pizza Recipe

We have been loving to buy fresh mozzarella cheese lately, and we love this pizza recipe. It is a reminder to me of how the food was when I was in Italy: light, fresh, and delicious. Enjoy!

Neapolitan Style Pizza Crust
generous 1/4 teaspoon dry yeast
1/2 cup warm (about 100 degrees) water
1 teaspoon all-purpose unbleached flour
1 to 1-1/4 cups organic, stone ground all-purpose unbleached flour
1/2 teaspoon salt additional flour
In a medium mixing bowl or food processor, blend yeast, water, and teaspoon of flour. Foam should form on the surface in about 8 minutes (if not, yeast is past its prime; find fresher). Then blend in rest of flour and salt, forming a smooth, quite soft, slightly sticky dough. Blend in food processor no more than 30 seconds (then knead 5 minutes by hand); in mixer blend for about 5 minutes; by hand stir to blend and knead 5 minutes. Place in a large oiled bowl, cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let stand in a cool place until doubled in bulk (about 1 1/2 hours). If not ready to bake, keep dough covered and hold up to 8 hours. About 20 minutes before baking, punch down, knead a minute or two and then form into a ball, cover.

To make pizza, lightly oil a 14- to 16-inch pizza pan. Preheat oven to 500 degrees, setting rack as low as possible in oven. Roll out dough as thin as possible to about a 16-inch round (no more than 1/16-inch thick). Spread over pan, rolling in edges to form a rim. Let rest 10 minutes. Top as desired or suggested below and bake 10 minutes. Then using a spatula and thick oven mitt, slip the pizza off the pan directly onto the oven rack by pulling out rack, grasping pizza pan firmly with protected hand, and using spatula or pancake turner to slip pie off pan and onto rack. Slide rack back in place and bake 2 minutes. Slip pie back onto pan, remove from oven. Cut and serve.

Margherita Topping:

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 medium onion, minced
1 sprig parsley, chopped
1 large clove garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon dry oregano
1-1/2 cups canned whole peeled tomatoes
1/3 cup packed fresh basil leaves, torn
3 ounces fresh mozzarella (in liquid), thinly sliced
2 to 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper and salt
In a 10-inch skillet heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium high. Sauté onion and parsley to golden, then stir in garlic and oregano for a few seconds. Add tomatoes, crushing them as they go into the pan (do not substitute crushed tomatoes). Boil, stirring, 5 minutes or until thick.

Spread sauce over rolled out crust, sprinkle with basil, mozzarella, and finally the oil. Finish with generous black pepper and a little salt. Bake as directed above.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

my youngest color client

Well, I guess it was bound to happen. Sam and Emily (Sam's cousin who is 4 months older; they are sidekicks) got into my salon unsupervised. They chose to work together as a cut and color team; Sam was the colorist, and Emi was the cutter. Sam dumped a whole brand new tub of powder bleach over Emily's head, sprayed it with water, and then drenched it with a tub of pomade. That was just enough moisture to activate the bleach. He created 2 circles on the top of her head and a nice, big, horizontal stripe across the back of her head. Emily took the clippers to the top of her head and took a few chunks out. It's too bad that Emily was the only one that came away with a new look.
We fixed Emi's hair today by putting her natural color over the bleach spots. We were still uncertain of how the cutting happened. I was certain Sam was probably the cutter, too because he loves the clippers so much. I asked Emi if Sam cut her hair, and her response was "No, I do it myself." She took the clippers and showed us exactly how she did it. Thankfully children that young are proud to tell the truth.
I'm sure this is just the beginning of the trouble that those 2 will get into. I'm just grateful the damage wasn't as bad as it could've been... no hair, mohawks, burns, or cuts. My only regret is that I didn't get a picture of the beautiful make-over that they gave the salon.

Monday, January 14, 2008

brotherly love is still happening

Today Sam informed Will that he was going to have to "go to Dr. Durham and get some pokes. They hurt but it ok." Nothing like a big brother to comfort you. They love each other so much. I'm beginning to think that Sam is Will's favorite person.

Will's 1st try with solids

Today was Will's 1st taste of something other than milk, and his reaction was not typical of most babies. He absolutely loved the rice cereal! He ate 2 bowls! After every bite he sucked on his fingers, so by the time he was finished he had cereal all over. He's a much calmer eater than Sam was at this age; hopefully he will stay much cleaner than Sam from here on out. He also loved chewing on the spoon. I think it was a great experience for him. I can't believe my little bitty baby is already eating food!! I guess it's all down hill from here!!

Lots of changes with Will at 6 months

I can't believe Will is already 6 months old!! Time has passed so quickly. He is still such a pleasant baby, and I have loved how small and baby-like he has stayed. He had his 6 month appt. today, and that verified that he's not growing much. He actually has to go back in a month for a weight check; the doctor said he is healthy but that he should be gaining more weight than he is. He is start solids now, so hopefully that will help him gain weight faster. He got an antibiotic for this cold he has had for a month, so hopefully his horrible cough will clear soon. Other than that he is right on track, smiling all the time, reaching for things, and cooing. HIs stats were:
weight: 12 lb. 11 oz. (2% percentile)
height: 25.5 in. (16% percentile)
head: 42.5 (14% percentile)

Saturday, January 5, 2008

our Saturday morning breakfast favorite

Here's a healthy yet heavy recipe that we enjoy around here every Saturday morning. Sam loves for me to make his pancakes in the shape of cats and dogs. He's pretty creative to think that my attempt actually looks like cats and dogs. Anyways, try it; they are delicious and a great way to use up food storage wheat.

1 c. milk (we use soy milk)
1 c. whole wheat
2 eggs (we use a ripe banana as a substitute)
2 tsp. baking powder
2 tbsp honey or sugar (I prefer honey; it has more of a flavor)
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp oil

1. In a blender, blend wheat and milk until it is a smooth consistency.
2. Add other ingredients and blend until smooth.
3. Cook over hot skillet. Serve hot with syrup. We actually prefer fresh raspberry topping; it goes better with the hint of banana.


Friday, January 4, 2008

sweet little Will

These precious moments are starting to be too many to count! The doll in this picture was my favorite doll as a child; my mom recently returned it to me, and Will loves it! I have it in the corner of his bed, and during naps and nighttime he pulls it down and snuggles it next to him. It touches my heart every time I see this beautiful image. Gosh, I love my baby!!

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Vanderlinden Christmas

our Christmas

I can't believe how quickly Christmas is becoming a memory! We had a wonderful holiday full of food, family, presents, and fun.Sam was thrilled about opening as many presents as he could, and that included my presents, Will's presents, Pete's presents, and anyone else who would let him. As most kids are he didn't care as much for the gift as he did for the unwrapping. We kept presents to a minimum; however, Pete did build Sam a beautiful rocking horse, and Sam was thrilled for his "horsey!". Will got some books and a toy "horsey" from Sam. Pete gave me the long coveted square dishes, and I couldn't be happier!! He came away with some new motorcycle pants. On Christmas day we went sledding, a fun new Christmas tradition for our family. We spent alot of time with family; it's great to have Pete's sister here.

We love the spirit of the holiday, all the time off, ad all the food, but we are ready to get back to real life. We look forward to the adventures that 2008 will bring. Best wishes to you all for a happy new year!!
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