Sunday, July 19, 2009

i don't want to miss a thing

i've been reading the book "My Sister's Keeper" (FABULOUS btw!); a line in that has stuck in my head... our children outgrow us long before we outgrow them." i can see how that happens and how it will probably happen sooner than i want it to. however, i'm quite aware that the need is mutual now, and i'm still trying to soak up every moment and cherishing it.

Sam: you have been trying so hard to be independent lately, and i love the ways you use such big phrases to express it. today we were walking down to norma's house, and you said "go ahead of me; i'll catch up." and you did; you just wanted to do it on your own.

Will: i love how you say "oh" and "k" (ok) after everything we tell you. you are so content with that. if we tell you to get in your car seat you say "k" and do it. if we tell you we are going to read the wheels on the book you just say "oh". i hope you are always so easy to please.

my favorite activity today was having you both help me clean the bathroom. i rubberbanded towels to your feet and put you in the tub with some soap. you both skated around until it was scrubbed clean. i like that system... tub clean, and everyone entertained in the process.

i went to girl's camp today. i met pete there this morning with the boys; he slept there last night to help, so we were going to swap kids there. they all stayed the day to hang out, and the boys were thrilled beyond believe. at one point sam was caught saying "this is seriously way too much fun.", and it really was. it was a joy for me to see them running around barefoot playing and being so well-behaved. it was joy for them to roll around on the blow-up monkey camp mascot. seriously, they did it for 45 minutes, and i'm certain they have never played that happily for that long without someone crying. the only heart stopper was for pete when he thought he lost will. will wondered into the lodge where i was helping prepare dinner. i just thought pete dropped him there. after some time had passed sam came in and quietly informed me that everyone was wondering where will was. i'm glad he knew to come to me; he was very concerned. that's a sign i like to see.

this was an adventurous day for pete home alone with the boys. will had a bike wreck that mangled his face. he flipped over his bike going too fast down a hill. his lip was busted & scraped with road rash on his forehead, arms, and legs. i was shocked to see him; it was pretty bad.

the other scare happened when will went missing again. he had been asleep in his crib for 1 1/2 hours when pete went to check on him; he wasn't in his bed. pete panicked; he had no idea how long he had been gone. after searching outside for a few minutes he found him curled up in sam's bed asleep. thank goodness! :)
sam enjoyed his day hanging out with Harrison and shopping with Norma.

i'm still trying to figure little boys and peeing. you both LOVE peeing in the tub. will always starts it, and the second sam sees him doing it he bursts into hysterics and starts peeing. i know it's gross and hard to understand, but it's also pretty stinking funny to see them laughing like that.
we went to a local farm today that has been preserved for the public to view. the boys loved it.
Sam: i saw my blood flowing through sam's veins today with his desire to never forget experiences that make him feel alive and how he doesn't want anyone else to forget it either. he loved feeding the ducks, and while there he found a duck feather on the ground. (i know, yuck.) he picked it up for me. he told me it would be for me to keep forever and every time i looked at it i would always be able to remember this day. :) i hope i will always remember this day.

Will: you don't love riding on tractors that are pulling trailers. this was not your 1st experience with this, but your reaction has been the same. you always say you are scared and want to sit snuggled up to me as closely as you can. you've started you're scared a lot, and i'm trying to figure out why.
Sam: we had a yard sale at auntie's house today. i had you choose 3 things to get rid of; i don't want to pass on my inability to get rid of things. you did it, and i was proud. i was even more proud that you didn't change your mind once we got there. i even overheard you telling emi that it was ok because you don't play with those things anymore. now if i can keep you on that path and jump on it myself. :)

Will: you graduated to a big boy bed today. you have been climbing out again for the last few weeks. nighttime has been rough. you are obsessed with getting in sam's bed, so we took the plunge today. you were over the moon about it. you jumped and laid all over it saying "mine! big!" all day. however, you didn't take a nap in it, and it took an hour to get you to sleep tonight. i know you were ready, and it will keep getting easier. you still seem so little for that to me. :(

sundays are not our best days. actually they are the worst day of the week for me. i'm convinced it's the added of pressure of clothes needing to be ironed, feeling the need to prepare 3 full meals and to do it on a time frame that works around church, bathing boys and keeping them clean until church, a nap for will, packing the church bag, getting myself ready, and trying to prepare calm spiritual activities for the boys throughout the day. up until today i would be flying solo doing all of this since pete was always stuck in meetings. needless to say, i get a little grumpy, or maybe a lot grumpy. i don't like it, and i don't want my family to always remember mother being crazy on sundays and come to dread the day as much as i do. i've got to chill, but it would also be helpful to get a little cooperation around here, especially from sam; he is a stinker in the worst kind of way on sundays. will just wants to be a mama's boy especially during nursery; he just stresses me because he fights sleep so much. trying to get a handle...

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

spinach mushroom lasagna

i found this recipe from foodnetwork. it does have spinach, but i think that's about the only healthy thing in it, but it was to die for and definitely worth making. just try to not think about the butter and fat. :)

Spinach, Mushroom, and Four Cheese Lasagna

1 (20-ounce) package fresh spinach, tough stems removed and washed
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup minced shallots (i used green onions)
2 teaspoons minced garlic
3/4 pound portobello mushrooms, stems removed and sliced (about 3 large)
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
4 cups whole milk
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
2 1/2 cups grated Parmesan
15 ounces fresh ricotta (i used cottage cheese)
1 1/2 cups grated Fontina or provolone (i didn't have these cheeses so i added an extra 1 1/2 c. of mozzarella)
1 1/2 cups grated mozzarella
1 pound lasagna noodles, cooked to al dente (i used no-cook noodles and it was perfect)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the spinach and cook for 2 minutes. Drain in a fine mesh strainer, pressing with a large spoon to release as much water as possible. Finely chop and set aside.

In a large skillet, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter over medium-high heat. Add the shallots and garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the mushrooms, 1/4 teaspoon each of the salt and black pepper, and cook, stirring, until the mushrooms are tender and have given off their liquid, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool.

To make the bechamel sauce, in a large saucepan, melt the remaining 4 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Add the flour and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon, to make a light roux, about 2 minutes. Whisking constantly, slowly add the milk and continue to cook, stirring occasionally until thickened, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, the nutmeg, and 1 cup of the Parmesan and cook, stirring, until thickened, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat.

In a bowl, combine the ricotta, fontina, and mozzarella cheeses. Fold in 1/4 cup of the bechamel sauce.

Across the bottom of a deep-dish lasagna pan (13 by 9-inches), spoon enough bechamel sauce to cover (about 1/2 cup). Then add 1/4 of the mushrooms and sprinkle 1/4 of the spinach across. Arrange a layer of cooked noodles side-by-side across the sauce. Spread another layer of bechamel over the noodles and top with more spinach, mushrooms, and cheese. Repeat layering with sauce, noodles, spinach, and cheese 2 more times, ending with noodles on top. Sprinkle the remaining 1 1/2 cups of Parmesan over the top, cover tightly with aluminum foil, and bake until the noodles are tender and the lasagna is hot and bubbly, about 30 minutes. Uncover and continue baking until golden brown on top, about 10 minutes.

Let rest for 10 to 15 minutes before serving. Serve hot.

Monday, July 13, 2009

spinach 101

i really love spinach, and i love that you can buy a big bag of it at costco for about $3.50. not to mention spinach is a nutrient superstar. it is loaded with vitamins & minerals... iron, vitamin C & E, beto-carotene, calcium, and fiber. the point of this post you may be wondering??? i'm just looking for tasty ways to use this inexpensive superstar. i'm going to leave a few of my favorite ways to use spinach, and i'm hoping you other spinach lovers will leave me a few of your favorite ways to use it.

my all-time favorite way is my classic spinach salad. i LOVE it, but i'd like some other variations besides just a salad all the time.

image by foodistablog

Spinach Strawberry Salad

20 oz. spinach leaves (i throw in some romaine if i have it, too)
1 1/2 c. sliced strawberries
Parmesan cheese or Feta Cheese
Green onions or red onions (i use green onions if using parmesan cheese, and feta if using red onions; it somehow is more complimentary that way)
1 avocado, cut into chunks
1/2 c. candied almonds

i use 2 different dressings depending on the day; the recipes both come from The Domestic Art cookbook. (still a must have!)
1/2 c. red wine vinegar 1/3 c. sugar
3/4 c. canola oil 1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. dry mustard 3/4 c. strawberry jam

process all ingredients in blender until smooth.

1/2 c. red wine vinegar 1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 c. canola oil 1/4 c. sugar
4 fresh strawberries

process all ingredients in blender until smooth.

pour dressing over salad just before serving.

now my classic salad for family parties is out of the bag; you don't have to stop asking me to bring a salad to every family party though. :)

Sunday, July 12, 2009

i don't want to miss a thing

ever since returning from oklahoma i just haven't been able to get back into blogging. i'm working on it though. i do miss doing this weekly post about all the little things. i started a few over the last month that never got posted, so this is those weeks combined. i will have more current stuff next week. :)

Sam: you always have a plan for everything you do; today that plan involved building a dog house for woofwoof out of the kitchen chairs and all your blankets. you were getting very frustrated because you weren't able to execute your plan, and i didn't understand your vision well enough to help. you had an absolute meltdown about it. after about 20 minutes of helping you have some calm down time i was able to talk you through it to get your design idea, and we built it just how you had hoped. i'm so grateful i took the time to figure it out instead of getting frustrated with you. :)

Will: it was a big day for you! you went pee on the potty for the 1st time today! you brought me the bob the builder toilet seat and said pee-pee. i put you on and you actually went! we have been celebrating! holding our breath for an easy potty training! you also had a big day at mcdonalds. you can now officially go on everything there with no help; i can't believe you got so big! slow down a little!

these are some of the moments i live for as a mother...
*seeing sam and will walking together and hearing sam say "do you want to hold hands?" and seeing them actually do it.
*going to the fabric store and having both of them be on their best behavior trying to earn a snow cone. i loved that when i had i tell them they weren't going to get one because of the "climbing under spools of fabric and knocking them off the shelf" incident they didn't question it and they didn't cry. i love when i can be kind about it and have them know i mean business.
*seeing sam flip through the pattern books choosing all the things he wanted to make.
*watching will and sam work together to clean out the stuff behind the furnace so they could make a hiding place and hide there together.

Sam: he has been being exceptionally difficult this past week. he is not obedient; i ask him to do something and he will smirk and do the opposite. he's trying to hit or kick everyone who lives here. i've about had it. tonight he pulled out some of my hair, pushed will into a tree, and kicked pete. that was it. he got hauled to his room unlike never before. pete let him know that he has been a jerk to everyone in this house and we are all tired of it. we left him to cry in his room for about 30 minutes. it was a well needed break for all of us. he was a changed child when he came out. i don't think he has kissed me on the lips so many times in all of his life! i hope it was a lesson that will stick. the funny part was that he whispered to me afterwards that "will is really special to dad, and he is really special to me." will doesn't fight that one. every time you ask him whose boy he is he always says DADA! he won't go to bed at night unless pete is the last one to say goodnight.

Will: you learned to say "two" tonight. we've been trying to prepare you for your birthday. you are so cute holding up your pointer fingers and saying two! i also keep wanting to make note of what an EASY child you are! we'd have 10 if there was a guarantee they would be as easy you. :)

Saturday, July 11, 2009

already 2

today was a big day; there's nothing like turning 2, at least that's what will thinks. what could be better than a day of....

free 7/11 slurpees...

a big brother who adored him all day and who couldn't wait to give him the coloring book, markers, and candy he picked out for him; sam finally thinks will is big enough to play...

a big, fun basketball party at the park with lots of family there to celebrate how special you are...

lots of fun presents, especially a big red ball...

a day being happy here...

instead of here...

here's to hoping for many more years of healthy life as pleasant as this one has been! we love you, will!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

trip summary part 1

i've lost the blogging drive. it feels so overwhelming to document my trip to oklahoma. there weren't major activities to report about the week, and the feelings can sometimes be too personal or so introspective that it can be difficult to write about- there's just not the right words to describe the feelings. i've decided to stop drawing it out and just write something for the documentation.

it was the biggest dose of a reminder about where i came from and how i want to be that i've ever had. i just want to be simple. i want to be content with what i have and who i am. what more can i say? hard to put into words to describe how deep that lesson went. hope to always hang on to it. so far so good.

here's the travel log....


a return to the Chickasha Branch. that's the place that grounded me, molded me into what i am. sometimes i wonder how; the 30 people who have always attended there have got to be some of the weirdest people i've ever known. they are still there and about the only people that are there. that Branch is timeless; it hasn't changed and may never. that's ok though; that is a constant i would be ok leaving just as it is and letting my children get a dose of it as often as they can. there is seriously a spirit in that Branch unlike one i've never felt anywhere before. i learned unity, commitment, acceptance without judging, and lessons i don't even know how to explain. the people in that Branch had so much confidence in me, and i appreciated it and needed it. i was so overwhelmed by that spirit the second i sat down in that chapel and couldn't contain myself almost the whole meeting. i couldn't have been there on a perfect sunday; it was so classic. the primary (all 5 of them) sang a father's day along with a cd player, and the all the women in the congregation sang an impromptu father's day song for the intermediate song, the missionaries spoke, and it was potluck. the real kicker was being asked to teach the youth sunday school class. i did it and appreciated the reminder of what it was like to be a mormon youth in that town with only 1 or 2 others. that visit was definitely a highlight of the trip.

Monday: fishing with aunt linda. linda has always been the same for the last 30 years. she even looks exactly the same. the boys loved her and she loved them.

we all caught fish, but they were too little to keep. pete started us off laughing; his first cast went right into a tree. good times.
pete trying to reel in his tree

will's favorite part was playing the cat tails and playing in the truck with ganny

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

the plane + other drama

for all of those wondering about how the traveling alone on the airplane was going to go, then this post is for you. i must begin by explaining how i felt about traveling alone with the boys. perhaps i was a little nervous at first when i booked the tickets months ago, but the more i heard people say they were nervous for me to travel alone wondering how i would handle the boys i must admit it turned into a bit of a pride issue. i wanted to prove that i am very efficient at taking care of my children despite the circumstances. man, did i get the chance to do that!

we missed our connecting flight in denver because our original flight was late leaving. our 35 minute plane change just turned into a 5 1/2 hour layover until we could get out on another flight. the boys were perfect little angels on that short leg of the flight and almost just as good during the extended airport stay. thank goodness for sam holding me together. we thought there was a still a chance to catch our flight so we ran down 32 gates pushing will in the stroller and sam running full speed. however, we still missed it by 12 minutes; it was so disheartening to me that i couldn't hold back tears. that's where sam piped in assuring me that it was ok and that we could get on another airplane. his great idea was to call dad. little did sam know that we were actually going to get to see dad in the airport in a few hours. pete decided the night before to join us, but he couldn't get on the same flight as us. we did see him, and it did make me wish that we were traveling together. after 5 hours of entertaining the boys on the moving walkways and over-priced food court i was beginning to think some extra help would be nice. however, i was still prideful at this point still on a mission to prove that i was efficient even after an extended airport stay. thankfully we finally did arrive in okc, and the boys were very easily entertained on the flight by the beverage cart and the safety card in the seat-back pocket. :) since our flight came in only 1 1/2 hours before pete we just stayed at the airport and waited. talk about a long in the airport! i was feeling like i really proved something by completing that day alone.

the flight home was just about as successful. we still weren't on the same flight. we were offered $1200 in traveler vouchers and a flight together if we left a day later than scheduled. however, we turned that deal of a lifetime down; don't ask. the boys were fine on the plane but a little more rowdy for the 2 1/2 hour layover. they both decided it was no fun to listen to mother and that it was far more fun going the wrong way on the moving walkway. i still managed fine though. i certainly proved to myself and to anyone else that needed the proving that i can handle my children efficiently even during travel adventures. however, i proved a much bigger lesson to myself on this trip; while i can certainly do things alone, i know i would much rather have pete around doing it with me over doing it alone. i'm glad you were there with me all week, pete. thank you. :) i'd do any trip i had to alone with little anxiety, but i would much prefer to do it with pete there with us.
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