Sunday, October 31, 2010

But I Wanted to Pee in a Cup!

This week Pierce went for his four year old checkup.  After last year (when he refused to say one word to the doctor or cooperate in any way) I decided to do some preparation.  I sat down and talked to him about what would happen during his exam.  I told him the doctor would look at his eyes and ears, poke his belly, listen to his heart, and have him pee in a cup.  Granted, I omitted the whole vaccine part, but I talked about everything else in depth.  I figured I would spring the whole shot thing on him once we got settled in at the doctor's office.

Unfortunately, Pierce had preschool prior to his appointment, and where they made pumpkin shaped cookies frosted with piles of orange sugary icing.  It went straight to Pierce's head, and by the time we got to the appointment he was wired.  I had the twins too, and they were in the middle of what should've been nap time, so it was a little interesting.  Against the 'no food or drink' rules, I doled out animal crackers to the twins on the sly.  It beat the alternative (dual screaming without end).

Pierce got his vision and hearing checked, weight (he's a skinny guy at just barely 30 pounds, fully clothed), height, and blood pressure.  He rolled around on the table and ran around the room, burning off frosting while I tried to answer the pediatrician's questions.  Finally, the doctor left to send in the nurse with the shots, and I broke the news to Pierce that he'd be getting 3 shots (plus the flu mist in his nose).  To his credit, although he complained and was nervous, he handled himself well.  So we wrapped things up and Pierce went to get his four stickers, when suddenly he wailed "BUT I WANTED TO PEE IN A CUP!"  It turns out that based on new recommendations, they are now only running urinalyses every other year in kids.  Having had my share of peeing in cups during pregnancy (or at least trying to pee in cups - more often missing the mark the further along I was) I can't really say I agree with Pierce's sentiments.  I was subjected to three 24 hour urine collections while pregnant and preeclamptic, I'd be happy if I never brought another pee collection device home again.  But lucky us.  The pedi and the nurse took pity on Pierce's complaints.  They want their little patients happy after all.  So they sent Pierce home with a urine specimin cup.  Which all of his stuffed animals have now peed in.  Wonder how long I have to hang on to a urine specimin cup in my living room before it can suddenly 'go missing' without notice?

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Another Favorite Egg Recipe - Chili Egg Bake

This is a great egg recipe (from my All You magazine)!  It's easy, it's delicious, and it uses up lots of our stockpile of eggs.  It would be perfect for a Christmas brunch recipe, because it makes a lot of food.

Chili-Egg Bake

10 eggs
4 oz. shredded mild Cheddar
4 oz. shredded monterey Jack
1/2 cup all purpose flour
16 oz. cottage cheese
1 4 oz can diced green chilis, drained
1 tsp salt
6 tbsp butter, melted
2 tsp onion powder

Preheat oven to 350*; mist a 9x13 pan w/ cooking spray. in large bowl, on medium speed, beat eggs until pale yellow and doubled in volume. Toss cheeses w/ flour and add to eggs. Add remaining ingredients and beat until combined. Pour into baking dish and bake 35-40 minutes, or until center is firm.
Even the twins greedily gobbled this up!  Give it a try - it won't disappoint.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Memory Lane Friday, Halloween, Part II

Welcome to Memory Lane Friday!  This is a weekly blog carnival to allow you to blog about your memories and link up.  All are welcome, and this week the topic is Halloween.

I already blogged about some of my childhood Halloweens, so now I'll share some of the more recent (well, sort of) with you.  When I was a freshman in college, we decorated our dorm room for Halloween.  Note that this was post psychotic roomie getting the boot ;-)
Local kids came trick or treating through the dorms and we handed out treats.  I dressed as a witch.

One of the best things about going to school in Texas was the proximity to Austin around Halloween.  Austin hosts the largest Halloween street party, on 6th Street (of course).
I dressed as a cat (complete with sparkle pants found at Goodwill).
Paul was a caveman.  Someone gave him the femur of a cow to go with his caveman costume, but it got confiscated by the police.  They said it was a 'weapon'.  Paul isn't the type to go bludgeoning random people with a cow femur, but I guess you can never be to careful, lol.

And here is a picture from 8 or 9 years ago.  I had just finished reading Memoirs of a Geisha and spent a lot of time in Washington D.C. tracking down a kimono.  My friend Beth and I were working up in Arlington at the time, so we walked from our hotel to the Clarendon Ballroom, where my friend Sara was working.  It was a much longer walk than we had anticipated (and Beth had on crazy heels so she ended up taking them off and walking barefoot in the cold), but we had a fun time.

If you'd like to participate in Memory Lane Friday, add your link here:
Don't forget to go visit the other blogs!
Next week is a 'no theme' week.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

The Pumpkin Patch - A Four Year Old's View

We went to the Pumpkin Patch at Layman Farm.  Mom and Dad and me.  And those two annoying twin brothers of mine.

I'm four years old.

Dad chased me in the corn maze.

When I got tired, I rode on Daddy's shoulders.

I'm four years old.  Today.  It's a big deal.

I went in the corn crib, and it was really crowded.  I kept trying to steal other kids' trucks.  Mom would tell me to wait my turn, and then I'd pretend I didn't hear her.

I'm four years old.

I begged and begged and begged to ride the cow train, which I remembered from last year.  I was starting to get a total complex over whether or not I was going to get to ride.  Right that minute.

I rode in Gertie and refused to look at Mom, who was taking the pictures.

I'm four years old. 

This year there was a new attraction at the pumpkin farm - a jumping pillow!

Check out my breakdance moves!  I'm such a great jumper!  And I'm four years old!

Jumping is kinda hard when big kids knock you down.  So I just laid on the pillow and let them bounce me all over the place.

I pet this sheep.  I think he was on Charlotte's Web.  It's a great movie, but I like Diego better. 

Oh, this is my favorite part!
I loved this tunnel slide.  It's fast and bumpy.
Daddy went down with me once.

Here I am enjoying my applesauce snack and pumping water.  I can multitask like that.  Because, in case I didn't mention it - I'm four years old! 

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Of Twins and Pumpkins

Sunday afternoon we went to the pumpkin patch.  I confess that this is one of the highlights of the year for me.  I adore the pumpkin patch.  The fall colors, the maze of corn, the animals.  All of it.  I took so many pictures I decided to break this into two posts.  So today I'll show you what the twins did at the patch.

Why, they checked out pumpkins of course!
And ate some dirt.  And some grass.
I had this idea that I would get cute pics of them in their Halloween costumes among pumpkins.
But it turned out to be a rather hot day, so I only took a couple of pics before changing them into cooler clothes. 

Let me tell you what it's like to try to get pictures of the two of them. 
Basically, you are always chasing someone down.
And someone is always looking the wrong way.
Or running away.
Or moving, dashing, crawling, crying.
It's a challenge! 

I try to keep up with them, I really do.
But even marathon training doesn't mean you'll be able to keep 14 month old twins in line! 

I know I'm not the fastest runner or anything (in fact, I'm really rather slow), but you'd think I could keep up with a couple of babies. 

Particularly cute babies, don't you think?   

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

When I'm 12 I'll Ride the Zipline

Saturday we had a family get together at the lake house for Pierce's birthday.  In the spirit of Go, Diego, Go, I cooked a fiesta of chicken enchiladas, slow cooked black beans, and yellow rice.  My brother and his family came, as well as Pam and George (my aunt and uncle).  With 5 kids under the age of 5, everyone got lots of attention.  Here are Reid and Cort with Pop Pop and Cat Cat:

Pierce got some great train sets.  He is still very much into Thomas. 

Do you remember in August when we went to Wintergreen?  Paul and I rode one of those huge ziplines.  Pierce wasn't allowed - the age cut off was 12.  He still talks about when he is 12 years old, he'll ride the zipline.  Turns out, he won't have to wait that long.  Diego rides a zipline, so you can see why Pierce is so eager to ride one.
Pop Pop and Cat Cat got Pierce his own zipline for his birthday.  It's been a huge hit.

Go, Diego, Go!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Muffin Tin Monday - Halloween, take 2

Last week I did a Halloween muffin tin, but it turns out the Halloween theme was this week!  So here's our second Halloween muffin tin.  A mac and cheese pumkin, a watermelon creature, peas, and two gummy pumpkins sitting on a bologna fence.

Pierce also indulged in some birthday cake: 

Of course we had to do Diego on the cake! 

Participate in Muffin Tin Monday by grabbing the button:
Muffin Tin Monday at Her Cup Overfloweth

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Happy Birthday Pierce!

Pierce turns 4 years old today!  I feel like we've been celebrating for a week straight (but we haven't really).  Even though we don't do 'big' birthday parties, we still try to make things special.

So on Friday I took cupcakes to his preschool class.
I took a pumpkin bread recipe and cooked it in cupcake format, then topped with cream cheese frosting, orange sprinkles, and Halloween rings.
They were a big hit with the kids.
Pierce got to wear a Happy Birthday crown and was carried around the room in a chair.  Pretty sure he felt like a king!
We did a get together with my family yesterday, and are going to the pumpkin patch today (which is pretty much Pierce's favorite place ever - he's still talking about when he went last year) so I'll be posting pics from that later this week.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Don't Eat the Chia Pet

When I think of Chia seeds, I typically think of those Chia pets you can buy.  You know the ones.  The little sheep.  The goofy faces.  Those.

The Chia seeds I'm talking about today are the same Chia seeds, but better.  They're for eating! 
Every single morning, for the past year or so, I've been eating oatmeal for breakfast.
I doctor it up.  In fact, I doctor it up so much that my oatmeal comes in at around 500 calories a bowl.
Two servings of oatmeal made with water (I don't like milk), a spoonful of peanut butter, about 10 dark chocolate Ghiarardelli chips, a tablespoon of flax, and a tablespoon of Chia seeds.

My favorite Chia seeds are Ruth's.  Pictured you see the apple flavored:

Now, truth be told, I like the chocolate flavored best (imagine that) but last time I went to our local natural foods store, they were out.  So I've been making due with the apple almond cinnamon, which are also good.  A bag runs around $7 but if you use it as an oatmeal topper, it lasts a long time.
Also, if you've read Born to Run, you know that Chia seeds are a super health food, and an excellent source of fuel for workouts.
Give them a try!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Memory Lane Friday - A Spooky Story

Memory Lane Friday is a weekly blog carnival where you can blog about a memory and link up.  Some weeks have themes, some do not.  All are welcome!  This week's topic is "A Spooky Story".

Back before Paul and I had 3 boys, we used to do a lot of hiking on the Appalachian Trail.  We'd cover 20 miles over the course of a weekend, camping out for the night in a tent or shelter.  It was fun.

Here I am getting ready to head out on the trail before one of our trips:

On this particular trip, we decided to watch The Blair Witch Project, which had just been released on video, prior to heading out.
Have you seen The Blair Witch Project?  Totally creepy home-spun film (urban legend true) where these college students head out in the woods with a video camera to try to film strange happenings.
Probably not the best film for a hiking trip.  Overnight. 
Not to mention I'd just finished reading the nonfiction book Murder on the Appalachian Trail.

Paul, getting ready to cross a fence.

And here we are next to an Appalachian Trail sign. 

We were enjoying our hike, having a fairly leisurely time of it with a nice long break at a shelter:

And we set off for the last couple of miles before dusk.
That's when, deep in the woods, we stumbled upon an old, abandoned house.
I'm always one for exploring abandoned houses.
I adore them.
Here's a pic of one of my favorite abandoned houses ever:

You just know that she used to be glorious back in her day.

So when we stumbled upon an abandoned house, deep in the woods, with no road in or out, I wanted to take a look.
We crossed the threshold and entered....
The Blair Witch Project.
Granted, that took place in Maryland, but this house - well - it was total Blair Witch.
Weird drawings spray painted on the walls.
Stick figures hanging from the ceiling.
Paul and I were both totally creeped out.
Hollow, creaking footsteps as we walked over ancient wooden floors, mouths gaping at the images on the walls.
Who had defaced this house?
Who had come in with cans of spray paint in the dark of the night to create such angry symbols?
To hang the wooden figures?
A deep silence had descended over the valley.
There were no birds outside chirping in the imminent dusk.
Just our hollow footsteps, and the crisp electricity of nerves that hung in the air.
We hightailed it out of there.
That night, snug in our sleeping bags, I couldn't help tossing and turning a bit over the fear of that house.  The images were burned in my mind; I couldn't stop seeing them.
But, nothing strange happened that night, and we made it out the next day safe and sound.

Want to join in Memory Lane Friday?
It's easy!  Grab the button off my sidebar and add it to your post.  Then come back and add your website to McKLinky.  Be sure to take the time to visit others who link up.  Next week's topic?  Halloween, Part 2!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

There's a Monster on my Plate!

Don't you just love the Mercer Mayer books?  They are fun and often hit home with childhood fears.  We like them all, but one of our favorites is There's Something In My Attic.

In this story, there is a monster in the attic, and he comes to steal the little girl's teddy.  She decides to fight back by attempting to lasso the monster and take him to her parents' bedroom.

So Pierce enjoyed a monster turkey burger with his fries and broccoli.
He ate the eyes first.  He just loves olives and pickles.

Then we got some sheets of magnet out to make some  magnet monsters for our fridge. 
We made different expressions for the monster. 
Pierce really likes switching out the faces.

To see more fun ways of making books come alive, check out JDaniel4sMom:

Shibley Smiles

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

How's That Cloth Diaper Thing Working Out?

We've been cloth diapering for a couple of months now.  Still newbies, but we've embraced it wholeheartedly.  We love our Fuzzibunz.  So soft, fun colors.  Yes, I do a lot more laundry.  I buy the All Free and Clear in bulk!  But I love how comfy their diapers are.

Last month, I actually won an organic Bum Genius cloth diaper through a giveaway on the Multiples and More blog. 

I also won a wet bag, pictured below, for putting wet diapers in on the road.  It's lined inside so it doesn't leak or smell.  Also, you can see the inside of the Bum Genius in the picture to the right.  It's a lot different than the pocket diaper Fuzzibunz that we're used  to. 

The giveaway was sponsed by Simple Wonders Diapers.  Click HERE if you'd like to check out their site.  They're very friendly and have super fast shipping.  So when it was time to purchase a few accessories, I returned to their shop.

Okay, so maybe this wasn't an accessory, but I couldn't resist a cow butt:

I bought some flushable liners for outings and some cloth diaper safe rash ointment.  Turns out the normal ointments aren't so good for the diapers.  Sometimes we use a liner with old fashioned Desitin.  And sometimes we now use this ointment.  Reid is a little prone to diaper rashes - his skin is sensitive that way.

By far, though, the best purchase EVER was this:

The cloth diaper sprayer.  I can't believe we did cloth diapers for so long without it.  Basically, it just hooks up to the toilet, and allows you to hose down diaper messes straight into the toilet!  Talk about a life saver.  If you're thinking about cloth diapers, just order this as soon as you order the diapers.  They run around $40 and are so worth the expense!

So now we're pretty set in our cloth diapering, and I am actually really glad we made the switch. 

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Let Me Shamefully Express My Irresponsibility

I've always thought of myself as a responsible pet owner.  My animals get their shots.  They have yearly checkups.  They are all spayed/neutered except for the pony (and no one really spays horses).  I worm them, provide flea control, and the horses get their feet trimmed on a regular basis.  Granted, I might not put down loads of money on the most expensive, organic pet foods, but my animals are well cared for. 

So you remember when Natasha got stuck in the wood pile, right?  Natasha, our chicken that looks a bit like a hawk, that sleeps in the tree?  Well, when she went missing and was stuck in the wood pile, she laid one of her blue eggs.  Now she'd been stuck in there for 2 days, and temps had been in the 90s.  So I wasn't thrilled with the idea of eating her egg.  What did I do?  Well, I stuck it under Leghorn (one of our white hens), who was broody.  Mistake #1.

In all our chicken books, it makes it seem like some drastic miracle has to happen for an egg to be fertilized, under perfect temperatures for 3 weeks, to lead to hatching.  So I didn't really think anything would happen.  Mistake #2.

And this where it gets really bad.
The next day, there was another egg under Leghorn.  I guess she had taken a break to get some food, and another chicken had hopped in and laid an egg (when hens are brooding, they absorb the yolks and do not lay).  I thought, "oh, I'll just leave it there.  It'll be company for the other egg".  Mistake #3.

The next afternoon, I went to go gather eggs, and there was Natasha's blue egg, plus TWO brown eggs.  Well, I couldn't tell anymore which brown egg was the older brown egg.  Oh dear.  I didn't want to eat the wrong one - an older egg.  I thought, "Okay, I have to mark these eggs so I can tell which ones are older right away!"  So I headed up to the house to get a pencil to mark the eggs.  Except somewhere along the way I got distracted and forgot all about it.  Mistake #4.  Do you see where we're headed here?

Yup, the next day there were THREE new eggs under Leghorn, for a total of 6 eggs. And I had no clue (other than the blue egg) which eggs were old and which were fresh.  Whew.  Right then and there I marked those eggs.  So now Leghorn was brooding on 6 eggs.  I still didn't think there was any possibility of hatching. 

But the other day, when I went in to check her, I heard PEEP PEEP.  Oh yes I did.
And then I saw this:

That's right, Natasha's egg hatched.  We have a new chick.  In the fall, which isn't great (simply because of the incoming cold temps).  But oh how cute it is.  Paul immediately built Leghorn a pen of her own, and we moved the nest.
Here is the new chick with mothering Leghorn, just one day old:

We will leave the other eggs for a few more days to see if any of them hatch as well.  I doubt it.  Like I said, it seems like (from the books) it takes some miracle for hatching to occur.  In the meantime, despite chilly evenings, Leghorn seems to be providing good care for our newest addition, who does - incidentally - look exactly like Natasha did as a chick.  So maybe if we're lucky, we'll have another blue egg layer next spring.

I'm linking up with WV Treasures today for Show and Tail.  Want to join in the fun animal stories?  Click HERE