Saturday, June 30, 2012

Today I Felt Grubby.

We got back from camping tonight.


It was fun, but sooooooooooooo exhausting!

The drive was only a bit under 2 hours.  We went to Banida, Idaho.  A little tiny blip near Preston that even Google Maps can't find.  That's the area where my paternal grandfather is from.  Does Bear Lake ring a bell for anyone?

I got allergies almost the moment we stepped out of the car.  Ugh.  My left eye began to itch horribly and kept trying to push my contact out.  And, get this......  I forgot to bring my glasses.  Bleh. 

Luckily one of my cousins is a pharmacist and she knew what I could safely take (still breastfeeding Elle).  AND she had a nice 24 hour  pill for me.  It didn't set in right away but it gradually worked and I was super grateful!

All three girls were so happy to run around, play on the old playground, check out the picnic benches and firepit and climb on the the little Banida monument.  Tony took the pictures at this point. 

I had packed light food for the girls because they keep randomly throwing up (over a week now) and I'm assuming it's because we keep trying heavier fare and their stomachs just can't handle it yet.  I really should have made them eat what I brought (applesauce, rice, and chicken), but they wanted the chips and dip, beans, and sloppy joes that everyone else was having.  I gave in, like the moron I sometimes am. 

After dinner we lit a campfire and roasted marshmallows for s'mores.  Wanna know what gourmet s'more is now my absolute favorite?  Marshmallow, Reese's peanut butter cup, pretzel, and graham crackers.  YUM!  My kids only nibbled theirs (thankfully).  Once it was dark, I busted out the head lamps, glow sticks, glow necklaces, and glow bracelets.  My kids, my sister's kids, and the few siblings of mine that came had a blast with those.

Then it was bedtime for the babies (Elle had already gone to bed long before dark) and the adults stayed up till past midnight laughing and telling funny stories.  At around 12:30 am I snuggled into my sleeping bag next to Elle and was about to go to sleep when I heard it.  The unmistakable sound of a puking child.  I am sooooooooo thankful that my sister brought extra blankets and hoodies.  I brought clorox wipes and baby wipes but completely forgot to pack the paper towels. 

Britt totally barfed all over herself and her sleeping bag.  Luckily she did most of follow-up vomiting while I was cleaning up her bedding and play pen.  I'm sure it was after 1am when we all, finally settled back down.  Tony hopped up to help her throw-up in a bucket a couple more times while I pretty much passed out. 

Around 2am I heard it again.  Yep, that AWFUL sound.  This time it was Ash.  And it was even more messy and she kept at it for a good hour and a half.  Oy.  What a night!  The birds were getting up when we finally went back to bed.

Oh!  And guess what else?  Totally forgot this detail.  Elle threw up all over my sleeping bag (not just the normal baby spit up) right after Britt got us up.  I think her system took offense to that allergy pill I had ingested earlier.  She was fine before and after that.  So weird.

Our whole family was exhausted after that night.  And we had to have fun the next day too!  Which of course took even more out of us!

We spent our time:

- Having a big breakfast with a bunch of family members we don't know and a couple that we do.
- Playing games like racing and tug-o-war.
- Laying around in the shade because it was sooooo hot.
- Waiting for my dad to finish up with the auction they had at this reunion.
- Going to the Downata Water Park.  Ash had a stinkin' BLAST!  Britt was ok, but not overly thrilled.
Elle enjoyed it too and splashed like a little water baby.
- Gorging ourselves at the big potluck dinner.

Then we came home.  And everyone got bathed or showered.  Ash was a dramatic mess at this point and all three of my kids konked out as soon as their heads hit the mattress.  Did I mention we're exhausted?  Hahah! 

But guess what?  It was really fun!  I think I got a touch of heat sickness from it being so warm and being out in the sun so long, but I just love hanging out with my sister and her funny husband and kids.  And I got to see my brother, Daniel, for the first time in over 2 years (he just got back from serving a mission in New York City).  I was also able to spend a little time with my Dad and paternal grandparents too. 

Can't wait to go camping again!

Hopefully without the barf.  Lesson learned though.  I'm packing WAY more blankets and clothes next time!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Today I Ate Lemon Poppyseed Bread.

It was good.  Not the best ever, but great enough to share the recipe.  Semi-healthy too!

Lemon Poppy Seed Bread 

1.5 cups all-purpose flour
1.5 cups whole wheat flour
2.5 cups sugar
1 tsp salt
1.5 tsp baking powder
1.5 cups milk
1 & 1/3 cups olive oil
3 eggs
1.5 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp lemon extract
1.5 Tbs poppy seeds

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Combine the flours, sugar, salt, and baking powder.  Add the milk, olive oil, eggs, extracts, and poppy seeds.  Beat until well mixed.  Pour batter into two, well greased, 9-inch loaf pans.  Or you could put them into muffin tins (or one of each like I did).  Bake the loafs for 60 minutes or until a fork poked into the top comes out clean.  Muffins bake for 25 minutes or until you can lightly press the tops and they spring back.

3.  Enjoy! 

They have a healthy taste, due to the whole wheat and olive oil.  Next time I will definitely be adding lemon zest because I like a stronger lemon flavor.  A glaze would be yum too, but that would most certainly take away any of the health benefits.  :)

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Today I Tried to Swallow My Irritation.

Tony doesn't do family shopping trips very well.  I can't really blame him since Elle wants to be carried the whole time, Britt abhors shopping for more than 5 minutes and Ash will not stay with us. 
We have a camping trip/family reunion coming up and we needed to get gear (all we have is a tent) and food so I texted Tony this afternoon (when he was at work) and asked him if he wanted to run to Idaho Falls to get everything.  I thought he'd say no and was totally planning on going with a friend.
Surprisingly, he said yes.  It was a fun.  At first. 

Then Tony got grumpy and so I got irritated.  Surely this sounds familiar to you, right?  The roles have totally been reversed for us.  There are plenty of times when I've gotten crabby and then Tony loses his patience with my bad attitude.  Haha!

So, anyways, I realized that I was basically fighting a frown with a frown and, seriously, when does that EVER work? 

I had to talk myself down and force myself to stop reacting and then things just magically smoothed out and Tony got happy again.
Not that it's always that easy, but sometimes it just works out that way.

Those of you who have a spouse, or are in a relationship - what do you do when the love of your life is being grouchy?  Do you find it easy to just balance things out?  Do you take it personally and snap at them?  If you've got a trick for lifting his/her mood, spill the beans!  I would love a couple more ideas to utilize.

And even though she doesn't have much to do with the topic, here is my sweet, chubby Elle. 

She weighs 16 pounds.  And likes to say, "Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!"  very loudly.  Haha.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Today I Thought About Changing Up My Hairstyle.

My next door neighbor friend is a hair dresser.  She's going to color and gloss my hair next month, so stay tuned for fun pictures!  But, I want a trim too.  I thought about bangs.  But then I got on People Style Watch and used their little paste-the-celebrity-hair-on-your-head gadget and immediately changed my mind.

(ewwwww!  just plain yucky.  i can't believe i'm even showing you this.  instant makeover?  uh, puh-leez!  kerry washington definitely rocks this style a million times better than i do!)

Though I'd loooove the hide the lines on my forehead, I don't think the bangs are really me.

So, hm.

Maybe I'll just get a simple trim with some light layers.  Boring?  Yes.  Safe?  Definitely.

I like safety. 

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Today I Cleaned Up a Big Mess.


I've never heard of someone getting a stomach bug in the summertime, but Ash certainly has.

I just cleaned up a whole lot of throw up.  Poor thing.  She doesn't feel too well.

I noticed that she sounded a little hoarse when she got up this morning. 

I asked her if her throat hurt.  She said, "Uh-huh.  I need a band-aid."

I just laughed.  But I'm not laughing now. 

(took this today after she had smashed several water balloons on the sidewalk.  hard to belive this happy little face was just hours away from having her body betraying her)

Wonder if we can keep this from spreading around to the whole family.

**keeping my finger crossed and saying mighty prayers**

So - if I don't get another post in this week, you can guess why.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Today I Had Colorful Rocks In My House.

We're not getting things checked off our bucket list as quickly as I'd hoped, but we are doing them, so I can't complain too much. 

(ash's rock)

Today the girls painted rocks.  They turned out really pretty.  They actually look really cool out on the front porch.

(britt's rock before she covered it in all one color)

We used washable paint so the rocks will, eventually, return to their normal rock color.  Learned that when we used the same paints on pumpkins and then put them outside.  After the first rain, they were normal pumpkins again.  :)

(proud artist)

So - mostly this post is just a bunch of pictures of painted rocks...and little girls. 

(squishy rock)

("get this smock off of me!"  she really doesn't like wearing the oilcloth apron and i can't blame her.)

(result of holding a squishy rock)

(painted her hair somehow too)

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Today I'm Putting Together an Anniversary Gift.

Tony and I will be celebrating our 5th wedding anniversary this week.  The traditional gift is wood.  It's always fun to follow that guide and see what each of us come up with. 

I found this box at the local thrift store.  I have no idea what it is or what it was originally used for.  It is wood and there are a ton of numbered slots in it.  I actually got it simply to hold my real gift, which isn't really wood.  If any of you know what this box was actually meant for, please leave a comment letting me know.  I can't even begin to guess.

I'm giving Tony a Passport to Love!  Heehee.  It's basically a different date every month for a year.  I get to recreate the evening to match a different location in the world.  First up will be India and I'm going to enjoy trying my hand at some ethnic dishes.  Sure hope I can make them taste reasonably good!


I can't believe how fast the time has flown!  5 years are behind us in the blink of an eye.  I still think of us as a match made in heaven and I hope that our love for each other will continue to grow (a goal of mine) with each passing year.  :) 

Can you believe that I've popped out 3 babies in only half a decade!?!?  ;)

Me either.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Today I Started Unpacking.

(love this girl)

Tony got some good shots with his new camera the past couple days so I'm going to pepper this post with them.  We had a mini vacation this past weekend.  It's what Tony wanted to do for Father's Day. 

(sweet baby elle)

My paternal grandparents invited us to their house for a family dinner on Sunday.  Tony told me to ask them if we could stay at their house Friday and Saturday night so we could see his grandparents and brother on Saturday.  My grandparents are cool and said yes.  They are about 2.5 hours south of us.  I love having sleep overs at their house because we always stay up late playing games.  They are seriously a hoot. 

(beautiful britt)

We got to visit Tony's paternal grandparents and they made such a big deal out of the girls, it was sweet.  We didn't get to visit Tony's bro because they were super busy, but we'll see them next time.

(intense gaze)

We have sooooo many friends and family in Utah.  We did visit my brother and his little family and then went out to dinner with them.  That was fun too. 

(ash, coolin' down)

It was such an enjoyable mini trip, though the drive home was awful, thanks to Britt and Elle.  Ash was determined to stay at my grandparents' house.  She calls them "Bonka and Bonka."  It's pretty funny.  She absolutely adores them. 

(doorknob britt)

Today I tried things light since our routine is a bit out of whack.  And then, of course I unpacked our duffle bags a little bit.  :)  I hate unpacking even more than I detest packing! 

(me, lookin' at my man)

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Today I Was Frightened.

One of my friends texted me today to see if the girls and I wanted to go to the splash park.  I thought it would be something Ash would really enjoy (and Britt would not) and it's on our summertime bucket list, so I agreed to meet her and her little girls (close to Ash's and Britt's ages) over there after I dropped Tony at school (we're a one car family).

(the splash park)

I was right, Ash loved the splash park (and britt did not), once she got over her initial 3 minutes of being overwhelmed by the hugeness of it all.  **laugh**  She ran around, squealing, laughing, running through sprinklers and going down the little slide (and more) with her friend. 

(ash, sitting in one of the fountains)

Britt, walked around getting her feet wet for a bit, then wanted snacks and was done with the water.  And even though I was wearing Elle in the front pack, I grabbed Britt's hand and ran her through a couple of the little fountains.  She giggled a little at first, but then got mad at me.  She gets angry so easily!  I hope she grows out of it....

(sooooo not a fish!)

Ok, now the part where I thought I was gonna swallow my heart because it was definitely in my throat for a bit!  See the picture (below) of the big, yellow slide?  It's for bigger kids. 

(big, yellow slide)

Most of the children I saw going down it were around 8 and up.  NOT 3.5 years!  At one point, Ash decided she was going down it.  Only she didn't tell me, and when I saw where she was headed I tried to yell at her to stop (because I just knew she'd come down into the deeper water at the bottom and face first and drown) but she couldn't hear me over the loud water and kids.  I couldn't really get close because I had Elle strapped to my chest and she didn't appreciate the spray she got as it was.  I ran to find my friend so she could save my soon-to-be-drowning child and turned around to see Ash come out the bottom of the slide, right side up, splashing in chest deep water and grinning from ear to ear.  She loved it!  I thought I was going to pass out from the adrenalin rush that was followed by very sudden relief.  Sheesh.  Why do my kids insist on scaring me like that?  At least they don't make it a common habit. 

(my big girl at the bottom of the big slide)

All in all, it was a fun outing.  We ended our time at the park by petting some kittens a lady was trying to give away for free.  They were so cute and I would have loved to take the orange one, but we can't have pets in our house (renting) and I'm so not up for more than one baby at a time (human OR animal)!  Hope I'm not jinxing myself by typing that.....

(this is what britt did most of the time: hung out wrapped in a towel she didn't need, just being cozy, not complaining, but not being very excited either.)

Any thoughts for how I might encourage Britt to enjoy playing in the water a little bit more?

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Today I Went to the Library.

I've signed the girls up for the summer reading program (though we haven't made their book bags yet).   We went to story time today and the theme was outer space and martians.

(the girls playing around on the computers in the children's area)

The girls did well and enjoyed the martian mask/hat craft the librarians had set up for them at the end.

(ash modeling her alien hat, reluctantly)

Elle was as good as gold too.  I think we'll definitely be making this a weekly outing!

(my cute, little martians.  this is is the face ash made when i told her to look like an alien.)

You can find the alien mask pattern here

Monday, June 11, 2012

Today I Truly Enjoyed My Dinner.

I love Pinterest!  Who doesn't?

I'm going to try to do more of the all the glorious things I pin.

Tonight I made a dinner I pinned.  I've actually made several dinners found on Pinterest.  But this one is the first I've actually liked.

So - I'm sharing.

Chicken and Cheese Lasagna Rolls

  • 3 cups of chopped cooked chicken
  • 1 cup Ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/8 tsp pepper
  • 6-8 lasagna noodles, cooked and drained
  • 16 oz spaghetti sauce
1.  In medium bowl, combine chicken, cheeses, milk, and pepper
2.  Spread as little or as much of the cheese mixture on each lasagna noodle; roll jelly-roll fashion
3.  In a 13x9 baking dish, spread 1 cup spaghetti sauce
4.  Arrange lasagna rolls, seam side down in sauce in baking dish
5.  Top with remaining spaghetti sauce
6.  Cover
7.  Bake at 375 degrees F for 30 minutes or until hot.
8.  Serve, if desired, with additional Parmesan cheese.

This is quite good and easy.  I will definitely make it again, though not soon since we shouldn't be eating lots of dairy very often.  ;)
I found this recipe, and only marginally altered it, here.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Today I'm Planning Our Fun for the Summer.

Everyone is doing bucket lists for the summer!  Not one to sit around being left out of the good times, I've come up with my own.  Probably not anything new, but maybe you can get some ideas and also hold me accountable.  Let me know which ones you really want to see us do so I make sure to post those pics.  At first I was going to do a specific kind of activity for each day of the week, but that's waaaaaaaaay too organized for me.  It's all about being spontaneous on this blog, right?  I'll enjoy it more if it's not too pre-planned. 

What I am going to do is print out each of these pics (they're mostly stock photos), paste them to a certain color (see color code list below) piece of paper, and write the activity on the back.  Then I'm throwing all these little paper cards into a sand bucket and will let the girls take turns choosing a card.  When we've done each activity, we're hanging the card up in the playroom for instant wall decor!

Card Color Coding ~

Red = Outdoor/Nature Activities
Orange = Field Trip/Vacation
Yellow = Cooking/Food
Green = Local Outings
Blue = Educational Activities
Purple = Arts & Crafts
Pink = Indoor Activities (for the inevitable rainy day)

Our Summertime Bucket List:

(work with acrylic paints on the used canvas i picked up at the thrift store. hang finished works of art in the play room)

(go to lagoon, an amusement park.  anybody else want to go with?)

(have fun with baking soda and colored vinegar.  source.)

(play balloon tennis.)

(make homemade bathtub puffy paints. source

(go to bear world.)

(play beauty parlor.)

(make personalized book bags and join the library's summer reading program.)

(go bowling.)

(make homemade bubbles and blowers)

(go camping.  wanna join us?)

(make something fun out of cardboard boxes.)

(go for a carousel ride at the park.)

(catch and observe bugs)

(go to the circus)

(make and eat cookie dough right out of the bowl!)

(daddy-daughter date days)

(have a fairy party)

(go fishing.)

(let's go fly a kite!)

(give each of the girls a couple dollars and take them to some garage sales.)

(make glow-in-the-dark slime. source.)

(go hiking.)

(eat ice cream of our own making.)

(create ice art.)

(paint with ice cubes.)

(have an indoor picnic.)

(attend the legacy airshow at the small, local airport.)

(see all three madagascar movies. source.)

(make puzzles.)

(make sponge balls to play with in the pool.)

(make suncatchers.  source.)

 (play mini golf.)

(let the girls pick out a dvd or two at the rental store and have a movie night.)

(make and enjoy orange cream soda floats.)

(paint rocks.)

(have pillow case races.)

(let the kids decorate their own pizza bagels.  source.)

(plant a little herb garden.)

(stay up late and play in the dark.)

(do somersaults, dance, sing, and play in the rain.  source.)

(go back to Seattle for a visit.)

(do salt painting.)

(acquire a sand & water table. source.)

(go to the sand dunes.)

(play games with sidewalk chalk.)

(make silly putty.  source.)

(make smoothies.)
(make s'mores.)

(go get snow cones.)

(make sock dolls out of all the mate-less socks we own.)

(go play at the splash park.)

(have a tea party.)

(go walk around the grounds at the Templesource.)

(make tin types.)

(make as many different toys out of toilet paper and paper towel rolls as we can!)

(i don't really like filling water balloons but we've gotta play with them at least once this summer!)

(go to the water park.)

(paint with watercolors.)

(go to the zoo.)

Whew!  That's it!  I don't know if we'll actually do everything on this list, but we're sure going to have fun trying!