Tuesday, December 16, 2008

the fourth file, fourth picture

just following suit like citystreams and lauren to randomly post the 4th picture from the 4th picture file. for some reason, we have a few videos in our picture file and you aren't supposed to cheat. this is shasta back when he was a mere adolescent kitten. it was before we had children and our cats were really important to us. now we are tempted to just "let them go." shasta is sweet at times and has brought us much laughter...like in this video...but if you know anyone who wants a big baby of an orange kitty, let me know...

if you want to join the fun, go find your fourth and fourth and share!

quick update

i can't believe it! my munchkins are taking SIMULTANEOUS naps! i must quickly take advantage of the opportunity to update the bloggy blog as it will soon pass. i have already taken a shower, wrapped christmas presents, read my Bible, straightened up the downstairs. it feels strange for me to be alone and for the house to be this quiet!

by the way, i LOVE my new diaper bag and highly recommend it for mommies who are dissatisfied with their current bag-toting situation.

today i ventured out on my first run with both munchkins at the greenway in our AMAZING double jogger. we had so much fun! marit sang and read her dr seuss book while graham slept. my knees are feeling it a little (maybe i need new shoes?), but overall i felt great! this is truly a blessing to be able to exercise with both bugs during their awake time and a wonderful way to get them outside while marit gets in-brace time.

marit learned how to stack blocks this week and she is becoming quite a little communicator. she eagerly says "nigum, digum, nigum" and points at what she wants, at which time we remind her how to ask nicely for things and she threateningly makes the "more" sign we taught her. it is in our nature to be demanding i suppose. she has been such a delight lately, though we do revisit the same discipline issues over and over, especially when i am nursing and can't pay close attention to her...she takes advantage of me!

graham has been smiling for a few weeks and it is wonderful to have a little real interaction with him. he wakes up once (usually) a night to eat and sleeps well for most of the rest of the night. we are working on naps, but a schedule is still in its formative days. marit delights in waking him up, so that makes it a little challenging...she pulls his pacifier out, hands it to me, and says "uh-oh" as graham starts to wail...we are working on that too.

adam has his last residency interview this week and then will be on christmas break for a couple weeks (his last one EVER). we are looking forward to the time together as a family as we celebrate advent.

the lead paint situation is still slightly stressful, though a pediatrician friend helped to calm our fears a bit. we have a couple options that we are considering, but right now we are content to stay where we are and carefully monitor marit and the peeling spots. we appreciate your continued prayers for this!

we continue to be so thankful that i will not be returning to work. we will be poorer, but rich in time together and significantly less stressed out. God is gracious to make it possible for me to be home with little chubby munchkins!

graham is stirring, so that's all for now!

Monday, December 15, 2008


with christmas around the corner, we are filling up on decadent edible delights. this soup is a welcome healthy meal. i love real simple's recipes. they have just about everything!

Squash and White Bean Soup with Parmesan Biscuits
Real Simple

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes
1 small butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces (4 cups)
1 tablespoon fresh thyme
Kosher salt and black pepper
2 15-ounce cans cannellini beans, rinsed
1 bunch spinach, thick stems removed (4 cups)
Biscuit mix and ingredients to make 8 biscuits
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan (1 ounce)

Heat the oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring often, until soft, 5 to 6 minutes. Add the tomatoes and their juices and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes.

Stir in the squash, thyme, 5 cups water, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until the squash is tender, about 15 minutes. Stir in the beans and spinach and cook until the spinach is wilted and the beans are heated through, 2 to 3 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare the biscuits according to the package directions, sprinkling with the Parmesan before baking. Serve with the soup.

Tip: To make this satisfying soup even heartier, add 1/2 cup orzo or other small pasta at the same time you add the water.

Yield: Makes 4 servings


Tuesday, December 9, 2008

things have changed

for my birthday, i received a giftcard to llbean. i used a portion of it to buy this diaper bag. i have always enjoyed shopping, but i have not been this excited about a purchase in a long time. after toting two less than satisfactory diaper bags around for the last 7 weeks, i decided to combine everything for both munchkins into a deluxe bag. from the description, this seemed to be the ultimate bag. the fed-ex man came, but went to our neighbor's house...how disappointing! seriously, what has happened to me? why am i so excited about a diaper bag? a guess i have graduated to a new realm of mommishness. i'll let you know how it works out for us!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Product Review: socks for the whole family

socks are important to me. they can make the difference in a good day and a bad day, especially in the winter. do they fit nicely without creases and wrinkles? do they keep feet warm without overheating them? do they wick moisture or get soggy? are they ugly or cute? my absolute all time favorite best ever sock brand is the smartwool sock. these people know how to do it right. colorful, comfortable, warm, but not bulky, all around wonderful socks! they also make kid and baby socks which marit has really enjoyed-they stay on better than any other socks and keep her feet nice and toasty. however, the baby booties don't stay on little newborn kicking feet. it was a good idea though. best places to buy these wonderful socks: on sale at rei or sierra trading post as they do run on the expensive side. you can get the kid version at essential apparel. the knee socks and tights are also extremely comfortable and high quality.

i have had trouble finding baby socks (especially for the early days) that will stay on active little newborn feet. i am thrilled with trumpette baby socks . not only are they adorable, but they stay on well and fit smoothly under shoes. pure joy seems to be the best place to buy these at a reasonable price. they make super gifts as well!

if you need socks, check out these styles and enjoy toasty tootsies!

Thanksgiving part 5

I know thanksgiving has passed, but since it's my blog, i am going to keep celebrating on here. i need to cultivate thankfulness in my hard heart all year long. today i am thankful that i was able to go on a run! i have been a "runner" for roughly 14 years now, but have not run hardly at all in the last year due to pregnancy and the challenges of running with a baby in the winter. i have done other exercise, but nothing beats an old fashioned pounding the pavement run with a vivid blue sky above. i know it will take a while to get back in good running shape, especially since my opportunities to get out the house by myself between feedings and such are very limited. but i am thankful that today my gracious husband babysat during nap time and afforded me sweet alone time during which i was able to clear my head and think and pray. what a blessing! now my 26yr old joints hurt...

Well again

Once again we have weathered another storm of sickness. We all experienced the stomach virus this past week...what a mess of body fluids. on tuesday morning marit was playing as normal and whimpered and reached up to be held. we love to snuggle, so i gladly picked her up and spun around to dance...she looked surprised and scared and then proceeded to vomit what looked like feta cheese soup everywhere...all over herself, the floor, my new sweater. i thought it was just a fluke since she had just finished a cup of milk, but alas she threw up 7 more times over the course of the day. it was so sad since it was her first stomach bug and she was frightened each time. thankfully adam was able to come home from school to help, but that resulted in him getting the virus that night and the next day. early thursday morning graham started to throw up...a scary thing in a newborn. however, just like the meningitis, he weathered this well too and after 30 hrs was able to hold his feedings and pedialyte down again. i got a touch of the virus on thursday as well, but definitely was blessed to have the mildest version. all told, adam and i were thrown up on 15-20 times over the course of the week...lovely laundry was the result of that as you might imagine. we have done the laundry, cleaned the bathrooms, and started eating again. once again, it is God's grace to us that my sister lives here and was able to help out during this week. we are once again healthy and thankful.

also this past week, we discovered (with marit's help) that our apartment, in the downtown area of our city where we have lived for nearly five years, has peeling paint in places and is revealing old paint that tested positive for lead. oh dear. if you know anything about old houses, you know this is par for the course. our apartment/townhouse is about 100 years old. we live in our urban neighborhood intentionally and feel called here, but have really struggled with being here this week. lead poisoning in a child can cause severe developmental delays and even mental retardation. marit's initial lead test a couple months ago was normal and she would have to actually ingest paint to become poisoned, but there is still risk. who knows what a toddler might get into? do we have to choose between the neighborhood where we feel God has called us and the risk of our children being poisoned? there are other problems with our apartment...we park on the street and i worry with two munchkins that marit will run into the street when we are loading up. there are only upstairs bathrooms...fun for potty-training in our future. there is no place to go outside and play unless we walk a mile to the playground which we do most days. we know that living a life for God's kingdom does not guarantee safety and comfort, but aren't we called to care for and protect our children as well? we have explored other living options in our neighborhood and there are few for a family of our size. we almost bought another 100yr old house until we noticed that it had paint beginning to peel as well. pray for us as we struggle with these thoughts that we would be obedient and patient and that God would protect our children from the hazards of our living situation.

we had a lovely thanksgiving with adam's family (that's the kids and i on thanksgiving day and marit is practicing her "more" sign) and are looking forward to spending christmas at the beach with my family. we are hoping to make it to christmas virus free!