Archive for April 2011

Thankful errr….Friday-4.29.11

April 29th, 2011 — 7:07am

How did a whole week go by?  Oh right, I’ve been insanely busy and haven’t had time for much of anything.  Sorry about that.

This week I’m thankful for child wonderment. Easter was SO FUN this year because Lu was SO excited about the Easter Bunny.  She just thought he was the coolest!  It was incredibly fun to experience the holiday through Lu’s eyes.  I LOVE that she’s getting to an age where everything is fun and exciting and new.  It’s awesome!

Both Lu and Tessa really wanted to SEE the Easter Bunny, but sadly, this was as close as they got:


My Mom made them princess bunnies that they can dress up-SO CUTE!


Our friend Rebecca came over for the egg hunt and brought these cute little paper mache eggs that she and her son Ollie made and filled with candy.




It was egg hunt time!



Found some!


Lu was very particular about the type of eggs she wanted. “Where are the small pink eggs Mama?”


“There’s one!”


“You mean, these things have treats?!?!?!”


“Lu-Smile!” “CHEESE!”


Look at the loot!


“mmmm…Candy bracelet!”


Two Cousins…and Ollie!



We’re in trouble with these two.


I love these two:






And I came home to kale sprouts!





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Happy Earth Day!

April 22nd, 2011 — 10:25am

I was a bit early yesterday!  Oh well, every day should be Earth Day!

I’m running on very little sleep and it’s showing.  Last night I went to bed at 10:30 and was woken up at 12:30 by a very scared sleep walking and talking Lu Sad smile It sucked.  After that I didn’t fall back asleep until 4:45. 7:15 came way.too.soon this morning. I’m currently running on a Grande Latte from Starbucks.  I don’t do caffeine normally so let’s hope this does the trick!

My first attempt at cottage cheese failed yesterday.  I’m going to give it one more try and if it doesn’t work, I’ll be very sad.  Does anyone know about Darigold?  I need to research and see if this is a factory farm or not…

I think that’s all I have today.  I have way too much to do at work to even be writing this-I think this will be my 15 minute lunch break.  With that, I’m off!

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Thankful Thursday-04.21.11

April 21st, 2011 — 1:34pm

Happy Earth Day!  Today I’m thankful for our Earth Smile

I’m very excited to start a garden this year.  I hand tilled our little part of earth ALL BY MYSELF!

Here it is about 1/4 of the way done:


And totally done:


Here’s my garden plan:


Okra, peas, peppers, green beans, carrots, kale, lettuce, strawberries, and sunflowers along the back fence-Color coded to the date I need to plant them outside. Tomatoes and cucumbers will be planted in Grow Boxes up on the deck.

The kale is in the ground.


As are the peas.


And the okra and peppers are started inside. I have the seeds for the carrots, green beans and sunflowers. Tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce, and strawberries will be bought after the danger of frost is past (hopefully by May 10th!).

I’m excited to garden this year and to teach Lu that food comes from the earth NOT the store!

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Odds and Ends

April 20th, 2011 — 11:32am

Yesterday we had a walkthrough with our landlords.  We’re getting ready to sign a 2 YEAR LEASE to stay here and the landlords wanted to make sure that we were treating the property well and to look at the issues we want fixed (we have a tree growing into power lines and currently our workshop’s power is supplied by an extension cord plugged into an outside outlet (?!?!?!)).  To prep for them coming over, we used it as an excuse to do a big Spring cleaning.  We are really clean people but I don’t always wash my windows or organize Lu’s toys.  While cleaning, I used the whole Shaklee line and I have to say that my opinion has been changed. I’m still not WOWED by the Scour Off-it’s what I used last week and it was just okay.  Yesterday I cleaned using the All Purpose Spray, the Degreaser, and the Window cleaner.  It worked REALLY well and my house was sparkling in a way that I’ve never been able to achieve. What’d the landlords think? They thanked us about 100 times (I am not exaggerating) for taking such good care of the property.  They also asked if we’d be interested in buying the place.  I don’t think we are but it was an interesting conversation to have.  It looks like we’ll be here for at least another 2 years!

I also got some flowers on Monday.  I bet the landlords thought that this was just to impress them but I can say that I’ve had fresh flowers in my house since Christmastime.  I LOVE flowers but always thought that they were too expensive.  The Artist’s Way convinced me that this is one “luxury” that I should provide myself.  They make me so incredibly happy and are totally worth it.  The most I’ve ever spent is $8 on flowers.  For that much happiness?  Totally worth it.

I normally get mums or spider mums BUT tulips are finally in season.  I LOVE tulips-they are one of my favorite flowers.  Shaun even commented on how pretty my flowers were this week.



I always have a vase in my bathroom.


Aren’t they pretty?

In other news, after yesterday’s post I decided to make my own cottage cheese-Cynthia also mentioned this in the comments and my Mom sent me an email about it-we’re all on the same page people Smile.

I’m going to start the process tonight-I hope it’s as easy as it looks!  I also thought about making my own cheddar but I would need a cheese press and an area that would stay 55 degrees through the summer-I don’t think that’s happening.

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Eating and Ethics

April 19th, 2011 — 7:40am

On Sunday, Shaun and I watched The Cove. It is the Oscar winning movie (for best feature documentary) about the dolphin trade and killing that goes on in Japan.  Here’s a great 1 minute explanation of the movie and the issues with killing these dolphins and what it could be doing to the Japanese people.

I HIGHLY recommend watching that short explanation.  I don’t know if I can recommend watching The Cove and only because it was so heartbreaking and hard to watch.  It’s a well done documentary and it has me thinking (and feeling sick). The movie goes much more in depth and explains why Japan wants to kill these dolphins and why they see an importance in whaling.  Basically, dolphins and whales (which a dolphin is just a small whale), are eating fish that Japan could be catching to sell to the world at huge profit, so they want to get rid of these “pests” as they call them.  It’s sickening.

After watching The Cove, I don’t want to eat fish anymore.  I can’t stomach the thought of eating fish anymore.  I went to the store yesterday and barely bought anything because I was so upset after watching this documentary.

I try not to talk about my food issues very much because I find them annoying so I’m sure that you do too.  Right now I am not eating gluten, corn, any animal that is fed corn (and yes almost all “grass fed beef” is fed corn-I’ve talked to all the ranchers at the farmer’s market), and I try really hard to stay away from sugar-even naturally occurring sugar like in bananas and honey. I’ve found that all of these things make me feel really horrible and when I cut them out, I feel much better.  That means that I eat fish, eggs, occasional dairy, beans, vegetables, tofu, nuts, and the occasional piece of fruit.  My doctor is 100% aware of my diet and 100% supports it.  I am getting all the nutrients I need and I feel much, much better.

Now, I want to cut out fish and I wonder if that is being too drastic?  It makes me think of vegans and I can fully understand why they eat the way they do.  I will say that I have no issue (personally) with eating milk products, eggs, or honey if sourced from a non-factory farm type supplier.  My milk, eggs, and honey all come from local and cruelty free farms.  I’m not as good at buying Shaun and Lu’s cheese from these sources but I would like to get better at that-the Farmer’s Market will make that easier (and more affordable).  Yesterday I didn’t buy any cottage cheese because all of the options were from factory farms.  Does anyone know where I can non-factory farm cottage cheese?

I also buy meat for Shaun and Lucy and lately I’ve fallen off the local meats (it’s much harder in winter) and have been buying the cheap (and cruelty-full) stuff from Winco.  The Cove has inspired me once again, to spend the extra money and buy them only local, cruelty-free meats.  Again-thank goodness for the Farmer’s Market and the Co-Op!  Last night I bought chicken, beef, and pork from the Co-Op and it wasn’t that much more than what I would have paid at Winco.

So here I am with all these freaking allergies, or sensitivities, or whatever you want to call them, and I want to cut out another form of my protein.  I know it can be done and that I just have to do it.  I won’t lie, it was convenient for me to eat fish because then I could at least have some meals with my family and it’s easier to find meals when I go out to eat.  If I cut out fish, I would basically be making 2 meals every night.  Shaun is a meat eater and there is no changing that-and I have to respect that and just buy the best possible meat that I can.  When I make 2 meals, I usually try to make mine as similar to the meat version as possible and then I give Lucy both the meat and the non meat protein and she gets to choose what she wants.  Sometimes she eats both, sometimes she only eats the meat (usually when it’s tofu-she doesn’t like tofu), or sometimes she only eats the plant based protein (usually when it’s beans-girl loves her some beans!). I can do this and I’m going to try to do this!

Now off to find some cottage cheese that isn’t made from factory farm milk…

Have you seen The Cove?

What are your thoughts on cruelty free eating?

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Spring is Here!

April 18th, 2011 — 7:31am

We had a really fantastic weekend.  Saturday Lucy, my sister, Tessa, and I went to the first Farmer’s Market of the season.  There wasn’t much in the way of produce other than spring greens but it was nice to see all of our favorite vendors and walk downtown on Saturday morning.  I ended up getting 2 heads of romaine and a bag of spinach.  I also got some Rooster Peanuts from City Peanut Shop.  Peanuts roasted with Sriracha-YUM.

Saturday afternoon was spent in the garden!

I made a raised row and planted kale seeds.


And planted my peas, which I had already started inside.



Those are the two crops that are supposed to be okay in the frost.

Lucy helped!



That night, we went over to Megan and Luke’s for dinner.  Megan’s brother was in town and it was great to see him.

On Sunday, we went to Zoo Boise for their Easter Egg Hunt.  We had NO clue it would be so busy!


It was Ca-RAZY!




After going home for a nap, I took Lu to swim lessons where she is doing REALLY well.  We have 6 more lessons left and I bet by the end, she’ll be able to do a little unassisted swimming!  Tessa will be for sure!  It’s really fun to see the girls get more and more comfortable in the water and to see their different personalities.  Tessa has no fear and wants to do everything herself.  She went under water at least 15 times yesterday.  Lucy on the other hand, is more cautious and hates going under water but DID!

We ended the weekend by going to The Ram. It’s one of our favorite restaurants to go to as a family.  They have a pretty extensive menu, good (not great) food, great beer (for Shaun), and they are really kid friendly.  In fact, on Thursdays and Saturdays, kids eat for $1 and that included an appetizer (carrot sticks and ranch), a kids meal, milk, and a scoop of ice cream. Can’t beat that!

We haven’t been going out quite as much because A) we’re trying to save money, B) it’s hard when you’re in the midst of potty training, C) Lu has become my second skin.  Lucy wants to be in my arms AT ALL TIMES.  My once, very independent child wants to crawl inside my skin.  She’s sitting on my lap, in my arms, or begging to be in my arms 99% of the time.  She’s even taken to grabbing my face and talking to me lips to lips (it’s very awkward).  Yesterday I took a shower with Lucy waiting patiently outside the tub. I love her and I am loving all the cuddles I am getting but I also need my space.  Last night was hard because I couldn’t really eat and I was uncomfortable.  Shaun finally took her outside for a little walk (so that I could eat) but that wasn’t any fun either.  I’d rather be with my family!  I know it’s just a phase and it will pass and probably be replaced with a phase where she wants nothing to do with me.  At that point, I’m sure that all I want is for this phase to come back so I’m trying to embrace it.  It doesn’t help that after my second skin goes to bed, the cat then takes over.  Last night I put the cat down and said, “GIVE ME SOME SPACE!”

I need get a picture or video of the talking to Mommy lips to lips.  That’s one she’ll want to remember, right?

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Potty Training=Very Little Sleep!

April 15th, 2011 — 11:23am

I am so glad that it’s Friday.  I am ready for the weekend!  We’ve actively been potty training Lu since Saturday and I started off with the 3 Day Potty Training plan.  The plan recommends NO diapers at all from the time you start.  None at naptime, none at night-NO DIAPERS.  Lucy has actually done great with that and we’ve only had 1 accident at night.  Other than that she has woken up in the morning and from naps dry.  HOWEVER, she has started waking up once per night and I have to go down to help her with the potty or just help her fall back asleep.  On Wednesday night she was up for an hour and a half.  This Mama of a 2 and a half year old is not used to nighttime wake up calls!  She’s been sleeping soundly through the night since she was about 10 months old so this is quite a change for me and I am T.I.R.E.D!

I said that we started with the 3 Day Potty Training plan but I’ve had to modify it quite a bit for Lu.  Part of the plan entails asking them if they are dry and to let you know if they have to go once every 15 minutes or so (for the first few days).  It was causing poor Lu a lot of stress (even though it is all positive reinforcement, absolutely NO negativity at all) and she was holding her pee for absurd amounts of time-18 hours from Saturday to Sunday! As soon as I gave her some space and let her tell me when she had to go potty, we’ve had a much better go of it.  She’s still has about 1 accident a day but I think that’s just fine!  She’ll  learn!

I have also started giving her the choice of wearing a diaper or not before bed.  I ask her if she wants a diaper or underwear and if she says diaper, I put one on her. She is still waking up dry but I think she likes the security of having a diaper on and I really don’t think it’s bad if she wears one at night.

I can’t believe my baby is potty training!  It seems like just yesterday she was born!  Yet here she is potty training, talking in full sentences, running, and jumping.  Time seriously flies!

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Thankful Thursday-4.14.11

April 14th, 2011 — 9:36am

Today I’m thankful that I didn’t kill my family last night.  I was cleaning up the kitchen and had gotten a shipment of Shaklee products in the mail.  I was very excited to see how they worked-sadly, I wasn’t wowed but I’m going to keep using them and see if I change my mind. 

So there I was scrubbing away and I accidentally turned on one of the burners on the stove.  I turned it right off and thought nothing of it.  I finished around 8:15 and sat down to watch the wonderful Lynn Chen in The People I’ve Slept With.  Shaun was at volleyball and when he came home he said that it smelled funny.  I didn’t notice anything and finished watching the movie (very funny btw). After it was over ~10:15, I got up to get ready for bed and I just smelled the heavy, awful smell of natural gas.  I knew instantly that it was the stove and sure enough, the burner that I thought I had turned off was actually on and pouring gas into the house.

I freaked out! I opened all the windows and doors (even though it was in the low 30’s last night) and was sure that I had killed our bird.  Birds are really sensitive to gases and can drop dead really easily when exposed.  Thankfully (?) natural gas is heavier than air and I had the birdie out on top of her cage last night so she was probably above the gas.  BUT! since natural gas is heavier than air, I started worrying about Lu sleeping downstairs.  I didn’t know what to do so I made Shaun sleep with all our windows open.  It was seriously cold but I was sure that I had killed everyone in my house.

This morning we woke up to a very cold but gas free house with all members of our family alive.  Thank goodness!!!!

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Thankful Thursday-04.07.11

April 7th, 2011 — 12:22pm


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