Little Whispers

I’m so grateful for little whispers from Heaven. The little messages from Mamie that let me know she’s still here. Still sees her Baylor. And that knows we talk about her, pray for her, think of her, and say her name every day.

From the moment Baylor was born, Mame would tell Baylor when you are a little bigger, you can walk down to my house and we’ll make biscuits with butter and grape jelly. We’ll put chocolate milk in tea cups and we’ll have a party. 

When I got Baylor’s snack schedule for January, I nearly fell over my own feet reading it. Today is Baylor’s snack day and her assigned snack was biscuits, butter, grape jelly and milk. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to laugh, cry or both.

Thanks Mamers. We miss you and love you too.

No. More. Mickey.

Have you read this post from TheUglyVolvo.com? I was dying reading it because of how familiar her rage over the minutia of her son’s well loved book.

Reading, watching or reciting the same things over and over and over and over again (and again) really give us time to dissect every inch of the thing to point of making ourselves crazy. Suddenly we are hyper aware of the message, the nuances and the context.

Take for instance Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.

I don’t really want to admit how much of that stupid show my kids watch….so let’s just say if we collectively sat down together, we could probably recite Minnie’s Winter Bow Show from beginning to end. Hey, we were all sick with the flu. Cartoon binges are real people. Real necessary.

The issue is that the more I watched it, the more I noticed that Minnie Mouse is always looking to Mickey Mouse for help, approval, rescue and advice. ALWAYS. To the point that I wanted to shout at the TV you don’t need him Minnie!! What the f*ck does Mickey know about a small business? What business is he running these days that would give him such amazing insight into where and how you should display your bows?!?

And that’s when we switched over to Doc McStuffins. That’s a chick I can get behind. Poor Baylor. She’s going to have amazing things to talk about in therapy some day…

my mom would never just let me watch a cartoon! She was always saying “you know, you can do whatever you want in the world. You don’t need anyone’s approval or help, you’re perfectly capable all on your own. Minnie doesn’t need Mickey’s help – she may want it, but she doesn’t NEED it”. All I wanted to do was watch a cartoon without worrying about the message. But could she just let me enjoy? No! 

This post is probably a really good indication we need to be reading more books…

 

 

Avocado Pudding

Just trust me on this one…

I saw the incomparably Martha Stewart on the Today Show last week showing off recipes and dishes from her new clean eating cook book. The last recipe was for chocolate pudding made with avocados….yes you read that right. And judging by the reactions of the co hosts, it was pretty awesome.

I tried to make it this weekend in secret so that I could pass it off to the kids as real pudding. I knew as soon as they saw the green goodness of the avocado, they would run away in terror. But I swear they know the sound of the drawer where the Cuisinart is kept and as soon as they hear it, they come running to help push the buttons. I told Baylor that the only way she was allowed to help was if she agreed to eat the final product. She reluctantly said yes and we proceeded to mix and sample and mix and sample until we got just the right combination of ingredients. When she finally got to sit down with a bowl, her reaction was priceless; “this IS pretty good!”

And this guy? The proof is in the pudding, er, picture.

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The best part is that they get a guilt free dessert that is pretty close to a healthy food. Oh Martha, you’ve done it again!

Martha’s Avocado Chocolate Pudding recipe can be found here:

http://www.marthastewart.com/1050437/chocolate-pudding

See Peter Run

A HUGE congratulations is due to Peter for finishing the 2015 Rock n’ Roll Half Marathon yesterday! He finished just over 2 hours (which he is supremely unhappy with, because he’s him) with minimal injuries; a large blister, sore muscles, etc.

The kids and I biked a few miles down the road to cheer him on as he ran by and then we went on to the finish line. It was a crush of humanity, but we miraculously we found him to congratulate him. And in true dad form, he immediately handed over his medal to the munchkins.

The weather couldn’t have been more perfect. The race started out in the 50’s and the high was in the low 70’s. Perfection!

IMG_2836I drug him with me to yoga this morning to get him stretched out. He grumbled the entire way there but by the end, he was making plans to work in a class a week. I’m hoping he doesn’t find a yoga competition to sign up for next…!

Perfect Pesto

Peter and I got hungry for pesto pasta this weekend. I dug out this favorite recipe from Food Renegade (http://www.foodrenegade.com/almond-spinach-basil-pesto/). Its a delicious combination of basil, spinach and roasted almonds making a slightly healthier pesto.

I use Blue Diamond roasted almonds and skip the roasting part of the recipe. I also recruit little fingers to help pull the leaves off the stems of Basil. I double the recipe and throw a container in the refrigerator for later. Or you can get fancy like my mom and fill ice cube trays in the freezer so you can easily pop out a portion at a time for cooking.

But for me? I will eat this entire container of goodness well before it goes bad…

Finally getting to cute this beautiful stuff!

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Little fingers do the best job harvesting the leaves. Sometimes they are shirtless though…IMG_0999

I make ours a little thicker to cut some of the oil calories. I also like the way it keeps it’s flavor in pasta. And eggs. And on toast. And with chicken. And on a spoon.IMG_2830

Voila! Tossed with angel hair pasta and rotisserie chicken!

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Toilet Talk

A few years ago our  bathroom toilet was making sputtering sounds every time it flushed. It wasn’t horrible during the day, but at night, it was super annoying and woke up the entire house when it caused the pipes to bang with each sputter.

I was dreading a plumbing bill so my mom suggested I go to the plumbing supply store and ask them to show me how to fix it. I was so not in the mood to be talked down to or confused so I put it off…until no one could sleep. I buckled. I snapped pictures of the inside of the tank and ventured out to be belittled.

To my shock, the guy I talked to was incredibly nice! He diagnosed the problem quickly and then got me the parts to fix it. He even went as far to do some of the assembly of the fill valve in the store and then give me step by step instructions on how to install it. A half hour of time and I had successfully installed the new part for $20 vs a $200 plumbing bill. I’ve also fixed 3 other toilets at my house and some of the rental houses.

This week, I walked in from taking out the trash to a loud, strange noise. I began to scour the house for the source and found water blasting out of the toilet area and quickly flooding the joint. I quickly turned off the water and realized that the supply line nut had cracked (it’s worth noting that this is not the same thing I fixed prior). I took the tag off the line, shuttled the kids to the plumbing supply store for new lines for all the toilets in the house. $8, a wrench and towel later, problem solved.

As I relayed the story to my mom, I realized how nice it is to know how to fix your house. Not only is it annoying to have to pay someone to fix issues, waiting around for them to show up (which is ALWAYS during nap time) is the part I have the hardest time swallowing.

So the lesson for today is; go to a small specialty store and ask for help when you have a problem…. And also to replace your supply lines if the nut is plastic. You’ll thank me when your house doesn’t flood.

 

A Mindful 2015

I hate new years resolutions. I get that it’s a good time to drop bad habits and gain some good ones, but I always struggle with doing it right after the let down of Christmas.

A few weeks ago, I had something hanging over my head. It was this crummy feeling that I couldn’t shake and no amount of talking it out, waiting it out, crying it out, dancing it out would make it go away. Finally, late one evening I just sat in silence. I realized what was at the heart of the issue and then made a decision to move past. Listening to my brain think (as odd as that sounds) and my heart talk was all I needed to loose that heavy feeling and feel better.

So for 2015, I’m resolving for more meditation. I’m not a quiet person (somewhere in downtown Phoenix, Peter is laughing in agreement) so sitting and or being quiet is not really in my nature. I did a little research on meditation and how to do it. Stupid, I know. But really, how do you meditate? What should I focus on? Not focus on? How should I breathe? For how long? I came across a really simple explanation of Mindful Meditation and how mindfully meditate. What I like most about this technique is that it’s very simple. At the basic level, it’s taking account of your body; how it’s feeling, moving, breathing. Letting thoughts flow in and out of your mind…or not at all. It’s enough thought for those time when sitting still is hard and not so much thought that it’s not easy to follow. Just enough instruction that I will actually be able to do it.

And so far? It’s been awesome. Maybe it’s just getting a few deep breaths in while the kids are napping, maybe it’s just a minute of calm, but it’s been so energizing. Something about those 5-10 minutes makes a huge difference.

Now if I can just get this guy out of my lap while I’m meditating, I’ll be in business.

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We Don’t Need No Stinking Training Wheels

So this happened this weekend…

Much to our amazement, she nailed it 5 minutes after the wheels came off! It was far less traumatic than I thought it would be. Peter gets all the credit – I wasn’t even brave enough to go to the park until I heard it was going well. She even mastered starting herself by the time we left the park. Next up, turning.

And of course the little guy had to be part of it. He decided that he too needed a push. Do you hear him say “Me two three TOO!!” Translation: say one two three and push me too! I also love his glide and look back. Such a ham.

 

More Christmas

I want more Christmas. I want more nights snuggled on the couch, watching holiday movies. More cinnamon candles. More holiday parties. More Christmas cards. More excuses to make and eat a lot of sugar cookies. I’m not ready for it to be over!

And here’s why…we had a great Christmas season:

We visited Santa’s workshop

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Rode the camels at Zoo LightsIMG_2701 Someone insisted on going by herselfIMG_2699Braved the lines at the Train Park with our friends, the D family, for the 4th (we think…) year in a row!

(I swear those kids were happier than they look in the picture…apparently waiting for an hour to ride the train took it’s toll…)

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Made some super awesome cookies for Santa. Note the difference in Baylor and Auggie’s decorating technique.

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And celebrated with the whole family on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day!

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FullSizeRenderI know by the end of the week I’ll be ready to pack it all up and be ready to be done. But for now, I’m soaking up every last minute.