Sunday, November 28, 2010

Sending Thanksgiving out and welcoming Christmas in!

Thanksgiving weekend has been great.  Four days at home, spending time with the family, enjoying the coziness of our house while it has been bitter cold outside.  We have been basically gorging ourselves on left overs, which we have pretty well polished off. 
Our family has a lot to be thankful for in 2010.  New babies, our health, a safe and cozy home.  We have Hoot.  My cousin is pregnant with a baby that they have been wishing and waiting for for more than three years.  My aunt was diagnosed with cancer about this time last year, and after a long battle over the summer, she is doing very well.  My uncle just got a job with the new governor of Nevada, which is a really neat honor and we will be glad to have him closer to home. My parents are loving being grandparents to Little Hoot. This is just the beginning on a long list of reasons we have to be thankful, so we all spent the day together and enjoyed our blessings.
We started out thankful for pajamas and applesauce.

And pug dogs. (Piper herself is thankful for people dropping things on the floor for her to eat.)

We had 15 people to dinner and we had many preparations to make. (My mom showed up and was a little annoyed that i spent the morning "preparing" place cards rather than peeling potatoes...  whoops...  LOL  but it all worked out in the end.)

Hayden decided that watching Elmo and being silly were her jobs.  And she rocked at them!

Didn't this turkey and the table turn out great?  Good thing i spent all that time making those place cards! And I have to toot my own horn because this was the first time that I have been in charge of Thanksgiving dinner - especially the turkey.  Look at my 21 pound Mega-bird!  All brown and tasty!

And so dinner was eaten... and eaten and eaten.  In my family, we love eating. 

Hayden is no exception.  She loved everything on her plate and ate like a champ.

Tonight we are saying good-bye to Thanksgiving with Green Turkey Chili, made of the bones and scraps of the delicious Mega-bird.  This is all that remains of the poor fella:

And with Thanksgiving come and gone, a new season is upon us.  And so begins the trimming of trees, the hanging of stockings, the making of lists (to be checked twice of course), and all of the other traditional "hall decking" - look out Christmas, here we come!

(And all that is left for Hoot to do is wait for Santa to come...)

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

29 and holding

Yesterday was my birthday.
And in a shower of 3:30am wakes-ups, CT scans, freezing cold weather, snow flurries, positive test results, genius brains, lasagna and pumpkin pie, I turned 29.
We got up so early yesterday, and not by choice.  Little Hoot’s CT scan on her giant genius brain was at 8am, but she couldn’t eat after midnight.  Now, this is not something I am proud of, but she doesn’t sleep through the night and still wakes up and wants a boob around 3 or 4.  Yesterday was no exception.  Talking a tired kid who wants a boob into going back to sleep without one was not successful.  So after being up forever, we all trudged to Carson in the snow.  It was FREEZING out there all day.  Like bitter.  And snowing like mad. 
We waited in a little room for a long time, exhausting our bag of tricks to distract Hootie from the fact that she was starving and tired. 

We played cars, read books, loved “babies”, sang The Wheels on the Bus eighty three times, played peekaboo, emptied the diaper bag, and anything else that could keep her busy.  All the while, Daddy and Mommy were practically zombies. LOL  Finally they came and carried her off to the CT scan room. They ended up being able to get what they needed without an IV, they just gassed her and that was enough.
After a long nursing session immediately after and a little nap on the hour drive home and a good sized lunch when we got home, she was back to her old self, running all over the place laughing at her own jokes and getting into trouble.
And guess what the results said?  She is fine.  Her head is totally normal.  Just big.  She’s gotta have a big bucket for all of her brains.   My girl just has a big, fat, genius head.   *coughcoughtoldyou sodoctorcough*   The good results were all the birthday present I needed.  We ate our weights in celebratory lasagna and birthday pumpkin pie.
So being 29 isn’t that bad at all.  I am truly blessed.  I have a great family, good friends, and the most gorgeous big headed girl who is healthy and happy and growing like a little weed.  I have a warm happy home, a husband who loves me, and countless other things to be grateful for.  So here is to the 29 years it took to get here – and the 29,000 things that have made my life so awesome in those 29 years.  :)

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Busy Busy Busy

We are getting ready for a busy week around here. 
Tuesday is my birthday.  I will be 29.  I am not really ready to talk about being 29.  Ask me again on Tuesday.
Tuesday is also the day Hoot is having a CT scan on her head.  Nothing is wrong with her, but her doctor thinks that her head is huge and wants to make she that it is nothing more serious.  I am not worried – my family has huge heads.  I don’t think her head looks huge at all – but maybe I am used to looking at people who look like this.  I am a person with an enormous head myself.  When I was the same age as Owl, I also had a CT scan on my head as it was “unusually large” – turns out that I just have a big brain.  And I know that is the case with Owl too.  I mean look at her!  Not that I am biased or anything, but she is clearly a genius.  Just like her big headed mommy.
She does have to be put under general anesthesia for the CT scan, because babies don’t hold still long enough.  The assure me that this is no big deal, and that it isn’t a weirdo putting her under but a real anesthesiologist.  Heck, it might even be the guy that did my epidural when Hayden was born…  (I sort of hope not.  Before he came to my aid on that day, I had had some Nubian and was basically stoned and desperate by the time he came around.  I said some embarrassing things to him.  I told him that I loved him so much I wanted to kiss him and that I would write him a poem about how much I loved him and epidurals.  So I hope it isn’t my old friend – he may be wondering where is poem is.)  I have also been assured that it will take only a few minutes and that it will be over.  I am not worried per say – I just don’t know what to expect.
And of course, Thursday is Turkey Day.  We are already busy getting ready for a day of thanks with the family.  We are having 15 people over to eat and hang out for Hoot’s first Thanksgiving and the first Thanksgiving in our house.  I have never cooked Thanksgiving dinner, but I am confident that it will turn out fine.  Our family has so much to be thankful for in 2010 – we are excited to spend a day with the people we love reflecting on all of these things.
 We did our shopping yesterday.  We bought the biggest turkey at the store.  It weighs the same amount as Miss Hayden herself.  She posed for some pictures with her first Thanksgiving turkey.

And tried lifting it.

So bring it on, Busy Week.  We are ready.  Well, pretty ready.  I am still not ready for that 29 thing.  But I have a couple of days, right? 

Thursday, November 18, 2010

More felt food fun!

As I posted the other day, my felt food factory is in full force.  I have been working on a little sack lunch.  Turkey sandwich withal the fixings anyone?

Or maybe you’re more in the mood for a PB&J??

Add chips and a banana and you have a complete lunch! 

I am especially pleased with the banana – look how cute it turned out!

I am finding the making of this food almost therapeutic – I have been doing the hand stitching while I nurse Hoot or while I watch TV at night or while she naps.  I think my husband might be getting jealous of my felt food fetish…..   much to his dismay, i have a TON of tasty treats in my queue:

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Home Sweet Home - and some talk of arrows, home wares, and spawning salmon??

Hayden and I are home from our big adventure, and as much fun as we had, there is no place like home.   I missed my husband, and Hoot missed her Dad.  This morning, she was sleeping in between us, and she woke up, looked around and said, “Daddy!”  like she was surprised to see him. LOL 
Unfortunately, she will go back to missing him tomorrow, as he has business in Las Vegas for a couple of days.  I wish he didn’t have to go and I hope that the three days goes fast.  I get lonely when he is away.
While we were in Portland we made a quick stop at Ikea… actually, there is no such thing as a “quick stop” at Ikea.  We stopped there on Sunday afternoon on our way to the airport.  Let me tell you something about Ikea on a Sunday – it is BUSY.  Like packed with people.  And most of them are not very polite.  And most of them don’t seem very smart.
Have you ever been to an Ikea?  They are huge.  So huge, in fact that the people at Ikea have to put arrows on the floor so you will know where to go.  I assume that these arrows are to avoid confusion for the masses of people.  I assume that without the guidance of these arrows, everyone would just be milling around, lost inside of Ikea, bumping into one another, crying, shouting expletives and otherwise embarrassing themselves.  No one would ever make it home to enjoy the obscenely low priced home goods and ready to assemble furniture that Ikea has to offer.  We’d all just be trapped in there.  It would be Sunday afternoon pandemonium without the arrows. 
There is only one issue with the seemingly easy to understand arrows on the ground – people don’t know what an arrow means.  The Sunday afternoon Ikea crowd is full of people imitating spawning salmon, swimming upstream to get to the previously mentioned obscenely cheap Ikea fodder.  This makes it very difficult for those of us who want to pass through the megastore with little resistance at a relatively quick (in relation to Sunday afternoon at Ikea) rate of speed. 
Sprinkle in all of the random rudeness and lack of consideration for others, and it was the perfect primer for the only other place that people are ruder on earth – the airport. 
And I thought Ikea was full of crazies. 
After some confusion that resulted in Hoot and I returning home on a full plane without my mom (who came home the next morning on her own, but also $300 and a plane ticket richer) we are home safe and sound.   And the old saying is true. There is no place like home….  Of course the same can be said for Ikea and for the airport, but that is beside the point.
Since being home, my felt food factory is back up and running.  I am currently working on a sack lunch with a sandwich with all the fixings, a bag of chips, some cookies, and some kind of fruit.  We are still undecided on what play kitchen to ask Santa for, but we have it narrowed down to a couple of options.  I did buy some little goodies for Hoot’s kitchen on our Ikea adventure – I got her little metal pots and pans that look like the real thing in miniature along with six each of little plastic rainbow colored plates, cups, bowls and silverware sets.  All that for $17.99.  Hoot can have a dinner party.  I guess that trip to Ikea was worth it after all.  :)

Friday, November 12, 2010

A girls weekend on the Oregon Trail....

Did you know that Build A Bear has different options?  Like Build A Monkey?  Or Build A Puppy?  Or Build A Kitty?  It ain’t just bears, folks. 
You can even build an owl.
Here is a pic of my little Owlet with the little owlet that her Grandma and I helped  her build when we arrived in Portland on Wednesday afternoon:

Isn’t that perfect? It is so cute how much she loves it – she lays her head on it and says, “Awww” and kisses on it and clutches it.  So cute!  I even woke up in the middle of the night to look over at her and see her caressing it’s little beak and hooting at it.
My Aunt Whitney lives just outside of Portland with her kids and a few goats and chickens.  It is so wet and green here – a big difference from the desert from whence we came. 

We are spending a couple of nights at the beach as I type, and it has been great. Seaside Oregon is where Lewis and Clark met the end of their expeidition by meeting the ocean. i guess it was the end of the line...  my mom wanted to know where Sacagewea was in the statue - we decided that she probably bailed long before the "end of the line" because it would have been like having two husbands.... LOL

My mom, my Auntie, and my cousins Tess and Sharla took Hoot down to the beach this afternoon. She didn’t like the way the sand felt on her hands and it made her cry.  Poor little thing. 

We go home on Sunday afternoon.  Isn’t is funny how even if you are having fun, you miss the place where you belong?  I miss my dogs and my husband and my house, and I will be happy to be home. :)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Breakfast is served - my new obsession

I had a little chat with Santa Claus last week on HootOwl’s behalf in regards to her Christmas present.  We discussed the options and it has been decided that Santa is bringing a play kitchen.  We are still in negotiations which one to get, but we are sure that it will be a kitchen.
So, in anticipation of the new kitchen, I started shopping around for some things to fill the cupboards with.  Well, needless to say, there are a lot of really cool things out there.  And I love every single scrap of food and cutlery and cookware out there for her little play kitchen.  You should probably know why I love the play food so much.  When I was a little girl, I had a truck load of toys over the course of my childhood.  I especially loved dolls and books, but I had a million stuffed animals, games, Barbies – my toy box was even peppered with action figures, cars and trucks.  The one thing I always wanted and never had was a whole supermarket of play food.  So I have loved looking at all of the play food that Amazon has to offer…  Garrett rolls his eyes and says, “How much?” as I window shop away.
As I shopped, I stumbled upon a little sandwich by HABA toys – it was made of felt and had all the fixings to make a ham sammie – meat, cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion, all between two soft little slices of bread.  It was all made of fabric and seemed so great for a little chef like Hoot.  But it was nearly $30!!  For one sandwich!  Even someone like myself with a love of play food that is bordering on obsessive cannot fathom paying $30 for one little sandwich.
So I changed courses – I went from shopping to planning and researching.  Turns out that felt food is pretty easy to make. 
I went to Michael’s yesterday and I spent $20 on supplies – enough supplies to make enough food to fill the little kitchen cupboards all the way up. This I came home and I made these:

Hayden and I are going to Portland tomorrow morning, and I should be doing laundry and packing, but all I really want to do is  make lunch….  ;)


Friday, November 5, 2010

By popular demand

The recipe for the soup i made for Hoot yesterday - enjoy!! :)
Enjoy it and then leave me a comment andtell me what you think!

Chicken Soup For The Soul Owl

1 whole cut up chicken
6 medium carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
I large can of diced tomatoes
I medium onion, peeled and cut into chunks
4-6 cloves of garlic
4 sprigs of rosemary, stripped and finely chopped
2 cartons of chicken broth
½ pound of whole wheat elbow macaroni
3 medium zucchini, chopped into chunks
Parmesan cheese for sprinkling

Place chicken pieces of chicken in a large crockpot.  I use a whole cut up chicken because you can get them super cheap, plus you get both white and dark meat and that makes the soup double tasty. Pour canned tomatoes (juice and all) over the top and add carrots, onions, garlic, and rosemary to the crockpot.  Pour as much broth from the two cartons as will fit to fill the crockpot and set the rest aside.
Set Crockpot on high and walk away for 6-8 hours, or as long as you are at work or whatever.
Now the only hard part – you have to fish the cooked chicken out of the pot and remove the bones and skin.  It really isn’t that hard, but it is the hardest part of the whole dinner. As you are removing the bones, shred the chicken.  Place it back in the crock pot. Discard the bones and skin unless you need them for a voodoo ritual or something.
Add zucchini and macaroni to the pot and let it simmer until noodles are cooked through.
Sprinkle with parm and serve with  crusty French bread from the grocery store bakery.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Chicken Soup for the Soul... or is it Chicken Soup for the Owl?

Hayden has a cold.   She is still pretty happy, if a little snottier than usual.  Poor kid.  We just hung around today, just us.  She played, I worked on a little project (I am teaching myself to crochet), we ate Jell-o and cuddled and watch Sesame Street. 

There is surprisingly few things you can do for a stuffed up baby.  Surprisingly few as in pretty much nothing but ride it out, booger sucking device in hand.  I figured that there is one thing that everyone likes, stuffy or not:

Homemade chicken noodle soup  and crusty french bread. 

Hoot slurped up every last bite of hers.

So did her daddy and I.

We are all full and cozy - now if only we could get some sleep tonight.  Wish us luck.  :)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Today we are thankul

to live in America, where we have the right to cast a vote on this Election Day!

Monday, November 1, 2010

November is the month for gratitude - and a few tears, a gross dog and a dead animal....

November is a month of gratitude.  A month to reflect on what we are thankful for, whether these are little things or bigger ones. I sure have a lot to be grateful for in 2010, that’s for sure.  I plan to spend this month truly giving thanks, and I will begin by telling you all what I am grateful for today.
Today, I am grateful for my husband. 

You may be thinking that this is not a very original thing to be thankful for. I can see that.  He is a good husband – no, a great husband.  And a really great dad to Hoot.  He works hard  to put food on our table and a roof over our heads. He listens to us and takes care of all the "boy things" at our house.  We wait all day for him to come home. We love him.
But let me tell you why I am particularly grateful for him today.
Today, at about noon I put Owl down for a nap on the couch and went in the kitchen to do the dishes.  Before I put Hayden down, I had put the dogs outside to sniff around and play.  I started rinsing a dish and I looked out the kitchen window into the backyard.  I like to watch the dogs while I do the dishes, out there smelling all of the leaves and rolling in the grass and doing other general dog business.
Today, they were up to no good. No good at all.  At least Piper was.
I looked at Piper (the pug) and she was doing something strange. I was not sure what, but she was hunched over, and her usually springy tail was straight.  I looked a little closer, and I saw that she was eating something.  This is nothing new.  Piper is always eating something – she is remarkably good at finding food (or what she thinks is food) and even better at quickly eating it before you know what has happened.  Piper has eaten rat poison, an entire chicken carcass, an entire box of vanilla sandwich cookies, a pound of hot cocoa, a half-pound of fudge,  countless packs of gum, several packages of chocolate candies – the list goes on and on.  So it is not unusual to see Piper eating something we did not intend for her to eat.
I assumed that she had some garbage that had blown into our yard until I looked a little bit closer.  I realized that I had no clue what she was tugging on and chewing.  I went to the back door and squinted.  Still no clue.  I yelled at piper and walked toward her, at which point it dawned on me a little at a time what she had.
I took a step closer, “Small.  A bird maybe?”
Two more steps.  “Furry?!?! Oh god. Not a bird. A mouse? I am going to die if it’s something gross like a mouse…”
Another step.  “Bigger than a mouse….   And furry…”  Step.  Step.
At this point, Piper was still trying to gnaw on it as fast as she could to get one last bite before I spanked her or something, and then she picked the unidentified meal up and started to run off with it.
“Bigger than a mouse, furry, and….  Long ears??” 
I swatted Piper on the butt and she dropped the animal. It was a dead rabbit. I screamed.  I was so disturbed that my little Puggy was so gross as to be eating a dead animal.  Yes, I know she is a dog.  I just hate it when she reminds me now and then by doing dog things.
I was so grossed out, I started crying.  I herded the dogs into the house and called Garrett, in hysterics.
I cannot really explain why I was in hysterics.  It isn’t like I was afraid of the rabbit, or sad for him exactly, or like I have never seen a dead rabbit.  I don’t really have any idea why I cried.  But I did and when Garrett answered the phone, the conversation went something like this:
G: Hi.
Me: (all watery and crying) Hi….
G: (panicking) What happened?
Me: (crying still) Piper was in the backyard eating a dead rabbit and it was so gross and I got her in the house and now I am crying because it was gross and I am scared that Piper has dead rabbit all over her face and I don’t know what to do!
G:  A rabbit?
Me: Yes.
G: And now they are not near the rabbit?
Me: No.
G: And?
[Long pause. I’m still crying.]
Me: And… it was just so gross!!
G: Well, okay… (I can tell he thinks I am crazy-cakes right now….. and hell, maybe I am.) Do you want to pick it up with a shovel and put it in the trash?
Me: What?!  NO!!! (sobbing)
G: (laughing) Okay.  I will come home and take care of it.  Just keep the dogs in the house. Um….  Why are you crying again?
G: Okaaaaaaaay….. (You know how someone says that when they think you are crazy-cakes? That’s how he said it.) I’ll see you in a bit.

And this brings me back around to why I am grateful for my husband.  He came home and disposed of the body of a nasty little animal that made me cry. (The nerve of a rabbit to die in my yard.) He made my bad day better, even though he thinks I am a nut, and I love him.  You may agree with him that I am a nut, and that is okay.  I think I am too.  But dead rabbits are gross and dogs who eat them are grosser. 

Good thing I have you, Babe.  I love you.  J