Category: Family (page 1 of 5)

Blank Paper Feeling Time Crunch

There’s a birthday in the family coming up on Tuesday. Today we got most of the presents wrapped. I’m trying to figure out what kind of project to make, including a card, and I don’t have that much time left! I’m feeling like a blank sheet of paper, basically. Totally no idea of what to make.

All in all I know what we are doing with a cake and dinner plans and a special breakfast for the birthday. I always make a card, or mean to. Usually do. I love to try and make a book or something that the birthday celebrator will like and I hope they’ll use it. (Blank book for notes and saving photos, whatever they want.)

I don’t have any non-acrylic book covers. No old book that I want to utilize. I should have either ordered a Tim Holtz Worn Cover or gotten something that’d work.

I do have Grunge something or other or both (board and paper.) I just don’t know what I want to do, so I won’t even mess with that precious stuff.

Then there’s what I have done before, making my own notebook paper with either the printer or by hand, I don’t like putting all blank pages in a book.

Anyhow, as I sit here writing, I am somewhat inspired and will try something later on, or not.

The Holidays are approaching!

The weather is cooler and the calendar is now showing November. Time to start thinking about a birthday and Thanksgiving, which are usually entwined to some degree more or less, this year the least of ever, with Thanksgiving being so late (compared to normally.)

My husband is tasked with finding a nice FRESH Pastured Free-Range Turkey.

I need to go through things and make plans for ingredients I need to get, replace, restock, etc. I have pumpkin already. I still have some from last year too.

I’ll need to be prepped for Thanksgiving soon, so that I can get fully into my daughter’s birthday. Usually hers is right before or right after, and this year is odd, I have a few days for preparations in-between.

I was on Google just now searching images of free-range turkey’s and what do you know, down the page a bit, there’s my turkey from 2012, not exactly what I wanted back then, but it worked out. It’s not the kind of picture I’m looking for to put in this post though 🙂

I should make some whole spelt bread this week, and dice it up, put it into a freezer bag and freeze it. That’ll be the base of my stuffing for the turkey. I’ll have another small loaf of white spelt bread, which is easier to make so I’ll do that another time.

I should get out a notebook and make lists and more (I can’t go digital, no matter what, I always need a pen and paper. FWIW)

Chicken Parmesan – Mother’s Day 2013

Mother’s Day yesterday was alright. I got two gift cards, one for Michael’s and one for Best Buy.

I also was given a LEGO set, Iron Man 3 –> attack at sea or something. I could do better with the set name, but I just don’t care right now. I built it last night. I like the missle firing setup in the boat. It’s not the best set though, and just something that makes me think I must have fallen asleep at the movie. I really can’t come up with a scene to go with the set.

Uh oh.

Anyhow, pickings for food are on the slim side, haven’t gone food shopping a lot of late, so whatever is in the freezer has been what we have been making. So it’s Mother’s Day, I ended up doing the most of the cooking. Figures.

My husband used to cook the dish we had, no problem way back. I still have the same recipe book he used back then. It didn’t help. He did do some of it, but it was rather sub-par and so I had to be involved.

Chicken Parmesan

I prefer the advanced method for coating the chicken breasts. (Many recipes use a lesser method)

Dip the chicken into flour, thoroughly coating it.

Dip the chicken into egg/milk mixture, thoroughly coating it.

Put the chicken breast into bread crumbs, thoroughly coating it, carefully placing it in a hot pan with olive oil to brown on each side, then carefully put on a platter, add the sauce to the pan, heat that up and then put the chicken breast into the sauce until “done” then cover with shredded mozzarella and top with grated Pecorino Romano.

As for sauce, just a good marinara. I make it from scratch, canned tomatoes, olive oil, onions, garlic, basil, oregano, parsley, sea salt. Sometimes I’ll add a bottle of pureed tomato. Depending on what kind of tomatoes, whole, diced, crushed, it needs to cook longer or shorter amounts of time. I cook it until the colour is a deep red (loses that fresh blood red colour.)

I’ll post a recipe of this, more formal, when I get that made up.

Thanksgiving & Next Day Birthday Over

Thanksgiving Day went well. It was chilly but sunny in the morning, warmed up but not too much during the day, staying Sunny all day.

We had dinner later than I had wanted to. My hubby got me playing Warhawk in the morning and I quit when I realized it was 12:08pm and got going on getting things done.

Even with the turkey done ahead, and the stuffing … I had to make cheese sauce, white sauce, gravy (meant to do it ahead, but didn’t get to it) and cauliflower, green bean casserole, cook sweet potatoes, peel and cut into pieces and make a brown sugar syrup to candy them with. Also had potatoes to cook and mash. Then get out the turkey and stuffing and re-heat.

It was a big feast. We had cloverleaf rolls, my almost 13-year-old daughter got that done with my supervision. Getting all that done and ready to be served at the same time isn’t HARD just complex and tedious to a degree of, it takes kitchen talent to pull it off.

So I was pooped after all that. I made whipped cream to go with the pumpkin pie later that evening.

The next morning I had to get up and get things going for the birthday that day. I make banners for each child, put on the fireplace … they expect it now, and it has to be good 😉 I had one nearly ready, but I hadn’t connected all the pieces to hang yet. So I finally decided what to do, and struggled with it as the eyelets I was using just weren’t playing nice with me. Augh! I got it done, it wasn’t fully the best it could have been, but that’s more my own criticism of my own project more than anything.

I made a yellow layer cake with very chocolate buttercream frosting, with chocolate curls (from a container of drinking chocolate curls I have) all over the top and at the base of the cake all around. On the sides I put Pearls in an offset pattern. It was nice, not perfect, I wasn’t going for perfection, but it sure did look nice. I took time to put the pearls on, it was tedious feeling, but really didn’t take much time considering everything. It’d be worth it to put more oomph into it another time.

My daughter loved her presents and the cake was really good and the homemade ice cream (which I made the day before Thanksgiving Day.) It was a good day. We had turkey quesadillas for supper, and played Monopoly after that, with cake after that.

It was all fun, but I’m glad it’s all over for this year. It’s less than a month to Christmas Day, and I have MORE to do! At least it’s awhile until some of it, and some of it longer, but lots of it more necessary for sooner than later, just not all of it. Phew!

August Begins

August begins on a Monday this year. It’s so ‘school’ feeling. 🙂

That’s odd. We homeschool. It’s not anything we don’t ever do, totally. I’m getting a few super-lax weeks souped up today. I set it up as a plan last week, and this is the day.

New Era. I’m using my calendars (google, of course) to be the glue that holds this all together. It’s not that I hadn’t ever had calendars and planning and such, but I’m going from being relaxed about it, doing it that way. I’m trying to MAKE things happen before too much time goes on, MAKE life happen, then have things done instead of me having to say “Did you … yet?” to each person, and get the “nah, not yet” answers.

It still is summer though. We are in a hot southern state and summer isn’t the same for us as many others. We are in A/C with some outdoor ability, but no pool or anything. We are more outdoor oriented in the Autumn and Winter. That goes over fine for me, being the sort of person I am, with husband not around most of the time, we just hang out together and wander the property looking at whatever there is to look at. Some running, mostly not for me, just the younger 2 children, and the Cedar Works structure we have just sits dormant, needing a new swing ladder probably. New swings too. It’s a sad testament to what once was, and what should be, and speaks loudly of what will never be.

I hear you loud and clear climbing structure … all hope is gone. (I’m holding out hope though, for something to happen sooner than later!)

It’s a New Year, a week in already

The first week of the new year (2011) has gone quite fast, yet seems slow as well. The new year started with warmer weather, and that lasted a few days, then back to cold enough to start a fire in the fireplace again. It’s not terribly cold, just normal cold for The South where we live.

There is a weather system that is supposed to form over the The Gulf this weekend, and bring a winter storm to us through Tuesday. It isn’t our first, we actually had snow on Christmas Day, though it started late in the daylight hours and continued through the night into the next day. We had a few inches at least, over 2 for sure. The snow lasted that day then, the next, starting to melt, but on our property we had a lot of snow the day after still, then only in spots, then none at all. Then it was warm, early spring warm. We had fireworks to shoot off on New Years Eve. We were outside with barely light jackets at 9pm through to midnight when we shot our two cakes off.

We didn’t get enough wood to burn before the season, so we were glad for the warm-up some. We stocked up with more wood after 2011 started, and have enough for awhile, and will get more when we get paid again. We did get a nice wood rack to setup outside, an arched bridge sort, it needs to be assembled still. Once that is put together the wood will get stacked neatly behind the garage and really look NICE!

I haven’t written a lot on this blog, more on my other blog, but not much anywhere. I’m trying to do things to make myself do more, get more done, more creativity, which spawns more posts here and there.

I did make a Christmas Card this year. I had a hard time getting a picture for the inside, finally accomplished that quite late, and got them printed on my HP printer (got it new this past autumn, it’s awesome to have a color printer that can print great photos!) trimmed and removable glue dotted into the card (so the photo could be easily taken out by the end user if desired.) I only sent out 10 cards in the end. I was going to send more out, but then canceled ever getting ANY out when the photo shoots I took made for nothing good to use. I was not happy, but just couldn’t get any card out without the plan of the photo for inside. It was a totally handmade card, lots of effort put into making it. Anyhow, the radio was on when we were out doing some shopping one of the last days before Christmas, and they said “get your cards to the postoffice by Noon so they’ll arrive before Christmas!” and that sunk deep into my head and the next morning I had the 10 cards ready and off to the postoffice they went. So maybe a tad late, but not entirely, and at least they went out. That was a sucess, partially. I mean, I had so many others I could have sent cards to, and didn’t. FWIW.

Anyhow, I feel sort of stuck in some ways right now. Things are sort of tight, still not done enough (the house) and trying to work through getting some of that done sooner than later. We actually moved our kitchen back to the start of where it was in 1997. I hate it. It’s not permanent, thanks be to God for that. I can’t live with it like this and we will change it again, to where it works better, basically flipping it on end. It’s do-able, and we need to do a few extra things to make it work out to be permanent and done right, and get everything installed that is supposed to be installed. This all will work to make a better place to live, even though it’s still small and will always be smaller as my family is growing.

My eldest is now 14. He’s way bigger than me now. So in essence it’s like having 3 adults in the house now. Two years ago it wasn’t. Now it sure is.

Thanksgiving/Birthday 2010 is over

Our Thanksgiving holiday was really big because of my daughter having her birthday on the day this year. It’s always a tough week, but with it all “occurring” on the same one day every so often,  it’s a much harder job to pull off.

I made two turkeys (pastured, fresh from a farm) ahead of time, roasted & sliced & packaged. I made stock from one carcass beforehand, and had the other carcass in the pot through to the afternoon on Thursday. I made most of the sides on Thursday.

The day before I made pies, and also setup pastry, onions, bacon & Emmentaler (actually from Switzerland) cheese to make quiche. I covered that with ‘press & seal’ and put it into the refrigerator. In the morning, on Thanksgiving Day, I took that out and mixed 4 eggs with 2 cups of cream and cayenne pepper, poured that into the pastry shell, then put that into the oven to bake. Then I made mini muffins that had cheddar cheese, dried cranberries, sage & green onions in them. (recipe I found on Whole Foods website, but I’m not linking, I changed it, don’t like there entire recipe.)

That was a very nice Thanksgiving morning breakfast. I normally don’t go to so much effort, but the way I did things, making the pies at the same time,  it was easy enough to make pastry for quiche and get the other ingredients into it and refrigerate for later use. (that’s a method I’ve used before, making the day before, for quick put together for baking in the morning.) I used to make quiche fairly often, but the last few+ years I haven’t made it even once, until this week.

The quiche was a big hit with my eldest, 14 year old boy. He loves it, used to love it, he said too. My two youngest (10 years, 3 years — both boys) didn’t like it … wouldn’t eat it. My birthday daughter liked it, I think.

The mini-muffins were great. My daughter and my eldest son and I raved about them. It was a recipe needs tweaked a bit more, if I can get that done I’ll post it. Not sure when I’ll try that, they are special, not something to make “just any time”.

After breakfast I went about making a chocolate cake and cream cheese frosting for my daughters (12th) birthday celebration. I have a new Shannon Crystal cake platter which was a delight to use. I used a certain recipe for the cake, and upped the butter content as well as the chocolate content. Most recipes use 4 oz. of melted chocolate or 1/2 cup of cocoa. I used both amounts. 🙂 Very chocolately, semi-dry, lovely flavor, crumb. Not gooey, not soft, more dry and firm but still “cake”. We liked it, the “we” being me, my 14-yo & my 12-yo. Interesting, I’ll have to compare what I did with more chocolate cake recipes and figure out an even better cake.

Decoration for the cake was white “pearl” nonpareils that I found in Target’s Christmas baking section. 5.1 oz container $2.99 I used 1/8 of the bottle to sprinkle the top of the cake with a seeming “ton” of white pearls. It was very pretty.

When the cake was done I started other things for Thanksgiving Dinner, like I made gravy, got the sweet potatoes mashed (baked the night before, in their skins) which entailed peeling their skins off, then mashing … then making them into sweet potato casserole by adding brown sugar, pineapple chunks & juice, and cinnamon & melted butter. I don’t use a recipe, just throw it in on the fly.

I made green bean casserole using organic frozen green beans (french cut), crispy onions (another brand), and my recipe for the base (basically a white sauce with some added thing for flavor.) I mixed that up and bake it, then add more crispy onions on the top for the last 5 minutes of oven time.

I also made a cheddar cheese sauce to put over a cooked whole cauliflower head. (Something I make for most holiday meals.) It is one of my favorite things to eat.

We also had mashed potatoes (with sour cream instead of milk, for special) and two kinds of turkey gravy, dark and light (has to do with the roux, cooked longer it browns, gravy takes on the color of your roux.) I made dough for rolls and tried something new (my mini-muffins above were made with my brand-new mini-muffin pan, never had one before) — a small ball of dough in each mini-muffin hole. Then with the rest of the dough I thought of Parker House shape, but then went nuts and made something new.

The mini-muffin rolls turned out when baked as something that reminded me of something else. The other rolls reminded my daughter of something as I shaped them. So they are named:

1-up Mushroom Rolls (after Super Mario 1-up Mushroom) There are no real mushrooms in this roll (no mushrooms allowed in my house, I’m allergic to them.)

Tom-Kitten Rolls (after Beatrix Potter story, when rats roll Tom Kitten in dough with a pat of butter.)  For these I shaped them like this: Take a small piece of dough, flatten it into an oblong strip. Put a small pat of butter on one end and fold that end towards the middle and the other end towards the middle on top (thirds). Then take one opposite side and fold to the middle, then other other opposite side towards the middle and place on sheet pan covered with parchment paper.  I made different sizes of this and they were wonderful. Small and larger and even larger.

The stuffing I made was wonderful (the batch I had in the bird), but I forgot to reheat it for our big dinner! I couldn’t believe it when I realized that. It’s the thing I love about Thanksgiving the most. My husband put it the right way. “Your stuffing is my green bean casserole.” Well said.

So I threw it in the oven, then had a little bit so much later, couldn’t eat much since I ate my dinner as slowly as I could, waiting for the stuffing, but stuffed myself too easily anyhow. Sigh.

We had leftovers of all that for supper last night. It was really good then too. My favorite thing to do is what I call “Thanksgiving Stuffing Scramble” (I’ll make some for lunch today. It’s main part is, of course, stuffing. I use a skillet, melt lots of butter, add the stuffing, stir around as it heats up and sizzles and browns a bit. Then I add turkey bits and gravy, no over-mixing, letting it all heat up. Add some cranberry sauce on the side (yes, the jelly stuff in a can. I like it for the flavor and the cold smoothness of texture it adds.) Yum!

I also baked some stuffing in casserole dishes and saved that in the freezer for later. Then I made some with sausage. That’s in the fridge for sooner. I put red pepper flakes in it too. Whoo! It’s tasty, a bit heat oriented, but not tooooo much.

We ate no pie on Thanksgiving Day. (with dinner at about 4:30pm and a birthday party later, we didn’t want anything else.)

We had pumpkin pie for breakfast the day after though. I make my pies with organic canned pumpkin, and follow the Nourish Tradition’s method of putting it all together. Lemon peel, lots of eggs, grated ginger (though I didn’t do that part this year) & I add bourbon where the recipe says “brandy” I have bourbon always on hand. 🙂

My choice was using Wild Turkey Rare Breed Vanilla’d, which is something I made a couple of years ago. I bought the bottle, added two large vanilla beans and put it in a closet where it would never get any light and left it there for several months. It’s very nice. Very nice indeed.

So anyhow, the pumpkin pie is spicy, spicy, spicy, kicked up! Served with sweet raw whipped cream, yummy!

I also made an apple pie, still uneaten, not for long though. Then there is one more pumpkin pie waiting too.

Now it’s Christmas Season. So much to do again. 🙂

Transitioning again

We moved the big TV down to the “family room” again finally. It’s more finished than before, but still needs some work but is live-able now.

It’s been a fight to figure out what to do with this house. Really the main floor is so small & it’s use-ability is pretty much decided from there. For a small family it might work, but not for a medium size one like ours. 4 children & 2 adults in a less than 10×10 area for all meals? No way. So the “living” part of the main floor as it’s “supposed to be” has been less than work-able for us as the years have gone on.

We moved here in November of 1997 with one child, 1 1/2 years old. By one year time in the house we had two children. By two years after that we had three children. We had different furniture then, and got different things here and there, but all in all it was that every couch or couch-like thing we got just felt too big, but wasn’t big enough for us.

We ended up getting a 2×2 corner couch from Ikea finally. It was pretty much large enough for us, but even it’s smaller feeling type of big couch furniture didn’t feel right in that space. We had that couch in that room and moved it to the “basement” and back up and down I don’t know how many times really. But all in all it was nice for awhile, but it got raggedgy eventually and we never got another slipcover set for it, and the arms broke down and one seat fell through nearly, so I took one of the sections and threw it out so now we have a very long couch with one flattened arm and the other side isn’t an arm, but the old corner’s back. We’ve lived with it in this “living” space for a few months & it always felt just too much. Everything has been just too much since baby #4 has come to be, & is getting bigger, and bigger, and bigger … while everyone else is getting bigger too.

So now that monstrosity is in a better ready for us basement family room, ugly as it is, it’s OK for now. There is another thing, an Ikea chair to move down there, and an end table, then the “living” area will be re-organized as more of our “dining room” –which I did do some time in the past once, the area is a glorified entry/sitting room, not suitable as a true living room or family space for TV, games, etc.

Our kitchen is STILL in transition, and eventually MAYBE we’ll have a small eating area on the side of the kitchen opposite where the old eating area was. We had a small 4-person seating table when we moved in here and it fit fine there, adding a larger table was uncomfortable and it’s only ever felt right since that purchase to have it in front of the fireplace. The entry for our house leads right into that space directly. There is no wonderful entry hall of any sort. So having a larger family is just too much for this house. I’ve known it for years, hubby has known it too, but I feel it more, no doubt, since I’m here a ton more than he is.

We need to build shelves and such next to the fireplace. We have a wonderful space on both sides to use to make a very classic built-in flanking thing and I’ve had many stylistic ideas and my non-natural-handyman husband struggles to see how easy it is to build nearly anything we want with just some good old fashioned work with the tools we already have and the wood & MDF and such we can get at Home Depot just a few miles away.

One of these days we’ll have the money for me to say, “this is what we’ll do this weekend,” and just do it.

High Museum Family Membership

We just purchased a Family Membership at Atlanta’s High Museum. I’ve wanted to do this over the past several years to enjoy myself, and also to show art to my children as part of their education and also to learn to enjoy it fully in their lives.

What made me do it finally and fully is that the other day I saw a billboard with a Monet background of “Water Lilies” for the High Museum and I knew I had to go see whatever it was, but forgot to check it out online by the time we got home. I fleetingly thought of it but never a full enough thought to go to their website at any time. Not until last night.

My husband was planning what to do on our Anniversary (which is this coming Saturday, August 22) and had decided on dinner and a movie. I liked the dinner idea, but wasn’t thrilled with what movies are out there. So during the night I thought it through in my dreams and recalled the Monet billboard and looked it up this morning.

I saw that this is the last weekend of the Monet Water Lilies exhibition and knew that had to be what we did … and I knew we’d enjoy it more than a movie, especially since there aren’t any movies out we really want to see that much.

I’d like to go back with the whole family on Sunday afternoon, so that we can share the Monet exhibit with them (he’s one of my absolute favorite artists) thus we can go and enjoy it as adults on Saturday, and also know what’s what before taking the children the next day. Not our usual MO.

[dual posted: oldtimesummer blog & pastoralfarms blog]

Family Goings On

Family stuff: Found out recently our old Family Reunion is in August … haven’t been since I was pregnant with my second baby. That would be July 1998. I doubt we can go, but who knows. When I was younger the reunion was always in the third week of August. In my adult years they changed it to mid-July. I don’t know when it was switched back. In any case it’s right smack dab on our Anniversary this year, and I don’t even know if my husband will be here, with some legal issues going on between some individuals from a company he worked with that have roped him into it as well. It’s all nuts.

Then I found out yesterday that my nephew is getting married in September, not that far from where we live. My sister Becky (& her family) will be flying in, so we’ll get to see them, though I don’t know what the legal issues will be around then either, could be nasty. Our house isn’t ready for visitors at all, not that anyone will come here, but I can’t even offer anyone to come here is the point. It’s horrible for us.

My sister lives on the other side of the country. We just don’t get to see members of our family usually. It’s nice that it’s going to be nearby that the wedding is. Great luck actually!

Remembering Uncle Walt

On Thursday my Uncle Walt passed away. When I was 7 my mother had to be hospitalized for awhile so me and my 4 siblings were divided amongst relative. I was sent alone to my Uncle Walt & his wife, Aunt Mary. They were relatively still newlyweds at the time, not young, not old, just older than young. I lived with them for quite a few months, during the school year.

When I was 13 my family moved to South Florida. My Uncle Walt & Aunt Mary moved down there as well sometime after that. I loved going over to their place, finding peace and a classical sense of life when with them. “Classical” meaning, think “Classical music” as a general form for life. Music of that sort being important, church music, performance of voice, piano, organ, etc. A classy way of living, not base, not stuffy, not rich, not poor. Sane vs. the Insane home that was what I was from.

When I got married I asked my Uncle Walt to play the organ for the wedding. Maybe it would have been nicer for HIM to just attend, but I thought it an honorary position instead of having the stock church organist play. I later became friends with that organist, and he would have been great to have played at my wedding, but I didn’t know him at the time and was more than comfortable with having my uncle play at the event. I have always been glad I made that choice, and even more so today, since he’s gone from this Earth.

I hadn’t seen my uncle for quite a few years. He’s been cremated and I can’t attend his memorial service, and that’s alright. I remember him as a younger man, full of life and love of music and more.

My first big memory of him comes from the one-time I had a sleepover with my Grandma. I was 5 and a night at Grandma’s was a privilege which my older sibs had attained, and I was finally able to do it too. In this instance I had gone over and was in the kitchen with Grandma and my Uncle Walt was there too, eating spaghetti, winding it around and around his fork … he was eating alone because he was “going out” … I was facinated with the spaghetti winding around the fork thing, and there was a sense of energy & importance wrapped around him.

That was my one-time sleepover alone at Grandma’s … she died before I turned 6. When I was just turning or had turned 7 I remember sitting on the front porch of our house and Uncle Walt and his Mary coming up to the house, that exciting energy was emanating from them (getting married!) — who would have known that we’d be moving to another area of PA in just a few months, and that my Mom would be unavailable to us by the end of the year so we’d all be moved around the extended family, and I ended up having the wonderful experience of Uncle Walt and Aunt Mary all to myself! I suppose it’s my sort of thing from the start, part of a whole but very separate mostly. I loved them dearly. I hope to hug them both someday again.

Travel for business and baseball

We are in Tampa, as I have mentioned here – in a hotel that isn’t as nice as the one the night before, but that’s that. Embassy Suites in Tampa by the airport is really, really nice. We are now by the bay and it’s a different kind of place, very Florida and a crash pad.

Separate bedroom is tiny. Living room small, with balcony, cruddy but OK kitchen. The nicest thing here is that the bathroom has obviously been redone. [Now that I’ve written that I recall walking around the maze of outside corridors yesterday and passing some new appliance boxes in front of a couple of rooms. Dishwasher, Refrigerator, etc.]

There’s also a pullout sleeper couch and two narrow bunks intalled in a niche one on top of the other, of course. Plenty of places to put each of our 6 selves, but the bright spot in dealing with it all is the glass sliding door to the balcony. So many rooms don’t have a balcony, and many that do don’t have anything much worth looking at outside.

In this case there is water that sparkles as the sun moves overhead, it’s low tide, then high tide and the changes that brings. It’s interesting at least. Since it’s the Gulf side of Florida it gets too sunny and hot in the afternoon. Yesterday we got here in the afternoon. It’ll be nice to see the balcony all morning this day.

I have some schooling stuff with me, and that’s slated for this day as well (hubby is here for business, so we wait while he works.) We are also preparing for a birthday at the end of the month when my eldest goes from being a tween to a teen. :eyesroll : There’s some manners information we must all go over and practice again. It’s not just my eldest, he’s not as bad right now as some of the others really … and being stuck in a hotel room it’s not so long before someone is crying, another is sassing, another is screaming, another is … you get the drift.

Yesterday we were at a baseball game and today we go to another. I love baseball, and it was nice last night to sit by my eldest, he’s taking a higher interest in what’s going on in the game. Baby Q was a cutie too, but not interesting in the game, just showing off his toddler self to whomever would watch, particularly the row behind us.

I’m still nursing Baby Q at night and at home during the day every so often. I’ve not nursed this long with my others, it is just right for this one. Of late he’s picked up a new word to refer to me when he wants to nurse, ‘dink’ … so last night at the game he kept pulling at me ‘dink, dink’ … ‘Mama, dink!’ and I didn’t let him but awhile later I didn’t feel so “whatever it was” about it and he nursed and was that cute showoff from then on. Little stinker. 🙂

We are hosting

Our family hasn’t had much of colds/virus this past Winter, and that’s great. Spring though has bloomed, things are blooming and allergies are out and about in full and building to fuller force. Couple that with the first virus in a long time for us:

Asa was weird starting maybe Sunday. We were all very tired, and with the time change, just didn’t get to church. Monday we took Frank to the airport early in the morning. Asa was complaining of some troubles all day and layed around but wasn’t very communicative of what was wrong. Next day he seemed much better, but was dragging a bit more and historical perusal made me understand how he had felt and stamp it as a virus.

The kick to it also was that Baby Q was frantically hyper on Monday, especially later, and finally went to sleep later than I wished to my relief. I nursed him in the night a couple of times (yes, he still does this, my only baby that has wanted to go this long and at night at all after a couple of months of age) with 3:30am being the last night feeding of Tuesday morning, and he was alright then. He slept to after 8am, which is unusual and when I went to get him upon is complaining cry to get him he was very warm and obviously under the tutor-age of a virus. I nursed him then and within a half an hour, he threw up. Ewwww.

He slept most of the morning, and was very warm. I gave him infant tylenol which kept his fever down. He didn’t want to nurse at all, but I was able to give him some water, but even that didn’t stay down, not even just little sips. So we got through those wicked hours of Tuesday morning to early afternoon, with him sleeping mostly, and complaining upon waking and then throwing up. Miserable for him, but not the worst it could be. By later afternoon he hadn’t thrown up and was looking a bit better, but still warm. He finally also asked to be nursed and hasn’t thrown up since.

Tuesday evening he gained some energy and got on the floor for the first time that day, and ran around a bit and played with cars, a ball, his brother Asa, then tuckered out in less than an hour and was down for the night not long after. His “warmness” seems to have ended on Wednesday, so it was a little longer than a 48-hour bug, but not as bad after less than 24-hours.

The virus acted yet different in Russell, who came down with a runny nose and stuffy head and sore throat on Wednesday, and felt like laying around as well, so I let him, with the history of his two younger brothers. Asa had been saying his throat was a little scratchy since he was better, and I could hear that he sounded a bit clogged up, just a bit.

Victoria had been fine this whole time, but this morning I asked her how she felt, fine she said. But then she said she kind of had a headache and I asked her if she had anything diffferent in her throat or chest and she admitted some trouble there.

I myself felt strange all week, but chalk that up to allergies and also a migraine set I got on Sunday afternoon and had through Monday, with it abating Monday Evening and coming back during the mid-early wee hours of the next day, and then dealing with that all day Tuesday as Baby Q was sick, then it abated later in the morning somewhat, but I had a splitting headache suddenly in the evening when I was about to cook dinner and it was awful, migraine like, on the same side as my previous migraine, but also not migraine-like, and I also felt horrible, shaky and such, which is kind of migraine-like, but not so suddenly as that was, and I took some Motrin and ate some cheese, and it all slowly faded as I cooked dinner, faded to something … not as intense, maybe more a ringing feeling. Well then I felt sort of semi-feverish that night and the next day, not much though. I’ve been dragging since and just not up to par, but just under it. I had a few times on Wednesday and Thursday that I felt like coughing, but nothing really to cough about. During the night last night I had something moving in my chest and was able to cough it out, and felt that itchy feeling growing that I thought I might have noticed yesterday, but it wasn’t super apparent. Now it’s in.

Upon getting up I can see the rims of my eyes are more red, I feel more bloated in my face, feel wet and icky in my chest, with a light scratchy throat.

It’s not allergies, but might be exasperated BY allergies along side of it.

So it’s a virus that’s spread slowly to most everyone in the family, and shown itself differently but ending up similarly, that chest congestion thing, but it seems to be a light version, not everyone was very sick, the youngest of us got the sickest, not abnormal, but bounced back right away, and everyone else has had a walking sickness, I’ve made the other two boys lay down more though. I haven’t done that to myself, not that I could, and Victoria has yet to present a need for extra rest, only today claiming some symptoms of slightness.

I am concerned about this clearing out soon, hoping it doesn’t dig deeper and cause anything worse in the end. It’s been years since we’ve had any ear issues, and the only times of that was long ago when Victoria was just born and we were hit with cold after cold, then had to go to FL to my Dad’s funeral when she was just 1-month old and we were getting better, then got really sick while there, with other relatives being sick that were there, and Russell was 2, threw up and spiked a fever there, and had to go to an emergency clinic and got an antibiotic for ear infection. We went home all of us sicker and sicker and Russell ended up with a rash and we had to go to the doctor and so he has to not have penacillins, in case that’s that, but had to have another round of antibiotics for worse ears then, and Victoria had to have some too … ack! It was a miserable time. But never since then has that been the case.

So when we DO have a virus run through the family I get a feeling of familiar-ness that I want to not revisit fully, and count the days to clear and through to the other side. I’m hoping we get out soon. We are all a bit cranky and tested too easily, you know how that is, when everyone is sick, but not feeling all too bad, just not well yet. It’s the hardest on the babies, Q is not yet Two, but that’s fast approaching, and he’s learned a few screaming techniques that are Toddler-Two-like, unfortunately, in this sickly time. :rolleyes:

Frank’s 2008 B-Day

For Frank’s birthday yesterday I made cupcakes. Usually we don’t make cakes for his birthday, not regular cakes. In the past I would often make a cheesecake for his birthday, or nothing, since he didn’t care as much about cakes as, say, the children would for their birthdays. Frank doesn’t care much for holiday trappings, would do fine without them, so he says and acts, but if I have the energy to do something, he doesn’t mind, I suppose. Maybe actually likes it.

Holiday stuff for us is just “us” having no external family in the area we live in. THis makes it harder for me to get into all of it, compared to what I desire to have done, and could do when I was younger/single especially. Being older and a Mama of younger children is a hard job and something has to give.

I had planned to do a couple of firework things we had leftover from our New Year’s home show. I wasn’t sure we’d be able to do that, it was raining/drizzling/dripping out most of the late afternoon, and even at 8:30pm when I last had checked, but I was hopeful that when 9pm rolled around there wouldn’t be wet stuff coming down at all, and it did work out that way! That was nice, a couple of TNT “Cuckoo” fountains and some flashing little things. Just something special, nothing big, something different.

I hadn’t made anything cake-wise since I had made a cheesecake for Baby Q’s first birthday on June 23, not that long before. We didn’t want another so soon. So when it came time to make dinner I finally decided that wasn’t what I wanted and was inspired to make cupcakes.

I made vanilla cupcakes and chocolate frosting. Nothing fancy, just simple homemade cupcakes, delicate and moist, with homemade chocolate buttercream frosting. Simply frosted.

Vanilla Cupcakes with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

We had them after the fireworks, we didn’t do any candles on the cupcakes, not for big Frank. It was nice though, Happy Birthday singing was loud and full, the children really joining in for the first time for his birthday, so vibrantly at the least.

We all made him cards. That was our gift to him. We didn’t make anything else, but will get him something later, something that he’ll appreciate, like something Tiger’s related (MLB)

Baby Q Turns One

Well, Baby Q turned One Year Old on the 23rd of June. I forgot to post anything about it. I do suppose it was because I was busy with the birthday, then busy getting ready to go out-of-town right after.

Baby Q is growing up, not as much a baby, closer to a toddler now. I still BF him, he’s eating more food now though too. So poopy diapers are oh so much more different of late. :rolleyes:

Q is talking a lot now. Sure, only WE can understand what he says, but he says so much. Like a few days ago, he was being cute, running away from something, brother or something he was doing, and he fell down, and as he did that he looked up at me and his Daddy and said, “I fell down!”

One present we got him for his birthday is a Leap Frog musical table called the Learn & Groove Musical Table. It’s pretty cool, and he loves it. He makes things happen and stands there sort of bounce-sway dancing to the music. It’s a nice busy/learning toy that isn’t annoying to parents and siblings at all. We all love to play with him with it.

IKEA changing table TOP

On Thursday I wrote about the new “changing table” we got from IKEA, except for the fact that the “changing top” doesn’t come with it, it’s a separate purchase and that the store didn’t have them in stock, while it was assumed by the staff that there was at least one in the warehouse (self-service for the buyer) and there wasn’t one there at all when we looked.

So basically, I had looked online and checked availability for other stores, like Philly, Long Island, and such stores, just to see, thinking we could maybe gain access to one via talking on the phone to them and having it somehow shipped to us (the item is not available online to purchase, only IN the store itself.)

The thing about it all is, my Hubbie was going to be going to NYC on Thursday Night/Friday, and I told him that there was a brand new store in Brooklyn that IKEA’s website said had just opened the previous day or so. I had also told him that the Long Island store supposedly had availability of the product.

He wasn’t going to have a rental car, but be ferried around by a customer (usually he has his own rental car) and therefore didn’t think he’d be able to do anything about it, and didn’t know if there would be time in any case anyhow.

So on Friday I get a phone call from him telling me that they went to some stores looking for a couple of Wii things that no one around where we live has in stock, nor any online stores, he found nothing there in NYC. He was going to keep it a secret about what he did find though, and ended up telling me anyhow, thankfully, since surprises aren’t usually that good for me, it’s nicer to anticipate for awhile first, that’s half of the fun of something gifted or whatever you want to call it.

They went to the Long Island IKEA store, and said they had at least 20 of my desired item in stock, and that it wasn’t $20 as it was in ATL, but that price was crossed out and it was $15. So he brought one home with him from NYC to ATL (on the plane) and then to our home via our vehicle from the airport.

He got home late Friday night, actually Saturday, and so I got it out and put it together on Saturday morning. It’s very nice now, to have a REAL changing table that is nothing like I had for my other babies 7+ years ago. Baby Q has been changed on the bed and the floor most of the time, his whole first year, until just yesterday. I had originally bought a premium contour pad to use on our dresser, but that didn’t feel good and we just never used it, piled things on it instead, and used the floor on the main level with a travel pad from a diaper bag. Ugh.

I didn’t want a traditional changing table since it’s open to allow cats onto everything (we have cats galore compared to when we last had used a changing table.)

So we were able to get this changing table/dresser/chest thing from IKEA, minus tax, for $135. It’s a piece of furniture for now and the future. It’s nice. The only thing we’ll now do is change the hardware on the drawers, it’s a little fussy to use, LEKSVIK is the style.

I’ll find nice bin drawer pulls that will fit, I hope to, that is.

Ikea changing table

We went to IKEA the day before yesterday. We had a specific idea in mind: to get a small dresser to use as a changing table.

Once there we found a piece in the Leksvik line, that is small, but not too small, and has an additional piece to put on top that makes it into a changing table.

We liked it more than like. I’ve liked that series of furniture, I like the antique pine look, and the dark hardware, and the basic design of the pieces. We didn’t look any further since it was wood and would work and we liked it better than like.

If you haven’t been to IKEA before to buy something you might not know how it works, and also how frustrating it can be: You pick something out and get excited about it, even talk to the people in the departments about the items you are interested in on the Display Floor: then you go to the lower floor (in our case in Atl.) and search for the right AISLE and BIN for each product in the Warehouse. You find the right spot and … there is nothing there that you are looking for. It’s the right aisle and bin alright, but there is nothing of what you went there for.

Such was the case when we went down into the warehouse searching for the changing table top. It wasn’t there. Found an employee, they looked it up and said the computer says “1 in stock” … which in retail means, “there’s probably none.”

Great. Not. We got a dresser/cabinet specifically to work with that changing top. The dresser top isn’t large enough to use a changing pad, nearly, but the changing top is nifty and makes it safer to use. So if we could have, I’d have gone back upstairs and looked for something else to work, but it was close to closing, I had no time. I did like what we picked out, but there was no promise of ever getting the changing top there … they said the computer said there was no planned shipment of the product …

Here’s what it should look like

This is what we have right now though, the chest without the changing top:

My husband, at my request, asked if they could sell us the display that was on the floor. They said the department manager for that department was on vacation and only he could make that decision. :rolleyes:

I’ve checked online, other stores say THEY have it, just Atlanta doesn’t. So it’ll be a phoney solution for us, no doubt.

Yesterday I brought the package into the house, and put the dresser together. I had my eldest (12) help me some, and eventually had my Hubby help with screwdriver duty. It was a straightforward plan and went together with ease, for the most part.

Baby Q’s walking ability

Baby Q has been walking for a month now, very expertly in the house. Sometimes wobbles atimes, but is able to “walk at will” and “stay upright” 98% of most all situations.

He can walk fast, and could run, no doubt, but chooses to usually walk, walk fast. He doesn’t crawl much at all either now. Pretty much just walks.

We got him a real pair of shoes after he started walking, and they are very cute on him. White and navy “saddle shoe” type from Stride Rite. He needed a couple of wearings to ‘get used to them’ and then was off and walking fine in them. We got a cheaper pair of shoes at Babies R’ Us after that, they aren’t real leather, but man-made to look kind of like a suede, camel color. They are cool looking (I’ll get him in some pictures sometimes, wearing both pairs of shoes) and he walking right off the first time he wore these.

He wears shoes when we go out … not in the house, unless we are about to go somewhere, or just came home. Bare feet are best for walking, little baby feet getting shaped for getting older and doing more …

🙂 Strong feet take you places.

Baby Q is really taking off. He’s a pre-toddler, practically one, talking a mile a minute, very cute, very much my same baby as always, just growing up a big step-up this past month.

He’ll be One Year Old on June 23rd. Time doth flee us fastly!

Baby Q, Walking

Baby Q had been close to walking for a long while. It seemed “any day now” since 9 months, and finally, in this past week he started taking half-steps here and there, and after two days of that, he was ready.

So we now have a “walker” – a human baby, walking, stepping his way toward toddlerhood.

Baby Q – 10 Months Old

Baby Q turned 10 months on the 23rd of April. It’s been so busy, I haven’t had the time to write anything online …

He’s getting bigger, really advancing, so very, very close to “walking” but still “cruising” instead of actually taking own steps. He does pull up to standing from a sitting on the floor position, he can stand for a couple of minutes without losing balance and going “boom” — he’s just content to do all this and not “walk” … which is going to end at any time, sooner than later.

He “talks” all the time. Actually intelligible to me and some of our family here. It’s not really English, but close, getting there. Absolutely he mimics things I say often, and also says things for himself. He loves exploring sibling faces, with his fingers, and of course Mama and Daddy’s faces as well.

His [acronym title=”Papa”]grandpa[/acronym] was here for a few days this week, just left yesterday evening. He was very shy the first day, and the second day he was A-OK with him. He saw his Papa the first time when he wouldn’t remember, he was just barely a month old, and this last meeting was his second, but a first for Baby Q the near-toddler.

That’s all I can write now, I’ll publish this so that I put something up, and hope to finish it more fully later.

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