Sunday, November 29, 2009

Mothering style

I have started a link list on the sidebar. I am always growing as a mother. Some of these sites may give you something to think about. I don't parent the same way I did with my oldest or even with my youngest. I am always looking to add to my experience and knowledge as a mother. I am a bit judgemental at times though. I have strong opinions and sometimes I am prone to share them with those that don't care one bit. I am getting better at keeping my mouth shut when needed. (Some of my friends and family may argue that with me.) Some things about my parenting style are common in some circles and unheard of in others. I am glad that I live in a society that at least pretends to accept others. Here is a list of some of my mothering choices-

1) I breastfeed all of my children as long as I can

2) My children sleep with me till they are ready to move to their own bed (Eliot moved to her crib this month)

3) I believe babies need to be held ( tomatoes spoil not children)

4) I don't think male circumcision is necessary

5) I don't think you can force a child to potty train

This list by no means defines me as a mother but it is a simple place to start. Check back for updates to my link list on the side bar.

Annika holding Eliot when she was new

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Annika's Thanksgiving song

One of Annika's hobbies is to write songs. This week she has been on a roll. She has written a song about music, lying (don't lie), and Thanksgiving. Here she is singing her Thanksgiving song. It's hard to hear. You may have to turn your volume all the way up. Enjoy!

I am thankful for...

I am thankful for....

I am thankful for....
my job
my education
my self-actualization

I am thankful for.....
living within my budget
not having debt except for a mortgage and well worth it student loans
being able to provide all that my children need (if not all they want)

I am thankful for....
my best friend- my husband
Here are some old pictures of the kids that I like and wanted to share
Lyn about 2 and half years old
Danny age 5, Connor age 1
Annika technically not even her due date yet
Evan 20 months old
Eliot 8 months

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Chocolate vs. Bacon

I need chocolate. My husband hunts down the Halloween stash. All that is really left are sweet tarts and suckers. We have brownie mix but we are actually out of eggs. What to do, what to do? Cook bacon of course. As I put my feet up and watch the food network I am served two baked potatoes smothered with cheddar cheese and peppered bacon. That did the trick. I was served in bed and didn't even have to get up. Of course I had to share with an 11 year old and a 2 year old who crawled in bed with me. Who could ask for any more pampering?

You baked bread?

At church today they had their Annual Thanksgiving Bread Communion Service. I had to work in the nursery but I tried to get into the spirit of the activity. The goal was, for those that wanted to participate, to bake a bread that reflected something about their family. In other words a bread that reflected family roots or had some other significance. In my household we are privileged enough to claim Celtic ancestors from Wales, Ireland, and Scotland. To celebrate this heritage I wanted to bake a traditional brown bread. I enjoyed making it but it did not quite come out like I wanted it to. My oven cooks a bit hot and the results were a bit off. It looked okay though. It tasted alright. The kids ate it just fine. My husband said it would be fine with a lot of good butter. (Doesn't everything taste better with a lot of good butter?) I shared it with my class at church and not one of the toddlers turned their noses up at it. They didn't ask for seconds but no one said "yucky". I'll try this one again but I think I'll make smaller loaves and bake it 25 degrees cooler. Here is the recipe if anyone is interested in trying their hand.
5 cups whole wheat flour
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons of baking soda
1 teaspoon salt

1 cup butter

2 eggs
2 1/4 cups buttermilk

Mix the dry ingredients and wet ingredients separately. Then mix them together. Mix by hand till a stiff dough has formed. Knead thoroughly and separate into two balls. Flatten the tops slightly and with a large knife make an X on top of each about an inch deep. Bake for about 45 minutes in a preheated oven at 375 degrees.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

31 weeks

This has been an interesting week. Baby "Ben" wants to make sure I pay him plenty of attention. A few nights ago I was kept up all night with contractions. I had just come from a doctor's appointment the day before so I knew the baby was still breech. I wasn't too worried about contractions going anywhere without him being head down to speed things up. All in all I was tired all day at work the next day. Everything was fine at my doctor's appointment. My sugar was fine (it was actually a little on the low side) and my iron was OK but headed for the low end of normal. I guess I need to start cooking more liver for dinner!!

We'll see what the next few weeks hold!

Friday, November 20, 2009

What did they get into this time?

My little mischief makers kept dad on his toes today. Eliot got a pencil and drew all over the walls in the boys' room. Then both Evan and Eliot destuffed another couch cushion. And, they still weren't finished. During bath time they emptied a new bottle of kid shampoo into their bath water. Well, at least they smell all watermelony now.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Favorite Places

This picture was taken yesterday outside of my favorite library. It is a ginkgo tree. They are native to China. There are quite a few planted around the library. Their fall color was especially vibrant in the full sun. I remember when I first heard of this tree. It was during a seventh grade life science class. We had a leaf collecting / identifying project . Everyone wanted a ginkgo leaf for their collection. It was rumored that there were ginkgo trees at this library and downtown near some office buildings. I remember a boy (Jonathan) in our class had his mother collect some. I just can't remember if they came from the library or from downtown. He was generous enough and had enough leaves that he shared with everyone.

As an adult I never visited this library even though I passed by it many times. When I first started dating my husband we were walking in a nearby park and he headed up a hill to a building. He said he wanted to show me something. We went into the library. I was awestruck. the children's section was amazing. The selection of books, music, and DVDs was impressive. He knew I would love this. I was hooked after that (on the library and on him).

I take the kids here on a regular basis. Their preschool section is very toddler friendly. Here are some pictures of the big kids in 2006 under the ginkgo trees.

Here are some more pictures of the kids hanging out there this year.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Cheesy Squash

This is one of my favorite dishes. No one else real likes it though. I call it squash casserole but there really isn't enough in it to call it a casserole. I lightly peel the squash. I like to leave some of the skin on. I then cut it into slices. I chop the onion (I only use about a fourth) and sprinkle it on top of the squash in a pan. I add some butter in the bottom of the dish and sprinkle with salt and pepper. I then top with a lot of shredded cheese. Today I used cheddar and mozzarella. Bake at 350 degrees till the squash is tender and the cheese is all melted through.

On the side I cooked some fresh green beans with radishes. I coated the green beans with olive oil, sprinkled with salt and pepper and added a sliced radish. I baked them at the same time as the squash. They turned out great. The kids liked the radish pieces the best. They turned out tender and tasty.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

What a Beautiful Sunday

I usually work in the church nursery on Sundays. Today I had the day off and decided to attend services. The theme of the service today focused on military veterans. I was pleased with the message overall. My favorite part of the day was sitting in the back of the church near the doors to the outside. They were propped open to catch some fresh air. The church building is on top of a ridge. The sun was shinning and the view was beautiful. I felt happy but I felt alone. My views and outlook on life are a bit contrary to all of those around me. I have only met one person that shares even a small bit of my opinions on life. I married him. Lyn, Eliot, and Evan joined me at church today. They enjoyed their time in their classes and on the playground. Evan gave me hard time when it was time to leave.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

What's Lyn up to today?

Lyn and I were able to spend the day together. We collected our coupons and headed for the grocery store. We found some really good deals. We stocked up on some staples and are good for about a month. As soon as we got home she started baking brownies all on her own. I remember when I was her age I would watch my mother cook. I don't remember ever actually cooking much myself though. I didn't start cooking until I moved away from home after I married my first husband at 19. I was always calling my mother then to get recipes from my childhood from her. Today I just email her for help every once in a while for reminders or advice. Lyn is a lot more confident with her cooking skills for an 11 year old than I ever was at her age. As her brownies were cooking she started preparing an area outside for a small winter garden. We picked up some cabbage and broccoli plants to try growing this fall to be ready for harvest in the winter. We have a great protected spot in between the house and the driveway for a few plants. The sheltered area takes advantage of radiant heat reflected from the house and the driveway. We'll see what happens. Alabama can have fairly mild winters so maybe we'll get lucky and have some veggies after new years.

Friday, November 13, 2009

All in a Dream

Two nights ago I had a dream about my new little boy. I usually don't dream about my actual children before they are born. I will dream about labor and nursing but in the dreams I never see the child's face. In this dream I saw Ben's face. ( We are thinking about naming him Bennett). He had a head full of dark hair and dark eyes. I can remember the feel of him in my arms. Then he performed an act that is not quite so sweet and innocent. In the dream he pooped all over me. I was changing his diaper in my lap. (I tend to do that with my little ones.) I ended up with newborn poop all over me. Then I woke up to him kicking me. But I can still see him and feel his weight in my arms. At least I didn't wake up with baby poop all over the place. That would have been difficult to explain.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Crescent Roll Surprise

I need to go stock up on some groceries. Due to that fact I was at a loss as to what to cook for dinner tonight. I had some ground beef so I came up with something new. I browned a pound of beef with chopped onions and mushrooms. The beef was by no means lean. Before I drained it I added about half of the soup mix pictured. I mixed it well and then drained it. I then spooned some of the mixture into uncooked crescent rolls and baked them according to the package directions. The kids ate them up!!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Pumpkin Soy Milk

I saw this in the store today and thought it would be nice to try. It won't be in the stores for long so try to grab it if you can. It is sweeter than regular soy milk even for the flavored kinds. The pumpkin and spice flavors were just right. It wasn't over whelming. It would probably work well in coffee and holiday recipes like pumpkin pie or pumpkin bread.

You can go to this coupon blog to get a printable coupon for Silk soy milk.


Rain Rain Go Away....

Tropical storm Ida landed in Alabama and brought a lot of rain up here to central Alabama. Everyday on my way to and from work I pass over a bridge spanning a creek headed for the Cahaba River. The area under and around the bridge is a city park where the city hosts concerts, farmers markets, and free Friday flicks in the open amphitheater during the summer. All and all it is a popular place for everyone to come play and enjoy the scenery. My kids even don their swim suits and go for a swim sometimes. The whole are was flooded yesterday more than I have ever sen. Here are some pictures I took this morning on my way to work. For perspective I added some pictures from this summer to show some contrast. Look closely at the waterfall in the summer picture and you can see kids sitting and standing on it.

Summer pictures below of the same spot

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Veteran's Day

(click to learn more about this book)

This book is great to share with children. I usually check it out of the library to read with my older children. This year I waited too late to get a copy. I need to just buy one. It tells the story of fallen soldiers and soldiers missing in action. It is a great tool to explain the meanings behind Veteran's and Memorial Day. Annika asked me the other day why they were going to be out of school on November 11th. I told her it was Veteran's Day. I explained to her what the day was all about. She asked if there were any veterans in our family. I reminded her about her great-grandfather Daniel, my mother's father. He was drafted at the end of World War II. The war ended before he was sent overseas and he came back home safely. I then reminded her that her mother, yes me, joined the Army.

I did not serve very long. I did not even finish my training but I was proud to wear a uniform. I was pregnant with Lyn when I left the Army. I would support any of my children in a decision to join the military. The pride would be immense. Let's hope that all children learn a little about the true meaning of the day and it consists of more than a day off of school and sales at all of the stores. To help start teaching the little kids about the day we worked on some simple patriotic art projects. In these times all of our service members need our support.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Rolling, Rolling, Rolling Down the Hill

The weather was great today. It was perfect for hanging out in the backyard. The little kids had fun rolling down the hill, picking flowers, and playing with the soccer balls. Can't beat November in Alabama.