Sunday, November 28, 2010


Thanksgiving has come and gone, and we are spent! And thankful! We celebrated with both of our parents and my brother. Jeff cooked a wonderful classic feast, my mom brought squash lasagna, and we finished with a medley of pies. We are thankful that our families get along and are willing to share holidays together.

The rest of our weekend included quite a few special outings: our first turns on the mountain - beautiful snow for this early in the season. Owen's first movie in the theater - MegaMind ended up being a private showing for Mom, Dad, and Owen. A "field trip" to Grandma/Grandpa's hotel (and pool). An afternoon of play at Nana's. A date night for Scott and I with dinner and HARRY POTTER!

We are thankful for grandparents that generously traveled through the snow to join us for the long weekend and then volunteered to watch the boys, so we could get out and about.

The other adventure of our weekend was finding ways to repurpose the holiday feast. Of course, we ate lunches of turkey, stuffing, and mashed potatoes, but that was just the start. The turkey carcass turned into 2 GALLONS of stock. Jeff&Ethel took home frozen gravy. Scott made sweet&spicy mac&cheese with chipotle turkey. Today, I made turkey-lentil-barley soup to share with friends, and then a turkey-thyme casserole for our freezer. We are thankful for the endless feast!

After everyone hit the road today, we had a family swim at the pool and then spent the evening at Luke&Tara's, so the little boys could play and the big boys could continue their beer brewing adventures. Can't wait for the next batch to be finished - the midway taste today was delicious! We are thankful for dear friends and the beautiful town we live in!

And it looks like Scott and I will be asking Santa for a new camera this year, as ours is good for about 2 photos before it crashes. Hence, no pictures of the feast or aftermath. But we did get the snow day pictures in the post below.

Now, for the turkey induced coma.

Snow Day

Winter is in full force around here. I love the snow - in theory, but the practical application of getting two kids out the door in snow gear leaves something to be desired.

Thankfully, the winter wonderland seems to make the work worth it...

And, what good is a morning in the snow if you don't get to relax with a cup of hot cider or hot chocolate by the fire after...

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


My kids love pancakes. It's one of the few foods that both of them (even Josh!) will happily eat and usually ask for seconds. That MAY have something to do with the addition of syrup, but "calories in" is what counts around here folks.

Natrually... we got through a lot of pancake mix.

We've been reliant on Krusteaz whole wheat pancake mix for some time because I can't justify buying one of the fancier mixes - though they really do make much better pancakes. However, even the Krusteaz seems pretty expensive for what amounts to a bag of fancy flour, and...

Naturally... Costco does not sell the whole wheat mix, only the buttermilk.

We're trying to eat less processed foods and cook from scratch when we can. It's healthier and more cost effective.

Naturally... I've been thinking about making my own pancake mix.

So last week, I pulled out the trusty Better Homes and Gardens cookbook - the one with the red and white checkered cover - my go to classic. Imagine my embarrassment to see how rediculously simple it is to make pancakes from scratch. It's like 8 ingredients - flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, egg, milk, oil - one bowl, and 90 seconds.

Let me tell you, those were the best pancakes! I used whole wheat flour and tossed in a 1/4 tsp of cinnamon. They fluffed perfectly on the stove, crispy outside, airy inside, beautiful color, even shape. Beautiful and delicious! I even thought about taking a picture, but I was too focused on scarfing down the finished product. I was totally stoked putting the plates on the table and doling out the syrup.

Naturally... my kids did not eat them.


(But don't worry. We're persistent and I made the pancakes again on Sunday to show Scott. This time, the kids ate a more reasonable amount. I'm never buying bag mix again!)

Monday, November 15, 2010

Summer Lovin - County Fair

This year, we made the a family trip to the County Fair. I love that our fair has all the classic fair events that you would find at the Puyallup Fair, without the 2 hour traffic and parking nightmare. We just pulled up, parked 100 feet from the entrance, ran into some friends as we walked in the gates, and collected our fill of barnyard animals, fried food, hokey vendors, and cheesy rides.

In a strange way, I kind of enjoy wandering through the barns with all the 4H animals. It's amazing how many kids commit the time to raise those rabbits, chickens, goats, sheep, or pigs. I'm hoping our kids are happy to go visit the animals each year... and not actually go through the work to raise them!

This was the first year that Owen was old enough to try out the rides, and (lucky us), he LOVED them. Not an ounce of fear in that boy.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Teeny Tiny

Fact 1: We have small children.
Fact 2: Our pediatricians are awesome.

We had Josh's one year check-up a few weeks ago, where we confirmed that, no surprise, he is teeny tiny. Yes, kids come in all shapes and sizes, but our guys seem to be experts at avoiding those pesky lines on the growth charts. Josh got extra scrutiny from the doctor this time around because his low weight (17 lb, 5 oz - about the size of your average 6-8 month old) was coupled with 10 days of constant diarrhea. That weight puts him in the "failure to thrive range" (which is a horrible term, so our doctor said we can just refer to him as a "little peanut" instead), and the tummy issues had us concerned that perhaps something medical was going on.

So, off we went for blood work and stool samples (yuck, yuck, yuck) to rule out common allergies, celiac, major tummy infection, thyroid problems, and problems absorbing fats. So far, all tests negative. Josh is somewhat anemic (but not the iron-deficiency kind - did you know there are multiple kinds of anemia??), but that's just another symptom, not a cause. At our follow-up with the doctor, she covered a whole host of other tests we could consider, but in the end, we decided to run one more test to rule out cystic fibrosis (low weight gain and malabsorption are two major symptoms) and then return to a wait and see approach for the next 3 months.

I honestly tried not to stress about the CF test. I never looked it up on the internet, and I kept reminding myself that the newborn blood screens had already tested Josh for CF (among other genetic diseases) twice. Of course, I still found myself thinking about it in the wee hours of the morning, so it was a HUGE RELIEF to get that negative test result. FEW!

So, where does that leave us? Well, with a 17 pound tiny mite, who is hitting all his developmental milestones, except in the weight category. With a joyful, bald, walking one year old, who's first word is officially "no." And, with 3 months to figure out a way to get this child eating some more calories - especially since that walking is soon going to be running, and then we're really going to be fighting battle to keep "calories in" exceeding "calories out!"

Summer Lovin - Gearhart

Since we're halfway through November, it seems only fitting to post about some of those summer events that kept us too busy to hunker down behind the computer... Not to mention, I can really use this review of the sunshine months before we dive into winter.

These are pictures from our August vacation to Gearhart (long weekend). We were able to crash on Jeff & Ethel's annual vacation, and even snagged the condo unit right next to theirs. It ended up being an ideal situation - our own place for the kids to sleep, but we could still stay up late doing puzzles and socializing. Unfortunately, Josh was a pretty HORRIBLE sleeper throughout the weekend, so we had some tough mornings. Thankfully, Owen popped awake each morning and just raced down the hall to hang out with Aunt Kate, J&E, and Merv and Diane.

This year, in stark contrast to our last trip to Gearhart two years ago, the weather cooperated for some wonderful days in the sand. Here are the pictures!

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Brain Dump

A little rapid-fire posting while the kids are both napping. I have a whole list of back posts to get on the screen (you know, so I can pull them all into our family scrapbook someday!) Catch up on our latest happenings below.

That's My Boy

You may notice a plethora of Josh posts and pictures recently. Owen has been in a "don't take my picture" mode these days. And oddly, there seems to be so much going on with Josh, that some of Owen's antics get lost in the shuffle. Either that, or we're so exhausted after dealing with the antics all day long, that they lose their luster when it's time to document our lives. I will just say that Owen is continually astounding us with his unending energy. He is probably a better behaving 3 year old than we give him credit for. He loves to be a part of everything - helping in the kitchen, snuggling close to read stories, playing (way to closely) with Josh, and interjecting himself into every conversation. In typical 3 year old fashion, he knows how to push buttons, ask why until we cry "uncle," and test every limit to the extreme. He is also incredibly inquisitive, a creative story teller, passionate about everything, and hilarious on a daily basis.

These are a bunch of random, but telling, pics of what Owen's been up to lately:

This is how Owen does yoga - get mom's mat out, join me for about 3 "animal themed" poses - downward dog, cat/cow, tree pose, and then decide the mat makes a better long jump track to run and LEAP across the room.
Owen protests his nap on a daily basis. We have a deal that I will check on him after 20 minutes and if he hasn't fallen asleep, he can get up and have 30 minutes of "quiet play time" instead. 4 out of 5 times, he falls asleep for over an hour. That's a good thing, because "no nap" days lead to one cranky kiddo and any late afternoon car ride is likely to result in this:
A random October snow day lead to an impromptu "snow gear testing" party after dinner.

Scott has been teaching him the famous frowny face from birth. Seems to be working.

The Many Birthdays of Baby J

Josh ended up with three separate birthday celebrations this year. Lucky kid.

The first was early in the month, when we participated in the "shared birthdays" celebration for our playgroup. Seven of the big kids turned 3, so Josh got to tag along. Just like last year, this group celebrated at the pool. Last year, my big pregnancy goal was to be able to attend the party, and Josh complied... he was born about 6 hours AFTER we left the party.

Owen at the table with the big kids.
Josh hanging out with his friend Zoe (and the back of Calvin's head). These kiddos (along with Jett, Miles, and Olivia) are the "second generation" for our playgroup - it won't be long before they are giving the big kids a run for their money! Seven 3-year olds and one 1-year old!

Celebration #2 was on Josh's actual day of birth. A little family celebration after dinner. Owen liked helping make the cupcakes, wrap presents, and create a crown for Josh. Josh, on the other hand, was not so thrilled about the crown... until we set the cupcake down in front of him. This child may not eat much, but he sure knows what to do with cake and frosting!

Josh got a set of cars/trucks from Owen and we got him some magnets and a magnet board to hang on the wall, plus a couple fuzzy toys that Scott snagged from Ikea during his recent trip through Portland.

Celebration #3 followed the next weekend with family in town. We were able to have a joint birthday party for Josh and Kate - who celebrated her Golden Birthday this year - 25 on the 25th! Grandma & Grandpa and Conrad & Glenna were all in town for the weekend (we were all planning on participating in a half marathon that weekend, but the local event got canceled, so we were forced to spend a bit more time celebrating with Guinness-Pumpkin Gingerbread Cake, appetizers galore, and a late braised pork dinner. We all could have used a 13 mile walk after that one!)

Happy 1st Birthday (times 3) baby J!