Dec 29, 2010

New Direction?

I admit a modicum of surprise at the lack of response to my last post. I KNOW it got read. 74 times, in fact. (Thank you StatCounter) I shall have to ponder further the meaning of this vacuum of conversation.
In other news, I am feeling rather directionless. We've been at the inlaws now for 12 days. That is a long time to ask ANYONE to let me live with them, even people as saintly as my inlaws (aka the best inlaws EVER). I'm ready to be in my own place and set my own schedule. Oh, and walk around the house without a bra. Or clothes. You know, if I want. I would never ACTUALLY do that, I'm much to proper. Eh hem.

Without school or any other activity or person taking up my time and energy I'm kind of lost. I think I shall open a preschool. That sounds suffiecently time-consuming.

Dec 28, 2010

A Letter To A Bastard

NOTE: Toward the end it does get a tad graphic. 

Dr (Name has been removed to protect the not-so-innocent),
I've waited a long time to write this letter. Two years, in fact. At first, I waited until the rush of postpartum hormones had subsided, to make sure I wouldn't be unduly influenced. Then I waited, hoping time and counseling for post traumatic stress would render this letter unnecessary.
But now, on the eve of my daughter's second birthday, I understand you need to know what I have to say, so you can avoid harming other patients in the future.
Two years ago, word on the street was, you were the best provider for TOLAC on the east side. I visited four other offices before deciding my sources were right. I knew that you and I hadn't clicked on a personal level, but that was OK with me, as long as I got my VBAC.
When I presented to the hospital with epigastric pain the day before Thanksgiving, I expected a gallbladder ultrasound and some IV fluids. What I got was a cesarean. Not a medically indicated cesarean, not a voluntary repeat cesarean. A cesarean consented to under duress. A cesarean based on a lie.
It's taken me two years of heavy research and a bio-ethics class to more fully understand what took place that day.
When you came by the hospital to see me the first time that day, you asked if I were ready for my c-section. I said no. We ran blood work. I spent the entire day in a bed doing nothing. The tests came back normal, but you said my pain was probably due to my liver going into failure.  I couldn't believe normal blood work could indicate liver failure, so I asked for, and was refused (according to you, by three different doctors)  a GI consult, you said that you'd consulted with a perinatologist and he'd recommended a section as safest for both me and the baby.  Even though both mine and the baby's vitals had been within the range of normal for nearly the entire visit. (episodes of pain excepted when I did exhibit elevated BP readings but the baby's tracings were normal the entire stay). I did not, at any point during this visit, see or speak with another provider.

When you came back to talk with me that evening, the pain had mostly subsided. It was at this point that you again recommended a repeat cesarean. I asked if my husband and I could think about it over night, since there didn't appear to be any immediate danger. This is the good part. You told me, "If you leave, it will be AMA. Against medical advice, and your insurance company won't pay for anything we've done here today." That verbatim quote is seared into my memory because it was the pivotal statement you made that sent me down the road of a repeat cesarean instead of the VBAC I desperately wanted. It was also a lie. I have no idea if you really believed your statement to be true or if you knew The Hubs and I could never have afforded all those tests and continuous monitoring without insurance. What I do know, now, is that in addition to being completely false, this statement constitutes legal coercion. I did sign the consent form for the surgery, but not willingly. I signed it, because you made it clear signing was my only option.
I knew a second cesarean greatly reduced my chances of a future vaginal birth. You brought that little nugget of knowledge to crystal clear point in the operating room when I asked you to stitch my uterus on two levels, to increase the chance of VBA2C. You said, "not with me, you won't". But that was something I'd already decided.
And then you proceeded to mock me as I lay naked, numb and very cognitively aware on the operating table. With my guts on my chest and your hands in my abdomen, you derided my request and my choices, making perfectly clear your dislike for me as a person and my desire for vaginal delivery; a birth that science has repeatedly shown is safer for both mother and child.

The question I have is this: Was your Thanksgiving meal really so important that you risked my life, my future birthing opportunities and my child? Two years later, do you even remember that day? Because I do. I am fighting an internal battle to be happy it's my daughter's birthday when all I really want to do is curl up and cry because every time you touched me, every incision, every tug, every stitch-- constitutes battery when performed without consent. Dr. Name has been removed. I did not consent.

I hope in future you will treat all your patients, even the one's you don't like, with the respect and regard they deserve. Keep beneficence and non maleficence first in your mind, not a turkey dinner.
note: that's not me. When splayed on a table, I'm MUCH more attractive.

Please read about my healing birth here.

Dec 24, 2010

Kiddo Update

Sorry for the several weeks worth of gap in posting. We moved and I've been building a train table for the kids' Christmas. Just so you know, it's cheaper to get a train table off Craigslist than build one from scratch, but if you want a very nice, very new train table, build it. I'll do a post soonishnest on the whole shebang.

Here's what the kids are up to, more for my records than anything.

ZSA ZSA


  • Is talking a LOT. Every sentence starts with, "I want".
  • Likes to spin in circles until she falls down, then get up and do it again. Sometimes she says. "I fyeeing!" while wearing a cape and running in circles. 
  • Says lots of things she doesn't mean, like "go away". Every time I take her up on the offer, she cries. So we've starting working on what go away ACTUALLY means. Next on the list is "hurts".
  • Calls dogs (and random other things) "scaweey MONstoos" (scary monsters)


The Boy

  • Is loving spending time with Grandpa. They feed the cows and take rides in the truck, during which The Boy falls asleep. (Thank you, Grandpa). My kids are so lucky to have such awesome grandparents.
  • His most common sentence is, "Mom, I want you to play a game with me". At least it starts with "Mom" instead of, "I want".
  • LOVES school and was sad when Thursday rolled around and we didn't have preschool. Very sad. I need to start one up here in  January. 

Dec 12, 2010

My Birthday

This year my birthday has really snuck up on me.
I think that means I'm getting old.
I had come to terms with the 6 gray hairs in my part, even.
Then...
I found a gray hair in my EYEBROW (which I promptly plucked, because, hello gray eyebrow hairs and chasing toddlers don't go together)
This new discovery made me re-count the gray hairs in my part.
TWELVE.
GASP!  
When did this happen? I'm willing to bet half are child-caused and the other half are school related. 
Ms. Clairol and I need to have a serious discussion.
I'm fine with being mature but I am NOT OK with gray eyebrows.
Back to my birthday, or lack thereof.
This year the presents are kinda boring.
The Hubs got me prescription sunglasses. I'd say I need these because I'm old, but I've worn glasses since 3rd grade. I REALLY need these because my current sunglasses are SO last decade...and three prescriptions old. I get headaches switching back and forth. Eves Saint Laurent frames, normally $250, but I got them for $18, because I'm awesome like that. And they were discontinued. :)
We were going to try cross country skiing this week, but alas! Time, money and motivation were all in seriously short supply over the weekend. Instead, I'm going to take a math final for my birthday.
Hooray.

Dec 8, 2010

The Bed-A Satire

I don't know WHAT The Hubs gets up to at night, but every morning our bedding is in complete shambles. Before I was married, I woke up in a bed that was already made. One flip of the covers to get out, and reverse it to make the bed.
Now, it takes a planning meeting and SpecOps forces to put our bed back together again, because All The Kings Men and All the Kings Horses just weren't cutting it anymore.
I've quit trying. Making the bed simply can not occupy half my morning.
I had a new strategy that consisted of :

  1. Agreeing with The Hubs that the last person out of bed had to be the one to make it
  2. Getting up earlier than The Hubs.
Apparently, he thought of the same strategy, because suddenly I'm waking up to an empty bed at 4:45am.
I can't compete with that.

Resistance is futile. I'm giving in to the dark side and leaving the bed unmade. Don't tell my mother.

Reducing Unnecessareans

OK, this paper could have been better, but I just didn't have any TIME. So I totally turned in my rough draft. Don't judge me. I have a 98% in this class.


In the United States today, an unborn child has almost a one-in-three chance of coming into the world via surgical birth. The 32%2 rate is over twice the upper limit recommended by the World Health Organization. It’s one of the highest rates in the developed world. What’s more, this increase in cesareans hasn’t markedly improved fetal outcomes and has drastically increased the risk of maternal mortality. It is time to address the issue of “unnecessareans”.
            In 2003, The United States fetal mortality rate was over 7% with a cesarean rate at 21.1%. In contrast, during the same time period, The Netherlands had an infant mortality rate of 5% and a cesarean rate of 12.7%. They also had better maternal outcomes.1 The most current statistics for cesarean in the United States put it at 32%.2
An article in the October 2010 issue of “OB.GYN News” by David Priver, MD goes over some of the reasons the cesarean rate in the United States is so high. They include professional liability, the demise of operative obstetrics, impatience, lack of an analytic approach to VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean), and no one teaching the skills to do vaginal breech births to today’s obstetricians. (Luckily, midwives are still teaching new midwives this skill set and Canada has recently asked its midwives to teach new OBGYNs these skills.)
The ethical dilemma facing healthcare providers is, how do we provide the best outcome for mothers and infants, while also providing care that is above reproach and therefore, immune to litigation. One part of healthcare that has changed in recent decades is the belief that the fetus is a patient, too. Prior to sonograms, we didn’t care as much if the fetus lived or died, it was much more important that the mother live to birth another day, hence the advent of the crochet hook abortion for fetus’ too large to fit through a malformed pelvis, or for term fetal demise. Abdominal surgery just wasn’t a viable option if you wanted the mother to live.  This changing view occurred simultaneously with a skyrocketing litigious movement, making physicians less likely to practice evidence-based medicine, and more likely to perform what was deemed “best practice” by lawyers, regardless of the personal convictions of the physician, or what research showed to be the best course of action in a certain situation (i.e. breech vaginal delivery over primary c-section for a woman who hasn’t even gone into labor yet).
Medical schools began to train new obstetricians not in the management of normal birth, but in the pathology of abnormal birth. New OB’s looked for, and found, pathology everywhere they looked because that’s what they were trained to see.  This new way of teaching coincided with the introduction of fetal heart-rate monitors; a device strapped to the laboring woman that supposedly gives a realistic readout of fetal distress. Health care workers began to treat “the machine that goes ‘ping’”, not the patient. Studies have shown, and even the American College of Gynecology and Obstetrics agrees, that the use of continuous fetal monitoring doesn’t improve the outcome for most infants, and has quite a marked effect on decreasing outcomes for the mothers, namely in the form of cesareans and their vast and varied complications.5
We start to see now that doctors have forgotten their oath to do no harm to the mother, in their haste to prevent perceived harm to the fetus. One can only surmise the foremost thoughts in the mind of the physician are the lawsuits he’s evading by following “best practice”.  The real question is, in whose best interest are decisions being made?
When we approach this dilemma from the viewpoint of an absolutist metaethical theory we can ask ourselves, what known truths are being subverted by the physicians in their push for unnecessary surgical births?  There are several answers: the innate autonomy of the woman to make informed choices about her body and her birth, the duty of the physician toward primum non nocere, and the duty of the physician to ensure informed consent. All of these innate rights are being violated in the push for surgery to “cure” what might be “wrong”, not with the primary patient, but with the fetus.
We can look to other countries for ideas to drastically lower our surgical birth rate while maintaining or improving patient outcomes for both mother and child.
The first thing health care providers could do is to spend more time with patients educating them prior to conception, and throughout pregnancy. This would not only allow time to educate, but also foster trust between the mother and the person she has chosen to see her safely through birth. Currently, mothers receive no prenatal counseling and physicians spend on average four minutes per visit with each mother. This means the average healthy mother spends 22 minutes with her provider between conception and the start of month eight. By the time birth is eminent, a mother will have spent less than an hour total with her doctor. Contrast that to the midwifery model of care that has the patient spending, on average, one hour per visit and that hour is frequently in the mother’s home. In addition, many midwives adopt a model of group prenatal care that allows for additional time spent with a group of women in similar gestation, fostering a community of trust and support between both the provider and other pregnant women. This model has been shown to drastically reduce the fear and pain associated with childbirth.  Obviously most doctors are not in a position to offer this level of care, and most people couldn’t afford for a physician to provide it. An alternative would be to let doctors provide the care for truly high risk patients, and shift to midwifery for healthy women.
Another factor in the high cesarean rate in the United States is an epidemic called “failure to wait”. In our need for instant gratification, we forget that babies are not parcels delivered by UPS. They do not have an “arrive by” date, nor do they expire if not delivered within a prescribed time limit of 39 weeks, 6 days. The latest research surmises labor begins when the baby’s lungs send out a signal saying “we’re ready!” and not a moment before. For prima gravid patients, this is 41 weeks, 3 days! Cervical ripening agents and pitocin not excepted, a baby simply won’t be born before it is ready. Pitocin isn’t even an FDA approved medication for labor induction without medical cause, yet women request it, and doctors prescribe it and health care providers abuse the dosing schedule, increasing the rate too quickly or using a starting dose exceeding the package insert, all to make the baby come before the ball game/vacation/holiday/dinner. There is even a movement called “pit to distress” which basically says we’ll ramp up the pit until the baby can’t handle the intensity and frequency of contractions, at which point we’ll tell the mother her baby is going to die unless we do a cesarean. This isn’t even a lie because at that rate, the baby WOULD die—squeezed to death by the womb.
A third idea for reducing the cesarean rate in the United States would be to not only discuss, but educate and encourage women with previous cesareans to birth vaginally. Set up support groups and classes to make sure mothers make informed decisions about their options. You would be hard-pressed to find a surgeon who discussed all the risks of repeat cesareans with mothers. Just a few are adhesions, baby having to spend time in NICU because the cesarean was performed prior to spontaneous labor so baby has difficulty breathing, and placenta acreta (a disorder where the placenta grows into the scar tissue from the previous incisions and won’t let go when the surgeon determines it’s time; this frequently leads to hemorrhaging and subsequent hysterectomy).
In healthcare today, women need to demand better care from their providers. If our physicians won’t do the job of educating, we must find our education elsewhere. ICAN, the International Cesarean Awareness Network has many good resources and chapter leaders can be found in most parts of the country. Healthcare workers must act as guardians of labor and laboring women, ensuring the proper management of normal labor. Meaningful tort reform MUST pass, to give doctors the freedom to do what is best for patients, not the malpractice insurance agency, and every person must realize birth is a delicate dance between the baby and the mother. Health care providers are there simply to make sure the two of them do what they were designed to do, and nothing more.  
The risk of complications up to and including major abdominal surgery to birthing mothers can be reduced if our society takes a step back and remembers to treat birth as a physiological process to be watched and guided, rather than a pathological condition in need of treatment or management; birth by design, rather than birth as cure. Teaching the nation’s birth attendants the normal processes of labor in its many variations, rather than a set form of numbers that MUST be adhered to, “or else” will go far in reducing unnecessareans.



2.      Ob.Gyn News August 2010, p.1
http://www.ourbodiesourblog.org/blog/2009/07/acog-issues-new-practice-bulletin-on-continuous-electronic-fetal-monitoring

Dec 4, 2010

The Saga of a Song

Every night, Zsa Zsa and I have a routine.
I get the toothbrush, she yells "TEEF!!!" and we brush.
We say a prayer with the family.
I read her a story.
Then we shut her doors, say good night to the baby in the mirror and flip off the light after which Zsa Zsa says, "rock-a-bye".
We sit in the rocker and she snuggles into my chest and dictates the songs. 
Always the same songs.
Always in the same order. 

  1. "Sunbeam!" I get two bars in and she stops me.
  2. "Jesus!" This can get confusing because she either means "Sunbeam" again, or "I Am A Child of God"
  3. "Heavenly Fadder!" This one is "I Am A Child of God"
This is all well and fine until we get to nursery on Sunday, because in nursery, we sing these songs. She does OK until we get to "I Am a Child of God" at which point my already tired daughter throws a MAJOR hissy fit. We're talking, screaming, falling to the floor, heal banging included, until the song is over.
Every.  Week. 

Dec 2, 2010

Travel Plans and Life Plans

We have tentative plans for our move back to Arizona. Finals are the week of the 12th. My last final is the 16th. This is also (crazily) the day we've planned to toss all our worldly possessions into the car, top with children, and drive to St. George.
The next day we will repeat the above scenario, minus the final, and sub the destination with Gilbert, AZ.
I'm hoping to spend a few hours with family in St. George on Friday. Especially my grandpa.
The Boy is a champion traveler, but Zsa Zsa....well not so much. Two straight days in the car with her will require heavy medication (I don't care who gets it, me or her) or a long rest for the kids Friday before we get back in the car.
 I have SO many plans for when we get back home!
High on the list are:
potty training (Zsa Zsa, not me. I've got that one down, thankfully)
ditching the ever-present binkie (again, Zsa Zsa)
starting a preschool in my front room, because teaching in Idaho has been SO much fun!
taking another math class, so I can get done with math and never have to take it again
build a toy kitchen for my kiddos out of re-purposed materials
build a set of beds from www.ana-white.com


or maybe this

Nov 30, 2010

Seriously? On Purpose?

Of all the things I've done to myself, this may be the worst. 
This is my list of things I must get done in the next two weeks. 
  1. Math test, due tomorrow
  2. 5 page final paper for Ethics (aka the world's most pointless class)
  3. Final Pathology Project WITH PowerPoint presentation, due Friday
  4. Last test in Pathology, Thursday next
  5. Last Anatomy Lab test, Friday next
  6. Math Final
  7. Ethics Final
  8. A&P Final, over two SEMESTER'S worth of information
It goes NEARLY without saying that I'm totally unready for all of these things.
    Kill me. Just kill me know. Owing to my extremely full schedule the next two weeks, I don't think I'll be able to fit in intentionally kicking my own bucket, as it were. Really you'd be doing me a favor.

    Nov 28, 2010

    Zsa Zsa

    Zsa Zsa has reached two parentally uncomfortable stages.
    1. ON her birthday, she learned how to say, "why-ya". I knew this was coming. 'Why' is a very 2-year-old thing to say...but ON her birthday? 
    2. She has also reached the age wherein I cringe every time she opens her mouth in public. *I* know what she's saying, but to everyone else it sounds like she has a potty mouth or is racist. The other day she says, "FAG! Fag ha sta-oos". Yes Zsa Zsa, the flag has 50 stars. She also says "Jew" ALL the time! But it's just because she hasn't figured out there's another sound in 'juice'. This is (sort of) a family blog so I'll just say fork is isn't the first thing that comes to mind when she mentions the pronged eating utencil...

    Nov 25, 2010

    Thanksgiving

    It's just not a family gathering until someone cries. Luckily, this Thanksgiving totally qualified.

    Also, nearly everyone ended up all upset at some point (and by nearly every one I mean at least two of us) because, hello, it's a family of girls. Opinionated, stubborn girls. Good times!

    Seriously though, I love my family. This was the first year I got to be in control of the kitchen. <cue evil laughter> The mashed potatoes were too salty, the cranberry relish languished, forgotten, in the back of the fridge, but the bird. Oh the bird was MAG-NIF-I-CENT. My goodness. From now on I will always, ALWAYS brine the bird. I've had turkey roasted, deep pitted and fried. My friends, I'm here to testify that brining is the only way to go when it comes to turkey. Well, unless you are in Disneyland, in which case I highly recommend the fried turkey legs, but skip the churros. Just get in your car and zip down to Costco. $7 cheaper, bigger, and dare I say, tastier.
    If you DO happen to find yourself in Disneyland, do your inner gastronomic explorer a favor and visit the French Quarter. Pick up a Monte Cristo sandwich. I'm not normally a proponent of fried food. Or salty nitrate soaked fried food. This sandwich is totally the exception.
    Ohhhh. Chocolate-pecan-pie-induced sugar rush is making my ADD go into hyper drive. Sorry about that.
    Back to your regularly scheduled Thanksgiving report....
    After dinner we bundled up the kids in snow suits and took our 20 minute walk around the block. Some day, when I get over being lazy, I'll post the picture of Zsa Zsa in her snow suit. She looks like a cross between the Stay Puff Marshmallow Man and the little brother from A Christmas Story.
    Then we all walked the mile to the movie theater and availed ourselves of Disney's new flick: Tangled. It's cute. Save your $30 bucks ( or however much it costs to take the fam to a show these days) and just buy it when in comes out on DVD. :)
    One of my sisters made my mom an early Christmas present of pipes cut to varying lengths that, when struck, create a bell-like tone. After pie we all gathered round the one song book and played with the new toy. It was pretty fun, except I don't think The Boy really caught the vision of only playing his note when it was his turn. he pretty much just banged the B flat for the entire song.
    All in all the meal was a success, which means *I* was a success. So this was a good day, crying bits excepted.

    Nov 23, 2010

    Snow

    Saturday was my final day of running a Bountiful Baskets site in Idaho. Of COURSE we were outside, and of COURSE it snowed heavy, wet flakes the entire time.
    When The Hubs and I got home, we found the kids had been making a 'noman' with their auntie.
    They were VERY excited about the noman. They were not as excited to go back outside half dressed so mommy could take their picture whilst standing in the snow next to said noman. Ah well. A good life lesson kids! Sometimes you have to do things you'd rather not while freezing your tail off. Or something like that.

    Sunday we woke up to no new snow. But all during church it fell. And fell. And fell. Until the world became white, all around. And we had to trudge through hip-deep snow in Sunday shoes, up hill both ways, to our car. OK, so it was only ankle deep. But needless to say, ballerina flats are NOT snow shoes.
    Also, we have yet to buy an ice scraper. I just can't see making that purchase for the three remaining weeks we'll be here. Instead of shelling out four dollars for a stupid plastic scraper, I'd rather turn the car on ten minutes before we need to go somewhere, and burn $400 million of gas waiting for the windshield to defrost. I just love the environment THAT much! I actually picked a scraper up at the dollar store last week, but on my way to checkout I dropped it, and the darn thing shattered. Good thing that happened BEFORE I paid for it.

    Monday morning I slid to the gym on roads of glass. (How's THAT for purple prose) But by the time I came home again, the roads had been sanded. Tuesday the entire valley shut down due to blizzard warnings, so Mom and I both got to stay home! Good thing, since I just poked my head out the door and it nearly blew off. I guess they were serious about that blizzard warning...and I here I thought they just wanted us to avoid Dairy Queen.

    Mom and I walked to Smith's for milk, and later to KMart to get a new snow suit for The Boy. Both times you'd have thought the Idaho State Police HADN'T asked people to close businesses and STAY HOME! Traffic was per usual. As The Hubs says, "you can't make people take good advice". So true Hubs, so true. I've been dispensing EXCELLENT advice for years now. Nobody pays any attention.

    Nov 22, 2010

    Batman

    "HOLY FINAL PATH PROJECT BATMAN!
    You have no time to blog!"

    "Don't worry, Bat Boy. It's the week of Thanksgiving! No one has time to read blogs! They are all shopping for turkeys and thinking about what to get Idaho Becky for her birthday!" (complete list to follow)

    Nov 21, 2010

    The Baby Turns Two

    The Baby turns two next week week. I'm totally mixed on this, but my feelings aside, it's clear she's no longer a baby, The Baby needs another name. She calls herself Zsa Zsa, and it fits her. Also, it sounds nothing like her actual name.  Plus, I've gotten used to typing it. 

    I tried to write her a poem for her birthday, something that captures the essence of Zsa Zsa.
    I failed miserably. Here's my first attempt, a limerick, which wasn't my intention. I was trying to write couplets to do a sonnet.  Sadly, I haven't written any serious poetry since high school. We are SO not going to talk about how long that's been. At least two years. Eh hem.  Feel free to laugh at my rusty poetry skillz.


    Zsa Zsa, A Poem
    Sweet and playful, loves all things pink,
    Enjoys washing up in the kitchen sink.

    Pretty opinionated most of the time,
    Connoisseur of books that rhyme.

    Running in circles around the room,
    Causing things with wheels to “vroom”.

    Loves her brother and mommy too.
    Dad’s the favorite, we get the clue.
                               
    Spends lots of time with crayons: Color!
    Loves to eat just plain old butter.

    Stuffed dogs and cats, red pandas, too
    Hauls them around, what hullabaloo!

    Softly asks for 'Blankie' and nap.
    Curls up so sweetly on mommy's warm lap.

    Gently tucked in with song and kiss,
    Zsa Zsa, sweet Zsa Zsa, in nappy time bliss. 


    Nov 19, 2010

    Whole Wheat Oatmeal cake

    I love oatmeal cake. In fact, I've never met one I haven't instantly inhaled half of liked.
    Being as how this is Cleanse Week for me, and the fact that I'm insanely addicted to Oatmeal Cake, I'll just be sharing the recipe today. Making the cake to take pictures would be abject torture for me, and frankly, I love me more than I love you. :)

    Whole Wheat Oatmeal Cake from Make a Treat With Wheat  written and compiled by Hazel Richards. Copyright in 1968, so she's probably dead now and won't mind, right?

    1 1/2 cups boiling water
    1 cup quick cooking oatmeal
    1 cup chopped raisins
    Mix and set aside to cool

    1/2 cup shortening or oil (I use oil because it's quicker, or applesauce if the entire cake will be eaten that day)
    1 cup brown sugar
    1/2 cup white sugar
    2 well beaten eggs
    Cream together

    1 1/2 cups sifted whole wheat flour
    1 tsp cinnamon
    1 tsp baking soda
    1/2 tsp salt
    sift and add to creamed sugar mixture

    ADD: soaked oatmeal and mix together. Bake in 9x13 pan at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or less, until done.

    TOPPING:
    1/2 cup butter
    1 cup brown sugar
    2 TB canned milk or cream
    Boil 2 Minutes
    Then add:
    1/2 cup coconut
    1/2 cup chopped nuts

    Spread on hot cake and let cool. 
    Mention that you burned the cake, so no one else will want to eat it. Then you can have it all to yourself. :)

    Nov 18, 2010

    Sick Baby

    The Baby woke up this morning screaming her head off. (not literally)
    She screamed through a diaper change and breakfast (ie one bite of cheesy eggs).
    So I did what any good parent of a screaming child would do at 7 am.
    I put everyone in the shower.
    Where The Baby continued to scream.
    The water was too hot.
    The water was too cold.
    She wanted up.
    She wanted down.
    I figured ten minutes of shower screaming was the upper limit of what any of us could tolerate, so I pulled out the last trick up my sleeve: Tylenol.
    She kept screaming.
    At this point, I was nigh unto despair, so after making an appointment with the pediatrician and dropping The Boy off at preschool, we headed to The Chiropractor.
    She fell asleep on the way there. Blessed silence. But you should know, she never Never NEVER sleeps in the car.
    I've not ever taken a kid to the chiropractor, but I was desperate and pretty sure she had a sinus infection. Once upon a time, pre-sinus surgery, I suffered from chronic sinus infections and chiropractic was the ONLY (short of surgery) thing that helped. Never having taken a kid in for this type of care, I didn't know what to expect.
    Neither did The Baby.
    After about 15 seconds of modified Logan, she melted into my chest and let the good doc do whatever he wanted.
    AND she quit screaming.
    Bless the chiropractor.
    Bless Modified Logan, whomever he may be. I hope nobody else in that family had such a weird name.

    Then we went to the pediatrician, because, why not? Plus, this was the second day in a row she was saying, "eyes. HURT!" while pointing to her maxillary sinus.
    This is where we found out poor The Baby has a blister on her ear drum. Bollous Myringitis. :(
    No wonder she was screaming.
    This doc gave us numbing drops, which is a lot cheaper than chiropractic, and antibiotics.
    Poor baby is sleeping now. I irrigated her sinuses before bed. You can pretty much imagine for yourself how that went, BUT she was breathing through her nose for the first time in two weeks as I laid her down.
    Sweet Sweet baby, wake up feeling better.

    Masochism in Cooking

    When is a week of {the best ever} blogged recipes like masochism? When you decide to do a Whole Body Cleanse THE SAME WEEK.
    Honestly people, I think my brain is broken.
    Who DOES that? 
    What TORTURE!

    So today I've decided to leaf you with my current daily meal plan. Bon Apetit!

    BREAKFAST:
    2 Scoops Standard Process Powdered Protein
    1 1/2 cups spinach
    1/2 cup raw carrots
    1 cup mixed berries
    1 Tbs Flaxseed oil
    Blend in VitaMix (the world's best blender)
    7 Cleanse Capsules
    3 Gastrofiber capsules

    SNACK
    Apple

    LUNCH
    Repeat Breakfast

    SNACK
    Grapes
    2 taco chips I snuck from the pantry because dude, I'm hungry

    DINNER
    1/2 Cup Brown Rice
    Stir Fry Veggies
    Cleanse Capsules and Gastro-fiber Capsules
    DESSERT
    Cuppa Herbal tea I'm not supposed to drink but do, because Celestial Seasonings makes an Apple Cinnamon Herbal that tastes sweet without added sugar, and at this point, I NEED something sweet. 

    Then I go to bed and cry because darn it! I want CAKE!!!!
    Then I remember, the last time I did this it only took 7 days to peal off 10 pounds. I can do ANYTHING for 7 days. ANYTHING. (well, not eat hot coals, but luckily that's not part of the plan, so we're good)

    Nov 17, 2010

    Sweet Potato Soufflé (soo-flay)

    soufflé is a light, fluffy, baked cake made with egg yolks and beaten egg whites combined with various other ingredients and served as a savoury main dish or sweetened as a dessert. The word soufflé is the past participle of the French verb souffler which means "to blow up" or more loosely 'puff up'" (from Wikipedia)


    I don't think this recipe is a classic soufflé, but it is 100% delish!


    When I posted on FB this week about making SPS, people I hardly ever talk to piped up and asked if this was the same dish I brought to a Christmas Party last year. 


    Yes people, this dish/dessert is SO GOOD, people remember it an entire YEAR after they eat it. 
    It's so good, I didn't get any pictures because my family inhaled it before I could whip out the camera. This, my friends, is a little like crack. You're mouth will be so happy when you eat it, it would kiss you, if it weren't already your mouth. I can 98.4% guarantee a kiss from SOMEONE if you make it. 
    Props to Emily from Good Frau for giving me this recipe. Thanks Lady! (also, check out her cards. They are SUPER cute! She did some for a baby shower I hosted a while back, and the invites (and the super cool diaper bag we raffled from SewPosh, were the talk of the party.)


    Here we go!
    Ingredients:
    4 lb. sweet potatoes cut into pieces
    1 stick butter, cut into bits and softened
    1 cup granulated white sugar
    4 large eggs
    3 tablespoons self-rising flour (google it, you can totally make your own)
    1 cup milk
    ¼ teaspoon salt
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1 teaspoon coconut extract
    1 teaspoon almond extract
    ½ cup pecans, chopped
    2 tablespoons firmly packed brown sugar
    ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
    1 tablespoon butter, melted
    Directions: 
    Get your husband to peel potatoes.
    (look how happy he is to help! I'm telling you: crack)
    In a large kettle combine the potatoes and enough cold water
    to cover them by 1 inch. 
    (this is the last picture I got, because after this I was slapping hands away from the mashed spuds...crack)

    Bring the water to a boil, and boil for 30 to 45 minutes, or until they are tender. Drain the potatoes and transfer them to a large bowl.
    With an electric mixer beat the potatoes until they are smooth.
    Beat in the butter, sugar, eggs (one at a time), flour, milk, salt, and extracts, beating until well combined. Pour into 1 large pan or two smaller ones.
    In a small bowl combine the pecans, melted butter, brown sugar
    and cinnamon. Sprinkle over soufflé and bake in the middle of
    a preheated 350 degree oven for 1 hour.(I double this part, because hello: candied nuts!)
    Serves 10 to 12 (but after you taste it, you'll know it really just serves one)



    Think this sounds like something you want to try this Thanksgiving, but you want your mil to make it instead? You can totally just click on the share button at the bottom of the page. Just say'n...

    Nov 16, 2010

    Alcohol-Free Boeuf Bourguignon (Pronounced: boof borg-in-yone)

    EDIT: The recipe is toward the bottom.

    When I was pregnant with The Boy, my mom took the whole family on a trip back east. We flew out but decided to take the train back home. This was a super great idea because I got to taste Boeuf Bourguignon for the very first time. And the second time...and the third time. (It was a REALLY long train ride)
    The down side was, being pregnant, my nose was SUPER sensitive and I could smell the bathroom from three cars away. When we got home, I had to throw my toothbrush out, because it STILL smelled like the bathroom. But that's a story for another day.
    Back to the boeuf.

    I've wanted to make this dish ever since, but it has burgundy wine as a major ingredient. I'm not opposed to cooking with wine, but I just can't make myself BUY it, so I never attempted this little bit of heaven.

    Then a few weeks ago I saw some beef that just screamed "BOURGUIGNON US!" And so I made it my mission to figure out an alcohol free version. First, I tried just straight up grape juice. This was a MAJOR mistake. Entirely too sweet for a dinner. Tonight, I tried again with some new beef and a different liquid. Is the suspense killing you yet? (This beef did not talk, just FYI. It also tasted better. I think I'll stick to non-talking meat in the future.) Oh, and I've totally figured it out. Ready? OK.

    The original recipe came from http://whatareyoufeedingyourkidsthesedays.blogspot.com/, written by an actual, authentic French person, even.
    Here's the exact link.
    My recipe is basically the same, I just put more veggies in and changed up the wine and the spices. OK, so it barely resembles Gaelle's dish. But it's still yummy.

    2.5 pounds chuck beef, cut into bite-sized cubes and tossed with flour
    6 big carrots, peeled and sliced
    3-4 cups pearl onions (if you don't have these, just use a regular yellow onion, but pearls are cuter!)
    1 pound mushrooms
    8 slices of bacon
    several bay leaves
    lots of parsley
    2 tsp fancy mustard (the original calls for Dijon, which makes sense {it's a FRENCH dish, after all}. But because The Hubs thinks he's half Dutch all we had was Dusseldorf so that's what I used {it's a joke, peeps})
    salt
    pepper
    4 cups grape juice
    1 1/2 cups water
    3/4 cup apple cider vinegar

    Poor a little olive oil in a large dutch oven or stock pot. While it's heating, cut your beef into bite-sized pieces and toss with flour, to coat. When the oil is hot, working in batches, brown the salted beef. You don't have to cook it through, just sear the outside. 4ish minutes ought to do it.

    While the beef is browning, mix the juice, water and vinegar in a pitcher and set aside. Also, start prepping your veggies.

    When all the meat is cooked, crisp your bacon and drain the grease. (also, take the bacon out)


    Now we are going to deglaze the pan.
      This is not as scary as it sounds
    Add a little of your juice mixture to the pot and let it sizzle. Good, now scrape the bottom of the pot until you've got it mostly clean again. Then add your cut veggies, meat and bacon back to the pot. (don't pour out the glaze with the brown bits, that's the good part)

    Pour the rest of the liquid in until you've just covered the meat and veggies. Add your spices and mustard.
    Cover and simmer for 3 hours. Stir occasionally.

    When you've tried this recipe, holla back and tell me how amazing I am. I love to hear stuff like that. :)  If you have a similar recipe, leave it in the comments. I love trying new food!
    Edit: If you want this dish to be JUST like AMTRAK's, I suggest thickening the liquid a bit with corn starch or flour and leaving out the veggies. Theirs was straight up meat and maybe taters. But deffinately meat.

    Nov 15, 2010

    Pomegranate Salsa

    A year ago my mom sent me the recipe for Pomegranate Salsa. It sounded super weird, so I didn't try it.
    Then last week Mom made it, and it's so FREAKING AMAZING I had to share it with YOU!


    You're welcome :)

    4 ripe avocados, coarsely chopped
    1 medium tomato, diced
    2 T. onions, finely chopped
    ½ tsp ground coriander (not cumin, same family, different genus...)
    1 tsp salt
    2 T lemon juice
    1 tsp Accent (flavor enhancer) (I don't use this, because hello, MSG, but you can. You know, if you want brain cancer and alien babies)
    ¼ tsp cayenne pepper, ground
    Seeds of 1 whole pomegranate (YUM!!)

    Mix it all together, adding avocado and pomegranate in last.

    You can make this dish spicier by (get this) adding more of the spices.

    The best part about this salsa (beside the taste) is that if you don't like the crunch of pomegranate seeds, you won't notice them because you eat the salsa on chips! Isn't that fabulous? Not convinced? Buy me the ingredients, and I'll make it. I may even let you have a bite...

    Nov 14, 2010

    Idaho Becky's First Ever Cook Off Week

    I thought this week it would be fun to do a theme. We'll see how it goes and take it from there, m'kay?
    The next several posts are going to be recipes my family L-O-V-E-S interspersed with quirky commentary from yours truly.
    So far I have Pomegranate Salsa, Boeuf Bourguignon (maybe) and Sweet Potato Soufflé planned. I'm so excited!!!

    Nov 13, 2010

    Bath Time...Repeatedly

    My kids wanted a bath the other morning.
     That's fine. Great even, since they were both a bit ripe.
    But after I had The Baby out of the tub and fully dressed I turned my back on her for literally 2 seconds to clear the kitchen table, and next thing I know The Boy is calling my name.
    Because his clean and fully clothed sister is in the tub with him.

    The Boy told me the following this morning:

    "Short persons are trolls. 
    They are made of rock and they EAT people." 
    Go ahead. Just TRY to stop singing "Short people, ain't got no reason to live". I dare you.

    Zsa Zsa still says, "YIP IT!" When she wants me to do up her coat. Pretty much nothing in the entire universe is as cute is Zsa elocuting "yip it".

    Nov 11, 2010

    Humph.

    Dear Children's Book of the Month Club,

    Not EVERY sale you have can be the "Best SALE of the YEAR!!!"
    It's not possible. That's just like saying every sale is the same. 
    And since you have a sale every. single. week. isn't that the same as no sale at all? I think it is. 

    M'kay then. 
    Bye-bye

    Nov 10, 2010

    The Post Wherein I Do Not Announce "I Have Cancer"

    So I visited the marvelous Dr K. Monday. You see, I had a tumor protruding from my (this text has been edited by The Hubs).
    Only it turned out NOT to be a tumor. (Feel that power shift in the universe? That's the weight of the world shifting from my shoulders to someone else's)
    All I have is a much deeper level of appreciation for men getting prostate exams and a papilla.
    Papillas are no big deal.
    I don't know why Dr. M couldn't have said that LAST WEEK when I saw him about my alien bum lump and the hostile takeover the mushrooms were waging against my face. Honestly I was in a dead panic. What would YOU think if YOU'RE doctor said, "you need to get that checked out". Geez doc. You could try applying a LITTLE bedside manner...
    I mean, my family is SUPER lumpy. We are a lumpy bunch. Lumps are frightening. Panic inducing. I might even go so far as to say they are odd looking.
    So I'm pretty happy to have a benign lump, especially because my clothes cover it. :)

    Nov 8, 2010

    Snickers Dessert Tutorial

    My mom loves used to love Snickers candy bars, so when I saw this dessert in my Martha Magazine I thought it'd be perfect for her birthday.
    I also thought it would make a good subject for my first ever tutorial.

    Here are the instructions. My Changes are in red. All photos are mine (like Martha would claim them).

    CRUST:
    2 1/3 cups finely ground chocolate wafer cookies (I used chocolate graham crackers)
    1 T sugar
    1 stick unsalted butter, melted (really, does it matter if it's salted? I say no. Plus, I didn't have any unsalted)

     Press it into a 9 inch spring form pan, thus
    Bake in a 350 degree oven for 10 minutes, or until crispy. For the life of me, I have NO IDEA why they added that last bit. What am i going to do? Take a bite of my crust to see if it's crispy? Um no. Can I tell by the color? Not so much. So I guess we'll just take their word for it that's supposed to bake about 10 minutes. They did write the recipe, after all. 
    CARAMEL SAUCE:
    1 1/4 Cups sugar
    1/4 cup water
    1 cup heavy cream
    1/3 cup creme fraiche
    1 cup roasted peanuts

    In a medium sauce pan, heat sugar and water over medium high heat. Put a lid on it, so you don't have to wash down the sides with a wet pastry brush. Honestly, am I the only one who thinks if there's an easy way to do something, Martha will know it, but make you do it the hard way anyway? Ferills.
    Cook until medium amber, about ten minutes. As luck would have it, that's how long you're supposed to bake the crust. 
    This sauce tastes like burnt sugar, because that's what it is. If you want something that actually tastes good, I suggest you find another recipe for caramel sauce.
    After you've burnt your sugar, take it off the heat and gently, slowly, add the heavy cream. Return the pan to the heat and melt the sugar you just set up with your cold cream. When it's all melted again, add the creme fraishe. If you don't know what that is, just slap a tablespoon of lemon juice in the bottom of your 1/3 cup measure and poor cream until you have 1/3 cup total. Let sit (12 hours, but let's be honest, who has 12 hours to let cream clot? Just wait at least five minutes, m'kay?)
    Fold in peanuts.
    Poor the entire mixture into the cooled crust.

    PEANUT BUTTER MOUSSE:
    8 oz room temp. cream cheese
    1/2 cup powdered sugar
    salt
    1 1/4 cup smooth peanut butter
    1/2 t. vanilla
    1 cup heavy cream

    Beat cream cheese and sugar until pale and fluffy. I don't know how much more pale cream cheese and sugar can get. I mean, they start out white, but whatever. This is seriously the best part of the dessert, so just do what they say and you'll be happy. :)
    Beat in 1/2 t. salt. Add peanut butter and extract and beat until combined.
    Whip cream in separate bowl until stiff peaks form. Fold into moose in three parts.
    Carefully layer moose over the (yucky) caramel sauce, being careful not to mix the two. Refrigerate 30 minutes.

    GANACHE:
    7 oz semisweet chocolate
    1 Cup heavy cream
    Martha says to heat the cream in a heat-proof bowl in a small saucepan of simmering water. I say, throw it in the microwave! The Hubs says, use milk chocolate. Normally I would disagree, but in this instance, he's right.


    Bring cream to a simmer. Poor over chocolate. (I was a rebel and added my chocolate to the hot cream) Let stand 1 minute. Whisk until combined. Poor over tart.
    Refrigerate. Martha says for at least 30 minutes, and mine was in the freezer for a good 90 and it was still melty. It did better in the fridge overnight. 

    ADDENDUM: Just make the mousse. It's the best part. :)
    ADDENDUM ADDENDUM: I promise I won't mock all the recipes I review. Just the one's from Martha. 

    Katydid Funeral

    A while ago I wrote about our impromptu Katydid Funeral.
    Here it is, in pictures.
    Poor, poor dead Katydid


    The pallbearers 
    (As a side note, if you would like to tell The Hubs I need a new, non-broken camera go here)
    Even the gravedigger is sad.
    (side note dos: if you would like to tell The Hubs to get me some photography lessons ASAP, go here)
    This is my favorite photo, but I'm not saying why. 
    (Let's just say it's a shame The Hubs isn't wearing football pants.)

    Nov 7, 2010

    Sunday Sickness and Random Health Facts

    You can probably tell from my typing; I'm sick.
    A giant bullfrog has taken up residence in my throat so NATURALLY I took this excuse reason to stay home from nursery church. I thought I'd scare the nursery kids. I thought this even though my own children laugh uproariously any time I open my mouth to talk.

    Random Factoid aka ADD strikes again:
    Froggy voices almost always mean virus, not bacteria, 
    so don't bother going to the doctor, unless you wanted to give him $120 anyway.

    My MALT (mucosa associated lymphoid tissue) is swollen. Just a few weeks ago I would have said my lymph nodes are swollen. Now, I laugh at anyone who says that. OBVIOUSLY your lymph nodes are swollen if you're sick, but you can't tell by feeling them. They are too small! You can, however, palpate the MALT. Mine's roughly the size of Texas.

    Anybody know where I put the Niquil?

    Nov 5, 2010

    Math

    Does anyone else think Math is a giant conspiracy?
    I don't mean 2+2=4 kind of math, or the times tables or geometry. That math all makes sense.

    I mean math like rational expressions and complex fractions. Math with rules that don't seem to make logical sense.

    Here's my theory:
    A long time ago the math geeks like Galileo, Newton, DaVinci, Fibonacci and Einstein got together for a beer. Einstein says, "I haff an idea. Vhat if ve make up some math and all pretend it is real. Ve vill see how long it takes the world to figure out our little joke." Every one else thinks it's a great idea because they're all drunk. And that's how we got math that doesn't make sense.

    I would say something, but at this point, I think the whole world has bought into their little gag. The few of us who didn't had to become theatre majors. 

    Nov 4, 2010

    Cat

    My mom's cat has polydactyly.

    The end.

    PS She also runs into walls. Do you think the two are related?
    (Pun Intended. BWAHAHAHAHAHA)

    Nov 3, 2010

    Visiting the Doctor 2.0

    Since I've started subscribing to my friend Sandy's approach of only seeing the doctor if you have at least three things wrong with you, I've really saved a lot of money.
    The thing is, if at least three things are wrong with you, one of them is pretty much guaranteed to be something that needs further attention.
    So I finally had three things on my list. This is what it looked like.

    1. Face rash for the last two or so months.
    2. Low HDL levels. 
    3. Check drawer reflex on repaired ankle.
         3.  Funny lump on my bum.

    Let's take them in order.

    1. It's a fungus. Seriously. I have MUSHROOMS growing on my face. Also, the cream I was putting it on it (prescription stuff for the kids' eczema) is the exact wrong thing to use. Oops. 
    2. Who knows about this one. He's sending me to get my liver function checked, it's probably nothing. (Your liver is where you make "good" or HDL cholesterol)
    3. This is the thing I'm least excited to talk about. Honestly, do you talk about YOUR bum on the internet? Yeah. I didn't think so. I may tell you about it later. I just can't right now. 

    I wasn't even going to mention that last thing to the doctor, because hello. If you say something like that, they're going to want to LOOK at it. Doctors are funny that way. My mom looked it at last night, and she thought I ought to get it checked (isn't that what SHE was doing?), so I changed the third thing on my list. Now I have an appointment with a specialist for next week.

    When my doctor told me I needed to "get that checked out", I knew JUST who to call. Dr. K. He took care of my dad.
    I also knew I needed to make the appointment in person.
    When I got there, the receptionist told me the doctor wasn't taking new patients.
    I said, "That's nice. He'll see me."
    She started to go through the riga-ma-roll about getting my info and having to ask the nurse yada yada
    Guess who walked in right then?
    Dr. K.
    I asked about his kids, he asked me what a young(ish) healthy lady like me could be doing in his office.
    I told him.
    He got this soupy sad look in his eyes (everyone does when they think about my dad) and said of COURSE he'd take me as a patient (told you so) and so that's it.
    I guess I'll let you know what he says Monday.

    School Update

    • This week I got yelled at in math class for using (get this) a CALCULATOR. Um, hello. It says right there on the syllabus, Mr Cranky Pants, that a calculator is a required tool for your class. M'kay then.
    • My second (and most stressful to-date lab practical) came back graded. 
    92.5%. 

              This is the grade I get on EVERYTHING for this class. I'm a 92% kind of a gal. I wish I could get a                
              100% just ONCE in a while, but I guess it's better to be consistently MOSTLY smart instead of
              occasionally all the way brilliant. Keeps me humble.
    • Bio-Ethics is STILL the most pointless class on planet earth, and possibly in the entire universe. Honestly, I swear to you, this class was invented by people who have never even heard of church. I'm thinking of asking my teacher if I can drop it and still get an A if I attend services weekly. (Which I do anyway, so I see it as a win-win; my teacher doesn't have to see me roll my eyes every 2.4 seconds and I don't have to sit through two inane hours of uselessness every week.)

    Nov 2, 2010

    Randomness (seriously, just skip this one)

    Since I'm taking some classes this semester, my sister is watching the munchkins.
    I happen to be anti-daycare, mostly because I'm anti-spending money and anti-people with no language and/or interpersonal communication skills interacting with my children.
    OK, mostly because I'm cheap.
    When I came home the other day my sister said, "Yay! I'm free!" (she was joking... I think)
    The boy replies with, "I'm three, too!"
    Classic.

    Earlier this week I heard The Boy say to The Baby, "You're a GENIUS!" The Baby replies with, "No, YOU'RE a genius!" This is made all the more funny when you know The Hubs tells me regularly I'm a genius, and he means it.

    Nov 1, 2010

    I think I'm Missing Something

    I just read this article about the recent salmonella outbreak from egg farms in Iowa.
    The article calls for stricter state regulation on egg farms but the guy in charge of state agriculture says the Federal Government should impose more strict regulation on all egg farms everywhere.

    Those of you who know me, know I'm a strong supporter of state's rights, but you know what I'm an even bigger fan of? Common sense.

    People, if you know where your food comes from, if you trust the people who produce it, is it even a state issue? No, it's not.

    That being said, not everybody has a farm up the street from which they can get eggs, or room for a couple chickens at their own homes, so the next question I have is why people aren't demanding the egg farms do something about this. Why is it the federal or even the state government's job to keep us safe?
    What are we? Five? 
    No. Most people who buy eggs are responsible adults who manage to take care of ourselves the majority of the time. What's the real deal, then?

    Oh, I know. We've been trained to expect the state/federal government to let the state take care of us. State funded education. State funded welfare, state funded public roads and transportation, state funded healthcare, state funded food and drug regulations and state funded business regulations.

    Am I alone in thinking this is a BAD thing?

    Oct 31, 2010

    Cute Stuff

    1. The Baby says "zip it" like this, "Yip it!" I love putting on her jacket for this reason alone. :D
    2. The Boy woke up Sunday morning and asked for muffins. Then he said, "First, I'm going to eat muffins, and then pop-eyes and then go trick-or-treating and then to sleep. Wake up, eat muffins and pop-eyes AGAIN and the go to sleep again AND trick-or-treat again!" I think this is funny, because he NEVER wants to sleep. 
    3. The Boy LOVES singing time in nursery. He does all the actions to the songs and sings very loudly. He's pretty much the only kid that sings during singing time. He's gotten quite good at memorizing. 
    4. The Baby has started to take turns saying prayers. She's very good at it! The Boy gets reasonably upset when it's her turn, but I think he's catching on that we all get a turn at some point, even if it's not right then

    Halloween 2010

         I don't care which major holiday it is, it does NOT start at 4am (NOTE: my birthday being the major exception. Say, for instance, you bought me a surprise trip to Cancun for my birthday. I would cheerfully get up at 4am to make the airport on time.)
    Can someone please tell my son this holiday rule, because he did not believe me when I informed him of this fact...at 4am. He wanted breakfast. He wanted oatmeal. He wanted to watch a show on the wii. He wanted to go trick-or-treating. I wanted to go back to sleep! Finally we told him to get some grapes from the fridge and be happy we weren't locking his bedroom door with him inside.

    He left us alone... for 4.2 seconds. 
    Then he started playing the piano. 
    Loudly. 
    At that point I caved and turned on Caillou via the wii, changed The Baby's diaper (because she too, found it hard to sleep through the bad piano playing) and settled my kids on the couch with a sack of grapes, and went back to bed. 
    It was 5:30am. 
    We attended a seriously lame Halloween "Carnival" at the local community college where my kids picked up just enough sugar to make the ride home bearable. 

    After naps we tricked everyone out in costumes and headed to a chili feed and trunk-or-treat. I think next year we will just eat at home and trick-or-treat in the neighborhood. 

    We did a Wizard of Oz Theme, obviously. The Hubs is the Wizard. Brother-in-law one is the Scarecrow, Sister One is a citizen of Emerald City. Niece One is Dorothy. The Boy as a Cowardly Lion, The Baby as Glenda, me as The Wicked Witch (it was a stretch to really sell the role) and Sister Three as a flying monkey.

    At one point the Hubs says, "Don't believe anything The Boy says tonight." I asked why, of course. 
    The Hubs says, "Because, he'll be lion."  

    This cape is totally vintage. My mom wore it when she was little. It's from Germany. 
    (Mom, I'm so sorry Zsa Zsa got chocolatey drool on your super awesome cape. I will have it dry cleaned!)
    My sweet baby niece who totally likes me better than almost anyone but her mom and dad. :D
    This may be the only pudgy-cheeked photo of one of my children you will ever see. Sadly the cheeks are artificially puffy due to the tight hood on this super sweet cape. 
    Ah well. 
    Also, this is the perfect photo that captures what Halloween is all about.
    You can see it in the sugar-glazed eyes and the intense focus on the chocolate in her hand.

    Oct 27, 2010

    HIATUS

    ATTENTION:
    This blog is on Hiatus until such a time as I regain my sanity 
    or pass the Anatomy Lab Practical, 
    which I suspect will be at about the same time.

    LOVE YOU ALL!!!

    Idaho Becky
    PS If you see my brain (or bits of it) please mail it back. I need it by Friday morning, at the latest.