rain, dairy, biting, lasik & tatoos

We woke up today with it raining outside. Tanner was mesmorized for about 5 minutes, then he asked, "Can you turn it off?" We went through 10 grueling minutes of him begging for me to turn off the rain and me explaining that I had no control over the rain. Then he said, "Oh well. We'll clean it up later." He freaks out when there is water on the floor and we always have to wipe it up right away. So he thinks we're going to wipe up all the puddles. Hopefully it'll dry up before he remembers. = )

Tanner some major issues letting us brush his teeth at night. It takes both Shad and I to pin him down and brush his teeth...it's the worst part of the night. Well, last night Shad told him he could have a sticker if he'd let us brush his teeth and he agreed. Unbelievable. We've offered him cars, toys, candy, whatever, and he still refuses, but for a sticker?? Go figure. It turns out that they weren't stickers, they were tatoos.

Shad got his eyes lasered this week. He was completely high on for 2 days, and now he feels great and can see better now than he could with his contacts. He LOVES it. After I'm done nursing Kate, I will get my eyes done.

Dairy vs. Soy

Are they equal? Do they taste similiar? Can you make good icecream with soy? How about cheese? Do Earth Balance and butter taste the same? Does hot chocolate made with almond milk taste just as good as hot chocolate made with milk?

The answer is no to all of the above. I am sick of not being able to eat dairy. I want to eat a piece of pizza WITH the cheese on it, I want to eat an icecream cone from Cold Stone without Shad giving me a mean look and saying, "It's going to hurt Kate's tummy. You know it will." I want to bake cookies with real butter made from cows.

I am sick of my kids not being able to eat dairy. It's already hard enough finding your kids things to eat, without looking at every label and discovering that 99.9% of foods have dairy in them. I don't necessarily think dairy is good for you, as a matter of fact I think the alternatives are much healthier, however, I still like dairy better.

Onto another subject. Kate grew 4 more teeth over the weekend. Now she has 4 teeth on top and 2 on the bottom. She thinks it's funny to bite me while she nurses.

I have been looking at jogger strollers lately. If anyone has any grand advice...shoot it my way. I'm thinking of getting the BOB.

Tragic Loss

Holidays are supposed to be a time of family. A time of laughter. A time to reflect. A time to relax. But, this weekend within a flash what we once knew of family would no longer be. Three of my family members were killed instantly in a tragic accident. They were a well known family from Indiana. They were good people. They had traveled to Florida to vacation with my twin cousins in Sanabel Island for the holidays. It was sure to be a lot of laughs after all these were fun people. They were my people. It was their first time to Florida. It would sadly be their last. Their son and granddaughter luckily survived the crash. My heart aches just thinking that their bubbly beautiful granddaughter will grow up without her grandparent's or her mother. They will never see her graduate high school or college or witness her marrying or, or the lady she will become. This one really hurts. This one is way bigger than me. Words don't come.

Thanksgiving Weekend

We have had a wonderful weekend. Shad's Mom, Marion, came out on Wednesday night and is here with us until Tuesday. Tanner has been in heaven. He's had a constant 12 hours a day since she got here. The went to "the park with swings", Chucky Cheese, made Gingerbread houses, made cars out of playdough, painted, picked leaves out of the pool, made sugar cookies, played "choo choo trains, watched "Small One", went on a trike ride through the neighborhood, built a fort with couch cushions and I'm sure there is more I forgot. She's an amazing Grandma and everyday Tanner says, "Ama not go home."

Since they have been constant playmates, Shad and I have gotten to spend more time together, which has been nice. We went shopping the day after Thanksgiving with Kate, with Shad's carefully selected ads and coupons in hand = ) . We also felt it was time to teach Kate what quality fast food is, so we took her to In and Out for the first time. She approved. It was so nice to spend an entire day together.

Yesterday we put up all of the Christmas decorations, inside and out, while listening to Johnny Mathis. It was wonderful. Then last night we all went to the zoo again to look at the Christmas lights. It was beautiful and Tanner LOVED it. The weather has FINALLY cooled off and we were able to wear sweaters, which was a little more festive than wearing t-shirts.

While Tanner was taking a nap yesterday, Ama put Kat on Tanner's trike and she LOVED it.

To top off the wonderful weekend, we've all been stuffed to the brim full of food....the holiday season has officially started.

Buy, Buy, Buy.

It's that time. Holiday Time . Everyone is always looking for great gift ideas. I've got one for you. This is it. Click here to buy delicious speciality boutique wines. Great as holiday gifts. Delivered directly to your door. Click here. I have found my new career. I have re-discovered my fervor. I have got my "mojo" back. Schzam! Fh says I sucked at porn. (side-bar ads) But this I'm a na-tu-ral.

You all know how desperately I have been freaking out struggling with finding the perfect work family fit. However, I do not want to spend every stinking weekend married to my job. No sexual gratification in it for me. But my name is embedded in this one. Purr-fect. There are few things that I am truly obsessed about with exception of my kids and my husband. No one would ever dare argue that as I am passionate about them without a fault. Devoted. Unfortunately, I am not talented like her, , her or her or even her. They have this sickening uncanny ability to make everything they do/make look so damn effortless. But, this I'm a natural. I know this stuff. What is this awesome opportunity? The Traveling Vineyard. I am so flipping excited about it!!! Flying high. Buy, buy, buy!!! I schlep the tasting room to you (free of charge) in the comfort of your own home and you sample savory wines from all over the world. Fab-ooo! I can tailor my schedule to fit my needs. My needs. No working weekends. No working holidays! No 12 hour days! No deliveries either. The company ships directly to you. (*some states restricted*) Just click on click on the button in the middle of the page that says "shop". On the left scroll down and either click on wines by region, price, award winning, and signature. There is something there for everyone. Go Nuts!!! So Simple.

If you're like me you probably give tons of wine as holiday gifts, special occasion, to customer's, colleagues and house warming gifts. You may find this to be something your interested in too. Feel free to contact me privately. Cheers!!!!

Your Personal Wine Consultant
Rony Ghelerter
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Bath Time!!!

Check out those legs. = )

The Joys of Motherhood

I have already changed 5 poopy diapers, cleaned vomit off of Tanner 10+ times, tried to sleep sitting up holding Tanner with puke in my hair and nursed Kate a couple of times all before 11am this morning. Let's see....what do I have left to do? I have 3 huge stains on my carpet in my room, a set of sheets to wash, 2 pillows, 2 towels and several washcloths to clean puke off of. Oh and my favorite-a pot of vomit upstairs in Tanner's room that I need to clean out.

For those of you worried about Tanner....you don't need to. He awoke at 6am, chipper as a lark. Happy, no bags under his eyes and an enormous amount of energy.

I on the other hand, just barely washed the puke out of my hair that had been soaking in it for the past 9 hours and look like I've been in a car wreck. All I want to do is make a batch of warm cookies, curl up under a blanket and watch Love Affair or Anne of Green Gables (my two comfort movies). Will this happen? No, Tanner rules the television in this house and I don't want to gain anymore weight than I already have in the last couple of weeks.

Shad is off to church meetings for the next 6 hours, while I continue to look like I'm inactive to my ward.

Hope you all have a wonderful Sunday.

Tagged....again...and again....and again....

I will try to keep this short and I will not be passing it on, since I have so many times before.

1. I talk to my sisters/mom a couple hours everyday, except weekends. I have a headset and I do housework, laundry, dishes, color with Tanner, etc while we talk. I wear out the headsets every couple of months because I use them so much.

2. I love containers. Big, small and in between. I have been so excited to purchase certain containers before that I can't even sleep at night. All I can think about is what I'm going to put inside and where it will go in my house.

3. I'm on Prozac for my anxiety and I love it. I am so grateful that we live in a day and age where there is medicine available to treat mental health conditions when needed.

4. I came from a town where there are real "tree huggers". For example, a construction crew would show up at a work site in the morning to start clearing land for a parking lot and there would be a person in a tree, hugging it, refusing to get down so their precious tree would remain unharmed. This was normal day to day behavior where I grew up.

5. I love grocery shopping, especially if I'm by myself.

6. In high school I drove a 1955 Chevy pick-up truck. The cab was painted red, the back was a rust color. There was a dent in each of the fenders and a huge dent in the front grill where I hit a dog. The window wouldn't roll down, so when I went through drive-thrus I actually had to get out of the car to pay and get my food. It was so loud inside the car that you had to yell to hear each other. It was so low to the ground that the front scraped the ground every morning when I drove into the high school parking lot. But all in all, I was so grateful that my parents provided a car for me to drive, payed for my insurance and gave me a gas card.

The Zoo

Bright and early, 6:15am to be exact, Tanner was up and ready to go to the zoo. It didn't open until 9am, so Shad told him that all the animals were still sleeping. When we started getting in the car later, Tanner was ecstatic that the animals had woken up. = ) We saw zebras, giraffes, camels, a leopard, bighorn sheep, birds and more. Tanner was a greedy little boy who after seeing an animal for about 5 seconds would say, "I want to see more animals." We would then point out the animals and he would say, "But I wanna see a lot of animals." He was cute actually. He just thought he would get to see all the animals at the same time in the same place. We had to compare it to his friends and how they all live in different houses and we had to walk to the different animal houses. That helped a little. He wanted to touch all of the animals until we actually got to the petting coral and then he said he was tired and wanted to go home. That's what he says when he is scared or anxious about a situation. Kate of course was an angel the whole time. Shad LOVES to carry her around so he held her most of the day and of course she loved it too. All and all it was a good trip.

He so gets me

I want to express my heartfelt gratitude to all of you who e-mailed me privately to inquire if all was o.k in my world. I was/am truly touched. But, the reality is no. No, no, no. G-d, I'm finding it more and more arduous to eek through each waking day. It's as if there is an anchor around my neck pulling me deeper and deeper into the abyss. A deep dark hole. Working later and later. No time for girls. No time for fh. No time for friends and no time for me. Folded laundry stacked up from the week before or gasp the week before that. Trying to figure out a way to get my fat ever so bulging ass back into the gym and wondering where the hell the gross make me vomitt midriff that I'm now sporting so effortlessly came from. Constant state of amnesia wondering what it was I was doing a minute ago or worse what I was saying. Not to mention the guilt I have not spending every waking minute with my girls. I'm on a treadmill (not that kind either--if I was I'd weigh a mere 100 pounds!) from the minute my tired ass hits the floor in the morning until my fried foggy head slips into a coma at night long after 1:00am dreaming of a better way. I'm searching desperately for the perfect family-work situation. If nothing else for my own sanity. And to add to the angst the housing market is in the toilet and our buyer's know more than we the professionals do. Great, everyones an expert. I didn't realize Ben Bernanke had been replaced. Hell I would have applied for the job with some of the experts looming out there! Everyone has a damn "crystal" ball or know a friend of a friend of a friend who knows something! Damn no-it-all smarty pants. Note to anyone out there looking for a home. Don't piss the sales people off. We could turn on you like Linda Blair without warning hissing and head spinning and spewing venom. The pressure is consuming. We're getting it from all sides. Our employer and the potential buyers who unfortunately don't get it. Just to be perfectly clear, we do know what's going on in the real eastate market---it's our profession! We read too you know. Trust me, I can tell you about your market and yes yours and yours too. It's what we do for a living, so please stop insulting our intellegene. Without warning we may poke your eyeballs out. With one of our condescending smiles! I sport the famous airline smile. *wink* You've been warned. Damn, I feel much better.

Ok, that said, he so gets me. He knows me so well. He knew all "mama" his girl needed was a spoonful of "The Boss" to make my loins wet put a smile on my face. An endorphin rush. Yes, my baby surprised me with girls college fund tickets to see Bruce Springsteen at the Verizon Center. We are total stalkers groupies and have been known to jump on a plane on a whim to rock with him wherever they are jamming. It was the first time since my "annual" celebration that we had been out alone. Alone. A real date. No children. No diapers to change, only my own wet panties. No dinner to worry about preparing. No interruptions. Just us. I couldn't stop smiling. We held hands. We laughed. We danced. Damn, it felt good. Everyone was there including Patti, the first lady of rock n-roll. It was a breathlessly magical show. Typical of "The Boss", he and Patti and their son Evan spent the day at Walter Reid Hospital visiting wounded soldiers and yes, brought them to the show! They don't get any finer than "The Boss" in my opinion. Euphoric. He rates right up there with Bono in my book!
Thank you honey pot for a great evening. Everything about it was purrrr-fect. Well. with exception of that squirrely creepy guy who sat next to me (alone) and chewed on his fist on his fingers all night. Disgusting. He might as well have been picking his nose! But he managed to keep his hands out of his mouth when Bruce appeared. Thank g-d! Then there were all these old people. Hush. They were much, much older than me. Really. Baby you still rock my world. I love you sweetie. Thank you for a truly fabulous evening.

Tanner and Kate Pictures

The first couple of pictures were at the park a couple of days ago. I used to think of living near a park being a blessing. Now I think it's sort of a curse too. Tanner wants to go to the park all day and all night. It can be pitch black outside or scorching hot and he still says, "Mommy, let's go to park. Come on Mom. Let's go." If we can't go right that minute, then it's a crying fest at the garage door. However, it's been cooling off a bit, so we are able to go there more often, which is nice.

The picture of Kate sleeping is from this morning. We went on a walk and I guess it was just too tiring for her. = )

Kate is all of the sudden more picky about her food. If it's something new, she will barely part her lips for a "taste." If she approves, she'll open up really big and get impatient if it doesn't come fast enough. But if she doesn't approve then she closes her mouth and refuses to open it. In the middle picture she is drinking a smoothie-she loves them.

Tomorrow we're going to the zoo. Tanner is ecstatic and has been talking about it for weeks.

Bows Addition

The bows are attached to a clip covered in the same ribbon. Someone asked, so I thought I'd answer.

Bows, Bows and Bows

I couldn't find any bows here for Kate's hair. Every time I saw a cute bow in a little 's hair and I'd ask the Mom, "Cute, where'd you find that?", I'd hear the response, "Oh, we get them in Utah."

Sooooo....I just had to learn how to make them. I mean let's face it, if you had a girl with as much hair as Kate, having bows would be on your priority list too. = )

Oh yeah, and when Shad saw the bows he says, "You should sell these on ebay Liz." I said, "yeah, let's see it took me about 20 minutes per bow, so I might profit 6 bucks an hour after materials and shipping." He still thought that sounded great. Every time I do a craft he responds with ,"You should sell these on ebay Liz." I have yet to do that, and I doubt I ever will. Sorry Shad.

Tanner and Kate Riding the Trike Part II

Tanner and Kate are best friends. They chase each other around the house giggling all the time. This is definitely one of the best things about being a parent...seeing your kids love each other so much.

Tanner and Kate Riding the Trike Part I

It seems like Kate wouldn't like this, but she loves it!! Her and Tanner started doing this yesterday and they were both laughing hysterically.

Recipes for Brynne

A friend asked for these recipes so here goes:

Whole Wheat Pancakes or Waffles

1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour (I grind soft white whole wheat)
1 T baking powder
2 T brown sugar
3/4 t salt
3 eggs
1 1/4 cups milk (I use soy)
3 T canola oil

Mix dry ingredients. Mix wet ingredients. Combine together. Makes 12 pancakes.

To make waffles, separate eggs and beat egg white until stiff. Fold into batter.

Sweet Potato Fries

Sweet Potatoes
Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper

Peel sweet potatoes. Cut into fries. Toss with olive oil, salt and pepper. Bake in a single layer on a cookie sheet at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes (depends on how thick you cut the fries) in the upper third of your oven.

*Since these are baked, they don't get as crispy as traditional fries, but my family still loves them. Tanner dips them in ketchup.
*In the picture it shows a glass pan, this is NOT what I cook it in. I just stored them in there.

My Mom's Whole Wheat Bread

6 2/3 C hot water
3 T yeast
2/3 C honey
2/3 C butter (I use olive oil because Tanner and Kate can't eat dairy)
2 T salt
2 C flour
1/2 C wheat gluten
2 C oat flour (or grind up oatmeal in your blender)
14-16 C whole wheat flour (we use half hard red wheat and half hard white wheat)

Mix water, honey yeast. Let proof. Add white flour, oat flour, gluten and half of the whole wheat flour. Mix. Add salt and butter/oil. Mix. Add the rest of the flour until it barely cleans the upper half of the bowl when mixer is running. Knead for 10 minutes in mixer. Dough should be smooth and elastic, but sticky. Let rest 10-20 minutes. Set oven to 170 degrees. Spray Pam on your hands and shape into 4 loaves. Put in oven and immediately turn OFF oven. Let rise in oven for 22 minutes then turn oven to 350 degrees and cook 28-30 minutes. Immediately turn out onto cooling racks.

*The amount of whole wheat flour you use will just depend on how dry your wheat kernels are and how humid it is where you live. For example, here in California I add almost a full 2 cups LESS than my Mom does in Oregon because it is a lot drier here.
*This batch is made in a Bosch. If you have a Kitchen Aid, halve the recipe. If you don't have a mixer, ask my Mom how to do it by hand.f

My FAVORITE Whole Grain Chocolate Chip Cookies
(Brynne you didn't ask for this one but it's soooo good)

3/4 C oatmeal
1 C whole wheat flour
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1/4 C butter, softenend
1/4 C canola oil
1/3 C sugar
1/3 C brown sugar
1 egg
1 t vanilla
1 C chocolate chips

Grind oats in blender. Transfer to a bowl and stir in flour, baking soda and salt. Beat butter in a mixer until fluffy. Add oil, sugar, brown sugar, egg and vanilla. Beat until smooth and creamy. Add dry ingredients, beating on low speed until just combined. Stir in chocolate chips. Drop by spoonfuls onto greased cookie sheets at 350 degrees for about 9 minutes. Let sit for about 2 minutes and then transfer to cooling racks.

*Instead of butter and oil, I use Earth Balance (because of the dairy) and they still turn out great.
*They are really easy to overcook and won't be nearly as good. So if anything, undercook them.
*I promise even though there isn't any white flour, they are still soooo good.

By the way, I only had a picture of the sweet potato fries, so I had to get the others off of google images. I WISH my whole wheat bread looked like that and I was that good of a photographer.

Now it's everyone else's turn. What are some healthy tried and true recipes that your family loves???

Tanner and Kate update

Tanner and Kate eating their sweet potato fries and playing together. They are getting so big!

Cute things Tanner has done/said lately:

-The other day I was trying to attach a booster seat to a dining room chair and for some reason it wouldn't latch properly. He had been watching me get frustrated for a few minutes and said, "Mommy it's okay." Then he gave me a huge hug, backed away, cupped my face with both of his hands and said again, "Mommy, it's okay."

-He has been the sweetest little boy ever lately. Usually I feel like most of the day is frustrating and tiring with toddlers and then you get a tiny glimpse of their perfect beings a couple times a day. Well, for the past 4 days he has been amazing. Whether it's him, or me seeing him differently, he has been so sweet. If he asks for something and I have to say no, he says, "Otay (ok) Mommy. Maybe later." Amazing. In the past if I say no, it's been an all out yelling fit, usually with the phrase, "Dangit Mom, I need it" thrown in a couple of times. He has been putting away his toys, begging to sing "the temple" song everyday, and more. I have loved it. I am just counting my blessings and trying to enjoy every moment until he yells "Dangit Mom" again = )

-Tanner has finally started saying prayers! It is the sweetest thing I have ever heard. It makes me tear up almost everytime. This is a typical prayer he will say (all on his own): Heaminly Fader, thank you day, thank you blessings, thank you mommy/daddy, thank you Tanner, thank you Tate, thank you Tate asleeping (because Kate is usually asleep by the time night prayer comes), Thank you cars, pease bless safety, name Jesus Chwyst, amen." When we say prayers in the morning, he adds in, "Thank you daddy a workin' " It is so sweet.

-Tanner has really gotten into rearranging our furniture. In less than two minutes, he will have moved our kitchen table, all the chairs, the barstools and Kate's highchair into the the hallway, removed all of the couch cushions, move the ottoman and flipped over the living room coffee table and pushed it into the kitchen. It's great. I love tripping over everything and then putting it all back. Somehow it takes me longer to put things back than it does for him to take it all apart.

-If he sneezes he will bless himself. For example he will sneeze two times in a row and say, "bless you, bless you"

Cute things Kate does:

-She just started clapping. I love it.

-She LOVES Tanner's Little People Garage. It is by far her favorite toy in the house. She climbs on top of it all day long.

-She LOVES to eat things off the floor. Tanner never put things in his mouth. I realize he was abnormal, but that's what I got used to, so now I am constantly sweeping the floor.

-Shad bought her a doll at Walmart and she loves it. When she sees it, she lights up, squeals and then laughs. It's so cute.

-Her favorite foods: apple slices, blueberries, oatmeal, whole wheat pancakes and waffles (with syrup of course...she won't eat them plain), watermelon, peas, , soy yogurt, ANYTHING if you're eating it.

I finally finished cleaning out the toyroom. The painted canvases are for the kids' artwork. All I have left is to put up the molding around the chalkboard wall.