Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Our Christmas List

Dear Santa,

We weren't sure if our Christmas list arrived at the North Pole (we don't really trust the postal service). We thought that this might be an appropriate forum to share our Christmas list with you. We are so grateful for the advances in technology that make this possible.

Steve has been a very good boy this year. All he really wants for Christmas is some time off to spend doing this:

Jamie's list could be very long, but she will try not to be greedy. Mostly Jamie wants more time to be spent with this guy:

But if you can't do that, she would like a maid or a year's worth of cleaning service. Thank you very much.

Allison has really loved watching Frosty the Snowman over and over and over this year. So what she wants for Christmas is for a magic hat for this gentleman:

She also needs a new hat so she will stop wearing inappropriate things on her head like this:

Or some new clothes so that she doesn't have to wear this all the time:

Lindsay really would like a new pacifier, we think:

But we had a hard time understanding what she was trying to ask for, so maybe you can figure it out:


The Gammons

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Recent discoveries

First of all, thank you for all the feedback about the dress. I'm pretty paranoid about this work thingy. I don't enjoy going to parties where I don't know anyone, and I'm especially nervous about going to a party with a bunch of snooty doctors and their wives where I don't know anyone. I'm also not much for getting "fancied" up--it stresses me out. I am going to try and not worry about it though and have a fun date with my husband.

For those of you who asked,I found the dress at Macy's. They had several modest dresses and they were having a holiday dress sale where most of the dresses were 50% off. I got a pretty sweet deal.

Anyway. Around here we've been making some interesting discoveries. I thought I would share a few with you.

I recently discovered that I am a "high-maintenance" person. Who knew? Steve informed me that I've only been really high maintenance for a little over a year-- about the same time he started residency. At least I have something to blame my emotional neediness on. Hmmm. . .maybe.

Steve discovered that going to the dentist is expensive and painful. He went to get two cavities filled and ended up with a root canal. And a bill for 1200 dollars. Ouch.

We both re-discovered why we pay tithing. Within minutes of discussing his distressing procedure and bill with me, Steve opened up some mail to find (cue Hallelujah chorus) a check for almost the same amount of money. Hooray! The funny thing is that the same thing happened last month when we had to fix the car. I think Heavenly Father must know that we needed a little boost in the faith department or something.

Allison recently discovered that while prunes may taste good, they should not be eaten like candy. Poor girl. Poor mommy.

Lindsay makes new discoveries every day. While I type this she is sitting on my lap discovering the keyboard. She thinks it is quite fun.

,n4 4dsby uj4 43kji kji4fkj4f k4fkjf kfkvkv4k4kg kmmmm j m

She really likes the space button. See you later!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Cocktail, Shmocktail

Steve has a holiday work party on Saturday. The invitation said it was a Holiday Ball. I thought it was pretty formal so I went and got this dress. I got an email today saying that most people wear "cocktail dresses"--whatever that means. Is this too formal? I know it looks like a ball gown, but the waist is at the bottom of my ribs and the hem is 2-3 inches below the knee. What do you guys think?

If this doesn't work, I can take the dress back and find something else. Do you think jeans and a t-shirt would be too informal?

Friday, December 7, 2007

Reason #156 That I Need New Glasses

I went to bed quite late last night. I went through my nightly routine--taking my contacts out, getting my pajamas on, etc. I put toothpaste on my toothbrush and started to brush my teeth. I quickly realized that something was not right. The toothpaste tasted strange and my mouth started to feel funny. I picked up the "toothpaste" and realized I had made a small error. I was brushing my teeth with the Benadryl anti-itch cream that I was using to treat Allison's rash.

Tho if I talk with a lithp you'll underthtand why. My tongue ith a little numb.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

News from the front

It's official.

The parents took a huge hit tonight in the sleeping wars. The battle was almost lost. Enemy #1 and Enemy #2 pulled out the heavy artillery--the piercing, shrieking cry of Enemy #2 AND the bum-scratching-rash-that-keeps-her-awake-and-smelling-like-stinky-rear-end of Enemy #1.

It was a lengthy battle, one full of tears, yelling, and temper-tantrums--from both the parents and their pint-size enemies. The parents had to fight with limited resources. One of the parent soldiers was MIA because he took the night off and spent it taking care of injured kids at the hospital. That left the cranky, emotional female soldier, and she is currently experiencing a little PTSD. And a little PMS.

We're thinking about calling in back up. If the Super-Nanny isn't available, then we might have to call in the Marines.


Friday, November 30, 2007


I thought I would post this easy treat recipe. Once again, Kraft Foods, I love you.

Oh, and if you like spinachy pastry thingy's, you might like these.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007


I think Steve's been spending a little too much time at the hospital. He was reading Allison Disney's Cinderella as a bedtime story. I overheard him tell Allison that Cinderella had two wicked stepsisters, Drizella and "Anesthesia."

Oh, and just to clarify, the creepy Thanksgiving poem was a joint effort with my husband. I promise that we aren't really that scary--it was kind of an inside joke gone bad.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Silence of the Turkey

There's a body in our fridge.
Hacked and hewn,
Flesh ripped from the bone,
A hollow shell of its former self.

In the dark of night
We carefully pick its bones,
Place the carcass in a large garbage bag,
And sneak out to the trash.

We heave and puff,
Pushing it over the edge of the can.
It lands with a resounding thud.

We put the lid on
And stealthily tread back into the house.


It's finally gone.

That was one good bird.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Don't tell the Department of Labor

I've been looking over my recent posts and I realized that I have strayed from my original intention for this blog. I originally started this to keep in touch with family and to share a few pictures. I seem to be spending more time venting than sharing pieces of our normally happy lives. So tonight I say, here's to less thinking and more pictures.

Wow, I'm tired. That sentence sounded better in my head.

We've been thinking about hiring a maid. We're not sure child labor laws will allow this:

For a two-year old, she does a pretty good job. If the maid thing doesn't work out, I'm thinking about teaching her to cook. Surely she can at least cook something better than this gourmet meal:

Steve has put her to work in the yard raking leaves and weeding. He says that he his going to cut her pay in half for this little incident:

On the other hand, he did get her back.

Lindsay is just nervous for her turn to come. As soon as she can hold a dishrag, we'll put her to work.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Train up a child . . .

Finally! Today I finally got feedback from my child that I am teaching her correct principles:

Me: "Hmmm . . . should we go to Wal-Mart or Target to do our shopping?"

Allison: "Mommy, I go Target."

Wow. Am I a great mom or what?

Friday, November 9, 2007

On living simply

At the park today I noticed an attractive young family. The mother was stylishly dressed with an attractive coat and scarf. She was perfectly coiffed with a cute short hair-do. Her kids were adorable--the toddler boy riding a fun retro tricycle and the baby packed into the coolest stroller ever.

When I looked down at myself, I realized I had carrot spit-up down the front of my shirt and my stretched out yoga pants. I contemplated my face free of any make-up and my ponytail with the strands of hair being held in by at least 10 bobby pins, and I sighed. I thought to myself, "Self, when I grow up I want to be like that mom."

About five minutes later, I heard the mom yelling at her toddler in not a very nice way. Even though she had a most impressive British accent, it didn't cover the frustration she was taking out on her little boy.

So I said to myself, "Self, maybe I should rethink that goal."

I've been thinking about priorities a lot lately. About how some of mine are good, and some of them are kind of messed. I've thought a lot about a poem that my mom gave to me several years ago:

"To live content with small means;
to seek elegance rather than luxury,
and refinement rather than fashion;
to be worthy, not respectable,
and wealthy, not rich;

to study hard, think quietly,
talk gently, act frankly;
to listen to stars and birds,
to babes and sages, with open heart;
to bear all cheerfully, do all bravely,
await occasions, hurry never.

In a word, to let the spiritual,
unbidden and unconscious,
grow up through the common.

This is to be my symphony."

--William Henry Channing

Sometimes I have to re-read this poem to be reminded how I want to shape my character. I've got a lot to work on.

Lindsay is crying. Time to go work on some priorities.

Monday, November 5, 2007


I really meant it when I wrote that I can't participate in NaBloPoMo. I just need to focus my life right now. I do, however, need to share something tonight. Just for me. (Don't expect anything tomorrow.) I read Patty's thankful list tonight and I really need to write one for myself.

Tonight I am thankful for . . .

1. A great visiting teacher who is willing to help at a moment's notice.

2. The temple

3. Repentance--we can ALWAYS fix things with a little help from

4. The Savior

5. Prayer

6. Scriptures

7. My family

8. Brownies (Thanks again to my visiting teacher)

9. Ibuprofen and Tylenol

10. My soft warm bed


Sunday, November 4, 2007

NaBloPoMo-- No Go

I mentioned that November is National Blog Post Month (NaBloPoMo) a few days ago. I thought I would see how many days I could post before getting burned out. I went three days. THREE MEASLY DAYS!

I have no stamina.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

An Inconvenient Truth

Tonight I stopped at the grocery store to pick up a few last minute items. It was getting late and I had both the girls with me. After hurriedly finishing my shopping, I walked out and loaded Lindsay into the car. I was about to take Allison out of the cart and put her into her car seat when I spotted it. The pair of Leggs Black Silk Mist pantyhose that I had not paid for. Sitting in the bottom of the cart.

Since I have been shopping with two kids in the cart, this has occurred with increasing frequency. Grocery items get stuck under Lindsay's car seat in the shopping cart ALL THE TIME. I don't realize that the unpaid-for item is still in my shopping cart until I get out to the car. Hauling my kids back into the store to either pay for the food or to hand it to the customer service desk is painful.

I've considered leaving with the item in question, but I just can't. I know that my conscience would bug me until I would have to return to the store at 2 am (this is when my conscience is most active)and pay for it.

Luckily there was a Kroger employee gathering carts tonight. I gave him the nylons and drove away in peace. Sometimes being honest is a real pain in the neck.

Friday, November 2, 2007

A Friday Favorite

My good friend Stephani blogs every Friday about something she loves. Stephani and her husband are currently out of the country on vacation, so while she is gone I thought I would steal her Friday Favorite idea.

I have two Friday Favorites to blog about today. One of the things I miss the most about St. Louis is Eckert's farm. Eckert's is a pick-your-own-produce farm that has a fun fall festival each year. I have yet to find something akin to it here. I miss the apple picking, hayrides, and the FABULOUS gift shop and restaurant at Eckerts.

While on our recent vacation, we went to another fun fall activity. Gardner Village is a collection of shops and restaurants set up in an old mill and factories. They have different events throughout the year. Around Halloween they decorate the old mill and shops with giant witches. They have hayrides with a witch and they encourage customers to dress up in their costumes while they shop. It was hilarious to see a bunch of middle-aged women dressed as witches while they perused the boutiques. We had a great time!

My brother took some cute pictures of the kids.

Then we took some pictures of these strange, but good-looking people.

We're seriously thinking about hiring a dating service for my sisters. Anybody know any single men between the age of 25-30? (NO LOSERS NEED APPLY! MY DAD OWNS SEVERAL LARGE RIFLES AND IS AN EXCELLENT SHOT.)

This man is my real Friday Favorite. Look at how cute he is!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Halloween fashion show

Did you know that November is National Blog Posting Month? The people at this website have issued a challenge to post something everyday during the month of November. Can you imagine? I would never get anything done--I would be too busy reading blogs all day. So I don't know if I can make the challenge, but I thought I would start by at least trying to post every day for the rest of this week. We'll see.

Anyway, here are some pictures of the kids for Halloween. We went through many options to arrive at our FANTASTIC final costumes. (I think that all kids must go through this, Dory!) Allison originally wanted to be a princess. As you can see here, we really like princesses at our house.

Next she decided that she wanted to be the black Spiderman. I think she got the idea from this little friend. Allison ran around the house for several days singing the Spiderman song and shooting pretend spiderwebs out of her wrists. I was glad when the Spiderman costume was no longer a popular option at our house.

Allison went through many other costume ideas--clowns, mermaids, pumpkins, etc. I personally thought it was funny when she decided to try out the whole Lucha Libre look. I was going to buy her some stretchy pants, but Steve thought that it was a little too macho for his little girl.

(Yes, that is a pair of Little Mermaid underpants on her head. Don't ask.)

Steve and Allison then decided to try out the popular pirate theme.

(Yes, I do know it is not politically correct to make fun of handicapped pirates. I had a serious talk with Steve.)

Lindsay decided to get in on the action. She liked being the queen of the house, but Allison didn't like anyone else moving in on her current title.

Then Lindsay thought she would try to recreate that scene from A Christmas Story--the one where the kid can't move because he's got too many winter clothes on.

So here are the final costumes. This is Allison as a ladybug princess. I had her ladybug costume from last year, and I didn't want to make or buy a new one. Allison became really fixated on being a princess, so we compromised by letting her be a ladybug princess. That way, all I had to do was give her a crown and a wand. (Thanks for the idea, Lindsay P.)

Our little Lindsay was the cutest bunny on the block. Okay, she was the only bunny on the block, but she was still cute.

Steve decided to go a little crazy and be a doctor for Halloween. I decided to be a witch for Halloween--that way I didn't have to dress up too much.

I hope you enjoyed our Halloween fashion show. We had a great time trick-or-treating with the kids and spending time with Rachel and Jesse. Have a good day!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Post-vacation grouchiness

We got back from our fun trip to Utah last night and I have spent the whole day feeling sorry for myself and being grouchy and tired. So to cheer myself up, I've decided to play the good news and bad news game--a game introduced by my good friend Leslie.

The good news is: We had a great time visiting family and friends while in Utah.

The bad news is: I've now got 10 piles of laundry to do and no motivation to do it--I'll blame it on my post-vacation depression.

The good news is: I missed the Primary program. (Sorry Leslie!)

The bad news is: I missed the Primary program. (Sorry again.)

The good news is: I lost the 5 pounds that I promised I would before I left on vacation.

The bad news is: I gained 3.5 pounds back by eating all the yummy vacation food. To Cafe Rio, my tummy thanks you. My thighs, however, blame you for making my jeans fit tighter.

The good news is: We got to see all of our immediate family who live in Utah plus all of our grandparents.

The bad news is: I spent half the trip feeling guilty for not spending more time with both sides of our family.

The good news is: I got to see the new IKEA.

The bad news is: See the previous bad news.

The good news is: We had the wildest, craziest princess party with my cousins' little girls.

The bad news is: Who knew that little girls could be so loud? I still have a headache.

The good news is: We got to meet my sister's new boyfriend and my brother's first girlfriend.

The bad news is: I think we embarrassed the heck out of both my brother and sister. Um . . . or maybe I should put that as one of the good things.

The good news is: Allison and Lindsay were SO good on the trip home.

The bad news is: It took over 16 hours to get home. We left at 9 am and didn't get home until 1 am this morning.

The good news is: I think Lindsay finally forgave me for chopping off part of her finger this morning.

The bad news is: I chopped off part of Lindsay's finger this morning while trying to cut her fingernails. I seriously thought she would need stitches. I spent all day feeling horrible.

The good news is: I get to go to bed now.

The bad news is: I don't know if I can find my bed under all the laundry.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

I'm hungry.

I'm hungry right now, but it is too early to make lunch yet. So I thought I would post some recipes that we have tried and liked in the last two weeks.

Before I post these, I must explain that I am perhaps what you would call a "lazy foodie." I love to try new recipes and I love exotic sounding dishes, but I don't try them very often. Why? First of all, as we've seen before, making dinner with two young kids is an adventure. It is usually better to make something fast and easy rather than making something that takes 3 hours to create.

Second of all, gourmet dishes cost too much. We are on a limited budget right now, so the cheaper the better.

Last of all, Allison has to be the pickiest eater on the planet. I don't know where she gets it from. I'm not picky and Steve will eat anything that he can chew. (He once took a can of cream of mushroom soup concentrate to work and ate the soup cold straight from the can.)Anyway, as much as I'd like Allison to try Chicken Tikka Masala, I know she won't. If she could live on macaroni and cheese and peanut butter sandwiches, she would.

So back to these recipes. These are easy and fast, and they taste kind of gourmet. So enjoy!

Phyllo bean burritos

2 cans black or pinto beans or refried beans
1/2 c. salsa
1 onion, chopped (optional)
1 Tbsp. taco seasoning
1 package frozen phyllo (filo) dough, thawed
cooking spray or olive oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Smash beans with a fork until they reach the consistency of refried beans (or puree them in food processor). Mix in salsa, onions, and taco seasoning. Set aside. Unroll phyllo dough on work surface, but keep unused dough covered with a damp cloth. Take one sheet of phyllo dough and either spray with cooking spray or brush with olive oil. (I tried both and I couldn't taste the difference.) Layer another sheet of dough on top of the first sheet and spray it with cooking spray. Then spoon bean mixture along one edge of the dough. Carefully roll up. Place burrito on a cookie sheet. Repeat until dough or beans are gone. Spray tops of burritos with cooking spray or brush a little olive oil on the tops of the finished burritos. Bake until the dough turns a golden brown, about 15 minutes. Serve with sour cream, cheese, lettuce, and tomatoes. Or just eat them plain like we do.

The second recipe is one I ripped off from Potbelly's Sandwich Works. It is DELICIOUS! Don't skip the homemade croutons--they are the best part. I don't have measurements, but it doesn't seem to matter. Just throw it together and enjoy!

Italian Salad

Romaine lettuce, chopped
Tomatoes, chopped
Cucumbers, sliced
Salami or ham, chopped
Chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
Artichoke hearts (from a jar), chopped
Roasted red peppers(from a jar), chopped
Cheese, cubed or shredded
French or Italian bread (to make homemade croutons)
Olive oil
Italian salad dressing

Slice bread and brush slices with olive oil. Then chop bread into bite size pieces. Or you could chop the bread into bite size pieces and toss with the olive oil. Anyway, the point is get the olive oil onto the bread somehow. Place bread in a non-stick skillet and saute until bread pieces are golden brown. Sprinkle croutons with a little salt and pepper.

Toss lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, meats, chickpeas, artichoke hearts, roasted red peppers, cheese and croutons. Add Italian salad dressing to taste. Serve immediately.

Note: I used turkey pepperoni, ham, and fat-free Italian dressing to save on calories. I made up the calories I saved, however, by eating the homemade croutons by the handful. Seriously delicious.

Okay, now I can go eat lunch. Macaroni and cheese, anyone?


Saturday, October 13, 2007

The Many Faces of Lindsay

vo·cif·er·ate – to speak or cry out loudly or noisily; shout; bawl.

It occurred to me that perhaps I should designate a post solely to the posting of some pictures of Lindsay. Most of her aunts, uncles, and cousins have not met her yet, and I know Lindsay's grandparents always love pictures. So I present to you "The Many Faces of Lindsay."

The first picture is a reflection of Lindsay's true personality. She is a sweet baby, usually very happy and content.

She does have her moments though. It starts with just a hurt feeling.

Then a little whimper.

Then she starts to let you know that she is serious.

And then my sweet little angel begins her vociferation. Usually this means that my other little angel is involved somehow.

Finally, I thought I would show you how Lindsay spends time with her daddy. Now that's quality time.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

I love my lips . . .

Twenty points to anyone who can figure out where I got the name of this post. I thought I would lighten the mood around here a little by posting some interesting pictures that I've found on my camera recently.

We have been discussing our "Extreme Makeover" options around here. Allison thought that she'd like to see what she would look like with lip-plumping treatments.

She looked so good that I thought that I would try it too.

Steve wanted to see what he would look like with cheek implants.

Lindsay thinks we are all a little crazy. She is quite confidant in her own good looks.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Moving On

I don't know how to start this blog. I've had so many feelings and thoughts swirling around inside me today that I don't know how to begin. Today was our daughter's birthday. Elizabeth would have been four years old today.

When we lost Elizabeth, we felt surrounded by the love of our family and friends. So many of them seemed to know just the right thing to say and do to touch our hearts. We appreciated that love.

Steve's boss at the time, however, came to him one day and said, "I was sorry to hear that your baby died. Um. Well. You know, these things happen, and we move on." Then he turned around and walked away.

Steve was stunned. Surgeons are known for their lack of tact, but this seemed pretty insensitive. This conversation became a running joke between us--whenever something bad would happen, we would just say "these things happen, and we move on." As time has passed, I have come to see this conversation a little differently though.

Bad things DO happen to everyone. People lose their jobs, spouses get sick, children lose their way, and sometimes we lose the people that we love. These things happen, and the only way we can heal is to keep going, to move on. Some days it is excruciatingly painful to keep going, but we have to move forward with our lives.

Steve and I felt overwhelmed by the love of our Heavenly Father at the time of Elizabeth's birth and death. As I listened to the talk given by Elder Tenorio during the Sunday afternoon conference, I understood a little how he felt when his children died. The blessings of the temple are extremely comforting. Even though it was hard to lose our child and to be faced with the possibility that we might never have children, the concept of eternal families enabled us to move forward with our lives.

At the time that Elizabeth died, I didn't want the pain to go away. I thought that if I stopped hurting, that I would forget. I was wrong. As I have "moved on" the pain has lessened, but I have not forgotten our sweet baby. Today we talked to Allison for the first time about her sister Elizabeth. We showed her the baby blanket and Elizabeth's picture and we told her that she has a sister that lives with Heavenly Father. Steve even baked a cake for Elizabeth's birthday and we had a little party. I was amazed at how much Allison understood. She was excited to have another sister and kept talking about how she has two sisters--Lindsay and Elizabeth. It was one of the sweetest experiences I have ever had.

I have rambled for too long. The bottom line is that I AM happy. Our family is happy. I would not change the experiences that we have had and I am so grateful for our blessings.

Happy Birthday little one!

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Blogging school

To whom it may concern:

I thought I would do a little tutorial for you on how to comment on the blog. I know it may seem a little intimidating to try something new, but you can do it. It is SO easy.

First, notice the bottom of this post there is something that says COMMENTS. Click on the comments section and it will bring up a new screen. Just type your comment in the "LEAVE A COMMENT" section. It doesn't have to be profound or funny. It doesn't even have to be nice--though I might cry a little if it is mean. What is most important is that you leave a comment! I love getting feedback.

Anyway, once you have typed your comment you have three ways of identifying yourself. First, if you have a Google email account or blog, you click on the circle next to GOOGLE/BLOGGER. Then you enter your email into the USER NAME space and your password in the PASSWORD space. Once that is done, just hit publish and your comment is on the way.

If you do not have a Google account, you can click on OTHER or ANONYMOUS. Use OTHER if you already have a web page that you are linked to. Enter your web page address and your name. If you do not have a web page, then include your name in the text of your comment and click on ANONYMOUS and the PUBLISH button when you are done.

See how easy it is. Okay Ellison family, there are NO MORE EXCUSES!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

My new mission

I discovered my mission in life. Can you guess what it is?

"To be the best mother and wife," you say? "To be a useful, productive human being," you ask?

No. While those are worthwhile missions, my mission is much more important. My mission in life from here on out will be to convince people NOT to put carpet in their dining rooms.

I don't know who came up with the fantastic idea to put carpet in my dining area, but that person should be reprimanded. Severely.

So here are my 15 reasons why you should NEVER, EVER put carpet in a dining room.

1. Play dough
2. Spaghetti sauce
3. Chocolate ice cream
4. Chocolate pudding
5. The smell of Spot Shot
6. $80 cleaning bills
7. Macaroni and cheese
8. Macaroni and cheese after it has been digested and then puked up by a toddler
9. Finger paint
10. Kool Aid
11. Jello
12. Chili
13. Coffee (Okay, so I don't drink it, but if I did I'm sure I would have spilled some on that stupid carpet.)
14. Kids who think it's funny to throw food on the floor
15. Adults who can't seem to get through a meal without spilling something (i.e. Jamie)

I'm sorry if this is offensive to anyone who has put carpet under their dining table on purpose, but I JUST CAN'T TAKE IT ANYMORE! We went to Home Depot this last week to look at replacing the floor in our kitchen and dining space. Unfortunately, it is going to have to wait for a while. (Especially now that we might have to replace the oven.)I guess I'll go call the carpet cleaners . . . that nasty, stinky Spot Shot just isn't cutting it!

Monday, October 1, 2007

Dinner adventures with the Gammons

Have you ever had a night like mine tonight?

I decided against going to the grocery store tonight and decided to get creative with what I had in the fridge. I turned the oven on and mixed everything together and popped it into the oven. I decided I had just enough time to feed Lindsay and pick up some of the mess Allison had made before my casserole was done.

I fed Lindsay and then put her down on the couch, intending to come back after grabbing something from the kitchen. I was distracted from my quest, however, by the smoke billowing from the oven. I opened the oven door, pulled the casserole out, and then tried to open all the doors and windows to prevent the smoke alarm from going off. I was not quick enough.

Meanwhile, Allison decided that it was time to go potty. She kept tugging on my leg saying, "Mommy, potty. Potty, mommy! MOMMY, POTTY!"

Just when I thought it couldn't get worse, I heard a thump followed by a wail from the other room. Lindsay apparently decided that it would be an appropriate time to learn how to roll over. She doesn't have very good timing.

Eventually, I got everything and everyone calmed down. I scraped the blackened breadcrumbs off the top of my casserole. I fiddled with the oven long enough to realize that when I set it on bake, it turns on the broil setting instead. I guess I'm going to have to find someone who fixes ovens.

Sometimes making dinner is an adventure.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Falling . . .

I love fall.

There is something so quiet and reflective about my favorite season. I love the changes that heighten my senses as summer turns to autumn.

I love the sound of the wind as it rustles the leaves. I love the way the wind stings when it hits my face. I feel alive on a windy day. Autumn's cold breezes waken a part of me that won't surface any other time of year.

I love the sights of fall. Colors seem crisper and brighter. The leaves on the trees with their riotous colors dance like flames in the air. The sky is always a brighter, clearer blue against those trees.

I love the textures of fall--the fuzzy sweaters, the brittle leaves, the bumpy lumpy gourds and pumpkins. I love the firm smooth texture of apples. The tastes and smells of fall overload my senses. Hot chili, hearty soups, and steaming apple cider make my mouth water. Fall always smells like cinnamon and pumpkin to me, but I also love the cold smell of the decaying leaves and dirt.

Okay, enough dreaming. It's time to face the piles of laundry and dishes.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Steve quits his job to become a royal smoothie maker

These are the pictures of the kids that I promised. This is what Lindsay looks like when Daddy does her hair. Steve's thinking about quitting his current job to become a stylist. What do you think?

These are my pretty princesses. See how they love each other?

Allison is trying to learn proper ways to express her affection. She still has some work to do.

This is Lindsay's response to being smothered.

I was so jealous of the Blendtec blender that I bought a new blender. Unfortunately, my 30 dollars didn't produce the results that I wanted. When I put golf balls in my blender it just laughed at me. Then it exploded.

My new blender does make a mean smoothie, however. This is us after trying Steve's delicious Orange Julius.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Bloodsucking Vampires

fractious \FRAK-shuhs\, adjective:
1. Tending to cause trouble; unruly.
2. Irritable; snappish; cranky.

I've had vampires on my mind recently.

My little angel of a baby has turned into a cranky vampire. For the past week she has had these HORRIBLE crying spells. Lindsay is a cheerful baby, but when she gets upset she sounds like someone is torturing her. I have been at my wits end trying to keep her happy. I finally discovered the cause of all the mayhem--she's teething. And not only is my precocious three-month-old teething, but she is growing FANGS! Most kids seem to get teeth in the front, but my little vampire seems to be sprouting eyeteeth just in time for Halloween. I wish I could I could take a good picture of her teeth, but I will have to wait until they come in all the way.

I finished a fantastic book about teenage vampires this week. I'd read Stephenie Meyer's first two books in the Twilight series and enjoyed both, but I was not prepared to be so engrossed in the third book. I picked it up one morning and decided to read just a few chapters while the kids were asleep. Four hours later-- when I finally came to my senses--I realized that I had zipped through most of the book. I was able to put it aside for a few hours until Steve got home, but as soon as he walked through the door I handed my fractious infant to him and buried myself in the book again. At 10:00 that night, I came out of my teen fiction-induced stupor, having finished an amazing book, but having no idea what happened in the real world. Sometimes I can't seem to stop when I pick up a book. I have no self control. I have now banished myself from the library (except for story time)for at least a month.

This last week we also had a slight scare with a bloodborne pathogen. Steve got stuck by a contaminated needle during a surgery last week. There were some concerns that the patient possibly had Hepatitis C. Luckily, the lab results showed no signs of any bloodborne diseases.

I had not really given much thought to what life would be like if someone in our family had a possibly life-threatening disease--especially one that was contagious. I can't imagine how difficult life would be. I had a friend in nursing school who had Hepatitis C and I never realized how that must limit what she does. Even when your body seems healthy and strong, you have to constantly wonder if it will start to deteriorate. And the worry about passing the disease to someone else--especially someone you love--must be heartbreaking. I hadn't really thought of Steve's job being dangerous, but I guess every job must have its occupational hazards.

I promise I will post some great pictures of the kids soon. I'm still having some trouble with my computer.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

The best cookies ever!

I was going to post some cute pictures of the girls, but I am having some difficulties with my computer. So I decided to share this recipe we tried at Rachel's house instead.

Warning, these cookies are addictive!

Chocolate Caramel Cookies

1 box chocolate or devil's food cake mix
1 stick of butter, softened
2 eggs
1 bag of Rolos chocolate caramel candies

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix the cake mix, butter, and eggs together to form a soft dough. Take one Rolos candy and roll enough dough around it to form a small ball. You can roll the cookies in some granulated sugar to give them a pretty texture, top with a pecan, or drizzle with white chocolate. Repeat until either candy or dough is gone. Eat remaining candy or dough (He, He!)Bake for 8-10 minutes.

Note: I made these with a regular chocolate cake mix, but I think it would probably better with a devil's food mix.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

If you were wondering what I want for Christmas . . .

When Steve's brother John came to visit a few weeks ago, he introduced us to this this fantastic website called www.willitblend.com. If you haven't seen these videos, they are highly entertaining. Make sure you click on the "Do not try this at home" button. I especially recommend watching them blend hockey pucks and golf balls. Amazing!

I posted the glow sticks video as a little tribute to Allison. Allison decided to drink the liquid inside a glow stick on Labor Day. In case you were wondering, the mixture tastes "yucky". It made her sick to her stomach, but did not cause any lasting damage. We also got to talk to our good friends at the poison control center. We've had many a conversation with these helpful folks. I hope they don't keep a record of how many times we've called--Allison has a tendency to eat all sorts of "yucky" things.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

The word of the day is . . .

When my sisters came to visit last summer, we played a fun game. One of my sisters was studying for the GMAT and had several vocabulary words to learn. We decided that to help her learn we would pick a word every day and try and use it throughout the day in various contexts. It was thoroughly entertaining. So I've decided to apply this game to my blog. Every week I will try and find a new word and I will try to use it somewhere in my blog. If you have suggestions, please feel free to make them. I'm hoping that I will be able to expand my vocabulary a little, even if I can't remember most of the words more than a few days. This week's word is:

jeremiad \jair-uh-MY-uhd\, noun: A tale of sorrow, disappointment, or complaint; a doleful story; also, a dolorous or angry tirade.

I also thought I would post a few pictures that have been hanging out on my camera.

I tried to take some pictures to show how chubby Lindsay is getting. She started out as a scrawny little bird and she's fattening up nicely.

I love fat babies. Every time I look at this picture I want to do some serious cheek-pinching. Have you ever seen jowls like that?

Last weekend we went to the local amusement park. Allison had lots of fun riding the rides. She especially liked this ride because she got to sit next to this random cutie. Notice how she's checking him out. Do you think he'll notice how she is eyeing him?

We also went swimming at the pool at the amusement park. I had a hard time getting her in the water, but after a few minutes she didn't want to leave. Notice my fancy photography. I'm really good at chopping off people's heads with my camera. It's a good thing Steve doesn't have a job where he has to think very much.

And this brings me to my final picture. I don't think people fully appreciate the spectrum of Allison's moods. Most people only see the sweet happy girl she is most of the time. But sometimes she wants people to hear her jeremiad. Sometimes she just wants someone to listen.