Friday, May 28, 2010

A Temporary Spell

Life is heavenly for a moment. Creighton is actually taking a nap today, Keelian is asleep also, warm and snuggled on my chest, Stratton is busy on some art project at the table, it's windy and sprinkling outside, and I have Pandora playing peaceful piano solos.
It won't last. As soon as Cratey wakes up, the spell will be broken and I'll turn into a witch again. I hate it, but the boys just push me to my limits constantly. Yesterday they were such stinkers! Nothing in my day went as planned (I know, I need to learn to be more flexible) and then as I was unloading the Costco groceries and about to head to Ric's parents' house, the were being disobedient and it was the last straw.
I really chewed them out. The whole time Creighton sat there saying, "What Mom? What Mom?" He could tell I was frustrated, but I think he didn't quite understand what was going on. So I stopped and explained that I was really mad at them because they didn't mind me and it really made me sad and hurt my feelings. Creighton then penitently said, "Awww man!!" And that just totally took the wind out of my sails. I had to turn around so they couldn't see me laughing.
A couple of days ago I was going to just list all of the things Creighton did all day. It was easy to keep track of because he left a trail of disaster behind him (accented with Stratton messes also). Instead I decided to keep track of things I was thankful for, but may be more of a commentary on my attempts at seeing the humor than positivity.
It went something like this: I'm thankful that the big bottle of soap Cratey dumped out while in the bathtub was only 1/3 of the way full to begin with. I'm thankful that Creighton didn't eat the hydrocortisone cream that he squeezed out all over his hands. I'm thankful that when Stratton peed in the van while I was in the post office mailing a package, he peed on the smallest rug in the van. I'm thankful that when Keelian had a blowout while laying on the clean laundry on my bed that the poop only got on exercise clothes and not the nice clothes or my bedspread. And so on...

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Herb Planter

I just wanted to post a picture of the herb pot I made my Mom for Mother's Day because I am just so proud of how it turned out! (I even had to make one for myself too.) I got the idea from a Martha Stewart magazine. Now I just need to learn how to do more cooking with fresh herbs!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Children and Chickens

My Mom recently got it in her head that she absolutely must have chickens. She had them when she was growing up and has always talked about how fun it would be to have our own. But this spring, for some reason she decided she was tired of thinking about it and just did it - much to Dad's chagrin! I think she's up to 16 chickens now.
They bought them when they were just hatched and so we've gotten to play with little baby chicks and watch them grow. It has really been fun for the boys - especially Stratton. They are always asking to go to Grandma's house so they can see the chickens. And then they spend all their time in the back yard with them (oh how I want a yard!). Stratton is very good with them (except for when he sends the chicks down the little slide!) - he's not afraid of them at all and is pretty fast at catching them. Most of them are older now and are almost full size, but there are still three little new ones.
The chicks are the ones that Creighton likes; I think the bigger birds scare him. However, he's not nearly as gentle as Stratton is with them (carries them around with one hand, usually around their neck!). I'm surprised that all have survived!
And my Dad has been just putting up with it all. The whole situation has all been quite entertaining! And I'm way excited for the fresh eggs. In fact, I told Ric that if our yard is big enough, I plan on taking some of her chickens for us to keep. She really did get too many - she got carried away in buying them and has now decided that with 48+ eggs a week (hmm... but that was when she only had 13 chickens so I don't know what she's figuring now) she is going to sell the eggs.
Ric is not excited about the idea of us having them either, but I think this is one of those things where he just won't have a choice! Marriage is about compromise, right? Well he gets to go and play or watch sports and I get to have my plants. He brings home a toad for the boys to keep and I get to keep chickens!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

I have been interested in freezer meals for the last few years. The idea just really appeals to my plan-ahead personality. I was at the library the other day and came across a couple of cookbooks that intrigued me. One of them was Don't Panic: More Dinner's in the Freezer and Holly Clegg's Trim and Terrific Freezer Friendly Meals. I haven't really looked at the second one yet, but really liked the first one - in fact, I bought it (fyi-I found out you can buy used books through Barnes and Noble online for really dirt cheap!). We tried one of the recipes for pork chops last week that was really good and oh so easy:

Herb Crusted Pork Chops
8 pork chops, bone-in (mine weren't bone-in)
1 1/2 cups breadcrumbs (I used the seasoned breadcrumbs)
1 cup fresh parsley, chopped (I used 1/4 cup dried parsley)
2 teaspoons dried thyme
1/2 cup olive oil
salt and pepper to taste (I didn't think it even needed either)

Mix all the ingredients except the pork chops together. Dip the pork chops in the mixture. If you're freezing them, at this point wrap in plastic wrap, put wrapped chops in a ziploc bag and stick in the freezer. If you're serving them, broil on high for 2-3 minutes each side, then set the oven to 350 and bake for 20 minutes or until they're tender. (If you're cooking them after freezing them, just make sure they're completely thawed before you cook them the same way.) The easiest way is to do double what you'd do for your family and bake up half the night you make it, and freeze the other half. Same prep time, but two meals!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Soccer Superstar

The Goalie Dance
Right after scoring his very first goal
Stratton had his last soccer game Tuesday evening. Ric signed him up for this little rec league at the Holladay Lion's Club. He's had 8 games in the past 4 weeks and has just loved it! Ric really wanted him to do this (gave up his gym membership to pay for it) and I was quite reticent (not really ready to be the soccer mom yet that has a crazy driving back and forth schedule), but it has been really fun to watch.
Stratton's team wore white shirts and they named themselves the White Sharks. Stratton loves being goalie. They had 12 little 3 and 4 year olds on the team and rotated each quarter who was goalie, but somehow Stratton managed to get to play goalie every game. He did pretty well too! He blocked almost all of the shots, and when he wasn't playing goalie he was a pretty decent forward - scored 8 or 10 goals.
At this level they just call it "bunch ball" because the little kids just run around the ball in one tight bunch. This was a little frustrating to Ric (Mr. Former Westminster Soccer Player/Chief Competitive Rogers Brother), but we had a few talks about not expecting too much from Stratton and I have to say that he did quite well at just being positive and encouraging and not pressuring. There was even one game where Stratton's coaches weren't able to be there and Ric stepped in and was the coach for the game. He was a way cute coach - very good with the kids. And Stratton is already begging to be signed up again!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Angels and A Superhero

Creighton must have all kinds of angels watching over him! We had another scare with him and Stratton last week. I was over at Mom and Dad Rogers' and the boys were playing out back, as usual. They had been out there a while when I sat down to feed Keelian. Stratton came running in the back door saying, "Mom! Crater is in the lake! Crater is in the lake!" My brain was still trying to put together Crater Lake and what Stratton was talking about as Mom ran past me out the door. A little slow on the uptake, it dawned on me that Stratton meant the canal out back behind Mom and Dad's property and panic hit.
I just about threw the baby down on the couch next to Makell and flew out after Mom and Stratton. Wondering how I was going to save him with shoes that had no backs, I got there in time to see a scared and crying Creighton chest deep in the muddy water and Mom pulling him out. Mom said after that he was just hanging onto the cattails that grow really thick there at the edge. He wad trying to hold onto them to pull himself out but he kept slipping (which is probably why one of his fingers was bleeding). The water was cold with all the spring rain and he was freezing. uuuuu
Relief flooding through me, I snatched him up and carried him to the porch where I stripped him dowand promised him a warm bath. At the word "bath" Creighton stopped crying (he loves taking a bath and begs to do it all the time) and perked right up. And by the time I had him sitting in the bathtub, splashing in the running water, all was just fine and dandy in his world.
Oh that child! That's twice recently that he has totally stopped my heart like that! Thank goodness for Stratton's quick thinking in coming to get us. Thank goodness he didn't go in after him. Despite the fact that it was Stratton's fault that Creighton got out of the yard in the first place (he opened the back gate), I was just so glad that Cratey was safe that I sang Stratton's praises that night and told him he was a superhero because he had saved Cratey's life by coming and getting us so fast. Boy did he glow at that!
There is now a lock on both gates in the yard. I suppose it was inevitable that my little frogs discovered they could jump out of their bucket; I just wish I'd noticed it earlier!