Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009 A Year in Review

When I think about the past year, Act I and Act II comes to mind. Act I was the first half of the year where I was finishing up my third pregnancy and Act II was the birth of Natalie at mid-year (May 26th) and her early babyhood. This is a good time of life. I can feel it. You know sometimes when something is happening to you and you just know very deeply "I'd better cherish this." Well, this year has been that kind of year. Maybe because I suspect that Natalie will be my last baby, I am taking special care to enjoy every transition and change, not just with her, but in watching the other children develop relationships with her and with each other. Also because this is probably my last year with all of us at home together all day, because while I have investigated homeschooling for so long, I'm still on the side of the fence where I'm probably going to send Frannie to K. So I spend a lot of time watching my three babies play and fight under this roof and I appreciate it all so much.

While I know that this is a special time of life, it has its challenges.
Adam is now 2 1/2 and this whole year has been a challenge with him and his temper. I've written a few posts about it, but have actually refrained from mentioning it too much because I don't want it to sound like my difficulties with him are the biggest aspect of our relationship together. The truth is that we spend a lot of time having fun and I enjoy his developing personality a lot! He's got a funny little sense of humor. He calls me Thomas a lot. He purposely says things that he knows will get an exaggerated "What!?" reaction out of me followed by excessive tickles. Everyday he requires a lengthy dose of cuddling and tickling. He is very sweet to Natalie (although now that she is moving and ruining his trains he's getting pretty mad!) He loves to be read to, and yes, he is absolutely in love with all trains (thank you for all the train Christmas presents everybody!)

As far as his temper goes, learning to manage that has been hard! I sometimes marvel at how "smart" I can be in some areas but how quickly this 2 year old can completely give me a run. Essentially Adam is Veruca Salt- when he wants it, he wants it NOW! And if he doesn't get it NOW then you will pay. You will be on the other end of a blistering scream the likes of which my father has heard from his side of the phone many times. Other times it starts off as as a sulky whine that ends up being a crying scream. I've learned that all things lead to crying eventually. I have tried all manner of tactics to improve things and really the only things that work are time outs for bad attitudes and counting to 3 for commands. The counting to 3 is because otherwise I could ask him to come to me all day long and he wouldn't. If I get to three and he still hasn't come then I go get him myself and he gets a little swat on the bum. Since he is minding so much better, everything else is better. On my side of things, the crying for other things doesn't bother me as much because I know he is a sensitive kid. I am accepting the fact that sometimes I will be THAT mom with THAT crying kid in the store especially if he is tired or if his sister is poking him too much. Most of the time he's very delightful to be around.

As far as Frannie goes, she's my ultra girly-girl sweetie who loves dresses and giggling. She also requires a lengthy daily dose of tickles and cuddles. She enjoys crafts and cooking together and she and Adam play all manner of games. Some favorites of hers are "jump in the pillows" where she gets all of the bedroom pillows and puts them on the floor and she calls "ready, set, GOOOO!" as they race down the hallway to jump into the pile. She also likes "Jumpin' Daisy" which is basically her and Adam jumping on the bed while I sing this made up song. Both she and Adam ask to play "Work that Body" almost every day. Work that Body is another made up song game where I sing this rhythm and they run around. I change the rhythm up and directions up and they move accordingly. Sometimes it's slow, sometimes fast, and I often throw in a FREEZE! She is very helpful in terms of getting things for the baby when I need them and overall she's just a sweetheart. The one thing she hates is to clean up her toys and her room. She turns into a wet noodle at the very mention of such a task. Fortunately one day last month I gave a random frustrated threat that if she didn't start cleaning Santa wasn't going to bring her any presents and all of a sudden I've got a decent picker-upper on my hands! A Christmas miracle! So thank you Santa Claus for putting a little fire under my girl's bum. I hope this lasts. It probably won't.

Little sweetie Natalie can do no wrong. She's the darling of the house right now. She constantly surprises me with what a little mover she is. A few days after I shot the picture of her standing, I caught her climbing up the first stair step. She is just wasting no time with learning to get from point A to point B. She turned seven months old the day after Christmas.

From Jason's perspective, life could probably be separated into three categories: Life at Work; Life at Home; Life on a Bike. At work he gets somewhere between 50-100 emails everyday and is always writing checks, filling orders, problem solving, you name it. He does so many things at the office I can't even categorize them all. When he gets home we have dinner and he has time to be with the kids. He is also with the kids early in the morning. One of the most helpful things he always does (and I appreciate this sooooo so so much) is he gets the kids their oatmeal and feeds them before he goes to work. He then puts a movie on for them and leaves for work. At about that time Natalie wakes up and so do I. Doing this gives me an extra 30 mins to one hour in the sack since I don't have to wake up when Adam does. I LOVE YOU FOR THIS! Every Saturday morning he goes for a long bike ride and I think it is his favorite part of the week. He has a biking blog where he writes about his travels and experiences. The man loves his bicycles.

As far as trips go, I was able to go visit my Aunt Carrie and cousins Miles and Parker in October. I will post pics and more details in a a separate post! I'm so glad we went to visit her and the kids. I am hoping in 2010 that Jason and I find a way to do more trip-taking, particularly camping.

I continue to teach Bradley Method classes. I'm teaching two sessions a week, Friday nights in Claremont and Saturday afternoons in Chino. It is wonderful to share the time of pregnancy with other couples and one of the fun off-shoots is that I've made some friends along the way too.

So 2009 is done and gone. It's been a year of homemaking and family and lots of hugs and kisses from little arms and hands and sweet little lips that say "Mom. I yuv you."

Big Standing Girl

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Fun Christmas Crafts

The kids and I did a lot of fun crafts this year. I wanted to post them because one in particular I learned about last December and I remembered it all year long and was eager to try it. So here is a rolldown of Mrs. Crafty McCrafterson's Christmas creations.

Number one is the snowglobe soap I learned about last year from Sonja. These are very easy to do with children, and not time-consuming. But they are fun little things! Click on the link for instructions. Frannie really enjoyed giving these out to her friends!

The second item is a spin-off of an ornament gift I received in junior high school. See, I have a mind like a steel trap. Sometimes. Anyways, all you do is buy clear ornament balls, fill them with a little bit of confetti or glitter and use fabric paints to doodle on your design. Adam did the one on the left, Frannie did the one on the right. I like it!

The third one is basic salt dough ornaments. I think I may make batches of this dough regularly because the kids had so much fun painting these. Essentially their style is to squeeze as much fabric paint with as many different colors onto one piece as possible. It's okay. They're 4 and 2 and I'm learning to let go! My delightful neighbor Reem did some too. I'm thinking they could paint trinkets for any season of the year. Then they can hang them out in the garden somewhere.

The last craft is my own brain-child. And the kids didn't help except for picking out their own fabric. For the past two years I've wanted to crochet the children their own Christmas stockings. It just hasn't happened because it is a craft that takes quite a bit of time and by the time I think about it again, it is December and we need stockings Now! So I had this idea to make fleece stockings. I let the kids pick out their own fabric (I picked out the owl one for Natalie because it reminded me of her middle name Meadow) and then used an existing stocking as my pattern. I cut it out, glue-gunned the seams, turned it inside out and viola! In about fifteen minutes I had three stockings. Each stocking cost about $2.50.

There is one more craft I've had my eye on and I have all the materials to make it. It is this embroidered hand prints idea. Hopefully I'll get to it, even though the craftiness of Christmas is over.

Merry Christmas 2009!

I love this first picture where Natalie has a wad of my Aunt Lisa's hair in her hand. Babies are so good at making their presence known either through a nice hair grab or glob of drool (such as on Uncle Don's cane) or a nice "Well how do you do?" bit of spit up on the shirt. Such impropriety! I love it. That's why babies are so wonderful.

The second picture shows my brother Bryan (behind the stairs) cousin Liam (he was the reader to the kids) and my other cousin Rhiannon is on the far right. Initially I was sitting on the couch with Adam when Liam came around and sat down. Adam, being the shy soul that he is, wasn't really going for my attempt at introductions so instead I said "Adam, do you know what Liam's very favorite thing is? It's trains! Isn't that right Liam?" Liam of course is a good sport and played along and we had a short conversation about trains and Liam said how great they were, and all of a sudden Adam was A-OK with Liam and he let him read him a story. Soon the other kids were wanting to hear the story too so that is how the couch pile up happened. Very cute!

I didn't get many other Christmas pictures because boo hoo me, I came down with a head cold on Christmas Eve night! After opening presents on Christmas Day morning (and taking just these few pictures) I went back to bed and fell asleep.

By all accounts my dad made a super excellent awesome machaca and eggs breakfast with spanish rice and beans. He also made a cheesecake. Go Dad!

At my inlaws house there was prime rib, chicken marsala, green beans, carrots and other yumminess. Go Castillos!

And of course on Christmas Eve, my mom made her traditional meal of cornish game hens, wild rice, veggies, and gingerbread muffins. Go Mom!

The children got many wonderful presents this year. This is the first year that Frannie really understands the concept of Santa Claus so her reaction when coming down the stairs was priceless. She was so excited! And of course it is all real. Santa really did come down that chimney and eat those gingerbread muffins and drink that milk and set out a nice dress for her and a wooden train for Adam and an alligator xylophone for Natalie. He really did fill the stockings too. Amazing. And he did it all so quietly he didn't even wake up Daddy who was asleep right on the couch! Frannie says he must have said his "HO HO HO" like this (whisper soft) "ho ho ho". I told her she's right. He must have said it really soft so as not to wake Daddy.

Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Christmas and the Swine Flu

I was awakened this morning with a little tickle in my throat that got me thinking, "Oh, no. I hope I don't get sick." As I'm lying there half awake and half asleep, my brain starts cataloging the places I've been in the last three days. Have I been around anyone sick? The "computer" keeps running and I suddenly have a vision of myself from the night before.

You see, last night I went Christmas shopping. At Target of all places. (I hate Target but it is so convenient, being one block from the house, that it sucks me in.) At any rate, after the kids were in bed I hopped into the car to pick up some odds and ends for Christmas. Shopping was good, got what I needed. I got home a little after 10pm and after setting down my purse and keys I headed straight into the kitchen. Right there on the counter were two little gifts to greet me in the form of two dainty shortbread cookies that my mom had made with the kids that evening. I popped them into my mouth and probably grabbed some tea to veg in front of the computer.

Why is this important? Well it isn't really, except that during those thoughts it occurs to me that I haven't heard any news about the swine flu for awhile. What happened to the swine flu? What happened to the signs in front of every drug store including Target advertising the availability of the vaccination? What about the anti-bacterial handwipes that used to be placed near the cart pick-up area? What happened to all that? It seems that the swine flu has magically vanished.

Or is it just Christmas?

Have any of you noticed any swine flu news since mid November? Other than this one article, reporting 800,000 pediatric doses were recalled and the recommendation that parents not worry, "Children 6 months to 9 years old should get two doses about a month apart, the CDC says." It seems that all of a sudden the world has fallen silent.

Does the swine flu still exist? Has the vaccine been so magically effective that flu rates have completely plummeted?

Or is it that, God forbid, something gets in the way of people going out to stores to buy Christmas presents? Which if that is the case, was the swine flu really something to ever be worried about at all? I mean, why are there no news segments about "keeping healthy during this holiday/flu season" with recommendations to sanitize your shopping cart handles? Because my behavior last night, of going shopping with lots of people, keeping hold of a cart handle and touching many objects, only to return home to pop a sweet straight into my mouth, is what EVERYBODY does this time of year.

I suspect come January 4, once the holidays are comfortably behind us, the swine flu will once again resume its place in the American consciousness. I would not be surprised to see a second wave of urgings for people to get their shots. Will the signs once again be posted outside every store? Will that former news article emerge again and parents be told to perhaps get their child a second dose? Come to think of it "Children 6 months to 9 years old should get two doses about a month apart, the CDC says" seems to be very convenient timing if you ask me.

We shall see.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving! and the Turkey Trot

This year we had Thanksgiving at Jason's grandmother's house. And a wonderful time we had! In addition to the niceness of seeing everyone and the yummy food, she put a lot of thought into the place settings and tablecloths, the flowers and just overall presentation. It was nice!

Granny and Nan came to visit us a few weeks ago and I forgot to get a picture of the two of them with the baby, but I'm glad we got one over Thanksgiving. Nan is the kids' Great-great-grandmother and Granny is the Great-grandma.

Two days after Thanksgiving I ran my first 5K Turkey Trot. The week leading up to it, I was cursing that I even signed up for the darn thing to begin with. I thought "What is this insanity that has caused me to pay $30 to wake up early in the morning to run 3 miles in the cold?" I guess I thought it would be motivation for me to finish the Couch to 5K program. So anyways, I did my fair share of complaining, but I suited up anyways on race day and the family all headed out to Bonelli Park. It was a beautiful morning, nice and crisp and there were lots of people. I honestly still didn't feel prepared for this thing. The max I had run without stopping was two miles. But I lined up anyways and when the start bell went off, so did I. My goal was to finish the race without stopping, and to not finish last. I am proud to say that I accomplished both of those goals. I have a slow jogging pace, but I didn't stop.

There were three things that I did right:
1. Wear a beanie so that my ears don't get cold. I am very sensitive and get a headache quickly if my ears get old.
2. Wear a light hoodie jacket. It was COLD but of course once your body heat picks up, things are fine. At the one mile mark I took off my jacket but was glad I had it as a warm-up.
3. Bring kleenex. Running always makes me have to blow my nose. So I'm glad I didn't have to try and figure that one out without a tissue!

In the end I finished in 40:45, number 101 out of 161, I was 10th in my age group, and my pace was a 13 minute mile. So basically I was on the back-end of the middle group.

I'm really glad I did it!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Day Out with Thomas

Last weekend Jason took the kids to the Day Out With Thomas event at the Orange Empire Railroad in Perris. I had heard about this from a few people in the past, and about three weeks ago it occurred to me to check to see when the event would be taking place. Fortunately I looked at just the right time!

Adam loves loves loves loves trains. All trains really, and definitely Thomas the Tank Engine. In fact here are Adam's favorite You Tube's that he begs to see on a daily basis:

At the Day Out With Thomas event the kids got to take a 20 min train ride lead by Thomas, they got to visit with Sir Topham Hat and there were lots of toy train tracks to play with and bounce houses, train tattoos and other fun stuff. Jason said that Adam could have played with the train track sets all day long. I expected that Adam would be so excited and almost freaking out at the wonderfulness of seeing a real Thomas train, but Jason said he was silent all day long. He said it was as though he was completely overwhelmed into silence. I think this is probably true because now Adam talks excitedly about Daddy taking him to see the train and he also remembers that Grandpa has taken him on a train. So he remembers it and it makes an impression on him, but during the event he is stoic. My contribution to his love of trains is that I walk him over to see the Metrolink come in every Thursday while Frannie is in her ballet class. "Ding! Ding! Ding! Ding! Ding!" That's his favorite part. And the whistle.

When I ask him if he wants to go play with James he looks at me with bright eyes and says "James has trains."

When I ask him if he wants to play with Nicholas and Catie he says "Nicholas. Train." Yes, indeed dear, Nicholas also has trains.

So I guess trains are good for his social life!

Every single day, several times a day, (in addition to asking to see the trains on the computer) Adam looks up at me and asks "Buy new one. Train."

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Frannie Sings in Church

These days we've been going to St. Luke Lutheran Church in Claremont. We've only been going here for about 4 weeks, but one thing I like is that they give the kids the opportunity to sing in church! I wish I had known they were going to have them sing all four verses of the song, I would have taught them to Fran. But I taught her the first verse and she sure can sing the chorus!

Friday, November 20, 2009

My Big Fat Homeschooling Dilemma

If you are close to me in anyway, then you know that I am constantly going back and forth over whether to send the kids to traditional public school or to homeschool. I have been fretting over this for the past two years and the debate continues strong. A few months ago I would have told you that I had made my decision: I would be sending Frannie to regular K. So then why can't I just drop it? Why do I keep yakking about it, reading books about it, and asking a bunch of questions about it? Why can't I let it go?

It must be my need to fully research everything. For example, we are going to get some laminate flooring in the house next year and I've had four different guys to the house so far to show me samples and give estimates. Every person who has been here has taught me something new about the process so I can then ask more detailed questions.

But schooling isn't flooring obviously. It's much bigger, lightyears more important, and has taken me much longer to process. And I'm still processing every single day. I'm sick of it actually.

So here is my big fat homeschooling dilemma laid out:

Frannie is social. She thrives in group environments. I can't get her to eat so many foods, but if she is with other kids she will gobble up anything on her plate. I have seen time and time again how she dedicates herself to something if other kids are doing it too. So in terms of school I believe she will learn so much and just soak it all in. I suppose this could also backfire and she could adopt "attention-getting" behaviors that she sees. I certainly have seen her play the whole "us two are in and you're out" scenario with other girls. But in talking strictly academics, she does well in groups.

With homeschooling it is much harder to create a group environment. I know that I would sign her up for outside activities such as ballet, art classes, and possibly girl scouts, but what about an academic environment? I do worry sometimes that the school system has become so focused on test-scores that they are introducing concepts too soon and overburdening elementary aged children with homework. I hear friends of school-aged ones bemoan the amount of homework that their kids are taking home. It's all very time consuming and often just busy-work. Part of me feels that if I'm going to be spending an hour and a half on homework then I might as well just homeschool and get it done earlier in the day.

That said, homeschooling is such a huge responsibility. It requires long-term, short-term and daily planning. It's another job that is enmeshed with mommyhood.

So that is part of it. I actually have other concerns about the academic parts of home vs. traditional school but this post could end up being ridiculously long if I list absolutely everything that is on my mind.

So onto the social part of it. I go to an amazing homeschool group on Tuesday afternoons and there is just the best group of little girls and boys and they all play together so wonderfully. We are there for about 3 hours and it is non-stop playing and make believe and fun. Everything that is great about childhood is present in those three hours at the park. Every time I come home I think about homeschooling again because I really don't want to let that go. I don't want to let the park day go! I couldn't ask for a better group of children for my children to grow up with. Truly.

So when I think of homeschooling I feel like I am choosing between park days and flexibility but also taking on the sole burden of my kids' academic life, which I'm not convinced yet that I can handle! When I think of public school I feel like the academic burden is lifted off of me, and I think she will learn a lot, but I also see a future of social cliques (and all that that entails) and one-size-fits-all learning environments with lots of evening homework. In addition to Frannie, there is the matter of Adam and Natalie to consider. Obviously I have no clue what type of learner Natalie is, but Adam's style is starting to emerge. I actually see him as an independent learner at this point.

Right now I'm reading 100 Top Picks for Homeschool Curriculum. It helps you to figure out your child's natural learning style, your (the teacher's) learning style and needs, and match you to curriculum that will fit. I have also read Discover Your Child's Learning Style. I recommend the latter book whether someone plans on homeschooling or not simply because it gives insights into what kind of learner your child is which is helpful to know no matter where a child goes to school. Before reading that book I was often confused about why Frannie would learn things well in some situations but not in others. After taking the little analysis tests they offer in the book and reading her learning profile it all made much more sense to me.

So at this point I am at the place of seeing if I can possibly find an educational method and curriculum that works for the both of us to see if I could handle the academic responsibility of schooling at home. Meanwhile, I am going on tours of my local elementary schools next semester to see how things are run in my district.

What about Jason? How does he feel about all of this? Well he is an open-minded soul. He can see the pros and cons to both decisions as well. If I give a convincing argument for either one, he is pretty supportive. My parents are the same. Either choice is fine to them.

Whatever decision we end up making, I hope you kids don't hate me for it in the future! Mama is just trying her best! Remember that!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

So I'm in a book

Many moons ago I was on the Hathor the Cowgoddess site and saw that the comic writer Heather was asking for birth story submissions. I went ahead and did a simple copy/paste from the quickie birth story I wrote up after Adam was born. Done.

I completely forgot that I did that until about 8 months ago I got a random email saying that she had chosen my birth story and would I please fill out a release form.


So I did, still thinking that maybe it wasn't quite anything. Afterall it had been over a year since I sent that story.

But it turns out it was something, and that something is now in the form of a book titled Simply Give Birth and I'm on page 79.

It is a bit strange to see my birth story because there was definitely some editing done. Certain moments that were important to me in the actual birth were edited so it doesn't read the same way that I remember it happening. Jason also feels the same about that when he read it. But either which way, it's there and it's kind of cool.

Holy Smokes!

I just realized that the Turkey Trot is in two weeks. A little less than two weeks. I haven't gone running in probably 4 weeks! Time to put my sneakers on.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Easy Breakfast for One- Dirties ONE dish

My dad gets a lot of credit for this creation but I took it a step further. To do this you need a small flat-bottomed bowl. Children's bowls work well. Pictured here is Adam's Lightning McQueen bowl. Here's how to create a super fast breakfast that dirties one dish (well, two if you count the fork):

1. Put a bagel in the toaster.

2. Spray bowl with Pam, crack in one egg and beat slightly.

3. Put in microwave for 30 seconds.

4. Egg will be fully cooked and in the perfect shape to put right on top of your now toasted bagel.

5. The possibilities are endless.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Baby

She's always a part of the action. I'd say there is never a dull moment in her world. From that moment in pregnancy when I realized that God likely created so much protection for babies in the womb to guard against toddler elbow and foot blows to the abdomen, to these moments when there is pretty much a constant stream of whoops and shouts in her ear, she really has never been alone. She is sweet, mellow, joyful, always on the floor or riding on my hip. She's very nearly crawling. I enjoy watching her get up on all fours and do that back and forth rocking and big chest lunge as she goes for an object. She rolls all over the living room and spends ample time playing with her favorite toys: her feet. My heart breaks and rejoices every time I look at her. She's growing. When they are babies it feels as though they will be babies forever. And then something changes, and then something else a little more. Anyways, I cherish her and cherish her babyhood. I delight in all of her ways.

I love the baby fat rolls on her back.
Her infectious ample laugh.
Her pudgy feet.
Her soft brown ducky hair.
Her squishy booty.
The way her legs run run run when I'm holding her on my hip facing outward.
I appreciate that's she's pretty easy to put to sleep.
I like watching the kids make her laugh.
I love the huge smile she gets on her face when I pick her up out of her play pen after a nap.
She feels so good in my arms to hold and cuddle.

I'm feeling sentimental because I just realized today that she'll be 6 months old already on Thanksgiving Day and I can't believe it.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


Jenny took the girls to see Snow White at the El Capitan theater. These are a few pics that Doreen took. I am so happy my kids have cousins!! And wonderful Aunties!!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

My Boys at San Dimas Grain

This picture touches my heart on a few levels. There is the sweetness of father and son together holding hands. I think it is very cute that Adam and Daddy look so much alike physically but then we've got the same croc shoes, jeans, sweatshirt, and at-home clipper haircut. I also noticed how Adam is holding his little train the way he always does. The fact that they are standing in front of that big stack of hay bales is pretty cool too because I have a picture of Jason at age 20 bucking a straw bale right there in the back of the store.

San Dimas Grain holds a special place in our hearts as a family simply because that is where Jason worked for all of those years and he still works for the same bosses today (the former owners of the store are the developers of the dog food company Canidae.) He continues to be connected to the store and its current owners Scott and Deanna and does work for them occasionally. My parents have been going to that store for over 20 years now. I remember Dad taking Herbie there to get his shots when I was a kid and of course that is where Mom found little Archie about two years ago and called Dad telling him "You HAVE to come down here and see this dog!" During Jason's years of working there (was it 10 years?), Mom shopped at the store just about every week for horse supplies, dog food, crickets, you name it. As for our pets, Cookies and Crackers are San Dimas Grain kitties.

So there has been a lot of life and connection to that place for our entire relationship. It makes me happy to see those two holding hands at such a special spot. Maybe Adam will work there someday?

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Risking Rudeness?

I had an incident today that put me in a bind.

I just signed Frannie up for her first "real" ballet class over at Village Dance Arts in Claremont. If you aren't familiar with it, it is a dinky studio with an even dinkier waiting area (as most studios are).

We got there early, but soon enough lots of families were filing in and it quickly became apparent to me that Natalie's presence was akin to having a puppy in the room. It seemed like every child in there wanted to do "goo goo ga ga" in her face and tickle her tummy and all the rest of it. I usually find it lovely the way children so instantly love babies, but being that it is flu season every time someone came up to her I got a little nervous.

One boy in particular came up and I saw that he had red-rimmed glassy eyes and he looked a bit disheveled and he was smiling so joyfully and grabbed her hands.

In my brain I'm going back and forth- my brain is saying "GET AWAY FROM MY BABY WITH YOUR GRUBBY HANDS!" and then my other side is saying "But he is so sweet and I really don't want to hurt his feelings and I know he just finds such delight with my baby."

So I got up and nonchalantly went to the bathroom to wash her hands.

But then here he comes again, and now his sister is there. His mom can see that I'm getting antsy and she tells her kids to leave the baby alone. I did finally explain to her that I'm just paranoid about flu-season and that I don't mind if they hold the baby's feet.

In a few minutes class lets out and little girls are filing past and one stops and kisses Natalie right on the lips. And my brain does another split-thought ACK! GET AWAY!" vs. "Oh you are just such a sweet girl aren't you?"

Turns out this nice girl was the other sister of the little boy with the red-rimmed eyes. So this lady has such loving kids and all I can think about is wondering how many germs they are possibly harboring.

Next time I'm just going to take a 45 minute walk with the double-stroller while Frannie does her lesson.

Anyways, what would you do? How do you handle baby etiquette?

P.S. Oh yes and Frannie did very well! I like this class much more than the class I took her to in La Verne awhile back. In that class it seemed like the kids spent most of the 45 minutes waiting in line until it was their turn to do some kicks across the floor or a wobbly chaine' turn. But here the girls were moving the whole time, prancing around like horses and running around the room in a big circle fluttering their arms like butterflies. More fun. More work on posture. It's good.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Good Chicky Recipe

I read this post about cooking a whole chicken in a crock pot and got some good tips.

I often cook pork and beef in the crock pot but have not made many whole chicken attempts since Jason thinks crock pot chicken makes the house smell weird.

The above post though had a great tip that worked out very well. After stuffing the cavity with celery, onion, and carrot, place the chicken into the crock pot on top of a few aluminum foil balls to keep it raised. Then just season with salt and paprika and set to low. Don't add any water.

This technique gave the chicken more of a rotisserie flavor and was very good.

I now have the bones, leftover chicken juice, and more celery, carrot, and onion cooking (with about 6 cups of water) to make some broth. My neighbor does this every time she makes chicken and she never has to buy canned.

Monday, October 26, 2009

My Three Sweeties

Unfocused, but I like it anyways. Oh and I posted several pictures today so if you get a direct feed to your blog you won't see the other pictures. Click on the dancing family link to scroll through.

Drunk on Cake

Cross Dressing