Thursday, September 30, 2010

Finally



He got to go rock-climbing! The picture isn't the best (John took it with his phone), but he LOVED it. Bryton was too scared to actually climb, but John said Preston got pretty far up the wall. And, to make it just that much better, John took all 3 boys by himself and left me home for some peace and quiet!
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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Bacteria Talk

I had been making my own yogurt for a few months using a yogurt that cultures at room temperature from Cultures for Health (Viili yogurt). After a couple of unfortunate incidents in which I killed the culture (I had it in the oven with the light on to keep it warm...and yes, I turned the oven on while it was in there not just once, but TWICE, resulting in my back-up starter being killed as well), I had to purchase another one. Given the amount of yogurt that my boys consume in a week, and my intense dislike for specific extra appliances in my kitchen such as a yogurt maker, I wasn't really too upset about buying another starter.

It came in the mail super quick (they are in Oregon!) and I immediately started the first batch.

I followed the instructions exactly (well, at least I think I did!)...checked on it at the low end of the "recommended time" and it was still totally liquid. Checked on it at the high end of the "recommended time" and it was STILL liquid. Uh-oh. And it didn't smell like yogurt.

Thank goodness Cultures for Health has good customer service! I shot them an email and they got back to me super quickly. After I few suggestions, I was ready to try again with the back-up starter.

FAIL AGAIN! Not good. So they quickly sent me out another starter, and to my surprise (and anxiety) a sourdough starter as well! I am afraid of sourdough. I really WANT to make it, and you should have seen how excited John was when I told him - he is a BIG sourdough bread fan (incidentally, we had to go eat at San Francisco Sourdough Eatery this past weekend probably because he had been thinking about sourdough bread all week!). I am just totally intimidated by the process for some reason. I have been using the basic recipe from Healthy Bread in 5 Minutes a Day for pretty much all of our "bread" needs - pita bread, pizza dough, garlic bread, and just plain ol' bread...but I can't deny that there are health benefits to sourdough bread that you just don't get with "other" bread.

Anyway, my 2nd batch of yogurt is now in the fridge. It must be successful as the boys have consumed massive amounts of it. And thankfully the sourdough starter is shelf stable so I can get up the nerve to try it...at some point.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

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Jasper Count

Jasper destruction over the last few days:
(1) ate approximately 3 sticks of butter (including the wrappers)
(2) ate 1 blackberry bush
(3) ate 3 pumpkins, vines and all - the boys were crushed because these were their Halloween pumpkins
(4) chewed up and presumably ate most of a big piece of wood
(5) chewed up a sock
(6) ate some zucchini leaves (she couldn't reach the actually zucchinis)
(7) ate countless green cherry tomatoes

Hmmm...I might be adding to this list as I remember more things!

Summer?

We've been having BEAUTIFUL weather here and I just want it to go on and on and on...
It's like the perfect mix of summer and fall. Summer weather (warm but not hot, sunny, perfect!) but it gets dark early and stays dark later in the morning which means my boys think that they are supposed to be sleeping (except Archer who still hasn't quite figured out that night = sleep).

Last night we went for a nice long bike ride to the park, and then to the store for ice cream. We got back just as it was starting to get dark, the boys jumped in the bath, and went to bed pretty much right away because they thought it was late! So by about 8:00, I was holding Archer to try to get him to go to sleep, and reading my nook. Life is good. (I am currently sucked into this series that has outrageously long books, and seems to be never-ending...not that I'm complaining but it means that I am probably spending way too much time reading.)

Add to that the fact that John got a letter yesterday informing him that he had been awarded loan repayment for renewing his contract for another 2 years and I'm a happy camper! John received a scholarship in that paid for his last 3 years of dental school, provided that he worked at an eligible site for 3 years after graduation (but don't worry, his first year of dental school carried a HEFTY price for tuition, supplies, and misc. expenses). His 3 years was up in August, but since he enjoys his job and we like where we are (and he still has outrageous amounts of student loans from undergrad and his first year of dental school), we decided to go for at least another 2 years for loan repayment. If he decides to renew for 1 more year after that, it will completely pay off his student loans! Woohoo! Mine are on track to be paid off by early next year, so this is a pretty big deal to us. Hopefully by the time I actually get around to going back to school, we will be debt-free!

Alright, off to enjoy the day!!!

Friday, September 24, 2010

The Baby

Archer. I cannot BELIEVE he's 14 months old already.

STILL not sleeping through the night (ugh).
RUNNING everywhere.
CLIMBING whenever he's not running - including climbing on Jasper (she's VERY tolerant of him).
INTO EVERYTHING ALL THE TIME.
LOVES to be in a carrier on my back but REFUSES to go in the stroller (although he tolerates bike rides in the bike trailer about 75% of the time, thank goodness).
COMPLETELY mischievous...
But so INCREDIBLY cute. I mean really, how can you resist this face?!



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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

QOTD

B: "You got me on my chin!"
Me: "I did?"
B: "Yes, my CHINCHILLA!"

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

QOTD

QOTD: (after listening to The Farmer in the Dell) "awwww...the poor cheese!" - Bryton

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Rock Climbing


The boys have been BEGGING to go rock climbing at the Kroc, but so far we haven't had a chance. It seems like every time we are there, the wall is closed or we are there for swimming lessons...or, we plan to go and then something happens (like the boys refuse to take a nap...no big deal for Preston but it IS a big deal for Bryton and it makes all outings turn into a HUGE ordeal). Anyway, the boys apparently decided to take things into their own hands and rigged up their own harness out of a jump rope. I wish I was quick enough to get a picture of Bryton, but they must be pretty adept at "harnessing" each other because by the time I got the camera, Preston was up the "rock wall."

Let's hope I don't find them in the entryway trying to scale the wall to get upstairs!
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Monday, September 20, 2010

QOTD

6:30 am...on a day when John doesn't have to work and we're trying to "sleep in."
B: Can I cuddle with you?
Me: Do you want to cuddle with me or Daddy? (trying to wrangle Archer and keep him away from Bryton's hair.)
B: YOU!
Me: I must be a better cuddler than Daddy huh?
B: Yes. And you're a PRETTY cuddler.

Friday, September 17, 2010

QOTD

QOTD: Bryton woke me up and he forced me to go downstairs! I'm so sorry that Bryton forced me to go downstairs. - Preston

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

VitaMix L-O-V-E

I think my Vitamix is the only kitchen gadget that I use every single day. Literally. Sometimes I use it 2 or 3 times a day. I *LOVE* it.

Yesterday I used it to make a huge amount of applesauce. My parents brought a ton of apples when they came to visit, and they were sitting out in the garage. I used about 1/3 of them to make applesauce yesterday and then canned it (and I have plans to make the rest into applesauce as well, but I can only get so much done while taking care of 3 little boys). It's SO much easier in the Vitamix because you don't have to peel the apples! I just used an apple slicer, sliced/cored the apples, cooked them, tossed them in the Vitamix, and BAM...APPLESAUCE! Yum. Then I poured it right into the canning jars straight from the Vitamix!

John (the official breakfast-maker) uses it to mix up pancakes (or waffles) and scrambled eggs. Today I used it to make tomato soup from fresh-from-the-garden tomatoes. The boys (and John) LOVE tomato soup, but the kind that they love unfortunately has high-fructose corn syrup in it (not to mention the BPA in the cans). We've found an organic variety that they like okay, but it's just not the same. So today I tossed a bunch of tomatoes in, a quarter of an onion, some spices (salt, pepper, basil, oregano), and a little milk...and 4-5 minutes later, out came steaming hot tomato soup (or "tomato smoothie" as it was dubbed by the boys).

When I finally get enough tomatoes from the garden (soon...hopefully soon!) I plan to make tomato sauce and maybe tomato soup to can - I am sure it will be a piece of cake since I won't have to peel the tomatoes, either. We'll see how many tomatoes my little garden produces though. And let's hope they ripen up before the first frost!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Hand-Me-Downs

Preston (2006)

Bryton (2008)

Archer (2010)

John and I took a spontaneous "pre-baby" vacation in Sept. 2005 to Hawaii (Kauai). We only stayed for a few days but we crammed A LOT of fun into those few days. Yeah, fun like taking a boat up to the Na Pali coast and me puking my guts out on the way back (blame the baby, right?). Anyway, we bought this cute Future Surf Dude shirt while we were in Hawaii and it has managed to survive all 3 boys. I'm not really a sentimental person when it comes to "stuff." I regularly purge my house of all non-essential items, including things that might be considered sentimental...but, I think I'm going to keep this shirt. Maybe it will fit on the Cabbage Patch (because my Mom does save stuff like that...the boys have my old Cabbage Patch doll - the Barbies and My Little Ponies went in the garage sale pile though!).

Monday, September 13, 2010

Things that do not belong...

...down the laundry chute.

1. Rockband drumsticks
2. The dog's tennis ball
3. A toothbrush
4. A plastic bag

Sunday, September 12, 2010

QOTD

QOTD: I have THIRTY owies so I need some medicine. I don't like THIRTY owies! - Bryton (30 must be the # of the day?)

Friday, September 10, 2010

QOTD 2

QOTD 2: "What is that in my egg? Oh, I know, it's EGG SKIN!!!" - Preston

QOTD

QOTD: "I didn't get any rest last night...I need some coffee milk!" - Preston

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Midday Bliss?

Naptime.

I don't think I'm exactly "stay-at-home-mom" material. I'm not one of those people who you meet and think "oh, she's PERFECT for staying home with her kids." I don't relish playdates, homeschooling, or taking my kids for fun and educational outings. Some days I feel like (1) pulling my hair out (2) going into the closet, shutting the door, and curling up in the corner (3) plunking my kids in front of PBS. I have yet to do #1 or 2, but #3 occasionally occurs around here on days when John is working on a Friday or the kids are sick. I do enjoy it (most of the time), but it's not really something I've always aspired to do, which is strange considering my mom was a stay-at-home mom (and one of those people who IS perfect for it). But it has always been my opinion that it's important for one parent to stay home if it is financially possible, and given the fact that one of the parents in this family has a DMD, and the other has a BS in Psychology...well...you do the math - it's pretty obvious who gets to stay home with the kids!

Anyway, I'm totally off track. Naptime is my time during the day that is supposed to keep me sane. The last 3 nights Archer has been up for a good portion of the night with a fever, and considering his lack of other symptoms, I'm assuming he's teething. This kid is a TERRIBLE teether. He wakes up crying everything 45 min or so and needs consoling in order to go back to sleep. I've been craving a nap myself, but since it is next to impossible to get all 3 of the boys down for a nap at the same time (especially since Preston rarely takes a nap these days) I was resigned to nights of little-to-no sleep and days of coffee, coffee, and more coffee. But yesterday I GOT A NAP! The boys all overlapped in their naps by about an hour (even Preston!) and I got about 45 minutes of sleep! AMAZING and so, so, so needed. I woke up and cleaned the house. Totally energized.

But.

Today at naptime, I had hope. I thought maybe it would happen again. Apparently the fact that this has happened only a couple of times in the past year+ escaped me and I got my hopes up. Not smart. Of course there was no nap for me, and I seem to be even more tired because I was expecting a nap. Archer decided that he would take a little catnap and then spend the afternoon clinging to me, fussing, and pulling my hair. And my patience is completely shot.

It's only temporary...right???

My view this afternoon - I need a vacation!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

B Talk

Lately, Bryton has developed his own accent, for lack of a better word. Words he used to pronounce "correctly" have morphed into his own version of the word.

For example, HAIR has become "HAY-AIR" in B talk. PANTS is PAY-ANTS, HAVE is HAY-AVE, and TIRED is TIE-RED. I'm not sure where he came up with this B talk. It's sort of a southern accent mixed with something unique. It's cute as a 3 yr old, but hopefully he grows out of it because I don't think it'll be quite as cute when he's a teenager!!!

QOTD: We have to clean

QOTD: "We have to clean up the playroom because we have friends coming over tonight and they don't want to see a scary room!" -Preston

Monday, September 6, 2010

Weekend Pictures

My parents and sister are visiting this weekend. We went for a quick hike along the lake (all 3 boys were along, but Arch was on my back as usual so no pictures of him!).


Lake Coeur d'Alene

P & Jasper

Little B!

Preston

B's fake smile


B, Poppa, and Momma

Preston on Mudgey (?) the Moose
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"Labor" Day

I took advantage of having my dad here on Labor Day, and convinced him and John to do a few projects! John bought me a new kiwi the other day, and we got it planted in the front with a trellis on it (by "we" I mean John and my dad!).


Kiwi!

We also got 3 bush cherries planted, as well as a black currant and some succulents that I'm hoping will fill in and cover the bare ground eventually.
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World's Most Tolerant Dog

Friday, September 3, 2010

Presents & Cake!

After B's birthday dinner at Texas Roadhouse, we came back to our house and had cake and ice cream. I think he was pretty excited that both sets of his grandparents got to spend his birthday with him!

Presents first!

Farm cake


Singing!

Blowing out #3!

Sheep cupcake...yummy!

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Birthday Dinner

With Momma & Poppa (they are visiting from Oregon)

Birthday Boy...a little intimidated by the noise!

LOVED the ice cream


And even shared some with big brother
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Birthday Boy by Lake Coeur d'Alene

Little B is 3

September 3, 2007

3 is so grown up. 2 still seems like a "toddler" - 3, not so much. He seems so grown up too. I can't remember Preston being this "adult" at such a young age. Maybe it just comes from having an older brother, but Bryton just seems so BIG (not in size - he's pretty tiny for his age - but in attitude!).

3 years ago we were living in Montana. We had just finished a gigantic house remodel (involving replacing almost ALL the floors in the house with hardwoods, and us staying in a tent trailer in our yard in 110 degree weather while I was hugely pregnant!) and John had recently started his first job out of dental school.

There was one midwife in the town we lived in, and she didn't have a "back-up" midwife (because there wasn't another midwife within 90 miles!), so by default I went to her for my prenatal care and was intending to give birth at her birth center. She was going to be out of the country until 2 days before my due date, but since Preston was born 15 days past his due date, I didn't anticipate an early arrival.

But Little B surprised us all...my mom arrived on the train and if I remember correctly, I went into labor the next day. It all started with a full day of minor contractions...regular, close together, but only slightly uncomfortable. I decided to head into the hospital after Preston went to bed since my contractions were only a couple minutes apart - although still not painful so looking back, I wouldn't have bothered. I went...saw a nurse who monitored a few contractions, announced that they were regular (really? amazing.), but as I wasn't really dilated at all, I could head home if I wanted to...or, her words: "As long as you don't live in the Yaak or out on the middle of nowhere, you should just go home." We lived all of 3 minutes from the hospital so we headed home, only to have my contractions turn slightly more uncomfortable on our way home. My water broke at around 1:00 am, with regular/painful contractions starting so we headed back to the hospital at about 2:00 am.

Got in the tub. The whole time I'm thinking "we have plenty of time, hard labor takes MUCH longer than a couple of hours." Got out of the tub at John's suggestion because he was convinced that Bryton was going to make his appearance VERY quickly...and Bryton was born about 5 minutes later (4:36 am). The Dr. didn't make it in time and John got to deliver him since the nurses had left the room to make sure the Dr. was on her way. (The nurse spent the 5 minutes after I got out of the tub alternating between screeching "DON'T PUSH DON'T PUSH!" and rushing out to call the Dr. again.) Pretty sure the Dr. walked in as John was catching Bryton. Perfect timing! (for her anyway, we still had to pay her for the birth! Ridiculous!)

So my little 7 lbs 10 oz, 19" tiny baby boy was born. More than 2 lbs smaller than his big brother was at birth, and over a lb smaller than his younger brother.

September 2008

August 2009

August 2010

So, what is B up to these days? Climbing/running/jumping/racing/screeching/splashing/biking...the list goes on. This kid is ACTIVE. It tires me out just to watch him. He has tons of never-ending energy. He wants to learn to skate so he can play roller-hockey. He hates to sleep. He goes to bed as late as possible, and wakes up as early as possible. But he loves to cuddle. He likes me to rock him and sing "Rock-a-bye Baby." It's the cutest thing ever when he says "I love you!" I think he tries to wake up earlier than his brothers in the morning so he can come in to our bed for a quick cuddle. He will spend hours reading books and he asked for books for his birthday. He has a MAJOR temper. And after his temper tantrum, he will pause and say "Okay, I'll be good now, Mom."

Happy Birthday Little B!