Friday, February 19, 2010

What I Had to Get Used To

My sister-in-law just had her first baby.  He is so very sweet.  Seeing her with him reminded me of myself when Caleb was born and I got thinking...the way I will parent Brandt is different from the way I started out parenting Caleb.  Why?  There are some things I've come to terms with in the almost-eight years since my first baby.  Things that I've come to expect and I try not to let phase me.  For example if I'm out and about with one or more of my little boys, most likely:

If I'm in a hurry he will take his time.
If there's water (a puddle or stream) he will jump in it.
If there are rocks nearby he will throw them in the water.
If there's something to climb he will climb it.
If he successfully climbed up he will jump off.
If there's a fountain he will stick his hands in it.
If there is a drinking fountain he must have a drink from it.
If there is something to pull on or swing from he will pull or swing from it.
If there's something to throw he will throw it.
If there's something that he considers to be shaped like a gun/sword/rocket he will use it as such.
If he finds bits of metal or interesting rocks he will collect them.
If there is a stick he will pick it up.
If there is something to hit with the stick he will hit it.
If there is a package he will open it.
If he's supposed to be quiet he will forget.

So.  That doesn't keep me from teaching good behavior, but I just know what to expect so I can make adjustments.  And I'm no longer horrified if he jumps in a puddle with his best shoes on because he's a kid and that's what kids do.

Having said that, I keep a first aid kit handy, as well as antibacterial wipes, distractions, detour plans, and a few good bribes, I mean rewards.  And you know what?  Some of the most endearing memories are formed during just such moments as these.  I try to remember that.

Valentines Day 2010

I made these heart-footprint gnomes out of giant Hershey's kisses as valentines for the kids from Mitch and me (idea from  When they woke up they found heart-shaped footprints leading them from their bedrooms to their little gnome friends.

The boys thought they were silly and fun.

Flexibility, Teeth, and Mobility

Brandt has been nibbling on everything he can get his hands on, including his toes.  He sprouted his first tooth about two weeks ago and his second tooth eight days later.  He's also becoming more mobile and by a combination of wiggling, rolling, and rocking on his hands and knees, he starting to go places.  Crawling is on the horizon.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Beef Stew and Rosemary

I wonder what my friend would say if I told her that the secret ingredient in the beef stew I brought her used to be a part of the landscaping in the common area.

One day my mom was walking with us to Caleb's school. On the way she pointed to one of several identical bushes along the road and identified it as rosemary. The herb. Yeah. All this time I just thought it was useless greenery. I should say, only useful in that it was green. She pulled off a sprig and rubbed it between her fingers. "Smell that," she instructed. I did. It smelled really good.

The next time I planned to make beef stew I checked carefully to make sure none of my neighbors were watching, snagged some leaves, and shoved them in my pocket. At home I washed them thoroughly and they went into the pot.

Here's my favorite recipe for beef stew (taken from and modified just a little):

Beef Stew

  • 2 pounds cubed beef stew meat
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 4 cubes beef bouillon, crumbled
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary, or 2-3 tsp fresh if you happen across an obliging bush
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 8 oz. can tomato sauce
  • 3 large potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 4 carrots, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 4 stalks celery, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 large onion, chopped


  1. In a large Ziplock bag shake the beef in the flour to coat. In a large pot or dutch oven, cook beef in oil over medium heat until brown. Dissolve bouillon in water and pour into pot. Stir in rosemary, parsley, pepper, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer 1 hour.
  2. Stir tomato sauce, potatoes, carrots, celery, and onion into the pot. Cover and simmer 1 hour more.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

AR Champ

You're looking at the Accellerated Reader leader in Room 114.

Beach Day...and a Misconception

All these years I thought that Mitch and I got engaged on Newport beach. We decided to spend a day there with the kids and grandparents, just for fun. When we got out there Mitch and I looked around and then at each other and thought...This isn't the place. We decided to stay and enjoy the ocean anyway.

Fortunately, we found a knowledgeable lifeguard, and we found that actually we became engaged on the beach at Corona del Mar. Here:

Boy, it feels good to clear that up.

Disneyland 2010

I love Disneyland. They know how to do it right.
Facilitate fun, that is.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Adam's Broken Arm

In early December Adam broke his arm rolling off the arm of this couch.

It was a pretty bad break, and Mitch, who was reading bedtime stories at the time, heard the snap. Here's the X-ray.

This is after most everyone had signed his cast. Adam did really well lugging it around. No complaints, and it certainly didn't slow him down. In fact, it wasn't long after his accident that we had to get after him to quit jumping around on the couch so as not to break his other arm.

When the doctor removed his cast after 4 weeks, Adam's bone wasn't totally healed so he came home with this cast.

Two weeks later his arm was all better, but Adam was pretty nervous and even though he didn't need it physically, he required this band-aid to quiet his mind.

And now he's pretty much good as new. Our bodies are amazing.

New Family Member

The boys' cousin Austin moved in after Christmas. He's here to work and go to school, etc. We think he's pretty great.

On the way home from preschool the other day Dallin told his carpool friend, Afton, that he was saving a snack-sized bag of pretzels for his big brother. "You mean Caleb?" asked Afton.
"No, my bigger brother...Austin."

Aye, he be one of the family.