Monday, March 31, 2008

On my mind and in my thoughts...

Kris and Ceil, originally uploaded by Kristianna.

Got an email from my friend, sorority sister, and former housemate Cecelia today. She's heading home to NoVA. Her brother, a soldier who has been in Iraq was hit by an IED along with his patrol recently. Two others were killed, and her brother has lost his left arm, suffered shrapnel wounds, and is on a respirator. He's on his way to Walter Reed, and Ceil will be there to meet him. His prognosis is as good as can be hoped at this time.

So they're on my mind today. I still think of him as Ceil's punkass little brother.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

found photo

1998_Yosemite_0008, originally uploaded by Kristianna.

Continuing with the scanning... on to the weekend we spent up near Yosemite at the mtn house of one of Paul's coworker's parents. We drove up with Patrick Carroll and he took this photo. Here we are, obviously mystified and rendered dorky by the awesomeness that is Yosemite Valley.

This was a fun weekend. We've not made it up to Yosemite since then, but hope to do a family camping trip there in a couple of years, once Cole is a little older, but before he's too large to carry (which might be pretty soon, since I already strained my wrist picking him up last week--he's big).

Hazards of eating and nursing

So, I'm sitting here eating breakfast (mmmm egg & ham sammich), and I look down at Cole. Whoops, there is a piece of ham on his chest. He's completely zonked out, milk drunk and napping, so I gently picked it up -- and ate the ham. Hey, I like ham a lot.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Things I want to remember.

2008-03-23 049, originally uploaded by Kristianna.

*Sentimentality Warning*

Cole is now all of 11 weeks old. He's growing so fast. He's a baby-baby now, no longer a newborn, though he never seemed to be that pink larval baby with new-newness beyond about day 5. Anyway, it is flying by. Now Cole laughs a little, is swatting at things, and babbles more than I remember his brother or sister doing-probably because he's talked to so much by both me and his siblings, so he already tries to 'reply'.

However, while my baby is still a 2-3 month old, I must force myself to remember some things that go away so fast. It's like the time I tried to burn the actual color of the waters in the Florida Keys into my memory by taking off my sunglasses and refusing to squint--to try to burn that certain azure into my retinas forever.

I have to remember how soft new baby hair is. Softer than angora. I love to rub my lips against his scalp, feeling the softness while smelling that 'baby head smell'. (A funny thing: people who have not held a baby in a while will always smell its head--it's a universally appreciated scent, and much coveted by parents of older kids and grandparents.)

I must remember that Cole always smiles at me when he sees me in the morning and is waking up on the changing table. Even if I have run in to fetch him because he slept later than me--which is not often enough!--he calms down and is all smiles once he knows I am there.

I must not forget those sleeping-nursing smiles, and the random cackles as he dreams. What do babies dream, having no words? I am guessing they dream about smiling faces, the way trees look, the ceiling fan, maybe about crying to be picked up, or something that startled them... do they dream about the womb? It's certainly where he's spent the majority of his time up till now. I'm digressing, but I always think, on their 18 month date how now they are more 'of the world' than of my body... that now they have been outside for longer than inside. It may be a strange thing to note, but it's always seemed significant to me.

I must remember the folds of his chubby thighs. My only chunky baby, and all milk-fed. Third time was the charm with nursing, for sure. For once I don't have to worry if the baby is getting enough fat or wetting enough diapers. This child is obviously thriving. Figures the 'littlest' is also the biggest.

Most of all, I am trying to remember to enjoy it. Yes, I'm usually a crank by the end of the day; dinner time is definitely the witching hour here, and I certainly contribute to the aura of grumpiness at times, but I really enjoy this baby so much. I adored taking care of Carter, and to the degree I could enjoy someone who screamed 8+ hours a day, I may not have *enjoyed* some of the specifics of a baby-Bunny, but I loved her and didn't know any different anyway, so it was what it was... but this is my last time and I suppose it's always on my mind that yes, blow out diapers are pretty gross, but even those I'll probably look back on fondly. Even all nighters, sitting with a sick child, with that subtle-panic feeling of "Ohhh nooo, my child is ill, and I desperately hope it's only for a short while", all those pass with time, and become dusty memories. So, since life is the journey (seeing as well, let's face it the destination is the other half of "Something and taxes" that we all have to face in life)... it's best to really take a breather now and then and be a sentimental sap.

Then get back to my general garden variety sarcasm, pronto. Mama has little time for these things, lest she spontaneously conceive another one of these baby folk. Which, speaking of, my sick 2 yr old needs some snuggles, and a lot of tissues. Ew.

Monday, March 24, 2008


2008-03-23 059, originally uploaded by Kristianna.

'Twas time...

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Bwak Bwak Thank You Easter Bunny!

2008-03-22 039, originally uploaded by Kristianna.

Friday, March 21, 2008

friday:: found photo

071998_Lassen_0014, originally uploaded by Kristianna.

I've been working on steadily decluttering at least one thing a day committed to doing this for a year... and was in the garage when I spied a whole album of photos! In the garage? Only my husband would put photos in the garage (nice archive for easily damaged things, being extreme temperatures and all, huh?)... but they're in good shape. So I'm trying to find a little time weekly to scan. This album is from 1998 and perhaps some of 1999--I have not flipped through it. Hey, I have little free time as I said! I did scan the first 4 pages, which are of our 1998 July 4th camping trip to Mt. Lassen up near Shasta.

This photo was taking on July 4. It had been the big El Nino winter that year and much of the park was still covered in snow. We climbed the most recently active cinder cone that day (the cinder cone was so steep, it was a BITCH to get up, even as seasoned hikers) and this photo is from the top.


2008-03-19_2 021, originally uploaded by Kristianna.

trying again to post -- the Flickr/Blogger sync was not working last night.

Finished the never ending hat for Paul. This cashmere felt so nice in my hands that it almost made up for ripping it back over and over to try to adapt and adjust to make the hat as tight as Paul would prefer -- he likes then very tight on his very short hair.

On the plus side, I'm kind of well practiced at crocheting cables now and hope to find some other way to put this to use.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Hello! McFly!!

Our pleco died a couple of weeks ago and the tank really was becoming algae ridden quickly, since sunlight hits the aquarium. Okay, so I bought the fish yesterday, plus 2 marbled mollies for my daughter. And, um, we can't find them today. There are the same 5 fish as ever in the tank. Oh wait, they came back -- never mind. I'm laughing at myself, because we literally spent 10 mins looking for them this morning, and now I glance over and can see the two mollies swimming by just as I was pondering their fate (did the others gang up and kill and eat them overnight? Did we imagine going to the fish store? What is the nature of reality and perception anyway?).

But never mind. They're there. Ha!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

If I were an Aussie

I'd be a Brown Owl. It looks like such a neat group. But alas. ;)

Slow Cooking Thursday: The Inauguration

Slow Cooking Thursday ~ Easy Meatloaf

I think I like this idea... seems the more kids I have, the more I yearn for the boring predictability I never would have wanted say 10 years ago, when I literally never cooked the same dish twice. My husband's joke/complaint was, "If I like something, I better enjoy the HELL out of it, because I'll likely never see it again." Now, I still do enjoy trying new things, and someday probably will have the totally unique menus every week.

But for now, routine is the means to sanity, haha. That, and lots of coffee. ;)

So anyway, I think after I get home from drop off, it'll be the inaugural Slow Cooking Thursday prep time. Then all I have to do is make sides tonight. I guess that's why I make a batch of soup so often in the middle of the day--so in the evening when it's crazyville here, with 2 or 3 kids fussy, I can just put food in a bowl/plate, and then they're quiet at least while they eat, heh.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

2nd Parent-Teacher Conference

This morning I had the second of three parent teacher conferences with Bunny's teacher. In general, she exceeds standards for her grade level in reading, writing, speaking, and math while she's meeting the standards for social studies and science -- these are the standards for completion of Kinder, not 2/3 of the way, so within a couple of those areas she was marked as 'approaching' standards, but overall meeting, since it's a journey. A couple of areas where she particularly excels are reading/listening comprehension, pushing to write more complex sentences (i.e. instead of "I like ____," she adds a second clause and reasons out phonetic spellings for words she has not been taught (sometimes with the cutest results, haha!)).

This is the comment on her report card:
Bunny continues to do well in all areas. She is a quick learner and a pleasure to teach! Her enthusiasm towards learning is a wonderful gift. Bunny is reading simple books, writing simple sentences, and writing numbers up to 100. Her reading is beginning to flow and she is sounding out words. This will be the concentration of our last trimester. Bunny displays creativity with problem solving and with written work. Bunny is kind to others and she is a role model in our class. She is learning to jump rope at recess. Keep up the good work!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Mighty Fine Gumbo

Ready to eat., originally uploaded by Kristianna.

I've been wanting gumbo forEVER, but they don't have okra at Trader Joe's and I keep forgetting to grab some whenever I go for some random thing at Safeway. Finally last week I made some, and it was better than I remembered. Bunny loved it and asked me to make it again, and Paul ate and ate and ATE it. Carter? Well, he's my hard case. He asked if I had 'choccy cake', as he has every day since we *did* have some on my birthday a month ago. Can't win 'em all.

Mighty Fine Gumbo

4 slices bacon, chopped
1 onion, chopped
8 oz green pepper strips -- or use mix of colors
20 oz frozen cut okra, thawed
28 oz can diced tomatoes, with liquid
1 bay leaf
1/4 t red pepper flakes
1 qt chicken stock
1 lb large uncooked shrimp, peeled & deveined

Brown bacon in the dutch oven, and reserve. Add onion to the bacon drippings and saute 1 min. Add pepper strips and continue to saute for 4 more minutes or until onions are translucent. Add okra, tomatoes, bay leaf, some red pepper flakes, chicken broth, and reserved bacon. Cook it for an hour. Add shrimp and cook just until done, about 10 mins. Serve over rice--mine was saffron rice. YUM.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Loonatic. ;)

Loonatic. ;), originally uploaded by Kristianna.

No comment really needed here. He's obviously my son.

Sunday, March 09, 2008


Paul and I agreed that 'tolerable' is about the highest praise a parent can give of time spent in Chuck E. Cheese's. Kids LOVELOVELOVE it. It's loud, full of places to spend your tokens in hopes of a payoff, the 'prizes' are about a 1:10 value to what is spent in the quest for them -- hey! It's basically Kiddie Vegas! Aha!

Anyway, we went to Chuck E's yesterday to help celebrate Sarah's big 4th birthday, and it was pretty much tolerable. The kids would have rated it much more kindly. :)

Saturday, March 08, 2008

My March Madness

I really don't care about basketball. At all. Even a teensy bit.

But March is important in our house because it's Bunny's birthday month. This year we have 3 other birthday parties to attend, making for only one weekend off (Easter weekend, of course, so not really a weekend off from kid stuff--since we celebrate the secular, rodent bringing treats kind of Easter).

Since the month will fly by, I'm starting to plan out her party details. Bunny, being BUnny, never comes up with some theme you can just buy from Birthday Express and have done with it. Thank heavens she abandoned her first idea -- an Otis party. Otis, our CAT. That would have been, um, interesting! When I asked her why, she said, "Because I love Otis," as it I was really rather thick.

Then she changed to white tigers. Really she wants the place to be transformed into an Asian rainforest, but we'll see how much of that we get. She agreed to a 'regular tiger' pinata, since, while pinata come in a large variety, they don't come in *that* large a variety! I found a template for tiger invitations, how-to for a tiger cake, I'm thinking about doing pin the tail on the tiger, but that game always is more fun in theory than reality so we may stick with bashing a pinata and scrambling for candy, plus another small favor (search and you can get my rant on favors, haha). The decorations will be somewhat jungle--but what I can do without driving myself *too* crazy. I'm always a little crazy, haha. 3 weeks and counting down.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Day 2 of 84 (12 week challenge)

So I'm on a journey to fitness (to steal a say someone else put it). Now that my baby is 8 weeks old, I have no good excuse to not bust a move and try to literally work off some of my ass.

Today Lisa Seguinot posted a great entry on her blog. I totally agree--now to put that better way of thinking into effect! For now, I hear snoring, so it's time to see how much of the kettel bell routine I can get done.

Yesterday I took 15,383 steps. Today will not be nearly as good, but tomorrow will also be good. I'm trying to do it every other day to start.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

So now we're catching mythical creatures.

luck of the arrrish, originally uploaded by tervaja.

Growing up, St. Patrick's Day was one thing: you wore green or you got pinched. That was enough! I mean, heck give a small kid a reason to chase another one around and voila... fun holiday.

Got older and it also meant green beer. Not my favorite, really, since it invariably was awful green beer. Sorry, but putting some color in Milwaukee's Best does not make it the best anything.

Now apparently St. Paddy has figured a way to make us work harder. You have to build leprechaun traps! Seriously. I was looking at the March calendar for Bun's class, and on the 13th it says, 'Leprechaun Traps Due" with a note that they'll explain more later. You gotta be kidding me. But Bunny is excited and convinced she'll get the pot of gold. :)

Saturday, March 01, 2008

What Lucas didn't show us.

Stormtroopers are regular folks. They like dogs. They go to the bookstore. They crack me up.
Bunny finds their Flickr site fascinating. And you thought all they did was, ya know, march around. Well, after their bosses died and the rebels won, I guess life changed. ;)


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