Sunday, November 30, 2008

The Last Day

I feel like I should do some monumental post for the last day of NaBloPoMo, but that's not happening at this time of night. Sorry, folks. I am tired. I have thoroughly enjoyed this long weekend with my dearest husband. We relaxed and enjoyed each other's company. I have also been eating lots of pie. Mmm...pie.

I have gone over to Julie's the past two nights to dry clothes because every time we try to run our clothes dryer, our main circuit breaker flips. I'll be calling around tomorrow to find an electrician who can come out ASAP. It's super frustrating that we are having this problem in new construction.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Goodwill Score

With breakfast remnants in it. I love it!

I think I'm going to have to change the layout of the blog again. This cutting-off of pictures is no good!

Friday, November 28, 2008


Sometimes I am amazed at how much I love this little guy. He's pretty awesome. Thanks to Auntie Manda for the cute picture!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hi Folks!

I hope everyone celebrated Thanksgiving the way they like. I am too pooped to write a real post. See you tomorrow.


Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The Center of the Universe

I enjoy reading the blogs of people I do not know. That's why many blogs exist. They are outlets for the many writers who we would never get exposed to otherwise. A group of 'mommy bloggers' started doing videos focusing on specific topics. I love it! It's called Momversation. All of the topics are valid to every mom out there. A quote from Alice Bradley of Finslippy really hit home for me. She said, "Since when did our children become the center of our universe?" I easily let Malcolm be the center of my universe and her saying that was a good reminder to me that I need to make a point to not do that.

That little center of my universe has been sleeping for over three hours now. This nice, long nap allowed me to eat lunch, fold laundry, sort through the pile of clothes in the bedroom clutter and write this post. I feel bad, though. He fell asleep on the car ride home from the Y and hasn't had lunch yet. It's now 3:30 - waaaaay past lunch time. Poor guy must've been so tired.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

List Revisited

I made the banana muffins yesterday. They are, by far, the best banana muffins I have ever made. I made a couple of changes. I replaced 4 Tbsp of whole wheat flour with 2 Tbsp of ground flaxseed and 2 Tbsp of wheat germ. The muffins came out super moist and fluffy. Since I make them with whole wheat flour, they tend to be pretty dense. Not these! I believe I found my new baking trick.

I dealt with a little bit of the clutter in the bedroom. I listened to the advice of my Aunt Sally and just focused on tackling one pile instead of feeling like I had to clean up the whole mess at once. I still have quite a bit to do, but at least I've started. It can be so difficult keeping this house clean because my little toddler is constantly making messes for me to clean up. Fortunately, he's at the age where he can learn to pick up after himself. We play the clean-up game every day and he thinks it's fun. I'll have him scrubbing toilets by Christmastime.

I often like to look at pictures of Malcolm when he was a newborn and marvel at how much he has changed. Here's a picture of him when he's about 4 weeks old:

Monday, November 24, 2008

Thanksgiving Feast

I don't know about you, but my mouth is already salivating in preparation for all of the food I plan to consume on Thursday. Julie & Jeremiah will be hosting this year. Because I love food and my own cooking (is that pompous to say?), I have volunteered to bring a sweet potato dish, a green bean dish, cranberry relish and an apple pie. Everyone else is bringing 1-2 dishes. I got stuck with 4 because I want to eat all of these things and no one else volunteered to make them :)

Sunday, November 23, 2008

It's Day 23. I'm Due For a List

- I cooked carrots and butternut squash for Mal today (cook it, mush it, portion it into ice trays, freeze it). I also had plans to make banana muffins but ran out of time.
- I cooked halibut for dinner tonight. I honestly can't recall the last time I made fish. It's been a few years.
- Mal has been refusing to eat dinner the past few nights. I've been offering a wide variety of foods and he just turns his nose up. Don't know what's up with that.
- It was a lovely sunny day in Seattle but I didn't manage to get Mal out of the house to enjoy it. Bad Mommy!
- I intended to tackle some of the clutter in the bedroom. Didn't happen.

As a matter of fact, this weekend flew by and I wasn't nearly as productive as I hoped. This seems to happen every weekend. Yet, I seem to constantly be busy doing something. I don't get it.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

And Here is My Underbelly

*the landscape pictures are not showing fully due to the new format of my blog. LAME.

There has been something that has been weighing on me heavily and it continues to get worse. Aunt Sally, if you're reading this, you may want to stop now.

I have something to admit. I have a clutter problem and it seems to be getting worse. Today, I will be showing you my bedroom. Why I am doing this? I'm hoping that by doing this I will be embarrassed enough to actually do something about it.
Here is my side of the room:

*hangs head in shame*
clutter I hide behind the mirror:

Old tape cassettes that I'm not sure what to do with, a ribbon from a gift, a gift bag Mal pulled from the closet and other crap:

Mal's old clothes that need to be sorted and the co-sleeper that I'm not sure where to store long-term:

On top of the dresser (with a nice layer of dust):

This stuff used to be in a bag until Mal pulled it out to play with. Still, I was hiding it in a bag beside the dresser:

I could blame this on being a mom to a toddler, but the truth is is that I've always had a slight clutter problem. And I've always hated it. I have the Hanna gene that is getting severely ignored. I need to figure out how to tend to my need to clean.

Friday, November 21, 2008

The Call at 3 AM

Remember those commercials when Hillary Clinton was campaigning? Hated them! So why did I make that reference in the title of this post? Because it was around 3 AM this morning that I remembered that I forgot to post something. I considered getting up and writing something real quick, but then realized that Thursday was already over and it was the wee hours of the morning on Friday.

Am I usually up in the wee hours of the morning? Why yes. Typically, once a night when Mal wakes up. I don't mind him waking up once a night. It's much better than what it used to be.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Hit and Miss Recipes

First, the hit: Vanilla-Scented Tofu Oatmeal. I know it sounds kinda weird, but it's good! I've been looking for a way to add more protein to our breakfast in the morning and this is perfect. I've only made it once (this morning) and it got me through yoga. The real test will be tomorrow morning when I do cardio and weights. I've been having difficulties with crashing before I'm done with my workout.

The miss: Gnocci & Spinach Bake. I was hoping this would be a hit with the boys, but Mal wouldn't even try it and Tony said, "It's not my favorite" which translates to "I don't really like it but I'll eat it." Mal usually will try everything so I was thrown off by him not even willing to take one bite.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Sometimes I Miss It

I love being a SAHM. I do! But lately, I kinda miss going to work outside of the home. I miss using my brain for things other than parenting. I miss going to the office. I miss eating my lunch at my desk as I work. I miss chatting with my fellow coworkers.

Does all of this missin' mean that we're going to put Malcolm in daycare and I'm going to go back to work? Not at all! It may mean that I may try and find some part-time work that I can do from home if such a thing exists. There are plenty of SAHPs that work from home by making stuff like cloth diapers and stuff. That's not me. I considered trying to get into the eBay thing, but I just wasn't feeling it. I have friends who are freelance editors, graphic designers and web developers who work from home, but I am none of those. I've pondered going into bookkeeping but I don't think I'd like doing that for very long.

Maybe this missin' thing will pass soon. Or, maybe I'll find something to do with Mal that isn't about making money (or spending it, for that matter).

Monday, November 17, 2008

A Walk Through the Trees

On Sunday, we went to the Arboretum with Amanda. Malcolm loved running around.

Go to my Flickr page for more pictures.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

To Fish or Not To Fish, That is the Question

I've been seriously reconsidering adding fish back into my regular diet. It's more for Mal's benefit plus I know Tony would love it if I started cooking it again. Buying it is the overwhelming part. In order to do it with a clear conscious, I have to know that the fish was either raised on a farm with high standards or wild-caught in a sustainable fashion. And here is where I turn to the Monterey Bay Aquarium guide. I'm bookmarking it for easy reference. I feel fortunate that one of the best places to buy fish in Seattle is within walking distance of the house: Mutual Fish.

In other food-related news, I've read multiple reports that the Safeway down the street from us has a rodent problem. Gross and gross! I do very little shopping there and am planning to stop all-together until I read reports that they got their act together. Now if Tony would only do the same...

Saturday, November 15, 2008


Tony worked very hard to teach Mal how to say Obama. When this movie was taken, it was before his bedtime and was a little overtired (hence, the crying).

The Jamaican Pumpkin soup is just okay. I won't be making it again because...Tony doesn't like pumpkin soup. Maybe I should ask him these things first. Heh.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Food Love on the Internet

I often wonder how I lived without the Internet. Well, I know how I did, but I also know that it was much harder to find Answers. The Internet has all of the Answers. One of the things I love most about the Internet is finding recipes. I really enjoy cooking and trying out new foods & recipes. Before the Internet, I would say, "I want to cook something with kale in it" and then look at the handful of recipes in my short stack of cookbooks. It was limiting. Now, if I want to cook something with kale, I just type it into Google and have thousands of recipes to choose from. Typically, though, I start my recipe search at my favorite recipe websites. I *love* the fact that there are recipe websites. My newest obsession is reading people's cooking blogs. I find them so inspiring.

Right now, I have Jamaican Pumpkin Soup cookin' up in my crockpot. Earlier this week, I made Apple-Chard Quiche which is always a hit in this house. As a matter of fact, said recipe was the one that convinced me that onions are not evil. Before making this quiche, I never, ever cooked with onions. I hated them! It wasn't until after I ate them in this quiche that I realized onions are lovely when cooked. I still hate raw onions. I also hate cutting onions. They make me cry terribly.

Last night, as I was laying in bed trying to get to sleep, I was thinking about our upcoming trips next month to visit family (San Diego AND Naples!) I then remembered that my mom has never had fresh cranberry sauce. I never had fresh cranberry sauce until 5 years ago. For reals! I grew up thinking cranberry sauce came out of a can. I think the canned shtick is a southern thing. Now I am really excited to make my mom cranberry sauce for Christmas dinner. I'm thinking of trying out this recipe. I'll test the tastiness of it first at Thanksgiving. My mouth is drooling already.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

How To Avoid Raising an Entitled Child

Last night, PEPS held a special event with a speaker who discussed how to avoid raising a child who feels entitled to whatever s/he wants. When they first sent out the email, I thought, "Hmmm...this could be interesting." so I signed up. I've heard the numerous reports of how young adults nowadays have to be treated differently when they go into the work force because of they way they were raised. You have to 'pamper' them and talk to them differently. I'm not sure what has changed in the past 30 years with how people are raising their kids and was hoping to find out more last night.

The event was being held at the home of a family that lives in the same zip code as we do. Our 'neighbors', you could say. The house was about a mile and a half from our house with a view of the lake. Yeah - one of those multi-million dollar houses that could easily accommodate 50 people in the living room. Oh yeah, these people totally felt like my neighbors (is the sarcasm coming through?) I showed up in the clothes I had been wearing all day - very casual. Wow did I feel underdressed and underlabeled. Someone actually asked me if I was there for the PEPS event. I joked and said that, "No, I just wandered in off the street to see what was going on" and quickly added that yes, I was there for the event after it looked liked she believed me. It was pretty apparent that I didn't fit in. The event was catered and I did enjoy the fancy snacks and tasty wine. I didn't enjoy the funny looks I got. I was outside of my comfort zone. Needless to say, I was the only one there with bright, red hair.

The mingling part seemed to last forever. The guest speaker finally talked...for 30 minutes. She focused on how to avoid making your child feel entitled to whatever s/he wants by not buying them every toy they ask for, not buying them a new car when they turn 16 and not taking them to Hawaii every year. Yes, I am serious. And then, they asked for donations starting at $150. If I would have known that this was a fundraising event, I would have stayed home. I appreciate what I have gotten out of PEPS and, in turn, have volunteered with the organization, but that's all we can really afford. My debit card stayed in my pocket.

My experience last night reminded me just how diverse Seattle can be. I'm not used to rubbing shoulders with the upper class. In fact, I often forget that people live in those huge houses on the top of the hill. I am much more comfortable around my direct neighbors even if we don't take walks around the neighborhood together. I hope that one day soon, even my wealthy neighbors will be comfortable with talking to a lady with brightly colored hair and tattoos.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

15 Months Old

Malcolm turned 15 months old on the 7th. He had his well-baby visit last Monday. I'm posting his stats here for record-keeping purposes. He's now 30.75 Inches tall (they now call it "Height" on the paper instead of "Length". This amuses me.) and 19lbs,5oz. Yep, he's a lightweight. Could you imagine the back problems I would have if he was a heavy tike? Yikes! I assured the doc that he does indeed eat. Anyone that's spent time with us knows he's a good eater. I've talked to many other parents with kids Malcolm's age and the amount of food he eats is above average - especially when it comes to vegetables. I also feed him food high in fats 3+ times a day. The kid's just skinny. My mom confirms that I was also a petite kid so it's no surprise that Mal is, too.

Get Up and Boogie

Last night, I went to The Showbox to see The Faint. Who are they? Take a listen:

I can't sit still when I listen to their music. I danced a lot last night. I was surrounded by people who just stood there. Seattle is weird like that. People will go to shows and just stand there. I don't get it. The only people who get down are those that are close to the stage. When I was younger, I'd be smooshed in the middle of all of those sweaty people, dancing right along. I'm too old for that now. I am not, however, too old to shake my booty when at a live show. And I could care less if I'm surrounded by people who think I'm the 'crazy dancing lady'.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Sick Kid + Heroes = Fail

A sick kid equals a grumpy kid which equals less computer time. Normally, I'd post after Mal's in bed, but last night I had to watch Heroes. And then after Heroes, I went to bed. So yeah, totally missed yesterday's post for NaBloPoMo.

I watch TV and I love it which is why we do not have cable. If we had cable, HGTV would be on all the time and it's not OK to have TV on all the time with a toddler around who is developing his language skills.

Compared to the statistics I've seen for the average amount of TV viewing of Americans, I don't watch a lot of TV. Monday night is Heroes, Tuesday is The Biggest Loser, Wednesday is Pushing Daisies (if I remember), Thursday is The Office and Sunday is Nature. Those are my shows! I'd be lying if I said the TV was only on for those 5.5 hours a week. Tony's a big news & movie addict and he gets a constant stream via podcasts. He's pretty good about not turning it on until after Mal's in bed during the week but will have the TV on all weekend long. I don't really like it but I also understand his need to wind down from a stressful week at work.

I do have two other shows that I love that aren't on right now: Lost and Battlestar Galactica. I don't really *love* Lost, but I like it enough to watch it each week. I do love BSG. That's good stuff.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Vaporizer = Victory

The sleep deprivation that I mentioned a few days ago was caused by a cold. After two sleepless nights due to a congested baby, we were seriously mourning the loss of our humidifier. After less than a year of use, it stopped working. This makes me grumble under my breath a lot. I really didn't want to toss our old one and buy a new one; it just seems so wasteful. But, there was no way I could do another night of waking up every 30-45 minutes to comfort a sick baby.

Yesterday, I started doing some research on humidifiers and decided to go with a vaporizer instead. I headed down to Walgreens and picked one up along with the smelly stuff to go inside. The vaporizer kicked the humidifier's ASS. Mal only woke up once last night which is completely normal. I am a vaporizer convert!

Saturday, November 08, 2008

For Piet

Here's one article that discusses the issue of people being turned away at the polls in Georgia

My Newest Reading Obsession

I love to cook and I love to eat. I love cooking in my crock pot because I can start dinner during Malcolm's nap and it's ready by the time Tony gets home. I also love using the crock pot because I never know when Tony's going to be home and he always wants to eat *right away*. How can you time a meal to be done at moment's notice? Use a crock pot.

A tip from a reader has created my newest reading obsession: A Year of CrockPotting. I am going to try her sweet potato recipe for Thanksgiving this year (sorry, Mom!) and have also decided that I need a mini crock pot. I make oatmeal for breakfast at least 5 days a week and have started doing steel-cut oats. Thing is, those take 30 minutes to cook and Mal gets cranky from hunger on those mornings. I would love to be able to start breakfast before bed and come downstairs in the morning to a yummy-smelling kitchen.

The one thing I dislike about the crock pot: cleaning it. It's heavy and big and I just can't seem to get the inside perfectly clean. There is bean residue that will just not come off. Yuck.

I'm going to be breaking out the crock pot tomorrow to start on the soup I'm going to make for the soup swap I'm hosting next weekend. I'm drooling just thinking about all of the yummy soups!

Friday, November 07, 2008

No Sleep for the Weary

The little guy slept terribly last night which means that I slept terribly last night. Hi.

We spent a good part of the day at Angie & Jessie's house for a playdate. The kids had fun and so did I.

I am tired. This is all you get today. Early bedtime for me, folks.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

The Happy Kid

Mal has really enjoyed his playtime at the YMCA's 'Kid's Korner'. It is a great morning activity that helps stave off toddler boredom. Diane, the main caretaker, comments daily about how happy and independent he is. Honestly, I thought all little kids are happy. Many people have remarked to us that Mal is a happy kid. To have a caregiver who watches kids daily make the same remark made me realize that it's not a trait shared by all kids.

From day one, we walked into the toy-filled room and he takes off to play without looking back. He doesn't seem to mind that I'm not around. The only time he fusses is when we leave because he doesn't want to stop playing :)

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Pride and Hope

I have been having to fight back tears since the election was called at 8 PM PST last night. I have never been this emotional when it comes to politics. And I am far from alone on this. Far from alone.

Four years ago, there were riots in the streets around the world when the election was called. People getting together to protest out of anger. Last night, there were gatherings AROUND THE WORLD of people celebrating. I am amazed that the rest of the world is celebrating with us.

I am Proud of the people of America.
I am Hopeful of the possibilities of changes to come.
I'm also a little Angry at the reports of many people getting turned away at the polls in the South. That's disappointing.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Every Vote Counts

It is such an exciting day today! I have hope for the first time in 8 years. Our country needs to be taken in a new direction.

We're having friends over tonight to watch the election coverage. Much to do before people start to arrive!

Monday, November 03, 2008

Mal's First Bus Ride

We have a car and live in a city where it's a convenience instead of a necessity. I am very thankful that Seattle has a good public transportation system. I am also very thankful that neither Tony nor I are dependent on the car to commute to and from work as we have been in the past. This allows us to be a one-car-family. I used poor judgement recently and took my car to Firestone to get an oil leak fixed since it's within walking distance of the house. A few months ago, I took it in for the initial leak and they had the car for 4 days and it cost more than they originally quoted. Grrr. About a month ago, I stopped by the Volvo dealership to get a bulb changed. They noticed smoke coming from the hood so they took a peek and noticed the car was leaking oil. Grrr. I took the car back to Firestone and they had the car for 4 days again to 'replace a faulty part'. Last Friday, the car shows a message that there is no oil pressure. I dropped the car off Saturday morning and they still have it. There's another 'faulty part'. *sigh*

My point of the above complaining story is to brag about how good Malcolm was on the 1 hour bus ride to the pediatrician today. It can take months to get an appointment with Dr. Springer so I wasn't going to cancel it just because we didn't have the car. After lunch, Mal and I hopped on a bus in south Seattle and enjoyed the ride to Wallingford. He didn't fuss or get antsy at all. I'm so proud of my little guy! On the 1-hour bus ride home, he took a nap.

If the car isn't ready by morning, we're going to take the bus to the YMCA. I've been itching to get back since becoming a member last week.

Sunday, November 02, 2008


Malcolm LOVES bananas. It was his first table food and since that first bite, he eats banana almost every day. Therefore, it was important to him to learn how to say 'banana' so he could tell me that he wants it. Here's a little video of him saying it while also trying to reach the banana on the table.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Halloween Adventures

Halloween is my favorite holiday. I'm pretty nonchalant when it comes to all holidays so I think it's kind-of funny that I declare that I have a favorite. Malcolm seemed to really enjoy it this year - even as a one-year-old. It started out with Grandma Sherry buying window decorations. They put them up together and she taught him to say, "Boo!" I then put up a few more decorations including a bat. He then learned how to say "Bat!"

I thought about taking him to a pumpkin patch for weeks but never got around to it until Julie called me up the weekend before Halloween. We went to a U-Pick farm a few minutes from her house. Her main objective was to get some cute photos of Eliska, but the set-up and bright sunshine didn't allow for it. Malcolm loved the pumpkin patch and wanted to take home every pumpkin.

I love carving pumpkins into jack-o-lanterns but could not find the time to do it this year since we got our pumpkins so late. Thank goodness Grandma Sherry sent Malcolm a decorating kit! Mal picked out which eyes, nose, mouth and ears he wanted:

I decorated my pumpkin with the other set.

Next year, I'm going to be more on top of things (like not waiting until the day before Halloween to get Mal's costume) and put up more decorations and get our pumpkins earlier so we can carve them.

Oh yeah - we got a total of ONE trick-or-treater this year at 10 PM. Tony gave her all of the candy, dammit!