Monday, August 30, 2010

Mr. Bubble

As James was giving the J-bird his bath this evening, he asked if J would like a bubble beard. J declined, not sure what Daddy meant and a little worried about putting bubbles on his FACE, so James promptly gave himself a bubble beard.

...to the utter delight of our little boy. With two children, it becomes easy to lose sight of my husband sometimes. I get caught up in the day to day work and joy of the kids, and I forget about being James's wife sometimes. I don't want to do that. Watching him with our boy tonight made me so happy - that's the guy I married. I saw his beautiful heart reflected in our darling little J-bird's eyes, and it was good to remember.

Rice Cereal


Miss V has been fussier than normal lately and constantly wanting to nurse. These things, combined with increased night waking and the way she watches us eat, plus the fact that she's almost 5 months old led me to give rice cereal a little try this evening, just to see how it goes.



It took her a little bit to get the idea




but she immediately LOVED it



...and hollered for more when the first little bit in the bowl was gone! I don't have any idea whether or not this will effect the night waking or the fussiness, or if we'll stick with it or postpone some more (I tried it with the J-bird at 4 months and ended up stopping and then re-starting at 6 months because it didn't agree with his little system), but it sure was fun!

IKEA run

We have an IKEA about 45 minutes or so from our house, and we love to go scope out the deals and get ideas. Earlier this month, we loaded up the kids and made the trip. In addition to some organizational stuff for our office/guest/sewing room, we picked up some rolling, stackable toy bins to tame the J-bird's closet and a wonderful child-sized table with two red chairs.

I labeled the toy bins with pictures of what goes in them, which helps a lot when clean up time arrives. The unlabeled bin is for all the random toys that don't fit the other categories (the categories being cars and trains, dress up clothes, and stuffed animals). These have made the toys in J's room much more manageable and easy to find, so he has more fun playing and an easier time cleaning up as well.




He loves the little table and chairs and spends a lot of time sitting there, putting puzzles together or reading books.

I realize I am biased because I love him so, but to me, this little boy gets sweeter and more dear by the minute. He is funny and creative and kind and ornery. I want to store up every second so I never forget.

Thursday, August 26, 2010


I tried hard for a solo photo of the J-bird today, but he just wouldn't be still!

Monday, August 23, 2010

The Eyes Have It

Tomorrow marks the two week mark. Two weeks since I entrusted my baby's precious eye to a surgeon for a few hours, then took her home afterward to begin a series of sleepless days and nights, helping her recover. Her healing has been amazingly fast, and it's wonderful to see her emerge from the hurting and the bruises and swelling, the fussiness and sleeplessness to come back to herself. Now, you can hardly tell it ever happened. Her right eye will be slightly more "open" than her left for awhile (most noticeable when she's sleepy), both because of the stitches and because the tumor took the place of the fat in part of her eyelid, causing that fat to atrophy. Her eyeball was pushed down for a few months by the growth, so there's a small hollow underneath now. All of this will fill in and resolve over the next few months. It doesn't effect her vision, and she's not uncomfortable. As of Friday, she has a clean bill of health and we're cleared to go on our trip to Kansas in a couple of weeks! Without further ado, here are some photos of my sweet Miss V and her funny brother out in the garden today.












Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Godspeed

After suffering a heart attack last week and lingering for a few days in a coma, my Uncle Mike died last night. He was a son and a father and grandfather, a brother, an uncle, a cousin and nephew and a friend. He was so much to so many, compassionate and funny and dear, and he will be deeply missed by all of us forever.

Cheers, Uncle Mike. Love you always.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Tootsies

I've been watching my precious girl's eye heal at a rapid rate - the human body sure is amazing, isn't it?


Her IV sites are healing too.




and doesn't she have the sweetest little feet?














I think we're all glad to have her most of the way back to normal




Smiles, coos and all.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Getting Back To Normal

Someone told me the other day that things are going to feel boring to me, now that V's surgery and all the accompanying anxiety are past. Let me tell you, I welcome the boring. I WANT the boring. I am fully equipped to handle some boring. Sign. Me. Up.

But life is never REALLY boring, I don't think. I'm to keep V home for a week, so we're adventuring slowly around here.

We get outside a little, which is wonderful. When the J-bird first saw his sister with the patch off her eye, he covered his own eyes with his hands and looked away. I completely understand how he felt.


Making forts (and playing toddler games on Dad's old iPhone)


Keeping Miss V from rolling over onto her sore eye.




And lots of nursing and cuddling. I'm happy to report that the swelling and bruising around Miss V's precious eye (not shown here. Can't do it.) is drastically reducing each day. She's able to open it more and more, giving us a view of her gorgeous blue peeper, and her smiles and giggles as she slips back into her regular schedule tell me that she's in less pain, which removes a giant boulder from my heart.

These two little people and their Daddy fill up every day with joy, whether we're doing anything exciting or not. I feel like I can really breathe for the first time since May, and wow...breathing sure is nice.

So...boring? Bring it.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

And Now For Something Completely Different

Because he is equal parts love and evil, my sweet husband recently bought me/us an amazing ice cream machine. He knows I hate to buy something if I can make it myself...plus, he loves ice cream. :) In addition, he also purchased this book of ice cream recipes by David Lebovitz. I've now made a few of the recipes, and my favorite so far is the BEST chocolate ice cream I've ever eaten in my life, ever. Ever, ever. Yikes. I made it this weekend, in an attempt to shut my brain off. It didn't work, but it was a delightful try.




THE RECIPE:
2 Cups Heavy Cream
3 Tablespoons Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
5 Ounces Bittersweet or Semisweet Chocolate, chopped
1 Cup Whole Milk
3/4 Cup Sugar
Pinch of Salt
5 Large Egg Yolks
1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract

In no way does this remotely resemble health food, but hey! No preservatives.

Anyway.



Here's the machine. It takes up a fair amount of kitchen real estate, which should bother me, but...did I mention chocolate ice cream? Did you know my daughter just had surgery? Stress. Chocolate. 'Nuff said. It does fit in a lower cabinet, so it doesn't have to live on my counter.


On the stove, in a good saucepan, warm 1 cup of the cream with the cocoa powder, whisking to blend it thoroughly. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and let it simmer for a few seconds, before removing from the heat and adding the chopped chocolate. The chocolate bar you saw in the above photo is only 4 ounces, and the recipe calls for 5, so I threw in a small handful of chocolate chips as well. Then I cackled madly. Whisk, whisk, whisk.



Until it's smooth.



Then remove from the heat and add the remaining cream.




Whisk some more. Now pour this delightful mixture into a bowl.




Find your mesh strainer. Wash it.


Then put it over the bowl.





Separate your eggs and beat the yolks in a bowl.



Using the same pan (no need to wash, you want the remaining chocolate), warm the milk, sugar and salt on the stove.



Very slowly, add the warm milk to the egg yolks, whisking all the while, so the eggs don't scramble. When it's thoroughly combined, scrape this back into the saucepan and slowly heat it, stirring and scraping the sides and bottom with a heat resistant spatula until it coats said spatula. It's okay if it looks slightly lumpy.




Pour the custard through the strainer into the chocolate from before.




Whisk and add the vanilla



Then whisk some more. There is a lot of whisking.



Cool it over an ice bath, then chill in the 'fridge before freezing in your ice cream maker.



Dude. Seriously. It's worth the time on the treadmill.