Thursday, July 30, 2009

Gettin' all Domestic

How exciting is that Bin of goodies that we got last week. I haven't eaten so many fresh fruit and veggies in a couple whiles. Last night Eric used our recent gift of Collard Greens to make dinner. He wrote up the recipe, but I just have to say it was so yummy, and pretty too, I meant to take a picture, but I was too busy eating it that I didn't even think about it, till the dishes were empty.
Now, our dessert Watermelon, I did get a picture of that, because boy howdy when Eric hacked into it, it looked like a picture watermelon.

You know what I mean? Picture perfect, the reddest red of watermelon juicy-ness, with the prettiest green watermelon rind. Twas lovely in taste also...

Then for dessert Chris and I made M&M cookies. Been trying to perfect my recipe, but this one wasn't too shabby.

The awesome part, was how much Chris loves making Cookies, and of course, how awesome my mixer is to make them. It was my first batch of cookies since Sam was born. Sam loves to watch us work in the kitchen. It felt good to get baking again. We cooked up about 1/4 of the batch, and froze the rest in tiny dough balls to throw in the toaster oven for snacks as needed....which seems to be about 10 minutes after naptime each day. If 7 o'clock is the Witching Hour, 4 is the BeWitching Hour.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Naked Ladies

So this weekend, I left my house and notice an odd flower formation in my front yard. I couldn't remember planting something there. And I didn't recognize these funny looking things.

They remind me of snapping fingers. I took that picture Sunday, it was like they were coming up out of nowhere.

Today, they are happy flowers! I know them, I've wanted them for a while, but I seriously don't remember buying or planting them.
My girlfriend Lisa called them "Naked Ladies". But I remember 2 years ago, going to Cox's and asking them for some, the saleslady looked at me like I had 5 heads! She had never heard of Naked Ladies. I seem to have a recollection of them also being known as leafless lilies.

A ha! After a bit of searching, there is such a thing as Naked Ladies. Hot dog! Also may be known as the Belladonna lily or Amaryllis.

Friday, July 24, 2009

I got a Bin!

Oh Boy Oh Boy Oh Boy!
I got a bin!

No, I'm not referring to the way Chris pronounces his best friend Bryn's name, Bin, I'm happily referring to something new that we tried this month.
Last year, one of my sister's hippy friends was talking about this organic produce delivery service that she uses. We were intrigued, and found the place online.

Farm Fresh Delivery

It's very exciting, we can special order items, or just go with the "Bin" of the week. $35 worth of organic produce is plopped on your door. Since we weren't sure about how much we would go for, we started with the minimum amount for delivery, and opted to go every 2 weeks. Tonight was our first delivery.

What a haul!
We received: a small watermelon, cherries, white nectarines, pluots (my favorite fruit!), tomatoes, green pepper, broccoli, lettuce, collard greens, and kale.

Anyone got any great suggestions what to do with collard greens and/or kale?

Chris snatched a white nectarine off the counter as soon as I snapped a shot of the mass bin contents, he called out, "MY APPLE!" and went to chair with it. Imagine his surprise.

He took two bites and was done.

Then he decided that playing in the BIN was Much More Fun.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Thank You Mary Moo Cow

A story in pictures.
I have been slacking in my writings lately. And I wanted so much to write about the trip we took last week. We met my friends Tina and Carrie and their boys at Fair Oaks Farms. I'm especially grateful as I write with my afternoon snack of rice krispie treat and a big fat glass of milk.

Here's our first round, I hadn't eaten breakfast, so I sampled a yogurt parfait. Oh my. I have long said that Fair Oaks farms makes the best grilled cheese sandwich Ever, but time to try something else. Grilled Cheese came later. But here we are getting sociable: Chris (Sam is in his bucket behind him), Tina and Evan (age 2 1/2), Brett (age 1) and Carrie.

Here's how Sam spent most of the trip. Sleeping.

Of course, we had to stop at the Dairy Playground. It was a nifty trick explaining we didn't want to pay for the bus tour, just get the kids on the playground. Next time it might be easier to just wrestle the two boys alone on the bus.
Meanwhile the boys had a great time. Brett settled in the cereal bowl, aka ball pit and Did Not Move. Meanwhile trying to pin down Chris and Evan was like herding cats.

Action shot of Tina and Carrie playing with Brett, Evan, and Chris.

Evan and Chris found great joy in the Ice Cream Slide.

It was a big favorite of Chris's too. He was bugging me about "The Side" as soon as I told him we were going to have to 'drive far to see friends, cows, and eat cheese'. Apparently he knew this meant playground too.

Evan and Chris also had fun jumping on the mats shaped like slices of cheese.

But my boy does Cheesy pretty well.

The Cows. This was by far the saddest experience I've had at this farm. I mean I knew in my head that they had these cows on display having their babies, and we could see them being milked. But I guess I hadn't realized how completely sad it was. When we got to the Birthing Barn to "see cows" two calves had already been born and their mamas were cleaning them off. One cow was trying to nurse in the mama cow's armpit, she hadn't quite figured it out. Then a tech came in, and nudged the Mama out, the baby was so unsteady on her feet that she couldn't keep up. Mama was taken away and the calf was alone, the tech quickly returned with a wheelbarrow, and scooped her up to be put in the baby display room.

My eyes welled, I didn't realize the separation from Mama and Baby took so little time. This baby was only 2 hours old. We watched as they brought in a another laboring Mama Cow, and then as we left we found the baby, in the newborn nursery on display. I nearly cried. She looked so sweet, and pitiful. Maybe I'm just too much of a nursing Mama myself that watching this baby who got No Time to nurse with her own mama except to nuzzle her armpit just got to me.

I wish I could say that my heart was turned, that I can no longer eat meat or drink dairly. But I love milk, or any mutation of diary. I couldn't give it up. So I just have to say for the record, Thank You Mama Cow, who I gave the nickname Mary Moo Cow (from the show Arthur that Chris and I were watching last week.

Thank you Mary Moo Cow. I am so grateful for what you do, that you provide milk for me and mine, so that I can feed my little baby too. Thank you.

Meanwhile here's Sam, with Chris and Brett watching the baby cow the boys thought checking out the baby cows was cool.

But running wild was even more cool.

One of the boys' favorite parts was riding in the Choo Choo train which was in operation just outside the birthing barn. This cheered everyone up. Evan and Chris shared a car, being the older boys, and also they climbed in the front car and closed the door, leaving no option but for Tina and I to sit back and watch. They put their heads together and were having a great time Toddler Talking.

Carrie and Brett were able to squeeze in a car together.

Still smiling and chattering on the home stretch. Yes, those boys had some fun on the train.

Monday, July 20, 2009


My mood, and that of my whole family today.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Holy Cow!

Omigoodness! Who in the world could that be? Yes. It is. It is me, Cathy, with my little sister Lisa at age 2 months.

I keep looking at Sam and thinking that rather than being a mini-Eric, like Chris is, that Sam looks more like my sister, or Chris. So, while visiting my Mom this week, I broke out the old photo albums, to crack open and see if those little triangular nostrils that I see on my son are indeed similar to those from my sister.
When I saw these pictures, I was like, Holy Cow!

She looks like Sam. But if you don't think she's Sam-like enough? How's this comparison?

Lisa age 3 months,

Sam age 3 months, edited of course, to protect the innocent.

Holy Cow! I've given birth to my sister. I'm in Trouble.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

NICU Nostalgia

Once upon a time, and by that I mean 3 1/2 years ago plus 18 days, my Sweet Baby Boy Christopher had to be shipped off the Riley NICU. I was in Danville, and he was at Riley. It was the longest 36 hours ever when we were separated. Then we got back together in the NICU and it was a crazy time.
When Sam was born this year, I was determined to be "prepared" by choosing the hospital with what was in my opinion the nicest NICU in town, minus that of Riley itself, by whom all others were compared. The Clarian North NICU nurses let me have a tour when I was pregnant, they let me walk down the hall, and peek in a room. Each NICU baby had its own room, and there was a fold out bed and chair for parents. Oddly enough, the room they let me peek into could be used as a twin room, and that one was the only one that had its own bathroom. I chose Clarian North because of that NICU, it used Riley doctors, (who are the best!) I would have been down the way instead of miles and miles away like I was with Chris. Perfect setup. As my friend Alexandra put it, "Cathy would have this baby in the NICU if she could." You bet I would. Eric's theory was if I had the best NICU, then I wouldn't need. And I didn't. I Thank the Lord every day for that.

This week, my friend Kathleen had twins, Kristin and Sarah, and they had to go into the NICU. They had these babies at Clarian North, the same hospital I had chosen because of their fabulous NICU. I was blessed enough to be able to visit the babies on Tuesday and Thursday. They were in that same room that I'd seen so many months ago.

It's taken me on a walk down memory lane. The Riley NICU was so different, the ambience was so high wire. The minute I would walk through (or roll in my wheelchair) through the double doors, my muscles would tense up. There was a smell, and I still smell it everytime I'm back at Riley. No matter how many butterflies and pretty bugs they put on the wall, my stomach still tumbles walking down those halls. There was a long hallway, with 6 or so NICUs off each way, then you'd go into your 'bay' and there's be a decent size room with somewhere between 6-10 baby beds in the room. There were only 3 or 4 babies in Chris's NICU, I think, he was the first one so I never made it deeper into the room. I could see his neighbors though. He was the largest baby in there. There was lots of noise, so many beeps, and lots of lights. I'd ignore all the wires, almost let them intertwine and hang down in a tail as I cuddled him.
It's such a stressful time, and it was something I'd never heard of, or worried about, or even considered until Chris was born. Until you've been in it, you have no idea what a mind sucking, black hole a NICU can be. I'd go in, and the next thing I know, my grumbling stomach would wake the baby, it would be 9 o'clock at night, and I'd had nothing to eat or drink since lunch. Because you bet your bippy when given the choice of a few moments with my baby or a meal, I was choosing my baby every time. Luckily the nurses and our family held us in check and made sure we did things like eat and sleep. But still, time is just sucked away. It's scary, high stress, like Chinese water torture or like those frogs in the boiling water that have no idea the trouble they are in. And yet at the same time, this place is a place of miracles. Little miracles happen everyday and it's wonderful. Wonderful when they breathe on their own, wonderful when something heals up, or when they take a tube out. Wonderful that God has allowed us as humans to make these steps, so these babies and babies in even more dire straits can keep fighting and not only survive but thrive and grow.
I have to look past the tubing, just like I did with Chris. Just walking into that room makes my hands shake a little and eyes get teary. I pray a lot during these times. But the babies are so beautiful it's easy to ignore the tubes.
This NICU visit was so much more calm, the babies were in their own room, they're BP/Oxygen monitoring was not beeping. The lights were set low. It was calming, I couldn't help but relax, and just enjoy the sweetness of the babies. And they are sweet!
What amazes me was how TINY they are. Compared to these girls (Kristin was 6, 6, and Sarah was 6,2), Sam is a giant hoss! And it's not that they are tiny, like preemie tiny, they're just petite. I can't get over their ears. They are the size of the first knuckle of my thumb. I have been used to Sam being the little one, but he's going to have to move over for these dainty princesses. I am supremely tickled that these girls are 3 months younger than Sam, just like their older sister Emily is 3 months younger than Chris. Will Sam be the best of friends with these girls just like Emily and Chris, and the Mommies and Daddies? It's so cool to contemplate.

But my heart hurts for Mike and Kathleen right now.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

Please leave a caption.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Two for Tuesday

Oh happy happy day!

We got to visit the newly born Julius twins today and of course, I took a few pictures. Baby A was born at 3:42 am weighing 6 lbs. 6 oz. and Baby B at 3:43 weighing 6 lbs. 2 oz. in the wee small hours of the morning today, July 7th. (hehe 7/7!)

When we went to the hospital to visit Mike, Kathleen, Emily and the babies, we got to see both sets of proud grandparents and Emily was bouncing off the walls with unbridled pride.

She and Chris were having a great time, dancing in the hallways. There is much to be happy about.

Soon enough she was melting down with disappointment in not being able to spend lots of time with the girls. She just can't wait to get serious about her role as big sister, she's been so anxious to be helpful.

Meanwhile, we did get to see the babies in the NICU. They are on happy antibiotics for 48 hours. At this time, the babies remain unnamed, so they are calling them Baby Girl A and Baby Girl B. Kathleen had to go c-section, and with the babies in the NICU she HAS gotten to see them, but she's only up to brief visits. They want to get to know them a bit before choosing the names. Baby A is in the foreground and Baby B is in the back.

Here's Baby A, while we visited, at first she had a pacifier in, but then she started to briefly open her eyes and spit the pacifier out. I see a bit of Emily in those eyes. Minxy.


Baby B had a bit of respiratory distress and is on a nasal cannula. She was a bit gurgly when she came out. They also have her laying on her tummy and the top of her bed up to relief her. While calm for Eric, she was mad when I first went in, telling us all about ourselves, and what she thought of being YANKED from her cozy hideaway, but then they gave her a pacifier too, and she calmed right down and conked out.

If you ask Emily, their names are Moira and Sarah, she chose those names like 8 months ago, but the official jury is out. We'll see. Personally I think those names are just perfect. But we can also just call them A for Amazing and B for Beautiful.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Flowers of the Day

How cool is that, these are my fragrant front yard lilies, and when I planted them they were light pink, now they are mutating a bit to give us this beautiful rouge color.

Just lovely!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Little Firecrackers

The 4th of July always makes me think of those old Classic movies, James Cagney dancing on the table in Yankee Doodle Dandy, and one of my favorite numbers from Holiday Inn, when Fred Astaire steals the show with poppers in his pockets. "Let's say it with Firecrackers..."
Well, this weekend, we've been spending lots of time with our own favorite little firecrackers.
Daddy had the day off on Friday (as did many Daddies) and Chris and I got our very first alone date since the birth of Sam. It was nice and crazy, we went to a program at the library, Little Firecrackers. :) Chris colored a paper flag, used it in our own parade and made a drawing of fireworks with paint and yarn, which was cool. We checked out some new stories, and played a game on the kiddie computer. My favorite part was when we drove there and Chris kept asking Where's Sam? I told him home with Daddy, and he repeat what I told him earlier, Just Tris and Mommy? Yup. It was nice. I won't say perfect since he was a bit wound up, but it was nice. I know these Mommy / Son dates are going to be rare for a whilw so this was nice.

When we returned from the library, Daddy took Chris down to the zoo for a Daddy's trip with a few friends. Chris did great, had a wonderful time. They got there in time to catch the Elephant bathing, which was pretty crowded so he rode on Daddy's shoulders. After the girls skipped out, Chris followed to find the Mist-er machine (which I've been back there a zillion times and I didn't know there was a mister back there) he stood near the stream and told Daddy in no uncertain terms, "I tate a a bath like a Elephant!"
The boys even took the train ride, which is what Chris told Mommy All About when he came home. That and the Tit-ets.

While Daddy and and Chris played at the zoo, Mommy and Sam met their friend Amy for a lovely toddler free lunch date. Sam was excellent while we were out.

But beastly when we got home. About 20 minutes before Chris got home, he conked out in my arms, after much ado.

After naps the real party began when we went to celebrate cousin Alexis' 8th birthday!
Sam loves to sit in Lexi's arms, she just LOVES to hold him. She's getting so grown up, and smart as a whip, I'm so proud of her!

Meanwhile,Chris played like a maniac with his cousin Kaylee and our friend Jenna. In the sand box, in the grass, chasing and being chased by children and dogs, he had a great time. Grandma bought a couple boxes of Snap Pops, or poppers as we called them, and gave them to the kids to play with. I would've thought 3 1/2 was too young for such things, but with the big girls, Chris fit right in, throwing those poppers, and stepping on them, he was a champ! Uncle Ryan taught him a terrible new trick though, I was feeding Sam and looked up to hear Chris gagging, his face near purple. Apparently, Uncle Ryan had put a popper in his mouth and popped it with his teeth, then taught the Kids how to do it! Chris made a face, and was MAY HAVE just learned not to put them in his mouth again.

One bummer was during the birthday festivities, Chris was running too fast, tripped and fell down on the pavement. He cried and cried, and he only had a tiny scratch on his knees. Later he asked to go potty (yeah!) and when he got undressed we realized that he had belly-flopped and landed right on that dratted Feeding Tube, and it had bled really good. No wonder he was crying, he wasn't woosy, he had pulled that bugger and really hurt himself. Poor Baby. I felt so bad for even entertaining the notion that he was woosy.
He didn't sleep well that night, and it may have been because of that, but he seems to be much better now.

Saturday was the 4th and we managed to be gone from home for 13 hours straight with both kids, the rain wasn't putting any dents in our party! First Chris started out the day being a SuperChamp and filling in the last couple boxes of his potty chart (which had 25 boxes with a reward for a movie, we figured we'd take him to UP!). He had swim class at 10, and there was an 11 a.m. showing of Up! at Traders Point, minutes from his class. So we did it all. Swim class in the drizzling rain, which didn't phase him. Followed up by Up! the movie, for being such a good big boy, his friend and swim classmate Emily even got to come with us. From there we dashed to a cookout with Eric's Uncle Dean and Aunt Jan and a whole passle of Willman's, which was awesome and exhausting all at the same time. We got to drive the 2 miles to see Karl (Eric's 'little' brother) and his wife Erica's new home. They just moved to their first house last month. Chris took a big shining to their exercise equipment/room and the giant bathtub in the master. :) From there we zipped to another cookout (although only our crazy family and friends cook out in the rain anyway, because by gum, rain isn't going to rain on our parade)at our friend's Mike and Kathleen's. Sam and I spend most of the visit nursing and cuddling and watching TV while the kids ran wild. Chris and Emily got to take a bath together and pajamify then we watched the Capital Fourth fireworks. I think evening is not Sam's time. He SCREAMED his head off the entire way home, somewhere between 20-25 minutes Straight. Yuk. We were thrilled to go to bed.
Today, Sam didn't sleep in, but Chris did, so Eric was able to hit the grocery store and Lowe's before church! Our icemaker/fridge water thingy are dying and it's making a mess. There wasn't much nappage, though after the repeated late nights, we ALL needed it. But afterwards, we went to visit the boys' friends Bryn and Shay, and played there. There was lots of Daddy/kid time while the Mommies worked on a special kitchen project, and the kids had a great time going to the park and a pizza run. We even went so crazy as to come back to see the Postponed (on account of rain yesterday but the weather was fabulous today) Fireworks for the Town of Brownsburg. They were lovely, and Chris loved it for about 10 minutes, but he was more interested in crawling all over Bryn. I think we spent more time getting situated and parking than the actual show. Oh well, at least Chris had a good time. Ben had brought poppers, and the toddlers and most of the adults had fun stomping and tossting them on the way back to the car. Sam on the other hand, screamed all the way there, Slept through the fireworks show, and woke up screaming again once we got home.
As you can imagine we're all sleep deprived, exhausted, but it was such a great weekend, we got to see LOTS of friends and loved ones, and that really was the best part, rain or no rain. Most importantly, the boys had fun, and our family had fun just being together.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Thursday Thirteen aka Water Babies

Chris has found a new love of swimming, this summer with his friends.

1. First, we went to the Zoo, and got crazy in the sprinkler.

2. Chris's friend Shay thought he was pretty dreamy in that swim diaper. She couldn't resist putting her arm around him, note the 'shocked' expression.

3. Chris and his friend Emily take Swim lessons together at Indyparks.

4. Chris walks the edge of the water, let me tell you, he really wants to run, and is refraining.

5. School buddies. Chris swims on a playdate, with preschool classmates Grant and Ryan, and Ryan's big sisters!

6. Did you know how much monsters like water? CXhris and his friends play a bit in the pool.

7. Our friend thought Sam wanted to test the water too, so the threw on some Swim Garb, and we dipped Sam in the pool.

8. Sam was pretty intrigued by this swimming concept.

9. Chris practices some of his swim class moves, like kicking and blowing bubbles at the Northwestway Pool.

10. Chris meets with a new friend, John, and the two get along "Swimmingly!"

11. Splash Landing! Chris slides down our pool at home.

12. Sam watches Chris crash and splash land at our home pool.

13. Sam's a little jealous, that Chris is practicing his kicks in the pool, I bet Sam would like tummy time a lot more if it was pool time on a hot day like this!