Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Friday, March 27, 2009

His Pearly Whites



Check out Luke's new look!

I Want to Give You Something

A friend of mine is doing this, and I thought it was a great idea:

The first 3 people who respond to this post will get something made by me (my choice) for you.

This offer does have some restrictions and limitations:
1. What I make will be just for you (it could be a craft project; it could be something to eat; it could be anything...)
2. I make no guarantees that you will like what I make.
3. It will be done sometime before Easter/Pascha.

The catch? Oh, the catch is that you must offer to do/give something to your friends. You can choose how many and how to advertise.

Let the giving begin!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Sad Little Eyes

On Tuesday night, we took Luke in to the Urgent Care center because we noticed that his eyes were very irritated and had some yellow discharge. The doctor confirmed that he had pink-eye and sent us home with some ointment. Yesterday he seemed a little sensitive and fought me tooth and nail whenever I tried to wipe his eyes or put the ointment in.

Really, they have to come up with something better than this ointment. The pharmacist told us very calmly that we were to pull down his lower eyelid and slip the ointment in. There is nothing calm or easy about this process. Luke screams and closes his eyes as tightly as he can and flails his arms while I try to apply the medicine. I asked about drops and they said that he was too young.

Anyways, today he slept most of the day, and cried a bit of the time he was awake. Poor little guy. He kept looking at me, sucking on his binky, with big, sad eyes. I widh there was more that I could do.

Texas

We had a great time in Texas this past week. It was our first true family vacation since having Luke. Here are some stories and pictures from our journey.

Tues 3/17- We left for airport at about 9am and traveled all day. Luke was his usual jolly self throughout the plane ride, and made friends with several fellow passengers. It actually took us a little while to check our bags too, because the Southwest agent couldn't get over how cute and friendly he was. :)

Luke with Aunt Bethany:


Wed 3/18- We settled in and just spent the day with the Getz's. Bethany and I took Clara to the park while Nathan and Evan went over to work on Evan and Bethany's new house. While we were there, Nathan helped remove old carpet and install a kitchen sink and water filter. Here is Luke in the stroller:
3/19- Drove around Houston a bit and more hang out time. Spent some time outside too- the weather was actually gorgeous!

3/20- During the night, my cold (which had already dragged on for a week and a half) turned into a sinus infection. I spent much of the day with salt water.

Cousins playing together (Notice how well Luke sits up!):


3/21- Luke and I went yard-saleing/ thrift store shopping with the Getz's while Nathan enjoyed a quiet morning at home. We found some great deals and saw some of the Houston suburbs. That evening, we had a fun dinner at BJ's with some of Evan and Bethany's friends.

3/22- We went to church at St. George Orthodox Church in Houston. I had been there last November, but it was Nathan's first time. We enjoyed our time immensely and were overwhelmed with the hospitality of the parish. One thing that I love about Southerner's is how well they understand the art of hospitality.

Later we went out for some old-fashioned, authentic Texas Barbeque at the Swinging Door restaurant. It was a grand little place in the country. We were not disappointed:


3/23- We visited Houston Baptist University (Evan teaches in the Honor's College) and rested up for our journey home. HBU is a great campus. The buildings are beautiful and the campus is very green. The weather was again nearly ideal (I saw nearly, because living in Huntington Beach shows you what ideal weather is) and Luke spent some time swinging outside. He loves swinging, especially when he has people around to tickle his toes.


3/24- Our journey was at an end. We said goodbye to the Getz's and boarded the plane.

We had a great time, but were very excited to be at home in our own beds again. Yesterday I spent all day cleaning, doing laundry, grocery shopping, etc.. to catch up from our trip.

Thanks for hosting us Evan and Bethany!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Luke and Clara

Here are a couple of pictures from our stay in Texas. Luke and Clara get along really well. Clara plays around and dances in front of him, and he just loves to watch.






Our big news is that Luke now has his two bottom front teeth. They are so cute, and very sharp. Watch out! When we get home, I will post a bit about all of our goings-on this past week.

Monday, March 16, 2009

A Sigh of Relief

Today I was a bit stressed out, standing in the customer service section of Target, calling AAA roadside assistance while baby Luke was chewing on the telephone wire and trying desperately to jump out of my arms. We were at the last of our pre-trip preparation errands (we fly out to Texas tomorrow). I tried to start the car and nothing happened. My key remote was going haywire and would not unlock or lock the doors and the engine was just not responding.

Great, I thought. Prefect timing. I left my phone at home too. I was tired from a cold that I am still getting over. It was just not a good day for me. Then I started praying the God would keep me calm and help us out of this mess and walked back into Target to make my call.

Roadside assistance was helpful, but said that I probably wouldn't be able to get a ride because car seats are not recommended in tow trucks. Ugh.

Then things turned around. The tow truck arrived in 5 minutes! 5 minutes! I am going to call to thank AAA for their speedy service. I thanked the driver over and over. Next, the driver said that his wife had the same car and had had similar trouble. He opened the hood fiddled around with the terminals on the car's battery and tried to start the car. It worked! The car started right up with no sign of any trouble. The driver explained that my terminals were loose, and therefore the battery was not connecting well.

I thanked him again, and Luke and I headed home. Luke was very good through the whole ordeal. God was looking out for us. The perfect tow truck driver came to help and everyone was so helpful!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Peek-a-boo

Peek-a-boo is a magical world in our house. If Luke is upset, just say peek-a-boo, and voila, everything is better. When he is on his changing table, crying over getting changed, play peek-a-boo and the crying turns to laughs. It is also just fun to play with him. Here is a peek-a-boo play session with Daddy:
video

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Eulogy for the White Truck

There was a time when you were needed, its true,
But now baby came, and you're with someone new.
I am sorry for all the names I called,
And for the way I was appalled,
At your poor gas mileage economy.

I know it is better this way,
Though I didn't think I'd see the day,
You would pull out of the drive,
At the same time, out of our lives,
Bye, Bye White Truck Bye, Bye.



Last night two guys came to see the truck and bought it in less than 5 minutes. Nathan and I were rather shocked. After two years of on-and-off trying to sell, it was gone. Now I kind of feel bad for all of the bad things I had to say about it. Mostly though, I feel relieved that we no longer have three vehicles, and we again have more savings.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Morning Liturgy

There is nothing like starting the day off in church, especially during lent. Luke likes it too. The lights, the bells, the chalice- he takes it all in. This morning I was thinking how babies are made for church. Luke's favorite thing right now is to watch mommy drink water out of a glass. Imagine how excited he was to see the chalice this morning- it is an extra shiny cup. He is also fascinated by all of the faces looking at him- the other parishioners and the icons both.

Church this morning was rather funny too. Luke squealed after the gospel reading, and after the collect that said something about shouting with praise to the Lord. He gets it, really he does. :)

Monday, March 9, 2009

Named

I have sort of developed some silly/playful names for Nathan and Luke. So, Nathan is Daddy-O, and Baby is Baby-Bee. The other night I was getting ready to nurse Luke and I said to Nathan, "Hey Daddy-O, bring Baby-Bee over here to Mamma-Moo." Nathan and I looked at each other and laughed. It turns out that I have a name now too, Mamma.....Moo! Very appropriate I think. :)

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Sickies

Luke and I have been under the weather since Friday. This is not a flat-on-our-back type cold, but more a runny nose, congested, achy-type cold. Poor Luke has not slept as well due tot he fact that he has to choose between breathing and sucking on his trusty binky sometimes. :(

I am continuing to experiment with Veggie meals. Last Thursday we had a yummy oven-baked omelet and toast. Basically, you mix up an omelet in a mixing bowl and then put it into a greased glass dish and bake it until the eggs have cooked. I used garlic, onion, and cheese in mine, but it is versatile.

To keep up with pictures/videos of the little guy, here is one that Nathan took when he got Luke up after a nap. Note the surprise exhibited when big Daddy-O shows himself to little Baby-Boo:


video

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Lenten Meal #1- Curried Lentils and Rice


What better to have during Lent than lentils? Actually, I looked at the nutritional information on the label, and lentils are really a good thing for lent. They have 8g of protein in one serving, a perfect lean protein. We tried the recipe below last night and it was fantastic. So good in fact, that I almost think that I shouldn't eat it. :) In all honesty, I think that I like the Lenten foods better than cooking up my regular meals.

This meal is cheap (about $1.25 for the whole thing!), healthy, and simple. I had to modify it slightly because I didn't have turmeric on hand, and used cumin instead. Also, if you are the kind of person who likes a more uniform taste- like regular oatmeal cookies better than oatmeal raisin cookies, you might want to leave out the apples and raisins. I like them in.

Serve with some tasty bread.

Ingredients:

* 1/4 cup vegetable broth (instead of using oil)
* 1 onion, chopped
* 3 garlic cloves, minced or put through a press (can use garlic powder)
* 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
* 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
* 2-3 teaspoons curry powder, to taste (I recommend only 2t.)
* 1 cup brown rice, washed
* 3/4 cup dried lentils
* 4 cups water
* 2 vegetable bouillon cubes
* salt (may need a lot, but make it to your taste)
* 1/3 cup raisins or currants
* 1 large tart apple, diced

Directions

1. Heat the 1/4 c broth (or you can use oil) in a heavy-bottomed soup pot, saucepan, or Dutch oven and saute the onion and garlic.

2. Add the ginger, turmeric, and curry powder and saute for a few minutes longer.

3. Add more broth (or water), if necessary, and the rice, and saute for 2 minutes.

4. Add the lentils, 4 cups water, bouillon cubes, and raisins and bring to a boil.

5. Cover, reduce the heat, and simmer for 25 minutes.

6. Add the apples and simmer, covered, for another 10 to 15 minutes, or until the water is absorbed.

7. Optionally, serve topped with plain yogurt and some more raisins.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Homemade Applesauce

Luke enjoyed a fresh apple this afternoon using his fresh fruit teether. You put a piece of fruit in the contraption and he can suck and gum it to his hearts content. I had to change his shirt when he was finished- it was covered in chewed apple. :)

video

Lent Begins

Tonight Luke and I are going to our Church's Shrove Tuesday pancake supper. (I know- odd timing to most- the Western Church began Lent last week, and the Eastern Rite Orthodox began earlier this week with Clean Monday. Oh well.) Actually, we will be cooking a bit of the dinner too- Luke in the baby bjorn to watch and smile at all the people coming in and out of the kitchen.

This Lent, we are going vegetarian- the cheap, beans, rice, pb and jelly, bulk Costco cheese, 99c store special finds, type. (I have found that it can be easy to spend more money on vegetarian food) Nathan and I have not yet decided to do with the grocery savings, though there are more and more charities that need it.

I recently bulked up my pantry with lots of dried beans, grains, nuts, etc... and I am sure that the crockpot will be my best friend. When I come across good recipes I'll be posting them. I am also going to try and focus more on prayer and spiritual reading when Luke is napping, rather than putz around on the computer. Really, my overall goal is to draw nearer to Christ and be a better wife to Nathan and a better mother to Luke.

I usually approach Lent wrong-headed. Intellectually, I understand that Lent is not about giving up some kind of food or activity, but sometimes I let it devolve into that, seeing only what I can't do or can't have. It is about preparing to meet Christ at his resurrection- to die with him that we might also live with him, to partake (in some small way) in his suffering, to partake with Him in His glory. This year, I am going to try to focus on cultivating virtues, positive actions, rather than the things that are removed with Lent.

When I am done here, I am going to put up prayers and post the fruit of the spirit up around the house to remind myself where to focus my attention. It really amazes me how quickly I can lose focus.