Monday, May 31, 2010

Through the Keyhole #3

through the keyhole hosted by Holistic Mama

Most people say this is the most important place of the kitchen. With the exception of the coffee and french press, this is it for us.
I didn't bother cleaning up because this is how it normally is. And this is even fairly clean. Usually, even if the kitchen is clean, there's something on top of the stove... baked goods, clean dishes, anything and everything.
I love to cook. I've said it on my blog before but I have always thought it would be so fun to go to culinary school and be a chef. I also love to bake. I want to own a cake business someday. I kinda already have one, its very slow since I've only had 3 jobs in about 2 years. But, hey, you have to start somewhere. My 3rd job will be this summer where I am making a cake for a friends wedding. I am just making the one that they cut so it's going to be fairly small. It will all take place in this kitchen. Who says you need a nice fancy stove and kitchen to cook fabulous meals?

Here are some things I've cooked on this stove top and in the oven...

Cake For my Mother inlaw's birthday

Black Bean burritos with onions and peppers

asparagus and mushroom risotto

Pesto pasta, chicken and salad

Home made pizza

South-western deviled eggs

roasted chicken and potatoes, papaya salad, veggies

Hungry yet? :)

Friday, May 28, 2010

I'm turning into a 'Crunchy' hippie

Ok after all the talk about shampoo on the blogs I usually read, Edenwild and Cave Mother,I decided to give washing my hair with baking soda a try. I don't know how it will turn out. But I'll give an update post tomorrow or the next day to let you know.

Tired and more kids.

This has been one tiring week. My parents were in town last weekend for Luke's party. So I might be tired from the party and just having everyone over. I didn't quite get all my usual naps in. But Luke has been teething BAD. The poor little guy is in pain. His poor mommy is sleep deprived. I don't know why this week more than others though.
Luke's been night waking a lot... which isn't usually a problem. But he's wanted to nurse at night a lot this week to comfort his teething pain. There has been a couple of times this week where I almost couldn't take it any more. I woke up Ben, angry. Wasn't very nice. But my head was killing me from the on and off waking... These teeth have to get here soon... I am about to loose it. Not to mention yesterday, our realitor called saying someone wanted to show our house (which means she gives permission for another realitor to take people through our house). Our house was a dump. Ben came home on his lunch hour to help. We cleaned and cleaned and cleaned. We hadn't had it 'show ready' since the week before Luke's birthday party. Needless to say, I missed my nap yesterday which I was almost desperate for. Though, I felt ok. But then I was SO tired come 930 last night so Ben let me sleep a little. I think that was a mistake. I woke up when Luke wanted to nurse down probably 20-30 minutes later and I was cranky. I guess I just flip a switch when I'm super tired. I felt awful. I was kind of mean to Ben and I was just in a sour mood. Now I'm awake a little before Luke wakes up.
It's weeks like this week that make me only want one kid. lol. Thank goodness for Coffee. But seriously, what's it like with more kids? People always have their ideal child spacing. I've seen kids of all spacing. I think I really like closer together better. Like with in 2 years or so. So, Luke is 12 months. So if I got pregnant now, that means he would be 21 months when the baby came. That seems way early. I don't know. I know a lot of people want 3-4 years. But I was an only child and I longed for a brother or a sister to play with. Anyway, those thoughts have been in my mind... well maybe more last week than this week. I think my brain is fogged over this week. I'm napping when Ben gets home from work today.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


I'm doing Jillian Michael's 30 day shred kind of. I'm just using it as a daily work out. I don't really want or have time to work out 7 days a week. I mean, I guess I could but I don't want to. I just like to have a nice work out 4-5 days a week.
I did level 1 a couple weeks ago. It wasn't really that hard. Then I started level two the last week and now this week. IT IS HARD. I'm super sore. I love being sore. It feels really good... like I've worked hard. And I like working out until I'm dripping with sweat. It reminds me of my good old basketball days... and some high school cross country work outs. I really miss working out hard. And I'm lucky because Ben takes Luke for a walk and to the park after work so I can work out. I love it.
Anyway, that's all I have for today.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

1 year!


I can't believe you are one. I mean, really, I can't believe it. It seemed like just yesterday I was holding you in the hospital. Now I hold you and you're so long that your body stretches all the way off both sides of my lap and more.

You're walking all over the place now. You even sometimes walk faster like you are almost running. Especially when we play the 'I'm going to get you' game. When daddy says I'm going to get you, you run to me. When I say I'm going to get you, you still run to me. It's really cute.
We still do dishes together. You still LOVE it. You also still love to vacuum with Daddy.

You've been teething pretty badly so you haven't really been interested in much food lately. Though you are really getting good at using a fork. And I saw you try to cut something with a fork today. You are very willing to try new things. And recently after sampling some watermelon at New Seasons, I think it might be your new favorite. We got a whole one for your birthday party.
You had a cupcake at your birthday party and I think you kind of liked it. But you definitely liked the candle with the fire and the berries on top better.

Outside is your favorite place to be now. You even walk up to the front door while you're inside and knock on it so we can go outside. You also take my keys and try to open the front door.

I love to take you outside so you can explore new rocks and sticks or point at the ball on our front porch and say 'ball ball ball ball'.
You still LOVE dogs, even though we don't have one. For your birthday we had a 'happy birthday' banner that had dogs on it. When you saw it you pointed said 'dog, dog, dog, dog...' You can also say 'up', 'da da', 'ma', 'cheese', 'this', 'cat'. It seems like you learn a new word every day. You chase Pickle around the house with your hands up like saying 'where's Pickle'.
Sometimes you get really excited and you double wave with both hands.

Your Grandparents say that you walk just like Daddy when he was a little boy. They called him 'animal'. Your other Grandpa says you smile just like me when I was a little girl.

I just can't believe that you've been alive for one year. This has been the best year of my life. You are so wonderful and special. We love you so much, more than you will every know. Stop growing up so fast!

Looking through the keyhole #2

Looking through the keyhole hosted by Holistic Mama
This is the bookshelf in our living room. It's a huge cube bookshelf from ikea. My husband bought it before we got married. I didn't really like it when he bought it. But now it's actually been really useful and I do admit that I like it.
My husband and I are book collectors. We mostly collect Catholic books. In fact we are kind have an obsession with collecting Catholic books. The last two years we have been to the LA religious education congress (before Luke) and came home with at least a book each. We also hear a talk on the radio or something and just randomly purchase books too. Most of which have (at least the ones I get) are only read about half way through. I have a serious problem of not finishing books. Most of the books I read are for information, so I just read what I need then the rest goes on this bookshelf.
Funny enough, on the right side of this picture is a book called "How to Brew". About 7 months ago my husband and I made our first home brew beer. It made a huge mess and made the whole house smell like hops. But boy was that beer good. We haven't really had time to make another one yet but we should. Maybe we'll make a summery beer soon.
There is another book on the shelf that is hard to see. It's the little black one. It's called 'I can't accept not trying' by Michael Jordan. I LOVE this book. I am a huge basketball nut and I loved Michael Jordan. But this book is about how to keep trying even when you fail. Its such an inspirational book and I read it every once and a while (it's been a long while) when I need some inspiring.
The rest of the books I'm not even sure what they are. We have some sudoko puzzle book, I have no idea where that came from. And then there's an owners manual for my husband's truck. I guess we're not as organized as I thought :)

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

He's amazing.

I met my husband in college. We worked at the same coffee shop in the student union. It turned out that we had every class together and went to church together too. The first night we actually hung out, he met some of my friends at a bar. We talked for a while by ourselves and that was it, well for me. I remember saying to my friends on the way back to my sorority, I love him and I want to marry him. They thought I just had too many beers or was crazy or something. But there was just something about him. We ended up getting together, finally, after college. Then a year later we got engaged, and then married the next year.
Then we had Luke. I always knew he'd be a great dad. But I never knew just how great. I think I'm finally hitting a stage of parenting that is challenging. Just in the last few weeks Luke is walking everywhere now and teething and probably going through a lot of developmental changes. So that equals just plain fussy all day. Today and yesterday he was just plain fussy. All 12 hours that Ben is away from home. (minus nap time)
Today I just didn't think I was going to make it through the day. I felt so sorry for Luke, he was miserable. He was obviously in pain. I was tired. He wanted to touch everything he wasn't really supposed to. It was just a hard day. And it broke my heart to see Luke so miserable. Ben kept calling me. And he ended the conversation... 'just call me when your heart breaks again'. He's so sweet to me. He'd do anything to help me. He does everything. He helps me clean the house after work so I don't feel like I have to do everything when I'm home all day. He always says 'just take care of Luke, the rest can be done when I'm home to help.' Even if I don't get dinner ready he offers to cook while I get a break to work out. He's offered to drink coffee and stay up all night if Luke isn't sleeping well. He really does it all. He drives an hour each way to and from his job. He works 9 hour days M-Thur and then half day on Friday. I know he's tired, he's always tired. But he's never to tired to help me and take care of us. He is amazing. I thank the Lord every day that I am so blessed to have such a wonderful husband. I thank God that he's in my life. Even days like today, I can look and say that the day was a gift from God because I got to see my loving caring husband take care of us. I love him so much.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Through the Keyhole #1

Looking through the keyhole is hosted by Holistic Mama. Its a great idea. And I'm excited to see the view from my blogging friends.
This is my view out of my kitchen window. Usually my cat, Pickle, is sitting on the window sill watching the millions of other neighbor cats wander around. But it looks like a bigger view with out him sitting there. I guess I should have waited to take the picture until when he was sitting there.
Sadly, you can see the 'for sale' sign in our front yard. My husband got a new job pretty far away from our house. We're hoping to sell and move closer to his work. But since we have to keep our house looking nice, Luke and I have planted some flowers in pots that are on the porch railing. I also got a hanging flower basket from my parents in law for my birthday. It's beautiful.
I love that you can see the street from the kitchen window. I like to watch people outside. There isn't too much that goes on outside but it's nice to be able to see.
I can also see our neighbor's yard, which is very well up-kept. They are Oregon Duck fans. So during football season, they had their Ducks flag up while we had our Oregon State Beaver Flag up. Those of you who don't know, in Oregon, the two major universities... Oregon State and University of Oregon are BIG time rivals. My husband and I went to Oregon State.
I feel so blessed to have a wonderful kitchen with a wonderful view from my very own house.

Why Nurse past one...

I saw someone comment about their one year old son's eating. They said my son wanted some cherrios she said, well eat this fruit first then I'll give you the cherrio. Granted, I think she still nurses but I'll make my point anyway.
I've seen parents do this. The... eat this first... then you can have this. Don't get me wrong. I'm all about healthy eating. Trust me, it's almost an obsession. I have even turned my non salad eating Step Mom and husband into people that actually ask for salads.
I'm so health conscious that I am going to let my son eat whatever he wants. Why? He's still getting every thing he needs from breast milk.
According to

In the second year (12-23 months), 448 mL of breastmilk provides:
  • 29% of energy requirements
  • 43% of protein requirements
  • 36% of calcium requirements
  • 75% of vitamin A requirements
  • 76% of folate requirements
  • 94% of vitamin B12 requirements
  • 60% of vitamin C requirements
How can any food match that? Cow's milk?? No way! You'd have to eat a lot of stuff to equal all of that. I've never seen a toddler eat that kind of health food... not to mention enough food to get that many vitamins. Maybe if your kid is a super kid. Luke is a week out from being one. I haven't seen him eat much of anything in one day. I mean he'll have a small piece of bread, or a couple crackers, or a slice of orange, or some berries. But it's not like he's eating complete meals. Even I don't know if I eat those amounts of vitamins at one meal. I can't imagine switching him off of breastmilk, which was specifically designed for him and him alone, to milk made from and for another animal.
As long as he's nursing, I don't have to worry about his nutrition. I don't have to worry about jamming things into his body to make sure he's getting vitamins. And, when he's sick, and won't eat a thing, I can always count on nursing.
I'm excited to see how nursing after one will be, I've seen the kids that do. They are some healthy kids.

Friday, May 14, 2010

EC update

Lately since Luke has become so mobile (walking ALL over the place) I have caught him on his way to the bathroom on a few occasions. We have always used the small potty in the bathroom. I tried once to do it in the living room, but its just too distracting for him to go anywhere but the bathroom. Well, he does enjoy a good pee outside but as far as in house locations, it's only the bathroom.
There were a couple times where we were in the living room and he just took off down the hall for no reason. The first time he made it down the hall but then stopped. I came over, looked in his diaper and sure enough, he peed. The next time he was diaper free. He crawled like he was going somewhere down the hall then stopped and peed. I think he knew he had to go, but just couldn't make it all the way in there.
When we were at his grandparents he has made his way in the bathroom on two occasions. The first time he went in there, he had just peed about 5 minutes earlier, so just a little dribble came out in his diaper and he was done with it. The next time I thought, well I'll just see if that was the reason he went into the bathroom. I held him over the potty and sure enough, he had to go.
Just recently he pointed to the bathroom while we were sitting in our room. He had to go then too. Though, he has pointed to the bathroom other times when he hasn't had to go. (he really likes to point)
I know I still have a ways to go before he's 'potty trained'. But I'm not even sure what that really means. He goes most days with only wetting diapers at night (because I'm too lazy or tired to get up and take him) or he wets diapers when he's busy playing or at a new place. But when we go out, more and more I just leave him in his training pants. I think I'm becoming more and more confident about him just wearing training pants instead of a diaper and a lot of times I wonder why I'm carrying around so many diapers.
I know it'll still be a while but EC is so amazing. I can't believe how far we've come.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Mother's Day

This was my first Mother's Day. I was just a Mom-to-be last year. This Mother's Day meant a lot to me. My mom died when I was 6 from Cystic Fibrosis. Mother's Day hasn't always been my favorite holiday because it usually just makes me miss her. I mean, I'm not really sad about it anymore. I had the most wonderful childhood with my dad... it's just that Mothers Day was always a little hard. This was the first Mother's Day that I was actually looking forward to. My husband and my beautiful son made it so great.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Praise Junkie.

Tell me if you think the following conversations sound normal.


Me: Look Ben (my husband) I put the dish in the dishwasher after I was done using it.

Ben: Good job. You are so good today. You can put the dish in the dish washer yourself.


Me: Ben, I just peed in the toilet.

Ben: Good job. I knew you could do it. You are so good.


Me: I just put the lid on a Tupperware container.

Ben: Wow, you are so smart. Good job!

Sound weird? Yes, for 27 year old people to praise each other like that sounds like mockery. In fact, I would probably get the 'are you serious?' look from my husband if I treated him like that. Then why do we do that to children?

I know it sounds so counter-intuitive. You want a child to do something, eg put away the dishes, they do it then you follow up with 'Good job!! thank you for putting away the dishes, you are such a good boy'. But how long do you do this for? At some point won't you just want the child to put away his dish with no reward of praise? I just don't think it makes sense to praise a child for doing something they are supposed to do.
Maybe dishes is a bad example. But what about saying 'Good Job' for putting a smaller cup into a larger cup? On one hand, it is good that they are learning to do that. On the other hand, why should they be praised for playing and learning? Does the child then learn to do a certain something just to get that good warm fuzzy feeling from their parents? Say one day I decide not to praise or I forget that I usually say 'good job' for playing with the cups the 'right' way. Does the child then have to do something bigger and better for praise constantly seeking approval from their parents?
I think it's wrong to use praise as a form of manipulation. I don't want to pull at Luke's emotions by using praise to manipulate him into doing something that I want him to do. Then he learns to do things just for my love and affection. If I constantly praise-manipulate him, he things the only way he'll get my smiling approving face is to do something that merits a 'good job'. Shouldn't I always have an accepting attitude and unconditional love for my child?
I know that I am a praise junkie. I like it when my husband tells me I did a good job. Sometimes I tell him what I've done just to get a praise. I hate that I like praise so much. I wish I was free of it. Free to just do things for the sake of doing them, not for praise. So, please, stop saying "good job" to my child, let him be free.

Saturday, May 8, 2010


I love food. I have come to the conclusion that I love to shop for food. I love to cook food. I love to read about food. And most of all I love to eat food. I always wonder what made me so inclined to choose Electrical Engineering in college instead of just going to culinary school. Or why didn't I do culinary school after college? I did take a tour of the Portland culinary school but it cost $15k to go, I was about to get married, I wanted to be a Mom (which I wanted to do more than culinary school), so I just didn't. I don't really think I ever will want to do any type of 'school' again. Electrical Engineering burnt me out. (though, I'm not too disappointed that I did EE because I love math, I met my husband and had a pretty nice job before I had Luke)
Anyway, today I had some fabulous food. We went downtown to the Portland Farmers Market just to check it out. I didn't think there would be much down there since it's only May but there was! We walked around looking at everything. We even had lunch at one of the stands. Ben had pizza, which was delicious. I had a veggie pita. It had garbonzo beans, lettuce, cauliflower, wheat berries, onions, with taziki sauce and chili sauce all wrapped in a whole wheat pita. Mmm it was good.

We ended up getting asparagus, lettuce and a bundle of mint. What will I use those for, you ask? Ben and I have been hooked on the Green Smoothie from the blog "Raising a sensitive child". How I made it today is as follows.
1/2 a bundle of chopped romaine lettuce
1 apple chopped and cored
1/2 a banana
a handful of cilantro
the juice of one lemon
1 1/2 cups of water
It made enough for Ben and I, with a little for Luke. I forgot to take a picture because I drank it too fast. It's really, really good.

Tonight, I made asparagus risotto with the asparagus I got at the farmers market. The recipe is as follows.
1 1/4 cups of Arborio rice
4 cups of chicken stock
2 cloves of garlic minced
1 small onion or shallot, diced
some asparagus cut into 3-4 inch pieces
some fresh spinach
1/4 -1/2 cup of white wine, something you'd drink. It could be optional I guess if you just used a little more chicken stock, but the flavor is wonderful.
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
the zest of one lemon
olive oil

Heat the pan with olive oil and a teaspoon or so of butter. Have the chicken stock warmed on another burner. Add the onion and asparagus. Give them some salt. Sauté until tender. Add garlic. Then add the rice. Stir it around the pan for a minute so it absorbs the oil and butter. Then add the wine. Keep stirring. Once the wine reduces all the way, add a laddle of chicken stock from the other pan. Let that reduce. Keep stirring the whole time. Then repeat until all the chicken stock is gone and the rice is soft. Turn off the heat. Stir in the cheese and grate the lemon zest. Add salt and pepper to taste.

It's kind of tricky and time consuming to make and definitely not one I would make on a week night where I have to watch Luke and make dinner. But since it's the weekend and Ben and Luke played, it was easier. So that's what I ate today. Sounds good doesn't it, I bet you're hungry now?

Monday, May 3, 2010

Sick and Soup

Luke got a viral infection this weekend. Which means fever and just not the usual Luke. We took him to the doctor and he said that he's also contagious so wash your hands. Doh! I've been sharing food with him, touching his mouth, kissing him... you know the normal mom stuff. This morning and last night I've had a scratchy throat. Am I getting sick too?
When ever I'm sick or feeling like I'm going to get sick I always make this soup. It's my own recipe and it really caters to my own tastes.

Tomato Sick Soup
1 can of low sodium diced tomatoes
1 can of low sodium tomato sauce
2 cloves (or more :)) of garlic
1/2 onion chopped
1Tbsp of oregano
1 spoonful of red pepper flakes to taste
1 handful of chopped fresh basil (if you don't have it used dried)
1 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
I sautee the onion in the EVOO until soft, then add garlic, oregano, and red pepper flakes. Sautee for a few more minutes, don't let garlic burn. Then you add the can of diced tomatoes and tomato sauce. Let bubble for a minute or so and then add a swirl of balsamic vinegar. Then you just let simmer for 10 minutes or so... when ever you think it tastes good.
I love tomatoes and garlic so the taste to me is so good. Maybe you have other ingredients you want to add that would appeal to your own tastes?

The reason I think this soup is so good for fighting off sickness...
tomatoes- lycopene- capable of warding off free radicals, antioxidant because it's high in vitamin c, fights cancer
garlic- it is said to be an antibiotic, works as an antioxidant, and fights cancer
onions- good anti inflammatory which helps congestion from common colds they are also antimicrobial so they fight unwanted bacteria in your system.
oregano- another super spice. It has antimicrobial effects and it is full of antioxidants.
EVOO- omega 3s, antioxidant and a whole range of other things. It makes your skin pretty too.

I don't know what it is but a good dose of garlic always makes me feel a little better :) and its tasty too!