Sunday, February 28, 2010

Such a crybaby!

There's a couple in my neighborhood whom I consider friends. They had a son, Kaison, the same day as we had Z. He was born with Dandy Walker Syndrome, and died when he was a couple months old. Maybe it was because we went through a pregnancy at the same time, and had our sons together, but I felt their loss keenly.

I was ecstatic when they had another son, Xander. It turned out that he had the same syndrome, and his prognosis wasn't great. I took pictures of Xander when he was a couple months old, and thought he was such a sweet baby.

On Wednesday, Xander went home to be with his brother.

It struck me as so unbelievably tragic and unfair that such a sweet, loving couple who desperately loved their babies had to endure not one, but two children dying.

I've been a bit weepy since hearing the news, just aching for them.

On Saturday, I went to the viewing. I tried really hard to be supportive and pulled together, but when I saw Tony, I couldn't help it and my eyes welled with tears. I'm hoping I didn't make too big of a fool of myself. I just hurt so badly for what they were going through that I couldn't help it.

I am going to blame my mom and grandma for this one. They both cry at the drop of a hat. A good commercial on tv will have both of them bawling. I thought I had escaped this curse, and then I had kids.

I swear, I had some permanent hormonal change when I got pregnant the first time. I caught the crybaby illness. I cry nearly as easily as they do now, much to my chagrin.

Now, I realize that nearly anyone with a heart would cry over Baby Xander. It really is sad. Well, bittersweet actually. I think it's wonderful that his parents got as much time as they did with them. But, I wish that it was Xander burying his parents after they lived a long and joyful life, watching him grow up, marry, and have children of his own.

I just wish that I could've not cried when going through the viewing line. I didn't want his parents to feel like they had to give any comfort.

Rest in peace, baby Xander. I hope that you and your brother watch over your mommy and daddy until they come home to you.

Egg Free Banana Muffins

I inadvertently discovered a great recipe for egg free banana muffins this morning. I was cooking before conscious (cbc), and forgot the egg in the recipe. M had asked for banana muffins for breakfast for his birthday, so I was trying to oblige.

As I was sliding the muffins into the oven, S asked me if there was raw egg in the muffin. oops. They still taste really good. Since my niece is allergic to eggs, and my girlfriend's daughter as well, I've learned the importance of finding great recipes, especially baking, that doesn't involve eggs. So, instead of just laughing it off, I'm posting the recipe.

Egg Free Banana Muffins
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 bananas, mashed
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened

In a large bowl, mix together 1 1/2 cups flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, beat together bananas, sugar, and melted butter. Stir the banana mixture into the flour mixture just until moistened. Spoon batter into 12 greased muffin cups (I personally use cupcake liners instead of greasing the pan).

Mix together the softened butter, brown sugar, flour and cinnamon until it is coarse crumbs. Spoon topping on top of each muffin.

Bake at 375 for 18-20 minutes.


Saturday, February 27, 2010

Bountiful Baskets

Pretty awesome basket this week. I am most excited about the rainbow swiss chard. Doesn't that look beautiful?! I actually got one more orange than pictured, but I gave one to a friend. The pickup time was supposed to be 8:45, but since the truck was late, pickup was late. I ended up being late to volunteering at the daycare. My partner there, Erin, was on time, and had to hold down the fort alone for a bit, so I gave her an orange as a thank you.

I also got a 38 lb box of apples, but didn't take a picture.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Potty Training Arsenal

So Z turns 3 in April. That seems about the right time to potty train him. K was just barely over 2, M was a week or so shy of his 3rd birthday, and S was about a month over her 3rd birthday. Since I am starting to see light at the end of the diaper tunnel, I'm getting a bit anxious.

Below, you can see the potty training arsenal. In addition to that stuff, I also have a Bear in the Big Blue House dvd, as well as a darling book entitled "Zack's Potty". I just forgot to include them in the shot. We've been watching the movie and reading the book frequently. We also have been talking about the potty a lot. I bought Z some big boy underpants a couple months ago, which he thought was hysterically funny. This week, I started to get serious. I bought him that super cool awesome spiderman toy. He got to hold it and play with it in the store and car (note the battered appearance), but now it just sits on a shelf and taunts him. Once he's wearing his big boy underpants all the time and not having accidents, he'll get to open it up and play with it.

For the more immediate bribe/reward, I have the jelly bellies. I've promised him a jelly belly each time he goes potty. To show him that I'm serious, I've been giving jelly bellies to each person in the family who goes potty. Needless to say, the older children are thrilled that they're suddenly getting treats for using the restroom again. They think potty training Z is great!!

Still, nothing has gone in the potty from Z. He DID want to sit on the potty tonight, so I have high hopes that soon I will be diaper free. I certainly hope so. I bought a new box of diapers for Z tonight and they cost $41. The wipes we bought a week ago were $18. Yikes.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Dentist. Again.

I know, I should start having mail sent to the dentist's office, I've spent so much time there.

Today was a routine checkup for S, Z, and me.

S was called back first, and she was excited to be there. I'd been nervous that she'd be afraid, given her accident. However, she was sad she didn't get a turn when K & M had their checkups a couple weeks ago, so I figured she was over the trauma. Sure enough, she was excited to be there, and did really well.
We've been talking to Z about going to the dentist for about three weeks now. When K & M had their appointments, we let him see them sitting in the chair. He was initially a bit nervous, and wanted to hold my hand to walk back there. He was willing to sit in the chair alone, though he looked very concerned.Yes, that is a Santa hat. He loves it. He walked into the office wearing it saying, "Ho, Ho, Ho!!"

The hygienist was very sweet with him (all of Dr. Bronson's hygienists are), and showed him all of the tools and how they worked, and he quickly calmed down.
He then got his headphones on, and settled in to watch "Cars" while they cleaned his teeth. He was a total pro. He and S had to come show me their little goody bag of fabulous prizes. They were so excited!

Sorry, but there was NO WAY I was going to get a photo of myself getting my teeth cleaned. Well, if you offered me lots and lots of money, maybe. But so far, no offers.

Even more exciting, in a totally boring way, was how uneventful the visit was. No cavities on any of us. No missing teeth. No teeth to be pulled. No unexpected news. Well, Z has his bottom two year old molars that have just erupted. So, they figure the top two will come through soon. That's my boy! Getting teeth late! I had no idea, and he hadn't complained about his mouth hurting. What a tough boy!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Chick Fil A Takes Reservations?!


Today we spent the day away, J and M ATV riding with our dads and brother in law, and me and the other kids with my mom, grandma, and sister. We finally met up again at my parents' house, where everyone decided they were starving. We decided to attempt eating out because it was already almost 8, and we were almost an hour from home. We immediately nixed a sit-down restaurant because J and M had mud on them, and the Saturday before Valentines' day is bound to be a NIGHTMARE.

We ended up at the Chick Fil A in West Jordan at Jordan Landing. It was chosen because I LOVE that place, and it has a playground, so we figured the kids could play while we visited.

We walk in the door, and are a bit surprised to see a hostess podium. There's a girl standing behind it asking if we have reservations. Huh? J and I exchange a confused look, and she quickly assures us that they can fit us right in. They move tables so that the six of us can sit at one table.

A quick glance of the dining room tells us this is an unusual night at Chick Fil A. While I think it is one of the higher class fast food restaurants, I've never seen one with cloth tableclothes, a chocolate fountain, candy hearts and chocolates on the tables. I have seen fresh flowers in vases more than once, so that part wasn't surprising.

We sit down, and the kids immediately start scarfing down conversation hearts. One of the employees comes over, and asks for our drink orders. She gets our drinks, and then comes back to take our food orders.She then brings out the food to our table, just like a fine dining restaurant. She also brings all garnishments, such as ketchup, dipping sauce, etc. We haven't paid yet, again, just like a fancy restaurant.

Our meals are also presented in a fine dining way. Here is my 8 piece chicken nugget meal:

When we are just about done eating, she brings out 9 or so large, beautiful strawberries, and invites us to go dip them in chocolate from the chocolate fountain.
She brings our check, and the total is the same as it normally would be. SCORE!! At the end of the night, each of the kids who wanted one got a balloon, and I was given a small box of chocolates.
I thought it was such a cute idea! What a fun way to make Valentines' special. The store operator (is that like the general manager? Or maybe the franchise owner? I dunno) actually came to each table to check on everyone and make sure they were doing ok. The manager did the same thing.

I can say that hands down, this was the best fast food dining experience I ever have had. I think what made it even funner is that we had no idea they had planned this (I saw signs on the door on our way in and out), so it was all a really great surprise.

This is a fairly new location, but I think with fun ideas like this, they will be wildly successful. I certainly wish them a lot of success. It was a very fun evening.

Bountiful Baskets

This is the goodies I got from Bountiful Baskets this week. As you can see, Z was extremely excited about the strawberries. There's a total of 6 ears of corn; I stacked them in a somewhat minimizing way.

I was chatting with a couple of volunteers about the baskets, and the subject of preserving fruits/veggies came up. They remembered J and his marked lack of enthusiasm over the cucumbers. LOL

Friday, February 12, 2010

I survived the valentine's parties!

This morning, I helped with M's class party for valentines' day. I discovered that the room mom had decided to do the basketweave heart of doom.

I am not sure why this paper craft is so widespread. The instructions say it's a simple, fun project that elementary school kids can easily do. LIES!!!!! I was a little concerned when I heard his class was going to do this project, because I've had a bad experience in the past. Some naive soul thought it would be a FANTASTIC idea for a kindergarten craft for K's class. Ha!

So, we started making the hearts of doom, and the kids were pretty frustrated. A couple kids were nearly in tears over it. Eventually, they all successfully made their hearts, and they were absolutely darling.

I had to leave soon after this activity ended. I went to the gym, where the 6th grade dance was about to take place. They were decorating, and it looked absolutely beautiful. All of the 6th graders have been practicing dances such as the waltz, virginia reel, boot scootin' boogie, etc. Today, they were to be assigned partners and had a full on dance. All of the kids were all dressed to the nines and looked so cute!!

I took S to school, where I played a fun prank on her teachers. They hate it when the kids get full cupcakes with lots of frosting. They're too much for one kid to handle, and they make a terrible mess. So, for giggles, I told the preschool teacher that I'd bought enough of the costco sized cupcakes for each child to have their own. Bwa hahahaha!!! After I watched them pale visibly, they said, "No..... you didn't. Really?" They tried to look enthusiastic while they said that. Then I replied, "Nope, I just wanted to torture you for a sec."

While all this was going on, I watched a car get pulled over directly across the street from the school. I recognized it as the dad of one of the students. The police had him get out of the car, and were talking to him outside the car. Soon, another sheriff showed up with a dog. They had the dog search the car. I was worried on two fronts: first, I knew that car was new to the guy- it still had temporary plates. Secondly, what if his child was still in the car? I asked one of the teachers, and she told me that Miss L actually went across the street, and got the little girl and took her into school. I love that woman for that.

Luckily, the dog found nothing, and they let him go soon after. I have to say that what happened to him has been the stuff of nightmares for me. Not only did he get pulled over with his kid in the car, but they searched it, and it all took place across the street from his kid's school. AWFUL!!!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

What's wrong with this picture?

Or, to be more precise, what is MISSING from this picture?

I took the older kids to the dentist last week. Dr B said that they both had cavities. M's was on a baby tooth that is going to fall out soon, so he didn't feel that it was worthwhile to fill it. I'm kind of glad he got that cavity- M's been so, so good about brushing and flossing since this appointment. I was kind of sad about K's cavity because it was on a permanent tooth, which would mean her first permanent cavity. I was confused though, because it was on the top of the tooth, and it had a sealant. I had no idea how she managed to get a cavity on a sealed tooth.

I asked Dr. B how this was possible, and he admitted it was a really unusual cavity, it was on a peak (?) of the tooth instead of in the deep cracks. He showed me the tooth, and I immediately knew what had happened. Back in 4th grade, a 6th grade boy punched K in the mouth. In doing so, he actually BROKE the tip off of that molar. I'd taken her to the dentist, and he tried to build it back up, but the addition had fallen off, and decay had gotten in there. I'm angry all over again about that kid punching her. He wasn't even suspended for it, even though I ranted and raved to the principal.

The other issue I brought up on Tuesday was the fact that K hadn't lost her lateral incisors yet. Those are the teeth between the front teeth and the canines. K was getting concerned because they weren't even loose, and M had lost his months ago, and had the new teeth growing in. I asked Dr. B to double check things were ok with them.

He comes back a minute later, looking concerned. His records had indicated that those teeth WERE the permanent teeth. Uh oh. We did a panoramic picture, which I have posted above. As you can see, those lateral incisors are TOTALLY missing from her mouth. Because they're not there, all of the teeth behind where they ought to be are shifted. I am not an orthodontist, but even I can tell that her braces cost just went waaaay up. Plus, we'll have to invest in getting false teeth implanted for her. Yay.

All I can say is that I am sick and tired of runaway/missing lateral incisors.

Oh, and if you know a great orthodontist in my area, I'd love to hear about him/her.

Monday, February 1, 2010

My Major Award

I am so excited to be a winner of a MAJOR AWARD. It's not Italian, because it doesn't have "fra-gee-lay" on the box. Everyone knows the best awards are Italian. But, Japanese awards are a close second.

My major award is.....

GINSU KNIVES!!!! Yay!!! I love knives almost as much as I love fire, so I am very excited.

How did I win this major award, you may ask.


A local furniture store has decided to have a blog. It really is an amusing blog. J had signed up to be a follower, and they had an entry last week about the super bowl. They were asking for favorite super bowl recipes. They said the first 25 recipes entered would win these ginsu knives. J forwarded the link to me, so I gave Andie (the blog author) my recipe for potato skins. Amazingly enough, I was one of the winners!

I went and picked up my knives tonight, and I am embarrassingly excited over it. Amazon has them listed for $45, so they're not the cheapest things out there. I was playing with them tonight, and I think I'll be really happy with them.