Monday, 25 June 2012

I forgot

I forgot to mention the other things we've been up to this week.  On Monday, I canned 35 pints of salsa.  And I'm never making salsa again until I have some sort of a food processor.

We caught a lizard in our house.  Joy.

And we went swimming on Saturday, which was really fun.  I took the kids swimming on Thursday too.  I might just live at the pool this summer.

I had an ultrasound on Wednesday where the doctor asked how big my other kids were--this one is going to be about the same size. My OB's always think my kids are going to be bigger, because, well, I'm tall and not exactly petite.   The doctor thinks this baby will probably be around 6-6.5 lbs.  I doubt it, I think he will be bigger, more like Sebastian.  He also asked if I knew the gender, and I said, "Yes, he was quite obviously a boy." And my doctor said, "Well, that's still very obvious."  So Nicolas Orlando it will be, I guess.

Ana started piano lessons again.

I bought some Tupperware this week.  I'm so excited.  I love Tupperware.  And I was going find this cute thing I found on Pinterest the other day about wanting your Tupperware back, and not caring how sick you are (Don't come between a Mormon woman and her tupperware), but I couldn't find it.  So sorry.

And swim lessons start this week.  Joy.  Wish me luck to get through the next three weeks of them.

And that's it, chao.

Sunday, 24 June 2012

Another week

Ana had some seriously awesome hair this week.  
I taught Sebastian how to lather the soap. 
This was not a good idea because then he screamed when I made him stop.
He could have spent thirty minutes washing his hands, and he would have used up all our hand soap.
But I was mean and made him stop. 
He is so stinking adorable though.  This was after I mowed the lawn and he was outside playing in the dirt.  I also weeded the front flower beds.  Random question for you all--is it still called flower beds even if there are no flowers?  We have really pretty landscaping with lots of asparagus ferns and cool, tropical looking plants and small palms and a few butterfly bushes, and one half dead canna flower (because it's in full shade, and they're supposed to be full sun). Anyway, it just sounds misleading to call them flower beds.  Just wondering.
Ana practicing her states.  I'm a cruel mom and I'm making her memorize the fifty states this summer.  That and making her do two math worksheets every day and write a one-to-two page paper every week. Oh, and she has to read an hour every day.  And she has to make all the bread all summer, which is about every other week, and then on the week she doesn't make bread, she has to bake something else.  This week she made breadsticks.  YUM!!  They were so good.  Delicious. I didn't even hardly help her.  :)  It sounds like she has it really rough, but besides me not being a patient teacher, the school work really doesn't take that much time. Well, besides the reading part, and the first day she writes the paper--that takes a little more time, but the other days she just makes revisions, so it's not as bad. 
I love having bookshelves and the space to have the old National Geographics out where my kids can look through them.  A subscription might just be a stocking stuffer for me this year.  Elena loves looking through them, and even Ana gets them out occasionally and reads an article.  Best magazine ever!
Isabel chilling on her bed. 
She's so funny.  She makes Leo and I laugh all the time.  A lady in church today told me that she just loves my girls because they are so confident and willing to answer questions and come to the front and do whatever in primary. She said she was happy to see that, especially in girls.  It made me laugh, because yes, my girls are definitely not shy and definitely have an overabundance of independence. That however, can be challenging too.  Isabel is such a people person, where ever we go--parks, the pool, etc--if she sees other girls her age, she'll go right up to them and ask them to be her friend and play, and in no time be pulling them around by the hand or giving them hugs and her over-friendliness is often a bit overwhelming for the other kid.
Sebastian and Isabel and Elena like to burrow into the pillows on my bed.  (Yes, I have quite a few now.) 
Sebastian looks completely buried.  I love it.
And I finally gave Isabel that pink scarf this week.  Every time she came to my room she'd want to get it out, and then she'd wear it around all day.  I figured it wasn't worth the fight anymore to keep it nice, and gave it to her.  She wears it with her silky pink dress.

And Elena posing. 
It's really hard to get her to smile natural.  She always wants to strike a pose and grins crazily. 

Cute girl.  I wish she'd sleep more though.  Any ideas on getting five year old's to sleep before 11:30 at night?  She goes to bed with the rest of the kids and is just in her room in the dark, but she doesn't go to sleep for so long.  Twice this week she slept in till 10 AM.  Which is crazy, and yes I know if I woke her up earlier she's probably go to sleep earlier, but then it's horrible the days she gets woken up early because she's so grouchy.  Those two days she slept in till 10 AM, it was like she was a different child.  So sweet, so happy, and singing me songs all day about how much she loved me.  Which by the way, she told me on Saturday that I'm "too hard on her," but she likes "how you take care of me."  I think it had something to do with having to do her vacuuming. 
And in food news, Leo took me the other day to DQ.  There's one at the end of our street (practically anyway).  And they just brought back frozen hot chocolates!!!!!!!!!  I ordered one, and it was seriously so good.  Just like I remembered.  Now I have a hard time not begging Leo every night to go back and get another one.  When I worked at Dairy Queen in high school, they came out with these and it was my favorite thing to get there.  And then they went away for some unknown reason.  I would try occasionally to get one, (Old Town Gilbert in AZ still made them perfectly; the DQ in Orlando was an utter fail despite the person's confidence that he remembered how to make it) but most places the workers would just look at me with the expression of annoyance and obvious ignorance on what it was.  And now they're back.  I told Leo to scope out a DQ close to the hospital where I'll be delivering, because this is what I'll want immediately after this kiddo pops out.  Yum. 

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Long time no post

Isabel goes and goes, and I mean she's crazy.  Seriously. And then she collapses, like so.  And then once she wakes up, she's all crazy again.  I love it, she's the happiest, funniest, most easy-going kid.  Well, she does the habit of throwing punches when she's mad, but she gets over being mad so quickly too, it's nice. Today in church, the kids sang for Father's Day, and she ran (yes, literally) up to the front, meanwhile, we were trying to convince Elena to go up.  She insisted she was an ugly singer, and she couldn't go, and on and on--I'm really getting tired of her constant negativity lately.  Anyway, when we looked up, Leo and I were both trying to see where Isabel was, but she wasn't with the group of kids.  We finally spotted her (why it took us that long is a mystery) jumping up and down frenetically in a corner by the table where the sacrament is prepared, waving jubilantly to everyone in the audience.  Umm, yeah.  Meanwhile, Elena continued being melodramatic and woeful until the very last second before the song actually started, then bounded up there and sang with a big smile on her face the whole time, loud enough we could hear her in the overflow.  When she came down, she was all tears and had to have hugs from Leo because "she just sang so awful, it was terrible."  Isabel never really sang at all, because she was too busy waving to us the entire time.  Could we please just mix Isabel and Elena up in a bag a little bit? 
On Friday (I LOVE that Leo has every other Friday off!) we went blackberry picking.  The kids were enthusiastic for all of 10 mins. 
Do you notice that Isabel is no where to be seen?
Ana invited her friend Alyssa to come.  Ana definitely had more fun with Alyssa there, and Alyssa's mom said she had fun too, so that's good. Ana went to Alyssa's house after we got back and swam with her for a couple hours.  I'm so glad Alyssa lives so close.
My spoiled, spoiled boy.  Maybe he wouldn't be so spoiled, if he wasn't so cuddly and always willing to give kisses and hugs, and he always says, "thank you, you're welcome"  (together just like that), and he says sorry even when it's his sisters getting into trouble and not him.  He really is very sweet.  Although, he has got into the habit lately of getting after Isabel.  He even will count on his fingers, "One, two, seven--stop, Isabel!"  (I count to three a lot, especially with Isabel because it takes a while for her to focus.) And he reminds me a lot of Elena in that he's very precise and detail-oriented.  He was sick this weekend and threw up on Friday in the evening and again today.  Just FYI.  Well, actually, because this is my journal of sorts.
We chose this place to pick from, even though the berries were $.25 more a pound than another place, because it had a playground.  So after the first 10 minutes of helpful kids picking berries, when the whining, "It's hot...." began, we sent them back with Ana and Alyssa to the playground.  When we came back an hour and a half later, they were camped out in the shade on the haystack. 
We ate a picnic lunch there and Leo had the brilliant idea to stop for a sno-cone on the way home.  Good times. 
12 lbs of blackberries.  Delicious.  This is my bowl I use to raise bread in, to give you an idea of the amount.
And the finished results.  Seven batches of  blackberry jam.  We had jam sandwiches for lunch today, and trust me, they were good.

Just some random pictures of Sebas. 
Ah, sweet.  Elena, despite my complaining about her constant negativity, can be really sweet. She's the only child of mine who tries to clean up for me as a surprise, and she likes to give presents, and tries hard to make the other kids happy, and recognizes when I'm NOT happy and tries to be good.  Not all the time, but it's still nice to have one child like that at least some of the time.
In other news, Elena has practically learned to ride her bike without training wheels.  She's still a little unsteady, but she's mostly there. 
The weekend before this, we did a bunch of yardwork.  I borrowed our neighbor's electric pruner and trust me, I was skilled with that thing.  However, I think a lizard lost part of his tail to the pruner.  You know how lizards lose their tail at the base when they've been caught or grabbed by the tail, yeah well, this lizard just had the tail sliced off in the middle.  We also caught a little frog in the grass, and I was bitten FIVE times by mosquitos on my face, and of course, the next day I had to give a talk in church.  Did I mention that I found a snake skin while weeding in our front yard, and then the other day there was a tiny little dead snake on our driveway?  I really hate snakes.  Ugh.  We also bought a new van--pictures to come, I promise!  Ana went to girl's camp.  The theme was "Cowgirl Up!"  She had a fabulous time and loved it. 
And since I hardly ever post pictures of me and Leo, I decided to take pictures the other night before we left on a date. Leo's standing on his tip toes to be taller than me, so that's why he looks kind of funny (in his stance).
See, because I was wearing my new boots.  They are sah-weet!!!!  I love them. 

Leo picked the place we went out to eat to; he had been there before when he came to interview.  It was called the Jasmine Asian Cuisine, something something, that I forgot.  Too long of a name.  But it was a Vietnamese place in Houston's Chinatown.  And yes, I didn't know this either, but Houston does have a Chinatown.  In fact, the street signs are in Chinese as well as English.  And yes, we were definitely in the minority at the Jasmine Restaurant, in fact I was a minority of 1.
It was really good food.  I've never had Vietnamese before, but I definitely would recommend it.  The menu was forever long, and they had all sorts of interesting dishes--whole duck, whole grilled fish (a big fish, not the little individual-serving-sized trout--think more a family-sized fish), and a drink that was a mixture of soda, egg yolks and condensed milk.  No joking. And seven course meals of beef or fish. Also lots of squid and other random seafood.   The place was packed too.  And they had live music, the lady was one of those lounge singers in slinky dress like you see in the movies, only every other song was in Vietnamese, and the songs in English, like "Fools Rush In" were sung with a very strong Asian accent. She did sing one song in French, as well.

Leo ended up getting sweet and sour chicken and it was delicious. I know because I ate half of it.  And I was going to order this grilled fish and shrimp dish, but the waiter explained that it was very stinky and I should choose something else because you had to grill it at the table.  To be honest, I think that was his way of saying, "This lady obviously has no idea what she's doing." I think he was trying to steer me away from that dish, because they brought a little grill to your table and you grilled the shrimp and fish yourself.  It wasn't the waiter cooking the food for you, for a little show by your table at all.  I watched several other tables, and they really were cooking the food themselves.  Anyway, he recommended a different shrimp dish, which I ordered, not really reading through the menu item at all, (yes, I did complain about Ana doing that once).  And so the waiter brought out some grilled shrimp on a platter of noodles, and then a bowl of hot water, two little bowls of sauces, a plate of vegetables, a plate of rice paper, and a plate of lettuce and herbs.  And when I asked what exactly I was supposed to do with all this, he disappeared and a waitress reappeared and then she was kind of enough to give a demonstration on how you make Vietnamese spring rolls.  The ones you see pictured above.  This included tips about how adding this one herb is good for your stomach, even though the taste is a little bitter, etc.  They were really good, and the shrimp had excellent seasoning.  But I'm glad we had our combined items--my dish was light and fresh which was nice with Leo's heavier dish, but Leo's chicken satisfied my meat craving.

If anyone wants to come visit me in Houston, we'll gladly take you out to try it!  Then we went to Ritter's Frozen Custard for dessert.  We were so full, we could  barely manage it, but we shared a dessert and it was perfect.  Anyway, I'm sure that's way more than anyone ever wants to know about what we ate, but it was just fun to try something new.

Today for Father's Day, Leo received the proverbial tie as a present--actually two ties and two dress shirts--he still needed some for work, since he has to be in business attire everyday.  And we had homemade pizza and German Chocolate Cake.  Yum.  It was a great day.  Although I do wish the kids would stop bugging each other so much.  When do they grow out of that?  Anyone?