Wednesday, February 29, 2012

project life–february 2012

week 5 (part 2):016 this is the second half of the week. the 1st was on wednesday, so the split worked out well. when I don’t have a picture for a particular day, I usually have one of the kids (micah or layla – I asked shane, but he was not interested) will draw me a picture on a 4x6 card to fill the slot. sometimes I journal something about it, sometimes I just stick a filler card there. this week, the big event was layla getting her casts. I had a lot of pictures from that, and a lot of words to tell about it. so I used a small pic of her w/ the casts in the small slot for the day, and included a 8x10 collage. the big slot for the day has one of the big journaling cards (not folded) w/ arrows pointing both to the little picture, and the collage.

week 6:017018 this week, it seemed like there were a lot of days that had multiple pictures of a single event. when this is the case, and I don’t want to just include 1, I make a small 4x6 collage of all of them and use that instead. I also have a drawing of micah’s this week.

week 7:019 this is what a totally straight forward, nothing extra spread looks like. a picture and a corresponding journaling card for each day. this is basic PL.

week 8:020021 layla got 100% on her spelling test this week, so I included that as well.

week 9:022 the first half of this week is february, the second half is march. another pretty straight forward week, although I shuffled things around a bit. I’m pretty compulsive about the chronology of it all, but I didn’t have a picture for either tuesday or friday. it also just so happened, that I had 2 different ones I wanted to use for both thursday and saturday… you get the idea. since the cards are all dated, you can tell that some are from the same day, and that’s okay! that’s the wonderful flexibility of the organization behind PL!

Monday, February 27, 2012

week 8 in pictures

sunday: dave made french toast for dinner on saturday night, so the kids were looking forward to having leftovers of it the next day… in true micah fashion, he didn’t bother to wait for anyone to get him any or even ask for any. nor did he bother with a plate, or warming it up. he did, however, remember the powdered sugar… 016

monday: we have a new piece of ‘equipment’! meet the “power tower”. this is my parents’ birthday gift to dave. it arrived in the evening, so he and shane set right to work putting it together… in the livingroom. it looks so lovely there, and now that it’s together, we’re not sure we can get it out! Picasa20

tuesday: the long-awaited day! layla’s last set of casts came off and no new ones went on! she has these clod-hopper orthotics now, that fit inside REGULAR shoes (with a little bit of effort). she is very excited about her brand new TIE shoes.Picasa21

micah, all stuffed into the doll crib. 011

thursday: being camera-shy as usual, but shane got a new snuggie! we were going to get him this for christmas (because it goes w/ his sounders room theme), but they were sold out. I have to say, that I have always made fun of snuggies, but I TOTALLY want one! it’s seriously brilliant! you can hold stuff, and your arms don’t get cold! 007

this was my solution to being out of coconut milk to put in my coffee. it’s a chocolate coconut milk ice cream bar… and it was yummy.010

saturday: I started tackling a BIG project. getting all of the kids’ art, school papers, and other odds and ends organized! WOW! I went out in the garage and found 3 big, deep boxes and started dumping stuff in. I’m actually really pleased about how much stuff I have, and how I’m going to preserve/display it. more posts on that to come, I’m sure.015

the extras:Picasa22

  1. after getting her casts off, layla took the longest, hottest, bubbliest bath EVER! she was so excited.
  2. one major accomplishment: all of layla’s kindergarten papers, report cards, homework, etc. all bundled together and labeled.
  3. pirate micah, ready for bed, complete with his head wrap and lego sword.
  4. the boxes, just getting started.
  5. (and 6.) we woke up saturday morning to some surprise snow! already on the ground and still falling! it didn’t stick around long.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

current favorites

wow. I just LOVE finding random posts that I wrote a few years ago. and it really confirms for me that all the time I spend blogging, scrapbooking, and in all other ways recording our family’s life is not time wasted. I just happened upon this one from just over two years ago. I love it. love it love it love it! in some ways, so much is the same, and in other ways, so much is different. and, it inspired me to do another one. so, without further ado, here are my children’s current likes and dislikes:

shane likes:

  • school. yes, you read that right. shane likes school. shane likes the social aspect of school. he likes his friends, he likes the clubs he’s involved in, he likes band, he likes riding the bus, etc.
  • his cat, toby. AKA, mr. fat pants. and toby is very compliant about snuggling up just about whenever shane wants to impose this on him. he also loves to come and sit on him when he’s doing his homework or laying in bed reading.
  • AFV, heavy metal task force, 19 kids and counting, anything on DIY.
  • skinny jeans (or basketball shorts) those are the only 2 appropriate options for clothing the lower half of one’s body.
  • the military. shane has taken on a sudden fascination with the military. he likes searching out information on the internet, watching youtube videos of recruits getting yelled at by drill sergeants, checking out very large vehicles, etc.
  • 2 different sets of neighbors, susie and kevin, and chuck and terry. both of these people now ‘employ’ shane on a somewhat regular basis. he still helps susie in her garden, but also has recently helped them install a HUGE greenhouse on the property. he frequently house/cat sits for chuck and terry, and likes to go see if they have any work for him.
  • the seattle sounders FC
  • cycling. he has a fabulous road bike, and dave recently got him some more gear for riding. he and dave are training for the STP in july. speaking of which, don’t forget to click on that purple ‘team in training’ link on my sidebar and help them raise money to fight blood cancers like the multiple myeloma that our good friend, todd, (shane’s former soccer coach) is fighting!
  • air soft guns.
  • food. any kind of food. the more, the better.

shane doesn’t like:

  • school. as in, the work.
  • having to wear clothes which are ‘embarrassing’. he has lots of opinions in this area… not entire sure what is influencing his fashion sense, but it’s a little odd.
  • having to go places or do things which are imposed upon him (as opposed to making his own schedule)
  • wearing a coat.

layla likes:

  • school. pretty much everything about it.
  • singing. she is almost never NOT singing or humming something.
  • drawing, writing, coloring… nothing new there.
  • alex. there is a boy at school who has been in her class for the last 2 years. she loves him. she is convinced she’s going to marry him. she fills up papers with little hearts and messages that say “I love alex”, and draws pictures of the two of them as grown ups and the house they will live in… hmmm… not sure how I feel about this.
  • books. now that layla is getting to be more proficient at reading. she does it constantly. she loves that she can read some chapter books now. it’s pretty funny though, because I don’t think she’s figured out that she can read silently yet!
  • dogs. anything having to do with dogs. she gasps and says “awwww” every.single.time. we pass a person walking a dog down the street, or a dog with its head out a car window…
  • phineas and ferb, martha speaks, clifford, dogs with jobs, 19 kids and counting, AFV.
  • bacon and olive pizza she will eat at least 3 slices every friday.
  • anything ‘rock star’. this has kind of a broad definition.
  • being a ‘big kid’
  • losing teeth!

layla doesn’t like:

  • when she doesn’t understand her homework. generally, it’s a total breeze and she doesn’t need any help at all. every now and then, (usually if she’s tired or distracted) she has a bit of trouble and it is SO frustrating!
  • milk, cheese, yogurt, etc. same as before.
  • doing chores.
  • having her hair done.
  • wearing a coat.

micah likes:

  • legos. mostly right now, it’s the big duplos. I was almost ready to get rid of them and now he is suddenly obsessed with them!
  • trains. toy, real, thomas, whatever. still loves them.
  • any fruit, yogurt, hot dogs, chicken nuggets, peanut butter sandwiches, mac & cheese, carrots, corn on the cob, and pretty much any junk food. this is pretty much all micah will voluntarily eat.
  • preschool. loves it!
  • drawing. it is constant now, and I love it!
  • painting.
  • PBS kids computer games.
  • wii games
  • phineas and ferb, martha speaks, the cat in the hat, curious george, super why, clifford, AFV
  • pretending stuff. (it’s hilarious!)
  • wearing various different hats. usually one of the winter hats that gramma jackie has made him.
  • pretending to be a dog (I’m afraid this was contagious.)

micah doesn’t like:

  • dinner.
  • chores.
  • having to turn off the tv, computer, wii, etc.
  • kiwi. one of the few fruits he won’t eat.
  • coming home. it doesn’t seem to matter where we’ve been, as soon as we pull into the driveway, he gets upset. apparently he would always rather be going somewhere else. of course, when we are home, and have to leave to go somewhere, he never wants to get ready to go, either, so there you go. you figure it out!

Friday, February 24, 2012

food allergy update

well, I’m well past my 8 week elimination diet where I cut out all of the ‘red’ foods that had registered a reaction of some sort on my allergy test. I’ve been back to the doctor and reintroduced a lot of the foods that I had cut out. for the most part, I’m doing fine with it.

the first thing to go back in was chicken. that seems fine.

I also added back dates and green beans. no problem.

I think I’ve had white potatoes once or twice, and didn’t notice any major issues.

there are other things on the list that I cut out, but they either were not something I ate very often and still don’t (so therefore I haven’t really gone out of my way to go get them and eat them to try) or I have no intention of adding them back in because I feel great without them in my diet.

the two biggest things are wheat and dairy. the reason I had the test in the first place was because I was very suspicious of the wheat. I didn’t want the dairy to be a factor, but after cutting it out, I can now breathe through my nose for the first time EVER, and my asthma is gone. I can get through my workouts without mouth breathing, and hiking up hills in the cold, january air (a sure-fire asthma trigger) was no big deal.

so I don’t really miss those that much. (well, cheese a little bit, and I liked being able to throw a glop of yogurt into my smoothies for some extra protein.)

last friday, I decided to try some pizza. I missed the convenience of being able to eat pizza. and really, I like pizza. not being able to eat pizza made me feel kinda pouty. so I tried some, as a test. I ate two pieces. they were good, but not as good as I remember… interesting. and then I sat and waited to see how I would feel. I was almost hoping for a bad reaction, just so I wouldn’t have that dilemma in the future. as it turned out, I did get a stomachache soon after. it wasn’t terrible, and it didn’t last super-long, but it was obvious that it wasn’t agreeing with me 100%.

so, I guess that leaves me with 2 bits of information. 1) I will probably feel best if I admit that I should not eat pizza on friday nights, BUT 2) if I’m in a situation where I am starving, have no other food options but pizza (ie: party, family gathering, etc.), it won’t kill me to have a slice.

I guess that’s a good thing.

I will still continue to order my burgers wrapped in lettuce and without cheese and condiments.

the good thing about all of this is that I’ve learned some interesting things about foods.

  1. I LOVE sweet potatoes. especially sliced shoe-string style and baked in the oven. YUM!
  2. spaghetti squash is every bit as yummy under pasta sauce as regular noodles.
  3. diced and sautéed butternut squash is also a good pasta substitute.
  4. coconut milk in coffee is a great creamer.
  5. having a burger (or chicken sandwich) wrapped in lettuce is actually really yummy. you don’t need any condiments because it is not dry when you don’t have the bun acting like a sponge. you also don’t want any on there because they will squish out all over you and make it a very messy eating experience.
  6. it is so much easier to avoid treats and desserts. (there’s also the sugar addiction factor – if you don’t eat it, you won’t crave it. sugar works just like crack in your body, as far as the addiction goes.)
  7. the sesame-ginger salad dressing I discovered while searching for a non-dairy dressing that also has no balsamic vinegar in it is DELISH!
  8. dredging chicken in almond flour before browning/frying is every bit as good as wheat flour.
  9. you can make meatballs and meatloaf with almond flour, and, I would venture to assume, any other recipe that calls for bread crumbs.
  10. coconut flour/coconut milk pancakes are delicious. just get over the idea that they should taste like regular buttermilk pancakes.
  11. I actually like coconut flakes in stuff.

so, as far as diet goes now… I still consider my diet to be mainly paleo. but for the most part, I just say that I avoid wheat and dairy. if I make any baked goods, I use coconut or almond flour. but really, I don’t eat a lot of baked goods or desserts. even if you’re using ‘paleo approved’ sweeteners like honey or maple syrup, they’re still sweeteners and are best avoided in large or regular amounts. this is also because yeast was something that showed up on my test. in general, I will just avoid breads, cakes, cookies, etc. and I’m absolutely certain that I will be healthier because of it – allergy or not. that said, i refuse to completely write off all grains. this is mainly influenced by my love affair with popcorn and corn tortilla chips. actually, it’s not the chips, it’s that I love salsa (and guacamole too, I’ve discovered) and there isn’t really a suitable alternative. I don’t eat this stuff every day, but I do really like it. I also know that in the summer, I WILL eat corn on the cob. oh well. legumes are another thing I will not completely write off. legumes are not a huge part of my diet anyway. I eat something with beans or lentils in it MAYBE once a week, so I really don’t think that’s a big deal. I like a soup with beans in it. they have protein and other stuff… oh well.

basically, I don’t like a lot of hard and fast ‘rules’. I like logical guidelines, especially when it comes to diet. if you’re allergic to something, by all means, avoid it. but following rules for the sake of following rules drives me crazy.

here’s my biggest rule: if you want to be healthy and/or lose weight, avoid junk/processed food and sugar. that’s it. it’s not a terribly complex process. foods which can be eaten in the state in which they grow out of the ground are generally good for you. if something has to be ultra-processed, treated, or enriched in order to make it resemble food, then you should probably avoid it. COULD you make this yourself? ok. do you need to be a scientist in a lab to make it? don’t eat it! and don’t believe the low-fat hype. a processed product (salad dressing, packaged dinner, cracker, etc.) that is claiming to be low-fat is generally worse for you than it’s full-fat counterpart. why? because they have to put SOMETHING else into it to make it edible when they take all the fat out. this is usually sugar, excess salt, a highly processed oil, or something artificial… all of which do you way more harm than that fat you are trying to avoid. fat = not bad. sugar and artificial crap = very bad. the end. I’ll get off my soap box now.

Monday, February 20, 2012

week 7 in pictures

sunday: when shane is reading at the end of the day, toby almost always sits on him for some cuddle time. this just looked so sweet. like when my babies would fall asleep on me…117
monday: casts #4. this time she opted for 2 white ones.003
tuesday: rockin’ playgroup at miina’s. it’s always a good sign when the entry is littered w/ tons of shoes.004
wednesday: dave and micah playing a little table tennis… yes, those are plastic frying pans. the ball – a plastic plum.009
thursday: final casting appointment. look at that right foot flex! this is major improvement! 013
friday: micah wrote my name in playdough!001
saturday: these two were playing fairies. they each have paper wings taped to their backs and a little paper pouch of pixie dust hung around their necks.Picasa19

Saturday, February 11, 2012

week 6 in pictures

lots of stuff this week that required more than one shot for the situation… so we have lots of collages.

sunday: nothing, but micah drew me a picture (lots of them, actually) to use in the slot.

monday: back for casting appointment #2. this time, it involved getting them cut off with the cast saw – interesting, but not nearly as traumatic as it sounds… then she got a foot bath (hallelujah!), and picked blue and green for her next set.Picasa11

tuesday: just a little glimpse of what it’s like to eat dinner with micah. he is required to take 1 (just ONE) bite of whatever it is we’re having for dinner. this time it was some chicken soup. of course he didn’t want anything to do with it… oh the drama! yes, he eventually swallowed it. yes, he survived.Picasa12

wednesday: micah and I went to a local ‘indoor playground’ at a community center. he had fun running around and playing with all the toys. he decided to try and cram himself into this little boat… notice the knees, which are turned sideways because that’s the only way he would fit…034

thursday: casting #3. this time, they had layla try walking around a little bit with her casts off… that was interesting. she pretty much couldn’t because it was so weird and her muscles are all out of whack. the PT says that it’s normal. new casts this time: purple and red.Picasa14

friday: these are a collection of (marginally flattering) pictures that layla took while we were at my parents’ house for dinner on friday night. shane was not with us because he went to a middle school ‘dance’ with a friend (no, not a girl!). my parents got some new phone system, and dave was setting it up for them while we were there.Picasa13

saturday: dave and I took layla and micah to see ‘beauty and the beast’ in 3D at the theater. it was good, they enjoyed it, we had fun, etc. but WHAT A RIPOFF! I’ve known that going to the movies is expensive, but HOLY COW! talk about ripping off the american public! we had a bunch of gift cards, but like 55 bucks to get the 4 of us in? $7 for popcorn? that’s just nuts. NUTS! going to the movies should be something fun that families can do together, or teenagers can do with their friends, or lovers can go to on a date… without having to take out a loan! sheesh! okay, off my soapbox. we had fun. and it is pretty cool in 3D.011

and the extras:Picasa15

  1. on monday, I washed a load of towels and then threw them in the dryer. it wouldn’t start. so I had them hung on the rack in the bathroom, over the heat vent, with the heat cranked up, but there was no way they were getting dry in this century… fortunately, dave was able to fix it that evening w/ only 1 trip to the hardware store and a $20 part.
  2. a sunny day at the park – and my super tall, deformed shadow.
  3. is that a banana in your pocket, or… oh wait, that IS a banana in your pocket.
  4. micah, contemplating dinner…
  5. micah, unhappy about the ONE bite of roast beef that he has to eat.
  6. toby, contemplating my project life album…
  7. toby, getting a closer look at pictures of his people. love it. even the cat is excited about project life!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

meal plan monday

well, sorta. it’s tuesday, and yesterday was a total flop… so we’re doing it today. also because I actually know what we’re having for dinner tonight, AND am in current possession of ALL of the ingredients for it. it’s a miracle!

hopefully I’ll manage to pull off cooking it in a somewhat timely fashion… my ‘good luck’ is not running high today. got a ticket this morning, and this afternoon, I plunked a whole load of towels into the dryer and tried to turn it on. key word: tried. I was unsuccessful.

so I’m hoping everything else will work tonight.


  • monday: taco del mar take-out! yup, good planning.
  • tuesday: white chicken chili
  • wednesday: roast beef; carrots; potatoes (sweet, for me!)
  • thursday: leftovers of some sort (casting appt. #3 that afternoon)
  • friday: pizza; green beans (and probably a big salad for me)
  • saturday: paleo chicken parm; gf noodles/sautéed butternut squash; salad
  • sunday: scrambles (eggs, cheese, bacon, sausage, etc…)

so, I did some shopping today. still need to hit costco for a few things, but I think I have everything I need for this plan except some red sauce for saturday and sausages for sunday, which is awesome!

I need to get better about planning and cooking and… well, everything actually. I’m WAY burnt out right now. I’m not sure what it is, but my homemaking skills are in the toilet. (and it’s not even a clean toilet.) I’m so sick of everything. I don’t want to cook, I don’t want to sweep the floor, I avoid doing dishes like the plague, and the laundry is even backed up. the laundry! I love doing laundry… ugh. seriously, there is not one room in my entire house that is not a complete and total sty right now. no, I don’t like it, but that doesn’t seem to be helping me FIX it either!

at any rate, I’m trying to dig my way out of my slump, and this is a start. at least I KNOW what we’re having for dinner! that’s a major improvement.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

week 5 in pictures

interesting week!

sunday: dave had to go to work after church. the kids and I came home and I was all set to sit down on the couch and watch some skating. nationals was on and it was men’s and pairs that day. I was feeling sleepy, and apparently I needed a nap because as soon as I hit the couch and pressed play on the dvr remote, I PASSED OUT. woke up FOUR hours later! for real! and the kids didn’t even completely trash the house. at any rate, we met dave in redmond and went out for dinner at red robin. dave signed up for some promo thing and got a free appetizer out of the deal. shane wound up with a ton of onion rings all to himself. I can’t eat them because of the breading; dave avoids onions because of his stomach (and because he doesn’t like sleeping on the couch); and micah and layla didn’t even want to try them. 003

monday: I tried to burn down the house! again. we’ve lived here almost 5 years now, and I STILL can’t seem to get it straight, which knob corresponds with which burner. ugh! at any rate, I’m very thankful for smoke detectors, and I need to learn not to keep stuff on top of burners when I’m cooking!007

tuesday: nothing major, except I needed a current pic of myself for the MOMS club newsletter. micah was handy, so we did a quick selfie. sadly, the iphone doesn’t much care for the poor lighting in the livingroom, so the pic is all funky and pixelated, but oh well. we’re pretty cute, I guess!013

wednesday: no pic, but micah drew me a lot of little card pictures to choose from. he’s discovered my stash of 4x6 index cards and wants to draw pictures for the book ALL.THE.TIME… not quite sure how I’m going to convince him that I only need a few, every now and then.

thursday: CAST DAY! 030there were so many pictures involved with this that it gets it’s own 8x10.Picasa9

friday: of course, the best part of having casts is getting to draw on them with the fancy metallic sharpies! she took them to school to and got her friends, her teacher, some of shane’s friends, and even her PE teacher, to sign them. P.S. do you like my rainbow?      vvvPicasa7

saturday: first of all, layla lost another tooth the night before. secondly, this is significant… for the last 2 years or so, layla has been a nail-biter… much to my chagrin. well, she currently has, like, NO teeth in her mouth. for real. nothing up top, and 2 missing on the bottom. how she bites anything is beyond my comprehension, but the good news is, she CAN’T bite her nails! well, she’s always after me to paint her nails, but, like I’ve told her, I’m really not convinced that ingesting nail polish is the best thing for her. it’s not exactly non-toxic. so the deal was, the next time I had to CUT her fingernails, I would paint them. well, it happened tonight! there was enough white at the ends that I felt compelled to cut them AND, paint them. she did the sparkly blue and purple to match her toes! 003

and… the extras:Picasa10

  1. the gingerbread cookie pop kit that aunt marge gave the kids. shane wasn’t home and I didn’t figure he’d care much, so I did his (he got to eat them). this was NOT easy and they did NOT look like the box! LOL. layla’s are on the left, mine in the center, and micah’s (he mostly just wanted to lick the frosting) are on the right.
  2. micah, playing waiter, taking toby’s order. his menu options were cat food, yogurt, or strawberries.
  3. micah can actually shoot baskets now!
  4. tooth #6 (#4 in just over a month) bites the dust.
  5. micah, climbing up the pile of snow to get into the trampoline. for some reason, he felt it necessary to wear a life vest…
  6. my paleo chicken dinner… complete with chicken gravy! first time attempting paleo gravy. a little thin, but worked out, and it was yummy! super yummy! everyone (excluding micah, who hates everything) approved.
  7. how we solved the problem of bathing layla without getting the casts wet. body in, legs out! (with bread bags rubberbanded around her legs!)

Saturday, February 4, 2012

cast evolution

what they look like now:004005006007008

and how we wound up bathing her. it worked!009

Thursday, February 2, 2012

serial casting–episode 1

I picked up layla early from school today. the long-awaited day FINALLY arrived! casting day!
today, layla got the first of at least 6 sets of casts to help loosen and lengthen her heel cords and surrounding muscles and ligaments, and to hopefully correct the toe-walking.
leg 1:016018
leg 2:023024
all done!029
standing up on them for the first time.033
walking – a bit awkward at first.036
practicing balancing and adjusting body position and all sorts of stuff that is now out of whack.038
after it was all done, we went to target to pick up some metallic sharpies for writing on the casts, and some new nail polish for the toes, which are, for the time being, perpetually exposed… sparkly purple and sparkly blue… 039
overall, she seems to be pretty unfazed by it… although she thinks the ‘no jumping in puddles’ restriction might be more than she can handle. she has a little speech all prepared for those who ask the inevitable, “what happened?”
we’ll see how it goes. we go back on monday for the next set.


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