Friday, April 25, 2008

Where the Heart Is

Our little porch
finally, some flowers for spring...errr...summer
view from our front door
Its nice to be in the courtyard, feels like the kids have a place to go outside and play!

Up 1/2 flight of stairs and you are in the living room

kitchen shots

(why oh why do they put carpet in dining rooms!?)the patio

Zach's bedroom

laundry in the closet
Lily's room and 2nd bath are on the left
our bedroom is on the right

Lily's room

Dave's side

my side

The night before I left for Oregon, my friend Margaret gave me the nicest gift I have probably ever received. She presented me with an album of photos of all the places in Kansas City that hold a special place in my heart. Seriously, she didn't forget ANYTHING. There were photos of our first apartment, and first house. There were details like the sign at the entrance to our neighborhood, and a close up of our house numbers. She shot pics of the high schools we graduated from, my favorite stores on the plaza, and Dave's favorite fountain in Kansas City. There were pictures of the hospitals where my children were born, the house I grew up in, the creek that I played in as a child, and the school that I taught 4th grade at. Honestly, it took my breath away and I bawled looking at all the places that depicted "home". Then, she left me with a charge. Knowing that I would be moving around for the next year or so, she left space to fill the book with more pictures of the places we would live, and spots that would become memorable for us. The idea being that I could look back and point and say, "this children, is where you learned to swim, ride your bike, etc." What has been most surprising about all this moving around, is that honestly, HONESTLY, I can say that I look back at pictures of places and people, and "times" in Oregon, and I get heavy hearted. I am shocked at how much a picture of our little place (that we lived in for a short 9 months) can send such intense "longing" feelings through me! In the end, I think it makes me happy because I know that I truly "lived" there. That I loved it enough to miss it. That I invested enough of myself and my energy to integrate, and to find the beauty in my surroundings. (and lets be honest, its not hard to find beauty in Oregon) It is this experience that gives me hope, and reaffirms that it will only be a matter of time before I feel the same way about Texas.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Little Dippers

I LOVE Wondertime magazine. Best parent magazine out there. Our dinner tonight was inspired by an article in the new issue. The idea is to serve appetizers (or dips) as your main course! Perfect for a night like tonight, when daddy is working late.

We made white bean dip, and guacamole (they also listed an enchilada dip, which would add meat to the meal). We used whole wheat chips, oat bran pretzels and carrot sticks as our "dippers". Protein, fiber, vegetables....check, check, check! So while they LOVED this dinner, and felt like they were getting away with something sneaky, I loved it too! Easy, and wholesome! I've never seen them eat so many carrot sticks!

White Bean Dip
2 (15 oz) cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
3/4 tsp. kosher salt
1/8 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
pinch thyme
3 T. olive oil
2 T. lemon juice
1 large clove garlic, pressed (we used 2!)

Blend all ingredients in a food processor until very smooth, adding a tablespoon or two of hot water if the beans seem disinclined to become creamy.

The magazine printed a "silken guacamole" made with silken tofu, but we just used our regular guacamole recipe. Other ideas for dippers include: pita chips, snow peas, bell peppers, celery sticks, lightly steamed broccoli, sugar snap peas and green beans!

Finally, dessert...of course...chocolate fondue! (the easy microwave need to knock yourself out!) Yummy Dinner! Although Dave is probably not too sad to have missed this one. I am not sure he believes "dips" constitute a meal!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Another "First"

When you are 19 months old, life throws a lot of new experiences your way.
...and to think we almost cut the corn off the cob so that it would be easier for her to eat!
(for the sake of documentation: Lily ate 2 more pieces just like this one!)

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Houston Zoo

75 degrees and sunny. Perfect day to explore the zoo in our new city.
My kids were MUCH more into the fish and reptiles. I guess it was because all the fuzzy animals like bears and big cats were sleeping.
Obsessed. We stayed at the Comodo Dragon exhibit the loooongest for Zach. He's been talking about the Comodo Dragon all day! The only thing this guy did was open and close his eyes...but that was enough for Zach, he is hooked!

There was a beautiful reflection pool filled with Koi where we ate our lunch (the fish ate our lunch too!)

My favorite of the day. "The Timer"

Zach and Lily thought it was great fun to run to the bench as fast as we could before the camera took our picture!

Monday, April 7, 2008

1155 days

Three. I am finding it is really such a fascinating age. A fun time. He is my little man, and he LOVES his mama. He watches everything we do. He hears everything we say. He gets it. He told me the other day, "Mom, when I get a little bigger I will kill the bugs for you!" (really? that is just so sweet!)

There are so many changes in the 3rd year. He is getting taller, his legs are longer, he has a neck now, and his hands can reach high above his head (ever notice how a baby's arms don't go much higher than its head?) :) More and more he looks like a little boy, not my little baby.

He brought me a picture of the Little Mermaid and while pointing to her chest asked me what they were. "Ummm, it's her swimsuit?!" (I said hopefully) "Yeah, but what ARE those?" (shoot) "Umm, those are sea shells." He seemed satisfied. (WHEW)

I look at his hands a lot. They still have that toddler/baby pudginess to them. I want to remember those little hands forever.

3 year-olds also have opinions. Strong ones. He walked over to the computer while I was typing my entry and said in an exasperated tone,
"Mom, not THAT kind of picture!"
"What do you mean?" I said, "You don't like it?"
"Moooom, my basketball is BLUE!"
oh. ok. sure thing. color it is.

P.S. On the home front...

Still unpacking, still settling, still trying to figure out where I live. Still need to get some warm weather clothes! :) Still eating "easy meals" like pizza, ravioli, and taquitos. BLAH!

Ready for good fresh food. Ready to meet some friends. Ready to have a CLEAN house. Ready to find the library. Ready for the pool.

Having fun driving through neighborhoods. Having fun eating outside each day. Having fun playing family basketball each night.