Saturday, August 30, 2008

Manicure anyone?

I found this video on that girls blog and I think it is the funniest YouTube video I've ever seen. If you've ever had a manicure or pedicure I'm sure you will enjoy it too.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Another Baby in the Family

The other day Lisa went to pick up her new puppy. She brought Janice and I along (which meant Tony had to come too) to keep her company during the 3 1/2 hour drive and to help her make her finale selection. Even though we didn't get to help much. She had 3 female pups to choose from and she didn't pick Janice's or my favorites, but that's okay, because it is after all her dog. It was still fun to ride along and see all the cute little Rottweiler puppies.
I was a bit surprised just how long it took to select the perfect puppy. We were there for 2 hours playing with the dogs. Well okay, to be fair Lisa only took an hour to pick out her puppy and the dog breeder took another hour going over the proper care of the new puppy. Lisa left with a big 3 ring binder packed full of CD's to listen to about raising/training the dog, and pages of instructions, references, certificates, and just about anything she could ever possibly need and then some. And of course the contract. Yes there is a contract involved in getting a puppy from this particular breeder. There are certain things you have to agree to, and one of the interesting clauses in the contract is that at any time she feels the dog is not being treated properly she has the right to repossess the dog. It all seemed a bit extreme to me, but I guess it's good to know the pup came from a good home. I'm pretty sure she got more instructions on the care of her new puppy than I did at the hospital when I had Tony. I also think, that if people were screaned and educated before being allowed to have babies as much as Lisa was to get a puppy, we'd have a lot less babies in the world.
Here's Lisa with the breeder and Tony playing with the pups.Taking a close look. The decision was hard, they were all so cute. Tony loved the little pups, they seemed to like him okay too, they climbed all over him.
The 3 she had to choose from.
It's a good thing they were all spoken for or I may have been tempted to bring one home too.
Every boy needs a puppy. Now we just have to convince his Daddy of that.

The lucky puppy, known as multi pink to the breeder. She named them by the color of their collars. I think Lisa is going to name her Emma.
When we got back to the farm we introduced her to Brewster. For the time being, Brewster is the big dog, but I'm sure that will only last a few weeks.
Brewster thinks of her more as a girlfriend/lover than a playmate. He kept wanting to hump her. We will have to work on that, but he is fixed so no worries its all safe.
Oh and in case anyone is wondering, these Rottweiler puppies are from Germany which makes them far superior to American bred Rottweilers (according to the breeder), because they are tested on many levels at the age of 2 (personality, temperament, health etc) before they are allowed to breed, which gives them very good odds of being a great dog. So I am not worried about little Tony being around a big Rottweiler dog. I think they will be just fine together, especially since they will grow up together. Both Tony and Emma get to go to grandma's during the day when their mommies are at work, so they will be spending lots of time together. I kind of feel sorry for Grandma right now, she has her hands full with a baby and a puppy.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Look who's crawling

Well folks it's finally happened. See for yourselves. He is still a little clumsy at it, this is after all the first time. The funny thing is that the only thing he would crawl for was his hairbrush. He didn't want the toys, just the brush. Go figure, I guess I should stop worrying about toys.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Got Toys and Pictures

I was shopping in Target the other day looking for some new toys for Tony and was quite disappointed with the selection. I couldn't find anything I really wanted to buy that I thought he would enjoy playing with. I left with just one lame toy. Later that same day Todd and I went downtown where all the little boutique shops are in the tourist section of the little beach town close by. They had a really cool toy store with tons of toys and trendy boutique prices to go with them. I bought just one toy at this store too, completely satisfied with the toy, but not the price. I then came home and started looking around on the internet for online toy stores, I figured there had to be something better out there and sure enough found a pretty good one, fat brain toys, with no tax, and free shipping (that always wins me over). And their toys are supposed to be really good ones, you know the kind that will make your kid smart just by playing with them.
The toys came in the mail a few days later while Tony was napping and I was so excited, I set them all out for him on his new little play mat. When he woke up I brought him downstairs to check them out. I must say, I think I was more excited than he was, but he really liked the wooden hammer, and everything he picked up he put in his mouth.
So if you have any good suggestions for places to toy shop, I'd love to hear them.

Here are some pictures of him checking out the new toys.

This little eggplant toy he got at my baby shower, and I had forgot about it till the other day when I found it in his closet. He is just a little young for it now, but in a month or so he will be able to climb up on it by himself. He is a bit scared that he might fall over. I was a little scared too as I let go just long enough to snap the picture.

This weekend Francie came over and took a few more pictures of Tony. I'm so glad she does this for me. I was really good at it [dressing him up and taking pictures] back in the beginning, but now I just let Francie do it. She is better than me at it anyway.
I thought this picture was so cute. When I showed it to Todd he was more concerned about the fact that we put him in the dirt and let him put a dirty tomato off the ground in his mouth. He's just a tad bit overprotective.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Helping to spread the love!

My sister Rachael has an ETSY store where she makes and sells the cutest little things, mostly purses and wristlets, but lately she has branched out into pottery as well. My other sister Natalie is the pottery artist (with an ETSY store of her own) who has created most of the pottery pieces. I think she started this ETSY store to make some extra cash for herself, but somehow, it turned into a charity store. Since she adopted a little girl from Russia a year and a half ago, she has a soft spot for the orphans left behind still in Russia. Last year she made Christmas extra special for the children in one orphanage in Russia, and this year she plans to do it again, hopefully at 2 different orphanages. She did a really good job of telling the stories on her blog, so I will just give the links here and you can go read them. I have put her ETSY store on my sidebar so scroll through and have a look, and don't hesitate to buy, it's for a good cause.

Here is Katya, her Russian daughter, modeling an apron for the ETSY store. One of the items from her store, it says coffee in Russian.

Okay, here is the links you should check out:

The store: Simple Wishes

Rachael's post about the Simple Wishes grand opening, and how you can win a free gift from the store.

Last Christmas, Rachael's friend Kate, who lives in Russia, bought all the gifts and delivered them to the children, you can read about it HERE.

And last but not least, visit my sister Nat's ETSY store too, because she indirectly donates to Rachael's ETSY store by making, painting, and firing the pottery. So while her store is not all for charity, it does help pay for the pottery and supplies she donates to the simple wishes ETSY store.

Electric tomato saucer, the envy of every canner!

Every year for the past 3 years I have been making spaghetti sauce with a friend from work. She is Italian and has a really good recipe from her Italian grandma that we use. She also has an herb garden, so I bring the tomatoes and peppers and she supplies the basil and oregano and we make spaghetti sauce. Every year it turns out a little different, but every year it also seems to get better. Last years batch was my absolute favorite and I ran out way too early in the year. So this year we will have to make even more. Last year I even had a second day of making sauce with my sister Rachael, and it turned out really good too, so her and I are also going to make some, and we're hoping to get our other sister Francie to help out this year. The more help the faster it goes, but then you have to divide the sauce 3 ways, but in the end, the extra help is better, because it's a long, all day process. Throw 5 kids into that mix and it gets even harder.

Anyhow, this year things are going to be so much easier and faster because my father in law bought an electric tomato saucer. He's been talking about getting one for a few years, but I never thought he was serious, until this arrived at his house the other day. I couldn't wait to take it out of the box and put it together. I think it is for professionals, because the directions were minimal on assembly and there were no directions on how to use, so I just had to figure it out. I took it home the next day to my house to try it out. Granted he didn't buy it for me, he bought it for himself, but I sort of just helped myself to it, with the intent on making him a few batches of sauce in exchange for letting me use it for all my sauce making days ahead.

I had my sister Francie come over to help me, she was pretty excited to try it out too, until I told her the sauce wasn't for us. But she agreed to help anyway, knowing that we would soon be making sauce for ourselves.

The first time was a bit messy and a little trial and error to get the process down. Luckily it was the day before my housekeeper came, so she cleaned up the mess for me the next day. Anyway, I had to stand on a stool to feed the tomatoes in because the sauce machine was so tall, and we had to put the pot on top of boxes to catch the sauce underneath the drip pan. So Francie washed the tomatoes and I fed them into the machine. It made the sauce super fast. The way I have been doing it for the last 3 years is with a plastic hand crank saucer that suctions to the counter top and by the end of the day my arms are killing me. This is much easier and faster.

After you have a full pot of sauce you bring it to a boil and let it cook down for a bit and then ladle it into hot jars. I first washed the jars in the dishwasher, then put them in the oven at 175 degrees to keep them hot. This saves you from having to process the sauce in a hot water bath. HUGE TIMESAVER! (thanks for the tip mom)Each jar gets a teaspoon of salt and a few basil leaves and then the rims wiped clean, a hot lid put on and that's it. Just wait for it to pop so you know it seals. It usually takes an hour or so for the lid to pop. We made 18 jars the first night, and then the next day we did it again, and made 36 jars in just 2 hours from start to finish. This is how my father in law likes his tomatoes, he prefers to flavor it when he makes it. I prefer to make the sauce ready to eat before canning so all I have to do is open a jar and pour over noodles. So when I make my sauce it will take a little bit longer. But still the saucer is going to save me tons of time. Today when Todd was home for lunch I said something about how the sauce was for his dad and he said "what? your not keeping it for yourself?" I said no, I like to flavor the sauce before canning so it's ready to eat. He said "Oh, I thought you finally figured out that this [the way his dad does it] is the way your supposed to do it." I guess he is partial to his dad's sauce recipe. I haven't tried it because it has meat in it, but if it's anything like his vegetarian eggplant sauce he makes (which I am trying to convince him to give me, so I can make a big batch and can it), I can't say I blame him.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Split Pea Soup! Yum or Yuck?

I have been trying to get Tony to eat something other than baby food but so far he has no interest in anything with texture. I still try though. Tonight I made split pea soup for him and well I'll let the video do the talking. The first bite is sweet potatoes, the second bite is split pea soup.


Sorry, I know it's a little gross, but I thought it was too funny not to share.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

29 days and counting...

until the Chicago Half-marathon I have been training for all summer. I haven't been very good about running the miles I should every week, but yesterday I ran 10 miles, which is only 3.1 miles less than the half-marathon distance. It wasn't easy, but I did it, and it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. I like running in my neighborhood because there are several roads that all connect back to the street I live on so I can make lots of loops and change things up a bit to get however many miles I need for the day. Also when the going gets tough and I just don't want to run anymore, I usually pass by a field of workers in the hot sun picking tomatoes and think to myself that as much as I don't want to be running, it beats doing what they're doing. Ha, they probably say the same thing when they see me running.

Yesterday I was running with my friend Amber from work and my sister Rachael who are both running the race as well. We were just running along, chatting as we ran when all of a sudden Rachael yelled out "snake!" Sure enough there was a big black snake curled up on the road just a few feet in front of our path. Good thing someone was paying attention because Amber was headed straight for it with the stroller.

Since I knew we would be running for so long, estimated 1 hour 40 minutes, I decided to go during Tony's nap time so that he could sleep in the stroller. He had other plans, he wanted to look around and take in the scenery, surprisingly he stayed awake the whole time and didn't make a peep, other than the occasional happy squeals here and there. He is such a good running partner, he never complains, and all 99 miles I've logged so far he's been right there with me in the stroller. Since he had stayed awake the whole time, shortly after we got home he was ready for a nap, and so was I, so he went to bed, I took a shower and went to bed too and 2 1/2 hours later I woke up very stiff and sore. I am happy to report that today I am feeling much better. Next time I will remember to stretch a bit after a long run.

So now if I can just keep up my training for the next few weeks, it will all be over soon and I can go back to being a slacker. Seriously I don't know what I was thinking when I agreed to do this.

I worked night shift last night at the small ER I work at as agency once in a while, a full moon of all things and guess how many patients I saw in the whole shift? Just one. Yep, that's it. The rest of the night I caught up on all my blogs and surfed the web trying to stay awake. I swear, I don't know which is harder, staying up all night and working, or staying up all night and working but not really working because there aren't any patients. I tell you it makes for a very long night when you just sit and watch the clock and yawn. This is the second weekend in a row I worked a shift like that, with little or no patients, they are starting to call me a good luck charm there. Unfortunately that good luck doesn't follow me to my regular ER job.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Who'd a thunk?

Blogging is a huge waste of time. I have been such a slacker lately and the more I slack off the easier it is to put it off yet another day. I guess it's like a lot of things in life, when you do it all the time it's so much easier (like exercise) than doing it sporadically. Anyhow, it's summer and Todd is working a lot so when I'm home I have Tony to entertain and that is quite time consuming. So I have decided to slack off a bit with the blog until things lighten up with farming season, because once that happens Todd will be home more and hopefully that will give me a little more extra free time to blog. Oh, and there is the whole training for a half marathon to take up even more of my time. I am up to running 8 miles, this Friday I am going for 10 and I am so not looking forward to it. Hopefully it is a nice cool breezy day.
Also the Olympics are on, and oh how I love the summer Olympics, especially the swimming, gymnastics and diving. I'm looking forward to the women's gymnastics tonight. And, the county fair is this week and I have to take Tony to his first fair. I heard they have vegetarian corn dogs and funnel cakes so I can't wait to get one or two of each, I am running 10 miles on Friday, so it's okay Right?

Oh and one more thing I want to share, Tony has slept through the night for the past 3 nights. No night time feedings and no pacifier checks. I hope it's a new trend for him and not a fluke. Yeah for 10 consecutive hours of sleep! And it only took 8 months to get there.

And... I know your not supposed to start sentences with the word And, and I do it frequently, so sorry if it annoys any of you grammatically correct people out there.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Anthony - 8 months old

It's hard to believe my little baby is 8 months old. He is such a good baby, I feel really lucky to have gotten such a sweet, happy, easy going baby (most of the time). He is making a lot of changes these days. He started sitting up on his own at about 6 1/2 months, but was pretty unsteady, now he can sit up on his own and hardly ever topples over. If he does topple over it is usually on purpose because he wants to get something. He isn't crawling yet, but seriously I think it's coming soon. He can get where he wants to get by rolling onto his tummy and pushing himself backwards. I can't wait till he crawls, just once though, then I don't want him to do it again. I hear everything changes once a baby gets mobile.
I am weaning him to formula and it was pretty hard at first, as he didn't like the taste of formula. I had to mix it 1 part formula and 3 parts breastmilk, now he is taking it mixed half and half. I will keep tapering him off and hopefully he will be fully weaned in a few more weeks. My frozen stash of milk is getting low, so it wont be long.
This is our typical day
wake up at 8:30, Breakfast at 9 (cereal and fruit), play or ride in stroller while mommy runs
Nap at 10, wake up at noon, have a 4 oz bottle. play at home or go swimming
3pm, 3-4 oz bottle and then nap time again, wake up at 4:30-5.
Dinner at 5:30 (cereal and vegetable) then play some more or run errands with mommy.
8:15 put jammies on and read stories, we have 5 books that we read every night. Have another 4 oz bottle, say prayers and go to bed.
He sleeps well, bedtime and nap time are pretty easy, I just lay him in bed and walk away, if he fusses at all its only for a few minutes and then he falls asleep. Unfortunately he is still waking up around midnight (I think out of habit more than anything) to eat again, and then again at 6. In between the midnight and 6am feedings I usually have to get up 1-2 times to put the pacifier back in his mouth because he has woken up and can't find it, but it only takes a minute and then he falls right back asleep.
He is also starting to say ma-ma-ma-ma-ma, he has no idea what he is saying, it isn't directed at anything or anyone, but it's really cute when he says it. Grandma J thought it meant he wanted his pacifier so she would give it to him and then he'd put it in his mouth and stop talking. Now we are working on da-da-da-da-da.
He has moved out of the infant car seat and onto the kind that stays in the car, he was getting too heavy to be carrying around in that thing. He was 17 pounds 2 ounces at his 6 1/2 month check up, so I'm sure he is probably about 18-19 pounds by now.
He hasn't mastered the sippy cup yet, but we practice once in a while. I had to take the spill protector out so he could actually get some juice and usually it just ends up all over him and on the rug. Hopefully he will get the hang of it soon.

When I was shopping at Trader Joe's they offered him a balloon or stickers, I said "no thanks, he is too little." But the girl was insistent and tied a balloon to his stroller and he loved it, played with it all day while I was shopping in Chicago. He isn't that happy in this picture, but it was taken at the end of a long day without a nap.Here Daddy and Tony are showing off their cool shades. Too bad he wont keep them on, they are so cute on him.Here are his 6 month professional pictures. I had to take a picture of the pictures and then crop them so the quality here isn't as good as the real things, but you get the idea of how cute they turned out.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Visitors from WA

In case anyone is wondering where I've been lately or why I haven't been blogging, it's because I've had a friend visiting. My best friend from WA was in town for the week with her daughter and we have been busy doing all kinds of fun stuff.
D'Arcy's daughter Jacqueline is somewhat of a homebody, so between her wanting to stay at home and Tony needing two naps a day, we spent quite a bit of time just hanging out at the house.

They got a tour of the farm on the gator, which was a big hit. Jacqueline was super excited to pick vegetables, but not so excited to eat them. She even thought the green beans were magic, because when you pick them they are purple and turn green when you cook them. She still didn't want to eat them though.
Chewing on a green bean made Tony very happy.

Rare moments when we get to see Todd. It has been so hot here that he has been really busy at work.

We made some time to go to the beach with my sister Rachael and her kids one day. I was trying to tell Jacqueline that Lake Michigan is just like the ocean, the only difference is...
There's no palm trees?
The waters cold?
There aren't big waves?
I was going to say the water isn't salty, but apparently that isn't the only difference.
We managed to squeeze in a pedicure after the beach, and Katya, my niece, came along to play with Jacqueline. Then Kristen, came over later, and the three girls had a sleep over at my house.The next day we did some swimming.We kept Tony up past his nap time at the pool and he fell asleep. Unfortunately it didn't last long and we had to head home.
Of Course we had to feed the cows. They have a big bin full of day old bread for feeding the cows, ironically it is all hamburger buns, funny huh?

Playing at home again.
Then we went to Chicago for the second half of our trip. The highlight of our time in Chicago was going to see Cirque Shanghai Gold. It was a great show. Kind of like Cirque Du Soleil, only way cheaper and maybe not quite as impressive, but still very very good. Here are a few pictures.
We did a few other fun things in Chicago, and witnessed an impressive thunder storm from the 28th floor which was pretty cool. It was neat to look down at the street and see the pouring rain and watch the crazy people caught in the rain trying to run for cover.
Anyway, D'Arcy and Jacqueline went home today and my vacation is over too. I have to work tomorrow so I am signing off and going to bed. I can't wait to catch up on all the blog posts waiting in my bloglines folder. Hopefully on my next day off. Oh and I need to post on the farm happenings and a baby update, because Tony is growing and changing so much, I've got to get it written down.