Sunday, February 24, 2008

Hat, eyes, shoes, cheese, and wawa

Those are the words for the week. Tessa even knows the signs for all of them -- except for eyes. She has her own sign for eyes. I think most kids share this sign -poking out the eye of the closest parent. I never thought it would be cute to have someone spear my eyeball with a finger, but what do you know? I think a lot of things are cute that I'd never have considered before.
Tessa was getting into hats last week, and she's still a big fan. Thus, the pictures. She's really good about keeping them on for a while. We got her an awesome hat for Easter. I'll make sure to take some photos of her wearing it next month.
Jake has been busy writing his mammoth sized paper. He keeps wishing that the next two weeks would be gone already, because that means the torture of that 45 page thing would be over.....for all of us.
I spent my free time last week recording myself reading a book. Sometimes I have a little job reading for a girl over at UT Dallas. I saw her last week, and she asked me if I would read this particular book so she could write a book report on it due in a week.

Sure. So I packed it in when I could and learned more about government involvement in the railroad, highway, and trucking industries than I ever thought possible. It was actually pretty interesting and definitely not something I would have read on my own. But, hey, now if what has happened to the railroads since the late 19th century comes up as a topic of converation at a social gathering, consider me prepared.
Also, this week I finally finished a little project of mine. It has been, what, two and a half years since I started it? I have an autumn/Thankgiving table runner I embroidered/sewed a while back, and I thought it would be fun to make other ones for different holidays. This Easter one has been shoved away for quite some time, but our Relief Society's Chat 'n' Chocolate nights have encouraged me to take it back out and finish it. So, here is the finished product:

I tried to get a closer shot of the embroidered parts, but Tessa's little hands were faster than me with the camera. Her butter fingers are in the corner, but you still get the idea.
Now that this one is done, I want to start on a summer one. I'll show it to you when I'm finished in three years.
This did put me in project mode, so I've started to make patchwork throw pillows for Tessa's room. (There's an adorable futon in there that needs help pretending it belongs with the decor.) And I've got plans to make Tessa a skirt with some material I've got on hand. If it doesn't turn out, you'll never hear me mention it again. If it resembles a skirt, I'll post it with macaroni necklace style pride all over this here blog.
This is Tessa visiting with Grandma (matma) and Grandpa McBride on the web cam. She's just relaxing.....eating Teddy Grahams.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Valentimey



Yum?

We had a really nice Valentime. I decided that the tradition I would like to start is having a Valentine themed dinner. That would be something for kids to look forward to. So for this year, I made heart shaped artichoke heart pizzas. We had Caesar salad with hearts of Romaine lettuce. I cut strawberries to look like hearts, and then I also dipped some whole strawberries into melted Dove heart chocolates. There you go. That's the best I could do. I had fun putting it all together. It was pretty food -for us.

We have some friends who we trade a couple of date night hours with sometimes, and they wanted to hang out with Tessa last night. So, Jake and I packed our Valentine dinner into our underused picnic basket, sent Tessa to her friend's house with a mini heart shaped pizza for dinner, and went to a park. It was pleasant enough outside to spread a blanket and picnic.

I love my hubby. We have a lot of fun together as a family, but we sometimes forget how nice it is to have just the two of us get out.
Here's some Valentine sappiness for ya- A few of my favorite things about my husband:
1. He makes me laugh and is not afraid to be silly
2. He wants so many good things for me and our child(ren).
3. I can talk to him about the most random things-- I love our nighttime pre-sleep conversations.
4. His crazy songs, especially the ones he makes up for Tessa
5. His hugs are the best
6. He's a good helper

Tessa is getting a lot better at walking and is using it for her preferred method of locomotion instead of a secondary one, like before. It's starting to smooth out and look a little less Bride of Frankentsteinesque. She likes hats. When I took out the camera on this particular day, she wanted to wear a red hat to play instead of the blue plastic bowl she usually chooses.
The other video Jake took right before her bed time. Apparently she would look down to get a toy then tip back to get the milk flowing again. It was up, down, up, down. He didn't get to the camera in time to catch that, but I wanted to show her walking.

video video

Friday, February 8, 2008

72 hour kit and Babies R Us

The sunshine was so nice today! We went on a walk in little downtown Plano after Jake got home from work. The shops were closed, but it was still a fun mini outing.
This picture is fuzzy and dark, but I really like the expression in it.

We put together 72 hour kit meals last year with our ward, and it's definitely time to switch them out. So, we decided to eat the meals as directed for three days. This hasn't been my favorite decision we've ever made. We need to switch stuff out and I'm not about to let everything go to waste, but after our ramen dinner with crackers and juice last night, the expired nuts and cocoa for breakfast, and the canned chicken, pudding and applesauce for lunch, 72 hours can't pass fast enough. Now, this would be just fine if we HAD to live off this stuff, but since we have other options, the stale food doesn't exactly hit the spot. We decided to go out to get sandwiches tonight since we'd saved money from the last few meals and to lessen the blah of the next few. We're such pansies.
Babies R Us had a sale on tennis shoes (2 for $12!), so Tessa and I went the other day to get her some to grow into. Tessa was getting annoyed with me because I take forever when I shop. (Just ask Jake. I stare, compare, analyze, discuss, and stare some more before I make a decision.) She was sick of staring at the shoes with me and vocally let me know. So finally I start to head toward the front of the store when I'm stopped by a guy who works at the Kiddie Kandids photography studio in the store. He says that he's training and needs a little practice taking pictures. He asks if we wouldn't mind helping him out for about 15 minutes. Well, my thoughts on kiddy photographers were tainted from my last experience, so I didn't know if he was just trying to pull something to get me to buy pictures. I agreed to go with him, ready to stand my ground. He had me pick out a background and put my grumpy and hungry child up on the platform. Her hair was sticking up every which way, and she had chewed crackers smeared all over the front of her shirt. Yes, we go to the store this way. I'm sure I looked just like she did. This guy did EVERYTHING he could to get Tessa to smile except cartwheels. She tried to hit him once. But the thing is, he tried --for a long time. Finally he asked for my help, and I grabbed a rubber ducky on the shelf which sent Tessa into a small bout of smiling and quacking. He took her pictures, and then took me over to the monitor. He asked which 8x10 I would like. Whoa, whoa, whoa, sailor. I don't want to buy anything. It's free? Ohhhhhh. So I picked the one where you couldn't see her hair sticking up in the back quite so badly. The picture printed up in a few minutes while we were purchasing the shoes, and then we were outta there. I was impressed. I think we may go the Kiddie Kandids route next time. Even if they can't spell candid. I don't think the guy was new like he said, but I do think he wanted to get a new potential customer. It worked. Here's the picture. The color and lighting aren't the best because it's a picture of the picture, and there were huge white cracks in the background which I wouldn't be okay with if I had to pay for it, but it was free.

Fun stuff to look forward to: holidays (I am working on those tradition ideas), San Antonio cheap o rama vacation at the KOA, my mom coming for Easter weekend, and two weeks of summer vacation in Utah. There are some fun little things in between, but those are the biggies.

Cereal/Granola Recipe

I have a friend who puts recipes on her blog now and then, and I really like that she does. I made some granola cereal a few days ago and decided I wanted to share the recipe because I really like it, and one of you might like it too. I got it from Jake's mom and have made it several times over the last few years.

14 C old fashioned oats (basically just the whole 42oz. drum thing)
2 C wheat germ
2-3 C shredded coconut (we prefer 3 C)
1 1/4 C brown sugar
2 tsp salt
Mix all the dry ingredients in a big bowl, and in a small bowl mix the following moist ingredients:
1/2 C honey
1 C oil
1 C water
3 tsp vanilla
Mix all together with hands.
Optional: nuts, raisins, dried fruit, etc. (our favorite is dried berries and almonds)
Spread in 2 9x13 pans. Bake 225 degrees for 2 hours. Stir evenly every 30 minutes.
This is one of my favorite cereals. This and Cocoa Pebbles. We are cereal fiends at our house.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Groundhog Day

What a strange idea that whole Groundhog Day thing is. Apparently he saw his shadow. I think that means it was sunny. That's all I get from it.

Tessa and I are feeling so much better! Thank you to the well wishers. There are still some allergens floating around, but at least we can breathe. Hurrah for that!

It has been a pretty uneventful week to be honest. Just regular life plus tax.

Jake got his grades back, and he's pleased with them, which means I am too. It was a super crazy semester, and I'm proud of him for pulling everything off.

We saw (rented. gotta love that redbox) Invasion last night. I liked it. I never saw the original Invasion of the Body Snatchers, but I'd be interested in seeing it now. I made Jake promise he'd never spit alien mucus at me. He made me agree to learn to control my emotions in case aliens like that ever take over. We're covered. That whole "what you should do" discussion really prepares you for those possible emergencies.

Tessa's walking efforts are definitely paying off. So is the constant Baby Signing Time. I've had to limit it to two times a day - tops. I really can't get those songs out of my head; however, there is no doubt about whether she's hungry or wants more of something. She's also trying to say more words amid her own language, like "boo" for book, "nana" for banana. I'm just amazed every day at how much she's learning.


Since our church ward's nursery shrunk, Tessa has been invited to join a little early. Tomorrow will be our first effort. Jake has to deal with the Elder's Quorum and I'm usually teaching the Mia Maids, so it will be really nice to have her there. I think she'll have a lot more fun in nursery than with us anyway.


Well, Valentine's day is approaching. The only reason Valentine's Day should exist, in my opinion, is for the chocolate. Beyond that, it's just not my kind of holiday. It's a good excuse to get something new, I guess. Do people have family Valentine traditions? Maybe I would look forward to it more if I came up with some. Maybe I'll come up with some for Presidents Day too. That could be interesting.


This last week Tessa and her friend who I watch had their first Tiny Tots Tunes class. Hudson's mom signed us up over at The Heights Baptist church. We had a lot of fun. You can't really go wrong with a bunch of moms willing to get together to sing and dance with their babies.

One event that was not the usual goings on in our lives this last week was the passing of President Gordon B. Hinckley. I love him. I'm so grateful to have been taught by this great prophet. He has and will always inspire me to try a little harder to be a little better every day.

Background

That flower showing up behind every picture was driving me nuts on that last template. I thought it was time for a change, but I'm going back to boring basic.
I thought I would try one that had a knife dripping blood on a rose, just to see what people would say, but I opted out.