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My First Video With The New Camera

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Yesterday while the kids's chicken nuggets were baking in the oven, I fed Charlie a little bit of applesauce to pass the time and soothe the sounds of his hunger cries. As soon as the oven beeped and I got everything cut up and served, I walked away like I normally would, and let the kids eat in peace. More like, I tried to sneak in some me time, while they fueled their fires.

And then Eleanore starts saying "Mama look at Charlie! Charlie's doing it!".

"Uh huh", I reply, without looking. "Good baby", I say, still reading the screen.

"But Mommy!! He is doing it! YAY Charlie!", she shouts, as they're both clapping and laughing hysterically.

Ok, clapping is nothing to worry about, but laughing = they're being bad (am I right, moms?). I finally pry my face away from the computer screen (but that blog was so good!), look over to the danger zone just left of me, and all of the giggling suddenly makes sense. Charlie, clever little guy, had grabbed the applesauce right off of the table, and was feeding himself like a big boy.

I grabbed my camera, still unsure of how to make a video, snapped picture after picture, and then somehow found myself in cinema mode, and started filming. Even though the beginning is out of focus, and there are pauses throughout, I thought some of y'all might like to see my proud little mister globbing spoonfuls of pureed apple onto his pajamas? I'll get the hang of this video thing sooner or later ...

My First Photo Shoot

Saturday, January 30, 2010

A couple of months ago (seriously, November 15th, its taken be forever to get to these), I took my Canon Powershot over to my friend Marisa's house (some of you might know her through her blog and/or etsy site, shes the face and talent behind Elegant Snobbery?) to take pictures of her two beautiful girls. This was the first time that I was going to take a series of pictures of children other than my own, and while I was kind of nervous that I wouldn't have the same kind of passion for it, I was excited to get down on the ground and look at somewhat unfamiliar giggling faces from a new angle.

Well I loved it.

And I think they loved having their pictures taken, haha.

Taking pictures of them was different than taking pictures of my Elie (who was also there for a play date, and present in several of the outtakes), because Marisa's girls are high energy. Eleanore is too, but- not like that. Or maybe it was just that they had such different personalities than I'm used to? Anyways, I loved falling into their adventures and capturing a brief moment of their childhood with the click of my finger.

Hopefully there will be many more photo shoots like this in my future. Now that I've got my new camera, I've got a good excuse to venture out.

And I hope you like your pictures Marisa!

Week 26

Friday, January 29, 2010

In the 8th grade, me and two of my friends went to a radio station concert, with my dad. I'm trying really hard to remember who it was exactly that we wanted to see preform, because everybody that played that night was just awful, but... I'm drawing a blank.

What I remember most from our trip to the Rose Garden, is the drive there. We all dressed up in "I'm a rebel, really" outfits, try not to be jealous of my thumb ring, and sat beside each other in the backseat of my Dad's boat sized Cadillac. Before the show started, we ran through the fountain and entered radio station contests, we got big giant drinks in overpriced cups, and then once the concert started, we screamed like girls and eventually forced my dad out onto the balcony where he was probably respectfully losing his mind with an entire pack of cigarettes.

Gosh, its really bothering me, who was it that we wanted so badly to see? I know Hanson wasn't there.

Oh wait- that's right. Jordan Knight, from New Kids on the Block?

So dreamy. *sigh*

All of those shirts that we're wearing in the pictures by the way, are mine, haha. My friend Nichole, with the short hair, is wearing my BUSH shirt. Syd, the blond, was wearing what can only be described as my "stoner" shirt, even though I'm allergic to anything (and everything) that could get me even remotely high (I don't know what I was thinking, I don't know where that shirt even came from), and I was wearing my Red Hot Chili Peppers shirt. I think we all had chokers on, and thumb rings (like I mentioned earlier). Clearly, we- were- awesome.

Flashback Friday Button


Want to play along? You're more than welcome to post any concert related picture that you might have buried in your vault, but if you don't have one, any picture from your past will do. You can post it on your blog, facebook, twitpic, myspace- whatever works for you. And yay guess what I finally got around to making... a Flashback Friday button (maybe its more exciting for me than it is for you?)! Copy the html code into the bottom of your post, and voila- an easy way for people to click back to this blog post and play along! You can grab the button down at the vvvveeeerrrryyyy bottom of the page, below all of my blog entries. Or you can just type out a text link like we have in the past, whichever works for you.

Next weeks theme, which is totally optional, is going to be class portraits. It could be a group shot, a yearbook style shot, a picture taken of you while working on a project- whatever. Can't wait to see what everyone comes up with!

Gluten Free S'mores Cookie Bars

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Earlier this week I heard about a cookie/ cookie bar baking challenge over at Betty Crocker. While I'm not bursting with spare time, I saw that the grand prize was $5,000 ...I could find the time for that, right?! Haha.

I spent all day working my tail off in the kitchen. Pulling ingredients out of thin air, correcting mistakes, trying my best to create the very best gluten free cookie bar that ever was and ever will be.

While I knew going into the contest, that there wasn't a gluten free division, I for some reason thought that my cookie bars would still qualify. Tonight, after uploading my pictures and sitting down to enter my recipe, I re- read the rules, and took note that the "gluten free chocolate chip cookie mix" was not included in the list of approved mixes.


I suppose I could have just entered my recipe anyways, listing their other chocolate chip cookie mix as the base ingredient, but I kind of feel that that would be cheating, seeing as how I wouldn't actually touch the wheat filled mix with a ten foot pole... and I'm no cheater (OK- so I cheated on a test once, and only once, in the 4th grade. I'm a better person now, I promise!).

I don't want to say that I went through all the trouble for nothing though (I won't lie, creating this recipe was quite dramatic at times), because at least now I can post it here on my blog for all of my good friends, far away family, and loyal and lovely readers to enjoy.

So friends, who wants a s'mores cookie bar??


Tia's Gluten Free S'mores Cookie Bars

Please be sure to read the notes below the recipe, they will come in very handy.

-1 box Betty Crocker chocolate chip cookie mix (prepared)
-2/3 cups gluten free chocolate chips
-1 1/2 cups gluten free marshmallow creme

Yes. That's all you need.

-Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
-Grease a regular sized brownie pan. 8x8, aren't they, usually?
-Prepare your cookie mix. Divide it in half.
-Press half of your cookie mix into the bottom of your greased pan.
-Next, pour on your chocolate chips, spread them out.
-And now, your marshmallow creme. This might get kind of tricky, so take your time, it will work.
-Finally, the remainder of the cookie dough. I suggest kind of sprinkling it on slowly, to make sure that you cover the entire area, and then taking your time again, press the dough around with your fingers, blanketing the marshmallows the best you can.

-Bake in the oven for 45-50 minutes. The top layer will turn a golden brown. If things start to burn, cover your edges with foil

These are that easy.
And ohmahgosh they taste SO good.

**Now some notes- and these are important:

-After your cookie bars have finished, pull them out of the oven, and put them straight into the fridge. Do not try to cut into them. Do not expect to be tasting them. Let them cool completely. And not just cool, but let them chill.

-After your bars have rested in the fridge (or freezer if you're in a hurry), then you can cut into them and enjoy them (I'm not trying to be bossy, really). We do this for 2 reasons. The first reason being that, when they're warm, cutting into them ruins their shape, and they won't come out looking like "bars", they'll come out looking more like... dough. The second reason, is that the marshmallow creme melts, and because of that, it kind of removes itself from the bars (mine melted and soaked into the rest of the bar) while they're warm. After they've had a chance to chill, the marshmallows magically regain their form, and flavor. (Trust me?)

-I made my cookie bars, using soy milk rather than regular milk. Using Earth Balance rather than butter. And using homemade marshmallow cream rather than store bought. Feel free to substitute any of these ingredients, I don't think the outcome could come out that much different, ya know?

Edit: And then come to find out, the smores cookie bar has already been done before in a Betty Crocker challenge. I just can't win, haha.

Me And My Canon

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The other day I went with my friend/duplex neighbor/friend to the gym, and then to the Commissary, and then to the BX. On the way out of the Commissary, bananas in hand, I saw an ad for the BX- my dream camera nearly jumping off the cover at me. So I picked it up and took it with me. Having something to salivate over never hurt anybody.

Since we had no children with us (haha husbands, suckers), we took our time walking around browsing through things that neither of us needed (and baby clothes, of course). Along our stroll through electronics, I had to stop and bat my eyelashes at a Canon. I picked it up, for just a second, and then set it back down and quickly walked away. Short and sweet, is how I always prefer to keep our encounters.

When I went home that night, I'm sure I gushed about my crush on Mr. Canon, complete with fantasies of us visiting a tropical island together and cute couple nicknames that we might give each other. I might have gotten just a little bit carried away.

But you know what? My husband really loves me, and he didn't seem to mind. The next day, on his lunch break, still suited up in his dress uniform (Ow baby!), he drove to the store and bought me my digital love story. While I was at home making grilled cheese and turkey sandwiches on homemade gluten free bread, he was at the BX putting my new Canon Rebel EOS T1i 500D affair into a bag.

Oh. My. Gosh.

Love. Love. Love. Love. Love.

Want to see a few pictures from mine and Canon's first date? ...

1. The name plate on the outside of our house. It doesn't have Christopher's correct rank on it, even though he got promoted over a year ago. It has both Mr. and Mrs. on there, which makes me happy. This was the first picture I took outside.

2. A chalk scribble that Eleanore had made on the front porch. We've been spending as much time as possible outside lately, and chalk is kind of our go-to activity. Its easy to get out, and easy to walk away from.

3. Homemade marshmallow creme. I needed this for a s'mores cookie bar recipe. Store bought marshmallows and the creme alike give me awful heartburn, so I decided to make my own. I didn't have any corn syrup, and the more I thought about it, I hate corn syrup and I didn't want to use it as an ingredient anyways. I ended up using gelatin, and in the end, it worked. The cookie bars however... well that's another story.

4. My princess. My devilish, adorable, wants to help with everything and hates that shes not 16 years old yet, princess. She helped me make the previously mentioned cookie bars. However, she did not get to taste them, after running away from me at the park earlier on. Not just a little "you can't catch me" type of game, but, running so far out of my reach, that I wasn't sure she could even hear me when I was yelling her name as loud as my lungs would allow. I had to leave the baby behind (there were adults/friends of mine to stay with him) and go after her. I love this little girl, with all of my swollen with affection heart, but she sure is a handful these days.

Hey Canon, we really need to come up with something great to show Christopher how much we love him. We owe him beeg tyime.

i heart faces: texture

Monday, January 25, 2010

On one of the walls in our living room, just left of the couch, hangs a large rectangular shaped collage frame, filled with precious photos of Eleanore and Charlie. I look at the pictures so often, that I could probably describe what each one looks like, in both the order in which they hang, and the colors that fill each space.

When presented with this weeks i heart faces challenge, this picture came into mind immediately. Remember Eleanore's long beautiful hair? I could cry, if I let myself look too deeply at the images that my eyes captured when I chopped it all off with a pair of dull haircutting scissors here in our home a few weeks ago. Not a day goes by that I don't miss her beautiful tangles and knots. Even though it was always in her face, and constantly being dipped in whatever was inside her bowl, she just doesn't seem quite the same without it.

Blurry bangs, textured curls framing her face, shiny floors that had probably just been swept and swiffered, and just a little bit of chocolate pudding leftover from snack time resting above her lip... what a cutie.

A Day to Catch up with my Penpals

I'm old fashioned when it comes to thank you notes and change of address notices. I feel emails and tweets can be so impersonal, if you really want somebody to know how you feel, take the time to write it out by hand, seal it with a stamp, and drop it off in the mailbox, right?

For Christmas, my sister in law Steph sent me this handmade-by-her stationery set. She used an old cereal box to make the carrying case, old maps and blank white paper for the writing sheets, and hand stamped the backs of some plain envelopes to tie it all together with an overall vintage feel.

The set is so cute, and has been sitting on my computer desk long enough. Because pregnancy complications (and so it begins...) have me on self diagnosed bed rest for the day, I'm going to declare this Monday in particular, "catch up on your hello's and thank you's" day.

Won't you grab a pen and do the same?

Making Blueberry Muffins My Own: Take One

Sunday, January 24, 2010

For the past week, my brain has been taken over by thoughts of smiley faced blueberries dancing around on fluffy muffin shaped clouds. In my day dreams, the muffins were similar to the Costco style ones that you typically find at a mini mart or deli, over sized and loaded with more calories than you're "supposed" to eat in a day. I wanted them.

I don't have an over sized muffin pan, nor have I ever experimented gluten free baking with one, so when the time came to finally indulge in my berry delicious fantasy, I played it safe with the standard muffin size pan that I have stored in the drawer under the stove. Eleanore and I made a date out of it.

We wore matching aprons, made special for us by Christopher's Nana (shes recently started a blog herself, called "Conversations With Nana", that you can all check out by clicking here), and then we set up baking camp in the kitchen, and got ready to kick my craving.

The healthier I get, the more aware of my food allergies I become. Its easier to listen to my body when its not masked with an additional 60 pounds. My biggest food allergy isn't actually gluten (although that's the one that causes me the most physical agony), its fructose. When you think fructose, you probably think... "fruit". Its a lot more complicated than that. Its tomato, its beans, its onions and garlic. Its apples, its grapes, its basically everything sweet. There are a few exceptions to this, and my body will let me know when I've taken a bite of the wrong thing, but generally I can tolerate berries, very ripe bananas, and citrus fruits. Table sugar I can handle in moderation, but I often forget that moderation is key. A lot of people use maple syrup, honey, or agave nectar as replacement sweeteners when sugar isn't an option, but for somebody with fructose malabsorption (that's the fancy term for my troubles), that's the ultimate way to disrespect my body. Those things will push me over the edge.

So baking is again becoming a challenge. Before, I would let things slip. A little bit of maple here, a little bit of real milk there (I'm lactose intolerant too, of course), and even though I knew I'd probably have to pay for it in the near future, the reward that my taste buds had was worth it. Until 20 minutes later when I wad doubled over in indigestible pain, that is.

Enough is enough. I'm going to stop messing around, and start cooking and baking in a way that's flattering for my body. The kids and my husband will learn to adapt to the changes.

I want to start a collection of my own recipes. I'm in the works of making myself a recipe box (tutorial coming soon, I promise), and I want to fill it with recipes that I've perfected, and made my own. To do so, I need to go through several test runs. So the batch of blueberry muffins made yesterday morning by Eleanore and I, I'd call "take one".

This recipe was good. It made 11 muffins, rather than a full 12, they came out with a heavenly flavor, but... the texture was a little off. When I think blueberry muffins, I think... dense. I wanted them to be heavier, not so fluffy. Cupcakes are fluffy, muffins are thick. Even though this isn't the recipe that I'm going to write down on a handmade recipe card to share with my family 10 years from now (it has eggs in it, and I've somehow developed an actual egg allergy, as opposed to an intolerance, since becoming pregnant. red blotchy chest, swollen throat- so much fun), its too good to toss out, so of course I have to share it with you...

Tia's Gluten Free Blueberry Muffins: Take One

2 cups Pamela's baking mix
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp xanthan gum
1/2 cup melted smart balance
2/3 cup sugar
1 egg
2/3 cup soy milk
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup frozen blueberries

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a muffin tin with cupcake papers. Mix all dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Pour wet ingredients, including egg, into the same bowl, and mix together. The batter will seem kind of gummy, and that's OK. Fold in blueberries. Fill a 1/3 sized measuring cup with batter, and then pour into cupcake paper. That should fill the cupcake paper all the way full. Put muffins into the oven and set the time for 20-23 minutes. So in other words, set the timer for 20, check them, and put them back in for a few minutes if need be.

And that's that. Light and fluffy blueberry muffins, perfect for snacking on.

Side note: The inspiration for my caption style on my photographs today came from fellow blogger, and all around cutie- Kyla Roma. Love her style.

Expect many, many more posts about blueberry muffins in the future, haha.

Week 25

Friday, January 22, 2010

A few years ago, I would have been horrified if anybody saw this picture. It would ruin my "image" (whatever that was), I probably would have thought. Now that I'm older, it seems I get a thrill from posting embarrassing pictures of myself, rather than flushed cheeks. I guess after seeing everybody elses flashbacks, I realize that I wasn't as awkward as I thought I was. It seems a lot of you have similar stories to tell, most of the time, and that gives off sort of an accepting feeling for the majority of us who play along.

Now I'm not saying that all of you had your walls completely covered in magazine clippings, most of those being of Leonardo DiCaprio, like the Teen Beat freak in the picture (ahem), but, I do find a sense of acceptance around the most of you.

If you look over in the direction of the closet, you can see that the walls (underneath the magazine wallpaper) are painted pink with white hand prints. When our house flooded in 1996, I got to decorate my room the way that I wanted to, which was a huge mistake on my parents part, clearly. I chose bright pink walls, and I wanted them covered in hand prints (yeah I don't know what I was thinking). It was cute for about a year, or so I thought at the time. Around the 7th grade, was when I decided to cover it up with the pages of Seventeen, and as you can see, I didn't do it lightly. I wish I could take this photo and turn it into a 360 view of my cave, because all of my walls were covered. From floor to ceiling. Nothing but teeny tiny pictures of pop icons. Its kind of depressing when I see how lost I was, at the age of 14, but here I am almost 12 years later, and it seems as if it all worked out for me in the end, haha.

If you look up on my dresser, you'll see my lava lamp, my stereo, a Titanic Poster. I was only kind of obsessed with the movie (I wasn't the only one, right? Somebody has to have gone through that phase as well... please...). In place of closet doors, a bead curtain that I thought was the coolest. Who cares if it always got tangled up in my lack of organization, it was cool.

I can't really explain the over sized maroon colored flannel shirt that I'm wearing, or the pig tails, but I do remember the heart shaped mood necklace that I was wearing. I loved that necklace. I loved mood anything, but my fingers were too fat for rings (sad, but true), so I had bought that necklace at Claire's. Or maybe it was a gift from somebody? I don't remember the exact details, but, if I can still remember it, then it must have meant alot. Also, I still had my braces on. I don't have very many pictures of me in my braces. My braces and I weren't the best of friends. I wore headgear when I slept (at least, I was supposed to), they were constantly causing me agonizing pain- just thinking about them makes my mouth throb.

Oh, and of course the green pom pom on the wall. Go Beavers, right? And the plastic heart shaped caboodle on the bed? I don't even know what I must have kept in there, I don't remember ever being big on jewelry. I wouldn't be surprised if it was full of pictures of Leonardo's face, haha. Creepy girl.

This weeks flashback wasn't much more than just a glimpse into my early teenage years, having no amazing story to go with the picture, just silly little details to point out.


Now won't you share a picture with us? It can be of anything you'd like, but it might be fun to play along with my awkward teenage theme this time around, haha. You don't need to have a blog, you can post on your facebook, twitpic, myspace, wherever. Just make sure to add your link to the list below, and add our link to your post. Can't wait to see every ones flashbacks this week!

Trying to be Domestic, Not Pregnant

Thursday, January 21, 2010

A pregnant woman should not be allowed to go into a store, while hungry, by herself, ever. It just shouldn't be allowed. I've asked Christopher to, from now on out, take a very detailed list that I'll provide him with, and go in my place. This won't be necessary for all shopping, but when it comes to the health food store where all gluten free goodies are acquired, its probably better this way.

I do have some self control though, I put a lot of things back where I got them from, after thinking things through as I pushed them around in my cart. One of those things, was a box of instant style individually wrapped packages of apple cinnamon oatmeal. When I first saw it on the shelf, I got excited. The kids haven't had much variety lately, and this would be perfect (and easy! Things are never easy in a gluten free house). But the more I thought about it... am I really that lazy? We have oatmeal at home. Why don't I just cook them that, and put some apples in it? Lazy Mama Tia, stop being so pregnant, put your apron on, and get busy in the kitchen lady! And not just with breakfast, with every meal. Now that Charlie isn't eating pureed baby food anymore, I need to be cooking fresh meals every night, or at least most nights. Even if I'm not going to be the one eating it, I should be the one making it. That's where the plan seems to fall apart. Because I don't feel good, almost ever, and I won't be eating dinner tonight, I don't make anything at all, and the kids are forced to eat whatever Daddy can put together for them at the last minute. This is what I hate the very most about being pregnant. I lose my super mom powers, and turn into a couch slug. Well not this time, I say! (See I type that in all caps now, but check back with me tonight, and I'll probably be laying on the couch watching Greys Anatomy instead of baking a pasta dish)

Luckily, this morning when I woke up, I was feeling great. No morning sickness. Charlie was in his bedroom, rolling around with his Lovey in his crib, repeating "eat eat eat eat eat eat", and then I remembered the apple cinnamon oatmeal from the store last night. I swooped him up, set him down in his highchair with some dry rice chex to snack on (they're now on the floor, by the way, they're perfect for playing the gravity game), and I started working on some oatmeal. I took a whole apple, blended it with a splash of water in the vita mix, until it was a raw sauce, and then combined it with 1/4 cup dry gluten free oats (Bob's Red Mill), added half a cup of water, a sprinkle of cinnamon and brown sugar, and let it simmer. This isn't anything that I'd be eating, I can't have brown sugar or cooked apple, but I knew the kids would appreciate it. Once it had thickened up and looked ready to eat, I scooped a little bit into a magic bullet cup, twisted on the blade, and flipped it over to give it a good shake, so that all of the oatmeal would slide down to the bottom of the container for blending.

I didn't expect that the dang cup would explode!

The blade somehow popped off of the end of the cup, and hot apple cinnamon oatmeal went everywhere.

Charlie started crying.

"No baby, its ok, see, Mommy fixes it. Yummm yummm, its almost ready, see, I fix it", I tell him, while frantically trying to scoop oatmeal off of every surface that looks clean enough to eat off of. The mess is overwhelming, but I tell myself that I'll come back to it later. Right now, I just need to focus on blending the oatmeal and getting it into the tummy of the "eat eat eat eat eat" broken record baby.

He loves it. Thanks goodness.

Eleanore wakes up, comes down the stairs, and she loves hers too. Great.

So then I go to clean up the mess. Its on the bullet base, its on the counter top, its on the window, the window sill, in the baby supply basket containing thermometers and pacifiers, on my breast pumps (which haven't been used in 6 days now, I'm very uncomfortable), on the clean dishes that are drying on the counter... I can't see a square inch of counter space that its not covering. I suck it up, and start cleaning. And while I'm cleaning that, I might as well do all of the dishes that are in the sink, right?

A few dishes into my oatmeal recovery project, I pull out a big bowl, full of a gooey battery like substance. What the heck is this, I wonder. And then it all becomes so clear...

...Are you serious?

Christopher had made pancakes.

He made pancakes for himself (and probably us, but right now I'm frusterated, so as far as I'm concerned, it must have been for himself and himself only) in the morning, failed to tell me, and then put the leftovers in the fridge. How was I supposed to know that he made pancakes?! There was no griddle on the counter to give it away, no friendly note taped anywhere in sight. I went through all of the hassle of being super-mom-who-makes-cinnamon-apple-oatmeal-from-scratch, for nothing, because there were pancakes already made in the fridge!!

*heavy sigh*

I think I'm going to throw the magic bullet away. That thing is a piece of crap anyways (this is actually the 2nd one we've gone through). We only keep it around for convenients sake. The Vita Mix is a bazillion times better (and for $600 dollars, it had better be, right?), but sometimes its just a little too heavy duty for a small task such as blending a bowl full of baby food.

So what if there were pancakes in the fridge. I still got up, and I made my kids a healthy breakfast from scratch, the way a super mom should, even though I'm feeling less than energized and wanting nothing more than to curl up on the couch and nap while they feed themselves cereal off the floor.

I'm proud of my oatmeal explosion, and the happy tummys that went along with it.

Warm Wishes for the New Baby

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

After I typed the subject line just now, I kind of stared at it awkwardly, let my fingers hover over the keyboard for a minute... but now I'll continue...

"New baby".

Somehow,things still don't seem real.

Yesterday Charlie and I had WIC (an organization for Women, infants, and children, that provides nutrition for growing babies, from when they're in the womb up until age 5. Basically, they give free food for us poor folk) appointments at the downtown office. It was his 12 month screening (dangit, no more free baby food, hes a big boy now), and my first prenatal screening for this pregnancy. The entire way there, I was sure I was going to throw up all over myself. I had taken 8 Tums before I left the house (no, yeah, I know), and by the time I hit the north side of town, I was in trouble. My heartburn has just been so bad lately, I was begging for relief before my appointment. My plan backfired (I took 2, didn't help, took 2 more, didn't help, and so on and so forth...), and by the time I got to the actual appointment I was like the walking dead. My face was green, and I had lost all sense of balance. I was able to focus in on and pinpoint where every trash can in the room was, though.

A half an hour later, as I was sitting in the screening room consoling a crying baby who had just had his finger poked for his iron levels (they are in no way gentle with those needle guns, my finger is bruised for life), looking through the pile of baby brochures that they gave me, as if I was a first time mother and this was all new to me, it kind of started to tickle me. That feeling of "you're going to have another baby". There was one picture in particular, of a woman holding her newborn in her hospital gown, that brought back a rush of memories from all of my adventures in premature labor with Charlie, and my brain cleared just long enough to announce to the rest of my body "this isn't a joke".

Later that night (the Tums settled about 6 hours later, by the way), I got a package in the mail. The package wasn't really for me though, it was for the new baby.


Oh wow.

The new baby.

Inside, was a onesie, made just for the bean, by my geek chic friend nontrendy. Not a onesie that will have been passed down from the Bean's big sister Elie, or big brother Charlie, but a onesie all of its very own. At that moment, my eyes started stinging, and as I was holding it up in the air, thinking "what a cute little nerd our baby Bean will be", I asked Christopher to bring me the bag of bringing-home-baby style brochures, to try and help it all sink in. Of course I knew everything that I was reading, and 99% of it ended up in the recycling bin anyways, but, going over it gave me a sense of preparation.

How thoughtful of her, to send us a "congratulations" gift. Really. About 2 weeks ago, I had also received a lovely handmade card from my friend over at Joyfully Gray, congratulating us as well. It still surprises me how caring people can be, especially when they've never met me in person. I'm not shy about the fact that I rely on my network of online friends to get me through the day sometimes, they're often more supportive than my real life friends, yet it still catches me off guard when I open the mailbox and pull out a "just because" handmade card or gift.

Thank you, ladies. You've brought very much joy to the burn of my Tums filled heart.

Sunday Bagels Made On Monday

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

I used to be in the habit of baking bagels every Sunday. I'd only bake one batch, even though it wouldn't be quite enough to get us through the week, but if I would have made a double batch it would have been too much, and making a batch and a half is just unheard of! When the holidays rolled around, I didn't have time for Sunday bagel baking, it fell off of my to do list and we went without. Going without became the new norm. And then came pregnancy. Most of you know exactly what I'm talking about, and I could probably just stop there, but I know that there are a few non-mama's that read my little blurbs from time to time, especially when they see food on the screen, so for you (because I love you just as much as those of us who don't get to sleep in on the weekends) I'll briefly explain how pregnancy affects the will to cook or bake. Nausea is often triggered by sight and smell. Baking and cooking requires both of those senses, and should I be touching or smelling the wrong thing at the wrong time... well, now it probably makes more sense.

The other night, at 3am, which I guess would make it morning then, I was craving a bagel sandwich. I ate them every midnight for about 3 months when I was pregnant with Eleanore, and after waking up to use the bathroom, because I'm already to the point of belly expansion and bummer bladder control, I needed one. Only, of course, since I've been a lazy Lucy, we had no bagels.

So even though yesterday was Monday, not Sunday, I got out the Pamela's bread mix (while one of my yearly goals was to start baking from scratch more often, the bread mix is just so convenient, and comes out perfect every time), and used the last of it to roll a tray of bagels. It had been way too long since the house smelt like a bakery.

As always, they came out just right, and tasted better than any store bought bagel I've ever eaten. I don't have a stand mixer, so they come out lumpy and bumpy, but in the world of gluten free and especially in the world of homemade, it just doesn't get any better, ya know?

I really need to get back into the habit of baking bagels every Sunday.

Our Very First Race

Sunday, January 17, 2010

I would have never ever thought to myself, not in a million years, that I would run a race with my husband.

Do y'all remember my C25K journey, in which I forced myself off of the couch, and took the liberty to get out and get moving? I had always wanted to be a runner, and after 9 hard weeks of training with nobody other than my ipod and my Adidas, I was one.

Before I had found out that I was pregnant, Christopher had told me about a 4 mile race that takes place every year here on base. When we ran our 5k together a few months ago, it was just the two of us out on the track. There was no organized event, it was just something that I had wanted to do, so we went out and did it on a random week night, in the warm fall air. But this, this was an actual race- with people, and rules, and... "sign us up", I told him. And then I started training.

Even though the news of our recent pregnancy was a shock to both of us, it didn't cancel our plans for going out to the flight line together on January 15th, and pounding the pavement. "We'll still run", we agreed.

Of course I did my research, making sure that it was safe for a pregnant woman to run. As long as I wasn't starting a new workout routine, it was safe for me to continue on with the same level of exercise that I had been doing before. The only difference, that I'd soon learn the hard way, was that I had to go much, much slower. I'd have to keep my heart rate below 140 beats per minute, and the way I figured I'd keep tabs on that, was by my breathing. If I lost control of the rhythm of my breathing I'd know that I was pushing myself too hard. Not only that, but if I moved my body any quicker than a snail's pace, I'd start to hurt everywhere. I had to teach myself to run without twisting my torso with the teeter totter motion my swinging arms made, and had learn how to pace myself so slow that at times I wasn't sure if I was even running at all. I knew my legs were moving, but I was so sluggish that I had to concentrate on figuring out if it was more of a jumping power walk, or a jog. It was a cross between the two, I've decided.

The week before the run, I knew I had to push myself just a little bit farther than I had in the past, and farther than I probably should have. I ran 3.75 miles, as opposed to the usual 3 miles that I did (I used mapmyrun.com to keep track of my routes). When I got home, I warned Christopher that I might pass out, and leaned my exhausted body weight into the door, the wall, the chair- anything that would catch me while I tried recovering from my workout. Christopher asked me if I still wanted to go through with the run, and I assured him that no matter what- I was doing it. I know my body well, and I know when enough is enough. We agreed that it had probably been my lack of lunch, and maybe slight dehydration that had caused the exhaustion, and that I'd just have to prepare myself better when race day came...

On Friday, January 15th, we suited up, and headed out. Christopher is currently in Airman Leadership School, and it turned out that his entire class (42) was going to be running the race as well. Other than them, there were about 5 other people running, 2 of us being civilian. Can you imagine how out of place and intimidated I felt? I had to put that in both bold and italic type, because the stress of running my first race with a group of people that had been physically trained by professionals, and were required to keep up with it as part of their jobs, was enough to shut me down. While we stood around in the cold waiting for the last plane to land and clear the runway, my nerves calmed and I accepted the fact that everyone would be faster than me, and that was ok.

They explained the route to us. It made no sense to me. Alpha this, and Echo that. Runway this, turnaround that. Something about men in vests, cops and a red line- um... right. I figured since I would be last, I'd have no problem following everyone else. It would be impossible for me to get lost.

I had previously told Christopher that he didn't need to hold himself back for me, he could go ahead if he needed to. But I knew that no matter what I said to him, he'd make sure to do everything in his power, even if it meant tripping over his own feet, to stay behind with me at my pregnant civilian lady pace. And he did.

When the race started, everyone charged ahead of us. It was raining, the foggy misty kind of rain that isn't even in the form of droplets, but more like a constant blanket of moisture that swirls around you. It was windy, which caused the swirls to come and go in waves of different intensities, soaking our faces and weighing down our clothes. And it was cold. The temperature was probably around 45 degrees, but it might as well have been 20 with the water and wind added in. "They'll slow down", I thought, as I watched the group get farther and farther away from us.

The next thing I know, two men walking, with backpacks on, passed us. They cut us off when they took the short end of a corner (we took the long end, I had full intentions of doing this run the right way). We were officially last. Soon the gap between us and the rest of the group became wider. I looked over at Christopher, and just like I had predicted earlier, he was having a very hard time slowing himself down for me. His beat was off, his steps were uneven, he looked miserable. I thought "maybe I can speed up, just a little", already feeling uncomfortable at the pace I was going at... so I tried.




Christopher and I both had headphones in, and hadn't said a word since the race had started less than a mile ago. As I watched the group through the fog up ahead in the distance, and choked on my lack of breath and nagging pain in my side... I made the decision to slow down. "I'm just not as fast as them", I reminded myself, "let them be faster".

We continued.

By now I was soaked. With every stomp that I made, my feet forced puddles to break apart and splash up into the air around my legs. Eventually my feet went numb, ankles too, and I didn't feel it anymore. When we changed directions at the halfway point, I had to take my glasses off. I couldn't see through the mist, and I couldn't continue to wipe my lenses clean. By now we were running on the actual runway, not just the flight line.

Without my glasses, the water was now falling directly into my eyes, and not that I could see anything in front of me anyways, I had to start watching the ground. I didn't know where we were, I couldn't see a single person ahead of us anymore, and all I could tell myself was "you are doing it", to fuel my body into moving forward. I'd glance over at Christopher, to see that his cheeks were bright pink and there was a slight smile on his rain kissed face. It looked like his steps had evened out, and his shoulders had lost their tension. He was doing alright now. He had found his stride, and we were doing this.

The peacefulness that I felt when I lifted my head and looked around, was overwhelming. "Look at how far I've come", I thought.

We ran. And we ran. And we ran.

Along the path, from the beginning to the end, we'd pass men and women in uniform, standing out in the rain only to show us which way to go, and to catch us should we fall. The whole time I was thinking how angry with us they must be, for causing them to stand out in the cold for so much longer, not realizing that we were only about 10 or 15 minutes behind the rest. There was also a truck following us, which was more annoying than anything, especially knowing that they had been watching our butts jiggle for miles now, but somewhat a relief, just in case. The minutes seemed to go by so slowly, and after awhile, it almost felt like an alternate universe we were in.

And then, when I squinted and concentrated hard enough, I could see through the fog just barely enough... there was a finish line. We had about a mile to go. Yes, only a mile. But wait, really... a whole mile?

"Keep running Tia. Mind over matter".

My body had switched itself to mode: auto pilot. Each step was the same, each breath was the same, each blink was the same. Christopher and I each took out an ear phone, and reminded each other why we were out here doing this, by saying "I love you". He had checked up on me constantly, by giving me thumbs up signs when he thought I might be crashing.

And then somebody came into view. He was running towards us. He ran up to Christopher, probably somebody from his ALS class, slowed himself to our pace, and then took off again. He met up with another man in front of us, and then both men were looking directly at me, jaws dropped.

They must have just found out that I'm pregnant.

Both men came running back to us, this time on my side rather than Christopher's. I took my ear phone out, and got ready to defend my finale. The conversation went almost exactly as I imagined it would. They told me I was crazy for doing this while pregnant, jokingly yet seriously said they were going to kick my husband's ass, told me to get into the truck that had been following us, and then reminded me at least 3 times to stop if I felt any kind of pain at all. I told them I was finishing this race. I had trained for it, I had come this far, I was doing it. My stubborn attitude was enough to put them in their places, and they left us alone to complete our race.

That was the extra push that I needed. Reminding myself why I was out there doing it. Saying out loud, that I was going to finish.

Things started coming into sight. We could see the end. We'd go straight here, we'd turn up there, we'd turn again over there, and then we'd go straight until we crossed the finish line.

The human street signs in uniform clapped as we passed, probably because they couldn't wait to get out of the rain, I doubt it was because they were proud of us. And then we rounded the last corner, and we could see the end. At that point I'm not sure what came over me. Maybe it was adrenaline, maybe it was determination, maybe it was love. Love for my husband, reaching my goals, pushing myself. I really can't explain what my heart felt at that exact moment, it wasn't anything I had ever felt before.

I ran hard.

This was it. This was the end. I was going to push myself as hard as I possibly could. I was going to sprint. I don't know what Christopher must have thought when I took off like a rocket, but he was right there beside me. I felt my lungs begging for air, and my legs screaming for me to stop. But not once did I feel a pain telling me that it wasn't safe, so I didn't stop. There came a point where I felt weakness, my body wanted me to slow back down, but I fought it. "Let me run!", my heart screamed. I ignored the pain. I could hurt later. I ignored my lungs, I could breathe later. Just let me run.

And then at the very last minute, Christopher reached over and grabbed my hand, and together we crossed the yellow finish line.


Its kind of a blur as to what happened after that. I was having a hard time breathing, the world was spinning, and I thought for a few minutes that maybe I had actually passed out. As word spread of my pregnancy, I had paramedics approach me and follow me around until I was clearly alright to wander off on my own, yet still leaning on Christopher for added support.

After all was said and done, we walked away winning first place in the "walking division", because there hadn't been any actual walkers in the race. But wait- what about those guys that had passed us walking with the backpacks? I bet they felt cheated, haha. During the brief awards ceremony, it was announced over the microphone, the cute story of how the married couple that came in last crossed the finish line holding hands. Everybody awwww'd, we accepted our plaques for being the best at being slow, and we walked away happy.

And thats the story of how my husband and I ran our very first race together, while I was 10 weeks pregnant with our 3rd child.

7 Things About Us

Saturday, January 16, 2010

I have to admit it, I'm horrible with accepting blog awards, or participating in fun little "tag, you're it" type games. I always get excited when somebody leaves me the link to a "happy blog award" (really, I get giddy), yet... it completely slips my mind and I never properly accept it. I'm going to try to start being better about that. Because as nice as it is to have been given these fun button style certificates, its got to be even more fun to pass them out to other bloggers.

The other day I was tagged over at Sweet Fancy. Her blog is always filled with house warming inspirations, and I always click away feeling like I need more pillows for my beds and couches (ok we only have one couch, but someday we'll have grown up furniture, and I'll want pillows, I just know it). I'm supposed to tell you 7 things about myself. Probably 7 things that you don't already know, otherwise this game wouldn't be very much fun, would it? Well I don't think its fair to tell you things about just me, so I'm going to tell y'all 7 things about Christopher and Tia. We're a team after all, and by now you're probably all wondering if Sasquatch really does exist, hee hee.

(picture taken the summer of 2005 at Moxie Java in Boise Idaho, after being together for about a year)

1. We met at a Taco Bell drive thru. Christopher was the night supervisor, and I was hungry. It was the first time I ever felt the need to force my phone number upon somebody, and rather than just writing it down on a napkin and throwing it away, he went into the back and came back with his cell phone in hand, all ready for programming in a new contact. Its been love (a rocky sort of love at times) ever since.

2. We had our wedding vows tattooed on our bodies for our one year wedding anniversary. Mine are on my left forearm, and his are on the back of his right calf. We got them done at Screamin' Ink, here in Abilene, back in 2007. I constantly get asked what my arm says, followed by "why is it upside down?". Well its upside down, so that I can read it. I didn't get my wedding vows tattooed on my arm for you, silly world.

3. We never went on a honeymoon. When we got married in March of 2006, we were in the 3rd month of our first pregnancy, we were broke, and we were about to go our separate ways for the beginning of the rest of our lives. In other words, I didn't feel good, we didn't have enough money for one, and Christopher was about to leave for his military training.

4. Our first big purchase that we made together, was our $75 yellow Kenmore vacuum. We purchased it at the Lloyd Center Sears in Portland, and after all this time (ok it hasn't been that long I guess, 5 years-ish), we still have it.

5. We love end of the world movies. Love them. Crappy made for tv ones, big screen world explosion ones, we go crazy for them. Somehow, we haven't seen 2012 yet (I say somehow like its an actual mystery. We don't have a regular babysitter, and we're pathetic when it comes to getting out of the house for date nights). Personally, when I stop to think about the world actually coming to an end, I can't breathe and curl up into a little ball (the thought of my babies not living out full lives makes drives me insane), but I love nothing more than sitting back and watch it happen on tv.

6. We're lactose intolerant. Not just me and Christopher, but both of the kids as well. Like I said yesterday on Twitter... cows milk is dirty!

7. We've never been camping. Growing up as a kid, I went camping with my family multiple times every summer, I have some of my very best memories from camping trips, but now as adults, we don't even own sleeping bags. Maybe after we've left Texas (I don't know, but scorpions and rattlesnakes just aren't my thing, and I know that there seem to be way more of them outside of our luxurious house), we'll make it into more of a habit. I bet the kids would love it. And by then, they'll be old enough to do dishes (heee).

Now, to tag a few other folks that I hope will play along...

1. Such Is My Life
2. Pickles On Pizza
3. Muddy Boots
4. The Girl Made From Color
5. Maria Soleil
6. Good Knits!
7. Mommy Elephants Everyday Adventures

Have a great weekend everybody!

Week 24

Friday, January 15, 2010

*awkward silence*

So um, how bout' them Ladybugs?

I think this picture was from the 3rd or 4th grade. one or the other. I don't remember who's idea it was for me to play sports, mine or my parents, but either way, I went out for girls softball. I joined the little league.

As you can see from the photo... I wasn't exactly, um... well. Ya know.

I sucked. You can by just looking at me, that I sucked. Its not that I wanted to suck, because I wanted to be good, it just so happened that I had zero hand eye coordination, couldn't catch or hit a ball, and ran slower than somebody without legs.

The thing is, I didn't quit after the season was over. I played the next year too. What was I thinking?! I think that was the season that I developed a nasty habit of throwing the bat. After I'd hit the ball (because I had gotten just slightly better at my game), rather than letting go of the bat nicely and letting it kerplunk to the ground, my swing would kind of reverse itself, and the bat would go flying into the fence behind me, or sometimes... the umpire. Sorry guy.

Not only did I have my attempt at being a super star in the little league, but I gave it a go at volleyball (oh lord), track (really Tia, really?), and dance team (woot woot!). Would you believe that I was actually really good at dance team? I was horrible at everything else, but I rocked the co captain spot on the dance team for the year that I participated.

Turns out Christopher tried just about every sport offered throughout his childhood as well, and just like me, failed horribly. We're scared for the future of our children's athletic attempts. Good luck Herman babies, you'll need it!


Ok by now, most of you are pro's when it comes to Flashback Friday. You dig up an old photograph of yourself, post it on your blog, facebook, twitpic, livejournal, wherever- and write your story to go with it. We laugh with each other. We cry with each other. We all celebrate our historys and memories with each other in a cute blog-bonding kind of way. If you haven't joined the party before, there is no greater time than the present. Grab your scanner and a cup of coffee, and un bury a piece of your past. Make sure to add your link to the list below, and add the link to this post, to your post.

Getting Over The City That I Never Thought I'd Be Able To Leave

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Its funny how over the years, plans and ideas change. When Christopher signed up with and joined the Air Force back in 2006, we were sure that we'd be stationed in Washington. Our lack of knowledge and experience had left us with a false impression of our future, implying that we'd always live in the Northwest. To us, the Northwest was all that existed, and surely everybody else must have known that, the military included.

The reality of our situation is, we'll never live in Portland ever again. Not only will we never be stationed there, there isn't an Air Force base, but we don't even want to live there anymore. That might come as a shock to anyone that knew us way back when, but when I try to imagine taking the life that we live now, and making it work in the treasure chest of our past, it makes me cringe.

There are things that I miss about the city, absolutely. Favorite shopping places, the rainy smell that always seems to be in the air, even on the rare occasion that the sun comes out, my best friend and all of the countless adventures that I know I'm missing out on by being so far away- I'm not completely over it yet. But even though there are things we're missing out on there, we have an amazing new life here.

We're a military family now. Not just, "my husband is in the military", but, we're a millitary family. I know we originally said we were going to get out after his first enlistment, but, this is it for us. This is how we want to raise our children. My husband loves what he does, and I support that. Hes set goals for himself, his career, and our family, and I have no doubt that he'll achieve them all. We've had pretty much smooth sailing since stepping on board, and we know we won't always be so lucky. The deeper into his career waters he gets, the more deployments and TDY's (temporary duty station, where he goes on a little family-free all work no play vacation to a base in the middle of nowhere) will float to the surface. We're ready for it. If he were to deploy today, I'd be ready for it. It would be hard, I'd lose my mind ever so slightly (I'd have vacuum's set up around the house to suck up the giant wolf spiders that will make their return this spring), but I could hold down the fort.

Wait, what was I writing about again?

Oh yes. Life before the now. Portland and Stumptown...

The other day I got a surprise package in the mail, and nuzzled deep inside the packing paper, were 2 mugs from Stumptown coffee. From the second that I unwrapped them, I was taken back to the scent that hovered outside our apartment door every Saturday morning. Christopher and I used to live on SE Morrison. For any Portlander, you know that means we were cool, right? The Cricket cafe a few steps to the left, and Stumptown coffee a few steps to the right. Its weird how I can't remember the actual taste of Stumptown, as much as I remember the aroma, and its existance.

The best part about getting over the city that I never thought I'd be able to leave, is when little parts of the city come to me.

If you're a gull...

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Have I ever told you our gull story?

I think that maybe I have, but, I'm in just the sort of mood that's gotten me cozying up to the warmth in my heart, so I think I'll tell it to you again, if you don't mind...

About a year or so into our relationship, when Christopher and I were absolutely infatuated with each other, we were spending a night in (rather than going out, which we often did, being free from children and having that option), and he was giving me the nicest back rub ever, hoping to calm my nerves after the long day that I had had. As he loosened up my tension with his hands, he told a story of calming ocean waves and warm sands, tropical breezes and faintly heard gulls, relaxation and serenity. The deeper into sleep I fell, the more the story slipped away from him. What was once a peaceful lullaby, had quickly turned into an obnoxious story of nothing other than gulls screaming and transforming into man eating monster birds. Gulls this, and gulls that, his imagination went wild. His laughter woke me up, and I could see that my appointment at our apartment bedroom spa had come to a closing.

From then on, we spoke of gulls often.

Now here is where things start to come together...

You know that scene in the Notebook. "Say you're a bird", Allie tells Noah ...that scene, remember? Well Christopher and I were snuggled up on the couch together (underneath large fluffy blankets, warm mugs of coffee beside us) watching that scene, the beautiful northwest rain pitter patting down on the window behind us, and Christopher turns to me and says with all sincerity, "Tia If you're a gull, then I'm a gull".

As you might have guessed, our hearts married at that exact moment.

I've mentioned before, I don't wear a lot of jewelry. I'm picky, I don't like to spend money, and very rarely do I go shopping for myself (shampoo doesn't count). Recently though, I've gotten this beautiful necklace (from The Rusted Chain), with nothing other than the word "gull" hand stamped on it. I couldn't think of anything more perfect.

(and thankfully, that pretty little pearl is attached to the pendant, because I've already dropped it into the sink and almost had to go pipe diving)

i heart faces: Best Face Photo

Monday, January 11, 2010

This weeks challenge over at i heart faces, is to choose a photo that you took in December of 2009, or January, that you feel shows off where you're currently standing with your photography skills. I hopped over to my flickr, and scanned through my pictures. The memory that I decided to use, was this one of Charlie...

Its not the best picture that I've taken, but its pictures like these that I cherish the most. The reason for my photography hobby, is to document my children's lives. I want there to be pictures for every day of every year. It may sound a little ridiculous, but what I wouldn't give to have pictures like that from my own childhood. I want to (and I want them to) remember the simple things. Like when Charlie first started pulling himself up and walking along the window sill, grabbing at the Christmas lights while attempting to take big boy steps all on his own. The lights were always on, because I'm the lazy kind of mom that would rather sit down during my 5 minute break between changing diapers than walk across the room and unplug the dang things, so he was constantly grabbing at the little bulbs, and I was constantly yelling at him to stop. It then turned into a game. Charlie would stand at the window, look over his shoulder, and once he knew I was looking, he'd start picking at the lights. When I told him "No!", he'd start stomping and giggling, which would cause him to fumble and fall, but right back up he'd get, just to grab another handful of lights, and look over his shoulder at Mommy again.

Visually, I take better pictures when I'm surrounded with better light. I take better pictures when I'm in a better mood. I take better pictures when I really try to take a better picture.

Realistically, I take better pictures when my heart is present. I take better pictures when my camera settings are wrong and my angles are sloppy. I take better pictures when I'm documenting my life, rather than trying to take a picture.


Oh little Charlie. You and that window sill.

Hello Baby Face

That pretty little girl with the short messy pigtails, is Eleanore. You might not have recognized her, since her face isn't being smothered by a thick blanket of blond, but after sitting still in a chair yesterday long enough to let Mommy have a go with the scissors, Eleanore's baby face was finally set free.

Its been so long since I've really been able to see her cheeks. Those beautiful chubby widdle cheekers. For as long as I can remember, shes been known for her long curls. People have commented on them all the way from the park to Walmart. Sometime this past summer though, her curls disappeared. There was no going away party, one day they just up and left. Her hair fell straight as a board after that, and doubled in its thickness. Her hair has always been hard to manage, it got to a point where I just stopped trying. I never put it in ponytails anymore, its so heavy that the ponytail would just fall out within minutes, wasting my efforts and half the time breaking the pony holder. The decision to cut it all off, did not come lightly.

A few months ago I cut off about 6 inches, thinking that it might be enough, but as the weeks went on, there really wasn't any difference. It was still always in her face, and no headband or hair clip on the planet would do its job. Yesterday, Miss Eleanore picked out her favorite Rainbow Brite movie, pulled up a kitchen a chair, and while she didn't move even an inch, I snipped away through a forest of strands, until there was nothing left.

Of course, this morning I had forgotten about her haircut completely, and when my eyes focused in on her sitting neatly at the dining room table, my heart jumped into my throat and my breathe slipped out of my mouth in the form of "ohmahgod". Its going to take a lot of getting used to. A lot. Until her new look has settled in with all of us, I'll probably be fluffing things up with cute pigtails and alligator clips galore. Just like in the picture above.

Cookies on a Cold Day

Saturday, January 9, 2010

I don't know about the weather in your neck of the woods, but here in Texas, its just flat out cold. 10 degrees this morning. Ten of them. That's too cold for me. The kids and I have been locked up in the house for days, not so patiently waiting for this winter system to pass overhead.

On Thursday, Christopher started his first day of Airman Leadership School (a class that he has to complete before he can be promoted this summer). While Charlie was napping, I peeked into the pantry to have a look at our baking stash. Eleanore had been a really good girl that morning, and since the holidays have been over and I've been up to my eyebrows with nausea, the baking in the Herman house has come to a complete halt.

"Eleanore, do you want to help Mommy bake some cookies for Daddy?", I asked?

"YES PLEASE!", she shouted, jumping down off the couch and skidding around the corner of the kitchen. I reminded her that Charlie was upstairs sleeping, and since sound amplifies as it travels around the corner and up the stairs, we needed to keep it down, or our 2 person baking party would soon be crashed by a cranky one year old.

I grabbed a box of Gluten Free Betty Crocker cookie mix. Can you believe that these boxes are only $2 at the Commissary? That's with a coupon of course, but for gluten free anything, especially Betty Crocker, that's a steal. I think I grabbed 4 of every flavor, haha.

What warms you up better than something hot and steamy straight out of the oven?

After Eleanore poured all of the ingredients into the bowl all by herself (such a big girl, I didn't help even once), I evenly scooped little balls of dough, and into our certainly not sparkly clean oven they went.

Even though this batch was meant for Daddy, to keep his tummy company while he sat in the boring classroom, I promised Eleanore that she could have the very first one, while it was still hot. Look at that evil grin on her face. Love at first sight? I think so.

Week 23

Friday, January 8, 2010

In attempts to clean up the awful mess of a photo box that my computer has become, the other day I was going through old folders, deleting duplicates and bad shots, and oooh'ing and awwww'ing over all of Eleanore's old baby pictures that I forgot we had. Out of sight out of mind, you know? I really need to have them printed out and put on display...

This picture in particular stood out to me. Eleanore was about 9 months old, playing on the floor in our bedroom, when she discovered the headband wearing little girl in the mirror. We had bought this mirror a few days before at our favorite flea market style antique shop downtown, but hadn't yet hung it up. We tend to buy things like that, and then they lay around taking up space in the most inconvenient of places until it either gets broken or I put "hang up _________" on a to do list and somebody finally does it. That kind of works with everything in our house though, actually. If its not on a to do list, it will never get done. We've still got moving boxes full of assorted who-knows-what that will never get put into a place, ever.

Anyways, I so easily forget about the beautiful developmental moments that I watched Eleanore experience as a baby. Just yesterday she was turning off her own night light, helping her brother drink from his sippy, giving me one of her pony friends to make me feel better while I cried watching "A Little Princess". Shes so grown up now. It melts my heart, in the best of ways, to look back and remember the early days.

Join us in the Flashback Friday fun! Don't have a blog? That's OK, post a photo and blurb on your Facebook, on your Myspace, as a TwitPic... whatever you've got. Dig into your archives and pull out a dusty memory. Make sure to add your link to the list below, as well as putting our link on your post. Happy Flashback'ing!

Eleanore's First Snowman

Thursday, January 7, 2010

We tried to make a snowman with the snow that fell during the Christmas Eve blizzard, but something about the snow that fell in our yard, just wasn't working. The guy across the street made an entire family of snowman simultaneously while our snowman was nothing more than a pile of crumbled ice crystals that Eleanore had decided to stomp on. It was just too powdery. I don't know how he did it! And then later on, our neighbors made a family of snowmen as well. "Dangit, what are we doing wrong?!". After trying twice, we gave up. Why stand out here and freeze when we could go inside and have hot chocolate? Dang snowpeople.

Luckily, a few days later we got another dusting of snow. Only about 2 inches this time, and it melted within hours, but while it was still coming down and the ground was still coated, we went outside to try just one more time.


We caught snowflakes on our tongues, "that one tasted like... cupcakes! What did your taste like?", we played, and left bunny hop trails until there wasn't a spec of white stuff left in the yard. I could only find one of my gloves, so I didn't do much in the way of helping, but I did my best at being the cheering section for Elie and Christopher.

After our snowman was completed, BBQ briquettes for eyes and the last flimsy carrot in the bag for a nose, I realized that this was Eleanore's very first snowman. Well, job well done little girl, hes marvelous!

Another baby...

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Back in October, my period came one week late. We thought I was pregnant. We tested, we had blood drawn, and it turned out we weren't. So in November, when my period was 6 days late, I thought that my cycles had maybe just spread themselves out a little further, but thought maybe I should take a test, just to be safe. When 2 pink lines showed up on the First Response, I called Christopher into the bathroom with me, where I was staring wide eyed at the stick that I could have sworn had a spotlight shining down on it from heaven, and as soon as he gave me his "I see the line too" approval, I began to hyperventilate while he walked out with a big grin plastered across his face. As the day went on, the more I thought about it, I had convinced myself that it had only been an evaporation line that we had seen, and that it was another false alarm (I can't even tell you how many tests we've bought over the years, its embarrassing). Charlie wasn't even one year old yet, I was still breastfeeding, it took us twelve months to get pregnant last time... so this wasn't real.

Today I found out, that this (this beautiful miracle) is very real.

I'd like to introduce to you all, the bean...

We went into our Doctor's office this morning, bright and early. The routine was still fresh in my memory, seeing as how it was only a year ago that I was pregnant with little Charlie, so I felt comfortable. The kids both played with blocks while Christopher and I sat in the lobby, him reading a magazine, me staring at the wall, anxious for my ultrasound.

I stepped up onto the scale, growled as it evened out on my weight (while the doctor was shocked at how much weight I've lost, the opposite of how I was feeling after seeing that I've already gained a few pounds, and making totally inappropriate comments along the lines of "well no wonder you got pregnant again, I bet hes all over you"- my doctors is hilarious, by the way, but that's partially what makes up his greatness). We headed into the room, I put on my cute paper blanket, and before I knew it, all eyes were on the bean.

I've struggled with this pregnancy. I've had a hard time believing that I could be given the opportunity to be a mother for the 3rd time, knowing that there are women out there that can't even have one baby. I've felt like its too good to be true. For those reasons and more, I didn't give this baby a nickname. We called Charlie "poppyseed muffin" from the beginning, from the second the stick turned pink. I talked to him, I patted my tummy, I did all of the things that an expectant mother does, all of the same things I had done with Eleanore. It took until just the other day, earlier this week, after taking a 2 hour nap on my daughters bed (in which I woke up covered in a family of my little ponies and a little mermaid blanket), finally releasing some feelings in a couple of conversations with my friend Jessica, and realizing that my pants were not going to zip or button no matter what I did, that I gave the baby a nickname of, "the bean".

We're just a little over 8 weeks pregnant, but measuring in at 7. We'll have another ultrasound at our next appointment in February.

Herman baby #3 will be here this August, and we couldn't be more happy about it.