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Saturday, July 31, 2010

Ok, River, no more health scares. Please.

Yesterday, I found blood in River's dirty diaper. Not a whole lot. Just traces really. But it was unmistakeably bright red blood.

I will spare you the agony of suspense I went through before getting to the doctor's office. Here's the conclusion:

He's fine. Breathes sigh of relief.
...
Earlier that morning, he had some gas pain (not unusual for him), but it was bad enough for him to get really upset about. After his nap, he woke up, nursed, and then I changed the scary diaper.

I immediately called the pediatrician's office, left a message with the promise that the nurse would call me right back, and then called my mom.

She helped me not freak out too much, prayed with me, and then the nurse called me back to schedule an appointment for later in the afternoon.

I did my best to have anormal afternoon. To preoccupy my mind. Liam is good at helping me with that.

Since I didn't have the car for the day, my mom left work early to take us to the doctor's office across town, and Trish was amazing enough to come and stay with Liam, despite the fact that she was already having a difficult day.

I brought the diaper with me, which the doctor took a sample from to rule out any kind of bacterial infection, but she was pretty sure that River is intolerant to dairy, and the dairy I consume is irritating River's intestines through my breast milk.

So, the long story short is that I am supposed to avoid dairy for a little while to see if that makes the problem go away. I'm pretty sure it will, especially since I have had a niggling suspicion that dairy is what has been causing him the everpresent gas problems, but I didn't want to find out for fear that I would have to make some changes in my own diet. I eat a lot of dairy. Especially cheese and yogurt. Now I am feeling really bad. It took blood in his diaper for me to give it a try.

Oh, River, I am sorry.

He continues to thrive despite it all. And he's gained a pound and a half in the last month.

He's such a happy little guy.

taking care

This is Liam's meerkat, known as Kittycat. I'm not sure he realizes it isn't actually a cat...but it's a favorite nonetheless. Kittycat needed to snuggle in the bouncy seat with Liam and Gee, the blanket.
And then Kittycat was ready for some stories.
Liam so rarely has pretend play with his stuffed toys and dolls. That was one of my favorite modes of play when I was little (although I also had my favorite cars, too), so it is always a treat to see him explore imaginative play without my initiating it.
Kittycat enjoyed the time, too.
...
Another rare occurence lately:
Washing Liam's hair.
Grammie has been the only one able to persuade him to cooperate in the last couple of months, and she doesn't give him that many baths.
And he also refuses to have his hair brushed.
So when Liam woke up with a major fro yesterday morning, we faced the inevitable.
He likes the new do. I like the idea of no more hair-battles.
But, oh, how much I miss those golden locks...

Friday, July 30, 2010

bleh

It started with extreme fatigue, fevers, and nausea on Wednesday and ended with nearly 24 hours of sleep yesterday, but I am most happy to say I am recovered from a yucky flu. Yuck. And yuck again.

I hate being sick, but at least I have an amazing husband who stayed home from work yesterday to take care of the kids, allowing me to sleep the day away upstairs. He even did laundry. Yes. Amazing and wonderful super husband, indeed.

Now I am praying that no one else in the family comes down with it...

in the news

River and I were pictured in Ozark Natural Foods' August Newsletter. It's silly how happy this makes me, but it is what it is... Hurray for Green Babies!
You can see the picture in the newsletter by clicking here. Scroll down to page 9.

Monday, July 26, 2010

out of thin air

My bread baking has taken a magical turn.


A few weeks ago, I began the process of developing a sourdough starter from scratch, which basically means I harnessed the natural wild yeast looming in my kitchen and, along with flour and water, turned it into a foaming, yeasty, glop of sourdough starter with enough leavening power to make fantastic breads.


And it worked. You might want to start calling me Hermione Granger. At least that's how I fancy myself as I stir up another batch of bread dough with this magical brew.

And somehow, I am still surprised every time my dough rises without me adding any packaged yeast. Sometimes, it's even a little too active.

I have been experimenting with sourdough recipes found in Breads from the La Brea Bakery, Local Breads, and The Bread Bible, and I have started using them as the starting point for my own bread recipes.


The results have been mostly scrumptious. Gabriel would be the first to tell you that not all of the loaves have been a huge success, but many have. Of course, I'll only share pictures of the good ones...

Sourdough Rye Sandwich Bread
Sourdough Pizza Dough
topped with pesto, goat cheese, tomatoes, and onions, then finished on the grill
Sourdough Croissants
I used the instructions found in The Bread Bible as a guide, which only requires rye flour, all-purpose flour, water, and a few days of patience. The chlorine contained in tap water would have inhibited the initial growth of the natural yeast, so rather than going out and buying bottled water for this project, I set out an open quart jar of tap water over night. The chlorine all evaporated by the next day, and I was able to put a lid on the jar and use that water for the entire process.
The initial starter I finished didn't have quite the leavening power necessary, but within another week of refreshing and refreigeration, it worked fantastic.
Interested in giving natural sourdough a try without going through the hassle of making your own? I have extra starter I can pass along (instead of just pouring it down the drain or feeding it to the chickens) with each loaf I make. Of course, I can only pass it along to those of you here in Northwest Arkansas...

River

At almost 3 months old, River is doing great. He's chunking up, eats well, smiles a lot, and watches Liam's every move.

We're still waiting until the end of August to meet with the cardiologist, and doing our best not to think about his heart until then.

He has been making that pretty easy. Look at this sweetness:

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Not quite what I had in mind...

I have been toying with the idea of cutting my hair for the past couple of weeks. Nothing drastic. Maybe even just a trim. Something a little different.

But when I woke up this morning, showered, and got ready for church, I had no intention of making today the haircut day.

But then I got my hair stuck in the hairbrush. Not just kind of stuck. Completely and irreversibly stuck. I have no idea how I managed to do this...
So then I had to swallow my pride and call for Gabriel to come and rescue me from my brush's death grip. I felt like an idiot. And then I looked like one.
So, now I have bangs. Not casual side bangs that say I'm-thinking-about-switching-to-bangs. No. These are in your face, no turning back now, short little bangs. The kind that look cute. I wasn't going for cute.
But cute it is.
I wonder how long it will take for them to grow out?

Monday, July 19, 2010

lime love

Sunday, July 18, 2010

story time


Uncle FoFo

This was a whirlwind of a week. From the time that Forest and Hayden flew in on Monday, until we dropped them off at Hayden's dad's house in Kansas City yesterday morning, I never had much of a break. But it was a good week. So good to see my not-so-little baby brother.

At Joe's Crab Shack on Monday.
Liam had a great time bossing them around in his sand box.

He told them to sit. They sat.

He told them shoes off. So they did.

He told them where to dig. And that's where they dug.


Aren't Uncles great?
Don't be fooled.
I am not sure how the camera captured Liam looking so calm and relaxed. River got to know his Uncle Forest, too, although he wasn't soft and squishy enough for River to get very comfortable in his arms... Forest wasn't so sure about holding a fussing baby, either. They tried.

We're looking forward to seeing Forest again over the holidays... I wish the visits didn't have to be so few and far between.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

at the aquatic center

Yesterday, we went to the aquatic center in Springdale. I'm not sure how I have lived in Northwest Arkansas for nearly seven years without ever knowing about this place, but it was great. There is an entire gated area perfect for little toddlers, and another big splash area with little slides. Not to mention shade awnings over sections of the swimming areas and benches to splash and sit on, too.

But, everyone has to pay to get in.

Yep, we had to pay admission for River !?!
As long as he had a special someone to hold him, River had a great time. He may have even gotten his $2 worth...
Not one to hold back, Liam splashed and played and splashed some more. He was super excited to swim with his Auntie Linda and Ethan.
Water slides? Yes, please.
River got some special pool time with his Auntie Linda, too.
Hurray for swimming on a hot hot hot summer day.

Forest and Hayden were at the pool, too, but somehow I never got a picture of them...

Monday, July 12, 2010

it was a whopper

Today was non-stop:

4:00 AM - Wake up to take Gabe to the Northwest AR airport for a business trip

7:30 AM - Drive to Tulsa Zoo with Rochelle and Sage (Yay! Lots of fun. See below...)

1:00 PM - Make a quick-as-quick-can-be-with-toddler-who-dislikes-riding-in-the-cart-while-I-lug-carseat-with-sleeping-baby to Whole Foods for some colic relief tablets for aforementioned baby who is finally sleeping after crying through most of the morning.

2:25 PM - Arrive at Tulsa airport to pick up my brother Forest and his buddy Hayden, my mom joins us.

3:00 PM - Eat at Joe's Crab Shack. Yum. Bucket of crab legs. Yum.

5:30 PM - Hit the road, heading back to Arkansas. Before we reach the freeway, Liam has to potty. We stop at a gas station, Liam decides he doesn't need to go after all, but then Forest does. And then they need to get drinks inside. And then it's really time for River to nurse again. And then he has a really messy diaper. And then Liam needs to pee again (another false alarm).

6:05 PM - Leave the gas station.

7:30 PM - Get to the childcare center in Springdale where my mom teaches and also cleans three days a week (I'm going to help her with the cleaning from now on for some extra income). Liam goes to sleep on a cot in one of the classrooms, and Forest and Hayden take turns trying to rock River to sleep and then coming to get me when he won't stop fussing. This happened several times.

9:30 PM - Finish the cleaning, and it is pouring down rain in classic summer-storm fashion. I crawl along the 412 at 45 mph...

10:15 - Finally home. Get the boys into bed. Unload the car. Sit down at the computer with a glass of milk and a couple cookies...

I really need to get to bed soon.

...
Sometimes the crazy stressful days are actually really fun. This was a good one. But I'm also glad all days are not as busy as today. Just call me an introverted homebody.
...
And now for some zoo pictures:
Getting these two to look at the camera simultaneously just wasn't happening. But they really liked the meerkat.
His first carousel ride.
This is the I'm-not-so-sure-about-this-Mama face. But when the ride was over and we got down, he didn't want to leave. I think we'll be trying again next zoo trip.
River's first train ride.
He's been really into blowing spit bubbles lately.
Me and my boys.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

what he does with bubble wrap

video

let's go for a walk

I never thought I would be the kind of mother who puts her kid on a leash.

Then again, I never thought I'd have a two-year old who likes to run run run and doesn't wait for Mama to catch up.

This wasn't too bad until I also had a newborn to tote around.

So, I made Liam a harness and leash.

Somehow, I feel less conflicted about the whole thing since the harness is really cute.

Meet Mr. Frog
He enjoys piggyback (froggyback...?) rides
Liam likes him, too. Especially since that means he can run run run without me yelling for him to come back.
I made the pattern up as I went along. The frog's arms and legs attach to some strong webbing anchored around and onto his chest under a lily pad, with a buckle closure on the side.

I think he may make my life just that much easier. Thanks, Mr. Frog.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Rainy Summer Days

The last few day here have been rainy and cool. In my California days, I never would have called mid-80's cool... oh, what a little perspective will do.

Yesterday, Liam looked longingly out the front window, watching the rain.

Liam play outside in the rain, Mama?

So that's what we did. I stayed under the cover of the front porch with River while Liam splashed and skipped through the rain and puddles.
And what makes playing in the rain even more fun? A bike, of course.
And to make Liam's morning perfect, the city truck came by to haul away our branches waiting by the street. This was unbelievably exciting.
transfixed
The simple joy of trucks
And look at what a chub this guy is turning into.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

sad, silly, and so sweet

Sad

I'm really not sure how this happened, but my pizza stone has baked its last. We've had a nice run, but it's time to move on. Sniff.

I just ordered this one as a replacement.

Silly

This is what Liam wears when he gets to choose: last night's pajama shirt, big boy undies, and hiking boots that are a few sizes too big.

We ran some errands this morning, and I decided to be totally gutsy and take him in his underwear and shorts instead of a diaper. In the store, he told me when he needed to use the potty, we rushed over to it, and he peed. Success! I think we might maybe, almost, so close now be potty trained (fingers crossed...).

So Sweet

Night time stories with Grammie are extra special.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy 4th of July

celebrate

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Friday Night Pizza

On the grill:
  • barbecue sauce
  • shredded cheddar cheese
  • black olives
  • sliced green onion
  • sliced red bell pepper
  • sweet corn
  • diced jalapeno
  • baby portabello mushrooms
  • crumbled cajeta cheese

just for fun

Liam at 11 weeks


River at (almost) 10 weeks