Saturday, December 27, 2008


[caption id="attachment_506" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="I'd Give up Chocolate, But I'm No Quitter"]I'd Give Up Chocolate, But I'm No Quitter[/caption]

The night before Christmas,

T and I read the story of the same name.

We set out a plate with cookies and milk for Santa, and carrots for the reindeer, and then put T and Q to bed. 

Being that this was the first Christmas where T actually knew that there were presents for him in those boxes under the tree, I decided to sleep out on the couch as a sentry. I was sure there would be a way too early invasion of the living room without parental supervision, and I envisioned waking up to the sound of toys being raced across the floor and wrapping paper all over the house.

Oddly enough, after all that planning on my part, T was up way too early, snuck past me, went into my bed and slept in my spot. So while I suffered on the couch he slept comfortably in my spot. What is that all about? Then, after he woke up, he woke up L and asked her if he could watch TV in bed. He was quickly distracted by a flash back to a dream he had the night before where Yoshi was at Toads Factory racing on a motorcycle... To avoid the rest of the long imaginary story about his MarioKart Wii adventures, L reminded him it was Christmas and that he had presents under the tree, and maybe Santa had come. That worked, and he tried to rush his mama out of the bed and into the living room. 

His first real Christmas, and he forgot about it! It seems odd that we talked about Santa for so many days and on the BIG day he just forgot and wanted to watch TV in bed. OK, I guess I will get over it eventually. The rest went well. He liked ripping open presents and throwing them aside to say,"What's this one?" as he grabbed the next one. A little depressing for me, but no one said he didn't have some things to learn yet. He is only three after all. 

Q, on the other hand, watched T open her gifts, and taste tested anything put in her hands. Everyday is Christmas for a baby. 

Hope everyone had a great Christmas.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Rambling Man

I don't even know what to write about anymore. I don't want to write about being sick any more, even though that is what is dominating our lives here. (L is more sick than before, and I am a little less sick.) Oddly enough I just thought I would write some random thoughts and see if it cheers me up.

1. If Mario Kart Wii were NASCAR my son would be in the running for the big money. He actually plays the online version now and races people from all over the world. They race 12 people at a time, and though he has only taken first a few times, he stays in the running most of the time.
2. I never knew the variety of colors mucus could be. Nuff said... OK too much said.
3. Did you know you can't buy those long orange hot wheels tracks with the little connectors any more. You can't get the loop de loop part any more either unless you buy it from some collector for way more than it is worth. Sad.
4. Corned beef is much easier to make than I thought. It is one of my favorite foods. I had no idea how expensive it is, but L bought some for me anyway, and I cooked it up for us. It turned out delicious even though I had no idea what I was doing. I am glad that although I was adopted I still have some Irish blood in me. I'd hate to think all that green beer I drank in college was in vain.
5. I think the number of resolutions I should make for next year is overwhelming. I may go with the most obvious one: I resolve to do everything I can to survive the each day and help as many people survive their day as I can. That may just be because we have been sick for so long that we are in survival mode. Maybe by the New Year I'll be more optimistic like, " I want to promote world peace around the world by spreading love and cheer around the world on a rainbow." Who knows?

Less than 2 days to recover before Christmas or Santa may not want to come here and cross the yellow 'Quarantined' tape to get into the house. Bring on the Juices: Now Orange, Now melon, Now grape and cranberry, on kiwi and pomegranate, Acai and Raspberry. To the top of the fridge! to the top of the shelf! drink away drink, away drink away self!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

We Have Everythingitis

The "cold" we have been suffering with just would not go away. One week past, then another and instead of getting better we were all getting worse. Even the baby was beginning to gurgle occasionally when she breathed. L had even decided to let me sleep as much as I could for a couple of days to see if I could get better. That unfortunately didn't work either. I could sleep all the time, but when I woke up I was even more sick than before. Today we decided we had enough of this. L scheduled doctor appointments for all of us.
I went one way, and L took the kids another way to the pediatrician. I waited over an hour in the doctors office, and was about to start licking all of his tools when he came in. He listened to my disgusting list of symptoms and then did a few tests on me, including blood tests and X-rays. His diagnosis: I have sinusitis and bronchitis. I feel relieved knowing that I had something. I was feeling guilty doing most of the resting, trying to get better, and not being successful.  I talked to L as I was waiting at the pharmacy for my long list of drugs. She said T only had a cold. That figures. The carrier never gets it as bad as the rest of us. Q on the other hand had bronchulitis. Only a minor case and should be easily treated with some medicine. Finally, in the afternoon L had her appointment. She also waited an hour before being seen. After all that, she was diagnoses with tonsillitis. The doctor said it was the same thing in all of us most likely, and it just settled in different areas. We all have our own little infections growing in different places. Nice...
The final result is that we are supposed to rest for a few days, and take antibiotics and some other medicines and after a week or so we should be normal functioning humans just in time for Christmas.

Thank you all for your tips and comments wishing us better health. Hopefully now we are on the right track.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Fighting the common cold

[caption id="attachment_481" align="alignleft" width="150" caption="Daddy, can you wipe my nose please?"]Daddy, can you wipe my nose please?[/caption]

It seems to be that time of year again. That time where the common cold virus comes crashing through the front door, attached to a preschooler, and wreaks havoc on our lives for a week or so. This years strain seems to be more potent than the previous years. T was hit first, being the carrier and all. That was no surprise. It hasn't slowed him down too much. He still continues to run wild around the house even after continued warnings to slow down and let his body rest. The other night he cam walking into our bedroom dragging about 12 feet of toilet paper behind him. It was 2 A.M. and apparently at that time of the morning it is too difficult to tear the toilet paper into smaller sections. It is also too difficult to pull up a facial tissue from the box I guess. So in comes T with this long trail of TP behind him. He walks over to the side of the bed and hands it to me. He doesn't say a word. I was awakened by the loud foot steps across the house on the way to the bed, so I was ready for him when he got to me. For some reason he won't wipe his own nose, so lucky me, I get to do it in the middle of the night. T's symptoms seem to be limited to stuffy nose. I should add that he inherited an ability to be overly dramatic from me, and can make a stuffy nose seem as if there are only minutes left before the end of the world, and we can only save it by wiping his nose before the final explosion ends us all. Luckily so far we have been there quick enough to save you all from certain doom. You're welcome. 


Next to be ravaged by the virus was me. I know I am a terrible sick person and I love my wife for being so patient with me as I struggle noisily and sometimes obnoxiously to survive it. (My ability to be overly dramatic sometimes makes it seem as if the end is near. She must really love me.) I went from sniffles to sore throat, stuffy/ runny nose, headaches, congestion, achy cough, the whole works in about two days and it has stayed with me for almost a week now. -- Financial tip: invest in facial tissues. I will do my part to boost their sales in my area. I can't seem to get enough of them lately. 

L now is also coming down with the symptoms. We are hoping that before hers hits full stride I can get well enough to trade places with her and start doing more things around the house. As of today though, I think that probably isn't going to happen. She seems to be getting it pretty good already and I am still getting worse, and not better yet. 

Sadly, baby Q also has the bug. Nothing worse than seeing a baby with a cold. The doctors tell us not to give children any medicine for colds, and that makes it worse, because all you can do is watch them suffer with it. She has a cough, and a little runny nose. It makes her occasionally grumpy, but otherwise she really is handling it well. She is still working on trying to crawl, and chewing on all her favorite toys. Q has not seemed to inherit any drama genes from me. She is more like her mother. she just bravely deals with it and moves on. She is a little trooper. 

My sympathies to any one else who has or has recently had this bug. Hope you are well soon.

Friday, December 12, 2008

I Can Not Beee-Leeeve It!

Mom! Are you reading this? Another award has been bestowed upon your favorite child. Well, I am definitely in the top 4 of your children. Unless there is another sibling I don't know about... This award is for my ability to smile while describing the often maddening chaos that is our life here on the farm. Well, at least that is what I think it's for, so I am going with that. This award was granted to me by Bloggin' Mama. Obviously a woman with outstanding tastes, so everyone who reads this should head over to her site after reading this and pay her a visit. 

[caption id="attachment_471" align="aligncenter" width="200" caption="The Smile Award"]The Smile Award[/caption]

Here are the rules for the Smile Award: 

1) Display a cheerful attitude, ( Well, I try.)

2) Love one another, (OK, as long as they are not poking a stick in my eye I can do that.)

3) Make mistakes, ( Ohhh man! I could totally win the Make Mistakes Award if there were one.)

4) Learn from others,  (Even my 3 year old teaches me things each day.) 

5) Be a positive contributor to the blog world, ( If this means write something useful, hmmm. Let me get back to you on that.) 

6) Love life, ( More and more each day.)

7) Love kids. (As T would say,"Daddy loves me even if I go scribble, scribble scribble." No, I am not sure exactly why he says that, but it is true.) 

The rules for the Smile Award are: 1) Please link back, 2) Post the rules, 3) Choose 5 people to give it to , 4) Recipients must fill the characteristics above, 5) Create a post to share this, 6) Thank the winners.

So on to the passing of the award off to others who seriously deserve it much more than I. I hope they do not already have this award, since the award was probably designed with them in mind. Each of these is on the list because I can't help but be inspired, smile, and laugh when I read their very entertaining stories. Please check them out. 

Nicole @ Juicy Alligator 

The Wise (*Young*) Mommy Blog 

Julie @ Cool Mom Guide

The Un-Mom

Cheaper Than Therapy 

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

I wanted to participate in Wordless Wednesday today. I am seldom wordless, and this will be no exception. This picture caught me off guard. I was teaching T how to use the digital camera, and he pushes too hard when he takes the picture, so the whole camera moves down when he does it. Here he tried to take my picture, and the focus ends up being on my neck, which showed me for the first time I had even noticed it, that I have a double chin! Aaaarrrrggghhh! And I see this picture after eating a ton of buffalo wings for dinner which now makes me feel guilty. So, back on a diet I go. See what happens when I don't have chickens to walk every day. 


[caption id="attachment_437" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="A new addition to the family?? A double chin."]A new addition to the family?? A double chin.[/caption]

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

T's Outdoor Adventure

As you might have read previously, my chicken houses currently sit empty. I have sprayed them with powdered bug killer and now they have to sit a few days locked up. That leaves me some extra time I normally don't have. I thought the best thing to do with that time would be to spend it with my son. Being that yesterday was a Monday, and I would have to take him out of pre-school for a day together, I wanted our time to be somewhat educational. Just some time between dad and son learning something together. In my head, I was visualizing something like a day at the Reuben H Fleet Science Center in San Diego. When I was working at an after school program in San Diego we took the students there and it was perfect. All hands on science activities for every age range, and an IMAX theater. Now, living near a college town, and having several larger towns around I assumed I could find something similar to that to take T to. I had assumed wrong.
I searched and searched the internet and found nothing. Well, I did find one that was close, but when I called for information they told me they closed a while ago for construction and won't be opening again until July. the good news is it looks like it will be a good place to go next summer. The bad news is it was no help to me yesterday.
After a long and very unsuccessful search I decided to give up on pre-packaged educational opportunities and take T out doors to a lake area that had a park and a large hydroelectric dam. We had a lot of fun there, and I would show you the pictures, but Daddy forgot the camera was in his coat pocket so he didn't take any pictures. DOH!
The water level is so low at the lake that it is hard to call it a lake at this point. The park however was great for out exploring. We saw a lot of birds, and we squatted down really low in a field and were very quiet for a while so we could see how many birds we could find. Getting T to be quiet that long was pretty amazing in itself, but he was doing a great job. We even were able to see a woodpecker, and some cardinals. We talked about how hard to see some of the birds were and how they were doing a great job of using their colors to camouflage themselves so other animals wouldn't see them. Camouflage is a difficult word...
We also found a little bridge that crosses a ditch. It was about as long as a train car. I know this because T told me it was a freight car and we played on it for a while as if we were on a train. We watched the Polar Express Movie recently, so we have a renewed excitement about trains. Back and forth, back and forth he ran with me trying to keep up. We even explored under the train to check the wheels. I personally didn't see any, but he did and they needed oil. Good news, they are now well oiled.
After a fun time in the park we headed to Grandma and Grandpa's house for a nice visit and a delicious lunch. For not being exactly what I wanted, we still had a lot of fun and learned a little too. Now, if any of you have some ideas for little learning trips we can take I'd love to hear them.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

First Attempt at Baking Bread

There has been an ongoing discussion between my wife and I about bread. I am not sure if we had been to some hypnotist and don't remember it, or what happened, but we seem to be having a lot of discussions about bread. Quite often they involve us making our own bread. I think my wife started wanting to make our own bread because she found out that even bread has high fructose corn syrup in it. Apparently that stuff is in everything, and no one knows why. I read every recipe I could find on bread and none of them show that as an ingredient, but sure enough on the label of our store bought bread, there it is as an ingredient. So, my wife has a valid point. 

My reasoning for baking bread is more simple. I remember home made bread from when I was a kid, and I love it. I miss eating real bread, and having a slice while it was still warm is something I think I dream about. I have found some nice restaurants that serve great bread, and I really don't care that much about the rest of the food there, I would go just for the bread. I know, I have issues. 

Eventually our bread discussions got so far along that all that remained was for us to just go ahead and bake some bread ourselves. Well, at least give it a good try, since neither of us had ever tried it before. L went ahead and gave it the first try. You can read about her exploits here. The bread she made was good. But it was not the kind I was thinking of. It was more of a specialty bread type of recipe. We ate that in a day or two, and then I thought I would give it a try. Where else should I turn to get the wonderful bread I had as a child than to call my mother. "Mom could you sent me your bread recipe?" "Sure", she says. "I'll email it to you." So later I check my email and there it is. I'm all excited about making bread like mom used to make. I could almost taste it before I even tried to make it. Suddenly I look at the recipe, and I see there is a URL at the top of a bread website. What? My own mother googled bread and sent me a recipe from the web. Technology is not always a good thing. 

A day or two went by, and I did some searching for myself and, well, I am easily distracted. Before you know it I am in the kitchen making cinnamon bread. I know, I have a sweet tooth. I saw sugar laden bread, and who doesn't like that. Here is the final results. Still not too bad for my first attempt at bread. (O.K. So one has a little tail. You're not the bread police! Stop harassing me!) 

[caption id="attachment_406" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Cinnamon Bread by Dad to Two"]Cinnamon Bread by Dad to Two[/caption]

The inside doesn't look too bad either. Mmmm. Delicious! Just don't ask me why only one of the three loaves actually has raisins in it. 

[caption id="attachment_407" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Cinnamon Bread inside"]Cinnamon Bread inside[/caption]

I think I am about ready to try again with some plain old fashioned White bread. I'll just have my wife print out a recipe for me so I don't get too distracted along the way. Who know's what I'd end up with. It is Christmas time and I do like fruit cake...

Saturday, December 6, 2008

New WordPress Theme Finally Working

I would like to thank my wonderful wife for finally figuring out the problem with my theme. This is not the theme I had originally picked out, however. That theme was not willing to work with me at all. Although it was widget ready, it apparently had its own mind and was deciding on its own where to put my widgets. I would place one on the left-side sidebar, and it would show up on the right-side sidebar. Sometimes all of them would move to the left, sometimes just some. Not only that, but the designer of the theme put latin words in there to use as examples, but there were places where the text was no where to be found in the code. I couldn't get rid of the latin phrases. It may have seemed cool and sophisticated to have latin text on my site, but who knows what it really said. So, after two days of attempts to fix that theme L and I finally decided to search for a new theme. The theme you are seeing now is the result of that 45 second search. Three days to find the theme that failed to work, and a matter of seconds to find this one. Oddly enough, this one works very well for me. I like that it has a little more color than the last theme I was using, has better headings, offers a quick link to my last five posts, and has better tabs at the top for my other pages. It seems easier to move around in as far as I can tell, and since all of the widgets ended up where we put them, I am very happy. 

I hope that as the ones reading this site you find it to be an improvement for you as well. We tested it on three different browsers and all seemed to work fine. If you are getting any errors or find anything not working as it should on your end, please let me know. Thank you for your patience and support.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Please Excuse Our Mess

Sorry, We are trying to change the theme here and having technical difficulties. Hopefully we can have them worked out by tomorrow some time. Until then, the posts are still here to read and enjoy, and your patience is greatly appreciated. Keep your fingers crossed that I can figure this out and not have to remove this one and start over again. Oh that's depressing just writing it.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Q is So Close to Crawling

My little baby Q is now six months old, and she is so close to crawling that I think it really frustrates her. She can see things near her, and because she is so curious she just has to get over to them to grab it. I can see in her face how determined she is to get around. She will wiggle, turn using her arms, and roll until she gets to the place she wants to be. To move herself a few feet is a major effort, but she doesn't give up. A few of those major moves in a row however puts her close to a nap time. She just wears herself out. 

Q is also moved up to eating some solids. She started on some rice cereal to get used to the textures of food. It is fun watching her eat, some times she will look like a baby bird with her mouth wide open waiting for the little spoon to come drop off the food for her. So far she is a very good eater. I hope when we try other new foods she will adapt to them as easily. 

T is being the best big brother that I could imagine. I am so proud of him. He always talks about how he loves his baby sister. And on his own he will sometimes go over and pick up Q's toys that have fallen out of her reach and put them back into her hands so she can play with them. T has even been doing well at being quiet when we ask him to so Q can sleep at nap time. Initially he was insulted that we asked him to be quiet, and would get sad and just about cry, as if we had scolded him. But now he figured out we all have to be quieter when someone is taking a nap. When we remind him he will just keep going about his play, just a little quieter than before. 

T has also been doing very well at getting dropped off at school. He was a little needy for a while at the new school, but we seem to be beyond that. Today when I dropped him off he stood by me for a minute, but then went off to play. I said good bye to him and he waved good bye to me as I left. No problems at all. It is nice to see him growing up so well. I am not sure if we are doing something right, or just happen to be the luckiest parents around. Maybe it is a bit of both.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Updates... Chickens, Winnings, and EntreCard Drops

Just a few updates I wanted to add. First, the chicken pick up went OK. There was a delay of a few hours because they couldn't get trailers here to carry the chickens away in. I am not sure how they run that company. They know how many chickens I have, they know how many trailers they will need, they know when they need them, they know how long it takes to pick them up and to drive them to the plant, yet they still mess it up. On the good side though, they picked them up, and I now await my fate in knowing how much they weighed. I guess that could be good or bad. we will have to see how it goes. Either way, I will be better off than the poor chickens. 

Next, I wanted to report that I was a winner of a give away at From Melissa's Desk!!  I was one of three winners of the Pillsbury "Home is Calling" gift baskets. It was my first time winning a give away, and I was so excited. Anything that involves food definitely works for me. Melissa always seems to have a give away going over there on her site. I hate to do this, because it lowers my chances of winning them when more people enter, but in this case, sine I already won a prize, I recommend everyone stop over there and enter as many of her givaways as you can. Seriously, who doesn't like free stuff? And all you usually have to do is comment on the post with the give away and you are entered. You can't beat that kind of a deal. So, click the link, and go there, enter a give away, and then come right back to finish reading this post. I'll hold your spot. 

OK, welcome back. Finally, I wanted to point out the EntreCard drop link on my sidebar. If you are an EntreCard Dropper and want to quickly find some good sites to drop on then you can use my list. It is under the Pages section on the far right column. I am making it nice and easy by creating a list of links to people I typically drop on. They are people who return my drops, so they will most likely drop back on you as well, and that is what we all want, right? As you can see the list is not at 300 yet, but it is growing daily. I added people I found in my Inbox each day, but due to time limitations at the end of the flock, I didn't get everyone that dropped on me added to the list. I will keep adding to it. If your site is not on the list and you are an EntreCard member who wants to be on my daily dropping list, then just comment on this post and I will add you. 

Once the list hits 300 though, I will probably be more picky of who is on the list. I'll worry about that when I come to it. So far though the list is people who are active droppers, and I like that part. I would appreciate any input from people who would like to use the list. If you see duplicates let me know so I have a true count. If I missed someone who you think should be on the list let me know, and don't be shy. I just have so much time and limited brain power in the evenings when I tend to work on the site. I miss things all the time. And the higher he quality the sites on the list are the more fun it is for me to go through and read the new posts when I stop by. I guess I should also say that if you are listed on the page and are offended that I added you to the list, let me know that and I will quickly and quietly remove you with no questions asked.