Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Time For a Little Change

It seems like I have gotten hooked on making changes lately. Not huge changes... just small ones.

  • Going Green: With all of the "going green" media coverage and Earth Day on Sunday, it got me thinking about how I can help the environment. I also watched the Oprah episode last week on "going green". And whatever Oprah says, I will obediently follow.... haha! So when Tom got home that night, I informed him of some small changes we would be making to help improve our planet:
  • Recycle: Can you believe we have never recycled before? Our apts. even have nice recycling bins by the garbage and I have never put anything in them! So this week I happily took out the garbage and was smiling to myself as I tossed some cardboard and milk cartons into the recycling bins.
  • Energy: We bought some of the Energy Smart Light Bulbs to help save money and energy. We are pretty excited to see if it even makes a small dent in our electric bill. I have also been trying really hard to turn off the lights when I leave a room and to leave the shades open during the day instead of turning lights on.
  • Diapers: We are going to start using cloth diapers..... YEAH RIGHT! I don't think I could ever do that in a million years. If the kids have a stinky diaper, we were wrapping them up in a plastic bag and tossing them in our garbage. So, I decided we should start using the actual "diaper garbage" in the kids' room and then return the Walmart bags to the store... where they recycle them.
  • I have also contemplated buying natural cleaning products. I will have to look into how much they cost. On Oprah they talked about how toxic cleaning products can affect kids who have asthma. Evan is very susceptible to getting asthma because of his premature lung issues.
  • Just a few of the names Tom has been calling me this week: Mother Earth, Mother Nature, Al Gore, Sheryl Crow, and health nut.

  • Organizing: I went to a Relief Society activity a few weeks ago on how to organize your home. I definitely needed the advice and took away a few things that I wanted to try right away. I haven't been totally diligent with these new ideas, but I'm getting better.
  • Wipe out your refrigerator every time you go grocery shopping. Your fridge is usually pretty empty when you go shopping so it's easy to quickly wipe it down. Ever notice how much nicer it looks when there isn't dry food or sticky stuff all over the place?
  • Make your bed every morning right when you wake up. I know, some of you prob. have done this since you were little. But, I had cool parents and I don't remember them ever making me make my bed! Having your bed made just makes the room look nicer... in a very easy way!
  • Never go to bed with dirty dishes in the sink. Waking up to dirty dishes makes you start the day off in bad mood!

  • Food: This week I've been reading a book I got at the library, "So What Can I Eat?", about how to easily follow the "Dietary Guidelines for Americans" or "My Pyramid". I have never really counted calories or even payed too much attention to food groups. So this book is very interesting to me and has got me thinking about what areas of the food pyramid I need improvement in.
  • As some of you know, one of my very fav. things to do now is cook. And even though we have been trying to eat healthy, as Tom mentioned in his last post, we do have our "free days". So I decided this week that I needed to try cooking some very classic foods that I have just never tried before. Yesterday we made steamed artichokes ( is that a classic food?). This weekend I am making homemade cinnamon rolls. And next week I want to try and make fried chicken. I have only been seriously cooking for a little over a year, so I still have a lot to learn! When I think back to when we first got married, I was extremely picky when it came to food and cooking. I have come a long way in things I will try. I used to NEVER use fresh onions, peppers, garlic, mushrooms, or a lot of vegetables. Now I can't imagine NOT using them! We are even starting to use more tomatoes in our recipes!
  • Another thing I have been trying the past couple of months is baking bread every Saturday. I was getting frustrated that I couldn't find a really healthy, cheap, and tasty bread at the store. So I got the idea to make my own! I bought a book on Amazon called "The Breadman's Healthy Bread Book". (the author is originally from Bozeman, MT) It is an awesome book. I use my bread machine so they are super easy to make! So far we have tried 100% Whole Wheat, Apricot Nut, Blueberry Lemon, Honey Banana Whole Wheat, Italian Herb, and Apple Walnut. Almost all of them are 100% whole wheat recipes and extremely healthy! There is nothing like the smell of home baked bread!

  • I wonder what new thing I will want to try next. But, you know how it goes... you get all kinds of ideas in your head and then you don't stick with them for very long! I guess we will see how long I will keep up my new changes.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Random Things

I didn't have much to do today so I thought I would sit down and blog about what we've been up to lately.

  • Does anyone else feel like they are hardly ever really"busy"? (You are probabaly laughing and thinking,"Huh?") I guess it might only apply to stay-at-home moms or those who don't work.... otherwise you would be busy with work most of the time. I have had a very uneventful week and just haven't had much to do. Don't get me wrong, I do keep occupied with the kids and housework! It seems like every other mom I talk to is saying how "busy" and "crazy" their day/week was. And I am always thinking,"Hmmm, I haven't had one of those days in a long time." (But, I do have them occasionally!) Well, maybe that is a sign that I need to find more things to do! I find the hardest time is when the kids are asleep and I can't go anywhere. I hate to waste time with TV or taking a nap (if I don't really need one). I guess I usually get on the internet or clean something. Anyways, hope you don't think I'm a lazy bum now! I should find some sort of "project" to work on around the house... any ideas?
  • Tom and I were both really sick over the weekend.... at the exact same time with the exact same symptoms. We either got food poisoning or some stomach virus. (I'll spare you the details.) It was terrible because usually one of you is sick and the other takes care of the other one and the kids... but neither of us could do that! But, we are finally better now. Except, now Jordyn has it... or something similar. Luckily she didn't have it at the same time as us which would have been BAD. We were up last night at 3am cleaning up vomit! SO fun! But today she is doing better and hasn't gotten sick again.
  • Last night Tom and I went to a meeting for teachers and parents of special needs kids, age preschool to 21. I always get flyers for meetings, etc... but just have never gone. So I decided we were going to finally go to one! I am really glad we did. The school district put the meeting on and had a panel of parents who have special needs kids. They also had a special speaker, a girl from Spokane, named Logan Olsen, who started a magazine for disabled girls. Their story is amazing and her and her mom are very inspiring. Check out her story and website...
    The panel talked about everything from recreation, to guardianship, special needs services, school, play groups, and many other state or local programs. It was very interesting and I loved hearing the backgrounds of all of the families. I think most of all, it was extremely motivating! They talked over and over about being your child's advocate and never taking NO as an answer from anyone! I will definately be going to more meetings in the future!
  • This weekend Tom and I are watching "the kids". Our babysitting group is still holding on strong!
  • Susan and I have started training for our sprint triathlon. I think we have about 8 weeks left. This Saturday we are running the "Bloomsday Run" course for practice, before Susan runs that race in 2 weeks. I have never seen the course, but everyone talks about part of the course called"Doomsday Hill"..... can't wait to see how bad it is. We also found some cool triathlon classes at the YMCA. You pay $6 for each class and you do however many you want. Depending on the day, the coaches help you with swimming, biking, or running tips. So, we will probably attend a few of those classes before the race.

    So, that's my life for now!

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Lil' Rascal

Evan is turning into a little rascal! It's actually pretty funny. I absolutely love when Evan discovers something new... even something naughty. Because of Jordyn being developmentally delayed, Tom and I have a totally different perspective when Evan learns something new. I'm sure you can imagine how greatful we are that he is able to do even the smallest things. The milestones just seem to be even more incredible than normal. (And at the same time, it leaves a little ache in your heart because you are always wondering,"I wonder what Jordyn would look like doing that?" Or "I wonder what she would sound like.") I am also always in shock that he can figure certain things out! How do kids learn these things? And of course I want to brag to everyone, but I'm sure they don't think it's as exciting as I do! Anyway, I caught a few photos of Evan "learning" some new things:

Evan getting stuck under the kitchen chair. It took him
a little practice to finally figure out how to get out!

This was a bigger mess than Evan's 1st Birthday cake.
Can't wait for when he starts throwing food!

I was watching the kids one day (ok, and watching TV
at the same time) and it got really quiet. The kids were
hiding by the side of the couch and somehow got the lid off
the snacks and were shoveling them in their mouths as
fast as they could!

Evan literally licking his plate clean.

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Monday, April 09, 2007

Happy Easter!

Hope everyone had a great Easter Sunday! We had a great morning at church and then went over to the Kovich's house for lunch. We had some great food (ham, twice baked potatoes, rolls, fruit salad, green bean casserole, "bunny" cake, and nest egg cookies) and we were very stuffed the rest of the day. Susan put together a little Easter egg hunt for the kids. Evan and Katherine just sat in one spot.... so there wasn't much "hunting" going on there! Elizabeth found most of the eggs and helped Jordyn find eggs too. Here are some photos of the egg hunt:

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Sunday, April 01, 2007

March Race #3 & Ambulance Ride!

Note: the ambulance ride had nothing to do with the race!

This past Saturday was the Birch Bay International Road Race that my friend Jeni and I raced in. (It is located in the very northwest tip of Washington... just miles from the Canadian border.... hence the "international" race name.) We headed up on Friday afternoon and ate dinner and visited with her in-laws that live near Seattle. Then we drove about another hour and stayed the night in Bellingham. Luckily it wasn't raining on Saturday morning. We had some awesome scenery for our run. It was 9 miles of running right along the shoreline of the bay and then also through part of Birch Bay State Park. As you can see in the photo below, Jeni and I tied for the silver medal..... ok I lied, everyone got medals! We had a great time and even got some super cool running socks... ha! After the race we headed back towards Seattle and did a little shopping. Jeni's mother-in-law, who works as a hairstylist, was nice enough to take some time and cut and highlight my hair. After we did that, we took off and went home! It was nice to get away and just relax and have fun. I'm sure some people think running a race is definitely not relaxing!

Our lives got pretty crazy earlier in the week. On Tuesday, Jordyn had a pretty big seizure at school. Surprisingly, this is the first one she has had while at school. They called us first, but thought it was severe enough that they should also call 911. They described the seizure to me, but since I really wasn't 100% sure what the seizure was like, we did not mind them calling 911. Better safe than sorry. When we got to the school, there was a fire truck and paramedics already there. The ambulance arrived at the same time as us. Needless to say, it was quite the scene! We got to her class and we could tell right away that she had indeed had a bad seizure. But, the really bad part was over and she was already asleep (which always happens right after her big seizures... and then she sleeps the rest of the day). The paramedics thought she should go to the ER and get checked out. So I rode with Jordyn in the ambulance and we went to the hospital. It was Jordyn's first time riding in an ambulance and mine too! They checked Jordyn at the ER and asked us a million questions. They thought Jordyn had one of her big seizures because of the medication changes we have recently been making. We talked to her neuro. and he just recommended increasing one of her meds. and meeting with him soon. And since her post-seizure behavior was pretty typical and familiar to us... they sent us home (4 hrs. later!) . So, it really wasn't anything too out of the ordinary... just the fact that she was at school when it happened made it a pretty wild day!
During the ambulance ride, they gave me a teddy bear to give to Jordyn when she woke up. I started thinking about all of the stuffed animals Jordyn has accumulated over the past 4 years during doctor visits, special appointments, and procedures. I got them all out and took a picture of her and the stuffed animals together. You would think she would have even MORE stuffed animals considering all of the stuff she has gone through, but we would go broke! I guess we will do anything to try and make her feel better!
You'll notice in Jordyn's stuffed animal photo that her face rash is back with a vengeance. We finally got the OK from the pediatrician to take her to a dermatologist! They couldn't get her in for 3 weeks so that's a bummer. But, I am very anxious to see if they can find a solution!

And just a side note... I think we all need to harass Tom about his recent LACK of blogging. He has gone an entire MONTH without writing anything. Now he will have to blog six times in April to make up for his "New Year's Resolution" of blogging three times per month. So come on Tom.... we all want to hear from you!

"The Hair Cut"... Before and After

Jordyn and her stuff animals.
From L to R:
Baby Seal from our trip to Seattle to see a new Neurologist and Opthamologist.
Teddy Bear from her recent ambulance ride.
Pink Pony from the Kovich's when Jordyn had her 24 hour EEG.
Elephant I bought Jordyn when she had had her skin biopsy.
Teddy Bear from an appt. with the Shriner's Hospital.

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