Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween.

oooh. I love holidays. today could not have gone ANY better.

Zeb and I went running in the most magnificent weather. I wore my witch socks and he wore his pumpkin costume. We also went trick-or-treating in downtown Perrysburg (a quaint little main street area) with friends. I made sure that zeb got all of the really good candy (chocolate, etc) so that Kent and I could enjoy it all later on.

This evening for dinner I decided to attempt my mom's famous "stew in a pumpkin". I made a delectable beef stew (it really was so good) and then baked it in a real live pumpkin. The pumpkin changes to this cool dark color and adds just a hint of Halloween flavor to dinner. Kent actually likes to scrape pumpkin guts into his dinner- I just enjoy the seeped in flavor.

Somehow I had forgotten about our Toledo halloween tradition of dressing up like burritos for free food. I got a reminder call and with just a few pieces of foil got more free dinner. Kent was pleased with his steak burrito. My chicken burrito is in the fridge for his lunch tomorrow. Our burrito costumes were not nearly as comprehensive this year as last. We each only had a foiled finger burrito instead of full body burritos.

I already can't wait for next year Halloween! I think Zeb will enjoy it next year even more as well. Unfortunately that means we won't get as much of his candy.

my pumpkin beef stew.

bake in the pot for most of the time- then add it to the pumpkin for about 30-45 minutes and bake at 350. Line your baking pan with foil and be careful because the pumpkin softens considerably.


  • 2 pounds beef stew meat, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes with juice
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons instant tapioca
  • 1 tablespoon beef bouillon granules
  • 2 teaspoons white sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 4 carrots, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 2 strips celery, cut into 3/4 inch pieces
  • 3 potato, peeled and cubed
  • 1 onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 slice bread, cubed
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Lightly grease a 9x13 inch baking dish.
  2. In a large skillet over medium heat, brown the stew meat; drain and set aside.
  3. In a mixing bowl, combine the tomatoes, water, tapioca, beef bouillon granules, sugar, salt and pepper. Stir in the beef, carrots, celery, potatoes, onion, and bread cubes. Pour into the prepared baking dish.
  4. Cover and bake for 2 hours, or until meat and vegetables are tender.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

just another recipe. fastest & easiest great cookie known to man.

I'm obsessed with these. I've always always loved homemade oreos- but lately I've made them so many times I've lost count. I make the frosting orange so that they are festive and halloweeny- and I try to give as many away as possible so I quit eating them. I just need to stop making them. I got a bunch of cake mixes for 50 cents at walmart- so I've been using them up.

This is the EASIEST recipe and best tasting cookie ever.
1 pack devils food cake mix
2 eggs
1/2 c shortening
mix and shape into small balls (I like mini cookies). Bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes. YUM-o.

I also love love love the homemade buttercream frosting for in between (thanks betty crocker).
1.5 c p. sugar
2 tbsp soft butter
3 tbs milk
any fun coloring you wish

and check out this deer Zeb and I saw yesterday on our run. The ones with antlers make me a little nervous. What if he tried to charge us?! a ginormous dog once jumped out at us while I was running and you know what I did? I jumped BEHIND the stroller. Yep- I left little zeb prey to the ferocious animal. Does that make me a bad mom? I didn't mean to do it- and the dog didn't end up being mean at all.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

time out

Timeout has been one of Zeb's consequences since he turned one. Only recently his timeout location was switched to a kitchen chair where he has more accountability to STAY put and come to the realization that even though he wants to do other things he has to sit there and wait. He thinks it's hysterical. Maybe it's just because I'm his mom and I know his faces- but this is a face of pure amusement and slyness (or orneriness in ohio context). This rascal thinks it's so stinking funny to be on this chair while I explain to him the infraction that put him there in the first place. He giggles while I describe his offenses to him. He slithers around and laughs when he says "sorry". I realize that taking a picture of this event is NOT helping the situation- but I couldn't help it. I think the chair is going to have to face a corner from here on out. When he knows he can get my attention or see me- he's incorrigible.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Ever had one of those days when EVERYthing goes the OPPOSITE of how you planned it?! yesterday was that day for me. We started off with Zeb's doctor's visit. We discussed it, we planned for it, we practiced everything. It was terrible. He screamed like a banshee baby the entire time. He was, however, able to squeeze out a "thank-you" to the doctor amidst his sobs before she left. Storytime at the library was also treacherous. He was a little fidgety and got in trouble THREE times from story lady (she tends to be a little stiff and strict sometimes). Once we got home he was EXHAUSTED- but didn't want to sleep. Cleaning the house is nigh impossible with the rugrat running rampant. We decided to go to the grocery store to get stuff for dinner and pumpkins for family home evening. After a medium length shopping excursion I got to the checkout only to find that I had forgotten my wallet in my coat pocket at home. Grrrr. We returned home to get the wallet and decided to run to Meijer (closer) to get our items since we were running quite late. We get to Meijer only to find that they have NO PUMPKINS. Are you kidding me?! It's freaking October 27! I decided we'd have to go after dinner with Kent to get them.
Dinner prep went pretty good. Kent finished up the steak stroganoff (one of his specialities) and things were looking up. I smooshed my potato and smothered it with dinner. Just as I was about to dig in I flipped my bowl onto the floor (accidentally) and all over my pants and shoes. Lucky for Kent I was Über irritable and just scooped it back into my plate to eat. Zeb actually loved the dinner and shoveled the steak in like he hadn't eaten in years. Apparently he dropped to the 25% percentile for weight so this was a good step for his "new chub up" program. The not so good step came five minutes later. I guess he shoveled the steak down without chewing it well. Just as I went to get him out of his high chair, he starting ralphing. Not gagging or spitting up- but full on vomiting and dry heaving. It was so sad. I took him to the bathroom to clean up and just as I got all of his clothes off the ralphing started up again. He got most of it in the toilet at least. I moved him to the bathtub to clean off. Shortly thereafter the ralphing commenced again. Darn that good steak floating around the bathtub.
At this point returning to the store was not in the best interest of all family members. Zeb went to bed- and I followed a short time later.
Today has already been a turn for the better.

Here is zeb pre doctor check-up. all chipper and pleasant.

Here he is after the nurse has weighed him and checked head circumference. In this picture he has yet to even see the doctor and get his "real" check-up. Kent is trying to calm him down by reading to him. He is exasperated and wants nothing to do with the book. I wish you could hear the screeches coming out of his open mouth. This picture makes him look happy compared to what was really going on.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Kent's thoughts

School has been much more intense this year, but I absolutely love it! We are learning the coolest things right now which have reinforced the lessons I learned in Nicaragua and reemphasized my desire to practice global medicine. I'm so glad I'm in the Air Force and will eventually have the chance to practice medicine in various places! This last week we have been studying infectious worms - many of which are found only in Africa and South America. My doctor in Utah would go to Africa every year for a month and I was always impressed with his pictures and stories. I want to go to Africa!!!
Check out these crazy diseases:
Guinea Worm - Dracunculiasis (scroll to 1:55 if you get bored)
River Blindness - Onchocerciasis
(kind of boring - but I would love to help people like this)

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Zeb got a pretty decent amount of good candy at the "trunk or treat". I'm not sure whether that's fortunate or unfortunate for Kent and me. Zeb doesn't really love candy much and so we've been eating it all day today. I do not need more sweets.

Zeb loves playing with the packaged candy. He must like the wrappers and bright colors or something. He knows what's inside them all- he just doesn't seem to care.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

what a day

Kent sacrificed some of his study time to run another 5k with me this morning ( p.s. i hate after race pictures). I'm always so excited for the weekend until I remember that Kent has to be at school just as much as regular -if not longer. Thankfully he'll almost always cave to my pleads for him to go later or come home a little earlier than planned- I'm a terrible influence on him.
My knee, while hideously ugly and bruised, feels great. The picture doesn't do the bruising justice- it looks lots more colorful in person. It still hurts to kneel on- but I didn't feel anything during the race. It warmed up a little and the weather couldn't have been better for a run. Zeb loved playing around the park afterward.After the race we ran by Old Navy for their crazy Halloween party. Zeb got a free fireman shirt and a halloween one for a dollar! I love free stuff.

This evening we had our ward "trunk or treat". I LOVE Halloween and Halloween parties. I even love more that I married a man who will dress up with me. Apparently, however, I broke numerous military laws by impersonating an officer and wearing the uniform incorrectly.
The party was really great and insanely well attended. Zeb did splendidly with his costume. My plan totally worked and he never even tried to rip his little pumpkin head off. He also did really well with the trick or treating and said thank-you to every person who gave him candy. His favorite stop of the night was the man giving out beanie babies! He wanted to hold his new monkey all night long. His second favorite stop of the night was the car playing kids Halloween music. He stopped and danced for a good five minutes.

We are all exhausted and I can only hope Zeb sleeps well tonight. He's had a rough past two nights (he's been all congested and wheezy) and I am so ready for a good night's sleep. I'm not as worried about nights with a newborn anymore because it can't be worse than Zeb lately, right?! although I shouldn't curse myself by saying things like that.

Friday, October 24, 2008

this one's for you mum

He has finally relented. Z man could say grandpa, grandma, daysa, metta, and every other family member's name just fine way back in June when we were in Utah for the summer- but he absolutely refused to say Nannie Annie. Even when my mom was here in August and offered to pay zeb's future college tuition and buy him a car- he wouldn't budge. He never even attempted it. Just yesterday I showed Z a picture of nannie Annie and asked him to repeat her name. He said it perfectly. Today he'll only say "nanna anna" on video- but I think it counts (although it sounds eerily familiar to how he says banana). Maybe you could at least get him a toy car (or train) for finally saying it, mum!

Background info= Nannie Annie refuses to go by grandma and goes by "Nannie Annie" instead. She says she isn't old enough to have grandchildren- which is absolutely true. Just because she's married to the grandpa doesn't make her a grandma.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Look how much this spot is changing! I love it!! and little Z is changing. I Love him too. Look what he's got in every picture though- we may never get rid of that little blanket of his.
march 2008may 2008Yesterday.

It has been mighty chilly in the morning lately. This morning on the way to the park we had to scrape our windows!!

Update: - phase one of binky removal has gone nearly flawless. Zeb only gets the bink IN bed or when he's IN the stroller (and in the stroller only when I'm running). He never even asks for it when we're at home. Our goal is to have it gone (at least a monthish) before the new rugrat comes. I think (hope) that everything should work out just as planned. He's been made aware of the situation and has agreed upon the conditions.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

zeb post

Zeb has perfected the art of fake laughing. He knows that his laugh will elicit a reaction from us so he uses it to his benefit. When he laughs for his Thomas whistle- he knows that I'll blow it again..and again and again. I apologize for the ketchup in his eyebrows. He got a little carried away at lunchtime.

His new favorite thing to do is wrestle with his giant Tigger. Being naked is not a new favorite thing. He has always loved it (I wonder where he gets that).
Here's a late addition to zeb's post. He looks forward to his breathing treatments everyday because he gets to listen to his favorite music. It mesmerizes him (which works out quite nicely for the 7 minutes it takes to get through his pulmicort dose).

Some of his new favorite words are tractor, sorry, wow-wow, 1-2-3...go, and socks. Oh, and he finally says "up" instead of "puh". Actually it's more like "pup" now- but whatever.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

grrrr. (a boring post on my morning's events)

My OB told me she didn't think that I should run anymore because she is afraid that I am going to fall due to the disruption in my balance caused by my expanding mid section. I love my OB and respect her greatly- but I have no intention of stopping running. It's one of the things that keeps me sane and happy. Not to mention- it's my back and behind that seem to get bigger than anything else- so if worst comes to worst I figured I'd just fall backwards due to any impending balance problems. Today, however, I fell forward. HARD. And it did NOT happen on my run. After my morning jog and some swinging at the park I was headed back to the car to go home. Zeb was not super pleased to be ripped away from the playground and was writhing around in his stroller. As I picked him up to make the transfer to his carseat I stumbled on something and went crashing on to the pavement. It hurt ridiculously bad. Zeb was wailing and I nearly cussed (and wailed a little bit too). I couldn't put my hands forward to catch myself because I was holding Zeb so I absorbed the weight of me and my 1.5 children all on my knee. It swelled instantly to four times its size. It was disgusting really and it looked like I'd cracked my kneecap in two. Luckily you can see now (as pictured in the hideous knee shot [let's face it, you can't get a good shot of this part of your body in this position]) that the swelling has gone down considerably to a minor bump. I think I'm fine -I just can't kneel. I do wish I'd gotten an "immediately after" shot- it was gruesome.

Monday, October 20, 2008

my deepest apologies.

Once Zeb has gone to bed and the house is semi clean and I have my seminary lesson prepped for the next morning- I usually sit down and blog. Lately once I sit down- it means I'm gone. Kent has had to wake me up off the couch to take me to bed as early as nine! The combination of zeb's bad nights, my fun filled days :), and early mornings make me -MY MOM! She has always been the "early to bed early to rise" type and it appears that I may be headed down that road.
I am going to have to make sure and get my blog entry in a little bit earlier in the day if I want it to actually happen.
Luckily we've been busy all morning and I already have a picture to attach. We went running at Swan Creek- then had story time at the library (where we were filmed to be on the news tonight!) and then went to the zoo for free mondays. Zeb was dead asleep the instant I put him in his carseat to head home from the zoo.
Zeb has become a stroller hater lately and wants to run free (away from me) at all times. Here's the kid enjoying the "African Safari".

Saturday, October 18, 2008

my thoughts on this long and boring October Sweetest Day

Today was a hideously long and boring day! Kent studied away while Zeb and I wasted away in boredom.

Luckily this evening Kent and I did get to eat dinner together and put the Z to bed so we could enjoy some time on "Sweetest Day". I had no idea it existed. I think it's an Ohioan made up holiday- a day for restaurants and flower shops to make extra money. But, whatever, we celebrated anyway. Thank you REDBOX (and freebie code dvdonme) for our moneyless viewing of the new Indiana Jones movie. Why didn't anybody warn me about the ants?!?! Mom? Dad? I'm pretty sure that the two of you saw it- and even may have recommended it. Do you not remember my morbid fear? plus, I didn't even really like the movie that much besides the ants.

Happy Sweetest Day! Hope you all had as much fun as we did.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

I know, I know

All of my posts are all about fall or Zeb. I can't help it though- I am obsessed with this season and Zeb is basically an appendage.

This morning I went running and this was our trail! I love fall. The smell of the damp forest is one of my favorites of all time. There is almost nothing better than running on a trail so covered with leaves that you can't see it!
I've been a delinquent parent and haven't taken Zeb to get "professional" pictures taken to regularly document his life stages. Hopefully I've made up for the deficiency in the amount of pictures I've personally taken (we are almost up to 3000). I've been wanting to get some great fall pictures taken of him but it's always been raining or gloomy or I forget my camera or SOMEthing. Today, however, was the perfect day for such a photo shoot.

This kid loves being outside. He will run from me in a heartbeat to find a great stick or a puddle.

I love this picture! I wish you could see his face a little more- but zoom in on it to see his little inquisitive look at the leaf on his mitten.This is one of my faves.I love his nose.

We had book club last night and I didn't get home until way too late (unfortunately WAY too late is now 11 pm for me) to finish a post I'd started earlier.

I finished these two books this week (although not for book club). I would definitely recommend The Secret Life of Bees. I'm really excited to see the movie- but since I'd already seen previews I couldn't shake the idea that Lily (the main character) looked/spoke like Dakota Fanning. I wish the book had ended a little sooner and I got a tad bored for a few pages- but overall I enjoyed it.

It was so strange to me that these books were written by the same author. They are SO different in every way imaginable.

I would NOT recommend The Mermaid Chair. ew. I really really didn't like it at all. It was all about a woman who has an affair with a Monk. ew. I hated the premise and the theme.

I'm starting the book Ghost Story by Peter Straub- anybody read it?

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Today was one of our same old regular good days- minus the fact that Zeb never napped?!? he makes me insane sometimes. Luckily Kent put him to bed this evening when I went to YW. He played like crazy all day (running, then walking group, then the playground, then playgroup at the museum , and then lots of play at home!) and should have zonked easily- but I think he's getting more teeth. He's acting funny at night and chewing on his blanket a lot. Are there such thing as 18 month or two year molars? do they even exist? somebody who has more experience needs to fill me on on the tooth thing.

Oh, and another sign- he's eating strange things again. He tried to eat his paint brush today, along with all of these metallic confetti things that he was playing with, and dirt from anthills (not any other dirt). He exitted the pica (toilet paper eating, etc) stage awhile ago but seems to be reentering.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Somehow he has figured out that the house is full of new and exciting people at six am. Here he is at 5:45 this morning getting ready for them (and enjoying the early showing of sesame street). For a week now he has been getting up (even though he is still ridiculously tired) to greet my seminary students when they walk in the front door.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

This morning we went on a splendid walk to Swan Creek Park to celebrate the colors finally making their debut. The weather was wonderful -although I am still a little jealous of the mini snow storm that hit my parent's place this weekend. Zeb had a great time running back and forth and back and forth over the bridge (as included in the video). He could have stayed all day! I also included a picture of Zeb doing one of his favorite things. The little rugrat rubs the fuzzy side of his blanket up and down the holes in the sides of his binky so that it tickles his face. And he had better get all of his rubbing in now because we are already in phase one of the "rid zeb of the binky" program.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

not fair. Did it really snow in Utah today? did you all actually see the flakes? or feel them? This morning I checked the Utah weather and this little icon showed up! how was it? I am so jealous. It's a good thing we had Kent's birthday and lots to do to keep me busy and distracted this weekend.

Have I mentioned how much I love birthdays? We had great fun yesterday. Kent came home early from school and we got to spend the entire afternoon together. He got a gift card from his sisters to P.F. Changs (thanks!) and we had a free appetizer coupon- so we went there for dinner. Yum-o. Zeb LOVED it and ate so much chicken and beef. After dinner we went home, put Zeb to bed, and drove out to Napoleon, OH, where they have a haunted corn maze! It was scarily fun. We were definitely the oldest people there and had a blast. I had gotten free tickets (it's usually TWELVE dollars a person!) and Kent LOVES scary movies and haunted houses. I was excited because I knew that he was. I laughed the whole way through the dang thing until the very end when I nearly died. Some insane man came out of the corn stalks with a chainsaw and chased us down this corn aisle towards a giant lit up bullseye. I nearly wet myself.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Happy happy birthday Kent! Hooray. I LOVE parties and I LOVE Kent. A Kent party is definitely one of my favorite kinds.

This past year was the tenth year that Kent and I have been best friends- and it was definitely the best yet! Kent's year 26 was possibly my favorite of his life thus far. In order to celebrate him and the great husband that he is I've decided to compile a list of just a few (one for each month) of my favorite moments with him that have happened since last October 10.

going to "The Nutcracker" at the Stranahan last Christmas
The day he finished his last test of his first year of medical school
My birthday when he surprised me with the Mansion Inn B&B
The morning we woke up and he drove me to Buffalo
Reading the e-mails he sent from officer training and Nicaragua
Paddle boating on the Snake River inYellowstone
Waiting for his phone call today at lunchtime
Trying out all the fun restaurants in Toledo over the year
Laughing hysterically as we watched Everything is Illuminated again and again
Running the "Maumee Holiday Hustle" 5k together
watching project runway together every Wednesday night (thanks for sitting through it, kent!)

and my ALL TIME favorite moment of this year- the moment I saw him when he walked through security after being gone to Officer training!

I canNOT wait for this next year to happen. I'm sure it will be even more fun and more exciting than his 26th.

Happy Birthday Ralph. I am the happiest girl in the world- and if you took everything away besides you- I'd still be the happiest girl in the world.