Sunday, November 30, 2008

We did it. and yes, here I am in all of my fatness.

It was my goal to do five 5ks while pregnant and last night we did our fifth. Since I still have nine weeks to go- I'm looking for another race to run- but with travels and snow I'm not sure if it will happen.
The race was so much fun. It's definitely my favorite 5k of the year- the Maumee Holiday Hustle. If you beat Santa Claus you get a free movie ticket! I wasn't fast enough (the guy runs a seven minute mile or something ridiculous) but Kent was. I did however come in a minute thirty under my goal- so I was pleased.
Zeb even loved the race! I was worried that he was going to freeze to death but it ended up staying in the low forties/upper thirties and he was bundled. He loved all of the houses we passed that were lit up with Christmas lights.
I am so happy that it's the Christmas Season! I love the chilly air and the lights on the houses! I love waking up and seeing our Christmas tree in the front room! I love cheese balls and red and green m&ms!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

It's nine am and I just got up- not to mention I fell asleep at nine pm. I cannot be faulted for the absence of a blog post yesterday. The day had plenty of adventure and many blog worthy events but they exhausted us all beyond measure.

I seem to get anxiety over certain types of situations regularly. The day after Thanksgiving sales KILL me. Over the past week we scoured the ads looking for the best deals and steals to come up with the perfect shopping list. Laney and Taylor needed a tv and we needed random gifts and a printer (this was decided once we saw the amazingly inexpensive ones plus we haven't had one for over a year now). We decided upon Walmart for our first move. I hadn't been able to sleep the two nights prior to Thanksgiving due to the stress caused by thinking about when we'd go stake out the line- to which of the three Walmarts we'd actually go- and then to the wondering if we'd even be getting the items we wanted. I think it's because in Utah the crazies start lining up BEFORE thanksgiving and miss the holiday altogether. After dinner Thursday I couldn't even think straight due to the anxiety. I told Kent if he went and checked out the line I'd clean up dinner. Off he went. Walmart was open but the place was DEAD. Not a soul. Laney and Taylor went back at eight to scope it out. Not even the slightest of line forming. Kent finally convinced me that he'd go back at midnight and let me know the details. It took me almost an hour to zonk- but I finally did around 11. Kent texted at 12 to say that there were no lines but he'd stick around (the walmart is open 24 hours and the lines all formed inside the store). He called at three and said it was starting to get crazy. I couldn't help myself at this point and went to join him. Overall the people were quite pleasant and only a few short spats broke out. It was a little crazy with so many people in one place and at one point police officers did threaten to arrest a lady if she wouldn't put back the bag of legos she'd prematurely grabbed. We got everything we needed without a problem and were home by 5:30. Kent went to bed and Laney and I went back out shopping while taylor watched the kiddos.

I feel TERRIBLE about the walmart employee that was trampled to death in NY. The stores really need to come up with a better system- especially for those that have lines waiting outside.

Taylor, Laney, and Hank (the chunky monkey) left around noon to make the trek back to Buffalo because Laney had to work that night. It was so nice to have them here and be able to make a big dinner! We are so lucky that we have family close by now!! Having them here made Kent more excited for number two- he loves that baby stage that I so desperately fear.

Kent and I spent the rest of the day doing minor shopping- and then getting out all of our Christmas stuff. Most still all needs to be set up- but we did get the tree put together (kent had to tape on a few of the branches). As soon as I started unwrapping ornaments Zeb picked one up- yelled "Ball!"- and chucked it across the room. It shattered all over the floor. This may be a long holiday season with the rugrat.

My two favorite purchases of the day- and two of the things I look forward to most about the Holiday season- are these beauties. Kent got them both for me and I am so happy. Something about Christmas Crunch and a 5 lb box of clementines makes me so happy to have the holidays here. I think the crunch reminds me of my dad and the clementines my mom.

Last night we had another fun adventure. We went to the tree lighting/Santa arriving event at Fallen Timbers Mall where they handed out twenty dollar giftcards to the first two hundred people! 40 dollars- and we only waited in line 25 minutes!!! Zeb had the roughest day yesterday (lack of sleep, his buddy hank leaving, etc) and so we took the bink with us to prevent the screaming banshee baby. Unfortunately it worked like a charm. Dang bink. It's going to be totally gone by january though- he better prepare himself (or maybe we had better prepare ourselves).
Zeb wasn't so sure about what to think of Santa this year. Last year he was so intrigued by the beard. Look at the difference! and look how little he was!! He is going to love Christmas this year.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Our feast was a bounty one today! It's insane to spend so much time cooking and so little time eating but I loved doing our own big dinner this year. We had so much good food. Everything turned out spectacularly. We filled up on cheese balls early in the day- but by three we were ready to eat again! The jello salad, potato rolls, and sweet potatoes were my favorite. Laney put some weird stuff in the stuffing (just so we didn't miss mum too much) and Taylor did homemade cranberry sauce. The turkey was moist thanks to Rachael Ray and the cranberry splash drink hit the spot. I think that Zeb ate seven rolls-no turkey though. I am feeling especially stuffed still (four hours later)- but I fault the fetus for that because I don't feel like I ate as much as usual.

One of the highlights of the day was the turkey shaped butter that Laney and Taylor brought all the way from Buffalo in a cooler. I can't wait for leftovers tomorrow!!!!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Cousin Hank!

Zeb quite enjoyed showing Henry how to blow bubbles in the bathtub tonight. Hank is still mastering the sitting-up-straight-on-a-slippery-surface trick. Henry is way chunky and is such a content little critter. I'm (Kent here) really excited to have number two, but sadly realized after tonight's visit to Tony Packo's that with two we will no longer be eating out. It was way too hard to have two tired kids at a noisy restaurant. They both zonked shortly after this shared bath.

The past few days Zebby has converted to a Daddy's boy! Yesterday Leisy and I picked our neighbor's kids up from school for them. Their parents had given them money for an after-school treat; they wanted to go get ice cream in the freezing cold weather. We were outside the ice cream window shivering, waiting for our ice cream orders when Zeb's little lip started to quiver. I told Leisy to go get the car started and I would pay and bring the ice cream. Once inside the car Zeb had a meltdown because he thought Leisy was leaving without me. I returned to the car and found Zeb with huge tears running down his face screaming for me. PAPA!! DADDY!! It's pathetic! I got up to use the bathroom tonight during dinner and the same thing happened! I don't know what Leisy is going to do after Thanksgiving break.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

grateful for

1. I am so grateful that all of the word verifications have become somewhat manageable. I cannot tell you how many times I was having to redo the old ones. Sometimes I didn't post comments just out of fear for the really evil letter scrambles. Am I the only one that noticed how nice they've become?

These word verifications are examples of the older not so friendly ones.

2. I am also so grateful that the Hankster and company have arrived! Hip-hip hooray. Too bad Z man was asleep for the arrival. He's been practicing their names all day.

Monday, November 24, 2008

grateful for.

Today I am so grateful for two things-

1. As a seminary class we decided to have a Sunday evening Thanksgiving lesson/activity and this week we get the whole week off (monday and tuesday were the only days we were going to meet) to sleep in. I didn't get out of bed this morning until 7:30- and it felt AMAZING.

2. Cute little man clothes. Look how handsome this little rugrat is! I love dressing him up like a little man on Sundays.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

I cannot believe that this week is already Thanksgiving.

I haven't made a complete Thanksgiving dinner since I lived in Russia (and we won't even count that as "complete"- due to the fact that many normal thanksgiving dishes were missing from our spread). I need a little help to make sure I'm not missing anything this year. Growing up we were always spoiled by the great dinner prepared by my Grandma Oswald and other Idahoan family members. When we got a little older we ate at home and mum did the great cooking. Last year we had the delicious opportunity to have a real Ohio Thanksgiving in Ashland with the Starkeys (thanks again, it was delish!). This year Laney, Taylor, and Hank are making the trek down from Buffalo (as long as the weather holds up the way it is supposed to) for the Holiday.

I've got the menu pretty much planned out- but I am missing any integral parts?! What is a "must" at your dinners?

Turkey- basic in a reynolds cooking bag.

Stuffing- if we were at home mum would make sure it was full of strange ingredients-but we're just doing stovetop this year.

Homemade gma Oswald's potato rolls! yum-o. No picture does them justice.

Mashed potatoes and gravy. My favorite part of Thanksgiving.

Cranberry sauce (from a can). There is something so satisfying about slicing yourself a piece of sauce from that perfect cylindrical shape. I love canned cranberry sauce.

Sweet potatoes (NOT candied yams). We had this last year in Ashland and it was to die for. I love the stuff.

Green Bean Casserole. One of Kent's favorites- and it's starting to grow on me.

Jello pretzel salad. My grandma makes this amazing stained glass jello- but it cannot be duplicated so we are going for the next best thing. I love the saltiness of the pretzels under the cream cheese.

Pies! Kent doesn't really like pie much and I only like the chocolate or creamy ones- and Taylor loves Key lime- so it appears we will be going a little nontraditional this year. It will still be pie, however.

And to drink we MUST have a cranberry/lemon-lime mixture. Lucky for us Sierra Mist makes a calorie free cranberry splash. The inventor of this drink is ingenious! They have made holiday drinking so easy!!!!

Last- but certainly not least- we'll be having a great relish tray with Kent's famously delicious cheese ball. I love the relish tray.

Am I missing anything?! I can't wait to eat!!!!

Friday, November 21, 2008

What can I do with this kid?! During the hour that he used to sit in the stroller and run with me- he is now consigned to sitting in front of Thomas dvds while I run on the treadmill. He has also found his bink replacement. I'm not sure how the fuzzy blanket feels anything like a bink- but apparently it works for him. Really, he holds it in his mouth like this many times during the day.
The temperature is in the teens this morning- and the windchill puts it in the single digits- so it looks like outdoor runs are finished for awhile! What am I going to do with this rambunctious little tornado? We've got all sorts of activities like storytime at the library, playgroup, aerobics at the church, and others- but I'm still worried about him making me postal this winter! suggestions!?

Thursday, November 20, 2008

I've been a not so good blogger lately- because life has been sooooooooo stinking busy. For that I am extra grateful! Kent has been ridiculously busy with THREE ginormous tests and thankfully I have had so much to do it wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it would be. Kent finished yesterday and it has been so nice to have him back. I feel so guilty when he calls to check in and I'm at playgroup, or out running, or with friends, or something else very non stressful! He works his tail off and more often than not I am out having fun or at home being non-stressed. Hooray for amazing, hard working, and wonderful husbands.

Unfortunately none of my busy activities have been very picture worthy. We made turkey cookies at playgroup yesterday- but since Zeb doesn't like cookies- he didn't participate. Today Zeb's friend, hailey, has spent the day with us while her mom is having a baby! Sam got to come over from across the hall to join in the fun for awhile too. Here is Zeb being non-compliant about taking a picture. It's about the only picture I've taken in three days. very un-leisy like.
The only other semi picture worthy activity we've been involved in lately is our AMAZINGLY productive and inexpenisve shopping spree this past weekend. It was "friends and family" at the gap and Old Navy so I got thirty% off everything. Then- on top of that- ALL of their clearance for baby was an additional 50% off! I got 80% off of clearance clothes. Unreal really. Check out the haul we brought home. I didn't pay more than 1.79 for any of the items except one. Many of the items were 75 cents or LESS! I hate shopping, but when I get steals like these it's almost euphoric. I've clothed zeb for the next two years now! And, yes there are some girl clothes in there. I'm just being prepared.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

So here's one of my great finds! These nine trains for 9.98. They are pretty stinking amazing-even though they don't have thomas' or percy's or fergus' or bertie's or edward's or henry's face on them. I bought them and now I can relax for awhile.

Monday, November 17, 2008

We aren't entirely sure what this word means (perhaps his shortened form of bubble)- but it is his favorite right now. He says it ALL DAY- and wants us to yell it back to him. This kid is a genius and is talking now. Really he's just a little copy cat- and oftentimes has no idea what he's saying- but he sure is good with his sounds! He loves saying truck, stuck, church, dirt, shirt, and most other words with shs, chs, and ks (and he actually does know what all those words are!). He's also stringing words together and saying things like "it's a bee" or "it's a hopper". My favorite thing he's doing is yelling out words as we pass objects. He'll shout out "truck" or "tractor" as we drive by them in the car. He'll scream "I stuck" from his bedroom if he needs me to get him something. He knows some of his friend's names and has given names to all of his toys. He's pretty darn fun right now.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

dang boy.

I have become a little obsessed with trying to get zeb some trains. It doesn't help that Zeb now can distinguish the "real" from the "fake". Luckily he'll pull the generic trains around as tender- but for the lead car he loves the real thing. I refuse to pay the astronomical prices asked by the evil Thomas and Train company- so I have resorted to Ebay and it is making me INSANE. All that I can think about is trains. I lay in bed at night thinking about them. I've got all these bids I'm watching and stressing about- trying to maintain my composure when I don't win! Or worse, when the "deal" I've been bidding on becomes higher than I'm willing to pay! I can't believe how much money people spend on these stupid trains. Luckily there is the occasional great deal and I'm on the hunt to find them. I've found one steal- and really I'm looking for just one more. I missed out on one by seconds this weekend. I almost cried. Grrrrrrr. So, if anybody knows of any great place for cheap trains- or train books- or train ANYthing, let me know! I've really got to stop getting on ebay- so hopefully this all comes to an end soon. I would only do this for the rugrat- I won't even drive myself this crazy for something that I want! This boy is spoiled. I do find solace knowing that other parents (cousins hailey and steve) resort to such measures to bring smiles to their children's faces :)

Saturday, November 15, 2008


We got some good sized snowflakes today! Too bad none of it stuck. Zeb was completely intrigued. We let him play out on the deck in it for awhile.

Friday, November 14, 2008


FREE BOOK before midnight tonight! I got this from a friend's blog (thanks leslie) and thought I'd pass along the word. You've got to sign up TONIGHT by 11:59- and redeem it by Sunday evening- so act fast! It's a free custom picture book from You can set up an account and it looks pretty easy! I've made them through blurb- and love them. They are perfect for Christmas, anniversaries, b-days, etc. Happy book making.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

check out how zeb wants to give kent a great big wet willie. this kid is too funny. sorry the camera work is a little shaky and that the singing is way off. I am in love with how this kid hugs. He still thinks that a hug is tilting your head and saying "awww".

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

update on the cripple

Turkey lurkey woke up (at 6:30) not walking again. His dr's office doesn't open until 8:30 and luckily by eight he was starting to hobble around on his leg. He just now got up from his nap and besides a little shakiness, he seems fine. He will occasionally collapse and give me a strange look or stop mid jaunt to shake his leg or stamp his foot on the ground though. Something doesn't feel right to him- but it is not preventing him from being mobile any longer. I'm sure his leg will be back to running away from me by the end of the day.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

there's something the matter with our rugrat

I tried to get a video of his problem- but it's really too sad for me to make him try. I know this picture is rather deceiving- he looks happier than ever- but he won't walk. He won't put any weight on his right leg. He is totally happy to sit and play with toys, read books, watch his thomas dvd and do anything else that doesn't require him to put weight on his leg. I have NO earthly idea what could possibly be wrong- and to be honest it makes me a little nervous. I called his pediatrician- but it's veteran's day and they are closed. We did have the neighbor (who just finished his family practice rotation) check him out and he is not sensitive to touch or weight bearing pressure on any part of his leg- has no swelling, redness, fever, etc. Zeb even giggled when he was checking his legs. We've checked his testicles (I thought maybe it was hernia related or something) and his hips too. He is happy and pleasant unless he has to walk-and then he winces and cries and holds his leg up like a lame wounded puppy! He woke up from his nap like this. This morning he ran around and played with friends, helped me clean his room, and has eaten all of his meals just fine. I thought his leg was asleep when he woke up- but it's been 3 and a half hours now. Perhaps I am grossly overreacting- but it just isn't normal Zeb. Of course I think that he has a bone tumor or leukemia or something. And Kent is at school until at least eight because he has three tests in the next seven days (he always seems to be insanely busy the times that Zeb has something wrong). I've decided to see what happens over the next little while and call his pediatrician if the condition doesn't improve by tomorrow morning. Has this ever happened to any of your kids? or to anyone you know? any suggestions!?

Monday, November 10, 2008

Daily I realize yet another naivety of first time parenthood. Today was no exception. Zeb and I were in the same room- I just happened to be distracted. I looked up to find this.

What a little rat, huh? I HATE suckers. They are sticky, obnoxious, and not even tasty. The Halloween candy is now up and out of his reach. No more suckers in this house. I really thought he didn't have it figured out yet. He doesn't usually even go for sweets when we offer- let alone rummage them up himself.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

ears (and the cutest little boy ever)

Zeb has a new fascination with his ears. If we remind him that they exist, he'll immediately plug them. He loves the sound change as he plugs and unplugs them with his fingers.
He also has a new love interest. He's obsessed with Jordin Sparks. Niether Kent nor I have ever listened to her- but one of her songs is on a commercial and zeb LOVES it. He'll freeze and just listen when it comes on. Kent tried looking up the song on youtube and when he found it Zeb was hooked. Metta- we should have had you get her autograph for Zeb when you had dinner with her!!

Friday, November 7, 2008


That's what the instructions on our packages said today. Today, Ellen (our wonderful apartment manager and friend) called to tell us that we'd gotten a package with "live specimens" in it. For Halloween Melynda (Kent's sis) sent us an ant habitat. The inhabitants of the habitat showed up today separately. They are disgusting and I am terrified. The instructions have the words "DO NOT TOUCH THESE ANTS" written several times in bold all caps letters. If they escape we are to use a spoon and dustpan to catch and destroy them. It also states that we "may want to wear gloves for added protection" when moving them. Apparently they "inflict a painful sting and swelling and itching".
You'll have to zoom in on the pic to get a better view of the little critters. I really hate ants. We are going to have to keep the "ant hill" up high- it is definitely NOT zeb proof and I won't be using any dustpans and spoons while wearing gloves to catch any escapees. The lid can just pop off!!

We'll keep you posted on the ant tunnel building- if they last long enough to dig the tunnels.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

I need some pro advice

Right now, as fun as Zeb can be, he also makes me INSANE. I think he needs a leash. I'm serious. No matter where we go, he RUNS wild. When we went trick or treating in downtown perrysburg he'd make a break for it ANY chance he got. As soon as we got into the offices to get the candy he'd make a run for their back rooms. When we were outside he'd tear over to the road or neighboring buildings. ALL of the other kids we were with remained mostly with moms or at least kept in close proximity. Yesterday we went to the 577 foundation (a fun kid's place) and he took off immediately. He does not care where I am or where he's going. Oh, and his stroller is not a great option. He's quite the litle houdini and can writhe and squirm out of any restraint.

So, my question to you all is, should I get him a leash? you know, one of those little monkey backpack things that they wear that also attaches to me. I won't use it unless we are outside or maybe at the library. He makes me crazy at the library-running rampant and pulling hundreds of books and dvds off the shelves. Are leashes pathetic? are they mean? do they even work? will he just grow out of the runaway phase?

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Zeb is so dang funny lately. His current favorite phrases/words include "I'm stuck"- even when he isn't stuck at all- and dirt and shirt. Here's a little video to show you some of his latest antics- fake laughing and eating playdough (nothing too exciting- but it sure shows off his ginormous mouth).

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

prop 8 and some lighter happier news

I'm glued to the tv and internet today and I wish that I could vote in California. I've been a little bit of a news junkie lately and I read the most disturbing article on the npr website. It had me outraged and very nervous. And did anyone see the commercial that they are actually airing in some California precincts today? It depicts LDS missionaries going into the home of a Lesbian couple to confiscate their rings and tear up their marriage license?!? It can be seen on youtube. Go vote YES for prop 8 you Californians!

In lighter news- gas went UNDER TWO DOLLARS here!! 1.99. Sorry, Laney! I know your prices in New York are still pretty steep but we are in heaven here in Toledo.

AHHHH! It's kind of a big day today. I am so excited that we get CNN. I am also excited that all of the political commercials are coming to an end. It must be that we live on Ohio- but at least 75% of commercials on tv right now are political! Kent and I counted FIVE in one short commercial break during our show last night. Not to mention we woke up with Obama signs on our doors this morning!
For those of you who haven't voted yet and need some info on anything- I found the greatest website! Smart voter is the greatest site that gives you all of your ballot information- or at least resources on where to find the info. You can also just google "lucas county sample ballot" to see all of the issues on your ballot- but include your county instead of mine :) HAPPY VOTING.

Monday, November 3, 2008

I guess all little boys do this?!

This little rugrat sure needs a lot of sleep aids! He has been miraculously great about having his bink only at bedtime, but now he also needs a few other items. He's always been a blanket and tigger boy and just recently he's added his four, six, and eight wheeled friends to the bedtime routine. I think he learned the trick from his buddy, sam. Luckily Zeb is still the easiest kid in the world to put to bed. He loves everything about his bed and falling asleep in it (he just still sometimes struggles with staying asleep in it).

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Best Halloween Costume Ever!

Leisy loves keeping up with the latest Hollywood gossip. We accept it and love her for it. I'm always getting in trouble for asking "Who?!?" when I should be well aware of who just named their baby Zuma, Apple, Moxie Crimefighter or something crazier than Zbinden. Today while she was looking at Hollywood Halloween costumes her fascination kind of became mine as well. So much so that I am blogging about this. I actually liked watching Project Runway with Leisy and must admit my dissapointment that they completed their final season. We both quite enjoyed Heidi Klum's personality but I REALLY liked her costume this year. It has to be the coolest costume I have ever seen - I would totally dress up like this if I had as much money as her.


Saturday, November 1, 2008

We had a baby shower at my place this weekend and we decided to make cinnamon rolls since it was a breakfast open house. I really love a good cinnamon roll but I've never had much success in making them myself. This morning I made a batch that was DIVINE. It was so easy and pretty fast for a homemade roll. It is definitely not healthy and I am so glad that they were nearly gone when everyone left! they really were so good.

1 cup warm milk
1 pack rapid rise yeast
2 eggs
1/3 c soft or melted butter
1 tsp salt
1/2 c white sugar
4.5 c bread flour ( I did use bread flour because I had it on hand-I'm not sure if there would be much difference with regular flour though)

combine the yeast and milk and mix. Allow to sit a few (3-5) minutes (mine never got frothy like my regular yeast mixtures do).

mix eggs, butter, salt, and sugar. Add yeast mixture and blend. Add the flour by cups and mix with mixer while you still can (I didn't knead it at all because I mixed it a little here). The dough will be pretty sticky- don't stress. Preheat oven to 200 degrees and turn off. Place in greased glass bowl in oven covered with a damp rag or paper towel. Let rise one hour or so (until doublish in size). Roll out into rectangle (I did two rectangles) on lightly floured surface. I added a tad more flour just so it didn't stick to my hands- but don't add too much.

1 c (I did a little extra) brown sugar
1/2 c butter
2.5- 3 tbsp cinnamon

Spread the rectangles with MELTED butter and then top with sugar mix. Cut in 1 inch thick strips (mine were probably 5-6 long) and roll up. Really I just eyeballed all of this. They rise A LOT so don't make them too big.

Place in warm oven (in glass dish-a 9 by 13 will hold about 2/3 of them) again for 30 minutesish (or until you are happy with their size). Bake twenty minutes at 350 degrees. Keep an eye on them so that they don't burn or dry out.

Mine made twenty decent sized rolls! I also had some leftover sugar filling and poured it on top with about five minutes left to cook.

I used my favorite frosting!
3 c p sugar
6 tbsp milk
5 tbsp (soft) butter