Friday, October 31, 2008

I just got back from voting early! Yay! I should have done it earlier in the week, though--and/or earlier in the day. I went around lunch time and it was PACKED. Luckily, the line went pretty quickly--"only" 40 minutes. I wouldn't mind that by myself, but with Kate it was a little harder. She kept wandering away, going up/down stairs, etc. I bought a little candy and had enough to keep her close or at least coming back. Heh, heh. I have a feeling that come Tuesday (election day) the lines will be fairly small since everyone seems to be voting early to beat the lines. Oh well. No more obsessing over who I am going to vote for in both the national/state elections. I have to say--it felt good to vote third party! :) My conscience can be at rest. ;) Oh, and Happy Halloween!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Just Being Silly

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Sorry for the camera all over the place--I was trying to keep Kate modest. :) For some reason she thinks it's hilarious when I say, "Eww gross," and I think it's adorable when she says it. She was more entertained this time by the growling, though.

Lovin' Fall!

This is one of two little playgrounds right behind out apartment.


Coming down the big slide!
The weather has been so gorgeous here! Kate and I have been loving spending time outside. In the videos below, Kate is pretending to sleep--fake yawn, fake snore. Love it. In one of them you will see she has a one track mind about the potty. (This was taken last week when we were potty training.)
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Saturday, October 25, 2008

I need a potty break!!

Phew! This has been a long week in the potty! Kate loves to read on the potty (as you can see), and also loves to count her books--over and over again with pretend numbers. She insists on having several with her at all times. I have a video of her "counting" I might post later.

Anyway, there have been many successes and many accidents. I have a large pile of laundry that smells like urine. Luckily, there's nothing that smells like poo. After a couple days, I stopped putting her on the potty so much (she was starting to get tired of it) and just started asking her if she had to go--trying to get her to initiate it. Sometimes she would nod and run to the potty, but mostly she would just shake her head and say, "No no potty!"--inevitably followed a few minutes later by a tinkle tinkle on the carpet. There's only so many of those that I could take, and I finally put her in a pull-up.

I've decided that she nor I are ready to potty train just yet (we gave it our best!). Since I've put her back in her diapers today, she has asked twice to go potty on her own. She totally gets it, but I think I will just let her take her time and build up to being completely diaper/pull-up free. Maybe it won't be long (I hope!).

In this video, she is saying some letters but is kind of silly about it--she's usually much more
studious! :)
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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Potty Training Phase 1: Complete!


Well, it hasn't even been a whole day yet of potty training, but an entire morning has almost passed at least--and I'm very excited. Kate loves to read on the potty! I woke her up this morning, whipped off her PJs and stuck her on the potty hoping to catch some morning pee. She was still half-asleep and wondering what the heck was going on, but it worked. I'm not sure she quite understands yet, though I try to cheer each and every time I hear a tinkle. I'm following advice from my sister-in-law--I put Kate on the potty for 15 min on 15 minutes off (you're supposed to do this for 2-3 days). It hasn't worked exactly like that, but pretty close. She's just had a few accidents and it was on the tile--so hardly any clean up.

Anyway, I'm sorry if no one is interested in potty training. I'm sure I wouldn't have been either. But for those that are--thought I'd give some details.

The biggest success of the morning was just a few minutes ago when I stuck her on the potty, and she went #2!! I can't tell you how excited I was that I didn't have to clean it up from the couch or anything horrible like that. Plus, it was easier to show her what she had accomplished exactly. I hope it's sinking in!!

For those wondering why in the world we're trying to potty train her when she's not even two, it's mostly to save some money on diaper costs. I hope this works! And yes, you can count on more potty training updates. :)

Sunday, October 19, 2008

An Update on Kate

I just can't get over how wonderful Kate has been lately--especially in church! You would never know that she's almost two. She sits there with the hymn book in her lap and croons away happily; when the song is over she announces to the congregation "All done!" and puts the song book back in its place. Knowing what to expect next, she folds her arms (and sometimes even waits in the same spot all the way through the prayer) and then says, "Amen." When the sacrament tray comes into sight, she eyes it eagerly and says loudly, "Mmm mm!" Sure she needs lots of treats and books to make it ALL the way through, but I haven't had to take her out of sacrament meeting in three months!

She used to scream and cry when we would drop her at nursery, but not anymore! Last week, she calmly sat down and started to read a book. When she saw that Andrew was still there, she waved and said, "Bye-bye, Daddy!" Andrew was a little shocked, but took the hint and left. Then this week I dropped her off and she didn't look back. I was like, "Bye Kate!" Nothing. I'm glad she's happy, of course--but I can't help but think she's growing up too fast.

She is talking like crazy these days. No complete sentences really besides the ones she's been saying for a while now--"Where did (fill in blank) go?" and "Oh! There it is!" She seems to understand words and can repeat them after just one time hearing it. Amazing. One of her new favorite phrases is "Woah! Cool!"

She loves to clean up after herself and instead of opening cupboards and pulling things out of them as most toddlers are wont to do, she is always closing drawers and cupboards after I've left them open.

Learning the names of colors and letters is her latest passion. She finds letters on tires, bottles, weights, bikes, you name it. She knows an awful lot of them now, too. Her pronunciation of "w" is the cutest, in my opinion. She knows a lot of random animal names like "turtle, moose, and bee" but still calls cats "meow" and sheep "baa."

She loves to give hugs and get hugs, and if you sing her the "I love you, you love me" song--then you will even get a kiss. Singing has definitely remained one of her favorite things. She loves to sing along to "I Am a Child of God"--meaning she finishes the last word of every line.

She always wants to be outside. Always. No matter what. She is always putting her shoes on and going to the door. We're lucky enough to live at a place with a slide right behind our house. She even got a trike that she's been trying to figure out. The only time she's really fussy is when I try to bring her back inside.

Kate is very shy. She loves to watch other children and always has a little face that looks like she is longing to join in their fun. She is very sensitive and doesn't understand why kids would be rough with her when she is always willing to share.

She doesn't like clips or hair ties in her hair. I don't know how to put them in. She never wears them.

Homemade bread is her favorite food. When it comes out of the oven, her little fingers are digging in when Mom's not looking. She'll have a mouthful of bread and be holding out two hands desperately begging for more. Even when the bread doesn't turn out so well (which has happened the last few times I've made it), she always makes me feel better by being an eager consumer.

In short, Kate fills our lives with much joy. If she ever spots me crying (as I do sometimes when I have my period), her face crumples up in a very concerned way, and she rests her hand on my shoulder while saying empathetically, "Ohh." In church, whenever a baby or toddler is crying, she gets her concerned face on and points to the child. She then says, "Want it!" I'm pretty sure what she is trying to say is that the child wants something--give it to him/her!

What a great kid! This week's challenge/milestone--POTTY TRAINING.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Kid Dot Coms

My older brother, Mark, is a computer programmer and an amazing photographer. He is always creating something cool, it seems. He recently launched a new website called http://kiddotcoms.com/. He has three little girls that love to play on the computer and have occasionally come across bad things when typing in the wrong addresses of their favorite websites. So he made a program where each child can have their own home page with their favorite links. It is such a great idea! If you have kids on the computer--you should check out his site and try it for free! It's a great way to help protect your kids.

Kate's not even two, but I set up a little page for her to try and she loves it.

Friday, October 10, 2008

A pound of flesh...

Sorry, I know this is disgusting...yes, it is a pound of fat. I lost this plus 1/2 pound this week. It doesn't seem like a lot to say I lost 1.5 lbs this week, but when you actually look at the fat--seems like a whole lot more, no? :) Only 19 more pounds to go to my GOAL weight. To be honest, though, I will be THRILLED when I lose about 10 more pounds (it'll be my high school weight). But, of course, I am going to the very end!

So strange isn't it, that when I first reached the weight I am now (going up), I felt huge and fat. But on the way down, it's a whole 'nother feeling! It's all relative.

By the way, last week I never got the rankings...so hopefully I will get them this week.

UPDATE: My weekly rank went from #37 to #16 and overall rank fell from #24 to #20. Yay!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

DIRT is ready! Oh, woops, I mean dinner is ready!

Mujaddara
Mine didn't look nearly as appetizing as this. And yes, I realize that you're all probably thinking, "You thought this looked appetizing?!"

Last week, I bought a huge bucket of lentils. Why lentils, you ask? Not sure really. I saw them at the store (and noticed that they were really high in protein) and went home to research what one actually does with lentils. I found what I thought looked like a tasty Indian meal called Mujaddara. I always tend to think of food storage in "Well, if we're starving we could eat this every day and survive" terms (Reminder: La Choy products are an exception). It definitely could have just been my lack of cooking skills--but it didn't come out that well. I actually kind of liked it, but Andrew quickly concluded that it tasted "like dirt." I wasn't offended because I could definitely see his point. It was all brown--brown rice, brown lentils, brown onions. I tried adding some soy sauce, but that just made it browner. Plus, I don't think I cooked it with nearly enough water--so it was very dry. Still, I ate it for a few days (I made WAY too much. How the heck was I supposed to know how much two cups of lentils makes? I had no idea.).

Anyway, tonight I tried a recipe that my sister gave me--Lentil Stew. Mmm, mm!! Andrew was freaking out that it was the best thing he'd ever had. It was dang good--shocking, I know. But I still have 43 lbs. of lentils...and Mujaddara is really easy and cheap to make...so dirt will have to be in our weekly rotation, I think. Does anyone have any recipes that include lentils? Please--let me know. :)

UPDATE: Here is the lentil stew recipe--
1 cup dried lentils (just rinse)
1 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic minced (or use equivalent amt of garlic powder or granules)
1 Tbsp. Cooking oil
1 7 1/2 ounce can tomatoes, cut up
1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
4 cups beef bouillon
1/4 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp pepper
1 or 2 potatoes cubed
1 (big or 2 small) yam or sweet potato cubed (boil slightly to remove skins easily)
1/2 lb fully cooked smoked sausage, slice
1 Tbsp. sugar

Rinse lentils, in big pot cook onions, garlic in hot oil till tender, not brown. Stir in lentils, beef broth, undrained tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce, oregano, pepper, potatoes, yams, bring to boil, reduce heat and cover and simmer till veggies are tender. Stir in sliced sausages. Add 2 Tbsp. of sugar.

**Now, when I made it I had three slight changes. I had mild Italian sausage (which was pretty spicy) instead of smoked, and I used canned yams (sweet potatoes) instead of the real thing. I just drained off all the syrup and put it in when I put in the sausage. And I used Italian Seasonings instead of oregano (since I didn't have any). I also doubled the recipe (and froze a bunch) since I didn't have tomatoes in a 7.5 ounce can. Really tasty, though.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

"Oh no!"

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I was trying to get her on video saying "stuck" because it is very cute, but instead I got her saying, "Oh no!" Andrew and I love the way Kate says, "Oh no!" I think it is probably our favorite thing that she says. We often try to imitate it, but it's just not the same.