August 31, 2011

Learning to Bake

"I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work." Thomas Edison
And likewise, Graeden found out this morning that substituting cups for teaspoons of salt in his muffin recipe didn't work. I helped him measure the flour and oil and even filling the muffin tin, but he measured everything else and stirred on his own. I didn't even notice the salt mistake. Half a cup is so different then half a teaspoon. Bleh. They went into the trash. I'm pretty sure Graeden will be extra careful getting his measurements correct next time we bake.
Chef Graeden tasting an extra salty muffin.
His muffins remind me of the time when my brother JC learned the same lesson when he was a kid. He was making cookies and put in a cup of baking soda instead of a teaspoon. They were nice and big/fluffy and oh so nasty!

August 30, 2011

Operation Gentle Johns

The clavicle, or collarbone, is the most commonly broken bone in the human body. It doesn't fully ossify (become hard bone) until 21-25 years of age. Symptoms of a broken clavicle may not be noticed immediately. Within about a week, a lump (callus) will develop around the bone that is healing. Sometimes, this lump is the only sign of a fracture in a baby.

Why the run down on clavicles? Kira has a fractured one. I noticed a callus while nursing on Friday. First thing Saturday I made an appointment to see the pediatrician later that morning. We went in. Had an x-ray. I was surprised to find out that her clavicle was broken. And since it's also showing signs of healing, so it happened maybe a week or two ago. Really?

How did this happen? Seriously. I have no idea. Which is odd because Kira and I are attached. Almost always. It's pretty hard to try and pinpoint the when and how it happened when Kira, besides being a little fussy lately, is fairly mellow. I've come up with some theories. Revolving around a little too much love.

#1 - Perhaps, her ever-lovin'-toting-her-'round-the-house sister dropped her.
#2 - Perhaps, her eager-to-get-her-out-of-her-car-seat brother yanked her arm out of the strap too hard.

And the other night I was reminded of Jocelyn's new trick. It's called get out of the car seat and wander around the car while mom is driving. If we're in a neighborhood when this happens and no other cars are around then I will slow to about 5 mph and then do a quick stop. The boys' seat belts lock and Jocelyn gets a little jolt. My intentions being that they all learn how seat belts keep us safe. But now I'm wondering if...

#3 - Perhaps, Kira's natural-consequence-teaching mother stopped too quickly and she shared in Jocelyn's jolt.

In a way it's nice to not know who did what to cause Kira's injury. We are treating it like anyone could have done it and sharing the responsibility. Last night in our family council we embarked on Operation Gentle Johns. It goes something like this:

  • We are a kind and gentle family. 
  • We protect Kira and take special care to make sure she is safe. 
  • Jocelyn doesn't pick her up. 
  • Only mom and dad take Kira out of her car seat. 
  • And mom will find a gentler way to get Jocelyn back into her car seat while driving.

By extension, Operation Gentle Johns also includes being gentle with our brothers even if they upset us. And we want to hit them. Or kick. Or call names. The Johns family doesn't do any of that. We are gentle. We are kind. We are respectful.

Thus far, the boys have been increasingly concerned for Kira's safety. Not that they weren't before. They sort of were. They took care to support her head and were gentle. Then they'd fight over who got to hold her next. And try to take her from the other arms. As if she was a doll.

There's been none of that the last few days. I'm so happy that they are taking Kira's injury seriously. I'm also happy that Kira is healing and able to move her arms without difficulty or pain.

August 26, 2011

Salish Lodge

Oh, how I love the Salish Lodge! We haven't been there since our engagement. And since we weren't married back then we didn't stay overnight. But we did last night. It was fabulous. The cozy fireplace in our room, two-person jetted tub, the softest king-sized melt into a peaceful sleep bed, the five star dining experience and the majestic falls. Fantastic. All of it.

August 25, 2011

The Bucket

My boys look forward to picking blueberries with my friend and her four boys each summer. As in, it's the highlight of the summer. Chelsea and I were under the impression that it was because they can eat as many berries as they want while we pick. Yesterday we found out otherwise. They love to run around the bushes and even found a "swamp" or mud hole to play in.

Out in the blueberry bushes there are no toilets, which isn't a problem because we are only there for an hour and a half. Not so long at all. So when Jett told me he needed to go to the bathroom I wasn't concerned. Uh, go in the tall grass over there. Nope. He needed a toilet to do a little bit more than water the grass. I asked him to wait an hour and go at home. And he ran off happily calling to me, "Okay Mom!"

Not more than ten minutes later I heard Jett upset and exclaiming that one of his brothers had pooped in his blueberry bucket. One of his brothers. Right. That would have been a little more believable had he not just told me that he needed to do that very thing. Being the super mom that I am, I took him to a private place and asked him to pull down his pants. Since there was no paper in the bucket a simple visual test was sufficient to determine that Jett, in fact, was telling the truth. And we tossed the turd into the tall grass.

I'll be honest with you. I'm pretty good at solving mysteries. Looking at the clues surrounding this one my next interview interrogation was with Jocelyn.

Me: Jocelyn, did you poop in Jett's bucket?
Jocelyn: Yeah!

Mystery solved. Except sometimes a lot of times Jocelyn will say yes or no to doing something that she had no part of. Both Elliott and Graeden were horrified when I asked them if they'd done it. I mean, they were running around with their friends. That would have been so embarrassing if they'd done that. Ha ha. Remember this incident? I know they aren't too embarrassed to do anything in front of their friends.

I found myself stealing borrowing the bucket since there was no way I was admitting to the blueberry lady what my kids had done. I'll bring it back later all cleaned up when I go to pick more blueberries.

Tymon was the man of the hour when we arrived home. He was helping Jocelyn in the bathroom and I heard him exclaim, "Jocelyn! Gross!" Apparently she had feces on her panties. Mystery solved. And next time you go blueberry picking, make sure you wash the berries, even if they are organic. You just NEVER know what's gone on in your bucket.

August 24, 2011

Traditional Anniversary Gifts with a Twist

Today Tymon and I celebrate 9 years of marriage. And by today, I mean that we're really going to celebrate tomorrow. We've got reservations at the Salish Lodge at Snoqualmie Falls. I'm looking forward to it. Especially  the dinner. We went there the night Tymon proposed and enjoyed a truly wonderful meal in a private room overlooking the falls. Remember the purple potatoes I wrote about last year? We ate them first the night we got engaged.

For presents, Tymon and I stick pretty closely to the traditional and modern anniversary gift lists. And by close, I mean we twist them to suit our needs. Like a couple of years ago for our 7th anniversary the list told us that we should give each other desk sets. Well, we had moved several months earlier and our home office consisted of a couple of folding tables and chairs. So instead of desk sets, we got a set of desks.

Please don't look at my messy desk...I can find almost everything I need.
This year, Tymon got me the traditional gift of pottery. And by pottery, I mean this Circulon set of pots.
I love them. A lot. I made some blueberry jam in one tonight and I was smiling the entire time. Except when I slipped off my stool and nearly twisted my ankle. Hard. Instead, I just got a floor burn on my palm and probably have a huge bruise on my bum. I'm afraid to look at it. 

But this is a tangent. Focus Bridget. Focus!

Happy Anniversary Tymon!

August 17, 2011

Kira's Birth Announcement

Thank you to Aunt Katie for taking photos of Kira. We love 'em!

August 14, 2011

Injury vs. Natural Consequence

Last week, we had some friends over for a barbecue. We were on the deck chatting while the kids were running around. I am a fairly mellow parent when it comes to letting my kids climb all over everything, so I wasn't very concerned when the kids said that Drew had gone through the nets surrounding the trampoline. We've got boys. They're always destroying something. And actually, it's nice that someone else's kid ruined something of ours. Because usually, it's the other way around with our kids wrecking stuff that isn't ours. I didn't even look at it. Our friends were offering to buy a new net. I thought we could probably just have Drew come over with fishing line and sew it up.

Then I saw the net. And Drew was holding his head. Because he was hurt. I felt bad. Instead of planning the fix-it phase I should be watching for signs of a concussion. Regular destruction is one thing...a head injury is different. 

Our boys had previously torn the bottom of the net so we thought it best to have them do the sewing. A natural consequence to them ripping the net and crawling under it. I taught Graeden and Elliott how to sew with a big needle and they got one of the lower tears fixed. Tymon helped with the big ones. It took a few days to finish all of the rips, but it's now done and the trampoline is back in service. Yay!

And the best part is that Drew is doing well!

August 10, 2011

Loving August

Loving August.
And activities with my kids.
Loving warm weather.
And farmer's markets.
Loving Pacific Northwest Beaches.
And abundant natural beauty.
Loving my sisters-in-law,
And candid shots of my boy 

Elliott, Jackson (nephew), Me and Kira at Mukilteo Beach.

August 6, 2011

Placenta Planting: And The Tale Of The Apple Tree

My husband is horrified that this post is being made. That photos were ever taken. And disturbed that all of you are witnessing it first hand. Sort of. I guess not really. None of you were with me this afternoon. But it'd be cool if you were. Especially Natalie. My Sister-Womyn-Sister. (Dearest Natalie, please forgive me for not waiting for you to come over. I wanted to wait, but also wanted to clear out my refrigerator.)

Some of you may remember a few years ago my exuberance about finally moving into a home with a large yard. Big enough to plant trees. As in more than one. 

I bought several varieties. One for each of my children. Then I took each child's placenta out of my freezer that I'd been saving since their births and planted them with each child's tree. I split Elliott's placenta in half. He shared with Jett. I also split Jocelyn's in half. She shared with her "big sister" Jovana. If this story doesn't sound familiar to you: click this link for the placenta back story. 

Graeden and I planted Kira's tree today. Graeden wasn't disgusted by the placenta at all. But he did comment about how he wouldn't want to live in a bloody sac. Uh, yeah. So now I need to find some non-bloody placental photos to show Graeden how a fetus lives. In a non-bloody sac. One filled with "water".

Our children's trees:

Graeden - cherry (4 varieties grafted together)
Elliott - grapes (one vine purple and one green)
Jett - Italian plum
Evan - pear (4 varieties grafted together)
Jocelyn - apple
Jovana - apple
Kira - apple (4 varieties grafted together)
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