Monday, October 31, 2005

Happy Halloween

Today started out a little lazy, but we managed to get lots of things done around the house. In fact, it felt lazy right up until 4 pm, when we needed to start getting ready to go trick-or-treating. I made popcorn balls to hand out to the kids, and gave them to another family that was staying home to hand out for me. I took a few of them with us, as we were stopping at Sam's friend Caelin's house to meet up and go as a group. I think we started out with seven kids and several adults. Bernadette made some pasole for us to eat afterward, as we wrapped up the door to door business by around 7. Sam and Awyn enjoyed the evening, making their debuts as Dash and Princess Leia. Both were much admired. Sam has lots of candy. I have to admit I wasn't really collecting for Awyn, but she did have her own pillowcase, and I did put some candy in it. I decided to follow the family tradition of using pillowcases to gather candy in, as it always worked out well for me as a child. Grandma Kathi made some nice pillowcases with the kid's names embroidered on them, so we grabbed them. Sam rode his trike (with daddy pushing) and Awyn was propped up in our wagon and pulled around in style. She was awake for about half the walking around, but had to give in to that urge to nap in her nicely padded nest just as the sun went down. I hope you all had a good Halloween.

Friday, October 28, 2005

November Ballot Issues

Warning, this is going to get political.

November 8th is an election day, or at least a day to get out and vote. (notice I don't say get out the vote, I'll rant about that later.*) Among several proposed constitutional ammendments is one that will indeed get me to the ballot box. Proposition 2.

Ballot Language"The constitutional amendment providing that marriage in this state consists only of the union of one man and one woman and prohibiting this state or a political subdivision of this state from creating or recognizing any legal status identical or similar to marriage."

"Enmienda constitucional que dispone que en este estado el matrimonio consiste exclusivamente en la unión de un hombre y una mujer y que desautoriza, en este estado o en alguna subdivisión política del mismo, la creación o el reconocimiento de cualquier estatus jurídico idéntico o semejante al matrimonio."

Brief Explanation: HJR 6 would provide that marriage in Texas is solely the union of a man and woman, and that the state and its political subdivisions could not create or recognize any legal status identical to or similar to marriage, including such legal status relationships created outside of Texas.

OK, I'm officially going onto my soapbox, and I'm fairly sure I'll be offending people. I can't believe the homophobes in Austin actually believe that gay marriage is a threat to marriage. How? I don't get it. Are you about to leave your spouse because a gay couple has moved in across the street, and what? Why is this such a hot button issue? Some may argue biblical precidence. Well, thank God for separation of church and state. If your moral base is religious, and your religion doesn't tolerate gay marriage, then don't marry a same sex partner in that church. But don't tell me or my friends that they don't have the right simply because you find it morally offensive. Yes, I consider myself Christian. I even read the bible from time to time. In our country, as great as it's supposed to be, we still feel the need to tell people what they can and can't do in their own bedrooms. I liken this to state mandated birth control, number of children we are allowed to have, school prayer (ooh, another think I think is wrong if it's mandatory and the time comes out of classroom teaching time) and here's a great one, interracial marriage, segregation. In honor of Rosa Parks, let's bring segregation into this. Is it wrong? Of course it's wrong.

I think that there is a crisis in our country regarging marriage. I think marriage is in danger. It's not in danger from gays and lesbians, it's in danger from prople who don't take it seriously, who get married for frivolous reasons and have it annulled hours later, or who only get married because somebody got pregnant. How many marriages currently end in divorce? I'm not sure what the exact ratio is, but it's high. Why would allowing same sex marriage make this worse? If anything, I think it would help create more stable families and marriages, because if two people have been waiting for years, decades to get married, they might just be a little more committed. We as heterosexuals take our right to be married for granted, and therefore are more complacent about it. I guess the analogy that's coming to mind is about voting rights. A recently made citizen is more likely to turn out at the polls, but most of the citizens born in this country just skip election days and don't vote. In fact, that's what I'm hoping will happen on November 8th. I'm hoping that the likely majority of voters in Texas stay home, thinking that they've already got the ballot in the bag, and the rest of us who are outraged by such a hideous proposition will create a storm of like-minded voters. If you support this measure, then use your right to be disenfranchised, and go grab a burger and a beer. Don't vote. If you feel the way I do, then get the heck to the polls and VOTE.

* I don't like the phrase get out the vote because it sounds like you are trying to get rid of the vote, and it's poor English to boot. Makes our country seem illiterate.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Isn't she adorable? I set her down in the wrap after a walk. I love this hat, and she's almost outgrown it. Posted by Picasa

Awyn love the lizard she found on the floor. She was helping me sort clothing. Posted by Picasa

I had to start sorting through the kid's clothes last night, pulling out the warm stuff, putting away the cold stuff, sorting into piles by size, liklihood of future use by my kids, who to give it to, etc. I really did clean it up before moving Sam to his bed. Posted by Picasa

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Here's my nakey little girl. I have some really neat pictures from this quality nakey time. I just thought her smile was fantastic in this picture. She's kind of serious in the others. Posted by Picasa

It's time for a retro picture! This is Sam at 5 month getting nakey time on Grandma's couch. Posted by Picasa

Sam found Awyn's 'hair'. Doesn't he make a nice Princess Leia? Posted by Picasa

Sam and Awyn together on my bed. Awyn fell asleep while I was carrying her around, so I layed her on the bed. Shortly after this, Sam woke up from his nap and decided he wanted to cuddle on my bed too. He curled up around his sister, so I grabbed the camera. Posted by Picasa

Awyn fell asleep in her chair at lunch. I moved her to her crib after this picture. This is the second time she's just nodded off in this chair. Posted by Picasa

Printing Pictures

I've had more than one person ask me about Sam Spam and why they aren't receiving it anymore. Well, this blog is so much easier for us, and it allows those of you with a slower dial-up internet connection to actually connect and get your regular e-mail without our giant newsletter clogging up the works for an hour or two while the pictures are downloaded. I also hated resizing them, and with my blog, I don't have to. Also, a large number of Sam Spam subscribers weren't getting it because of Spam blocking software, and it was getting kicked back to us. Now their inboxes don't recognize even a legitimate e-mail from us. "But how do I print out the pictures?" you ask. Easily, and just as easily or easier than doing it from that clogging e-mail. Especially since the full size picture is available right here, in my blog.

Directions for printing and saving pictures:

Move mouse over picture, watch as it turns into the hand that gives you the finger. Put your finger on your left side mouse button, click ONCE. The picture should suddenly be a lot bigger and the only thing on the screen.

To print: Move mouse over larger picture until you again get the finger. Put your finger on the RIGHT mouse button and click ONCE. A menu should appear. Use your mouse to select print from the menu. Follow the directions your computer gives you from there.

To save, follow the same directions as for printing, only choose save picture as from the menu instead of print.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Sam is walking along the tuff. I'm way in the background heading to the van because the sun shifted, and my van was no longer in the shade. Awyn was napping in the van, hence the hike back to the van. For those who don't know what tuff is, it's a rock made out of fused ash, and it's the whitish grey stuff Sam is walking on in this picture. Posted by Picasa

I think this is the shot that he's going to use, so I hope I'm not stealing Eric's thunder. I can always delete this post if I have to. I just think it's such a great picture. Eric does a great job with a camera. Posted by Picasa

Sam and I are being intrepidatious. We're just strting out onto the lava. Posted by Picasa

Yesterday we went out toward Castalon and stopped at the tuff formation so Eric could take some pictures for an upcoming park newspaper. Isn't Sam cute? I especially like the Hoover flags. Posted by Picasa

Pumpkin-Ginger Pancakes

Tis the season of the pumpkin, and in honor of my lovely large pumpkins, I'm posting my new favorite pancake recipe. I first had last Christmastime while visiting some friends on Whidbey Island. I spotted the recipe I think in a newspaper and our hostess was gracious and made them for us the next morning at breakfast. I made some this morning and they were delicious.

Pumpkin-Ginger Pancakes with Ginger Butter

1 C flour
2 T brown sugar
1 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t cinnamon
1/2 t ginger
1/4 t nutmeg
1/4 t salt
1 egg
3/4 C milk (I used powdered milk)
3/4 C canned pumpkin (I made my own)
1/4 C plain yogurt (I used light sour cream)
2 T butter, melted (I used olive oil)

In a large bowl stir together dry ingredients. In another bowl mix together wet ingredients. Stir egg mixture into flour mixture just until moistened.

Cook as you would regular pancakes.

Serve warm with candied-ginger butter and warm maple syrup.

Candied Ginger Butter
In a bowl stur 2 T finely chopped candied ginger into 1/4 C softened butter (I nuked it for about 7 seconds) The directions say to chill until firm, but then you can't spread it, so I'd just put it back in the fridge for a couple minutes.

The pancakes are not very sweet, but very moist and tender. They are pretty mild, and the ginger butter gives it a nice kick. I think if I didn't have any candied ginger, I'd stir in 1/4 tsp. powdered ginger and 1 T sugar into the butter instead. I had to make a few substitutions, as you can see, because I was out of a few of the ingredients. I've also shortened the directions, as I think most people who would attempt this recipe know how to cook a pancake.

Friday, October 21, 2005


For those of you who have suffered through this one, you don't need any further explanation; you know of what I speak. I mean type. Whatever. For the last few weeks I've been thinking to myself, self, I think Awyn has thrush. I think I have thrush. Only Awyn never seemed to have the white spots anywhere in her mouth. I have sores on my poor nipples, but Awyn just seemed really fussy and I put it down to being easily distracted. Today, however, I finally saw the white spots under her front lip, confirming the worst. I called her pediatrician, and he called in a prescription. Hopefully the pharmacy got it in the mail in time and it might be here tomorrow or Monday at the latest. Here's hoping it works. This is a first for me, as Sam never got it. Any advice will be appreciated. At least Awyn is still nursing; she's just not eating enough at one sitting and wants lots of small meals.

We are still having sleep problems with Sam. He's not going down without a fight. I mean a major fight. Last night he didn't fall asleep until after eleven pm. His nap was a good one, not too long, not too short. Today I had to resort to just shutting his door and leaving him in his room alone to cry, play, etc. He fell asleep beside his bed eventually. Wednesday he played in his room and fell asleep against the door, one little hand poking underneath it. I had been laying in his bed with him, but that is no longer working. Now he just wants to pull my hair out and play. I've been trying to put him to bed tonight for 45 minutes so far, and he's getting out of bed every ten minutes or so. I'm going to have to close the door again and let him cry, and it breaks my heart. I never had to do that when he was a baby, I had him putting himself to sleep, singing his own little songs in the crib until he nodded off. I sure miss that.

Today Eric and I drove out towards Castalon and stopped athe the tuff formations for some pictures Eric needed for his upcoming park newspaper. I'll check to see what he downloaded and once Sam's alseep I'll add them. Tonight Eric is giving an evening program in the Basin. Awyn needs a bath but is asleep, and probably down for the night by now, and I'll have to delay her bath until tomorrow. I also need to wash diapers. I'm stuck using disposables until I catch up on laundry.

Sam wanted to help me cook the pumpkins the next day, so here he is scooping pumpkin guts. I'd already picked out all the seeds so we could toast them. I only cooked one pumpking, and I got 25 cups of pumpkin out of it, and now it is frozen in two and four cup bags. My friend Ne made two pumpkin pies out of some of it, and shared a pie with us. It was very good. She'd never baked a pumpkin pie before. Sam liked the pie too. I've been sharing pumpkin with anyone who wants it, and I'm debating on buying another if I find myself in town before they are gone. Posted by Picasa

We decided to dress the kids up a little early and pose them with my giant pie pumpkins before I cut them up and cooked them. Sam adores his Dash costume. It's really just pajamas, and as you may see from looking at other pictures, it took me two days to get this outfit back off of him. He stripped his other outfits off and kept putting this one back on. We've hidden it in the laundry for now. For those who aren't so hip on current movies, Sam is dressed as Dash from the Incredibles, and Awyn is Princess Leia. Posted by Picasa

Here they are, dressed to thrill, or something. It was hard to get Sam to sit still for the picture. He also seems to be making weird faces in each shot. And in case you are curious, the sticker on the window of the minivan in the background is Jake the Alligator from Marsh's free museum in Long Beach, WA. They have a website now. Posted by Picasa

Getting Awyn ready for her debut as a Princess. I need to take a tuck in her hat and add a little to the waist of her belt. Posted by Picasa

We decided to hook up the portable chair a couple days ago. Awyn loves it! She likes to chew on the table while she's at it. She's much more comfortable in this seat than she was in the reclining booster seat we used to use for Sam. Posted by Picasa

Sleeping Beauty. Awyn shows off how hip she can be. She played until she fell asleep, inching closer to the edge of the bed. Now I usually move her to her crib for the remainder of her nap. Posted by Picasa

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Signing Sam

I hope this is the video I think it is. If you give it a minute, he'll sign car. I was trying to catch him saying, "bye bye birdies" as he likes to when watching Shrek and Fiona makes the bird explode. Such a strange child.

Sam likes to vacuum.

Sam got a haircut this evening. He didn't enjoy it nearly as much as this picture makes it out. By the end he was screaming, and it isn't a very good cut. I hate cutting hair. Sam does just fine for someone who really knows what they're doing. Posted by Picasa

Awyn demonstrating her pilates. She does this all the time. I was trying to get her to chew on her toes and get a video of it. Wasn't gonna happen. Posted by Picasa

This is just to demonstrate how blond her hair really is. Most pictures she just looks bald. Posted by Picasa

Awyn fell asleep shortly after all her sitting up. I handed her the bear to keep her occupied while I put Sam down, and she fell asleep still holding the bear. Posted by Picasa

Yesterday Awyn had to demonstrate how much fun it is to sit up. No, she's not touching the pillows behind her. Posted by Picasa

We went for a walk this evening, and I put Awyn back in the wrap just to show her off. That hat is great, but it's getting too small. Good thing I have lots of cute hats. Posted by Picasa