This morning as I lay there with the electrodes and heat working their magic on my back I tried to figure out how I tweaked my back again. Then I remembered the past weekend (which seemed to fly by....I wonder why) and realized it wasn't ALL about The Walking Dead and catching up on other DVR'd shows.
In addition to that, we:
Sorted through all 3 kids dressers and closets (and playroom/sunroom) for donables
Bathed and blow dried both dogs (after bathing the kiddos)
Vacuumed and dusted whole house (twice - before and after dogs were bathed because they are shedding fools)
Clipped, pruned trees and shrubs; dead headed roses; weeded, raked and bagged leaves in front yard
Dragged portable radiator up from basement
Wrestled and played with the kiddos
Put up our Christmas tree
Brought countless Christmas decorations up from the basement
Carried countless loads of laundry up from the basement
So maybe I overdid it with the projects this weekend but the weather was gorgeous and we needed to take care of the dogs, editing down of the clothes/toys, cleaning up yard for winter and decorating for the holidays.
I love going to PT even though they make me exercise...or maybe it's because they make me exercise....no, it's the heat and those wonderful electrodes that put me in an alpha state. Actually, it's that they work with me on helping me to condition my body and tackle what life throws at me. It's like having a personal trainer, but one who is gentle with me, not barking at me to push myself harder. Although I do work up a sweat these days...
Back in February, I had a mild freak attack about having "The Talk" with my daughter because I was worried about her feeling rejection from her Birth Father. I bought her a few books and have answered questions that she's had so far, but Birth Father has never been mentioned. Well, a few months ago I found him on FaceBook and am glad to have a way to contact him. I haven't yet but I probably will soon. We are supporters of Open Adoption and welcome contact from all of the birth family members. So far that has worked out really well with the Birth Mothers.
Recently, we met the Little Ones' Birth Father to talk about his future involvement with the kiddos. This was an anxious and exciting meeting because it was in unchartered waters. It was a good meeting and while the Little Ones weren't aware of the meeting, Emi was and she was curious about his role in their lives. We figured now would be a good time to introduce her to the idea of her Birth Father too, but weren't sure how to start that conversation. Our adoption specialist recommended that WE bring it up and not wait for HER to because she may not want to hurt our feelings. I hated to think that she'd be curious but concerned enough about our feelings to not ask.
So we talked about my nuclear family and how I get my skin color from my mom (Emi's Lola) and my dad (Emi's PeePaw). And we talked about how I have 2 moms and my step brother and sister have 2 dads and how that has worked for us in our family and how different cousins take after 1 parent or grandparent in features or size, etc. Then we asked her where she got her brown skin and she said "from Cookie" (her Birth Mom) and then we asked her if she wanted to talk about her Birth Father. She said that she did and seemed curious so we told her his name and that we had never met him. She looked confused and said "I thought you knew him?" which made me think she'd been thinking about this for a while. Glad we decided to bring it up...
We hopped on the internet after asking her if she wanted to see a picture of him and brought up his picture. She took in the features; I told her she has his smirk sometimes...and that she would be tall like him and also her cousins on Cookie's side of the family. We told her we could contact him in the future if she liked and that was the end of the first conversation about him. It was probably more awkward for us because we were projecting grown up emotions (at least I was) onto her, but she was very cool about the whole thing, curious about what he looked like, etc....
That is our family motto and has been ever since Little Miss Emi was 5 months old (even though we experienced this phenomenon before she was 5 mos).
But, in reviewing my blog, I've realized what many bloggers probably know already that what makes it to my blog is not necessarily an accurate depiction of my entire Real Life. My blog is made up of what I want to share and there are many things that we've experienced since the inception of my blog (circa 2005) that I have not posted for privacy reasons. Whether it was a private hell I was going through or maybe adoption related, I chose not to share with the online community. Not that I didn't want or need your support during some of the trying times, but I chose to get that from my closest and in-person friends and family.
And I don't blog about work because I am sure I'd run off the ONE reader I have of this blog if I did. ;.) I don't have a lot of drama at my work and I love what I do... I want to keep it that way.
I choose to share the beautiful (and noteworthy) things in my life on my blog. Speaking of which, we have 3 very beautiful children through the miracle of adoption and I like to post their pictures and stories about them for their birth families and extended families to share. I don't want anyone to miss out on them and their love.
Yesterday was a good day to be in Norman, OK. Pioneer Woman spoke about being active in the media world to OU students and alumni and I had the pleasure of seeing her in person. I already felt like I knew her via her blog and I've cooked so many of her delicious buttery recipes. I got a good look at the cool boots she's giving away too so keeping the fingers crossed...
After Ree finished speaking I rushed home to get the Best Lasagna Ever started (after seeing a glowing recommendation for this lasaga on Tuesday on She Likes Purple I stocked up on the ingredients on the way home to make on Wednesday). I only made a few changes due to time constraints and the fact that I have 3 kiddos who may not like it too spicy.
I substituted Italian style sausage for the hot breakfast sausage (it was easy because the Italian style sausage was right there next to the hot stuff); I didn't cook the noodles ahead of time; I used fresh Italian parsley and I cut down the sauce simmer time to 25 minutes from 45 minutes. I was tempted to use ricotta cheese vice cottage cheese (for authenticity) but I stuck with the cottage cheese and have no regrets. It was much cheaper and the cheese didn't TASTE like cottage cheese (not that I would have minded) in the cooked lasagna.
It worked out very well because my kiddos were circling the kitchen as I was assembling the lasagna and asking when dinner was going to be ready. I let them sop of some of the meat sauce with some bread to stave off hunger pangs and THAT was delish ... like Italian sloppy joes...
At church on Sunday one member got up and talked about an old hymn that a song we were getting ready to sing was fashioned after - How Can I Keep From Singing? The song was way different that I expected because I kept thinking about Enya's beautiful version. When I got home I searched through our CDs and iTunes for the Enya album (Shepherd Moons) that got me through my last year of college, job hunting and the first few months that Scott and I lived in different cities during our "courtship".
I found 2 other Enya albums, The Memory of Trees and A Day Without Rain ripped and loaded into the Sonos, but Shepherd Moons was not to be found ... the tape is probably in a box in the garage or basement and I WILL find it at some point. So I jumped on iTunes and downloaded the song plus Marble Halls ...
Such a BEAUTIFUL song! When I listened to it initially I was overcome with emotion and taken back to my end-of-college days when I would listen to Enya while taking hot bath, vanilla candles lit.
My life goes on in endless song
Above earth's lamentations,
I hear the real, though far-off hymn
That hails a new creation.
Through all the tumult and the strife
I hear it's music ringing,
It sounds an echo in my soul.
How can I keep from singing?
While though the tempest loudly roars,
I hear the truth, it liveth.
And though the darkness 'round me close,
Songs in the night it giveth.
No storm can shake my inmost calm,
While to that rock I'm clinging.
Since love is lord of heaven and earth
How can I keep from singing?
When tyrants tremble in their fear
And hear their death knell ringing,
When friends rejoice both far and near
How can I keep from singing?
In prison cell and dungeon vile
Our thoughts to them are winging,
When friends by shame are undefiled
How can I keep from singing?
We have been trying to clear out the fridge and pantry of items in an effort to not be wasteful and use up stuff we've bought and stored. I am surprised at the creativity I can muster up when pressured with avoiding a trip to the grocery. Last night I knew I'd be roasting veggies left over from the veggie tray on Sunday (cauliflower, baby carrots and orange peppers tossed in olive oil, salt and pepper) but I wanted something to go with, something hearty for my family.
I had some Cavatappi pasta, bacon (leftover from the best Corn Chowder recipe ever), partial wedges of parmesan and sharp cheddar, whipping cream and some frozen baby lima beans.
I fried the chopped bacon pieces and placed them on top of the defrosted baby limas while the pasta was cooking. Using some of the bacon grease in the pan I added a couple of tablespoons of flour to form a roux, then added the cream plus a little milk slowly to create a sort of bechamel sauce as the base for the cheese sauce. I grated the parmesan and added it all to the bechamel with some nutmeg and stirred. I drained the pasta and placed it with the lima beans and bacon into a lightly buttered casserole dish and mixed it well. Then I put the grated cheddar on top of the pasta and poured the cheesy sauce all over the pasta. I added some bread crumbs to the top (panko crumbs are the best!) and I put it in the oven to warm with the roasted veggies.
This dish was a big hit with the family! I was surprised because I hated lima beans when I was a kid - of course those were served plain. The last time I cooked with lima beans was a success too - Roasted Cod with Lima Beans but this was my different take on mac 'n cheese with tuna and peas. Everyone got seconds of this dish!
Ok, maybe it SHOULDN'T be me...I just have a mild case of "Bieber Fever" at the moment.
I meant to post 2 weeks ago but I was recovering from the Haunted Forest and losing my BlackBerry (and mind), car troubles (drive shaft on mine and windshield wipers from hell on his)...then Halloween! My BB was found so sanity was restored. Then I meant to post last week but I was recovering from a soccer tournament, basketball game, Trick or Treating THEN Justin Bieber, Aubri's birthday, Goatfest 2010, etc.
I DID manage to post pictures from most of these events to my Flickr Acct so I've sort of kept up...
So, to recap: We had a nice Fall Break towards the end of October, we were enjoying some down time together as a family when out of the blue the Disco decided to start acting up...not getting enough attention I guess. We ended up getting her in to the shop just in time, so that the drive shaft didn't fly off and take some expensive prisoners with it!! So we were down to Scott's truck and his window wipers decided to stay ON for all of our Friday and Saturday driving pleasures. It was a little rainy but by Saturday night on the way to the Haunted Forest, it was dry and the scree-scree-scree was driving me and the kids crazy. But we pushed through to enjoy being scared and eating some Halloween treats out in the country. Emi was a Zombie Hippie, David was a Monkey (in the Middle) and Aubri was a Bumble Bee. They were so cute in their costumes.
Emi had been to this Haunted Forest before and she's 8 now so basically an Old Pro at not getting spooked and maximizing candy and treat collections. David and Aubri were not so sure. They were both scared by the Robot, which is funny because he is the least scary prop in the forest, but he did have red eyes and he was, in fact, doing The Robot. The next day Aubri kept telling everyone that the "robot 'cared her". We assured her that the robot was just a friend in a costume but she wasn't quite so sure.
The following week Emi wore her Hippie costume to school but because they were not allowed to dress up scary or use fake blood, we had to ditch the zombie part of her costume. On Halloween night when we took the kids out for actual trick or treating, the zombie make up had dried out so Emi went as a dirty hippie. We should have let her run around barefoot in the mud to get the full effect of "hippie feet". I noticed that she also wore some purple vampire teeth so I guess she was improvising along the way. A group of us met at a friends house for collective treating and we took the kids around to a haunted garage. When we took the Little Ones through they were supposed to hold off on anything scary, but one of the "technicians" darted out to fix a prop and scared little David. He lived to tell about it...
After we got the kids into bed we got to watch the premier of The Walking Dead. It did not disappoint. Afterwards I had to watch the news to sort of rinse my brain of the undead images of the "walkers".
This past Wednesday night a few of us soccer moms and our daughters went to see The Biebs...
And the next night we celebrated Aubri's 2nd birthday with the Little Ones' birth mom and grandparents (via Skype):
On the weekend we had another party for Aubri's birthday and went to Goatfest 2010:
It's been a very full last few weeks with lots of gatherings, games and fun...