About Me

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I love to laugh and love with my family, read, exercise, cook and sew, all the while giving thanks to God for his immeasureable love and faithfulness to me.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Fingerpainting fun

I wrote about my, hmmm, aversion, to fingerpaint here. Today we went over to the good friend's house who I spoke of and braved the messiness to, you guessed it, fingerpaint. The Noodle enjoyed using the paint, but after about 3 pictures, she was ready to move onto some watercolor paints. She didn't get into it nearly as much as her little friend, granted said friend turned 2 in October, so there is a slight age difference. Long live self-expression!

The first tentative touches.

Really getting into it.


It is more fun on my hands than on the paper.

Watercolors are fun too.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

A few words Wednesday

What started as this....

soon turned into a "jam" session.




Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Banana dippers

One of the Christmas gifts the Noodle received from Uncle S and Aunt C was a subscription to Highlights magazine. Both J and I receive periodicals at home and now she has her own mag to leaf through whenever she wants. In the February issue, there was a cute picture recipe for "banana dippers". When she saw it, she decided she wanted to make it...immediately. I managed to convince her to wait until after she got home from preschool, had lunch and her nap and that THEN we'd make it for a snack. She agreed. The fact that she could "read" the entire recipe was certainly a highlight (pun intended) as was the fact that she got to practice her knife cutting skills on the banana (we've got a toddler knife and she's been working on that skill on easier foods like pancakes). All in all, I'd give the recipe 3 out of 4 stars--one star lacking due to the messiness of the peanut butter/honey in regards to fingers...not that she minded :)

Not sure which is more intriguing...the honey itself or the bear shaped bottle that it comes in....

Mmmmmmm, delicious.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

How small is a coffee bean?

One of the early morning rituals that the Chinese Noodle and J like to engage in, ever since we've gotten home, is getting the morning coffee ready. During the week, it is just the measuring of grounds and water to make the brew. Once the weekend comes, however, J gets out the grinder and grinds up some fresh coffee to make a full pot. The Noodle loves to help hold down the button while the whole beans get pulverized into those fine, black crystals. A few Sundays ago, while J was busy attending to the pot, out of the corner of his eye he saw the Noodle take a whole bean from the bag. When he turned to look again, the bean had vanished. Upon being questioned, she stated in a matter-of-fact tone that she stuck the bean up her nose. Of course he panicked and asked again, and quiet calmly she informed him that yes, she had indeed put it up there. They both dashed upstairs, into the bathroom, where I was in the shower. He had her blow her nose, and sure enough, out came the coffee bean. Thank goodness she didn't push it in too far and that she's mastered the art of blowing air out through her nose!! So to answer the question 'How small is a coffee bean?', it is small enough to fit into a 3 year old's nostril. The consequence? She's been banned from grinding since the incident and has had to be content just to watch. So, do you think she has a future being a barrista at St*rbucks? Ha ha!!

Friday, January 22, 2010

6 month check-up

It has been pretty quiet around here. We did have the Noodle's 6 month check-up with the cleft team earlier in the week. Everything went well. Her hearing tested normally and the fistula hasn't gotten any bigger, and is in fact, perhaps a little smaller. We'll go back in another 6 months just to make sure that everything continues to remain the same. What a blessing it is to have a doctor's appointment where there is hardly anything to report.

Playing baby dolls has become a favored activity. I love to watch her, especially when she doesn't realize it. Isn't she so sweet?!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Pedi time?!

In looking at 3 year old personality, disposition and behavior, the Noodle falls down toward the compliant, well-mannered, easy-going end. She goes with the flow regarding what to wear, is a good eater (read: will try new foods, eats a variety of foods, is willing to eat some veggies, etc.) generally listens well and can usually be comforted and re-directed when upset. While she does spend time on the "no-no step", it is not an every day occurrence. This past summer, we had some major issues with going to bed which I posted about, but thankfully, things have improved in this area. One thing, however, is sure to bring on a super-duper, firework inspired temper tantrum: cutting her toenails. We're talking screaming, crying, flailing of arms and legs, kicking...the whole 9 yards. We use to be able to position ourselves where I would sit her on my lap, wrap my arms around her torso and use my legs to hold her one leg stable, while J dealt with the other foot/leg. Now she's too strong and besides she moves around so much, you can't get the clippers positioned correctly. We've tried a variety of reinforcers, motivators, and even bribes, but nothing seems to work!! A couple months ago, J's aunt came to visit out from CA and brought the Noodle some child-friendly nail polish. I decided to pull this out recently and talk up the idea of a pedicure, in hopes that that would entice her to allow us to trim the talons that were growing from her toes (GROSS!!!) It started off great--lots of enthusiasm for the soaking of the little tootsies and using the lavender scented foot scrub. When we pulled out the clippers she started to go nuts, but thankfully we were somehow able to get all 10 trimmed. Once that battle had been fought (and won--hee hee), J painted her toes. She keeps admiring them and I'm hoping that next time, if we play up the whole pedi-thing again, there won't be quite as much wailing and gnashing of teeth...but you never know! It does make me wonder if something happened in the orphanage where this is all concerned. She is very funny about anyone touching her feet, especially her toes and ever since we got her, we've been dealing with this issue. Another piece of the puzzle that we may never know I guess.

Didn't think you'd want to see the the yelling during the clipping process...

The finished product:

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


This morning we got to go on a tour of a local bakery. Yum-my! The baker showed the children how to make different types of decorations and they had a chance to make an icing flower of their own. Somehow, even though there were a handful of kiddos 5 and under, all standing around with icing within 5 inches of them, none of them reached out and attempted a lick. Quite amazing, I'd say. The highlight was that each one then got to decorate their very own cupcake. There were sprinkles, jimmies, colored dots, snowflake confetti...you name it. They also had those "sugars" that are placed on the top of cupcakes which come in various shapes, sizes and themes. The Noodle settled upon a pair of scissors (?). She didn't give her reasoning, until we got home during lunch. She informed me that because we have scissors at home, that's why she chose that "sugar". Since we don't have a basketball at home, she didn't pick that one. As an aside, there were flowers, flip-flops, baseballs, crowns, balloons, etc. but obviously the scissors and the basketball were in the forefront of her mind. Isn't it interesting what goes on in their little minds?

Trying her hand at a frosting flower.
Ohhhh!!!! So many choices!

Such serious business--eating a cupcake.

A satisfied decorator.

Monday, January 11, 2010

First day of preschool!!

A touch up

Today was another day of firsts for the Noodle...her first day of preschool. We had gone for a tour prior to Christmas (you can read about it here) and starting after Christmas, we kept reading and reviewing a book I had written for her all about the big event. I knew she'd do fine, but have been worried about the separation issue (on her end more than mine), so wanted to really prepare her. She's been very excited and has even been "retelling" her story to her stuffed animals ("I'm a big girl. I go to preschool. My friend L will be there. I make new friends. My teachers help me. I go potty like a big girl..."etc., etc). So this morning was The Big Day. J went in late to work so that we could both drop her off. She was such a champ. She took off her coat, mittens and hat, hung them up and walked into the room all by herself, while greeting one of her teachers. We walked in with her and watched her look around and watch all the other children and look at all the cool, different toys and then gave her a kiss and a hug and left. There were no tears. There was no clinging to the legs. There was only a happy little girl all ready to explore everything that nursery school has to offer. For today and tomorrow, she'll go for just an hour, but starting next week it will be for 2 hours.

Once we got out into the hall, J gave me a big hug and we both had to wipe away a tear...our little girl is growing up!! When I went back to pick her up, she was busy, busy, busy but as soon as she saw me, she ran over and gave me the biggest hug. Ohhh it felt soo good! It was obvious that she had had a blast and felt very comfortable. What a blessing. After we were all bundled up, she went back into the room and started playing again. Definitely a sign that she liked it. On the drive home, she was full of discussions about her teacher, what they had done and her plans for tomorrow.

Her new school career is off to a smashing start I'd say:)

What's cookin'?

When I think of cold, snowy January, my mind frequently wanders to the warming pleasures of soup. Many a night finds us filling our bellies with some sort of liquid nourishment. I thought I'd share one of our favorites: Fisherman's Stew from this book

1 onion
2 garlic cloves, sliced
1 1/4C fish stock
approx 12 scallops
1 lb cod fillet (or any kind of white, flake fish)
2T olive oil
1 large potato
fresh thyme sprigs, chopped
1 red and 1 green bell pepper
1/2C white wine
1C creme fraiche (I use plain yogurt)
approx 10 oz raw shrimp
3/4C grated sharp cheddar cheese
S and P to taste

** Tr*der Joe's has a frozen seafood blend (that is easy to use in this soup)
*** Sometimes I will add 1/2 lb. of hot sausage to give it a little kick

Cut the cod into large cubes, season w/ S and P and set aside. Cut onion into small wedges, heat olive oil in large pan and cook onion wedges for about 2-3 minutes. Slice potato and add to pan w/chopped thyme. Cover and cook for about 15 min. until the potato has softened. Dice the peppers and add to onion/potato mixture and cook for a few minutes. Stir in the fish stock, wine and creme fraiche/plain yogurt. Bring to just below boiling point then add cod and scallops. Lower the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the shrimp and simmer for a further 3-4 minutes, until all the seafood is cooked. Season as necessary. Spoon into bowls and garnish w/thyme sprigs and sprinkle w/cheese.

Eat and enjoy!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow

We've been dancin' around with the white stuff pretty much every day since New Year's Day. Brrr. I saw this dress here and here and thought I could try my hand at it. Since it is so cold out and I have to be indoors, why not make the most out of it, right?! Stay posted to see how it turns out...

On one of the afternoons, after nap, the Noodle wanted to venture out in it so we donned all the apparel, dusted off the sled and got busy. This particular day it wasn't too cold out but the flakes were big, fluffy and accumulated pretty quickly. Sorry the photos aren't better...the flash picked up on the snowflakes and my lens kept getting wet!

Who says sand toys are only for the sand?!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Wowzaa Wednesday

Sorry I've been MIA lately...after the marathon run of daily posts up through Christmas, I needed to cool my heels. Had to post this though: Papa got home from his trip to Asia and brought these fabulous slippers for the Noodle. Can you say WOWZAA?!?!? While they are technically considered "slippers", they have a sole and heel so they definitely can be worn outside. Now her little feet just have to grow a wee bit more. Lolly and I implored him to bring us each a pair next time he goes. Wonder if he will?

Room to grow...

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year

Dinner with Lolly and Papa at a cozy, Italian restaurant close to home + the Noodle in bed fast asleep 5 minutes after we put her down + a yummy glass of Pinot Noir (thanks G and J--it was delicious!) before heading to bed at 10:45 = a perfect New Year's eve!