Friday, July 29, 2011

Five Question Friday - July 29, 2011

A little late in the game compared to normal, but we have been rather busy around these parts lately.
It is most definitely Friday and we have a busy weekend lined up.

On to the questions!

   1. Vowel renewal ceremonies - Yay or nay?

I don't think they will be for me - it just isn't our style. I can appreciate that other people are into that kind of thing. I would attend someone else's.

   2. What sound(s) annoy you the most?

Loud eating for sure. I also get annoyed by animals licking themselves. I don't care that they do it, but I hate the wet sound of the tongue. Yeah, my poor cats get to leave the room if they are being too loud. Snoring is pretty high up there on the list too. Lots of sounds annoy me I guess.

   3. If you had to pick, would you have only all boys or all girls for kids?

Aww man, but I lucked out and had one of each right off bat! If I absolutely have to pick. . . why is this so hard? . . . Ahh, I'll go with boys. I LOVE my girl, but I always wanted multiple boys whereas I only pictured having 1 girl. Multiple girls just sounds like all sorts of drama. . . I don't know how I would live without my 1 little princess though.

   4. Do you believe in alternative medicine?

I believe that many health problems are much better handled with proper nutrition and exercise. If that is "alternative" then so be it. I strongly believe in chiropractic care for overall health and I believe in acupuncture. I believe that changes in one's diet can overcome many ailments. After having Baby Boo I was pretty anemic - to the point where the hospital docs were trying to talk me into a blood transfusion. I refused and had my mom bring me a steak with spinach salad. I continued to eat very high iron foods and my body responded very well to it. I was out of "blood fusion territory" within hours, and back to normal within a few days. The best part was that I didn't have to deal with the side effects commonly associated with iron supplements such as severe constipation. I think that some people don't realize the price paid with so many medications.

I definitely know that conventional medication has it's place, but I think that almost everything is over prescribed.

   5. Would you take a family member's children and raise them if they needed it?

In a heartbeat!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Little Miss Chatterbox

This is my Little Miss Baby Boo:
She is almost 11 months now and I am loving discovering the many facets of her personality.

Believe me, there are many sides to her.

As of late, she has been:

It's true!

She has been quite the talker since she was a newborn with all her cute coos.

She graduated to cannonic syllables pretty early on. Her favorites so far have been Gak and Bop!

My favorite sound was always her adorable gurgles. She still does them on occasion when she is being goofy.

Around 8 months of age, she mastered dada followed by mama. She was using them in the proper context from the get go.

At 9 months she figured out up and baba. Up she says a lot because she likes to be picked up all the time - she is a needy little momma's girl. Baba means bottle or boob. Let me tell ya, girlfriend can eat!

I believe it was month 10 that brought hat, which actually means cat. No surprise there since she LOVES the cats. 
In the last couple of weeks, she is having a language explosion of sorts; relative to her previously limited vocabulary at least.

Now we have:
  • buh - translation: brother
  • ah dun - translation: all done
  • ball - she gets that one right
  • uh oh - she only says the uh part half the time
  • bye bye - used in conjunction with a very hearty wave
  • She may be saying dog correctly, but I haven't heard her say it more than twice so it may be a fluke.
I don't know when she will slow down again, if ever. She has been mimicking words like crazy too. I only count them when she actually uses them properly though. It is so fun watching her learn language. It is fun watching both kids do it, and seeing the huge developmental differences that 17 months makes. I have been making lots of use of the techniques I discussed a couple of months ago including "parentese". It is all very effective for Baby Boo and is the reason she knows several of the words that she does. Having a big brother that is still learning language himself has also been super helpful for her development. She is always very determined to try to keep up with him.

Here are 2 more fitting labels for my girl:
Yes she really seems to enjoy getting into mischief. She especially loves to terrorize her sweet, often (though not always) patient, brother. He builds a Lego tower, she knocks it down. He spends 15 minutes meticulously setting up his train track system, she comes and bulldozes over it all. She gets a gleam in her eye when she sees something she wants to take or destroy:
This girl holds no prisoners!

Here is an example of the trouble/naughtiness taken out on a different family member:

Here, both kids were sitting around playing with Mega Blocks:
Baby Boo gets sick of sharing so she scoots everything over to her side leaving her brother with just the ones he was holding:
She squealed loudly at him and swatted at him when he tried to take some back.

Little Dude puts up with it with much more grace than I think I could. She does get separated from the situation once she gets too bothersome or abusive. I also like to let them sorts things out on their own though, so that in the future it isn't always a 'tell mom' situation.

Lately it has actually been working too. Little Dude has gotten really good about sharing with his sister, and she plays with him almost as much as she tries to take or destroy his stuff. It is really sweet when I catch them playing and laughing together. They like to play a game together that is somewhere between peekaboo and hide-n-seek. I can always tell when they do because Baby Boo lets out the biggest belly laughs:
Despite her naughty side, she is a sweet girl that is getting sweeter every day. To me she will always be:

. . . and nothing less!

Before I sign off, I wanted to throw a shout out to my amazing little boy. He is a big part of who Baby Boo is, and I am frequently finding myself amazed at his awesome big brother skills.

If I had to choose a Mr. Men character for him it would be:
. . . because my little dude loves to make people laugh, and enjoy the fun side of life:

Potty Training Boot Camp - In the Thick of It

On Monday I posted about how it was high time for Little Dude to get past the diaper stage and onto the big boy stage of his life. I also posted that I was going to start a potty training boot camp as of Thursday (today).

Well. . . I decided that there was no real good reason to wait for Thursday, so I started on Tuesday instead.

So far the results are mixed, but I am hopefully.

- Tuesday -

On Tuesday I woke him up at 9am and immediately took off his diaper. I had the living room rug covered with an old blanket and comforter to keep accidents from happening directly on it. This is what it looked like before I got Little Dude up:
He got to go free for the first half of the day without any bottoms on at all. He usually wakes up dry, but this time when I took off his diaper, it was filled. I figured this meant that he had just gone recently. I fed him breakfast which included a cup of milk, and proceeded to be liberal with the water thereafter. I asked him to sit on the potty and go pee pee several times. He sat on it each time, but never actually did anything in it. This was very frustrating, especially after a few hours, since it was obvious that he was holding it in. I figured that at least that meant that he knew how to hold it, I just needed to out-stubborn my 2 year old.

Eventually 1pm rolled around and I had to put him down for a nap. I did put a diaper on him then because I don't expect him to be sleep trained necessarily. He napped a good 3 1/2 hour nap and it was almost 5pm when he got up. He of course had filled that diaper too. I took it off of him and decided to put him in his big boy underwear this time around. I picked out a pair with Disney's Cars characters on them since he loves those. I told him not to pee pee on the cars or I would have to take them away. He repeated back several times, "no pee pee on cars, use potty!"

Around 7pm, he came running over to me yelling that he was all wet. He had his first accident during potty training boot camp. He had of course had the accident in his sister's room on her rug; One of the only ones not protected. I quickly had him sit on the potty, but he was done. I was glad he had finally had an accident though since that is a great way to learn what not to do.

We replaced the cars underwear with Nemo underwear and I repeated to him that he couldn't pee pee on Nemo. A couple more hours rolled by and it was bed time. I put a diaper on him to go to bed in and that was it for day 1.

- Wednesday -

Wednesday morning I went to the gym and then had a chiropractor appointment. Little Dude got to wear a diaper for all of that. This is very much not ideal since the point of potty training boot camp is to go cold turkey off of diapers until they figure it out. I am trying very hard to stick to my workout schedule though and I needed my chiro appointment, so the diaper was necessary. We were out from about 8:30am to almost noon. By the time we got home, I was really tired so I quickly fed him lunch and set him down for a nap. He woke up around 3pm and that is when potty training boot camp began again.

It took a few hours again, but I just kept pushing the water and a couple of popsicles to keep his bladder working. He was playing in his room when at one point he ran into the room yelling potty. He ran over to it, pulled down his Nemo underwear and sat on the potty. Alas, It was alas too. He had already done his business in the underwear, but he had at least tried to get to the potty this time.

Another couple of hours later, he was playing in the living room when he all the sudden rushed over to the potty. He once again was yelling "potty". He struggled with his underwear, and in his haste, he sat down on the potty with them still on. He had to go #2 this time. I quickly helped him take them off while he sat there, and he finished up in the potty. His first ever poop in the potty! I praised him, and we took the poop to be flushed down the toilet. He also got to wash his hands. He was pretty excited about the whole process so I decided against giving him any treat for doing things correctly. He clearly already had plenty of positive reinforcement.

Later that evening, the hubs came home. Little Dude got all excited and had another accident. He seemed upset about it, but didn't make much effort to go to the potty at all. I repeated to him that it was important not to pee pee in his underwear as I changed them. That was it for Wednesday since he went to bed before there were any more learning opportunities.

- Today -

So that, in a nutshell, is where we stand going into today. I know it will take a little longer since he hasn't been able to be diaper-less all the time, but I am pretty confident that he will get it soon enough. In the meantime, I can't wait to never say the words "do you need to potty bud? Remember, no pee pee-ing on Nemo/car/superman/whatever" ever again. . . at least until its Baby Boo's turn. Potty training is definitely all about repetition and lots of patience.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - July 27, 2011 - Plus a Bonus Video!

Another set of gems from my phone's online album archives:

April 10, 2011
Little Dude loves whatever daddy does!

Oh and I can't help but share this YouTube video. I figured I would do it here instead of throwing up a second post. These boys are aborable and pretty amazing!

Heehee, love them!!!

I could see either of my kids trying this when they're a little older. Not sure they will ever have the rhythm of these boys though, especially the one on the left. Did you see those hips!?!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Well That Was Quick!

I'll do a real quick update on my last post since I found the answer to the mystery plant problem.

First of all, if you ever have a mystery plant I suggest going to They have a plant ID discussion board. I had an answer to mine within 10 minutes!

So my mystery variety of "spinach" that was sold to me at the farmer's market:

Over a month ago all yellow and dying:

Doing better about 3 weeks ago:

Taking off about 10 days ago:

Completely flourishing this week:

Detail of the leaves:

It turns out this plant is indeed (kind of) a spinach plant. It goes by many names including: climbing spinach, creeping spinach, Malabar spinach, Ceylon spinach, Phooi leaf, and Indian spinach. I really don't know which name is the most common since they all come up with several hits when googled. Despite all but one of the common names having the word spinach in it, this plant is actually not related to the spinach that Popeye eats. It is closer to a succulent - which makes sense since the leaves are very thick and rubbery in texture. It tastes a whole lot like spinach and is often used in cooking just like spinach, hence the name. It is a perennial so I will be seeing it again next year.

I'm glad to have that mystery solved, and thankful to the people on the Dave's Garden plant ID board for helping me out.

I am excited that the plant is indeed (kind of) a variety of spinach since I use spinach a lot in salads and for cooking. Googling around, I have learned that it is commonly used in asian stir fries. I like the sound of Phooi leaf so I may call it that from here on out since it sounds a whole lot more exotic than "creeping spinach".

Anyone care for a Phooi leaf salad? 

Garden Update - Farmer's Market Mysteries

Since I haven't done a garden update in a couple of weeks, this week got split up into 2 updates since there was a little too much for a single post. The harvest has been great overall, and I'm still kind of in shock that it has been working out.

Before I get to the actual garden stuff, I thought I'd share some pictures of my gardening buddy:
Nom nom nom - I heart watermelon!
Hmmm, I would enjoy it more if mom wasn't pointing that camera thing at me constantly.
Ok, mom - for reals now - this is getting old!!!

The watermelon keeps her occupied for a good half hour or more, then I put her in the Little Tikes wagon with a couple of toys and she is occupied for another half hour. Plenty of time for momma to weed, harvest, prune, and take photos! If I take any longer, then dirt is inevitably digested.
Onto the garden stuff!

First up are my peppers. They have been very successful and continue to be. The most abundant have been the banana peppers (I think):
These plants were sold to me as yellow bell peppers at the farmer's market. Obviously they aren't bell peppers. I am not disappointed because the banana peppers are great too, but this wasn't the only questionable plant from that particular farmer. . . more on that later. I have harvested about 8 banana peppers so far and I have several more that are ready to harvest this week. Good thing we are a pepper loving family! The plants sold to me by that same farmer as green bell peppers are actually yielding green bell peppers:
They are a little small for harvesting still, but they should be golden by next week. . . Golden as in good to go, not in color (this duh moment has been brought to you by sleep deprivation).

This plant was sold as an orange bell pepper:
It also is looking rather questionable.
The picture above was taken a week ago and the one below yesterday:
Not a huge difference, but it is definitely looking pointy versus bell-y

The one I'm super glad was labelled correctly was the purple bell pepper plant:
They are such a cool deep purple, like an eggplant.
I have harvested one of these and have a couple more on deck for next week. Yum!

Then we come up to the green beans. My precious little green beans grown from mere seedlings (I get a little sentimental sometimes). I have been watching these plants grow and flower for a few weeks now, but haven't paid to much attention. I thought they were taking their sweet time and weren't going to produce any actual green beans for another couple of weeks. Then, sometime last week I actually looked under the leaves and to my amazement there were green beans galore:
 I have been happily harvesting them all week . . . :
. . . and have been making them into yummy meals like this chicken alfredo with green beans:
There are still a whole bunch left to harvest so I should have them for a few weeks to come.

My radishes have come and gone. I did get to harvest many of them and we enjoyed them thoroughly. I left one plant unharvested. It gave me some pretty white flowers:
It also gave me some seed pods so I may see if I can plant another round this year since they grow so quickly:

The cucumber plant that has also grown from seeds is growing well too. Here it is almost 2 weeks ago:
 Here it is  yesterday:
Under all the leaves there are several flowers:
I think there will be lots of cucumbers to harvest soon enough.

Next on the tour is mystery plant extraordinaire. You may remember them as the spinach plants that weren't doing so well a while back. At the time of my last garden update they were improving:
Following that, they really took off. . . and over:
The funny thing is that as far as I know, spinach doesn't grow this way.

I lost the label from the farmer's market, but it was labelled as a weird variety of spinach. Not knowing anything about plants, I trusted that this was indeed the case. Now I'm not so sure. If anyone out there has any idea what this plant is, please help me out. It is very rubbery in texture. Here some better pictures taken yesterday:
They are growing rather large:
I am weary to eat them until I find out what they are and if they are edible.
I found a website where you can post pictures and descriptions of unknown plants, and people who might actually know what they're doing (unlike me) help ID them.

The brussel sprout plants are growing very fast, but I don't have high hopes for an actual yield. You see, after purchasing them, planting them, and watching them grow for a few weeks, I read online that they are cold weather crops and don't do well in high heat. Live and learn I guess.

The celery hasn't changed much since last update either, so I figured I would skip the pictures of that too.

The herbs are doing fantastic. I have been harvesting from them like crazy and cooking them into most of our daily meals so they are mostly just looking ragged now. . . but in a good way.

The final plant in the lineup are my eggplant plants. They are doing rather awesome. A couple of weeks ago they flowered and then the flowers fell of and gave way to these:
Which in turn grew into these:
I harvested my first pair yesterday:
One went to my mom and the other into a stew for dinner.

They have been amazing and there are many more that are almost ready to harvest in the coming week. Time to brush up on my eggplant parm recipe!

Phew, glad you actually made it through all of that. Thanks for reading, hopefully I didn't put you to sleep. I'll be back with baby/toddler cuteness tomorrow.