29 July 2007

of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness

friday i watched a US naturalization ceremony in sacramento. it was so interesting watching all those people crowd into the light-filled atrium of the capital building, intent on one goal: to become a US citizen. little american flags were waving everywhere; there was an air of expectancy buzzing all around us. and as the judge spoke on patriotic duty and the joys of being an american citizen, john leaned over and whispered in my ear, "so this is what america is all about. different faces, different places. different languages, different colors..." and he was right. that room was filled with people from all over the world. i had been expecting a majority of hispanics or of asians...but really, there was just a great big mix of people. yes there were lots of hispanics and asians but there were also germans and indians and russians and who knows what else. when they walked into that room, they were all different people with different cultures and backgrounds with not much in common but when they walked out of that room, they still came from different cultures with different backgrounds...but they all had something in common now. they were all citizens of the united states of america. 239 people became citizens on that day. and john's mom was one of them. it brought tears to my eyes to see her standing tall, right hand raised high, repeating as well as she could the words the judge was saying. she is proud to be an american. and after watching the ceremony and seeing all those people come together...i am too. proud to be an american that is. the judge said it in his little speech...america may not have it all right...but we're still a great country. and that...i believe is true.

24 July 2007

tuesday...it is tuesday right?

so much to do this week...getting ready to head back to my "homeland" on monday. can't wait. but still...lots to do before i can get going. here's a sampling of my list...
  • laundry. lots of laundry. always.
  • clean the house.
  • finish reading harry potter so luke can read it while i'm there
  • make three layouts: one for mom's calendar, one for jackie's first day of high school present (which i will be missing), one for an online contest.
  • start packing
there's a ton more...but of course i can't think of them right now. so i'll leave you with this...more pictures of my active little boy...

1. the white sessions 7, 2. the white sessions 2, 3. my happy boy, 4. wish i knew what this flower was called, 5. hey! put that camera away and let's get rollin'!, 6. skateboarding is life (?), 7. but chewing on my blue elephant's trunk is funner..., 8. that's mom's camera strap. it tastes good., 9. the white sessions 6, 10. the white sessions, 11. the white sessions..., 12. watching baseball is fun!, 13. c'mon dad...let go!, 14. gotta get my ollie (no idea how to spell that) down, 15. fresh cut bouquets...only $2!!!, 16. look at my tooth!, 17. rock 'n' rattle, 18. the white sessions 4, 19. the white sessions 3, 20. hello?, 21. like my shoes?, 22. future tony hawk in training, 23. hanging with daddy..., 24. the cheese lady. seriously., 25. can i buy the buckets too?

14 July 2007

harry potter and working moms.

went and saw harry last night. a pretty good film i'd say. very different from the book...but what else can you do when the book is 900 pages long and the film's only 2 hours? exactly. it was nice to get out...have dinner with my hubby (at this great little chinese place right by where we used to live. we don't get to go there very often any more...but the waitress still remembered us! even though the last time we were there i was still pregnant! seriously...anyways...). it was wonderful to have adult conversation without having to worry about baby. then we kipped over to the theater to watch harry...me having brought along my own world-famous (slight exaggeration) popcorn (no...i am not ashamed to admit that i sneak popcorn into the movie theater!). but about halfway through the movie...i found my mind wandering back to ripon...to my mother-in-law's house...wondering what my baby boy was doing...whether he was sleeping nicely for his grandma (i found out later he wasn't) or being his active little self. i'd only been gone two hours and already...i missed him. crazy...i know. i was so anxious to get home and hold my sweet boy that the drive back seemed to drag on and on and on and on. it kinda got me thinking though...about mothers who choose to go back to work after having children. not mom's that have to go back...but those who choose to. how can they do it? how can they leave their babies with someone else...all day long...and only get to see them for a couple hours a day? i mean...i know i sometimes crave a moment's peace...or an hour to myself after a particularly hard day with elijah...but deep down...i know i would never trade my life with him for anything. i had a friend tell me once that the reason both mom and dad worked was because if they wanted to go to abercrombie and spend $300 in one go...they wanted to be able to do that. huh? what? exactly. i know. i seriously could not believe those words actually came out of their mouth...and they were dead serious. but i suppose that's how a lot of people think these days. they want what they want...and they don't let anything...even their children!...get in the way of that. it's sad really. because i wouldn't trade watching and experiencing daily life with my little boy for all the name-brand clothes or niceties in the world. i want to be there when he takes his first step, says his first word. i want to be the one to comfort him when he bonks his head, needs a cuddle. i don't want someone else doing that for me...i love watching my little man learn about the world. lately his favorite game is pulling himself up to a standing position using the couch to balance on...turning around with one hand holding on...and giving me the biggest grin right before he hurtles himself into my waiting arms. we giggle and laugh for a minute then he turns around and does it all over again. i can't imagine missing that!

so last night...when we finally pulled up in front of my in-law's house and i carried my sleeping boy back to his waiting bed...with my nose buried in his soft baby head, smelling his sweet baby smell, listening to his soft, syncopated breathing...i couldn't help breathe yet another prayer of thanks for the little life in my arms...thankful for my role as his mommy...and oh so thankful that i don't have to leave him for a job. we may not be the richest people on the block...we may not have all the "latest and greatest"...but that really doesn't matter in the scheme of things...in the light of the little life we've been entrusted with. we're so blessed in so many ways...so many ways...it blows me away sometimes.

12 July 2007

today is going to be one of those days...

those days. the not-so-good kind. the i-didn't-just-get-up-on-the-wrong-side-of the-bed-i-got-up-on-the-wrong-day kind of days. the kind of day where you just want to climb back into to bed and start it all over again. redo? yes please. but still. it's going to be one of those days. i can feel it. i have a vat of frustration bubbling just beneath the surface because not only is today going to be one of those days...but yesterday was one of those days and the day before that was one of those days and the day before that was one of those days *sigh*...and with my luck...tomorrow will be too.

how do i know today is going to be one of those days? well...i think it started with the bowl of cereal elijah spilled this morning. or maybe the fact that elijah is still crying in his crib...after being put down to sleep an hour ago. or maybe it started when i went downstairs to change over the laundry and discovered that my husband hadn't cleaned up the cereal like he said he was going to. maybe. or maybe...just maybe...it started when i realized there was no coffee in the house. (even though i drink decaf...there's just something about a cup of coffee in the morning...)

here's hoping that i'm wrong about today...

11 July 2007

7 things...

inspired by many of the blogs i read...here are seven random things i like right now...

1. flat earth fruit and veggie crisps. so yummy. and good for you too. don't believe me? try them for yourself! (i sound like a paid advertisement) they are seriously addictive (which kinda makes me wonder about the "good for you" part a bit...but hey...i figure they're better than potato chips, right?)

2. harry potter.
yes. sad...but true. can the seventh book take ANY longer to get here? and yes...i did pre-order it back in december. again. sad...but true.

3. this book...
bend the rules sewing. super fun. super cute. super easy. check out a finished product here (i am so making this hat for myself! seriously.)

4. scrapbooking supplies. it seriously borders on an addiction. but...if you ever want to randomly buy me something...

5. etsy.com. i want to live there. seriously. i spend way too much time browsing and dreaming on that site...maybe someday i'll sell my own creative creations on there...who knows? but wouldn't that be fun?

6. pictures of elijah. well. isn't that a given? yeah...i thought so. here's one i don't think i've shared yet...from june...

7. my mac g5. seriously. i should have switched over years ago.

that's all for now...

sleepless days...

and so it begins...another difficult time with elijah. he has discovered the world is a much better place viewed from a standing up position. it also is such a fun world that sleep is to be avoided at all costs...which is lovely for mom. i seriously wish there was a "sleep" button on his back that i could push to make him fall asleep. but no...he'd rather sit up, stand up or just generally play in his crib instead of sleeping. as i'm writing this...he's cooing and laughing while he plays with his stuffed elephant in his crib. he might pull himself up and survey the room from a standing position for a while...or just sit and suck on winks (the elephant) trunk instead. after about an hour of this (with me checking on him intermittently...telling him that "it's sleepy time"...all to no avail), he will get frustrated and mad because he really is tired. no amount of rocking will put him to sleep though...and i just have to wait til he tires himself out enough to finally nod off. only one problem. he then only stays asleep for fifteen minutes. and then we begin the process all over again because obviously...he is not rested. he gets a diaper change, some food, a story, some cuddles...and maybe some playtime if he seems up to it...then fussy baby goes back in his crib...to annoy mom some more. grr...the never-ending cycle is starting to grate on my nerves...hopefully this trend will be short lived. not sure how much more of this i can take...

10 July 2007


this is how i found elijah yesterday evening. he and daddy were playing in daddy's closet. too much fun!

i just finished making homemake pesto. yum. can't wait to try it on some yummy pasta. it was super easy...surprisingly. and it's a lighter version...using walnuts instead of pine nuts. here's the recipe if anyone wants to try it out...

lighter pesto

makes 3/4 cup
prep time: 10 minutes
total time: 10 minutes

  • 3 cups tightly packed fresh basil leaves (2 ounces total)
  • 3 tablespoons walnut pieces
  • 3 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • coarse salt and ground pepper (optional)
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  1. in a food processor (i used my blender and it worked out fine), combine basil, walnuts, parmesan, garlic, lemon juice, and 3 tablespoons water; season with salt and pepper. puree until a paste forms.
  2. with motor running, add oil in a thin stream. process until very smooth, about 1 minute.
and that's it! told you it was easy. speaking of yummy, easy recipes...i tried this one out for dinner last night...and it is definitely a keeper...

shells with grilled chicken and mozzarella

serves four
prep time: 15 minutes
total time: 30 minutes

  • coarse salt and ground pepper
  • vegetable oil, for grates
  • 1 1/2 pounds chicken cutlets
  • 8 ounces medium pasta shells
  • 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • 4 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped (i used basil. neither john nor i enjoy parsley very much)
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  1. bring a large pot of salted water to a boil for pasta. meanwhile, heat grill to medium; lightly oil grates. season chicken with salt and pepper. grill until cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes per side. remove from grill, and cut into thin strips, halving if long.
  2. cook pasta until al dente, according to package instructions. reserve 1 cup pasta water; drain pasta, and return to pot. add chicken, tomatoes, mozzarella, parsley, parmesan, and butter. toss to combine. add reserved pasta water a little at a time to create a sauce that coats shells (you may not need all the water). serve with more parmesan.
super simple and super yummy. i didn't grill the chicken since we don't have a bar-be-que...i just sauteed it. anyways...try it out. it really is quite tasty...especially if you use basil instead of parsley. btw...both of these recipes...along with other yummy ones...can be be found in the july/august issue of everyday food.

09 July 2007

a lament. the library. a lazy saturday.

luke left us today. sadness.
i really like that kid. he's a good egg.
and even though it was a bummer he had to spend the ENTIRE time he was here studying (minus the time heather (his girlfriend) was here)...it was just cool to have him here...experiencing life with us...hanging out with his nephew...just being. i like that. i like him. and i'm excited i get to see him again in three weeks. in alaska. woot.
good times.

unfortunately...i didn't get any pictures of him and heather together. bummer. i know.
oh well. next time right?


this is a picture of our library...bathed in the evening sunshine.
every time i walk in there...i think "we need more books".
anyone want to donate to this great cause?
i'm sure it's a tax right-off...for sure.

speaking of books...
harry potter in 11 days.
so excited.
but kind of sad that it will be all over.
i liked harry.

sweet pictures of my boy from this weekend.

05 July 2007


11 am and 95 degrees should never be used in the same sentence.
another scorcher.
yee haw.
gonna go take a cold shower.
and as always...pictures to come.

04 July 2007

happy happy happy...

happy 4th of july...

hope you're cooler than we are wherever you are...

02 July 2007


happy monday.
can you believe it's july?
where did june go?
it just flew by...
here's some of the events that occurred in the sixth month of 2007 in the life of my little man:
  • can drink from a cup (with a little help from mom or dad)
  • went down the slide
  • played in the kiddie pool for the first time
  • had a popsicle (see picture above)
  • went to the doctor and had three more shots! :(
  • went to the beach
  • got his first tooth!
  • went from lying down to sitting up by himself
  • turned six months old and had a big party
just a few highlights from the month of june...
elijah's getting to be a such a boy...
not so much an infant any more...not at all.
love his little personality and all his fun quirks.
he is hilarious. seriously.
love my days spent just hanging out with him...
couldn't ask for more...
or better...