Family Alive

Brian, Kristine, Analise, and Josiah Toone

Archive for January, 2008

The Drama of the Day

31st January 2008

Well, the day started off with a bang.  It seems J’s diaper wasn’t on well last night.  Fellow parents are cringing, knowing what that means.  Yes, it fell off, and yes, it was a Large Mess inside his footy pj’s this morning.  Whew!  He needed a quick washing off in the tub, but I didn’t do my usual toweling set-up on the counter.  Instead, I lifted him out to the floor, reaching up to grab the towel.  Quick little bugger tried to run off, and slipped on the bathroom tile, cracking his bottom lip open. 

Poor boy.  I felt terrible.  He sucked on a frozen teething ring for a few minutes, and I though it would be no big deal.   It got bigger as the day wore on and looked worse and worse… you know, thanks to munching on crackers, tomatoes, other nicely salted and acidic snacks that he demanded. By naptime, he popped his pacifier in his mouth, sucked for a sec, and started wailing and threw it at me. sad.gif  He grabbed his little lip and cried and cried.  He sobbed for half an hour as I was trying to get Analise to nap, finally collapsing for an hour. 

At dinner, he didn’t want much to eat,and he kept grabbing his lip, saying "Occh".  I put some Oragel on it, hoping it’d make it feel numb enough to use his pacifier, and sure enough, he put it right in his mouth, rolled over, and I haven’t heard a peep from him. Poor tired boy. The pharmacist said I could use it as often as I needed tonight, and hopefully, the swelling will be down and it will have healed a bit overnight.  I’m sure this isn’t the last fat lip we’ll deal with!

I have to share how cute he’s been lately.  He’s full of words, and he’s working so hard to communicate with us.  One funny thing is that you’ll never believe is that he recognizes the Great Sphinx in an "Where in the World is Elmo?" book.  The first time we opened the book, he pointed right at it and said, "Sfix!"  I couldn’t believe it, but he has seen it on a Little Einsteins episode that the kids have watched several times.

I just pulled the wooden train set back out, and he’s been busy playing with it. He’ll come running up to me with a piece of track, saying "Boke, mama", tugging me in to fix it. wub.gif      His favorite word lately is "hippo", with an emphasis on the HIP.  So cute.  And he’s still figuring out what to call Analise.  But he called Abigail, our babysitter, "A-bagel" yesterday.  I love hearing him talk!  I’m sure we’ve got plenty of toddler issues on the horizon, but I do love this stage of watching him learn so quickly.  He’s becoming such a little boy, it’s amazing!

I’d better sign off to get some sleep, in case he decides he can’t sleep because of his fat lip tonight… ‘Later!

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What’s Cooking… Tortellini Soup

31st January 2008

Thanks to my sister, Anna, for this wonderful creation.  Hers is better than mine, but this was super quick and DELICIOUS with some Tastefully Simple Bountiful Beer Bread.  YUM!

Tortellini Soup

  • 1 package tortellini (I used Buitoni whole wheat cheese, found in the refrigerated section)
  • 1 jar spaghetti sauce
  • 1 box chicken broth
  • 1 bag of frozen mixed veggies
  • 1 can creamed corn
  • 1 T dried minced onion (you could also use half an onion, sauteed in olive oil)
  • 1/2 tsp garlic salt
  • 1 tsp Trader Joe’s 21 Salute Seasoning (or any good seasoning blend)

Toss it all in the pot, bring to a boil for 5-10 minutes, simmer for 20 minutes to an hour.  Serve topped with parmesan cheese and a good chunk of bread.

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30th January 2008

I did actually complete the unfinished bow project of a few days ago…

The ones I finished the other evening were the blue (center bottom) and the pink/white (bottom right), both on clips.  Today I made the little pink/white/purple hair ties in the center from the leftovers.  I’m still learning how to fold an actual bow, so the pink/purple on the left look a bit flat.  But I made those and the pink/purple folded clips on the top right in the fall, along with the curly orange halloween clips. 

I think I’ve got the curly bows figured out, which are my favorite.  But I need to practice on the loopy bows.  I’ll keep you posted…    If anyone would like some, just let me know!  I’ve got lots of ribbon!

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What’s Cooking… Shepherd’s Pie

30th January 2008

Comfort food, pure and simple. Someone brought this to a church dinner a couple weeks ago, and I was stunned at how delicious something so not-pretty could be. YUM. We had it last night for dinner, and it was super easy and just as tasty as I’d remembered. It’s straight from the Kraft Foods magazine (sign up for the free magazine, if you haven’t already! YUM… one of my favorite pieces of mail!).

Easy Shepherd’s Pie

  • 1 lb.
    ground beef

  • 2 cups
    hot mashed potatoes

  • 4 oz.
    (1/2 of 8-oz. pkg.) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, cubed

  • 1 cup
    KRAFT Shredded Cheddar Cheese, divided

  • 2 cloves
    garlic, minced

  • 4 cups
    frozen mixed vegetables, thawed

  • 1 cup
    beef gravy

PREHEAT oven to
375ºF. Brown meat in large skillet. Meanwhile, mix potatoes, cream
cheese, 1/2 cup of the shredded cheese and the garlic until well

DRAIN meat. Return to
skillet; stir in vegetables and gravy. Spoon into 9-inch square baking
dish; cover with potato mixture and remaining 1/2 cup shredded cheese.

BAKE 20 min. or until heated through.

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What threatens to take over your cupboards?

28th January 2008

It’s obvious what I am afraid of running out of when I’m at the store…

Yes, that’s 9 cans of cream of mushroom soup.  Anyone in the mood for green bean casserole?  You bring the beans…

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It’s a GOOD Monday morning :)

28th January 2008

Today is starting out really well.  I love it when the week starts off on a good foot!

  • Brian’s back after 4 days away for a cycling team training camp.
  • We more than survived the time on our own… I think we did great! 
  • Josiah was only up once last night.
  • He’s happily running around entertaining himself with a brand-new toothbrush.  He’s mostly using it to brush his hair. 
  • Analise let me put her hair in braids today, and she looks super cute.  She’s doing handstands and forward rolls on the floor.  (She started gymnastics 2 weeks ago, instead of ballet for this session.)
  • I just pulled a batch of these amazing Golden Chocolate Chip Muffins out of the oven.  YUM!  I’m just waiting for Brian’s dad to swing by with another gallon of milk so we can enjoy them later with our friends.
  • Analise’s little friend, Jacob, and his mom, Melissa, and baby James are coming over in less than an hour to play.
  • I think we’ve all finally shaken the cold we’ve passed around for the last 10 days.

Enjoy these shots of my cuties!

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What’s Cookin… Kraft Pizza Pulls

24th January 2008

I’m trying to make Friday night dinner pizza every week.  Makes my meal-planning easy, and I’ve got lots of pizza variations to try.  Homemade pizza is so easy and tasty!  This is a recipe I haven’t tried yet, but I’m adding to my list!  If it stays in my recipe box, I might call it "Pizza Upside Down Pie".

Kraft Pizza Pulls

  • 4 oz. OSCAR MAYER Pepperoni slices
  • 1   green pepper, chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 cup  grape or cherry tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup KRAFT Zesty Italian Dressing
  • 1 cup  KRAFT Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
  • 1 pkg. (13.4 oz.) refrigerated pizza dough

PREHEAT oven to 400ºF. Combine pepperoni, peppers, onions, tomatoes and dressing in 13×9-inch baking dish sprayed with cooking spray. Sprinkle with cheese.

UNROLL pizza dough; cut into 2-inch pieces with sharp knife or kitchen shears. Place evenly over cheese.

BAKE 30 min.; cool 10 min. Invert onto platter; carefully remove dish.

*Notes:  I like to make my own pizza dough, so if this recipe is a keeper, I might make my own dough, roll it out, and cut it into pieces, as described above.  Serving suggestions were to serve it with ranch or pizza sauce for dipping.  You could also use sausage or diced cooked chicken as topping. 

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A moment of wishful thinking

23rd January 2008

Every now and then there’s a day that I find myself wishing I was back in the working world, like my UC Davis Emergency Medicine office. Today happened to be one of those days, though admittedly, they were only fleeting thoughts.

I know that I’m so lucky to be doing what I’m doing. And I wouldn’t trade my choice to be at home with my kids for anything. But some things about working out in the real world sometimes seem very appealing.

I used to be able to get to start work at the appointed time, a very reasonable 8:00am. I’d spend the day tackling projects, replying to emails, having adult conversations, checking things off my To Do list one by one. Such a sense of accomplishment! And though there were interruptions, they were usually brief, and it was quite possible to see the end of most tasks. At the end of the day, I would wrap things up, leave my desk in order and my files put away, walk out the door at the leisurely hour of 5pm, and not to think of work again for 15 hours.

Today, on the other hand, I woke up tired and sick with a cold at the dark hour of 5:15 to convince Josiah that it wasn’t morning yet. Analise got cold in her bed and joined us somewhere in the 6 o’clock hour, flopping and squirming so that I didn’t sleep much more. I spent the day cleaning and picking up, and I had a glorious sense of accomplishment for 5 minutes as Analise’s room was all neat and clean. Then she was so pleased with her orderly room that she was inspired to play in it, so of course, it definitely looks lived in now. I’ve got a million things I’m in the middle of doing, at least 10 I’d really LOVE to be doing. For example, Analise and I started to make some hairbows today, but we got interrupted by a hungry Josiah and lunch time, and then the 3-year old attention span was lost to PBS’s Between the Lions, the end of which always signals naptime in our house. So the ribbons and clips are still strewn on the table, waiting for another chance, until Analise finds them when I’m not looking and starts practicing her cutting, and I find her snipping our ribbon to little pieces. We did have a great time building castles with dominoes and blocks this afternoon, but then they were strewn all over the living room as Josiah knocked our towers down, tossing dominoes every which way. Things are picked up now as I’m still ingrained to leave things in order at the end of the workday, even though I know that within 5 minutes of waking, it will be lived in again as .

The To Do list? Nothing crossed off. Interruptions? Countless. Adult conversations? Normally it’s minimal, but luckily tonight was our Life Group, so I did get a couple of stimulating hours. Sense of accomplishment? Well, it was sorely lacking this afternoon. Until I was remembered that I’m working on a long-range project here. Each day is another block of building into these little lives, building hearts I hope will love and honor God. Each distracted and disconnected hour in my working world of trying to juggle laundry/snack requests/diaper changes/playtime is an hour I wouldn’t have gotten to spend with my sweeties if I had a different job. It’s another hour I get to see them grow and smile and play and cry and kiss their cheeks and wipe their noses (which, given the colds in our house, I probably did 27 times today).

So my moment of wishing for the real working world was brief. It hit me as we were getting ready for naptime, Josiah was grumbling through a diaper change, Analise was begging for a couple more minutes to play, and my head was aching for a rest. But after we were all settled down and I was snuggling next to Analise as she was falling asleep, I remembered why this is my chosen job. Not everyone can chose what I’ve chose, and I am a lucky woman.

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Snow pictures and video

19th January 2008

little snow man
I looked outside and saw that the snow was already starting to melt, so I ran outside and made this snowman.

short video of our 2008 winter storm
Earlier, I took some picture that I posted in the previous post. While I was taking the pictures, the kids
came up to the window and I got this video of them and also of the snow falling early in the "winter storm".

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Snow in Alabama!!!

19th January 2008

It’s snowing, it’s snowing, it’s snowing!

snow in our backyard - jan 19 2008
Snow in our backyard, January 19, 2008.

snowy playset
Snowy playset. When we woke up this morning, there was a tiny pile of sleet at the bottom of the slide.
Now it’s covered in snow! To take the picture of our backyard, I carefully stepped in the spot underneath
the overturned table so as not to disturb the snow on the deck. Down here, snow is so rare, you don’t want to mess it up!

another snowy playground
Another snowy playset in our yard. I’d expect we have about 1/2 inch now and maybe 1 inch total by the time it’s all over.

snow map
And finally, the current radar showing where we are in Hoover, AL.

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