Thursday, February 26, 2009

Lent and Gluten

Steve and I decided to give something up for Lent. No, we're not Catholic, but some of our friends and family (go Mary!) do it for fun, and they aren't Catholic either. Sometimes I think it's silly, but I like having an excuse to push myself to do something I wouldn't normally do. (Or something that I probably should do, but don't have the willpower - like my Lent goal a few years ago of giving up sweets. It was actually easier than I thought it would be, but I was frustrated that I hadn't lost an ounce of weight.)

So, we're giving up gluten. That's right. For the next 40 days we're going to be eating gluten-free. (If you're not familiar with "gluten-free", it's basically giving up everything that has wheat flour in it, as well as barley and rye, but we don't usually eat much of that anyway. A lot of people have gluten intolerances and either give this stuff up or get sick.) Not that gluten is a bad thing . . . we're just curious to see what it would be like. We're already eating a lot less bread and pasta to cut out some carbs, so I don't think it will be torture. What might be tough is cutting out pizza. And cookies. And our weekly pancakes/waffles (or at least changing them drastically).

I'm anxious to see if this will allow me to drop the remaining 10 prego-pounds I'm carrying around more quickly. Probably not if my ice cream consumption increases as my gluten consumption decreases.

P.S. Mary, I didn't even notice until now that you weren't on my blogroll. Forgive me, cuz

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Ivy's Blessing

Lots of family, lots of pictures, lots of preparation, and lots of food -- mixed in somewhere was Valentine's day, too, but the most important part of last weekend was Ivy's blessing. We've unintentionally started a tradition in our family as well. My mom bought Sophie a gorgeous blessing dress and we decided that it was way too pretty to only use once. Along with the dress was a slip with Sophie's name embroidered on it. We decided that Ivy would also wear the dress and that she would have her own slip with her name on it. Since they're so close in age and could potentially get married about the same time maybe we can talk them into wearing the same wedding dress, too. I know . . . wishful thinking.

So, here's where the photos that I took end and the ones my dad took begin. Thanks again, Dad, for documenting our lives. :)

I think Ivy looks smashing in yellow.

My parents and my grandparents flew out for the weekend. I love it when they come (and consequently cry when they leave). I just wish I saw them more often.

Some of Steve's family came over from Sac along with a couple of friends. The blessing Steve gave was beautiful. I didn't cry this time -- probably because Ivy was a little fussy and I was worried that she'd start crying louder. (I, uh, got her feeding times confused that morning and thought she wasn't due for another feeding until after the blessing. I was wrong. She was due right then. She let out a couple of cries, but did well considering.)

We got back to the house and suddenly I had a house full of people and dinner to finish preparing. Of course we had to take pictures, but Ivy was hungry, I was antsy to get dinner finished, so we got the bare minimum before I rushed her upstairs to change her. I really regret not getting more pictures of everyone who was there. We got Ivy, though, and that's the most important thing, I guess.

(My mom's parents on the right.)

We got a picture with all the grandmas which turned out cute. We're all laughing because the only way we could get Sophie to smile was for all 15 people in the house to start counting "O-O-N-E . . . T-W-O-O . . .T-H-R-E-E-E-!!!" As you can see, Ivy didn't hold out until the end.

Sophie loved all the attention she got, and I think she was confused Monday afternoon when everyone was gone, Steve had gone to school, and she was left with boring old mom. (Ya, Steve had to go on President's Day for board reviews. How lame is that!?)

Monday, February 16, 2009

Was it Valentine's Day?

This past weekend we blessed Ivy and had lots of family in town, so Valentine's Day was kinda put on the back burner this year. I still have some photos to round up, so to hold you over until I get my ducks in a row, here's a little week-in-review.

There was some jumping on Mom's bed in a tutu,

doting on Ivy,

tackling whole apples,

going for walks strapped to mom,

all-around craziness,

and attempt #2 of getting a shot of mom and the babies.

I thought that Sophie had Steve's olive complexion (maybe she still does), but it looks like she has my skin tone next to Ivy. Yes, Ivy looks pretty yellow, and I get asked sometimes if she has jaundice. She doesn't. I'm not sure what catches her attention, but that's her usual "awake face".

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Silent . . . and Talking!

(Snaps to you if you know what book the title came from.)

Sophie has been learning words like crazy lately, and I wanted to get them documented. One day she'll actually say them correctly, and it won't be nearly as cute.

This book happens to have a lot of objects she knows. When she doesn't know the name of something, she uses one of her generic sounds. Most of the time it's "beh."

This one is one of her Sesame Street books. Sophie is in love with Elmo. We watch Elmo's World (the last 15 minutes of Sesame Street) every day. Luckily nothing else holds her attention for very long so the TV stays turned off most of the day. . . until Ina comes on. Sophie still loves Ina Garten and asks for her, too. Oh, and she's also learning to count a little. Sort of. She does the intonation, but the words still need some work, as you can see. :)

Then we did body parts. Sophie loves her elbow.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Nighttime Neighbors

I'm going to stray from our little lives here in California to show you what's going on with my parents right now and why they had to call fish and game up to their house. To give you a little background, my parents live in the outskirts of Idaho Falls. When I say there's nothing behind their house, I'm not joking. If you go far enough out, you might end up in Wyoming before you see signs of civilization. Once in a while they'll see a couple deer or even a moose wander into the yard. No biggie. Here's how it looks in the spring. I love this picture:

Nothing for miles. And dead silent, too. Can you see why I'm going a little batty in California? (Oh, did I not tell you? Maybe you couldn't hear me over the train, or the planes, or the light rail, or my neighbors who insist on yelling in Spanish to each other all day. As far as I know, they're unit is the same size as ours. Why all the yelling?)

This is what it looks like lately, every night around dusk:

This is the best photo my dad could get. They only come at dusk and leave before dawn. Sneaky little boogers.

If you look closely you can see a couple hundred elk coming out of that gully back there. Every night for the past week or so (has it been a week, dad?) a giant herd of elk have come out of that gully and settled on to my parents' lawn and pasture out back. We're talking on the grass, right up to the front porch. My mom said there are so many that they couldn't even see the grass. They stay there, grazing on the lawn and the haystack (meant for the horses) and making an unholy mess until dawn, when they slip back over the ridge out of sight. They're quite skittish, and they scare away easily. But they always come back.

And that's why the fish and game department will be making a house call.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Ivy's Smiling!

Ivy is starting to wake from her newborn coma. She started smiling a little while ago, but has just now begun to do it a lot. And on command. It sure makes those hairy days worth it. :)

Sometimes Ivy looks like Sophie did at that age and sometimes she doesn't. In this pic she does. Can you tell who's who? :)

When she's not whopping Ivy on the head with miscellaneous objects, Sophie is a great big sister and likes to help. Getting these pictures was tricky because Sophie kept veering off the sidewalk when I let go of the stroller.

I'm thinking about getting a double jogging stroller. (No, not for jogging, silly. I don't do that. More like, trips to the zoo, walks around the marina, etc.) Does anyone have any recommendations?