T Rex Family

T Rex Family

Friday, November 25, 2011

Thanksgiving 2011

Our day of thanks...

A little parade watching in the morning - the last 5 minutes - just in time to see the giant Kermit the Frog and Santa. T Rex was more impressed with the giant frog than Santa (whom he adores so that is saying something). Bebe Sister was just impressed to see a video.

While they watched, played, and ate breakfast, I began my pie baking. Did I ever mention I learned to make pumpkin pies from a professional pie baker? I did. While the pies cooled, we cleaned the house and the kids had naps.

There are some benefits to having a large crowd. One can "out-source" everything. I would love to say I cooked everything but I did not. I know my limits and as hosting the giant family gathering only happens every 8-10 years, I wanted it to be perfect but there was no way I would be able to pull it together on my own with my school obligations even during the break.

Enter my sister, technology talent manager by day, hobby event planner by night. Remember that baby shower she and I threw this past spring? Well, this could certainly rival that event. She and my mom cooked the core of the meal - turkeys (yes, there were two), stuffing, gravy, and pomegranate salad and brought them over before everyone else arrived. She even supplied center pieces to go with the lovely flowers my mother-in-law brought over. I thought the table looked lovely set for 20 people

Bebe Sister thought the whipped cream beater was delicious.

Others in the family arrived - it was a combined event with both T Rex Dad's family as well as my local family. Everyone brought a dish or two. In fact, I only baked two pumpkin pies and everything else was brought in -  green bean casserole, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, 4 dozen rolls, more pies, veggie platter, in addition to the stuff my mom and sis already brought. Even our Thanksgiving prayer and food blessing was "out-sourced" to our nephew who is minister at his church. T Rex Dad took this photo calling me the "officer in charge". 

The food was all delicious. Before we had dessert, we sang "Happy Birthday to T Rex" in celebration of his birthday. He, like his mom, struggles a little with big crowd situations. Thus, I had to coax him out of his box fort in the playroom. In the end, Auntie J's sugar cookies (remember, T Rex does not do cake), candles, and opening presents peaked his interest enough to overcome his shyness.

We enjoyed cookies and pie and played some party games - Turkey BINGO, Thanksgiving word search, and chopsticks racing - T Rex Dad still continues to be reigning champ but Uncle Doc is quickly catching up to him. T Rex played his first round of Turkey BINGO but once he won, he wanted to continue playing with his newly acquired toys, particularly those that involved cars.

A major holiday is not complete without a homemade dress for Bebe Sister. She wanted her dada to pose with her for this photo. There is a belt and bonnet to go with her dress but she strongly declined wearing them. In fact, she hid the bonnet and I still cannot find it.

It was a beautiful evening and event. I think everyone had a great time. We have so much to be thankful for and how wonderful to have an entire day to reflect with loved ones. Plus, a huge thank you for all the help I had with the food, decor, games, and clean up.

Oh, I also have to say how thankful I am that the washing machine decided to die again after all the laundry was caught up. This time, however, it seems to be an issue that T Rex Dad can repair. 

Today is my sewing Black Friday - I spend the entire day crafting Christmas gifts. I look forward to it every year. I cannot wait to show you all the fun projects. 

We hope you and your family had as lovely a day as we had.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Cookie Baking...

The past few weeks have been quite busy. I've had many school projects, papers, and other obligations. I cannot believe the vast knowledge I am gaining. What has been tough is being away from the kids. When I finally had some time with them during the day I asked what they wanted to do. Both exclaimed - COOKIES!!! Then T Rex ran to the pantry chanting, "I'll get the flour, Mama..."

Sugar cookies (not frosted) are a rare type of cookie T Rex actually will eat. Bebe Sister? Well, she has yet to meet a food or soap she doesn't like to eat. How she maintains her 24 lbs figure I do not know but that girl can eat. In fact, we could not share any of these cookies because we were not sure how much of the dough she tasted and licked before it was rolled, cut, and put into the oven.

We each chose a cookie cutter shape to use. I selected a turkey shape utilizing the kids' great-grandma Besta's cookie cutters. T Rex wanted to make trains and Bebe Sister wanted to make dinosaurs (she is really into dinosaurs and has the best little dino "roar"). I pretty much let the kids do it all. Yes, it was a huge mess but I needed to thoroughly clean the kitchen and mop the floors so it worked out well. (I'm working on being more patient with little kid messes. I give myself a B+ for dealing with this one and it was a big one.) 

I'm learning that parenthood is not about teaching my kids but rather learning from them. I believe when the kids are grown and gone I will look back and realize they taught me far more than I ever taught them. Hence, I am trying to embrace this and just go with these little messes. Trying being the operative term.

Here are the photos:

This little one is becoming quite naughty and mischievous. Watch what she does with the flour...

Enjoying the warm, out-of-the-oven cookies...

By the way, in case anyone was hanging on the edge of their seats as I was, the washing machine is officially fixed - 3 weeks, $600, and 2 missed naps later it is humming along and the laundry pile is finally shrinking noticeably.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

11th on 11-11-11

This week, on 11-11-2011 T Rex Dad and I celebrated our 11th engagement anniversary. We were engaged on 11-11-2001 at a wonderful fondu restaurant named Mona Lisa.

Yesterday our wonderful neighbors D&M watched the kids and we went to the same restaurant and sat at the same table where the event took place. We even had the same server we had 11 years ago.

There we celebrated with our favorite fondu dinner for two - garden salad, Old World cheese and bread,  meat/shrimp, and dark chocolate dessert. 

Three and a half years ago we wrote messages to each other, placed them in a bottle and the restaurant kept the bottle for us. At dinner we opened our bottle.

Here are some photos of us getting ready to leave and then at the restaurant. The middle photo was me wanting to take a little different photo utilizing the mirror in the Board Room where we had our private dinner.

As always we left feeling like we at far too much. The food is so delicious one cannot help oneself. Sadly, though, the restaurant is closing at the end of the year so this will be our last anniversary celebration there. We knew the day would eventually come when we could not celebrate there. However, we do have so many wonderful memories and photos. The food, though, I am not sure it is replicatable.

All the 11's was completely unintentional but we will certainly remember all the number alignments. Maybe it will bring us just enough luck to get the washing machine fixed tomorrow. If not, then luck to purchase another that will not break after 5 years. 

The luck did hold with soap making, though. I made a really huge batch and initially it did not set up. Then I chatted with a chemist friend who suggested adding a bit more lye - with T Rex Dad watching the kids, I did the lye add-in and mixed everything together. Thus far the batch seems to be wonderful. I was concerned the combo of lavender and frankincense would be weird but I had to combine the batches when adding back the lye. Actually, the combo is wonderful. 

Thank you to my sweetheart - for the beautiful engagement 11 years ago, the years since, and the wonderful anniversary celebration.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Month of Thanks...

It just seems that when one thing breaks, they all seem to. Eleven days ago it was the washing machine. Yesterday it was fixed. Then today I started  a large load, the machine filled with water and soap, and then died again. I was not too happy it died after soaking all the clothes. 

Sounds like the Jetta all over again - it was fixed, then broke again, then several days later, it was fixed again. This week, T Rex Dad and I shared a vehicle which would not have been a big deal except I had four days straight of clinic and school.

I think my poor mom picked up on the chaos as she had a flat tire this past weekend and when she went to change the tire there was no jack. Can you imagine my 72 year old mom changing a tire. I was actually glad there was no jack. 

Luckily, the photo above is not real. Well, it is a real cast but not for anything broken. We had a casting and splinting class this week at school. My classmate was kind enough to take photos since I did not think to pack my camera. I believe I look a bit tired in the photo - probably after an entire morning of EKG training. If you were looking at photos like the one below for four hours, your eyes might be a bit tired, too.

Truly, though, I am blessed. 

I thought I would list some of the small ones I'm grateful for today...

- I do NOT have any broken bones (boy, do I have sympathy for my patients, though).
- The Jetta is fixed and we once again have two working vehicles.
- We are all healthy and finally free of the cold that's been occupying the house for the past two weeks and keeping us from sleeping.
- We survived the time change and the kids are adjusting adequately.
- T Rex never acquired the cold and his asthma is completely under control.
- My pediatric assessment exam today went great. I had a 4 year old who presented with asthma - how ironic to get this random patient for this graded exam, something I know so much about in a child of an age I also know plenty about. (They should have had T Rex as a sample patient!)
- At least I have a working dryer to handle the hand washed loads of clothes.
- My frankincense essential oil came and the house is smelling so wonderful. (I'm making soap this weekend for Christmas gifts - how fun would frankincense soap be for the season?)
- Tomorrow T Rex Dad and I celebrate 11 years since we were engaged and Saturday night we get a date to the place where it took place.
- Tomorrow we honor Veterans like my father-in-law who served this country to preserve our freedoms.
- Plus, a weekend with limited studying (3 of my papers that are due are done and ready to turn in thanks to my sweetheart who helped me edit them) and family and birthday gatherings. 
- And the countdown to graduation is now officially less than 6 months.

Indeed, there may be some chaos reigning in our home right now but I still say it is a month full of thanks.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

First Snow...Weekend Update

Today we had our first bit of snow. It was nice that we planned on staying home today. All of us, except T Rex have been fighting a not-so-fun cold virus. T Rex's new asthma treatment plan must be working quite well as he has been symptom free and somehow escaped the virus. He's been kind to help take care of all of us. 

Other happenings this week...

T Rex Dad's Jetta decided to not shift out of 3rd gear. That made for an interesting time for my sweetheart who handled it like a virtual James Bond. Then after it was supposedly fixed at the VW shop and he was headed home, it suddenly would not shift out of 4th gear. It's back at the shop. Once again, some stealthy driving moves to get there.

Our washing machine also picked this week to stop working. Apparently, there is something wrong with the thermostat which caused it to start smoking and then stop working. Now we've been a week without it. That Flats Challenge helped me prepare for living without it. I've done 3-4 hand-wash loads. My hands are not too happy but at least we all have clean underclothes made possible by a functioning dryer. Also fortunate our daughter is toilet trained.

I only missed one clinic day this week due to illness. It was amazing how much of my book work I completed by having that extra day. Although, I was really sad to miss seeing the kids at the pediatric clinic dressed up on Halloween. However, my little kids were happy I could be home for Halloween preparations.

I've been refreshing my EKG (ECG) skills. I purchased this awesome book which has been worth every penny. In the evenings, T Rex Dad has been cleaning up the kitchen from dinner and watching the kids. I've been hiding away in a quiet place reading my book for about an hour. What seemed like such a mystery now seems relatively simple. Emphasis on relatively. Maybe someday  (in about 183 days) this will be my sneak-away-for-a-bath time.

We also started preparing for Thanksgiving. Yes, some planning, but also in decor and story time. We picked out a couple of books from the library telling of the first Thanksgiving. We took in a puppet show while we were there, too.  Bebe Sister was so excited as the puppet show was titled, "Happy Birthday". Every night she insists I sing the Happy Birthday song. We've all been enjoying reading the adventures of Jenny Linksy and the Cat Club. Bebe Sister is quite obsessed with Jenny's Birthday Book.

I also recently made a pilgrimage to Joann fabrics with help from the kids. They were amazingly well-behaved. I made my list of Christmas gifts I plan to make and armed with my 25% off coupon, we purchased nearly everything on my list. As a little reward for their patience at the fabric store, I made the kids a little something to mark the month of November.

T Rex Dad and I also had a little time to start a new show - Ringer. We watched the first few episodes this week and we are hooked. We've been watching it off the computer so if you're like us and don't have cable you can still see it. Highly recommend, especially if you enjoyed Sarah Michelle Gellar in Buffy.

Cold and snowy outside - watching a show with my sweetie and sipping some tea - oh so lovely. Add in some knitting and crocheting while the kids are snoozing in their beds, also lovely. Alas, come Monday back to the books as I have one clinical day and three straight days of school including oral exams.

I know this all a little random but with my mind so full of school stuff these days I find just writing about the simple mundane happenings in our life helps me reflect on how truly blessed I am to live the life I do. I am especially grateful to have electricity this week as I know some of my readers and friends are still without. Our prayers are with you. And as always, thank you all for sharing our adventures with us.