Thursday, April 30, 2009
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Next, the tidied towel shelf.
Next, the reorganized dish towel/hand towel/sock basket/random hair stuff shelf.
I created a whole new shelf devoted to "school stuff," which mainly consists of preschool workbooks, quiet time puzzles, an over sized game, and kid craft supplies. This is an area of life that I'm just starting to explore and collect accessories for. I am certain that we will quickly outgrow this one shelf, but I'm glad it all fits for now!Lastly, the pharmaceutical/cosmetic/toiletry/homeopathy shelf. Plus an extra long feather duster. I was surprised to find many things that I thought I would have weeded out long ago, but I took swift action against them this time. If you would like to be the proud owner of any of the following, only tell me and it's yours (unless you live a long way away, in which case, I suggest hitting up a garage sale or two).
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Remember driving through suburbia in 1989, all the houses looking like wedding cakes with behemoth, tacky cake toppers sticking off one side of the roof. Antennae, we called them. So we could watch Full House or Duck Tales on television. Or maybe you had a dish... pretty sure you could channel aliens with a dish that big now days. Anyway, here is our newly installed HD antenna, hidden low to the ground on the back of the house.Eric has been watching me type this Ode to his technology (on the big screen, no less!), but now he has requested permission to finish this post. Permission granted!
Hi. I'm so excited to have been granted this privilege. I will not use it frivolously.
Continuing on with the antenna...maybe about 13 months ago I negotiated with Comcast for a really great deal on a big package of HD stations for something like $20 a month which is just slightly more than the cost of basic cable (no HD). We also rented a DVR (a device that you could use to record your favorite TV shows) for about $7 a month to record The Office and Lost (the two shows Becca and I watch). It was awesome, friends coming over to watch all kinds of sports in HD, Becca and I watching Lost and The Office by ourselves or with friends at our convenience. And all for really cheap! However, a month ago it all changed.
I noticed on out Comcast Bill our rates had gone up considerably and our total bill was near $100. What I thought was a long term deal was only a 12 month deal. I tried my best to negotiate the rate back down, but to no avail. It was time to take swift, decisive action against a company that wasn't flexing to the will of the consumer.
So I, with the help of my brother Ryan, bought a few pieces of equipment: a new video card and tuner card to install in my computer, an HD antenna (above) and a wireless mouse and keyboard. With a little work and a lot of research, we converted my computer into an all in one DVR/DVD player/Live TV tuner (thanks to the built in capability of Windows Media Center standard on most Vista operating systems). Now, completely free of charge, we can record both The Office and Lost and watch them at our convenience. Take that Comcast.
I wish I could have recorded the cancellation call I gave to Comcast to post here, but I wasn't thinking about that at the time. I was too elated by the endorphins released by "sticking it to the man".
End of story.
Becca here. And so, friends, we are so high tech around here, I can hardly stand it. Really, I'm just wowed by my husband's intense desire for technological frugality and his savvy know-how. End of story (again).
Friday, April 17, 2009
Hope gravitated to the Hershey's Special Dark chocolates, and I eventually had to cut her off. Her response to "Hope, do you like chocolate?" was an emphatic, "UH HUH!"
Back inside we enjoyed a dessert that had intrigued me earlier in the week- Ladyfinger Lemon Tart. It was pretty good, but it didn't earn a spot in the starting lineup at our house. I did think it was pretty nice looking though-
You can imagine, a good part of the weekend was spent indulging our imagination concerning the baby boy in my sister's tummy. There were discussions about names of course, but we never did get around to looking through a tub of hand-me-down baby boy clothes. Next time. We did however, take a picture of two sisters, gradually becoming great with child. Considering I am barely out of my first trimester, I'd say I'm becoming "great with child" a little less than gradually, but I'm not surprised considering my track record for ending up at 9 months really GREAT with child. Anyhow, I think this picture will be so fun to look back on in 40 years (when we're both, GREAT with no child, but looking well-aged and matronly). :)
And last but not least, Hope is so fun to take pictures of. She is somewhat photogenic, and she isn't disgusted by the camera as her older sister is. I thought these were precious.
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Remember? Mom Patenaude had her knees replaced about two months ago. Well, she was looking fantastic, walking around, up and down stairs, only helped by a cane here and there. And, as an added bonus, the surgery and stress have had a "positive" effect on her figure. She's going to deserve a shopping spree soon!
Thursday, April 09, 2009
The new baby conversation starts again, taking a surprising turn.
Eva (joyfully): When the baby's three, I'll be seven!
Me: That's right.
Eva (with pride): I'm growin' up fast!
Me: You sure are!
Eva (sounding a little overwhelmed): I don't know what boy I'm going to marry, though.
Me: Well, you have a long time before you need to know.
Eva (assuredly): But when I'm a grown up, I'll know.
Eva (smiles and shrugs): I'll just put it on my list!
I think there are a few of you out there who could test that advice for me... would you mind? Just so we're ready when the time comes? -wink, wink-
Tuesday, April 07, 2009
First, I finally "resigned" from my brief career in daycare. After the ups and downs of the last few months, Eric and I decided that it was time to close the book on that chapter of my life. Of course, it will probably still be months until Ella's parents have found a different daycare that suits them, but the ball is rolling. It feels good to know that one small stress will be gone, and at the same time I feel a little sad. I knew that I wouldn't watch her after the new baby came anyway, so I guess it is just sooner rather than later.
Second, tomorrow evening we meet with our realtor to talk about the final details of putting our house on the market. Hopefully, all will go as planned and we will be able to list our home around May 1st. Again mixed emotions: excited, but a little apprehensive about the whole process. And somehow keeping my house spic and span while caring for three small children?!? Eeek!
In other news, if you haven't checked out Terri's simple description of sprouting grains, head on over. It is wholly inspirational!
Although I'm contemplating a major bloggy makeover, it is my bedtime, and that will have to wait. Nighty-night!
Friday, April 03, 2009
Here's my personal lentil history. Well into my third decade, I was certain that I hated the hard little bean substitute. Bland, chalky texture, extreme lack of eye appeal. My lentil dislike was not for lack of exposure either. No, lentil dinners made a regular appearance in my home growing up, usually in the form of ground meat substitute. After hearing a glowing review of the following recipe, I decided to give them another try. After all, they are cheap and highly nutritious... a combo I cannot resist! So, without further delay, I give you Baked Lentils with Cheese.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine in shallow 9 x 13 baking dish:
1 3/4 c. lentils, rinsed
2 c. water
1 bay leaf
2 t. course sea salt
1/4 t. pepper
1/8 t. each marjoram, sage, thyme
2 large onions, diced
2 cloves garlic pressed or minced
2 c. canned tomatoes (sometimes I omit this)
Cover tightly and bake 30 minutes. Uncover and stir in:
2 large carrots, sliced in coins
1/2 c. thinly sliced celery
Bake covered 40 minutes until vegetables are tender. Stir in:
1 green pepper, chopped (optional)
2 T. finely chopped parsley
Sprinkle on top:
3 c. shredded cheddar cheese
Bake uncovered, 5 minutes until cheese melts. Serves 6. Total cooking time 75 minutes.
Eric groans when he hears that this dish is for dinner, but then usually says, "Oh yeah, I like this!" once it is out of the oven. Adjectives I might use to describe it are: hearty, savory, meatless, and kid-friendly. Enjoy!
Wednesday, April 01, 2009
At breakfast one morning last week, Eva asks her routine question, "How big is the baby now, mom?"
I answer by holding my thumb and pointer finger about an inch and a half apart.
She responds with her usual response, "Ooooh, that's big."
Then she asks, "How big is my furnace, mommy?"
I stare blankly until the light goes on upstairs, "Do you mean your uterus?"
Again I demonstrate a very small space with my fingers. Again she says, "Wow, that's big."
So, the next time some one asks you about the age of your furnace... or suggests you get a more energy efficient model... or for that matter, mentions prolapsed uterus or hysterectomy... make sure to clarify, "Do you mean my furnace or my uterus?"
Eva is in constant conversation about the baby these days. She is so excited! And it is so fun to know that she really understands what she is so excited about. She calls the baby "him" and cannot hide her conviction that the baby will be a boy. When Eric asked her what she thinks we should name "him" at dinner tonight, she responded with "Zaccheus" (pretty sure that's not the right spelling, but you know him, right? The short guy from the Bible in the sycamore tree!). She doesn't have a girl name, but she exclaimed, "Not Baby Suzie... that's a baby doll name!"