Monday, June 30, 2008

Promises, Promises

Sauerkraut soup from Aunt Joyce

4 1/2c. water
4 med. potatoes peeled & cubed
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 lb. sausage (Dixee uses hot dogs or polish hot dogs)
1 can (16oz) sauerkraut un-drained
1 med. onion chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 Tbls. fresh dill weed OR 1 tsp. Dried
1/2 tsp. caraway seed
1 cup sour cream to 1 Tbls flour
Bring water, potatoes & salt to boil Cook until tender. Add sauerkraut, onion, garlic, dill & caraway. Bring to boil In sm bowl, combine flour & sour cream. Gradually stir about 1 c. of hot mixture into sour cream mixture. Return all to saucepan. Blend well. Heat through but do not boil.Season to taste with salt & pepper. Add a few tsp of sugar for less tart flavor. Enjoy

I promised I would post it. Look at me keeping my promises. I also finally found this picture that my husband had asked for. It is Olea around Easter time when she was about ten months old. She is on the back lawn at my parent's house, she is watching Gary I think.
He fell in love with this picture when paired with a poem I wrote. It was first featured (wow that sounds special) in one of our anniversary books.
Our anniversary book is a mini book I make every year for our anniversary that has the past year's memories in it. Some sort of article, poetry, funny things unique to our relationship, dumb things we have said, year in review (things we did, places we went, large items we purchased). Documentation of what we did for the previous year's anniversary etc. Each year is themed appropriately to that past year, like one year it looked like medical bills since we raked up quite a bit or blue prints since we bought our house etc. They all belong in a clam shell box, (green thing on the left) to keep them nice. And what happens when you fill up the box at 10 years? I have to divorce him, I guess. No, of course I make a new clam shell box to put our next 10 years in etc. etc. We just celebrated our 5th anniversary in April. They look pretty plain but they are full of laughs, sentiments and memories.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

My two Cutes

Lately, I am seeing a lot more resemblance between Zurich and Olea. I can't say, like my sister did when she had her second, "but I already have one of those" (that comment, by the way, totally killed me). But as he gets older I see more common look in them. So Saturday while I was passing the time till he went down for a nap (so I could go help Gary work on the texturing in the basement, which we are so cool, we finished in one day and it looks rad) I took a bunch of pictures of him in similar set up of one we have of Olea at 7 months. She was actually at her chubbiest then I do believe. Here is a side by side, Olea on the left and Zurich on the right.














And some more cute ones of Zurich.
I love their incredible blue eyes and Zurich is the smiliest (which I am aware, is not a word) baby, I remember thinking similar thoughts with Olea... but I get a lot of comments from strangers about how smiley he is. It's true, he is a charmer, when someone gives him attention he smiles shyly and tilts his head to the side or smiles real big and roars at them in fun. The kid has roared from the very beginning.

I do believe that kids are who they are from the very beginning, as a mom, I can only direct choices of the personality, not mold the personality. After taking psychology with my college roomie Gina and learning about nature verses nurture... etc and then having kids, I do have my own theories. Olea, as all who know her can attest, is a ping-pong ball, and was when we first saw her on ultrasound. Zurich is calmer but social as well and has a sweet disposition but can really let you hear it if he isn't happy.

(I speak in parenthetical and comma delimited statements, I am easily side tracked)

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Tuesday Tell All: Taste

this is a biased post
This last weekend my parents were down for Olea's birthday and my mom left some Sauerkraut soup for us. For those who don't know, my father is German. I grew up with all sorts of fantastic things to try. I have been craving the soup and of course only have store bought sauerkraut to make it with (my dad made it growing up) so it just can't be as good, plus I didn't have the recipe so she came at just the right time bearing just the right gift... for me. :) Generally I wouldn't think this up as being my favorite taste, I'd probably put peanut butter, margarine, lemon pepper, or wheat bread. (go ahead, laugh your taste-buds off), but since I was totally craving it to the point where I went and bought all the ingredients I could remember and hoped to get the recipe... still waiting.
When I do get the recipe I will post it for all those adventurous peoples out there. It's good, I promise ( I can hear you repeating my peanut butter, margarine, lemon pepper, or wheat bread list and shaking your head, yes I can hear this well, wait that's a lie... I can't hear that well, but in my imagination I can; so watch out).

I don't have a picture, because I scarfed the stuff so fast... but you can imagine a kraut colored soup, with polish sausage slices, dill, potatoes. ok you probably can't imagine. It tastes good. the end.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Tuesday Tell All: Smell

I think my favorite smell is the smell of fresh baked wheat bread. This was a weekly if not twice week smell in the home I grew up in. I have since continued the tradition of baking bread. I lapsed for a while after we got married and I was doing the mixing and kneading by hand since my carpal tunnel acted up, but then we got my beloved Bosch Mixer. I had a Kitchen Aid but it just didn't cut it. I love the smell, I love the taste and it goes with any meal. I love wheat bread. In fact I have been more sleepy than hungry lately due to staying up late helping Gary do the mudding on the basement and so I have not baked bread. We have been out for a week and I am severely missing it. Olea likes to help too. Olea helps Oma knead some dough.
Here is a visual of a batch Olea helped me put faces on. We do this on occasion. This one is Olea and Daddy breads. This is not a proud batch, it's kinda lopsided but I didn't knead it like I usually do. But it tasted just fine and it's cute.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Tuesday Tell All: Sound

here is a clip

Zurich has just barely passed up mamam and moved to baba and yaya but I still love t0 hear mamama.

video

Friday, June 6, 2008

Projects

I recently finished a drawing for some friends. It was a from a picture that my friend had given me when we were looking through her pictures together. I had it stashed away in my purse for the longest time. This year they celebrated their 10th anniversary and I knew it was coming up so I tried to locate the picture that I had cleaned out of my purse and put somewhere safe... it took a while to find. I had good intentions to finish it in time for their anniversary but my surgery got in the way. The pain meds didn't help on my coordination. :) Anyway when I finished it and gave it to them it made her cry... oh ya. But I found out that not only was it her favorite picture but it was also the picture they used for their wedding invitations. It was kinda funny because in the picture the area around his head was really dark so I couldn't tell what his hair was like, he is now bald... so I couldn't go off of that. During a random conversation once I asked her what his hair was like, she said, she hated it, that it was all busy and curly and crazy. So when she saw the drawing she was really excited about the way I drew his hair, "tamed it up a bit."

Other fun projects I am working on: For my freelance graphic design I created a font that looks like the alphabet made of staples. I actually made two different versions, highly stylized and more realistic, as if you'd taken a stapler to paper (which is what I actually did as a reference). I didn't make any special characters because the project I was doing it for only called for the alphabet. I didn't get paid to make the special characters. I did it to match the mailer / web banners I designed. The piece used VDP which is pretty cool but even cooler with the font. I am also working on a font off my handwriting, just for the cool of it.

Tuesday I hauled my sewing machine and fabric boxes out of the garage and made Zurich some pants and shorts. He has grown out of most of them and I figured I could totally make pants. The first pair made Olea and I laugh hysterically. It was super tight around his diaper area and reminiscent of a speedo, after trying them on again they aren't so bad, it's just that his diaper was really full at the time. It was hard to get on though so I totally corrected that for the last three pairs. The pic only includes 3 of the 4 because the other pair was dirty. It looks like sport shorts. You know, the ones with the stripes on the side. And all this was made possible because of my endless stash of "Supplies."

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Mean


Ok, this blog is going to sound mean. I don't like other people's kids. That's a general rule I am finding out. I don't mean to dislike them. It just happens. Today Olea invited in some new neighbors. All four of their kids ranging from 8-2. Too many kids. Too noisy, too active. It drove me crazy. I couldn't understand even the older ones, they all talked like babies, and didn't take me seriously when I asked them not to do something (such as play in my room, I had even shut the door). I don't get it. Am I expecting too much? I don't think so. Some parents take no responsibility for teaching their kids correct manners or common decency. They just live on the "Kids will be kids" motto. Sure, but they can also be decent human beings if we take the time to teach them correct principles.

I know my children aren't perfect, but I sure do try. I know it's a constant work, I do it every day. So I make allowances for other people's kids. It's not like my kids haven't thrown a disastrous fit while shopping, or a tantrum about leaving a friend's house. But I like to think that I do my part to quell such behavior. I don't spoil my kids, I don't let them run rampant. I guess I am pretty strict by standards these days. I want my kids to be liked, but more importantly to be functional adults, I believe this starts very young.

There are some kids I like that don't belong to me, some I even don't mind all 2 or 5 of them in my house at once, maybe it's because I like their parents. Maybe they are just better behaved, maybe it is because I can understand what they are saying. Maybe because they are good with the rule whatever you get out-you clean up. I'm mean, I know, but I have enough to do and I don't think it is fair that my daughter should suffer (cleaning the horrendous mess by herself) if we have friends over. I'm not obsessively clean. I can't be, I'm an artist, but there are some things that I expect, like a walkway. My daughter doesn't have a profusion of toys for this very reason: I want her to be able to manage her room, be able to clean up the messes she makes without being overwhelmed. (Not because I don't love her, contrary to some parent's belief on toys).

Do I sound ornery? Maybe I am. When the younger one I sent home for a diaper change comes back and walks in my house all by herself without knocking or anything, 20 mins after I sent all of them home. She just shows up in my daughter's room ready to play and starts bawling when I tell her it is time to go home. Where is the mom in this situation? Does she think this is okay, or is she simply not watching her kids, or did this one sneak away? I had to get my baby fed, and he is too easily distracted by new things, people, or noise to eat with such commotion, and then down for a nap. When I say it is time to go home, you better leave if you don't want your pigtails lopped off. I don't run a day care for this very reason. I chose to have kids, and I love mine dearly and I understand that having kids means dealing with other people's kids. But there are some things I won't tolerate. We had a neighbor a while back whose kid always talked back to us and told my daughter she didn't have to do what we said. It got to the point that I would close the blinds when he was outside so that my daughter wouldn't ask to go play with him. She went from being an agreeable child to talking back after playing with him. I won't have it. I can't tell you how elated I was when they moved away. Mean, I know.

My daughter is very social and wants friends over to play a lot. It always seems like there is too much going on for me to handle this too often. I'm no super mom. I think I am a good mom to my kids, but I don't like parenting other kids. Is this why I was a nursery leader, and now a sunbeam teacher? Is is because I need to learn to love other people's kids? Oh I can, I think I have proved that in these two capacities. I have felt success in being really annoyed with a kid in the beginning and then in time learning to love them, over and over. I have dealt with a LOT of kids and all at once too. And probably some of them think I am super mean, but I know a lot of them love me too. To the point where when I go visit our old ward those kids all come to give me hugs. I know kids love unconditionally, but I think they also feel loved when we set boundaries and rules to live by for them; when we take the time to teach and nurture them. When we are "mean."

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Tuesday Tell All: Sight (summer memories)


I used to spend all summer with my siblings. I had friends but my siblings were always available. The picture is of my daughter and her cousin. They are adoring a rock and wearing "Hanna Montana" hair things, matching shoes and princess dresses. As I watched them play together I remembered that my sister and I played together we were close in age but as I look back we weren't close in friendship. We got along and I love her dearly but we are just different. Olea and her cousin fight but play together as well. My sister and I didn't fight I just am not confrontational. This image brought back lots of memories of my sister or siblings and I playing in the ditch as kids, quiet moments of discovery and wild activity, having kitty races and letting our crayons melt in the sun. We used to hunt for jewels in the ditch, which I later found out were colored aquarium rocks, did I believe they were jewels or did we just pretend, I don't know, but they were treasures we collected in a glass baby food bottle.