May 28, 2011


I walked into Finn and Calvin's room and this is what I saw:

To the untrained eye, these are just boots...topped with a basket and a tupperware.

But this mama knew better.

She knew, somehow, that these were at-ats.

And for those of you who have NOT watched Star Wars every single day of your life, these are at-ats.

See the striking similarity?

And this, my friends, is no ordinary battle.

This is the famous Battle of Hoth.

The famous battle in which the harpoon tow cables of the snow speeders, takes DOWN the at-ats.

Can you see it now? I know. The resemblance is uncanny.

We are still going strong with Star Wars over here.

A little while ago John took the boys to Target, so they could buy some Star Wars figures with their allowance money.

Finn and Calvin store their money in mason jars but we have not quite upgraded the little brothers yet: Twain's piggy-bank is an empty can of
Rumford baking powder, whereas Ollie's bank is a can of corn starch, ha.

Anyhow, Ollie had been wanting Yoda for some time.

So Ollie bought Yoda and Twain bought R4(like R2-D2, but a different droid. Ok, I'm starting to scare myself with all this trivia).

Let me repeat.

Ollie bought Yoda. Twain bought R4.

Then through a series of very unfortunate events,

it became clear that Ollie no longer wanted Yoda.

It became crystal clear that he desperately wanted R4 instead.
And I have no idea how it happened, but Ollie totally swindled Twain out of R4. Stinker. They swapped and Twain became the proud owner of Yoda.

Don't worry. All the kings horses and all the kings men, put Yoda back together again.

Later that night, Yoda was found{intact} playing a delightful game of candyland.

There is something a
tad disturbing about these star wars pawns invading the whimsical game of candyland, but such is my life with little boys!

May 23, 2011

now that he's two,

we put this boy to work! Everyone has to pull there own weight around here, I tell you!

Actually I was cleaning the floor by my lonesome and Twain insisted on helping me.

So I got him a little rag and away he went!

I don't own a mop. I used to mop when I worked at Hume Lake, but it was so awkward and cumbersome. It seems easier to just get on your knees and scrub the floor like Cinderella.

He kept asking me to squirt the floor for him. Seriously it really does take twice as long to have a toddler help, but in the long run it shall pay off.

He was so serious.

And he kept sticking out his tongue in concentration. His face was hilarious!

Even before he was two though, John has enlisted Twain's help in setting the table.

At first I thought it was a big joke. I was like "John, are you seriously making our baby set the table???"

Turns out he was very serious.

Getting the silverware.

I think the fork goes to the left Twain...or is it on the right?

Eeek! I don't know my table etiquette. John does, though. He was a server at Hume and knows everything about it. It's a good thing he's the one training the boys to set the table.

Oopsie Tweetle!

Double oopsie, as he puts the fork back on the plate.You may want to bring your own silverware if you are joining us for dinner:}

And balancing the fork precariously on the plate is a tricky business.

Resting after a hard day of work.
Boy, these parents are slave drivers.

One day, this shall pay off. It's already starting to. Finn and Calvin are in charge of unloading the dishwasher each day and it's a little bit of heaven getting a break from that particular chore. SO, if you have little ones, get them started early and the payoff will be great. Trust me!

May 20, 2011

eye of a newt and tail of a dragon

We've had 10 'lil pink eyes roaming our house as of late. (for the math:5 people x 2 eyes per person=10 pink eyes)

John is the only one to have survived the wrath of the dreaded pink eye. This mama was not so fortunate. I hate wearing my glasses--they look ugly on me. I am trying hard not to be vain.

Lining up my patients for their pink eye drops. We are a pink eye factory.

Technically, Ollie has already served his term and is done with his pink eye for the meanwhile, but he did not want to be left out of the line up.

And don't be fooled by Twain's smiley face. He screams bloody murder, thrashing and rolling like a wild crocodile being captured when he gets his drops. We all have to pin him down.

The reward for dutifully accepting your eye drops.

In addition to pink eye, we also have coughs and other cold symptoms. We have been using some of these remedies...or in John's words...eye of a newt and tail of a dragon. He loooooves to poke fun.

We have been trying out homeopathy for the past 6 months to treat common colds, etc. Here is our general approach: We will take our kids to homeopathic Dr. W here in town or the traditional pediatrician's office to get the diagnosis. I have to say, we have the best pediatricians in town and we love them very much. I also have an AMAZING homeopathic Dr, stationed in Santa Cruz(Dr. Karen) and I can call her anytime on her cell phone for advice. We usually try our homeopathic remedies first, and if needed, fill the regular pediatrician's prescriptions. Here are some of my general thoughts on the whole thing. I'm sure other people have completely different thoughts and experiences. *warning* Read on if you like to hear about crunchy stuff. Otherwise you might want to skip the next few paragraphs:)

In a nut shell, homeopathy uses natural remedies and is a very gentle and mild process and sometimes requires a little more patience, but has no side effects...whereas traditional medicines seem more dramatic and fast-acting, but also can have many unwanted side effects, depending on how sensitive you are.

For example, when Ollie had croup, we gave him the spongia remedy, but he was still up at night coughing, needing the steamy shower. John and I were beat and decided to give him the very mild steroid the pediatrician prescribed, so we could ALL get some rest. The first night it was great, but the second night Ollie was completely restless and was up all night peeing excessively...and the next day his face was all red...these were all bad side effects of the steroid mentioned in the "prescription warnings" and it was kind of scary. Not worth it.

However, if my child could not breathe and was turning blue of course I would give him the steroid.

Another example. This winter, Twain had croup and an ear infection. Our pediatrician prescribed prednisone for the croup and antibiotics for the ear infection. Both made me uneasy for Twain. He is little and does not do so well with antibiotics. They give him diarrhea and hence a horrid diaper rash. Ordinarily I would give probiotics to combat this, but mysteriously, Twain is allergic to probiotics. For his croup and infected ears we used one homeopathic remedy and he did just fine.

So, I avoid antibiotics for Twain unless absolutely necessary. The thing I love about my homeopathic doctors is that they are both very flexible and will prescribe antibiotics for things like strep throat, bronchitis and pneumonia. Or if we've tried different remedies and they just don't work, they will advise me to take the antibiotics.

For example, since Monday, I was having terrible sinus problems, so Dr. W put me on kali bichromicum. Nice name, eh? However, the kali bichromicum just was not working. Dr. W was thisclose to giving me antibiotics last night. This idea sounded very enticing. I personally do very well with antibiotics--I don't think I've ever had a bad reaction to them. My fickle self was having some doubts that homeopathy would work on me and I had delightful visions of antibiotics swimming in my head. But my doc in Santa Cruz wanted me to try another remedy, drosera, first. "Oh alright", I conceded, a bit disappointed. I had the remedy on hand, in my big old homeopathic first aid kit. After taking one little drosera pellet, I woke up and my sinuses felt so much better. I could breathe through my nose again! I could not believe it. I am such a skeptic. However, I still have a bit of a cough left and if that is not gone by the 2 week mark, I am going on antibiotics.

I was also a little doubtful last week because Finn had a double ear infection and a fever. I do not like to mess with fevers. They make me nervous, even though I know they are useful for fighting the sickness. Dr. W told me to try the belladonna remedy. I felt torn. Part of me was thinking "let's just do antibiotics...I know they work on ear infections!" But it was 6 pm and we would have to drag him to the urgent care, exposing him to more germs. I decided to try the remedy. The next day he was substantially better and the day after that, his ears were completely clear. Once again, I was amazed. My faith in homeopathy is steadily increasing. This is all so new to me and so I think that it's only natural that I am a bit apprehensive regarding stuff I am not used to.

I don't blame anyone for not wanting to take any chances with little infected ears and completely understand their decision to use antibiotics. You have to do what you are comfortable with! Homeopathy is NOT for everyone. If Dr. W did not take our insurance, I don't know what I would do! The remedies themselves are fairly inexpensive($6 per vial at Lassens), but I have no idea what the typical homeopathic doctor charges for a visit. We just do what works for us...and right now it's a combination of homeopathy and conventional meds. We are very thankful for all of our wonderful doctors, crunchy and non-crunchy alike:)

Ollie and Twain have been using Spongia this week for dry/croupy coughs. They ask for their "spong-jee-ja" and open up their mouths like little chicks waiting for their mother hen to drop them a worm. It's sooo cute when they walk around the house asking for rem-e-mies(remedies).

Also for their coughs, we've also been giving them purple grape-flavored mucinex...lovingly referred to as the Mace-Windu medicine...because Mace Windu has a purple light saber. Get it? Purple medicine, purple light saber? Hey, whatever it takes, to get them to swallow this stuff!

Due to the sheer quantity of infected eyes and coughing boys, I had to draft up a little spread sheet just to keep track of everything.
I feel like a nurse.

Thankfully the boys are doing much better. We can't wait to get back to our regularly scheduled program of fun with family and friends.

May 14, 2011

triple the fun

And today, I am finally posting our Easter celebration! What, you say, Easter is long since past? Ah yes, I can hardly keep up with ya'll!

I am trying my hardest to be more domestic round here. My husband helps out more than his fair share and I am trying hard not to take advantage of his goodness any longer.

I have a whole new level of appreciation for you domestic divas who have been doing this type of wonderful servitude all along...without the help of your hubbies. How do ya'll keep up? I am poooooooooped!

But one thing I can say about all this. I really really enjoy taking care of my home in this way. It makes me feel so warm and fuzzy inside. So if you see late posts like these's a good thing. Really:)

My big excitment this year were the Easter Ewoks.

Can not believe how hard it is to find ewoks these days. The bidding on ebay is ridiculous and ferocious. Ewoks? Really?


Well, even more exciting than my Easter Ewoks was that my whole family was coming up to my house to celebrate.

My sister Jessica dislikes being photographed, but I forced her and Steve to oblige me. Thanks guys.

The 4 little girls belonging to Jess and Steve.

Ansley and Emily on top, Tacy and Kate on bottom. These photos were taken by my sister Lindsay.

Lindsay was also kind enough to take a pic of me and John.

And she snapped Ollie and Calvin as well.

LOVE havin' someone to take pics when I slack.

Lindsay + Jim in all their glowy cuteness.

My big event of the day.

The contestants took their job very seriously.

Emily replicated some engraved flowers she saw on my wooden swing.

Auntie Lindsay helping little Ansley.

The contribution from me and my offspring.

I did most of the bunny...minus the hind leg, which was done by sister Lindsay...who will not let me forget it, LOL.

Lindsay and Jim were such good sports.

Buuuuuut. The winner goes to our resident bird expert, Tacy. She drew a Quetzal. The tail grows up to 4 feet long, ya know.

Along with egg drawing, there was a fierce game of baseball.

above photos of dad and em, by Lindsay

Lots of hanging out. Mom and her twerp.

An egg hunt.

My sister Jessica hid these eggs just for Ollie and Twain. Who, promptly walked right by them, without even seeing them, LOL.

Jessica's girls with their bounty.

Trying, without much success, for that elusive group shot. They enjoy defying my camera to the bitter end.

Along with celebrating Easter, we also celebrated the birthdays of two very special people: Kate and Twain. Kate turned 6 and my tweetle beetle turned TWO!

Alas, my photos of Kate did not turn out:(

But here is one Lindsay took! Happy Birthday to our precious Kitty-Kate!

This has been my very first time celebrating the birthday of a 2-year-old without being pregnant or burping a newborn. I must say, it has been so amazing to really and truly experience the joys of a 2-year-old, without the distraction of a newborn.

above photo by Lindsay

I love everything about this squishy, cuddly, bouncy, silly twinkie-doodle. He truly is the perfect little addition to our family of boys and he holds such a special place in each of our hearts. We love you to pieces tweetle-beetle-twain!