Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Hibiscus...c'mon say it 10x fast.

Yesterday I planned to just drop the library books off and then go on with the rest of my errands, but Shiloh was excited about the library and wanted to get more books.

The library wasn't too busy, though it looked like they had something going on there earlier because there were scissors and crayons on the kids table (which I quickly moved out of Vivi's reach). Vivian likes to just sit at the kids table and wait for me to bring her books.
The AC was nice to enjoy too, though it made the day feel that much hotter when we left!

I got the girls a few books, but nothing for Mommy this time. It's too frustrating to get into a really interesting book and be interrupted every few minutes...seconds....milliseconds...
It was nice to get lost in the novel after the kids went to bed, but unfortunately the laundry didn't put itself away while I was reading...
Shiloh wanted to personally hand each book to the librarian to be checked out too, she has quickly learned the process. :)


I spent some time yesterday researching this shrub/tree that we have growing next to our house. DH keeps wanting to pull it out, but then this summer it bloomed so prettily. I took a picture of the blooms and finally through comparing pictures online, I found out that it is a "Rose of Sharon" also known as "Hibiscus Syriacus".

It is quite tall now and I guess they can grow up to 15 feet tall! Sooo I told DH he can prune away at it this fall or next spring. He's been concerned about how tall it is getting already!



They do have nice blossoms, if you don't mind the Japanese beetle. I had the camera on zoom to capture these blooms near the top of shrub, so I didn't notice him until after I loaded the pics into the computer.

It's been a bad year for Japanese beetles here. They've been feasting on our geranium, zucchini, and apparently also this Hibiscus! They seem to be leaving the tomatoes and pumpkins alone though, so for that I am thankful. I've sprayed the geranium and zucchini plants, but this shrub is just too big and tall for me to even reach or have enough spray to cover it.

I have another smaller bush near the garage that I still need to identify. The leaves change all different colors during the year. Green, bright red, and right now they are a bit orange already...I think it might be a burning bush, but I'm not sure yet.

I was showing Shiloh a map and telling her that they were supposed to put a new Wal-mart at a location I pointed to, but I didn't know if they would ever do it because it's been so long already.

She said "Well...it's kinda heavy! Mama,Wal-Marts are heavy!" lol

I didn't think about it that way, they certainly are heavy!

I bought some wheat flour the other day. The girls love pancakes, waffles, muffins, quick breads etc. so I thought it would be a nice way to make them a bit healthier. I made muffins last night, mini and regular sized ones...the mini ones are a good size for the girls.

I divided the amount of flour into half white and half wheat and the girls didn't seem to notice any difference. They devoured them just the same! :)



Saturday, July 24, 2010

I think I'm hungry...

...because this post is all about food!

This week...
I enjoyed this cake that my DH ordered for our 7th Anniversary from Chinatown.
The girls weren't too crazy about it. There is melon on the cake and in the filling, which is a big turn-off to Shiloh...even when I gave her a piece without melon on it she didn't eat much.
The Chinese chocolate cake is not the type of chocolate cake which I am familiar with. It's hard to describe but more like carob I guess.























I bought these beautiful grapes at the grocery store. I bought over 4lbs!
2lbs for snacking and 2lbs to halve and freeze so that I can make grape pie later on.



It takes a long time to wash and halve two pounds of grapes. But I like grape pie so I think it's worth the effort....once in awhile. ;-)
Pretty soon I started hearing "mmm gape? mmm gape" (more grape) from Miss Vivian once she noticed what I was doing. I had to start cutting faster so that more grapes went into the bag than her belly!
This morning I asked DH to pull out this crockpot.
My first time using it...despite the fact that we received it at our wedding....seven years ago. It's nice, right? It works too! :)
I knew I would use it some day. Some day the family would eat enough that we'd need the big crockpot, or else we'd have a freezer big enough to hold as much food as this crockpot can make.
Ta da! That day is today!

I like how it matches my microwave too...hmm, I might have to find a place on the counter for it...
I also have zucchini seeds drying, preparing for next years garden. :)


The chili/stew...
A little of this, a little of that....a dash of this and splash of that.


I'm using the last of my crockpot liners today, so I have to go shopping for some more. They make the clean-up so-so-so much nicer and easier.

I've also been working on (knitting) Vivian's blanket, but I think I put enough pictures up for today! ;-) It is about 75% completed now and right on track to be ready for her when the weather cools down.

Soaking up the girls' little ways of saying things, I love it!
Shiloh told me the other day "Mom! Mom! I in-gingered my foot! I in-gingered it!" (injured)

She had a blanket on and told me she was a "goose". I asked her what sound a goose made she started howling "Ooooooo" like a ghost.
"i a scary goose, Mama!" Ah, I see.

I asked the girls if they wanted some chicken wings that DH had made. Shiloh said "Mama, I don't like chicken covered in oreos. i don't like chicken in oreos."
"what?"
"oreos makes my hands geesy, i don't like it."
"Ohhhh, you don't like oil? you don't like oily chicken?"
"yes! i don't like it!"

Monday, July 19, 2010

Bring on the sheep...

Today is our 7th Wedding Anniversary!
Apparently the "traditional" gift for a 7th Anniversary is wool or copper.
Umm, okay...sounds romantic. lol.

The time has flown, it hasn't really seemed like 7 years have gone by.
Not sure how we will celebrate, DH has ordered a cake and maybe we'll go out to dinner on his day off.
Of course, we'll take the "fruits" of our marriage along with us...after all Vivian loves to eat! ;-)

DH's hand/wrist injury is improving. He can now move his fingers and pick-up light things. He still can't flex his wrist yet or pick-up anything too heavy. He went back to work yesterday and they have him on light-duty work so he doesn't over strain his injury.

I was busy running around to Dr's appointments today.
I had my "yearly" check-up with my Midwife, they call it a yearly check but I hadn't gone back since I gave birth to Vivian! :-P
Today's appt. just reminded me of so many things I don't care for at the clinic.
My sister and sister-in-law will agree, I'm sure.
The long waits, the miserable frizzy-haired check-out lady, having them write me down as unemployed, the slaughtering of my name (well Heather probably doesn't get that one! ;-), and so on...
And I have to go back when?

Vivian also had her 2 year well-child check-up today.
Her ears are nice and clear, so the Dr. confirmed that she just had a virus last week that caused her 5 day fever.
I knew she had a recent growth spurt but I didn't expect her to measure 1 1/2" taller than Shiloh was at her 2yr check-up!
Vivi was fine until she had to lay down on the table, then she started wailing.
Shiloh was sitting in the corner and she just kept saying "Mama, baby doesn't like the Doctor! Mama! Mama! Baby doesn't like the Doctor!"
Even after we left the clinic, she still kept repeating that the baby didn't like the Doctor.
It made her nervous that Vivian was so upset, but Shiloh did say that she liked the Dr. and she said hello to him so hopefully it won't scare her about any future appointments of her own.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Jumped by July

July has been a bit of a rough month, health-wise, for us here.

First I was sick from the heat and didn't feel well for a few days afterwards.
Then the girls caught colds and had fevers, and Vivian's fever lingered for 5 days.
She has a wet cough now so I'm hoping that is a sign that the cold is on its last legs! Today is day seven of the cold so she'll hopefully be getting over that soon.
She has a well-child check next week so the Dr. can check her then if she's not fully improved yet.

Then this morning I had to take DH to Urgent Care.
He fell last night when he left work and landed on his hand. It was a bit sore before bed, then he woke me up around 4am because it hurt so badly and he could barely move his fingers then.
I got him some extra-strength Tylenol and fell back asleep...for a few minutes. Both girls were having bad nights too, so between the three of them they didn't let me get much sleep.
Lol, but right now all three are napping and I am sitting here blogging. :)

Anyways, this morning I told DH that it was probably sprained/badly bruised and I looked up how to treat it. (R) Rest (I) Ice (C) Compression (E) Elevation and take some Ibuprofen.
But he wanted someone to see it because he can't miss much work, so I took him to Urgent Care.
I had to get all three of them ready to go because DH needed help with his clothes/food/socks as much as the girls. :(

We spent about hour to hour and a half there, which isn't bad compared to an ER wait.
They did X-rays, and there is no break or fracture thankfully! So they diagnosed it as a sprain. Then the Dr. starts rattling off the R.I.C.E treatment and tells him to take Ibuprofen.
It was almost funny since it was word-for-word what I had told DH at home.

I am trying to be sympathetic. Honestly it's a bit hard because I think I did less complaining when I was in labor with the girls...
But that is just men, I think. ;-)

I gave him the girls' Disney Princess ice pack, but Vivi kept taking it away from him. So now he has a bag of ice, stuck inside a bath puppet, on his hand. ;-D

Friday, July 16, 2010

The Library

I took the girls to the local library today.
I've been meaning to go for awhile now, but they have a lot of programs going on in the summer and I didn't want to get stuck in a crowd so I thought it better to wait for a quiet day.
I'm so glad I did too, judging by the vast amount of "reading program" counters, they are quite overwhelmed with kids when the programs are going on!
Especially since is not a large library at all.

I quickly grabbed a couple of new books for me before heading to the kids area. (I have a dream that I'll find time to read them, lol)
They only let you loan "new" books for a couple weeks though, which kind of stinks because all they have in this library are "new" or very-very old books.
They also had a book sale going on, but they were only selling a few stacks of extremely-very old books.

Shiloh was so excited when we walked into the kids section she said "Oh Mama, it's amazing!"
Lol, a child after my own heart. :)
They spent most of the time just looking around, and sitting at the little tables looking at the books I was selecting.
Shiloh did pretty well keeping her excitement to a proper decibel for a library, which was amazing in of itself. ;-)

I was slightly disappointed with the books that were available though. Even though they had a large selection...a lot of the books seemed to be written before I was born! Other books were rather obscure, like "The Cat in the Hat"....written in French!
Next trip I think I'll make a list of authors to look for and save myself the frustration of searching through so many outdated editions.

I was excited to find "Meanwhile Back at the Ranch" to read to the girls though. :) I loved that from when "Reading Rainbow" was on.


We made it home just in time before the downpour started.
It made a nice atmosphere to sit down and read the books, yes all the books. Shi wanted me to read them right away. :)



How does your garden grow?

Thankfully the girls are over their fevers now though Vivi is still battling a runny nose. Shiloh seems completely over the cold already.

We took the girls out to breakfast yesterday where they had giant chocolate chip pancakes. The girls ate much more than I expected of the pancakes. Shiloh would have probably finished hers if we stayed there long enough. She certainly believes in leisurely meals!
Of course, it didn't help that there was an annoying fly buzzing around, which she was afraid of...
or the fact that she was in a wobbly booster seat that she almost fell out of a couple times as she dove for me when the fly came near her...
or that she likes to notice shapes and letters in her food...then take another little bite so she can make another shape or letter.
Mealtime was so boring (although much faster) before Shiloh! ;-)

Whenever she calls me now she keeps saying "I need my Mom! I need my Mom to help me! My Mom are you coming?" I guess since there are just soo many Moms just wandering around here, she wants to make sure the right one comes? lol

Vivian pauses after each syllable when she talks, like she's trying hard to say each part correctly. "New pan ee" ( new panties) "More cah ker" (more crackers) "om nee ice" (lemonade with ice).
Lemonade is a word she keeps changing how she pronounces, she used to call it "mimi".

I think it's most funny when she asks to watch her "Elmo 2" dvd.
She says "Momo Two!" and holds out her fist at you. She's trying to hold up two fingers to emphasize that it is "Elmo TWO" but she can't get the fingers to stay up yet. lol

Some pictures of the bounty from our garden...

A couple zucchini (on a ruler for measurement. I ended up picking them as Shiloh didn't even want to touch them. Vivi helped me carry them in though. :)

Tomato babies...


Our messy garden, the pumpkin plants are flipped a bit because we were pulling their viney tentacles off of the tomato plants and deciding how cut/train them back.






The pumpkins...you can see how the little vines are grabbing onto everything! There are bees enjoying all the blossoms, so Shiloh wouldn't venture too close to them.





More zucchini in the works!



Monday, July 12, 2010

Too hot, hot, hot

Vivian is still feverish. Day 3. :(
At least her fever is not constant, and she's had periods of normal temps but it's been spiking to 101 and almost 102 occasionally.
She's still being pretty good-natured despite this cold.

Now Shiloh has caught the cold too.
She's been running a low-grade fever at times, 99 to 100 degrees. But she looks and acts likes she doesn't feel well. Her eyes always give away how she is feeling.
She's complaining that her mouth hurts (I think she means a sore throat) and her nose running which just annoys her so bad.

At least they are both eating well. Vivian's appetite finally picked up and they keep asking for pancakes and jello. :)
Surprisingly Lime Jello has been their favorite flavor...I have to go shopping for some more!

We splashed in the kiddie pool for a little bit yesterday. Vivian's fever was gone at that time but they didn't play too much. They had runny noses and just didn't feel well enough to really enjoy themselves.
Then a tiny snail climbed onto my flip-flop and Shiloh said "Ooh, a snail! I wanna see it! Let me see it!"
So I showed her the snail. She burst into tears and wanted out of the pool that instant because somehow she was sure the snail was in the pool.
Oh...and then my flip flop broke.

Our garden has three zucchini and four pumpkins in the works! The zucchini are almost ready to pick, I could pick them now but I want them a little bigger. The pumpkins are still a dark green and would fit nice in your hand, and a lot more blossoms of both are still on the branches.
Our tomatoes are flowering so I'm not sure how much longer I have to wait for actual tomatoes to appear?
I want the girls to be the ones to pick the veggies since they helped plant the seeds and watering and weeding. I just have to find a way to get them close enough without getting pricked by the spiky leaves, that would probably kill their love of gardening pretty quickly.
I think it's going to involve Mommy dressed in layers...and gloves...holding back the leaves. Sounds like fun, um I may have to rethink this.

Shiloh spilled some cereal on the floor the other day, and when I asked her what happened she said "Sorry! my bad! sorry, my bad!" Lol, she picked that up from DH and now she says it all the time. "Oops, my bad!"
I asked her if she actually ate any of the cereal. "Well, my tongue did have some. it did like it. my tongue had some cereal but not my mouth." she replied.
She's such a funny kid.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

The apple doesn't fall far...it lands on your foot.

This is Shiloh's latest painting of Turkeys. She likes to paint turkeys. :)



Like Mother, like daughter.
Vivian is now sporting a black and blue bruised foot, so much like the one I often have in the summer months.

She opened the cupboard, took out a 20 oz. water bottle and dropped it on her foot. She didn't cry very much and since she didn't drop it very far, I didn't think she really hurt herself until the big bruise appeared!
...and also like her Mother, she now wants to wear her shoes in the house. lol.


I'm not sure how you catch a cold in this heat....but Vivian did. :(
It started yesterday with a runny nose, then she started getting more congested and by bedtime she had a fever of 101.
She slept pretty restlessly and kept calling me in her sleep.

At 2:30am I heard her calling me and when I checked on her she was really hot. I checked her temp and it was 102 then, so I woke her up fully and gave her some Motrin and water to drink and thankfully she fell right back asleep.

She woke up for the day at 6am and still had a 102 temperature but she was happy and giggling. I know I would not be happy and giggling with fever like that!
Vivian hasn't eaten much today though which is a big sign that she's not feeling 100% as she normally eats quite a bit especially in the morning. I think it's just too hard to eat and breathe at the same time.

Her fever finally broke (with Motrin) at naptime but she still has a runny nose and no appetite...and as the medicine wears off her temperature starts creeping upwards again. :(

I had these little kits to make miniature houses that I bought...oh, way back in '05 in Singapore. I finally made them! I thought maybe Shiloh could play with them but they are way too delicate. I think they are cute though!


Btw: They have little names on the houses like "Dream's House", and "Happy Windmill"(probably because I managed to put it together correctly!) and the green one is "Amused". I'm not sure why it is amused, because I can't make out the rest...but it is amused.














Thursday, July 08, 2010

Trying to beat the heat

It has been extremely hot and muggy here.
Awful really.

I don't do so well in the heat, especially with such high humidity and there not being much relief at night either.
On Monday, I was getting sick and feeling cruddy but it's gradually been improving though I think I won't be 100% until this heat wave abates.

At least it makes the laundry dry in record time... ;-)

It's even been too hot to use the kiddie pool, the heat hits you like a wall when you open the door and both girls quickly change their minds about wanting to go out. ;)
So we've been watching a lot of movies, the heat just sucks out our energy for doing much else. I also brought the girls' entire kitchen set in from the front porch so they've been making me all manner of "edible" concoctions. :) They've played with play-doh...(and I cleaned up and vacuumed play-doh) and painted and colored etc.



DH had to go to a wedding of a coworker in the big city, or rather Chinatown of the big city, on Monday and it's so much hotter in cities too. He said he paid to use an Internet cafe just to get out of the heat!
I'm so happy I wasn't there.

The next day I had to scrub and clean the tub for the girls before their bath, the tub was full of shiny multi-colored confetti!
They had confetti guns/cannons instead of throwing rice or blowing bubbles at the new couple like an American wedding...and DH was in the line of fire. lol.
They shot so much confetti that he had it in his ears, pockets, socks and shoes. It was crazy and I'm still finding bits of confetti around the house!


Today, I needed groceries and some other stuff and I really didn't want to make a bunch of stops in this heat so I decided Super Target would be the best one-stop shopping place.
Shiloh was not too eager to leave the cool house and venture out into the heat... even for a trip to her favorite store.

It was nice to be in the air-conditioned store for awhile though and just browse and shop slowly.
Shiloh had to discuss most every purchase I made with me. "yes, we do need that. i think....Dada needs that. i think so."

"i like that cereal, but i don't like that cereal. i like the cereal with colors!"
Me: "It's not a great price, but we do like it..."
Shiloh: "yes we do like it! Shiloh likes it!" lol

While we were shopping, DH called and Shi wanted to talk to him.
"Hi Dada, we're shoppin', we're shoppin' for sales! Vivian has to go potty. she said she has to go potty, Dada!" and so on, and so on.
An hour later of Shiloh talking and it's Vivian's turn on the phone "hi...Dada...done" and she hands the phone back to me. lol.

Monday, July 05, 2010

4th of July weekend

I hope everyone had a nice 4th of July!

The girls and I hung out in the kiddie pool. It was a really nice day, sunny but with a light breeze.
Vivian even dared to venture onto the second step of the slide!

Today we enjoyed the pool again, but it was soo muggy and the water was just like bath water.
We went out late though so soon the pool was in the shade and that was much nicer as it cooled off.
Vivi decided she wanted to hold my hand so she could climb to the top of the slide, then still tightly gripping my hand she went down the slide. :)
After about 50 times of stooping to help her down the slide, my back was aching pretty good! I had to help Shi dry her face on the towel and Vivi became impatient so she climbed the slide and went down by herself!
She suddenly got brave! Then she wanted us all to clap for her each time she went down the slide. ;-)
I stayed right in the pool with the girls, and I had to scoop her up quickly a few times when she leaned back too far going down the slide.

Eventually she decided to go back to holding my hand though...better to err on the side of caution and all that.
After pool time they helped me water the garden with a squirt gun and a toy watering can. ;)

The girls were coloring yesterday and Vivi showed me her finished artwork (she was coloring on plain paper) and I ooh'ed and ahh'ed appropriately.
Shiloh looked up from her coloring book, "Squiggles? She drew squiggles?"
"She's only Two, Shi..."
Shiloh: "She drew a 2? Where is it?"
"No, she didn't draw a 2, she's just a baby...and that's how she draws."
Shiloh: "Oh...I'm going to draw a 2. I can draw a 2."
"Okay, Shiloh."
Meanwhile, Shiloh was coloring a horse. A horse wearing makeup. She gave the horse, bright pink lipstick and eyeshadow...
I'm guessing it's a show horse... ;-)

The girls like to eat rice, but the mess. Oh the mess.
I just can't figure out how a child sitting in a booster seat with a bib on, can possibly have handfuls...(handfuls!)...of rice in her shorts....be sitting on rice....and have rice stuck to the bottom of her foot!
How?
How is that possible? I catch myself doing speechless sputterings as I clean up the mess.

One of the mysteries of children, I guess...lol.




Saturday, July 03, 2010

U so funny

It was a gorgeous day yesterday so the girls and I did some bubble blowing, and some gardening outside.
Shiloh raked the yard with her little pink rake and helped me put some stakes in the garden.
Then I worked on trimming a couple of my roses, and the girls took turns squeezing glue onto the canes to seal them, they really loved that.
Later on Vivian ran through the yard with the glue and pretended to squeeze it on every plant/tree/bush that she found! ;-D


We have a bunch of blossoms on our pumpkin plants, at least most of them are pumpkin. I believe there are some zucchini plants in the mix as well but I can't tell the plants apart at the moment. ;)
They are very prickly though, I can tell you that! I had to move the leaves a bit as they were starting to crowd the tomatoes and I definitely needed gloves!
I noticed some slight differences in the leaves of some of the plants vs. the others so maybe we'll have a nice mix of zucchinis and pumpkins.


When we came back inside the girls asked for salads for dinner!
Shiloh picked through her salad though, and didn't eat much of the lettuce.
Vivian ate about half of her salad, then proceeded to develop a red-violet rash everywhere on her face that the Thousand Islands dressing touched.
I quickly washed her face and switched her to my salad which had Italian dressing on it, and she finished that.
By the time she went to bed the rash had mostly disappeared.


I am sure she has had that dressing before but she's always just had bites off my salad that I fed her, so it has never had so much contact with her skin.
She has such sensitive baby skin and when I checked the label the dressing had peppers, tomato paste, and lemon juice in it so a bunch of potential irritants.


We bought Vivian a Sesame Street movie for her birthday, and this is the girls' favorite clip. They laugh hysterically! I can always tell when it is on by their laughter. ;)

Friday, July 02, 2010

Don't be rash

We went to Target yesterday or as Shi calls it "Tyegit". :)

I still needed to pick-up some diapers for Vivian. She needs them for naps/bedtime and when we leave the house, though I think she'll soon be ready to just wear Pull-ups on outings.
She's been in Target brand diapers for a long time, but lately she's been breaking out in a rash on her back right at the edge of the diaper.
It's like a heat rash/eczema combo. :-P

The Pampers brand now mostly have "Dry Max" technology in them, and since they are being investigated by the CPSC for possibly causing rashes I certainly don't want to put them on my already rash-prone girl!
So I decided to go with Luvs in a smaller size than I normally get, but still in her weight limit.
Hopefully the smaller size will mean less diaper up her backside, which is the only place she's been having trouble...I've also started powdering the back of her diaper too which may help.
The forecast for next week is 80's and 90's with high humidity so I guess we shall see!

She did try to use the restroom while at the store too, I am just happy that she's not afraid of restrooms! It's probably another benefit of having an older sibling. :)

Vivian used the potty twice this morning and she made a point to show me that she made it to the potty with dry panties. She was soo proud! :) Yay!

I set out some cheese and crackers on a plate (while Vivi was napping since she can't have cheese) and Shi came running up to me "Oh! my favorite! You want to share with me. You do! You want to share with me!" lol