Coffee or Facebook.

28 04 2010

Coffee.

I have been drinking coffee for as long as I can remember. I have gone through seasons of being clean (like during the first three months of my pregnancies and when I get passionate about a health detox) but they don’t last long.  Recently I had the stomach bug, followed by strep throat. I saw it as a great opportunity to take a break from coffee and try the herbal tea route again. I knew it wouldn’t last. It didn’t. I’m back.  Drinking at least a cup a day. I have read all the Skinny Bitch books I am fully aware that caffeine is a drug–as bad as most others–and while I’m not a licentious person I feel zero guilt. I will drink my coffee knowing well that I have an addictive personality with the perspective that we all have our vices.

I am also an information junkie. It makes me feel smart and in control. So today I will choose coffee and once again resist the temptation to join Facebook. I know my blog is called “never say never” but for the good of everyone in my life I will say NEVER.

After all, the time I spend making coffee and cleaning out the pot wouldn’t even compare to the time I’d spend stalking people online. Yes, coffee is the better choice for me.





Our Baby…

18 04 2010

…is one.  I don’t know rather to laugh or cry. We celebrated but it was with a tinge of sadness for me.  The passing of time is truly bittersweet when it comes to our wee ones.

Look at that face. Joy, innocence, life. (Jen Hunt Photography)

He’s obviously losing his clothes in this picture but it perfectly captures his spirit…oh, sometimes I feel like I could consume him. When Bradley was at this stage I was so eager for each new milestone but this time around I’m really soaking in each day he’s not doing the next thing.  Even his late crawling was a little gift to me. Just a few more weeks with an itty bitty has been such a blessing.

April 17th was Dexter’s real Birthday but since Joe would be out of town we had to celebrate early. His Baptism was April 11th so we took the opportunity to observe his birthday as well.

We couldn't have asked for a more beautiful day but I could have taken some better pictures.

I wasn’t sure how the cake event would go. I think he liked being sung to, but what he really liked was the flame on his lone candle.  I had to blow it out for him before he grabbed it. He ate every last bite of his cake as did everyone else.  Not a morsel was left…seriously.  Thanks Tricia!

Don't grab the flame!

Good to the last bite.

And what do you give a one year old? That’s the beauty of being a baby. You don’t need anything (because you need everything and your needs are always met) and you don’t want anything you don’t need.  But Poppy & Mimi found this cute little ride on toy that he loved. It plays “Twinkle-Twinkle Little Star” and “Do You Know the Muffin Man?” really loudly but he loves it.  He really does want to be a big boy now.  He gets so exited when his brothers come around and he goes ballistic whenever they leave him behind. So while he won’t be out in the cul-de-sac riding around anytime soon at least he can feel like he’s a part of what’s going on with his new toy!

Thanks Poppy & Mimi. Here I go!

Enjoy these days while clothing is still optional! (Jen Hunt Photography)

We love you. Happy First Birthday Baby Boy. You are a blessing and a delight.





Thankfully…

13 04 2010

Yesterday was one of those days.  Today is turning out to be much the same. We don’t have them often but on the very rare occasion that we do I want to tell the world. Maybe it’s to make up for the complaining I do on bad days or maybe it’s because I want to acknowledge that we can have a good day.

I’m not quite sure to what I should attribute it. Maybe it was that I got up, had some tea, and made my bed before the kids got up. Maybe it was the one on one time I had reading to Bradley before the others got up. Maybe it was the fact that Bennett woke up happy for a change and Dexter slept in late. Maybe it was getting back into a routine after a rough and long spring break. Maybe I’m just glad not to be sick anymore and that there is less crying in the house now that ear infections are clearing up. Maybe it’s the pretty weather….or the new swings.

Poppy thanks for helping us hang the new swings.

Tomorrow might be another good day or it might not but today I will stop and be grateful for the blessings that I am able to see because of the clarity I have on a good day.





Easter.

12 04 2010

I came down with a horrible case of strep throat 2 days after Easter so I am very behind on bloggging.  Sadly some posts I had planned will have to be skipped or saved for a later date.  Easter can not be skipped though.  This year it was too fun. I always heard that enjoying holidays through little people’s eyes made them better than ever…it’s true.  Now I won’t say that the two-hour drive to and from Pinehurst was fun. Parts of it were right down torturous but definitely worth every minute in between.

A very brief nap from Dexter on the trip there.

It's no longer possible to get everyone smiling. A "good" picture is everyone looking

My Grandpa Stancik’s birthday (April 5th) often falls close to Easter so we kicked things off with an Easter Brunch at his golf club to celebrate. The boys ate better than they ever do.  Buffetts are the best for kids…takes care of everyone’s pickiness.  If I were 4 people I guess I could prepare a buffet at each meal with the hopes that they’d eat something.

Three boys with full tummies.

Bennett looking all preppy by the Easter Egg tree.

Then off to his house for an Easter egg hunt for Bradley & Bennett and a nap for Dexter. Great Grandpa and his sweet Robin, who we’ve also grown to love, prepared a wonderful egg hunt and my Dad (Poppy) planned a treasure hunt.  Bradley proclaimed it was the “greatest Easter ever”.

Opening the "treasure, G-Grandpa & Robin, Aunt Anna & Ken

After saying our goodbyes there, we stopped by my other Great-grandfather’s old house…the lake house that I spent many a warm afternoon playing in the yard, the gardens and on the shore. It had gone on the market again (they moved from there about 15 years ago) and was vacant so we were able to walk around the property and relive memories.  It was extra special because my husband and boys had never seen it and my sister’s fiance was with us as well.  It was fun to share stories and embrace the history that we had there.  It was just a mile or two from the house where I lived until the third grade so it was really like a second home and it was where we came together with family for most of our holidays so how apropos.  If only my brother Paul and cousin John had been there it would have been just like old times. Ironically, just last week when asked what I missed most about being a little girl, I immediately responded, “eating warm tomatoes straight from my grandmother’s vegetable garden.”  It’s always bothered me that I never miss things or long for the past. I even struggle to look fondly on the past. I chalk it up to the fact that life just keeps getting better but I do have fond memories and even longings for times at my Grandparents’ lake house.  It hadn’t changed much. The trees were more mature and more beautiful and the house had been fairly well-maintained (it was one of the first houses my Dad built back in the late 70’s) but no one will ever be able to keep up the surrounding property the way they did.  It was a full-time job but I believe it was very life-giving to them and the home that was created certainly gave back in return.

Seven Lakes house with Crab Apple trees in full bloom

Gardens and lakeside of house

Our next stop was the condo where Grandpa lives now.  He keeps it up just as well but it’s smaller and less consuming than the lake house. We didn’t stay too long…it’s not quite child-proof. Many of Grandma’s glass, crystal and china treasures still adorn the tables and shelves but the boys do love visiting and playing with her miniature tea-set.  We changed diapers, got PJs on and headed up the street to my parents for a quick dinner before making the drive home.  I think Poppy & Mimi gave everyone a little extra beer to make them tired for the car ride home but alas…we had no sleepers. Not even a pair of heavy lids were spotted all the way home.

Dexter Abbott Pay with his Great-Grandpa Deibler (Abbott from my Late Great Grandmother)

We arrived home safely and all in one piece. After our nerves calmed from all the crying, screaming and fighting along the way we stopped to soak in all the gifts of the day.  For the first time ever I am scared of missing what has passed but it reminds me to be as present as possible in the now.





Food.

1 04 2010

I am still struggling with the idea that I can do a brief, random, not thoughtful post and it will not destroy the integrity of this blog.  My sketchbooks in college were much the same way. I wanted every page to be a masterpiece and I never embraced the process or the exploration the way I should have.

This post is sort of utilitarian.  I am often asked what I buy where when it comes to food. At least 95% of my life is out of control so I tend to obsess over the grocery budget each month since it’s one of the few things I can control.  so here it is.

At Costco:

Can not beat the quality and price of their produce and cheeses.

Most every week: organic baby spinach, fresh berries, baby bella mushrooms, organic baby carrots, Campari tomatoes, navel oranges, skim milk for Joe, half & half, soy milk for the boys, butter, Eggland’s best eggs, tortilla chips, sliced Munster cheese, 10 pack of canned organic diced tomatoes

Once a month or less: frozen tilapia, veggie burgers, organic regular carrots, frozen blueberries, frozen mixed berries, celery, asparagus, mini sweet peppers, garlic, apples, avocados, lemons or limes, butter, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, peanut butter, almond butter, honey, vanilla, , organic coffee, toilet paper, diapers, wipes, cell phones (mine get ruined all the time)

When I splurge: Hummus, Stacy’s pita chips, goat cheese, gorgonzola, Brie, maple syrup, raw nuts (walnuts, almonds, pecans), Terra chips, Artisan dinner bread, flowers

For parties: Frozen appetizers, cheesecake, pies, beer, wine, veggie platters, take & bake pizzas, sheet cakes

At Earth Fare:

Almost every week they have a promotion for a free item with purchase. One week it was a pound of free and a box of granola. It was worth over $15. We milked that one. Kid’s eat lunch free on Thursday’s (2 per adult) ad they always have coupon books out front with decent coupons in them.

Produce: organic avocados, organic apples, organic kale, bananas (59 cents a pound for regular and 79 cents for organic…can’t beat that price anywhere), sweet potatoes (usually local), anything else that’s on sale.

From the bulk bins: organic oatmeal, organic brown rice, lentils, organic raw sugar, Israeli couscous, organic flax-seed

Grocery: Cereal, crackers & granola bars when there are coupons, juice and canned beans when they are on sale, organic ketchup & mustard, organic mac & cheese, organic teas, soy yogurt, regular yogurt (cheaper than Harris Teeter) anything else that’s on sale. You’ll often find a coupon for an item that’s already on sale. Even better.

At Harris Teeter:

I try to only buy BOGO items at HT, or at least use coupons since they always have double coupons.

Produce: occasionally fruit when it’s on sale, bananas when I’m in a crunch, organic green onion, organic cilantro, organic purple onions, I also always check the “reduced for quick sale” shelf

Grocery: HT Cereal, crackers & granola bars when there are coupons, organic juice and organic canned beans when they are on sale, sour cream & cheese when it’s on sale, meat when it’s on sale and ice cream when it’s on sale. It’s great to find a coupon for a BOGO item.

At Dollar Tree:

Organic Nature’s Own bread, bagels & english muffins, unsweetened applesauce, Tony’s seasoning, pasta (for eating & for crafts)

All this is probably too much information but at least it’s all in one place now and I never have to type that email again!