Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas

I wanted to wish everyone a Merry Christmas! We'll be celebrating at home, with just brothers and sister-in-laws. I anticipate it being a lovely day, filled with eating and presents and children and fun.

I'll back back after the first of the year, unless I put up a picture post for your viewing enjoyment.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Giving thanks for wonderful things

We had our first Thanksgiving in the new house. My mom and dad and little sister came up from Colstrip, and John came over as well. We made a big turkey breast and Pumpkin Gooey Butter Cakes . They were both really good, despite getting the stupidest cooking instructions EVER with the turkey breast.

I had a few beers, and a lovely bottle of wine, and Thad ended up finishing all the cooking when I decided it was more fun to entertain my family with Texts From Last Night. Most of them were not "family friendly" but I had my mom cackling quite a bit.

Today Thad and I ventured out for early morning shopping with really no idea what we were going for. I knew we needed a tv for the kids room with a built-in DVD player. So we ended up spending a bunch of money at Target for a couple toys for the loud monkey girl. Then Thad ventured out alone to Walmart and got the family a PS3 (Gamestop) and the tv I wanted for the kids room. He also got a couple Blu-Ray movies (LABYRINTH!!!), so once we get a couple things for the soft baby boy we'll have finished our family shopping.

Now we just have to finish up our extended family shopping, and I've already got a good list of what I'd like to get for everyone.

I hope that everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving, and I wish you all the best of luck gearing up for the holidays. I'm going to try to have fun this year shopping since this year is one of the first where there is money in the bank for whatever we want. It's kind of nice!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

I've gone and done it, part3

I'm on cup of coffee number 2 for the morning. My in-laws (fabulous people that they are) got us a new coffee machine as a house-warming present. And I'll be honest, I was skeptical. I had decided not to waste time looking at new coffee machines because the Gevalia one we have works just fine. It has a timer, it's dependable, and it holds 12 cups. So it seemed a waste of money to replace something that worked just fine.

Lo and behold, I've been converted. This little coffee machine is pretty cool, and it's ridiculously fun. It's a Keurig! It is fantastic! All the coffee is in single servings, so no wasted coffee just sitting in the pot, no clean up, and it is freaking SUPERFAST. The cup is full in less than a minute, and I made coffee for myself, Thad and the afore-mentioned in-laws in less time than prepping my old coffee pot.

Elora is sitting next to me watching cartoons. Yesterday we all took our first showers in the new house, and found that by 9AM there was water backing up the floor drain in the laundry room. We got a hold of a plumber, who said that we'd need to get a sewer specialist. We got the sewer specialist, who snaked the line (he had to remove the toilet in the laundry room to do this. He snaked out 45 feet from the house. I think he got whatever was clogging the line, as the water is running and we've had no more problems, but this is the not-so-fun part of being the owner of a home no one else has lived in. We get to discover all this stuff!

The Bresnan guys did a great job getting us hooked up, despite the fact that yesterday morning there was no drop running to the house. The got the drop in and gave us cable to fix the line in our bedroom. So we got tv and internet, haven't checked the phone yet.

Today is going to be busy. We don't have mirrors in the bathrooms, so we need to measure those areas and go to Lowe's. We also need seating on the main floor, so we need to hit Furniture Row or Slumberland to go shopping for a new living room set and a dining room set. I HATE MAKING THESE KINDS OF DECISIONS. You'd think getting new stuff would be this amazingly fun time, but it really isn't. Thad makes it my decision, and then complains about what I get later. Jerk.

Well, little guy is fussing again. Blogging like this is fun, so I'll be back to relay more joy!

I've gone and done it, part2

Ok, I'm back. I'm only going to be able to do this in fits and bursts, so if you don't like it I apologize.

Changed baby, fed baby, watched Food Network AAAAAND Gosford Park. I love the kiss between Mary and Robert Parks.

Ok, so if you have been speaking to me during the entire house purchasing debacle I want to say thank you. THANK YOU. You were probably equally as outraged at some of the crap we were dealing with, and most likely provided sage advice and someone to calm down the storm of irritation.

We are in the new house. It's amazing. We have had a little bit of a rocky start, but my husband is pretty much the most awesome guy I know, regardless of how much of an asshole he is while he's doing all the stuff that needs to get done.

We have a dog pen, he salvaged that from the old backyard. The dog needs to go out to this pen, and I am going to take him, but not before I relay a cute story.

Elora was watching me change Colter's diaper in the hotel on Wednesday night. She told me that Colter has a "peanuts". She tried to tell me that I also had a "peanuts" but I explained that I had... well, the medical term I used may seem a little graphic in the retelling of this story. Oh, hell, I said VAGINA. That's what it is, but I get the feeling that some people may have different opinions on what terms a parent should when labeling genitalia. So yesterday we're about to jump in the shower, and I ask her what she has, and she says it's her "crotch". Crotch is pretty universal. Good story? No, I don't think it was. But you've read it, and you'll never get those few minutes of your life back.

I've gone and done it

It's finally happened. I'm finally back.

You really need to understand something. The only reason I'm typing these words today is because less than 2 months ago I suggested to my husband that we look at upgrading our home size while interest rates on home mortgages were low. That decision led to a million, smaller decisions. All of the choices made have led to where I'm sitting right now, with a fresh cup of coffee and a brand new house. Alongside a baby sleeping with a giant diaper full of pee. Let me change him, and I'll be right back.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

I deserve the bigger kitchen

Thad and I talked last night, and we're considering looking at some real estate right now and seeing if we can upgrade into a bigger pad without drastically increasing our mortgage payments. My major prerequisites: big yard, bigger kitchen. It's just talk right now, but it might be the best time to do it, considering that interest rates are so low and they won't stay that way. I hate the idea of moving, but we'll have to do it eventually. More to come as it develops.....

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Newer pictures to assuage the guilt

Both from today:

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The Colter has landed

Well, it's taken forever, I know. I'm finally getting around to writing the story of how Colter came into the world, and I apologize for how poorly I've been updating on events and such. I use Facebook so freaking much that I feel like people may already be rife with too much information about me as it is. Maybe I'll start updating my blog with all my facebook status updates, that way it's way more up to date.

Well, as of today, at 4:18 pm, Colter Bryan will officially be 2 weeks and 6 days old. He came to us on 8/21/09, coming in at 6 lbs, 10 ozs.

We went in that afternoon after waiting and waiting and waiting for enough people to be discharged so that a room would open up. We were originally scheduled for 12:30, but got pushed back quite a few times. Not nice to do to a woman who hasn't eaten since midnight.

I was really surprised by my abject terror when they started wheeling me to the OR. I thought, I'm ready, I'm ready, I'm ready (a la Spongebob) and then I realize, "I'M GOING TO BE IN PAIN AFTER THIS IS OVER!". But they got me on the table, got the spinal done, and got me laid down, and I had no options as for freaking out or running out of the room.

They put all the stuff up and around me, and got started, and Thad came in and started holding my hand and watching the procedure. Thad REALLY likes watching this crap, for some reason, and doesn't get grossed out. So I'm less freaked out by the time they get started, and I hear suction and the doctors talking, and then they are pulling out his head and commenting on how much hair he has (a bunch) and then he's crying. The doctor tells him "You aren't even born yet, you shouldn't be crying already" and then with an allie-oop he's in the room. And he is LOUD. So loud, the kid is just wailing.

So as they are cleaning me up and getting me closed up Thad is still watching and decides to start asking questions, which doctors are not really used to. Fathers are normally pinned to their wives' side, not watching over the curtain as their wives are being pieced back together. So he asks, "What is that that you have in your hand?", and the doctor says "What, the towel?" and he says "No, the other hand", and the doctor replies "The UTERUS". Apparently they pull the entire uterus out of the body to get it stitched back up before placing it back in. GROSS.

So the other big difference was that I was expecting the anesthesia to wear off as soon as I got back to my room, like with Elora. What a huge difference between scheduled c-section and "emergency" c-section. Rather than an epidural, the spinal block lasts and lasts, and you can totally get the pain medication situation under control before you can even feel your feet again.

Nursing was a struggle to begin with. He was just so sleepy, and waking him up was pretty difficult during our hospital stay, even using wet washcloths and undressing him wasn't really effective. They also didn't have lactation consultants in on the weekend, which I have been very vocal about since my stay there, expressing my displeasure with this to every doctor and nurse that will listen. Hopefully they make some changes there because it would have been so helpful to get some guidance. But he's been eating and pooping and eating really well since we left the hospital and met with one of the consultants after our first doctors appointment.

Thad and I also just celebrated our 6th anniversary a week after Colter arrived. Since we weren't really able to afford any gifts for each other we realized that the best gift we could have given each other was the little family we have created. And that was perfectly enough.

Here are some pictures of the little pooper, who is currently 2 weeks and 6 days old. These were from our hospital stay, or very soon thereafter.

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There has been little to no jealousy of her brother on Elora's part. She still gets snuggled and loved on, but is totally in love with her brother. I get to use him as a bargaining chip to enlist her to do things like: get dressed, brush her teeth, brush her hair, put her toys away, etc. I will milk this for as long as I can. She looks at him and says "AWWWWWW, HE'S CUTE!", and it is the sweetest thing I've ever heard.

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Well, I'm going to close this up with saying that we are the most blessed, happy little unit right now. I go back to work the first full week of October, which is quickly approaching, and I'm really enjoying my time at home right now. I've been watching movies, listening to audio books, watching the news (I hate the news) and just loving on my kids. Today I'm going to get some zucchini shredded up to make zucchini bread tomorrow, and then we may head to Colstrip for the weekend.

Thanks for reading, everyone!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

36 weeks and counting

It's been a while since there has been an update. A long while, in fact, so here goes:

- We're scheduled for c-section on 8/21. This was exactly 3 weeks from Friday, and I'm starting to get excited.

- We'll be heading to Colstrip this weekend for my mom's family reunion. I might hide out a bit, resting and relaxing at my in-laws, but for the most part I'm excited to take Elora to meet my big extended family and play with kids.

- We have the nursery DONE! We have a few furniture things we still need, namely a dresser and I'd like a new La-Z-Boy Recliner for the living room. My brother works for a furniture store here in town, so he's going to hook me up with a sweet deal on a La-Z-Boy and I'm looking at getting myself a large storage ottoman as well. With as many blankets as I hoard we need a bigger place to store them.

- Thad and I will have our 6th anniversary on 8/30, and my parents celebrate their 30th wedding anniversary on 8/31. I can't believe they've been married 30 years, it blows my mind.

- Adrienne should be returning soon from Baby Quest 2009 (IVF trip to Seattle) at which point I will probably not have a baby in my tummy, and she'll have acquired a new womb-mate (or two!). Womb-mate. I slay me.

- Elora is seemingly ok with the idea of Colter finally coming out to see her. It will be sad for me when she no longer associates my tummy with a baby, but she hugs my tummy and kisses it and recognizes that this is Colter. Her brother. She'll be a big sister. I hope she's ready, it's going to be a wild ride!

- I need to get myself some frozen meals ready for while I'm still recouping from having the baby. I'm thinking I'll do a lasagna, a tater-tot casserole, make up a batch or two of tomato sauce with fresh tomatoes from the garden, and get myself some of those ridiculous skillet meals that only cost 5 bucks a bag.

If you want to see new pictures add me on Facebook. I am feeling lazy and not up for posting pictures. Don't hate me.... I'm freaking enormously pregnant!

Saturday, July 4, 2009


I'm back, I promise. We've been transitioning here in Casa Swan, getting some new spaces ready for people we already know (we'll call them "guests" but really they are all mostly family) and for people we're about to meet (that would be Colter). Thad has a few finishing touches to put on our new basement project (closet doors, a sliding panel door between bedroom and office, and some paint touch up in a couple spots. There is also the window to finish framing, one window to replace, and curtains to be put up, but that is all kind of back burner right now compared to our next big project.

Casa Swan Clean Up/Round Up 2009

We are going to have to clean out a bunch of crap from several areas of our home to make this place bearable. Right now things are piling up, old furniture I'm holding on to in the hopes to reuse it, baby stuff that needs to be donated, and all the crap I've crammed into the "spare room" that is now going to be "Colter's Room". Before it's all transferred to the basement I think I need to sort out a ton of stuff to get rid of. This includes:
An entertainment center with a cabinet for dvd storage that swings off the side
A chaise lounger
Possibly our cheap rocking chair if we can trade all of the above in for a new recliner

I also have a big box of old pictures, but I think this will be moved down to the basement so I can buy a small storage unit and start scanning in pictures that we'll want later and organizing the clutter a little bit in case I ever do get around to putting together some nice albums.

Last but not least, we need to paint Colter's room. I think I have the colors picked out, a cream all over all walls, and then I'd like this peacock blue stripe around the top of the room, and I want a thinner brown stripe going through the middle of the blue. This is my goal, and we have a laser level to help complete the task.

Well, it's the 4th of July, so happy 4th everyone. Thad's brother got married yesterday at a BEAUTIFUL garden here in Billings, so I'll post some pictures here soon to share and enjoy. Hope you all have a great 4th!

Oh, and I'm 8 weeks away from my due date. ThoughI might mention that for posterity :)

Friday, June 12, 2009

Nature Girl

Yesterday Elora and I went for an hour long hike with my friend Tanya. We went to Two Moon Park, which is right next to the Yellowstone. On the way back to the car we struggled with her pouting and her desire to be carried because I kept warning her about snakes when she walked through the tall grass. So the closer we got to the car the more resistant she was to continuing.

About 5 minutes before we got to the car she proclaimed she was "pooping". Tanya was not yet familiar with the fact that this was meant either number 1 or number 2, and just meant she needed to do SOMETHING. So in the woods, right of the path, I pulled her little pants down, helped her into the squat position, and held her there while she christened the ground with her first outdoor pee.

This isn't a picture from yesterday, it's a cute one I took today when she saw I had the camera out.

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This is why I hate cleaning the bathroom. They are EVERYWHERE. Thad trims his beard as close to the mirror as possible, rather than over the sink. These little hairs make me a little homicidal.

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Monday, June 1, 2009

It's June!

Holy moly does this summer seem to be moving by fast. Just yesterday we started May, it seems like, and now we're already galloping in to June. That means I have 3 months left until my due date, and I think now would be the appropriate time to begin the panic.

Not for reals, because there have been a few developments in Casa Swan. First of all, the room in the basement has been mudded and textured. Thad's parents came up this weekend, and he and his dad spent the better part of Saturday and Sunday covered in white joint compound. They decided on the knockdown texture (as seen here) and just got it done. So the last of this project will be painting and getting the flooring we want in the basement.

Secondly, I found some bedding for Colter that is really cute and that we can choose a lot of different colors from to paint his room. You can see a close up of the bedding set here. There are cute jungle animals, and a plethora of colors to choose from. I want to buy the paint for the basement and the paint for his room at the same time, and then we can work on getting both rooms painted back to back.

I also picked up a lot of cute baby stuff at a garage sale and out shopping with Schelle (mom in law) this weekend. Elora even got some Cars pajamas and a tshirt with Lightning McQueen, and some Dora slippers. After getting all that shopping done I didn't spend any time cleaning my house up, but I guess that's what this weekend will be for.

Finally, I'm 1 week away from being in the third trimester of my pregnancy. I see the doctor on Wednesday, and then I'll start going in every 2 weeks. It won't be long before I'll start seeing the doctor weekly, and I am mentally preparing myself for "Thanksgiving Turkey" feeling every pregnant woman gets when she becomes the object of the occasional "stuffing". At some point you actually being shutting down when you see a glove being placed on a hand, because you know you're going to be manhandled from within very soon.

I am starting to wonder about this little peanut inside me. Up til now he's just been my little tag-along, but last night he was kicking a conga beat on my stomach so much so that Thad even saw it move. Is he going to be blonde and blue eyed like his dad, or is this going to be the kid that has my coloring? Elora has tiny hints of me, but I show up more in her personality (she covers her mouth with her hand when she giggles, she's loud, she likes to make people laugh and laugh with them, and she has A MOUTH ON HER). So I wonder if Colter is going to be the spitting image of anyone. Will he have brown eyes? Is he going to be a shorter, stockier breed than Elora, who even now is almost as tall as 3 and 4 year olds at daycare? So many questions are starting up again, just like the first time around, and I'm starting to get excited to find out the answers.

Lastly, a quick word of apology to those friends that have not had any interactions with me lately.... it's going to get worse. With the weather getting hot I don't foresee a lot of outside time when the temperatures soar above 80 degrees. I spent the day yesterday outside with Elora after work, and had to nap once we got back in the house. So I just wanted to say, I'M SORRY AND I LOVE YOU, AND ONCE THIS BABY COMES LET'S HANG OUT. I'm receptive to invitations to dinner and movies, so please don't forget about me before I pop this kid out!

It's time to get ready for work. I hope everyone had a great weekend, and I will keep you posted on the status of the basement projects and the preparation for Baby Swan 2009. My good friend Jen will be here at the end of July, so I anticipate having a shower at that time, which will likely consist of having lunch at one of my favorite restaurants (Juliano's for the uninitiated). I won't be registering for baby stuff, but I will let everyone know if there are any clothing sizes or diaper sizes that would be best to bring so we can start a stockpile for Colter as he gets bigger.

Peace, y'all!

Monday, May 25, 2009

The Garden of Eaten

Haha, witty, aren't I? This is my first year attempting to help with our yearly garden. Thad is quite a green thumb, and I hope that some of that rubs off on me as I assist in keeping things alive in our little plot of veggie heaven.

So I got to actually pick some things that we put into our garden this year, and we ended up with a total of 22 various varieties of tomatoes, beans, peppers, corn, etc. Here's the run-down:
3 types of tomatoes
4 types of peppers
2 types of beans
2 types of corn (including a red sweet variety)
2 types of squash (including zucchini)

So here is the garden now that all the work has been done. Thad laid out plastic to avoid weeds (it works really well at keeping moisture in the soil). He did nearly all the planting too, but I mapped out where everything would go.

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We had a nice small bbq on Saturday night, nothing huge and only a few of Thad's work friends made it. Since we were making our bombastic ribs it worked out really well that only about 4 adults plus Thad and I were there. More ribs for us. And oh, they were good. Thad and I have discussed actually purchasing a dedicated smoker to continue our mastery of smoke and rub.

Here is a picture of our little bathing beauty. She put on her swimsuit and played in her little frog pool on Sunday.

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Here is a picture of the hunter stalking her prey. Whenever either of us is eating anything that she considers yummy in any way she will climb on top of us and open her mouth really wide (as seen below) to indicate that she would like a bite.

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Well, I have to go bathe my child and motivate myself to get some laundry done before I start my 3 day work week. I wish all weekends were 4 days long.

Oh, and in two weeks I'll officially be in the home stretch of Baby Swan 2009. The third trimester is almost here. That means that the panic to finish the baby's room and get the guest room in the basement finished will officially begin. It will all come together, but my nesting instinct may not be able handle the strain.

Peace out. Remember all those that have served our country for our freedom today!

Monday, May 18, 2009

I'm young and free and feeling fresh

Today was Monday, and Mondays for me aren't usually bad. Most of the time I feel highly productive on Mondays and today was no exception. I got a lot of work done, saw my mom a couple times, and at the end of the day opted out of Blizzards in exchange for homemade berry smoothies. So no feelings of guilt there.

My mom had back surgery last week, fusing multiple vertebrae together. Hopefully this alleviates a lot of the back pain she's suffered with for the last decade or so, but there was a metal plate installed in her back so I think feeling good is going to be just a little slow going. Keep Darla in your prayers, dear readers, as she deserves to start having a life again

On an internal note I'm starting to feel much harder kicks these days. I told Thad that this kid is getting strong and he made a "no duh, consider who his father is" comment. I can't say I disagree with him, but I was expecting that any man-child of mine would be a milque-toast. Yeah, look it up, it's a real word.

This coming weekend I have Sunday and Monday off, so I think we're planning to get our garden put in and as a reward for our efforts we're smoking RIBS. Last August Thad and I smoked a couple racks of ribs on our grill and his friend Jason has not quit talking about them. Honestly, they were quite freaking good, which is due to the amazing dry rub recipe I got from the Paupered Chef. I'd link it, but I'm lazy. I'm super excited at the prospect of these ribs, so if we end up following through on this plan there will be pictures to drool over.

In other news, the basement project is coming along. Thad is still mudding corners and edging, and once this is finished he will texture it with his dad's texture gun. We're probably going to go carpet shopping with our measurements and look at a nice piece of remnant carpet, or a couple pieces if we have to put it in as a two part deal. I told him the deadline for it being ready for guests is the end of June. His brother gets married on 7/3 so we're going to need to get it ready so we have two guest rooms to offer family that comes to town.

Elora has been officially diaper/pull up free for an entire week. She's going in the potty full time, and has not had a single night time accident. The day care provider has 3 year olds that are still not potty trained, so the fact that Elora is not even 2 1/2 is pretty awesome. She calls everything "pooping". She's even gone potty at Famous Dave's and Walmart, and I'm so happy to be done with diapers. Now she has an assortment of really cute little panties.

So now I'm working on getting her to quit telling me "NO" when I tell her to do something. She'll get it eventually, when she goes to her room EVERY TIME she does it. This is the age to break that habit before she gets older and thinks that it's ok to tell mama you aren't going to do what she tells you. I'd hate to see me come unleashed on her as a teenager, a la Darla, so it's better for her that we nip it in the bud.

Well, Elora has been wanting her father every night to snuggle with, but tonight apparently Her Majesty is requesting an audience with me. I'm going to go snuggle and head to bed. If I don't post again until after Memorial Day I hope everyone had a great weekend!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


Yes, my living room is filled with laundry baskets, but the main focal point of this picture is my ENORMOUS BELLY. Now, I don't know if anyone remembers when I was pregnant with Elora, but the battle between belly and boobs wasn't officially overtaken by the belly until I was a little further along (or at least I thought it wasn't). I don't know where else this kid is going to go, but I have a feeling he'll start creeping his way up behind my lungs.

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Friday, May 8, 2009

Mother's Day 2009

Thad's dad needs some assistance with a home project he is working on this weekend, and so Thad is taking Elora to see her gammy and papa and Lacy (their teacup poodle) in Colstrip for the weekend. This leaves me at loose ends, and I'm thinking this will be nice for me, so I'm kind of excited to see what Saturday holds.

Tonight I'm meeting some girlfriends for tapas at Walker's, and then tomorrow I will probably just clean at a leisurely pace, do some laundry, watch Mad Men (fingers crossed Adrienne remembered to bring it with her for her training up here today), and maybe make a trip to the library. My mom is trying to keep herself germ-free so she can have surgery on her back next week, so we will celebrate in a couple weeks when she is up and running again.

I hope everyone has a fabulous weekend. Happy Mother's Day to all my motherly friends, and if you aren't a mama yet you better make sure you do something nice for yours.

Take care!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Houston, we have a penis

I didn't have to fake my sonogram like Miranda in "Sex and the City". I was genuinely excited to see a penis.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Stumbling down Memory Lane

I woke up this morning with a lot on my mind. Going back to work after a three day weekend, scheduled for an ultrasound tomorrow, thinking forward to the end of June and my 10 year high school reunion. I feel pretty lucky that 10 years after high school I will be going back to see the people I started adulthood with and know that I didn't end up so bad. I may have bigger boobs and a larger BMI number than I left with, but I also have a great husband, an amazing little girl, a baby on the way, a job and great friends.

As I drove in to work I was thinking of an old friend, Jessica McMakin. Jess and I were speech and drama geeks, but her and her sister, Annie, were also the two Mormon girls that taught me a lot about music. I may have known about the Rolling Stones, the Ramones, Jimi Hendrix, Bad Religion, and others, but these girls always had a ridiculous amount of cds and musical moods that helped in creating the soundtrack to my teenage years. I wouldn't probably have come to love Weezer's "Pinkerton" if it hadn't been for these girls.

On S&D trips we'd listen to my cd player in the back of the bus, and the following songs were a couple that I still retain a fondness for. I don't know if I'll see Jess in June, but I imagine our catching up would include detailed renditions of the bands we've seen, the new music we're in to, and a recounting of the shenanigans we'd get up to.

Becky Pemble is engaged! Becky is another friend from Colstrip, and we've been friends since the fifth grade. Becky was also another friend that I have some musical memories of. One summer my sister and I went camping with the Pembles. We stayed next to a pond outside of Ashland, and gave ourselves mud beauty treatments with the mud from the bottom of the pond. Becky and her sister would come with my dad and us kids to Mountain Man Rendezvous in Red Lodge, and we'd dress up like frontier girls and get sunburns on our noses. It was the closest we got to playing dress up when we were in high school, and I can confidently say that the memories we still have of those summers are pretty fond for both of us.

Back when tapes were cool, Becky and I both loved Weezer, and shared a fondness for disco music. These were a couple songs I could find that remind me of her.

As for the ultrasound tomorrow, my main thing at the moment is wanting to go in with a name idea for both genders. We've retained the boy name we picked when Elora was in utero (Colter Bryan), but a girl name hasn't been forthcoming. My M.I.L. (mother in law for short) suggested her dad's middle name for a girl name. The name itself is escaping me, but somehow it came to be Meggie in my mind. Meggie Marie. "Marie" is my mom's middle name. Since she's been begging to have one of her kids name a grandchild after her, and since "Darla" is not a name either of us want to give one of our kids, "Marie" is something I can definitely live with. I think I'd like "Meggie" rather than anything I would need to shorten.

Thad and his dad spent all weekend working on the basement. They got nearly all of the drywall up, and Thad finished up the small areas that hadn't been drywalled after his dad left yesterday afternoon. They framed the closet, and built the wall that will seperate the bedroom from the bathroom. Now we just need to mud, paint, and put in some flooring, then the bedroom will be ready for a bed, and there is enough room for an office between the bedroom area and the closet. It will be really nice when it's finished. The bathroom plan is still in the works, but that can be done later. Once we can get the bedroom set up we can set up the new baby's room upstairs.

Well, I'm going to stop rambling for right now. I haven't posted pictures of the best burgers ever that Adrienne and I made during a recent trip to C-Town. Those will be posted, but I've been lazy about getting the pictures uploaded. Don't hate me for my procrastination.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Should I read Pajiba in the morning?

I love Pajiba for it's witty reviews of movies, television shows, and books. I didn't think I'd love it for the political view points on our current economic situation, but the people that commented on this recent movie review all had me furrowing my brow and thinking really hard about where we are at right now, and what it's going to take to get us out of the mess we're in. Read the review of the movie "I.O.U.S.A." and then start reading the comments below. I'd love to hear thoughts, because it's time that we start talking to our congressmen and our elected officials and tell them EXACTLY what we want to see happen. For too long citizens have been the silent receivers of whatever the government decides to do. There are people out there that force change, whether it's in the form of laws or the form of public awareness. If we sit idly by we will never see the change we want.

Here's the article that got my wheels a-turnin'.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Home on a snowy day

Elora has had a pink eye for two days, and now we're staying home and administering eye drops. Tomorrow she'll be going back to daycare, but today is just me and her, watching cartoons, cleaning the tub, and maybe popping in a classic flick like The Matchmaker or Zoolander. I think she'd like Zoolander for the funny faces and the pretty colors. Maybe even Home for the Holidays or Strictly Ballroom. God, the possibilities are endless.

The laundry is all done, the dishes are done, so the only thing to really do is eat and clean the bathroom up. And eat. I've got leftover Roasted Chicken and Wild Rice Soup and some brown rice chips to just snack on all day. It's the perfect day for a sick kid and no need to go anywhere or really do anything.

Hope everyone enjoys working today.... suckers. BWAHAHAHAHA.

Sunday, March 29, 2009


This week has marked a new era in the Swan household..... we've begun the quest for affordable life insurance. We met with a Primerica rep last week, and this weekend we saw him again and he gave us the skinny on our finances and had a plan to get us debt free in 10 years. Which is great, really, but there were just a few things about the policy they set us up with (not definite yet) that I'm unsure about. First of all, I can't probably get insured. Considering that I'm the one with the lung condition and the cancer history and all that stuff I kind of find it, well, IMPORTANT to have some type of affordable coverage. It doesn't have to leave a fortune to my family, but enough to pay for the funeral and make sure that Thad isn't feeding the kids cat food while he lives on a single income until his sugar momma comes charging up on her white steed.

So now that we've written a check we await a call to set up some at home blood work. But before I actually give blood or urine or even a booger-laden kleenex sample I'm going to do some homework. I'm going to get a few quotes, see if a company would automatically exclude me for coverage for medical reasons, and at that point I'll decide if I call and cancel the check or if we'll just get insured and shop around a little more before cancelling.

Oh, what a tangled web we weave when we try to find affordable term life insurance. My kid just let out a blood curdling scream. Better find out what she did to herself. Bye!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Big Ol' Belly

I'm 17 weeks this week and I took this picture last week after getting showered one morning. I'm able to wear some of my work pants without a problem, but my jeans are either maternity or held up with a Bella Band.

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Monday, March 16, 2009

Random stuff....

First off, Elora got her first haircut today. She's 26 months old (2 years and 2 months) and this is the first time she's been to the salon. There are some kids that have had well over 6 haircuts by this age, but she never was one of those "born with a head full of hair" babies. We got a little certificate with her name on it and everything. Thad's cousin's ex-wife, Dannette, did it, and she cut both Thad's hair and mine tonight as well. Family haircuts = Kodak moment (Thad took pictures on his phone, so I'll try to get one or two up soon).

Secondly, I "fired" someone today. "Fired" is such an ugly term, but calling it "termination" doesn't really make it sound any more pleasant. No details, but all in all I'm ok with how this went, seeing as it was my first time doing this type of dirty work. I've been a supervisor for over a year, and before today everyone either resigned or stopped showing up. So this was good "real world" experience, even though it was not fun at all.

Thirdly, we're having Beef Stroganoff tonight. I love stroganoff, I could seriously make it at least once a week and never get tired of it. The sour cream, the cream of mushroom, the egg noodles, all of which combine and always taste amazing together. It's super easy, and never leaves me disappointed. I love having a staple in my recipe box that is always great. Plus, it beats the hell out of Hamburger Helper any night.

Lastly, it's raining. I love the rain, and I can't wait for the days to get warmer when we can open the windows during a rain storm and just enjoy the clean smell and the sound. I'm sure I'll be lamenting the rain soon enough, such is my fickle personality, but for tonight I'll just imagine it making everything green and Ireland-like in preparation for St. Patty's Day tomorrow. Note to self: remember to wear something green.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

A bunch of old fascists

If you don't already read the comments on any article in the Billings Gazette I would NOT START NOW. Holy shitballs, they are a backwards bunch of assholes. I've decided that I'm not going to read comments unless the article is "neutral", like an op-ed piece about kittens or this type of gem right here. The only time anyone in this community bands together in a common thought is when the subject is cute or hilarious.

What frustrates me is the complete lack of respect for OPINIONS. People comment on what their OPINION is, but everyone thinks that their opinions are FACTS. This leads to ridiculous, petty arguments about how valid one side of the argument is over the other, and sometimes it just leads to downright childish name-calling. I love how people that can't afford daycare while they ARE TRYING TO HOLD DOWN A JOB IN THIS ECONOMY and the people that support DAY-CARE ASSISTANCE FOR THOSE FAMILIES are considered "liberals". Really?! I guess if you didn't raise kids through the 1950s and survive on one income you aren't a good parent.

Ugh, no more being frustrated. I'm blessed in all that I have. A good job, a family that I can support as much as they support me, and friends that will need to promise me endless glasses of wine when this next ECONOMIC VAMPIRE escapes from my womb so I can cope with being a terrible, horrible mother. Coping with being a terrible, horrible mother is easier when wine is consumed.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Wasting time when I should be getting ready

Ok, it's been about a week since I put up our food recap. A few people have tried the Nigella pasta and loved it, so I'm glad to hear it. Here's a brief recap of last week:

1) My mom was in the hospital, which meant that Currey and I took the opportunity to use guerrilla warfare to clean her house. About 8 Lawn and Leaf Force Flex garbage bags of clothes later Currey finished up and felt pretty good about how we left it.

2) While in Colstrip I stopped at Adrienne's to drop off her birthday present, and that was when Poppy's ear became a literal hose of blood. I helped clean the kitchen floor of blood, as did Diesel, and while he liked up the spots I said inappropriate but hilarious things like "It's like ancient Rome, when the victors would lick the blood of the defeated" and "He's earning his red wings".

3) The next day Adrienne and I were going to go for a walk on the treadmills and Poppy required an emergency trip to the vet instead. So I stayed in my pjs, hopped in the Luminator with her, got myself a gorgeous omelette sandwich at Subway and a coffee, and wore my sunglasses for the 2nd time in the last 30 days for a breakfast date with Adrienne. I love the days I get to eat breakfast in sunglasses, I feel like a movie star. Notable trip moments: When I laughed until I cried about my love of numbers, when Adrienne let Poppy out to piddle and she wouldn't get back in her kennel, resulting in a backseat that looked like that scene in Pulp Fiction where the accidentally shoot the guy in the head..... EXACTLY LIKE THAT (slight exaggeration).

4) Near divorce over a pork chop... if you've heard the story I am sorry I have failed you as a friend. If you haven't, well, consider yourself lucky.

5) Got a virus in my tummy that resulted in some "both ends" action on Friday, which led to my poor father-in-law, bestie, and bestie-in-law (Allan) getting sick as well.

6) Elora spent an overnight with Gammy and Papa, and came home ready to be a screaming, bawling, holy terror. But at least she loves playing "This little piggy" and this garden game my sister taught me that ends in tickling. She also says "birthday to you" and "ring around the rosie". Her favorite bedtime routine is having one of us lay with her (usually resulting in one of us passing out in her bed because we're so freakin' tired).

Well, that's about it. If you didn't catch SNL's commercial special last night it was HILARIOUS. Adrienne has a really good video over on her blog so go watch it here , but not before you watch THIS!!!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Culinary undertakings over the last few months

I put together a little slideshow with a few of the different dishes we've made over the last couple months. The recipes are linked below.

Thai Chicken Saute courtesy of

Clone of a Cinnabon courtesy of

Chicken with Lemon and Capers courtesy of

Julia's Turkey Meatballs courtesy of

Here are a few other delectable morsels I've made over the last week, which are all Nigella recipes. I LOVED THEM BOTH, but I gotta say that the pasta was really outta sight.

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Nigella's Pollo alla Cacciatora (aka Chicken Cacciatore) courtesy of

This next recipe was the bee's knees, and it was so quick. Nothing actually requires cooking except the pasta, and I had dinner finished and on the table in less than 15 minutes. My only wish: that I'd had the foresight to get some fresh parsley. It was the only herb I didn't get at the store, since I got cilantro, fresh rosemary, and fresh thyme for several dishes I have menu'd for this week.

The mushrooms! I used sliced baby portabellos because cremini might be impossible to find in this town.

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Everything fused together in a glorious combination of flavors.

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Nigella's Linguine with Lemon, Garlic, and Thyme Mushrooms courtesy of

Thursday, February 26, 2009

The most beautiful girl in the world: a retrospective

Here is Elora in the morning. I love her when she wakes me up by saying "snuggle", then she snuggles me, then immediately sits up and says "waffles". This is nearly every morning, but I get a kick out of it.

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Here is one where her father put in a bunch of piggies, all over her head, and the giggles that ensued. She looks pretty serious in the first picture, but we were really laughing a lot.

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She's proof-reading the rough draft of her memoir: Mi Madre Loca, Mi Vida (loosely translated, "My Crazy Mother: My Life").

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These were from just today. She was eating a Starburst and saying cheese.

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The dog I love to hate and his new haircut

We took Murphy to the groomer last weekend, and this is the little prince they replaced our scroungy mutt with:

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I still don't really like him, but I tolerate him much more when he's soft and sweet-smelling.

Pictures from Elora's Birthday

I'm late getting on this, but I thought I would share a few pictures from Elora's 2nd birthday party. I turned it into a slideshow because I'm too effing lazy to put each one up individually. Boo-yah!

Reason # 3,768

This is why I hate my dog (WARNING: puke to follow)

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This pile was formerly TWO OF ELORA'S PACIFIERS. Now, I understand she's two and she is staring to grow out of the "binky" phase, but by god, Murphy isn't moving into it.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Songs for Adrienne

I heard a song today that made me decide to take a musical journey for Adrienne. Think of it as a road trip for the soul..... a roadie, if you will.

I should start at the very beginning, but I didn't listen to Restless Heart. But here is a little Restless Heart just for her (I picked a song at random).

So, there is one band that has been like a thread for our friendship; stitching our lives together in a common theme. The theme of which was getting really stoned in college (COME ON, WHO DIDN'T!?). And the soundtrack to our 9 month stint in higher education in Wyoming was Sublime. Oh, the memories that we created, and then promptly dispersed into a smoky haze above the heads of 2 college girls (and one college dropout, hehe). Adrienne wrote me a whole letter about 5 years ago for my birthday detailing every memory she could find, most of which I didn't recall until I read them. I could put about 30 songs up and give a story for each one, but this one is near and dear to my heart. It was sung to me under a kitchen table, by the one and only Miss A, after a boy was mean to me and made me cry. An a cappella version broke out at the party, and we seem to sing it when one of us needs a little extra dose of love.
Sublime- Garden Grove

Next up, another throwback to the old college days. Can you believe I never experienced any Bob Marley before Adrienne popped a scratched CD into her portable CD player and we cruised her little Nissan around town? I can't believe it. One of my favorite lines, and memories, is "we'll share the shelter/of my single bed". For two girls sleeping in twin size beds the idea of sharing it with another person, especially a boy, was very appealing. Oh, we're older and wiser now, and I can tell you honestly that having a boy in my single bed was never the poetic experience Bob promised, but I still love it.

Bob Marley- Is This Love?

The song I heard this morning that prompted me to revive the long musical post was Joni Mitchell. This is yet another musician I was introduced to in a Nissan Altima. I love that Joni started out with a sweet, high soprano and later got raspier and more hoarse with age and smoking, much like myself. This song, out of a bunch I could choose from, reminds me of Adrienne the most because of the reference to silver. If you know either of us, you know that we don't do gold. And if there was a place called the Mermaid Cafe I would buy her a bottle of wine. We'd laugh and toast to nothing and smash our empty glasses down. I'll stop now.

Joni Mitchell- Carey

I couldn't post a blog about the music we shared without throwing out Janis. Oh, Janis, she really narrated a lot of the scenes in the fun times we have had. I'll never forget our trip to a cabin in the woods, the trip there, and wailing Janis in the passenger seat of my little Subaru hatchback while everyone wailed with laughter and requests to make the madness stop. I know Adrienne was brave enough once to sing this song karaoke, and I hope one day to force her into a repeat performance.

Janis Joplin- Me and Bobby McGee

Okay, so Steve Miller Band is an OLD band, which carries the theme that Adrienne and I were born about 25 years too late to enjoy the music that later became the stuff we made memories to. I used to hate the song "Swingtown" because it just seemed really dumb. I've since gotten over that, after a stern talking to from my dad, but it's not one of my favorites. Adrienne and I had to drive a turkey or a ham or some kind of frozen animal to Lame Deer once to drop off for my mom, and on the way back we listened to SMB. She mentioned how she imagined that our parents probably listened to the same song on the same stretch of road heading back to Colstrip. Now she gets to make the same drive daily, listening to Bob and Tom and her books on tape. This song is EVERYBODY'S favorite, and we had the pleasure of seeing reggae superstar Half Pint do his own dread swinging version of this song in Boulder, CO if February of 2000. Enjoy!

P.S. Steve Miller really reminds me of a very young version of my musical father-in-law in the video.

Steve Miller Band- The Joker

I've got two more videos, then I'll halt this Magical Mystery Tour and make it a two parter at a later date. The first one is by the Long Beach Dub Allstars, which is Sublime minus Bradley Nowell plus Opie and Ras1, two guys that they got to replace him for vocals. This is the concert that Adrienne, Krystal, Riaz, Scott, and Levi and I piled into a big old brown Lincoln and traveled 414 miles to go see. It was an amazingly fun concert, since they played a million Sublime classics. This was also the night of the "bunk" acid that Scott and Levi took that ended up not being bunk. So much fun, so many memories.

Well, the fascists at youtube have disabled linking the ONE SONG I could find that I wanted to put up here, so go find it for yourself and listen to it. It's called Trailer Ras.

This is the last one, I swear. I heard Jack Johnson for the first time when his first CD came out and we put it in the listening bin at Hastings. I was working inventory at the time so I popped it in one morning while we scanned all the books or cds or whatever we were scanning that day. I FELL IN LOVE WITH IT. Just a few notes into the first song I knew that this guy would make great music. I debated on putting up two songs, so I'll do them both. One is my fave from the first album, and the second is what I assume Adrienne's is, after she demanded it be played on an August night in 2007 when a lot of beer had been consumed.

Jack Johnson- F Stop Blues

Jack Johnson- Bubble Toes

I'm sure Adrienne will think of more songs I didn't even remember. I love you, my friend. I'm glad that you've known me since we were little girls in the man-camps. I hope you had fun reading this.

Getting ready for the transition

So, it's going to be February in just a few short days, and are you ready for the DTV transition? That's right, folks, if you were previously LIVING UNDER A G.D. ROCK and had bunny ears attached to a tv built into a wooden console (the only type of tv justified in still having bunny ears) you had better look at getting yourself a fancier setup. As of February 17th, 2009, television networks such as ABC, NBC, CBS, and FOX are switching their signal to digital from analog. This means you need a tv with a built in digital tuner, an external tuner, or GET SOME G.D. CABLE WHYDONCHA?!

February is going to be a busy month, so hopefully it goes by fast. Thad catches up to me in age, Superbowl Sunday kicks off the month, and god-willing that Punxsutawney Phil doesn't see his shadow and I see spring that much more quickly. I'm ready for spring, I'm ready for rain and green and leaves and flowers.

In baby news, we are 8 weeks and 3 days along, according to the nurse that gave me an original due date of FEBRUARY 10TH. I almost pooped, although I knew it wasn't right, because that would be the perfect due date for my impatient self. Despite the fact that the fetus would come out like a kangaroo joey and I'd have to put it into a pouch and keep it safe for a while. That was disturbing imagery, I'm sorry for that. We didn't hear a heartbeat yesterday, which is fine and nothing to worry about, although I was really hoping. So I'll be in to see the doctor at 11 weeks (or 10 weeks and 5 days, this is so confusing) and we'll try again. I hear finding a heartbeat on the second pregnancy can be tough. But I also heard you start feeling the baby earlier because you know what you should be feeling. Can't wait for that.

Oh, and Elora turned 2 on 1/19! She had some friends come from out of town (Cecilia and Margaret May, Tanner and Felix's kids) and we had cake, ice cream, and pizza, and they played and played until Elora was plum wiped out. She is starting to sing, she loves the alphabet song, she knows her numbers pretty well for being 2, and I don't know if I mentioned this before but she is A SASSY LITTLE CHILD. Holy moly, she's growing an attitude like her mother. Argumentative just for the sheer fun of it, into everything she knows she shouldn't be, and then she does something like getting behind me on the couch and rubbing my shoulders (while saying "shoulders", no less) and every thing that was previously bugging me to within an inch of beating her is wiped away, and she's smitten me again.

We don't know her feelings yet on having a sibling, but I did ask her yesterday while she was talking to my mom on the phone if she wanted a baby brother or baby sister. She said sister, so for what that's worth she wants a sister. My mom also said "oh, well, I guess if you don't have a boy this time you'll have to try again", to which I replied "ABSOLUTELY NOT". Uh-uh. Two. That's my limit. One per parent when it comes to vacations and family outings. Two is manageable, and one day if we ever feel like we need more chicks in the nest I'll either a) let Thad bring a girlfriend home for a polyamorous relationship (as long as she cleans, cooks, and babysits) or b) he'll have to come around to the idea of adoption.

My feeling has always been that there are so many kids out there that need homes it wouldn't really be fair to not give one of them a home and the love that they are in such desperate need for. I'd even like to look at foster care one day, but I want my kids to be old enough to be out of danger of sexual abuse, which is unfortunately a real part of my fear when it comes to bringing a child into our home. But my parents were both very open with their home, we tried several times to bring in foster children, but a lot of those situations involved kids that just needed additional care in addition to the foster home they were currently in, and so we never had a permanent fit until 10/13/2000. My mom brought home a little Northern Cheyenne girl, only 6 months old, and she became my sister. That little girl is going to be 9 years old this year, and she lives with my parents. She loves playing with animals, High School Musical, and Spongebob Squarepants. Soon she will be legally adopted by my parents, and I hope that one day I can provide the same change for someone else.

Well, it's a work day, so I am going to get ready to go to work. Hope everyone has a nice weekend!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Up late

I'm up late tonight, much later than I usually stay up. I'm a little wound tight from work, and bringing work home with me, but I'm eager to feel like I've gotten 2 out of 3 things I wanted to do accomplished.

Side note: I'm drinking some tea I got from Adagio Teas. It's called Foxtrot, and the website give the following description:

"Like the dance that inspired its name, our Foxtrot tea is an overnight success that will leave you giddy with joy. It is an herbal cocktail of Egyptian chamomile, South African Rooibos and fresh peppermint leaves. A soothing blend of familiar tastes that produces a pleasantly original combination. It is entirely caffeine-free. The spring in your step is due entirely to its enticing taste."

I must say, it is really good. It's got a minty-ness that is really mellow, and a bit of a licorice bite, it almost turns sweet the longer you wait between sips. And it's like a little sun, such a cheery yellow in my glass tea cup. Under track lighting it is truly magnificent.

Anyways, on with the grind. I'm hoping the warm caffeine-free tea will help me be ready for sleep any moment now....... oh........ there it is...... g'night!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Hey Golden Globes.... go fuck yourselves.

I've cried at nearly everything I've seen on the GGs tonight. Especially the Steven Spielberg tribute. This whole "crying over everything" mess has got to end soon. I'm going to need to by stock in Kimberly Clarke.

Bawling my eyes out

Yesterday Thad and I watched a movie that I'd been wanting to see for a while. Once is a movie that about 2 people that meet unexpectedly and start making music together. It's funny, surprisingly, and the music is WONDERFUL. I cried at the end of the movie, and then I cried on the way to work when my Zune, ON RANDOM, played the song "Falling Slowly" about 5 blocks from work. "Falling Slowly" ended up winning the Oscar for Best Song, and I don't even know all the words and it makes my cry. Have a listen and tell me if you don't tear up by the end, I DARE YOU! Especially with the lyric "Take this sinking boat/and point it home/we've still got time"..... I'm misting over just typing it.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Happy New Year!

Hello everyone! Happy New Year! I know I'm 6 days late in making this statement, but let's just pretend that I was much more on the ball than I actually am.

The New Year has been pretty interesting so far. But let's go back to the make your own sushi party I mentioned at the end of the last post. Adrienne would be pretty pissed knowing these pictures exist and weren't posted, so I'll narrate only the little bits I remember above each picture.

This right here is the spread. It was a pretty big table of goodies.
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Sticky Rice.... pretty self explanatory.
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The orange stuff is roe, and the yellow stuff is pickled daikon radish.
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This is a huge plate of some finished rolls. So good!
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We left the party early due to a small medical emergency with another attendee's child that really kind of put the breaks on the party. Not that it was their fault, it's actually probably better that we left when we did, it was getting late.

So the New Year arrived, and Thad's folks came with it. They came up on Friday and Thad's dad helped him put in two florescent lights in the basement, and a LIGHT SWITCH! We've lived here nearly 4 years and a year ago the light cord snapped off and we just left it on (with an eco-friendly lightbulb, of course). So that's a big change, the light is almost blinding.

Saturday morning started with the cinnamon rolls from the last blog, and they were just as amazing the second time around. This time I halved the icing recipe, and that was just enough. I put Elora down for her nap, and Thad's mom and I snuck out to do a little shopping. I got fresh blueberries at Costco, and some chorizo at World Market for a recipe I saw on Nigella Bite's 7 years ago.

Saturday night meant lasagna, and Sophia came over and played. Sunday morning was the perfect morning to try making homemade, fresh blueberry pancakes. I scoured the internet for an idea of how to make thing... do I cut em up? Slice em? Throw them in whole? Warmer and warmer, my search finally landed on a site that suggested tossing handfuls of blueberries in the batter once it was on the griddle. No pictures, sadly, but the next time I make these I will definitely get some pictures up.

Well, I'm pooped, and rightly so. Thad and I, and Elora too, are going to have a new addition to the family. Granted, it's still early and I hesitate to share the news, but since it's something everyone I know is aware of it seems pointless not to include this little bit of news. We're over the moon, really really really excited. I haven't had a chance to start hoping or dreaming or planning, I'm just enjoying knowing I've got a little peanut growing in there.

Well, much love to everyone, I'm going to finish watching Hidden Potential on HGTV, then bedtime!