Saturday, October 30, 2010

My Halloween Feast -- Harry Potter Style

So we've been going pretty nonstop around here, but I love Halloween, at least the fun, non-creepy side of it. =) And when our little kids had a party (the older kids got one the next night so they wouldn't have to share with about 14 kids under age 10), I was excited to try out some recipes for different treats inspired by the Harry Potter books. I didn't get to do all that I wanted (couldn't find treacle or butterscotch syrup and plain ran out of time to go shopping for ingredients not at our local grocery store), but I DID get to make Ton-tongue toffee (okay, think Mom's English Toffee recipe), Cockroach Clusters (chow mein noodles in chocolate -- dark!), Licorice Wands (licorice with one end dipped in chocolate (any color) and rolled in sprinkles), Cauldron Cakes (upside-down cupcakes with thin licorice handles to look like cauldrons), Pumpkin Juice (pumpkin, apple cider, pineapple juice, and a little honey), and Pumpkin Pasties (bascially pumpkin pie filling cooked up without a shell, cooled, scooped into uncooked 4-inch pie shell circles, pinched into a gyoza shape, and cooked till light brown). Then I bought the green gummi-type frogs (couldn't find a mold to make Chocolate Frogs or Peppermint Toads) as well as carmel apple lolli-pops (my weak substitution for the wanted acid pops -- no super sour blow pops or pop rocks to roll them in!). Roast up the pumpkin seeds from the used pumpkin and voila! Our Hogwarts feast! Yes, we did have Rat Intestines, too (a.k.a. mac and cheese), but the kids were much more interested in everything else. =) Even the older kids' guests clued in that the refreshments were like Harry Potter and loved them (yes, I made enough for both parties). It honestely was funny how many figures we had show up from the wizarding world (our own Jessie was Ginny, complete with authentic pygmy puff and Ollivander's wand, and Marina was an unnamed witch friend). And now, since Jessie's class party is done (was also in charge of games and crafts there), once we make it through our ward party tonight and trick-or-treating I can rest till Thanksgiving! Oh wait . . . I get to help kids make Christmas gifts for the cousin gift-exchange on the Tribe side! But you know, I honestly have fun with all this. Especially watching the kids laugh. Still, I felt my costume of a house elf seemed appropriate (that's a giant pillowcase I'm wearing).

And here was the kids' favorite game (mummy wrap), though freeze tag with wands and yelling, "Stupefy!" was a hit, too. The one you absolutely can't tell who it is . . . well, if you recognized the tongue, good job! It's our very own "Lizard Tongue," also known as our little goalie/forward/wing/fullback -- Jessie! (Yes, I know I need to get soccer pics up now that the fall season is over. Or maybe I'll just wait and get them in the spring, lol!)

Kids get themselves into the darndest things!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Here it is. The first beautiful, cuddly, cozy cloth diaper for my little one from Oi. I still can't believe I really want to try this, but after many bouts of painful bums and now days of trying the best recommendations out there for the diaper rash that won't go away (with it only getting worse), I'm thinking outside my normal box. And I have to admit. I love how these diapers feel, fit, suck moisture so far, not to mention how they look. They come with a pocket inside that you put the insert(s) in, but I prefer the option of just tucking the microfiber insert inside. The diaper holds it in just fine and that way you go through a lot fewer outside diapers in a day. =) I know I'll be adding to my laundry, but anything that adds LESS to our already daily loads is good! And I have to admit, Serene absolutely loves these diapers! Yes, we can tell . . . this kid is not shy about making her opinions heard, lol!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

I Wonder As I Ramble

So I wonder why it is some people seem to never get sick and others can practically make themselves sick at will. Or just catch everything that flies by. Take my husband. He is practically never sick. I think I've seen him with a cold once. Then there's Marina. She gets sick about once a month to the point where she needs to take to her bed. Or if she gets a cough, she'll start needing a bucket because her coughs trigger a stomach upheaval. She'll get high fevers that go up and down throughout the day so that if I do get it down with ibuprofen in the morning, it's back up to 104 by noon and I have to go get her out of school (so no, it wouldn't work to go give her another dose at school -- the old one never has time to wear off yet). She even had to be hospitalized once because the doctor was worried about meningitis, her symptoms were so bad. Oi. Poor girl. Then there's Serene who gets the most horrendous diaper rashes. Not fungal, I've dealt with those and know what to look for. But the poor girl starts crying (tears and all) just from having me set her on the changing table now since she knows what's coming. We don't even use wipes anymore because of all this, but every cream out there - even ButtPaste - doesn't seem to work. Course I haven't tried Bag Cream (originally just for chapped cow udders) which I just read about, so here's hoping. I wish it were summer. At least we could spend all day outside and let the little one streak around au natural. Course, the kids have suggested we corral Serene in the kitchen and let her run naked there, but somehow I can't see that happening. But maybe we can give her a break from the diapers a little bit. Or go cloth. The cloth diapers now are really super absorbant and even are supposed to suck moisture away from little bums . . . not to mention they're adorable if you get the right ones. But that would really be a big change to try without knowing if it would work or not. But can you tell I'm thinking of it anyway? And no, Mom, they're not the type that require swishing in the toilet. (Just dumping solids, lol.) I wish there was a way to try something new like this without a significant investment up front. Oh well. Welcome to Life, right? At least no one else is sick right now. Hurting, yes. (HOW many women do we have here?) But sick, no. =)

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Want to see what $15,000 looks like?

Yes, it's a black opal from Australia's Lightning Ridge. And all I can say is W..O..W. Anyone wonder why black opals are my absolute favorite gemstone??

Holy Cow!

So I need to add that our little munchkin just amazes me. I have never seen a baby so organized before! She has her own ideas of how things should be and she constantly rearranges things to suit her. From blocks to books to balls and even my computer keyboard, she'll stack, arrange, push things till they're how she thinks they should be. Constantly. The other day just showed me another example. We have a Pelican bib for her while she eats. Now most kids, when they spill food in the bib, just pick the food out of the bib and eat it (or ignore it). Serene will take the food out of her bib and put it back on her plate. That's where it belongs! There's even a little cup holder spot on her tray . . . which Serene actually uses for her cup. I tell you, this kid is amazing this way. I just hope it doesn't hang her up later. =)

Monday, October 11, 2010

Hey look! She's still got hair!

So it's been so much fun having a baby girl with tons of hair. And since it never fell out and had to start over, it's getting pretty long now, too. The most amazing thing is, wonder of all wonders, she'll actually let us put her hair in different styles now! We've advanced from the perpetual waterspout just to get it out of her face to barretts, twists (held in with bobby pins), multiple pigtails, braids . . . You get the idea. Serene used to just hold still for Lacrisha while these miracles were taking place, but now she'll let me do things, too. If I move with her as her head goes everywhere! Yes, I'm pretty happy with that braid there. Besides, what better excuse to show off our cute little sis?

I think she may even be enjoying the attention now. The other day when she was meandering through our church parking lot (near the park), she found something and it looked like she was trying to put it in her hair, kind of how she tries to brush or comb her hair when she finds a brush or comb at home. When I saw what Serene had picked up, I laughed. A bobby pin! This little girl knows what's going on! =)

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Pumpkin Cookies

Oh, I love fall! No one looks at you like you're crazy when you bake with pumpkin. =) I love my pumpkin cookies with chocolate chips!! Crisha made some pumpkin bread the other day and I just had to use up the extra pumpkin today. Oh shucks! Imagine pumpkin pie in a slightly more cakey form with a cookie shape and crust. Mmmmm! Thank you, Karna, for that 1001 Cookies book!!!!