Monday, March 29, 2010

Crawfish Boil

So two Saturdays ago our neighbors Spencer and Mari had a crawfish boil. They are native to Louisiana and I guess they must miss the fare so they had a hundred + pounds of live crawfish shipped in for the event. It made my stomach turn to look at the little guys crawling around in the kiddie pool in their yard in preparation for their deaths in a boiling pot of water alongside potatoes, corn, onions, and garlic. It was quite unsettling.

The kids had the best time just looking at the crawfish in the pool. Novan amazed me with his nonchalance as he picked them up with absoutely no trepidation. It really isn't like him to be so brave. Beya was pretty cautious though.


Once the crawfish were boiled alive....um I mean cooked, they pour it out onto the table and they just look like, well, red crawfish. Still, hardly appetizing if you ask me.

It is quite disturbing seeing their little carcasses spread out on a table for the human feeding frenzy to begin. Beya, for the first time, saw the process of live animal to cooked animal and wouldn't have anything to do with eating them. I even took out the meat for her and put it on a plate but she wasn't fooled. She did think it was fascinating though. Novan, well, of course Novan didn't try it probably mostly because he just so rarely tries new things anyway. I was astounded by how little meat you get from one crawfish. I suppose a crawfish boil is more for the company and something interesting to do with your hands than for the actual saisfaction of eating. What interesting habits we humans have.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

I LOVE this baby!

Sure I complain about his endless screams but it is so hard to be frustrated with him for long when the older he gets the cuter and more fun he is. I just love this age where everything is so interesting. While he still prefers to observe the world tethered to my arms or in my lap it is still fun to watch him learn. I don't mind that while I make dinner he rummages through my cabinets as long as I get a few minutes of arms free time and I get to see this look:
What is it about blue-eyed babies that is so irresistible? How is it that a child that is so irritating throughout the day still has my heart? Maybe it's the way he looks at me wth eyes so full of adoration that I can't ge enough. This kid is so in love with me that it is hard to be frustrated when I know he only wants to be with me because I am at the center of his universe.
Iyov likes to sit in his bumbo on the counter while I prepare dinner. His favorite thing to do is sample the produce. I honestly think it's a teething thing. He just chews and chews on everything I have up there. He especially likes to chew on the ends of unopened bananas. I usually have to put those bananas in smoothies once he's done with them. 
His favorite thing to say is "babababababa" probably because he's so good at it. I had a dream last night that he said "mermaid" though...that was weird. Anyway, he may possibly be even MORE attached to me now than he was the last time I blogged about him. I did my best to put him in his room with things to play with while I got things done around the house but he NEVER gives up. He gets more and more desparate and I find him sitting on the floor with his head laid down in front of him, tears in his eyes and crying like I ripped his poor little heart out. He can crawl quite well and my other kids would have just looked around for something to get into but not him, he just cries and cries for me and I just don't have the stomach for it. I even took him outside with me while I was trying to get my garden cleared for the guy that would come till it. I thought Iyov would love this first experience in the grass and dirt and have a blast. Nope, he sat in the same spot staring at me and crying the whole time. I finally gave up because I didn't need the neighbors thinking there was a neglected child at my house.
Oh but I love him even more now than I did 3 months ago. And finally, finally! He loves Brad. He doesn't mind if Brad holds him most of the time which makes life so much easier sometimes and it's nice to know he's branching out. I can't imagine my life without my baby that wishes he were joined at the hip with me.

Monday, March 15, 2010

The best part about Dad going away on business...

is when he comes home. This is the actual night he came home. I LOVE seeing the looks on my kids' faces when he comes in the door. Iyov was even excited and a couple of times has wanted Dad to hold him instead of me!
I love that I am married to a man that is a great Dad and I love that our kids love him so much!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

The Coolest Aunt and Uncle Ever....

So finally I am getting around to posting the pictures from my trip to New Bern. I will spare you all of my excuses and get to it. We stayed at Grandma's house for a few days but the majority of the time was spent at my sister and brother-in-laws home, Sarah and Steven. We are so lucky that in my family we have access to fun experiences for teh kids like animals and tractors. When we got to Aunt Sarah's and Uncle Steve's house Beya asked for nothing but "ride the horsey!" over and over again. So we did. Aunt Sarah saddled up Flicka and led each of them around for a little while.


Novan didn't seem all that interested in riding a horse while Beya kept asking about it but the huge grin that was on his face when we put him on gave him away =)
Beya cried all during Novan's turn to ride so we just threw her on back. She was happy!
I am personally not scared at all of horses but I took for granted how SMALL my kids are compared to a horse. It was actually rather terrifying to have them on the ground around the horse. I remember being stepped on mulitple times when I was a kid and I can only imagine a giant horse hoof stepping on one of my kids. So I was always trying to keep them away from a side-stepping horse. Kids are just not careful enough with their own bodies to be trusted. I love this picture though, horse noses are my favorite part to touch and nuzzle. The horses were equally curious about these small people running around.
Uncle Steve is a farmer so he has lots of fun farm equipment. Novan loves looking at the big tractors, combines and other various equipment around the farm.
Among the other fun things for city kids like mine to do on a farm are gathering eggs from the henhouse. Unfortunately Beya was so proud of her egg find she refused to be parted with said egg. I knew this would end badly as eggs are breakable and Beya is EXTREMELY clutzy, even for a two-year old. She gets that from my side of the family, I assure you. I tried to warn her over and over to be careful. Alas, it did end badly as she used her egg-holding hand to push her self into a standing position and crack! There also happened to be a clutch of nine baby chicks which for some reason I didn't get a picture of but Beya asked about constantly. She was always asking to "go see chicks!"
It's also fun to throw sticks into the water for doggies silly enough to jump in and fetch...
Bunny time! I won't break your heart (or my kids) and explain what these furry little cuties are ACTUALLY for...just a hint, it ain't to sit around and look cute and cuddley!
For some unknown reason, Novan loves cows and seeing them is a much anticipated event for him. Cows are rather ugly and boring to me but the calves were awfully cute and cows are fascinatingly curious.
Good thing Uncle Steve is around to help Beya avoid the cow patties.
Iyov loved the hammock, isn't he the cutest blue-eyed baby ever?
A favorite evening activity for Beya: sitting next to Uncle Steve on the couch and coloring. Uncle Steve is laughing for some unknown reason but I am sure it is some crazy thing Beya said.
Finally, MY favorite part of the trip, seeing my cute little neice Daisy and relishing in the knowledge that her feeding, care, and crying management are NOT mt responsibility but getting to cuddle her anyway!
The new momma and baby.
No surprise that Beya relished in having a baby cousin. Every morning when she woke up or came inside from playing outside she would ask "Where's Daisy?"
Beya, getting yet another lesson on the use of breasts. She actually is quite enthralled by "boobs", who has them and who doesn't and points them out whenever she sees them. She looks for hers on a regular basis...don't worry Beya, both sides of your family are well-endowed in that department...
So there you have it. Our trip described through pictures. We had a blast...thanks to Uncle Steve and Aunt Sarah for putting up with Novan and Beya's destructive hands and Iyov's constant need for attention. We love you!

Friday, March 5, 2010

A Love of All things Citrus

OK seriously, I am going to get you some pictures but I have to wait until Wednesday when Brad brings my laptop back to me. So instead of covering my fun trip to New Bern you are going to have to hear more about my boring opinion on things...Well I don't think it's boring, I wouldn't blog about it if I thought it was. While I was at Sarah's house we were whipping up some burritos and I was juicing a couple limes for some salsa. I made the comment that I LOVE cooking with limes then I got to thinking how much I really love limes. I said aloud "I think I'll write a blog about them." So here we are.

I am a "citrophile". Ok so that's probably not really a word but I think it accurately describes my passion for all things citrus. Limes are only one of the many succulent citrus fruits I so enjoy. I love to eat oranges and pinapples as well although I would have to say that, of all, oranges are my favorite to eat all by themselves. When it comes to choosing a candy or desert flavor orange is my first pick. I love the smell of an orange as it's being peeled. Further, one of the best smells of Christmas is the mingled smell of oranges and cinnamon. Love it. Grapefruits are no exception and I love eating a good grapefruit plain and drinking grapefruit juice, which I know lots of people don't like. Well I can't decide which I would rather have at breakfast, orange or grapefruit?

When we rented a house in California we had an orange tree growing in our backyard. The first year it didn't produce much of anything but Brad and I (well rather just me since Brad doesn't really know what he's doing with a pair of pruners) pruned it and Brad faithfully watered it all summer when it was so dry. That winter starting in the end of November we got bushels of oranges from that tree. They were sooooo good. I don't know that I have ever had oranges so good as the ones that came off of that tree. We sent boxes of them to our families as Christmas presents like a regular Harry and David. Aside from the actual oranges that came off of that tree the Spring was almost equally enjoyable with the orange blossoms that came. The smell was intoxicating and while many fruit blossoms smell wonderful oranges smell truly heavenly. Not too sickeningly sweet but just the right amount of sweetness and a hint of citrus. It is certainly one of the best if not THE best smell in the world. I can be quoted on saying on more than one occasion that heaven better have lots of orange smells or it just won't be heaven.

From a culinary point of view though lemons and limes are super duper important to have as a "staple" in my kitchen. I love anything savory or sweet with a lime flavor. Fresh salsa just isn't salsa without lime juice. Many salads I make require lemon juice which I think should only include FRESH lemon juice and there is really no replacement for it. I have also cooked savory dishes with pinapple such as black bean soup. Pinapple and cilantro go so well in that soup. Anyway there is one thing I wish I knew how to do and that is making candied citrus peels, you know like candied orange peels. Has anyone ever attempted that before? Also, I was reading Little Women the other night and reading the chapter that talks about pickled limes. Sounds like it's right up my alley. Does anyone know what those are?  Ah citrus, I would never want to live without you!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Bicycles to Horses!

For the past week the kids and I have been visiting my mom and sisters while Brad is in CA for his "rounds" which basically means his routine visit to his clients in CA. He makes appointments with all of them while he's out there and always manages to pick up a few more as well while he's there. I have lots of pictures to share but due to my lack of a camera cord (which I lost months ago) I can only upload my pictures to a computer that has an SD card slot and I haven't had access to one lately. I do miss my blog though. It is a nice outlet for my brain vomit during the week and when I go more than a few days I start to feel like my brain has cabin fever or something.

So while cute pictures will have to wait I do want to share about the horseback ride I went on yesterday with my sister Sarah. Come to think of it I think most people who read this blog probably don't know that I grew up around horses, cows, pigs, chickens. I guess it just hasn't come up much. A little background is in order I think.

Well when my sister Sarah had I think her 14th? birthday my Dad was going to take her to the store to pick out a bike. I don't remember excatly what commenced but I do know that she was somewhat upset about the bike situation and relayed to mom and Dad that she didn't really want a bike. When asked what she did want she said she would rather save the money that would go to the bike and get a horse. I was 11 at the time and I thought the idea of getting a horse was beyond my parents...it just would never happen. They were not only expensive to buy but they were even more expensive to keep. Well I know my Dad took Sarah's request seriously because in about 6 months time she was the proud owner of her very first horse. Within another 6 months I had a horse and so did my mom. Slowly but surely the horse business took over our lives. There were lessons, shows, trail rides, and our Christmas and birthday presents were almost entirely dedicated to proliferating our love of horses with saddles, riding clothing, and other tack and accessories. My parents spent a great deal on our little "hobby" and all thanks to the girl who wouldn't take a bike as a brithday present. Looking back, Dad sure was a softy for us because every spare penny he made went to our horsey interests. Eventually Dad built us a beautiful barn where we could house all of our tack, hay, and of course horses.  What lucky girls we were!

So I have always enjoyed horses. They are probably the ONLY animal I can see myself keeping. I enjoy riding them, watching them and observing their personalities, and even (and especially) their smells. I cannot say I enjoy any other animal as much as I do a horse. When I went to college I was able to ride a little but not much and eventually got married and here we are now of course. Sarah never gave up on the horsey life and she now owns 5 of them. I have ridden with her rarely when I visit and it's been a long while, about a couple years since I had ridden and so when I came this time the weather was just begging us to go outside and enjoy it. So Sarah took me on a trail ride yesterday while Grandma took the kids and I enjoyed myself immensely. Riding a horse really is like riding a bike, you just don't forget how (although you do get sore). It was like hanging out with a very old and comfortable friend. I was in the saddle and it was quite invigorating, like a peice of me woke up and said "oh good we're back!" How I WISH I could still have a horse. You know, on the outside it seems really easy, just go buy one, board it at a barn nearby and go ride when you feel like it. But I am not so old that I forget how much work it was to have a horse most importantly how much time it takes from your life. Oh but how I miss it! I guess I am just going to go visit Sarah more often so I can ride her's!