22 April 2013

Saturday in Zion

Eric and I went to St. George and Zion National Park for our honeymoon (almost eight years ago). We went back to Zion just for a quick day trip a few years ago. We went down there for the third time this weekend.

Eric had work training in St. George all day on Friday, so I drove down with the boys on Friday afternoon to meet him. (I think Ike interpreted my frequent statement of, "We're going to St. George," as "We're going to see George." When we got to the place where we were supposed to pick up Eric he just kept looking around and asking about George.)

On Friday night we walked around the St. George temple a little bit, and then we took Ike to a park where he played for a while. After that we headed to our motel in Hurricane. On Saturday morning we were off to Zion!

It was beautiful weather, and I'm ridiculously happy we got to go. (We really weren't sure if we were going to follow through with our trip because Ike, Felix and I still have pretty nasty colds. Ultimately I decided that I didn't care about my cold, and I desperately needed some warm weather.)

Eric Sherpa took us on a hike to the Emerald Pools. We went all the way to the top pool (of three). Eric was a champ to lug forty pounds of his progeny up the entire route. (It's not a particularly difficult hike, but it was a few miles.)

When we got to the top we decided to put on sunscreen, which we should have done prior to starting out. Ike thought it would be fun to splash in the water. It was fun, until he fell in and became drenched from the belly button downward. The water was really cold, and he was really unhappy with how wet he got. He kept saying, "I wet. A mess."

We took his pants, shoes and socks off and set them on some rocks to get a little dry while we hung out for a little while. Another family told us their boy (now about 15) did the exact same thing about 13 years ago. We were in good company.

Of course, it wasn't warm enough for Ike's clothes and shoes to dry off completely, so I created a clothesline on the hiking backpack from a strand of yarn that had been tied there previously to prevent binkies from being dropped and lost forever. Ike didn't seem to mind riding down without any shoes or pants. I was rather proud of my impromptu clothesline. Next hiking trip we'll be sure to bring safety pins so we can add the socks to the line too.

We went out via the Grotto trail, and it was really sunny and lovely. After that we rode the bus again (the highlight of the entire trip, if you ask Ike) to the Riverwalk Trail. We had a bit of a meltdown when somebody insisted that he couldn't walk and needed to be carried, but that meltdown was mysteriously overcome when said tantrum thrower discovered he could run the whole way. (I did end up carrying him toward the end when we were going back to the bus.)

I'm looking forward to the next time we can make it down there. It's truly a stunning place.

16 April 2013


Here are some very domestic things I've been doing lately.
  • Regularly making my own whole wheat bread. Although, I could sure use some suggestions on a good recipe that works well in Utah. The one I'm using is only so-so, and I haven't figured out how to modify it for our climate and altitude.
  • Keeping my vegetable tidbits in a gallon-size bag in the freezer, and then using it to make vegetable broth. In the most recent time I even had Eric add the boiled vegetable bits to the compost after the broth was made.
  • I washed my pillows. They took ages and ages and ages to dry. But they sure smell nice now.
  • On occasion I manage to put away my boys' laundry on the same day it gets washed. (Okay, that's pretty much a lie. I don't think that that's happened since January. We regularly have conversations like this: "Where are Felix's burp cloths?" "In his drawer." "There are none there." "Oh, check the dryer." Sometimes these conversations are repeated for about three days.
  • Sweeping. Always sweeping.
  • I made a giant container of "refried" beans to use instead of the canned kind we usually use for burritos (one of our go-to meals). We have several freezer bags of beans at the ready.
Wow, that's only six bullet points. I feel like I'm more domestic than that.

14 April 2013

An Asthmatic Weekend

Sometimes being a mom is hard, and most of the time it's hard to explain exactly why being a mom is hard. Having a sick kid can be hard, and I don't feel like there's a lot of explaining that goes into that.

On Thursday Ike had a fever, but he didn't seem to have any other symptoms. In the evening his breathing was really wheezy. It was so loud that at one point it sounded like the low, rhythmic hum of the washing machine. Except the washing machine wasn't on. I asked Eric what the sound was, and he told me it was Ike's breathing. I immediately called the pediatrician's office, and the nurse said to bring him into the after hours clinic.

He appeared to have a cold that was agitating his asthma. Thankfully, his oxygen level was very high, but the P.A. had him do a breathing treatment in the office. It was horrible. He screamed and fought the whole time. He is strong. After checking out a nebulizer and then going to pick up the vials of medicine to put into the machine we went home and he went straight to bed without a fight.

We did two more breathing treatments in the night. By the last one he was so feverish and tired that he hardly fought at all.

On Friday morning he was doing much better. His fever was finally gone. (I had been regularly treating it with ibuprofen, but it would just not relent.) He was even breathing pretty well. At about 10 I noticed his breathing was pretty loud again. It didn't seem to bother him, but I knew we needed to do a nebulizer treatment.

This time I sat him down and read him several books. He did incredibly well and didn't fight at all. Half an hour later, though, his breathing was still really loud. I called the doctor's office again, and again the nurse said I needed to bring him in right away.*

Again, his oxygen level was quite high, so it was clear that even though his asthma was acting up, it wasn't having dangerous consequences. The doctor was concerned that his breathing was so loud when we had just done a treatment about an hour before. So we did another treatment in the office. Again, Ike didn't fight at all. It was such a breeze compared to the time the night before. The doctor came in and listened again and decided to prescribe an oral steroid, mostly to prevent his asthma from getting worse.

Unfortunately, the steroid tastes pretty awful, and Ike fights it will all his might (which is a lot). Only six more doses to go!

And that's what has made parenting hard this weekend. On the up-side, nobody has been hospitalized, and we didn't have to buy a nebulizer. (The pediatrician's office loaned us one.)

*Three cheers for Felix who had to be woken from a nap to go to the doctor's office. Normally I feed him right when he wakes up, but we didn't have time. I ended up not having time to feed him until we got back home. He was a serious champ about the whole thing.

06 April 2013

Felix - Six Months

These six months have flown by. Felix is such a sweet baby. I think my sister-in-law said it best this week when she said that he just looks around him for something to be happy about. It's true. He is a happy little baby.

He's still tiny, but he's strong. He has now mastered rolling in both directions. I think he'll be crawling by next month, but I made predictions like that with Ike, and they were usually wrong. He has a bald head, blue eyes, and no teeth. People who hold him always almost comment on how wiggly he is. This boy's got places to go, I guess.

Felix is fascinated with his older brother. He's also fascinated with the ceiling fan, so it really boils down to perpetual motion.

In the last month I've had several people comment about how he's looking more and more like his brother. It's true. He is.

Felix doesn't sleep really well at night, or during naps, for that matter. Despite this, I love him heaps.

04 April 2013

My Favorite Recipes with Red Beans or Lentils

Sorry for the hiatus. I don't know what I've been busy doing, but clearly blogging has not been a top priority.

One thing I have been doing for the last few months is trying new lentil and bean recipes. As I mentioned once before, we bought 25 pounds of red beans and 25 pounds of lentils in December. I've been working on finding and trying recipes that use beans and lentils.

I'm not going to lie. I regret that we purchased red beans instead of black beans. At that time I thought this was a good idea because we had so many cans of black beans. But upon reflection, I realize that we had so many cans of black beans because that is what we like best. Nonetheless, I have a few ways to prepare red beans that I've found to be yummy:
  • Kidney Bean Curry - In actuality, I haven't made this one in a while, but by golly I ought to. (Obviously, I sub red beans for kidney.)
  • Red Beans and Rice from Our Best Bites - Jenn recommended this, and as soon as Eric tasted it he was in love. He said it was the closest to Brazilian rice and beans that he's had since living in Brazil. We've made it several times. The recipe doesn't call for soaking the beans overnight, but I do it anyway because it helps get rid of some of the toxins that cause digestive issues. (Ahem.)
  • Southwest Rice and Bean Salad from Mel's Kitchen Cafe - We've made this time and time again, and it's always a hit. It's easy to toy with the ingredients to suit your own needs.
  • Red Lentil Curry - This calls for split red lentils, but I use plain green lentils, and it works just fine.
  • Carrot Soup - So delicious. So easy. So freezable. So healthy.

There are a few other Indian lentil dishes that I like to make. Their recipes are found in The Best Ever Curry Cookbook, and it's possible that one of these days I will blog about them.

And of those recipes, I hope you'll note that only one of them does not involve cilantro. That's pretty much par for the course around this house.