Friday, February 20, 2009

We bought a van!

We've somehow survived with 3 car seats in the back of our Toyota Corolla, but 4 car seats just won't fit. So with our tax refund in hand, we scoured the ads, internet and used car lots for the last 2 weeks. Yesterday we came home with our new van, an '03 Chevrolet Venture, paid in-full. It's newer, nicer and less expensive than we were hoping for. My favorite feature is that it has 8 seats, so we won't grow out of it too soon. We even have enough of the refund left to fix our Corolla - needs new struts.

I have my own car! Freedom! I think I've been very patient and supportive with Dominic's crazy schedule and our one car. But today I felt happy every time I thought about my van.

I've been so focused on car hunting that I let the house fall into chaos. I came home last night and thought, how could anyone live in this dump? Today I had a miraculous burst of energy and cleaned all day. I didn't even need a nap for the first time in ages.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

When lunch time and nap time collide

It's quite unfortunate that Lisy's nap time is also around lunch time. Oh I've tried to let her just go to sleep, but then she wakes up hungry and cranky. So now I hope she eats enough before collapsing. It doesn't always work. (You can almost see the remnants of her sandwich in her hands.)

And while going through old pictures with the kids, I discovered this little gem from last May. By that time Benjamin had sworn off all naps. Uh, yeah, he still needs them occasionally.

I'm such a cruel mother. I should put those children to bed! But they make such cute pictures. Unfortunately, I don't have any documentation of Sammy, so either he never fell asleep at the table or I just never caught it on film (I can't remember). However, he does sleep with his eyes open, just like his dad did as a child:

Sunday, February 15, 2009

May Cause Drowsiness

Sums up our weekend. Dominic's doctor put him on a new medication, which knocks him out. On Saturday it was easier to count the hours he was awake. Today he managed to stay awake long enough to dress the kids but was unconscious again by the time we left for church. I really hope his body can adjust to this side effect quickly. He did say he's doing better today than yesterday, but
"those are some serious side effects. They better be doing me a world of good."

On the brighter side, for Valentine's day I bought myself flowers and chocolates. I got exactly what I wanted, and he appreciated that I didn't feel neglected. I also bought his birthday present, and his sleeping made it easy to hide :) And I didn't try to keep the kids quiet all weekend - Dominic just rolled over and went back to sleep.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Outback's Alice Chicken

Although I don't usually mention food, this chicken was amazing. It's the meal I ordered on our date night. It was so good we tried to make it ourselves. It wasn't the same of course, but still scrumptious. Even the kids ate it up!

The original: Seasoned chicken breast topped with mushrooms, bacon, and melted cheese. Yummy.

Our variation: Marinated chicken breast topped with mushrooms sauteed in olive oil, bacon, and melted cheddar and monterey jack cheeses. Very good.

We knew we'd never figure out their seasonings, so we tried a marinade. It was too spicy, and we had to scrape it off. Then to counteract the lingering spiciness, Dominic used the only citrus we had in the house: pineapple starfruit juice concentrate. He added a little coffee creamer (milk would work, too), then let it simmer and carmelize before adding the chicken. The toppings were easy and delicious.

The best part was the price. We fed the entire family with 2 side dishes for the same price as my one meal at the restaurant.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Date night

Alright, so it was a couple of weeks ago, but it was a great date. First, it was our first date in 4 months. Second, it saved our children's lives. I woke up from my nap and heard "Mom is going to be soo mad." And then, "Don't worry, we'll tell her we're unpacking." Ok, take deep breaths, now open the door, and . . . I didn't scream. We had 2 stacks of boxes left in the living room, and the contents, mostly books and cd's, were scattered haphazardly over the entire floor. When Dominic came home an hour later, most of the mess was straightened up, but he sent me to the store to decompress while he put together our new bookshelves.

I happily ditched the kids with the new babysitter, who turned out to be very good with children, and went off to the movies with Dominic. We finally saw Twilight. Even though it's been in theaters for over 2 months, it still fills up 1/3 of the theater. I liked that Edward couldn't stop smiling when he and Bella started dating, because it reminded me of when Dominic and I started dating - my roommates always knew when I'd been talking to him on the phone, because I couldn't stop smiling. Dominic really liked the fight scene at the end. He said it was almost exactly like he had imagined it, which made it more amazing to watch on the big screen.

We hadn't had time to eat dinner before the movie, so we stopped by Outback, Dominic's favorite steakhouse conveniently located next to the mall. The entire night was fun and carefree; a great date. The best part was coming back to my sleeping children and liking them again.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

It's a girl!

That puts me at 3 to 1. I was right about the genders of my first 3 children, so I was overconfident about guessing this one. Dominic enjoyed saying "I was right" all the way home. Elisa must have broken the trend. You see, in Dominic's family, girls are born about every 80 years. His brother's wife is also expecting a girl next month. The family gets 3 girls in 2 years! My in-laws are absolutely thrilled. Now the problem is coming up with a name; we named Lisy 2 days after she was born.

The children are very excited about their new baby. When I kiss them goodnight, they have to kiss the baby, too, which is really weird when they kiss my belly. They loved seeing the baby on the ultrasound, and they behaved well enough to stay in the room the entire time (the tech was nervous when she saw them come in). Our baby girl has no obvious birth defects :)

Before I forget, here's a story from a few months ago. I don't like to announce my pregnancies until after the first trimester, when the chance of miscarriage decreases. So I didn't tell my kids because they can't keep secrets. When I called to set up my first doctor's appointment, Sammy heard me and asked what is was for. I told him I just needed to see the doctor. He looked disappointed and said, "oh, I thought you were going to have a baby." So I confirmed his suspicion, and he was very happy. I did make him promise not to tell anyone until after my first appointment, and he actually kept his promise. Then he told everyone he met.