Friday, May 30, 2008

Calling for Tried and Tested Advice

Hi to all you faithful readers out there. I have been missing in action lately and could have usually been found taking a nap and trying to scrub peanut butter and jelly sandwiches off of the floor.

I am just looking for any advice about getting a picky 1 1/2 year old to eat more during the day than just milk, raisins, graham crackers, and macaroni and cheese. Does/did anyone else have this same nagging question at the end of the day " What in the world am I going to feed my little boy so that he will get some nutrition into him?" I have been reading online for advice in this area and everyone said that they will grow out of it and that they are just trying to exert their new independence over at least one thing in their life. I have also read about the reverse psychology technique, where you get everyone at the table to sit down and eat and you don't have any food in the high chair waiting for them. Then they will see that they are missing out and will want some of your food. It said to give them a bite and then to keep ignoring them until they ask for more to eat. That way they have control over the situation and pretty soon they will have eaten 20 or so bites.
Has anyone got any suggestions or words of wisdom for a new mom?

The next area of advice I need help with is airline travel with the same little boy. Any activities, suggestions for a little one who could use a few hours of distraction? Has anyone used new toys or has come across some miracle drug that I don't know about? Please share any and all advice on the matter.

Here is a cute video that we got over the last weekend of Alex. As you will soon witness, he is all boy.

Friday, May 9, 2008

What's Cookin' Good Lookin'

This week there have been many new developments at the Stewart household. Here is a recap...

Well I decided to make some freezer jam for the very first time a few days ago after my friend Melanie shared some raspberry freezer jam that she made. It was so fabulous, that I decided to make some strawberry freezer jam myself. I have made peach preserves and canned them before, but never freezer jam. Man, have I been missing out. It was so easy and it tastes so yummy. I guess that I was over zealous and bought too many strawberries, I couldn't resist. They were only 99 cents at Food Town and they were good quality. I bought 8 containers because I wanted to make a double batch of jam. Melanie thought that you needed 4 containers per batch, so that is why I ended up with eight. Well, experience has taught me now that you only need 1 1/2 containers per batch, so now we have 5 pounds of fresh strawberries in our fridge. I have got to take care of them soon before we have 5 pounds of rotten strawberries in the fridge.
I guess that I will be busy canning, freezing, and preparing strawberries this weekend.
Here is a picture of the finished product and of my monstrous mound of strawberries.

For Family Home Evening, Eric provided a wonderful lesson about Jesus Christ and his life. It was really good honey! I provided the activity, so we made Mother's Day cards for each of our mother's (sorry that they won't get there on time). I initially thought that Eric would be bored with the project, especially when he saw me pull out my scrapbook paper and supplies. I even thought that I saw him roll his eyes ;0) j/k. I also thought that his project would be done in like 30 seconds and I would still be sitting there an hour later trying to finish up. Much to my surprise, he really got into creating a card for his mom. He used brads, crafting paper, paper cutters, and he was even tempted to use some ribbon. I kept looking over at his card in amazement at his beautiful creation. I was so impressed and am hoping to get one of his original creations a few days from now (hint, hint);0). Here is a look at our final products.

The final project we have been working on is adding a new member to our family. We found out that I was pregnant in late March and went to the doctor on Wednesday for our first ultrasound. I was hoping to keep this great news quiet a little longer, but I don't think that some of my clothes will be comfortable for too much longer. We initially thought our due date would be the 4th of December, but using the ultrasound measurements the pushed back our due date to the 12th of December. I have been feeling alright, I feel nauseated most of the day, but I found out that if I eat and drink about every two hours then it is a little better. It was too hard to try and eat and drink at church in secret. I was finding myself taking trips to the car on Fast Sunday to try and munch on something. Well I guess the little surprise is out in the open. We were trying to wait until the end of the 1st trimester to tell everyone because I have miscarried before. I felt safer making that 13 week mark but we are telling a little bit early.
Here is a picture of our ultrasound. It is kind of grainy, I had just visited the bathroom and the technician said that it would have been a clearer picture with a full bladder. Oh, well we know for next time.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

The Top 100 list- part 2!

Ok, this is Eric now. I've been teasing Erika about not finishing her list for a week now, and she's been slacking (it's not like she has anything else going on- just watching two energetic little boys all day, taking care of the house, cooking, serving as chauffeur, scrapbooking, etc. etc. etc...). I thought you might want to learn more about Erika through the eyes of her husband- too bad I know her password HEE HEE. :)

57. Erika loves to cook. She is very talented and breads, cakes, cinnamon rolls, etc are her specialty.
58. Erika is VERY ticklish on her neck. She hates having her feet tickled though.
59. Erika loves peanut butter, jelly, banana and cheese sandwiches.
60. Erika scares her husband sometimes when she's driving. She's a good driver- we just have different styles, that's all (I happen to LIKE space between me and the car in front of me for some strange reason- go figure!).
61. Erika loves to go on walks, except when it's too hot. Then she loves to swim.
62. Erika has seen the movie "You've Got Mail" about 673 times. This month.
63. Erika gets stir-crazy being in the house for too long. She likes being out and about. I'm kind of the opposite.
64. Erika taught herself to whistle while we were dating.
65. Erika has a fantastic memory for events and details.
66. Erika has dyslexia. Although reading is sometimes a challenge, her condition has also been a blessing as it has helped her identify kids in her classrooms that could benefit from special care and training.
67. Erika caught her future husband's eye by being a "spiritual giant" when they were in the same Family Home Evening group as singles. Little did he know she was a little trickster too (she splashed in a mud puddle onto my brand new slacks on one of our first dates. I was shocked, but laughed it off when I saw her trying not to laugh) :)
68. Erika loves fruit- ANY fruit. It's definitely her favorite food group. I think this was her driving force for learning how to can/bottle.
69. Erika brushes her teeth religiously every night (Thanks Erika!).
70. Erika once played the computer game "Diablo" all the way through, much to the shock and delight of her husband!
71. Erika has served as both Primary President and Relief Society President.
72. Erika LOVES bring a Mommy. She is great with Alex and I enjoy seeing her play with him. She's also a step-Mommy as she watches a little boy during the day.
73. When we were dating, Erika said she wanted six kids. <:-O
74. Erika is struggling to finish The Dark is Rising book series. She doesn't like it very much (I love it), but see made and is keeping a promise to complete it.
75. Erika was the first person in her family to blog. Unfortunately, she's also the only person in her family to blog (hint hint Karen!) :)
76. Erika talked nearly non-stop about her experiences at BYU when we first met. She had just moved down here and had a great experience there. We sometimes wish we had known each other up there.
77. Erika is generally the one that leads our family is doing good works- she is always looking to help someone- it's one of the many things I admire about her.
78. Erika is patient with her husband's boxes of rocks all over the house. She knew the "baggage" she was getting along with marrying a geologist!
79. Erika sleeps all bundled up in the covers but always with her feet sticking out (on purpose).
80. Erika has dimples in her cheeks. ;)
81. Erika has never been outside of the United States; she's been to 46 states, however. I hope to take her to Europe (especially London) someday.
82. IKEA is one of Erika's favorite stores, along with Michaels and Hobby Lobby.
83. Erika's nickname is "Smiley". She is a very positive, bubbly, and cheery person. Another of the things I love about her. By the way, NEVER call her Eriku. You've been warned.
84. Erika once saved a professor (that she didn't much care for) from an embarrassing situation by telling him he was trailing toilet paper out of his pants!
85. Erika loves to sing to herself but gets a little embarrassed singing out loud sometimes. I love hearing her humming to herself subconsciously.
86. Erika got hooked on the TV show "Babylon 5" (courtesy of her husband).
87. Erika is considering going back to school to get a Master's in Library Science.
88. Erika made a quilt by hand that now proudly hangs on our bedroom wall. It's beautiful and she did it from scratch (no plan). Great job honey!
89. Erika has several strange nicknames from her weird husband- "pumpkey", "honey boof ball", "butterbuns", and "babydoll" to name a few. She also gets whatever is on my mind at the time- isn't that right my little bloggerizer?
90. Erika once almost broke her foot using Tae Kwon Do on some poor unfortunate target.
91. Erika and I kept a log of all of our correspondence and activities while we were dating- she can tell you by memory usually (see #65 above), but I am not as fortunate.
92. Erika is one of the most righteous people I know. She is a lot of fun but she truly exemplifies the Savior, especially in our family.
93. Erika sometimes has trouble expressing herself, because she gets so excited to get something said that she trips over her words.
94. Erika's favorite place is Humbug Mountain, Southern Oregon coast.
95. Erika has turned into a digital picture fiend- usually several pictures per day. I tease her about it a little but I'm glad since our son's growing up so fast...
96. The name of Erika's current car is Black Death (don't ask me... psycho!) ;)
97. Erika is usually right when we have a difference of opinion, but she's not the type of person who rubs it in. She's a very forgiving and patient person with all of "less desirable" traits her husband occasionally displays...
98. Erika's Love Languages are Quality Time and Acts of Service. Read "The Five Love Languages" by Gary Chapman if you have no idea what I'm talking about.
99. Erika helped me to enjoy dancing. I'm no Fred Astaire, but I do like a slow dance now and then with my eternal partner... :)
100. Wow! That's quite a list. Unfortunately, it doesn't begin to describe the wonderful person that I share my life with. Erika is the best thing that ever happened to me- ask anyone who knew me before we met. She is my best friend and the most wonderful wife and mother for Alex. I miss her, even if she's just gone for a walk or I've gone to work. I hope you've enjoyed getting to know her a little better. I can speak from experience when I say she's the kind of friend you want to be around. Thanks for all you do for her!