Wednesday, April 30, 2008

A Quick Disclaimer

Before I continue my Earth Day {turning into Month} posts, I wanted to throw in a little disclaimer. I think Global Warming is 98% bologna. I think Al Gore is super creepy. With that being said, I think we have a responsibility. Our Heavenly Father has given us this planet as one of the greatest gifts we can receive. We should be taking care of this place we call Earth like the treasure it is. I think we should treat the animals we eat and the ground we farm with total respect. That's just some stuff that has been on my mind. OK. I got that out.

Great website

I just came across a great website {so it seems}. It's www.couponshare.com . If it's as great as it seems, I'll think I'll be checking it out before a lot of purchases from now on.

AI


I hope I don't lose too many cool points with anyone, but I am an American Idol watcher :) Last night was the first time that I voted. I always wondered how things would be different if America voted for who they wanted to go home. So, lets do that. If you're a fan, who do you want to go home this week?

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Good Times

It is so fun to watch Henry these days. He loves to play silly games. It's fun to watch him learn to play. The other night, he was playing a game with himself. He was sitting by a chair and he was taking his toy and throwing it around one of the legs. He'd pick it up and do it over and over again.
Caleb {Henry's cousin} is one of the sweetest kids I've ever known. He was over at our house a couple weeks ago and saw the breast pump sitting on the table. After watching his mom every 2 hours for months, he knew just what to do :) The other day I was at my sister's house and I laid down on the bed to nurse Henry. Caleb was just in underwear {they are potty training} and he started checking out his own nipples. Then he asked, "Titi {that's what he calls me}, can I feed Henry?" He really loves Henry and wanted to help :) I love it that nursing and pumping is just the norm for him!
We had some friends visiting from out of town this past week. Jesse, Kelli and Adelle use to live near us and moved back to California just before Henry was born. We all got together on Sunday evening, it was just like old times...plus little children :) I love this picture! {me and Henry, Lindsay and Carolina, Jenny and Fini {not sure how to spell that}, and Kelli and Adelle}
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Monday, April 28, 2008

Back to Earth Day

So I am totally behind on my Earth Day posts. I would like to think that since I've been so behind on my posting lately that it means that I'm getting more important things done {hmmm...not so sure}. I wanted to share some things that our family has been doing over the past year to make for a healthier home and earth.



My Dad has always been quite the cleaner. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that our family was in the bed and breakfast business for many years. We can make a mean bed and make a bathroom shine. I was always pretty adamant about scrubbing out the tub often. But I was equally concerned with feeling like I needed to open all the windows in the house and wondering how many brain cells I was losing.



After I was diagnosed {I don't like that word!} with endometriosis, I started doing a lot of research and realized just how much not so good stuff our bodies our exposed to in our own homes! Not only are the chemicals harsh, but our homes are so well insulated that the harsh stuff can't leave our homes if it wanted to. Yikes. Not only are we exposed to these toxic chemicals, but they are dumped down the drain and out with our trash for mother nature to try to deal with. That's when we decided to go greener with cleaner.



I tried a few different earth friendly product lines and settled on Method products. I found a lot of benefits with this line. Believe it or not, their tub cleaner {which smells like fresh eucalyptus} actually did a better job that those little brush guys I use to use. Their dish soap was rated number one in Cook's Country, the cooking magazine that I've raved about in the past. Not just number one with the natural dish soaps, but ALL dish soaps. Method is also pretty easy to find compared to some of the other all natural products {I pick mine up at Target}.



Method came out with a line of baby and children's products on Earth Day, too. We love our Burt's Baby Bee products that we use, but it's always great to have more choices. Let me know if any of you have tried it.


What's your favorite family and earth friendly products? Has anyone found a good carpet cleaner or have a good home recipe?


Sunday, April 27, 2008

Happy Birthday Daddy

It's Mike's big day! It's even a little more special than usual...27 on the 27th {don't tell him I told you} :) He has his final exams for the semester this week. Hopefully he has some time to enjoy the day. We are getting together with our friends tonight, which is always fun. I'm making a tres leche cake from scratch {well, I'm not condensing the milk myself}...I'll let you know how that goes.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Earth Day '08

I am very excited about Earth Day this year. Every thing that falls under this topic has been on my mind a lot this year. I know it's cliche to say, but every day should be earth day! We have been doing some things in the Swinson household to help lesson our negative impact on this beautiful gift that our Heavenly Father has blessed us with. I'm excited to take some time this week to share some of those ideas with you. Until then, I found this great website with some really neat ideas on how to introduce some "earth day concepts" to your kids. Some of their ideas were:

1. Recycle! {i love recycling}
2. Compost {our neighborhood rabbits eat everything up before it has time to compost} :)
3. Go on a donation tour {reuse, reuse, reuse}
4. Reduce electricity {this is a great time of year to open your windows and let some fresh air in}
5. Hang clothes {it makes for great pictures too}
6. Reusable bags {you can make it into a craft with the kids}
7. Enjoy the Earth {kids take care of the things they love}

What are you going to do to celebrate Earth Day 2008? I'm going to go pick up a clothes line for the backyard.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Promises and Cameras







I promise to be better about blogging this week. It's been an uneventful week...really. I wasn't feeling very good last week, so I didn't do anything around the house that I was suppose to. Mike was very patient and helpful. I am playing catch-up today and doing quite well at it if I do say so myself.
These pictures are pretty much for my sister. She has been looking for a good point and shoot digital camera. She was asking me how quick mine takes consecutive pictures. This was how quick I could take the second picture {not very good!}. Our camera is having some technical difficulties, so I think normally it would be a lot better {I remember it working a lot better}. It's a Sony CyberShot. Does anyone have any suggestions on a good point and shoot?



Monday, April 14, 2008

YouTube Posts

Can somebody please tell me how to post YouTube videos.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

tricycle, tricyle go so slow...

video

Henry hopped right on his new tricycle when we got home from the yard sales on Saturday. He can't reach the ground yet when he sits on the seat, but he sure can get around. He amazes us more everyday.

Gotta love Ashburn Yardsales!


For the past 3 years, my sister and I have gone to the Ashburn Yard sales in the beginning on April. It's always worth the drive. Ashburn is a "high-end" town in northern Virginia that has a community yard sale in the spring. Their yard sales are the best. Their kids typically don't wear hand-me-downs. The kids clothes are from Nordstrom {and the like}, barely worn, and dirt cheap. These people aren't trying to make money on a yard sale. I found some great items this year. I found this really nice Kettler Kiddi-o tricycle for $5! Maybe even more exciting {maybe} is the rollercoaster bead maze activity table that I also got for $5. I think these people just want to get rid of everything in an hour and go play tennis or something. Fine with me :) Both of these items are expensive and they were in great condition.


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Thursday, April 10, 2008

Playing catch up...


I've spent this week catching up from last week. I realized that I haven't shared any of this weeks activities. Henry was very happy to be home with his Dad again! His Dad is his favorite person, he knows he's watching out for him. Like his hair, for instance. Mike has been telling me for quite awhile that we needed to trim the hair around Henry's ears. I was in complete denial. Henry is my baby and babies don't need haircuts. I finally came to grips with the fact that I have a little boy and we gave him his first haircut this week. Just around the ears though.


Henry is almost walking. He gets around the house with this little stool and then scoots along furniture or the wall to get to where the stool can't go. Henry has spent the week showing me what I need to put latches on or move to higher shelves. What a helper :)


Henry's newest friend entered the world last week while we were gone. Noah Matthew Valentine is the son of Matt and Lauren, a good friend that I use to work with. I love my BFD girls. They are some of the greatest friends I've had!


We went to the park today with some friends to enjoy the beautiful weather. Henry is sharing his swing with his friend James {this is something he loves to do with his cousin Gracie}. Carolina is looking at them with envy {she was Henry's valentine}!
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Kitchen Disasters

I don't really know why this is happening, but I have become a disaster in the kitchen recently! While I was in North Carolina, I wanted to fix dinner for Leslie and Matthew while they were at work. One afternoon while we were all hanging out, I tried to make cheesy beer bread to snack on. I didn't put the loaf pan on a cookie sheet and the butter that was drizzled on top of the dough dripped on the bottom of the oven. Soon to follow was some smoke that completely freaked out one of the dogs. Eli wasn't suppose to be a bird dog, he's a smoke dog. He knew something was wrong before we did. The poor guy was completely anxious. So, we had to stop cooking the bread and I ended up throwing it out. Ok, so that's not too bad, right?...

Fast forward a couple days...I was very excited to make Chicken Parmesan for Leslie, Matthew, and Leslie's father. I had gone through everything in my head {I stress trying to get everything to finish cooking at the same time}. I made the marinara ahead so I wouldn't have to worry about it later. I did all sorts of prep...except WIPE OUT THE OVEN! So, dinner was almost ready. I went to preheat the oven and smoke was everywhere. The smoke detectors kept going off {they were connected to the house alarm, so taking the battery out didn't help}. We had to take the dogs to the garage because they were so anxious. I thought "it's ok, it will stop smoking soon" and then I hear Leslie say "my oven is on fire". I think I may have said a curse word in my head. It's bad enough to catch your own oven on fire! Come to find out, none of us really knew what to do. I turned the oven off, kept the door closed, and prayed with all my might that Leslie's house wouldn't burn down! The fire DID go out, the oven cooled down and Mr. Peterson cleaned the oven out. So, I got dinner on the table around 8p. I must say though, it was pretty darn good. I'll have to post that recipe. I think the worst part was that I was totally embarrassed. All I wanted to do was impress them with my new kitchen skills and I could do nothing right.




While I was at Leslie's, I kept turning the wrong burners on because they were switched from what mine are. I guess I got use to how her's were. Do you know what happens when you put pyrex on a hot burner? I went to make cream of wheat the other morning. I turned the burner on and left the kitchen {thank goodness}. I had a pyrex dish sitting on the front burner from the night before {this is another reason why I should wash all the dishes before I go to bed at night}. Well, it ends up that I turned the front burner on instead. All the sudden, there was a noise that I was for sure was going to be followed by my death. It was like nothing I had ever heard. The pyrex dish was all over my kitchen and some in my living area. Sadly enough, once I realized that all was ok, I thought for a second, "At least I don't have to wash that now". Then it took me an hour to de-glass my house {with a baby wanting to crawl around}. Apparently, I'm not the only person that this has happened to. I'm realizing that you can find anything on YouTube!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008


I think they wore themselves out.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Vacation to the Crowgey Home





















As I mentioned earlier this week, Henry and I just returned from a visit with friends in North Carolina. Leslie and Matthew have 3 dogs {2 jack russels and 1 britney spaniel} which Henry was crazy about. Eli, Emma, and Jake were equally crazy about Henry. Emma would smother Henry with kisses. When we would get after her, she would at least try to get some drive-by licks in. Henry didn't seem to matter {little did he know where else that tongue goes!}. The pups were pretty tolerable of Henry's pulls and pokes as well.




Spring has Sprung


I love this time of year. I love driving around town while running errands and seeing all of the beautiful blossoms. One of my favorites is the bradford pear tree. This is one right outside our front door. I will always think of my sweet nephew, Caleb, when I see this tree in bloom. He was born on April 11th in northern Virginia. The bradford pears were in full bloom the weekend he was born. The roads in the neighborhood my sister lived in were lined in these trees. We spent hours walking among these beautiful trees singing "Popcorn Popping" to Caleb who was soon to arrive.


I love my Caleb. He is turning 3 this week. What happened! This was almost a hilarious picture. I had gotten out of the shower and used a Q-tip. Caleb broke the Q-tip in half and stuck the two halves in his ears. I walked past him while he was watching television. He was staring at the TV with Q-tips sticking out of his ears! I didn't move fast enough with the camera.


Here is a new picture of Henry's new cousin, Toby. What a cutie pie. Jon {Toby's daddy} calls him his quarterican {a quarter puerto rican}. Too funny!
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Monday, April 7, 2008

Quick Update


Henry and I spent this past week with Leslie {my college roommate} and Matthew down in Charlotte, NC. We had a lot of fun just hanging out again. I have a lot of pictures and stories to share, but today is catch up and unpack day. I wanted to share a quick picture of what Henry's week consisted of....there is more to come.