Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween

Our ward trunk-or-treat was Wednesday night. My family really, truly, all-on-their-own, deeply loves to dress up with a family theme.
Oh, wait.
That's me.
My family members are good sports and go along with my real, true, deep love of dressing up with a family theme. A long time ago (like January) the Wizard of Oz was on TV. We made a fun night of staying up late to watch it and eating popcorn. I gently guided the kids into thinking it was their idea to dress up as Wizard of Oz people for the next trunk-or-treat. It worked! I haven't let them forget it all this time. (The compromise is they can be something different if they want to tonight, which 3/4 of them opted for.) Wasn't it a cute idea? Isn't it the greatest when families all dress up together? Doesn't it make them way cool? I know, I think so too.

[When Josh saw this shot he said, "I don't know why an evil flying monkey is hanging out with the good guys..."]

[Monkey girl gets her wings.]

[The best treats handed out from a trunk that night. Maybe ever. Kebra made them.]

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Do you ever have one of those weeks?

This is one of them for the Cruze family. Especially Emma.
All six of us have been hacking and coughing for a couple of weeks now. We've largely chalked it up to the change in the weather, and for some of us that's probably the case. Emma however added to her symptoms really bad wheezing and slightly increased lethargy (our usual queen of staying up late was quick to fall asleep and needing to be woken up for school). We took her to the doctor yesterday and it turns out she had walking pneumonia. Well. No wonder.
Emma had just recently been put on a daily Zertec and Nasonex regimen by her allergist (to help with hive outbreaks and stuffiness). We'd been giving her xopenex and pulmicort for her wheezing for about a week. Yesterday's diagnosis added zithromax (an anitbiotic for the infection) once and prednosone (a steroid for the wheezing) twice daily for five days.
That's a lot of drugs for a 44 pound girl.
But here's the saddest part. Her dr said she'd be contagious until 24 hours after she started the antibiotic. Which equalled about 4pm today. Which equalled no school. Which equalled poor Emma missing her class field trip to the Smoky Mountains. Yesterday when she realized this she cried. Emma doesn't cry about everything. Only things that break her heart.
She was resigned to the sad facts by today though. Still disappointed, but accepting of the way things had to be. I tried to make it fun for her at home. We spent some time getting some last minute costume details ready for our trunk-or-treat at the church which was tonight (silver lining: at least she could go to that...I'll post some photos later). She and Josh got to watch The Wizard of Oz. But all of her grief melted away and her smiles and giggles took over when we did the best thing of all. We carved her jack-o-lantern. Last Monday we went and got our pumpkins for family home evening and Emma drew her face design on it right away. It's been a busy week and we had not had time to do the carving yet. It was a busy day today too, but we decided it had to be done. It was perfect. As far as I can remember Emma's never participated in any pumpking carving, so it was a new experience for her. She started out timid and trying to scoop the guts out with a spoon. That wasn't very effective so she soon threw caution to the wind and dug in with both hands. She loved getting her hands (up to her elbows) all gross. She loved the finished product. She loved that Josh thought it was too disgusting to get anywhere near and thought it smelled so bad he held his nose the whole time. But she was squishing the guts between her fingers and scraping the insides of the walls and asking about the pumpkin we buy in a can and popping out eye holes and forgetting for an hour that she wasn't on a Smoky Mountain field trip while taking six medicines a day. I'm glad we took time to smell the pumpkin guts.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Purple Balloons

My kids got some big, purple balloons at a rockin' birthday party last week. They were obsessed with seeing what color things looked like through the balloon. ("Mom! Did you know purple and blue makes blue??") I thought Lydia looked funny with her nose smashed flat like that.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

VW Routan

Volkswagen's marketing campaign for their new van cracks me up.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Kimono PJs

I'm not sure how often Lydia will actually wear these...the top is too easy for her to take off. But it was a fun experiment with $1 WalMart fabric. I wanted to try out this tutorial for the top and this one for the pants. They both worked well, though I might do a little tweaking with the fit on the kimono top next time (it's just a bit pulled tight in spots).

Thursday, October 16, 2008

The Third Trimester / You be the Judge

(Never mind the dirty mirror in that photo...but do admire the rectangle that Josh cut out, colored orange and taped to the wall for a Halloween decoration)

I try not to complain too much on this blog, but I'm now 31 weeks pregnant.

You see?

I have no choice.

The Third Trimester and I have never gotten along very well. Enter the heartburn, the backaches, the difficulty drawing a full breath, the elusiveness of general comfort in any shape or form, the swelling, the gawking and comments of strangers.

Case in point: I was helping in Ben's classroom the other day. On my way into the school I saw a teacher that I know and we were having a nice, friendly, non-offensive chat. Then another teacher (who I've never met) joined us and it went downhill something like this...

Other Teacher: (eyeing my belly) Wow! How much longer do you have??
Me: (big, polite smile) About two months.
OT: Two months??? You're kidding, you have two more months?
Me: (smaller polite smile) Yep.
OT: Are you having twins?
Me: No, just one.
OT: Are you sure? I can't imagine you having two more months, you're SO HUGE! How could you get any bigger? It must be twins, oh you poor thing... (continued rambling about the outlandish size of my gut)

She was a third grade teacher. I hope none of my kids ever get her.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Built-In Fun

So. Our neighborhood is very small, just two cul-de-sacs. (I love it this way.) Currently, there are only 7 houses. There is room for probably 10-13 more. There has been no construction whatsoever going on since July. Then just about a week ago a guy came with a bobcat and they've been working on the lot next door to ours about every other day. These photos are taken from our back yard (you can just see the corner of our house). The bad thing is hearing all the construction noise. The good thing is it's an ever-changing landscape of constant amusement for our kids (don't worry, they stay away from the one steep drop-off). Last Saturday Carter and Sydney came over to play after soccer games, and all the kids spent the entire afternoon playing Fort, War, House, and Hide and Seek. I hope our future neighbors are as much fun as their lot is.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Lydia x2

Singing "I Am a Child of God" on the way home from the beach:

Laughing a funny laugh as she and Josh watched the photos change on the digital frame:

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

4 and 4

Here's a fun photo tag, courtesy of Andrea.
Play along if you like taggy-bloggy games...

Go to your fourth photo file and post the fourth photo in that file.

For me that takes us to June of 2005. The fourth photo in that file was Ben on the beach:

He was three and half. I can't believe how young and positively chubby he looks (compared to his growth-spurting, bean-pole self these days). The beach was the Isle of Palms (where else?) and we were there with all of Scott's family.

Now that's a cute shot of Ben having fun, but I had to also post the third photo in my fourth file because it's one of my all time favorites:

This is the same vacation, a little less enthusiasm. Kay took this shot of Ben over breakfast one morning early in the week. He had gotten sunburned the day before and his cheeks got all puffy (almost hive-like), and they hurt and he was still a bit cranky from waking up and was simply not having a great day so far. And this was how he expressed that to his photojournaling grandma. He has always been a serious kid, but not usually quite so somber.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Mi Amiga

She's all I ever wanted in a cartoon. She's educational, she's bilingual, and she can keep Lydia in one spot for nearly half an hour.
I've been on the hunt for such an animated friend for some time. All I ask is to be able to take a shower in the morning without worrying about what Lydia might be climbing on, tearing up, pouring out, disassembling, or setting on fire. This need became more urgent when school started and my most trustworthy babysitters were no longer available in the morning. I mean, Josh does a pretty good job of keeping an eye on Lydia, but he's only four. He has his limits. One morning back in August, I left him in charge with Mickey Mouse on to help out. As soon as I was out of the shower I went robed and towel-headed to check on things and found Josh contentedly laying on the floor in front of the tv, and Lydia nowhere to be found.
"Josh, where's Lydia?"
"What? Uh... [scanning the bonus room] ...I don't know."
I tried Mickey. I tried the Uniqua and Pablo. I tried Max and Emme, Elmo, Max and Ruby, Curious George, Leo and Annie, and even Diego. But all of these fine choices in children's programing were just not cutting it. Lydia would sit and watch for five minutes or so, but no longer. (That's just long enough to give you a false sense of security.)
Finally, a couple of weeks ago, we gave Dora a shot and hit gold. I can shower (and shave) without worry or anxiety. Dora can hold down the fort from "D-d-d-d-dora" to "Thanks for helping!" No problem. Lydia is enamored the entire time and too busy shouting, "Backpack!" to consider all the potential forms of mischief. Gracias.
In honor of my favorite cartoon friend, enjoy this clip of my favorite comic buddy. The Dora bit doesn't start until about 7:30, but if you've got the whole 9 minutes to spare they would be well spent listening to his other antics as well.

Monday, October 6, 2008

More Scripture Totes

My favorite triplets, Connor, Tanner and Sydney just turned eight years old. And what did they get from the Cruzes? New scripture totes to go with their new scriptures their parents got them. Special thanks to my assistant Lydia for her help with this photo shoot.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Lydia is cute

Looking cute.
Pondering her own cuteness.

Coughing in the face of those who question her cuteness.

Accepting some cute wildflowers from Emma.

Showing off her cutest smile-for-the-camera cheese.

Thanks, Troy and Dan, for enhancing her cuteness with her new fall outfit.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Speaking of good food...

Check out my college bud Callie's new cooking blog, Moozoo Cooks. She is really amazing in the kitchen and not afraid of fancy stuff and is known to regularly feed huge numbers of people huge amounts of food. It's just her thing, she gets If you're like me, you'll learn a lot.

Kitchen + Messy = Tortillas!

I gave homemade tortillas a try this morning. I want to make breakfast burritos for dinner tonight but we were out of this one key ingredient. I could have just packed up the littlest kiddos and picked some up at the store, but sometimes that just seems like more trouble than it's worth. So I got all inspired to handle the situation pioneer-style. They weren't hard, but they were really messy (for me anyway, maybe better cooks don't get flour all over every single surface in their kitchens...but I do). They turned out a lot thicker than store-bought, but way tastier. I don't think I'll be making them on a regular basis, but it was better than a shopping trip for today. And it's nice to know I can.

Jenny's Good-Cookin' Homemade Flour Tortillas

4 C. flour
1 t. baking powder
1 1/2 t. salt
1/2 C. oil
1 1/2 C. warm water

Mix all ingredients and knead into dough. Roll into 12 balls. Let rise for 30 minutes. Roll flat with a rolling pin. Heat a skillet over medium high heat. Cook on both sides till speckled light brown.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

He's our bishop...

I've debated for a few days whether or not to do a post about this, but finally decided to go ahead. I don't want to make it a "look how special" kind of thing, but it's going to affect pretty much every part of our life so I decided it's worth mentioning.
Last Sunday Scott was called as the bishop of our ward. He's been the 2nd counselor to Bishop Clapp for the past five years, and the time finally came for a change. We are joyfully overwhelmed. We are full of many thoughts and feelings I don't really feel like spelling out on a blog, but we are happy.

Do you like monsters? Free monsters?

You know you do.

Cally is a well known sew-a-holic, now she can't seem to stop giving stuff away.

You have until Thursday to put your hat in the ring to win two monsters and a bag.