Sunday, April 25, 2010

Short Cut

I've been thinking about doing this for a while now. Ava has very fine hair and hates having it brushed. She also pulls out ponytails, bows, or anything else I put in her hair to keep it out of her face almost immediately. So, on Friday I took the plunge and took her to the salon.

It was really hard for me to watch, because her hair grows soooo slowly and it took so long to get as long as it was. But it's grown on me and now I think it's pretty cute.

This weekend, we went up to David's parents' house on the lake and Ava could not wait to go fishing. Despite the cold and rain, she convinced Grandpa to take her out. At first she tried throwing the worms directly into the lake, but she did end up catching a couple.

On the way up, we stopped so David could buy a fishing license and Ava and I waited in the car. After about 20 minutes, this is the conversation we had:
Me: What is taking him so long?
Ava: He should get his ask out here.
Me: That's not nice, we shouldn't say that.
Ava: You can say that.
Me: I can?
Ava: Yes, because you speak Spanish.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

The C-word

I had this mole that looked a little funny. In fact, it met all the ABCD requirements for "looks funny." But, like a lot of moms, I put worrying about myself on the back burner. I'm ashamed to say that years passed before I finally had it looked at by a dermatologist. When I went a few weeks ago she said she wanted to remove it "as soon as possible." So, last week I went in for out-patient surgery and 30 minutes and 10 external stitches (plus some internal) later my mole was on its way to the lab. To say I was worried about it is an understatment. But, good news, the doctor's office called yesterday and said it was perfectly normal (other than being funny looking).

Then, that same day, I learned that brain tumors had just been discovered in the 13-year-old brother of a friend. He underwent a 10-hour surgery yesterday to remove the tumors and determine if they are malignant.

The C-word is scary and I think all families have been affected by cancer in some way or another. The good news is we can do something about it. It's Relay season. I used to work for the America Cancer Society and I can attest to what a great organization it is and how carefully they spend donor dollars. So, whether you join a Relay team, make a donation, or just drop by the local Relay to show your support (and maybe buy some of the baked goods or auction items the teams sell to raise money) please considered getting involved.

One of my favorite programs that Relay helps support is Camp Catch-A-Rainbow. It is a camp just like any other, with the expection that it has doctors and nurses who volunteer their time to ensure that the campers get their needed cancer treatments. It's also for kids who have or have had cancer, which is great because those currently battling can see those who have come out on the other side. I was lucky enough to spend a few days at the camp years ago and, like a lot of things at ACS, it was both heartbreaking and uplifting. Kids as young as four with their cheeks swollen from chemo, but having a blast making craft projects or singing silly songs around the campfire.

That's all. Things are crazy at work right now, which is another reason posting has been light over here. I do have lots to share, so hopefully I'll get caught up over the weekend.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Recipe: Vegetable Chili

When it's cold outside, nothing hits the spot like a big bowl of chili. We're big chili eaters, even Ava who requests chili for dinner all the time. But I'm not a big meat lover, so I've been on the search for a chili recipe that uses less, leaner, or no meat.

Imagine my delight when a stop in at the local bookstore revealed their cafe was serving vegetarian chili. I ordered a bowl and loved everything about it on the first bite. It had a variety of beans, colorful vegetables, no meat!, but still retained that essential chilli flavor. I asked for the recipe, but sadly they wouldn't share so I decided to try to recreate my own.

I wasn't sure if this would turn out, so I only have one photo.

Be warned, this recipe makes a lot of chili so you may want to freeze some or invite over the neighbors.

2 TBS olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small can tomato paste
1 can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
1 can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can corn, drained
3 cups vegetable broth
1 28 oz. can stewed tomatoes
1/3 cup chili powder
4 tsps taco seasoning
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot, then add onion, peppers, and garlic. After about five minutes, add the vegetable broth, tomato paste, and beans. Stir well, then add the stewed tomatoes, corn, chili powder, taco seasoning, and crushed red pepper flakes. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and let it simmer until it gets all chilli-y (about 45 minutes). Add water if it starts to look dry. Enjoy!

I think next time I might roast my peppers before I add them to the chili for a deeper flavor.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Thank you Wee Wonderfuls!

A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to win a giveaway of snack bags from Wee Wonderfuls! When Hillary emailed me for our address, I asked her to send them under Ava's name and she was kind enough to oblige. She may only be three, but the kid LOVES getting mail. When the package arrived, she was so excited and so was I, look at how beautiful they are.
 Thank you so much, Hillary! We love them. As soon as she pulled them out of the package, Ava was filling each pouch with little treats and treasures. And she adores her special kitty.

Happy Easter!

We had a fabulous Easter!
 We spent a couple days with David's parents, grandparents, and brothers, then went a bit further up north to visit my grandmother. Ava could not have had more fun, she had a perma-grin all weekend. The baskets full of candy and gifts were the icing on the cake (notice in the photo she wouldn't even stop eating candy long enough to smile). She got a darbie in her basket, which she named Jessica Heightens and always refers to her with both names.

One of her favorite parts of visiting my Grandma is getting to see cousin Kory and her black lab Zoe. This is the dog that Ava tells everyone is her's. I tried to get a photo of Ava and Zoe together, but they were both moving too fast.

Hope you all had a wonderful Easter as well!