Thursday, December 27, 2007

Away in a manger

Kaya hogged the microphone!

Monday, December 24, 2007

I'm dreaming of a white Christmas

Man, talk about keeping me in suspence. 50% chance. So in other words, either it's gonna snow or it's not.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Bum scooter

Zoe has crawled now, a number of times. I don't think she realises she can do it though. And mostly she still just bum scoots.

Here's the bum scooter in action, shuffling along. You get to hear Kaya and Lana fighting in the background too.

Bye bye hair

I feel like I'm in mourning! I agreed to let Kaya have her hair cut. It's all gone! She's cute as a button with her new do, but I can't stop seeing all that gorgrous long hair lying splattered on the floor in the salon, every time I close my eyes!

Here's the before pic.

And here.... the after...

And here's a layout

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Festive cooking

My friend Stacy came over yesterday for some festive cooking. I accidentily ruined her second batch of chocolate rollo pretzels by having the oven up too high plus I spilled cookie crumbles in the oven which ended up setting off the smoke alarm! Otherwise it went well though!

I made candy cane chocolate cookies

Cranberry and white chocolate biscotti

Chocolate marble crunch

And Kaya and Lana had another go at gingerbread houses, this time from the comfort of our own home. I messed up the stuff at first and it wouldn't stick, but I had another go at it later and it worked out ok. Much more relaxing than the last experience anyway!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Heather's stocking

For those who don't already know, every year we put up a stocking for Heather, and fill it with messages from friends and family. The past couple of years we've had an automated thing on her website but this year we haven't been able to get that up and runing.

So if you'd like to show our angel that she's thought of and loved, please feel free to send an e-mail to me at

Anything from just your name, or just "Merry Christmas Peach" or a longer message, or prayer etc. We print them off and stick them in her stocking and it fills us with much warmth to see her remembered and thought of. And we appreciate it so much.

Gotta love toilet humour

My mum sent me the link to this wonderful festive game (do they eat sprouts at Christmas in America?)

check it out

Capitol M

"It's capitol M mum"
"That's what I said, capitol M"
"No, you said capitol Eb"

(my nose is blocked up)

Saturday, December 15, 2007

I hate

grocery shopping on an almost Christmas Saturday!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Poor Zoe :(

She's not been feeling good at all today. She was up just about all night, fever of 102. Not acting like herself. We weren't sure if we might take her into ER...she was just border line.

Anyway, here she was after her meal, when she's usually nice and alert. But with this cold/flu thing, she was just totally falling asleep. Poor wee sweetie pie.

New pics

I've uploaded some new pics to smugmug

Here's a selection

And Kaya took this one of Zoe and I (Lana didn't want any photos)

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Iced in

Rene's home today. His work called this morning and told him they were closed today, and that he should stay home and not drive.

We've been hit by the midwest winter storm, and the place is covered in ice. I've never seen anything like it. Our time in Maine, it was so cold it wasn't raining, just snowing, so the ice wasn't as bad. In Scotland it mostly just rained and didn't freeze up like this, cause it was warmer.

But this was wild. It was raining last night, and starting to melt the snow, then overnight all the rain froze, and then it snowed a little more on top of the rain. Making for extremely dangerous driving conditions! I don't think we'd have been able to get the car out of the drive if we tried. It's super super slippy out there. Many schools and business have been closed today. Not many cars on the road. It's quiet.

Our tree out front has a bunch of branches trailing the ground, because of the weight of the ice.

I think it looks so beautiful out there though. I love the icicles. Here are some pics.

This is the girls' scooter, burried under crunchy, slippy ice.

Thick ice on top of Kaya's bicycle seat

The icy car

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Gingerbread disaster

The local Children's Museum was doing a gingerbread house making workshop today, for $18 per house. I considered the fact that I could probably make houses for each of us for that amount of money, but I then decided it would be worth the extra money to have someone else clean up the mess afterwards and that it would be nice to do something as a family, away from home and distractions and the phone etc.

Boy was I wrong. Remind me, please next year, to stay completely away from the museum and to make our houses at home. What a bad experience it turned out to be.

Firstly, we got to our table and were shown a cardboard house, instead of a gingerbread one! There was no gingerbread in sight. I was very disappointed.

So we decided to go ahead and decorate our cardboard house with icing and candy labeled as "recycled - do not eat", in other words, it's probably been swept off the floor, some kid might have had it up their nostril before etc etc

Explaining to Lana that she can't eat it wasn't easy.

Nevertheless, let's get on and make our house.

Zoe started crying her eyes out and screaming the place down cause she was hungry.

So I sat and fed her. This lady at our table seemed rather put off at a baby being breastfed in the corner, and continued to throw dirty looks in my direction. I really thought she was about to get up and say something. It's not like anything was on display. Heck I'd have thought they'd be happy that there was no screaming baby anymore.

Lana decided not to bother with the whole not eating it thing.

And we quickly discovered that the red icing stains!

But we thought, what the heck, let's close our eyes and try to cope with the mess. We'll clean up the kids afterwards, lets just have fun and enjoy it.

Looking around us, every other kid was sitting quietly, having fun making pretty white houses with perfectly decorated patterns of candy. They all had perfect clean clothes on and not a spot of icing on them. Our section was completely covered with mess, our kids were wiggling and spilling and yelling and our wee house looked in a poor state of existence.

But then Kaya's controlling, perfectionist nature started to get the better of her. She became rather angry that Lana wanted to stick a lolly pop 2 inches to the right of where Kaya wanted Lana's lolly pop to go. And she proceeded to remove Lana's lolly and move it. We of course put it back and warned Kaya that she has to work as a team and let Lana make contributions to the project too.

She just picked up that lolly again and tried to put it back, which made Lana start crying. Kaya threw a bit of a fit and started chucking things around, fighting with my hands and slammed her messy red icing hands down on the leather jacket of the lady who had been staring at me breastfeeding earlier. Needless to say the lady didn't look pleased. Her jacket, thankfully, was fine. but the lady looked like she was about to start a fight with me.

I told Kaya she was done, and started to drag her, kicking and screaming out of this overcrowded little workshop. Which was no easy task. I was red and hot in the face, and I could sense, without looking up, that every eye in the place was on Kaya and I, while we made our way, inch by inch out of the room.

Then out in the hallway she screamed and cried as loud as she could and yelled in front of everyone that she hated her family and wished I wasn't her mother. She wished she could be adopted. Everyone there seemed to think this was fantastic entertainment, like watching sports or something. We were quite the stars of the show, Kaya and I. I sat her down and we had a long talk and she eventually calmed down and we left.

And I don't feel right now like I ever want to step foot in the place again.

Ah the joys of raising kids.

Signing in sentences

Sorry I haven't posted mush recently. Our Internet went out for a few days, then we were busy Christmas shopping past few days. Kaya and Lana are so fed up being dragged along to stores. They've started just sitting on the ground in protest in stores and refusing to move. I feel rather like doing the same....

Zoe is signing in little mini sentences recently.
She has done:
"bath - all done" when getting dried afterwards
"bye bye water" when the bath was draining
and "more eat" in her high chair.

She's so clever! I love her.

Here's a vid of Zoe being cute in a cat hat.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Happy Birthday Rene

Rene turned 29 yesterday.

We were going ot go to Omaha, make a day of it, do the water park thing etc, he was maybe going to go see RED in consert, but we're broke so instead we stayed home and watched Lost season 3 (first 3 episodes) from the boxset I bought him for his present. Which so far is awesome! We love lost. We held off watching season 3 cause I was desperate to watch the boxset instead, cause I can't handle waiting a week in between episodes.
I made him a chocolate truffle cake.

Which was yummy.

And we had frybread tacos. Lana and I didn't eat the meat, we had refried beans and salad and sour cream and salsa on ours.

Here's the Birthday boy with his little girl who's starting to look a lot like him. She sometimes looks like me. She's such a mix. I mostly see Ren and Kaya in her though.

And here's Zoe showing off one of her teeth. The other one is smaller and covered up. We've had our Christmas tree up for a few days now. I'm in the Christmas spirit. Although it is sad that I won't be going to mum's this year :( I'm a bit more homesick than usual, with the holidays coming in. But I'm still enjoying the whole festive thing.

Mmmm cake

I found a delicious recipe for a cake in a magazine I picked up at the goodwill store. I wanted to make this other spice cake but Kaya insited on this one and it was scrummy. Soooo unhealthy and nothing at all good for you in this.

Here's the recipe


2/3 cup shortening
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
2/3 cup water
1/3 cup dark brown suger
1/3 cup maple syrup
3/4 teaspoon baking soda


1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup water
1 egg, well beaten
3 tablespoon lemon juice


8 oz package cream cheese, softened
2 tbsp milk
3 tbsp confectioners sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

(see what I mean about how unhealthy it is!)

~Heat oven to 350 degrees farenheit

~ Grease 8 by 8 pan

~ Beat shortening and light brown sugar with electric mixer for 5 minutes

~Stir in flour and salt until mixture becomes nice and crumbly

~ Press half of the crumble mixture in the greased pan

~ in another own, mix water, dark brown sugar, maple syrup and baking soda until well blended

~ pour half over the crumble in pan

~ sprinkle half of remaining crumble on top

~pour rest of liquid mixture on top

~ sprinkle the rest of the crumble on top

~Bake for 35-40 mins

~Meanwhile make lemon sauce

~ mix all ingredients in saucepan

~ heat to boiling, stirring constantly, then cook for 1 minute

~Make cream cheese topping

~Mix all ingredients in a bowl with an electrical mixer until well blended and creamy


Serve the cake warm with hot lemon sauce and chilled cream cheese topping

Oh man it's so yummy. I think because the cake part is layered, it's so soft and let in your mouth and crumbly. Mmmmm

Thursday, November 29, 2007

A new tooth

Zoe has two teeth now. Both on the bottom at the front. So cute. I'm trying to get a pic but she won't show them off.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Going veggie

I guess Lana and I have officially gone vegetarian. I was reluctant to post incase it didn't stick but this has been a couple weeks now.

We were sitting eating chicken and Lana was saying it was yummy, then her face changed. And she asked if it was a baby chicken. We assured her it's not a baby one, it's probably an old male one. But she started crying and saying she wanted the chicken to be alive.

We explained to her that some people are vegatarians and don't eat animals. She said she wanted to do that too. I've always been sort of leaning that way too, so I've jumped in on it too. I figured it'll be healthy for us anyway, cut out some of the saturated fats.

Since then we've given her opertunity to eat meat but as soon as she realises its from an animal she refuses it. I think it shows some great free thinking for a 3 year old.

So far I'm making regular meals but using fake meat. I'd love some new vegitarian recipes though if anyone knows and good resources....

Rene and Kaya are still eating meat, so I'll still be cooking some sometimes.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Oh my gosh honey and greek yogurt

I've missed greek yogurt, particularly with honey mixed in, so much since moving to the USA. I looked loads of places and couldn't find it anywhere. But today I saw some in the health food store!

Cost over $5 for one tub of it, which is so darn expensive, but such a nice treat. I had some instead of supper tonight. Mmmmm delicious. So much better than regular (especially American) yogurt.

And ya know what's crappy? They don't do chocolate advent callendars here. What's up with that? I haven't seen any advent callendars here in fact, never mind choc ones. We tried making our own today but I wrecked them. We'll have to try again...

Back from Minnesota

Sorry I didn't update this for a few days after we got back. I just wanted to recover on Saturday then on Sunday we were all hit with some sort of tummy bug which thankfully is all better now.

We had fun at the family reunion. Sort of made me miss mum more than usual...I was a bit teary a couple of times.

It was snowy on thanksgiving which was nice. Helped us feel all festive.

Rene wore his kilt, which is really tight on him now! But he was his usual bouncy sociable self and everyone loved him.

My glasses broke and I had one lense out so I could see anything, my head hurt and I looked like I had one huge eye and one small one. Taking photos was more challenging too, with the eye situation...but I still got a few.

more here

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Thankful for snow!

It's snowing here today! Yeah! Here are some pics I just took.

We're about to leave soon to head for Minnesota, so I won't be posting here for a couple of days.

Kaya's thankful

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

IM conversation

I'm thankful today for cute daughters and instant messenger.

I was upstairs giving Zoe 3 baths in a row cause she pooped all over the place and kicked her feet in it and it was everywhere....meanwhile Kaya heard the noise of Rene logging into instant messenger and she started typing to him, sounding out the words the way she'd pronounce them.

It went like this:

Kaya: dad i lvyosomuts (Dad, I love you so much)
rene: I love you too
rene: very very much
Kaya: dad hayo atwrk (Dad, how are you at work?)
rene: yes - and Im missing you
Kaya: dad duseneuv yio bosis havene dotrs (Dad, does any of your bosses have any daughters?)
rene: I think they do
rene: one of my bosses has a daughter
Kaya: dad vudyosa (dad, would you ask)
Kaya: do you want me to ask about the daughters day?

Monday, November 19, 2007

New pics

Loads of new pics added to our smugmug online photo album Here are a few favs.