Monday, February 28, 2011

need new knobs

this is going to be a short post, cause i am tired, and cannot even pretend to be a conoisseur of home decor. but we are moving, hopefully this week, and my wonderful husband refinished some furniture we had bought at yard sales for our bedroom. we have a black bed, so we have the easy task of painting furniture black to match.

i didn't take any "before" pictures, cause this painting business happened so fast, but i am very pleased with the "after"! both nightstands were bought at different yard sales. i think one we got for $5 and the other like $8. i love yard sales! i bought a small can of 'flat black' paint for about $9, and chris transformed our plain, different-colored wood nightstands into beautifully painted black-kind-of-matching nightstands.

we also bought a dresser off of craigslist while we were living in the apartment almost a year ago. it was kind of black, but kind of not. it was pretty old and the knobs needed to be replaced. but this dresser has eight drawers, and each drawer has two knobs. that's sixteen knobs! and one of the nightstands has two knobs, and the other one has two handles. i wanted everything to match (knob-wise) so i looked for some pretty new ones. pretty knobs cost about $5 each. not-interesting-nor-pretty knobs cost about $1 each. that's a lot of money to spend on furniture that we practically stole.

so instead of getting new knobs, i got this:

a can of Valspar silver spray paint. perfectomundo! $4 for 18 matching knobs and 2 matching handles! that's a good deal.

so, if you are looking to make some ragtag furniture that doesn't match match- i would highly suggest a quick trip to your local Lowes or Home Depot with $15 in your pocket. a great investment!

(i am looking forward to one day posting a picture of my bedroom with all the furniture in it... again, hopefully this week.)

Friday, February 25, 2011

3 pairs of jeans later...

today was one of those days.

it was originally the day we were supposed to get keys for our house. shockingly= didn't happen. and when i say "shockingly", i don't mean it. buying a house in arizona is not for the faint-hearted. or for anyone in a rush. or for anyone who doesn't like it when things go wrong. cause things can and will go wrong.

chris and i were pretty upset/pissed/not-shocked/annoyed when we got a bunch of e-mails confirming we were not getting our keys today. i don't know who dropped the ball, i just know it wasn't our lovely realtor diana (my previous post about her did not jinx the deal!) anyhow, after some time, chris and i were able to see God's wisdom in it all. it's supposed to rain on sunday, the day we were planning to move. so now we won't run into that. we were supposed to have the appliances delivered, the house, and the carpets cleaned, the internet set up, and the cabinets were going to get a facelift too, all tomorrow. after a million phone calls to cancel all of the above, we see there is some benefit in spacing that all out next week, provided that we actually get keys next week...

chris went to the gym with our kids, and i was left at home with two napping little boys. i was so elated to be alone in a quiet house. i opened my journal and i had written down this verse the last time i journalled, and it was staring me right in the eye:
"Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, to God the Saviour, who alone is wise, be glory and majesty, dominion and power both now and forever. Amen." Jude 24-25You alone are wise God! thanks for the reminder. the daily reminder.

i only had about 10 minutes of peace and quiet before the boys started to wake up and the day continued to unravel. one of the boys dropped a pretty full bowl of apple sauce on the floor which a lot of that applesauce landed on my jeans and feet. i got thrown up/spit up on. so i changed again. and then topher tried to pee in the potty after his nap, but he didn't make it all the way so he peed on the bath rug, which is fine, but then the pee didn't all soak into the rug so when i picked it up a bunch of pee dripped onto me. so i changed again. and with every clothing change, i needed an attitude change again.

today was definitely one of those days. fortunately i am out of my jeans and into my pj pants. the house is quiet. the kids are sleeping. and i don't have put off packing until next week. i guess things aren't so bad afterall.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

i love my realtor

i am a relationship hoarder.

i love me some people! and my cup runneth over with incredible relationships. i have an amazing family. then i married into an amazing family. i have a great handful of friends pre-arizona. then in the last 5 years i have made some disgustingly incredible friends here in the desert. i have a high school small group that i am falling in love with more and more after every wednesday night meeting. and to top it all off- i have the best realtor in the world!

if you are looking for a realtor- i know a few of em. my sister still has her realtor license. my sister-in-law just got her realtor license and already has her first house closing right now. and then there is diana. our realtor. (for the record, she has been our realtor since before any of my sisters had their licenses.)

anyhoo, diana is a special lady. she is actually a friend of chris' mom's. she sold chris his first house. then she sold us our second house. and she has been patience incarnate with this buying of our new house. 11 months! yowsers. i don't know how many offers we put on houses. but it has to be in the 20s. she was always available to look at houses with us, sometimes with just me, sometimes with just chris, sometimes she even went and looked at houses without us. in fact, the house we are in the process of buying right now- she put an offer on it before chris and i even saw it! and we love it! way to know your clients!

in the last 11 months, she has hooked us up with using her timeshare so we could go to Cancun, she has looked at almost every foreclosed and short saled house in the east valley with us, she has allowed us to live in a rental home that she owns for the last 3 months, and to top it all off, today chris and i went to sign papers, and she came over to watch lily and topher. who does that?!?!? and not only did she come over to watch them- she brought them each a new toy. and she even brought one for hobey! even though i didn't leave him with her! we told her to sit and watch a movie with the kids. and of course signing our documents took a while (we were gone for over 2 hours!) so diana watched the movie, then went on a walk with the kids, and then we found them playing in the backyard. i almost hired her to be lily and topher's nanny.

so we are so excited to be FINALLY moving into our home sometime this week. it has been such an absurdly long process, but we are so thankful that through it we were able to get closer to, and experience the awesomeness of one of God's finer creations- diana k. if you want me to refer you to her, i can. she might not lend out her timeshare to you. but then again, she might.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

miyuk gook aka birthday soup

i got a new niece this week! yeah!!!!!! i will blog about the arrival of my sweet niece after my sister-in-law has a chance to blog about her daughter. but seeing as how she is now the mama of 3 little ones, i will give her a week, and if she hasn't blogged by thursday, i will go ahead and blog for her ;)

my quest to be more culturally legit continues as i did something REALLY korean this week. i made 'miyuk gook', which translates into seaweed soup, which koreans eat on their birthdays. they do this because post-partum mothers are made to consume a lot of this soup. seaweed is very high in iron, calcium, and protein, and so it is thought to be a great way for new mothers to replenish their blood stores. so since mothers eat this when they have babies, those babies celebrate their birth by eating this soup on their birthdays. so i made this soup for my sister-in-law lindsay, in honor of her having given birth on thursday.

the soup is relatively easy to make. though i still managed to mess it up a bit.
i am 30 years old and i have never attempted to make this soup before. my mom's 'recipe' is awesome. i could eat her version of this soup till i am blue in the face. jeehon also makes a great miyuk gook. mine was greasier than it should have been. oopsie. but i know the errors of my ways, so whoever has a baby next will have a less-greasy version of what lindsay and robert ate tonight. (robert texted that he had some too as he wanted to "heal his uterus too".)

here is the general recipe:
-some water
-some kind of meat on bone, or beef soup stock
-sesame oil
-soy sauce
-dried seaweed
-salt, pepper, garlic salt to taste

so i put the dried seaweed in a bowl so it could be not-dry. let it sit for about 20-30 minutes.
this is what dried seaweed looks like when it sits in water for a while:

this is what dried seaweed looks like:

this is what dried seaweed looks like in the bag:

then i started a big pot with some water in it with the beef. i put some salt,
pepper, and crushed garlic into the water and let it boil. like crazy. as the beef is boiling, gross stuff will float to the top of the water that looks like white and brown froth. that's fat from the meat. you're supposed to skim that off the top and throw it out. in the sink. i did this. but not enough. thus the greasiness. my bad. so get all that junk off the top. add the seaweed, and some drops of sesame oil and soy sauce and let it keep cooking. add more seasoning as you feel led to do so.

serve with rice.

eat and listen to your body, especially your uterus, thank you.

this may not be something that everyone enjoys, but i am so delighted that i married into this watson clan that is very accepting of my experiments with korean cooking!

congrats to robert and lindsay for having survived my first attempts with miyuk gook, and for having created this piece of squishy beautiful awesomeness:

(what? like i was going to blog about the fact that emma was born and only have pictures of seaweed and NOT add a single picture of her?)

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

the waiting game

we are in a state of waiting. lots of waiting.

the last two weeks or so in arizona have been far too hot for my liking. i'm not trying to brag to those who are reading from wintery climates. i like winter! i kinda like the cold. some cold. we haven't had any coldness. it's been in the high 70s (20 celsius). but apparently there will be rain this week, and with that some coolness. here's waiting for the cool...

we have a house! we just can't move into it yet. we were supposed to close on it last friday, and i was SO EXCITED to post this week from that house. but alas. not happening just yet. fortunately we aren't moving yet because the sellers are doing some repairs and putting in appliances. hopefully next week i will have some superduper great news on the housefront. but for now, we wait...

we are trying for another baby. we haven't tried to get pregnant since 2006. actually febraury 2006 is when we started trying for lily. (and we haven't tried again since!) that was five years ago. yowsers. i forgot how annoying it is to wait for this. and what's worse is, my no-more-birth-control-pills pms symptoms are a lot like pregnancy symptoms- severe narcolepsy, cramps, and emotional stupidity/anger. poor me. and poor chris watson... i've thought for certain that i was pregnant every month since i got off the pill in december. but my heart has been breaking all the more for a dear friend of mine who has been trying to get pregnant for the last two years. ah the disappointment when Aunt Flow comes for her monthly visit! if you think about it- please pray for my beautiful friend G as she continues to wait.

and right now i am waiting for my kids to fall asleep for their naps. i don't blog when my kids are supposed to be awake. but they aren't supposed to be awake right now. but they are laying on the floor, in opposite corners of the living room, cause lily locked the door to their room and i can not open it. i all the other rooms have sleeping kids in them, so no blankets or pillows for my kids. the carpet and the hair on their heads will have to do for today.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

sweet girl

this is classic lily.

hanging out. looking off into the distance, pondering. i often catch glimpses of her in my rearview mirror when i'm driving and she is just looking out the window, oblivious to the fact that i am staring at her. probably cause she thinks i have my eyes on the road. which i should.

on sunday, when topher and i hit a wall, lily brought my boiling point back to a good, normal temperature. the tension, the tantrums, were not getting to her. she told me that i was a 'good girl' and gave me the sweetest kisses on the cheek all day. truly a cherub sent from the Lord! thank you Jesus for my Lily. thank you so much for my mouth-breather son too. i love him so much too. he has definitely been pushing my buttons lately, but i guess it's his turn. lily had her turn last year. or was it the year before? or both?... :)

lily still loves singing and it's been a very long time since i have posted a video of her showing off her 'instrument' (apparently real musicians call good voices 'instruments'. i'm no real musician. but i like to pose as one.)

the kids have been watching 'The Sound of Music' with chris a lot. it has replaced 'Despicable Me' (because we had to give that back to the person who lent it to us). both classics. here is lily singing 'Do a deer'. she knows the first few lines and then makes up the rest. enjoy!

i don't know why my kids hate clothes- but they do. just a warning. we have enough money for clothes. you just can't tell from my videos.

Monday, February 7, 2011

bad superbowl sunday

yesterday was a terrible for me. and for toph. and everyone on the pittsburg steelers. the first two things are not related to the third thing, but they are absolutely related to each other.

maybe that's not entirely true. i woke up with pink eye. yeah. you were right jenny- this house is a hotbed for conjunctivitis! so i spent all morning washing every single blanket, sheet, and pillow case in the house. that's a lot of blankets, especially considering the fact that the kids each have three blankies. i disinfected surfaces. i cleaned and cleaned. it was not fun. and then topher happened.

i don't exactly know why or how. but he had a tantrum of epic proportions. he cried. he screamed. he pouted. he got spankings. he cried more. he wanted to eat lunch. he didn't want to eat lunch. he wanted ice cream. and chocolate. he screamed when denied. and then he peed. on the floor. on a book. and on two blankets. oh. more laundry. disaster.

he finally calmed down enough to eat his lunch. then he wanted dessert. ice cream. and chocolate. i remained firm and said no. his behavior today warranted no treats. possibly for the rest of his life. so he cried again. and screamed. i was resolute. but i did shed some tears of frustration as well. oh this strong-willed child! over an hour had passed.

i finally lured the crazy child to bed with the promise of a family nap. he really needed a nap. at this point i was feeling as cranky and exhausted as he was. so we slept. oh sweet glorious sleep! and when we woke up- we were new people! and chris had just gotten home from work. so wonderful.

it was like a new day had emerged like a phoenix out of the ashes. we had a mini-superbowl party. chris was a champ and decided to stay with me and my pinkeye instead of giong to his dad's house, even though there were actual football fans there, and much much better food. we had a great evening. it was quiet. it was lovely. and ice cream was eventually consumed.

one of my favorite things to do is to watch topher eat. he is a mouth-breather. he breaths. out of his mouth. very very audibly. it's pretty hilarious, though sue sylvester uses 'mouth-breather' as an insult on 'glee'. here's a short video of topher breathing and eating his ice cream. even though we had a terrible beginning and middle of the day, it all ended well. very well. and it's all about how you end.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

xin nian kuai le!

happy chinese new year! well, it's lunar new year, but i got this book called: "Happy Chinese New Year, Kai-lan!" and that's what they say in the book. i don't know how to pronounce it. i don't know which words mean what. mostly cause i'm not chinese. which may or may not come as a surprise to some people. anyhoo, one of my new year's resolutions was to celebrate korean and canadian holidays with my kids, so that's kind of what we did today.

our festivities actually started after hobey left at 5. i probably could have done some lunar new year craft or something today, but i didn't think far enough in advance to do that. maybe next year we will make some paper lanterns or something. after hobey got picked up, i was pretty tired and not in the mood for celebrating much of anything, but i was even more not in the mood for making dinner, so the kids and i got in the car and started driving. i was going to go to Mekong Plaza, a make-shift chinatown in Mesa. but i didn't actually feel like eating chinese food. i felt like eating sushi. so we went to Ra, a sushi restaurant that has an awesome happy hour. and it made me happy. the kids also did really really well eating their chicken skewers and edamame. the kids likened their chicken on a stick to 'ice cream' (they meant popsicles), lollipops, and marshmallows on a twig. this made for some serious chicken eating. i am going to have to remember to have more sticks on hand when i am making chicken.

then we walked over to barnes and noble to read some books about the lunar new year. only i couldn't find any. they didn't have a display of books, which i thought they would have. nothing. so i tracked someone down and asked them and they said they had a display but that they took it down yesterday. i don't know why they took the display down the day before the actual day they were trying to commemorate. whatev. so by this time the kids, and i, were antsy, and we needed to get home to sleep. so instead of talking about lunar new year with my kids for free, i ended up buying a book (ah! that must be why they put the display away. well played barnes and noble. well played. enjoy my $6.)

so, we got home, got ready for bed, and read our new book. the kids really loved it. we learned that red is a happy color, according to the chinese, and that's why they hang red lanterns, banners, and wear red clothes on this special holiday. super. they didn't talk about the phases of the moon or anything like that. and actually all the books at barnes and noble were about chinese people celebrating the lunar new year, as if other asians don't. again- whatev. here are lily and topher holding up their new book:

but i am very proud of the fact that i made an effort (albeit a small one) to show my kids a little extra culture. even though there was nothing korean about our celebration in the midst of japanese food and chinese books. there's always next year- come January 23rd, i will be ready!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

one chicken. three meals.

mondays are busy days in the watson house. i go to work, and chris stays home with the kids. it's awesome. but monday nights we have our small group bible study which means once i get home, things are moving at a frantic pace. dinner needs to be made, eaten, dishes thrown in the general vicinity of the sink (yeah for plastic plates) and then we are out the door again.

i managed to run to costco really quickly between work and going home, and i grabbed a rotisserie chicken, among other things. so that was our dinner. already cooked chicken. perfect. paired with alread-made mashed potatoes, it was a perfect and cheap and quick meal (less than $10. although if i had gotten a bag of spinach, throwing some of that chicken on some spinach with some ranch dressing is another perfect-cheap-quick meal that i love).

we had a lot of leftovers cause chris had a late lunch. which was perfect. so today i took a bunch of meat off the carcass and put it into tupperware for future sandwiches- either straight up(that's what's in the tupperware on the left side of the pic.) or in the form of chicken salad (which means i will just chop the chicken, add some mayo, salt, pepper, and maybe some diced apples.)

then i boiled the carcass down in a pot with about two cups of water, some minced garlic, some garlic salt (i heart garlic), and some salt and pepper. there was still some skin on the chicken which added another layer of wonderful flavor, and after about twenty minutes or so, i had the best tasting chicken broth in the world. (did i over-sell that? it's pictured in the tupperware on the right side of the pic.) i have some carrots and leftover noodles in the fridge. i will probably boil that in the broth to make some yummy soup. wish i had more leftover vegetables in the fridge...

so, there you have it. one rotisserie chicken- three meals. one dinner, two lunches. all for $5. thank you costco. thank you.