Thursday, July 31, 2008


Amelie has always been very articulate for her age. (This is according to her speech pathologist grandma. She'll admit that she's biased, but at least it is a professional bias.) But she still says some of the cutest things. She is only four, after all. I was sad when she stopped saying "lellow." I even heard her correcting another child on that one the other day. She still says "aminals" and she says "freeget" for "forget," which I think is super cute. She also uses "what" for "that" which we've incorporated into our "I Spy" games.
"I spy, with my little eye, something what is green."
Adore it.
That brings me to the most recent Amelieism. Having reintroduced Mr. Nebulizer to our family over the last couple of days, Amelie's being asking about Linus' "breathment retreats." Initially she was getting frustrated that she couldn't say "breathing treatment," but now we've just adopted her way of saying it and she seems pleased with that. Too bad it's not much of a retreat for Linus or the person giving him "the breathment retreat." For some reason, I don't think screaming one's head off and wriggling all over the place is usually considered a retreat. Then again, maybe it is for some.
So, do you use the cute things your children say or do you always correct them and only use what's proper? We use the cute things our kids say all of them time. Are we causing them harm? Will their teachers hate us?

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Meatball Head

is his daddy's favorite nickname for him. Sometimes, it's just plain meatball. Is it any wonder?
This is where Linus spent the majority of our zoo trip this past Saturday. In the back of the double stroller. That is except for when I did my super-fancy-nurse-him-while-standing-in-the-midst-of-a-big-crowd-looking-at-the-hippo move.
He wasn't in the stroller then. I never really saw the hippo.
Who knew what was brewing in his little body?
After a few days of a cough and such, my poor buddy started with a fever on Monday night and then wheezing yesterday morning. I brought him in to be seen yesterday and he was diagnosed with pneumonia. Fortunately, the doctor thinks we caught it just as it started. So hopefully, the antibiotic and our old friend, the nebulizer, will help keep that nasty pneumonia under wraps. Not such a happy 11-month birthday, Buddy.
The upside? I got to find out that Linus weighs 20lbs. 4 oz. Woopwoop! Know what that means? After he turns one,on August 29th, we'll legally be able to turn his car seat around! I've never been able to do that before so close to a first birthday before. Especially mine.
Hope all are well,

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Tagged A Gazillion Years Ago

Megan tagged me weeks ago and I figured that since I still owe her some cookies (and Melanie and Lynn and Sarah still needs her Hershey's Kisses), I'd show some bloggy kindness and honor her tag.

1) What was I doing 10 years ago?
Ten years ago, at this moment, I was nearing the end of my last summer at Pine Springs. I was there with Melanie and Heather among others. Duncan was at CCO staff training and we were dating. We saw each other several times, since he was in Pittsburgh and I was in Jennerstown (only about two hours apart--the closest the long distance portion of our relationship ever was!). We were still within our first year of our dating relationship and, after having told me that he loved me in May, he was starting to express some doubts. (Rip my heart out, will you?) Needless to say, it was a heart-wrenching summer and next whole year for that matter! Good thing he figured it all out!

2) What are 5 things on my to-do list for today?
-make eye doctor appointments for Amelie and me
-call psychiatrist's office about bill received in error (call me crazy, but I just KNOW I wrote a check at my visit!)
-sweep kitchen floor 50 times (or crunch on Cheerios, etc. every time I walk through the kitchen)
-call doctor about Linus or take him to the doctor if his fever persists

3) Snacks I enjoy:
-buttered toast with homemade strawberry jam
-tortilla chips
-anything chocolate
-veggies and dip
-pretty much anything that's got chocolate in it or on it or around it

4) Things I would do if I were a billionaire:
Buy a house that had lots of space for entertaining.
Set up education accounts for my children and nieces and nephews.
Use it to give to the various missions that God puts in my path.

5) Places I have lived:
Bowie, MD
Morgantown, WV
Jennerstown, PA
State College, PA
Bowie, MD (yep, live in my home town)

6) Jobs I have had:
day care worker
pool snack bar attendant
Peebles Department store
medical records clerk in Maryland State Prisons
events ticket-taker at WVU
Pine Springs-kitchen staff, counselor, program support coordinator
bagel shop
5-6 grade math teacher
Girl Scout field director
6-8 grade foreign language teacher
mom and homemaker

I did something similar once before. It was fun to compare my answers!

Oh, and if anyone feels like doing this? Consider yourself tagged!

Have a great day!

Monday, July 28, 2008

You Know It's Been A Good Day When... wake up and eat chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast (leftovers, but still). get told you're going to the zoo. go to the zoo. see lions and zebras and panda bears. come home and put on your ballerina costume. take it off and put on your Ariel costume. curl up in the glider rocker to peruse the American Girl catalog. fall asleep without planning to.

Mmmmmmm. Now that's a good day.
Amelie Muriel is my never-stopping-no-matter-how-tired-I-am-and-I-can-stay-up-really-late-because-I- don't-want-to-miss-anything girl. Consequently, she's usually asleep within seconds of closing her eyes at night. Since she gave up napping a little over a year ago, I think I am able to count on one hand how many times she's fallen asleep in the middle of something like this. So, when she crashed on Saturday afternoon, I just had to document it.
Happy Monday!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Houston, We Have Mobility

After months of slight anxiety that he would never crawl mixed with gratefulness to God that he wasn't moving yet, since it made life easier, Linus, at just under 11 months, has begun to show off his new mad skill.


On Monday morning, after what I like to call The Three Weeks of Craziness (two weeks of swimming lessons followed by a week of VBS chased by a whirlwind trip to our family reunion), I plopped him down on the floor and off he went.
Is he very fast? No, not yet. But he is a danger to himself in that he puts EVERYTHING in his mouth. I go through a mental check list, making sure all things dangerous are out of his reach, whenever I place him on the ground.

Doll shoes?
buttons for hiding?
hair thingies?
gross shoes that he might gnaw on?
You get the picture.
This week, I have been awakened to a new phase in life:
Three Mobile Children.
Scary! Pray for me, please.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

89th Annual Salada Family Reunion

As with every third Saturday in July for the last 90 years or so (they didn't hold reunions during some of the war years), Saladas and their kinfolk have been converging on the Brady Township Building in Luthersburg, PA. It's just outside of DuBois, PA, which is the Salada Homeland, as Duncan calls it. Duncan's grandfather, Maurice Victory Salada, was one of eight children that grew up in DuBois (pronounced Dew-Boys). Maurice and his siblings grew up attending the reunion and now their great grand children are enjoying the games, candy toss, cake walks and square dance. After not taking one single picture of VBS last week, I managed to get many short videos and photos of the reunion this past Saturday.

The Pre-School Version of Square Dancing

Cake Walking

Amelie's Slow Dance Solo--gotta love the swam-and-didn't-have-hair-combed-out curls.

Violet had the best time playing with the discarded raffle tickets.

Linus thinks everyone did a good job!

I'm so thankful to be a part of a family with such a cool tradition. Can anyone relate to this at all?

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


Have a great day!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Environmentally-Friendly Living

I've always been a tree-hugger of sorts. I was the earthy-crunchy-Birkenstock-wearing sort back in high school and college. I'm still there (that's where the whole cloth diaper thing came from), but my perspective is a bit different now. Back then, it was all about the environment and being kind to it. Now, it's all about God, His creation and God's mandate to His image-bearers to care for it. (Genesis 2) It's also about being good stewards with what we've been entrusted. That said, I just wanted to share some of what we've been doing in order to be good stewards of creation and our money.
1. Duncan has been biking to work twice a week. He is of a rare breed here in the greater Washington, D.C. area in that he lives and works in the same zip code. It is such a blessing. They have a locker room in his office building where he's able to shower and change once he gets there. I love that he's been doing this!
2. We didn't put on our air conditioner to leave it on (meaning we've had it on occasionally since the weather got really hot) until last Thursday. It was this day that it was 86 degrees in the house during the afternoon and a brisk 84 degrees after the kids went to bed. Duncan never wants to turn it on (stinkin' Northerner) and I've usually had my fill of hot and humid much earlier than this. Come to think of it, I've been pregnant 3 out of the last 5 summers! No wonder I was such a wimp! But I really grew to like having the windows open. I love to hear the birds and lawnmowers and goings on outside. I love how cool it gets overnight. We play outside far more when the air conditioner is off. But I am thankful that we have it (I know some of you don't!) and that we have the option to turn it on when things become unbearable.
3. We combine trips much more often and are quicker to forgo unnecessary ones. I would usually be out and about and all over the place with the kids this summer. But, I've tried to be content with being at home and making our fun there. Sure, we go to the pool and to Grandma's house. But I'm much slower to just go to the mall or to Target unless I have a particular need. Also, I try to park centrally when I'm at a shopping center and walk from store to store, rather than drive, even if the walk is longer than what I'd normally do.

How about you? Are you doing things differently this summer? I firmly believe that things have to change in this country. Public transportation has to get better. And we Americans need to become detached from our cars. How's that for my two cents?

Hope your week has started off well,

Saturday, July 05, 2008

So, What Did Your Husband Do Today?

Since I didn't get to post on Father's Day (we were traveling) or on our 8th anniversary (we were away), I've decided it's time to have a Brag on Duncan post. Since, he is, after all, the most wonderful man in the world.

Duncan and I recently had a conversation about how he would encourage Amelie and Violet to marry men that had lived on their own for at least a year. And, obviously, he would encourage Linus to live on his own before he got married. Based on Duncan's experience, he feels that it's important that a man gain some basic life skills, ie. cooking, before he begins to co-habitate with the woman of his dreams.
Duncan spent the first two years out of college working in Cleveland and living with his father and step-mother. Not exactly living on his own. We started dating during this time. About the time we started dating, Duncan decided to sign on for three years with the CCO. He was placed in a position working for Advent Associates in State College, PA. He spent half his time there and half of his time ministering to students at Penn State. He lived with a friend. On his own. For the first time ever.
Being that his budget was limited, one of his first purchases was Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything.
And friends, I am still reaping the benefits.
I'm not going to say that Duncan was completely inept in the kitchen when he moved in with Skelly, but Mr. Bittman taught him a lot.
To begin with, he learned how to make bread. In the early years of our marriage, Duncan made all of our bread. When the kiddos, came along, 1-2-3, not so much. But as I may have alluded to, since life under our roof is equalizing; with an almost one year old (!) and his big sisters, things are returning to "normal." In addition to our switch to most things organic, less processed food, etc., Duncan has awoken his inner baker. For several months, we've been eating only his bread. I'll fill in with the occasional bread machine loaf, but he's been baking up a storm since February or so. So good. This is the fruits of today's labor:

Alas, the Bittman book rests on our cookbook shelf. But not for long! I would say I refer to it at least weekly. While the attitude can be a bit snooty at times, I would say it's extremely helpful on everything from how to cook different meats to cooking beans. For example, did you know that you DO NOT need to soak dried beans over night in order to cook them? It won't hurt them, but it's not necessary. You do, however, need to add water several times while cooking them, so they don't get dried out and burn to the bottom of the pot. Thanks for the tip, Mark!

So there you go. My husband bakes bread, among all of his many other talents. He does dishes too. Eat your hearts out, ladies!