Saturday, February 28, 2009

hold the jalapeños

it's 8:30 in the morning and this is our house: antonio sleeping upstairs in his toddler bed. julia belén asleep in the swing downstairs. andres and i sleeping on the couches. cornflower asleep upstairs under our bed.

i couldn't have imagined a better way to end (start?) the week. it was a long one.

started off with both kids coming down with colds last sunday. julia belén has recovered pretty quickly, just a little bit of a stuffy nose. thank goodness for breastmilk. antonio's been slower to recover. he'd get better, then get worse. get better, then worse. and on monday he started running a low grade fever that lasted all week.

work is kicking my butt. even though it's only two and a half days, and a couple private patients, i am having trouble keeping up with the paperwork, the phone calls, the meetings, etc.

so come friday, one of my days off, i am wiped. frumpy fridays, i like to call them. we usually stay in our pjs pretty late and when i do shower i change into jeans and a t-shirt. no make-up. i don't dry my hair. lazy day.

decide mid-morning to take antonio the pediatrician. of course it has to be a frumpy friday, not looking my best. and at lunch antonio rubbed a plate full of ranch all over his head. i had to take antonio to the doctor and he smelled like a salad.

meanwhile, andres had taken the bus home at 12:30 to immediately turn around and drive back to the south of town to get tags transferred on the solara. we decided a long time ago to become a 1 car family and with the registration due in a couple weeks, we were running out of time. so andres is at carmax while i'm at the pediatrician.

antonio has an ear infection.

takes a lot longer to get the paperwork done on the solara than we thought. julia belén is getting hungry. don't tell us it's going to be 5 minutes to finish the paperwork when it's really 20. 15 minutes is a very significant amount of time when you have a nursling.

we have to stop at publix to get antonio's prescription filled. it's already 6:30. since it's getting late, we decide to get some spuds at mccalister's next to publix while the prescription is being filled. also gives me time to feed the baby.

it's friday in lent so no meat. we decide to get veggie chili spuds. didn't think twice about the jalapeños on top.

the rest of the night went relatively smoothly. we got through dinner and bedtime more or less on time. andres and i watched blood diamond while the baby slept. went to bed at about midnight. and then the fun started.

antonio woke up crying at about 4:45. he tried finding his way to our room but i think he got scared in the dark and just stood in our doorway crying. brought him to bed with us. the crying roused julia belén, who had just nursed about an hour ago. not really time for her to eat again. antonio was restless in our bed so andres went back to the nursery with him to see if he would fall asleep in his bed again. no such luck. even from our room, i could hear him chatting away.

it's now 6 in the morning. antonio's still awake. i can't convince julia belén to fall asleep without nursing again, so i give in. all of sudden, she starts gagging and then throws up EVERYWHERE. i mean, e.v.e.r.y.w.he.r.e. i am drenched, the sheets are soaked on both sides of the bed. there was no way we were getting back into that bed. apparently, the jalapeños did not agree with her. i call andres to come change the baby while i change. he takes julia belén downstairs, and i go back to antonio to rock him back to sleep.

he finally falls asleep. julia belén, not so much. i tried nursing her again. after all she did just throw up everything she ate. she's still up. so i tried just cuddling on the couch but she gets mad that i'm not moving. at this point i am too exhausted to walk around rocking her until she falls asleep so we bring the swing to the living room and see if she will fall asleep. works like a charm. it's like the padding is soaked in ether. andres and i finally lay back down to sleep on the couches if even for a couple more hours of sleep, forgetting that we left the dog upstairs. so that's how we ended up scattered about the house this morning.

i have never been so grateful for a rainy, better-to-stay-home-inside, saturday. because that's all we feel like doing.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

in defense of my food

recently, i was criticized for the food choices i make for my family.

we eat meat and dairy.

no, i don't buy grass-fed beef. no, i don't buy organic chicken. no, i don't buy a lot of organic in general. the fact is, that stuff is expensive. too expensive for our budget.

what i DO do is cook home-made meals from scratch, almost every day. i definitely think about it when i pass by the pre-packaged meals in the aisles of the grocery store. where labels advertise that they'll be ready in just 10 minutes. it's so tempting. they look good and they look easy. but they aren't. so i pass them by. instead i buy fresh meat (i have no qualms over feeding my family meat, organic or not), fresh veggies, fresh fruit and go from there. yes, sometimes it's a little more work. but it's healthier and also tastier, in my opinion.

yes, i have chicken nuggets, taquitos, frozen veggies, and hot dogs in my freezer. i am a working mom of 2, and sometimes life gets ahead of me and i need back up plans for those days. but by and large, i cook from scratch and i plan ahead to make sure all of us have well balanced meals, 3 times a day. i wouldn't call that eating crap.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Garden Blog

I have started a new blog that will serve as our garden journal. I am calling it the Stell Homestead. Enjoy.

Friday, February 06, 2009


my 20 month old is slithering out of his stroller and running away while i'm wearing a screaming 2 month old. and the kiosk vendor wants me to try some perfume?


Wednesday, February 04, 2009

despite our best efforts

last time we were at the pediatrician my kids were the grungy kids. the ones you look at and wonder geez, doesn't this woman bathe her children or even put clean clothes on them before they leave the house. and me, with my hair still wet, pulled back in a pony tail, jeans, a sweatshirt, and sneakers. no make-up, i'm lucky i remembered to brush my teeth. in my defense, the appointment was scheduled only an hour before i had to be there. and as i've learned, it takes twice as long to pack up 2 kids and get in the car than it does 1. so an hour is nothing.

but i digress.

we had julia belén's 2 month well visit today and i was determined to redeem myself. both kids were bathed last night. and i was very careful about what they wore today. julia belén in a a dress and tights and antonio with a dressy sweater and courdoroy pants. i put on a nicer sweater and put on make-up. we were lookin' good. but wouldn't you know that antonio found the cookie i had secretly packed in the diaper bag in case he got bored (and i got desperate). and sure enough, the doctor walks in when antonio is mid-cookie and his face and hands are completely covered in chocolate.

still the grungy kids after all.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Stell Homestead

This year is going to be the first year I attempt to grow a lot more food than the normal one or two tomato plants on top of the lemon tree and blueberry bush I have had for a few years already. I don't seem to be alone in this idea, there are many grass-root movements of people realizing that they miss the joy of gardening and growing their own food, and people who realize that it is much more sustainable eating local, and nothing is more local than your own garden. Some are doing it so they know exactly what goes into their food (or what does not go into the food). Some people see this as a means of insurance against the possibility of worse financial times, which is becoming a reality for many. To make things interesting, and to help promote the popularity of growing your own food, I have joined the Freedom Harvest Collective Growing Challenge. I'll let everyone know how it goes.

Monday, February 02, 2009


i have a love-hate relationship with couscous.
antonio loves it. but there lies the problem. do you know how hard it is to clean up couscous?