Sunday, May 24, 2009

What to do in Boise, ID

Last Saturday we went to the Ann Morrison Park. I have to give the parks in down town Boise some serious credit. They are pretty impressive. I love going to them... perhaps it's because in many ways they remind me of home. I can't get enough of all the trees and green grass.... well green for Idaho.

Since my camera had very little batteries left I wasn't able to take many pictures while we were there, so some of these are from the internet. Sorry. You get the point though....

Besides having extremely beautiful recreational areas they also have something to do for every age. We decided that the Ann Morrison Park would be nice to take Quincy to since he's a little bigger and is better understanding how to play on the playground equipment.

See this picture of the playground equipment? This playground was set up in different parts for different ages. The part closest to us is for toddlers, then the next is for ages 3-8 and the part furthest from us is the 'big kid' playground for ages 10 and up.

We tried to talk Quincy into some of the younger more friendly playground parts for his age... see how Tyler's trying to convince him how FUN these rocking horses are?

I love this next picture because you can clearly tell Quincy isn't buying into it. He was way more interested in watching this other kid, who by the way happened to have 'car shoes' just like his.

Finally we just stuck him on the toys to see if he would like it.... he rocked a little bit and then nervously said "All done" which for those of you who don't know, is his catch all phrase for when he doesn't like something.

He did, however, like these toys. I have to say, my son is quite the smarty pants... despite not being quite 2 yet he know practically EVERY letter in the alphabet and is quickly learning his numbers.

He proudly pointed to that number three on top and said "eight"... to which I replied with a smile "almost". He still gets the 3's and 8's confused, after all they look pretty similar. Not bad for only being 21 months old!

After playing with the turning numbers for a while he had had enough fun in the toddler play section and decided to move on to bigger and better things.....

He moved right on to the biggest, most terrifying part of the playground....................

..................................................................the moving bridge.

I know I shouldn't have laughed, but seriously I couldn't help it. Probably like that time that I accidentally got one of those wind up cars stuck in my long hair and came in panic crying to my parents to get it out.... you know what they did? Laughed... and then took a picture.


Well, the tables have turned, now it's my turn to laugh and take a picture.

Quincy stood frozen at this very spot watching all the bigger kids run freely over this moving bridge. I swear he couldn't move. You could tell he wanted to be brave like all the big kids, but wasn't able to muster up the courage to actually make a move.

We kept trying to motivate him by reassuring him that it was okay. All we got was one foot on the bridge before he quickly decided that it wasn't worth the risk.

Despite being a little traumatized from the moving bridge he wasn't about to slow down or stop his fun. He transitioned like a pro into full playground mode playing king of the playground...

Exploring tunnels.....

Climbing stairs....

And running up and down ramps before we told him we needed to go. He wasn't happy about it, but we told him we needed to go get some lunch.

Tyler and I decided to share a foot long from Subway....

We knew Quincy wouldn't eat the sandwhich, of course, it was too healthy. So we decided to get him a burger from this mom and pop fast food joint:

Fanci freeze

Quincy's lunch cost us a mere .79 cents. What a steal. I love Fanci Freeze. When Tyler and I were first married we used to get their Boston Shakes.... Tyler loves their Scotch and Soda's. If you're ever in the north end of Boise go down State street and try this place out. They have really cheap prices also.

After we all had something to eat we took our lunches to Camel's Back Park in the North End. It's a pretty park. There are always lots of people, dogs, parties, tennis matches, biciclists, and other North End people to watch.

It was such a nice day to spend together as a family.

The end.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Minor Chaos in the Howard Home


I've been getting some nasty emails and phone calls and text messages and blog comments from a certain nameless people, who tell me I need to post some more recent things.

I know, I have the usual excuses like: I've been busy working, or our camera's batteries died (which they have once again... I keep telling myself that those rechargeable batteries have just a little juice left in them still), or our wonderful free internet isn't working etc.

However, my excuse this time.... is that I can't find our camera. I've recently come down with a cold (which by the way sucks! -- pardon my "french" --I hate getting sick. I'm overall a pretty healthy person and it's rare I actually do get sick... and seeing as how I managed to escape the grasp of sickness this winter I suppose it was only fair I got sick at the the start of summer) and so I've been a little forgetful about where things have been. This is probably due to the fact that it feels as if my head is the size of Alaska!

I have looked in the three most obvious places... and haven't found it yet. I'm trying not to panic and to logically and calmly retrace my steps.... but have so far not found the necessary energy to do much more.

So this special post is for those nameless nasty's out there to say a prayer that I'll find our camera... and then I can post your beloved pictures. :o)

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Euphorbia Myrsinites

Well..... I did some research about that mystery succulent plant in my garden and here is what I found out:
* Euphorbia myrsinites * Perfect for sunny rock gardens, banks, or along a driveway, commonly referred to as Donkey tail Spurge or Myrtle Spurge, (Zones 5 to 8). * Has long trailing stems covered with blue-green leaves that look like miniature eucalyptus branches. * Bright yellow flowers bloom at the tips of the stems as early as February. * The plant is only about six inches tall but spreads a foot or more in width. *(A note of caution, however: Euphorbia myrsinites is listed by the USDA as a noxious weed in the state of Colorado.) * May cause irritation to the skin, avoid contact with the plant's milky sap, as it is poisonous.

As if all of this information wasn't educational enough I stumbled across this enlightening website which gave the following information:
Post-mortem examination of people killed by Euphorbia latex has revealed severe inflammation of the walls of the stomach and intestine and in some cases the wall of the stomach has been perforated. The poison is called euphorbon about which little is known.

There is no doubt about it. Many plants in the family Euphorbiaceae are dangerous if you handle them carelessly. In some cases, just one drop of latex on your skin can cause a rash the severity of which depends on how each individual reacts to it. If the white, milky latex touches a cut or sore or squirts into your eyes, you are courting trouble of major proportions.

The name Euphorbia is considered by many in South Africa as synonymous with poison.

While reading the following story below... I was immediately reminded of my situation:

Every spring when I repotted my plants, I had a very painful mess of tiny, hard bumps on my hands. They were not red and not blisters but so painful it felt like a hundred little razor blades were stuck in my skin. These hurt for a week or more and then disappeared as quickly as they had appeared. Last spring I repotted only my Euphorbias and that's how I became aware they were the source of my problem. Whether one specific plant was responsible I don't know. And I don't plan to experiment further!

This experience prompted me to look for information on reactions to Euphorbia latex. The following awesome stories and other tidbits of information will, I hope, alert everyone to the real dangers of handling these plants without taking proper precautions.

Many Euphorbias are used for medicinal and other good uses. But I found it interesting that a plant can be both helpful and toxic at the same time. Although my particular species of Euphorbia isn't as poisonous as some of the others, I will not be letting Quincy get too close to it.

Hopefully you all have learned to not make the mistake I did.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

A moment in the life of Quincy

These kind of moments are the ones that make life worth while as a mother. Seeing my little boy and his Daddy sitting together and smiling.

The 'terrible twos' in the works....

I never thought as a mom, or parent, that I would succumb to having to buy my child something to shut him up................................... BUT with that being said I ALSO never thought I would let my kid have snot running down his face, let him out of the house in clothes that weren't 'presentable', eat from his messy plate, give him his binky off the dirty floor, give him any sugary foods, not mind that he's licking the shopping cart, or let him continue his love affair with the binky after the age of one..................these were all resolutions that were compromised one way or another along the way.

Who really defines the characteristics of Super Mom? And who says I have to be Super Mom all of the time? I mean, there are just sometimes when I prefer to be Average Mom, don't you? Who came up with all those "rules" of parenting? Were they all mothers of a 2 year old in a shopping cart screaming bloody murder? I don't think so.

Quincy for the most part is really a great child. With that said, he does have his "moments". Monday in the D.I. was one of them (in his defense it was well past his nap time and we were out shopping). He was tired and so I handed him 2 toy cars to try and prolong the crying, whining, and melt downs that were inevitable. He was happy holding the cars and playing with them in his stroller until check out time. We had decided to buy the outside table, but had no intentions of getting those toy cars. Quincy seemed to disagree with this decision and made it clear by screaming at the top of his lungs, after which Tyler and I simply looked at each other and decided that .75 cents worth of toys was worth the silence and happiness of our child.

Note: we do not have intentions of making this a habit. I am definitely placing limits on this one. I do not want to raise a child who thinks it's acceptable to cry for toys and gets his way. I think Quincy will learn that concept one way or another. For the most part I think the melt down was due to tiredness and not to the actual wanting of the toys.And yet I'm sure this will be another one of my resolutions that will have a few compromises in the future.

However, he has since then been very excited about his new cars.

The good news.... the bad news....

The good news....................

Monday the weather was nice and so we decided to go for a walk. (I should mention that our jogger stroller is up and running thanks to the new "thorn proof" tires from Portland, OR.) For a while now I've been looking for an outdoor table to sit between our patio chairs. Something decent looking that we can use to put our cold drinks onto during those hot summer nights.

We headed over to the Deseret Industries and found this table for $3.00. I figured that for three bucks we could give it a coat of paint and it would be the perfect size and shape to sit between our chairs. It also has some shelves on the inside of it, which will be perfect for holding our garden tools. After purchasing the table we gave it a new coat of paint and voila`!
Presto! A new table. Since the paint has dried I will be looking to pot up some flowers to put on it. I think all in all, we're getting a nice little outdoor 'living area'. I can't wait for everything to fill out in our garden.

While working this weekend I bought some marigolds, yellow and green bell peppers, cubanelle peppers, and two small cherry tomato plants. I can't wait until we get to eat everything! I think the marigolds add some nice color to the garden. I also planted some nasturtium seeds between the marigolds, which will all hopefully fill out into a nice border.

Okay, and as for the bad news.............

See those two mounds of succulent plants that in a circle shape in the above picture. Well they didn't used to be two separate mounds.... they were once a huge ONE mound.
(Note: the huge mound as pictured above. Pretty spring flowers don't you think?)

I'm not sure what the plant is called because it was there before we moved it. It requires little or NO maintenance all year long and I have since had no complaints about it.... until now...... I cut it way back to make room for all our pepper plants (and because it was taking over the garden) and THIS is what happened.

I woke up the next morning to find my arms covered in tiny blisters and a severe rash.

(The pictures don't really do the real damage justice.)

I knew the sap form the plant causes a sticky, milky stain on our cement sidewalk, which is why I wore gloves. What I didn't realize is that it must be poisonous to some extent. I have yet to figure out what it is, but have since noted that I won't be rubbing my arms in its milky sap anymore, nor will I be letting Quincy get near it. The blisters and rash hurt and when I touch anything on them I am in pain. Since the incident they have slowly been reducing down to a lesser quantity. I have been covering them in hydrocortisone cream, which seems to help.

Does anyone know what this plant is called? I have seen it covering hillsides here in Idaho, and I know it must grow native in Idaho, but I'm not sure about the name. I will be doing my research and let you know my findings, that you all may be educated on it as well.

Wish my poor arms luck, and know that despite being wounded from my little garden, I have hope for it beauty these next coming months.

My Silly Boy...

Can you believe that TYLER actually dressed Quincy in this outfit? I think he looked hilarious. Quincy never ceases to make me smile (he gets this from his dad), despite his occasional bad behavior every once in a while, who could resist laughing at his little boy?

Such a ham, always posing it up for the camera and looking for a laugh.

I also love that he has a passion for reading (this is something I take credit for, as Tyler's not much of an avid reader). I just can't help but beam when I walk into his quiet room to find him doing this.

He just enjoys sitting there quietly "reading" or looking at the pictures.

Our little boy is so smart, and he's growing up so fast! I love him more than anything.

My Mother's Day

I am very proud to be a Mother, it has truly been one of the most rewarding and challenging experiences I've ever had. Unfortunately we have church at 9:00AM, so no breakfast in bed for me. Tyler's not much of an early riser.... he did however, make me a big breakfast for lunch after which I was able to take a 2 hour nap! I can't even remember the last time I slept that long during the day.

Church was nice... the speakers gave some beautiful talks, mostly geared toward Mother's, of course. Quincy gave me a wonderful Mother's Day present by attending all of Nursery without ANY breakdowns. Yea! He was a perfect little angel, and when I arrived to pick him up at the end of Nursery he was quite preoccupied with blowing bubbles; He hardly even noticed me, and despite that he could care less that his mom was there to pick him up, I couldn't have been happier.

He also made a pretty flower from his hand prints which had a small Hershey's Kiss in the center. It was really cute. Sorry the picture isn't very good quality.

In church they also handed out some king size Hershey's candy bars.

Because I worked at the shop this weekend I was able to take home some over bloomed roses. This is one of the few small perks that I get as a floral designer. I love having fresh flowers in the house, it's even better when they're free.
For dinner Tyler made some really delicious 'Lasagna Toss'... it was a new recipe we tired out and I think it won't be the last time we have it. Even better than dinner was free dessert at TCBY. Here in Boise every year they offer a free treat to the Mother's on Mother's Day. I got Butter Pecan Ice cream in a waffle cone on Saturday and White Chocolate Mousse on Sunday (since it's free, we didn't spend any money). I am so thankful for Mother's, and I'm thankful for a wonderful son and loving husband.

Thanks for a great Mother's Day guys!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Te Amo Mae

What a wonderful holiday Mother's day is.... a celebration and day of tribute to those who have so graciously given us the very gift of life. My very own Mother has inspired me in almost every way. I know there were countless times that she sacrificed for me, lifted me up or consoled me, cheered me on from a distance or from my side, taught me things which only I would be able to pass on to my own children. My Mom prepared me for Motherhood.... in her own way. I am in awe of my Mom who continued to press on when I was ungrateful. I am in awe that she didn't ever give up on me. I am in awe that despite the way she must have felt, when I wasn't the nicest, she still loved me. I am grateful that she understood the divine plan of salvation and took on one of the most important roles she could ever have.... being our Mother.

I know it wasn't always easy being my Mom... I know that there were probably times when it was hard to appreciate the sanctity of Motherhood while spending countless hours making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, watching cartoons, helping create elaborate science fair projects, writing research papers, or enforcing late night curfews. Indeed my Mom faced many mundane tasks and yet revealed to us kids nothing but enthusiasm and joy.

There is no mother just like mine... she is unique.................. I wanted to write down all the things that make my mom special, but I couldn't pick name just one. I decided to pull out 'just a few' of things that my mom is... unconditionally loving
... is competitive, she hates to loose when playing games
... is very thrifty/ frugal, and has passed this trait on to me
... is creative, she can make something out of nothing
... is good at apologizing, I have learned to do this well from her example
... is trustworthy, I know she will never break my confidence
... is diligent, she does the best at whatever she's doing
... is committed to doing what a mother does best
... is extremely hard working, she taught us kids the real meaning of "work"
... is a good 'cheerleader', she was always there to cheer us on through good and bad times
... is supportive, no matter what we wanted to do, she told us we could
... is smart beyond her years, I always find myself asking her things
... is amazing
... is a great baker, another trait I've picked up from her
... is a wonderful homemaker
... is very spiritual
... is faithful, she had counseled me in times of trial to have faith when I thought I couldn't
... is brave, she helped me through difficult times of sickness and heartache
... is extremely kind, despite the fact that I wasn't ALWAYS kind to her
... is compassionate, she constantly showed us how to serve
... is a great comforter, she always knows how to make me feel better
... is respectful
... is responsible
... is adventurous, she encouraged us to do new things, and not worry about what others think
... is diplomatic, she was always breaking up fights and making sure everything was 'fair'
... is funny, she knows the power of laughter
... is tenderhearted, she taught us to recognize the spirit
... is resourceful, she enforced the skill of using what you have and making the most out of it
... is athletic
... is VERY musically talented, she taught me to pursue my musical talents also
... is a dedicated mother and wife
... is a great listener
... is a good story teller
... is descriptive when she talks, another trait I've picked up from her
... is an example
... is lovely and beautiful
... is a nurse, she taught us good hygiene and fixed us when we were hurt
... is a good organizer
... is a leader, and taught how to lead others righteously
... is a teacher, she showed me how to clean properly
... is a follower of Christ, she taught me to forgive
... is a psychologist, she showed me how to express my feelings
... is taught me to tie my shoes
... is a life coach, she taught me to never give up
... is patient
... is an example of what a good mother should be like, I'm constantly learning from her
... is simplistic and knows how to find beauty in everything
... is caring
... is selfless, she did so much for us without being asked
... is available, she was always there when I needed her

....My mom is one in a million and I'm so thankful to call her mine!

Happy Mother's Day Mom! I love you, wish I could be there in person to tell you.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Happy Anniversary!

Wednesday May 6, 2009 was our 3 year Wedding Anniversary. Although it's not one of those "special" year anniversaries... we had fun none the less.

Unfortunately, Tyler had to work most of the day, but when he got home I made some yummy Chicken Parmesan Bundles and a tossed Green salad for dinner.
We later were able to have some delicious dessert at the Cheesecake Factory.

I have to admit, $7.00 for a slice of cheesecake is a little steep.... but they were to die for. I swear we stood at the cheesecake display case drooling until finally the girl behind the counter cheerfully asked" Can I help you?"

We must have looked like we needed help. There were so many choices and I wanted to say I'll take one of each.

However, I somehow managed to narrow it down to 2 choices and asked the girl her opinion on each of them before coming to a decision.
(Note: This isn't the cheesecake I actually got. I meant to take a picture of our slices, but somehow they managed to get scarfed up before I remembered to get a picture of them. Not only were they absolutely delicious, they were also beautiful!)
I got the Chocolate Coconut mouse Cheesecake and Tyler got the Banana Cheesecake. It was so nice of our friends the Banks to watch Quincy while we were out.

I bought Tyler some new dress shirts, as he can never have too many..... not to mention I got a killer deal on both of them. Lets just say I spent less than $13.00 for two nice name brand dress shirts. Not bad.

Later we started a movie called 'Winter Passing'

that we borrowed from the library, but it was boring and we ended up watching a TV movie called 'Blame It on Rio'.

Tyler stayed up to watch the whole thing... which didn't end until midnight. Overall, our day was very nice.

I am very thankful for you Tyler.
You are my rock, my best friend, my everything.
Happy Anniversary Babe....
here's to the next 3 years and then some..................