We women have a lot to learn about simplifying our lives. We have to decide what is important and then move along at a pace that is comfortable for us. We have to develop the maturity to stop trying to prove something. We have to learn to be content with what we are." ~Marjorie Pay Hinckley~

Loehrmann Family Favorite Recipes

Friday, June 29, 2012

Memories of Davis - in no particular order

  • Living for 3 years in 590 square feet during some of the last great years of Orchard Park
  • Staying late at RS activities since I wasn't a career woman anymore! (Jenn Ditty & Ixchelle!)
  • Teaching Gospel Doctrine Class
  • Finding my own opinion amongst those opinions given from others
  • Discovering Fruits and Vegetables-- and spices!!
  • Finding out that we would adopt Lukas, and having people so excited for us!
  • The lawn chairs and kiddy pools on the grass on hot days at OP
  • The maint. guys Daryl, Carlos, Peter who were always so kind!
  • Prop 8
  • The RA job for 2 years. What an experience! Whenever I hear that distinctive phone ring, my head whirls around looking for that phone. Now I know why Bonnie laughed hysterically that first night I had it - glad that it was no longer her! haha. Now I'm glad it's no longer me too!
  • Halloween Trunk or Treats & Halloween Carnivals at OP: I was a pirate, then clown, then gnome. 
  • The Domes -- and their amazing rope swing
  • The chickens, ducks and beer hops out in the gardens
  • Attempts at gardening with Anna, Andrea, Ashley, Kathy, Marie
  • Book club that got me hooked on reading again, thanks to Amanda's Hunger Games and Bonnie's Freakonomics
  • The Farmer's Market: The random bands and musicians, the honey sticks, the fresh cherries and strawberries, the Bolani, the Carousel, and the Wednesday night picnic dinners to live music!
  • Racking up miles on the bike paths with Lukas
  • Watching the airplanes fly overhead of the farmlands with Lukas. I remember when he recognized the word Flugzeug. I was so excited!
  • Exploring the EC Gardens- the first time Lukas saw a rose.
  • Going to Music Makers
  • Joining a baby signs group- the first time Lukas signed "swings" as soon as he woke up in the morning.
  • Visiting Mother Goose on the Loose
  • Gymnastics with red-faced Lukas
  • Being neighbors with Joe & Steph
  • Learning to make Korean noodles from Bo
  • Learning to can from Angela
  • My swapped/garage saled wardrobe, compliments of church, Amy, Bonnie, Meredith
  • Ahhh, garage Saling with Linnea
  • West Manor Park, "Ellis Park", the OP Playground
  • Learning who I am as a mother
  • Learning what I value in a friend 
  • Learning who I am as a LDS Church Member
  • Learning how to stick close as a family and deciding what that even means!
  • Learning to spend money on my marriage- hello date night!!
  • Road Show singing & dancing (a huge stretch for us!)
  • Taking Lukas for long walks with the big red stroller, and carrying him up to bed at 6325 in the little red bassinet, and setting it in his bed.
  • The clunking of the heaters in OP- like popcorn, or a loud drum in the middle of the night
  • Dancing with Jared in the arboretum
  • Creche Festival in Woodland
  • meeting people from so many different places! Senegal, Taiwan, Thailand, Korea, China, Japan, Sierra Leone
  • Seeing Tamba get baptized. And Eva & Zhe. And Brielle. And Irene. And Daphne. And Evelyn.
  • Burgers & Brew, The Habit, In & Out, Shanghai Town
  • Ludy's on Friday family nights to hear the band and have peach cobbler
  • Apple Hill pony rides & Apple donuts
  • Temple trips with ward and on "Family Day"
  • Lukas riding a 2 wheeler after the Strider Bike
  • Village Bakery Bread
  • Village Homes ballet dancers
  • Whole Earth Festival Belly Dancers
  • Pedricks bell peppers & peanut patties

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Load'em Up and Move'em Out

Sometimes getting more for your money is a good thing. Like a hotel upgrade. Or going from the nosebleed section of a sporting event to the front row. But getting the biggest moving truck available because the size you really need isn't there... well... not so lucky.

Lucky, or blessed I'll say, was that Cindy's Diner was across the street from the U-Haul place that morning, so we could stuff ourselves before the move & crazy drive. A blessing was having Zhe, Grant, Jonny, Hyrum, Alex and Jordan come help haul boxes down the stairs from our apartment into the Taj-ma-U-Haul.  I feel grateful that Stephanie and Angela offered to keep an eye on my little man while I was upstairs with the copy of the "Master Moving List"- of what went into the truck in which order (care of Jared's Tetris thinking --- see mom? That game DID pay off as an adult!!) Loading the car onto the trailer made me so nervous, and I was relieved- to say the least- once the car had all 4 tires on asphalt again.  It was a bumpy, tall ride. The fish came with us, bumping along while riding in a pitcher that was set in a box, wedged in behind the driver's seat (Jared's seat- let's be real. I did NO driving! After LAST time's move I was off the hook.)  We rivaled semis in length and weight sometimes, which along with being able to see everything for a long ways and having enough snacks to cheer up an entire army, the kid was thrilled. Lukas had the best seat in the house as one can see, which led to all of our being happy (relative) for the long ol' trip.

And the cool thing about moving, is that people let you jump on their trampoline in your underwear and watch Wallace and Grommet. These boys were cracking me up!! Lukas loves the attention from the bigger boys (who are so so sweet towards him!!) and since his entire 3 year old world was upsidedown, I figured "ehhh, what the heck!" Lukas laughed when holding the baby puppies. He cried as he ran away from their mommy who chased him down once when he tried to go get one to pick up by himself. Ooop, Curious George. (I won't lie, it was sad and hysterical all at the same time- Lukas' scared & running away face I mean), but of course I didn't let HIM see that. It was great to see the Waite's again and we were super grateful to break up the drive by staying at their house along the way!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

A Last Hurrah

On our last evening in Davis, we did the usual. Wed night Picnic in the Park to hear the bands play. Somehow my child has learned to do "the sprinkler" and is pretty proud of those dance moves. Especially cute was when Bailey was begging him to go dance with her: "C'mon Lukas! Come dance with me! Don't you remember how I used to push you in the swing when you were a baby? C'mon! The song is almost over."  And she's 4. Ha ha! 

The kids had a blast running around holding hands (and then crashing into the ground) Joining in on the "swing your partner round and round, then you throw them to the ground" was also Lily, Cami & Renae. 
We didn't do a big goodbye thing. This may sound dumb, but when there are a lot of people all gathered on my behalf, I never feel like I do any of them justice in time or attention, and would rather avoid the self-inflicted feelings of trying to appease so many people at once when my life is already in a time to transition and major upheaval. I really just hoped people would come help us move on Thursday morning!
So just a regular Wed night for us. The last fresh cherries. Last fresh strawberries. Last bounce house. Last picnic dinner. Last live band in Central Park.

Lots of goodbyes, said and not said. A few I regret not hugging to say goodbye (Bethany, I mean you here too!) I've learned a lot from watching lots of wonderful people doing amazing things! 

On Market night it was neat to see our awesome OP neighbors again, since we've known them the entire time we were in Davis. Tony & Christie will forever be remembered in our house whenever we make Pesto, wear tie-dyed shirts, or make eggs in a mug, and hear flamenco music. Their little girls were so sweet to Lukas, and he and Cami were best buds for quite some time.  It was so sweet of Devrey to bring us dinner (since the chuck wagon was long-since packed) since they have such a busy family schedule. We used to babysit swap with them, put each others' kids to bed (go Babywise!!), and Lukas adored tinkling the ivories in her apartment! I'll never forget the way Chris would be excited about Lukas (and I'm so glad they're having a boy!) and how Devrey's sense of humor and super openness lead to side-splitting stories of her real-life thoughts. What a great spirit that woman has! What dear friends who will be missed! Speaking of dear friends and memories, I was so glad Joe & Steph could come hang out too with little Claire. There's nothing like a great friend in close proximity, and I know that staying in Davis this past year was partly so I could have a friend like Steph. She's a strong, faith-filled friend who lent perspective, kind words, food and company. I was just thinking tonight, now that I'm in Vista,CA, how nice it would be to run over and knock on her door to chat. 

I'm hoping all goes well with Graham baby #5 (shout out to R) and that you just keep on with your amazing family- learned a lot about perspective and love from you! I'll never forget that note you wrote me that one time that made my day when you had no idea what was going on in my life to know how much I needed to hear what you had to say! Thanks to R.G. for putting up with us behind you in that 3rd pew for, seriously, this whole time?? Loved the book perspectives, the hairdos, the honesty, and the validation- all not to be forgotten! Thanks Kirks for that amazing 4th of July wonder cake, the motivation for a Triathlon, and the amazing and much needed perspective I gained from knowing you. Love to B.M. for teaching me to cook Chop choy, and indulging me with long ol' conversations about matters important and completely trivial over Hand & Foot.

We'll probably not find something like this atmosphere of Davis anywhere else. New places come and go, but friendships travel across miles and miles and linger in our hearts & thoughts when they're worth it!
We met so many wonderful people in Davis who we'll soon not forget! If you're ever in the area, you're always welcome to stop in at Hotel Loehrmann- no matter how big your family is, or how sudden the notice. We always have food and a rood to share. I'm mostly glad that I'm taking my very best friends with me in the moving truck, and that God will watch over us wherever we go. It's overwhelming to think of all the miracles that have happened in the 4 years we got to be this amazing place.

Monday, June 25, 2012

A Taste of Davis

At the edge of every cloud is a silver lining. We are soon leaving Davis, and with the house in a wreck of neatly stacked boxes vs. chaotic not yet packed 'stuff', we're trying to be out of the house as much as possible!!! The Farmer's Market on Wednesday Nights has been a given during the last few weeks. We found old tokens from a long-ago date to the MU, and used em up today, introducing Lukas to Air Hockey, Skee-ball and Pinball all in the same 20 minutes. It was hysterical- watching him up on that chair with his air hockey whacker. We headed to our favorite park after morning errands and arcade excitement for picnic lunch and "serenity now".  Lukas has been a real trooper through the labyrinth of cardboard, the crazy schedule or lack thereof, the using up of foods, the packing of his things. And check it out-- he even sold his STRIDER BIKE last week to a sweet little boy of an amazing lady I know. It was a huge big boy moment for him, since he had still wanted to hang onto it although he didn't ride it anymore. Then we started hocking off our wares (see the lack of kitchen table coming up), and said we would use the money we saved to buy a piano, all of a sudden a few days later he was ready.  It was a big deal for him, and I was especially delighted to hear him talk about who was getting it and how he was so excited for him to get to learn to ride a bike too. (warms-my-heart-moment)

In celebration of our big upcoming new adventure (and getting rid of freshly "you pick"ed strawberries and apricots) we made these crazy huge popsicles, reminiscent of my childhood when we'd put kool-aid into those harvest colored tupperware cups with the Nesquick bunny spoon sticking out-- and you remember how the sugary syrupy goodness was all at the bottom sometimes? We'd eat em outside in Fort Worth's 100 degree summer weather.  Notice the lack of table, and rubble of household-gone-packing... but even more notice the smile on that little face!!!!!  

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Jared is one happy dad.

Lukas and I brought him breakfast (set into a lid of a moving box) in bed, and Lukas proudly announced "Papa! Wir haben Würfeln gemacht!" Es war das erste Mal das Lukas echte Waffeln gemacht/gegessen hat! Ich liebe es wie Lukas Papa alles auf dem Teller zeigt- Trauben, und Waffeln mit Honig (Syrup eigentlich aber Lukas kriegt meistens Honig-deshalb) und Lukas was ganz besonders begeistert über den Orangensaft! Den das alles würde er AUCH gleich bekommen! Wir sassen den alle auf den Fussboden in der Küche, denn wir hatten vor ein paar Tagen den kleinen Tisch verkauft, der da war, und wollte den Beast nicht aufbauen für nur 10 Tage... und haben gefrühstückt! UND.... zum ersten Mal seit jeher, hat Lukas eine Krawatte getragen, damit er aussehen konnte wie Papili. ECHT Süß, die Beiden. Mein Geschenk für Jared war dass ich total rechtseitig bereit für Kirche sein würde, und mich um alles kummern würde. Lukas hat vor einigen Wochen eine richtig süße Karte für seinen Papa ausgewählt, und hat einen Handdrück mit Farben gemacht, und hat ein bisschen gezeichnet (ein `backbone´ sagte er... also wir sind gerade ganz begeigstert über Knochen, oder?) Jared durfte mit Lukas für die erste Stunde PV als Ersatzlehrer begleiten, und Lukas war SUPER fröh d´rüber! Papa ist sein Held. Und kann ich dazu sagen, dass auf dem Weg nach Hause hatte ein Fraternity einen riesigen Grillfest im Garten gehabt, und Lukas hat das grosse Schwein am Spies gesehen und sagte ganz genau ´Mama, wenn du ein Schweinchen wärest, würde ich dich kochen´    ...emmmmm..... und Jared kamen die Tränen vom Lachen.  Alles gute zum VATER Tag.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Do You Hear What I Hear?

When a kid turns three, the doctor's office visit is like a big party. Everybody recognizes you and is happy to see you, you get to stand on cool machines, play peek-a-boo with your ears, and play awesome NEW games. This visit included the Pirate game, complete with eye patch. Lukas held one hand over his eye and had to label some pictures on the eye chart for the nurse. It's cool because it not only tests sight, but for us we noticed how he talks- in English-, and how confident he is to talk to the nurse, and how long he could stand this game for 5 turns per eye. As he'd call out so meekly, "birthday cake", I couldn't help but shrug in a giggle. It was adorable. Then, to label the hand symbol, he called it "Stop". Guess we do that at home kind of emphatically- hand and all. Ha! It felt good to hear the nurse sound all impressed, saying that most 3 year olds don't have the focus or concentration to do that task.  (Why do feelings up pride swell in a parents chest over such silly things as an eye test?!)

 Next up was the recording studio where he checked out the latest hits from The Beeps. He got a real kick out of this game of pointing to where the sound was, and I do not lie when I say my cheeks often hurt from smiling at my child so much- especially this day. I've come to like the Doctor's office. Because at least from HIS point of view, we are doing an aMAZing job at helping our kid eat right, helping him make physical progress, and helping him learn things --- and he actually tells us that, which was extra good this week, since there was a scare from another doctor who was concerned about his slight funnel chest, and wanted an MRI (where our kid is 'put under') to confirm other possible theories she had going, like checking for genetic heart concerns and confirming that the heart will have enough room to grow. It's moments like these that I'm glad that Lukas' pediatrician is the head of pediatrics (i.e. the boss of the lady who suggested said MRI), and that we were going to see him for the 3 yr check up within a week of the visit we had about his week-long virus fever, which is fine now. Don't get me wrong, I'm grateful that she'd thorough, but no MRI for this kiddo just yet. Not without probable cause. But of course the nagging question still remains. I'm getting some information from the source about family health history of heart issues (since I know there are some), and will for sure look into this once we've moved. For now? Movin' and a groovin' to The Beeps!

It's nice to hear a doctor tell us that our greatest challenge as Lukas' parents is probably (for now) going to be staying ahead of him, since he's growing/doing/learning so quickly.

For the record, he's 39 pounds and 41.5 inches. That's about the average height of a 4 or 5 year old he says. Lukas is 3, mind you. He wears a size 10 shoe, and he's in mostly 4T clothes. He rides a bike, can read the word "the", and can identify a ton more letters lately, thanks to the occasional session of "school" on Starfall.com-- which I love to watch Lukas repeat over and over what he's learning as he "plays school".

Here's a cool thing the doctor said about food: Don't ever make food an emotional issue. No food for rewards (no biggie- we are all huge fans of stickers, hugs and crazy happy dances around here). And no limiting food for kids either (this could have started becoming an issue with our little bottomless pit).  Doctor March said that what I DO have control over is WHAT he eats, so as long as I just offer healthy food, he can eat as much as he wants. Hello

HATER ALERT: If you're unhappy about your kid's eating habits, and really don't want to hear about it, please skip the next part! 
And in these moments I'm glad that Lukas likes to eat things like: Spinach leaves, garbanzo beans with Trader Joe's "African Smoke" seasoning (thanks Meredith!), rice cakes, pirate booty, apples, bananas, oranges, raisins, sunflower seeds, cashews, peanuts, craisins, tortilla chips, frozen blueberries, dried bananas & apricots, freeze dried strawberries & peaches, real carrots (his fave to pick out at the store and carry along to the checkout- just one lonely carrot!), anything with peanut butter or salad dressing.  I didn't give him anything sugary till he was two, which wasn't too hard, but took some creative navigating. I tried to stay stocked up with alternatives in the go-bag, and steered away from junk and went for fruit at bday parties, etc. Give that kid a strawberry and the rest of the world doesn't matter. He has dessert occasionally (like Sunday and Family night- hello Tiramisu!!!), lest anyone think we're completely off our rocker (who needs a rocker anyways?), but in those first two years I'm pretty sure he got to like a TON of other tastes besides sugar. I remember when he went on a Hummus kick. THAT was hysterical. I felt like we couldn't keep enough of it made in the house! He'd dunk some snap peas, broccoli trees, bell peppers- and I'm laughing because I didn't even know what hummus WAS when I was a kid. AND he likes water. Yes, a person could truly consider our family quite weird--- and totally from Davis. Ha ha. I've discovered vegetables and spices here, and it's changed my life forever!

Another bonus: No shots at a 3 yr. checkup. Yipeee! So we celebrated Jared's last school day and Lukas' rockin' check up by heading to Ludy's, where my Super Ludy dunked his house salad leaves, carrots and tomatoes in balsamic vinaigrette dressing, and yelled "Es ist MEINS!" if anyone tried to take any of that little man's salad. Um, can I polish his halo when we get home?