Saturday, April 30, 2011

One Year Ago

One Year Ago this weekend we starting telling everyone Little Man was on his way. Well, we didn't know if it was going to be Little Man, or a Little Lady, but you get the idea.

I remember the great ideas we had for telling people.

My personal favorite was, "We've been thinking about Thanksgiving and were thinking everyone should plan on coming to our house." Then depending on their response, because after all you would be bringing up Thanksgiving in late April, you had a choice of interesting lines. "Well, we thinking we won't want to be traveling with a newborn," or "You'll probably be over at our place anyway, with the baby being due the same week as Thanksgiving and all," or the one I told my Mom, "I'd really love your help cooking, husband and I will probably be pretty busy with the baby."

Any or all of there made people pause, just for a moment, before getting excited.

When we told my husband's parents, sister, brother-in-law and a few friends, we were about to eat dessert. His mom was counting people to get the plates out, and he insisted that we needed one more. She counted over again, said the total, and he said one number higher. They started discussing how many, when our brother-in-law said, "I think he's trying to tell you something." Then, his face and mine, both broke into huge smiles.

I don't remember exactly what was said by the grown ups, but all of a sudden there was silence as Big Girl said, "I'm going to be a big sister."

All of the grandparents were impressed that she had known for almost three weeks and not told them. We confessed that we'd been keeping her off the phone, so she wouldn't be tempted to spill the beans, but still. It was awesome.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Yum!

Most people pick up baby food at the grocery store. At the stores I go to, there are two options - Gerber and Earth's Best (is that the right name?). Anyway, I'm digressing in sentance number two. I make our baby food. Its really easy. Plus, how better to get a kid hooked on fresh produce than to start them on it.

Making baby food is really quite simple. I think I also jsut said its easy. Whatev. I've told lots of friends how easy it is and they have all seemed suprised. So, for those that are interested (and those that aren't but keep reading any way - love you!), here is how it works.

Step 1: Pick out awesome produce at the grocery store, farmers market or your own backyard.

Step 2: Wash and prep as you would for grown ups. For green beans, snap the ends. For carrots, peel and cut into pieces. You get the idea.

Step 3: Steam or boil till soft. Don't season.

Step 4: Check periodically. When the food can easily be cut with a fork, put it in the food processor. Add water. More water = more runny. For carrots about level three Gerber consistency use about half the height of the carrots in the food processor.

Step 5: Blend on low, then high.



Step 6: Spoon into ice cube trays and freeze.

Step 7: After frozen, remove from ice cube trays and put into freezer bag until ready to use.

Step 8: Place in fridge in time to defrost and serve. (If you forget, use the defrost setting on your microwave. We do at least once a day.)

Easy peazy.

Oh - did I mention so cheap. Healthy, cheap and easy. Big kids can help. Could anything be better? I mean really it could, but kid friendly, not so sure?

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Breakdowns

Yes. Breakdowns with a big fat S. As in two of them. Happening at the same time in our temporaily one parent home about two weeks ago. Isn't that always the way it happens?

Rewind to a busy evening as I'm (attempting) to feed my wonderful children.

Me: We're going to go to Andy's and get burgers for dinner K. Can you please get your shoes and jacket?

K: I don't want to go there. We should go to McDonalds.

Me: Well, you really like the budgers at Andy's and its my turn to choose.

K: I didn't know that grown ups get a turn to choose.

I wakes up, needs to be fed, which between 5:30 and 6 is always (okay for the last two weeks) followed by needing to eat dinner.

Me: Well, since you don't want to go to Andy's and your brother is ready to eat now we will just stay here and have sandwiches. Do you want PB & J?

K: Yes.

From there, we go through quite the ordeal of how much PB and how much J and what shapes to cut the sandwich into. At the same time, I'm defrosting carrots and mixing up cereal for I. In the midst of this I get a txt from my husband "Hows it going." I reply, "we miss you." Only gone a day and a half, so I say, "We miss you." Suddenly the marathon is over and there if food in front of each of my children and a wave of relief washes over me. I take a deep breath and I hear a soft little voice with a wimper say, "its not right."

Me: What do you mean?

K: You didn't make it the way Daddy does and its not very yummy.

Me: Its PB & J.

K: But its not right Mommy. Can we do it over?

Me: Lets just eat it like this.

K: Crying

I: Crying (Because I forgot to keep feeding him as the devestation hit.)

Me: Big girl, its really okay. Its just a PB & J.

K: I want Daddy.

I: Wahhhhhh. Ma.

To myself: Freakin' great.

Suddenly my brain kicks back into high gear. I pull the baby out of his seat, wipe his face and put him on my lap so I can feed him at the kitchen table. At the same time, I tell K to come over and they attempt to share my lap. Suddely I decideds he doesn't want to share my lap and would rather have a bottle than a boob.

So he goes back into his chair and K is alone in my lap as she wanted.

Finally it is quiet. Both kids look unhappy, but they are quiet.

There was a near round two, but I averted it with one simple phrase, "finish your dinner without winning and we will go to Goodberrys."

Crisis adverted. Why didn't I do this the first time? Sometime bribes are okay. Right? They are. They are.

Friday, April 22, 2011

I LIKE Peas

Little man is a big fan of his food. I mean, he was almost 16 pounds at his four month check up. Peas are far and away his favorite. So, we are all the time finding ourselves saying silly things about peas.

Peas Please. Peas porridge hot....

But - this one takes the cake. Well. Actually the peas. Just hop in your musical time machine and travel back with me to the early 90's and the super popular Sir Mix-A-Lot "Baby Got Back"

I like my peas and I can not lie
You other babies can't deny
That when Momma walks in with an itty bitty bowl
And puts that spoon in your face
You get happy
Wanna bounce in your chair
Cuz you notice that bowl is full
Big 'ol spoon keep comin'
I'm hooked and I can't stop eatin'
Oh, Momma I wanna get more
And take 'da spoon

My homeboys tried to warn me
But those peas you got
Make Me so happy
Ooh, yum yummy

You say you wanna put 'em in my tummy
Well feed me feed me cuz I aint that average baby
Peas make me so happy

I'm not going to continue. I could, but its really better if I don't. For those of you who are about to go Google the real lyrics, here they are. Oh wait. Here's the video! 

I like big butts and I can not lie
You other brothers can't deny
That when a girl walks in with an itty bitty waist
And a round thing in your face
You get sprung
Wanna pull up tough
Cuz you notice that butt was stuffed
Deep in the jeans she's wearing
I'm hooked and I can't stop staring
Oh, baby I wanna get with ya
And take your picture
My homeboys tried to warn me
But that butt you got
Make Me so horney
Ooh, rump of smooth skin
You say you wanna get in my benz
Well use me use me cuz you aint that average groupy

Still Doin' It

Its hard to believe that Little Man is almost five months old. He is sitting up on his own (for about 30 seconds maximum before titlting over). He's giving kisses (the big slobbery open mouth kind), eating solid foods (peas and carrots are his favorite), and really starting to understand what is going on around him.

Not that my wonderful baby isn't amazing enough, but what is extra amazing is that we are still breastfeeding and haven't used any formula. So many friends and family members and even our pediatrician said that we would probably start using at least a little formula when I went back to work. I've now been back about two months and we are still doing good.

A few weeks ago, I looked up googled the statistics on how kids are fed their first year and found this report from the CDC (okay, it was posted on CNN.com, but its about a CDC report).

"It turns out that 75 percent babies start breastfeeding, but only 43 percent are still being breastfed at 6 months of age, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's 2010 Breastfeeding Report Card. Even fewer are exclusively breastfed: At age 3 months 33 percent receive breast milk and no other foods or liquids. This is true for 13 percent of babies at age 6 months."

13 percent. Wow. That really isn't many. I'm proud of us. We are doing a good job. Congrats I on beating the ods.... Now to see how many others are making their own baby food....

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Tornado

I thought the normal day-to-day was busy at our house. Then a tornado hit. Not our home thankgoodness, but our community.


from wral.com (read the story about this photo here.) 

For many people life will never be the same. Families have lost their homes. Parents have lost their children. Little (and big) minds try to understand why. How do you put it into words? How do you make sure they still feel safe when there is no guarentee it won't happen again.

Plus, there is this little record playing over and over in my head, "From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked." (Luke 12:48)

I'm just saying.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Belly Laughs

Every few months there is another major accomplishment with kids. Sometimes it seems that the big kid ones are more memorable - first swim meet, riding a bike, no front teeth at Christmas. For little ones, the joys aren't contained by their size. No matter the child it seems you only have to look at their faces to see their sense of accomplishment.

Take Little Man for instance. This weekend he had his first CRAZY belly laugh. I'm talking the kind of laugh that makes you laugh right along with him. And all it took was me laughing and touching his nose over and over. That was it. Pure and simple.

Does life get any better?

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Tax Deduction

Tax season is here. We have already filed and recieved our refund. I was super excited. That is until I opened an email from The Bump and saw this.



If you can't read the headline in the screen shot, I'm here to tell you Reminder: Write Off Those Breat Pumps. Really? On April 12? Do you think people haven't started their taxes yet? We have.

Thanks a lot Federal Government. Thanks a lot Turbo Tax. Why didn't anyone let us know this any earlier? Seriously.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Christmas Presents

Almost four months ago we celebrated baby Jesus' birthday. And just like my kids own birthday's four months later the birthday presents are gathering dust. Yep. Many of them are not being played with at all.

The Easy Bake Ovens (the s is no error - she got three) that my daughter thought of every day since Halloween is in the closet with her art supplies. She baked with it four times. Two of these the week after Christmas. The fate is was even worse for the candy. Yes - the candy. I threw the last of it just before Valentine's Day.

For my daughter, the puzzles are probably the most popular of the Christmas presents. Particurally Fancy Nancy one. Its been out about once a week. For my son, its a little different because he was less than a month old on Christmas. He's worn his soccer socks several times and several big kids and I have played with the blocks that Santa brought him. But, no matter how you look at it, if your house is anything at all like ours, Christmas is a major accumulation of stuff.

So, how do you tackle this both with them and with the people in their lives that get a huge kick out of picking out, wrapping and watching the kids unwrap big piles of presents during the holidays? On top of that, how do you keep them focused on faith and family?

I keep thinking about the abandoned toys, because every kid thinks that presents are the take away from Christmas while parents think that the take away is Jesus's birth. Then again, many parents also think the day is about making their kids happy.

So, here I am in April thinking about Christmas. Maybe we will tackle it differently next year. Maybe.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Just Alike/Time For A New Look?

Last night when we were headed out K turned to me and said, "Mommy can I have a pony tail so I look just like you?"

Sweet. Right?

Then I looked at the two of us. Sporting almost identical looks.

- Dark Jeans
- Flip Flops
- Fitted T-Shirt
- Dark Blueish/Purplish Fleece
- Low Ponytail

Then I got to thinking.... (I know - this is where the trouble starts). I have been sporting this look a long time. I am talking college here people. I used to rock the Rainbows to 8 a.m. classed with big pearl earrings nearly year round. There are pictures somewhere of me and some friends walking across campus in the snow in our Rainbows. In the winter I'd wear jeans and a fleece. The rest of the year it was a denim mini and no fleece.

I think I need a new go-to look.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Word Less NOT Wednesday

I know the whole word less thing is supposed to happen on Wednesday. But, here is a picture of what has been happening in our backyard.




Big hands and little hands working together. It makes my heart happy. What a blessing it is to have a project that we all enjoy working on together.

A few weeks ago, all I would have had to show was some raised beds and dirt. But check it out. We have sugar snap peas! Not exactly ready to eat, but you know what I mean. We also have baby carrots, lettuce, spinach, broccoli and potatoes so far. Tomatoes, green beans, cucumbers and asparagus going in soon.

It is going to be a tasty summer.

Monday, April 4, 2011

The Fun That Didn't Happen

If you had asked me on Friday what was in store for the weekend, I would have mentioned any if not all of the following:

- Beer tasting/cookout with husband's friends Friday evening
- Baptism Sunday
- Baptism party Sunday at noon
- Playdate with cousin CZ Saturday evening
- Drinks and Game watching Saturday night
- Pilates workout Saturday morning

Sounds like a slam packed weekend-o-fun. No mention of laundry, yard work, or anything other than fun with those whom we love. Perfect!

If only it had happened. Well - Friday happened as we expected and so did Saturday morning. Then... several people got sick, others had company coming in. Long story short, it was the weekend of unplanned fun. It is also going to be the week of rescheduling.

Here is what happened instead:

- Beer tasting/cookout with husband's friends Friday evening
- Pilates workout Saturday morning
- K and Daddy fishing adventure
- Laundry
- Church
- Laundry
- Lunch fun in Cary
- Gardening
- Laundry

Guess we had a lot of dirty clothes! But, all in all, a good relaxing weekend.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Lent - Again

After talking about what I'm trying to teach K during Lent, my husband asked what I was giving up for Lent. He said, "You can't just do this with the kids and not do it yourself."

He is right. Luckily, I had actually given something up. Only I hadn't said it out loud because I thought it was kind of lame. But here goes - online shopping at work.

Seriously.

Seriously.

If you don't think I'm serious, then you don't know how quickly I can punch in my credit card number when no one is looking. Need the card you ask? Not me. Its memorized. Oh yea. Its that bad.

And I am here to tell you - its been tough. I'm normally browsing at least two or three web sites a day. If IT ever decided to check out my computer, it wouldn't be pretty.

Loft, Old Navy, Totsy, Ann Taylor, Children's Place, Lowe's, Overstock, Babies R Us. Sometimes I'll even spend some time on Target and Kroger.  You gotta compare the prices to see where to go for the best deal on Cheerio's this week (why oh why do they put the regular yellow box on sale in some places and not our favorite Honey Nut?)



Ye who don't know me well don't think I am serious.

In all seriousness, I work really hard at my job. I do like it, but its hard to be away from my kids, so normally I take care of some of the shopping while I away (at work) so I can have more fun time with them. However, I seriously need to find a balance. Maybe this will help. Who knows. but right now I gotta go get a glass of water or I'm just going to click on over....

Friday, April 1, 2011

Pregnancy Memories: Uh Oh

I found this entry from my journal recently. It made me laugh out loud thinking of K's face. Enjoy.

July 2010

Over the weekend we went out for dinner after K’s birthday party. My mom was there and both of my husband’s parents. We rehashed the entire exciting day. As we waited on desert, K started talking about the baby and how later in the week we are going to learn if it’s a boy or girl.

At this point I need to stop and explain that the running joke at our house, pretty much since I found out I was pregnant, is that the baby was going to be named Alfredo. My husband and daughter would both say it with a think imitation Italian accent and kiss their fingers as it came out.

Part of the reason it was such a great joke was that we have been telling people that we weren’t going to tell anyone the names we were considering. We want to pick a name for baby #2 without input from anyone else. We think it’s important to pick something that really works for us, and that we both like. And, that is going to be difficult enough without getting everyone else’s input.

So, up until now the only names any of the grandparents-to-be have heard were jokes. Alfredo, Shrek, Fionna, Cucumber sandwich, Flop (to go with the fish named Flip). You get the idea.

Needless to say, they were expecting K’s latest idea. Instead, she looked at her Dad and I and then looked at all three grandparents sitting across from us in the booth as said very matter of factly, “I-------.”

I honestly don’t remember who said what next, but we ended up saying that yes, if it’s a boy, we have decided on, “I-------.” So of course the grandparents immediately tried to get the girl name out of her. However, since we haven’t decided, they were out of luck…