Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Dirty in January

How is it that my kids are dirtier in January than they were all summer long???  It has been a busy day filled with cooking (real and pretend) and playing outside!
Yep, playing outside with no jacket, hats, mittens or snow boots!!!  Playing outside barefoot and putting lotion on our baby to keep her protected from the sun!  Can you believe it is January???  This whole month, each nice day I tell the kids they have to play outside to enjoy "this last nice day before the cold hits" and that "cold" I keep talking about has yet to hit us.
We have been hitting many record temperatures this winter since the cold front that usually dips down and brings us snow has been hovering around the Canadian boarder keeping the cold away from us.  This time last year we were hit with a HUGE ice/snow storm that brought many welcomed snow days from school.
This year, the warm weather has given me dirty kids... dirtier than most summer days!!!  I'm trying to figure out why and I think it is because they are not swimming in the kiddie pool throughout the day to "rinse off".  Of course it doesn't help that she smashed a lima bean on her forehead during dinner to get Owen to laugh.  Oh geeze!  I welcome these dirty kids because that is a good sign of a happy kid that was able to do lots of good outside play versus being stuck inside and going stir crazy on a snowy day!
Just because there is no kiddie pool swimming doesn't mean that we haven't been swimming in January!!!  It has been SO nice some days, upper 60s, that we have been able to go swimming in the hot tub!!!  Still waiting for the big snow fall for this winter, until then, we'll keep enjoying these nice days and dirty kids!!!

Internet Interests

So there are a lot of things on the internet that have people talking these days; from blogs, to good sites to buy soaps, clothes, and foods, free items/giveaways, Facebook, and a great site to store all of your favorites from the internet- pinterest.
Most of these things I'm a sucker for.  Heck, I have my own blog that I hope people flock to to find out what we are up to and listen to what I have to say.  I'm a sucker for deals so I scan the internet trying to find the best online coupon for the cheapest online store so I can stock up on environmentally friendly products for a steal of a deal!  I use Facebook to see what family and friends are up to.  One thing that I'm trying to get into but just can't seem to get hooked like everyone else apparently is, is Pinterest.
Pinterest is a great site to come up with ideas for birthday parties, recipes, craft projects, fashion items that are a must, and so on.  Sounds great, see what your friends like and see if you would like it too.
For me, they are yummy recipes I will never make..... I'm a creature of habit and seem to make what I know.  They are craft projects I will never do.... where will I find the time..... wait, where will I find the creativity?  They are clothes, shoes, jewelry I will never buy.....I'm trying to get into fashion but still trying to get past this baby weight before I start looking at things I "wish I could wear now".
The reality is, I'm not a planner.  I'm a wing it/last minute sort of girl!  So, this morning, when I was hungry and trying to think of something to do with the kids, I decided last minute to make muffins.  No planning.  No prep.  Just, hey guys, let's make muffins!  I knew we had blueberries and lemons so I quickly got on pinterest and looked for a yummy recipe.  I found this yummy recipie for Lemon Sugar crusted Blueberry Muffins.  Before getting started, I pinned it to my board, of course, so everyone that was following me could see this yummy recipe too.... and then we headed to the kitchen.
As we got to work, I noticed that we didn't have a couple of ingredients we needed.... downside of not being a planner.  But, I had already set the muffin bake in motion so there was no going back.  Thanks to the internet, I found out how I can make buttermilk with yogurt and milk which Addyson was helping me make.  I also found out to substitute vegetable oil with butter.  We were also out of baking soda.... maybe we shouldn't have made this recipe.... but, we had the major ingredients; blueberries and lemons!
Thankfully we have a neighbor that is a planner, I sent O and A over with a note asking for baking soda and she gave the kids a baggie full to bring back.  They were SO proud of being big enough to run next door for me! (Of course I watched them to make sure they were safe).
FINALLY, we rounded up all of the ingredients, mixed up our muffins, and filled our tin!!  Ready to bake them and find out just how yummy they are.
They were SO eager to get their muffins out and give them a try... just had to wait 30 minutes!  And thankfully we now have a dog around to help clean up our floors after our cooking adventure!! : )  My question is, why pinterest?  Why not just google what you need when you need it?  Or, if you want to cook something use our favorite site- allrecipes.com  I like this site because you can type in the ingredients you have and it will find the perfect recipe for you.
I can't lie, I have found a few yummy recipes on pinterest that I will probably try that I'm not sure I would have found through google but, as far as being hooked, I can't say I am.  That's probably a good thing.  I'm hooked enough to blogger, Facebook, and my zoo game on my iPhone.  Those alone eat up the little free time I have.... no pinterest needed.  I have an account and I'm sure I will use it here and there.  It will be a good place to get ideas for our big 7 Year Itch party in October but, I think I'm far from being hooked and I hope it stays that way!! : )
This morning though, I think my kids are happy I got on pinterest and found this yummy recipe!  With a few tweaks to the recipe, they ended up being lemon sugar crusted organic blueberry muffins made with whole wheat and they were yummy!!!  The kids ate 3 of them.... ok, so did I!!!!
And I found something for Ethan on the internet too!  A giveaway hosted by my friend Jennifer at Hollands on the Hill!!!  She is giving away a gift certificate to Personally Stitched Monogramming and Gifts.  Her stuff is SO cute!  There is an Easter basket on there that I would love to have for Ethan's first Easter... and all of those that follow!  Jennifer's blog is a good blog to turn to for ideas on baby items.... who needs pinterest when you have friends that blog about neat items?!?! : )  Go check out her blog and put your name in the hat to win this great giveaway... if you don't have a need for the gift certificate and you win.. keep me Ethan in mind!!! : ) I think giveaways are SO fun!  For one, I'm a sucker for free stuff!!  Two, giveaways help bring attention to others blogs and help them gain followers!!!  Three, giveaways also help bring attention to the wonderful items that crafty moms make... things I would never find on my own but fall in love with once I see them!  For those reason, I'm hoping to host a giveaway of my own soon!!!  Stay tuned!!!

Now to get off this blog and head over to pinterest to find a good recipe for the upcoming Super Bowl... see, I won't completely turn my nose up to everyone's favorite site... it comes in handy for some things!! : )

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Goofin' with Georgia

Everyone needs friends in life that you can call on any time of day or night.  A friend that you can visit with to heal your soul and no matter if a day has passed, a week, a month, or a year it feels like you just saw each other hours ago and you pick up where you left off.  A friend that gets you.  A friend that grows with your growing family.
To me, Georgia is one of those friends.  I met her in the dorms my sophomore year of college and we have been best pals ever since.  Through the good and the bad, she has been there.  And now, she helps me entertain my growing family.
Accepting each child as a family member to her!  When I was having a bad day last Tuesday I told her I really needed to see her and fill my "Georgia Cup" and she didn't hesitate to say she'd come visit on her day off, Sunday.  We spent the afternoon running errands and catching up.
And then she went with us to check our our next big adventure (stay tuned for more details!)!!  While we were there we got stuck with the kids in the car while Brad talked over some details, the kids were getting antsy so Aunt Georgia pulled out her camera and all was better.  The kids started showing us their muscles and Aunt Georgia would take a picture and then show the kids.

Antsyness turned to sillyness as everyone came up with different poses to model, pose with, and check out after the picture was taken.  And for that moment I thought Georgia knew my kids better than I did!!  Why didn't I think of that???  Sometimes it is nice to have a fresh face around to help you think outside of the box and come up with things that your tired mind just can't think of for that moment!
Not only does an extra set of hands come in handy with the big kids, it also puts our group at a one-to-one ratio!!!  SO helpful!  When the big kids and I were with daddy checking out our next big adventure, Georgia and Ethan were bonding/playing so I knew he was in good hands and I could just focus on what we were looking at!
A times I like to think I am "Super Mom" and at times I think I have everyone else believing I am a "Super Mom"!  But, during my weaker moments when I think I am messing it all up and can't do anything right, I call on my dear friend who helps me remember the good times and all the things I am doing right and that even the things I think are terrible are just a brief moment in time that no one else remembers but me who seems to sit and fester on things and over analyze.  During these moments, I'm going to look at this picture and remind myself that I am "Super Mom", if to no one else but my kids!
And dear friends in my life help me continue to be a "Super Mom" by helping to give me some of the love and attention that I need so I can continue to give it out so abundantly!
Something that helps our family cure the blues, goofiness!!!  If you are laughing/smiling, you can't be crying/frowning.  And each time we laugh together, we fill our "love cup" that helps us get through the other trying times that might come our way.
Thanks Georgia for helping us fill up our "love cup" at the end of the weekend!  It will help this momma and kids get through another week of daddy being gone!  Thanks for being a great friend and a great aunt to the kids!  Everyone needs a Georgia in their life to goof around with!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Weekend Nights

In my last months of pregnancy Brad and I weren't sure if we would get a date night in a LONG time.  We had told Ashley we wouldn't leave her with all three kids for a long time.....
Fast Forward 3 short months and we are enjoying date night.  I guess Aric and Emily's wedding helped us see/realize that Ashley could handle all three!!!  However, we do help her a bit.  Now we try to have the kids fed with jammies on and I will nurse Ethan down before Ashley gets here around 7.  Then we quickly run out the door and know our time is ticking!  We have about 2-2.5 hours before Ethan wakes up and wants to eat.  We use to have Ashley come at 4 and play with the kids, feed them, bathe them, and get them ready for bed.  Now, we want to make sure that our big kids are ready for bed in case Ethan wakes up before they go to bed that way it is super easy for Ashley to get them down for the night.
Date nights are short and sweet but just exactly what we need!  With Brad gone so much it is really important that we get a bit of alone time... and I think the date night is good for me to be able to eat one meal a week "alone" without someone else eating off my plate, needing to go potty while my food is hot, and trying to eat with a baby or child on my lap.  We have this "weekend" gig down to a science!  Ashley knows just how to rock Ethan to keep him happy for about 5 minutes until I get home and we come home and call the night a success!

Then the next night we try to do something fun with the kids!  Today we met the Pratt family at Fast Lanes where Owen showed us he can now bowl without the ramp AND bumpers AND he can get a strike!!!!  How does he do that???
Ethan is learning that on busy weekends he might as well give up the hope of napping in bed.  Napping on my shoulder in the sling is the next best thing!!!  With Brad home just a couple of days we try to jam in as much as possible which is exhausting for all!
And to wrap up the weekend we'll try to have dinner in with a friend.  Going out with all 3 all weekend gets to be a bit much!  Plus, at home, the kids can play as soon as they are done and the adults can hang out and chit chat and everyone is happy.... doesn't work that way at a restaurant.  Tonight Colby came over for a yummy dinner.  It is nice because we'll have our guest bring something to share which takes some of the pressure off of us and it works out good for all parties involved.  Just wish there were a few more days in the weekend so we could see more friends and not have to space things out so far... maybe when Brad is home more we can start a supper club and see more friends more often!!!  I know it is good for Brad's soul.... life on the road can get a bit lonely!  Thank goodness for our weekend nights!!!

Tea Party

Today we went to our first birthday party where we went because Owen is friends with the little girl and not through me!  We are so use to going to parties where we know everyone because we are all mom friends or the parents are our friends from pre-babies.  Not this time...
Emma, a little girl from Owen's class, was having an Alice in Wonderland tea party.  I let Addyson choose which outfit she wore, thinking she would choose a tutu or her fancy dress up dress.... nope, she choose her Tangled dress.  She also had on heels, gloves, and a crown but, when I went to take a picture of how cute she was she took off running... in heels.... I can't even walk in heels, how the heck is she running in them????
Owen found his Chuck E. Cheese crown and they were all set to go..... which brings up a question.... Am I allowed to bring Addyson with if Owen got the invitation????  When do I stop bringing along siblings to parties.  At the time, I didn't even think about it.  Now, I know she was welcomed, there were other siblings there.  However, when do I know if she is allowed to come?
Emma had her party at the school/church where the kids go.  It was great because they had the run of the place and they blew up the HUGE slide! 
The kids must have gone down that slide 30 times or more!!!  All that sliding helped them work up an appetite!
Emma's mom had a table set up for the tea party under a tent and it was all SO adorable!!!
Even Owen got into it.  I wasn't sure if he would see the party as too girly but it didn't seem to phase him one bit.  He wore his crown and felt like he fit in!
After all of Emma's friends found there seat, there was an extra seat at the table for Addyson to join the party.  She was so adorable!!!
Look at that awesome cake and goodies Emma's mommy made!!  And I love the table cloth, Alice's apron!!!
I was in awe of Jamie's (Emma's mom) creativity!!!  Wonder if I'll be able to throw a tea party like this for Addyson.  Which brings up another question.  When do you start letting the children make the decisions about their party?  Up until now, I've always designed everything for both kids.  I wasn't going to let my 4 year old have a Sponge Bob party... he doesn't even watch that show until it is on while we are eating at Flying Burrito.  He doesn't watch Spiderman either but he is asking for a Spiderman party and got the mask, watch and other spiderman things as gifts.  Isn't it funny how that is such a "boy" thing and he is SO into it even though he has never seen a show.  So I am thinking this year I will have him help me with the theme and decorations and I just hope he takes a little guidance from me!!!!
If I think it is bad trying to figure out what to do with 2... while little E hangs out in the sling.... what am I going to do when all 3 are running around?  I guess that is when one parent takes one child to the birthday party which the other parent has time with the other 2.  I guess future birthday parties will help us have some alone time with individual children!  I'll choose all the fun tea party ones!!! : )

Friday, January 27, 2012

iPhone Pics of the Week

 Lovin' our new snuggle buddy
 Burger bigger than he (filled with tomatoes, lettuce, and bell peppers!)
 He found his thumb.....our adorably cute thumb sucker

Today's Milestones

Do you remember that just the other day I wrote a blog post to Ethan asking him to slow down?  Well, he must not have read that post.... this little guy is not interested in slowing down, sitting still, or doing anything that most 3 month old babies are doing.  He has to keep up with the other two....
So this morning during tummy time he wanted to show off.... he usually moves around, gets his knees under him, wiggles enough to do a 180 on the blanket, holds his head high, and squeals with delight.  Today, he took it a step further...
He rolled over!!!  Really?!?!  Already?!?!  Is it that time??  What is normal?  I quickly went to the internet to find out when do "most" babies roll over from their tummy to their back.  Turns out that rolling over at 3 months is an advance skill that "only a few kids can do".
Also in that "advanced" box are other skills he already does such as; turns towards loud sounds, bring hands together to bat at toys.
 Doesn't he have the best smile ever?!?! : )  I call him "Smiley Guy"!
He is doing 4 month skills such as; bearing weight on his legs (for long periods of time, it is his favorite thing to do), grab toys
 and bring them to his mouth,
  and he is sitting with support.  He prefers to sit up. I try to lean him back and he uses his tummy muscles and sits himself up!!!
I knew he was close to hitting a huge milestone of rolling over when earlier this week he got so close but, I still thought we had some time!  Guess not!  Looks like he has other plans!  I wonder what he'll do next!
Another milestone we hit today was looking at kindergartens for Owen.... is it really time for that : (  Just the other day I was taking pictures of him rolling over for the first time and today I take a picture of him writing his letters and getting ready to go to school!  I can't believe it!  We went and toured St. Joseph school, we are really hoping to send him there.  We were so impressed by it all!!  Owen LOVED their new gym... I think he is hoping to play basketball there one day!!!  When we came home, the weather was so nice that we were all playing outside.... except Owen.  I couldn't figured out where he went.  He had gone straight inside to the table to work on writing, he was inspired by the school visit and this confirmed to me that he IS ready to go to school next year.  In August I wasn't so sure, I thought we might hold him out for another year.  Today, I know he is ready.  And in just a couple of weeks I will be registering him for kindergarten.  Can someone please tell my kids to slow down and stay small???  They are growing up too fast!