Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Spring Things

I made some Spring Chick & Egg Peep Cupcakes for Jonas' 1st birthday a couple of years ago.
(YIKES! Has it already been that long!) He is a Spring baby, so I wanted to share my little creations with you. I used noodles and melted marshmallows to create nests similar to "rice krispy treats". Then I perched a Peep marshmallow chick on top, along with a few Malted milk eggs.  Then I placed them on top of a frosted cupcake.
For his first birthday cake I used the edible grass, which is actually kind of tasty, and formed a nest for the peeps and eggs with that. I used Angel food for the cake and cupcakes, because it was his first time to encounter sweets and I thought that would be an okay transition for him. It served its purpose well, but under any circumstance, I would probably recommend a firmer cake recipe.

My mom brought over a lot of fancy party food and it was devoured by guests - as usual. She is an amazing hostess and can whip up some amazing food in no time. She even cut out the sandwiches to look like little ducks. So cute!
I made a center piece with a Springy window flower pot and some floral stems, snipped from a different project. I mounted multi-colored balls to the tops for fun & interest and used moss to cover the foam holding the stems in place. Thank you Dollar Store.

Please enjoy the pics and ideas, but if you repost my pics please let me know! ;) Unfortunately - we didn't have a good camera at the time, but you should be able to get an idea. ;)

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Busy Day 3_23_10

So, today was an A+ day to sum up an A+ week.

Clint has been out of town for the week for work. Now before everyone starts to feel too sorry for him, let me tell you where he had to go on business.  For all of the LOST fans out there, during tonight's episode he said, "I was just there!". In other words, Oahu, Hawaii.  He did not have a vacation there though. Rest assured he worked VERY hard.  Anyway, yesterday he came home! Woo-hoo! 

We've had Nana staying with us for the entire week - which was AMAZING! She is just incredible. She never rests & is such sweet company. She really helped this week breeze by. I wasn't stressed, as I had prepared to be in Clint's absence. Actually, Nana helped it become a productive week, rather than just a week of meager survival. She organized things for us & cleaned seveaal things that had been neglected for a while. Namely, my fridge, stove, kitchen sink & washer & dryer.  She also allowed me a few excursions out of the house without the kids in tow. We even managed a trip out of town, along Route 66 - all the way to Quartz Mountain Lodge & Altus, OK. We stayed in the lodge there overnight and Nana visited her aunt in Altus - then we headed back home, stopping briefly in Shawnee to meet up with Sarah & our cousin, Julie, for dinner - then in Seminole to see Julie's beautiful home - then back to our own home sweet home.

Before leaving today, Nana managed to help me tie up several loose ends literally & figuratively.  She also did her magic on a few hundred stains in Jonas' infant- 3T clothing. She removed stains from 90% of the garments, ironed them and hung them according to size for me to label for a "Just Between Friends" Spring consignment sale. We had a freak blizzard the day of drop off, so I got to drive about 75 items in the snow and ice to the State Fairgrounds on Saturday evening. I arrived just in the nick of time and hope my items can bring in some $$, as I've already spent some back on the sale!

Jonas had his first day of pre-school today. He is attending Pathways Preschool in Edmond. Things seemed to go very well today, and we got to hear several stories about digging in mud, play laundry machines that needed to be fixed, slides and houses.  He ate a box lunch, packed by yours truly, and said goodbye this morning as if he'd been going to the school for ages. He really fit in and handled himself like a champ!  I am so proud of my BIG boy!  He's not even 3 yet, and they were more nervous than I was about how he would manage, but I knew with his intelligence, sociability and advanced language skills, he would thrive. I was right. He came home and took a nap after class without a fight too - which was a welcome surprise!  His new school is twice a week from 9am-3pm. I'm excited to see what new things he learns and it's going to allow me some time complete some things on my "to do" list as well.

The fun doesn't stop there! Marin had her two-month check up today with Dr. Maschino. They were amazed at how much she had grown since her two week appointment. We got some great measurements then it was time for some shots. She had 3 shots and one oral vaccination today, and it was so sad to see her cry. ;( She also bled more than I expected, and I'm curious whether she also might have VonWillibrand's like her brother. She didn't cry for long though, and hasn't had any adverse reactions so far to the shots. I did give her Tylenol at the doctor's office & I think that helped her some.  She was 12lbs.15oz, before a feeding, putting her in the 90-97% for weight. She measured 23.25in, putting her in the 75-90% for height and her head circumference was 40cm, putting her in the 90th% for head circumference. So, although she's a little round, she's a perfectly proportional baby! ;) She's still got a lot of gorgeous nearly black hair and deep blue eyes. Her skin is beautiful, and she's getting beautuful thick long eyelashes. She still has a light heart-shaped birthmark on her upper lip - which perfectly complements her little cupd's bow lips. She's so pretty, I could stare at her for days on end! Then again, I'm a little biased about both of my precious & beautiful kiddos. What Mom isn't?

She has a touch of cradle cap, which our doctor told us we could clear up with about a dime sized amount of Selson Blue or other dandruff wash & her baby brush. She also has a nodule just above the top of her neck on her lower head on one side. After feeling it, the doctor told us she thought it was just a little growth of the bone, and that she was not concerned as it did not move and gave no indication of being a cyst or anything of that nature.  She also has a small grayish spot on her right wrist, on the arm just before her hand. The doctor examined it closely and said she wasn't concerned about the looks of that either. She's had both of these things since birth, so it made me feel better to have them examined.

Marin has also been sitting up in her Bumbo seat this week for several short periods of time. Her neck support is outstanding and she's very strong in general. Today at the doctor's office, the doctor exclaimed as Marin pushed back against her hand, then when rolled onto her stomach, Marin supported herself with her head lifted up and both arms down. I was proud. I guess her "tummy" time is paying off. She is also cooing and gooing a lot lately. If you have a quiet moment with her and talk directly with her, she will not disappoint. She loves these quiet conversations.

Some other even better news...Marin slept through the night for the first time last night!  Yes, she did - but I did not. I kept waking up hearing her squirm around. Then I'd patiently watch as she fell back asleep - thankful & amazed - but a little sore! ;) She went to bed around 11:30pm and woke up at 7:00am!  She actually slept a lot the day leading up to that, so I was surprised, but excited that we're heading in the direction of more regular sleeping patterns! Woo-hoo! Becky came up last week & I was able to give her about 6 bags of 40oz of milk & was really excited to contribute! I think I'm going to be pumping less soon, and am also okay with that development. ;)

Lastly, before leaving, Nana took a look at my sewing machine. She and I did some trouble shooting and figured out the problem with my machine's tension and bobbin. The thread was getting stuck on a plastic piece under the bobbin box. After some tweaking - my machine is backup and running!!! I can not even begin to express how much this thrills me. She also showed me how to do a basic hem, and to applique with a zig-zag stitch.  She even showed me how to do a basic gather - on a tea towel. So now, I can make ruffles!!! Get ready for a lot of ruffles my friends. The possibilities are endless!!!  I finally finished the t-shirt tie applique for Jonas. This has been pinned and ready to go for a millenium, but it only took about 10 minutes once the machine was working! My tea towel is also super-cute, and I'm gearing up to make a ruffle-butt onsie for Marin. I see many ruffled and appliqued Christmas gifts in everyone's futures.

So now, without further adieu, here is my "big" little guy in his (semi)serious work shirt! ;) ha!

Here's to endless good weeks like this to come! (I hope)!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Jonas 2.9-2.11 years

Most people have read my post on my other blog about the fun times we're having with our almost 3-year-old.  The truth is, Jonas is way too intelligent for his own good.  His curiosity about how things work and why -  both inspire me and scare me to death at times. We've run into several "fun" moments at home lately.  He's been more adventurous, and getting into more and more things around our home and outside of it lately.  I am going to have to toddler-proof my home very soon. 

Some scary stories for your reading pleasure: While I was nursing Marin the other day, actually, most of these stories start out this way. It's the only time Jonas really has free reign of the house, and he uses it to his advantage.  Anyway, while I was nursing Marin, Jonas went into his bathroom, asked me to "stay out here" and closed the door (this is NEVER a good sign).

I heard him potty, then running water. I was giving myself pats on the back for his great hygiene.  Without me even reminding him he was washing his sweet little hands. Or not. He came out and started playing with his toys and then told me, "Look mommy, I wiped my face off." "Good job sweetheart, " I said, preceding more pats on the back for myself.  Then he said proudly, "Yeah, I scraped it like this, like Daddy" and proceeded to demonstrate a shaving motion on his sweet little cheeks!  Stunned I said, "What do you mean? Show mommy what you used, " in the sweetest least-terrified voice I could muster. 

He dragged me to the restroom, where he pointed to the guest toothbrush holder, and pointed to a razor hanging in one of the holes. EEEEEEK!!!!!!!! Are you serious? How did that get there!?!   I snatched it up immediately - again trying not to act shocked. He said, "Yeah, that's what I used," beaming in total un-cut innocence.

THANK GOODNESS - the plastic protector was still in place on the razor. He had used his foaming hand soap and shaved his face like he saw Daddy do - only the plastic protected him. Whew!  Catastrophe averted, no thanks to me.

His new stepping stool has gotten us into many dangerous situations. Thankfully - nothing has caused real problems yet. Yikes! If my house wasn't so neglected in terms of being clean right now - I might actually be catching things before they happen. These "safety violoations"  need to be a thing of the past.

On a happier note, Jonas is the sweetest BIG brother Marin could ask for. He loves her and tells her so constantly. He watches out for her, pampers her, cuddles and kisses her. He includes her in everything, and has counted her part of our family, even before she "cracked out" of my stomach - according to him. 

At 2 years, 9 months he's 3ft. 3 in., wearing a size 11 shoe! He's so tall and handsome. His vocabulary rivals that of most 4-5-year-olds, and I am constantly getting comments from friends, colleagues and even strangers about his mastery of language. He speaks in complete adult-form-sentences and can carry intelligent conversations with adults. Yes, he's still a child and thinks and acts like one, but he is one smart-cookie.  I often have to remind myself that despite appearances - he is still only 2 years old. I can't expect him to act older, because he isn't. Even though he does act older most of the time.

He is in a phase where he has really started testing his boundaries. He will yell at me, and tell me "no". He can be defiant when asked to do something he doesn't want to do, and has mastered the tantrum. He especially likes to pull the tantrum card out when we're in a very public place - to test mommy's reaction. Ugh. He knows it really bothers me when he throws himself on the floor, but thankfully he reserves this for only REALLY special occasions.

99% of the time he is sweet, polite and acts well beyond his years. He keeps his room cleaned and organized (with some help). He's also started imaginative play on his own - today his room transformed into a submarine.  He can recognize all capital and lower-case letters, can spell his name, and recognize letters 1-10, and count much higher. He loves being read to, and will re-tell some stories (and correct you when you've misspoken while reading to him.)  He can draw circles and lines, and has begun to draw other creations (like the bumpy cracked dinosaur egg he just showed me).  He likes cutting and pasting - new skills we're still working on.

 He was potty-trained at 2.5, but still has accidents very occasionally. Usually when playing is more fun than stopping.

He is also VERY active. He loves to run, jump and climb. He would play outside all day, every day if I would let him. I should let him more often. I don't have the stamina to keep up with him all the time. He's so curious, creative and fun-loving. He wants to discover everything and is afraid of less than he should be.

I think we are starting a Pre-K class within the next few weeks. I'm excited to give him some social time and also to see how many new learning opportunities this presents for him.

I'm very proud of our bright little boy. He's really a joy & I just pray for the patience and energy to keep up with him as he continues to grow & learn. So thankful he's our baby!

Fixn' Chicken

It's official.
I'm no longer a Chicken Virgin.

It's amazing, but up until this point in my 30 years of life...I've somehow managed to avoid cleaning, stuffing, tying or prying chickens, turkeys or any other poultry for that matter.  It's true that I have eaten my fair share of fowl, but I have managed to avoid the dirty details of fixing most things that look like they do in life...until yesterday.

We purchased some frozen organic chickens a while ago, and he carved one that we made several meals from about a month ago. With freezer storage space at a premium, we decided it was time to cook some more chicken. In all honesty, I've only been avoiding it - because it kind of terrifies me. After my encounter with it yesterday - I understand why. Even though the insides have already been cleaned out - it still kind of grossed me out. I know once it's cooked, I'll feel much better about things, but here's to you little (er..big) chicken.

We found this blog which gave us ideas for 1 chicken, 17 healthy meals at cheaphealthygood.blogspot.com  - check it out here: http://cheaphealthygood.blogspot.com/2009/02/1-chicken-17-healthy-meals-26-bucks-no.html.  So, we're giving it a try.

I'm cooking Marcella Hazan’s Roast Chicken with Two Lemons  (recipe at the above site) for dinner tonight with roasted potatoes and carrots.  I'm excited about the rest of the meals to follow later this week. I guess if I'm going to fix my first chicken - I might as well do it right.  Our chicken is a whopping  9.5 lbs!  I am curious to see how long it takes to fully-cook.

I'll let you know how the recipe turns out later! For now....it smells DE-LIC-IOUS! I feel so gross just discussing my carnivorous ways. Oh well ;(

Dear Lord: Please bless this food!
Amen & Happy cooking!


Tuesday, March 2, 2010

My Beautiful Babies

They are the sunshine in my day. ;) Things have been much smoother the past few days.  Thanks for all of your sweet comments & encouragement. I know so many times incidents like the one I mentioned happen to others &  and go unmentioned. Thankfully, I was forgiven in full the night of the event, but it did serve as a wake-up for me - just a friendly reminder of how precious my 2 little gifts are. I cherish every minute of my time with them.

Anyway, I had a couple of goodies to share. I played with picnik photo editing today for the first time, and LOVED it. If you have not tried it yet....you really should. ;) 

I'm thinking of using the following photo for Marin's birth announcements. I know..it's a little late, but it might still be fun. What do you think?