Friday, February 25, 2011

the longest week ever

My sister and I were talking yesterday and I was saying how BORED I was.  We thought maybe the 7 year parenting itch?  Sounds possible but I think it's more like the (feels like) 7 year WINTER itch. 

So sick of winter now.  So sick of being inside.

So, yeah.  Yesterday was pretty boring in my world.  I did next to nothing all day but rallied at the last minute and got that filthy bathroom cleaned.  I put Nicholas in the tubbie while I cleaned and he loved splashing around.  so cute.

Nicholas is barely signing right now...sometimes "where", that's it.  He does this adorable hand clapping thing that I wish I could get a movie of, though.  He also says "OW" right now and sometimes MA.  I think I remember this with the other kids...a burst of development and then back to their base level again.  (I hope.)  heehee.

There was lots of stuff I wanted to share but I just lost interest in blogging this week.  We shall see what next week brings.  I know I need to snap out of it, though.  We still have some winter left.

sigh.

xoxo

p.s.  I also hate taking vitamins.  I'm not sure why?  I've been doing it but it makes me kind of mad every morning.  Isn't that odd?  At least all of my shorts from before I got pregnant fit me again!  (they didn't fit last year)  That doesn't make me mad.

p.s.s.  Last night at bedtime:

R:  Mom, just to know, I will never say ASSHOLE.
S:  What???  Ruby!  Don't say that!  That is a very bad word!  (leaves their room) 
(a few minutes pass)
R:  (comes in sobbing)  Mom, I am so sorry I said ASSHOLE.  I will never say ASSHOLE again.  I know I shouldn't say ASSHOLE.
S:  Ruby!  Stop saying it!  It's okay.  Just don't say it!
R:  (sobbing)  You're mad at me.
S:  I'm not mad!  see, I'll say it, too!  ASSHOLE.  Now go to bed, okay?
R:  (stops crying.  smiles.)  Okay, goodnight.
S:  (to Patrick)  I feel like I just got played.


I love how James and Ruby both say "just to know" instead of "just so you know."  James also still says "yesterday night" instead of last night.  I hope he keeps that up until he is 8. 

Do your kids have anything you really hope they won't outgrow?

xoxo

Thursday, February 24, 2011

why dads (patrick) are so much more fun than moms (me)

It was Sunday evening. I was in our room with the baby and Patrick was going to do bath time with the big kids. They said they both wanted showers. I heard the door to the garage opening and closing and then lots of laughing. A minute later I heard a loud motor, like a hair dryer, and wondered why he would be drying Ruby's hair before her shower.  The laughing turned to squealing and I took mr. pickles out to investigate.

Patrick was standing over the tub with his drill and drywall mixer, similar to what's shown in the above picture, whipping the tub water and some shampoo up into a FRENZY of bubbles.  The kids were just going nuts. 


 By the time I went to get my camera the bubbles were dying down a lot but they had so much fun in there.  Pickles loved it, too.  (he just splashed)

I'm guessing there won't be too many more times these two take a bath together.  Each time one of them stood up it was all WIENERS! and VAGINAS!

*********************************

I'm not so chatty this week.  I'm not sure why.  Just one of those quiet, introspective moods that I often have.

ha!  :)

Just busy, really.  I still haven't cleaned the bathroom (and it's totally overdue now) but I have done lots of laundry, been exercising, went out for a very nice evening with friends (Patrick put the baby to bed!  I had 2 (weak) margaritas!), got to vent & talk a little about food allergies (thanks Vicki!), paid the bills, took the kids to get hair cuts, had James' conference, played in Ruby's lair with her, cooked some decent meals (so sick of cooking right now) and ate my fair share of nainamo bars.  (James finally polished those off last night.  He loved them.) 

I hope you have a good day today.  I might come back later if inspired to do so and have a spare moment. 

xoxo

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

sous chef


J:  (sounding puzzled)  For some reason I'm really enjoying this.  Can I help you again tomorrow night?

James has a long history of helping me in the kitchen but hasn't been very interested for the last few months.  It's good to have him back. 

(Next I'm going to steal my friend Vicki's idea and teach him to make his own cupcakes!)

mwa ha ha.

xoxo

welcome to ruby's world









I think my favorite is the cowboy with the frogs.  Do you see how similar they look?  killed me.

xoxo

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

dairy & egg free nainamo bars

I finally got the chance to make some nainamo bars last night.

They are so good!

I found the recipe in this little cookbook and only changed it a little bit as I didn't have any flaxseed on hand.

They are very rich and that is coming from someone who can tolerate a lot of sweets.  One small piece is very satisfying.  (just put the pan back in the fridge or you will find yourself going back and back and back for more...trust me.)

bottom layer:

  • 1/2 cup margarine
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 T cornstarch (or soy milk powder if you've got it)
  • 2 T soy milk
  • 1 cup shredded coconut
  • 1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
  •  
  • middle layer:  
  • 1/2 cup margarine
  • 2 T soy milk
  • 2 T Bird's Custard Powder (at woodmans) or 2 T instant vanilla pudding powder
  • 2 cups powdered sugar 
  •  
  • top layer
  • 2 T margarine
  • 1/2 C chocolate chips
  1. To prepare the bottom layer: In a medium saucepan on low heat, melt the margarine and sugar, stirring to combine. Once melted, stir in the cocoa until smooth. Remove from heat. In a medium bowl, stir together the cornstarch, soy milk, coconut and graham cracker crumbs. Add the chocolate sauce and stir well. Press mixture into an ungreased 8X8-in pan. Chill.
  2. To prepare middle layer and assemble bars: In a food processor or medium bowl, cream together the margarine, milk, custard powder or pudding, and powdered sugar until well mixed. Spread evenly over bottom layer.  Chill.
  3. To prepare the top layer: Put chips and margarine in microwave safe bowl and heat, stirring every 30 seconds, until melted and shiny.  Let it cool a bit and then poor it over your bars.  Go ahead and try to chill for 2 hours.  Otherwise, pop in the freezer for 10 minutes and have your first go at them.  :)

Here is Ruby looking for more after she tried a bite this morning:


Feel free to substitute regular dairy for the soy if you can. 


xoxo

sunny sun sun

There are so many things I should be doing right now.  I need to pay a few bills and balance our debit account (checkbook is such an outdated term), I'd like to finish up our taxes now that I found the missing W2s, I have loads (pun intended) of laundry to fold and put away, I'd like to clean the bathroom so it matches the pretty new shower curtain I hung yesterday, and I want to exercise. 

I did an on demand work out yesterday with Joy Bauer from the Today Show.  I don't watch the Today Show but I really liked her and the workout.  She is so cute and mini!  And she huffs just like I do.  :)  I am going to do it again today and consider buying the DVD

Oh yeah...After I finish this month of exercising I am going to the Bobbi Brown counter as a treat!  Excited!  (my cousin's skin always looks so pretty and she uses something from Bobbi Brown.  I'm speaking of Kerri, if you know my family and are wondering.)

Yesterday was such a long, gloomy day.  I did all I could to hang in there but it was tough.  I was so happy to see the sun this morning.  SO! HAPPY!

So, I am just wasting time here.  Just avoiding stuff.  I am going to hang up (?) now and get the money stuff in order.  And drink some coffee.  And enjoy the sun.

I am making a list of stuff I wanted to blog about, cuz there's a LOT, but I just can't right now.  :) 

p.s.  My sweet friend's husband had to have emergency back surgery today.  Please remember him in your prayers.  thank you.

xoxo

Monday, February 21, 2011

my baby

Patrick and I think pickles might be the funniest of our babies.  Which is ironic because at first look he appears to be quite a serious little fellow. 

He's not.

He is so silly and clever and just seems to "get" so many things.  He woke up to nurse the other night and then fully woke up and wanted to play, play, play.  He was just cracking us up and Patrick said he must be having the opposite of sleep terrors, sleep jollies.  He said, "Should I slap him??"  heeheeeeee.

If I ever go in to get him after sleep and am wearing something different or something he hasn't seen before he will narrow his eyes at me.  He looks me up and down for a moment, seemingly to decide if I am still his mother, and then will carry on with his usual business.

I am just so in love with him right now.  I want to remember this because he has seriously brought me joy every single day of his life.  He is so perfect and squishy and darling. 

And his second big tooth is out and he's sleeping so very much better.  yay!  for a good sleeping period. 

I want to express how much this experience, the experience of being Nicholas' mama, means to me but I have such a hard time finding words these days.  I'm just so thankful.

I know what is next, you see, and it's coming quickly. 

I know he is going to get sassy and naughty and test, test, test me.  I know he will hit and bite and run away and have time outs.  I know his face will forever be one of my favorites but I know there are times ahead when I won't want to see it.  I know that I will love him the same forever but he will not be in this perfect little package forever. 

That's what makes babies extra perfect...their packaging.

Excellent marketing, God.

xoxo

(I know this post doesn't make a whole lot of sense.  It really is just me trying to describe right now, with my heart just bursting.  Do you know that feeling?  xoxoxo)

Friday, February 18, 2011

not much to say today

I am home with all of my kiddos today (go here to see why) and they are just starting to drive me nuts.  The baby will go back down for a nap in a little while so I'm trying to think of something to keep the other two quiet for a while so I can re-group for the afternoon.

muzzles?  a gag?  duct tape?

I think a simple threat will probably be most effective.

Have a good weekend, everyone!  Thanks for the Ruby love, well wishes and Junie B. Jones suggestions.  Putting a couple on my library list!  :)

xo

Thursday, February 17, 2011

kids

J:  (came downstairs at 6:45 and found Nicholas and I in the living room)  What are you guys doing up?
S:  Pickles couldn't sleep.
J:  I normally get up in the late 6s.  You know, before the 7s.  Did you know that about me?
S:  Yes, honey.  I normally get up in the early 7s but pickles is really the decision maker.
J:  He is your alarm clock and your baby?
S:  yes.

(you might need to really know James to see the humor here.  He had his very serious tone and look on his face when he was explaining what time he gets up.)
********************************

J:  I just want something, ummmmm, hot and kind of...meaty or something.  Like I want to bite something like that.  (thinks for a minute)  Like a hamburger!

********************************

R:  Mom, Sophia took a book right out of my hands today.
S:  She did?  What did you do?
R:  I did not punch her, Mom.  I just thought in my head, "Sophia is a jerk!" but I didn't punch her.

*******************************
R:  (showing me a picture with pretty hearts and baby Jesus with a cross)
S:  That is very nice, Ruby.
R:  I know.  I'm sorry about what is on the other side.
S:  What is on the other side?
R:   (shows me)  Thunder shootin' at baby Jesus.
S:  (?!?!)  Why would you draw that, Ruby?
R:  I was mad at you.

oh dear.  I think we might need to talk about Him dying for our sins a little more.

***********************************

I love how James kept coming in to check on me when I was sick.  He had his "caring and concerned" look on and would kiss my forehead.  so sweet.

Here is the new tooth:

And I particularly liked Ruby's outfit yesterday:


Warning:  Long paragraph about BABIES movie ahead:

Patrick and I watched Babies last night.  We really liked it.  We agreed that the Mongolian baby seemed to have the best life.  Living in a yurt, surrounded by animals, with a satellite dish and a laptop.  (minus the evil big brother)  We also loved the Namibian baby.  Although we wouldn't let pickles chew on an old bone or perfect-choking-sized rocks, watching her did make us want to throw our baby in some dirt and streams.  (watch out this summer, pickles.)  The Japanese baby's life was much like life in the US and not very appealing.  I did love when she was so frustrated with her toys, though.  LOVED that.  So cute to see babies try and figure stuff out.  Hattie's (the American baby) life seemed pretty boring, really.  I didn't find it offensive or that it made us look particularly bad.  Sure, she had too many toys (pickles could bury her with the toys he's accumulated) and spent time in a johnny jump up but whatever.  Overall I think they did a good job of showing how babies are babies, no matter where they are.  Also?  All mothers look at their babies the same way.  I love that.  I agree with my sister, it was too short.

What did you think of the movie?  Which baby life looked the best to you?

that is all.  xoxo

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

for my valentines

I had such a fun time with my valentines this year.  I didn't make any last year so I was happy to be sending something out to all my loves again.

I was inspired by this up-cycled map stationery I thrifted years ago.  I let my mind wander for a few days, tried a few different things, and ultimately decided on this:

front:

inside:


I made a different version for a few friends (with a pre-folded note that was with the set) but forgot to photograph them.  I had grand plans to send them to all of my friends but that got shelved when I ran out of time/steam.

Luckily, there is always next year.  :)

xoxo

p.s.  My kids totally brought Target valentines to school and I am so okay with that.  ;)

there were no heart shaped pizzas

you guys.

I was in bed for nearly 40 hours.

so sick.

ugh.  It was awful. 

But today I am up and feeling so much better.

Thank God.

Patrick stayed home yesterday. 

He made me a heart shaped egg sandwich.  (xoxo)

Nicholas has it now, but not as bad.  Poor kid.  I am keeping him on Advil because that really helped me. 

I hope you had nice Valentine's days.

I am hoping to make the heart shaped pizzas tonight but I am not telling anyone in case I am too tired by then.

Have a good Wednesday!  Another mild day here...windows open!

The light sure feels different reflecting off of grass instead of snow.  lovely.

xxoo

Monday, February 14, 2011

ah choo!

Ruby at Noodles on Saturday.  She likes to "spy" on people and draw pictures of them.  There were lots of noodles in her pictures.

Her movie treat of choice:
I had all four of my valentines in bed with me this morning.  (3 pictured here.)
James & Ruby loved their surprises this morning but James seemed especially happy.  He kept sighing and saying he loved Valentine's Day and that he couldn't wait to tell his teacher he had PIE for breakfast.  :)  Wait until he finds his heart shaped bologna (gross, I know) sandwich at lunch.  Patrick hopes he won't get teased.  First grade boys still have a sweet side, I told him.  We gave them new markers, a tiny notebook, a small bag of Jelly Bellys, some Trident and a safe candy bar.  I'm not sure why I felt like turning Valentine's Day into Easter this year but it was fun to surprise them.  :)

*******************************************

I have a major case of the sniffles & sneezes this morning.  I took my vitamins and exercised even though I am a little ticked off at all of it.  I thought my new boosted immune system would protect me!!  whatever, body.  ;)

(It was fun to see Jackie this morning.  Hadn't seen her in a year and a half!)

I hope you all have a very good day and Happy Valentine's Day to you!

xxoo

Sunday, February 13, 2011

long live agape*

The sermon today was on agape and what exactly that word means.  (You can watch it here if you want, very good.)

As usual, it was an especially good sermon for Patrick to hear.  (wink)

As we were waiting to get out of the church parking ramp we joked about hollering things at our fellow church-goers.  Patrick said he should squeal between everyone and throw his fist out the window yelling, "LONG LIVE AGAPE!"

hheheheeeehhehehehehehheheeee.

He is so funny.

We put Nicholas in the nursery for the first time in a long time.  It was so nice to just sit next to Patrick again for the whole service.  I love being able to pinch him when I feel he should really be paying attention and he loves to pull my finger.

(I know it doesn't sound like it, but we do take church seriously.  For the most part.  God has a sense of humor too, you know.)

After church it was a hectic few hours of cupcakes, homework, housework and valentines.  After that I got to visit with friends for a couple hours at a birthday party and really enjoyed myself.


Other news:

Nicholas' front tooth broke through this weekend.  My baby.  He is 10 months on Wednesday.

Ruby and I had a wonderful date on Saturday.  We had lunch at Noodles (her choice) and the movie was very cute.  I have a few pictures I'll put up soon. 

Okay, I'm done.  Ready for my book and my bed and my baby.  (that means Patrick, not you, Nicholas!) 

xoxo & LLA*

(I jest about the agape but I would love our home to be overflowing with it.)

Friday, February 11, 2011

I cannot believe it is 11:42

Our whole day is running late.  Nicholas is still taking his morning nap, at almost noon.  Patrick is still upstairs sleeping.  (he caught the dreaded man cold.)  Ruby and I have been down in the basement cleaning and purging fabric!  Yay!

I have another rule for myself that I'm implementing next week.  It might be the hardest yet.  I am also going to measure my body today...I wish I would have 4 weeks ago.  Even if there isn't much weight loss, I can definitely see small changes in the way my clothes fit.  I need to document that for myself. 

Either way, I've been exercising for 4 weeks and the benefits have been amazing.  I don't remember feeling this good about it in the past but I also started in the late summer.  Exercising in winter probably has twice the benefit, don't you think? 

That's not to say I am not sick of winter.  Let's be clear about that.  ;)

I shouldn't leave you hanging about my new rule.  It's not that it's secret, I just haven't worked out the kinks yet.  Something like, "no more thrifting for vintage stuff or fabric unless I list 5 items on etsy (per week) or sew one thing to try and sell that week."  Something like that.  We'll see what I come up with as I mull it over this weekend.  I just see all this cool stuff piling up for "someday" and someday really has to be "now" or I'm just going to chuck it all.

Ruby and I are having a date tomorrow...going to see Gnomeo and Juliet.  Looks so cute.  (I always love reading about Teresa's dates with her boys and miss that with my two big kids.) 

Alright.  Have a super awesome weekend!  LIKE, TOTALLY RAD!!!

(enthusiasm is fake but sentiment is real)

xoxo

Thursday, February 10, 2011

4 years ago

This is what I had to say:


James, coming down to the basement wearing only a diaper, "Mom! My chips are gone. I can't find the bag!"


Me, huddled over the computer while talking on phone to sister, "Go watch TV, I'll get you more in a minute!"

***********************************************

heehee.  That was a proud parenting moment.  :)  Actually, I have no shame.  Some days are just like that.

How's it going?  I am good.  My big kids are both at school and my little kid is having a nice long nap. 

I was telling my mom last night that Nicholas has been sleeping much better since last Friday night...giving me a 7 or 8 hour stretch again!  I also told her that I'm sure the teething would flare up again soon.

Today he is drooling and chomping on his fingers.  We might not have our baby fangs for much longer.  sniffle.

I've been in the house for the last 3 days and didn't feel bothered at all.  Maybe because it was so cold?  I also enjoyed making all my valentines this week and getting caught up on the laundry.  Today, though?  I am bored.

It's so cold but I might have to take us somewhere after school.  I should probably go get ready.  This tank top isn't going to cut it in the tundra.

xxoo

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

later today (I mean right now)

Ruby and Nicholas are napping.  James is on his bed reading for another 45 minutes.  I dozed on my bed for a few minutes before the lure of fresh coffee got me downstairs.

Everyone seems to be feeling better today.  No more fevers, no more puking.  (Ruby puked yesterday but Ruby always pukes.  If given the option to puke or not to puke, her little body would always choose puke.)  We've had a nice day with just the usual ruckus.

I've taken my vitamins and exercised both yesterday and today.  I wanted something soothing today so I did a flow yoga workout (on demand) and it was a little too chant-y for me.  I just tuned that part out, though, and the stretching left me relaxed but with a nice sheen of sweat by the end.

I had so much fun watching the Bachelor last night.  It was hilarious and I was just so! happy! to be watching it.  I am so excited for Bachelor Pad this summer.  heehee!  fun.

Before I forget, this is for Teresa:

:)  She asked why I take the things I take and I guess it's because I've read such good stuff about them.  If you scroll down on this page you can see Dr. Oz's Ultimate Vitamin List.  I should probably add a calcium, and in June, WHEN I'M 40, baby aspirin.  Good thing I have a baby to poach them from.  :)  (I see the good Doctor suggests algae based Omega 3s.  crap!  been taking wrong health food for 3 days!!!!)

Here is Mr. Pickles reaching a shelf he is not supposed to be able to:

He looks a little defiant here, don't you think?  I mean, FOR A BABY!  jeesh, mr. pickles.

I love this picture of Ruby from yesterday.  She looks like she did when she was a newborn.  My little gigantic newborn:


My sister-in-law called me out on facebook for setting the valentine's day bar pretty high. 

Really?  I thought it sounded kind of garbage filled, but fun and easy, which is what I'm looking for.  :)  All of it involves some convenience item except for the cookies.  The pielets (?) will be made with pre-made pie crust.  The pizzas, pre-made dough & sauce, and the cupcakes with a red velvet box mix and 12 ounces of seltzer water.*  I am planning it this far in advance with the hopes that I'll be able to actually carry out at least 50% of the ideas.  :)  (if anything will get nixed it will be the homemade cookies.  fo rizzle.)  I will also add strawberries and red grapes for their color and to assuage my guilt about all the sweeties.

Also - you can get a set of 4 heart cookie cutters at Target for $4.99.  There is a larger size heart that will be good for the pizzas and sandwiches.

Speaking of Valentine's and (thinking about) candy and before I forget again, Jelly Bellys are peanut free!  Did you know this already?  I found out at Christmas time and James was very happy to be able to eat some of these yummy jelly beans.  Here is the info on their website, make sure to check packages as their might be some old ones (with the peanut butter flavor) still available.  (They also suggest avoiding bulk beans as who knows how old those could be!)

It seems there was something else but it's time to sign out for the day.

:)  Thanks for stopping by.  xoxo

ETA:  I remembered!  * Wendy told me about making cupcakes with diet soda and when I googled it I read you can also use seltzer water.  A couple weeks ago I tried it with a dairy and egg free cake mix and it worked great.  I also added 1/2 C of applesauce.  (as a binder, they are super crumbly without it.  yes, I had tried previously without it.)  So take your cake mix, 12 oz. of seltzer water (to avoid baking diet pop if that makes you squeamish) and 1/2 c of applesauce and mix together.  Bake as directed.  A nice & easy break if you have been making the same chocolate cupcake recipe for the last 6.5 years.  :)

today

Ruby is better this morning and is already asking for pizza.  She will be staying home just to make sure her tummy is all good.

James was worn out from his day at school yesterday so he will be staying home today to rest up.

Pickles is fine at press time.  He just turned on his mobile and I can hear him working on his morning, um, business.

I finally got my period again.  Only 7 weeks since the last one!  ouch.  So that's how I am.

I am signing off of my computer until the afternoon.  Hoping to make this a good day for all of us.

Please pass the advil and coffee.  I'm gonna need it.

Have a good one, you guys.

xoxo

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

valentine's day treats

I'm wanting to make my kids all sorts of heart shaped stuff to eat this Valentine's Day. 


I'm going to revisit this pie crust idea but use a larger heart shape and seal two of them together with a thickened blueberry compote in the middle.  I may or may not be planning to drizzle these with glaze.

That will most likely be called breakfast. 

There will surely be heart shaped sandwiches for lunch with some chocolate heart cut outs for dessert.

At dinner I am thinking individual, heart-shaped pizzas.  Dessert might be red velvet cupcakes with heart sprinkles.

So fun!  :)

Are you planning anything special for your loves?

xoxo

tidbits

James woke up back to his normal self this morning.  He is coughing a little but was fine for school.  See ya!  hahahahhahaaa.

I heard Ruby moaning a little as she was getting dressed.  (she sleeps in her underwear and always gets dressed immediately after waking)  I went to the bottom of the stairs and she walked towards me, looking more pink and flushed than usual.



She is home sick today.  I called in to her preschool and they told me, "Oh yeah.  We sent 3 kids home with fevers yesterday."  So far no other symptoms but this does seem different than what James had.  Great.  :)

I cannot exercise until Max & Ruby and Bubble Guppies are over as my girl has been waiting all morning to watch them.  (Bubble Guppies is on while she is at school which makes her very sad.  It is a really cute show.  I mainly just like the name.)

Besides, I have a new rule for myself for these next 3 weeks.  No blogging until...
I take my vitamins!  (I will probably wait to blog until after I exercise most days, too, as that works really well for me.)  I have been slacking on taking my vitamins for a while so I figured I'd force myself to.  I take a fish oil, a prenatal (no, not preggers...just good vitamins) and a vitamin D.

Do you take daily vitamins?  What are they?

This is also one of my favorite drinking "glasses" as it says 24 oz. right on it so I know how much I'm getting in.  (I am also bad at drinking water lately.  shame on me.)

My afternoon did get better yesterday, in case you were worried about me.  The big kids stayed in their rooms (rather, James in their room, Ruby in ours) for an hour (they knew there would be BIG trouble if they didn't...I had that look in my eye) so I could just chill out a little.  I first blogged about how irritating they were being, read & commented on a couple other blogs, got the downstairs picked up and the dishes done, set up my sewing machine in the kitchen,

worked on my valentines,

(I came up with a different idea after the stamps...I couldn't very well send out a card everyone had seen, could I?)  (I love them!!)

and started dinner.  It was very nice.  When they came out I let James play Nintendo so I got another half hour of quiet, too.  (Ruby plays down there while he is playing Nintendo.)

We ate dinner a while later and I used the timer to take this lovely portrait of us:


I cropped off the most unflattering section of this photo, trust me.  (note to self: work on posture.)  (no blogging until I sit up straight!  HA!)

For my last tidbit today, I will show you my laundry shelf:

I don't love this shelf itself but the whole concept is working out very nicely.  I usually fold laundry in our bedroom and sort it into piles on our bed as I go.  The problem is that I don't usually get it put away so it all gets piled on the floor at bedtime or in a basket where it sits and sits
and
sits.  Then we come to need those clothes so people start digging through it and it is a big mess on our bedroom floor.  Not cool.
With the laundry shelf® I simply stack each kid's clothes into a pile and they take them to their room when I tell them or they notice.  (Ruby loves this and always notices.  James needs to be prodded.  His pile is on the top shelf...he actually took it this morning.  And pickles is kind of slacking but I am pretty lenient with him.  ;)  )  I do put my stuff and Patrick's in our closets right away.  I like it so much better this way.

My sister and I talked about how laundry rooms should be family closet/laundry room combos so the laundry could get put away instantly.  Wouldn't that be awesome???  I could see it getting awkward at some point, though.  "EWWWWWWW, MOM!"  haha.

Have a good Tuesday, darlings.
xoxo

Monday, February 07, 2011

I knew it

I am just dropping by to tell you how my kids are driving me absolutely NUTS today. 

I gave James Tylenol and I knew I'd regret it.  As soon as it took the edge off of his fever he was well enough to get up and be a crab.  I'm bored, he kept whining.  GOOD, I kept replying.

They are all in their rooms now for an hour or I seriously would have lost my mind. 

Now, where did I leave my beer?

well, hello there

How are you?  (Do you know that when I ask that I really want to know?  I do.)

I am good.  I just finished you-know-whating and feel really good.  I hadn't done it since Friday and I have to admit that today was hard to get moving.

This is why I am trying to exercise nearly every day.  I am not someone who can say, "Oh, I'll exercise three times a week!" because I would wait and wait, thinking I'll do in on W-Th-F and then on Wednesday I would think, "Oh, I'll just do it Th-F-S."  And then on Thursday?  I wouldn't do it and the whole week would be a fail.  That's just how I am, sad to say.  I am not going to beat myself up for taking a couple days off here and there, though.  Especially when they were such good days.  (Exercising would have only made them better, in hindsight.)

On Saturday I got to sit on the couch and have coffee with Patrick.  I love that.  Then I got ready and left, FOR THE DAY.  It was so nice.

Patrick has been a little more reluctant to watch the children since Nicholas came along.  Hey, he doesn't have to tell me, it's a lot more work with a baby.  I have gone slow with him...not going anywhere at all for the first few months and then getting away for just 2 or 3 hours.  (which felt like forever after so long.)  Luckily, for whatever reason, I have been pretty content with that.

Until lately.  haha.  When Nicholas started waking up at 8:30, after going down at 7:00, that essentially grounded me at night.  Before I could also sneak in a week night trip to Target or something after a long day but that came to a screeching halt.  When baby gets up at night, he only wants me.

So anyways, that has been kind of hard.  I know a couple things, though.  1)  This is the way we do things...we've never made sure our kids would take a bottle and 2) This is only temporary.  (the 8:30 wake up seems to be very nearly over)

This was all a very long way of saying that Patrick was alone with all 3 kids for nearly 8 hours on Saturday.  Woo hoo!  And he was sweet about it.  I came home to a clean house and dinner on the table.  Pickles was very excited to see me nurse, but Patrick had said he'd had a really good day.  (he goes down during the day for Patrick, no problem.)  I'm not going to start ditching them every weekend but it is sure nice to know that I can.  A little bit of freedom is a very good thing.

So Saturday was very nice.  I did meet Zoe and she showed me how to knit!  That was fun but I'm not so sure knitting is my thing.  I have always wanted to know how though, so I am glad.  Thanks, Zoe!  I have a feeling it might be something I'd enjoy more in the future when I have a little more free time.  Right now if I get to sit down I mainly like to read.  If I do watch TV I like to totally veg out and focus on it...soak it up for all of the guilty pleasure that it is.  (because I mainly like bad reality TV, it is a guilty pleasure.  but one that I don't feel very guilty about, if that makes any sense.)

I also wandered around some of my favorite haunts and got some groceries for the special treats we had yesterday during the big game.  It was very nice.  (happy sigh)

James is home sick today and just fell asleep on the couch after I rubbed his back.  So sweet.  He wants me to leave him here while I go get Ruby from preschool but I'm not sure.  Is he old enough to be alone for 15 minutes?  I'm going to call Patrick and get his opinion.

Finally, here are a few pictures of things that made me happy this weekend:


This new jar (empty applesauce jar) with marshmallows made me very happy:

 Today is the 100th day of school so we made up these baggies of 100 snacks for each of James' classmates.  I dropped them off this morning.  (he was feeling fine when we made them up and he did wash & sanitize his hands first.  I told the teacher that and said it was her call.  :)  )
 James & Patrick worked on a new fort:
 I made pretzel bites with my helper, Ruby.  They barely rose but still turned out really good.  (like, really good.)  (I used dairy free margarine and brushed the tops with soy milk instead of egg before baking.)
 Patrick found James down on the couch Saturday night with this note beside him.  He was waiting for us to turn our light out so he could record the time.  Man, this cracked us up.  The kids are very jealous of what we do when they go to bed so they have been spying on us lately. 
 There was lots of game playing this weekend.  Shortly after this picture things turned ugly.  James was hiding the winning card.  ha!  Little rat.  Thank you to Uncle Thomas & Erin for getting the kids new games for Christmas.  Love that.
 Um, some of the pretzels weren't as good.  This was my cinnamon and sugar batch.  Next time I will put the cinnamon and sugar on AFTER baking.  My bad.

Have a really good Monday, dear ones.

xoxoxo

Friday, February 04, 2011

afternoon (yesterday & today)

yesterday:

(calling out the front door for James)

S:  James!  James!  JAAAAAAAAAAMESSSSSSS!
J:  (no answer)
S:  (goes to back door)  JAAAAAAAAAMMMMMEMEMEMEMEMSMMSMSMSSS!
J:  (no answer)
S:  (gets on boots & jacket, feels a little worried, goes back to back door)
R:  (who was outside in the yard looking for him)  MOM!  I found him.
J:  (pokes head around side of the house)  What?
S:  Didn't you hear me?
J:  Yeah I heard you.  Why were you yelling AIMS so loud?
S: (bangs head against door frame)

************************************************

today:


I did the second mile of my new DVD (biggest loser walking one) today and loved it!  They use hand weights and it was a lot of fun and felt like a really good workout, even just doing one mile.  (16 minutes...kind of short but today IS Friday and Friday is for taking it easy in my world.) 

When you mention a walking workout to someone you can almost always see them trying really hard not to roll their eyes.  Don't be a hater!  Walking workouts are low impact but can be as high intensity as you make them.  Here is a mile with Leslie on you tube that you can try.

Go on...give it a try.  :)

My mom said I can keep talking about exercise so I'm going to.  heehee.  Honestly, if I can inspire anyone to do it, especially my mom, I will be so happy.

It's Friday!  We just got home from the thrift store a while ago.  It was nice to get out and see our buddies.   I picked up a huge stack of new books from the library earlier so I am pretty excited about that, too.  My US Weekly & People also arrived in the mailbox today.  Holy cats, that's a lot of good stuff for one day.

Tomorrow I get some time by myself.  I might be learning to knit, and I'm not sure what else, but don't really care.  :)


I drank yesterday's coffee this morning and that just isn't cool.  I need to go make a new pot.

Here is my baby, whom I find particularly cute today.  I like how he clings to my (very lovely) sweatshirt.




He is ticked because he cannot have the camera.

Happy weekend, all.  Enjoy that big game if that is your thing.  xoxo

Thursday, February 03, 2011

more about that natural prozac

"Exercise not only spurs endorphins, but it can also help stabilize your mood by raising the level of neurotransmitters in the brain.  Going for a 12 minute walk may be the natural equivalent of taking Prozac, says John Ratey, M.D., an associate clinical professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and the author of Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain."

I clipped the above quote out of a Whole Living magazine a few months back.  The 12 minute part stayed with me over Christmas while I quietly whispered to my neglected body, "soon, soon, soon."

Do you have 12 minutes?


xoxo

p.s.  I promise I will shut up about this soon.  Well, not for good, but I will stop mentioning it every day.  It just feels so good!  Get yourself some!  12 minutes!

craptastic

I have had kind of a craptastic morning.

I hate that.


Here are a few pictures. I got this hat for Nicholas at WalMart for 50 cents. I do love a baby wearing a hat.


James is happy to be playing miniclips again.

Seester, these are the jammies I told you I stained.  sorry.
I think this one is funny, the fangs coupled with red eyes.  ha!

I am going to go work out again.  (I did a startling hard pilates video this morning.  Rather, I tried to do it.  For a lot of it I just laid there and stared at the screen, silently weeping.)  I got a new DVD at Target and want to try it out.  Besides, I need a little more of that natural prozac today.

xoxo

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