January 31, 2009

My Big Boy!

Luke has gone the last 3 nights without a passy! He hasn't even cried or fussed about it! I am so proud of him. To celebrate today we went to pick out a big boy toy. I put his passy's into a ziploc bag and took him to the Toy store. He was so ready to get rid of them! Wilson had to be convinced, and then some rough nights followed. We walked around the toy store looking at several aisles. He almost settled on a toolbox with tools inside. Then we found the weed eater! He was so excited! He knew right away that was what he wanted instead of the tools. We went up to the cash register to buy it and he gladly handed his baggie of passy's over to the cashier. I'm so proud of our big boy!! He is proud of himself too!!

January 30, 2009

Snow Days 6 & 7

Yesterday we went over to Cara's house to hang out. We got there around 11:30 and stayed until 5pm! The kids went sledding on her driveway. We ate lunch and played the Wii. The kids also watched a movie and played. It was fun and nice to get out of our house. Today we went to the mall for a couple hours and walked around. The boys played and we ate lunch. It was nice to get out again. Everything is starting to melt because the sun is shining. I've been pretty lazy during these 5 snow days. Havne't done much. Not necessarily proud of the list but here's what I've done:
-caught up on Grey's (1 episode)
-almost caught up on Desparate Housewives (2 down, 1 to go)
- spent a lot of time on the internet- Google Reader, Facebook, email
- watched several episodes of Friends
- Slept in 2 days
- taken 1 nap
- made dinner every night except Wednesday
- cleaned the highchair
- played/hung out with the boys
- made waffles 2 mornings and egg sandwiches 1 morning
- took a walk on Monday before all the ice. Sorry team, that's the only day I hit 10,000 steps :(
- played Wii bowling, tennis, and guitar hero
- walked around the mall
-talked to my mom on the phone
- a little Mary kay work
-finished a book

January 29, 2009

Snow Day #5

Not much to say! The boys went sledding and had a great time. Last night we were eager to get out of the house so at the last minute we called my mom and dad and met up at Chili's. It was fun! I hadn't been out of the house since Monday so last night was nice. We're heading over to Cara's to sled on their driveway and eat lunch together in a couple hours. Think there will be school tomorrow?!?!

January 27, 2009

Snow Day #4 = Ice

Another day at home with my boys makes me a happy camper - though I'm trying not to think about May or June right now. There's nothing I can do about that! Today we were homebound due to the ice covering everything. We all took a nap except Wilson- I fell asleep with Ty on the couch and Wilson was in there playing. We did some cleaning, lots of playing, and I did some Mary Kay bookkeeping. I gave all the boys a bath and Andy's been doing some laundry. I've been on Facebook a lot reading everybody's 25 things. If you're not on FB check it out! It's a great way to reconnect with friends and to stay abreast of what's happening in their lives.

My nose is doing well! Not as sore today. I'm taking good care of it with my H2Ocean spray. It's a piercing aftercare spray. I'm to use it 3-5 times a day. I just spray the piercing and the swab around it with a q-tip. It's sterile purified ocean salt water.

Today I tried a crockpot recipe from a friend at school, Laura. It was SO good! The best part was how easy it was! I'm going to post it below. We had Jiffy corn muffins with it and I made some of Cara's famous guacamole for me. Too bad no one else in my family will touch the stuff! This recipe will be made again!!

Crockpot Mexican Chili

2 frozen chicken breasts - I buy Market Day ChicNSteakes - they can change your life!!!
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can corn, drained
1 jar salsa - My fave: Garden Fresh Gourment from Meijer - Jack's Special Mild Salsa
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder

Put frozen chicken breasts in crockpot. Dump other ingredients in and stir. Cook on high 5 hours. Mine was on high for about 2 hours then I turned it to low. At the end of the 5 hours the chicken was falling apart. Take two forks and shred the chicken on a cutting board. Place shredded chicken back in crockpot and stir. I served this in a bowl with shredded mexican cheese on top. You could add sour cream or green onions too. Serve with cornbread or tortilla chips.

Stay tuned for Snow Day #5 tomorrow!! When will we ever return to school?!

January 26, 2009

Another Recipe & Ty's Rolling People!

Tonight we had a wonderful dinner. Thai Chicken with cashews from Annie's Eats blog. I'll link the recipe here. It looked beautiful and tasted wonderful! It was a tad spicy- I'd cut the red pepper from 1/4 tsp to 1/8 tsp unless you like your food spicy. I served this on top of white jasmine rice and served it with steamed snow peas. The recipe was easy, though with all stir-fry, have your ingredients all prepped before you begin because stir fry goes fast!

Big news about Ty! He rolled over twice tonight! But was so worn out from all his hard work that he couldn't do it a 3rd time when we had the camera out. We'll get it posted soon! He's such a big boy!

Snow Day #3

Why we didn't have a delay...I'll never know! But I am enjoying my snow day. Crawled right back into bed and slept until 7:30. Got up with Luke and fed Ty. He loves his cereal! Then Luke and I made waffles. Hung out in my jammies until 11! Then, my mom and Terry came and got me and we went to get my nose pierced. See the pics and be glad I didn't put the scary one up! Now we're getting ready to go on a walk so I can get some steps in for school. Not sure what I'm talking about? Read here, here, or here.

January 25, 2009

My Favorite Things

Some new favorite things of mine:
1. my new favorite jeans
2. best lotion - my skin stays moisturized until my next shower - no more itchy dry skin!
3. I gave up on expensive shower gel from the mall. Now I just use Suave Exhale body wash! I think it's less than 3bucks!

My old faves include MK make-up, MK hand lotion, diet dr pepper, twix, caramel lattes from Panera (skim milk + no whipped cream), massages from Andy, bubble baths, cozy pants and fuzzy socks, cooking, blogging, reading, shopping, songs on my ipod, sleeping in, hanging out at home with the family, trying new recipes, frozen mango margaritas + chips and salsa from Chili's, I could keep going but I don't want to bore you too much longer!

Andy knows how far I've come to have a list of favorites- I haven't always! It used to be too hard for me to choose 1 favorite thing. Not anymore. I'm 30 ya know.

Tyler Loves Rice Cereal!

So this past week Ty tried rice cereal for the first time. Boy is he ready to eat! He loved the cereal on the very first bite. He just kept smacking his lips and opening his mouth for more. I was so surprised because Wilson and Luke weren't very interested in cereal the first few tries. I remember them making a face and spitting it back out. Not Tyler! He kept eating it and slurping it off the spoon. He smiles when he eats his cereal now. This weekend I've been trying to do cereal with his morning and early evening feeding. The past 2 nights Tyler has slept from the 10 o'clock feeding until sometime between 2-3am!! Then he eats and sleeps until the 6:30-7am feeding!! So it looks like we've cut out one of the middle of the night feedings. THANK GOODNESS!!

January 24, 2009

One Lucky Lady!

So yesterday was the big one- the big 3-0! And it was a totally terrific day! I have some wonderful friends and family in my life! Here's a rundown of my fabulous birthday:
-I woke up to find two cards made by Wilson and Luke. Wilson had WRITTEN Happy Birthday Mommy Love Wilson!! Luke had drawn me a nice picture.
- Went to school and my teammates had hung a Happy Birthday banner on my bulletin board in the hallway and a sign on my door frame. There was a birthday cake in the lounge that was delicious and they ordered in lunch to celebrate my b-day! I chose sandwiches from LB.
- Last night Andy and I went to eat at a local restaurant SG and LOVED it! I loved the atmosphere, the food, everything! I want to go back already. My sister was keeping the boys...so I thought!! After dinner we went to pick up the boys and there was a surprise party at Cara's! There were tons of friends and family there and it was wonderful to see everyone. I felt really loved!
All in all it was a GREAT day! Andy let me sleep in this morning so that was heavenly. I can handle 30! I'm so happy with where I am in life and know that there are tons more wonderful things to look forward too! Thank you for making my day so special!

January 17, 2009

Paw's Chili and Cheese Muffins

This post is dedicated to my Paw-Paw, one of the best cook's I've ever known. I love you Paw!

One of my favorite foods of all time has been my Paw-Paw's Chili. Over the last 2-3 years I have tried my hand at making his chili. I finally have figured out how to apapt his reciple slightly to make it work in my own kitchen. I typed the recipe up tonight after making it for dinner so I wouldn't forget. For me chili isn't chili without spaghetti! I also decided to make cheese muffins from the Pioneer Woman Cook's blog. They were delicious! They went well with the chili. You can find her recipe here. She has helpful step by step directions and photos! They were so simple to make and turned out very tasty. I made a double batch since Mimi and Poppy, Stephanie, Meg, Lily and Trey came over for dinner. If you try the chili, let me know how it turns out!

Paw’s Chili – Cincinnati Style

4 ½ - 5 lbs lean ground beef
2 T vinegar
Dash of Worcestershire sauce
3 onions, diced
4 cloves garlic, diced
1 T garlic salt
1 t cinnamon
4 T cumin
4 T chili powder
1 t black pepper
2-3 cans red beans – OPTIONAL
29 oz can tomato puree
46 oz can tomato juice
4 cups water, divided
Cooked spaghetti
Toppings: shredded cheese, Tabasco, chili powder, crackers

Brown ground beef on medium heat. Drain. Add vinegar and Worcestershire sauce. Mix in onions and garlic. Cook on low (so the meat doesn’t burn) for 20 minutes. Add spices (next 5 ingredients) and 2 cups water. Turn heat back to medium and cook 30 minutes, adding an additional cup of water when necessary to keep the meat from burning to the bottom of the pan. Next, add puree, tomato juice and 1 more cup of water. Stir and turn heat to medium high. Bring to a boil. Then reduce heat and simmer 1 hour. Serve over cooked spaghetti with toppings of your choice. I leave the beans out of mine.

January 16, 2009

Doctor Check-Ups

5 Year Old Check-Up
Wilson did great at his dr check-up. We were thrilled to find out that this appointment brought no shots. He had already had his flu shot. We have our Immunization Certificate and School Entry form for Kindergarten this fall!! I can't believe Wilson is getting so big!! Wilson is 44" tall (70th percentile) and 45 lbs (76th percentile). He was healthy and his BMI was good! This is a picture of Wilson at our nearby Arboretum.

3 Year Old Check-Up
Luke also did great at his dr check-up! He was happy to have zero shots as well! Luke is 38 1/2" tall (68th percentile) and weighs 35 1/2 lbs (83rd percentile). He definitely has a pooh belly! However, his BMI was good and he is healthy! His tubes are sitting in the ear canal, they haven't fallen completely out but aren't doing anything either. He is completely potty trained. Next step: get rid of the passy for nap/bed time! Luke got his first set of Lego's after his dr checkup!

4 Month Old Check-Up

Our biggest baby ever had his check-up this week too! He is happy and healthy and Dr. I was thrilled with our report from CCH. He had already gotten a report as well. Tyler wasn't as lucky as his brothers. He had 3 shots but handled them well! With those thunder thighs maybe it wasn't as bad. Ty is 27" long (96th percentile) and weighed 18lbs 12 oz (96th percentile)! He's a big boy! Tyler is still waking up to eat every three hours day or night. It is KILLING me to wake up this much every night when my alarm goes off so early. Andy has started helping me the last few days with giving Ty a bottle before he goes to bed. This means I've gotten up to feed him 1 time instead of 2. Dr. I said we could try cereal in the evening to see if it helps him sleep longer. Not sure if I want to start it this early or not. We waited till 6 months with both of the others. His head circumference is in the 88th percentile. In the picture Tyler was really eyeing my cheesecake!! These boys might eat us out of house and home as they get older!

"Snow" Day #2

Yippee! Yesterday before I even left school for the afternoon I found out we were out of school today due to freezing cold temperatures! Boy, were they right. This morning the air temperature was -2. So glad I wasn't up and leaving the house before 7am. Today I'm not sure what we'll get into. Last night I went to bed early and got to sleep until 7:15. It was nice. Though I wish I could have slept longer! The boys wanted to paint so after breakfast they sat at the dining room table and Wilson did paint by number (still working on number recognition, he did VERY well with 1-10!!) and Luke just painted with his water colors. While they painted I did school work for a little over an hour and got several things accomplished! I also made myself a yummy breakfast. Ready? It was a plain Mini bagel with egg, american cheese, pickle, and miracle whip. That was the classic breakfast sandwich my sister and her friend used to make when they were in highschool (but then it also had bacon). It is surprisingly delicious with the pickle! We always had it on toast but today I used a mini bagel because I no longer use a toaster. I cleared it off the counter for my new KitchenAid Stand Mixer!! We're all looking forward to the rest of the day!

January 14, 2009

Watching TV Shouldn't = Hard Work!

So the other night Andy and I taped How I Met Your Mother to watch after Andy got home from a meeting. Yes I said taped. Don't laugh! We don't have cable yet! We are considering getting cable after we pay off our heating system and siding debt. Almost there, then we'll look into cable. Anyway. So we sat down to watch the show. Andy rewinded the tape and hit play. There was no sound. The mute button had been turned on through the cable box. (Not sure if it's called a cable box. It's that new thing you have to have to get tv channels now without cable). So we proceeded to sit through the entire show (about 25 minutes) reading the captions. It took effort! When it was over we were both like shew! That wasn't relaxing! The captions moved so fast and then you couldn't look at the picture. Glad watching tv isn't usually that much work!

January 13, 2009

More Birthday Pics!

The party gang.

Luke with his Spiderman cupcake.

Wilson with his fire truck cake.

A close up of the cake Andy and I made for Wilson!

Wilson and one of his friends at the museum.

Luke at the museum.

Happy Birthday Luke!

Luke is 3 years old today! He has had a great birthday. We've been celebrating since Saturday! His and Will's party was on Saturday at the Children's Museum in town. They had a blast. Luke's birthday theme has been Spiderman. So he chose chocolate cupcakes with spiderman liners and cupcake decorations. Tonight his birthday dinner of choice was bagel pizzas. We usually make these at home after we've made homemade pizza to use up the leftover sauce and pepperoni! I thought it was so cute that he chose them. I also made corn and gave him mandarin oranges, his favorites. As you saw above mommy and daddy got Luke his first big boy bike! A Spiderman bike! He was pretty excited in his quiet little way. Here he is getting ready to blow out his candles. He eventually blew them all out! We love you Luke!

January 10, 2009

My little Ty

Ok. So I'm still very thankful that Ty's birthmark isn't causing serious complications. But over the last couple days the whole Port wine stain is really bothering me. To me it is noticeable and I just have this fear that as he gets older if it stays the way it is now then he'll be made fun of or teased. He is so precious and sweet and so handsome. But kids are mean. If he has a bright pink side to his face he will be made fun of. I don't think I'll handle that well. I don't want him to be self conscious or think that he is unattractive. Maybe my worry is for nothing and it will fade. But I can't stop thinking that as he gets older what life will be like for him. What will go through his mind? Kids are self conscious enough without having something that noticeable. I know many of you will say it's not dark. But at home there are days that Andy and I say to each other "it's dark today" or when he is crying/eating/working hard and it darkens it is really noticeable. I think he is perfect and precious but I just want him to be confident in who he is and not avoided or made fun of because kids think he is "different". How do you handle something like this and not just think about it and worry about it? I'm ok, I just want to know that he's going to be ok and be able to handle whatever comes his way. Will it be every time that I tell him he is cute/handsome etc in his mind he's thinking he's not just because of his birthmark? Am I being ridiculous? My anxiety is pretty evident in this post. But I needed to get it off my chest. Sorry for the randomness of my thoughts!

January 7, 2009

Happy Birthday, Wilson!

Wilson is 5 years old!!
I can't believe it! That sounds all grown up to me...no longer a baby or a toddler or anything! He is a big boy! He has had a great birthday. On Monday he was able to take a treat to preschool (no cupcakes allowed) so he chose Bomb Pops (popsicles). He had a birthday crown and they sang to him. He was so happy that afternoon and told me all about it! Today he woke up to find a Happy Birthday sign with streamers on the front door along with a card from his beloved Aunt Stephanie. When I got home from school he received his gift from Andy and I - a new bicycle. Hate to say it but he was dissapointed that it wasn't legos. In the end he became excited. I took him for a bike ride in the freezing temperatures! He chose pancakes and sausage for dinner. We put a candle in his pancake and sang Happy Birthday to him. I made a simple chocolate cake with cool whip icing for tonight. We put 5 candles in the cake and sang again! On Saturday he has his birthday party. So tomorrow and Friday night I'll be working on the Fire Truck cake using a Wilton pan. Wish me luck!

January 6, 2009

Ty's Appointment at CCH

Today was a long day. But we left with good news! Praise the Lord! The opthamalogy visit was from 12:45-2:30 and all went well. No glaucoma or any other eye problems so the opthamalogist didn't think the port wine stain was causing sturge weber syndrome. They dilated his eyes and checked the pressure and did several other things. Ty was a trooper! Then we went over to the Hemangioma and Vascular Malformation Unit. Our appointment was at 3 but it was at least 4 pm before we were called back. We saw 4 doctors at one time. They were so nice and also agreed that this wasn't Sturge Weber Syndrome. It is officially a port wine stain (type of birthmark). They want to watch it to see if it darkens. If it does we'll start talking about laser treatment to lighten it. As of now we don't need to do anything but return in March. They were so nice at CCH. I was very impressed. The doctors were willing to talk to us and didn't see to be in a rush. That place is HUGE! It felt like we were in an airport or something- having to read all the signs to get to the right building etc. After thinking that Ty could have SWS, I'm so thankful that it is just a port wine stain. We can deal with that. God is good!
Oh, and by the way Tyler weighed 18 lbs, 11oz. And has his first ear infection. So one of the dr's gave him his first prescription.

January 5, 2009

Oven Roasted Veggies

We had oven roasted veggies tonight and boy were they good! I think I will make this a lot this winter. I found the recipe here. I was planning to make the chicken bundles tonight too but a 5:20 appt at the dr for Tyler changed my mind! (Ty has a bad cold he caught from Luke but as of now it hasn't turned into RSV.) Instead we ate the chicken pot pie I had pulled down from the freezer. But I had really been looking forward to the veggies for dinner so I went ahead and made those. You've got to try this one! I modified the recipe to suit our tastes but you could really use any vegetables your family likes. (The recipe linked above used mushrooms, leeks, carrots, sweet potato and others).

Oven Roasted Veggies
Source: Danielle Deskins
1 whole head garlic
Olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 red pepper
1 or 2 red potatoes
1/2 head of cauliflower
Handful of baby carrots
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
1 to 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

Preheat oven to 425. Remove a few of the paper layers from the garlic, but not enough that you expose the cloves. Cut off the very tip of the garlic so that you can barely see the tops of the cloves. Put the head in the middle of a piece of foil and drizzle with olive oil. Bring the sides up like you're making a package. Put the whole thing in the oven for 30-45 minutes. You can cook this while you are cooking the veggies. Chop all the veggies into bite-size pieces (about 1 inch). Throw in a bowl and drizzle with olive oil, salt & pepper to taste. Spread all the veggies on a single layer on a cookie sheet (line it with parchment paper for easy removal and clean up). Roast in oven for about 30 minutes, stirring about halfway through, or until vegetables are tender. Remove veggies and garlic. Let the garlic cool and put the veggies in a bowl. Once the garlic is cooled, squeeze the garlic on top of the veggies. Drizzle some balsamic vinegar on the veggies and toss to coat.

January 4, 2009

The BEST Chocolate Chip Cookies. Ever.

Wow. I made the Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies from the recipe I found on Annie's Eats. They are so good. They are thick. They are chewy! They taste delicious! I made them last night after putting the boys to bed. Andy said several times how good they were. Today they are even better. This recipe will be repeated many times in my household!
*I told the boys who lost treats this morning due to fighting, wrestling, and generally not listening to their mama it was a shame b/c I made the best chocolate chip cookies ever!


Well the wonderful two week break is coming to an end. I'm wishing we still had more time off. I love being home with the boys and not having the stress of work on top of raising three boys! I actually had a little time each day to enjoy for myself since I didn't need to be in bed by 10. But that will end M-F starting tomorrow because there just isn't enough time in the day for 3 kids, 1 husband, a full day of teaching, making dinner, and getting ready to do it all over again the next day. So I'm a little down today, dreading the 5:15am alarm, the pumping in the bathroom, and missing my boys.

* We go to CCH on Tuesday. Tyler's appts are at 12:45 and 3pm. Hopefully we'll have some news about his birthmark then.

January 3, 2009

Try, try again!

So I decided there was still some good name brand stuff in those bags I took to Once Upon a Child. I had also noticed they were already buying spring/summer clothes. So this morning I finished up my 0-9month clothes organizing by making 4 piles. Goodwill, spring consignment sale, fall consignment sale, and a pile for 1 more trip to the consignment store. I had two grocery bags this time and only name brand stuff. A winter bag (with clothes I took there yesterday!) and a spring bag. They bought most of it this time for $19!! The only things they didn't buy were pieces that didn't make an outfit. Ha! Showed them! I guess they didn't look at all the clothing I brought in yesterday. So here's my consignment store advice if you want them to buy your stuff:
- name brand
- outfits
- don't take too much at one time
And now I'm a step ahead for the consignment sales at our local churches! I've already got the stuff in the tubs. Will just have to hang, label, price etc.

January 2, 2009

Consignment Stores

So yesterday I went through our 0-3 and 3-6 month clothes and sorted them into piles. I was mainly searching for clothes I thought a local consignment store might purchase. I looked at their website, printed out "our favorite brands" and checked each and every tag. I also checked each outfit for stains and general wear & tear. I snapped all the snaps, zipped all the zippers, and folded them. Packed them neatly in my go green bags and was ready to take them in for cash. I had over 50 clothing items that were on the "our favorite brand list" without stains. I also took a diaper bag, play mat, and baby bathtub.

After 45 minutes in the store they bought 6 outfits, the diaper bag, and the play mat. I walked away with almost $22. I bought 2 shirts for Ty which cost me $8. The 6 outfits they bought included only name brands (GAP, Gymboree, Children's Place, Osh Kosh, and 2 Ralph Lauren). They didn't buy any Carter's even though it was listed as a favorite brand. All those fancy brands I had to sell were gifts! I'm a Carter's girl. I love their sleepers. I have to say, I was pretty dissapointed with how much they bought. Especially after spending 45 minutes perusing the store and seeing some of the not so nice clothing on the racks. There were some really cute things but then there were definitely lots of stuff that wasn't as nice as they stuff I brought in that THEY DIDN'T BUY. Maybe it's because teenage girls choose what gets bought and what doesn't. Aaarrgghh. I really wanted to say will you tell me what was wrong with all the other stuff?!! Why didn't you want it?? Oh, and they had TONS of Bumbo seats they were selling for $37.99 (which is $2 less than what Ty's Mimi payed at Toys-R-Us) and the bumbo trays for $12.99. Did you know you can get a bumbo tray at Target for only $9.99? I also saw a cute onesie that was $12 just because it was Gymboree. No thanks, not that cute! I could pay less than $12 and get something brand new at Target...or Old Navy!

Needless to say, I was frustrated. Are there any other consignment stores out there that buy children's clothes? Have you had any luck?

January 1, 2009

What the boys are doing these days...

Wilson loves playing with his new Lego Police Station from Santa Claus. He has the prisoners break out of jail and then the police go catch the bad guys!

Luke is busy working on a masterpiece at his art table all the time! Oh, and by the way, he is fully potty trained now!! Woo-hoo! (Two down, 1 to go!)

Here is Tyler sitting in his Bumbo. He is just now able to sit in there for a few minutes at a time. He's got a big head to hold up. He's now wearing 6-9month clothes and is really begining to love toys! Tomorrow he'll be 16 weeks old. Time flies! His mommy didn't check the 6-9 month clothing tub until last night. It was then that I realized it was all summer clothes except for 3 things...we're going shopping today. Thankfully he did get several outfits for Christmas from family!

Our New Siding

Before - the soffit and fascia were rotting. It was bad and ugly! Please ignore these ugly bushes. I've wanted to redo the landscaping on this side since we moved in.
During - they worked off and on for about a week. Now it is finished! Looks good, huh?!

Our siding has been complete for about 6 weeks, but I'm just now getting the pictures up! We're really happy with the end result. Now we just need to get matching paint for the garage door.