Friday, December 23, 2011

My Kitchen "Helper"

I was in the shower this morning, David was playing in his crib, and the big kids were playing in the play room.  They are good about behaving for the 4 second shower I have mastered.  (Mommas with small kids are hygiene Ninjas!!)  Anyways, Kate, my cookie elf, decided she would surprise me by making pie for us while I was busy.
Luckily, it was just a little cornstarch, and she was even kind enough to try to clean up after herself.  

The Shelf Elf Strikes Again

He has simply one thing to say:
Contrary little thing!!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Learning from Daddy

Daddy gave Michael a few lessons in how to use his remote-controlled helicopter today.  

They both had a ton of fun.   

Michael got some practice & is slowly getting the hang of using the remote control. 

And when Michael went to bed, Daddy was sure to get some practice playing with the helicopter (for Michael's sake, I'm sure...)  I'm pretty sure Daddy described it as "SUPER cool."  Boys will be boys, and so will men sometimes.  

Present Day

Today we opened our presents for each other, and I am always reminded how cool this is for kids.  
In order to add some adventure to our morning, we did a present scavenger hunt.  We played hot/cold to lead them to their hidden presents.  The kids thought it was so fun.  

 Excited about opening their first gift. 


That face is for their el-cheapo CD players from Walmart for their rooms.  Simple joys. 

Michael LOVED that he got a remote controlled helicopter.  He's been asking for one since his cousin Nathan got one last year.   

 Kate thought her music box was SO lovely!!

Veggie Tales 

Daddy gets a lot of food gifts (which he was kind enough to share), and a book on Biblical hermeneutics and exegesis.    

Michael with his Cubs hat that matches Daddy's hat.  Michael said that now he can be a *REAL* Cubs fan.  They also each got their very own box of character fruit snacks.  

David was just in it for the food.  He ate more fruit snacks than I care to remember.  What a fun morning of sharing gifts with one another.  

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Onle Leon

Michael keeps messing with our Noel candles. 
 I keep finding new "words."

When 2 vowels go walking, the FIRST one does the talking.  The first vowel says it's name and the second one is (silent).

This made me smile.  Who is Leon?

Elmo's pessimistic cousin?

My one and onle?  
Michael makes us smile every day!

Sporty Kate

This is what Kate chose to wear on our walk this morning.  
Baseball hat, tennis shoes, and a skirt.  

She's a cutie!!

Christmas Cookies

Michael got out of school early today for Christmas break, so we celebrated with cookies. 
Kate was my helper (even if she did snag chunks of butter as we were prepping the dough.) 

Michael was the prime taster. 

Kate enjoyed the fruits of her labor. 

And David thinks cookies are GREAT!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Sleep, Sweet Boy

David's ears have been better for the past couple days, however, we have a new issue.  
This little trouble-maker is now anti-sleep.  I hypothesize that he spent a full 2.5 months in pain every time he laid down that now he is afraid of his bed.  He screams every time I take him near his crib.  I've let him cry to sleep, but every night about midnight, he wakes up and will scream until I get him.  Then he won't let me put him down.  I tried to let him self-sooth, and 45 minutes later, he was still not soothed.  In my fatigued state, I've just brought him alongside and snuggled him until morning, but I don't think it's helping him to get over his hatred of his bed.  He's always loved his bed up until this ear drama, and now I can't figure out what to do. We all need a little more sleep around here!  

Simply Christmas

This year, I decided to simplify Christmas.  I didn't want to blur the meaning of Christmas amid the busy-ness of Christmas.  I wanted the kids to have a relaxed Momma who wasn't concerned with the extraction of ornaments and perfect cookies and decked out decorations, but a Mom focused more on Presence over presents.  We will still do gifts and cookies and light-tours, but that's not what we're about this year.  Quiet, content, , relaxed, together- it's been the best Christmas season so far.  

A Christmas where the decorations are for touching and playing with.  

A warm, glowing, naked tree 

And (gasp!) bagged cookie dough and canned frosting.  We're making these for fun and togetherness instead of taste.  
Sometimes, simpler is better.

Art & Literacy

Am I the only mother that hates craft time?  All the tiny scraps of paper and the mess and the chaos?  It's a sacrifice that I make, though, as the kids love crafts, especially my girl.  
She's doing a good job with her letters and numbers, and is starting to put simple, short-vowel words together.   

Michael uses his literacy skills to express himself a little more boldly.  This is a "No Girls" sign for his room.  He couldn't find an 'N', so he turned a 'Z' sideways.  

Hollow Legs?

Michael is about to eat me out of house and home.   
Yesterday at Qdoba (where, on Sundays, kids usually eat free), he ate a full-sized adult meal of tacos PLUS a taco kids' meal and applesauce.  You can tell by his high energy levels that he burns it all off, since this boy has 2 modes: full-speed ahead and asleep.  I can't imagine what the teen years will bring to my grocery budget...

Thursday, December 15, 2011


Jon has been burning some brush in a burn-barrel when he is outside for a little bit, and Michael (hiding behind that tree) loves to help.  What is it with boys and fire?  

Being 4 Is Great

 Kate is really enjoying being 4.  She is learning a lot, and does a great job with her letters and numbers.  She has really good dexterity (and she has since she was a baby), and it shows in her penmanship and her coloring.  She does a great job dressing herself, and only needs a little help with tough buttons. 
What a big girl!   

She's also our 2nd Mommy in the house.  She loves to help and to take care of the boys.  What a blessing this girl is.  

David's Ears

This little guy has had a rough time of it with his ears.  
He's been through 6 antibiotics since this ear thing began in October.  Some have cleared up the infection, but the fluid in his ears has remained and continues to get re-infected.  He's been on Amoxicillin, Augmentin, Zithromax, Zithromax (again), Augmentin ES-600 (a dose so high that the pharmacy wasn't going to fill it until I made them call the doctor personally), and lastly, a Rocephin shot.  

 We had a recheck yesterday, and the doctor said that the pus in his ear is gone (gross, I know!), but a little fluid remains.  Because this is an anatomical problem with his Eustachian tubes unable to drain the fluid, the only real solution to the constant infections will be tubes.  
Our consultation appointment with the ENT is January 4th (or sooner if someone cancels), and we will hopefully then set up a time to get tubes inserted.  This poor baby screams every time I put him in his bed, which I think is because he associates it with hurting when he lies down.  We are all ready for some relief.  

CSA Week 24

This is our last CSA box for the 2011 season.  
Cabbage, collard greens, broccoli, 4 turnips, 4 sweet potatoes, 7 white potatoes, 6 tomatoes, 4 appples, 2 squash

I passed along the cabbage and greens, and I'm making a winter vegetable stew with the sweet potatoes, turnips and squash.  The white potatoes will either be roasted or mashed as a side dish, and the tomatoes will accompany tacos.  The apples will be consumed with lunch, and the broccoli will go on salad.  

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Jr Constructor

Michael worked long & hard on this 205 piece Buzz Lightyear Lego Set that he got for his birthday for Grandma.  He did a great job!
And he was quite proud of himself.   

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Pantry Project

I've been working on (finally) getting my pantry organized, and mentioned that I would post when I am finished, and I think I'm about done with it.

It's finally how I want it, and I think it turned out well.  
My inspiration was these can racks that made it SO much easier to know what I have and what I need.  I think we're set for a good 2-3 weeks (with the way these boys eat...)

Winter Babies

On Saturday, we took the opportunity to go look for a Christmas tree.  
I know the winter-wear is a little much, since we went to Target and got a pre-lit artificial tree, but in the spirit of Christmas, we stopped by the farmer's market and looked at "real" trees before deciding against the cost.  

Sweet Michael 

Cutie Kate

Silly David

Ol' Blue Eyes

This boy has the prettiest blue eyes.
 He was completely fascinated with this nativity.  He thought the hanging angel was very cool.  

Despite keeping his little ears covered, we were back at the pediatrician today with yet another ear infection.  He was put on a high-powered antibiotic, and we see the ENT on January 4th for a consultation regarding tubes.  Hopefully that will take care of all this ear drama. 

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

First Day to be 6

Michael had a great day today on his birthday.  Yes, he went to school, but he really loves school, and he was glad for all the attention.  He was telling EVERYONE within hearing distance (and some without) that it was his birthday.  He was yelling it to the road workers down the street as we waited for the bus this morning. 
This pose pretty much sums up his day- Sheer excitement.  

 A boatload of presents

A smile from ear to ear 

A day to be king 

And to get cool stuff 

And even more cool stuff (including a helicopter shirt that I brought for him to open when I got him up this morning.  He loved it, and he put it on right away).   

Michael picked a strawberry cheesecake as his cake (thank you, Costco!), and he took in little mini  red velvet cupcakes to his classmates.   

He ate his cheesecake on his "You are special" plate, which gets pulled out on special occasions (when I remember).  We had pizza for dinner (Michael's choice), but we ate dessert first.  Because it's a birthday, that's why.  

Michael also chose to spend some time at Funland where he proceeded to run and run and play and run some more.  He was just so excited!  Michael said this was his best birthday ever, and I'm sure it will be until next year!  Happy birthday, precious boy!