Sunday, January 30, 2011

1-31-11 Project Cookies

Mmmmmm. I love the smell of the kitchen when cookies are baking! Today I made some pumpkin bread, pumpkin cookies (with cream cheese frosting), and chocolate chip cookies. I usually like to have the kids help me bake, but today was not one of those days. Four little helping hands was just stressful. Luckily, Daddy came to the rescue and had some play time while I baked. Then we all enjoyed the finished product!

Finished product. I think that's why I felt a little stressed out this morning. I very seldom have a finished product. . . especially one that's finished the way I want it to be. Some days it's about the journey of the product, some days it just needs to be about the product!

1-30-11 Last Sunday Night

Last night I was getting ready for church and trying to look a little bid nicer than I usually do so I decided to break open a new combo pack of eye shadow that I had purchased. It was a bold step away from the neutral browns that I usually pick. It was blue. Yes, blue eye shadow which I was proud to not have worn since jr. high. I took the bold step a step further and followed the steps on the back for "smoky eyes". At the end of the application I was searching for my camera because it was so funny! I couldn't find it (today I'm glad about that!). I used Q-tips to remove some color, "blended" as much as possible and when my husband answered in the affirmative when I asked if it looked like I had an eye shadow mishap I went back to the mirror and topped the mess with the lightest shade in the pack. I'm just not the kind of person that can do such experiments right before I wash my face. What if it works out well? Then, I've just wasted time and make-up. Next time I'll save my make-up experiments for when I'm going to be hanging out with friends.

I make it sound like I just hang out with my friends all the time. And I do, if you count play dates. But last Sunday night was "just hanging out" with my friends. Some of my girlfriends planned a post-kiddo-bedtime girls night out to celebrate my birthday. I looked forward to it all week, especially since I couldn't make it to the first celebration that they planned! It had been a long week since Joe was out-of-town. My mom was visiting us for the weekend and was happy to babysit, so while my girlfriends all tucked their little ones in for the night before heading out, I left the house while all three of mine were awake and one was recovering from a vomiting/diarrhea episode (yep, that was Max - the one who catches every stomach bug that comes by. I knew they were in good hands, second best to me.

We talked, ate fancy desserts, laughed, and I think we learned a little bit more about each other. When it felt awkward to stay at the restaurant any longer past closing time, we left and sat in one mini-van still talking away. While celebrating growing another year older, I felt young again.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

1-22-11 How Many Candles are on that Cake?

Today was a really good day. I always enjoy my birthday; my friends and family always seem to make it extra special. I don't even think about how old I'm getting!

First thing this morning, Conrad wanted to give me my present. He hid it in his desk downstairs so I wouldn't find it. I opened it and found a hot pink alarm clock. The little sweetheart told his dad exactly what I wanted and then picked it out himself. A few weeks ago when we were at Target, I had said that I wanted an alarm clock. he remembered and then told Joe they needed to go to Target to get it. He kept the secret until today. It touched my heart!

We went out for Chinese for dinner. I always have egg rolls on my birthday. It's a tradition from when I was a kid, my mom always made us our choice for dinner on our birthdays. I always picked her egg rolls and I always took no bake cookies to school for a birthday treat. This year my mom and my boys made me a cake. It was beautiful and delicious. So delicious that Max couldn't help himself from taking bites right off the top of the cake!

The boys were totally wound up tonight. . . pretty sure that the tea at the restaurant wasn't decaf. They were pretty funny - lots of laughter around here!

1-21-11 Where's the Pause Button?

It's hard to believe how quickly infants change and develop. Caden is totally mobile now and keeps looking like he's about to take off crawling. . . the wood floors are not helping his efforts. He gets around really well doing the belly crawl and picking up choking hazards has become a bit of a hobby for me. I've been using them to make "I Spy" bottles (water bottle, sand, and a list of the items that are in the bottle). With the cap glue-gunned shut, this should keep the items out of Max's mouth too. We'll see. Caden's cutting his second tooth and he is officially weaned from nursing (yes, there is a connection!). It was bittersweet for it to come to a complete it. Bitter because it's yet another indication that my baby is only getting bigger. Sweet because I've been nursing or pregnant for two and a half years. YEARS. STRAIGHT. This doesn't need any further explanation.

All three boys are doing things that make me realize how big they're getting.

Max went down for his nap today without a bottle. Please, don't stop reading and scrolling down to older post to remind yourself how old Mas is! I know, this step was a long-time in coming, but cut the kid (and Mommy) some slack-- we brought home a new baby brother for him at the time he should have been giving up his bottle. Not a fair trade! Anyway, it's a little premature to say his transitioned off of the bottle, but he did it this once. I'm feeling inspired to start potty training. No, I have to slow down!!

Conrad's play time is changing; he plays more like a big kid. His favorite games are Detective and Treasure Hunt. He uses a magnifying glass and a very active imagination to play Detective and a treasure chest full of coins and a map of our living room to play Treasure Hunt. Today he has said things like, "You will believe in me, right Mom?", "Dad proved it to me.", and "Ask God, he knows everything."

I wish I could pause time. Dwell in these days a little longer. Keep things in the right perspective and just enjoy this stage of motherhood. I only am truly able to keep the right perspective when I realize about how short this stage it.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Blue Cricket Design, creative DIY inspiration, tips, tutorials and more!: School years...

I just came across a great idea of how to organize and keep my boys' art, awards, Home Depot Workshop certificates, Rainbow's certificates and other milestone markers. You have to check this out because it's EASY. I just need to purchase three bins and I already have the hanging files. I will be putting this into effect soon -- before kindergarten!

Blue Cricket Design, creative DIY inspiration, tips, tutorials and more!: School years...: "A few years ago While I was visiting my dads house he handed over a plastic grocery bag filled with my school 'Crap' as he would have put it..."

Blue Cricket Design, creative DIY inspiration, tips, tutorials and more!: School years...

Blue Cricket Design, creative DIY inspiration, tips, tutorials and more!: School years...: "A few years ago While I was visiting my dads house he handed over a plastic grocery bag filled with my school 'Crap' as he would have put it..."

1-20-11 The Office at Home

Why do they have to create box sets of sitcoms? They turn me into a complete addict! My sitcom of choice right now is The Office. I take a step out of my world filled with primarily kind people who at least act with tact in social situations and let my mind wander into the world of Dunder Mifflin employees. It's a harmless little trip. The weekly one hour isn't enough, though. Enter seasons 1-6 on DVD. My four-year-old knows the names of the characters and my one-year-old (almost two-year-old!!) lights up and dances to the opening music. My Friends have been replaced!

Tonight, my boys heard me say that I was going to watch The Office before I went to bed. Max didn't seem to notice. Conrad went into a passionate plea about why he should be able to stay up a little bit watch with me. He settled for a bedtime story and us each choosing an office name. Conrad's Michael, I'm Pam, and Max is Jim. It made us giggle, then I giggled even more when Conrad insisted that we refer to each other with our names - every time we addressed each other!

We made it through bedtime prayers and then I told them a Pam Diann story. As I was tucking them in, Caden began to cry. I left their door open and went into rock Caden. As usual, Max was talking and singing as he lay in his crib. As usual, Conrad was aggravated by this. Out of frustration Conrad said, "Be quiet, Jim!" and Max parroted it back to him. Conrad replied in laughter, "No, you're Jim!" and Max joined in laughing. It lasted for a while and I couldn't help but do a silent belly laugh myself.

Caden was drifting back to sleep in my arms so I decided to just stay in the rocker for a while and absorb the moment.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

1-19-11 A Very Full Day

Today was long enough to count as two days. I'm exhausted and my have to finish this in the morning. . .

1-18-11 For a Quiet Night at Home, it's Pretty Noisy Around Here Here

It amazes me how quickly the boys can go from a mile a minute activity to sleep. When Conrad was about 1-1/2, I started doing a bedtime routine that began with quiet play time in his room with the lights dimmed. Now, when I attempt it with the three, it doesn't matter what I set out to have us do - they are wound up the hour before bedtime. I always think that there's no way they'll go to sleep right away, but they usually do. Tonight's bedtime routine went extremely smoothly. So, now it's quiet.

Caden cut his first tooth during the first week of the month. I could tell that he was uncomfortable, but he did pretty well. He has been getting up on all-fours and he has perfected the army crawl, but now that he can get around that way he doesn't seem worried about crawling with his belly off of the ground! This week he is also transitioning to the bottle. Big month for Caders!!

Friday, January 7, 2011

1-7-11 Cutting Teeth

There are a lot of teeth popping through gums around here. Max recently cut three molars and today I noticed that Caden has a bottom tooth coming through! This is about the exact same age as when Max cut his bottom teeth.

Today we did a speed cleaning of the house and then sipped coffee with a good friend. The boys were perfect gentlemen to our princess guest. Conrad offered her a ride in his Jeep and Max returned her binky and blankie every time he came across them. They showed pure affection and it was sweet. Max may have called her a whack-o once or twice, but for the most part he was chivalrous. He even tried to help her down the stairs. . .

Thursday, January 6, 2011

1-6-11 Tell Me What You're Really Thiniking

This morning Conrad came into my bathroom as I was finishing getting ready for the day. He looked at me and said, "Mom, let's get out of here. It smells like girl."

I guess he doesn't quite appreciate my efforts to maintain my femininity in this house full of testosterone!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

1-4-11 Missions Accomplished

My good friend also has three boys with the oldest turning four this month. We compare a lot of mommy stories, ask each other a lot of questions, and bounce a lot of ideas off of each other! Once she told me that we she and her boys have a list of errands to run, they don't refer to them as errands. They call the missions. That is so much more exciting, isn't it? Today our missions were to go to the bank, get Conrad's haircut, and then have a play date lunch at McDonald's. We accomplished all three and managed to all stay cheerful. I won't include the number of suckers that my boys ate at the haircut place, but that really helped keep us all cheerful.

I have been cutting the boys' hair myself for the last year, but I decided to take them to a professional this time. They do much better job, but Conrad said he really only likes it when I cut his hair.

Monday, January 3, 2011

1-3-11 Let the Wild Rumpus Start

Tonight I put the big boys to bed and then went across the hall to rock Caden. I couldn't make out what the boys were saying, but there was a lot of belly laughing going on! It made me laugh a little just hearing them.

I wonder if some day all three of them will want to share a room.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

1-1-11 Happy New Year!

Well the new year is here and we "rang it in" in a very sweet way. We toasted to the great things of 2010: Caden's birth, Grandma graduating from grad school, and general health and happiness. We also toasted to what's to come in 2011: first steps, potty training, and learning to read. Caden was fast asleep and Joe was entrenched in work that needed to be done on his website. The boys were eager to toast with their little shot glasses. However, Conrad was skeptical when he didn't see any buttered bread still warm from the toaster. He got the hang of it pretty quickly. So did Max with only moderate spilling. I was toasting sparkling grape juice with my parents and my two little boys. I'm not sure if that makes me old or young. . .

I made homemade pizza for dinner. I thought it would be fun for the boys to make their own, but they weren't interested in topping a pizza when they could be playing hide and seek with Grandma and Grandpa!

Everybody liked the pizza. I usually prefer a thinner, crispier crust. I made two small crusts with this recipe. Here's the crust recipe that I used.

2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
1/2 teaspoon brown sugar
1 1/2 cups warm water (110 degrees F
/45 degrees C)
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1. In a large bowl, dissolve the yeast and brown sugar in the water, and let sit for 10 minutes.
2. Stir the salt and oil into the yeast solution. Mix in 2 1/2 cups of the flour.
3. Turn dough out onto a clean, well floured surface, and knead in more flour until the dough is no longer sticky. Place the dough into a well oiled bowl, and cover with a cloth. Let the dough rise until double; this should take about 1 hour. Punch down the dough, and form a tight ball. Allow the dough to relax for a minute before rolling out. Use for your favorite pizza recipe.
4. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). If you are baking the dough on a pizza stone, you may place your toppings on the dough, and bake immediately. If you are baking your pizza in a pan, lightly oil the pan, and let the dough rise for 15 or 20 minutes before topping and baking it.
5. Bake pizza in preheated oven, until the cheese and crust are golden brown, about 15 to 20 minutes.