Monday, July 28, 2008

monday, monday

Mondays always bring a mix of feelings for me. I'm usually excited to start fresh on the week and my house and try to make it a perfect start for all of us. I usually end the day disappointed because I never get all of my "to-do" things on my list accomplished.

This Monday began no differently. I had TONS to do today. Besides the normal clean-up and laundry, I had to catch up on all I didn't do last week while I enjoyed my company. Not to mention all of the new toys that invaded our house since Zan-Zan's birthday party.

But my body had something else in mind. I felt terrible. I was in so much pain that I thought I may have to call 911 at one point (yes, my endometriosis seems to be flaring up again......this quickly after the surgery....and yes, Mom, I will call the doctor tomorrow). Because I felt so bad I physically couldn't do all of my chores and watched my kids play most of the day instead.

Besides the pain, this Monday was so much better. My kids usually make me crazy on Mondays. I used to think it was because they missed their dad and the excitement of the weekend. Now I'm thinking maybe they miss me too. I'm usually so absorbed with fixing the perfect start to the week that they spend most of the day playing with themselves ( which means following me around and getting into everything).

Zander was the sweetest little boy today. I so enjoyed him. And Kaya was the silliest, funniest little girl. I loved watching them on this Monday.

Maybe next Monday I should make sure I put plenty of kid-watching on my to-do list. I can always finish laundry and vaccuuming on Tuesdays.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

zander's birthday week

I know I haven't posted in a has been a circus around here this week, Zander's birthday week. There is so much I've wanted to write about and share with all of you. That will come later on when I am over this crazy exhaustion. It is a good exhausted feeling. One that has come over me due to never-ending fun, laughter, and creation of wonderful memories with my friends and family.

Until I write again you can enjoy these pictures of my big 3-year old boy. It has been a wild, fun, delightful ride the last three years!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

a new toddler in the house

Right now our friends Rachel and Shawn are visiting with their daughter, Savannah. The kids are having a great is exhilarating chaos to have 3 toddlers running around the house. They have been busy today!!!

Here are a few of the fun activities...

A breakfast picnic outside

Our birthday muffins (we pretended it was everyone's birthday today, and it really isn't)

Water fun!

Time in the tub...

Let's unwind with some sticker crafts & playdough

Now it is naptime for all of us......even the mommies.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

clothing transformation

This week I was sorting through clothes to store and hand-down to friends. Kaya is growing so quickly and always outgrowing her things. I was looking at Zander's clothes and thought what a shame she can't wear his. (Because I do want her clothes to look girly, just a quirk of mine).

As I folded up these overalls and shirt, I suddenly had a brilliant plan! I could make them girly with my stitching skills! So Friday and Saturday night I sat on the couch, watched too many cheesy Lifetime movies, and created this...

I can't wait to get into Zander's old clothes again to see what I can transform!!!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

crockpot cooking

I admit it, I'm guilty.
I'm guilty of lurking around sites and blogs to find great crockpot recipes for my menu this week. Each day I've prepared dinner in the crockpot and tada!!! I'm done! I may use this menu plan several times this year.

A couple of the recipes I've used for a while. I've used Salsa Chicken since we've been married. It is extremely simple, makes your house smell great, and is delicious. Just add 3-4 chicken breasts (can be frozen), a can of black beans, a drained can of corn, and a medium size jar of salsa to the crockpot and cook on low all day. We love this on rice or in tortillas as a wrap.

The BBQ Pork sandwiches are easy too. Just add a pound or two of pork to the crockpot with your favorite bottle of barbecue sauce. I have found the cheaper cuts of pork actually taste better. Start this one early in the day on low so your pork will just shred when you cut it with a fork.

You can find the other recipes by clicking below. I found them at Crockpot 365, of course!

Chinese Tofu with Veggies

Eggplant "Parmesan" with Feta

Macaroni and Cheese

I've enjoyed all of the meals but I am especially proud of the Crappie & Veggie Soup. I created this recipe myself! I have made up recipes before but was rather nervous about this one. I wasn't even sure if I'd ever actually eaten a fish soup (not counting chowders) much less made one. So here it is. You can use any white fish if you aren't lucky enough to get crappie from your dad that came out of Lake Cumberland.

Crappie & Veggie Soup

Lightly oil bottom of crockpot with olive oil. Put about 2 pounds fish in crockpot (can be frozen). Cook on low for an hour or so. Be sure to keep an eye on it so it doesn't cook to fast.

When the fish will flake when you cut with a fork, add the following ingredients:
half of a red onion (chopped)
half jar of roasted red peppers
cup of baby carrots
handful of chopped kale
2 cups of new potatoes
4 cups of vegetable broth
a dash of italian seasoning
a dash of Old Bay seasoning

Let soup cook on low for 2-3 hours.

Add salt and Pepper right before serving or let family members/guests do that themselves. The kids and I added feta cheese as a topping to our soups. Matt added oyster crackers. We all loved this light, healthy meal!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

schedule change

No matter how you organize or schedule your life, plans change. Today we were so excited to go see a wonderful friend for her birthday. We had talked about our day trip, picked out fun birthday cards, and were ready to go!

And yesterday afternoon, Zander got sick. Then last night, Kaya followed suit. So today we are trying to get better, postponing our trip, and there is no way we are following this schedule.

Today's schedule consists of snuggle time, as much TV as desired, and endless sitting in mommy's lap to get hugs and kisses.

Today's schedule consists of lots of books and lots of popsicles.

Today's schedule is not as hectic but full of love.

We can always get back on our daily schedule next week.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

palm tree

The other day, while the kids were painting, Kaya was very seriously painting and looked at me and said, "I draw you a palm tree, mom." I said, "Okay, that sounds nice", and walked over to do something at the sink.

I walked back over as she was finishing. She painted a long trunk and then looked at me and said, "Finished palm tree, mom."

I know we all think our kids are brilliant in every way, shape, or form but this almost floored me.

Matt was sleeping in so when he woke up I casually mentioned that we had been painting and Kaya drew a palm tree. He didn't say much because I think sometimes he tires of hearing about Z & K's every little move.
But then he went downstairs and I heard, "Wow! It does look like a palm tree!" , "She's not even two!"

I just had to share this story about my little artist. Now I'll go and quit being that mom who thinks her kids are the best.....go ahead and roll your eyes if you wish...
I just couldn't resist...

facing our fears

I'm not one to make fun of people with phobias because I know exactly how it feels. Since I was young I have hated tall man-made structures that have any kind of cracks or holes that you can see through. My cousin still loves to laugh at how I hated to go out on their deck that was on the 2nd level because I could see through the wood boards.
Yes, I hate wooden bridges, steps that aren't concrete. even this playstructure because it has tiny little holes all the way to the top. Yikes!

But what I feared most was that Zander was going to be the same way. For the past few months he would go to the top of our structure in our park but did not want to go down unless mommy or daddy was with him. So I would put on my fake happy smile, march up there (as I felt my heart race when I looked down) and slide down with him. I kept saying "It will be so fun to just do it all by yourself!"

And finally, yesterday, he did. Without any prodding he went all the way to the top and slid down before I even knew it!

He went down again and again with the look of glee and the squeal of laughter each & every time.

He got so brave that he even agreed to catch his little sister when she went down ( not that she needed prodding, she is fearless, which has me scared in a totally different way).

I also faced another fear I've had as a mother. I let them go on all the big "dangerous" stuff that I've always fretted that they would fall on and require a trip to the emergency room.

I actually took a risk and sat on a bench (for maybe 2 steps here) and just watched them play joyfully each other while taking their own risks. I'm sure it was more fun than having me stand right by them saying, "Careful!! Watch that edge.....don't step on that!"

I am proud that Zander and I both faced our fears......we all had the best visit to the park!

Monday, July 14, 2008

cross-stitched bibs for baby Jude

happy sunday treats

"Happiness is the only good. The time to be happy is now. The place to be happy is here. The way to be happy is to make others so."
-Robert G. Ingersoll

My happy Sunday treats were:

* A delicious, free cup of coffee from Starbucks

* Eating lunch at my favorite sushi restaurant

* Sharing this wonderful lunch with our friends, Lynn & John, who we have neglected to visit with for way too long

* Coming home and having a 2 1/2 hour family nap on a rainy, cloudy day......

Sunday, July 13, 2008

my early birthday gift

You know you have officially become stuck in "mommy mode" if you request an annual membership to a children's museum as part of your early birthday gift (my birthday isn't until September).

I knew this could be a safe, fun environment that I could take the kids by myself (without too much stress). I LOVE taking them there and seeing them play with all of the interactive exhibits. I think it is more like a really cool, large playroom instead of a museum.

You can see why I think this was a great gift by the pics below....I know we will use our annual pass several times. Both Zander and Kaya already asked me today if we could go back tomorrow. Oh how I wish we could.....but a mountain of laundry the size of Mount Everest is calling my name to be tended to tomorrow.

My little artist....

Zander drives the crane...

The water is fun...

See the foxes in the cave...

He loves to shop for groceries....

Kaya, Daddy, and the baby calf...

Cool!!! Moon sand...

Zander's favorite exhibit-the train table...

The many outfit changes by Kaya.....

First, the firefighter (who eats frogs, of course)

What a cute hat...

One cannot admire her beauty too much...

A very happy tap dancer...