Thursday, May 14, 2009

You have to go to my friend Nicki's blog for a good laugh. They did a murder-mystery night and the dresses they wore are a serious 80's prom flash-back.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Jacob has a girlfriend

The kids and I were just 'hangin out' on the couch a few weeks ago, chattin it up. Bailey will chat it up for hours if I let her. She's a girly girl who like to tell you all about it. Jacob is not so much the chatty type, but likes to listen in on everything once in a while, and every once in a while likes to share random snippets from "a day in the life of Jacob." I think listening to all of Bailey's 'sharing' inspired him to do a little of his own.


"Mom, I have a girl-friend." Stated matter of factly with a smidge of pride lingering in the air. "Yeah, I do. Her name is Hannah."

"Really, Jake? How do you know she is your girlfriend?" I asked.

"Because we met, and we playded together. Me and Tanner and Bryce and Hannah. Yeah." He said.


"Oh, is she in your class?" I asked.


"No, she's in a different class. We playded on recess. Me and Tanner and Bryce makded important plans on the bus on how to get the girls. Yeah." He giggled.


I had to chuckle too. I never thought my little boy would like girls. Not yet at least. I thought Bailey would be the one liking boys first - but she hasn't been the least bit interested up until now, even though most of her friends have been boys at school. (That could be because there have been about 20 boys and 5 girls in her classes the last 2 years though.) Bailey looked a little shocked at my reaction.


"Your not mad that Jacob has a girlfriend?" she said in utter disbelief.


"I don't think she is really his girlfriend Bailey, " I whispered with a smile. "It is okay that he thinks she is pretty, " I said for all to hear. "It is normal to notice when other people are cute," I told them both. "But NO KISSING," I warned with a grin. "That, is Gross!" I told them both. To which they both melted in fits of giggles.


Then Bailey piped in with "I think Brayden is cute!" Brayden is a boy in her class.


Ahh, kindergarten love. This is all starting too soon for me!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The Raisin incident

Carter and I were laying on my bed watching The Little Mermaid this morning. I had one of those nights that left me delirious upon awakening. I started to doze off when I was jolted back to reality by the shrieks of Carter. I bolted upright, hovered over him, and a little panicked, asked what was wrong.


"I GOT A RAISIN UP MY NOSE MOM!!"


"What?! Are you sure?!" Duh. I am sure he was pretty sure.


"YEAH MOM!" Said in complete hysterics and discomfort.


I then of course squeezed his nostrils, couldn't feel anything, and told him to blow his nose. To which, he then sniffed.


"No, blow your nose Carter, like this," I idiotically demonstrated. I'm a mommy, what are you gonna do?


To which he said: "Huh?" in a very perplexed manner.


I then proceeded to adjust his head in various positions to aim the light up his dark little nostrils until I spotted the intruder. There it was, lodged up his left nostril just as explained. "How the heck am I gonna get this out?" I thought to myself. First thought was a q-tip with the cotton picked off. Not so much. Didn't work. Then I remembered my little mani/pedi case I got for Christmas that hasn't been used - it has tiny tweezers in it, and once I was able to hold his arms and still his writhing head and body sufficiently, it did the job. I think just in the nick of time too. It was pretty soft and mushy at this point.


I pulled the offender out, held it up in all its glory, covered in green goo (I think I just gagged) and said:


"I got it!"


To which Carter said:


"Can I eat it Mom?"


There's your laugh for the day, compliments of Carter. And, your welcome.

Muffins with Mom, and the best Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe ever

Our local elementary school does some fun stuff throughout the year to involve the families. They do a Doughnuts with Dad morning, a grandparents day where they can go and have lunch with the grand kids, and this morning, Muffins with Mom. I felt kind of bad for Bailey this year - Doughnuts with Dad didn't work out - for obvious reasons; Dad kind of has to be around for that one. Then, grandparents day rolled around, and that didn't work out because we don't have any of those here, let alone any other relatives around to go with her. Needless to say, she came home in tears because she ate lunch all alone because most of the other kids had grandparents with them! I felt so bad! I didn't even realize that I could have gone with her - I probably could have found a babysitter for that one. Oh well, next year, right? Well, I knew muffins with mom was coming up, and I also knew that there was no way I was going to be able to have the baby nursed and ready, the other three kids dressed and ready, let alone myself ready to be at the school at 7:30 in the morning for muffins. (Not to mention the physical strength and energy alone it takes to tote a car seat, diaper bag, and two year old on a leash with me while vocally ushering the two older ones along with me, in a crowd. It is a little overwhelming for me, I don't know how others do it). So I had a talk with Bailey, and told her that every family is different. I told her that if we had dad at home, it would be easier for me to go with her by myself, just her and me. I also explained the difficulties for mom to be able to get there to be with her. She was pretty sad, and I of course felt bad. I offered the alternative to have a 'muffins with mom' morning at our own house before she went to school; then she could cheerfully tell her friends that she had already done it at home. That went over pretty good. I made yummy coffee cake muffins, scrambled eggs with cheese on top, and OJ. The muffins were so yummy I want to share the recipe:

Coffee Cake

(don't know who the recipe is by, otherwise I would give credit where credit is due)

2 C flour
1/2 C butter
1 C brown sugar
1 C sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt

Mix these together until butter is in fine pieces. I used my hands to squish it all together until it was a crumbly texture. (Obviously the butter needs to be cold to do this). Reserve one cup of this mixture to put over the top of batter before baking.

Stir into dry mixture:

2 beaten eggs
1 tsp. baking soda
1 C buttermilk

(I used 1 C milk instead, and it turned out delicious).

Pour into 9x13 pan and sprinkle with 1 C topping mixture. Bake at 350 for 25-30 min.
Variation: I made mine into muffins. however, I would say this makes 18 muffins rather than 12 - I poured mine into a 12 - muffin tin and they boiled over a little, I had to tuck the extra back into the tins when I was done baking. They are pretty sticky and yummy. I am freezing the extras for another morning!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

And this is just for Kimberlee, and anyone else who wants the best chocolate chip cookie recipe ever. It comes straight off the back of the nestle toll house chocolate chips bag, with a small variation:

1/2 C butter (You really need butter, not margarine for it to taste really good)
3/4 C sugar
3/4 C brown sugar

Cream together first three ingredients. Then add:

2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla - (this is the variation. Original recipe calls for 1 tsp. I have found you need more.)

Once this is all mixed together, add dry ingredients:

2 1/4 C flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt

2 C chocolate chips - Semi Sweet is what I usually use, sometimes milk chocolate instead. Both are yummy.

(I also really, really like adding the peanut butter chips/chocolate chips bags they sell instead of the semi sweet. Who am I kidding? They are both dang good.)

Bake at 375 for 9-11 minutes.

I usually make up a double batch, fill up a couple of cookie sheets with cookie dough balls and put them in the freezer, then transfer into gallon size freezer bags once the dough has frozen so they are ready to go when we want to make quick treats. This has been really great when taking dinners to friends, or for our last minute family nights we throw together; things just seem to get more chaotic as the years go by. When baking from a frozen state, I adjust the temperature to 350 for 10-12 minutes. Yum.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Projects

Projects as of late...

Freezer Jam - Totally wish I had a freezer full of beautiful matching containers for all to enjoy looking at. Okay, really, for myself to enjoy looking at every time I open the freezer to pull out one of my 30 pints of delicious Jam. But I don't. Have rows of beauteous containers that is. Being the thrifty mc-nickle pants I am, I saved old butter, cottage cheese, sour cream, and frosting containers throughout the year just for this purpose. Mom if your viewing this hold back on that big 'I TOLD YOU SO!' I have teased her for years about keeping all her old containers - it drove me nuts. Yet here I am, following suit.



Haircuts - Carter and Jacob have completely different hair. Jake's is curly like his Dad's. I have to buzz both of theirs super short. Once it gets 1/2" long it is really hard to keep from going berzerk. Carter's however is straight and thick and looks better when I just cut it as opposed to buzzing it. I usually start trimming a little here, a little there, and get completely annoyed within about 5 minutes because he wont sit still and end up buzzing it all off just to save myself the trouble of having to cut it again any time soon. Well, I finally gave him a real hair cut the other day. He sat so good for me that I gave him a bowl of ice-cream at 10 o'clock in the morning just to show my gratitude. I think it turned out pretty cute.





Blankets -I have 8 friends and family members having babies in the next couple of months! Holy cow! So I have been making rag blankets out of flannel as gifts. The first one is the one I made for Brayden before he got here. I saw one that another mom had when I was out and about the other day - hers was completely random, and super cute - I decided to try it with the second blanket I made. I haven't cut and frayed the seams on the second one yet, but I think I like the random pattern better than the precise pattern on the first blanket. I am experimenting with a few more blankets to see what I like better. A girl in my ward shared her pattern with me and I am really enjoying making them - they are very simple to do.




Next up, the garden. I am a little intimidated to get going on it. I need some advice from all of you gardeners out there. I went to the nursery last Saturday and picked up a page of info on gardening for beginners - also 60$ worth of seed! I hope I don't ruin it all! I have no idea what I am doing. Why the heck didn't I pay more attention to what my parents did in our garden growing up?! The info tells what type of things grow good in the area I am living, but it also says to plant certain things in late April, and others in late May. I am so confused. Also, how do you know how much mulch and manure to buy for your plot you are planting in? And most importantly, how the heck am I going to keep the neighbor dog out of my crops!!! If you have gardening knowledge and tips - please share, I need all the help I can get!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Job Security








Time to re-clean up.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

More... on my whirling dervish

My back started to go out yesterday. When this happens the only thing between me lying motionless in my bed and having to call my neighbors for 'bathroom' reinforcements is some serious hydrocodone. Thank goodness we had some left over in our cupboard from Chris's surgery last year. One of my awesome neighbors took my older boys for a few hours yesterday while Brayden slept, so I could get some rest. She then (of course because she is awesome like that) brought dinner by - without asking. She probably knows I would have said "no, really, we will be fine" because I wouldn't have wanted to bother her. She has 5 kids of her own and a very busy husband. And then we all would have eaten a bowl of Fruit Loops for dinner. Can I just say, I am SO thankful she served me! I want to be more like her. And my back is doing better today.

Anyways... another Carter update -

I was in the bath this morning, and he of course, was in something else... He came running in with his mouth gaping open, pointing to his obvious mouth ajar, hollering open mouth talk, and I had to laugh.

"Did you eat something, Carter?"

"Yeah, mom!" Said in a panicked, slash, perlexingly urgent manner. "I Drinkded something!"

"What did you drink?" I said with a little dread in my voice.

"I drinkded a potion mom!"

"Can you bring it to me?"

"Yeah mom!" he said as he scampered off. Only to return with our huge bottle of Vanilla extract, half gone.

"Did you drink a lot, or a little bit?"

"Huh mom?"

"Did you spill some?"

"Yeah Mom."

"It tastes yucky, huh?"

"Yeah mom!!!" Said in utter disgust.

As I contemplated calling poison control, I went out to the kitchen to see our floor covered with spilt vanilla extract and next to it, the measuring spoons. Needless to say, someone has observed someone else making Chocolate Chip Cookies... one to many times!!!



And on another random note, Is there ANYTHING worse than finding Big Boy Poop in their Big Boy Underwear?!

I think not!!!

Let's just say another perfectly good pair of Lightning McQueen's bit the dust!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Bedtime Battles, the finale

And here is the exciting conclusion... (By the way, this three part series was meant to be told comicaly, and of course, dramatically... I really am just having fun writing it all. And although it is all very true, and I'm not going to sugar coat it... at least, I crack myself up in the process. Hope some of you can relate to having a strong willed child, and can find my humor in it all!)


Tonight was no exception. The night ensued, just as I have told. Hollering, lights turning on, giggling, WHAKING by big brother, and of course, my favorite part of the evening when I totaly lose it after he starts throwing items down the stairs.



And then it occured to me. He may be winning the battles, but I AM GOING TO WIN THE WAR. I decided to confiscate THESE instead.



And then I moved the gate up around the corner to the actual doorway. HA SUCKAH! Who's your momma?! That's right!



Next step: Actually taking away his pacifiers.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Bedtime Battles Part II

I finally caved.



I told him the fairy brought them back.



I KNOW!! I couldn't believe I gave in either! I was too big and fat and pregnant, and just so dang TIRED of listening to the pleading - he totally wore me down. After 10 days, I just wanted to make it stop! He about had me crouched in a corner rocking and singing to myself. So I gave him his fix. And he actually went to bed good for like, a week. I think the experience traumatized him enough that he didn't want to lose them again. NOW, its all in the past of course and he is back to taunting me.

I recently switched all the kids rooms around so I could get Brayden out of my room and into his own. Jacob and Carter now share the room upstairs. I thought maybe Jacob's blessed example would rub off on his little brother. Not so much. Every night I usually end up letting Jacob come downstairs to go to bed. Carter is making him crazy. Here is the low down on the typical nightly battle...

I ask the two year old nicely to go potty, put on his pull-up and PJ's and go get his toothbrush. He says "Ok Mom", gets distracted immediately, and then proceeds to poke, prod, and otherwise annoy big brother and sister to which they then decide to chase him around couches, up stairs, in and out of bedrooms and under tables, until I catch said two year old, and again, firmly ask again for him to do as he was told. He says "Ok mom." To which end the same scene is then repeated. I then raise my voice at big brother and sister and remind them that they are BIG kids and are NOT helping things. All the while the baby is crying and wants to eat. I then chase the two year old around until I catch him and wrestle his clothes off which he grabs with his fists every night without fail and I yank for about 30 seconds trying to get his shirt off. He thinks this is SO FUNNY every night. (Okay, it kinda is, but just that part). I then wrestle him down to put on pj's and brush teeth. He then of course is TOTALLY disruptive while I try and read books; to which end, most nights, I totally lose my cool and get fully ticked off and irritated that I can't read a dang book without disruption like every 30 seconds.... Big Breath here... Then we attempt to have family prayer... where I snap at the kids for their complete irreverence - that could be an entire post by itself - I really know how to create a warm and loving spiritual environment... I then try to usher my unruly herd, who are by the way laughing and being overly silly, completely oblivious to my outright annoyance with the lot of them, who are also completely oblivious as well to the hollering from their baby brother which is getting louder all the while reminding me that he is HUNGRY and ready for his meal. I finally get everyone tucked in, have a lengthy conversation with Carter about my expectations for him at bedtime - that he stay in his bed, leave his brother alone, leave the light off, stay in his bed, leave his brother alone, leave the LIGHT OFF, please. I then make him repeat after me "Mom, I will stay in bed and choose the right." he then says, "Ok mom." I put the gate on half way up the stairs so he won't come down and bug me. I then head downstairs and start to nurse the baby for all of 5 seconds when I hear feet scampering, a light clicking on, another set of feet thudding, a little voice giggle, and another irritated voice holler "MO-ooooom! Carter turned the light on!" I am nursing, and really don't want to get up, so I holler back to both of them to turn the light off and get in bed. Then Carter says his believable "Ok mom." Then this battle ensues. Back and forth, hollering and clicking of lights and giggling, and jumping on beds, and undoubtedly a WHACK! and then a sob, because he had pushed Jacob over the line of tolerance. Jacob, after all is tired and he actually wants to go to bed. He has to get up at 6:15 after all. I raise my voice and holler back repeatedly during this exchange, and I always feel guilty afterwards because of poor Brayden. He is just trying to peacefully nurse and get snuggled on by his momma. He has waited all day for this time with me by himself without the rest of the crazies running around. He really doesn't demand all that much from me during the day after all. And what finally pushes ME over the edge, is when Carter starts throwing things down the stairs. Talk about going too far. I have resorted lately to putting down the baby, hurdling the gate on the stairs, spanking a little bum, and swiping a pacifier. He then throws his monstrously annoying fit to get his "PAAAASSSSSS" back, and I have been so proud of myself when he actually gets quiet and goes to sleep without it.... That is until I go in to check on him later that night and find that he has another pacifier in his mouth! That dang kid. He must have a secret 'stash' somewhere in case of emergency so he can get his fix. This happens on more occasions than I can count. Most nights he seems to be winning the battle.



To be continued....

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Bedtime battles

Two year old boys are the bane of my existence.

Jacob was my angel baby. He was the easiest baby ever. Slept through the night at two weeks old, hung around in his swing, vibrating seat and bouncy saucer all day, loved to laugh and smile at us, and never fought me once at nap time or bedtime. It was a refreshing help to me, because I had bedtime battles with Bailey up until she was almost 4 years old. Bedtime was a torturous time in my life for years. It hasn't helped that Chris has always had a job incompatible with him being home during dinner and bedtime 99% of the time. I even resorted to watching super-nanny for tips. And her 'back to bed' routine actually worked... like after 2 years of trying it nightly...

Although Jacob was a bedtime champ, about 18 months - to 2 years old rolled around and he became this holy force to be reckoned with. I would fight with him daily. That kid sat in time-out more times in a single day than I could count. He got into anything and everything faster than I could stop him. I even had those safety locks on all my cupboards and doors, and he still figured out how to get what he wanted. I had to have called poison control about 150 million times. I swear they knew me by name and laughed about my mothering skills every time they hung up the phone.

My most memorable 'incidents' committed by Jacob include: Black permanent marker ALL over my freshly painted walls and window treatments, and of course his humongous teddy bear that was bigger than him; the time he flushed my hard contacts down the toilet when I had the stomach flu. That was a great one. I can't see 2 feet in front of me without them let alone drive, and had to wait 8 weeks to get my new ones. And two weeks later, he got hold of them... and flushed them... again. But the one that tops them all, is definitely the time I brought home my brand new leather couches. I had them home all of 2 days. I put the kids in front of a movie and hoped in the shower. I was in and out in all of 5 minutes, when my trusty little spy Bailey came running in hollering "MOM! JACOB IS DOING SOMETHING!!! I of course came running out to see if my couches were unscathed... they weren't so much. He had climbed up to the top shelf of my pantry and gotten out the Dawn Power Dissolver that cuts tough grease on pots and pans. It works AWESOME on pots and pants. It DESTROYS leather sofas. He was turning around in circles spraying this stuff. It also took the finish off the front of my television and armour. I speechlessly escorted him to his room where he stayed for the next hour while I tried uselessly to fix what was damaged beyond repair.

Yeah, he drove me up a freakin wall. Like until he turned 5. Then all of a sudden... he became about 95% more pleasant to be around. He is still your typical little boy; gets wild and silly lots of the time, but is able to be a lot more obedient, and I can actually reason with him now. We get along a lot better these days.

Carter has now occupied the role of holy terror for the past 18 months or so. He will be three years old next month. He is exactly as busy as Jacob was. I can't believe how much damage that kid can do to a perfectly clean house in minutes. He is my little wild man. I love him so much; but he drives me up a freakin wall, every day without fail.

He was the best baby too. Seriously. Went to bed like a champ every night... until I had to put him in an actual bed. Then the torture began. The only bargaining chip I had was to take away his pacifier.

Did some of you actually gasp? Okay, before you get all Judgy-mcjudgypants on me, let me set the record straight. I NEED that dang pacifier for my sanity! I am pretty much a single parent these days. I need some solace at night after my children go to bed! Some days it is all I have to look forward to! So what did I do? I would threaten to take it away like the first 50 times he got out of bed, then of course actually take it away, to which he would then throw a monster fit for the next 20 or 30 minutes following the confiscation; to which I would argue and fight with my 2 year old just like I was a two year old and stubbornly refuse to give it back because after all, I had told him what I was gonna do if he got out of bed even ONE MORE TIME... and GOOD mothers follow through with promised punishments for the good of their children, right? Then I would of course cave and give it back just to make the torturous tantrum stop, to which 85-90% of the time he would actually then go to bed. Whew. I am such an effective disciplinarian, believe me, I know.

Well, then I started feeling guilty about 2 months before the baby came that my almost three year old still had a pacifier. So one night when Chris had just gone back out of town for work I decided to have the "Pacifier Fairy" come and take his pacifiers to a better place where new babies needed them, and not big boys. (Another Super-nanny favorite.) Carter gathered up his most beloved pass's as he calls them and put them all in a bag on the front porch, and then balled his guts out heartwrenchingly, as I listened torturously for 3 painstaking hours; he got a present the next morning in place of his most prized possessions. I made it through about 10 days where he of course would beg and plead at nap time and bedtime for hours. Gut-wrenching, whining, pleading, tantrum throwing, hollering, mourning the loss of "MY PAaaaaaSS mom, MY PAAAAAASSSS!"

To be continued.......

Friday, May 1, 2009

I never thought it would come to THIS...




But I have conceeded. It seems it must be...



And now, I'm kinda likin' it.

It's a good thing he's so dang cute. By the way, he is of course saying 'cheese.'