Category: family

Jul 21

Pink or blue?


My brother and his wife are having a baby today! As I write, Jenny is being induced. They have kept the gender and the name a surprise, so I am super anxious for this baby to get here! Wishing I had something I could do to speed the process up, I decided to make cookies for him/her. Okay, so their mostly for the baby’s visitors.

My prediction is that I will be taking the blue cookies to the hospital. But knowing my family, I am guessing they will all get eaten either way :)

Can’t wait to meet you, little one!

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Jul 06

The Fourth, firecrackers and floods.

Happy 4th to everybody! If you live anywhere near me, you probably had the same Forth of July experience that we did: WET. A couple months ago, we had booked three nights in cabins at Cheney Lake for this holiday weekend and were very much looking forward to it. Might as well have stayed at home because we didn’t even ONCE get in the water. It rained and rained and rained!! The rain wasn’t too big of deal for the first day or so – we made the best of it by playing cards and games of washers and french darts in between the rain showers. But by the third day, Sunday, we were tired of it. So when the water started flooding the campground we were in, we bolted. Sad, but much better to be back on dry ground. So we celebrated my baby brother’s 16th birthday (16!?!?! What?!?!) at my folks’ house.

We still had a great time + we got to light fireworks, which were prohibited at the state park. We even painted faces and got some decent pictures of the little kiddos. They were all kinds of cheesy, which was a nice change!

Next up, a week of birthdays (Brady’s, mine, and hopefully a new Krehbiel baby!) and four whole days with no kids! Brady’s kind parents are keeping them for us…Yay!!!!!

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Jun 04

Three.


A few weeks ago, my baby turned three. Not so much of a baby anymore. Although you wouldn’t know it by the incessant amount of hardcore whining, fit-throwing, diaper-wearing, milk-drinking that still goes on around here. But she does do her fair amount of “big girl” things as well. Like wearing big girl pants all day. Or sleeping in her big girl bed.

For her birthday, she wanted a little mermaid party. Easy enough. I put on my party-planning shoes and whipped up some super simple invites. They were supposed to look like a mermaid tail, but I’m not so sure that’s obvious.

For the party, we planned a swim at the YMCA, dinner, cake and digging for seashells in the new sandbox she got for her birthday.

And the kids got beta fish as party favors. She named hers Flounder and surprisingly, she is still alive. Even though Lilah wants to feed it about a dozen times a day.

The cake was fairly simple to make. Turned out kinda sloppy, but Lilah never noticed. I bought the topper and the little sugar flowers at Cake Stuff and had no major problems, aside from the incident where Lilah stuck her little fingers into it the first time she saw it.

Her birthday party landed on Mother’s Day, so we were also celebrating that. My SIL, Jenny, and I decided it would be a great idea to have a portrait taken of the four grandchildren and give it to my mom. We took the kids to Portrait Innovations and it was NIGHTMARE. That’s all I will say about that. Any more details, and I’d need to start another post. However, the photo turned out great and Mom loved it – so mostly worth it.

Happy Birthday, Lilah! Here’s to many, many more years of giggles! Love you!

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May 16

Upright.


Well, folks. Break out the bubbly – Graham finally walked.

We’ve been thinking for the past few months that any day he was going to take off. Good thing we didn’t hold our breath.

He really started about a couple weeks ago and has been so proud of himself. At first, he only wanted to walk when somebody was watching and would praise him afterwards. Attention hog, huh? But, he’s come around since then and I rarely see him on all fours any more. Exciting and sad at the same time. Milestones like that force you to face the reality that your baby is becoming a toddler. That, and the temper tantrums. But that’s a whole ‘nother post all together.

So, congrats to Graham, good riddance to all those pants with holes in the knees and hello to bumped heads and busted lips.

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Mar 30

On my mind.

What’s on  my mind today? Getting my kids to eat better, that’s what.

One of the things that has always worried me about teaching my kids good eating habits is that I am an incredibly picky eater myself. And kids, in my opinion, pick up their tastes directly from, ahem, mommy and daddy. Now, I’m not the most picky eater ever, but there are many foods that I stray away from. Namely, there are lots of fresh fruits and vegetables that I won’t touch – like pears, blueberries, cantelope, watermelon, avacados, cucumbers, tomatoes and green peppers. I know, that’s bad, huh?? I also would never eat a fruit that’s been cooked (i.e. applesauce, apple pie, or any kind of pie for that matter!)

I have always thought that I would not let my kids grow up to be so picky! And I have also felt like I make a pretty good effort at that. But last week, during a lunch playdate, when Lilah was given a plate with sliced cucumbers and diced cherry tomatoes on it and stared at it with complete bewilderment, I realized that I have been slacking lately.

So, here’s to a renewed effort. To buy and cook and feed my kids a more balanced variety of foods that I wouldn’t naturally eat myself. And who knows, maybe I’ll find a few new foods for myself.

During my latest grocery trip, I purchased several foods that I wouldn’t normally consider. And have been sneaking them onto my kids plates over the past few days. Some hits, some misses. But I don’t give up on the first attempt – according to this article, a kid can take up to 20 times to realize they like the new flavor.

For instance, I have been giving Graham cucumbers (yuk!), cherry tomatoes (ewe!) and low-fat cottage cheese (which is something I like, but rarely buy because Brady’s not into it. Proof that I’m not the only picky eater in this house!) throughout the past few days with here-and-there success. But today, I made him a plate of cottage cheese mixed with diced tomatoes, grilled turkey breast and cucumbers and … he finally pulled through and actually ate it! All of it. Seriously. Now, don’t get me wrong, I had to use a few strategic moves. Included (but not limited to) mixing cottage cheese with cucumbers (gross me out!) and (very realistic) airplane sounds/motions.

What foods do you dislike that you wish you did – and want your kid to appreciate? Do you have this same challenge? I’d love to hear.

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Mar 25

Birthdays and chocolate and cake, oh my.

Over a month ago (seriously, it’s been that long?!?!), my little guy turned one. As if that wasn’t a big enough milestone, we decided to baptize him then as well. Oh, and it was also Valentine’s Day.
Is that enough reasons to party? I think so.

Since it was Valentine’s, the theme for the party was pretty obvious. I called it the “Kind of our Hearts” party. Feeling inspired by some of the amazing desert tables going around the internet, I decided to go “all out”. (I may have also been high the day that decision was made 😉

Six glue sticks, five cake mixes, three jars of frosting and one crazy mama later:

Seriously, this was a lot of work. How do all these people pull it off? Maybe all those other mom’s out there aren’t doing it alone? I was exhausted after baking and decorating all day! Don’t get me wrong, it was fun and I loved planning and carrying out all the details, but it was a TON of work.

Like, if I still worked full time, this would have never happened.

Hell, if I still worked full time, I probably would have picked up cupcakes at Dillons and called Pizza Hut. (We also served lunch – pulled pork sandwiches, chicken salad sandwiches, fruits and veggies).

But anyways, enough about the work.

It all started with the invitations. These were pretty simple to make, and I had almost everything on hand already. I used an old deck of cards for them.




And more details from the party:

One of the reasons that this was time consuming was these little guys. I have a mini-bundt pan that cooks six of these at a time. I think I made like eight batches or something crazy like that – that is a lot of in-and-out of the oven, watching the timer, greasing the pan, etc, etc. BUT, aren’t they cute?!?!?

The cake stand was actually very simple (and cheap!!) and inspired by this easy tutorial.

The crown on top was originally going to be made from fondant. But, having never worked with it, I got intimidated at the last minute. This one is made from foam paper and served the purpose just as well.

For the wall art, I just used some leftover wrapping paper and taped it over the art. Be warned, this took a lot of tape and trial and error. Lots of error. (That damned thing would NOT stay up!)

Chocolate dipped pretzels. The strawberries were supposed to be dipped as well, but I ran out of energy. And chocolate.

And the birthday boy. Who loved his party, but mostly loved his cake. Which is a reminder of why, in the future, I need to just keep it simple.

Happy Birthday, Grahamsey.

All hail King G. (Which is what Brady and Lilah have nicknamed him.)

And I conclude this with a vow. A vow to never go overboard again.
At least until May. (Lilah’s birthday 😉

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Mar 16

Ornery.


This little boy is into everything. I think we have our work cut out for us. He’s still not walking, but that doesn’t slow Graham down. He can move faster on four than I can on two!
Whenever somebody has gone downstairs, he stands at the gate and yells at them. Contrary to how this photo looks, he cannot open the latch! I tell him no whenever I catch him (except when I need to get a photo, of course).
Recently, I walked into my bedroom to find this:

He had pulled out and unfolded every t-shirt I own. Plus a few of Dad’s socks that he managed to squeeze out. He was pretty tickled with himself…now he just needs to learn how to fold.

And to eat with a fork.
I probably shouldn’t hold my breath.

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Mar 14

Me want cookies.

Last week, my neice Eva turned two and yesterday we celebrated. With an adorable Cookie Monster party theme. Now, if there ever was a little girl who loved cookies more than anybody in the world, Eva is her. She loves her cookies. So she was in heaven.

Cookie monster birthday party theme
There were Cookie Monster cupcakes, chocolate chip cookies and oatmeal peanut butter cookies. A little cookie-obsessed girl’s dream. (And mine too! I couldn’t resist a little of each!)
Cookie monster birthday party theme - cupcakes
Jenny and her sister decorated these and it sounded like they weren’t quite as easy as one might think. The cupcakes were too soft to cut into and shape. Maybe if you let them dry out for a day or two that would help?
Cookie monster birthday party theme

Those are real chocolate chips on there. I guess they had a problem with Eva sneaking the chocolates off throughout the day. (See the bottom left corner)

Blue plastic Solo cups + googly eyes = Cookie Monster. So simple and cute.
Cookie monster birthday party theme
She was pretty proud of her birthday spread.

Princess Eva and brother Jak. All the kids ate Cookie Monster’s eyes first.

Happy Birthday to Eva!

Eva received a Snow White dress as a gift and immediately put it on for the rest of the night. Even princesses have to go to bed at their own party.

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Mar 05

Confessions of a Shameless Mother

I just put Lilah in timeout and left her there for so long that I forgot that she was there and what she did wrong. I had to ask her what she got in trouble for to refresh my memory. (For hitting me and throwing a fit.) At least she remember, right??

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Feb 23

Confessions of a shameless mother – a new feature.

All moms do it, right? Things we’re not proud of. Things like skipping baths. Or “cooking” PB&J for four meals in a row, breakfast included. Or turning cartoons on so we can hide in our bedroom for some quiet time. Or, my personal favorite, putting a kid timeout for so long that you forget why you put them there. (If you haven’t done this yet, you will – you’re kids are probably too young.)

Being a mommy is hard. One of the hardest things I’ve ever done. Of course, it’s totally worth it. But there are many days when I step back and take a look at my parenting and wonder what the heck I’m doing.

That’s what this new feature is going to be. A regular confessional of what I’ve done as a mom that can’t be reversed. Chime in if you’ve done something similar. Especially if you’ve done something worse. That will make me feel better :)

Maybe that’s why I’m doing this. To get a little moral support. Or, maybe I’m doing this so that after I say it out loud, I’ll be more aware of my shady parenting.

So, here we go:

Lilah just wet her bed for the second time today, and I am seriously considering not changing the sheets this time. This would be the third day in a row that I’ve washed all her bedding! I need a break. The washer needs a break!

Yes, I know that’s gross. And I probably won’t actually do it. But, I WILL put her butt in a diaper tonight!!!

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