Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Homemade Microwave Popcorn

Maybe the rest of the world knows it is possible to make homemade microwave popcorn, but tonight was the first we tried it. Aliza's grocery store request was popcorn. It was written in letters that took up my entire whiteboard. I got the hint.

Microwave popcorn is just plain expensive so I bought a big bag of store brand popcorn kernels for $1.48! It will last forever. I had to invest in some butter salt tonight, but that will last a long time too.

Jeremy gets the credit for this....well...for following the recipe he found on his iphone.

1/4 cup of popcorn kernals
1 teaspoon of olive oil
some flavoring if you want

Put everything in a brown paper lunch bag. Staple it shut. (Staples didn't bother our microwave.) Cook for 3-5 minutes while the pops are 1-2 seconds apart.

Aliza loved her popcorn snack.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Preoccupied with Life

  • I've been obsessed with getting Joel and Brandi's wedding album ordered. My first task was to narrow the 1,939 pictures down to 400. Then I laid out the album. Now the album is ordered and the pictures are on Jeremy's computer for him to work his magic on.
  • Last Thursday Anna was starting to get congested and she was coughing a bit by evening. Friday morning she was very congested. Jeremy was holding her in the morning and pulled on her ear. She screamed. He did it a second time for good measure. I immediately walked over to the phone, called the doctor and had an appointment for an hour later. Yup, ear infection. She is a lot better now, but still congested and that makes it hard to eat.
  • Aliza and Josiah are going to Vacation Bible School. Aliza was so nervous about going to the K-5 class all by herself. She had a few tears at the beginning, but one of the teenage helpers took her under her wing and Aliza had a great time. She had so much to talk about this evening. And she was so tired that she didn't even ask to read a book before bed.
  • It seems like I have been so busy, but now that I sit here to write I can't thing of much to say! Actually we have had quite a few days of just being at home recently.
  • I finished reading Mine Is the Night by Liz Curtis Higgs. Totally predictable, but I didn't want to put it down. Now I am back to reading parenting books.
  • Every parent should read How to Love Your Kids by Milan and Kay Yerkovich and every couple should read How We Love by Milan and Kay Yerkovich. Both are relationship changing books. Now I'm reading Making Children Mind Without Losing Yours by Dr. Kevin Leman. It's an older book published in the mid 1980s.
That's all. Good night.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Anna--7 Months

Anna and her cousin, Renee, have developed a sweet little relationship. Renee sits close to Anna and talks all kinds of baby talk to her and Anna looks at her and smiles and talks back. Renee has just started to walk and Anna has just started to use the walker so Renee moved to the big girl job of pushing.

Anna cut her first tooth this week. True to her laid back form, no one would have guessed she was teething.

She really gets around. I put the gate up for the first time today so she would not get to the stairs. Anna eats squash, sweet potatoes and carrots well. I will introduce green vegetables next.

There are so many fun things to look forward to the next month of her life!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Our Daddy Day

Father's Day started bright and early at our house. Jeremy got to sleep in and I hopped out of bed with the obligatory smile on my face. We headed down stairs to wrap a couple presents for Daddy. Aliza signed the card for everyone while Josiah helped wrap the present. After the present was wrapped Josiah headed straight for the stairs. I caught him and told him that Daddy was sleeping in and he could choose where to put the present for Daddy. I suggested a couple locations and he decided the presents should be hidden under the table.

He and Aliza guarded the presents while eating candy (who in their right mind gives their children candy before 8am? Must have been an early morning!) and cereal.
I was in the bathroom and heard two little people burst into Daddy's room saying Surprise!!! How can you resist two sweet little faces bearing presents for you? Daddy couldn't. Even though they told him yesterday what he was getting he was still surprised! ;)
Then they fed him candy. Oh, Daddy was a good sport.
I was planning to made breakfast and Aliza insisted it be served as breakfast in bed. It turned out to be a Daddy/Daughter breakfast in bed.
Daddy's biggest gift was being able to watch Sunday's coverage of U.S. Open in its entirety on HD TV. We spent the afternoon and evening at my parents. Aliza curled up with Daddy and I thought it was too cute that their arms were in the same position.
Daddy with his three children and the shirt Aliza and Josiah made him. This picture is going to be a favorite of mine for a while.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Outrageous Cuteness

For as awful as the heat was a couple weeks ago, the weather has been absolutely perfect this week. We spend our evenings together outside which I consider to be a perfect summer evening.

And when we come in this little boy is ALWAYS dirty from head to toe!

This video was on facebook. Anna is creeping now. I can't believe it is time for this!!!

Monday, June 13, 2011

The Wedding from Our Perspective

Since Jeremy was one of the photographers, I won't give away the essence of the wedding until Brandi has seen her pictures, but here are a bunch of my family.
A very happy flowergirl.

Sometimes you need friends in high places to get the job done.

I think some day I will crop her out of this picture. =)

The Moment:
It started well. Josiah carried his two favorite tractors from the nursery... And then....
Aliza starts to throw petals, only to realize her brother turned around and ran back to Grandma. It took her all of one step to decide to turn around too.

Daddy and his girls.

As Aliza calls it: The Dance Party

Josiah talked tractors with Great Uncle Darryl instead of dancing.

Her little cheeks were red. She did not stop! Aliza ran up to me at one point and told me that Uncle Joel said she was a ball of energy that didn't stop. Her favorite dancing partner was Uncle Joel. I tried to distract her from him, but every time I turned around she was back at his side. I felt bad when I saw one picture of Joel trying to dance with Brandi with Aliza on his hip. The dance party made up for her extreme disappointment of not walking down the aisle.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Road Trip with Grandma

There is so much to say about this weekend. Pictures are coming, but for now, I must record some of the memorable moments in the backseat on our trip from our house to WV for Joel and Brandi's wedding. In the backseat were my Mom (Grandma), Aliza, Josiah and Anna.

  • During a game of hide and seek in the moving car, Aliza said to Grandma " You need to hide better. You need to hide trickier for me."
  • Grandma started a game where Aliza and Josiah pretended to be a chipmunk, squirrel or bird and Grandma rewarded them with a single peanut, raisin or M&M. Later in the trip Josiah announced that he wanted to play "squirrels and chipmunks." It took Grandma a minute to figure out what he was saying.
  • While sitting in stand still traffic for 40 minutes towards the end of the trip, Grandma pulled out a new-to-them toy for Aliza and Josiah. The little tractor and Polly Pocket saved the day!
  • Aliza said, "Ummm, Grandma! We need you up here! Anna is sucking her fingers and looking at me. She doesn't have anything to do!
  • Grandma tried to get some peace for herself by making tents for the children--putting blankets over their seats.
  • And on the way home, they were so very tired. But they would not let themselves sleep. Grandma was constantly dispensing snacks to the apparently half starved children.
  • Since they were eating all afternoon, Aliza naturally wanted to know what we were going to have for supper. She was not impressed with what I told her we were having and so gave some other recommendations. I told her that Mommy chooses what we are having for supper and if she doesn't want to eat it, that's fine, but there would be no snacks. She said, "Mommy, you are so predictable." I said, "What does predictable mean?" She said, "It means you say the same thing every time." And I thought, "Good job, Mommy."

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

This is My Foot

The children were in the car ready to go to the library for storytime. I remembered that I needed to get the double stroller out of the shed so that we could safely cross the street with our many books to return. As I stepped down from the shed my ankle twisted and I fell. Aliza and Josiah could see me so they immediately asked if I was ok. Mommy, is always ok, right? I assured them that everything would be ok. Got up, got the stroller in the car and decided that it would be easier to go to the library than deal with the chaos that would ensue if I canceled our plans.

On the way to the library I realized that this didn't feel like other sprains and I wasn't going to walk it off. So I start calling people. Thankfully Dad was 5 minutes from the library and available. He met us there and helped us get inside. The theme of story time was trauma and one of the presenters was an ER nurse. I asked her to look at it. She thought the swelling looked too low to be a sprain and thought I should have it x-rayed.

Thank God for family. My sister was off work and came up to my house and stayed with the children while Dad took me to immediate care. Once again immediate care was awesome. In and out in an hour. They did x-rays. No fractures. They said they were give me a boot to let the sprain heal well. I had no idea it would take a boot this size to protect a sprain!

It does give very good support. I can walk without pain. The best thing about it is that I can walk in a normal motion so that I don't strain other muscles while protecting the sprain. The huge bummer is that there is an event this weekend that I was going to wear 4 inch heels to that very much complimented my dress. (Something that doesn't always happen for me and I was very much excited.) Oh well. Oh well. It's only vanity.

Aliza put all of her special friends to bed beside me to help me feel better. Awwww.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Aliza's Note

Aliza caught wind that my Gramma was in ER on Sunday. She was pretty concerned about her Great Gramma and wanted to send her a card. She cut a piece of paper to the size she wanted and told me what the note was going to say. All I did was dictate what letter to write next. She was open to some direction so her E's look more recognizable by the bottom of the first page.

I was a tiny little bit proud of her heart and her effort.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Nightmare at the Grocery Store

My weekly trip to the grocery store is generally intense, but not nightmare-ish. I thought I had adjusted to the workload of carrying a baby in a front pack and wrangling two energetic walkers. Like I said, it is always intense.

Everything was going smoothly until we crossed paths with Aunt Meghan and her boys. Just the sight of their cousins was enough to send them into energy overdrive. My children couldn't wait to get to the next aisle in hopes of seeing Caleb and creating a huge scene including shouts of excitement, loud talking and general chaos. It is beyond me why the mere sight of their favorite playmate caused them to lose all respect for authority which resulted in plain old disobedience.

The end result was a daughter that decided it was ok to run two aisles away to look at a display. Thankfully I knew which one she went to. Yes, she was promptly swatted on the behind...in public. This while my son found a wayward plastic ball and was throwing it in the aisle. WHAT??!!

Mercifully we were finished and I made my way to the checkout. Anna started crying...hard. Josiah wanted to get in the cart to help unload the groceries. Aliza was checking out the toys in the checkout lane and was just generally in the way and pestering me to buy things. The two ladies behind me in line kept on exchanging glances which made me feel self-conscious. I was using the quiet, extremely stern voice with my children that is meant to let the children know I mean business and the other women know that "although I look crazy I am really in control here."

Continuing on...Aliza was mad because I couldn't get her in the cart to unload groceries. So I told her to take the loaded bags of groceries off the carasoul and put them in the cart. (Anna is still crying). I look down and bags of loaded groceries are going IN the cart while Josiah is still UNLOADING the cart. Chaos, I tell you.

Finally, I get my total and as I'm reaching for my wallet the cashier tells me that Breyer's ice cream costs $1.97 and points out that the Great Value ice cream I bought cost $2.88. Was it not clearly obvious that I had no time to compare prices???

At the car I thought I was finally out of the public eye. I put the crying baby in first. Aliza and Josiah were just being noisy. I went to put the groceries in the car. A couple walked past and the lady said, Do you have 2 in there? I said, "No, I have 3." She said, "Triplets??!!" I said, "No, they are 5, 3, and 6 months."

The moral of the story. When I am in another phase of life where I shop alone and I see a Mom struggling to harness the energy of her children I will unload her groceries or talk to her wayward child. I will certainly let her know that I've been there and will refrain from letting her feel like a pitiful excuse for a Mom by my body language and questions.

And, finally, a piece of advice. Don't, under any circumstances, comment to a Mom in a passing that she has her hand's full. Chances are that if you are thinking that she is fully aware of that fact already.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Homemade Pizza Dough

Friday night is pizza night at our house. I make my own pizza dough. This is the most forgiving dough ever. Josiah and Aliza roll it out to death. Sometimes I let it raise, sometimes I don't. I just throw the ingredients in bowl, mix it up, knead it a bit, roll it out and toss it in the oven.

1 package yeast
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup milk
1 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp oil
2 1/4 cups flour

It turns out nicely if you let it raise for about half an hour. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Bake the dough for 15 minutes. Add sauce and toppings and bake another 15 minutes.

That's all!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Dog Days of...Spring?

Wow! It is hot here! The kind of hot that makes you drip sweat just stepping outside to take a bag of trash out. The kind of hot that makes window air conditioner units work so hard that they don't work at all. The kind that makes you tired even when you take a nap and don't do anything. The kind that makes a Mom buy a swimming pool with 3 little ones in tow.

That's what we did the other day. The swimming pools were outside the store. We parked, picked up our pool, paid for it and took it back to the car. Then we walked back in and did our grocery shopping. It doesn't sound like a big deal, but that is extra parking lot walking. I explained what 100% cooperation meant and Aliza and Josiah did pretty well. Today this is what they did in the pool...

My other challenge with the heat is that Anna is too little to be out in high 90 degree humid weather. Thankfully she is content to be inside alone for a few minutes here and there while I run outside to check on Aliza and Josiah or settle a dispute or remind them to turn off the hose.
I'm hoping for that predicted thunderstorm tonight.