Thursday, March 31, 2011

the littles

Ayden spent a week with his other family for spring break. We took the chance to get some pictures of the little brothers togather. My favorite are the ones of Balin teaching Silas the proper fingers to suck on.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Happy Half Birthday Baby boy

On March 16th, Silas turned six months old! He is crawling, eating tons of food three times a day and sleeping at night in four hour chunks! He is also... believe it or not... pulling up! He does not get the opportunity to pull up very often though. Between the lack of short surfaces and the tile floor I try to keep him off of he gets what he can. He loves to stand up in his crib and pack-n-play. And on daddy. He still prefers his daddy's thumb for chewing and my hair for snuggling. He loves his big brothers. He also really likes our friend Connie at church who watches him while I'm at bible study. Today he didnt even try to come with me he was so happy in her arms. He has no teeth yet and is STILL breastfeeding {doing a victory dance on that one}. As with all my boys he has a lovey. He has chosen his Aden and Anais blankets.. any of them. Give him one and he wil get his two first fingers in his mouth and get some serious snuggle action going. I love his sweet skin, which is at least three shades darker than mine. He also has "see through hair" (thanks Liz for the description) that I hope will grow eventually and that hopefully will stay dark.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

busy mama

Dear blog,
  I miss you. lots. But I have a six month old who can crawl and a three and a half year old who is very whiney and attention starved from the last year of pregnancy and baby brother-hood. I want to tell you all about our happenings and even sat down to show you some pictures.. but of course... I can not find my camera cord. So for now, I will leave you with a few of the hillarious things I have heard from...

 my three year
while blowing dandelions into the wind he was wishing for "the grass to grow and my cake to come."

"Remember when gramma came when you were at the hospital getting the baby out of your belly and she was being my mommy and papa came and he was being my daddy?" -remembering his grandparents visist and overnight while I was in the hospital.

to me while I was getting ready for my day "Your the bestest mommy ever!" me "oh really?" "no, not really, I'm just kidding! haha I was joking mommy"

"I'm ready for high school" meaning he was ready to go to church child care

from my seven- almost eight year old
"after my baseball game can we go to the concussion stand?"

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Bundt of the Month

Happy St. Patricks day! I never really was into this green holiday until a few years ago I met an amazing pastor and his wife in Shreveport. Among blessing us with their friendship, encouragement and grace.. her shameless love of St. Patricks day led me to do a little research and get excited myself. I'm not going to write about that today, but encourage you, especially if you are a Christian or someone who believes in following your beliefs to the uttermost... look into it! And watch The Secret of Kells on Netflix.

This months bundt cake did not turn out that great. So I'm not giving you a real recipe. I basically made it like last months, but with a few bad substitutions.To make this bundt I used white cake mix, chocolate syrup and andes mints. I mixed the cake mix four egg whites, 1/2 cup oil and a cup of water and 1 tsp of peppermint extract. I then added green food coloring and spooned about 1/3 into my greases bundt pan. I added about a cup of chocolate syrup and a cup of chopped Andes mix to the rest and poured it on top. Baed at 350 for about an hour. It was pretty good, but really dry! Needed more moisture.  The point of this experiment is to teach myself to bake something other than white cake box cake and to learn. I did learn a few tips.
1. Don't substitute oil for butter. Butter rules.
2. Andes mints will melt completely and be absorbed into the cake. The flavor is still there, but you wont see them or have the texture. It did make the center of my cake nice and creamy.
3. Not marbling the cake (going up and down all the way through the mixture with a knife) will make a horseshoe shape! (convenient for this holiday).
4. Duncan Hines makes a product called Amazing Glazes. For cheater cakes, or semi homemade days.. these are awesome! You microwave the bottle, shake it up and then pour it onto the cake. It dribble down the sides perfectly! It also sets into a yummy thick fudgy texture in about 30 seconds. Perfect and easy! It was perfect sprinkled with chopped Andes mints and was by far the best part of this cake.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

5 at 6

My baby boy is six months old today. I am in shock. How is he six months old already? There is absolute truth in time getting faster the more kids you have. In honor of his half year birthday, I am actually going to tell you about last month... his five month birthday. I'm so bad at doing things on a time line. Thats just me. Unfabled! At five months old he weighed 16.6 pounds. Twice his birth weight! He was scooting around and pushing himself backwards. He was rolling multiple times in both directions. He sat supported. He started solids (other than cereal which we started at 4 1/2 months) at 5 months one week. His first food was carrots which he rejected. So we tried pears instead, much better. He sat in his high chair for the first time. He moved to the "real" seat of his stroller. At five months he also sat in his grocery cart seat cover for the first time. Sadly, five months also brought his first fever/virus/flu/trip to the urgent care center. No fair. He is  changing every day and we adore him more and more and more. This kid is somethin' special!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

How to keep baby food from falling on your head

I am in love with the new organic readily available baby food! I usually make my own baby food, but for the diaper bag it is just easier to have some on hand and ready to go in easy to use containers. I love that the packets, the zipper kind and the twisty top kind, are so much lighter than jars or tubs and re close so neatly. The only problem is that they dont stand up in the cabinet or stack up like the old fashioned ones used to! So today, when I was about to hit wits end after another avalanche came out of the baby cupboard I reached into my "plastic tubs to be re-purposed" box and pulled out an old dish detergent box. I carefully washed it out and turned it into a perfect container for baby food!
Step one: clean and remove the label of a dish detergent pack container. (These work great because the lid is semi attached so it wont get lost! Plus its the perfect size to hold either zippy or twisty baby food containers.)
Step two: trace on a piece of fabric the shape of the lid, leaving about an inch or so extra to hang over the sides. Step three: Hot glue fabric to the lid
Step four: Hot glue ribbon around edge to mimic a jelly jar
Step five: Cut circles of fabric and hot glue to sides. Use a sharpie to make your "label"
Step six: fill with baby food and rejoice over not ever having food avalanches again!
Before. Food Avalanche and frustrated Mama

After. Neat clean and happy baby cubby

I appologize for how messy this post is!! Blogger is being a pain and I'm off to dinner~ Meme

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Meme and the Bee

It has never happened before... and it will never happen again if I have anything to do with it. We  finally ventured out to enjoy this perfect weather today. We found an adorable duck pond with a gazebo and beautiful landscaping. We fed turtles and wandered around. Then we decided to take B to the playground. We had never been there before and he was super excited and running from play structure to play structure. We noticed lots of bees around the trash cans. Probably had something to do with them being overfull from parties.. but you know, whatever. Balin was climbing on a play structure and there was a bee near his hand. I wooshed it away with my hand and it didnt move. So I flicked it with my thumbnail. It went away and I thought nothing of it. We went on to another play structure and Balin flew down some slides. He went back to one closer to the first one as as he is climbing up I suddenly feel like I'm getting a flu shot.. in the back of my  thigh. My first thought was, no way.. this doesnt happen to me. Other people get stung, not me. But alas. Bee karma caught up with me and I was stung. I was suddenly not in the mood to play at the park as waves of stinging/itching sensations took over my leg. We got in the car and drove home. As we turned onto our street I was smoothing my pants down on my lap and felt a lump. I instantly knew I HAD A BEE STILL IN MY PANTS. Well now. What would you do? I was so glad my husband was driving. Basically I made a pocket in my pants (again thank goodness I had on linen/loose pants) and held the critter off my skin as I frantically.. well.... got the bee as far away as possible. I made my husband pull into the garage and close the garage door so I could escape into the house.. leaving my pants and the STILL LIVING bee in the garage with him.   The best part of it all? My three year old... who is so loving and thoughtful... followed me into the house. He came into my room behind me and said "Can we go back to the park when you get done fixing your butt?" Thank you sweetheart. Thank you.

Friday, March 11, 2011

A little favor...

Both of the missionaries I pray for, the Hendrick Family and the Johansson family have sick little boys. Please pray for healing for them! The Hendricks little boy, Hudson, is better but had high fever and a seizure, The Johanssons little guy, Nata, has malaria.

Simply Reads:: {Skippy Jon Jones}

We have a new favorite book series! I ordered these for my kids from Ayden's school scholastic flyer. Let me tell you, we have never giggle so much during a story time. We got three in our set and love them all, but our favorite is the oringinal. If you have never read these to your child.. you must. Now some of my affection for them may be due to the fact that we now live in Mexico  South Texas. They are written with just enough spanglish to seriously get me in the mood for my best Antonio Banderas impersonation. My boys think its hysterical. It is a voice I keep only for them. The story is simple, a siamese kitty who thinks he is a Chihuaha. He spends his time being naughty and getting sent to his room to think. In his closet he goes on adventures as Skippito, the great sword fighter, and joins a band of rougue Chihuahuas called the "Chimichangos". What are some of my favorite lines? Why, Thanks for asking! "Holy Frijoles!" "Holy Jalapeno!" "My name is Skippito Friskito. I fear not a single Bandito." I also love the names the mom kitty calls her boy. "Mr. Fluffernutter" "Mr. kitten britches""Mr Cocopugs" to name a few. Pure hillarity.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

a must share dinner

We found a great deal on portabella mushrooms this weekend and realized that we had not eaten them in ages! They turned out amazing so I thought I would share my "recipe." I'm more of a process gal than a measuring gal so here is my best attempt. There are no pictures because as soon as they came out of the oven the amazing smell made us wolf them down. So. Good.
Feta Topped 'shrooms
1 large portabella mushroom per person (I made 2)
Kraft olive oil sundried tomato salad dressing
feta cheese (i used about 2 oz)
2 roma tomatos, chopped and rinsed to remove seeds
tablespoos basil fresh or dried (i used dried)
4 or 5 garlic cloves, chopped

marinate mushrooms by placing in a plastic zip bag and coating with the salad dressing. Leave in fridge for a few hours. When ready to cook heat oven to 425. Place mushrooms upside down on a baking pan or stoneware baking dish so they look like a bowl ready to fill with goodness. This isnt meat so feel free to leave the salad dressing filling the cup of the mushroom a bit. Even pour leftover from the bag on to the mushrooms! In a bowl combine feta, garlic, tomatoes and basil. Spoon this mixture into the mushroom. Place in oven and bake about 15-20 minutes. This would be so good served on a bed of quinoa! We used a steam in the microwave bag of brown rice because my meal planning forgot that part. It was still super super yummy. *note: I did not even attempt to serve this to my children. They ate hot dogs. I feel no shame.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Mama meets boy

In a matter of hours my sweet friend Becky will have her hands on her baby boy in Ethiopia! She is doing something unbelievable. It has been two long years of waiting for her and her husband Mark as they pursued an international adoption. My favorite part of their story? They chose this. This was not an after they tried everything else to have a biological baby and failed decision. Nope. This was a why even try to have a biological baby decision. Adoption.. a first choice. amazing. This sweet baby boy is hours from meeting his forever mommy and daddy. His parents who will love him and hold him and teach him to drive vehicles places they were never intended to go. (you can get to know them for more on their off roading adventures). Thats what we can call this: Off road parenting. Not many would choose it. But these two. They are amazing. I am honored to love them and their boy. Honored to be able to tell their story. Honored to get the emails from AFRICA. I am not. sleeping.  I am as excited as when any of my kids were on the way. Well maybe not really. But I am as sleepless!! Pray for them as this will be a challenging week. They meet him three times for an hour each time.. then they have to come home without him. For an undeclared amount of time. Pray for quickness in the courts. Pray for fast paper trails. Pray for sensitive hearts!! Pray for this mama and daddy and their long flight home. Pray for this sweet boy. Pray for health and safety and pray for God to prepare his heart for the challenges to come. And pray for the joy that will come! OH the Joy that is coming!!

a wild day at Wild Days

Yesterday we attended an even at Sea World called Wild Days with Jack Hanna. Community reps from different conservation agencies in San Antonio come and to top it off Jack Hanna comes with a variety of his animal friends :-). We had no idea how wild our day was going to be!We started our morning early. I had intentions of waking up and feeding Silas at 6:30.. so he helped by waking up at 6. Breakfast was a King cake. Because it is Mardi Gras season, and well, I wanted a King Cake!
 We hit the road earlier than we expected despite a crazy storm that popped up. CRAZY wind and rain and even thunder. The weather for San Anonio was supposed to be better though, so we headed on out and sure enough the rain stopped before we even got to the major high way. Everything was going great. The boys each had their electronic distraction unit of choice, Silas was sleeping like an angel and I was having great conversation with my husband. About 40 miles out of San Antonio Lucas avoided a big pile of hay. I remember thinking "gosh, its good he avoided that. There could be a nail or something in it." Moments later we hear a whoosh sound followed by a thumputhumputhumputhumputhumputhumpu. "No Way" says the Man. Yup. Flat tire. Not just a nail.. no.. completely devastated flat tire. We then spent about ten minutes searching the van for the spare. Because we know we have one. But its still new to us.. so it took a while. After finding it Lucas got us all set and we changed our gps destination to Discount Tires. They actually worked fairly quickly, but we lost about three hours of our day at Sea World. When we got there we found out that we missed Shamu and the other big show was canceled. So we did other things we normally do not get to. We fed the dolphins. So. Much. Fun. We all got to touch and pet them! Not what I thought they would feel like! After catching the Sea Lion show and viewing the penguins (Ayden's favorite!) we got to the special Jack Hanna show early. He was awesome as I knew he would be. We got to see crazy odd animals like an African Procupine, tree sloth, cheetah and a lynx. Then we stood in line for autographs. Jack was kind and humble and patient. We watched the man sign autographs for almost three hours straight! (before the show, after the show and at dinner).  Dinner was a blast! The BBQ was yummy (toally making up for the crud we had here a few weeks ago) and the animal handlers and Jack were right there in the picnic area! We got to wander around and take pictures with some amazing animals. Such fun memories! And the kids actually learned things. This morning Balin took his lovey lion and hung him by the feet from the fridge handle. "Look mommy! He's standing like a sloth!" Great day. And worth a new tire!

Fennec Fox

black and white Tegu

my favorite pic of the day! Silas and this owl had a serious stare down. I'm sure they were both thinking "could I fit that in my mouth?"

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Dinner with Jungle Jack

When I was a little girl I wanted to grow up to be a zoo keeper. Specifically, up until my sophomore year of high school, I wanted to be a marine biologist. My sophmore year I took honors chemistry and realized that science and I were only going to be friends as long as math was not involved. Unfortunately, math is involved. So I became a mommy instead. I would like to point out the obvious that being a mommy is a whole lot like being a zoo keeper. I design habitats, create meal plans, research odd behaviors, create enrichments, raise funds from sponsors ( known as daddy)  and on most days clean up poop as well. I've been obsessed with zoos my entire life and many of my favorite memories are attached to them. Riding a camel in California, visiting the polar bears in Colorado, first date with my husband in Vienna, Austria (remind me to blog about that one sometime). For Christmas this year we were given season tickets to Sea World! Its about two and a half hours from us, but since we don't need to buy tickets every time we can go for special events with minimal guilt. This weekend a VERY SPECIAL EVENT is happening and I could not be more excited. Like school girl giddy. Like giddy as my children when they get to buy a new pez dispenser giddy. I am going on saturday to Sea World.. To have dinner with this man.  
Jack Hanna. King of the tv zoo men. Before we had the crocodile hunter, or Jeff Corwin or the dog whisperer.. we had Jack Hanna. Now I'm sure he will want to visit with some of the other ahem, hundreds of other, people there, but I'm okay with sharing. My husband thinks I'm a loon. Thats okay too. I told him last night that my greatest fantasy right now would be getting a picture of Jack with a monkey on one arm, and Silas on the other. I know. I'll try to be cool. But I'll be honest. I'm having trouble concentrating. Jungle Jack. at a pic nic.. with ME.