Sunday, May 31, 2009

baby, oh, baby.

Check out all of the babies born in this ward in the last nine months. holy toledo. There are even two missing (and an additional two others if you count those that have moved!). The big fat red arrow is pointing to the cutest of them all. Ike just sat and soaked in all of the chaos. He looked right at me when I needed him to. The two girlies on the end were definite drama queens and screamed the whole time. The rest of the babies seemed to rather enjoy each others' company.
Ike even gave some cute little grins. The little bald cute baby to Ike's right is Jace- they are 28 days apart. Zeb and Jace's brother, Cohen, are just 24 days apart.

In Zeb news- he has becoming the coloring fiend. He wakes up and asks to color. He sits at the dinner table asking to color. At church he wants to color. He loves calling out the crayon color as he draws with each of them. And as you can see from the picture- he is OBSESSED with circles. He draws them incessantly and describes their motion as he draws them. "around and around and around and around circle". He'll draw houses, horses, trains, the alphabet, and people too. They all appear eerily like his circles :) I have NO idea what he is doing in this picture. Probably trying to tell us about his circles.

and here is a baby picture arrow free for anybody who didn't get one! I promised to post some and I figured nobody wanted a big arrow pointing to the cutest baby (especially when it isn't theirs!).

Saturday, May 30, 2009

He knows he isn't allowed to leave his room after bedtime so this is what we get almost every night for at least a little bit. He sits or stands at the doorway and jabbers at us. He'll ask for milk or water or toys. Sometimes he just sits and listens to whatever we are doing. He will also take all the toys he has out in his room and line them up along the border to the hallway. He knows they are n't allowed out either :) He's pretty cute right now. He's really really funny and quite pleasant. Tantrums are limited and smiles are abundant. His little voice just makes us laugh.

Ike is also getting more fun by the day. He's got a toy that absolutely terrifies him right now. It's a big soft squishy star that crinkles. You know those baby toys that have crinkly stuff in them? He'll play with it and get all excited and once the crinkling starts- he FREAKS. He shakes and screams bloody murder. We can't help but keep giving it to him. It's really funny to watch. He loves it at first and gets all excited- and then the trauma starts.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

can you just tell that this kid doesn't really like to laugh? he'll totally do it- but I feel like it's forced! He's so fun and squishy right now. and sorry that's it's so dark!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

fall #2

So, yeah. I'm a klutz. A complete moron. I fell again. Last time I fell on my knee. I was seven months pregnant and had just finished a run. Today I had Ike in my arms and I had just finished my run. I was actually holding him in the arm that you see pictured. He escaped unscathed. I, on the other hand, have this lovely PAINFUL battle wound and a myriad of other bruises dotting my body. My hip hurts the worst. I can't believe I didn't drop Ike or squish him or scrape him or anything. As I checked him for wounds I realized that I was gushing blood all over the backseat of our car so I put him in his carseat and he fell asleep immediately. I thought for sure this meant he had a concussion or something. He was totally fine- just tired. And I must have nicked a large vessel in my arm because this thing was a bleeder. There was blood all over the road, in our car, on the carseat, and all over the napkins and wet wipes I used to try and clean it.

After Kent came home to clean my wounds (I won't rip off my own bandaids let alone dig gravel out of my cuts) and convince me that Ike was in fact not in a concussion induced coma (he really does love me), I took the kiddos to playgroup. There's a little park that sits next to some railroad tracks- and today a train came by. Zeb was ecstatic. All of the little train loving boys were beyond excited. Could there be a better playgroup activity than this? A real train! The conductor even waved and honked his horn for the little audience.
My body is still nice and sore tonight- and sleeping may be tricky- but hopefully tomorrow will be better.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

There is something about the way this kid eats. I could just sit and watch him eat all day. Maybe it's his big lips or the way he chomps his food. I'm not really sure why- but I LOVE it. I also love that he talks. He talks to me all day now and I can't get enough (I'm sure I'll be eating those words soon enough). Today while I was on the phone with Kent- he came up to me and said "Mom, I need a drink, please". Kent can vouch for it. It was the cutest little sentence ever.

Ike is the same little creature he's always been. The child is too easy. He just hangs out in his little recliner- or in his swing- or in my arms- or on the floor- with that fat double chin of his and this goofy grin. He'll giggle if we force him too. He'll talk and sing if we try and pry it out of him. But, really he just chills. Oh- and he has mastered rolling. He's a few weeks behind Zeb on that milestone- but I'm sure he'll pick up some of the other skills faster.
See- isn't this picture the same as every other one we have of him?- just in a different position. Same face- same smile- same fat.

Monday, May 25, 2009

happy memorial day

Last year at this time Kent was packing to go to Officer training in Alabama. I am so glad that he's sticking around this year- although I'll probably be talking to him just about as frequently as last year. I can't wait until boards are over! I've had some really long days while Kent's been away- and I can only imagine the stress he's going through- since he is the one actually taking the dang test. I am so ready to have him back.

Here are our little rugrats yesterday before church. This is before Zeb's meltdown. For some reason- the very moment we walked into the church building Zeb had a meltdown. I had to sit on the stand with my seminary students so Kent had both rugrats and luckily zeb semi mellowed out. I am SO done with one o'clock church. Good thing we switch over in August.

Today we were Kentless- but tried to celebrate the holiday anyway. We had a good run at the park and then made our way over to Maumee for the parade. We got tons of free candy and unlike in years past- Zeb actually enjoyed himself. He wasn't afraid of the sirens or horns or marching band. I can't say the same for Ike. He actually did really well until one of the fire trucks honked directly in front of us. I think it startled him more than anything.
Zeb loved waving to all of the drivers of the big trucks and cars. He was also content with the very first dum-dum thrown his way- but I forcefully encouraged him to gather lots more candy than that :)

We enjoyed our afternoon at a giant picnic at a friend's house. Zeb got to run around- play with friends- and find all sorts of great tunnels and train tracks to play on. Whenever we pass under groups of trees he thinks it's a tunnel. He loves to climb under bushes and make himself tunnels as well. His imagination is exploding and it is so fun to watch. Today on our run it was a little windy and we could hear wind blowing through the trees. Some of the trees are dead and the wind makes them creak and whine. Zeb heard the creaking and yelled "mama- STOP!" I asked why and he replied "a elephant! a elephant!". I couldn't help but laugh out loud. He thought the creaking trees were elephants! We saw deer and lots of squirrels this morning- and he sees elephants at the zoo here- so I guess an elephant in our park makes perfect sense to him.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

the loooongest day

It started at 4:30am. I am pooped.
This morning I got up at four thirty to be at the church before five to head to the temple. We had a youth temple trip for baptisms and I am so glad that I got to go!! minus the earliness - I LOVED it. We took the two and half hour (each way) roadtrip in our bishop's fifteen passenger air conditionerless rickety van. It was a blast.
With boards approaching so quickly- it was a big sacrifice for Kent to stay home with the squidlets- but I am so thankful that he did. He did get up at 4:30 with me so he could get in study time before the rugrats woke up though! and he's studying now (9:45 pm).

At 7:30, just as our crazies woke up, two fabulous visitors arrived!! Cousins Justin and Aaron drove ALL stinking night and showed up on the doorstep this morning begging for some beds to crash in! It really worked out quite nicely because they crashed until 12:30 ish- and woke up just as I arrived home. We had a nice lunch- a quick chat- and off they drove to DC. I hope they get some normal sleep tonight!! We love visitors- even if they do just want free room and board for a few hours! Thanks for dropping by Aaron and Justin.Kent and the boys had a day full of adventure. He took them grocery shopping and then to the community health fair on campus. Zeb was in heaven spending the day with just Kent.

And these pictures are from yesterday- but I wanted to make sure and post them so that they are part of my blog book (because I love them)! I'm still working on the daunting task of turning my blog into a book. With over 700 posts it is taking forEVER but I can't wait to get it published.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

we finally got to pull the pool out of it's box today! I bought this froggy pool at the end of last year's season on clearance for ONE DOLLAR! today we pulled it out and had a blast. Too bad zeb refuses to look at me if I have the camera though.

I can totally do this 80+ degree weather thing IF- and only if- the humidity stays at a normal range. Today was pretty nice. Last night it got chilly with the windows open, it was cool enough in the morning for a good workout, and our afternoon in the pool was pleasant. Stay this way please!!!

Ike is getting closer to sitting up these days. He still loves the bumbo though - and so do I.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

"beet-beet. beet-beet"

Zeb thinks that birds say "beet-beet" instead of "tweet-tweet". We correct him regularly but the "beet-beet" is pretty cute and I'm sure he'll figure out the truth eventually- so I'm not too worried.
Today for playgroup we made bird feeders. Last week Zeb and I went pine cone collecting and today we got to make our feeders. You just douse them in creamy peanut butter- then sprinkle them with wild bird seed and voila!- you've got the easiest bird feeder ever. Now we've just got to see if they actually attract any real birds.

This little rugrat of ours despises peanut butter- but, of course, today the first thing he did when I gave him pb to spread on his cone was shove the spoonful into his mouth. He totally dry-heaved on it and couldn't seem to get it out of his mouth fast enough though. I guess the fact that we weren't supposed to be eating it made it look appetizing!? Kids are so confusing sometimes.

The finished product is actually pretty cool. We hung it out on our deck as soon as we got home. Z has been watching for birds ever since.

and Ike LOVED being outside for the activity. He really just sat in his car seat for much of the time- but he was really happy about it. I think he was mostly just so pleased to not be in the insanely bumpy stroller any more. He's been starting to get antsy on my runs. He better just learn to deal.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

baby chimp and tasty dinner recipe

Doesn't this kid look like a baby chimpanzee? I really need to get some more videos of him to put up. He is getting funnier and funnier.
And here's another recipe. I'm in dire need of some too- so post your summer favorites, please!!
It's been significantly warmer the past few days and I just haven't been in the mood to use the oven or eat anything hot for dinners. One of my favorite foods EVER is the bbq chicken salad from CPK so tonight we made it. It was FABULOUS and so so easy. The recipe calls for two items that we altered. #1 - fried tortilla strips. I had wonton wrappers on hand so I BAKED and salted them and added those. they were tasty and better for you. And #2- creamy herb ranch dressing. Too complicated for me to make- and not so healthy. We substituted low fat sour cream and hidden valley ranch mix.

(measurements can all be altered to fit your ingredients/wants)
1/2 head iceberg lettuce, shredded fine
1/2 head romaine lettuce leaves, shredded fine
1 pound jicama, cut into thin strips
2 cups Monterey Jack (or any) cheese, shredded
1 cup black beans - rinsed and drained (canned works)
1 cup corn kernels, drained (canned works)
3 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
2 pounds tomatoes, diced
1/2 cup barbecue sauce
1/4 cup green onions, thinly sliced

Oh- and we didn't have jicama- but I think it really makes the salad. Next time I'll get it for sure!

I just sauteed the chicken in garlic- then let it cool, shred it, and mixed it up with sweet baby ray's brown sugar bbq sauce. Mix the whole salad up- add your ranch and more bbq sauce as sauce. Such a wonderful summer dinner.

Monday, May 18, 2009

cranberry crockpot chicken

It has been quite some time since I've posted any recipes- and I've been trying a few lately. My latest favorite is Cranberry crock pot chicken. I love the crock pot and I LOVE recipes with only a few ingredients. This was a twist on a roast we had at some friends' house here in Toledo. I wanted something a little lighter so I did it with chicken.

boneless chicken breast- I used two LARGE pieces- but you can use as much as you need, really.
1 can cranberry sauce (we used the jellied since we didn't have whole on hand)
1/2 packet onion soup mix (or more if you prefer)
3 tbs brown sugar
minced/chopped garlic to taste
Many similar recipes call for 1 cup french salad dressing- but I didn't want to add the oily fatness so I subtracted the brown sugar and added 1/2 c sweet baby rays bbq sauce.

Start with frozen chicken (the ice melts to add enough liquid)- add the rest of the ingredients and let cook 4-6 hours on low!

We served it over brown rice- and had green beans on the side. It was delicious and INSANELY easy.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Zeb is so inquisitive and so smart. The kid is starting to read! It's mostly word recognition- but he's pretty good at figuring out new small words when we go over the letters with him! He's loved "Stop" signs forever and obviously knows that they say stop. The past week on our runs we have passed these "slow" signs and I would stop and go over the letters with him. Now he yells "slow" whenever we run by them. He can also recognize these words on his magna doodle when we write them out (along with other basics like mom, dad, zeb, dog, pizza, etc). It really is so fun to see him figuring it all out.
Ike still just hangs out and smiles. I love this picture of him with his eyes closed. It reminds me so much of little zebby.
Here is our little one in his new Sunday outfit from gma Pat! Thanks so much! I LOVE little boys in cute sunday clothes.

Oh- and for you deal watchers... I've added the new "free" section to the upper right corner of my blog. My goal is to post freebies and great deals there. I can't promise that it will be updated every day- but I'll try. Today I added the cheap "taste of home" cookbooks. I love their recipes- and these cookbooks are a steal! Oh- and Grandma O- is the ground beef one the one that you have a recipe in?!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Dart Frog Dash 5k

wooooohooo. this is my favorite race of the year. Pardon my scary race face in the picture- I was trying to look tough to intimidate the other runners. And Kent actually ran with me but the only picture with the two of us in it is TERRIBLE of me so I have decided to not include it. Selfish, I know. Oh, and my camera has decided to blur the upper right hand corner of every picture. Maybe it got wet? I have no idea. Sorry about your face, renae!
My two little rugrats were champions in the stroller. No complaints or cries- just a few snores from Ikey. and the race went so well for me. It was my fastest time ever while pushing a stroller! My time was 26:30!! and I was pushing 75 pounds (albeit the wheels did much of the work). I am quite proud of myself. Thanks for staying with me, kent! I think it really helped.

Friday, May 15, 2009

There is something about running that makes me happy. My run this morning was one of the best I've ever had. I ran at a new park and discovered all sorts of exciting trails and creatures. There were streams, hills, animals, and so many green green green trees. It must be the endorphins or something. It even makes me appreciate my kids more.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

good news. bad news.

the good.
It's late- and I'm tired- but I don't have to get up early tomorrow morning so I'll post a little something before going to bed.
I'm a sucker for free stuff. I am also a sucker for mail. I've been checking out a lot of the crazy coupon blogs around and I found this one that I LOVE. It's called freebies 4 mom. I bet I've signed up for at least twenty or so samples of stuff in the past few days. Everything from lotion to candy bars to turkey to cereal. I just stick it on trusty google reader (to which I am morally opposed by the way- but that's another post for another day) and get my free stuff.

Oh- and other good news- we got airline tickets home for metta's wedding for 117 dollars!! ROUNDTRIP!!

the bad.
Here's a picture of what we were going to do when Kent finished the boards in June. Any guesses on which lovely city it is?!It's Toronto. We were going to ditch the rugrats in Buffalo and take a few days to escape and have fun. Kent just informed me yesterday that he's not allowed to leave the country this summer because of active duty restrictions. booooo. I may just have to go without him. Any suggestions on what we should do now? It needs to be close driving distance to buffalo- and very exciting.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

he's getting so much cuter!!! and still just so chill. Kent and I were going over our blog posts of Zeb at this age and I am happy to say that Ike is waaaay behind. I am so pleased to have a tooth free- non roller right now.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

getting this kid to smile is as easy as breathing. getting him to laugh is like pulling teeth! kent is the ONLY one who can do it. As soon as he spots the camera- he FREEZES. I think he's terrified of cameras.

Monday, May 11, 2009

so sorry- but it's FREE!!!

Sorry if you are all sick of the free deals I keep running into. I'm trying to turn into one of the crazy coupon cutting crazy moms- and it's starting to be semi productive! Most of the deals I find are just from random websites about coupons or freebies. This one is one of my favorites yet! I've been in desperate need of mousse and wanted some good stuff- but didn't want to shell out the money. Right now at rite-aid (it ends TOMORROW the 12th) they have "fat-tastic got-2-be mousse" regularly 6.89 for FREE. You have to do an online rebate- but who cares!? It's FREE. and makes your hair fat-tastic! You can choose a few other got-2-be products instead if you don't want that stuff. Happy moussing!!

Oh- and apparently I am the LAST person on Earth to figure out how incredibly easy freezer jam is to make?! It was my first time ever- and the jam came out perfectly. I think it's a pretty fail safe method. I whipped up this batch in thirty minutes today. That includes chopping-mixing-and clean-up. If you haven't done it before- do it now while the strawberries are ripe and cheap! I found these cute little freezer jam containers at walmart for super cheap too!
I can't wait to try making raspberry and peach!!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Today was by far my best mother's day yet. I know- I've only actually had two where I had a child of my own- three if you count when zeb was an eight month fetus- but today was great! and it didn't have all that much to do with Zeb or Ike anyway.
Kent let me sleep in. Oh- how I miss the days of waking when I pleased. And then he made me breakfast- crepes with strawberry cream cheese and cool whip filling - yum-o. and then he showered me with gifts. I am a sucker for presents of every kind. I just love them. Nothing expensive- nothing fancy- just something to unwrap that's a surprise.

After breakfast we went on a walk at one of the most fabulous parks EVER. The weather was slightly chilly- with sun. PERFECT walk weather.

After our walk we returned home for church. Kent didn't have any meeting beforehand and that was wonderful. I really enjoyed being able to get ready without whiners/criers/attention seekers at my feet. Church was fabulous too.

When we got home Kent made a wonderful dinner and cleaned up the mess. Now we are finishing up harry potter and eating ice cream. I couldn't have asked a for a better day.

I've included some pictures of Z and Ike since that's ALL my family wants to see :)

The park today really was astounding. I LOVE spring and don't know if I'll ever be able to go back to Utah where spring just can't compete with the greenery elsewhere. The green and blossoms right now are breathtaking.

Zeb was in heaven on our walk.

He RAN and RAN.
and RAN some more.
We barely got him to stand still for this picture. He was so excited to go under the tunnel.Ike is such a cute little guy right now. He is unexplicably mellow. He just smiles and sits.

Here he appears to be flashing me a gang sign of some sort. Notice the tough face.Thanks for the perfect day, ralph ! and happy mother's day, mum. You are the best. and happy mother's day pat! I couldn't have found a better mother in law!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

I am so happy/sad

It's OVER! we had our last day of seminary on Friday. I am sooooo excited to not hear my alarm go off at 5:45 every stinking weekday morning. I can't wait for monday morning when I can sleep until the sun comes up (if the rugrats let me anyway). Every morning when I rolled out of bed and waited for the students to show up I asked myself why I ever decided to do it.

On the other hand I'm really sad to see it all come to an end. I l0ved the kids I taught and I really enjoyed the forced daily study. Once the kids left and I was actually awake- I realized it wasn't so bad after all. In fact -I really really like teaching seminary.
Zeb is going to miss them almost as much as me He loved getting up and seeing all sorts of fun people at our house!