Wednesday, December 21, 2011

 Kent says Ike looks like a little Middle Eastern girl here.  I was just trying to check the lighting at a certain time of day and Ike volunteered to be my little muse.
I'm a little worried about Ike.  I've been talking lots more about the impending sibling lately to try and prep him- but not much is working.  I told him I'd have to hold it a lot and he suggested that we "just put it upstairs and hold me" instead.  Today I was talking about how we are going to have to feed it and love it and take care of it.  Then I asked him:"will you help me feed it and hold it and love it?" to which he responded: "no! I'm going to hurt it!".  Yep, we're toast.  Any suggestions??!  I don't know if Zeb was too young when Ike was born- or if it is simply differences of personality-but he never bothered Ike or touched him or really cared much about him.   What do I do for a jealous child?
At least he's pooing, though.  My two goals for him before the arrival of rugrat #3 were pooing in the toilet without coercion and learning to recognize his alphabet.  The kid is almost three and Zeb seriously knew his alphabet BEFORE he turned two.  This Ike has got to get crackin.  He can sing the song and can recognize the letters he likes- but he's still got at least half to memorize.  I really shouldn't compare the two so much!  He's going to resent me for it at some point. Good thing he loves Zeb so much. I really hope they stay best friends forever!

Zeb was so good to teach Ike how to do the balance beam at the gym this week.  Although it did make him a little crazy.  Ike just wanted to run across it as fast as he could.

Zeb is far more patient and meticulous with things like the balance beam.  These boys are so different in so many ways.
Today at the library Zeb made me laugh so hard.  Just last night I was talking to Kent about what I would do if our kids were irresponsible with money once they get to be teenagers. I think it would drive me CRAZY.  Zeb reassured me a little today that he is following in his cheapo mother's footsteps.  We went to the kid's section of the library and there was a little boy who had constructed a variety of little lego weapons out of the toys they have there.  He had them set out on display and was 'selling' them.  Zeb looked at each one and asked the prices.  The little boy rattled off some nonsense numbers and Zeb asked him: "are any of them on sale?" the little boy was confused and asked: "what?" to which Zeb responded: "which of the weapons is the cheapest?".  I laughed out loud.  He shops with me way too often.

Friday, December 16, 2011

things I'm enjoying this season.

One of my favorite parts of the holidays are the PARTIES!

Kent's work party was on a night he worked- but his program actually got all of the residents' evening hours covered and let everybody go to the party. The party was geared toward kids- which shouldn't have surprised me considering this is a pediatric residency- but I spend every single day with kids and that makes me want a BREAK from them!  I actually asked Kent if we could just get a sitter and go without them- but we decided they'd enjoy it and took them along.  Luckily they loved the night and were very well behaved the entire time.

Santa came and brought lots of fun treats and prizes for the kiddos.  Our boys just aren't that excited about Santa.  I'm pretty sure Zeb will figure it out by next year- and I'm totally okay with that.  Mostly I think it's because he's smart enough to realize he doesn't need Santa. His list made the rounds to plenty of people before Santa got to take a shot at it and Zeb was well aware of that fact. He's told us on several occasions that 'we don't need Santa'.

Here is Kent trying to convince Zeb to just tell Santa what he wants- even if gramps possibly already got it for him.
 I'm not sure what the deal is with the pirate eye here.  Zeb was super grumpy about having to wear a church shirt. He just kept telling me: "reverent shirts aren't for parties, mom".  But doesn't he look so cute and grown up?  I compromised and let him wear jeans with the 'reverent shirt'.  He is such a rational thinker sometimes. It drives me bonkers because I don't think like that AT ALL.
Zeb went up independently and asked his friend, nadia, to take a picture with him.  Nadia is another intern resident in Kent's program and Zeb is infatuated with her.  We've been to a few parties/events where she was there and Zeb asks endless questions about her. She is so nice to him and even offered to take him for a drive in her car when he asked her: "How do you drive if your legs are so short, Nadia?"  He asked Kent if she missed her birthdays and that's why she's so short.  I love his honesty and openness about it.  He calls her a "little adult".
I think there are about six other inerns missing from this picture- but this is the 'first year resident class'.

Today we enjoyed Zeb's preschool Christmas pajama party!  I even busted out his new Christmas pjs for the event and he was beyond ectstatic.  He helped me pick them out- so I figured he might as well get some great use out of them.  They are Mario/Luigi pjs.  He is such a mini Kent with his love for Nintendo at such a young age.  He actually called my parents AND my sister to see if either of them could bring their wii on the airplane when they come to visit so he could play them.
Zeb loves his preschool pals. I hope I can get Ike into some sort of preschool group next year, too.  He's going to flip when he finds out that Zeb is going to school all day every day without him next year!!

With Kent's busy schedule and my pregnancy- we've also been enjoying some extra baking.  I'm not very good at making dinner nightly- but I will make treats!!

                                                         Creamy PB/chocolate fudge! from Best Bites.
I've never attempted fudge because I've always been scared of it- but this year I decided to take the fudge plunge.  It's one of my favorite holiday treats and I wanted some.  The picture isn't amazing- but the taste was!
 I found this recipe on best bites and it was surprisingly easy.  It was my first attempt and I think it was delicious.  The only trick is owning a candy thermometer- using it was as easy as holding it. For some reason I thought it was going to involve some insane amount of time and attention- but start to finish- it took maybe 20 minutes.  The recipe has some detailed instructions so I'll just include the link.  The only differences I made were doing half pb chips and half chocolate.  And I used half and half instead of evap milk.  Fudge is amazing.                                      

                                                   big soft ginger cookies from allrecipes
I LOVE soft ginger cookies. they smell and taste just like the Holidays!!    click on the link to get the recipe.  I used butter instead of margarine. Just make sure your butter isn't too soft and you don't beat the dough too much or the cookies will go flat!

Honey Soy Sauce Chicken in a crockpot! from mmmcafe
this tasted a lot like 'teriyaki stix' bowls from the good old days in utah. It was great.

 chicken (about a pound)
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/8 cup chopped onion
1/8 cup ketchup
1 clove garlic, minced

mix in crockpot and cook for 2-4 hours depending on setting.  After the chicken is done- take 1 tbs oil and cut it up in a frying pan for just a few minutes to sear it a little bit.  SO good.  Add cooked broccoli. Serve over rice.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

tmi, I know.

 For the past two months I've been begging Kent to get a referral to a 'poo psychiatrist' for Ike.  They have food therapy for toddlers- so I figured they had poo therapy, too.  We potty trained him two months ago- but have had some #2 issues.  Kent talked to a pediatric GI doc he was working with who told him that since Ike was 2 1/2 he wouldn't even consider there to be a problem until he turned 4.  And then he told us the best solution would be to just stop potty training him for now.  The only problem is he is already trained!  100%. Doesn't wet the bed- doesn't have accidents. And will NOT pee in a diaper anymore. Our problem is- he doesn't poo.  When he finally needs to go- he'll beg for a diaper.  If he doesn't get a diaper he'll just hold it for DAYS on end. Even with miralax.  One night he woke up vomiting because he was so backed up!!!!  I called Kent in the middle of the night with him screaming bloody murder about terrible stomach pain.  Even all of his coworkers were worried because they could hear him wailing!!

And then we pumped him super full of miralax- and two days later he had the world's biggest fecal explosion. Up to his neck, down his socks.  All over his carseat.  EVERYwhere.  and you know what?!  I think that was the last straw.  He was so disgusted with his poo (and so was I!  Zeb was even totally grossed out) that the next time he had to poo- he sat on the toilet and went. and now he's cured. We don't need a poo therapist after all.

Here he is excitedly telling me he went poo.  He gets excited about stuff.
and here he's counting on his fingers 'how many poos'. He LOVES to count on his fingers.

and here's the second time this week we had to make a call to the doctor.  He keeps pulling his elbow out of his socket.  Or- Zeb keeps pulling it out.  Kent has always been home to deal with it- but this time I was all alone.  So I called him and got step by step instructions on how to put it back. Ike asked me to just leave it alone- and  hand feed him this fruit roll up.  I snapped his elbow back into place and he wailed for a bit- then ate the fruit roll up by himself.
These kids keep me on my toes.    Luckily they are best friends and keep each other on their toes, too.  I can't imagine what it would be like for them if they didn't have each other.  Or worse- what it would be like for me!

It makes me think that I'm going to need to have two close together again so that they have a built in best friend.

And then they go and get nasty to each other and I think- maybe I'll just take another long break after this one.

Here are some funny snap shots from the past week.
 Here's his 'smak- kiss me' face.  He HATES kisses- but loves this shirt.

 I realize it may be a superficial thing to worry about- but I don't want my kiddos to be super nerds.  I don't mind a little geeky. I just don't want them to be over the top awkward teenagers. What can I do if Ike already LOVES to wear his pants up like this?  He really does like it.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

advent dilemma

 I love my advent calendar.  It was a splurge a few years ago- but it's possibly my favorite Christmas decoration.  

Check out this cute little picture of Zebby when he was Ike's age!!

The kiddos chose 'airheads' for the advent calendar treat this year and loved putting all of the candies in the slots. But we have an advent problem. It causes a little bit of discord in the family.

Advent calendars with treats do NOT work for half of our family.  During the day I can't help myself. I eat the candy.  And so does Ike. And it drives kent and Zeb CRAZY.  Except for all of the gross flavors. It's only December fourth and I think our calendar has seven days with orange candies in them. The rest have been pilfered.  Both Kent and Zeb are stressed about it.  Ike and I are just stressed that all of the good flavors are already gone.   We are trying to come up with a solution so I'm just finishing up some 'Christmas activity' cards to put in all of the slots instead :) can't eat those.

On a sidenote- I made these rolls to go with dinner last weekish and they were WAY WAY WAY too easy to make.  I should have never tried them.  I got the recipe on pinterest.  I'm not crazy about pinterest- but I have found some pretty amazing recipes on it.

Easy Parmesan Knots

  • 1 tube (12 ounces) refrigerated buttermilk biscuits ( I used Pillsbury Golden Layers Refrigerated Buttermilk Biscuits)
  • 1/4 cup canola oil or melted butter
  • 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese (I did use the green can stuff)
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
roll each biscuit into a 10 inchish rope and tie into knots.  Bake 8-10 minutes at 400. make sure they aren't gooey on the inside!! 
add the other ingredients together and brush over warm rolls.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

one of my greatest loves.

Growing up I remember going to the Orem rec center- a lot.  We swam, ran around the raquetball courts, and played on that terribly scary basement track.  And I loved going! I hope that my kids grow up with similar memories of the YMCA.  It is such a lifesaver to me.  I LOVE the Y.

Yesterday Zeb finished his first round of swim lessons there.  I'm not sure why we never signed him up before- but I had a free session coupon that expired this month that we finally decided to use!  I was a little nervous because he can be a bit of a water chicken (probably because we NEVER go swimming!), but he was a champ for his lessons.

 It's amazing what other people can get your kids to do.
Kent got to come and watch a lot of his lessons with us and Zeb loved that. After diving in- or going underwater- he'd always look at Kent and give him a big thumbs up with a goofy smile.

Too bad he always wants to go swimming now!  I really don't like to swim at all.  Hopefully Kent can take him a few times during his break after Christmas.
Besides the pool- both kiddos LOVE the playplace at our Y.  It's kind of like a giant McDonald's playland.  And it's the PERFECT bribery to get the kids to go to the gym on mornings when they aren't so excited to go!  If they promise to go into the kidwatch and behave- then after my workout- they get to play for awhile on the slides.
 I love it because they can run around and get more energy out while I talk to friends :)

sidenote: Over the black friday weekend we finally got ourselves a new point and shoot camera since ours broke during the move somehow!  hopefully it will get me back on track to blogging more often.  So far I LOVE it.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

finally- I get my holiday :)

 One of the best parts of Thanksgiving is eating turkey/cranberry/stuffing/potato and gravy topped  sandwiches and random pie slices for days after the actual feast- don't you agree?  And I wasn't going to miss out on that part of the festivities just because we didn't do Thursday Thanksgiving!  So we did Friday Thanksgiving.  After my morning of shopping madness- I plopped the kids in front of the tv and got to work on our own thanksgiving dinner.  Homemade rolls- turkey- the works.  I even made Kent's favorite green bean casserole that always seems to taste better when I'm pregnant.

Kent got home to the fabulous smells of Thanksgiving and we dug in.  Can you see my turkey?  it's slightly hidden by some delicious slices of cranberry sauce. I love the canned stuff. I love that it sits on a plate in the shape of a can- with the ridge lines and everything. I love that you can slice pieces off.  I may love it even more than the turkey itself.
I also made the world's most incredible and easy Key Lime Pie topped with fresh blackberries.  Prep time- 3 minutes.  I LOVED it.   I'll include the recipe at the bottom of my post :)
 Once Kent got off Friday- he had the whole weekend off!  I was determined to take advantage of the break and make up for my last two days.
Friday night we headed downtown for Dayton's downtown tree lighting and children's glow in the dark parade.  It was wonderful.
The rugrats were funny all night.
We took our picture with a few strange people and the kids didn't want in on ANY of them.  Zeb HATED this moose.
 And this is as close as he would get to Santa and Mrs. Claus
 Ike wouldn't get much closer.  They weren't really afraid- they just didn't want to be a part of it.
 Then there was the saxophone man who insisted we get a picture with him after we gave him some change.  Zeb was pretty bugged that he kept playing so loud while we stood next to him.
 Although Kent caved and bought them these crazy glow in the dark flashing swords. Zeb insists they are 'light savers' (we've tried to convince him the word is 'lightsaber'- but he is unbending).   After they got their swords they were happy little boys.  I love this picture.  Zeb and I are making 'lightsaber battle faces'. I'm not sure what Ike was doing.
 The actual parade was really really fun! and not too cold.  Plus- we got fabulous holiday glasses that make every light a snowflake!!  it even worked through my camera lense. Zeb insists on wearing them whenever we drive at night now.
 The floats were really fun- and the night was perfect :)  Hopefully we can make it a tradition!

Key Lime Pie! the actual link is here

2 cans sweetened condensed milk (the recipe calls for three cups- but two cans is PLENTY sweet!)
1/2 c sour cream
3/4 c lime juice (20 key limes or I just used the stuff from the bottle!

mix together and place in graham cracker crust (I put mine in a pre-made shortbread crust)
bake 9 minutes at 350.  chill completely in fridge.
Top with cool whip and fresh berries!!!

I couldn't believe how amazing it was. way too simple and fast!!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

I'm not going to lie...

Honestly- it wasn't the best thanksgiving I've ever had- but our day was still great!  we had dinner with some great friends here and ate a lot of fabulous food!  I missed the Starkeys (our Ohio family)- and family from home- but most of all I missed Kent!  He worked a 7am-9pm shift at the hospital.

Luckily the day was pretty quiet- so we got to spend some time at the hospital with him.  We had dessert in the cafeteria and hung around in the resident's lounge for awhile.   The boys think it's quite exciting to visit kent at the hospital- so they had a great day!
I made some fabulous raspberry/blackberry cream cheese pretzel salad that the rugrats wouldn't touch.  I loved it.  It was supposed to have fresh strawberries or raspberries but they were 3 and 4 dollars a container. The blackberries were an insane 50 cents/pint so I bought a bunch of those and used them in several recipes this weekend :)
Kids can be such good reminders of positivity and good attitudes.  They were oblivious to the fact that this Thanksgiving was different.  And in fact- had the best day.  Even though Zeb did tumble down a full flight of stairs at our friend's house!  Our kids only fall down stairs when Kent is away!!  It has got to be my least favorite child injury.  It always makes me think my kid is going to die even though they appear unharmed.
The hospital was completely decorated for Christmas- and that really made Zeb upset. He has been CRAZY frustrated with the fact that people didn't decorate for Thanksgiving.  We hadn't mentioned anything about it- but he's so particular.  Every time we went somewhere with Christmas decorations- he'd ask us REPEATEDLY why people were ignoring thanksgiving.
As we were leaving the hospital we saw these snowmen out front.  Ike screamed: "Mama!  let's take a picture!!"- and then wouldn't budge until I got out my camera. He's definitely my kiddo.
Worse than having Kent gone Thanksgiving day was definitely the fact that he had to work black friday!!  I love the excitement and exhaustion of it.  I love all of the people and chaos.  Luckily Amazon saved the day and we got our 'big ticket' item via the internet.  Plus I did get up semi early friday and lug the kids around to five or six stores with me.  It's a lot harder to shop for them while they are with me. Zeb is far too bright these days.  I don't think this Santa thing is going to last much longer.

Monday, November 21, 2011

long post!

 The past month has been far too pleasant!  but Kent starts another nasty month tomorrow.  just in time for the holidays.  unfortunately when I'm pregnant I'm a gajillion times more emotional- so there could be some holiday tears :)  Luckily I've got some great friends here so I'm hoping to stave them off for the most part!

 I taught preschool a couple of weeks ago. kent was home. the weather was amazing.  The best conditions for teaching preschool!! 
we did some 'junior jungle safari hunting' in the backyard and played in leaves.

And last week we had a Thanksgiving party at our place.  Complete with American Indian head feathers and handprint turkeys.
oh, and a cornucopia (sugar cone) full of rainbow goldfish.  Ike will only eat the 'purple' ones.

We've been trying to get our Christmas shopping finished early- so with some of Kent's days off we hit Ikea, the amazing Cincinnati premium outlets (j.crew, gap, etc), and other spots.  

Something about retail and sales gets me so excited for Christmas :)  kent gets excited about the swedish meatballs. 

I found this bookshelf that I want to turn sideways and use as a table/shelf unit for our front room. Ikea has some of the greatest stuff. I was so excited. And then it wouldn't fit in our car.  luckily we figured that out before we bought it.  we really need a mini van already.  

I've been loving the gloomy weather that's come around this week- but I keep being disappointed when the rain doesn't turn into snow!  come on already!! I want snow!!  we've been wearing galoshes a lot- and just staying warm inside.  I love Ohio for it's assortment of weather.  I can't imagine living somewhere without the seasons.

Kent gave the rugrats haircuts last night and they look so much more handsome.  Zeb is TERRIBLE at getting his haircut. You'd think his hairs had nerve fibers attached to them.  The screaming is ridiculous!!  and the thrashing resulted in a few strange spots :) but he sure is cute. and grown up.
Zeb keeps talking about his little sister.  He's completely convinced that the fetus looked like it was wearing a skirt during the ultrasound so that means it's a girl.    He's also been asking all sorts of questions about how it's surviving in utero.  I told him that it lives in a sac of water connected to a cord inside a giant muscle.  Then I showed him these pictures from when Ike was born.  Both he and Ike were completely shocked.  Zeb sat with his mouth wide open. Ike said "I don't like that!".

Ike is still having poo problems.  Although with the amount of miralax, black beans, and quaker oat squares he's eating- I can't figure out how he's keeping it all in as long as he is! At least he isn't constipated at all anymore- just refusing to poo on the toilet.  Every three or so days- he asks for a diaper and goes.  He stays 100% dry otherwise. even all night.  We are going to try and get him pooing normally again (at least every other day) and then try to poo potty train. Zeb had NO problems with this- so I'm still trying to figure it all out.

Zeb loves taking pictures lately.  We even put out a bunch of plates of birdseed on the back deck to attract some birds so that he could try and take some pictures of them.  So far- no luck. Zeb doesn't think the birds know the birdseed is for them.  Kent suggested we make a sign.

Here's a picture zeb took of us this morning. We'd just returned from the gym.  I feel like I'm not all that talented when it comes to a lot- but I am quite the talented pregnant person.  I'm still teaching my bootcamp classes- and going to spin. I feel great.  Although I think I may have gotten heartburn the other night for a few minutes.  The only annoying thing is the rude (in my opinion) comments from other gym goers.  I don't mind the funny looks- but it is NEVER okay to comment on the large size of a pregnant person. NEVER.  One lady asked: "are you sure it isn't twins? because you are awfully big.".  I was shocked.  Not too shocked to tell her that what she said "was a very rude thing to say to a pregnant person", though.