Wednesday, March 27, 2013

school cancelled- again :) and 'squishy baff'

I think March snow is my favorite.  It's somewhat of a surprise- it's usually pretty heavy so it's great for sledding and snow man building- it's rather short lived- and it means I don't have mow the lawn or pull weeds for at least another couple of weeks!!!

Zeb's school was cancelled (just in time for spring break that starts in three days!) and we spent the day having way too much fun.  the house is a catastrophic mess still this morning- but we did a lot of great stuff yesterday!

Zeb and Ike went sledding. TWICE.  I took them out at lunch just to the backyard.  We have the perfect hill for kiddo sledding.

March snow is also some of the tastiest.
 and then Kent tool them out AGAIN when he got home from work.  these boys are SPOILED :)

After our afternoon snow adventures- we had an army battle.  Thanks to our pal Ethan who let my boys borrow his amazing set!  hours of fun.

 We capped off the evening with what I was most excited for.  'Squishy Baff'.  Really- I've been so excited to try this stuff out!  we got it at ALDI (I adore that place!!).  It looked so darn fun. I mean-  look at the kids on the package- they are LOVING it.
and now look at my kid.   not as much love.  He FREAKED!  screaming so loud that then metta and zeb also started crying.  Zeb was wailing that Ike was hurting his ears.  Metta was just terrified.  And she was trying to eat the 'squishy baff' so she was livid that we removed her.
All in all it was a very successful snow day.  Kent and I even got some really good laughs out of the 'squishy baff' so I'd say it was a success.  And the package came with two 'squishy baffs' so we'll be trying it again soon.

Sunday, March 24, 2013


I had the greatest weekend to cap off my ridiculously wonderful birthday week.

 Awhile back one of my best friends asked me if I'd be willing to take pictures of her soon to arrive baby.  I told her I'd love to! and then she told me she wanted pictures of the birth.  The real deal!  (I've noticed that  'birthing pictures' are a growing trend -although mostly in utah).   My only problem was that Kent would have to be available to watch the monkeys- but if he was- I'd love to do it! It would definitely be a great photography experience for me- and just a great experience over all.

Friday early morning she texted me that her water had broken.  Kent had just left to work for a 30 hour shift.   But then I remembered that my favorite babysitter was out of school that day!  I called her and we worked things out!  She came over at two when my friend was almost fully dilated- and I drove to the hospital!  I was at the hospital for almost five hours- and got to be there for everything!  It was pretty crazy and pretty amazing.  I've obviously been through it three times for myself- but being there on the other end was a pretty fantastic experience.

I took a GAZILLION pictures and learned a lot about lighting and actions shots :)    I don't think it's something I'd ever get into as a 'photographer' (you have to be on call basically all of the time!!)- but I loved it.   And I'd do it for a friend again for sure.

check out this baby girl's hair!!
I did a bunch of online research about it beforehand and could find almost strictly black and white pictures. No color. and now I realize why.  All of the color pictures are pretty graphic :)

Saturday afternoon Kent and I were able to go the temple sealing of our friends!  They'd been married for several years- but Mark (the husband) joined the church a year ago!  It was wonderful.  We took our kiddos with us and they played outside with their favorite babysitter (her parents were the ones being sealed!).    I got this picture of Metta and Kent afterwards.  I love it.  so much.   These are the things (plus my other two rugrats of course!) that make me happiest! that make my life perfect.  I'm so glad I've got Kent forever.

After the temple we got to go out for one more birthday dinner celebration!  with our friends- the 'other millers'. My pal ashley had a birthday the day before mine.  We went to the cheesecake factory.  It's quite the indulgence- but it was my birthday!!   and I deserved it :)

Kent is at work again today- but my kids were great at church- and now we've got another giant snow storm headed in.   this has been a fabulous winter.

Friday, March 22, 2013

all about MY birthday!

My birthdays just keep getting better and better!!!  woohoo for 32!  incidentally both Kent and I stuttered to remember just how old I turned yesterday when people asked.  I think it was 30 when I stopped thinking about the number and just started celebrating the day!!

My day was stupendous.  I've said it before and I'll say it again- I am all about celebrations!  There's been all that social media jabber about 'bringing holidays down a notch'- but I don't get it!!  Let the people celebrate any which way they please!  I love my birthday.  I love to be spoiled. I love to overindulge on food and friends and fun on my birthday (and any other holiday I wish for that matter!!).

Kent is working in the PICU this month so unfortunately doesn't get weekends off- but he did get to pick three random days to have off- so my birthday was one of them!   We celebrated from sun up to sun down :)

I love to be happy and feel accomplished on my birthday so I was determined to do A LOT.  

I woke up with metta at six. happy birthday from her, huh? 
 Then cleaned bathrooms and the downstairs.  I felt like I'd done something good and the house was clean :)
Kent surprised me with breakfast from McDonalds (what is it about their breakfasts!?!?  it's a meal I always want but NEVER get!).  We went to the gym and I put in a run and then taught a spin class.

My pal offered to watch our kiddos at lunch time and Kent and I got my much anticipated childfree Target shopping spree :)  My mom sent me a giftcard via facebook and so I bought myself a purse! I love it.

 After Target we returned home and I did some baby pictures for a friend.  I really really love to take pictures.  I don't consider myself a photographer as much as I see photography as a hobby.  I just love doing it. 

I'm trying my darndest to try and get better with my editing and photoshop skills.   The learning curve is steep!

So here's a question- of these two pictures- which do you like best?  I don't want to over edit and over do pictures- I like the natural look- but I don't want them underwhelming either.  Should I try to find a medium between these two types of editing?  is one overwhelmingly better than the other? thoughts?
And then I made myself a birthday cake.  Carrot cake is really the only cake I truly love. and the cream cheese frosting. So so tasty.  I even did the lovely carrots.  I am so domesticated.  This recipe is even better than last years!


1 cups white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup buttermilk
3 cups grated carrots
1 (15 ounce) can crushed pineapple,
drained.  I put my chunks in the blender
to make a puree.
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease two round 9 inch cake pans.
2.In a large bowl, mix together sugar, oil, eggs, vanilla, and buttermilk. Stir in carrots, vanilla, and pineapple. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt; gently stir into carrot mixture. Spread batter into prepared pan.
3.Bake for 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted into cake comes out clean. Remove from oven, and set aside to cool.  When cool put frosting between and all round :)

Kent and I got a sitter and went out for a late lunch/early dinner to a Japanese Sushi/Hibachi place.  It was so much fun. and we were the only ones in the entire restaurant!  Our Hibachi guy was a young guy who'd just moved here form Japan.  His accent was so thick and we didn't understand a thing he said.  So much in fact Kent took a shot of Sake thinking it was water!! The guy sprayed it into his mouth for quite some time until Kent started gagging and telling me it was burning!  I was laughing SO SO hard.   I'd tasted liquor a few times accidentally in Russia- but this was Kent's first experience.  It made my birthday!  I told him to just swallow- but he ended up sputtering it out into his glass!   He also ate a bunch of raw fish.  He loves sushi now.  I still can't do the raw slimy fish.

Finally last night I went to book club that I turned into my birthday party :)  It was great to be with friends and laugh and talk and eat some more.

Thanks to all of my great friends and family who made my birthday so so wonderful!  for all of the texts/messages/cards, etc.  It really was great.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

hissy fits.

"Mom! stop taking pictures of me PLEASE".  He was so bugged.
But I was trying to figure out some lighting tricks and Metta was asleep (not to mention she won't sit still) and Zeb was at school.   Plus pictures of Metta have been dominating the blog as of late- so it's Ike's turn now.
This kid has hit the hissy fit fours.  He was such a good two and three year old- but literally the day he turned four- he started throwing mini fits.  I've never had him throw fits in public- but now it's a couple times a week.  He's always been easy to please and happy go lucky. Now if we get the water in the tub wrong by ONE degree- he throws a hissy fit.  Last night he was in the tub WAILING that the water I just put in was BURNING him.  Metta had her head under the faucet drinking it. It obviously wasn't THAT hot.
We're working on things- and I can already tell hes taming down due to our adjustments- but SERIOUSLY.  Sometimes I want to sell him to the gypsies.
 really- the fits aren't that bad- they just came out of the blue.    I love my afternoons with him while metta sleeps and zeb is still at school.   Too bad he loves Kent the most!  At least once a day he'll make sure and tell me that he wishes 'dad' was at home and I was at work.  Little turkey. :)

Monday, March 18, 2013

little leprechaun girls.

I didn't get a picture of us all in green!!  We were the only two still dressed like leprechauns yesterday afternoon.  With even the red hair and pasty skin  :)
We had green rolls and a leprechaun peed in our toilets.  And the boys did a lot of pinching at church.

And I almost forgot... I MADE metta's dress!  back when Zeb was her age :)

Here's the evidence to prove it.  Zeb in the dress :)
such a cute little girl!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

winner winner turkey dinner. so dang good.

I feel like I'm a pretty good parent.  

Maybe it's my pride, maybe it's because I really try and give it my all, or maybe its just because I  really am that good :)- but I rarely feel guilt associated with my performance as a parent.  
But sometimes- just sometimes- I feel like I'm not always getting my kids to eat the most perfectly balanced diet.  I have created some picky eaters- and it bites me in the behind nearly every day.  Lately I have been trying my darndest to get our family to make better eating choices and habits.  Metta -for the time being- is a champion.   Zeb and Ike are getting there :) 
So- I made this meal last night- made it up all on my own.  And it was so divinely successful.  I am proud of myself.  It isn't too fancy and isn't perfectly healthy- but it's pretty darn close.

Hidden veggie lean ground turkey meatloaf cupcakes :)
served with a side of mashed sweet potatoes.

I made a big batch so we could freeze some.

2 eggs
20 oz lean or extra lean ground turkey
1/2 c ketchup
1/2 c bbq sauce
1 tsp garlic salt
1 large zucchini with skin
2-3 large carrots
a bunch of spinach (prob a cup or two- my broccoli and spinach I had frozen in cubes to put in smoothies so I just used four of those)
a bunch of broccoli (prob about a cup)
1 onion chopped small ( I kept these out of the puree because I like onion chunks in my meat loaf!)
1 c quick oats

extra 1/2 c ketchup and 1/2 c bbq sauce to spoon over top.

I took all of my veggies and chopped them up and pureed them to a soupy texture in the magic bullet.  The broccoli and carrots were steamed on the stove first so they were nice and soft.

combine everything together.   If it's too smooth or runny- add some oats.  If it's too thick- add some extra ketchup and bbq sauce.

Scoop into a muffin pan (with or without liners)- spoon extra sauce over the tops- and bake at 450 for 25-30 minutes.

Friday, March 8, 2013

belated birthday cake BASHING.

Because Metta's birthday festivities spanned several days- the blog posts must as well.  

I wanted her to experience the cliched first birthday cake smash- but didn't want to start out with a mess by having to make one.  So Metta got a "Birthday Surprise"
 pink frosted cupcake from Gigi's.
and really- this was the extent of the mess. None of our kids have dived into their cake.  They touch it. take a small nibble.  then get bored and beg to be done.
this is her devilish laugh.  kent was making a funny face at her.
I had to beg her to take another taste.  The frosting was DELISH.  I finished it off when she'd decided that she'd had enough.   I think the cake part went in the trash.

Here's the final product.  She was just about to roll the cupcake off the edge.   I'm sure next year she'll have no reservations about licking all the frosting off her birthday cupcake :)

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

'snowquestration' snow day. no school.

 I honestly can't think of anything as beautiful as freshly fallen heavy snow coating everything in sight.  This morning we woke up to a winter wonderland!!  Zeb told me the trees didn't look like trees anymore!

 wishing she could escape!

 After our morning trip out - we came home- put Metta down for her nap- and went outside for a snow adventure!

I made Zeb and Ike shovel the driveway. It was really heavy snow!!

we also built a snow man/cat/bunny.   Zeb was pretty concerned on getting it to look just right.

and then we took to the slopes of the backyard.  Our backyard is just three yards away from the green space- so we meandered over there for some sledding, too.
 Zeb just kept saying: "we have the best neighborhood EVER!"

 Here are the sad headed home faces.  Cold bodies and heavy legs.

Monday, March 4, 2013

some more of the pipsqueak

This poor little pipsqueak does NOT love to be caged in.  She enjoys the stairs too much and I have no choice. they are long and tall and steep.  She's a pro at going up- and pretty darn good at the descent as well- but I still don't trust her enough to just let her loose yet.
 I feel like she is my most active 1 year old.  maybe it's because this is our first house. and there are so many nooks and crannies where she can hide.  and so many more messes to make.  and so many more precarious positions to find her in.  I can't keep her still longer than 3 seconds.  literally.  In these pictures we were playing catch- and she was waiting for me to throw the ball back at her!

does anybody have any ingenious ideas on how to keep a 12 month old occupied?