I Knew I was Right!


Millan Mania

An "Ah-Ha" Moment: Even the most coordinated toddlers can have a tough time getting their cereals and soups from bowl to mouth. As I was choosing an appropriate eating utensil for Olivia's "po-po cups", the regular spoon (too big) and the baby spoons (too small and shallow) did not appeal to me. Then my eyes fell upon a regular measuring tablespoon. Perfect! These spoons are made to transport liquid from one place to another with minimal spilling. Have you had an "ah-ha" moment lately?
We are beating the heat around here: The activity of choice has been a make shift climbing station of cushions. Olivia was benched in this first picture because she is learning to "consider others" while she plays-- others just happens to be her little unassuming brother who doesn't appreciate a good trample here and there. I get a little miffed when I see kids running and playing in complete abandonment... running over and bumping into all who happen to fall in their paths (especially when my children happen to be in their path, and ESPECIALLY if they are WAY to big to be playing in kiddie play areas anyways..... I digress). After a while she did get to enjoy cushion mania without little brother to worry about.
Jump Olivia!


Olivia Goes Shopping

Quoth Olivia:
"Mommy...... I LIKE shopping"

This post is a few days late, but I must share. Thursday was a HOT day down here, and so the kids and I stayed inside with the windows drawn ALL DAY. Alex had to go out for the evening, and I really needed to get out of the house for some fresh air. So.... I figured this was a good time to take Olivia SHOPPING. This was a new word for her. This was not just "Going bye-bye", this was going SHOPPING. I figured she had to have at least two birthday dollars in her piggy bank, and that was enough to get a nice little treat. Daddy contributed a dollar to our special trip. So, we headed to TARGET. First stop- the snack bar for the Icee and popcorn $1 combo. Then we set out to look at the new Little Einsteins toys.... Olivia wasn't too impressed and that was fine because Quincy and June would have broken the budget for the evening. Next stop... the SCHLEICH COLLECTION. Olivia's friend Canon collects SCHLEICH animals, and I wondered if this might be a good time to start her collection. After looking over all the animals (while mommy silently chanted Please don't pick the $5 dinosaur Please don't pick the $5 dinosaur) Olivia turned around and held up a fist full of little lambs. I told her to pick out the most special one, and we were off the the checkout.

.... and that was Olivia's first SHOPPING trip :) You know, sometimes I start slipping into the "caretaker" rut where all my focus is centered around keeping the children safe, fed, rested, and clean. That kind of attitude is like building a great house and failing to fill it with comfortable furniture and hand-picked accessories.

"Through wisdom is an house builded, and by understanding it is established, and by KNOWLEDGE shall the chambers be filled with all precious and pleasant riches." (Prov 24:3.4)

In recent days, my heart has been very burdened about the fact that I need to build and nurture a relationship with my children. I need to know them. My mom and grandma were great about this. My mom has always known exactly what I have been "into" at any given phase in my life. When I was little and loved He-Man, she bought me He-Man crayons for kindergarten. My grandma took me to Germany with her when I was 11 and then once again when I was 13. I never felt like a tag-a-long. I was my grandma's companion. I want my parenting to be more than just 4 walls and a roof. I want it to be filled with warmth and fragrance.

We had a little fun with "sheepie", Olivia's new little lamb. We appreciated Noah's flexibility to double as the good shepherd. Check out that ferocious looking lion in the backround ;)


Pucker up AJ!

AJ got his hands on a tart little treat today!

(Note to Grandma: I am aware that highly acidic foods such as lemons and limes are bad for tooth enamel... this was just a photo op and I do not feed that baby lime juice every day :)


Smiles for My Day

Here's the dynamic duo having a little post-nap jumping session. I will sometimes stick AJ in Olivia's bed when it's time for her to wake up. She loves it. . .and then gets fed up and asks that he be removed from her bed. They were cracking me up! I didn't get the best part on video, but you still have to appreciate those giggles!

Easy Peanut Butter Cookies

I came across the EASIEST peanut butter cookie recipe today:

1 cup peanut butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg

1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Mix ingredients together, form into 1 inch balls, press with a fork, and bake on an ungreased cookie sheet for 8-10 minutes.

This is not the most delicious peanut butter cookie I've ever tasted. It is a little grainy from the sugar, and it turns out either soft (if you bake it closer to 8 minutes) or crunchy (closer to 10 minutes)-- no complex chewy/crispy texture that I tend to favor. They are, however, very yummy for being so ridiculously simple and easy. Alex, Olivia, and AJ certainly weren't complaining!

Note: Some of the reviews I read about these cookies complained that the dough didn't hold together too well. I mixed the ingredients with an electric mixer and had no problems with the dough.


Adventures in Potty Training

I never would have guessed that my 100th post would be a potty training update! How appropriate!

Thus far I have learned that not all PP is created equal....

1. There's the elusive "actually-made-it-in-the-potty" PP

2. The "almost-made-it-to-the-potty" PP

3. The "I-just-sat-on-the-potty-for-10-minutes-and-then-PP'd-somewhere-else-within-2-minutes-of-getting-off-the-potty" PP

4. The "I-PP'd-in-my-brother's-closet" PP

5. Finally, my personal favorite, the mysterious "Olivia-where-did-you-go-PP??!" PP


Potty Training

Potty training season is upon us! The busy summer is behind us, and while most children are gearing up for the schoolhouse, we are gearing up for the outhouse :) Ha! Olivia's first day of official potty training began today, and thanks to a few great ideas from my good friend - the early childhood expert-- Stephanie Steinbart, it went pretty well. Nevermind the fact that she never once "went" in the potty-- she still rounded up a lot of stickers on her chart!

Good Reading Material-- a must for serious potty time.

Olivia gets a sticker on her chart everytime she tries. She will get a sucker when she actually goes.. maybe tomorrow!!??

Fun With AJ's Hair
The Alfalfa

The Comb-Over

AJ.... I think you are liking the mohawk a little too much!


We Have Video!


Hair-do's, Buns, and Baby Boys

This could be my most random post yet!! First of all... Ta-Da! I got a new - do. It's pretty much the short little wispy flip/bob that I had several years ago, but boy do I feel like a new woman!

We had some friends over for dinner the other night, and I thought I'd try a new technique with my Rhodes frozen dinner rolls. They suggest putting two little frozen dough balls in a muffin tin, and I thought it would be a fancy alternative to my usual pan rolls. Well, I was blushing when I returned to check on my rolls 3 hours later. . . a dozen little bottoms staring up at me. Oh well...buns anyone??
And how can we forget little Buddy AJ? Here he is contained in his jumpey. I tried to upload a video of his bouncing, but ye ol' fashioned blogger won't let me do it. A still shot just doesn't do him justice in this thing. He's hilarious!