Wednesday, October 31, 2007

I Think She May Be Calculating Her Next Move

Tonight, as I was cleaning up the kitchen, K drew me a picture. She was so proud of it and showed it off immediately.

"Where should we put it?" I asked.
"I know! I'll put it under your pillow. That way, L won't find it."

She ran to my room to put the sweet picture under my pillow. L, who had been doing puzzles in the living room, piped up and said, "I'm going to find it, Mommy. I really can find it."

Oh, these children really are interesting!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

What's in a Name?

H. Bug-a-boo. Big man. Little man. Hot stuff. Buddy. Big boy. Chunky monkey. Chunker. Chubs. Mama's boy. Moose.

These are all names I have been known to use in reference to my son. When I originally started this blog, we really thought Moose was going to be his nickname. Not something that other people called him but what we called him at home, just like K is Munchkin and L is Monster. Frankly, I don't like the name Moose but S seemed to really like it and I just couldn't stop the madness. Actually, I didn't really like Monster, either, but it stuck and there was no getting rid of that. And there are plenty of days when she lives up to that name.

The funny thing is, Moose isn't really sticking. As much as his father likes it, it's really hard to call H Moose. For some reason, it's just not working. And when S tries to call him Moose, it sounds contrived, almost forced.

(By the way, most of his cousins and some of our friends call him Baby H. I have a feeling that will continue the rest of his life. On his wedding day, the family will be saying things like, "I can't believe Baby H is old enough to get married!" and other such nonsense.)

I don't know what nickname he'll end up with. Both Munchkin and Monster were adapted at a very young age so we shall see what happens.

What are your kids' nicknames?

Monday, October 29, 2007

Of Naptime and Camera-Forgetting

We just got home from a pumpkin carving party which was completely fun. However, I forgot the camera. This seems to be a recurring theme in my life. The party was fun although I didn't bring a pumpkin with us to carve. Why would I bother with a silly thing like that? It really all has to do with my forgetfulness in purchasing one sans children yesterday and my unwillingness to purchase one with all three in tow. Somehow, it just wasn't something I wanted to do. Oh well. Fortunately, my friend had an extra and even carved it for us. She said it was a gift for H's first Halloween.
Since I don't have any pictures from the party, I thought I would post this one I took of L after "nap time" today. I told the girls they had to stay in their room and be quiet or we wouldn't go to the party. Well, they stayed quiet but there was no napping involved in nap time. This is the outfit L had on when she came out of her room, complete with a bathing suit that is two sizes too small and her favorite stuffed frog.

Happy Monday, y'all!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Pictures From the Weekend

Here are a few pictures from our weekend with Papa and PJ. We had such fun with them and were sad to see them go. Enjoy!

Fall Festival

This weekend, Papa and PJ came for a visit. We haven't seen them since they were here in May to help out after H was born. S had to go on a business trip, leaving me to care for a preemie, two little girls and recover from an emergent situation. It wasn't pretty. I never would have survived without their help. They did countless loads of laundry, cleaned my house from top to bottom and made my life much easier.

Friday was our school's Fall Festival. The girls got all dressed up as "Ice Princesses." I'm not real sure where the Ice Princess came from but I went with it. Since we have tons of princess dress-up stuff, I saw no reason to spend $14.99 on another princess outfit. I found some inexpensive crown/earring sets and added those to our existing costumes. The girls were so excited about the crowns and earrings that they had no idea that most kids get new things for Halloween/Fall Festival. H got to wear a bumblebee costume I purchased for K for her first Halloween. He wore it for all of five minutes, just long enough to get a picture.

The festival was fun. The girls had a great time although it took them a little while to warm up to the large crowd. The best booth, according to K, was the "Go Fish" booth. It's there every year and the little kids (preschool and kindergarten) get to fish for candy. This year, however, they gave out live goldfish. She looked up at me and said, "Mommy, I really hope I get a fish."

Let me take this opportunity to recall a story from my own childhood. My dad took me to the state fair when I was about 10. My friend, Susan, went with us, along with a couple of other girls my age. We played games, rode rides, ate junk. All things you normally do at the fair. We all played the throw-the-ping-pong-ball-in-the-fishbowl game and one by one, each started winning a fish. Susan, however, didn't win a fish. My father made me give her my last ball and, wouldn't you know it, she won a fish. I was the only one who didn't. This has been a sore spot for a very long time.

So when K said she really hoped she got a fish, I flashed back to my 10-year-old self and did all I could to make sure K got that fish. I was so proud when she fished a fish (which was promptly named Aurora)! Fortunately, we had an extra fish bowl at home and some fish food so Aurora has taken up residence in our living room.

After over an hour of wandering around, the adults (and H) were ready to go home. The kids had a blast and we have survived yet another school-related function.

I left our camera in the car so I will post pictures from said festival as soon as Papa downloads them from his camera and sends them to me. For now, here are a couple of pictures of the kids prior to the festival.

The Animal in My House

My Dad and stepmom, PJ, have been here this weekend. More on that later. I had to post this little story, though, because it's really quite humorous.

On Friday, we went out to lunch to a little place on the water. It is one of their favorite restaurants to visit when they come see us. After lunch, Papa and PJ took the girls down to the water's edge to look for shells. Among the average seashells was this beautiful shell that looked to previously be home to a crab. So we took home a few shells, including that one.

When we got home, we put all the shells on the phone stand in the kitchen. We went out (to the Fall Festival at school which is an entirely different post), came home, fixed dinner, and chatted for awhile. At one point, the former-home-to-a-crab shell fell off the phone stand. Since the children had been around it, most of us chalked it up to it being too close to the edge. My comment, however, was that the shell was in the middle of the stand and I believed a creature was still in the shell. So we put it on the kitchen table and watched it for at least an hour. Nothing. Figuring everyone else was right and there was nothing in there, we put the shell back with the others and went to bed.

The next morning, K got up and went to the kitchen to look at her shells. Papa was in there making his coffee (not something that is normally done in this house since neither S nor I like coffee) and K asked, "Where is the crab shell?" Papa looked and, I kid you not, the crab shell was gone.

We looked everywhere for that thing. It wasn't underneath the phone stand or anything else in the kitchen. We got out a flashlight and looked under the stairs, under couches and chairs, everywhere we thought the crab could possibly be. We even slid the china cabinet away from the wall and looked under it. Y'all, the crab was gone. Just plain gone. I figured we would find it when it died and started smelling.

This morning, when K and L got up at 7:00am (no earlier because of our new rules), they both came running into my room and said, "Mommy! We found the crab! We found the crab!" In my sleep-deprived stupor, I told them to bring it to me. I asked them to show me where they found it and it was right by my door. That's a trip through the kitchen and down the hall for this little critter. Yet when we turned the shell over to see if we could see anything other than shell, there was nothing, not even a little foot, to be seen.

We watched the shell all morning and no movement whatsoever. So I took a few pictures of the shell, which is very pretty, and decided to return it to its natural environment. For all you animal lovers out there, have no fear. The crab was returned to his/her previous home safe and sound.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Fruit Muffins and Baked Oatmeal

Over the weekend, S made two things for breakfast that were just wonderful. One is a family recipe that we've made many times before and they are always a hit. The other is a new recipe found in a church cookbook. I thought I would share both with you. The muffin recipe is ours but the oatmeal recipe is from the A Taste of Trinity cookbook. I've never even been to this church but they have some wonderful recipes! Maybe one of these will inspire you to make something yummy.

Fruit Muffins
(I would call these blueberry muffins but you can use any berry you like and I prefer raspberries)

3C flour
2C sugar
1Tbs baking powder
1/4lb (1 stick) butter
2 eggs
1C milk
2C fruit

Preheat oven to 350ยบ. Mix together flour, sugar, and baking powder. Cut in butter until a fine meal is formed. Measure out one cup of the mixture and set aside. Add the eggs, milk and fruit to the remaining flour mixture. Place in muffin tins lined with paper liners. Top batter with dry mixture that was set aside, evenly distributing the entire amount. Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Makes 20-24 muffins.

NOTE: Frozen fruit works best in this recipe, as fresh fruit tends to break up more easily in the batter. You can also add the zest of half a lemon to brighten up the flavor.

Baked Oatmeal

3C oatmeal
2tsp baking powder
1tsp salt
1C milk
1/2C oil
1C sugar (half was plenty for us or you can do half sugar, half brown sugar)
2 eggs

Mix together oatmeal, baking powder, salt and milk. Add oil, sugar and eggs. Pour into greased round or 8-inch square pan. Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes (until firm and lightly browned). Serve with milk.

What's Going On

I'm back, y'all! Not that I've gone anywhere but I just haven't posted in almost a week. I wish I could say that I'd been somewhere spectacular (like Alaska as my friend Jennifer did a week ago) or that something completely wonderful had happened that kept me from blogging. Alas, no such luck. It just the same old thing happening day after day.

The thing is, though, I'm much more comfortable with that right now than I was just a few weeks ago. I'm beginning to relish the time I have with my children, knowing that in just a few short years, they won't need me as much as they do right now and, sadly, won't want it, either. I'm finding joy in being a mother to three small children. They are needy but they are mine and I want to be there for every new step. So allow me to brag on their most recent accomplishments.

(As a side note, they have all had their moments of non-compliance this week, confirming, in my mind, that they are not perfect).

K is learning to read. This is so much fun to watch. I bought her a set of books that are for very beginning readers and she is flying through them. We only do one or two at a time because she gets tired of it. However, she loves to read them and feels so accomplished when she reads a whole book by herself. It's a sweet thing to watch her little mind expanding.

L is going to be my little athlete. We have been practicing volleyball and she can bump with the best of them. Honestly, the first time I tossed the ball to her, she hit it right back to me. I know I couldn't do that at three. Her Daddy is so proud.

H is, as I said previously, is getting big. He's starting to push up with his hands which is the beginning of the end as far as being immobile is concerned. He's also getting his two bottom teeth. And he is the cutest baby boy I have ever seen. His smile is so sweet it just warms my heart.

So that's what is going on with the kids. I'm so thankful for them and the wonderful blessing they are on this family. Sure, they wear me out but it's a good kind of worn out!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

What's For Dinner?

Is anyone else in a cooking slump? I would say that I am except that I haven't really had to cook too much lately. This week has been filled with some really wonderful dinners cooked by my loving husband, who is a much better cook than I. I'm the baker, he's the cook.

We've also discovered a new vegetable: sweet potatoes. Now, before you go nuts and say that this particular vegetable has been around for ages and many a child has loved this sweet root, I would not be one of those people. Yes, I'm Southern and should love them as they are a staple in the Southern kitchen. However, I have never really liked them except when my stepmom PJ makes them. I don't know what she does but they are good. Well, S made baked sweet potatoes and I mashed one of them up to give to the girls. L could not get enough and wanted more when there was no more to give.

For those of you familiar with our family, you know that L is quite a picky eater. She isn't required to finish the food on her plate but doesn't get any options other than what is put in front of her. Anyway, the discovery of the sweet potato as a viable vegetable has been wonderful.

So, what did you have for dinner tonight? Anything good? Just so you know, S prepared steak, cottage potatoes (provided by his mom before she left) and green beans. It was all so yummy, especially since I didn't have to cook it!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

H is Getting Big!

When our screen saver comes on, it is a montage/slideshow of all the pictures stored on our computer. As you may have guessed, most of them are of our kids although some are very random. For example, I have a picture of a bumper sticker that was produced after the 2005 Auburn/Alabama game that reads, "HONK IF YOU SACKED BRODIE" in reference to the umpteen times the former Alabama quarterback landed on his behind in said game. It was funny.

Anyway, this has nothing to do with football or random pictures. Well, it sort of has to do with random pictures. Anyway, one of the pictures I saw was this one when H was brand new and had only been home from the hospital less than two weeks. He probably weighed about 6 pounds. He was so tiny! I remember his very skinny legs as he had almost no fat on his body.

Fast forward to this picture I took this weekend. He is a chunk! I have no idea how much he weighs but I can tell you that he is still nursing and is not yet on any solids. He is a growing boy.

Just look at those double chins! It is amazing to see how well he is doing despite all the issues surrounding his birth. I am so thankful for our little man!

He Is Famous

A friend of ours has recently opened a children's shop in our area. Several weeks ago she asked if H could be a model for some of her really cute clothes for an ad in a local magazine. Of course I said yes. So H and a baby girl, V, were in this photo shoot. The pictures turned out great even though by the end of the shoot both babies were tired and ready for naps. I'm only posting a couple so you can see how cute they are together. I know V's mom and we enjoyed being pregnant together so it was fun to see our babies in pictures together.

An Encouraging Weekend

I just want to say that I had a blast this past weekend. My mom (aka Nana) was here for the weekend and we had a wonderful time. After such a tough week, it was a welcome sight to have both Daddy and Nana around. I got to sleep in, I wasn't the only adult in the house and I didn't once have to prepare a meal. Oh, did I mention that S and I got to go out to dinner and a movie? And Auburn won. It was just wonderful, a true blessing.

But wait! There's more! Then (this is the best part) Nana and I got to go shopping! Oh, it was so much fun. We spent all day Monday shopping our little hearts out while K and L were in school. S graciously agreed to pick them up so we didn't have to worry about getting back at a certain time. H tagged along with us and was so good all day. He didn't get a very good nap and slept really well that night but he was just a great sport the whole time. I even got to take Nana to a great little place for lunch without any interruptions from children. H was there but he was so good! (I think I may have already mentioned that). I was able to get several things that I needed (and a few that I didn't) since I have only a few things that really fit now that I'm not pregnant any more. I hit some wonderful sales and I would say my best find was a pair of pants for $6.97 from Old Navy. Oh, and a great pair of jeans that actually fit. They were not $6.97.

We were both exhausted by the time we got home but it was so worth it. The last time my mom visited, I got almost no time with her so this little trip was just a blast and much needed on both ends. We laughed the entire time and enjoyed being mother and daughter, as well as friends.

Here is a picture of the kids with their Nana and one of L that I just had to share. We have more fun to look forward to as Papa and PJ are scheduled to come in the next couple of weeks and we haven't seen them since May. H has changed a lot since then and the girls are so excited to see them. Should be fun!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Enjoying the Weekend

I want to thank all of you who have been praying for us as we adjust to S's new job. He is home now (blessedly!) and let me just tell you how excited the girls were to see Daddy. They were, well, very excited. It was so sweet.

And now that Nana is here, the weekend is even that much better. The girls were thrilled to see her and I became instantly invisible upon her arrival. That's actually not such a bad thing after a long week.

I'm sure I'll have plenty of tales from the weekend so enjoy yours with your family (or wherever you may be!).

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Fun at Home

My children are my usual photo subjects and this post is no exception. My mom gave H these pajamas and I thought they were so cute; I couldn't wait for him to be big enough to fit into them. I thought they were huge and that it would be Christmas before they fit him. They fit just fine now!

I realize that most of the pictures on my blog are of L and H because I tend to take the pictures in the morning when K and L are at school. Since L is home with us two days a week, she gets her picture taken, too. I'll try to get more pics of K up soon.

As I write this, H is in his rocker chair and chatting up a storm. He's just started this in the last week or so. Not that he wasn't talking earlier but this is almost non-stop. He just chatters!

Monday, October 8, 2007

Happy Birthday, Mod Girl!

I just wanted to wish my dear friend, Mod Girl, a happy birthday. I have known her since we were in kindergarten and we have been through a lot together. She has always been a wonderful encourager and faithful prayer warrior for whatever the need. So check out Mod Girl's blog and wish her a happy birthday!

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Friday Family Fun

Ever since school started, we've been having Friday Family Fun night. This is, typically, pizza and a movie. While this wouldn't thrill most of you, it's such fun for the girls and S and I have fun with them. We rent a movie that all of us will watch (which isn't always easy) and we have pizza.

But the pizza we eat is no ordinary pizza. Instead of ordering from a chain, we make our own, which makes the night even more fun. The girls get to make their own pizzas (K, cheese and mushroom, L, plain cheese) and S and I get to be creative.

This week, I created what I think is my new favorite pizza. We start with store-bought crusts that actually taste very good. My pizza had goat cheese, caramelized onions, fresh mushrooms, fresh basil (from our herb garden), and fresh mozzarella. Yum! For those of you who need meat on your pizza, try adding a little prosciutto. S did that and it was really yummy.

I encourage all of you to get in the kitchen with your kids. We have a great time together and there are plenty of things that both K and L can do to help. I have vivid memories of my mom letting me help her in the kitchen and I think that's why I like to cook today. And let them help clean up, too!

Friday, October 5, 2007

Lemon Ricotta Cookies

The other day as I was feeding H, I was watching the Food Network and, more specifically, Everyday Italian with Giada DeLaurentiis. She is, frankly, too skinny to be a good chef but everything of hers that I've ever made has been delicious (I'd just like to insert a shout-out to Michelle who loves her, too). And she has the best lifestyle ever, jetting off to Italy and the Mediterranean whenever she feels like it. Must be nice. She made some wonderful Lemon Ricotta Cookies with Lemon Glaze. They looked so good, a really good cookie for spring. However, it's not spring. It's technically fall but since it still pretty much feels like summer around here, I decided I didn't care that it wasn't the season for these cookies and made them anyway.

You really must try this recipe. It is a wonderful, light cookie and it is so easy to make. I will warn you that they are addictive and could possibly add to your waistline but they are delicious. And when I say light, I mean they aren't heavy, as in dark chocolate, but light in flavor, hence the lemon. I will say that I take absolutely no credit for these cookies. Don't blame me if you become addicted, too.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

H is Five Months Old!

I'm really having a hard time believing that he's already five months old. This is going by way too fast. He's such a fun baby right now, very easy going, only complaining when there are real issues, i.e., hunger, dirty diaper, etc. It's hard to get him to smile for the camera so you'll just have to trust me that he really does smile a bunch, especially for his sisters. I'm also learning that a major difference between boys and girls is the amount of despair involved when there is both hunger and sleepiness. It's not a good combo for anyone, really, but the boy must have his food and his sleep. There's no doubt about that.
I have no idea how much he weighs right now but I know he's put on a little bit since the last time we were at the doctor's. He has finally outgrown his 3-month clothing and is on to bigger and better things. And he is beginning to enjoy his excer-saucer, thanks to some wonderful friends. I didn't have one for the girls and didn't really want to buy one for just one child. Thanks Kristie and Karina, for letting us borrow yours. It's a huge help. His favorite part is the mirror!

Finally, a smile!

Tuesday, October 2, 2007


I'm having a rough time this week with S gone for the third week in a row and there's no end in sight at the moment. I have more to say on this subject but it's late and I really want to make sure my words are clear. In the meantime, I had a conversation with K tonight that I really wanted to share.

Shortly after I put the girls in bed, I sat down in my room and just started to cry. I prayed for God to provide someone to talk to. K poked her head out of her room and this is pretty much how the conversation went:

"Mommy? Are you okay?"
"No, I'm not."
"What do you need?"
"I just need a hug."
"Well, I can give you a hug. Can I come give you a hug?" So she came and sat in my lap and gave me a hug. I continued to cry.
"I miss Daddy a whole bunch, Mommy."
"I do, too. It's hard for Mommy when he's not here."
"Well, your kids love you an awful lot and so does Daddy." That was exactly what she said.

That made even more tears fall.

Monday, October 1, 2007


When L was a baby, a friend of mine gave me this wonderful Tummy Tub. It is the best, hands down, tub for babies. I wouldn't use it for newborns but once my kids are old enough to hold their heads up, it is the best thing in the world. It looks like a large bucket with a rubber ring at the base to prevent skidding.

Tonight was H's first experience with the Tummy Tub and he loved it. The girls were more than eager to help so I let them take some pictures. This was the first time that H had a smile on his face during bath time. The girls were doing their best to help and what helped the most was that they were entertaining him. He kept smiling at them and really enjoying himself.

(A bit of a disclaimer: S hates this tub. I don't know why but he can't stand it but he's out of town this week and I will use what I like. Oh, and what H prefers, too.)
H enjoying bath time
All smiles and bubbles
This is the picture K took (notice H is standing in the tub, something that made me a bit nervous)
This is the picture L took (she's not much of a photographer but she's only 3)