Thursday, December 17, 2009

Beyond Gross

As parents, we all have our strengths and weaknesses dealing with bodily fluids. Poop is not a big deal for me. Well, unless they've taken their diaper off and done something with it. I really hate snot, though. Snotty, drippy noses. Mucus streaks on my shoulder from a crying kid. Gross, gross, gross. Well, I should have been thankful for the shoulder swipe because Bean has found a new place. For the record, I am pretty vigilant about wiping and blowing, but the thing is a faucet this week. So, where, you may dare to wonder, is this new handy handkerchief? I'll give you a hint: It's about his height, so it's pretty handy. It's always covered with fabric. It's nicely rounded to give him a good swiping place. Yep, the kid will walk up behind me and wipe his snot on. my. bottom. YUCK! It is sooooo violating and disgusting. I mean, when it's on the shoulder you can try to wipe it off and rationalize, "You can barely see it. It's nothing compared to the pureed squash droplets." But with this new location, I can't see what he's done, but I know I can't even sit down. I don't have a million pairs of ratty pants to change throughout my day! I'm really trying to nip this habit in the bud.

Editor's note: I am aware that my mother will be appalled that I put this on the internet. This is no reflection of the genteel lady she raised me to be.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Cullen at 6 months

Here is Cullen at 6 1/2 months. I won't go into all the details that no one but grandmothers care about, but he is a joy and it's been awhile since I posted a pic. We shaved his head a couple months back because it was falling out very patchy, so this is the new growth and I think he has brown hair. Yay! I love blonde, but it's nice to have variety. Love those expressive eyebrows!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


I think I've mentioned in a post or two that I've been teaching a cooking class. It is seriously the most fun I've had in a long time. My friends and I were having a playdate one day and we were talking about how we need to share our knowledge or skills - Amanda is the most amazing seamstress, Kelly has mad organizing skills, etc. They said I should teach them how to cook better and I said "OKAY!" in a very peppy, Monica-from-Friends way. So I thought a few people would come, but it has grown and now we have 8 girls signed up. I send out the menu, divvy up the ingredients, they bring them, we crowd into my kitchen, I teach, we eat, they clean. It's heaven. I love cooking. I love teaching. I love eating. I hate dishes. It's a no brainer. So it's been a blast and I toyed with the idea of starting a cooking blog, but decided I'm not ready for the commitment. I don't post on this blog often enough, although I have great intentions of coming up with fresh and witty posts on a daily basis. I just don't need another blog to feel guilty about. So I thought I would just post them on here and if you're not interested you can skip it and check back later when Blake does something naughty again.

I feel that I should emphatically state that not any of my recipes are purposefully low fat or fat free. I try to avoid processed foods, boxed meals, so on, but not fat. I would rather have the good stuff and eat a smaller portion. I use good oils, like olive oil, and butter, not margarine. You will never see a dessert recipe on here that calls for applesauce instead of oil! I would rather not eat it. We do eat plenty of healthy things, like tabouleh, and thai food, so if I remember to keep posting recipes, you will see a very eclectic mix.

So, Quiche Lorraine. Kyle loves my quiche and says it is his favorite thing that I make. Of course he says that about several things, but this does get good reviews.

Quiche Lorraine


Pillsbury roll-out pie crust

3 cups fresh spinach, packed

1 ¼ heavy whipping cream or half and half

6 eggs

1 heaping Tbs. sautéed onion (or dried minced onion microwaved in butter)

½ tsp. dried mustard

1 ½ tsp. Mrs. Dash

½ tsp. McCormick Seasonall

1 ½ Cups cheese (any ratio of swiss and/or cheddar, I used all the brick of gruyere and then whatever’s left I used cheddar)

5 pieces crumbled bacon – you can use Hormel bacon pieces (about 1/3 cup) in the condiment aisle, but microwave on a plate for about 30 seconds to crisp it up.

1 tomato

Microwave spinach to wilt, layer in pie dish with spinach, bacon, and cheese. Mix all other ingredients with whisk or fork, pour over. Slice tomato and arrange on top.

Remember, Quiches are VERY forgiving! Take the same basic recipe and put all swiss cheese and Herbs de Provence instead of Seasonall, or use ham and broccoli with cheddar, mushrooms are good too, whatever. Be creative.

Bake at 400° for 10 min, then reduce to 350° for 30 min or until toothpick comes out with moist crumbs on it. Let set for 15 min. before serving.

I've included all the shortcuts to take, but obviously, the less shortcuts, the better the quiche. I usually take a few shortcuts but not all.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


- We had Thanksgiving in Winnsboro and a ton of relatives came this year, although by no means all.
- We went horseback riding and on an adventure walk. His parents have a lot of land, and about 10 acres of woods to explore! We pretended to be Indians.
- We pulled an old sled behind the golf cart - super fun!
- We ate too much.
- Gloria and I did Black Friday shopping. I didn't buy much though and I still have tons to do.
- We went down to Longview and saw Mark and Amy. Love their new house!!! Makes us want to build when the time comes. We miss them so much and wish they lived here.
-Thought about accidentally-on-purpose leaving Daisy at my in-laws house, but decided I liked my mother-in-law too much to do that.
- The trip home took over 8 hours - it's a 6 hour trip. I35 was a parking lot from Dallas to Austin, so at Hillsboro we drove an extra hour and a half west and came down 281 instead. I'm sure we made it home faster and at least we were moving. It was actually not that frustrating of a trip, or the longest trip home from Winnsboro. That would be this one.
-Not sure why I did this in bullet points.
-We almost hit a huge owl that swooped down in front of our windshield.
-Decided to listen to Jingle Bells as many times in a row as Friggs wanted. The winning number? 30. Did he get tired of it? No, he fell asleep. In fact, I turned it off at 25 because I thought he was asleep, and he sat up and groggily said "Hey. I'm still awake." Hmmff.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Halloween pics

Cutest little giraffe ever!

Queen Amidala and Darth Vader (that's us, folks!)
Our annual Halloween party went well. The theme this year was Movie Couples, although some people just did famous couples and that was okay.

Doctor and OctomomHomer and Marge

PeeWee Herman and his love interest

Batman and Catwoman

Danny and Sandy

Juno and Paulie Bleeker (The Winners!!!) - He came complete with orange tic -tacs

Jenny and Forrest Gump

Robin Hood and Maid Marian

Han Solo and Princess Leia

I have to say, I somehow neglected to get Carrie and Kyle's costumes on film, and they were awesome! Their theme was Psycho, so she came wrapped in a shower curtain with a knife sticking out, and He came as old Mrs. Bates. I'm sad I didn't get a pic.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

In the trenches

Sorry for not posting more. The kids haven't done anything abnormally funny, nothing greatly exciting has happened, and nothing witty has come to mind to share. I think this fall I have just felt like I've been in the trenches of motherhood. I've been committed to training Blake into better behavior (more on that in a bit), getting into the school schedule, helping with homework, trying to maintain a clean house (failing at that one...), participating in a bible study, potty training, introducing solid foods, doing MOPS, teaching a cooking class (so fun!), working on my milk supply which keeps dropping, ... the list goes on. As I write this I am covered with the following: spit up, green bean and sweet potato baby food, poop (just a remnant, I'm sure), snot, and hair (I gave Blake a haircut today). Not, I haven't gotten a shower today. I have run 6 loads of laundry and baked a quiche. This really isn't a gripe fest, I am so happy to be a stay at home mom, and am content with my lot in life. I wouldn't miss these days for the world, but Good Grief, I'm tired. Do other moms feel this tired or do I have mono or something? I guess I just feel harried, always scurrying about, feeding, cleaning, changing, repeat. So, not much inspiration for blogging.
Blake, at least is getting his tantrums under control. He will start to scream and throw a fit, and then abruptly stop, take a deep breath, and say "Happy." And then he chooses to be so. It's awesome and it's been a lot of hard work and training!! He doesn't always do this, of course, but we're on the right track.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

In case you were wondering...

In case you were wondering who Blake looks like...

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Why I Never Get Things Done (or, Blake)

I wonder why sometimes I feel so unproductive, so inefficient? Oh, wait. I know. Blake. BeanBean is always into something. Always. He's sweet. He's cute. He's into everything. He feels that almost everything is worth getting disciplined for. Please don't think we let him do what he wants without consequence - or training - we are actually quite consistent. But he's a stinker. For about 3 weeks I carried the camera around and took pics of what he did. By no means did I get them all, and I never took pics of the same thing if it happened more than once. It does. A lot.
tumping over the chair - never allowed

wiping his nose on the sheet that got put on literally less than a minute before
Messing with the forbidden stereo - notice his balance, it's actually quite impressive.
Getting into the chocolate torte. What's a little forbidden dessert right after a bath?
Massacring the tres leches cake
How helpful to "re-organize" for us - glad Kyle checked before pre-heating!
dressing up during nap time

playing with dish soap - He's saying "Uh-oh!" as if it were an accident. I know better.
Orange juice dumped on his head.
Saying "No touch!" while messing in the grill.
he superglued his tongue. Yep.
spare change from his mouth - an almost daily occurence. No, I do not leave change where he can reach it. The kid has problem-solving skills.
Coffee, anyone?
The only time he's at peace! And how sweet he looks when he is.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Mean Mom Award

I'm pretty cheap and unsympathetic to the grocery store pleadings of my five year old. So it should not have been so surprising when today he looked at me with confusion and asked, "Mom, what is Kool-Aid?" (pronounced like it was a very exotic sounding word). Apparently he heard about such wonderful liquid goodness from school. At home he gets water or milk. Poor kid. I ought to put a kool-aid packet in his stocking or something.

To top it off, here are some angry baby pics. Apparently, pumpkins really tick Cullen off. Is it so wrong to love angry baby pictures? Cause I think it's really funny. He got happy for a very short while and I got some cute ones.pumpkins make him sleepy!

This is his "Joey" face. "How you doin'?"

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Halloween party

Just a few pics from previous Halloween parties. Good times! I miss you Crystal and Ben, Stefanie and Joe. I guess I can't reasonably expect Scotty and Kristen to come to our party from India, either. We usually have one every year, but this will be our first one in San Antonio! Theme - Movie Couples. Should be fun.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Working on the land

We have been readying our land out in Hunt for hunting season: clearing brush, setting up feeders, etc. While we were there on Saturday we moved some rocks and found this guy. When he stretches out he is almost as big as my hand! He is a Texas brown tarantula. We left him under his rock.
Yesterday we told Seth that we had him so that we could eat his belly any time we wanted to (we were holding him down and zerberting him, as all good parents should and do) and he said, "No, you had me to be a hard worker!!" He has such a servant's heart. Most kids would be offended by that idea!
Start them when they're young! He had fun working like Dad.

My smiley little guy. What an easy baby! He has to be - he is always getting yanked out of bed to go here or there, or popped off the breast and set on the floor so I can rescue Blake or discipline one of the older boys. He usually just lays there happily for me to return.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Out with Socialism, in with Capitalism!!

No, this is not a pointed remark towards Obama (although it's certainly apt), this is in reference to the playroom! I read an article several years ago on an approach to getting kids to share toys and at the time I found it unworkable and sort of crazy. But about a month ago, now that Blake's favorite word is "mine" and they are interested in playing with the same toys, I was going crazy anyway listening to them whine and argue. I hate refereeing. I want them to work it out themselves, but I don't want one of them to be the bully (don't assume it's always Seth...). I was always saying things like "Who had it first?" or "Can brother have a turn" or "I know that it's yours but let him play with it. Learn to share. Be happy." For us it wasn't working. Things weren't horrible or anything, but I always felt sort of at a loss as to how to handle the situation each time. They did not play well together.
So, I reread the crazy article and decided to give it a go, at worst it would be a memorable experiment. I decided I'd try it for a month and then blog about it. Maybe it would be helpful, maybe not. Here is what the article proposes: Socialism doesn't work because it encourages selfishness. Having ownership settles disputes. How warm and fuzzy would your heart be if you were forced to share your car with another family? Chances are you wouldn't like it and would struggle with your attitude. Why force your children to do something you aren't capable of? Under the "who had it first, all share" rule, kids are concerned with getting to the good toy first, and when one kid is enjoying a toy, it makes the other kid want it. When they own a toy and decide to share it, it feels good, and they share more.
I followed the steps it layed out. I went through and labeled all the obvious owned toys with an "S" or a "B". I piled all, ALL, the community toys in a pile and called the boys. They took turns picking and I labeled away. They may not play with each other's toys unless given permission. Blake is a little young to always know whose is what, but it still works because Seth will check the initial and then tell him. I explained the rules: "These are your toys. You may decide whether to share or not. You do not HAVE to share anymore. If you leave your toys out, they're fair game." Of course, my huge fear was that they would each be content in their selfishness and never share or play together again.
Results: IT WORKS!! Really well, actually. There is no arguing. Kids love having a solid system. It's the same with Rock, Paper, Scissors -there's just no arguing with the results. Seth checks the initial and moves on, or asks Blake if he can play with it. Seth shares a lot on his own and you can see how good it makes him feel to decide to be nice. They play sweetly together - unless physically hurting each other, but that's another story. More than once in the last month, Seth has come to me and said "Mom, I think you should change the "S" on here to a "B", and I'll give it to Blake!" Oh, to see the kindness in his heart! And I haven't heard "I had it first!" in a good three weeks.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Blake turns 2!

Did you know a tree this small could even be climbed?! When I saw him I said "Friggs! How are you ever going to get back down?!" He said, "Same way I got up here, I reckon." You know you are from Texas if your 5 year old uses "reckon." By the way, he did shimmy right back down with no problems.

We celebrated Blake's second birthday at Katie and Andy's house. We were going down anyway, and didn't want everyone to have to makc a trip the next week, so we had it there. What a great sister-in-law to host a nephew's party! He had a great time and enjoyed the cake.
Seth's first day of Kindergarten. I cried the night before, but the morning of I did fine. My sweet husband went in late to work so that we could all drop him off at school together. Seth loves it, and is doing great. He is so big!