Thursday, December 27, 2012

Kids Food

Today I’m playing with the new toys I got for Christmas. I received some fun bento cutters to make cute shapes out of veggies, etc to add to my kids’ lunches (or bananas to my husband’s breakfast, like this morning). Previously I had tried to make my own shapes with just a knife, but these cutters are so much easier to use.

It will be fun to see all the things I can come up with. I have some inspiration on my Pinterest board to keep me going. 

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

The Day After...

There is a conspiracy to keep me from writing. As soon as I find a few minutes to sit down there is some new tragedy to attend to. Today it happened toward the end of lunch…I was done eating but my children (especially the male child) were still picking around on their plates using their best stall tactics. So I thought I would do some writing while they finished up. But as soon as I got my computer out, one of them spilled his milk. 
All over his chair. 
And the wall. 
After I got that cleaned up then there were requests for more food. Then one had to go to the bathroom – with assistance, of course. But finally all settled down so I could pound out a few words.

This morning was quiet… as far as there was very little talking and very little fighting (yay!), but it was filled with lots of new noises from the new toys and frequent asking if they could have more special treats (aka Chocolate). They have had so many sweets in the last few days that they now think it is normal and complain when I don’t give into their incessant pleas to keep the sugar high going. But even with the greatly reduced amount of sugar (or perhaps because of it), It was such a good day for them to be at home just exploring their new treasures. The last few days were a bit overwhelming for them as they spent so much time with family and opening the presents. Even though they enjoy it, it is a bit stressful. They are in their dress-up clothes, everyone is watching them, there are sooo many gifts, there are too many sweets, and they have to pose for too many pictures. Today they get to stay in their PJs and really take the time to play with everything.
And I get to linger over my cup of tea and catch up on Facebook and email.
But because of all their playing there are now toys EVERYWHERE. They will play with something for awhile, then walk into another room or just turn around and suddenly they see something else new. So the last hot item is discarded and traded for the new widget. This is not a recipe for a clean house. But since they are having so much fun I will not make them clean up until naptime. Then the challenge will be to find space for everything. I will have to purge their old toys soon.

I’m also loving listening to the Blue Plate Special today. I’m ready to pack away the Christmas music for this year. I’m also packing away a note of things to remember next year. Like how many cards to order, things that went well this year, and things to not do again.

Monday, December 3, 2012


Danny’s family came into town for Thanksgiving. He has three brothers who all live in different time zones, so we always try to cram as many activities into the time we have together as we can. 

It is always fun, but a bit tiring. Danny laughs at me when my “social quotient” gets filled up. That’s when I head to the bath with a book.
But Danny and my kids never seem to tire of family activities. Although there were a few meltdowns after long days filled with sugar. The kids got spoiled with lunch at McDonalds, playing at the park, building Lego’s with cousins, overload on electronic devices, etc. You know, all the fun things uncles and grandparents do for the kids.

The adult kids have a tradition of going to Old Chicago for drinks. I was so happy to be able to go this time…for several years in a row I have been pregnant or nursing or sleep deprived. It was a fun time to catch up with the brothers (and sister-in-law), and this year we got to meet a girlfriend. Then another night we went out to Jack Quinn’s. On Friday night we had a birthday party for our niece, then the boys went out again on Saturday night (that is the night I stayed in like a hermit). We also visited a few coffee shops and restaurants for lunches. We watched football, played games, and ate more food.
Whew. Like I said, lots of activity.

So, let's do it again next year!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

early Thanksgiving

This weekend we had an early Thanksgiving get together with my family since we can’t all be together for Thanksgiving. It was nice to spend this time together. And we didn’t eat turkey – there will be enough of that this week. 
My family likes to play games…my husband does not, but he’s a good sport and will humor me for special occasions. Gage has not had much exposure to games yet, but he had great fun on Saturday. For him it is not about playing the games; it is about the cool pieces that go to the games. At one point, while we left him unattended, he got ALL the games out and ALL the pieces out. It was an epic mess in our living room. But with many hands working, we got it all put back together quickly. 
So that he could start dismembering everything again.
Gage with Uncle Ben

Our Italian menu: homemade spaghetti and ravioli (I make the pasta dough…Danny runs it through the machine. There is less fighting that way.) Antipasti was provided by my sister and her husband. It was so tasty and we snacked so much that we weren’t really hungry for lunch. But in true thanksgiving fashion we went ahead and filled our bellies to bursting. 

I even tried to get fancy with the name tags. 

Then we had spiced cider and pumpkin pie. That's when we all had to undo the top button on our pants. Good thing I wore legging with elastic.
Gage didn't remember having pumpkin pie before, so he was excited to try it.
M&M was also a fan
 A good time was had by all.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012


This year we did not do a lot for Halloween. In the past we have decorated the house inside and out, created great costumes, and hosted a HUGE party. For various reasons we decided not to do that this year. We did dress up (my favorite part of halloween) and go to someone else's party with a group of our friends. We decided very last minute to all go as the characters from Clue and I think we pulled it off pretty well.

Then it was time for my kids to dress up for Halloween. We decided to not take them trick-or-treating; Gage-a-rooni still gets pretty freaked out by a lot of things. So we opted to go to the Harvest Festival at our church. It was great. They had bouncy houses galore, both inside and out. My son could barely contain his excitement when we pulled into the parking lot and he saw everything set up. There were also some fun carnival games and a magic show. There were a bunch of things for older kids too, but we didn't check it out. It was also nice to be able to ration the amount of candy our kids got. There was a ton available, but at this age it is pretty easy to distract them with something else.

We were blessed with a beautiful sunset, while we were surrounded by shrieks of laughter from millions of kids all around. As it got dark, we moved inside (to another bouncy house) and kept going. Gage-a-rooni was throughly worn out when we finally peeled him away and got him in the car to go home.

Sunday, November 11, 2012


Ah...Fall is here. Well it has been here for awhile, but I'm just now writing about it. And tonight it is supposed to get down to around 14ºF, so we are quickly moving into winter. But on Halloween I had a crafty moment that I'd like to share, so here it goes.

You know how you look at Pinterest for hours (oh, is that just me??) and you repin all these great ideas about fun things to do with your kids, but you really never do them? Well, I did one!

I saw an idea to use mini pumpkins and decorate them like cute little nature creatures. So fun!! (do you hear the Pinterest euphoria in my voice?) So I took my kids to the grocery store and they each picked out some mini pumpkins - while we were there my son suggested that we also get some donuts.
So we did.
With our pumpkins and donuts safely home, we grabbed some bowls and headed outside to gather leaves, twigs, seeds, etc to glue to our pumpkins. It was a gorgeous day and we had a great time collecting all the things we would use. At first, when I told Gage-a-rooni what we were doing he wanted to "collect" a toy car he had left outside, then some sidewalk chalk, then a piece of plastic. I had to keep redirecting him to natural things, and he eventually got the idea. M&M had no difficulties collecting things. She had great fun running around picking things up.

Then we got our bounty inside, and after eating our donuts, we went to work on the pumpkins. I was armed with the hot glue gun, but the kids picked out the things they wanted to put on their creatures and where everything should go. 

 Our finished creations were, um, interesting.
But my kids are so proud of them. It was a lot of fun. 
And the donuts were tasty. 

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Home Remodeling Bug

Danny and I have had some time to talk as adults recently. Which is great. But it also means we start dreaming together. Which is also great. But it usually ends up in some grand scheme for working on the house. Since our house is about 115 years old there is ALWAYS something to work on. It might be some minor maintenance to keep the house from falling down, or it might be updating something major to bring it into the current century.
We have already done a lot of work, but it has been a while since our last project. What we are dreaming of now is new floors. Ahh…even saying that makes me smile at the thought. The existing hardwood floors are in poor shape. It is one of the first things we noticed when we were looking at the house. At the time we thought maybe we could just refinish them (and we did that in the back room after removing multiple layers of other flooring on top of the hardwood). But the nails are showing through and they are warped, etc. so that our best option is to replace them entirely. We would also replace the subfloors and make sure all the joists are looking good. While we are in there (very dangerous words), we would also move/reroute a lot of the ducting. While we are in there, we would like to move a wall to open up the entryway. While we are in there, we will probably redo the whole kitchen.

Last week we spent some time after the kids went to bed taking measurements of all the rooms to get an idea on square footage for flooring. We also got the layout of the kitchen. Now we are throwing around ideas on where to place everything. We have the ability to move everything, so the options are wide open for changes. It is not wide enough for an island, but we could add a peninsula, take out the small wall into the dining room, move the stove, move the sink, add a window, take out the ‘dummy’ door, replace the cabinets, new countertops. Above all, it would be nice to have a little more counter space, duel wall ovens, and a more cohesive layout.

But at this point it is just dreaming. We’ll have to see what we can actually accomplish in the near future or if it will have to wait for another time. 
this picture of our house is from 2006 when we first bought it. We have already done a lot of work since then. I guess I need an updated picture.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

A Weekend Away

Last weekend Danny and I were able to get away. BY OURSELVES. It has been nearly a year since our last time away. It was so restful and healthy for us. 
We went to beautiful Golden, CO. We walked around the small historic area, read books, walked along the river, had a few drinks, had a wonderful dinner, talked as adults without being interrupted, ‘slept-in’ until 7am. Ahh…

It was nice to not have to be responsible for any little people for a few days. It was nice not having to remind my fellow diners to take more bites. It was nice to not have to talk about going to the potty. It was nice to do whatever I wanted.
My wonderful husband!

Great little cafe for breakfast
Original log cabin in the historic park. There was also a barn with chickens and goats, a root cellar, schoolhouse, lots of veggie gardens, etc.

Lady playing clarinet in the park

My sweet husband indulges me be letting me take a million pictures of him

These are from the Golden City Brewery. We did NOT visit Coors

And it was also nice to come home to see my kids. That is to say, on Monday morning I was ready for them, but not on Sunday afternoon when we actually got them back. I think they were happy for a break from each other (they each stayed with a different set of grandparents, to whom we are eternally indebted to). Sunday evening they were bickering with each other non-stop. They might have been a little spoiled from their time away from us. Which is exactly what grandparents are supposed to do! And I will gladly take some spoiled children if it means I also get to have a weekend of being spoiled.

While we were away M&M (aka Sweet Pea) started fully walking. She had been taking a few steps here or there when coaxed, but she was not very interested in walking as a mode of transportation. I guess she just needed some Grandma motivation!

Rooni (aka The Blobster) also had a great time without us. The report is that he was sweet, helpful, and full of energy. That last part sounds about right!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Gage turned 3

April 4, 2012 - Birthday Boy
My little Boy is growing up – we rarely even call him the Blobster any more. It doesn’t seem an appropriate nickname for such a big boy. Mostly we call him Gage-a-rooni; don’t ask me how we came up with that, I’m sure it had something to do with making up a song to make him laugh. I will keep you informed of any new nicknames that come up, which is inevitable.

We had a family party for Gage this year. I wanted to do a vintage rocket theme, but it didn’t turn out as grand as my Pinterest board seemed. (It turns out I’m not Martha Stewart after all) But I had fun getting everything ready to make the day special for my baby (who is no longer a baby, as we have already established). And Gage was so excited, hopping around and asking me all day if he could eat his cake. Birthdays pretty much equate to cake for him. Which I guess never really changes.
My first attempt at making/icing a cake. It looks ok if you don't look too closely. But it was tasty!
Thanks to Michelle for some basic tips. 
Rockets - mini 'pinatas' Gage helped me make them, and had fun pulling the strings to make them explode 
I felt very crafty making the table settings