Friday, May 23, 2008

Friday - CrAZy Day!

We have, for your viewing pleasure....a CraZY girl! A tutu with grass skirt, butterfly leggings, water shoes and the obviously funky hair! Love it! I need to post my pics of Homecoming/Spirit week from when I was teaching. You'll see we have a history of really getting into these things!

Nathan did this all on his own! What a fun kid! He was pumped to be CrAzY too!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Thursday - Sports Day

I think gymnastics is a sport! We don't have jerseys and ball caps here supporting a fave team because we're really not sportsy people. So in order to participate today we raided the dress-up box. We have, for your viewing pleasure, a neon green and hot pink sequined unitard. Ha - we've got spirit!

Who do I know in San Antonio?

Something interesting happened this morning...
A specific post of mine was hit tens of times by a computer in San Antonio TX. It took me a while but I think I figured out why.
It was the post about our wills and such. And in that post I mentioned the name of a certain financial institution. The hits were all from their server.
I'm thinking they have some sort of search engine looking for mentions of their institution. That way they can whoop on you if you say something mean or illegal or share trade secrets or their recipe for baked beans. :)
Word to the wise - be careful who you mention in your blog!

What a coincidence!

I was just over at April's blog watching this video.

During the middle of it I get an email from Pam talking about it!

I had decided I would probably post it - but now it's definite. If 2 cool people think it's cool then it's worth passing on. Most of my readership (in the fabulous state of WA) will have already heard about it but another positive experience today can't hurt!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Who's who

Now these aren't my kids so you don't get names, but maybe you'd like to know about Ashlyn's school year and the kids who made it memorable.

Front row:
First on left, green shirt: Girl whose papers we get b/c their names are similar.
Third from left, tan jacket: famous from twin day, often shares a computer to play Freddi Fish with Ashlyn, one of her best friends

Second row:
First on left - the giver of the Valentine's day chocolates, got a little crush on our girlie. Likes to give her pretty rocks and fake flowers.
Last 2 on right - the guys she's considering for a husband. You know the "quiet" ones. The second from the right was her first love and mutually anticipated spouse (also likes to bring her fake flowers from home), the last one was a late-comer - but very promising!

Third row:
Last on right - the boy who's always in the "Thinking Chair" for less than stellar behavior. He's super crushy on all the girls and likes to try and get their attention by poking them and talking during work time and by stabbing pencils in their arms.

Last row:
1st on left: the princess herself
Hot pink, 4th from left: pal from Miss Patti's - went to the races together

And also... that is not her teacher. She left for a wedding that day! That is actually her teacher's aide. At least the substitute teacher isn't in there!

I never knew how much I liked to be tallest...

... until I had kids that weren't. Now, this is weird, but I've really been bothered by this over the past few weeks. Not upset like mad, but I can't get it off my mind. You know I ADORE my little ones. But look at Ashlyn here...

It's weird to not have her be the tallest all the time. I was ALWAYS the very middle of the top row. I don't remember a girl taller than me in school. In elementary school I was taller than lots of my teachers.

Judging by the little disappointment I feel I think that I must have some pretty strong feelings about my height. I won't say that I like being tall, but I've definitely embraced it. What else is there to do? I'm not getting any shorter so might as well make the most of it! I think I've taken my height on as something that I could be proud of and even though it sounds weird - I am better at it than others. :) Yeah - I practice being tall a lot. :) But people have always acted like it was a good thing - I wasn't teased about my height. People always say they'd love to be taller.

Anyway, back to my weird height thing. It has always bothered me that girls who are less than 6 feet say they're tall. I actually read a magazine article today where a girl who was 5 foot 8 inches said "I've always been tall" and I laughed out loud. 5'8" is not tall! At least not to me.

And Lauren, cute little thing that she is - is just not growing like my other 2. They went into the next size of baby clothes about 2 months early. So they were in 6 mo. clothes at 4 months. Lauren is 2.5 months and still happily fitting in most of her 0-3 month clothing. The others would have been in 3-6 month stuff for about 2 weeks at this point. This could be because she was early - the doc said it could take her a year to catch up to where she would have been. But what if she's "short" too? I won't have anyone in my family like me. I think that's it. I want someone who's like me, who can relate and relish and be frustrated and proud and know all the things that I have felt. I want people to know that they're mine because we're alike.

Again, I adore my kids, but I didn't realize how much I expected them to be tall. I will admit that Nathan is my saving grace. He'll be well over 6' tall. But it's weird that the one who's tall is my boy and is a carbon copy of his daddy. Not really the same as having one of my girls being tall.

I guess my little girls will always be able to find a date who's taller, never worry about highwaters, never need to wear boy's shoes and never need to be the "boy" in P.E. dance classes. (I still can't follow to save my life.) I'll get used to it.

Wednesday - Twin Day

Yup separated at birth these 2! I cropped it funny b/c you can see in the back corner the boy that Ashlyn is going to marry. At least according to them. They are going to meet in college and get married. Ashlyn is naming their girls Angel, Temple and something I can't remember. He is naming their boys Devan, Max and another name I can't remember.

Why did she choose him? Well, because he's quiet - "like Daddy." Really? I hadn't noticed. Maybe she means the strong, silent type. Why is quiet important you may wonder. Well, then "he won't wake up our kids when I put them to bed". Her other husband to be option is the same kind of kid. Clean cut, polite, way cute, a bit short (just wait until their growth spurts, right?), soft spoken, fun loving - man, she did great! Oooo - this reminds me of something! I'm going to post in just a sec about her class picture!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Mom, these viruses smell beautiful!

We can die now.

Yup - as of this evening we will be able to die. And USAA's financial assessment tool will now show our Financial Strength Score as 85 instead of 65. Woo-hoo.

Direct quote:

Excellent job! You are well on your way to financial strength.


We have an appt. tonight with a notary and two lovely witnesses to finally get a will in place! After 3 kids I'm sure it's about time. We're also establishing a trust (to avoid probate), funding said trust, getting power of atty papers, health directives and who knows what else. My mind is fuzzy. :) I've been online and on the phone with our financial institutions trying to take care of all this. What a lot of paperwork!

Tuesday - Color Day

Kindergarten is ORANGE!

Be glad you aren't a boy in preschool! (PINK)

Monday, May 19, 2008

Nathan, Nathan, Nathan...

That title should be read with exasperation. Nathan has been toyless for over a week now due to his complete lack of willingness to put his stuff away when he's finished playing. Any ideas out there?
We have the rule that you must put away one set of toys before you play with something else or before we get together to have a meal. It's been working until this month. He just throws a fit and won't clean up. He sees it as an OK trade off that his toys go into timeout - it's not convincing him to put things away. He seems to be just fine with it - cuz then it means he doesn't need to clean up!

In other memorable Nathan moments...
During the biggest, messiest day where Nathan was told to clean up his toys before lunch he took almost 4 hours to put his toys away (there wasn't that much - he was just so stubborn!). He came out after about an hour and a half and said, "I'm ready for lunch! And I don't want you to go into my room, Mom."
Me: "Did you clean up your toys?"
N: "No. Just don't go in there."

Later on (after I had sent him back in to clean up again) he came out to the kitchen and started to get into his chair for lunch.
Me: "Are your toys picked up, Nathan?"
N: "Mom! My toys are HIDING!"
Me: "Are they put away?"
N: "No! They are HIDING!"

:) He had put them all under blankets in the middle of the room.

Same week - at the mall - Nathan is running all over the store, while I'm looking at shoes he's taken his off and is writhing all over the floor...
Me: "Nathan what are you doing!? Who do you think you are?"
N: "I'm just a JERK, mom."
(Insert a look from a nearby mommy - like he learned that from me or something.)

He gives us no end of entertainment!

We've got Spirit yes we do!

Ashlyn's school has proclaimed this week to be spirit week! So I'll be documenting all of our fabulous and funky outfits and styles for you so you too can have SPIRIT!!!

Monday - Pajama Day!

My cute girls!

So I am in a bow-making phase and here are the results! I know that my babies don't get hair until they're two so I am nipping this "What a cute little boy!" problem that I had with Ashlyn in the bud! If you don't see that Lauren's a girl then there's no help for you - I'm sorry!
Here we have our little girls all ready for church. So cute! I have become inspired by a great blog from a mom in UT that is helping me to do cute things with Ashlyn's hair. Ashlyn loves to go through the pictures in her posts and choose her next hairstyle. She also had a great tutorial for the flower clips that I have in Ashlyn's hair. I also like these two sites for tutorials on how to make the bows.

Night at the races

For their Daddy date this week the kids went out to the drag strip to see the races! Ashlyn's school offered a free ticket to kids who read (or were read to in our case) for 12 or more hours during the month or so they offered the program. They colored in sheets as they went - one piece of the picture for each 15 minutes of reading. As the culmination of the Race to Read program they got to go to the races! I thought it would be fun to go with a friend so here they asked Alyssa and her dad (also a Rick) to go with them.
I went to Home Depot to pick up another set of ear protection covers and some of the earplugs you see Rick wearing. I think they were a good investment! Those cars are loud! As you can imagine Nathan LOVED them. Ashlyn thought it was pretty fun too. Her major complaint was that they had to sit on the bleachers. Well, actually I suppose it was that they had to walk up the bleachers. If you don't know already, Ashlyn is petrified of plank stairs (anything with gaps) or walking on anything that's not completely solid. When she was younger this even extended to the grates outside the grocery store and the lines on the tiles in WalMart. It's like she's a cow afraid of the painted lines on the road. Funny quirk huh?

More housework

Well, it took a while for our household budget to recover from the bathroom and all of that drywall but we finally have built it back up to the point where we can do some more work.
Rick rented a rotohammer (little jackhammer thing with different bits) to bust up some more walls.

You may recognize this wall - most of you reading have stayed in this room at one point! Here's the hole he made for the water to come through to the outside sprinkler box. The 2nd pic is a close up of the hole since the flash washed it out in the first pic. He drilled it bigger to fit not just the copper pipe but also some electrical wire. Only after he returned the tool did he try and fit them both through the hole and discover it wasn't big enough. Oops! Tony (our independent contractor friend) came to the rescue and let Rick borrow his hammer to finish up the job.

The other item we needed to take care of with the rental was this chunk of concrete next to our steel beam. This is the beam that will need to be reinforced in order for us to take out the lally column (those silly columns in the basement that hold up the house). So we need to make room for our new addition in the concrete.
Here's what Nathan thought of it:
:) Actually he was just trying to avoid the camera. He thought the tools were cool.


Thought some of you would get a kick out of this - a present from when Ashlyn was born from Jami and Grandma.

We love Zantac!

So it seems our little one does have acid reflux (which resolves itself as they get older)! She has been SLEEPING!!! She sleeps 6-8 hour stretches at night now and is even sleeping longer during the day. Wow - I wish I'd had this stuff with the other two!
We've even verified our results scientifically - since we're both nerds. We've accidentally forgotten to give her her dose twice - and both times she was fussy and spit up and wouldn't go to sleep. So even though we didn't mean to put her through that at least we know for sure that this helps her. I love medicine! (Strange to hear from the crazy girl who won't get epidurals - I know!)

Monday, May 12, 2008

We went with the flowers...

Thanks for you support! :) They look lovely!

Rick has a good day

A 10 hour day - but lots accomplished! And the tree - do you remember when it was cut down? And when Rick carved it? Finally it has been felled completely!

Sunday, May 11, 2008


So there you see our window well for the basement bedroom. It's in and attached to our concrete so I guess it's here to stay. Now we just need to attach the ladder, add some gravel and then fill in the hole. Progress!

Still working on that smile! - May 8th

Happy Mothers' Day!

I want to wish you all the very best mothers' day! Mine was very nice - Rick really tried to make it special by making a bunch of my favorite yummy foods. It was very sweet! And Ashlyn made me a beautiful vase and tissue paper flower in school. That is one great thing about having someone in school now - I can look forward to awesome homemade gifts!

Hope you were made to feel special today ladies - because you are!

Big kisses,

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Food glorious food!

So - has everyone tried Betty Crocker's Warm Delights? They are tasty good - we had some that we got for free after coupon from a sale a while ago but I haven't bought any since. They just weren't worth $1. But I have since found out you can make your own! This is the perfect solution to a late night sweet attack. You can have a piece of cake without making an entire cake!

Here's all you do:
1/3 cup of cake mix (I like chocolate)
1/2 cup water

Mix mix and water together until blended in microwave-safe container. Nuke for 90 seconds. Let cool for a minute or two. Drizzle Hershey's syrup, sprinkle choc chips, etc. YUMMY!

We have #10 cans of cake mix from the distribution center so it works out so nice to keep a tin in the cupboard for this!

And for our next recipe - another of our attempts to "eat meat sparingly" and also to find more things to cook in the crockpot that are a little different. I just happened to have 6 tortillas left over from egg enchiladas (more later) so I popped this in the crockpot tonight. Everyone loved it! I would say it serves 4 if you have average servings - but you can't make it any bigger and have it still fit in the crockpot so you'll either need to make a couple of these or supplement if there are more of you.

Mexican Lasagna
6 corn tortillas
1 can of kidney beans
1 can of black beans
jar of salsa (I used 16 oz)
1 c. grated Monterey Jack cheese
2 packets Goya seasoning (optional)
1 small can of diced green chilies

Make foil strips to act as handles for your crockpot. I ripped off a piece about 18" long and folded into four the long way to make a strip. Lay 3 strips in the crock placed like spokes on a wheel.
Place a tortilla in the bottom. Top with some salsa, some beans and some cheese. Repeat layers ending with cheese.
Place in the crockpot until cheese is melted. Mine was done after 2 hours on high. (Much earlier than the original recipe's 3-4 hours - glad I checked it!)
Some notes: The original recipe called for 1 c. chicken instead of black beans, didn't use Goya, and used pepper jack cheese. I just typed it up as I made it.
We topped with guacamole and sour cream. I had fully intended to have lettuce and tomatoes too but I totally forgot until we were almost done!
We ate this with cornbread and I would definitely suggest at least one more side to fill you up. (And we are just a family of 4 - including a 3 and 5 y.o.)

And now for the Egg Enchiladas

18 corn tortillas
6 eggs
oil for softening tortillas (a couple Tbs.)
1 recipe enchilada sauce
grated Cheddar
diced onion

Place enchilada sauce in a shallow pan. Soften the tortillas in hot oil - don't cook long, just a few seconds each side. Dip tortillas in sauce and plate them, top with cheese and onion. Repeat twice more for a stack of 3. Top with a fried egg and sauce. You can keep this in a warm oven while you finish cooking. We loved these!

Homemade Enchilada Sauce
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 can (8-ounce size) tomato sauce
2 cups water1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
Heat oil in large 2-quart saucepan; stir in flour and chili powder; cook for 1 minute. Add remaining ingredients bring to a boil and simmer for about 10 minutes.

Happy Mother's Day week!

Two months old

I tried to get some more pictures of that very elusive smile... The flash really washed out the pictures so in an attempt to darken them up the colors went a little funny. You'll get the idea though!

Monday, May 05, 2008


So as of this past weekend we are back in the Land of Rick! And so happy to be there! Rick spent the last week in New Orleans checking out a new kind of weld for the rocket. A friction weld - never been done before apparently and he was super excited to see it. I was not super-excited to be by myself for a week, and the kids missed Daddy a lot, but we made it!

In a nutshell, I wouldn't recommend New Orleans. There are more girly clubs than you can shake a stick at and even worse they have people (men and women) outside trying to lure in the passersby. Gross! That's a den of iniquity that will certainly be sinking into the sea before the millenium. Move if you live close by.

Rick was so uncomfortable! I felt so bad for him there all alone. He was so anxious to talk with us that week and even more so to come home. I can't imagine what it must have been like. Other than that, he loved the work part of it and decided he is a fan of jumbalaya, but not gumbo. I had him bring back some beignets from Cafe Du Monde so we could taste the New Orleans doughnut. It's good - but its just fried dough with powdered sugar. Better to make your own and not have flat, hours-old beignets, even if they are authentic.

Well, we're glad that's done and have a new love for Heavenly Father's plan that parents come in twos!

2 months

The attempt here was to show you her numbers on the scale - but the lighting/flash made that impossible - so here she is! And you can almost see the weight, she's at 10lb 3.2oz right now. She's 23" long and her head circumference is 38 cm. That puts her into the 39% for weight, 80% for height and 36% for head. Those are the unadjusted numbers (check her other dr. appt. post is you don't know what I'm talking about). Ajusted, she's ninety-kajillionth for height and I think 80th for weight. To compare, she was 15% for weight last time and now she's 39%. For height she was 67% last time and now she's 80%. So she's not just maintaining her %iles she's gaining. Soon she'll be a 90/50% for height and weight just like the others. Go Lauren!

This was her first visit where she received shots. She's not a fan. She had tons! There was an oral rotovirus vaccine (new since I last had a baby), the DPT shot (Diptheria, Pertussis and Tetanus -I think- which I was lucky enough to receive at my 6wk visit - that puppy hurts for days), HIB (Haemophilus Influenza B - causes infantile meningitis), PNUcn (Pneumococcal conjugate), Hepatitis B, and Polio vaccines. That poor girl slept for 2 1/2 days! She didn't get back to "normal" until Sunday night - when she ate every hour and a half to make up for her hibernation.

We mentioned our concern to our doctor that some nights she didn't sleep any longer at night than she did in the day and he asked us if perhaps she might have reflux. Gosh - I don't know! He asked if she seemed uncomfortable after eating, made faces, stuck out her tongue, and curled into a c-shape. Um - yeah? Like when a baby needs to burp? What baby doesn't do that? But just as a trial we are giving her Zantac to see if she seems more comfortable and is able to sleep longer. We are still waiting to see. She slept so much in the days after her appoiontment that we haven't had a nice normal day to evaluate yet. We've also started giving her some vitamins to make sure she's getting enough vitamin D. Breastfed babies often don't (since, unlike the milk we drink, I am not "Vitamin A + D fortified"). I have to say that she likes the vitamins much more than she likes the Zantac. The Zantac is peppermint flavored, which Rick says he doesn't like. He says it tastes like Pepto Bismol - which he doesn't like. I don't mind it, but it's looking like Lauren is taking after Rick here.

As far as milestones go - that day that she rolled over and we posted the video was the only day she rolled over until Sunday. Then she did it again for Rick. Other than that she continues to work on smiling and cooing.

And I know you'll all disagree with me - because everyone says she looks just like Nathan - but I'm telling you I think she looks just like me when I was a baby! Her eyes and nose have been slightly "Rick-ified" but the general shape is mine I think. And the head shape, chubby face is spot on! Maybe there is hope that she won't have short legs and will be able to fit in outfits! I'm excited to see! Her eyes are definitely on the blue side. I think I can rule out brown anyway. Her sleeping seems to be erratic, but she's pulled off a few 4 and 5 hours stretches some nights so we are optimistic that we'll be getting more sleep. Strictly biologically babies should be able to sleep through the night when they hit 11 pounds. She's getting rolls on her (as you can see above) and we are excited to see what she'll do next!
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