Friday, May 31, 2013

2 Seconds

They both sat still for 2 seconds. A rare thing in our house these days. 

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Labor of Love

I have decided that throwing a child's birthday party is kind of like giving birth. It's long and tiring and easy to lose sight of what it's all about. After it's all over you might say "Whew! I'm never doing THAT again". (I know I definitely said that after giving birth to Ryan, and quite possibly Lucas). And yet you find yourself doing it all over again the following year because you kind of forget how hard it was. (Or whenever your next child is born).

We threw a joint birthday party for the boys this year. It was harder for me to plan this year because I have less free time these days. As a result, most of the prep work was done very last minute, late at night. This was me the morning of their party.

Yikes. Can't believe I just shared that. I managed to make myself a bit more presentable for the party.
 We had a very loose firetruck theme this year. There were so many cute ways I wanted to bring in the theme, but the more I researched ideas online, the more stressed I felt. I finally realized two things....first, my boys didn't care about a theme. They just wanted to have fun with their friends and maybe eat some cake. Secondly, I would never have the time or the energy to throw a Pinterest-worthy party. So I had to let some things go and just focus on making it a fun day for Ryan and Lucas. Here were the two "firetruck" cakes.
One of the best decisions we made was to rent a jump-house. Ryan and his Daddy spent almost the entire day in it.
The party turned out great! The boys had fun and I hope our guests had fun as well. It was a labor of love and of course I will do it again for them next year. I see many joint parties for them in the future.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Making Friends

Yesterday was the last official MOPS meeting of the school year and I'm pretty sad about it. I really look forward to going to MOPS each month, for a variety of reasons. Of course I enjoy the 2+ child-free hours of eating delicious food and listening to guest speakers. But more than anything I enjoy talking with the other Moms and building friendships. 

I have always been a shy introvert. I don't like calling attention to myself. I have a hard time opening up and sharing with people I don't know really well. I need time to myself each day to feel recharged. But something changed when I became a mother. I realized how isolating motherhood can be, especially in the beginning when it's hard to get out of the house.

And suddenly I began to long for new friendships. I wanted to meet other Moms like me who were going through similar issues with their kids. Moms who would meet me for playdates at the park or just meet and talk over a cup of tea.

I went through the same social hibernation again after Lucas was born, where I was too busy keeping him alive each day to have much time for friends. But now that he is a little older and more mobile, I am finding myself reaching out to friends old and new, mostly through MOPS. I am deliberately pushing myself out of my comfort zone and inviting friends to my house, to the park, the local farm, the lake, etc. I am ignoring that internal whisper of "What if they don't like me?" and just embracing these new friendships.

I never would have thought I would feel this way. I never thought I would welcome an unexpected visit from a friend and invite her inside without caring what she thought of the mess. I never thought I would get so excited by seeing a full week on my calendar of scheduled plans with other Moms.

Motherhood changes you in many unexpected ways.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

This and That

Our internet has been down this past week, which is why I've been silent. Here's what's been going on lately.

~I started potty training Ryan last week. It started out okay but Ryan has really been resisting it. I'm torn between pushing and encouraging him to keep trying, or waiting a while and trying again. I don't want to give up too soon, but I also don't want to push him so hard that he hates the potty.

~My sister gave birth to sweet baby Isabella on May 2nd! I am so excited to meet her in a couple weeks.
~Lucas is suddenly huge. I think he went through a growth spurt recently. He's weighing 22 lbs on our scale at home, and my back is aching because of it. I do love having such a big strong boy!
~Here is a dark picture of our porch right now. The bottom is all in place. Now we just need to finish the railing and stain the wood. It's going to look so nice!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Broccoli Lover

He really likes broccoli. A lot.

Monday, May 6, 2013


Got to make hay while the sun shines! Or in this case, build a porch while the boys nap.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Lucas: 11 Months

My dear sweet Lucas, you are 11 months old today! 
And much more "toddler" this month than "baby".
And you are into everything these days! Cruising around the house, opening drawers and cupboards and emptying them as quickly as possible. Pushing large objects and furniture around (you are in love with the vacuum cleaner) and generally making messes everywhere you go.

You are getting better at walking, covering longer distances, although still a bit wobbly. You can now stand up from a sitting position without holding onto anything....and off you go! You move so quickly, probably more than you should be, and that's why you still fall down so much.
You love throwing objects. You throw your toys and food. There have been a few instances where you have thrown objects at your brother's head, so it's time for me to seriously think about how to discipline you for this behavior. It feels too early for that though!

After 10 sleepless nights you finally cut your 5th tooth. I got a couple great nights of 8+ hours of sleep from you, and now it's back to waking every hour. Your 2 naps per day are still decent though!
You love broccoli but hate cauliflower. Lately you have been a super picky eater, throwing most of your food on the floor or spitting out whatever goes in your mouth. I hope it's just because of the tummy bug you had this week, and not some new difficult phase!

Your new sound this month is "yayaya". I am still trying to get you to clap and wave, but you just laugh at me.

I am so glad that you are generally such a happy boy. Determined and stubborn, but happy!
Love you Lukey!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Oat Alternatives

I went through a phase about 4 years ago where I ate oatmeal every single morning for breakfast. I cooked it on the stove each morning before work and topped it with banana and peanut butter. It kept me full for hours and I never grew tired of it. Except eventually I did. Or, you know, I became a Mom and no longer had free time in the morning to stir oats on the stove.

Since then I have added a bit more variety to my morning meal. Sometimes it's toast and peanut butter, other times I fry up an egg or cook waffles. Whatever is easy.

Lately I've been experimenting with oatmeal again, and while I like its satiety factor, it just seems a little......boring. So this past week I have been playing around with other grains (seeds?) for breakfast. I actually cooked both of these breakfasts the night before and then reheated in the morning. It pays to be productive while the kids are sleeping!

A friend from my MOPS group shared this recipe for rice pudding with me. I changed a few ingredients but kept it pretty close to the original.

Breakfast Rice Pudding

4-6 servings

1 cup uncooked white rice
1 can (15oz) peach halves, drained and chopped
1 cup frozen blueberries
1 cup lite coconut milk
1/2 cup packed brown sugar, divided
1/2 cup flaked coconut
1/2 cup chopped almonds
1/4 cup butter, melted

-Cook rice. In a large bowl combine the rice, peaches, blueberries, coconut milk and 1/4 cup brown sugar. Transfer to a greased baking dish.
-Combine the coconut, almonds, butter and remaining 1/4 cup brown sugar. Sprinkle over rice.
-Bake, uncovered, at 375 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown.

While delicious, this wasn't necessarily the most healthy or filling breakfast. The added sugar and basic white rice resulted in my tummy growling by 10am. I may try it again with brown rice and a sugar substitute such as maple syrup or more fresh fruit.

After making the rice pudding I was left with half a can of coconut milk to use. A quick google search resulted in this recipe using quinoa. I immediately knew I wanted to try it since I love finding new uses for quinoa. (and coconut milk). So I made this at 10pm last night and ate it this morning.

Coconut Breakfast Quinoa

2 servings

1/2 cup dry quinoa, rinsed
1 cup lite coconut milk, divided
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp cinnamon
pinch of salt
1 banana
1/3 chopped almonds

-Combine quinoa, 3/4 cup coconut milk, vanilla and cinnamon in a small saucepan and bring to a boil.
-Reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook for 15 minutes until quinoa can be fluffed with a fork.
-Serve in a bowl covered with half banana and almonds, and drizzled with remaining coconut milk.

The verdict? I liked this one better as a breakfast because of the protein and nutritional benefits of the quinoa. It wasn't very sweet but more fruit would help with that. And it kept me full most of the morning!

What fun breakfasts have you tried lately?