Friday, February 25, 2011

Like a newborn

This week has been hell on mommy.

It started approxiamately last week when little miss Hannah decided she was DONE sleeping in her baby bed. Before we had her "new bedroom" done started.

In the past week she has slept in her crib. In the spare bed. On the nursery room floor. On the spare bedroom floor. In my bed. In her sister's bed.

And the best so far.... this morning after Matt's alarm went off (and I therefore woke up), I lay there and thought "I hear snoring"...i tiptoed across our pitch black room, opened the door, and found my three year old sleeping spread eagle on the floor in the hallway right outside my door. It was comical. I went and got Matt so he could see, then I took her back to her room the spare bedroom. Not that she stayed asleep while I picked her up and carried her in there, but she did fall back to sleep quickly for about two more hours.

Why is life like having a newborn again? Because not only have we played musical sleeping locations, but she has a cold. A horrible, terrible, no good, very bad cold. She's so whiney. And she is up about four times a night (like a baby) fussing (like a baby) for me to take care of her (like a baby) because only mommy can do it (like a breastfeeding baby). She wakes up and cries for me because "my nose is running!" to which i stumble in and help her blow some other medicinal thing or two of choice at the moment, and stumble back to bed.


Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Worthwhile Challenge Week 8

Last night for Hannah's birthday, we decided to have dinner here at home with grandma and grandpa, and then go to orange leaf (fab frozen yogurt place) afterwards. Since Hannah is the pickiest eater on this side of Wichita, I didn't really plan a menu based on her... I didn't think the rest of the adults would want Spaghetti-os for dinner! I decided to do BBQ beef sandwiches, chips, and then some mac-and-cheese so the girls would have something they would for sure eat!

i wanted to do a crockpot recipe so I could spend the day enjoying the little monkey. While we did have a fun lunchdate...since she still has the longest-cold-in-history AND Brooke had to be picked up from school at the end of the day since she was sick...I was so glad I did the crockpot thing. It made the 445p.m. run to the store for more cold medicine, sprite, etc a little less crazy on dinner time.

Here's the link to the BBQ Beef recipe I did

Crockpot BBQ Beef

I think I used an arm roast...because really if you're going to cook a hunk of beef in it's juices and broth all day long, it's going to come out tender pretty much no matter what. It's what I had in the freezer and it was super tender and shreddable. All the adults thought it was pretty good! I think I would have liked a bit more zing/wang to mine...maybe more mustard or more vinegar would have been good...but it was a good BBQ Beef in general!

Hannah had chips. What can i say? She's impossible to feed!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Happy 3rd Birthday to Hannah

Three years ago this afternoon, little miss Hannah came into this world! After a long, induction sort of day, that we were starting to worry might turn into a c-section, she came rocketing out after about two pushes.... the doctor and resident literally juggled her, one caught a leg and one caught an arm. I will never forget that!

Since we had her party on Sunday, today was a pretty low-key day. She's still battling an awful cold, so we spent the morning cuddled up in my bed watching Nemo and working on my laptop. Then we went to McD's playland with her little friend Jordan. After a nap and some cranky cuddling this afternoon, we had grandma and grandpa over for dinner, and then we all went to Orange Leaf for some frozen yogurt! Afterwards we came home so she could play with her new "DS" (as she calls it)--which is actually a Vtech MoBiGo. I think she's going to love that thing.

Thought I'd post a few of my favorite pics from the last three years of life around here with our little monkey!

The first day....

Love her expression on this picture

Getting bigger....!

one cool chic:

Cousin-in-law Kaci would say this expression comes from the hubbys' side of the family. I'm not saying anything. Heehee.

I guess that means this sweet, happy expression comes from my side:

2009 vacation, ready for her first Disney cruise!

On the beach at Castaway Cay! I didn't leave the continental US till I was about 30 years old... here she went when she was about 15 months old!

This has got to be one of my favorite "fun" pictures of Hannah ever. It reminds me of the little girl, Ellie, at the beginning of the movie "Up."

And a little more recently:

Happy Birthday to my little sweetiepie!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Hannah's Birthday Party version 3.0

My little munchkin turns three this week. Today we celebrated her birthday with her favorite little friends!

It was a cupcake themed I made one of those big cupcakes. I thought it turned out cute, but it wasn't my yummiest cake. It seemed to have to bake awhile in that cupcake-pan, so I think it was a little dry and I tried a new recipe.

I wish I could take the credit for all the ideas in this party, but no can do. This activity was one we did at a fun little cooking party we went to a few months ago. I spread cheerios, pretzels, and lifesaver gummies all over the table and we made necklaces!

When you have a three-year-old birthday party, other moms are an important ingredient!

Brooke and one of her good friends, Jaci. Jaci and her sister (one of the three year olds in attendance) live across the street. Our families are good friends even though we don't get to do a whole lot with them.

Hannah kept munching on the pretzels on the table while I made her necklace.

My BFF Debbi was working double duty helping her twins out!

This is Hannah's best bud from Mom's Day Out, Jordan...and her mom Libby. We had our first playdate this past week and it was great getting to know a new friend!

The transition activity was the game Hulabaloo! The big kids loved it. The little kids were not sure what was going on!

Time to open presents!! Hannah loved everything she got!

Time to decorate cupcakes!!!

Time to sing Happy Birthday! The little ones got to take one of their cupcakes home, and eat one of their cupcakes...then we adults dug into the big cupcake!

After we were done cupcaking, the kiddos went down to the playroom for a little playtime!

Hannah and her first friends, Ragan and Rylee. Debbi and I were in our first trimesters with them when we met at Brooke/Chase's preschool several years ago! The twinkies are about five weeks younger than Hannah.

Couldn't get Jordan to get in on this picture, so here is five of the six munchkins in attendance! Maddi is the daughter of Matt's oldest friend (as in, has known him the longest), Jamie and his fiancee Nikki. It's been great getting to become friends with Maddi and her mommy Nikki over the last 8 months or so! The one in the middle is Leah, the neighbor across the street!

Finally at the end of the party, we were able to get a good picture of Hannah and Jordan (who had her birthday just last week!)

We are so blessed to have such great mommy friends and little friends for my girls! Hannah had a great time at her party and loved having all of her little BFF's there.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Then and Now

From the sleep-deprived because her three year old seems to be playing musical beds and refusing to sleep in her crib mind of this here blog writer, I bring you "then and now"...

A week ago....


95 degree temp difference in a week. No joke.

I should have taken a picture of my Uggs and Flipflops sitting underneath the kitchen barstool together. Shoe poetry.

Welcome to Kansas, February 2011.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Oh, hannah.

Little miss thing has a cold.

Not even two weeks after she had a horrific stomach bug.

Since she has a cold (and won't give up her paci), she thinks she cannot sleep. Since she thinks she cannot sleep, she thinks she cannot stay in her crib. We've had the occasional instance where she has climbed out over the last six months....but today when I put her down for nap (after she got out of bed in the middle of the night trying to talk me into letting her sleep with me...and after she got out of bed this morning at 7:15 thinking it was time to get up though it wasn't)... she got out of bed about four times.

Finally, I had enough fighting her. I put her blanket on the floor in her room. (she can't climb back INTO the bed). I told her that she can either sit in that room and play quietly, or if she gets tired she can sleep on her blanket on the floor. But she was under NO CIRCUMSTANCE to come out of that room. It's been about 45 minutes now and I've had to tell her to close the door twice. Right this very second she's knocking on the door.

We went thru a similar thing with Brooke...when she was about to turn FOUR, not THREE, and was already in a big girl bed. That's when she got a dvd player in her room and started having a movie time in the afternoon. (She still does).

Needless to say, I'm not quite ready for Hannah to hit this phase...and her big girl room is not ready either.

Wish us luck on the transition, the staying in bed, and all that stuff. And feel free to impart any wisdom on such topics as well. I'm not looking forward to it!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Worthwhile Challenge #7 - Fake Monte Cristos

I love Monte Cristos, but rarely get to eat them, and cannot eat them without feeling horribly guilty about just how bad they are for you.

I found a blog thru a blog thru a blog and fell in love with it. It is a bright happy cheery blog born out of woe. A few weeks ago she posted a recipe for cheater monte cristos.

We had them tonight. They were good. Thumbs up from everyone. Except for hannah, who is apparently on strike today. She didn't even want spaghettio-s. No wonder she's such a shrimp!

Instead of recapping the whole recipe, I'm just going to give you the link. But I will tell you that the inside of ours consisted of diced black forest ham (deli selects) and shredded monterrey jack cheese.

Here you go!
Monte Cristos

Monday, February 14, 2011

My Valentines

Five reasons why I love this guy:
1. Eleven years ago our first Valentine's Day together involved me in the hospital with a kidney stone. Morphine, pee-straining, crying, and he hung in there with me. I love him because he's got staying-power.
2. He has worked hard for the past (nearly 7) years to allow me to be a stay at home mom to our beautiful little girls. He does this even without putting a lot of expectation on me... He doesn't mind that the house is not immaculate...he just wants our girls well taken care of, well loved, and our house happy.
3. He is a great daddy to our two gorgeous little girls.
4. He spoils me when he can... even if we both wish that could be more often! :)
5. He loves so many of the same things that I do, which makes it fun to share this life with him!

Five reasons why I love this beautiful littlest girl:
1. She is one big bundle of joy and light wrapped in the cutest little package
2. She is a mommy's girl and gives me lots and lots of love
3. She is my baby
4. She entertains herself so well
5. She is my little sidekick while daddy and sis are gone all day

Five reasons why I love this beautiful little girl:
1. She has been bringing me joy for almost seven years
2. She is a lover of people and of Jesus
3. She is exuberant and enthusiastic about darn near everything
4. She loves to read and do artsy stuff, like mommy
5. She's always there for a hug, or some love, or some silliness.

This Valentine's Day, I thank God for my wonderful little family that I am so blessed by every day. Even the days that make me want to run screaming into a padded room and lock the door, I am blessed to have them. And I celebrate everyone else in life that I love today as well.... the rest of my family, old friends, new friends, blog readers, New Kids on the block, and Mark Wahlberg. :) (just making sure you were paying attention).

Sunday, February 13, 2011


We started attending a new church back in the fall. While it is bigger than what we would prefer, i have to say that I am loving it.

the minister is a gifted speaker, and he delivers the Word of God in such relevant ways that how it can be applied in life is so clear.

What I am really loving about the church though, is the children's ministries. I think my oldest girl has grown more in her relationship with Jesus and understanding of being a Christian more in the last six months than she had in the previous several years. Of course, part of that is the age she is now...a lot more of it all is sinking in and she is at an age where she "gets it" more. But it's been great. They teach to the kids in such a relevant way.

My little one has learned about how God makes us each special and how God is our friend. It's so heartwarming. With her birthday coming up, she'll be moving classrooms where she will get lessons delivered via an awesome puppet show. I know she will soak it right up.

The bigger kids area focuses on a "virtue of the month" each month. A week ago, they actually did a big "road show" at Brooke's school. Of course, they had to take the "God" out of that lesson since it's a public school and this country forgets it was founded on God... But nonetheless, they did a lesson on the virtue of "kindness" and it was so awesome to hear kids at the school pumped up for it. They brought home little red cards that talked about being kind. They were to do something kind for someone, and leave them the card...which instructed them to in turn do something kind for another person, and pass the card on again. They could also go to the website and leave a comment about the act of kindness they gave/recieved. It's been so cool reading those comments. Brooke was so excited to use her little cards.

If I only do one thing correct/right/good as a parent, it is going to be sharing Jesus with my girls. I want them to love Jesus, love church, and love others with all their heart. I can't think of anything more important to impart to my children than the value of having great FAITH in the one true God.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Worthwhile Challenge #6 - Creme Brulee French Toast

Have you ever had Creme Brulee? If you are like most eaters of this decadent dessert, you know full well that the best part is the crusty brown sugar layer. Yummy. "Uh, hi...can I get a creme brulee, hold the creme? or is it hold the brulee? I just want the crusty party. and since I'm not getting the creme, can I get extra crusty part instead?"

Yeah, in a perfect world we could get a bowl of that. But anyways, the Creme Brulee French Toast sounded good to me. I've been hankering for breakfast-for-dinner for a few days.

Here's how i did it....
in a saucepan, melt 1 stick butter (the real stuff) with 1 cup brown sugar and 2 T corn syrup. Heat till sugar is dissolved, stirring frequently. Pour into bottom of pam-sprayed 9x13.

Take a loaf of french bread and cut most of the crust off (this is messy! crumbs everywhere!). Slice into about 8 one-inch thick pieces, or however many you can cram into your pan. Cram them into your pan ontop the brown sugar layer.

Mix four eggs, 1/2 cup cream, 1/2 cup milk (these two are what I used in place of the half and half that I didn't have, seemed to work!), 1 tsp vanilla. recipe also calls for 1 tsp brandy-based orange liquer which I of course didn't have. I wonder if rum would have worked? Well anyways, whisk that all together. Pour over your bread.

Cover, stick in fridge. The recipe said to do this for 8 hours or overnight. I only had about 3 hours for it to set. Still turned out good but I think I would have liked it better had it set longer, because more of the custardy/eggy stuff would have soaked into the bread instead of being, well...creme brulee-ish lol.

Let come to room temp then bake about 40 minutes at 350 degrees until golden brown. When serving, flip the piece over onto the plate so the pretty gooey brownsugar layer is now on top. No additional toppings required.

Matt liked this a lot. I like this quite a bit (again, needed to soak up more stuff), Brooke didn't eat much of it but a)the kid does not like much sweet stuff including cake and b)she wasn't feeling well. hannah...well... hannah thought it'd be better if it was spaghetti'os.

Give it a try!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


We got a bunch of snow last night. Well, a bunch of snow for Kansas. We had our SIXTH snow day of the year (as in, of 2011 as well as of the school year in general). It's been crazy.

Today, though, we actually got to go outside and enjoy the snow since the wind died down. We went out for about 30 minutes this morning, and again this afternoon after Hannah's nap. These girls have got some of mommy's Iowa genes in them for sure, because they love playing in the snow.

Our sledding "hill"...a.k.a. our driveway, was bigger than usual because of the big drift and all the snow that matt snow-blowered onto that part. It was fun! So glad Papa Terry bought us the saucer sled a few years ago. Papa if you're reading this, we might need another because the two of them won't fit on one together next year!!

When we first got outside, Hannah just wanted to play with Daddy's shovel.
Brooke hit the slopes right away...
Then Hannah decided she was ready to join in the fun!
They trudged up the driveway I bet 50 times today.

When it was time to go inside this morning, Hannah was not happy. "One more time" she kept crying.
So Matt said "you can come to the backyard with me while I get firewood loaded into the garage, then we're going in!".
This was one of the drifts in our backyard. We would have lost Hannah in it, had she ventured over there. It was deep!
But, apparently a firm drift because Brooke plopped right onto it to make a snow angel. Really, I think she was just wiped out from all the trips up the driveway!
This now concludes our broadcast of Snow Day number six. Hopefully the next installment will not come until next year! Even this Iowa girl has decided she's just ready to move onto Spring!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Worthwhile Challenge #5-a cookie

My challenge recipe from last week is a little late since it's now this week that I'm just getting around to posting it.

Last week was a very tough one, to say the least. My little munchkin was sick. Like as in both ends sick. Starting late on Saturday night (like as in, January 30th)...and just finally getting back to her old self the last day or two. It sucked. To add to the already miserable mix of having a sickie, I had a big kid with three snow days last week.

And not the kind of snow days where you have mountains of snow to go have fun in. Noooo. We don't get THAT kind of snow day. We get "got some snow, but it's arctic frigid out there" snow days (as in-too cold for the kids to stand at the bus stop).

So. Sick munchkin. Snow days. Sick big kid hits just in time to go back to school. Mommy's body thinking it needs to get sick. Off for a scrapbook weekend (more to come on that later). It was hard to get the recipe posted.

But i DID get one made. Now I just need to catch up and do another one for this week! :)

The recipe I did last week came from the same church cookbook that our favorite cookies came from. While I think it's hard to really screw up a cookie...I mean, a cookie is a cookie as long as it's not burnt, it's probably worth eating...I don't see this one in our cookie jar too often. It was a drier, crispier cookie.

I kind of gathered that from the name of it; Crunch Drop Cookies. But I was in the mood to try a new cookie, so here it was. Good dough. Totally edible cookie. Just not our preferred kind. But if you're a crunchy kinda person, give these babies a whirl!

Here we go:
Cream 1 cup shortening with 1 cup white sugar and 1 cup brown sugar. Add in two eggs and 1 tsp vanilla and mix well.

Add in 2 cups flour, 1 tsp soda, and 1/2 tsp salt that have been mixed together.

Add in 2 cups oatmeal, 1.5 cups rice krispies, and 3/4 cup shredded coconut. Because everything is better with chocolate, I threw in about a cup of choc chips too. mix well.

Drop onto cookie sheet and bake at 350 for 12 to 15 minutes. I removed these from the pan pretty quickly... as they did not seem to be the kind that would come off real easily once they started cooling.

And that, my your recipe for last week.

Coming up this week: scrapbook stuff, the return of a happy Hannah, and more!