Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Today

Not much going on here today. Just a typical Wednesday for us, really. Harper got to go to Rolly Pollies with Mema this morning, and I got super lucky when Dakota decided to take a nap while they were out. Of course I didn’t do anything exciting while she was asleep, but it was nice to have a few minutes to myself nonetheless.

I did manage to get all of our sun catchers rehung while she was snoozing. I took them all down so that I could use the hooks to hang Christmas ornaments during Christmas time and I’m just now getting around to putting them back up. I guess you could say they just weren’t real high on my priority list. But, all 11 are back up and Harper will be thrilled at all the rainbows they’ll cast around the kitchen and living room in the morning.

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When Harper got home I had put together a quick little art project for him to do.

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Unfortunately, he wasn’t really interested in it at all and after only doing a little bit was ready to move on to something else. (He may have put on a total of 10 in the picture you see below.)

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After naptime I asked him if he wanted to work on the rainbow a little more and he happily jumped up in the chair and started…but, he quickly remembered that he didn’t like it and was ready to be done. I coaxed him into helping me finish, which he did, and then we were off to play something else.

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While Harper was busy cooking me some delicious food in his kitchen, Dakota was busy pulling stuff out of the toy basket. She would pull something out, put it in her mouth, and then toss it. Repeat that about a dozen times and there you have her method of “play” right now.

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And, at one point, Harper found Mr. Potato Head’s mustache and thought he’d try it on:

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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Clovers and Hair Ties

These two kids totally amuse one another. I asked Landon to keep an eye on her for me while I did a couple things this morning, and she couldn’t have been happier. When I got on the floor to take their picture, he got close to her and she leaned her head towards his until they were touching.

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After Landon left for school, the two littles and I headed to the library for story time. Both of them had a good time, but this time Dakota was feeling pretty confident instead of shy and she “talked” really loudly for about the last 10 minutes.

When we got home, everything went downhill. Dakota never took her morning nap and she was way past her limit by the time we got home. Most babies would be so tired that they’d just crap out in the car or something, but not this girl. She fought that nap like her life depended on it, and didn’t go to sleep until just after 11. (And after lots of crying since I’d run out of idea’s on getting her to sleep.)

I decided to use the time that she slept to let Harper do some finger paint. I grabbed some green paint, green glitter and print out’s of clovers, and off we went.

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It’s a good thing we got started the minute Kota went to sleep too because she only slept for about 25 minutes…grrr.

Yesterday, at 8pm I realized that we were completely out of dog food. Not, close to out, but like zero dog food left in the house. It is Landon’s job to feed Ginger in the morning, and Landon’s job to let me know when we are running low, which he did not. So, I called my mother-in-law and asked her if she’d come sit at my house while the babies napped so that I could run to the store to get the food and the other 4 trillion things on my list. Luckily she wasn’t busy and came over today around 1pm. Dakota was still awake when she got here, but just as I pulled into the drive way at 2:15pm, she was putting that little runt in her crib. Dakota had had a massive blow out diaper while I was gone. (One that required a bath and everything!) After the blow out, Mema was able to feed her a bottle and rock her to sleep. That little girl is a workout. No wonder I’m so damn tired at night.

While I was out at Target I found some tiny little hair ties to try in her hair. I’ve bought a ton of hair supplies to try to keep her hair back but up until today, nothing has worked. But now, I’ve finally got something that does the job!

Behold the first ponytail:

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Now I’m rethinking getting her hair cut this Friday…

Monday, February 25, 2013

MOM Mug

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Landon made this really awesome mug for me for Christmas in his art class. Can you see how he incorporated the word MOM at the top? Neat, huh?

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I’m just now posting about this because he just gave it to me…he meant to give it to me for Christmas, but he wasn’t able to bring it home from school until just a few days ago.

Peek-a-Boo! (Scrapbook Page)

I finished this page a few weeks ago, but never got around to posting it.

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Harper and Landon used to play peek-a-boo around the couch and we always thought it was so funny when Harper would lean way over to see where Landon was! Hard to believe that Dakota is now the age Harper was in these photos!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Our Weekend

Sometimes I’m amazed at how much we can jam into one single weekend. The second Tony gets home from work on Friday until about 7:30pm Sunday night, we are going, going, going.

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Zoe managed to stay at school for the longest stretch yet, 3 weeks. She wasn’t going to come home until next weekend, but circumstances changed and she came home Friday after her classes were over. She was so glad to be home, and we were happy to see her too.

The minute Harper saw her he told her he had a special treat for her in his kitchen then gave her a big hug and kiss. He was thrilled that she was home and couldn’t wait to play with her.

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Dakota, on the other hand, was incredibly bashful towards her. Everytime Zoe would talk to her, she’d bury her face in my neck. After about 20 minutes of that, I finally told Zoe to just take her to play and make friends with her, and that worked.  But, as soon as she went back to daddy, she was shy again.

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Zoe paced around the windows waiting for Landon to get home. She was right in the middle of re-braiding her hair when he came in, but she managed to give him a big squeeze anyways. They are always so happy to see each other!

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The three youngest kids and Tony and I spent part of Saturday morning at the bowling alley. We gave Harper the choice of bowling or Chuck E. Cheese, and since he doesn’t really remember the latter, we ended up bowling. We had a really good time, and Harper really loved pushing the ball down the dinosaur ramp. Dakota enjoyed watching all the action going on around her…

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Today we all went out to lunch at Firehouse Subs, then Tony took the youngest three home while Zoe and I went to get haircuts.

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Zoe ended up getting about 8 inches cut off, and her new shorter hair looks great! I did the usual, but I think next time I’m going to go with something really short because I’m super lazy and don’t want to mess with my hair. I tend to chicken out every time I plan to go super short though, so we’ll see what happens!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Two Things

1) Just recently Dakota has begun holding her blanket up close to her face as she drinks her bottle and drifts to sleep. It’s so funny that she does this because it is exactly the same thing Harper always did. She rubs her face with the silky edge of the blanket just the way he used to do.

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2) I was so tired this afternoon, and when Tony brought Harper down from his nap, I was taking a minute to rest on the couch. Harper was still a little sleepy, so he cuddled right up next to me. It was heaven. I love that he’s still small enough to want his mama’s snuggles…it won’t be long before he’s too big for all that. I made sure to get a picture because I have a heck of a time getting him to be still for very long these days!

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Protected

This is what lunch time looks like at my house.

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I’m never lacking for company, and there is usually some type of entertainment; sometimes good, other times, not so much.

Today, when I had to leave the table to get something forgotten in the kitchen, an impromptu game of peek-a-boo started. I was peeking around the wall and getting giggles from both kids when Harper said “You can’t get me!” which of course meant I had to get him. So, using my monster voice I ran over, gave tickles and then went back to the peeking and booing. After a few rounds of the monster voice and tickles, when I looked around the corner, Harper was holding Dakota’s hand. (She was desperately trying to get his finger in her mouth, but that’s really not a part of the story.) When I asked him why he was holding her hand, he told me he was protecting her and she was protecting him!

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What a good big brother he’s turning out to be!

Keeping Her Legs Warm

After finding Dakota a couple pairs of leg warmers at the mall a while ago I decided to find her a few more online. I ended up ordering a set of six from Amazon. They were a great price, less for the six than for a single pair that I got at the mall…but, the only downfall was that they were coming all the way from Hong Kong!

I hesitated to order because I didn’t know if I’d actually get them before summer, but after reading all their reviews decided to go ahead. I was just starting to worry when they finally arrived in my mailbox. Phew!

As soon as I got them in the door, I ripped the package open to see how they looked. They do not disappoint!

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I only got a picture of five because, of course, I immediately had to put a pair on Koko to see how they looked.

Hello, adorable.

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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Strawberry Cupcakes with Cheesecake Filling

Pinterest strikes again!

I saw these cupcakes on Pinterest and just had to give them a try. To me, they looked delicious despite being made with a strawberry cake mix. (I am not a huge strawberry fan, and the last strawberry cake I had was really yucky.) I had planned on making them for Tony for Valentine’s Day, but with the other million things I had going on, it just didn’t happen. (Tony happens to really love strawberry flavored stuff, so these really were intended for him.)

But, I was determined, and finally got around to it this past weekend.

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They were surprisingly easy to make, and they were even better tasting than I had imagined they’d be.

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I think the cheesecake centers cut some of the strawberry flavor and really made them delicious. I sent most of them to work with Tony and he said they were gone in the first hour of setting them out. So, I guess it’s safe to say these were a winner and a recipe I’ll likely be making again!

Pals

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These two kids are pals these days.

Every morning when Landon comes downstairs, she is so excited to see him. She yells out to him until he gives her his full attention. He’s great with her and is sure to let her tug on his hat (her favorite thing!) and give her a peek-a-boo to make her smile. He’s always happy to help me out with her and it’s really funny watching him carry her around because she always leans way back so she can look at his face as he holds her.

They are quite a pair, these two…and I just love watching this relationship bloom. There is nothing lovelier than seeing your babies love one another.

Our Very Own Mini Golf Course

The phrase “I’m bored” isn’t said very much in our house. It’s pretty rare that any of us are bored, even when there is nothing I’d like more than to sit and twiddle my thumbs, it just doesn’t happen.

But, on Sunday, Landon dared to utter those dreaded words. Now, I could have probably come up with a few dozen chores to keep him occupied and get my house clean at the same time, but I took pity on him and gave him a fun task instead. I had just come across an article in Family Fun Magazine about making a homemade mini golf course and thought that would be something he’d enjoy.

We pulled out cups and blocks and he got right to work. In the picture below, he’d just finished the beginning of the course and was trying to convince Harper to quit stealing the cups. :) He wasn’t able to convince him, which turned into a mini freak storm that I put out by giving Harper his own set of cups. Phew.

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The best part of the whole thing was that it actually kept Landon busy for about 45 minutes and he enjoyed putting it together. Tony and I both golfed the course, and the last hole (photo below) was pretty impressive.

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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

JUMP!

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I miss the trampoline.

Why?

Because all Harper wants to do these days is jump on everything. He pulls every cushion and pillow off of my couches and jumps on them. He pushes a laundry basket up to the side of my bed, flips it over and then climbs up on my bed…so that he can jump on it.

He asks to go down in the basement so that he can jump on Zoe’s bed. It’s maddening…but, I let him do it because I know he just needs to let out all that two year old energy. That, and he asks me so nicely with those big brown eyes. Little devil.

Friday Night Skate

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(No, Landon isn’t reverting to infancy…it’s just “cool” to have a flashing binky when you’re 11 and at the skating rink!)

Now that Landon’s in middle school, going skating on Friday night has become a big deal. He’s only been twice so far, but he’s already anticipating going this weekend as well.

The first time he went I just drove him and he met a few friends there. I told him I’d rather he have someone to actually go in with the next time because then I knew for sure that there was going to be someone there for him to hang out with. (The last thing he wants me to do is go in with him to make sure his friends are there!) So, this past Friday his friend came over to the house and I drove them both. Since it was going to be late when I picked them up, we decided it might be best to do a sleepover which is very rare for him. Landon was so excited for his friend to come over and to go skating he nearly had a heart attack when I told him we were going to go out to dinner first!

Once his friend got here we didn’t see or hear from them until it was time to go to the rink. As we were leaving, Landon was so excited he forgot to put his shoes on. Like, seriously forgot his shoes. I told him to run back in and put them on, but he protested saying that he wasn’t going to need them because he was going to be skating anyways…I told him we weren’t leaving until shoes were on his feet. He got the point.

Landon’s friend is a bit nervous when it comes to crowds, and his mom had warned me that this was a pretty big step for him when it came to going out and doing something. I was still quite taken aback when he started saying “I’m so nervous, I’m so nervous” as I was dropping them off and giving them instructions. I was worried about leaving him! I hesitated, but assured his friend that everything would be ok and that if he was really unhappy they could call and I’d pick them up. He looked a little less worried and found the courage to go in. I was proud of him…I imagine that could be pretty tough for some people.

When the phone rang at 9:55pm, it was Landon. It wasn’t because his friend wanted to come home early either…they were begging to stay later! (The skate session is from 8-11pm, pretty late for a couple 6th graders if you ask me! So, before Landon even invited anyone over we agreed that we’d pick them up at 10pm.) I told him no way and that his dad was probably already sitting outside waiting on them. Luckily, he didn’t put up much of a fight, not that he had a chance anyways. :)

The two boys said they had a great time and in the same breath asked if they could repeat it the following weekend. I love that Landon’s found something fun to do with his friends on the weekend…now I’ve just gotta make sure he keeps his grades up so he can keep having fun.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Meme and Kota

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It’s no secret that Dakota is a wiggle worm. She wants to be held all the time too, so she can wear a person out pretty quickly. When my mom needed a break from her wiggles, she would put Dakota down on her legs like this and give her a ride! Kota loved it! She’d giggle and then put her head back so she could look back at her Meme.

I never managed to get video of mom giving Dakota a ride, but I did get some of the giggles…

Friday, February 15, 2013

Valentine’s Day, 2013

Tony and I don’t usually exchange gifts for Valentine’s Day, but this year, because I knew he needed a case for his tablet, I decided to get him one, and since V Day was so close, I saved it for then.

Of course, I didn’t really think about wrapping paper and all that until the day before, so I had to come up with something with a roll of white craft paper I’ve had around here for a hundred years or so.

I pulled out some heart stamps and mom and I stamped up some wrapping paper.

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I had some pink twine, and lots of leftover heart stickers and doilies, so I used them to dress up the package a bit after it was wrapped.

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I think it turned out really cute!

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Dakota enjoyed helping dada open his present and I think Harper just wanted him to hurry up so he could see what was inside. (Harps was probably pretty disappointed when he saw what it was!)

Tony knew that I got him something, but I assured him it wasn’t a big deal and that he didn’t need to get me anything. But, because he’s awesome, he got me a box of truffles from Godiva and a few home spa things from Bath and Body Works. Tomorrow night Mema is going to babysit for us while we go try out Bonefish Grill…I can’t wait to try their Bang, Bang Shrimp!

TV Time

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I turned on the TV for Harper the other day after naptime because he was having one of those days. Dakota had been happily playing on the floor, but once that TV came on, she turned herself so that she could watch too! It didn’t last long, but it’s funny that she’s interested at all!

Recovering

I have been wanting to recover my dining room chairs forever now. When we bought them they were a nice crisp white, but 4 kids and a million breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and art projects later…well, they were just flat out ugly.

Wednesday morning my mom, Kota and I headed to Jo-Anne’s to buy some fabric to get the project started. I found some striped fabric that matched the color scheme in my dining room and at $6.49 a yard, I couldn’t pass it up!

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As soon as we got home my mom pulled out the fabric to get started. Once both babies were asleep, she tackled the recovering part while I did the cleaning part. Man those chairs were filthy!

Here’s the before:

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And the after:

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They are SOOO much better, don’t you think?

Story Time Tuesday

Every Tuesday in February there is story time at our library. We went last week and loved it, so this week we made sure to go again. This week’s theme was colors, something Harper is very good at.

It was a little more crowded this week than last time, but not overly crowded. After each book there is typically a song or dance to do to keep the kids’ attention, and Harper really got into it this week. He was happy to get up and do the movement that went with the songs which is pretty much a first for him.

Before we went to the library I had to take Dakota to get her second flu shot. She barely even whimpered when they gave it to her and I was thankful they got us in and out of there so quickly. She fell asleep on the way to the library and slept until the very end.

Once we finished story time we made our way to the play area so that Harper could do his favorite puzzle. He wasn’t too happy when he noticed that another little boy had gotten to the puzzle first, but I was able to get him to do another puzzle until the little boy finished. The second that boy walked away from the puzzle, Harper said “Ok! He’s done! My turn!” :)

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My mom kept Dakota busy while I helped Harper at the puzzle table. She was so cute standing up at that little table pushing the blocks around. Hard to believe that in a few more months she could be doing that all by herself.

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Mama’s Boy

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I love this picture of Harper. It says so much about him right now. He’s sitting on the floor in my office playing with my iPad. I don’t remember the exact reason because it’s something he does with some regularity these days, but my guess is he just wanted to be with me while I was busy on my computer.

There are times when he doesn’t nap that I just make him his pillow couch and he quietly plays while I pay bills or whatever. He’s definitely a mama’s boy right now…

Knowing that he wants me and no one else is a blessing and a curse all at the same time. If he gets a boo boo, only my kiss will make it better. If he’s having a tantrum, only I can hold him until he’s done. He’s testing his boundaries these days too and I get the brunt of that too, mostly because I’m home with him all day. He is still as sweet as can be, but there are more tantrums to contend with, more NO!’s, more warnings and even a few consequences here and there. I know he’s just learning and testing the waters, but it sure can be tiresome.

Valentine Party

This past Sunday my mom and I spent a good amount of time getting things ready for Harper and Dakota’s Valentine Party.

I found some foam mailboxes at Michaels that were 60% off, so I got one for each of them. Tony helped Harper decorate his while I decorated Kota’s.

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Harper, as usual, was more interested in sticking them on his face. And, in case you’re wondering, that little messy face was created while eating strawberries…his favorite.

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I made a big batch of pink play dough for the kids to give out at the party instead of the standard card. Neither of them can write anyways, and kids love play dough, right? I had tons of valentine cupcake liners, so I put a ball of dough in each one before wrapping with cellophane and adding their cards to them.

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For the cards, I just glued a paper heart doily to a heart cut-out and wrote their names on them. Mom suggested we add the play dough recipe to the back, so we slapped those on as well.

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After the play dough was wrapped and ready, I whipped up a batch of cupcakes that I promised to bring. The frosting was crazy! I thought I’d try the hot pink vanilla frosting that Pillsbury makes…everyone said it tasted good, but I was really turned off because of how bright the color was.

Oh well.

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I wish I had looked at my Valentine board on Pinterest before I’d said I’d bring cupcakes because I found these adorable heart shaped ripe krispy treats…and ultimately decided to just make them as well. They were pretty yummy!

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The party went well, but man there were a lot of people! On the few playgroups I’ve been too, there have been maybe 4-5 people, but at the party there were probably 20 or so moms and lots of kids. The party would have been better if more people had remembered to bring toys to share, but besides us, there were maybe only 2 or 3 other kids that brought anything…so, it was a little boring for the kids. Luckily there was a small craft to keep them occupied and then we had the snacks and passed out our valentines and it was time to go.

Once we got home Harper was excited to look at all the cool stuff in his mailbox.

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He was especially excited to see all the candies he got…and so were his dad and brother. :)

Let There Be WORKING Lights!

We've been having a lot of issues with lights this year. We have a section of lights out on our main tree, a section out on the "wh...