Sunday, March 30, 2008

Adventures In Baking

So I have been banned from eating anything will milk in it for the next couple of months, at least, because it looks like Emily is having an allergic reaction to milk. I actually had the same problem with Max, but I only had to go a week without milk because it was a false alarm. It was not a fun week. I didn't realize until that week just how much we use milk in our culture. Luckily I have a wonderful friend who's children are allergic to milk and so I gave her a call to ask her for some advice. She was so great, telling me what substitutes to use for butter and how to make a passable sour cream and cream soup substitute. She even printed off a bunch of recipes and lent me her milk-free cookbook. Today being Jeff's birthday I wanted to make him something nice for dinner so I attempted to make fried chicken and mash potatoes without milk, per Jeff's request. Dinner turned out okay, but my gravy and mashed potatoes left a little something to be desired. (This is the first time I remember having homemade mashed potatoes and it not being my favorite part of the meal.) We also attempted to make Deanne's chocolate cake, which also didn't turn out quite right. As you can tell by the pictures below, Max was more than happy with the results. That's not saying much though, since Max doesn't have the most discriminating taste buds. Hopefully we won't have to go through to many more cooking adventures before Emily grows out of her allergy. I'm just hoping that at least I might lose a few pounds as a reward for abstaining from all my favorite foods!

Happy Birthday, Jeff!!

Today is Jeff’s 32nd birthday, and I’ve been trying to think of how to express what a great person he is and how grateful I am for him but I’ve been having a hard time finding a way to truly express what’s in my heart. I hope that the things I have been able to put down will give you an idea of what a wonderful person he is.

He’s the most patient person I know. In the 9 ½ years that I’ve known him I’ve never seen him loose his temper. He sometimes gets irritated, but hardly ever angry. (I’ve never actually seen him get angry, but I have heard that it has happened.) ;)

He believes the best in others. He’s always trying to see things from their perspective and giving people the benefit of the doubt.

He is always willing to help. It’s not uncommon for him to be helping a neighbor move some furniture, giving someone a ride somewhere, picking something up for a friend, etc. And it’s not just that he’s willing to help, but he is glad to.

He may not be the speediest person, but he gets things done and is a hard worker.

He has this great ability to be content. I think Jeff could learn to like almost any situation if he was given enough time.

He loves to learn. Jeff is constantly listening, reading, thinking, and debating about things. He also has a vast knowledge of what he calls useless facts from all the newspaper reading he has done over the years. ;)

These are just a few of the things that I love about Jeff. He makes me want to be a better person and I am grateful every day to have him in my life. I love you Jeff, and I hope you have a great birthday!!

Friday, March 28, 2008


This is the first decent picture I've been able to get of Emily smiling so I thought I'd post it. Baby's just have the most beautiful smiles!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

One Of Those Days

Most days as a mom are pretty routine and uneventful. However, occasionally you have a really great or fun day and then there are those not so wonderful, the stars are aligned against me type of days. I wouldn't say that today was the worst day of my life, but it definitely leans toward the negative end of the scale. As with a lot of bad days it was just a slow build up of not so great things. After sleeping 10 hours straight on Monday night, Emily thought she would remind me of who is in control of when and how much sleep I get right now, and woke up at 1:00 am, only an hour after I went to sleep. (What can I say, I'm a night person!) Of course this meant she woke up again at 6:30 so that by the time I had finished feeding her I only had 30 minutes until my alarm was set to go off. I had to get up and get us all ready because I was going visiting teaching at 9:30 so sleeping in and slacking off the morning were not an option. After my visiting teaching appointment I spent a good 30 plus minutes trying to find the park that I was meeting some neighbors at for a play group. Since I didn't have any luck, I decided to run some errands instead since we were all ready out and about. After stopping a couple of places we ran to Target to kill a little time before lunch. I guess Max didn't like that idea so he decided to throw a tantrum while I was getting him out of the car, which continued into the store, into a new cart with a strap that worked, and halfway through the store. I'm not really sure what was wrong because he wouldn't speak coherently. He repeated the said tantrum again at lunch while I tried to find something that he wanted to eat, all the while having all of my suggestions shot down. ("No grapes! No milk! No bread!") Of course I was also trying to talk to my sister on the phone, but that was the good part of my day, so thanks Shannan for some good adult conversation and mom to mom talk time, it was a saving grace today. I got him down for a nap a little later and then spent his whole nap time trying to convince Emily that she wanted to take her afternoon nap that she is usually so good about. The evening wasn't to bad until bedtime. I was flying solo tonight which is still a little tough at times now that we have two children. I had given Max his bath and left him in to play while I bathed Emily. I had her out of the tub and was putting on her diaper when I looked over to see Max leaving me a little "present" in the tub. Needless to say there was a few minutes of chaos proceeding this with a lot of crying from starving Emily while I tried to clean up. By the time Jeff got home to find that Emily was still awake, after me trying for 45 minutes to get her to fall asleep, I was about ready to cry a few tears of frustration and exhaustion. Oh the joys of motherhood!! It's a good thing these kids are so darn cute and we love them so much because it makes a crappy day worth it in the end!

Monday, March 24, 2008


We had a pretty fun Easter this year. It's so fun to watch Max each year to see how much he has changed. At each Easter egg hunt he went to this year he would find an egg and immediately open it up and begin to eat the candy. It took a little persuading to get him to keep looking for eggs. I think that next year he might actually get the whole egg hunt concept. We got to go to an Easter egg hunt on Saturday with Grandpa Marc and Grandma Sharon at a park by their house and then we had another one at Grandma Nancy's house the next day. Max got a new church outfit and I made Emily a dress. I'm so excited to have a girl to sew dresses for!

And of course it's always fun to hang out with cousin Ellie! These two sure are a funny duo! They fight a lot but love playing together. Go figure. At least as they are getting older they are getting along better.

In true Max fashion, I couldn't get a picture of his face during any of the Easter egg hunts because he was too busy looking for eggs or running around to look at me or listen to what I was saying. Can we say one-track-minded? Now where would he get that from?

Reading to Emily

I just thought I would post these cute pictures of Max and
Emily from the other day. Reading is always a great past time and what's better than sharing something fun with your sister? I just keep hoping t
hat Max continues to love Emily this much when they get older because siblings make great friends. I know, because I have great siblings!!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Random Stuff

We haven't really done anything eventful in the last few days so I thought I would just post some recent pictures of random happenings in our life.
I went out of the room for a minute the other day and came back to find that Max was trying to share his football with Emily while she was sleeping.
It is often amusing the things that Max will do with his toys. I looked over today and watched as he positioned his blanket very carefully over Hobbes and himself and then sat with his hands on his knees staring at the wall.
I was trying the get a photo of Emily smiling, but of course whenever I pull out the camera all she does is stare at it like, "What's that?". This was the best I could do, but I'm sure I'll get a picture of her smiling one of these days. If you haven't noticed, her hair tends to stick straight up on the top of her head. Usually it's just in the back, but sometimes she gets a full blown Mohawk. I think it's pretty cute and call her my Buckwheat Baby.
Ah, the yearly ritual of raking up all the cursed pine needles that fall all over our front yard. I hate this tree because it is constantly covering my yard with pine needles and a ridiculous amount of pine cones. I have to rake up the needles about three times a year and then we have to try and figure out how to get rid of them because they won't all fit in the garbage can at one time. It's impossible to get all the needles because they get stuck in every bush, flower, and weed in the yard. We're hoping that it won't drop so many once we get rid of the bug infestation that it has, but so far all the spraying doesn't seem to have made a difference in the amount of needles it drops. The one redeeming thing about this tree is the great shade we get, especially in the summer, which is why we'll never chop it down even though I hate it!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Dessert Anyone?

We had dinner with Jeff's family on Saturday to celebrate birthday's for February and March. Apparently, Max and his cousin Chloe decided they were done waiting for the cake, so they pushed a bar stool over to the counter and began to help themselves. Luckily they were discovered before they ruined the entire cake. Here's Max and his partner in crime running the loop from the kitchen to the living room, one of the favorite past times for the kids when we're at Grandma and Grandpa's house.

Saturday, March 8, 2008


Hobbes was one of Max's presents when he turned one. We bought him because Max sometimes reminds us of Calvin from "Calvin and Hobbes". He has never really shown any preference for him over any other stuffed animal until recently. In the last month or so he has become almost as important to Max as his Blankie is (also seen here in a couple of the pictures). First thing in the morning he gets taken out of Max's crib and then gets carted everywhere Max goes for the rest of the day, usually lovingly wrapped up in Blankie. He rides with Max on his tricycles, gets put in Emily's swing and bouncy chair, comes with him to mealtimes, etc. He says goodbye to Hobbes when we leave the house and says, "Hi Hobbes" when he sees him when we get home, and he wants Hobbes to comfort him when he's sad. Hopefully this attachment to Hobbes isn't foretelling of more Calvin like behavior to come! ;)

Sunday, March 2, 2008

1 Month and Counting!

I can't believe that Emily is all ready one month old! It seems like the time has flown by and yet it is also hard to imagine our family without her. It's amazing how much can change in just one month! In some ways it's been hard because I like my sleep (let me rephrase that, I LOVE my sleep) and you don't get much of that with a newborn in the house. Also, trying to adjust to having two children and the constant feeding and changing that you do with a newborn has been a little tough. It's been interesting and frustrating at times trying to run errands with two kids. Getting out of the house seems like it takes at least an hour of preparation. We feel very lucky that Max loves his little sister so much right now. We'll see how long it lasts! I was worried he would be very jealous and he's hard enough just by virtue of being a two year old and by being Max. We do have to watch out for him because he loves to give Emily hugs, which to him means laying on top of her, or to touch her face or grab her hands. He's never been very good with the concept of being gentle and soft, but hopefully he'll get there eventually. It's been a crazy, wonderful month and I'm looking forward to the next one!