Friday, April 30, 2010

Stuff My Kids Do

The other night before bed, I stripped both girls down in the living room and changed their diapers. I ran back to the laundry room to grab two sets of pajamas, and hurried back to the living room. In that amount of time, like literally one minute, Natalie pulled her diaper off, peed on the carpet, and was trying to fashion a papal-esque hat out of her diaper.


Last night, Audrey grabbed my purse, took out my sunglasses and put them on, had my keys in hand and said "buh bye!". I think she wanted to go somewhere, eh? She did succeed in turning on my car alarm, and then quickly threw my keys in the toy basket - so my poor neighbors had to suffer while I scurried to find them and shut off the alarm.

Both girls thought it was hi-larious to shove some Annie's Mac N Cheese up their noses the other night. Lord help me now. I blame the kid who plays the recorder with his nose on Yo Gabba Gabba.

Natalie, always the child for theatrics, now claps both hands to her cheeks when she exclaims "uh oh - oh no!". Sometimes she throws in a fake pouty cry. She also fake laughs and sneezes. She is definitely working on a Daytime Emmy, folks.

The other night, as I was bathing the girls, I noticed Audrey scoot to the back corner of the tub and squat. At first I thought nothing of it, but then I noticed her little face getting red, and she seemed to be thinking really hard. Before she started a game of Battle Shits with her sister, I plopped her on the toliet. Sure enough, she let out a little deuce deuce. I'm so proud.

Every day we go outside to get some fresh air when I come home from work. I have a bench swing in our front yard that they love. I swear, we could swing for 20 minutes and they shout out "weee" every time we go back and forth. They also wave at people walking or driving down the street - and the cows & goats. It's so darn cute.

Biltmore House

When our 8th grade field trip was first announced that we were going to the Biltmore House, most of the kids said "huh?". I had to explain that it was the super cool huge house in the movie Richie Rich. And I still got a lot of questionable looks, and complaints about how lame the field trip was going to be. Until we added in lunch at a pizza buffet, and then all seemed well.

You would think taking 5 charter busses of 8th grade students sounds like a medeval form of torture, but I assure you - it was fun. I had fun, and I think the kids did, too.

If you've not been to the Biltmore House, or haven't heard of it - it is the largest privately owned home in America at 175,000 square feet, with over 250 rooms. It was built at the turn of the century, during the Gilded Age, by George Washington Vanderbilt. The house also has a whopping 75 acres of formal gardens, a winery (um, I think the chaperones should have gotten a free tour there) and a 4 diamond hotel.










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Thursday, April 29, 2010

To Whom It May Concern

Dear woman at the grocery store,

Did you not see me haul two toddlers out of my car, walking with a huge purse and 4" heels? Did you not see that I was headed to the one, coveted double child grocery cart in the whole store? Then why on God's green earth did you take it, so your bratty 10 year old had somewhere to lounge and play Nintendo DS? Jerkface.

Dear Natalie,

If you don't stop biting mommy, you'll soon be wearing a Hannibal Lecter-esque mask.

Dear Students,

You aren't in fourth grade - stop acting like it. Yes, I realize you have 24 more days of school left, and are very excited for summer. But guess what? So am I. You just don't see me throwing paper balls and crab walking down the hallway. Though I might just start doing that to show you how ridiculous your behavior is.

Dear Laptop,

Thank you for working today. I think you finally sensed I was going to follow through with my threat to bash you ala Office Space style with a baseball bat. Keep up the moderately passing work.

Dear Judy Blume,

Girls everywhere hate you for spending hours chanting "I must - I must - I must increase my bust!", but to no avail.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Questions

Alright, I’ve got some questions weighing in on my mind, that I need y’alls help answering!

First, the girls and I are doing a portrait session with an upcoming photographer in our area in mid-May. She has requested two different outfits, and I’m horrible at making decisions. She thinks one dressy type outfit (like dresses with bloomers for the girls, dress for myself that coordinates), and one casual outfit. What should we wear? I need links, people!!

Second, I’m pretty tired of my layout – again. I know I said I wouldn’t change it (remember, I used to change my background for every.single.holiday?), but I think changes are sometimes good. Do you have any recommendations for a layout designer? I’ve seen some really awesome looking blogs and would like something fresh, funky, but clean as well.

Third, my creative mojo is kaput. I’m struggling with things to write here about. I’m not sure if it’s because I’ve been in a personal slump for a while (which I might blog about if I get brave enough), or if I’m bogged down with work and life in general. Anywho, I’d like to know what YOU guys want to read or see here.

And finally, I’m trying to come up with a “clipboard of fun” (bonus points for anyone who knows what TV series that came from) of things to do this summer with the girls. What are y’all planning on doing? I’m talking day trips or little excursions, not full on trips across the world.

Wish List Wednesday



I could really use some will power - to eat healthier, keep working out, try to get through the next few weeks of work, clean my house - you name it. I've been really slack about some things the past few months, and this needs to change, pronto.

Want to play along? What things do you want? Write a post, grab the Wish List Wednesday button here:




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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Finding Time to Blog

Last week, I wrote this post and received this comment:


And to answer your question - I blog when I can! Sometimes (especially during the summer, or long breaks), I'm able to write 3 or 4 blog posts a day and schedule them to post all throughout the week. Then there are times where I'm busy, my computer is broke, and I quickly post from my phone (like I did this weekend).

I usually do my blogging at night. The girls settle down for bed around 7:30, and I suddenly find myself alone in my house, bored. I watch very little TV (How I Met Your Mother, Desperate Housewives and The Tudors are the only MUST SEE shows I watch), so I either read a book, or play online.

It might take me 5 minutes to hash out a blog post - maybe 20 if I'm getting pictures off my camera and posting those. I usually write them at night, and schedule them to post during the next day. I've found that if I publish two blog posts (one around 8:00 am and one sometime after lunch), I get higher traffic. So I typically schedule them to post around those times. Yes, sometimes I do write at work. I have two planning periods (which, sadly, will be pushed to one for the next school year) and often find a few minutes here or there to put some thoughts down. I guess it also helps that I usually have my lesson plans completed for the entire year before my students even walk in the door in August. But for the most part, I write at home, at night.

I will say I've been pretty slack with taking pictures of the girls. I really, really need to work on this. I literally took thousands of them their first year of life, and just realized that I only took a few hundred this month (and of those, about 30 really good ones came out). I promise that after the next 25 school days pass, I'll have way more time to devote to picture taking!

Pheww...that got long! Do you have any other questions for me? I'd be more than happy to oblige.
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Apple & Sage Pork Chops

I made these the night I took Audrey to the ER. I made 4 chops (one for me, one for the girls, one for my mom's lunch the next day, and one for my lunch). They were simply delicious, and I was sad that I rushed so quickly to the ER, that I didn't put up my leftovers. And my cat apparently likes pork chops.

Ingredients:
1 1/2 tsp rubbed sage
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp thyme leaves
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1/2 tsp paprika
1 tbsp flour
1 tsp salt
4 boneless pork chops
2 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
2 red apples, thinly sliced
1/2 cup apple juice
1 tbsp brown sugar

* Mix flour and spices in a small bowl. Dip both sides of the pork chops into the seasoned flour.

* Cook pork chops in hot oil in large skillet on medium-high heat until browned on both sides. Remove from skillet. Add onion; cook and stir 3 minutes or until tender. Add apples; cook and stir 2 minutes.


* Stir in juice, sugar and remaining seasoned flour until well mixed. Return pork chops to skillet. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 5 minutes.



And since this girl loves her sides, I'll share with you two quick recipes.

Mashed Sweet Potatoes:
I buy the Bob Evans brand at my grocery store - usually stored near the hot dogs, cheese, and lunch meat. I put in a casserole dish, top with butter, brown sugar and cinnamon. Bake for 40 minutes at 350.


Easy Mac n Cheese:
Seriously, just throw some noodles, milk, cheese, egg and a hint of butter in a casserole dish and bake with the sweet potatoes. I don't really measure it out - just toss together.



Yummm....

Monday, April 26, 2010

Justice Juels Winner

And the winner of my Justice Juels giveaway is....
Please contact me at nbjenni@gmail.com to claim your prize!

Our Weekend

The girls and I had a fairly slow weekend. Audrey had been running a fever Thursday and Friday, and by Saturday morning it seemed to have broke. We still decided to spend the day at home. On Sunday, Grandpa came over to play with the girls, and to fix the baby gate in the living room. My little convicts are easily able to break out, so he make a wooden frame to make it more stable between the couch and the island wall.

When Audrey woke from a short nap, I noticed what appeared to be a heat rash on her belly. I showed my dad, and he agreed that's probably what it was. I cooked dinner while the girls played, and we sat down to eat. Not 5 minutes later, I looked over at Audrey and her face was swollen with a horrible rash, her eyes red and watery, and she said "all done" when she had barely touched her food. I immediately took Natalie over to my parents house and took Audrey to the ER (because my children can't seem to get sick during the week when the pediatrician's office is open). After signing the ABC song to her for 2 hours, we were on our way out with a diagnosis: Roseola. I'm glad it isn't anything too serious, but she sure had me scared. I was afraid she was having an allergic reaction to our dinner and would possibly stop breathing (by the way, super yummy recipe for dinner is forthcoming).

You can really tell my little baby doesn't feel so hot...




Natalie, on the other hand, has been fine. She's really starting to cruise all over, getting braver by the day. Yesterday, she stood on her own in the middle of the room, not holding onto anything. I'm really hoping she'll be walking before her physical therapy appointment in May. While I took Audrey to the ER, Natalie got some one-on-one time with Grandma & Grandpa. She got to go eat at Ryan's - and was such a well behaved little girl. When Grandpa asked if her if Audrey ate like a piggy, she said "yes" and when he asked if she ate like a piggy, she said "noooooo" - while proceeding to eat a plate of cookies (and on her second dinner of the night).


Spicy Nacho Bake Recipe

I made these Saturday night and they were a huge hit!

Ingredients:
1 pound ground beef or turkey
1 large onion, chopped
1 large green pepper, chopped (I like to buy the pre-chopped pepper medley)
1 can (28 oz) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 can (15.5 oz) hot chili beans
1 can (15 oz) black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (11 oz) whole kernel corn, drained
1 can (8 oz) tomato sauce
1 packet taco seasoning
1 bag of tortilla chips
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
Optional: sour cream, jalapenos


* In a dutch oven or large kettle, cook the beef, onions and green peppers over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Stir in the tomatoes, beans, corn, tomato sauce and taco seasoning. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer uncovered for 30 minutes


* In each of two greased baking dishes (I used pie dishes - perfect for a personal size portion) - layer chips, mixture, chips, mixture, chips. Top with cheese.




* Bake uncovered at 350 for 20 minutes, or until golden brown.

* Serves 4 - leftovers can be eaten the next day as chili! Sorry for no "after" pictures, but I was hungry.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Post & Run

Posting from my phone, so this will be short...

I finally got to see Alice in Wonderland last night with my mom and sister. It was pretty cute. Audrey has bee running a fever for a few days, so I will most likely take her to be seen today. Hopefully I can get to my parents house this afternoon to choose a winner for the Justice Juels giveaway. Since I am running behind on that, feel free to enter the giveaway again for extra entries for each thing you have done.

Friday, April 23, 2010

You Know You're A Mom When...

You know you're a mom when...

Your ring tone is The Wonderpets "the phone, the phone is riiinging"

You sing Row, Row, Row Your Boat until your voice starts to crack

You've uttered "don't poop in the tub, please", "please don't throw my phone in the toliet", "cat food is not people food" and "it's not uh-oh when you throw it"

You get excited to go to Target by yourself

You can't turn off mom mode at work

You can find diapers and wipes in almost every purse, diaper bag, room in the house, and glove box of the car.

Gold Fish crackers & Cheerios have become permanent fixtures in your couch cushions

Sleeping in on the weekend means waking up at 8:00 am - and staying up late means you didn't pass out at 9:30 pm

You can baby-proof grandma's living room in under a minute

Every meal you eat is shared

Tiny people bang on the door when you try to go to the bathroom in under 30 seconds

What are some of your You Know You're A Mom When moments?

Last Chance!

Just a reminder - the Justice Juels giveaway ends today!

Click HERE to enter!

Good luck to you all.


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Thursday, April 22, 2010

Wheelin' & Dealin'

In my search for Spring & Summer clothes for the girls, I've come across some good deals that I thought I'd pass on to y'all...

Designs By Jane - Charleston (cute smocked clothes)
Spring Sale up to 40% Off Easter Apparel
Save $10 off $100 Order
Code: SPR2010
Valid: April 22-26

Stride Rite
20% off $50 and Free Shipping
Code: SUN20
Valid: May 13

The Children's Place
Save 15% off any order
Code: C4A4A
Expires: May 12

Carters/OshKosh
Save 20% off $50 or more - plus free shipping
Code: Shop20c
Valid: Until April 30

And for Mom

Talbots
20% Off and Free Shipping
Code: 021219569

Kohls
Save 15%
Code: Aprillps
Valid: Until April 29

Have any other good coupons? Leave a comment!!

Also, enter the Baby Gizmo photo contest for siblings. The grand prize is a Joovy Caboose Ultralight. The girls won their Multiples contest last year :)

I'm Famous

When The Bump contacted me to help answer some pregnancy questions for an editorial, I jumped at the chance. I figured what better way to use the experience of my crazy pregnancy, than to try and help someone else. As it turns out, several of my blogging buddies (Pam, Jen & Blair) were interviewed!

Click below to read the article on the Top Ten Pregnancy Fears...

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

What Are They Saying?

Other than the basic mama, dada, baba - these are some of the words the girls are saying at almost 19 months.

Audrey
Uh-oh kettio (Uh-oh spaghettio)
Wha dis? (What's this?)
Wha dat? (What's that?)
Tiggle (Tickle)
Goodbye
Ni-Hao
Nana (Natalie or Banana)
Audi (Audrey)
Hi
Ball

Natalie
Cookie
Look
Pre-ye (Pretty)
Clock
Hi
Hey
Tiggle (Tickle)
Quack Quack (for duck)
Rawr (for monster, lion or dragon)
Nana (Natalie or Banana)
Audi (Audrey)
Sings the ABC's all the way through with Elmo. Sometimes she sings the whole song using only the word "no". That's special.
Ah-choo (when someone sneezes)

I know there are many, many more - so I'll add to this!

Wish List Wednesday



I'm heading to Target today to get some workout clothes for my new gym membership






And I found these cute shoes and dresses for the girls!


Want to play along? What things do you want? Write a post, grab the Wish List Wednesday button here:




Then, sign Mr. Linky and let me know you've played along!



 
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