Monday, August 31, 2009

Here are some sure signs that I am distracted:

I am getting ready for a shower today, and, because I am not being the general I need to be, William is in the room with me playing with toys. Turn on the shower, go potty, look up, and William is IN the shower, fully dressed, just looking at me with the squinty "water-is-splashing-on-my-face-but-I'm-okay" look. Apparently, I left the door open. Go get baby out, undress him, and get in the shower. Lather, rinse,"WILLIAM!" Apparently, I left the potty open too.

Is it only Monday?

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Emma climbed into bed with me the other day and was ready for a snuggle and some conversation. I love those times of the day. It began like this:
"Why" (most of her questions begin with this word) "did Mani drink that salty water? That was so silly. She sounded just like Chewbacca when she went like this (insert imitation noise here)."

I was reduced to giggles. My mom was preparing to sing at a funeral, so she was gargling with the salt water. Emma has the cutest perspective on things.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Kids and veggies

I sent Tommy to the store the other day, and on the list was frozen veggies. He came home with veggies all in the Steam Fresh bags. I have to admit, I was a bit frustrated, because the bags are smaller, and it seems like we buy so much more. I usually just pick up the store brand BIG bags, and do a few batches of those. But, we have them, and I decided to use them. The first night I made broccoli. My kids aren't big fans of veggies (even when I douse them with salt and butter. I know. They are weird.) but I noticed that they were eating the broccoli. And eating it with gusto. Tommy started making those "What about Bob?" noises, and I decided I should see what the fuss was.

Oh my.

It is broccoli, mind you, but it was so fresh tasting, with a little bite, and really good. Best I have ever had. I thought it was maybe a one time thing, so I made the peas next. OH MY. Even better. The kids? Ate it all up AGAIN. Those bags? Let me just say they are my new best friends! I don't know what I have been doing to my veggies all this time, but it was all wrong. They make them just right.

My randoms

  • William has been taking steps like crazy the last 2 days. He is going to be up and around the house in no time. He has also become waay more vocal. He lets the whole house know when he is upset. I call it squawking, and it cracks me up when Emma imitates me and says: "William, you stop squawking at me!" He is mostly vocal about food, and if you aren't fast enough, he will hit the spoon from your hands.
  • I am slowly getting lesson plans done for these kids. I am so nervous to start the year, but, on the upside, Patrick has read almost every subject book we have, so he is already ahead of the game!
  • I need to work on going to bed earlier. It is NOT helping that Turner Classic Movies is showing the best movies at night. This is the month under the stars, and they play the great ones at night, and I just can't seem to turn them off. Last night the Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde kept me up. It was so good.
  • I heard a saying once, along the lines of how can the troops be ready if the general is not ready before them. I need to do better. I need to be that general and get up in the morning.
  • Emma is sporting a black eye this week. We had a little run-in with the doorknob, which just so happens to be the exact height for that. I would love to say that it wasn't when she was running away from me and being naughty, and I would love to say that I wasn't angry and gave her an "I told you so" but I can't. She is my "spirited child" and I just need to figure out what makes her tick. Any book suggestions? I have read the spirited child one, and that was okay, but I think I need something else.
  • I miss Disneyworld. (I know. That one is totally random, but we had such an amazing trip last time! What is NOT to love about Disney??)
  • We are trying out some new things this year for the kids. Extracurricular activities. Am I ready to do this? I have no idea. We shall see. I have a little phobia of things that I have to sign up for. I am always afraid that I will forget, or have trouble with the kids, or something. Silly, I know, but I am a worrier.
  • My oldest nephew starts school tomorrow. He is off to real school! Would you say a prayer for him?

Monday, August 24, 2009

Little excitement at our house!

New bikes! Don't they look excited? Patrick wore his helmet almost all day, and they enjoyed a good ride at Aunt Jessie's house. They are so big!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

"You have to put your thumb here, and push here, and pull here...."

We are a 2 car family. I drive a mini-van, and my dear, patient, tall husband squeezes into my little Corolla that I purchased juust before we started dating (11 years ago). His knees are on the dashboard when he drives this thing. The kicker? It's a stick. With his new job, he is driving this car much more, and sitting in traffic to and from work. Sweet man. I know how hard that must be, but he never complains. Since 3 carseats won't fit in that car, I don't get to drive it very much, unless I am going out by myself.

Today, I got the chance to drive my little car. But before I could go out and enjoy my time alone, Tommy says I need a lesson. A lesson in opening the door. Why? I ask. He broke the door handle. The one inside the car. Great. I am all dressed up to go to a wedding, and I am picturing myself very gracefully climbing over the passenger seat and getting out that door. Lovely. I started to worry, and fret, as I am prone to do. But Tommy? He is making jokes, and just thinking how funny this is. He's ready to jerry-rig some rope so he can just pull on it to open the door. He is laughing at how silly it is. He USED to drive a truck that he HAD to climb out the passenger side, and we used to giggle every time he did. His laugh is so contagious, and he is so good about finding humor in everything. I love that about him, and I love that he is the opposite of me, and can make things better for fretful me. I don't know how long he will drive the car with it like that, but he doesn't mind, and it gives the car character. What a sweet man. I hope our kids get his sense of humor.

Oh, and the car? Well, let's just say it took me a little bit longer than normal to get out. No, wasn't late for the wedding, but I don't think I had a good enough lesson.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Got Bundt??

Stoneware bundt, that is! If you do, did you know that you could make a cake in the microwave in that pan? It only takes 10-12 minutes! You just need to adjust the moisture level a bit, and it comes out yummy!

(This sounds like something I would say at a show, but I made one this weekend, and it was a hit, so I like to share what's yummy!)

The Pampered Chef ®Chocolate Velvet Cake with Strawberries

1/4 cup plus 1 tbsp vegetable oil, divided
1/2 cup milk chocolate morsels (I used whatever choc chips I had in the house)
1 pkg (18.25 oz) devil's food cake mix
3 eggs
3/4 cup water
1 jar (12 oz) seedless strawberry jam, divided (if you can't find seedless, it's fine)
Glaze & Garnish
1/3 cup melted vanilla ice cream
1 cup milk chocolate morsels
1 qt. fresh strawberries, divided
Additional ice cream (optional)

1. Brush Stoneware Fluted Pan with 1 tbsp of the oil (I usually just use Pam, and brush it around). For cake, combine chocolate morsels and remaining 1/4 cup oil in Small Batter Bowl. Microwave on HIGH 30-60 seconds or until melted and smooth, whisking after 30 seconds. In Stainless (4-qt.) Mixing Bowl, combine cake mix, eggs, water, 1/2 cup of the jam and chocolate mixture; whisk until well blended. Pour batter into pan.
2. Microwave cake on HIGH 9-12 minutes or until wooden pick/cake tester inserted near center comes out clean. Remove cake from microwave. Center Simple Additions® Large Round Platter (or whatever fits) over pan and carefully invert. Without removing pan, cool 10 minutes. Remove pan.
3. For glaze, combine ice cream and chocolate morsels in Small Micro-Cooker®. Microwave on HIGH 20-60 seconds or until melted and smooth, stirring after each 20-second interval.
Place remaining jam into Prep Bowl and microwave on HIGH 30 seconds or until melted; brush evenly over cake. Dip 16 of the strawberries into glaze (I put mine on parchment paper in the fridge until ready to serve); arrange around bottom edge of cake. Drizzle top of cake with remaining glaze. Slice remaining strawberries using Egg Slicer Plus®; place into center well of cake. Serve with additional ice cream, if desired.

(You can bake this in the oven, if you want, but it is 350 for 45-50 minutes, and who has time to wait that long for deliciousness??)

This cake looks so pretty. Sorry I don't have a photo for you, but my camera doesn't do food. It likes people better. :)

Monday, August 17, 2009

Lauren and Bouncing Tigger

Lauren (my Goddaughter) was so cute with Tigger. I didn't manage to get a full video, but these are the cutest things. In the first one, you can see she is distracted by Emma (that's the flying dress on the right). My favorite part of this besides Lauren? Her Daddy laughing at how cute she is.

I am not sure I will introduce myself NOW...

I did it. I debated, but I did it. I went in my new neighbor's trash and took something out of it!

Monday is trash day here, the the truck is very late. We joined my sister and sister-in-law for lunch, and on the way, I spied my new neighbor's trash. They obviously had been given some gifts, because there were about 3 gift bags sitting in the pile. I was running late, so I decided "if they are still there when I get back, AND if there is nobody in the driveway, I will take them." Well, sure enough, they were there. I pulled them out, threw them in my car and hurriedly went home. There were 6 bags, of all shapes and sizes and TONS of tissue paper. I must be crazy, I think to myself as I am smoothing tissue paper on my living room floor, but that stuff gets so expensive to buy, and I like to save them so I can reuse it (it's NOT a re-gift, it's recyling. The only kind I will do). Of course, I don't KNOW my new neighbors, but I don't think I will talk to them just yet.

Now, if you so happen to be one of "those people" who throw out those bags, you'd better not mention it to me, or I may show up someday and go through your trash......

Next year, I will do an August birthday review

Patrick had an amazing 6th birthday, and it was so great to have everyone over! He enjoyed all the company and presents, and I am so grateful for all the thoughtfulness to my sweet boy.

Emma helped with the candles and the presents. She was quite "hands on" when it came to present time.

Lauren and William with the bouncing Tigger. Lauren kept bouncing with him, it was so adorable!

Some of his great presents. (he thought this was perfect, because it was a good guy and a bad guy. These are HARD! He asked me for help and I just can't do it!)

Mr. Matt, Rachel and Patrick (correct me if I'm wrong) built the new Lego X-wing fighter plane. It took hours, and Mr. Matt was so sweet to do it!

Thanks for all the wonderful wishes for my sweet boy. I can't believe how fast this year has gone.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Now you are Six

Dear Patrick, I can't believe it's your birthday. You are six! You are getting so old and smart, and every day you amaze me with what you are learning. Each time we talk, I am impressed with you, and how you figure out so many things. You are my first baby, the one that made me a mom. You are my map reader, the PBJ lover, and snuggler. You are an amazing reader, and a great conversationalist. You are my big helper in the house. You have a strong sense of justice and fairness, and are very good at taking turns and patience. It warms my mother's heart to hear you so excited to see your sister and brother. You are so careful with William, making sure he is safe from dangers of stairs and foreign objects in his mouth. You are patient with Emma, playing her games and reading stories to her. Your laugh is so sweet and contagious, and I'm sure it will rival your Daddy's as you get older. Thank you for your kindness, sweetness and joy in everything. I am so excited to see what this year brings! I love you, my best Patrick.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Busch Gardens with the Reynolds

On the first weekend that it was REALLY hot, we took a trip to Williamsburg to meet up with the Reynolds for their stop at "Push Gardens" as Emma calls it. We only stayed one night at Kingsmill, enjoying the pool on Saturday. Dinner was a bit soggy due to a passing shower in Merchant's Square, but the togetherness was fun. Dad came and picked us up the RV so we could dry off a little, and we enjoyed some cupcakes from William's birthday and a nighttime tour of Colonial Williamsburg.

Busch Gardens on Sunday with Jimmy, Pam, Hayley, Alex, Chrissy, Lynsey, Mac, Mary, and Grandma and Grandpa. It was so great to have buddies for all the kids and all the adults to help watch William and keep up with my 3 (isn't it funny that I have the most kids?). Emma was fearless. Absolutely fearless. She wanted to ride all the rides that she was tall enough for, and enjoyed the thrill. Patrick likes to enjoy the rides that he knows he will enjoy, not necessarily the fast ones. He loved the bumper cars when he figured out how to make them go.

He said his favorite was Escape from Pompeii, and requested this picture be put up. You can't see all our faces, but can you believe Emma is in the front?? (Patrick is holding on to that bar for dear life.)

The kids and I spent lots of time together since the grown-ups were riding the big rides. We were in the shade (which was soo much cooler) and watching the Griffon.

We all got to meet a python (Tommy said it was about 12 feet, but I have no idea) and this was Lynsey's reaction after the introduction.

This ride is in the Forest of Fun, and Emma is laughing and laughing, saying it tickles her tummy. She wanted to ride this again! (She did NOT get this gene from me. Mommy rode the Loch Ness Monster with Tommy, and came off with a stomach and headache. Yeah, I'm loads of fun at these parks. LOL) We had a great time, and loved being able to spend time with the family.

Friday, August 7, 2009


Ready to celebrate!
He was looking at us all as we sang.

He knew exactly what to do, no messing around here!

I've never seen a kid eat every bite!

Thanks to all who celebrated William's day with him; at Mass, lunch and cake time. He definitely was fun to watch!

Happy Birthday, William!

To my beautiful, sweet William, Happy First Birthday! You are such a happy little boy, and you bring such joy to our lives. I can't believe how much you have grown in this year. You are so loved by all your family, but especially by your big brother and sister. You were my biggest baby, so far, and the only one who seems to like me more than Daddy, my little "Momma's boy" (which I totally enjoy!). Your arms flap up and down so fast when you are excited, and I love that your whole body shows how happy you are. I enjoy your little bouts of mischief around the house - unrolling toilet paper, throwing balls in the potty, going through my spices - and love that you are so darn cute when you do them. Oh, I love you so much!
9 pounds 13 ounces!

With big brother.

5 days old and already smothered in love and kisses!

One of my favorite things.

Our little Pea in the Pod's first Halloween!

First Christmas!

First teeth! My earliest teether ever at 7 months!

First trip to Disneyworld at 9 months. Not once was he afraid of the characters.Mother's day with Mommy.

The stinker at 10 months

Such a big boy! Don't grow up too fast, I don't want to miss a minute of the years to come. I love you, sweet baby boy!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

I must have given him "the look"

The doorbell rang, and I was in the middle of something, so I wasn't too keen on answering it, knowing that it wasn't UPS or FedEx ("mommy got a PACK-age, mommy got a PACK-age" is the chant when they come). Emma and Patrick were playing, and they know the rules: don't answer the phone or door unless you have Mommy's permission. Nonetheless, they get excited when the bell rings, and go running to see. Patrick ran to the window and announced "we don't know him!" Emma clumped over the kitchen floor in her dress-up shoes to the door, and as I am looking through the peephole (installed nice and low just for me!), she unlocks the front door! So, even if I was going to ignore the doorbell, I can't now. She just gave my position away to the enemy. Rats. At the door is a snaggle-tooth teenager, who says hesitatingly to me:

"Hi. I've been talking to the neighbors. You gonna beat me up?"

Turns out he was "collecting money to send a group of them to Cabo, Paris" or some other place. Asking me for a donation. After starting the conversation like that. I admit, I did give him a look and asked "why" and he claimed he was just teasing. Needless to say, I did NOT give him any donations. Still scratching my head about that one.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Sunday Ramdomness

  • I have been to the Lancome counter 3 times now, and each time, I have been unable to purchase my foundation. It seems everyone else in the Manassas area wears 115-C Color Ideal and buys out the store juust before I get there. I was there yesterday for my last attempt, and I was thinking I would get some blush too, until the lady who was helping me didn't even know where the foundations were at the counter.....sigh. At least they have given me a free sample each time I go. Love that!
  • There was a diaper emergency in Mass today. Let's just say it involved stripping the baby down, MULTIPLE hand (ugh) and clothes washing, all during Mass (well, not IN Mass, but I missed almost all of it!). I am grateful it wasn't all over my clothes.
  • I am slowly getting ready to begin another school year. Sloowly. I still have to order the books, send my intent to the county, and get organized. Oh, did I mention that I am going to try to do 2 kids this year?? Emma is not officially kindergarten age, but she is always asking me how do you spell this, and what does this say, and doing great with Bob books, so I think we will try.
  • August is an INSANE month for birthdays. On both sides of the family. Both my boys are this month, and I am not prepared for either. It's hard, because I know that Patrick would like to have his own party, and Mommy would like to have a shared party, since it's the SAME army, er family and friends that would come to the celebration.
  • William is one (!!!!) on Friday. It's hard to decide what to get a one-year-old for his big day, since he really doesn't care much, but I think we can do a cupcake or something for his big day.
  • Patrick will be 6 on the Assumption (15th) and I am thinking I would like to have a map cake for him. Like a pirate map, with buried treasure on it, or something. I am not that talented, but I have a SIL who does AMAZING cakes and took care of me last year. Maybe someone has a site to give me ideas if she can't help me? If I was REALLY organized, I would do a scavenger hunt. Maybe I can get Tommy to work on that. :)
  • Oh, and we are planning a Williamsburg trip. The day AFTER William's birthday. Not sure how packing and celebrating will go, since I am last minute on things (I'll tell you about that tomorrow) so I hope we have time to celebrate here.
  • On Thursday night, we hired a babysitter. For all 3 kids. She is a great girl who has been here before, but I was going out to Arlington. Tommy's old boss was having a farewell happy hour for him and he asked me to come along. Talk about nerves. I knew some of the people who were going to be there, and was looking forward to it. I felt like a single woman, out with a small purse and no kids. whoa. But, life happens, and as "the evening wore on," it turned out to be me and about 5 very noisy guys. I ended up sitting on a barstool most of the night, as I was the same height sitting as I was standing. Still shorter than everyone there. LOL

Wow. That was fun.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

An Update

Well, we finally finished the HBO series John Adams. We did enjoy it, but I have to say, because I knew I was writing about it and going to loan the series to my mom, I watched it with a different eye. I mentioned the one scene already, and we got all the way to the last episode before we hit another one. (I mean, seriously? It's a historical series. WHY do we need that?) His daughter has breast cancer, and apparently they felt the need to show the surgery.....ack. Why do they do that? So, anyhow, that will be another scene I will tell my mom to hide behind a pillow while watching. I just wanted to let you know.

(So nerve-wracking to recommend a movie, or even an ice cream. There is an ongoing joke with my BIL about chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream. I think it's delicious, and wanted to share it with him. He could not have been more disappointed or disillusioned with my choice, so when I say that I like something, I am so careful since everyone has a different opinion. Yes, I'm sure you all wanted to know about that random piece of information. You're welcome.)

There seems to be a theme

The family was playing Sequence last night, and, of course in true klutz fashion, I spilled my Coke on the board and the cards. The cards got sticky right away, so I grabbed a Clorox wipe and began cleaning them off. The quote from the "Odd Couple" kept running through my head:

"It's the cards. He washed the cards."