"experience is what you get when you didn't get what you wanted." -randy pausch

Saturday, April 6, 2013

meet coolie, the baby gate

lately coolie is on baby gate duty.
i knew i liked that 6 foot bear.
my poor computer gets the wrath of the baby man.
the router just keeps hanging on by a thread!
coolie's back on the other hand...
i have some mending to do.

Friday, April 5, 2013

black batman holds down the fort

while i was making dinner...
not a single crayon left in the jar.
coloring is serious work around these parts.
black batman holds down the fort instead.
sean fertilizes the lawn.
it's almost mowing time.

chase eats graham crackers and raspberries in his high chair.
no one fights the entire time.
this is a miracle of epic proportions.
they all ate their dinners.
i know,

april SHOWERS {bring may flowers: vinegar & blue dawn}

april showers bring may flowers.
it's a rainy day and my kids are going stir crazy already.
good thing it's friday and my shower is SPARKLING.
vinegar and blue dawn!!!
where have you been all my life???
I BELIEVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
the after pic doesn't even do it justice.
and i'm not talking about tierra!
i will never clean my tub any other way ever again!
HOLY MOLEY sweet HEAVEN above!
Microwave white vinegar for 90 seconds.
Add to cleaning spray bottle.
Add 1/2 cup blue ultra dawn,
Swirl gently.
Spray tub, glass, walls of tub, etc.
Leave for 1-2 hours {i watched tv for 2 1/2 hours}
no wiping,
no leaning over my tub sweating and swearing at it,
just spray & wash away!
i totally sound like an infomercial.
now go do your magician work on your tub.
i can't stop looking at it.
every time i walk by i have to pull back the curtain and stare.
you won't believe your eyes.
at 11:45pm last night sean and i couldn't even pick our mouths up off of the bathroom floor.
you're gonna want to stop strangers on the street to tell them about it.
it's really that amazing.

oh to be a kid.

i don't know why i even get them dressed in the morning.
they strip down at even the smell of sun.
in fact,
it doesn't even have to be warm out.
oh to be a kid.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

dear chase {today you turned 1.}

dear chase,
today you turned 1.
brennan blew out your candle.
your cousins, dad, max, and i all cheered you on.
you tried to grab the candle about ten times before it was blown out.
andrea held you and kept you safe while i took about a thousand pictures of it all.
you ate your cupcake the tidiest i have ever seen a baby eat a 1st baby cupcake.
i didn't put a bib on you b/c i love your chubby chest and arms.
i thought for sure we'd be cleaning cake and frosting off of your tummy for hours after,
but you just picked up perfect little bite sized bites and ate
including half of the paper wrapper.
you might have eaten 3 quarters of the wrapper.
b/c there was barely anything left of it at all by the time we realized what you were gnawing on.
it was so funny.
i made cupcakes with a reese's peanut butter cup inside of them 
and chocolate and peanut butter frosting.
you were so pleased.
i just can't get over how you ate your cupcake without getting any mess on yourself 
other than your hands and face.
it has to be some kind of baby record.
all day you played in the sandbox.
sometimes the older kids would come and scoop sand onto your legs,
but most of the time you were just happy to dig in the sand all by yourself.
you can play in the sandbox for half an hour by yourself in the backyard.
sometimes i put your out there while i need to do something in the kitchen.
i run back and forth checking on you about every 2 minutes,
and you are always sitting there digging in the sand.
you crawled over to the slide with max and she played peek-a-boo with you there for a long time.
i was inside frosting your cupcakes.
you were such a good boy all day.
you took two naps,
you drank your milk out of a sippy cup.
you wouldn't stay out of the kitchen and pantry.
i kept chasing you in and out over and over and over again.
finally dad remembered that we used to put rubber bands on the knobs when max was a baby,
so he popped two babies on our side by side cabinets
and vwallah.
i was SO excited,
and couldn't believe that i had forgotten that we used to do that until now.
you have red hair.
but it's getting lighter.
especially over the last few weeks.
b/c we've been outside in the sun a lot.
people stop me in the store to ooo and ahhh over your red hair and blue eyes.
your eyes are so so so blue.
when you look up at me in the sun,
it looks like the most crystal clear blue ocean staring right back at me.
your skin is the softest baby skin i can ever remember feeling in my life.
you have blonde eyelashes that glisten in the sun.
and blonde eyebrows.
and perfectly pink lips.
when you are just out of the bath it feels like satin.
SOFTER than satin.
it's amazing.
and it's so soft and gushy that my hands could just lotion you all day and all night.
your chest and arms are the best.
you still let me feed you from a spoon, 
but you love to grab your food with your chubby cabbage patch hands 
and feed yourself the most.
i love that your feed yourself the most.
you can eat everything we eat.
i always bite your grapes in half,
smoosh your blueberries just a little,
pinch off dime sized pieces of your quesadillas,
and cut up your spaghetti and meat,
but the spaghetti strings always hang out of your mouth.
you slurp them in or use the back of your hand to maneuver them down the good ol' hatchet.
you know what you like and cannot be tricked into eating what you don't want to eat.
your tongue starts pushing out what you don't want and then you usually smear your fist all over your face until it's gone for good.
it's like watching a crash in slow motion.
but fast.
you know?
when you're done,
you're done.
you get bored when you're done.
and entertain yourself by playing air hockey with your food across your tray 
until all of your food is at the bottom on your highchair.
on the
it's great.
someday we will have hardwood there,
and i will always remember and talk about how i used to pick up food off of the carpet under the kitchen table and high chair that used to be there.
i don't want to think about the high chair not being there.
you are the fastest crawler i have ever seen.
you can get across a room in record time.
you're freaky fast.
like jimmy johns.
but faster.
you love to hold a car in your hand and crawl around with it while the wheels turn.
especially if it makes noise.
you bob up and down and pump your legs whenever music comes on.
i remember max used to do this too.
i don't know if brennan did, but i'm guessing he probably did.
it's just so cute.
today you opened a winnie the pooh singing birthday card and did your dancing bob and leg shake.
then you would close the card,
open it again.
do your dancing bob and leg shake.
over and over and over again.
you are by FAR the most difficult baby to get your diaper changed.
it is worse than dressing an octopus.
or that alien from independence day.
i have given you cookies,
toys {that never really works},
medicine bottles,
but mostly i just try to make loud high pitched sounds and funny faces.
i am 100% positive i look ridiculous.
you just roll your body over,
and i stand there in the most contorted poses like a weird game of twister,
trying to flip you back over and not get any poo anywhere.
usually i just sit there laughing b/c i envision how funny i must be looking right at that very moment.
like if i were on the tee-vee.
but sometimes i just let you crawl away naked.
until i decide i'd better just wrestle a diaper onto you before i end up cleaning up pee out of my carpet too.
sometimes i will pin you down and start to tickle you or blow into your armpits, 
and you will laugh and laugh and laugh.
and do your deep baby man chuckle,
and then you start to cry so i try to put your diaper on again,
and then you roll over again,
and try to twist your way out,
and then i blow on your belly and you laugh,
and we do this over
and over
and over.
and a diaper always makes it onto your bum eventually.
and then it's time to change your bum again before too long.
i love it when dad takes a turn.
b/c then i get to laugh and the both of you.
this week you have been coming up to me,
standing up,
and then letting go.
and you stand there for 2 seconds holding onto nothing,
just standing all by your own big boy self,
and then you look at me all surprised.
and then you fall down onto your bum.
and i clap for you.
and then you do it again.
and i can see that you are so proud of yourself.
and i'm so proud of you too:)
and then i get scared b/c i know you'll be walking soon.
and i am never in any kind of a rush for that.
but it's just so exciting when you first do it anyway.
so i'm a little excited b/c i love to watch you grow.
you crawled up the entire big staircase all by yourself last week.
no one even knew the gate was open.
you came around the hall corner, 
and i was scared to death that you had done it.
and relieved that you didn't look backwards and fall down to the bottom.
i still get anxious thinking about it.
you love it when people chase you.
today brennan chased you around the kitchen table, 
and you laughed and squealed the entire time.
i was so happy to see my two boys playing together and happy.
you love to play in the doll house with max.
she puts her dolls all over the doll house, 
and you bang your guys {and sometimes the princesses} on the different levels.
you love to play with the princesses.
i put you in her room by yourself sometimes with the door closed,
if i need to dry my hair or get dressed without chasing you around the upstairs, 
and you just love to play with all of the toys in the doll house.
and then you eventually make your way to the baby monitor and unplug it,
and then i come in to get you.
you wake up around 6am, 
dad goes downstairs,
pours and warms a bottle of milk for you,
and then you drink it in your crib, 
and if we are lucky you fall back asleep for a couple more hours.
but sometimes you poop and then you don't go back to sleep.
but you stay in your room and talk to yourself until the other kids wake up, 
and then we come in to get you.
i feel like you are the first real baby i have ever had.
which is strange b/c you are our third baby.
but there are the big kids and then there's you.
the baby man.
and we all love that you are the baby in our family.
i think it's b/c the first baby is a shock,
the second baby i like playing house {at least it was for me},
and then the third baby is just real life.
you cry when people take toys away from you.
a cry like someone has hurt you b/c you're so mad.
you wake up more during the night at this age than any of our other babies.
you LOVE graham crackers and milk.
when we are walking them over to you,
you clench your fists, smile REALLY REALLY BIG,
make little excited baby man noises,
and your entire body starts to shake b/c you're so excited.
you said "dada" once and pointed to dad.
dad is always the winner in this department of firsts.
but now you say "mom" all of the time.
i can hear you saying it over the monitor in the mornings,
calling out to me from your crib.
it makes me want to get out of bed and come to get you.
you crawl over to me and crawl up my legs and say it.
i love to hear your sweet voice say "mom."
you mimic other things i do to.
like when i say "blah" and stick out my tongue if you're touching something yucky.
you do it and make your own "blah."
you are so so busy.
i thought you were going to be a tee-vee baby,
but i don't think that anymore.
i love to hear your jabber away to yourself.
and squawk your baby man squawk.
lately you've been yelling out in a loud kind of talking voice when you want or need something.
your facial expressions could make us a fortune.
i love to watch your brain think about things.
your favorite thing to do inside is to put things into bins and buckets, 
and then take them out.
sometimes you dump them out,
but usually you put them in one by one,
and take them out one by one.
with vigor.
we all love to watch you do it.
you chase balls around like a cat chase's {ha} a toy with catnip.
i am laughing right now b/c i'm realizing how much you love to CHASE things.
you love the shower.
you would sit under it and stick your tongue out for a drink forever.
you are shy.
when new people come to our house 
you put your head down on my shoulder and lay there really still for awhile.
it is one of my most favorite things you do.
i could hold you on my hip like that all day.
so calm and sweet.
i do hold you on my hip almost all day,
but usually you are trying to squirm forward, 
side to side, 
and all around.
except when i'm walking around the house.
then you just hold onto my shoulder and are just happy to be carried wherever i go.
but the thing i will remember most about you 
are all of your sweet baby sounds.
your sweet baby man sounds.
i adore you.
every chubby inch of you.
and i love to kiss your perfectly pink lips.
and comb your little red hair.

the baby man {1}

he went for the card first.
such good manners already;)
happy birthday to my baby man!!!
last year i was doing this today.

caped crusaders.
partners in crime.
big plans in my kitchen today.
and smooching on the baby man.
fastest year of my entire life.
and i mean that in a good way:)

Monday, April 1, 2013

letters to Beth {running out of gas & EASTER}

{this picture is a christmas miracle on easter 
b/c everyone was crying and whining before and after 
in all of the other shots we took. don't know how we got so lucky. 
in a last desperate plea we told them the easter bunny was hiding in the camera 
SNAP! hooray! can't believe it actually worked.}
Dear Beth,
i tore apart my entire house for over 2 hours on saturday night, 
organized two dressers, 
one closet, 
and gave away 4 bags of clothes to the goodwill 
in search of the little white coat i wanted chase to wear on easter. 
my kids were all asleep, but i turned on the lights in their room {max and B} and rumaged around.
they didn't move a muscle.
love that about them.
at midnight i decided to call it quits,
but i was feeling so disappointed that i couldn't find it.
and it was bugging me b/c i knew it was somewhere.
the next morning sean even looked through our dresser to try to find it for me,
but to no avail!
and then, it came to me.
the bin under the big bed in max's old room.
i hadn't looked there the night before b/c chase isn't the deepest of sleepers yet, 
and i didn't want to risk waking him up.
but there in all of it's white linen glory it was!!!
among 10 pink baby girl outfits and blankets.
5 minutes before we left for church on easter morning. 
i was jumping up and down screaming i was so excited.
{and also pretty happy that all of the dressers and brennan's closet was cleaned out too.}
{i'd been meaning to do it for awhile now.}
i was so SO SO happy to have found it. 
it was brennan's at this age.
remember here?
it's one of "those" coats that i will never part with. 
when i die you will find it in MY dresser i love it so much:)
in all of the excitement max snuck on a pair of green fairy flip flops to wear with her dress and hopped in the car.
we didn't realize it until we had already left.
and it was just fine.
but it was funny.
b/c you had this pretty pink toole dress {is that how you spell tool/toole???} and these green and purple fairy flip flops.
we like to keep things classy around here.
i ate two chocolate dipped peeps and a banana for breakfast before we left.
and a handful of reese's pieces.
then we jammed to sean's parent's house for our 3rd hunt of the season.
it was grand.
otter pops, eggs, silly string, candy, and ring pops gallore!
we went to church with them and then came home to a ham, potato, and deviled egg feast.
and then the most exciting part of the night was when we ran out of gas on the way home.
yep. we did.
i have never run out of gas in my life.
you're sitting there and you're begging your car to just go a little bit further,
but it just won't.
and you wish you would have stopped for gas earlier.
costco gas doesn't stay open later.
in case you didn't already know.
i think we forgot that we knew that already.
too bad we didn't remember that while we passed the 5 gas stations on the way TO costco gas.
and we literally ran out pulling up to the coned off and closed down costco gas.
so we rolled the car down to the bottom of the costco parking lot,
and i waiting in the car with the kids while sean ran back to the prostop for a gallon of gas. 
while he was gone i rationed max's sippy cup of milk between the three kids.
we had been gone for 8 hours and everyone's sugar high had worn off.
i made the mistake of giving chase the milk first.
and then i made another mistake of giving max the milk second.
i think brennan got about a teaspoon by the end and everyone but him was bawling by the time we got home.
and then when we walked in the house he started bawling.
everyone had a bowl of cereal and grapes and big glasses of ice cold milk.
we all collapsed and went to bed early.
also, i now own a 6 foot tall vermont teddy bear.
my parents are completely responsible.
my kids have never loved a present so much.
i secretly love it.
you know me though, always love a BIG surprise.
brennan cried and cried last night that he couldn't have "Coolie" {that's what he named him, b/c "he's cool"} sleep with him in his bed.
this morning they are all sitting on him {Coolie} watching tee-vee.
and i am running back and forth from the little stairs and the kitchen trying to teach chase how to go up and down the stairs. 
he always tries to go head first.
but then once i flip him around and he crawls backwards to the bottom.
i've found him grunting and stuck halfway down them head first about twenty times this morning already.
he is so strong and doesn't even cry.
he just sits there grunting with his big muscles holding him up,
and then i run over and flip him around and he crawls down backwards, 
and then crawls right back up to the top.
and then he does it all over again.
i have about 2 minutes between each dive.
or 2 seconds.
i am so glad to get back to our routine this week.
i feel like doing absolutely nothing for the entire day today.
except maybe shower.
i'd really love a shower.
still not sure if that is going to happen.
the baby man turns 1 tomorrow.
i can't believe it.
how was your easter?
i hope it was HOPPY one.
no foolin;)
have you ever run out of gas before?
what did you make for easter dinner?
are you understanding any of church in german yet?
the catholic in me always wants to skip our church on easter and go to mass.
and then brunch at the country club after.
we want to come visit.
and let's start our food blog soon.
i've been ALL ABOUT crock-pot cooking lately.
the stroganoff recipe has been my favorite so far.
it calls for half a cube of butter.
that's probably why.
TO.DIE.FOR. and it only took me 15 minutes to prepare. 2 hours to cook. vwallah.
i made two batches and froze one.
here it is.

1/2 c chopped onion
1/4 c butter
1lb stew meat {i bought grass fed beef. it was AMAZING.}
1/8 tsp paprika
2 c chopped mushrooms
3/4 c sour cream
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1/2 c cream cheese
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper

1. mix sour cream, cream cheese {room temp or nuke it for 30 sec first}, and mushroom soup in small bowl. 2. add everything else and toss to coat well. 
3. put in freezer bag for a fast meal later 
OR put in your crock pot right now. 
4. COOK on LOW for 2-2 1/2 hours if thawed 
or LOW for 4-5 hours if frozen. 
**i haven't cooked the frozen one yet 
so i'm not for sure on that cook time, 
but that's what i'm guessing b/c when it was thawed it cooked in 2 1/2 hours just fine. 

my kids are all crying again.
they are still tired from yesterday.
do you even have a crock pot with you over there?
love love love love you!

all my best,

family yard hunt #2 on saturday.
i finally remembered to put on sunscreen.
go me:)