Thursday, February 28, 2013

Why Should Facebook Get All the Love?

OK, I admit it. It's my fault that this blog has been dormant for far too long. (Um, duh. Who else's fault would it be???) Oh, wait! I blame Mark Zuckerberg. Facebook has made it exponentially easier to post all of the adorable things that my kids say and do right there on my handy-dandy, at-my-fingertips smart phone. So, sorry Followers. I'll do better. Promise.

In case you missed these posts on Facebook, here are a few of the things the kids have come up with lately:

Brogan was bummed when we explained to him that our most recent Monday holiday was "President's" Day...not "Presents" Day.

Today's post-Diego conversation...
Brogan: Mommy, do you know what "Oscar the whale" means?
Me: No, Honey, I have no idea.
Brogan: It means "see you later."

*** Pause to process ***

Me: Oh! You mean "hasta luego."
Brogan: Yeah, but that's too hard so I say "Oscar the whale."


So Brogan has been waking up scared because he thinks he hears a tornado. When I asked him what noise he heard he said, "They sound like a train, right? Well, I heard 'woooo, woooo'." I was happy to ease his fears by explaining that tornadoes do not sound like that part of a train.

Brogan loves to help teach Brynna things he already knows so when we were going over what the colors on a traffic light mean, he chimed in: "Brynna, red means stop, green means go, and yellow means speed up so you don't have to stop at the red light."

Oops. My bad.


(This one hasn't made it to Facebook, yet. That's right -- a blog exclusive!) Brogan asked if we have any "Bill the Barber" cartoons recored (which is what he says for DVRed). It took several 20 Questions-style inquiries to determine he meant "Bob the Builder." Which supports my theory that getting names wrong is tied to the Y chromosome. That, and not listening to me.

While Brynna, at 2½, is signficantly less conversational, she manages to provide her share of comic releif. Case in point:

When football highlights come on, Brynna's usual rant is "C'mon, Guys! Dats tewible!" (That's terrible!) Hmmm...where could she have gotten that from?

When I dress her in something new and extra-cute, she jumps up and declares, "I adorable!" Then heads for my full-length mirror to make sure she's delivering on her promise.

And finally, a few of the things she's saying now:

"Nilk" = Milk
"I big gir" = I'm a big girl
"Nuggle, nuggle" = Snuggle, snuggle

Hopefully I can catch some of their antics on video. Look for that soon. :)

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Soy Butter & Banana Muffins

I was looking for a balanced, nutritious option for my family's breakfast -- something that I knew was good for them. Well, the only way to really know what you're feeding them is to make it from scratch, right?

I found myself with a few extra minutes this morning so I whipped up these new muffins. I thought they turned out great but the true test was what the munchkins thought. And...they loved them! Sure, it could have been these super-mini, bite-sized muffin cups I found at Target that piqued their interest. But I like to think that, while the portion size and presentation got them interested, the taste made them ask for seconds.
Below is the recipe...well, actually, recipes. I made half the batch for the kids then mixed in a few extra goodies for the Daddy version. Take a look and, if they sound good to you, give them a try.

Happy Baking!
Soy Butter & Banana Muffins
1/2 c wheat pastry flour
1/2 c all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1 T chia seeds
1 c quick cooking oats
2 T ground flax seed
1/2 c soy butter (or peanut butter, almond butter, etc.)
1/2 c sugar
2 very ripe bananas, mashed
1 egg, lightly beaten
5 T milk
Optional add ins: Dark chocolate chips, dried cranberries
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Sift together first six ingredients. Mix in chia seeds, oats and flax.

In a separate, microwave-safe bowl, add soy butter. Microwave for 30 seconds or until it begins to soften. With a fork, mix sugar into soy butter until all of the sugar is absorbed. (Mixture will still be grainy.) Mix in mashed bananas, egg and milk.

Mix dry ingredients into wet ingredients in two batches. If adding chocolate chips or dried fruit, mix it in at this point.

Bake for 12-17 minutes, depending on the size of the muffins. They're done when the tops begin to brown.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Light the Candles

The other night I was looking around the house and noticed how many candles I've incorporated into the decor. Quite a few. And then I realized that, in 10 years, I can count on one hand the number of times I've lit them without being prompted by a power outage. Gumpf. Really? How sad is that? Why have candles if you don't light them? It's like owning gorgeous shoes that you don't ever wear (which I am also guilty of--especially since I started toting small children around and all of my heels became obsolete).

My point is short and sweet: If not now, when?

Life goes by in a blink. We need to take every chance we have to make each day special. For our kids. For our families. For ourselves.

So, I lit several candles that night for absolutely no reason at all. Just me. In my kitchen. Mopping the floor. But, let me tell ya, that was the most enjoyable mopping has ever been.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Jibber Jabber x 2

So here's what these kiddos (when not in a cartoon trance) are saying these days...

Brynna (18 months)

Her words started multiplying the day after her 15-month check-up where the doctor asked if she was saying "uh-oh," yet. "Nope," we answered. "Nothing even remotely like it." The next day, Brynna said "uh-oh" and has not stopped since. When anything is amiss (or not really amiss and she just feels like saying it), Brynna is there to alert us with her loud proclamation: "Uh. Oh!" It's adorable.

No longer content with the simple, understated "Dada" and "Mama," she has moved on to the more mature, very articulate and often adamant "Daddeee!" and "Mommeee!"

She loves to point at her, or anyone else's for that matter, "noh" (nose) and "eyeee" (eye).

She knows most of her animals. Not by name, though. By sound. So a cat is "meow, meow," a duck is "cack, cack," a dog is "oof, oof," and a horse is "neeeeeh." The only animal she calls by name is a "bir" (bird).

She's also started using a fairly whiny version of "no." We have big brother to thank for that one.

She's obsessed with balls so that word is clear as a bell. Although it sounds more like "bahl" with only a hint of the "l" sound at the end.

One of her cutest sayings, not because of the word but because of the timing and accompanying hand gestures, is "Goooo!" This happens, almost without fail, when I stop at a red light and is accompanied but two outstretched arms and index fingers pointing forward like she's leading the charge. To her great delight, this always makes Mommeee and Daddeee smile.

Speaking of smile...she automatically says "teeze" (cheese) and flashes a cute grin anytime she sees a camera or cell phone or other people taking pictures of their children with said devices.

Oh, and, lest I forget, we figured out a while ago that Brynna has been saying "Brogan" for much longer that we realized. She pronounces it "Daggin," which we were mistaking for "Daddy." Silly us.

Brogan (Will be 4 in six weeks)

With Brogan, it's sort of two steps forward and one step back. All of the ooohing and aaahing going on around here over Baby Sister's new words launched him into his own version of baby talk. He often pretends to be Brynna (among the ever-growing cast of characters in his repertoire) and takes to babbling up a storm. Who can blame him? Being a baby seems pretty great to me, too. Minus the sitting in your own poo aspect, of course.

On the other side of the coin, Brogan (pictured here at his first T-ball practice with Coach Dave) is well on his way to learning how to read. He's mastered the alphabet and has moved on to phonics. When Jason and I speak, he often picks out unfamiliar words (such as "observation" or "dilemma") and asks what they mean. He's also started asking us to spell words for him. It's only a matter of time before he's spelling them on his own, I just know it.

And, one last, off-the-scales-cute thing he says... Instead of saying "I sneezed." Brogan says, "I blessed you'd." Good stuff, right? I love it.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

My Daughter Eats Crayons

Yes, it's true. This sweet, innocent-looking angel--while not eating crayons here--does love to take a chunk out of our Crayolas. Add "crayon munching" to the long list of things that my second offspring does that, to my knowledge, my first offspring has never even considered doing. Sigh.

But, alas! A solution! I was at a local Mornings With Mommy program and I noticed these thick crayon disks. They were really easy for my 17-month-old to grip and color with and, while she had the courtesy not to take a nibble, I think she'd have a hard time chomping a piece off. The disks appeared to be homemade so I asked the program direction and--sure enough--they were lovingly made in her very own kitchen. Bingo!

It couldn't be simpler to do and my son loved making crayon "soup" with me. Here's a quick step-by-step on how to do it:
  1. Remove the paper wrappers (I used an XACT-O knife to slit the wrappers and they peeled off very easily). Break the crayons into similar-sized pieces.

  2. Add your crayons to the pan. I used two crayons per cup. FYI, from what I've read, it's best to use like-colored crayons otherwise you get a lot of brownish crayons once the colors melt together. You can either use a muffin pan with liners or use a molded silicon tray, which is what I did. NOTE: My crayons did leave a little residue ring on the tray so you may want to use some non-stick cooking spray in advance.

  3. Pop the pan/tray into a 200-degree oven until you have little pools of crayon soup. It took about 20 minutes for ours to melt completely. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before turning them out.

Now, instead of giving Brynna the snack-look-alike, taste-test-tempting crayon "sticks," she can safely color all over my kitchen table (yeah, that's on the afore-mentioned list, too) with these cute block crayons.

Happy mommy. Happy babies. Happy home. :)

Friday, February 10, 2012

Tickled Pink

It's happening. Right before my eyes. The adoration Brynna has for her big brother gets stronger by the minute.

I see it in the way she tries to suppress an ear-to-ear grin when he takes her by the hand and they walk around the house together. I see it in when he cracks her up with his silliest of antics while trying to get her to stop fussing at the dinner table. I see it when he sweetly gives her a toy he had been playing with that she suddenly decided she wants.

To Brynna, Brogan is pure gold.

It's nothing that we, as parents, can teach. It's just there. It's God-given, for sure. It also helps that Brogan really is a terrific big brother. He impresses us constantly with his unprompted acts of kindness toward her.

And Jason and I have the pleasure of having a front row seat at this magical event. Thank you, Lord, for these little gifts.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Big Bear Time

We have a new routine. It consists of going in to wake Brynna up at full 30 minutes before we actually need her up. Why, you ask? She needs her Big Bear Time. She can't leave the crib without it, actually.

I'll tell her "good morning" or "hello" and ask her if she's ready to get up. Then she stands up, points to the giant bear that Nana and Papa gave her for Christmas and utters two syllables from behind her paci that only I can interpret as "Big Bear" and the games begin. The bear hops into her crib. Then she very discriminately selects which book she would like to share with Big Bear by adamantly nodding yes or no to each book that I offer. Once her selection is in hand, she snuggles in for a little quality time. With her bear.

It looks a little something (or a lot, actually) like this: