Sunday, December 11, 2011

Fall Photos

Sunday, December 11, 2011

and jumping.

Ben's first bike ride.  He was happy going.

Coming home he was tired as can be and rested his head on Luke's shoulder.

Raking up the leaves with Dad.  Luke is a great leaf-stomper.  Mac told me fishing Luke's stomping boot out was a chore in and of itself. 

Food + Books

Nearly every time I go to plan meals, I freeze in a panic.  As if I had picky eaters in my house, or as if we didn't end up eating roughly the same thing all the time (mexican one night, italian another, alternating to infinity).  Still, it's not my favorite chore.  Luckily I've been finding inspiration in a new place.

It started with The Super Hungry Dinosaur in which Hal's Mom feeds the Super Hungry Dinosaur something that resembles spaghetti with meatballs and peas.  I try to substitute turkey in the meatballs, but have not yet been successful at making a turkey meatball taste like anything other than cardboard.

Luke loves this book so much that we've checked it out again.  In it Domitila makes nopales for the governor's son and he ends up falling in love with her.  So we (kind of) made nopales.  I may have forgotten the key ingredient (cactus) but we still got the jist of it.  And we loved it.

My parents have owned this book for years, but I didn't read it until this year when we checked it out from the library.  This one is a must-own-someday book for me.

So last night we had the good, what? Shnitzle, Schotzle and Schnootzle! I used this recipe.  It was edible but not delicious.  I'm a novice at beef, but next time I'll know to do it in the slow cooker so it comes out more tender.

I have to say the best part was the baker's crusty loaf of bread.  And dipping it in the soup?  Divine.

So far I've given you three dinner ideas, none of which fully turned out.  Aren't you glad you read this blog?

The meal took a long time to prep and make because I had to leave in the middle to take pictures of Peter's formal dance so while we waited we watched Elf.  Luke didn't laugh very much, but he kept asking if there was going to be another snow ball fight.  On the way home we talked about having a snowball fight while we're in Utah.  

Mom: So who are you going to throw snowballs at?
Luke: Ben.

Watch out Ben.  You're brother's gunnin' for you.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Winter Show

Saturday, December 10, 2011
Luke graduated last month to the 3-year-old class.  His first day he didn't want to go in without me (I mean crying, clinging did NOT want to go in) and meet his new teacher.  I went in and sat with him for a few minutes and told him I had to leave to change Ben (which was mostly true).  For some reason he went from tears to totally independent in seconds.  He never even looks to make sure I'm in the bleachers.  Meanwhile, I'm missing being in there with him.

I love the bottom left picture.  At first I thought he was covering his eyes because he was embarrassed he was being watched but he's making hand-binoculars so that he can focus on the teacher.  Adorable.

For the holiday show they brought out Frosty again.  As you can see, I failed to get both kids even looking at me, let alone smiling.  Frosty, however, was very cooperative.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Ben 9 Months

Wednesday, December 07, 2011
Hey, Ben, you're 9 months old.  We'd better take a picture for the records.


Uh, Ben?



Ah, you were going for the Lego box, I see.

You're hard to wrangle, but oh-so-fun.

I don't have my notes with me, but let's see if I can remember everything I wanted to about you this month:

- You like to share.  Let's say you're being held by mom or dad and you're playing with a toy in your mouth. You don't mind trying to put it in one of our mouths, too.  You know, in case we wanted to chew on a toy.  So thoughtful.

- Some favorite activities include playing with any music toy: piano, xylophone, bells, anything.  You also will push things around: the push toy, chairs- you even were pushing a popcorn tin around Nana's.

- Milestones: You cut your first tooth at 9 month 2 days (a bottom one) and the other one is right there.  Consequently you don't want to be put down much.  You're not too fussy, just clingy.  Cling away, baby.  I like your snuggles.  You also took your first step at 8 months 3 weeks.  Monday I was on the phone with Holly and you were pulling up to stand on the stuffed animal box.  I almost didn't believe my eyes.  Then you did it on Tuesday.  Wednesday Dad saw it before work, and it relieved me to know I wasn't imagining things.  Nana's seen it too.  We've tried to capture it on film, but it's proved to be elusive.

- You continue to adore food.  Really anything you see you want.  Really I prefer if you'd just eat fruits and veggies till you're one, but occasionally I let you have grains or chicken.  I even let you have a french fry at In-N-Out because you were so insistent.  My favorite thing to give you is a slice of apple because it keeps you happy for so long.  You are definitely more into feeding yourself than letting others do it for you.    This is us with Nana and Papa at Denny's after going to see the train village.  You had an apple.

-I've never seen you crawl so fast as when Daddy comes home from work and you want to go see him.  Here you are waking up in his arms on a lazy Sunday afternoon.

- You like following Luke around, trying to knock down his towers or take his toys.  Luckily Luke has developed a little more patience and a few skills so that you're getting clobbered is at a minimum.  I love it when you two are laughing with each other and I have no clue why.  Luke can get you to giggle pretty hard.


-I almost forgot another favorite pastime of yours- diaper folding time!  I do diaper laundry every 3 or so days and when it comes time to fold you like to dump out the whole basket and play with all the different kinds of fabric.  You try to rip them, you shake them, and you peek-a-boo with them.  You love that basket so much you even dump it out when they're all folded.

Monday, November 14, 2011

New Park

Monday, November 14, 2011
We found a new park.  It was fun.  The end.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Blah, Blah, Blaperture.

Sunday, November 13, 2011
Once upon a time, way back when we only had one child, we bought a "big" camera in hopes that we could take better photos of our children's lives.  I have left the camera in auto mode these long months.  I know some great photographers.  My childhood friend, my sister-in-law, my brother-in-law.  I don't dream of being a great photographer, I just get sick of my photos turning out so... icky.    

Well, Tess was kind enough to show me The Pioneer Woman's photography stuff.  Reading just a few posts gave me the confidence to try, to play.  I will give you a before and after to demonstrate.

On auto mode.

Off auto mode.  I bet I was playing with the aperture. 

On auto mode.

Off auto mode.

I realize that there are many, many other things to learn.  Like I heard about this thing called composition.  And something else called ISO.  I want to know what those things are some day, but I'm just glad that I tried and it was slightly better than auto mode.

I will now resume the regularly scheduled blog post.

Isn't my family great?  Didn't we have so much fun at the park? Blah, blah, blah.

We left because Luke fell off the swing and there was blood.  He got the coveted spot in the sling.  Ben got jealous after a while and wanted to be held, too.  Gotta love it when the stroller is empty and my arms are full.

The End.

Birthday Visitors

Not only did we get a visit from JoJo for Luke's Birthday, which is reason enough for celebration, but the Abbots came too!!!

Luke was in heaven having his buddies around.

I wish I'd taken more photos.  As you can see their aren't any of JoJo or Tess.  Well, there was one of Tess, but it could have been part of my "funny candid face" photos, so I left it out.

My favorite moment was when Luke and Lainey were pretending to get married.  Luke got really embarrassed and crumbled into a ball on the floor.  After a second or two Lainey just rolled him over and said emphatically "Let's go PLAY!"  There is no embarrassment necessary with cousins.

Another great thing about having cousins around was Luke's attention was off of Ben.  Nearly Zero sibling stuff that week.  Yippee!

ETA:  Oops.  I found some more pictures.