Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Christmas Cookies

When I was a kid, I remember baking Christmas cookies as a family every year.  My mom would roll out sugar cookie dough, Brian and I would choose the perfect cookie cutter shapes, and Dad, Brian, and I would decorate them.  I am not a big sugar cookie fan, but I always thought our sugar cookies with the crazy, messy icing and tons of sprinkles were the best.

Wanting to carry forward the tradition of crazy, messy icing and tons of sprinkles, I baked sugar cookies one afternoon so that we could all decorate them.

We had a pretty good assembly line.  Frank and I used the tubes of icing and then gave the cookies to Jacob who had a little bowl of sprinkles.  I made up my mind in advance that if the sprinkles got all over the floor, they got all over the floor, and I wouldn't freak out.

Carter stayed on my lap and in the middle of the action.  Actually, I think I had some icing on my fingers because he was attacking them the whole time.

To my surprise, Jacob did a good job keeping the sprinkles on the cookies.  This is the first year that he seemed to "get" what we were doing.

That's not to say there wasn't some sprinkle-eating going on...

aaaaannd we're done.

Look at his fingers!  It took a full day and lots of scrubbing for the color to wear off his fingers!

Overall, though, cookie decorating went much smoother than in years past.  It makes me excited for the next several years as the kids get old enough to really enjoy and participate in our Christmas traditions.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Jacob is Three

Last Friday, Jacob turned three.  We didn't really have big birthday plans for him, which was a good thing, since he woke up throwing up!  I'm still not sure what was wrong with him, but he only threw up twice (sorry if that's TMI) early in the morning, so after staying home in the morning, we ended up getting to do some fun stuff by afternoon.

Our elf Kiki kicked off his birthday by showing up with three candles.

We do presents in the morning, so here he is-- with his sippy cup of flat 7-up-- opening his gift.

A hummer!  With a tent!  And a guy and a dog!

After naps that afternoon, we went to the mall, which was insane, by the way, so he could drive one of the little cars.  You know the cars that you can rent for the kid to drive while the mom shops?  The ones that I never rent for him?  He loves those cars, and the one he loves the most is a hot pink car that says, "Princess."


It was his birthday, after all, so I wore Carter in the carrier and pushed Jacob around the super-crowded mall in a pink princess car.

After that, we picked up Frank and went to dinner at Ted's Garage, which is a car-themed diner in Clinton.  Frank came up with the idea of taking him there, and it couldn't have been cuter. The place has antique gas pump, little cars suspended from the ceiling, and oil rags instead of napkins.  They also have a little porch area where they have a real antique car.

We had a very nice waitress who Jacob worked very hard to charm.  (He's taking a picture of her taking a picture of us in the photo below.)

His efforts paid off because once she found out it was his birthday and brought him a huge brownie sundae for free!  He and Frank both ate it and still weren't able to finish it!  Needless to say, we will be going back.  Soon.

Back at home, it was birthday cake time!  (Yes, the kid who was throwing up 12 hours earlier was now eating two desserts.  I kinda felt like I should have my Responsible Adult card revoked.)  For the past month, whenever I asked him what kind of cake he wanted, he unfailingly asked for yellow cake with blue icing, and since it was so simple, I thought I might as well just make it rather than try to get all fancy with a store-bought one.

 He loved all the attention and despite a rough start to the morning, had a great day!

Thursday, December 6, 2012


I'm giving my blog a makeover!  Because I really have no idea what I'm doing when it comes to .html code, it might take me a few days- or longer- to get things the way I want them.

I realize some things still look weird, and I'm working on them as time permits.  Please be patient, and soon I will be back with a fresh new look!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Cue the Victory Music!!

I'm back!  (And without paying a single extra penny...!)

Feeling pretty genius right now. If you want to know my trick, send me an email.

So without further ado, here are some picture of my kids.  You missed their little faces, I know you did.

 Jacob is having a car wash...

and Carter is chillin' with his puppy.

Take that, Blogger!!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012


So, I may have a problem.  The photos I upload through Blogger are automatically uploaded to Picasaweb.  Picasaweb only has 1 GB of free storage.

I've hit it.

If I delete the photos from Picasaweb, the photos are deleted from my blog. There's no way that I can find to get around using Picasaweb to post pictures in Blogger, either, since they are integrated Google products.

I really don't want to pay for photo storage (even though it's relatively cheap).

If you know something of a way around this issue, please share.  Otherwise, I need to decide where to go from here...

Saturday, November 17, 2012


I've collected these from various internet sources this week, and each of them made me laugh out loud...

I haven't gotten this excuse... yet.   Sounds like something that might happen to my friend Emily who teaches 4th Grade, though!

Do you see the girl behind her?  I actually didn't!  Frank said he is sure this picture was taken at a FL beach where he used to vacation.

If Carter could talk.......

Christmas shopping, Christmas decorating, Jacob birthday shopping, re-ordering the window grille for the front room, sweet potato for Thanksgiving making, STILL touching-up the nicks in the woodwork, phone rebate not working, friend moving to Oregon, first papers of the term due this week... yeah.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Randoms; Heavy on the Kid Stuff

Yet another post of bullet points...

  • When Jacob was a baby, I couldn't wait to get him out of sleepers and "babyish" looking clothes.  It just didn't fit his personality.  Who puts their CEO in a fuzzy sleeper with monkey feet?  It was ridiculous.  But with Carter, I am loving the soft little sleepers and crocheted hats. He just smiles and coos, and that look totally works for him.  However, I finally broke down and decided that he maybe I should put him in some big boy clothes once in a while.  Last week, he wore his first pair of jeans! 

  • A few days ago, I made Skillet Mac and Cheese from Iowa Girl Eats.  It is the perfect cold-weather meal, and I'll definitely be making it again!

  • We are huge fans of the new show Nashville.  Connie Britton still reminds me of Friday Night Lights, which is one of my all-time favorite shows, so I had to give her a try in Nashville and I'm hooked!  I even like the music!

  • Look at my little buddy sitting in his Bumbo seat!

Wait, that's my toddler.....

Here's the baby...

He's still too little to sit in in for long, but I think he likes the change of scenery.

  • So one afternoon, I was upstairs and heard an enormous crash downstairs followed by, "I'm alright."  I flew downstairs and found the bi-fold door to the coat closet had come off the track and crashed into the wall, leaving a huge gash.  (The coat closet is one of the many, many "garages" at our house, so Jacob had been playing in there.  I couldn't get too mad at him, though, because I knew the track on the door was bent/loose, anyway.)  My biggest concern at that point was repainting the drywall because we didn't have any touch-up paint.  To make a long story short(er), the paint guy at Home Depot eyeballed a tiny chip of the drywall that I brought in and matched it exactly!  He eyeballed it, and found the perfect shade of white paint--- how amazing is that?!  I cannot tell you how nice it is to have touch-up paint now!  I have spent hours- seriously- touching up all the little marks on the drywall, and it has made me extremely happy.

  • Speaking of happy things, we are finally getting Carter to bed at a decent hour.  Bath time now starts between 7:15- 7:30, Jacob gets his stories by 7:45, and he and I sing until 8. (Don't ask)  By 7:45-8, Frank feeds Carter, and sometime between 8-8:15, Carter is usually out.  I still go in and give him a bottle at 10, but he's not actually awake for it.  I'm not sure that it's necessary, but I hate to mess with the system right now.  He is up between 2-3 to eat, and then up again between 5-6:30.  It's not too bad.  

  • I leave you with a picture of "Cawty Michael" as Jacob calls him:

Friday, November 2, 2012

Well, Hello There!

Last month, I had the best of intentions to post more regularly.  I still have the best of intentions, but our days still sometimes run off-course.  Nap time used to be my blog time.  Now, I'm still working on getting both kids to nap at the same time, and often, if they're both asleep, I just want to take a nap myself.

Since there's no way I could possibly catch you up on a month's worth of activities, let's just do a few photo comparisons of the boys, shall we?

Here is Jacob at age 2 months:

Here is Carter, age 2 months:



Obviously, they look alike.  A LOT alike.  Their pose is even the same in the last picture!

And for fun, we'll do a Daddy comparison too.  Here is Daddy with Jacob, age 2 months:

and here is Daddy with Carter, age 2 months:

I would do a Momma comparison, but I don't have photos of me with either boy at this age!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Challenges and Perspective

One of the things we worried about when I found out I was pregnant with Carter was how different life would be with two kids.  Jacob's first year nearly killed us.  No lie.  But I think we both thought that after surviving that, we could probably survive anything.

I'm happy to report that we both feel the transition from 0-1 kids was much more difficult than the transition from 1-2 kids.  That's not to say there aren't some challenges.  Because I seem to think much better in bullet points these days, here are some of the things we're working on...

  • Tell me why everyone always needs to eat at the same time?  Carter always decides he is hungry when I'm trying to make lunch or dinner and/or Jacob is eating.  I try to be proactive and feed Carter early, like at 4, but sure enough, by 5:30, he thinks he's starving again.  It sometimes turns into a total circus trying to feed 3 people.  (Oh, and me.)

  • How do I get out the door on time?  By the time I get one kid dressed and fed, the second one poops, and then wants to be fed, and then the first one poops, and then the second one has spit up on his outfit, and then after I change him and start to load the diaper bag, the second one has pooped again, and then the first one demands a drink from the sippy cup that's already in the diaper bag, and then it's time for the second one to eat again.  Yeah, that happened.

  • Will I ever go anywhere with these two without breaking a sweat?  I'm not that strong, and this whole carrying-a-carseat-and-a-diaper-bag-while-wrangling-a-toddler thing is hard!  Just leaving the house is a workout!

  • When do Frank and I get our evenings back?  Pre-Carter, we were free as soon as we put Jacob down at 8.  Now, Carter is usually at his most awake from 6-9, so we are constantly entertaining him.  And by "entertaining," I mean he is cat-napping on Frank's chest or being fed.  Putting him down is a big no-no, and he lets you know it.  By the time 10 pm rolls around, we're exhausted.  I can't wait to start moving his bedtime up.
I guess the good thing about the second one is that we have some perspective.  I remember some of these issues with Jacob, and they don't last forever.  Eventually, they work themselves out, and life gets a little easier.  Right now, though, you can find us feeding someone, changing someone, or waiting (im) patiently for 10 pm so we can get some sleep!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Life Lately

Wow.  This has been the longest blogging break I've taken.  Let me catch you up on some of the highlights of the past month...

  • Carter is growing like a weed.  He is a big fan of his milk and he looves to eat!  He's also remained a pretty decent sleeper.  We usually put him down around 10-10:30, and on a good night (most nights) he's up around 2.   Then he's up again at 5.  We're working on stretching out that second chunk of sleep so that he sleeps until 6.  

  • Everyone's next question is how Jacob is adjusting. He has been a little more lovey-dovey with me, though; maybe because he sees me holding Carter so much. Not sure, but I'll take it.  Honestly, he basically ignores Carter.  Last week, someone asked him if he liked his new brother.  His response:  No, but I like his monkey paci.  When Carter was about 3 weeks old, Jacob finally decided he wanted to hold him.  

  • We've had lots of visitors!  Grandma and Grandpa M made the drive up to see us.

and Courtney came over one afternoon.

Although he hasn't officially met them yet, Carter has heard about the Tuttle boys and dressed in his camo outfit in their honor.  

  • Frank has had 3 overnight work trips in September.  I'm hoping those are done for a while.

  • I completed my training to teach at school #2, and right now, I'm on a reserve list to get a class in November.  I have to laugh when I hear people talking about how they stayed in their pajamas all day and never got anything done when they had a newborn.  We did have friends who brought in meals every other night for two weeks and that was a huge help, but we have powered though and tried to stay on our routine. We're all dressed and fed; my house is clean; I worked one job and trained for the other.   I wouldn't claim to have been a great person to live with this last month, but I can get the job done.  

  • On September 8, we went to cousin Caleb's 2nd birthday party. He had a Curious George theme!

  • We also went to Rockome Gardens to see Grandma and Grandpa before they left on vacation and to meet Aunt Rachael and Uncle Garett. 

  • We rounded out the month by attending my dad's retirement party. 40 years with the same company is a pretty amazing accomplishment!  The open house and dinner were a lot of fun.

What a crazy September!  I'm hoping to blog more frequently now that my training class is finished, but no guarantees... ;)