Sunday, January 31, 2010

Monkey business

We went to Finley's birthday party (Aunt Meredith's 3 year old). It was at a place called Lil Monkey Business. What a cool place! It was a combination of a bouncy place, playgroud, coffee shop. We had a great time celebrating Finley's third birthday. Afterwards, we hung out at Meredith's house for a couple of hours and then headed home.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Olivia's four month photos

From an impromptu photo session

Friday, January 29, 2010

Cute Carterisms

I often blog about Olivia and all that she is up to (which isn't much since she's 4 months old). But I don't often tell everyone just all the cute things Carter has been doing. So this post is dedicated to my hillarious, clever, and smart son. He is such a little parrot. He doesn't miss a thing!

This week, he's been sick with a cold. He had fever for one day and since then has had a nasty cough. Well, he knows how to milk any illness so he asked me if he could watch a movie. I said okay. Well then when it started, he began screaming with excitement. I said "Carter, I thought you were sick." He looked at me so seriously, put his hand on his chest and started to fake cough! I couldn't stop laughing.

He has decided to turn the laundry basket into a ship:

Olivia was fussing the other day in the car and he said "It's okay Livie baby girl, we're almost home". I think he must hear that a lot from me!

He's such a little caretaker sometimes. When Theo goes outside Carter will yell, "Daddy, be careful! Don't slip on the ice"

He was brushing my hair today and he said "It's okay momma, it doesn't hurt." Trying to fix his hair is like pulling teeth!

"Momma, you not posta be mad at daddy! You posta go to sleep!" (heard while Theo and I had an argument this week)

There are a million other cute things he has said lately but I can't recall them all. When and if I do, I'll let you know what it was! :)

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Quinoa Salad

(Pronounced KEEN-WAH)

I had never even heard of quinoa until mom and I went to Whole Foods and saw some quinoa salad. It was really good! Quinoa is known as a "super food" because it contains more protein than any other grain. It also has all the essential amino acids in it. So I bought some (not where you can find it other than a healthfood store) and made this recipe last night. It turned out really good.

This is the original recipe. My modifications are in the parentheses:

1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped (I used 5)
3/4 cup uncooked quinoa
1 1/2 cups vegetable broth (I used chicken b/c I didn't have veggie)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (left out because of Olivia!)
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup frozen corn kernels (half a can of whole kernel corn)
2 (15 ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained (half of one can)
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1.Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the onion and garlic, and saute until lightly browned.
2.Mix quinoa into the saucepan and cover with vegetable broth. Season with cumin, cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes, (I had to cook this for waaaay longer....not sure if it's the altitude but I would say cook it until the broth is absorbed and the quinoa is soft)
3.Stir frozen corn into the saucepan, and continue to simmer about 5 minutes until heated through. Mix in the black beans and cilantro.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

I'm never gonna get this back

I am approaching the one year mark of my becoming a stay-at-home mom. This was a decision I struggled with for a while before I finally resigned from work. I say I struggled, but I always knew what the right decision was. It was a struggle to find the courage to actually step out and obey what I knew God was telling me to do. Overall, this past year has been the best, and most challenging, year of my life.

I will admit that I have been struggling back and forth with the desire to go back to work. I feel like I worked hard to go back to school to become a nurse practitioner and I feel like I am being left behind in the working world. If this is race, I am on the sidelines. But who said it had to be a race, I'm not quite sure. I feel like what I learned in graduate school is slowly seeping out of my brain and being replaced with toddler toons, toddler talk, obsession with sleep, etc etc. I am deprived of adult conversation that doesn't center around children. I am deprived of sleep. I am deprived of feeling like a contributing member of society. I am deprived of money. I am deprived of helping other children besides my own.

I miss working. I miss having adult friends at work. I miss chatting with coworkers, work lunches, getting a paycheck every month. I miss feeling proud of myself for being a nurse practitioner. I miss educating my patients families and feeling like I am there for a purpose. I don't usually miss my specific job but I do miss the hospital, the patients, and the people I worked with. I am bored sometimes. Not that there is a lack of things to do at home or going on outside our house, but bored with the same routine I suppose. I am tired of cleaning up after everyone. I am tired of being responsible for everyone's meals every minute of the day. I often find myself wishing that someone else could be responsible just for a few hours a week.

I have been looking online for any part-time jobs that Colorado may have. And when I find one, I can't bring myself to pursue it any further. Because what is the alternative? The other option is paying someone (either a daycare of nanny) to take care of my children. And I just can't bring myself to do it. I look at Olivia smiling at me or I hear Carter saying something so cute and I think to myself that I don't want to miss a single second of this. I know without a doubt that God has called me to be a stay at home at this point in my life. I don't know why I am in such a rush to give that all up, especially knowing that I am doing God's will. How can I go against that? Even if I desperately want to.

I have been trying to figure out for a while who I want and am supposed to be. Do I want to be this successful career woman, making a difference in the nursing world, with someone else raising my kids. Or do I want to be this semi-hippie stay at home mom whose life revolves around her family. Then I have to remind myself, it's not who I want to be, it's who God wants me to be. And right now, I know He wants me home.

I have been praying for God to give me a peace about being home. I pray He replaces my desire for a career with a desire to take amazing care of my children. I pray that when I do decide to re-enter the workforce that it is with a job He has ordained for me. I pray that I feel productive even being at home. I pray I use this time to become a better wife. I feel as if the Holy Spirit is telling me to just relax, enjoy this time because I am never gonna get this back.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Southern Pride

I could not be happier with the outcome of the Saints and Vikings game last night! I will admit, I have not always been a Saints fan...especially since they have never made it to the Super Bowl before. But for this season, I am so excited for my home state. We really wanted to have a Super Bowl party but since Theo is working, I imagine I'll be watching the game by myself. I scared Carter last night with all my hoopin and hollerin and jumpin around. He thought it was so funny that he started jumping up and down too shouting "Come on boys! Let's go Saints!" :) In case you are wondering why Carter was up so late, it is because he was sick yesterday with a low grade fever, passed out in our bed at 5:00 and woke up at 7:30 and didn't want to go back to sleep. So I thought what the heck, let him revel in the historical moment along with his crazy momma! Geaux Saints! You deserve it...hope you get that ring in two weeks!!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Tomato Basil Soup and Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

I have tried out some new recipes this week and because they turned out pretty good, wanted to share them with you.

The first is Tomato Basil Soup. This recipe is from LaMadeline's restaurant. I have never actually eaten there but heard their soup was really good. So I thought I would give it a shot. It's very similar to a similar recipe I made years ago. It was a little rich for my taste and would probably change to half and half instead of whipping cream next time.

4 cups tomatoes, peeled, cored and chopped, or 4 cups canned whole tomatoes, crushed
4 cups tomato juice
12 - 14 washed fresh basil leaves, plus additional for garnish, chopped
1 cup whipping cream
1/2 cup sweet, unsalted butter, softened (I used half the amount of butter and I always have salted butter so that's what I used)
Salt to taste
1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper
Crusty bread (optional)

Combine tomatoes and juice in saucepan. Simmer for 30 minutes over
medium-low heat. Cool slightly, then place in a blender or food
processor. Add basil and process to puree; this will have to be done in

Return mixture to saucepan. Add cream and butter. Stir over low heat
until butter and cream are incorporated. Stir in salt and pepper before
serving. Garnish with more fresh basil and serve with fresh, crusty
bread. Makes 8 servings.

The second recipe I tried was stuffed portobellow mushrooms. This came from a magazine but I can't remember which one off the top of my head. I adjusted the recipe to suit my taste and this is what I came up with:

two large portobello mushrooms
half an onion chopped
one zucchini shredded
one carrot shredded
half a bell pepper (I used green one day and red the next) chopped
olive oil to saute veggies in
a few fresh basil leaves chopped
one tsp lemon juice
two palmfuls of seasoned bread crumbs
two palmfuls paremesean cheese or asiago, ramono, blend
two slices of provolone cheese

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Rinse off mushrooms and remove stems. Chop stems if desired. Saute onions, zucchini, carrot, pepper and mushroom stems until slightly tender. Add basil, lemon juice and stir. Remove from heat. Add bread crumbs and parmesean cheese and stir until well mixed. Line mushrooms with provolone cheese. Add veggie/breading mixture to inside of mushroom caps. With flat part of mushroom facing down, place stuffed mushrooms onto a foil lined baking sheet or silicone baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes. Mushrooms will water out some. If desired, top with parmesean cheese and cook for additional two minutes. These are yummy if you like mushrooms. If you try them, let me know how you like them :)

Thursday, January 21, 2010

I just realized...

today is the anniversary of my grandma's death. I can't believe it's already been three years. I even called my mom today and didn't mention it. I'm sorry mom. I knew the day was coming and it wasn't until I read my mom's blog that I realized the day was today.

What an incredible woman she was. I wish I had written down everything she has ever said to me...all the wisdom, all the stories. I wish I had written a book. She was filled with so much wisdom and love. There is nothing she wouldn't do for someone she loved.

I think about her all the time. I wish more than anything she would have gotten the chance to hold my baby girl. She would have loved her gorgeous curly hair. I know she would have spent hours rubbing Livie's sweet little head. I know she would be so thrilled with how smart and handsome Carter is and how he loves Jesus and has such a tender heart. I think she would be proud of the man Theo is. I hope she would be proud of the wife and mother I have become. We miss and love you grandma and know we will see you again!

She is her mother's child

I'm telling ya, that girl of mine is so much like me! I mean her thighs alone make us more alike than anything else! :) But she is also a thumb sucker. I was a terrible thumb sucker for a very long time. Don't ask me how long because I will never admit it, but I was old! She will pull her pacifier out of her mouth so she can stick her thumb in there. And sometimes, even when I'm nursing her, she'll stop nursing so she can suck her thumb for a minute! Crazy. I told mom the other day that I wish she could get milk out of those thumbs and give me a little break :)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


The Lord saw fit to give me (and Theo) a reprieve from our not so great week last week. Don't get me wrong, I thoroughly enjoyed having Theo home since he was on vacation. But as for parenthood, last week was not great. It had great our zoo trip, trip to the park, etc but all in all, it was a hard week on all of us.

So this week, so far has been great with one little glitch on Monday with Carter at the YMCA (for another post). Olivia has been sleeping better at night but still waking up a couple of times to nurse. She has been sleeping back in her bed. I nurse her in our bed and then she is back to her crib. She went through a phase where she didn't want to fall asleep at night. Or if she did, she would wake up an hour later screaming. Well, I started nursing her in her room in the rocking chair, with the lights dim, and her music on (and Carter either downstairs, or in her room being quiet). I think that helped. She is also finally taking some longer naps. For a long while there she wouldn't sleep longer than 20 or 30 minutes. But today, I am happy to report she took a 2.5 hour nap!! WOOHOOO for naps! Carter and I spent some quality time together. His new favorite thing is listening to chicka chicka boom boom on the computer (thanks mom!) Then it was "rest" aka movie time. I made tomato basil soup from scratch for lunch and even had time to read a book for a few minutes! I feel so refreshed!

We joined the YMCA at the start of the year and I have gone for the past five days. I have done a yoga class twice, a pilates class, ran on the track a few times, and lifted some weights. I feel pretty darn good. I told Theo that the motivating factor was getting a break from the kids for an hour! But whatever works, right? I took Olivia twice to the childcare. She cried almost the whole time Saturday but did awesome yesterday! Theo kept her for me this morning even though he had been up working all night so I could go to the pilates class and not worry about how Olivia was doing. I am grateful. Well, yes and no...that pilates kicked my tail! I haven't worked my ab muscles, which are virtually nonexsistent since getting pregnant and giving birth, really hard! I am so glad we joined the gym. I feel like even that on hour away most days really helps me mentally. I get so bogged down with doing so much for everyone else and rarely do things for myself. Working out really helps me.

I am taking a gym break tomorrow so we can go back to MOPS. Haven't been since before Christmas so it will be nice to see all my friends. Theo is back at work this weekend so I don't imagine we'll do too much. It snowed yesterday for about half and hour and then the sun came out. But today, the temperatures are much cooler. We had several days of great weather so I am not complaining!

And as usual, pics of my two favorite kiddos....

Sunday, January 17, 2010

It all started with the boots

Ladies, have you ever found the perfect pair of shoes but didn't have anything to wear with them so you bought a whole outfit including accessories just so you could wear the shoes? Well, so has my mom....except the outfit was for Olivia! I could tell the package it came in was going to be a good one because my mom was so excited about it. And when I opened the box, I knew why. This has got to be one of the cutest outfits I have ever seen! And it all started with the boots. My mom embroidered the shirt for Olivia, made a matching blanket, and pacifier clip (which I didn't manage to get a picture of yet). These pictures don't do justice to just how cute this outfit is. I'll try to take some better ones when I'm not rushing out of the door! Thanks mom for helping make Olivia look so adorable!

Olivia made her debut in her little diva outfit yesterday when we headed up to Denver to hang out with Aunt Meredith and her family. Carter had a good time playing with his friends. I had fun hanging out with Meredith. And Theo and John had a good time watching the Saints game (Geaux Saints!!!) They had to go to dinner with some of John's co workers so we left and we had dinner at Buffalo Wild Wings (they even had a veggie burger which was pretty tasty) so Theo could catch some of the Colts game. The kids did so great yesterday. We got home pretty late but they both went right to sleep.

I am sad Theo's week of vacation is over. We had a very productive week and got a lot of stuff done and spent a lot of family time togethere, which was much needed. I appreciate everything he does to help me at home (most of the time at least!) He's a great husband and great dad and my life is (usually) easier when he's around! :)

This coming week, not sure what we have planned. Back to the school routine. We took a break while daddy was off of work. I think it's supposed to be cold.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Lions and tigers and bears, Oh My!

THis past week, we went to the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo. It was our first time there as a family. I went while I was pregnant with Olivia and it was fun but hard for me to walk that far and in the mountain no less. But this time was much better. Carter did a good job of not running away (finally!) and Olivia was happy the whole two hours just being carried in the baby Bjorn. We didn't get to see everything because we were in a crunch for time, but all had fun and the weather was perfect for January.

The first exhibit that you come to when you enter the gate is the giraffes. That is my favorite part. They are so close you can literally pet them. They have these giraffe crackers that you can buy so Theo, being the good daddy that he is, bought some so Carter could feed the giraffes. I'm not sure Carter was quite on board with the experience but with a little help from daddy, had a blast feeding the giraffes and would laugh and squeal each time the giraffe at the cracker! These are the moments memories are made of for sure!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Am I the only one?

-who is completely sleep deprived?
-who has yelled at their kids this week? (at Carter, not Olivia!)
-who thinks that if toys were landmines, we'd all be dead?
-who is wishing you were back at work?
-who is tired of cleaning up messes, both in and out of the kitchen?
-who is tired of wiping pee off the bathroom floor?
-who wishes desperately for a solid night of sleep?
-who wishes she could sleep in the bed with her husband instead of him sleeping in the guestroom because a queen size bed is too small for two adults and two kids?
-who ate an entire chocolate cake in three days?
-who has spanked their toddler more than once this week?
-who has really let her ugly side come out this week?
-who has gotten frustrated with her husband?
-who is tired of grocery shopping thus didn't do it for two weeks until your husband begged for food?
-who really needs to dust the furniture?
-who has dirty laundry overflowing in her bathroom and too tired to drag it all downstairs?
-who leaves her bed unmade because it's just easier to crawl into an unmade bed at night?
-who wished she could live in tank tops and yoga pants everyday instead of actually getting dressed in real clothes?
-who is blogging instead of doing housework?

Don't get me wrong, I am grateful for my family and motherhood is never something I have had doubts about. And in the aftermath of the earthquake in Haiti, I feel like I shouldn't be even posting this. But since this is my blog, and my best outlet at this point, then I will share my feelings with whoever choses to read this. It has been one of those kind of weeks. Last week was so great! Carter and Olivia were so good. I didn't put Carter in timeout or spank him even once. And then this week came and he was a different child. I am tired. I am worn out. Not everything about this week has been bad. We had a great time at the zoo, we've had a very productive week. But I told Theo, if it's us against them (parents against kids) then our kids won this round for sure. I keep telling myself that it's only temporary. They will be grown before I can even blink my eyes. I am trying to cherish these moments, but it's hard to think fondly of digging handfuls of toilet paper out of the toilet because Carter decided he needed a half of a whole roll! I know it's just a phase. And each phase of our children't lives will bring new challenges. I'm trying to enjoy this phase while I can.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Four months old!

One more month down, a million more to go hopefully! Well, I'm not sure if it's a million more months per se....I'm not sure how old she would be in a million months but you get my drift. I just didn't want to start the post by saying "Man, the time has flown" :)

At four months, you:

-weigh 12 lbs and 11 ounces and are 25 inches long!

-have really discovered your voice. You squeal loudly, and coo all the time.

-have the most infectious smile. Anytime someone smiles at you, you smile back. Anytime you smile at someone first, they smile back at you!

-love your big brother. He makes you laugh and you stare at him intently when he talks to you.

-are a daddy's girl for sure but also love your mommy time

-nurse about every 3-4 hours during the day and 4 sometimes 5 hours at night. You were at two months going seven hours at night but not so much anymore :( You go through phases where it is hard for you at night to be in your crib and ultimately end up in your bed. But over the past several nights, I take you into your room where it is dimly lit, we listen to classical music while I nurse you and then you go easily into your crib. Sometimes an hour later, you are awake and crying and I think you just want to be held. So I ablige you :) I'm your mommy after all!

-have basically outgrown size one diapers which you rarely wear anyway. You're still in cloth almost all the time and have had less skin irritation since I put Burt's Bees powder on your cute little bum.

-have let mommy and daddy go out on two dates so far while grandma and Omaw have kept you. I haven't gotten brave enough to leave you with a real babysitter. You even tagged along with us to daddy's work Christmas party. All the ladies just oooohhhed and aaawwwwed over you the whole time!

-have the chunkiest little legs and rolls for days! And you have more than one chin but I am so thankful you are healthy and glad to know mommy's milk is doing you well :)

-have discovered your hands over the past couple of weeks and you are a BIG thumbsucker. You will sometimes pull your pacifier out of your mouth to stick your fingers (and sometimes entire fist) into your mouth.

-wear 3-6 month clothes but are already almost too big for some of the pajamas

-have pretty good head control and almost look like you want to roll over but haven't quite yet.

-made your first trip to the zoo today and were such a good girl!

-are the joy of our lives and have given us some of the best four months of our lives!! We love you more and more everyday!

Sunday, January 10, 2010


Just got home from church! I heard an awesome message about healing. Pastor Brady (who is from Logansport....small world!!) is doing a series on healing. Although I am healthy, as is my family, I couldn't help but think that at some point in my life, I will need this message. I jotted down notes furiously and will keep these somewhere safe. If you or anyone you know needs healing in your body, please check out his series here! He makes no promises of being healed of course, but he says if you do five simple things that the Bible says, you will position yourself for God to do miraculous things in your life. And better than being healed, you will grow closer to God. So although I don't need physical healing at this point in my life, I am still going to take what he says and apply it to my life!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

I can't take my eyes off of you

It works both ways beautiful baby girl! I love you more than words can say. And when you look at me with those gorgeous blue eyes, I realize just how totally in love with you I am. I am blessed to be your mommy!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Play Time

We've had a pretty productive week....well at least to start. The weather was nice and we went out several days. I took the kids to the park twice. We went and toured the Y here since we are thinking about joining. We made it to Target and to finally pick up Olivia's birth certificate. But the past two days have been cold so we've stayed inside. Carter has ventured out once to go play but I think his Southern blood got the best of him and he came inside! Smart boy!

Today, we did a lot of playing. Olivia has really developed a little spunky personality. She loves being entertained and entertaining us. Carter literally can't keep his hands off of her. She seems to enjoy it for the most part. When my mom came for her most recent visit, she did an awesome thing for Carter and me. She brought a ton of her education CDs she used to use in her classroom! I hit the homeschool jackpot!! So when I had run out of ways to entertain him, I popped in the Chicka Chicka Boom Boom CD and had instant entertainment. Olivia was on her playmat. She has recently discovered her hands and those are now her favorite things to play with. It's so funny! She is definitely going to be a thumb sucker....unfortunately. Oh well!