May 25, 2008

Me being beautiful just like you Momma

Ahh, from the mouths of babes...

May 23, 2008

Getting caught up, in two minutes or less

So it's been entirely too long since I have posted last...I had all intentions of doing a Menu Plan this week and show pictures of the SHARE package I picked up on Saturday. However, that effort was upstaged by a great trip to Port Discovery Children's Museum in Baltimore. Ever been? We love it so much, we actually splurged for the year-long membership. I like to go about once a month to make sure we are getting our $$ worth! I would love to share some pictures so you can get a sense of what it's's so cool!!! (Did I mention that already?!) It's great for kids from baby on up...even Rachael enjoyed herself in the room designed especially for babies and toddlers.

Speaking of Rachael, she turned 8 months old this past week, and I really wanted to post about that too. She's now crawling pretty well, and her new favorite thing is to wave. She waves at absolutely everything! She is still as vocal as ever, and I believe she and Bella had their first fight over a toy. All Kate and I could do was laugh at them as they were shrieking and casting the evil eye at each other. In the end, it turned out neither really wanted the toy and they went their separate ways to go drool on something else.

Sara is making progress in the potty training world. We checked out this video called "Potty Power" from the library...what a riot! I highly suggest Mom and Dad preview the video don't want your uncontrolled laughter to in any way distract said 2 year old from the great message of getting Potty Power! But I do have a it really considered being potty trained if said 2 year old is sitting on the potty and yet still manages to pee all over the floor...nearly every time?! Maybe so much bathroom cleaning is the reason I haven't gotten around to posting! Now the new lesson is "Potty Posture" aka how to sit so the pee actually goes into the potty...she keeps correcting me..."No, Mommy...not Potty have Potty POWER!" Apparently the lesson is lost on her.

So hopefully over the long holiday weekend I will have a chance to post some pictures and write something insightful as opposed to this general rambling. Keeping fingers crossed, but definitely not holding my breath...

May 16, 2008

Congratulations Kate!

I have some news...big, exciting news! In contrast to my nature, I had to refrain from talking incessently about it, because the news wasn't mine to tell. So patiently I waited till the time was right. Dear readers, you are in luck because today the wait is over...

WOOHOO!!! My sister-in-law, Kate, is EXPECTING Baby #2!!! YIPPEEE!!!

If you have any creative names you called your precious babies before they are born, stop by her blog and leave her a comment. The ones we have used for our girls were Seahorse and Jellybean.

May 14, 2008

They won't go to kindergarten diapers...will they?!!

Santa brought Sara her very own potty for Christmas and there it sat...unused and lonely for months and months. We even put it away for a while because we were tired of tripping over it whenever we were in the bathroom. I didn't push the issue at all. My goal in life is to control the frequency and severity of the crying happening in my house, so packing up the unused potty seemed tantrum-inducing pressure on Sara and no whining from Scott as he kicks the blasted potty for the um-teenth time. While I was cleaning out a linen closet last week, Sara spotted the potty and out it came...without any parent-induced fanfare. There was no explanation of how it worked or what it was for. It just appeared in the bathroom again. Several times that day she wanted to sit on the potty, but nothing happened. I got all anxious because I certainly don't know how to potty train a child...good grief...she's 35 pounds and still wearing diapers...there's only Depends from here on out, folks. (But Pampers now makes a Size 7...thank you, Kate, for that great bit of trivia.) In something that could be described as a panic, I requested probably every toilet training manual, children's book and video that the public library carries. I picked a few up from the library over this past weekend, and before I had even made it through chapter 3 of Potty Training for Dummies, my little girl is calling me...from the potty...the potty containing product! Sara was giggling and laughing. Bladder control is apparently very funny to the 2 year old mind. All day yesterday we were diaper free except for nap time and bedtime. Today's looking like another big success! My baby girl is growing up and leaving her Momma in a delirious state of diaper-free amazement...

May 12, 2008

No Menu Plan this Monday

I am totally stressed. I can't seem to finish anything I start and what I am working on seems to turn out mediocre. I have been working off of the same Menu Plan for three weeks now and haven't even cooked all of those meals yet. Oh and did I mention next Saturday is another SHARE pick-up?! We have a ton of food just in time for me to be unmotivated to actually cook anything decent. What luck. Do you remember from my "100 Things" post that I really really want a housekeeper?!

Update on the Accidental Watermelon

I told you all how I accidentally came to own a watermelon plant that is described to produce 125 pound fruits. Because I bought it, it became mine and because I have no space in my yard for such a plant, I set out on a mission to find a fitting home for my accidental watermelon. I wanted someone to love it and grow it like I would if I'd only had the space. Then the thought occurred to me...what if the girls gave it to their Meme (Scott's mom) for Mother's Day?! She has the space (they have grown pumpkins in years past) and she would certainly not want to disappoint the grand-babies by letting the watermelon die. A brilliant idea if I do say so myself! I hope to provide you more updates and photos as the accidental watermelon grows.

May 8, 2008

It's Not Whether You Win or Lose...

I received a phone call from my nephew who was just bubbling over with excitement! He called to tell me his baseball team had lost 11-12! He lost, you say? But why would he be excited about that? He gave me the rundown of the entire he had three (count-'em THREE!) hits into the outfield and that after the first hit the other team's coach had the outfielders scoot back when he was at bat again. I can only imagine what this does to a young boy's ego! He told me how this was the most runs his team had ever scored in a game, and while he himself didn't score, he did contribute an RBI or two.

I am incredibly proud of my nephew and have been so blessed to watch him grow up and mature. Through his one simple phone call to me, he demonstrated so many admirable qualities. He found joy and satisfaction in a job well done, even if the end result wasn't a win. He recognized his contribution to the team as a whole. He showed that he values his family enough to call us to tell us about what is important in his life. I am truly honored that he thought of me as a person he would want to share his successes with. Thank you, Danny!

May 7, 2008

The Accidental Watermelon

So...I may have accidentally bought a watermelon plant....that I may have somehow thought was an okra plant... I am a very novice gardener to begin with, but then I thought it wise to do a whirlwind trip through the Home Depot at 7 am on my way to work. Apparently, I was not fully caffeinated and in the morning sunlight my mind saw okra. In the car on the way to work I noticed the picture of the bright red juicy fruit pictured on the plant tag. Curious, I thought as I pulled the tag out of the plant. Then I flipped it over to read about my not-an-okra watermelon and the first line read..."Mammoth fruit can reach up to 125lbs!" Did I mention my garden is only 4ft x 8ft. The one thing it is definitely not is mammoth. Oh, what to do with my accidental watermelon!

May 6, 2008

Mother's Day Flowers fo ME!!!

WOW!!! My husband is such a great Daddy! Yesterday at work, I received a special was a beautiful floral arrangement that Scott had sent to me from the girls for Mother's Day. He had specially requested two sunflowers (my favorite!) to be included in the bouquet to symbolize each of our daughters. When I saw them, I knew exactly what they were there for. What a thoughtful touch! I will keep them at work with me all week, then bring them home on the weekend. I am using the picture included in this post as my wallpaper on my computer at work so I can enjoy them for a very long time!

May 5, 2008

Menu Plan Monday: May 5 - May 11

I am a planner by nature. I love lists. I like to know what to expect and to look forward to. Only recently, and with the help of my husband, have I learned to relax a little...or in the case of this week...alot! Ordinarily, I would be frustrated if I spent the time to create, say, a meal plan and then we didn't stick to the plan. This past week, we tossed the plan to the wind and did lots of eating out and accepting unexpected invitations for meals. It was a total blast! And the best reward of all is that I get to recycle last week's meal plan for this week, with no extra grocery shopping!

We went to my sister-in-law's house for homemade pizzas last Friday. This is one of our favorite dinners! We do it probably about every other week. She does the dough in her bread maker and adds yummy Italian spices to it for a little extra flavor.

Sara's favorite part is to "roll roll roll."

We all bring over toppings to share and everyone (even Sara!) gets to make their own!

In the summertime, we cook the pizzas right on the pizza stone that is placed on the grill :)

Here's what's on the menu for this week....again....


Macaroni & Cheese
Turkey Sandwhiches
Grilled Cheese
Meatball Subs
Leftovers (Lasagna, Potato Leek Soup)

Fruit (Apples, Oranges)

Monday--Spaghetti & Meatballs
Tuesday--Chicken Tenders, Rice, Sweet Potato Patties
Wedenesday--Grilled Brats w/Peppers & Onions, Baked Beans, Potato Salad
Thursday--Salmon, Salad, Baked Potatoes
Friday--Leftovers or Pizza
Saturday--Dinner w/Mom at her house
Sunday--Breaded Fried Pork Chops, Green Beans, Stuffing

May 2, 2008

Garden Planning

My garden is a 4 foot by 8 foot raised bed. Small as it may be, I have had great success from it in the past. I loosely subscribe to the "Square Foot Gardening" concept, though I never quite come up with enough things to actually fill every single square my garden that would be 32 things at once! And some things can be planted even closer together (i.e. several plants per sq.ft.) so the number of plants could only go up from there. Anybody else out there trying this method? I would love to hear how you plan and use your space!

This year, I am excited to try some new veggies that I have never grown before. Today I picked up okra, yellow pepper, bush cucumber, and zucchini. I also have five regular tomato plants and two cherry tomato plants...I have done these ones for the past several years and they do great! The biggest challenge is taming the tomato plants so they don't crowd out the others. I need to design some trellising or caging that will keep the tomato beasts under control!

I also picked up some seeds for beans and peas. I have no idea where I will plant these, as they are viney and tend to go all over the place if not given an appropriate climbing structure. Hmm, did I mention I have about a 15% success rate with starting seeds? Open toilet. Flush $3. ...but a girl can pretend hope , right?...

The forecast for this weekend is looking promising...Sweet Sara, get those toddler hands ready...we're gonna dig!

Lessons from the Garden

I love my garden, small as it may be. I am so excited this year to include my 2 1/2 year old in the planting/tending of it. My hope is that she will also love it like I do and this will become an activity we can enjoy together year after year. There are so many life lessons to be taught through a garden...over the summer, I hope to convey the following to my daughter though gardening together.

--Delayed gratification
--All living things echo the beauty of God
--Where food comes from
--Hard work, when shared with friends/family, can actually be fun and memorable
--Great things come from small beginnings
--Weeds are similar to sin in our life
--Caring for nature is part of good citizenship
--Giving generously the excess that our garden produces