Friday, May 29, 2009

Potty Training Update

**Warning**
This post contains talk of bodily functions. Read at your own risk.

O.K. I'll start by saying that Alex still has no desire whatsoever to get out of diapers. Incentives such as candy, big boy underwear, praise, etc do not do it for him. Oh, he knows how to go on the potty and usually will when you take him but he doesn't care one bit if he goes in his diaper. If someone doesn't check him or ask if his diaper is still clean and dry he would sit in the same diaper all day.

Zachary on the other hand does care - about sitting in a dirty diaper at least. He has gotten pretty good at telling me if he's dirty. He was stuck in the car with Chris last week when he became dirty and cried until he got home because he had to sit in it. Good progress, I think. Unfortunately, the last week Zachary has come to believe that he can clean up his own dirty diaper. We find him bare bottomed sitting on the potty with a dirty diaper and wipes on his bedroom floor. Sometimes he has cleaned him bottom and put the dirty wipes back in the box. Several times now when he's taken his dirty diaper off he's gotten his bed, the floor, and/or his rug dirty. The worst was Monday when he managed to step in it and touch it. My mom was here and put Zachary straight in the bath (she even had to scrub between his toes!) while I changed the sheets on his bed and cleaned the carpet. He pulled off or touched a dirty diaper three times at bedtime that same day. We did resort back to duct tape on the diaper one night. Then a friend suggested putting his diaper on backwards. Hmmm....I never thought of that. I've done it several times now and Zachary thinks it's pretty funny when I have him roll onto his tummy to put on the new diaper. I think he could get it off if he wanted but maybe it's just a little extra work to make him think twice. If I could just get him to tell me before he goes we'd be all set. I still think he'll beat Alex.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Tip of the Day

Little boys driving matchbox cars all over your back almost feels like a massage!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Toobing

Yesterday my whole family (minus my brother-in-law - we missed you Kevin!) came over to celebrate one of my nephews 15th birthday. We went out to eat lunch, then tubing on the river, and then back to our place to grill hamburger, hotdogs, chicken, and corn on the cob. The tubing trip was quite an experience. This time Chris looked online to find a good spot to get in the river and float but when we drove down there we didn't realize that we'd have to pay to park. So we drove back to the river entrance of our subdivision and got in there. The river is still a little low so there were several spots that we scraped on rocks or had to get out completely to pull our tubes past the big rocks to keep on floating. It was very crowded because of the holiday weekend. Most of this crowd seemed to be drunk adults who didn't seem to realize or care that there were kids around (bad language & such). I don't think the little kids noticed and they all had fun. The rest of us got a little banged up on the rocks and hope for more rain before we want to do that again. Oh, and since we let in at our neighborhood, once we were done floating we had to turn around and go back upstream to get to our car. We tried walking in the shallow parts and just pulling the kids but eventually had to get out and walk on the bank all the way back.
See how shallow the water is?My oldest niece, Megan.My sister Lisa and Alex.My other sister Joanne and my youngest niece Hannah.
The birthday boy - Tyler.
Chris and Zachary in the big boat.

Papa (my dad) pulling three of the kids back upstream.

Menu Plan Monday

Since my mom is here until Wednesday evening to babysit the boys I've got an easy menu for the early part of the week so she won't have to do any prepping for dinner before I get home. Most of this weeks meals don't have links - sorry.

Monday - Homemade pizza (I had one in the freezer from when I made the dough last weekend.)

Tuesday - Chicken spaghetti (This is also coming from the freezer. The recipe is below.)

Wednesday - Chicken with sesame noodles (This didn't get made the last two weeks but I really want to try it.)

Thursday - Baked taquitos

Friday - Shake & bake pork

There are lots of different recipes for chicken spaghetti including some with red spaghetti sauces. This is the one I like that my mom makes. It freezes really well and makes a big 9x13 pan that I split in two and freeze half for later.

Chicken Spaghetti
1 chicken, cooked, boned and diced
3 stalks celery, diced
1 medium onion, diced
1 bell pepper, diced
1 lb Velveeta cheese
1 can cream of mushroom soup (can substitute cream of chicken)
3 cups uncooked spaghetti (1lb)
1 T. butter or margarine

Using the broth left from cooking the chicken, cook spaghetti. Saute onions, celery and peppers in the butter. Drain spaghetti and combine with remaining ingredients and place in 3 qt (9x13) greased baking dish. Bake at 300 for 1 hour until bubbly. *If freezing - freeze before baking. Allow to thaw in refrigerator and bake as normal.

Serves 8 to 10

For more great meal ideas check out I'm An Organizing Junkie.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Marshmallows with my peeps

Since we've finally had a little bit of rain recently the burn ban in our area has been lifted. This means that we've been able to burn some of our huge pile of tree stumps, limbs, and brush that was cleared off of our land. We still don't have dirt or grass in our backyard so the rocks make a great safe place to make a fire. Chris has made a few small ones in the last week but we still have a ton more to burn. Today my parents and one of my sisters with her kids came to spend the weekend with us and celebrate my nephew's birthday (who's coming tomorrow). Chris decided that along with a fire we needed to roast marshmallows. The kids all really enjoyed it although the adults had to do all the work. Roasted marshmallows - yum!

Tomorrow for the family birthday party we hope to float down the river. I hope the weather is hot and rain free because the river water is cold enough as it is.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Imagination Movers

The boys are so funny sometimes. One of the morning cartoons/shows that we watch is Imagination Movers and it has a cute little song at the end. Alex and Zachary have started dancing too it. In case you can't hear the T.V. the boys repeat the instructions - stand up, get down, jump up, turn around turn around turn around. At the very end of the song after turning around and getting dizzy they all fall down.

video

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Random stuff

Alex's speech teacher did an evaluation of Zachary last week & today. She agrees that he speaks clearer than Alex does but will probably still qualify for help. So next year I will have them both in speech for two hours a week. Zachary loved it by the way. He was so excited to get to go to school with Alex. He told me this morning that school was for little boys only and mama was too big.

We've still got Animal Planet going on over here. Not only are we seeing squirrels again but we've had lots of turkeys lately all over the yard.Yesterday evening Chris looked out the window and noticed a group of 5-6 deer wandering our way. Three of them came all the way up to our driveway. They were all female but Chris thought he saw a buck out there too.Today I bought a second bird feeder. This one is supposed to be squirrel proof. I don't think the birds like it though. While I was hanging it up I saw this guy in the tree. He was kinda creepy looking and about 5 inches long.Chris has been itching to go to the movies so we made our 2nd attempt at taking the boys yesterday. We saw Monster vs Aliens and it was in 3D. The movie was O.K. but the glasses were a pain. Alex did really well in the movie this time and watched it all. Zachary didn't like the glasses and only kept them on and paid somewhat attention for about half of the movie. After that the glasses were off and he was going from my lap to Chris's lap and back to his chair. He even said he was ready to go home. Oh well. Maybe Alex can have a special movie treat with mom or dad once in awhile.

We're planning a road trip for June. A big one. We're going to drive to California to visit Chris's mom and stop at the Grand Canyon and other places along the way. Chris is going to take off a whole two weeks. Although I'm anticipating that the boys won't be perfect (I'm sure I'll get grumpy in the car at some point too) and that they won't necessarily care about some of the stops I'm still looking forward to it.

Today we got our blinds installed in the house. The boys had their first nap without sunlight streaming in. I was finally able to take the blanket off of Zachary's window. Yea!

O.K., now you're caught up.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

O.K. so I'm cheating and posting on Sunday night. Last week went well except that we ended up having friends over one night and cooking out hamburgers and hot dogs. That meant that my Friday night meal didn't get made so I'm trying again this week. Also, tonight I tried a homemade pizza crust and now have an extra pizza in my freezer for another time.

Monday - Breaded chicken patties and corn on the cob

Tuesday - Orange sesame pork chops and rice

Wednesday - Paprika chicken schnitzel and probably fried potatoes (I leave the egg & other toppings off the chicken)

Thursday - Chicken with sesame noodles

Friday - Pasta Carbonara Florentine with garlic bread

For more great menu ideas go to I'm an Organizing Junkie.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Daddy is not a barber

No matter what he says, daddy is not a barber. He keeps trying to convince me that he can easily cut the boys hair. How hard can clippers be, right? The barber just zips it around on his head. He can do that. NOT. I knew it wouldn't be that easy but I wasn't listened to. Of course daddy had to test his theory on the squirmiest boy - Zachary. At least his hair grows the fastest too. I almost cried as he butchered Zachary's hair. When he was done (or gave up) he too knew it was a bad job and asked if I would take Zachary somewhere to get it fixed. Chris didn't want to come. I think he was embarrassed. The ladies at the salon weren't fazed at all. They've seen everything. In the end Zachary's hair is pretty short but at least it's even and doesn't have bare patches anymore.

Here is Zachary with his long hair before. Sometimes Zachary couldn't look either.This is the after shot. I should have took one of the side & back to really show the horror.

Zachary was excited to sit in the sports car to get his hair fixed.This is the after shot. It's really short around the sides and back but so much better.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Bird watching

I promise all of these pictures were taken this afternoon. I am not making this stuff up. Lately my squirrels have gone away but the birds are here! That includes turkeys. We've seen a few from time to time since we've been here but a few days ago there was one in our front yard when I took the dog out (in the middle of the afternoon). Then today as I was coming home from the grocery store this guy was crossing the road right next to my house.
Later after I put the boys down for a nap I was sitting at our dining/kitchen table and saw lots of bird activity on the back deck. When I looked closer it was actually just one bird but he was really busy building a nest in our grill. Yup, I wouldn't have thought a grill would make a great birdhouse but apparently I was wrong. We just got a new grill and haven't moved the old one out so this nest isn't in danger of going up in flames. The bird would pick up a twig, fly in a little hole on one side of the grill, and then fly out the other side. While that little guy was flying off looking for more nest supplies a cardinal stopped by to check out our grub. (I have a bird feeder on a tree that overhangs the deck.)Then a minute later he was joined on the deck by a painted bunting that had been chowing down on the bird feeder. The painted bunting has been a regular here for the last few days but the cardinal was new.I'm really enjoying watching all the animals and things but I think I need a camera with a zoom lens. Hint, hint - hubby. Oh wait he doesn't read this. Will somebody please tell him that I need a new camera? Thanks.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

O.K. so I started menu planning last month and it worked out so well. It felt so good to have a plan instead of staring into the freezer or pantry with whining hungry kids (and husband) and be frustrated not knowing what to cook. I planned a menu for the whole month of April and for the most part, stuck to it. I'm going to continue meal planning but only a week or two at a time. I only plan for week nights, knowing that weekends bring eating out, trips to my parents, or doing something with friends. I don't plan for lunches because the boys and I tropically eat whatever leftovers we have or kid-friendly things like pb&j or grilled cheese. This will be my first post/link with Menu Plan Monday although I have gotten a few recipes there. I tend to get quite a few recipes from the Food Network after watching cooking shows. I will add links to recipes if I have them but alot of what I make doesn't have an online recipe. If you'd like one just let me know and I'll post it or email it to you. So, here's what we're having this week.

Monday - Tacos

Tuesday - Nacho Chicken, sweet rice and probably green beans

Wednesday - Crab Cakes and sweet potato fries

Thursday - Turkey and artichoke stuffed shells (I froze half last time I made it - works great!) with a salad and garlic biscuits

Friday - Chicken and Sesame Noodles

For more meal ideas go to I'm An Organizing Junkie.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mothers Day

After church this morning my three favorite guys took me out to brunch at a place we've never been too. I started with a mimosa, then had eggs benedict with crab cakes, and ended with some chocolaty dessert. Yum! The best part was that I didn't have to cook. (We'll see if that holds up for the rest of the day.) Anyway my sister wrote a great post about our mom so go read it here. I second everything she said and couldn't have wrote it any better. We love you mom!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Tubing on the river

This morning Chris woke up with the idea of taking the boys out on the river. Everybody goes tubing on the river in the summer but we've never been with the boys. He ran out to buy an inflatable boat that we could all fit in so we didn't have to rent one. We figure we'll use it enough that it'll pay for itself.We already had life jackets for the kiddos so we didn't need that. The boat ended up being a little bit cozy once we were all in. The boys kept moving around to put their hands in the water or just look at turtles and other people floating by. Chris also got oars so he could row us up river and we could float back down. Every once in awhile one of the boys wanted in the water so I would hang them over the edge and let them float beside the boat.Once we got back to where we started we let them "swim" around in the water for a little bit before heading back home for lunch.

We think we might get a second, smaller boat so that next time we can split the boys up and each take one. Then we won't be so crowded. Zachary kept wanting to jump on Chris so that made it hard for him to row the boat. We're also thinking about getting a couple of tubes (some of them have bottoms on them) to keep on hand for visitors or to try with the boys.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Art showcase

I had bought and planned to hang a big bulletin board in each of the boys room to hang their artwork. A few days ago I was talking to my sister and she told me that a friend of hers had hung a "laundry line" across their dining room and put their kids artwork there. I thought that sounded like a cute idea and I wouldn't have to worry about the boys getting into pushpins. Yesterday we got one hung in Alex's room.

I think it turned out very cute. The boys rooms are still pretty bare so this gives them something on the wall. These are only the art projects we've done at home. I completely forgot about the stack of stuff I've saved that he did at school. I'm going to add a few more things to his wall today.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Salute!


When Chris comes home from work the boys love to help him take off his big boots and uniform. Yesterday Zachary decided that he wanted to put as much of it on as he could. Alex kept asking daddy to take off his pants so he could wear them but he wouldn't do it.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Bunny snacks

It's funny how boys can be so.......boyish without anyone even showing them how. You know, interested in cars, wrestling, making their toys fight, etc. But it makes me smile to see them doing un-boyish things from time to time. I caught Zachary setting up a snack at the table for himself and two of his bunny friends. He had a piece of plastic food set up for all three of them. So sweet.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Friday fly-by

Today was a flying day for Chris (did I ever mention he flies Blackhawk helicopters?). We could hear him coming and ran outside.

This is maybe the 3rd or 4th time he's come by the house. He makes two circles around the house and then leaves. Today was a surprise though. I didn't even know he was flying. Thank goodness we have no super close neighbors but it still might bother somebody. I hope not. The boys and I run outside and wave our arms like maniacs yelling "hi daddy!" like he can hear us. He's told us before that he can see us though. The boys love it.