Thursday, April 19, 2012

A Letter to my Youngest

Dear Olivia,

Make no mistake about it, you are cute.  Probably too cute for your own good.  So cute, in fact, that you make it your mission everywhere we go to ensure that someone comments on your cuteness.  You have an almost one hundred percent success rate.  Most likely due to the fact that you will not give up your shenanigans until a stranger smiles and waves back, then turns to the person she's with, and whispers how cute you are. 

Cuteness aside, I do however have a bone to pick with you.  Why, oh why, besides cuteness, have you decided your sole mission in life must be to strip yourself of your socks and shoes whenever you have the chance? 

You sit in your car seat...you whip off your shoes and socks.  You sit in the grocery cart...off go the shoes and socks.  We go on a walk...I have to watch the ground lest I run over your shoes and socks with the stroller.  Socks with pajamas?  No way...you have those socks off before we can even finish your bed time story.

At first, I admit, the whole take-your-shoes-off bit was pretty cute, but now, dear Olivia, I am weary of replacing your shoes and socks every five seconds.  I honestly think you are giving me carpal tunnel due to the shear amount of times I have to re-Velcro your shoes on any given day.  Your brother and sister, too, are growing weary of searching for your socks everywhere we go.

Maybe you are not aware, but your shoes are not exactly disposable.  Your feet are so dang chubby that in the event we discard one, I cannot simply run to Target to pick up a new pair.  There is no way that even half of your foot could be crammed into a normal-sized shoe.  No, bug, you need extra-wides, and my dear, extra-wides are never cheap. 

So in the interests of everyone's sanity and the well-being of our pocket book, let's see if we can refrain from incessant shoe removal.  I promise, I'll think you are even cuter with your shoes on.

With all my love,
Mommy

P.S. - Although it is probably best to only address one problematic issue at a time, I would also like to bring it to your attention that filling your diaper to overflowing, while seemingly the most effective way to warrant an immediate bath, is really not the best way to win over the sanity of your mother. 

Monday, April 16, 2012

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Weekend Review

Rainy day Sundays are best spent taking naps...Olivia apparently got the memo, but Allie and Zach have a little too much energy to burn after the excitement of having Aunt Stephanie and Uncle Chris in town yesterday. 

So, while Ben and the big kids try their hand at the Wii, I thought I could spend a few moments updating...before possibly taking my very own nap.  Eh...who am I kidding?  I'm not much of a napper anyway.  The truth of the matter is that I'm basically killing time until it is my turn to try out the new Wii Zumba game. 

Anyway, since Stephanie and Chris were in town this weekend, we took the opportunity to celebrate my Mom's birthday (which is tomorrow).

After presents, we continued our celebration with lunch at the Cheesecake Factory where my brother Chris was able to join us as well. 

The rest of the afternoon was spent enjoying the sunshine and hanging out as a family at my parents' house.  I was annoying and made sure to snap a few pictures.




My dad even entertained us with his very own "homemade-sunglasses" trick...something he said came in very handy when he was without sunglasses in the dessert...which was pretty much never...but, now we will always be prepared just in case we happen to find ourselves in such a predicament. 

It is only about nine more weeks until my first nephew is due to make his appearance.  Unlike me at almost 31 weeks pregnant, Stephanie indulged me by posing for a picture with the three of us.


And that about sums up our weekend.  As always, too short, but fun nonetheless. 

Now...it looks like there may be a free Wii controller I can swipe....

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Easter Egg Hunt

After church and a delicious lunch, it was time for the Easter Egg Hunt.  While Ben hid the eggs outside at Grandma and Grandpa's house, we tried to keep the kids away from the windows inside.  The kids could barely contain their excitement over the impending hunt.   

Since Olivia was napping during last year's egg hunt, this was her very first experience with searching for eggs.  We quickly discovered that we should have filled only two eggs for her (one for each hand) and she would have been quite content.  The big kids, on the other hand, couldn't wait to fill their baskets to the brim.








After all the eggs were found, we began to sort the booty outside.  Unfortunately, the chilly wind had us inside to finish sorting through our eggs. 




While Olivia's eggs were filled with stickers, jelly beans, and a few stuffed finger puppets, the big kids found jelly beans and Squinkies in their eggs. What?!  You don't know what a Squinkie is?  Basically, it is an overpriced gumball machine toy that the kids are practically obsessed with.  And, yes, I voluntarily fed the obsession. 



So, that was our egg hunt!  The kids finished the day by eating way too many jelly beans and cookies and I readily admit to having one too many pieces of my mom's homemade Boston Cream Pie (yuummm...I have no will power when it comes to sponge cake, vanilla pudding, and chocolate). 

For some reason I just can't bring myself to take down the Easter decor yet.  So, we're going to enjoy the colorful baskets, eggs, and bunnies for a while longer...at least until we run out of Easter candy...which may be sooner rather than later. 

Monday, April 9, 2012

Easter Breakfast and Good Friday

I love the idea of a special breakfast on Easter morning, but we are rushed enough as it is trying to get out of the door to make it to church on time and adding a big, home cooked breakfast to the mix just seems like adding more chaos.  So, this year I decided to have our special Easter morning breakfast, in our jammies, on Saturday instead. 



The highlight of the morning were my bunny-shaped cinnamon rolls out of a can.  Oh yes...I'm classy like that...I love me a good canned pastry. 



Although I neglected to make the ears long enough and the end result resembled Minnie Mouse more than a bunny, the kids didn't seem to mind at all. 





After breakfast, we opened our last Resurrection Eggs.  This is the fourth year we've done these eggs leading up to Easter and the kids get really excited as they anticipate what is in each egg and how it represents a part of the Easter story. 




To reinforce the truths of Easter, our church also held a special Good Friday service for kids that illuminated the gospel story.  I was amazed at how much our kids took away from the half-hour journey through several stations that included making palm branches and shouting Hosanna, placing stones in our shoes that represent the sins we carry around with us, digging for treasure and discovering a glow stick that is the "light of the world," emptying our shoes at the foot of the cross to symbolize our sins being transferred to Jesus, washing our dirty hands clean at the cross, and seeing the empty tomb and discovering Jesus is alive. 

The stones in his shoes made quite an impression on Zach and I think for the very first time he truly understood how serious sin is and what it means to trust Jesus and have him take our sins.

Although we enjoy the fun things that come along with Easter, I'm most thankful for the times we are able to consider the significance of what Jesus has done for us and share those together as a family.

Rice Krispie Treat Bird Nests

Since Allie was itchin' to concoct a special Easter treat in the kitchen, I decided to peruse Pinterest to see what I could find that would be both a tasty and kid friendly creation.  I came up with this version of Rice Krispie Treat Nests. 

We used the typical Rice Krispie treat recipe and I had the kids help me press the mixture into greased muffin tins. We made sure to indent the top with a spoon for the eggs. 


Then, we opted to use green frosting in place of green colored coconut (not my choice, I LOVE coconut, but the rest of my family despises it...and that is putting it lightly) and placed Cadbury mini chocolate eggs on top. 




The end result was tasty and cute!



In fact, I think Bug was a little irritated that we had so much fun in the kitchen while she was napping. 

Her frustration was short lived...She got over it as soon as we gave her a nest and she realized how yummy they were.   

Happy Easter!





It is a rare occasion when all three kids are dressed in Sunday's finest complete with fixed hair and smiles on their faces for more than five seconds.  Thankfully, this past Easter Sunday our timing was exact enough to catch this phenomenon.  Bribery in the form of Easter candy and egg hunts may or may not have transpired.  

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Car Ride Conversation

On the way home from picking up Allie at kindergarten this morning:


Allie:  Mom, I really like dolphins.  They are my favorite sea animal.  Do we have any dolphins here in Minnesota?
~
Me:  Nope...Only at the zoo.
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Allie:  That's sad.  We should live next to a place where I could see dolphins whenever I wanted.
~
Me:  Then we'd have to live next to an ocean. 
~
Zach:  And that would be scary because then there would be SHARKS!
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Allie:  Oh Zach...you're just being silly.
~
Zach:  But sharks have BIG teeth.  Do we have sharks in Minnesota, Mom?
~
Me:  No.  Only at the zoo.
~
Allie:  Or at the Sea Life thing we went to at Mall of America, right?
~
Me:  Yep, that's right. 
~
Allie:  But, I still like dolphins best.  Zach, what is your favorite sea animal?
~
LONG PAUSE
~
Zach:  I like SHARKS the best....the kind that EAT DOLPHINS!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Ben's New Toy

The glorious spring weather definitely has Ben itchin' to get out on the golf course.  However, he wanted to get some practice swing time in before hitting the real greens.  So, enter ginormous golf-ball-catcher-net that is conveniently hidden located behind our garage.....


Although he has yet to convince me to take up the sport of golf, he's been giving the kids a few pointers in hopes of converting one of them. 







Actually, while we were engaged I did invest in a set of clubs with the full intention of learning how to golf so we could enjoy the sport together.  I went to the driving range to practice my swing and *surprise* I didn't hate it.  I even worked up the nerve to go along with Ben to a Par 3 a couple of times.  While I enjoyed spending time with Ben and being outside, taking up the sport of golf for those few short months only reinforced what I already knew from the time I was on the fourth grade girls' basketball team and scored a basket for the wrong team:    Ball sports and I just do not mix. 

I think for now I'll stick with running and leave the balls to Ben (yes, yes indeed, I did just write that).