Wednesday, April 28, 2010

End of April Update

Around the House: There is so much going on here that I barely have time to write this. But, I am in the middle of baking cookies for our trip to Rock Falls this weekend, and this is the only thing I can do keep myself from falling asleep in between batches. First up is our trip home this weekend for my Grandma H's surprise 80th birthday party. The surprise is that about 75 of us (yeah, it's a very big family) are getting together to celebrate. A lot of my relatives live near my hometown, but a lot don't, so getting everyone in the same place at the same time has taken a ton of planning. It should be great. Catered Mexican food, lots of new cousins for the kids to play with and hopefully lots of pictures to show you later.

Next, and maybe most importantly... we are buying a house. More specifically, the house that we already live in and are currently renting. We are finally over our biggest (possible) hurdle as of today when the inspector came out to do his thing. He gave us the best possible news that the house has no major defects. Now, we pretty much knew that already, having lived here for the last two years, but we were very afraid that he'd find some sort of hidden potential catastrophe like termites or mold or something. So, now that that's done with we just have lots and lots of paperwork and phone calls to complete... and I mean a lot. But, if all goes well, we'll be the new owners of our house in a few weeks. Yeah!

Lastly, we are super busy with school as it winds down for the year. I spent all day yesterday sorting through the kids' clothes for donating to the school Rummage Sale. I am helping out with a plant sale tomorrow morning. I am observing Embry's classroom as well as an Elementary classroom (since Embry may transition sometime next Fall) next Tuesday. Next Friday morning, Embry's class is having a Mother's Day breakfast, and the week after that we are participating in the school's first ever Trivia Night. Whew. I keep telling J that I'm afraid I'm going to show up to something on the wrong day, because I can't keep everything straight.

In the Kitchen: Aside from the chocolate chippers that I'm baking right now (a road trip must have for us), I tried yet another yummy recipe from Our Best Bites. I made the peanut butter and jam bars. The best part about this recipe? I didn't have to buy a thing. I already had all of the ingredients right there in my kitchen. Easy peasy!

New with Embry and Matthew: When Matthew was born, we explained to Embry that although she will always be older him, having a brother means that someday he will be bigger than her. J and I were both speaking from personal experience, of course. (J being a taller little brother and me being a shorter big sister). Last week we had to sit her down and further explain that this event was going to occur much sooner than we thought. I don't particularly remember when my little brother surpassed me in height, but I'm sure it was sometime in high school. Yet, I am predicting that Embry's "little" brother will be bigger than her sometime this year. Matthew now weighs the same as his big sister and wears the same size shoes. He is now in a size 4T (yes, 4!) clothes, while Embry is just barely in a size 5. I caught them standing next to each other yesterday and noticed that he has less than an inch to go before he reaches her height.

If they didn't look so much alike I'd never believe that they were related. Embry is small and petite in every way. Her waist is about the size of my forearm. She has baby fine hair still, and ever her voice is small and high pitched. Matthew is built like tree trunk. A very fast growing tree trunk, you know...like a birch or something they make paper out of, that grows back really fast after you cut it down. Even his hair is thick. It's just hard for me to believe that they both came from the same genetic mix. Someone should do a study on them. Seriously.

The Weather Outside: It's been a pretty typical spring, so far. Chilly enough in the morning that you still need a jacket, but warm and sunny enough in the afternoon for shorts. And absolutely perfect at night for leaving the window open in the bedroom while you sleep. Ahhh.

I am Grateful For: I am going to change this section just this once to "I am Hoping and Praying For..." Safe travel for us and for all of the members of the family as they trek towards Sterling, Illinois. And also for great weather, so that we can enjoy each other's company as long as possible.

I am Obsessed With: I am going to change this section just his once to "I am Re-Obsessed With..." LOST. The series finale is coming up in a few weeks, and I have finally convinced J how great this show is. So, he started going back to watch all of the old episodes. Of course I had to watch a few with him and now I am totally re-obsessed with watching all of the old ones again before the finale. I know it sounds cheesy, but there are so many things that I am picking up on this time around now that I have watched them all before, and it is making the new ones that much better. LOST is quite possibly my third fav show of all time, behind M.A.S.H. and Seinfeld. And with everything else going on, it is the worst possible time for me to be obsessed with watching anything on TV. But I find ways to make it work. After I finish this blog post, I'll be putting the laptop in the kitchen so I can watch LOST while I finish up the cookies and wash dishes. Too much?

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

ABC's and 123's

I finally got Matthew to say his numbers and letters on camera. He was only a little bit distracted...

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And in case you're not yet convinced of his genius, here he is counting his loot on Easter morning...

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Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Kids are Funny

Why is it that little kids enjoy manual labor? Scrubbing the sidewalk, digging holes in the dirt... doesn't sound like much fun to me. But to my kids, it's apparently a great time.

This video actually went on for about 15 minutes. At one point, they were raking as well. Good times, good times.


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Easter Sunday

I know this post is a little late, but I've been spending Matthew naptime...well napping (instead of blogging). Getting home from work at 10:30pm and trying to watch the episode of Dances with the Stars or LOST that I missed that night before falling asleep is taking it's toll. Hopefully once the summer gets here and there aren't any new shows on, I can get to bed a little earlier.

Anyway, we had a busy but fun Easter weekend. We started out by taking Embry's new kite for a flight at a field in Forest Park. It was a nice day, but the wind was very sporadic. Every time we'd successfully get the kite up into the air the wind would completely die and the kite would crash. It's a good thing that Embry was content with flying a few feet above her head. Just as satisfying for her I guess.


After the kite flying got boring we went to the drive-thru at Steak-N-Shake for some lunch, and since it was so nice out we decided to eat at the little park a couple of blocks from our house. The kids played some more and we headed home for naps.

When Embry woke up, she and I dyed Easter eggs. Embry did it the traditional way with fizzy tablets in coffee cups.

I chose a different method (see previous post). My silk tie-dying turned out pretty good.  Although I would've liked the colors to be darker.  After the water came to a boil I turned the dial from 9 to 7 and the stupid stove must've thought I meant 2 because it cooled down too much too fast and I never did get it back up to a boil.  I think that's why the colors were light.  It was still pretty neat, though.  You can actually see the elephants from one of the ties on its respective egg.  The blog post that I got the idea from was right...1. You can find the ugliest ties at a thrift store and 2.  The ugliest ties make the prettiest eggs.  I mean, who buys (or wears) a tie with circus elephants on it?

All the eggs turned out great. After more playing outside and a "snack dinner," we called it a day.


Saturday was uneventful, since I had to work all day. And by work, I mean brave the insanity that is the Costco food court on the day before Easter. I think it might have been worse than Christmas.


Sunday started out great with the kids opening the Easter baskets. I found some cute stuff to put in them this year, without adding too much candy. I was right in thinking they might get way too much of that later. Embry got a jumprope, "the Very Hungry Caterpillar" book, a chocolate bunny, a flower headband, and some Cadbury eggs. Matthew got a board book, a super high bouncy ball, and a smaller, cheaper chocolate bunny.

After breakfast the kids hunted eggs in the backyard and then we packed up to go to J's Aunt's house.

It was a nice drive there (2 1/2 hours), although neither of the kids napped like we'd hoped. They stayed in a good mood the entire time we were visiting, and ate relatively well. After a third egg hunt (the first one was at the Botanical Gardens a week earlier). ..

















...with roughly 240 eggs for 4 children, they had amassed enough candy for the next 5 years. Embry also found 12 eggs with dollar coins in them. Cha ching!

We had a slightly less pleasant ride home. Matthew fell asleep for about 30 minutes and woke up in a terrible mood. He was completely inconsolable, and when we stopped at a gas station to let him out for a few minutes, he refused to get out of the car. So we drove the next 15 miles or so with him screaming bloody murder, and after a while he got tired of screaming and rode the rest of the way home just fine.

We got home just in time for baths and bedtime. Then J and I collapsed on the couch and ate 2 platefulls of leftover Easter dessert for dinner. We were tired but happy. I hope everyone had a great holiday too!