Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Sleep in Heavenly Peace

Oh blessed slumber, oh heavenly rest. How long you did elude him! How long you escaped our grasps! But not anymore. No friends, the little prince is finally sleeping WELL in his OWN BED! All Night! (*Of course, he is a toddler who's sleep is subject to change with every sneeze or cough, at any moment without warning for an indeterminate amount of time.*)

Joey loved our bed a lot, but he did not like to be crowded. Actually, I'm not sure how much he liked having us in our bed. It was time for him to learn how great his crib truly is! Not only did it go rather quickly, but it has been a while and he doesn't even fuss at bedtime. Oh glorious mornings! With my little boy greeting me happily and well-rested around 7am, everyone in the house is thrilled to see the sun.

The best part of course is how he established his OWN routine. After months of trying to introduce a "lovey" for comfort and him not showing any interest, he has chosen a stuffed dolphin he received at Christmas. After months of rocking and singing he has decided he no longer really needs the songs. What he does love to have is his Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer pillowcase, and anything with Frosty on it. He lays down on his side pointing and snuggling his 2 buddies. In the morning he tries to hand me everything in his crib, and I am unable to oblige and carry him at the same time! One morning Daddy carried everything down with Joey to discover that Joey expected Daddy to snuggle him with all of it!

I just adore how much he loves to snuggle during the day. It's always in brief, fleeting moments, and he rarely tolerates me interrupting his games, but it's soft and cozy and very, very lovely. And now that I get my own space at night I can soak it up joyfully during the day!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Art Day

We call it Multi-medium Art Experience.

This is the first time The Boy has shown any interest at all in coloring/paint. He really got into it, asking for specific different colors (with points and "yes/no") and thoroughly enjoying the dot paints!

While most of our art days are pretty free-form and self-directed, I do sometimes offer pre-prepared projects or directed activities. This time I prepared shapes for scissor practice. Both girls loves scissors, but Bella is ready for a little challenge to build her precision. She loved it! Each of the 3 papers introduced a slightly bigger challenge - the shapes got smaller, and then a few more complicated.

Note that Bella, in the background, is using left-handed scissors. An absolute must for my little lefty, and a big thanks to her Gram for sending them!We love art around here. All mediums, all formats, as often as possible!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Someone's Little Curl

For the rest of the story and more pictures, check out Joey's Blog. I am much more emotional and overly-dramatic about this hair cut over there.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Quick Takes

For the first time in a long time I actually remembered it was Friday!


I have been watching WAY too much HGTV lately. I walk through my house narrating the design styles in each room. "Clutter, with a sense of lived-in comfort." "Attempted to take on influence of global travel with positive results in the mis-matched aspects." "A distinct 'hand-me-down and thrift store' aura, with bright splashes of random colors."
I love color, and I love design, and so many of those shows leave me wanting to pick a theme for certain rooms in my home. How to get there from here? I have no idea!


Curious, restless, with a few minutes to spare/procrastinate? Try for some fun! We live in MD, along with all of my brothers, their families, and our parents. What ideal place does this quiz have for me? Upper Rocky Mountains. Plenty of snow, lots of outdoor activities, lakes, and open sky! LOVE it! Not that we're moving, of course, but the open air definitely calls my name. Other top spots for me included Southern Blue Ridge mountains. I want more snow than that, but the Southern mountain air always does a body good, too and that's probably more my kind of outdoors - as in, warmer than freezing for the greater part of the year.


I have a cold, Joey has a cold, Anastasia has croup, Daddy has a cold.Multiple children coughing and wheezing all night. Can I start feeling sorry for myself or do I have to wait until someone throws up?


As I type I am staring at our Christmas tree, willing it to clean itself up. There is a great sense of cleanliness, refreshment, and openness that comes immediately after putting away all of the Christmas decor. The actual act of putting it away is a painstaking task, which is why our tree ornaments hang there mocking my tired, lazy self.


Speaking of a tired, lazy self - 26 weeks down, 14 more to go! Wednesday was my *second* ultrasound, since the images from the first disappeared before the doc wrote his report. While another hour scan was not tops of my excitement list, it was pretty neat to see the drastic changes in Baby since my last scan. SO so active, with big cheeks already! We're pretty excited!


Best music my husband bought me this year: Colin Raye's His Love Remains. I have always loved his voice and this collection of songs is mostly old school and heartfelt hymns.
The weirdest music my husband bought me this year: Bella Fleck and the Flecktones Christmas album. Odd, but he does have to work around my already expansive and eclectic Christmas music selection. It did kind of grow on me, in a thank-goodness-I-can-shuffle-this-whole-playlist sort of way. Musically, it's pretty cool.


I think we finally have a great laundry "schedule" figured out. 3 times/week, and EVERY single load I do contains underwear. Jeans? yup. Towels? yup. I just can't risk it. If the day turns crazy and I only get one load all the way through the dryer and put away, at least I can be guaranteed that there are a few pairs of little girls' panties to carry through the next few days. I know you're laughing at the simplicity and mind-numbingly elementary truth in this, but in my world, this is a major accomplishment. In other news, I will have a New Baby in just 3 short months and this schedule will not matter one bit.

Your weekend will be that much better if you stop on over at Jen's for more Quick Takes!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Christmas Baking

Each year I look forward to Christmas baking. I have picturesque images of plates full of homemade sweetness in perfect contrasting color towers. I have lists of the recipes I absolutely must try. In my perfect plan I show up to each event with a beautifully wrapped package of love-in-sugar-form. And then Advent rolls around, takes me by utter surprise as if it has never happened that soon after Thanksgiving before, and I am resigned to decide which few recipes I can muster my way through. This year, however, I had very enthusiastic little Helpers whose joy and excitement was thoroughly contagious! We had SO much fun!

Pretzel Dots are a favorite! With very little help from me the girls were able to complete the process. They were excited to be able to do each very simple step, and everyone LOVES the finished product. And what's not to love about the festive colors, which thanks to M&M marketing can be adjusted to suit whatever holiday you want.

Sugar cookies are time-consuming, messy, and require full-time involvement. And I LOVE making them! Nothing is more exciting to kids than rolling out that dough and pushing cutters to make what is, to their eyes, the most perfect shapes. And oh! The sprinkles! The colors! The hands that are now dyed the colors of the sprinkles from all the taste-testing! The only real problem is that of course I did not take any pictures with my own flour-covered hands, so the finished product will suffice.

Sometimes a pre-made kit is the perfect project for a short time frame. Step 1: open packages. Step 2: let the kids decorate however they want for 15 minutes. Step 3: give them a glass of milk and call it lunch. Everyone wins!

We also made chocolate chip (of course). The taste-challenge winner, though, was a new recipe for me this year. I made These cranberry-orange cookies and I recommend starting out with a double batch. That way when you nibble your way through these tasty, beautiful treats you will still have a few to set out and share with others. Or to eat later. They are visually appealing and very, very delicious!

Monday, January 9, 2012

My Theme Song