Friday, April 29, 2011

The Best Sound in the WORLD.

Facebook Status Friday. I'm Back.

First off, I want to say that my heart goes out to all of the people who have been affected by this terrible string of storms that has hit much of the south this week. Every time I'd get in the car and start thinking negatively of the rain, I remembered that God promised he would never flood the entire earth again, and so I tried to be grateful for the rain. Sometimes it's hard to do... be grateful for things that seem to kink our everyday lives. But I tried. On to some lighter things...
For those of you who participated in Facebook Status Friday the first couple of weeks, I apologize for not posting it the last two weeks. My life has been a whirlwind lately, and I just didn't have the time to do it. SO sorry. But, good news is that I am back, and hopefully won't have any breaks in this shindig again. Without further ado, I give you my favorite facebook status' of the week.

Most precious thing in the world: brothers laughing together.
(Connor has never been a laughy baby like Brayden was. Which is fine, because I realize they are each their own little person. But seriously, there's no better sound than a laughing baby, especially when he's laughing with his brother!)

my allergies are on revolt against me.
(seriously. I love the spring weather, but the pollen is KILLING me. KILLING.)

Just pulled into walmart, and brayden exclaims 'I want chicken!" I think I get popcorn chicken a bit TOO much :)

('nuff said.)

We just have a normal ol' weekend planned, which feels kinda nice considering the past several weekends have been CRA-ZAY! Hope all of yall enjoy your weekend! If you want to join in the fun, grab the button, and link on up!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Making Baby Food

Well, it's about that time. It makes me sad just thinking about it. Connor man is old enough to eat solids. If you remember, his first experience wasn't that great. He just wasn't all the interested. But it's a different story now (probably because I'm not just serving him cardboard tasting cereal!)... he LOVES it, and so far has eaten avacado, apple sauce and whole grain rice cereal. I thought I'd show yall how I make my own baby food (well, with the exception of the cereal and applesauce). I started my first batch last night with butternut squash, which is one of the easier things to make in my personal opinion. SO, without further ado, I give you MUSHED UP SQUASH ALA BABY.
Start out with a squash
There are several ways to cook butternut squash. I find the fastest, easiest and least messy is making it in the microwave. So you'll need to peel the squash completely, and cut off the ends.
Doesn't this make you think of Veggie Tales? I kept reciting Veggie Tales songs while peeling the squash.

Next you'll want to cut it up into about 1-2 inch pieces

Then microwave on full power for about 10 minutes. I did 5 minutes, then stirred, then another 5 minutes. You'll know it's done when you can easily puncture the pieces with a fork or knife.

I forgot to take a picture of the finished cubed product.

Once it's cooked, throw it into a food processor (a blender would work too, but might need to be done in sections, otherwise it won't get creamy and you will have chunks) and blend until smooth. If it's too thick you can add formula, breastmilk or water till you reach your desired consistency. Here's my finished product:

Next fill an ice cub container with the squash and make them level. Each cube is equivalent to 1oz, so if your baby is on stage 1 foods, that's about 2 cubes, and stage 3 foods is about 3-4.

Once you're done filling the cubes, be sure to let your little stinker lick your fingers :)
Picnik collage
1. first taste
2. What IS this stuff?!?!
3. I don't know about this stuff daddy!
4. I guess I like it. I'll take more please!

Freeze the cubes, and then when they are completely frozen, take them out and let them sit on the counter for just a few minutes (don't let them thaw too much or you'll not be able to get them out)

Sometimes I have to slide a pearing knife on the side of the cubes to get them to come out.

I put my finished cubes in a ziplock 1 gallon freezer bag (the kind with the slider top work best), and label and date the bag, then store in the freezer. I normally make enough to last me 2 weeks or so, and never had any problem with it going bad. If you want to make the food you can either dethaw right out of the freezer, or leave out to thaw too. Easy peasy right?!

Chocolate Dipped Strawberries

Strawberries have been on sale the past several weeks, and so the other day I told Drew I'd make him and his coworkers some chocolate dipped strawberries for their morning meeting. This is SO easy to do, and is a hit with pretty much anyone and everyone. Here's what you'll need:
Wax paper, 1lb of strawberries, and chocolate almond bark.

I used half of the chocolate bark, which is equivalent to 12oz. This turned out to be a little too much for 1 lb of strawberries, so you might reduce it to about 8oz.
(I would cut it up into the squares, otherwise you risk it burning if you overheat it.

Wash and dry the strawberries

Heat the chocolate in the microwave for approximately 2 minutes (you'll need to pull it out every 20-30 seconds to ensure it doesn't scald... melt until smooth.

Grab the strawberries by the stems, and dip away.

Lay the dipped strawberry on the wax paper to let harden.

Once they harden, place in an airtight container and store in the fridge. These are REALLY good if you let them sit overnight, because the juices get all seepy in the chocolate.YUMMO!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Walgreens Trip: Money Maker

When I found out about the Splenda deal this week at Walgreens, I jumped on it. Basically, there was a regional manufacturer's coupon for $3 off of Splenda. Walgreens just so happened to have Splenda on sale for $2.99, so the coupon made it free. Drew drinks coffee every morning with Splenda, so we use A LOT of Splenda. To make this deal even sweeter though, this was also a register rewards deal. So basically, I got FREE Splenda, PLUS I MADE money with the register rewards! SCORE. I'm hoping this may kick start getting more free things, since I can roll the register rewards tonight for more products later.

And just so people know, I didn't break coupon etiquette and wipe out a single store. I went to 3 separate stores to avoid that, and will price match the rest of the coupons I have (I purchased 20 coupons on ebay) at Walmart. So, just to outline the deal:

Splenda: $2.99 each... $20.93
Manufacturer's coupon: $3.00 adjusted to $2.99 (according to Walgreen's policy, they adjust the coupon DOWN to the sale price if the coupon is over the retail price of the item).
plus I got $10 in register rewards to use on my next purchase(s)

Wordless Wednesday: My Little Model Boy.


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Connor, the Crazy Haired Child.

This is post-bath, the peak of all hair crazies. I just LOVE his crazy hair, and will be so sad when it lays down for good :(


Monday, April 25, 2011

And Then...

First, you act all cute and like don't like the camera...
and then you blow bubbles and show your mom why you'll never need botox on your lips...
and then your brother tries to butt into your mom's photo shoot of you...
and then you decide to talk to him a bit...
and then you grab your foot...
and then you eat your hand...
and then you do superman...
and then you eat your hand again, and sort of smile...
and then you smile cry...
and then brother tries to console you...
and then when it doesn't work, he stares at you like you're crazy...
and then you say, THE END!


I just realized that I left out the pictures of our church's parking lot from yesterday's Weekend in Review. This rain is CRAZY, and not expected to clear out until tomorrow sometime. I'm ready for sunshine, but trying to be grateful for the rain too... it could be really dry, and I guess if I had to chose, I'd much rather lots of rain than no rain at all. Happy {rain soaked} Monday!


Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter Weekend in Review

Greetings from the rain soaked Northwest Arkansas... and Happy Easter! We've had a fun weekend remember the sacrifice that Jesus made for us and celebrating a RISEN King today.

Friday I got together with several of my good friends for a playdate/Easter egg hunt. We had originally planned on having the hunt and gathering at a local park, but the rainstorm of 2011 (seriously yall, it's been raining for 3 days now, and I kind of feel like I might need to start building an ark. Or atleast get some oars big enough to steer our house. ha!) halted those plans, so we met up at my friend Cari's house. The kids had fun playing, and of course, hunting for eggs. I'm pretty sure about 5 minutes into the egg hunt I realized that B was huddled over near the playhouse, SCARFING down a Reese's cup... AND THE WRAPPER. Not sure how many he ate, but it was more than one. Still haven't seen any shiny poop, so for all I know, he's still got foil floating around in his intestines. It was fun, but I have to say, that play dates with two children are WEARING. I seriously came home and felt like I had run a marathon. Or how I think it would feel to run a marathon, seeing how I've never even run in a race... ha! (my pics from the Easter egg hunt are on my friend's memory card, so I don't have those yet... will post those once I get them).

Friday night we had a family pizza night, my fave :) I treated B to Sprite for the first time (other than just sips of our drinks) and I'm pretty sure I regretted that decision about .5 seconds after I gave him the cup. It was like a chug-a-thon at our table. He literally filled his stomach with sprite first, then barely ate one piece of pizza. If you've been around here for long, you know that one piece of pizza is NOTHING for this boy. Guess we'll be holding off on the soda next time! After dinner, we pulled out a few boiled eggs to decorate. It was our first time to do this with Brayden. I have such fun memories of me and my siblings doing this as a kid, so was all excited to let B experience it. Why was I not surprised he wanted to drink the dye?

who doesn't want to chew on a copper wire dipped in vinegar?
{love, love, love}
mommy's turn! (please disregard the GINORMOUS pile of laundry in my living room. I'd love to say it looks different tonight, but it's actually grown larger. ha!)
precious little stinker :)

I think he had fun, especially with the stickers. I REALLY need to make a chore/obedience chart for him. I think it would work wonders on some of the issues we've been dealing with lately.

Friday after B went to bed, I worked on organizing my recently completed coupon binder:


Saturday we were awoken at 6:15 to Brayden kicking his door as hard as he could (we lock him in his room at night so that he doesn't wake up and wander around without us knowing. Sounds harsh, but you kind of need to know Brayden to realize that it's for his own good). I quickly got out of bed to get to him before he woke up Connor. I immediately smelt something foul, so knew he had dirtied his diaper. What I didn't realize, is that he also had his hand down his pants. Down the back of his pants. Oh yes, he was digging IN his diaper. DISGUSTING. I quickly wipes his hands off with a wipe, and then brought him to our room to Drew so that Drew could wash him down in the sink (thankfully it was more on his hands than anything else-- and it wasn't a ton, just a little bit. Regardless-- poo is poo). I had to search around his room for anything he could have touched and lysol wipe the place down. That boy-- keeps me on my toes I tell ya. After we cleaned up we tried to lay in our bed with B. Seriously, I don't know how people co-sleep. The kid moves every .0002 seconds, and is constantly talking about something he sees in the room. He finally got quiet around 7:30, and was relatively quiet for about 10 minutes before deciding it was time to eat. The way he tells us that he's ready to eat is to get about a millimeter away from our face, and very, very loudly says "EAT Momma! Hi Momma! EAT!" He'll do this repeatedly until you can't ignore him any longer. Little booger.

Drew had to study most of the day on Saturday, so it was me and the kids. We decided to have a lazy day in our pjs. I vacuumed and shampooed the living room floors, and surprisingly B let me sweep and mop the kitchen too! The rain let up just long enough for our annual neighborhood Easter egg hunt. Brayden was SO excited about it, and we had to literally hold him back while we waited for everyone to show up.

waiting for the hunt to start-- we broke Easter fashion, since it was in between rain storms and he had JUST woken up from his nap.
easter egg hunt
I love the middle pic-- he was RUNNING for eggs. SO cute!

He did really well, not eating anything until AFTER the hunt this time. He did, however, eat a chocolate wrapper. FAIL. After the egg hunt we decided B needed to get some energy out of his system, so headed to Chick-Fil-A to let B play. Our social butterfly met two little girls who were probably between 8-10 years old. He kept asking them to hold their hands, for them to pick him up, for them to chase him... etc. SUCH. A. FLIRT. I'm going to have my hands full when he REALLY likes girls.

Brayden actually "slept in" (read: 7:00am!) this morning, and when he woke up we got him in bed with us and read a little Easter book about why we celebrate Easter. Then, he came out to the living room to find his basket:


It didn't take long for him to dig into the goodies (he actually proclaimed "CANDY!" when he found the basket-- haha!)

Today we helped in the infant class at church, attended our church service, enjoyed a nice ham lunch, and then rested for the afternoon. Or, I should say, that the boys and I rested. Drew left after lunch to go and study, and was gone all afternoon.

The boys wore matching outfits today to church. This might be my favorite thing about having two now-- especially now that they can wear matching clothes!
the chunky monkey himself!
Brayden was hardly cooperative for individual photos. This was the best I could do.
classic, put-your-finger-in-your-nose-to-annoy-your-mom picture
daddy sure knows how to make them smile!
just giving yall proof that my kids don't cooperate for EVERY picture. keepin' it real :)
and this one makes me laugh. haha!

When the boys woke up from their naps, we headed to my Uncle's house to hang out with him and his fam. Brayden LOVES going there, since he has 4 girls (my cousins are 9-15 years in age) to entertain him... LOTS of attention :) I love the conversation and break I get, so it's a win-win. On the way to their house I wanted to take some pics of our church's parking lot... or what used to be a parking lot. It's more of a lake now due to the rain.

We have ANOTHER busy, but fun week planned. Hope everyone stays dry, and has a great week!

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