Thursday, November 8, 2012


I love evenings like this.  It was a cold, wet day (very welcomed after all the hot, dry weather we've been having).  So as soon as we got home, we all changed into our pajamas.  After evaluating the ingredients in the pantry/fridge, we decided to order pizza for dinner.  We all snuggled down on the couch to watch Sleeping Beauty.  Elijah went to bed fairly early, and when the pizza arrived, we spread a picnic blanket on the living room floor for William and Joy.  After the movie and dinner were over, I read a sticker/activity book with Joy and William.  Then we practiced our sneaking skills to get Joy and William into bed without waking Elijah.  Now, I'm sitting with a vanilla caramel latte (Maxwell's House instant mix is actually pretty good), getting ready to start some work, but enjoying a moment of relaxation first.

And now, without further ado, some excerpts from Life...

William came into my room one morning with his puppy wrapped up in a blanket like a baby. "See? Because he's tiny. 'Cause that's how God made him, like baby Elijah."

I had brought Elijah to bed to feed him and fallen back asleep. I was woken up by Omar, who was laughing at Elijah who was struggling to latch back on with a "dunking head dance."

Elijah met his Aunt Connie for the first time. They stare at each other for five minutes, and Elijah tried to talk to her a little.  Then Elijah managed to pull her scarf off and spit up on her arm.

Joy was being a bit of a cranky pill one morning.  I finally got fed up and told her she needed to get dressed and fix her attitude.  She perked up and said, "That's my job?" "Sure," I answered, "that's your job."  For some reason, she loved that idea and improved her behavior immediately.

An older couple was sitting across from us eating at the Fish Market.  As we got up to leave, the wife said, "Enjoy your family. That was us 50 years ago; time goes too fast. Enjoy your family now!"

Conversation with Joy:
Joy: "I'm not happy."
Me: "I can see that. Why are you not happy?"
Joy: "'Cause I'm sad."
Me: "Why are you sad?"
Joy: "'Cause I'm not happy."

The Bean got his heel hooked on the ladybug ring of his activity mat, so every time he kicked, it played music, and he was tickled to death over it.

At lunch, Joy was stacking her french fries against her cup like a wall, yelling, "Don't break it! Don't break it!"

William lined up his Avengers and started singing, "Heigh ho, heigh ho..."

The yellow Wolverine was missing. When questioned, William answered, "I gave it to Joy, and she ate it!"

I love that both Joy and William have started referring to Elijah as the Bean.

From Omar: "I told the story of Jericho this morning to my preschoolers.  I told them about Rahab and the spies. I told them about the soldiers marching around the walls. I told them about the priests and their trumpets. I told them that God said He would help Joshua. I told them about obedience being an honor to God. With urgency, William's hand shot up. "Daddy, did the preists sing 'heigh ho?'"

From Omar: "William just called Joy an overgrown pocketwatch. Thank you, Lumiere."

William is not a fan of his eyepatch this time around.  His latest excuse: "I'm trying to grow big. The patch stops me from growing."

I was making the Bean laugh during bathtime by making smacking noises with my lips. Later that night, Elijah woke up, and Omar burped him then laid him back down. Shortly after, I went to bed and noticed that Elijah was still awake, watching his hands wave around in the air. Then as I was falling asleep, I heard him start to make the same smacking noises I had been making earlier!

William was so excited to share: "My dad's class and me are in a new month now. It's called November!"
I asked Elijah, "Are you hungry?" Joy overheard and said, "He wants to eat you!"

Another patch excuse from William: "But I'm Captain America! I can't be Captain America with my patch on!"

I was reading the story of the Good Samaritan to William and Joy. When I got to the part where the man was beaten and robbed, William interrupted, "Yeah, they took his Lightening McQueen toys and his Buzz Lightyear."

The first night Elijah slept in William and Joy's room, he started crying shortly after I put him down. As I walked back in to check on him, I heard Joy saying, "Baby, you want Mommy?"

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

What will they say next?

We were all in the nursery while I fed Elijah after work.  Omar took William to the bathroom, but Joy didn't see them leave.  A few minutes later, Joy looked around, then ran up to me almost in tears, and said, "Where's my William?"

William pointing to a gardener with a leaf blower, "Daddy, is he a wiseman?"

Wililam, after giving Elijah his pacifier: "He drank all his milk. Look! Now he's growing big and strong!"

Me, reading a recipe: "Mmmm, brown sugar!"
William: "I don't like sugar!"
Me: "I'm pretty sure you do!"
William: "No, 'cause I haven't had my coffee yet!"

William's dream: "There were 5 tractors and they had rocks in their hooks. So I took my sword and cut them off like this...then they put a beautiful red toilet in my room, and my daddy flushed me down it, and I ran away.  But that didn't really happen."

William was so excited when I told him we were going to visit Grandma Lil.  But I told him we weren't going until after naps, so he tried to take a nap at 9am!

Caught Joy standing on a chair looking at the pretties in my mom's china cabinet.  When I asked what she was doing, she said, "I'm looking at Grandma's toys!"

Elijah spit up a little, and Joy said, "Uh oh, he spilt!" and wiped his chin.

Been having trouble with William having BMs in his underwear.  He was so excited when he made it to the toilet, he called, "Daddy! Daddy! Come watch me poop in the toilet!" And he was so proud because he "made Daddy happy."

I was woken up yesterday to see Joy leaning over the bassinet and saying, "Mommy, I love my baby brother!"

William about Elijah: "He's cute.  He likes being cute."

Joy calls my sister's 3 cats Delilah, "the orange kitty," and "the other kitty."

William keeps calling his new cousin (Eliyah) "Delilah."

When William eats Lucky Charms, he starts with them dry and picks out all the "colors" (marshmallows).  Then he asks for milk and a spoon to finish the rest.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Disneyland 2012

It was William's 4th birthday, Friday, September 28.  We did not tell the kids we were planning a trip to Disneyland.  It would be very special, as Joy's first trip to Disneyland and William's first time to Carsland.
The morning of, we woke up and did our regular morning routine, but we told the kids we were going on an adventure.  They were very excited, probably more so because they didn't know what the adventure was.
By 8:30am, we were pulling into the parking structure.  We kept asking William if he knew where we were, but he was having trouble figuring it out.  We got a great parking spot (Donald 8A) right by the elevator.  We had brought a single jogging stroller and a Moby wrap with us to get around the park.  Elijah alternated between the Moby and the stroller, and Joy also took a few turns in the stroller.  It worked really well; the jogging stroller is so easy to manuever, I could easily steer it with one hand while holding onto Joy with the other.
Of course, the tram ride from the parking structure to the park was exciting.  William finally figured out where we were going when he heard the conductor talking about Disneyland.  We met Chris Hunter at the entrance plaza; many thanks to him for getting us passes for the day.
Once inside, we headed straight to Main Street...and stopped for a restroom break.  I took Joy to the Ladies' Room, and Omar took William and Elijah to change Elijah's diaper.  Joy and I made it back out first, and Joy was very entertained watching the horse-drawn trolley car.
When we were all together again, we headed straight up Main Street.  We caught a glimpse of Mickey Mouse on the way.  Then Joy spotted the castle...
It was every princess's dream come true...
We went into the castle and toured the Sleeping Beauty panaromas. While strolling through, Elijah started getting restless.  So when we came out, Elijah and I took a bench in the shade where we could watch Daddy, Joy, and William ride the carousel.
We were still busy when they finished, so they headed off towards the Dumbo ride.  Elijah finished eating and then had a hiccup...drenched my shirt, my pants, his onesie, and even left a puddle on the bench.  I changed Elijah's onesie, and put him in the stroller.  We walked to Dumbo, and the Bean fell asleep while I caught a few photos.

After Dumbo, William was asking to see Buzz Lightyear.  We headed to Tomorrow Land, but got side tracked when we saw there was no line for the teacups.  I got to ride this time, while Omar stayed with Elijah still sleeping in the stroller.  Joy loooved the teacups.  She kept asking to go on the teacups again, but sadly, we never made it back that way.
After the teacups, we made it over to the Buzz Lightyear ride.  We all went on the ride, but Elijah and Joy did not really enjoy it.  William, of course, had a blast. And in the gift shop, we finally found a Zurg action figure for him.  William carried him for most of the rest of the day.
Omar had seen the schedule, and we knew Rapunzel had just started her greeting hours.  We headed back to Fantasy Land.  I thought I would never stand an hour in line just for a picture, but Joy had to meet Rapunzel.  Joy, Elijah (in the Moby), and I got in line, while Omar and William went to get lunch.  Joy was so well behaved in line.  It was almost an hour wait, and she never once complained or got restless.  Elijah took a nap.

Halfway through, Daddy and William came by to drop off a mini cheese pizza, some french fries, and juice box.  Then they left again to ride Astro Blasters and Star Tours. All the waiting was worth it in the end, though.  Joy got to meet Rapunzel.  She wouldn't say a single word to Rapunzel, but after we left, she told me, "I had fun with Rapunzel!"
As soon as we left Rapunzel, Elijah insisted it was time to eat.  As we headed towards Tomorrow Land, looking for a bench on the way, we saw Sleeping Beauty, Snow White and the Evil Queen, Ariel, and the Fairy Godmother from Cinderalla.  Unfortunately, Elijah prevented us from catching any more photos at that time.  Joy was very patient.  Every time during the day that I stopped to feed Elijah and she was left waiting, she grabbed the water bottles out of the stroller to entertain herself.
When we caught up with Daddy and William, they were looking kind of sad.  They had waited half an hour for Star Tours before finding out that William was an inch too short.   But the staff was really nice about it.  We got a Star Tours Fast Pass to use when William is tall enough, and we got a fast pass to use that day for any ride we wanted.  We decided to use the Fast Pass for the whole family to ride the Finding Nemo submarines.
As we were walking that way, a little girl dressed up as Belle walked up to Joy to see her princess dress, and stood there trying to chat with Joy and William.  Of course, my kids just stared at her and didn't say a word, but she was adorable.
On the way to Nemo, Joy rebelled against holding Mommy and Daddy's hands, and insisted on holding William's hand instead.  We allowed this, and Daddy kept hold of the tail of the monkey riding on William's back.

We jumped straight to the front of the line for the submarines.  Elijah was fascinated the first half of the ride.  It was very bright and colorful out the windows, and he alternated between staring out the windows and staring at Joy sitting next to him. 

He got a little upset when the bombs and loud noises started, but I was able to keep him fairly calm so that we didn't disturb our fellow passengers.
After Nemo, we knew the kids were starting to reach their limit, so it was time to head to the grand finale (Carsland).  We told William we had one more special surprise for him.  We put Joy into the stroller to make better time, and I carried the Bean (a little too hot at that point for the Moby).  And as I predicted to Omar when I told him to put Joy in the stroller, she took a power nap on the way to California Adventure.
William kept asking what the surprise was, but as soon as he saw it, he knew: "I'm going to see Cars!" He was so excited, he wanted to see everything.  Daddy and William did most of the exploring in Carsland, while Joy, Elijah, and I rested.  We saw Mater...
Joy and I spotted Lightening McQueen twice.  Each time, we texted Daddy, but by the time they got back, Lightening McQueen was gone.  Finally, the kids were getting cranky, and we knew it was time to go, but William had to see Lightening McQueen.  So we bought a couple of chocolate ice cream cones and camped out.  Sure enough, just as we were finishing our cones, there came Lightening McQueen!  The highlight of William's day:

Heading back to the car, Joy was in the stroller, Elijah in the Moby, and William was holding my hand.  William was being so good, not complaining at all, but I could feel by the weight and drag of his hand in mine that he was wearing out.  Lucky, Daddy is there when you need a pick up...

We made a short stop in Downtown Disney to buy souvenirs.  Joy really wanted one of the giant lollipops.  I thought it would be an adorable picture, so I asked Joy to smile...

No, really Joy, give me a smile...
Come on now, a big smile...

Fine, just say cheese...

But Omar finally got the winning pic...

In honor of one of his first rides at Disneyland, we bought Elijah a stuffed Nemo.

It was pretty much a perfect day.  We didn't do a lot, but we had a fantastic time.  The kids loved everything they saw (and didn't miss the things they didn't see). Every one was so welled behaved and happy all day long. We left just in time. Even with a movie on in the car, William was out cold in about 5 minutes.

We postponed the actually birthday "party" until the next day.  Grandma made William a superhero cake. With M&Ms according to William's special request.

I think he liked it a little bit. =)

The End.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Get Back Into It

I am going to get back into updating this blog.  I just read all my old posts, and I LOVE reading all the old stories about the kids.  Those little things can get forgotten so quickly and easily, so even if no one else reads this blog, it's worth it to keep it up just for ME.  Also, for a little while, I kept a little notebook in my purse to write down funny things the kids said/did right when they happened so I wouldn't forget.  I should do that again, too.

What do I have to remember today?

This morning, Elijah was lying awake in his bassinet, and I asked William to watch him while I got Joy dressed.  William came running into the room every 5 seconds to tell me, "His face just did this..." "He just made a noise like this..." etc...

This morning, Joy was playing with some giant bug toys in the nursery, and Jen asked her what the bug's name was.  Joy answered, "Brian." (Jen's husband's name).

Joy will eat an apple all the way down until there is just a 1" diameter ball left with the seeds in the middle.

This is an old one, but when Elijah was somewhere around 5 weeks old, my mom walked in while he was nursing and asked him if he ever did anything but eat, and he stopped eating for a second and gave her a huge smile. =)

Elijah does really great at daycare, but I think he misses me during the day.  When I drop him off, I feed him, and he stays latched on as long as I'll let him like he knows I'm leaving when he's done.  In the evening, when I pick him up, he wants to eat immediately, and then through the rest of the evening, just wants to be draped across my chest/shoulder.

I really need to start carrying that little notebook again, because William says so many funny things now, and I can't remember them...

We've told the kids that if they keep crying/whining when the movie turns off in the van, they won't be allowed to watch movies in the car anymore.  Now, whenever the movie turns off, William says, "Ok Joy, remember, don't cry now."

That's all for now, more to come!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Nailed It!

So last night was just one of those times where I really got the mom/wife thing right.  The weekend was a tough parenting weekend, and already this morning, I was losing my patience again.  So please don't think that our lovely story is a good example of our typical daily life, but rather a goal that we strive for, and when things click just right like they did last night, it's an encouragement to keep trying to "get it right."

I already knew on my way home that Omar wasn't feeling well; he had a bad headache.  I got home at the same time as Omar and the kids, and walked in with them.  I told Omar to go upstairs and lie down while I got dinner ready. 

I had remembered to put the corned beef in the crockpot that morning, so that was already a step towards a good evening.  After a little mental debate, I decided the best way to handle the potatoes was to cut them up and toss them in the crockpot with the meat for a half hour.  As I was busily gathering stuff in the kitchen, the kids were starting to complain already about being hungry and wanting a snack.  I asked them to wait until I got the the potatoes in the crockpot, and William said, "I want to help!" I've been trying to engage him more in helping with the kitchen, so I pulled a chair up to the sink, and I peeled potatoes, and William washed them. Joy wanted to help, too, so she pulled over a chair for herself on the other side of me and opened and closed the trashcan lid while I peeled the potatoes.  Oh, and more brownie points for me, I remembered to turn the oven on to preheat for the green beans.

Once that part was done, I asked the kids to sit at the table while I cut the potatoes and tossed them in the crockpot.  When I turned back around, I found that Joy had managed to snag a banana out of the fruit bowl and peeled it herself!  William was sitting with a pack of peanut butter crackers, which I opened for him, and he shared with Joy. 

Then William asked to play Candy Land.  I deferred him for five minutes while I ran upstairs and started a load of laundry, then we played together.  I may have quickened the game just a little by skipping over the character cards that would have moved William backwards, but I think he still won fair and square.  Then I went to clean out the dishwasher and pre-clean the kitchen. The kids wanted to help again, so I let them help with the bottom shelf of the dishwasher (after I had gotten the knives out). Then I got the fishing game out for them while I finished putting away the more breakable stuff.  I also stuck the green beans in the oven (TGIF fried green beans, from the freezer). The kids helped me spread the frozen green beans out on the cookie sheet.  Another trip upstairs to switch over the laundry, and then it was time for dinner.

Oh, and somewhere in there, I caught William giving Joy and "ultrasound."  He used his ketchup and mustard bottles for the gel, his top spinner for the ultrasound wand, and a kitchen towel to wipe off her tummy when he was done.  Then Joy gave William an ultrasound.

I was proud of the dinner I served last night.  Corned beef, potatoes (half-mashed with lots of butter and juice from the meat, so good), and the fried green beans.  Omar came down and joined us for dinner, and every one ate pretty well.  William didn't eat a lot, but he tried everything.  And there were mini cupcakes for dessert left over from our cupcake treasure hunt on Sunday.

Clean up after dinner was fairly quick, since I'd already gotten some done while dinner was cooking.  Then I actually remembered family birthdays coming up.  So I scrounged up some colored paper, stickers, and crayons and helped the kids make birthday cards.  They really like stickers. When we were done, I had them help me clean up the living room and put away all their toys.

Upstairs, pajamas, teeth, Bible time, and the wiggles, and got the kids into bed pretty much on time.  While they settled down (they were kind of rowdy for a bit, and Joy kept getting out of bed), I took the laundry into my room to fold and put away while I watched a show on Netflix. By the time that was done, and I was heading back downstairs, the kids were falling asleep.

The next night's dinner was planned to be salad, so I pulled some chicken breasts out of the fridge to cook.  Omar wanted them really moist like the pre-cooked packaged chicken breasts we usually get.  So I cubed the chicken and dropped it in the frying pan with a spoonful of sour cream, salt, and garlic powder and browned it just a bit. Then I added a cup of chicken broth, covered, and let it simmer until done. It came out perfect; I was so excited!

I cleaned up the kitchen again, did a little computer business (including posting a photo of Joy's ultrasound by Dr. William), then served some warm apple crisp with ice cream and caramel  for Omar and I to enjoy while we watched an episode of How I Met Your Mother.

Afterwards, I made sure we left a clean kitchen, and we went upstairs to watch another episode while folding and putting away some hand me down clothes for Elijah, before going to bed at a fairly decent hour.

Everything just went well last night. I had a plan for dinner that didn't take too long to prepare.  I was able to enjoy time with kids, both by letting them help me with chores and by playing games with them.  I was successful in my first attempt with the chicken breasts, left a clean kitchen, and got a lot done last night.  And I went to bed with a good dinner planned for the next night.  For the most part, I was patient with the kids and they were good helpers all evening, and I was able to give my husband the time he needed to rest and cook the chicken just like he wanted.

Let's try it again tonight!

Thursday, September 29, 2011


I went in to tuck William in, and he grabbed the sleeve of my robe and said, "I want this blanket!"

Joy has a favorite now.  I was rocking her, and she started crying and scrambling to get down.  I let her down, and she walked over to her crib, crying and reaching for a fat stuffed blue pony inside.  I got it out for her, we sat back down in the rocking chair, and she squished her face into the pony and went to sleep.

Leaving daycare, William saw one of the other kids' mom walking in.  He told me, "That's Ashton's mom.  That's not my mommy.  You're my mommy.  I don't want her to be my mommy."

William started to run off in the grocery store, and I called him back and told him no running in the store.  His response: "But I neeeeeed to!"

I put some honey mustard on Joy's french fry.  She didn't like it.  She gagged a little bit, then grabbed a napkin and wiped off her fry.

Coming downstairs one morning, William saw his empty dinner plate from the night before sitting on the dinner table, and he told me, "I ate all my chicken nuggets!  I listened to Daddy!"

I had to be out and missed bedtime one night.  Omar told me that Joy had missed me and was crying for me.  When I got home, she was asleep, but I went in and rubbed her back lightly.  She peeked open one eye and looke at me, then closed her eyes, snuggled down and did her "happy kicks."

We had pancakes for dinner one night.  Joy loves pancakes, so at the end of dinner when she was full, she kept putting pancake pieces in her mouth, sucking off the syrup, then pulling the pancake out and throwing it on the floor.

I told William to drink his milk so he can grow big and strong like dinner.  His response: "Daddy is big, and he doesn't drink milk!" (Omar is lactose intolerant.)

I was trying to get Joy to say "bye bye" for Omar to hear, but she wouldn't do it.  I went into the kitchen to clean up while Omar stayed with the kids in the living room.  After a bit, I heard Joy saying, "bye bye, bye bye!" I looked in and saw Omar sitting with his back to the stairs, but he had left the gate open and Joy was halfway up the stairs waving through the banisters!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Apple Coffee Cake

My first photo recipe blog!  I always thought these looked like fun, so I thought I'd give it a try.  I've really been into baking lately.  I was going to try a blog with my noodle hot dogs, but I didn't like how they came out. Yesterday afternoon, I made Apple Coffee Cake.  I got the recipe from Betty Crocker. I had a few problems with the assembly, but you can learn from my mistakes.

I've started writing my recipes on 4x6 cards, in preparation for the recipe box that I will one day own.  Since I've had a history of forgetting to turn on the oven until I'm ready to put the pan in (come on, you know you've done this), I write the oven temperature right next to the name of the recipe at the top of the card.  So my recipe title reads "Apple Coffee Cake 400F."  Helps me to remember to turn on my oven to preheat while I assemble my recipe.  I thumbtack the recipe to the wall next to my mixing area.

Here's the start: Bisquick, brown sugar, ground cinnamon, and ground nutmeg, just mixed together with a wooden spoon.  After reviewing the recipe (always read the whole recipe through a couple times before starting), I decided the Kitchenaide wasn't necessary, all the mixing can easily be done by hand.

This made me a little excited.  I don't often get to use my pastry knife. =)

I cut the butter into pats, and started cutting it in until crumbly (bottom).  It didn't take long.  The pastry knife got gummed up some, and I stopped a couple times to clean it off, but found that if I just kept going, it cleaned itself off. I set my crumb mixture off to the side, and started on my batter.

I was out of milk, so I borrowed some of Omar's Lactaid Milk.

Look!  I can crack an egg with one hand. 
I learned it from Audrey Hepburn in Sabrina. "It's all in the wrist."

On the left is the batter just stirred together, to the right, after I beat it "vigorously for 30 seconds with spoon."

 Got my greased 9x9" pan.  Don't you hate it when you put the batter in (this is half the batter), and it looks like there's no way it will cover the whole pan?  All it takes is a little patience, though.  Notice I ditched the wooden spoon for a spatula.  It's a pretty sticky batter, so the spatula was much better for spreading.

 Apples!  I have always been horrible peeling apples by hand. The day I realized I could use the vegetable peeler was a Eureka! moment for me.

Apples layered on top of the batter, then sprinkled with half the crumb mixture from above. I've tried various methods of sprinkling crumb mixtures like this (using a spoon, gently shaking it out of the bowl), but I've found that the best method is just to use my clean hands.  Grab a handful and sprinkle!  This method gives me the most control.

Seeing as how the batter was so sticky, I knew the crumbs would stick to it.  My strategy was to put little blops all over, and then gently smooth out and connect the blops.  It didn't work.  Not only did the crumbs stick into the batter, the apples did too!  I was about ready to give up, I was so frustrated.  But I just kept trying, and ended up with the last photo on the bottom.  Please, if anyone has a better way to do this, let me know!

Luckily, there were more crumbs to sprinkle over the top and hide the imperfections! Also, chopped pecans.  The recipe said 2 Tbsp of chopped nuts, but that didn't look like enough to me.  So I added a little more.

While the coffee cake was in the oven, I cleaned up my kitchen, and gave the leftover apple bits to the kids for a snack.

Cake is done when toothpick inserted in center comes out clean!

I love my little whisk! It's perfect for these small jobs like the glaze (also good for scrambling a couple eggs for the kids).  I started with 2tsp milk at the top right, but that was way too thick for drizzling.  I added the entire 3rd tsp, and that was perfect (bottom picture).

A couple practice drizzles in the bowl with my spoon, and then all over the cake!  Go faster for a thinner line, slower for a thicker line, but don't really worry about it too much, it looks beautiful in the end.

I recommend it served with a cup of Don Francisco's Vanilla Nut Coffee.  My favorite coffee!  The cake was pretty good, a little dry, but good flavor.  Love the cinnamon, brown sugar, and apples.