Monday, February 28, 2011

welcoming Brynn and Tanner

Meet our niece, Brynn Erin Andrea Reaves:

and Tanner Robert Ness:
We had a great weekend in Lansing! I still think it's kinda crazy we know two babies that were born at the same hospital on the same day. They were each a week old on Saturday. Both babies are beautiful and their mamas are doing great. I forgot to grab our good camera, so I'll have to sneak some better pictures next time. Morgan LOVED to hold the babies. She was so gentle with them, whispering in her squeaky little voice about how cute and tiny they are and kissing their cheeks and foreheads. Parker was very interested in them too. Maybe because he thought they were one of Morgan's dolls and he wanted to gnaw on their toes.

It was a really nice time! Lots of snuggling and giving advice. Lots of good food and wine. Lots of chatting, catching up and angry birds. I'm already looking forward to seeing everyone again and watching Brynn and Tanner grow and change. I love that our friends and family have children that are so close in age to our own. It was fun to watch Tanner's big brother, Brody, play with Morgan too. Talking, chasing each other around the house, sliding down the stairs, and a whole lot of hugs and kisses. Woah, baby! It was so cute!

Congratulations again to Cortney + Nick and Andrea + Tim!

Today: I'm still in my pj's and trying to get motivated. At least the kids are freshly bathed and dressed. I'm excited for tomorrow. A new month and new things to do. I have some catching up to do on Facebook and will be getting a new One Little Word prompt. Guess I should go pretend to do something. I'm thinking another blanket and a stack of books to read to Morgan sounds good while Parker finishes up his nap. Bye, February!

Friday, February 25, 2011

One Little Word: February

February's One Little Word prompt was to look for our word in the world and take photos which represent it. After choosing 9, (which go on the backside of part two of our January prompt), I placed them in a layered Photoshop template that Ali provided. This was my first finished attempt at a digital scrapbook page (if you want to call it that, it's just photos) and I'm hooked. It really was fun adjusting the sizes and masking the images so just the right parts peeked through the template. And I did it all in under an hour. Not bad for a newbie. Here's a little description on why I chose each photo. Starting at the top left:

1. FOCUS on being present.
2. FOCUS on making healthy choices.
3. FOCUS on my goals + to-do's.
4. FOCUS on love.
5. FOCUS quote
6. FOCUS on what's important.
7. FOCUS on being the best mommy I can be.
8. FOCUS on me time.
9. FOCUS on productivity.

The easy part of this project, other than there is no journaling, is I just need to have this one page developed. No cropping down 4x6's hoping I was zoomed in (or out) enough. Then I'll just cut out each mini 2x3-ish photo and insert them into the page protector. I'm still deciding if I'll keep that see-thru section on the front side empty or not.

Next Tuesday, we get our March prompt and I am proud to say I'm staying caught up and I'm ready!

Today: I'm tackling an endless to-do list before our busy weekend. I had the bright idea to lay on our new living room rug last night with Morgan and, big shocker, fell asleep. So everything I was hoping to do last night got pushed to today. Morgan has been very busy running around the house in her underwear (this girl will not stay dressed!), with her stuffed monkey on her back, going on an adventure. We've been building forts and tunnels and lounging around in the water (blue towels). And Parker is doing a very good job of tearing it all down and getting into things he shouldn't. He's making his sister very happy. Next week, I hope to share my December Daily, another favorite recipe, and a new project you might like to join me in. Have a great weekend!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Field Trip: Library

After lunch yesterday, I got Morgan and Parker out of the house for a little bit and we took a trip to the Farmington Hills Library. It's the newer of the two libraries in town and it's literally just around the corner. The entire lower level is for kids - full of books, play areas, computers, sensory areas. Even a 'crawling babies only' section for Parker to practice crawling, pulling up and cruising with lots of cushion for his falls. If there is something nearby for him to prop his foot on, he is trying to climb too! Eck!

They both had a blast! As long as the mood is right, I'm going to try to get them over there once a week now that Parker can play too. I'm really looking forward to the library's weekly storytime in the pavillion downtown this summer. Remember how much Morgan loved it last year?

Today: we are waiting for Parker to wake up from his morning nap so we can meet daddy for lunch. I finished my February prompt for One Little Word last night, so I need to share that. I also have 4 days to wrap up on my December Daily album before my self-imposed end-of-February deadline. Damn you, February and your 28 days. I think I might need a little more time. I was hoping to photograph it today, but that's not going to happen. This weekend, we will be going to Lansing to visit family and friends, and meet 2 brand-new babies, Brynn and Tanner. They share a birthday! I'll show them off next week. Oh, and more snow. Great.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

on Focus

I found so many quotes on focus to add to my One Little Word album. These are a few of my favorites:

"It is wise to direct your anger towards problems - not people; to focus your energies on answers - not excuses."
*William Arthur Ward

"There is always something to be happy about. Truly happy. And if you have the audacity to find it and the courage to make it your focus, in spite of the countless temptations to dwell upon problems that don't really exist, you will have learned well, your life will be transformed, and all things will be added unto you."
*Mike Dooley

"One reason so few of us achieve what we truly want is that we never direct our focus; we never concentrate our power. Most people dabble their way through life, never deciding to master in anything in particular."
*Tony Robbins

"Our thoughts create our reality - where we put our focus is the direction we tend to go."
*Peter McWilliams

"If you've lost focus, just sit down and be still. Take the idea and rock it to and fro. Keep some of it and throw some away, and it will renew itself. You need do no more."
*Clarissa Pinkola Estes

"It's not what's happening to you now or what has happened in your past that determines who you become. Rather, it's your decisions about what to focus on, what things mean to you, and what you're going to do about them that will determine your ultimate destiny."
*Tony Robbins

"Don't dwell on what went wrong. Instead, focus on what to do next."
*Denis Waitley

Monday, February 21, 2011

snow day

Morgan, while sledding in the backyard with Mark this afternoon:
"Daddy, you make my heart super happy!"
 

Friday, February 18, 2011

mood lifter

Wow! How about this weather, huh? I've been loving the weather the last few days, but this sunshine is amazing! Love how it is shining through out skylights and brightening up the house. Love going on walks and playing with sidewalk chalk in the driveway. Love not hearing the furnace kick on every 10 minutes. Love the sun and the obnoxiously good mood it has put me in today. Even after hauling around two kids to run errands this morning. And maneuvering them around in a tiny bathroom stall so Morgan could potty. It's no easy feat lifting Morgan up on the toilet seat while holding Parker and keeping him from eating the toilet paper. No whining, no crabbiness, yeah! Anyways, this is a totally random Friday post of little things going on around here the last week or so.
Parker rocked a sweet mohawk last weekend. Cute, huh?

I said goodbye to a bad haircut. I don't know how it happened, but angled bobs do not belong on curly-haired girls that never straighten their hair. Barf. I think I found a great stylist super close to home. Thanks, Val!

I've rounded up boxes of Morgan's old clothes to sell this weekend. Of course, I still have a couple of boxes I can't bear to get rid of. I don't know if it's because she is a girl and has such adorable clothes, or because she was our first born, or a combination of the two (probably).

Lots of babies are going to start making their arrivals as soon as this weekend. Our friends, Tim and Andrea, are expecting baby Tanner. Mark's brother, Nick, and his girlfriend Cortney, are expecting baby Brynn. And, Kristin will be delivering her twin boys no later than March 31st. Yippee!

I am crazy happy with my new iPhone. It is so much fun and so easy to use. And there's all the apps. Phew, quite an addiction! In other tech news, I'm debating upgrading my mac OS. It sounds so NOT fun. I'm gonna need some Genius help for this one.

Not only is Parker crawling on all fours now, but he also started pulling up and cruising this week. As if our middle of the night wakings weren't wild enough. Now he likes to pull up on the side of the crib and scream!

We got an order from Old Navy this week, full of spring and summer clothes for Morgan and Parker. Of course, Morgan had to try everything on and she was very happy that mommy only bought dresses. And new flip flops. At $2.50 a pop, I might want to buy her more. She's been wearing the dresses and flip flops all week and told me this morning "I can't wait until the summer and we can go to the park and I can wear my dress and I'm going to be soooooo cute!" Well, yeah you are!

I'm cranking right along with my December Daily album. I'm finishing up Christmas Day - so, just 6 more days left. It should be done in no time. It's quite a project and it got easier to work on as I went along. It's also much bigger than I thought. I already know I'm going to need larger binder rings.

Our weekend plans: I'd like to order some more weather like this. We are going to Antonio's with my parents tomorrow and maybe we'll tackle our taxes too. Happy sunshine-y Friday to you!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Organizing: The Craft Cabinet

Back in September, I opened up my craft cabinet, which is part of our mudroom set-up, to take out some markers for Morgan. Ugh, what a mess. Organizing this beast was something I really needed to take the time to do.
Expect now it's 5 months later and it looks worse.
It's become my catch-all for our craft supplies, from my inkpads and ribbon, to Morgan's playdoh and paint that I don't want her to have easy access to (currently, this is the only cabinet in the house that has childproof latches on it). After digging around (for longer that I thought I should) for red paper on Monday for Morgan's Love activity, I told myself that cleaning out this cabinet had to become a priority this week.

I know why I've been putting it off. I have this list of craft materials that I want to buy and/or put together to store in this cabinet but I haven't made the time to go out and get them. I wanted to have everything here and ready to store before I organized it. But, from the looks of it, this cabinet is already full of supplies. Plus I have two boxes in a nearby closet whose contents belong in here. Time to purge and get organized.

While Morgan and Parker were playing nearby, I emptied the cabinet completely and sorted the contents by like items. I intended for this to be a quick project - one hour, tops - so I moved quickly and tossed what I knew was junk. But also, I didn't spend the time (yet) on opening every marker or bottle of paint to make sure it was still good and not dried out. I'll do that part during phase two.

I had plenty of empty storage containers and bins to use and help give the supplies a home. After lots of moving and shifting, this is what I'm left with now:
Now, the often-used supplies are right up front and the rarely-used is tucked in the back. Like I said, this was just phase one. Once I gather the craft supplies I really want to have on hand for projects with Morgan and Parker, I'll have to make space in this cabinet. Actually, most of what is on the lower shelf is clean and empty food storage containers - egg cartons, oatmeal canisters, soap dispensers, yogurt cups - things I wanted to keep for future activities. We are very lucky that we have lots of room to move this stuff over into the next cabinet and I can dedicate this locked cabinet to supplies like watercolors and finger paints, playdoh and clay, beads, yarn and string, paper and stickers, and more. For now, this cabinet is much easier to use and I don't moan and groan when I open it.

Phase two coming soon:
  • purchase craft supplies
  • remove recycled food containers and place in another cabinet
  • go through paints, markers and the like and toss anything that is unusable
  • organize craft supplies by like items and contain
  • put everything back in place
  • photograph and share

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

on all fours

He got it! He got it! It's really, really true.
(Oh, and pardon my pantless toddler) :)

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

marshmellow love

Yesterday morning, I thought up a quick and simple Valentine's craft project for Morgan to work on before lunch. All we needed was red construction paper, white glue and mini marshmellows.
I typed LOVE in Word and printed it on the red construction paper. You could just as easily write the word on the paper too.


I gave Morgan a bowl of marshmellows and she recited the letters as I traced them in glue.

Then she covered the letters in marshmellows. She would stick about 4 or 5 down, then sneak one into her mouth. :) Eh, I guess that's what I get for doing activities with food.


As the glue was drying, we talked about the word Love and I asked her who she loves. 'Mommy, Morgan, Daddy, Parker' was her initial response. I love that she loves herself!

Monday, February 14, 2011

made with love

Mark isn't a big sweets guy. I love to bake, but there are only a handful of desserts that he really enjoys. When I found a recipe for Rolo Cookies a few weeks ago, I knew I had to try them for him. He had to run some errands Saturday afternoon, so I took advantage of the time to surprise him with warm out-of-the-oven cookies.
Rolo Cookies (from Two Peas and Their Pod)

2 1/2 c. all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 c. cocoa
1 c. butter, at room temperature
1 c. granulated sugar
1 c. light brown sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
bag of Rolo candies, unwrapped
sugar for rolling the cookie dough balls in

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone mat and set aside. In a medium bowl, sift flour, baking soda, salt and cocoa. Set aside. With a mixer, cream butter and sugars together until smooth. Add in eggs, one at a time. Add vanilla extract. Mix until blended.

Slowly add flour mixture to sugar mixture and blend well. Take a spoonful of chocolate cookie dough and wrap around one Rolo candy. Make sure Rolo is completely covered with cookie dough. Roll dough ball in sugar and place on prepared baking sheet. Continue until you run out of cookie dough.

Bake 7-10 minutes (7 minutes was perfect for me). Remove from oven and let sit on cookie sheet for 3-5 minutes. Move to a cooling rack and cool completely.

Makes about 3 dozen cookies (mine made 50 cookies - I guess I could have used more dough on each Rolo).

They are so good (if I do say so myself). So yummy warmed up a bit in the microwave and perfect with a glass of milk. Morgan loved helping me make them too. Unwrapping the Rolos was a perfect task for her and she also dropped the rolled dough balls in the sugar before I put them on the cookie sheet. She kept asking if she could have a Rolo and liked to sneak her little fingers into the mixer bowl for a taste of the dough. 'It is SO fun to make cookies', she kept saying.

Mark loved them too. Yeah, success! I will for sure be making these again.

Happy Heart Day, everyone! I myself had a wonderful Valentine's weekend and I'm pretty certain my heart will be smiling for a while. XO

Friday, February 11, 2011

Embrace Imperfection

A few weeks ago when I was logging into Big Picture Classes to look at our One Little Word gallery, I saw a link for a new free class called Embrace Imperfection. Here's a bit from the website:

"Many people never create the layouts they dream of creating because they are paralyzed by the fear of imperfection. They think that if their photos aren't technically excellent, their words aren't just right, or they use the wrong colors, their layout will not be worth creating. A voice in their head tells them the page is not perfect, the photo is less than ideal, and the papers are not lined up properly. They cannot stop the feelings of inadequacy from creeping into their mind and so they stare at one embellishment as they try to decide where to place it…for hours…days. Sometimes they even walk away permanently."

I signed up immediately. I know I have my own struggles with getting my scrapbooking layouts finished. As I type this post, my December Daily album sits open, waiting for me to come over and work on it. I am always open to suggestions on how to conquer those voices in my head and get over it being perfect. I suppose I didn't need another project, but you can't go wrong with free. And it's only two weeks long. The class started yesterday and I'm in the middle of reading the handout. It's not one of those classes where you have to crank out a layout a day. It's a class that makes you think about what's holding you back from finishing whatever you are creating. In fact, the only project is next week's assignment - a mini book to serve as a reminder that perfect does not exist.

If anyone else wants to play along, registration for the class doesn't close until next Wednesday. Karen Grunberg is the instructor and the supply list is simple - use what you have!

Today: another happy Friday, especially because we are all just about back to normal. Noses are drier and the coughing is minimal, yippee! I don't know what we are going to do this weekend but I know if we end up just laying around the house, it's not because we don't have the energy to do anything else. I for one know that I'm sick of the cold and would love some above freezing temperatures. All I can think about is wearing sundresses and swimsuits and going to the park and the zoo. Ah, I'm going to be thinking for a long while, huh?

Thursday, February 10, 2011

for the love of math

Yesterday, Morgan and I played a great math activity called the Valentine Candy Heart Count. I found the idea on Not Just Cute (which is one of my new favorite blogs for finding preschool activities) but had to improvise a bit because I was only able to find large conversation hearts. So be it. The counting sheet that Amanda made is perfect for the regular size hearts but Morgan understood what to do and she loved the 'game.'

I poured about half of the hearts into a bowl and pulled out crayons to match the colors. I showed Morgan each color - she spelled out the word and would ask "what's that spell?" :) - and I let her scribble on the color with the matching crayon.Then I asked her to pick a heart from the bowl. She chose pink first, and she pulled all of the pink hearts out of the bowl and lined them up the pink ladder. We counted them together and I wrote the number down under that column.We had a lot of white hearts so she just wanted to line them up in front of her. Why not?Afterwards, she asked if we could eat some. Well, of course. She says pink are her favorite! During breakfast this morning, she asked if we can play the counting game again. Yeah! I'm so glad it was a hit.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

bragging rights

After Christmas, when I was uploading the photos I wanted to develop for my December Daily album, I was reminded for the hundredth time (by myself) that I've been a bad granddaughter and hadn't stayed on top of sending my grandparents any photos of the kids in 2010. Especially after Parker was born. I had an idea.
I started going through iPhoto and began choosing all of my favorite pictures of Morgan and Parker to upload and develop. I stopped around 50 and thought I better find a photo album first to see how many slots I needed to fill. I found some simple, but sturdy 60-photo brag book style albums at Joann's and bought enough for all of Morgan and Parker's grandparents and great-grandparents. 360 photos later, I had some work to do.

During two afternoon naps I filled each album, mass production style. From Morgan's spring school photo, Easter, Morgan's birthday, Parker's birth, our summer, Halloween and Christmas and everything in between. Wow, they have both changed so much. The cover of the album is transparent, so I made the first interior page as a cover/title page. I really like how it turned out and how you can see through it.
These are a few of my favorites from the favorites:
I'm feeling like a better granddaughter now. Perhaps even 'caught up'. I know both my Grandma and Grandpa love their albums and my mom has already requested an annual best-of album for the next 17 years. Will do, mom! I may need a reminder around the holidays though. :)

Do you send photos or photo gifts of your children to your extended family? Any other ideas?

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Facebook-less February

Last month, I finished reading a free e-book called Focus by Leo Babauta. He also writes the Zen Habits blog and a book called The Power of Less, which is also great. Anyways, Focus is mostly about blocking out the distractions of TV, email and the internet, but overall has great ideas for identifying what is important to you and getting things done. I, for one, know I am easily tempted by the internet. Particularly Facebook and my Google Reader. In the last few weeks I've cut my Google Reader subscriptions down by a third - leaving my long time favorite blogs and those written by people I know.

Facebook is a toughie. It's easy to just log on, check the most recent updates, make a few comments or 'likes', and get off. Except I was doing that way more than I needed to. Most days I'm more annoyed by it and am quickly falling out of love.

So, for the month of February, I am challenging myself to disconnect from Facebook. I realize I'm going to miss up-to-the-minute news on a couple of births and the like, but I'm really okay with that. For one month, I'm going to let go of the need to feel constantly updated. So far, so good. Besides, I have a new phone to play with!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Parker: eight months

gives super sloppy open mouth kisses and attempts the occassional hicky.

likes to stand on the footrest of his highchair to reach across the table (and grab things he shouldn't have). He is very antsy sitting at the table (unless he is eating) and we are constantly telling him to sit down. Being buckled in is not an option anymore.

smiles when the kitchen faucet is running. I think he thinks he is getting a bath.

crawls around or over obstacles to get to what/where he wants. He can get pretty much anywhere he wants in the house, even a level change.
while nursing: Parker sits up when he's finished, started biting (omg, thank god that didn't last long!), and likes to pull his socks off and put his stinky little feet in my face. Parker has started nuzzling his nose into my shoulder and tugging on my shirt when he's hungry.

has quite an appetite! Parker will eat up to 4 cubes (think ice cube size) of food, plus a little cereal, at each meal. He's really not crazy about avocado anymore but I can put a little applesauce in just about anything if he's showing disinterest in eating. Parker also LOVES Cheerios. He gets excited at the sight of that yellow box. By the end of this month, he really prefers to feed himself. Chicken, ground turkey, peas, corn, beans, cut-up grapes, shredded cheese, pears, banana...it's time for more finger foods.

maxxed out his infant carrier and is now an official big boy and rides in a convertible car seat.

can be very physical! Parker isn't afraid to push, pull or kick if he is not getting his way.

loves our morning music time. We've been working on clapping. Lots of Bingo, If You're Happy and You Know It, and Patty Cake.
when we look in the mirror, he recognizes us (mommy or daddy), looks at us, then back in the mirror and smiles. He doesn't seem to recognize himself yet. He does like to touch the other baby though.

squeezes his fist like he is trying to wave (or sign 'milk'?). Also (unknowingly) raises his arms like the Heisman pose. :)

has ticklish hips and loves peekaboo.

has become very snuggly when he is sleepy. He usually doesn't fight me or push like he used to. Usually.

finally learned how comfortable it is to sleep on his belly. Now if only he could stay asleep a little longer.

I cannot believe you are already 8 months old, Parker! So many changes and so quickly I'm seeing my baby become a little boy. Makes me sad, but at the same time, very excited to see what is in store for you in the coming months. And our family of four in the coming years.

Reaves family: 0, Sickies: 4

Yup, I got it now too. Whatever is floating around this house is now lodged snugly in my head. I woke up with a bad feeling Saturday morning and we ended up cancelling our Superbowl party in an effort to keep our guests well and healthy. Finger foods don't mix well with coughing and a house full of snotty tissues. Maybe it's just me, but I would have appreciated the same courtesy a couple weeks ago when I'm guessing all of this began. C'est la vie. Anywho, we will be planning another shin-dig in the coming weeks when everyone is 100% again - hopefully before my nephews are born!

Thank you for all your well wishes! Morgan is pretty much back to normal other than an occassional cough. And after a very lethargic, feverish day on Saturday, Parker seems to be on the up and up. He is smiling again (he thinks it's funny when I blow my nose) and is slowly regaining his appetite. Mark is getting better, but is now dealing with some big sinus pressure. Is it this stupid non-stop snow?

I spent the weekend trying to relax and trying to prep for a week alone with the kids. Stocking up on groceries, kleenex, tea, lemon and honey. Washing our bedding, disinfecting every hard surface I could find, washing my hands until they were raw. Who is supposed to take care of mommies when they are sick? I may not have liked it at first, but I did appreciate Mark's orders to 'sit down!' once or twice.

Today, we are doing nothing but being as lazy as possible. Lots of tea parties in the horizontal position, Nick Jr., and stalking the FedEx man because our phones are out for delivery. I about peed myself when Mark saw the FedEx Express truck drive into our subdivision this morning. And then right back out. They're coming, I know it! Later today I'll have a Parker post. He is 8 months old today. Holy frick!

Friday, February 4, 2011

5 favorites for Friday

I'm not a quilter, or a seamstress for that matter, but I love this quilt and the colors and patterns she used. If only I had the time to pick up another hobby.

Holy crap! Hot chocolate on a stick? Are you kidding me? This looks fantastic!! Her party ideas are so cool.

These printable Valentines are adorable. I loved sending Morgan to school last year with cards for her friends. Maybe we'll think something up this year.

We're having a Superbowl party on Sunday and I'm planning on trying these two recipes amongst our spread: Baked Taco Potato Chips with Creamy Avocado Dip and Pepperoni Pizza Puffs.

I've read this article twice and am still absorbing bits and pieces of it. Good stuff. Parenting with Positive Guidance.

Happy Friday and have a great weekend!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

The wait is almost over.

Last night before bed, I set our alarm for 2:50am and we slide our laptops under our bed. Mark and I have been so giddy about the iPhone coming to Verizon and 3am this morning was the time that we, as existing Verizon customers, could pre-order our phone. It officially comes out next Thursday, but hell yeah, I'll get up in the middle of the night to get it a little sooner!
 
Sweet, huh?

My cell phones have been as simple as they get over the years. I never got into the smartphone phase and my current is a plain 'ole flip phone with no fancy texting keyboard or anything, so this is a big treat for me. The iPhone arrival came at the perfect time too, as Mark and I were both eligible to upgrade our phones and plans.

I was a little freaked that the ordering process was going to be confusing, or the servers were going to be jammed, or something was going to go wrong. We've always gone into the store to get new phones, so I had no idea what to expect. But it couldn't have been easier. Or faster. We were able to order both phones together and turned off our bedside lamps at 3:06am. They made it way simple. I guess, why else would anyone be on the Verizon website at 3am? Any other crazy excited people order their phone this morning too?

Today: The sickies have now hit Parker, with a fever and a stuffy, runny nose. Plus mad drooling, so of course, let's do a little teething too. I never would have guessed that I would be the one to not be sick, or get it last. I'm not sure what's going around, or how they got it, but I would like it to leave our household, pronto. I think the order of the day will be lots of rest, fluids, hand washing, snuggles and naps. Let's hope this mommy can stay healthy and keep them as happy as possible today. Deep breath.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

it's in the bag

After Parker was born, our going-out-to-eat days pretty much ceased to exist. I think we might have going out twice in 6 months. It just felt like too much work to get packed up, so if we ever ate a meal that wasn't cooked at home, it was takeout. Which isn't a bad option. We have a bazillion of yummy restaurants around us. Morgan's #1 request is Thai food. Good girl!

A couple of weeks ago, we had a very enjoyable, and last minute, dinner at Aubree's in Northville. The food was yummy (and plentiful), the kids behaved perfectly and we just had a plain ole great time at a new-to-us restaurant. I was ready to do it again, but I wanted to be better prepared to get out the door faster. Mostly because I hate scrambling, and I hate despise packing.

The diaper bag that we used after Morgan was born has been sitting empty since last summer, so I thought I could use it to pack up a restaurant bag and store it in the cabinets near our back door. When the weather gets a little warmer, I may just keep it in the car, in case we are already out and about. Here is a peek at the contents:
for Parker:
  • food and snacks, including a lidded bowl and spoon (I make Parker's baby food but thought we could try this line of baby food for eating out)
  • bib
  • high chair cover
  • small toys
for Morgan:
  • snacks to tide her over until we eat, if needed
  • bib
  • coloring book and crayons
It's not much, but having it all together = easy to me. After almost 3 years, I still often forget something we needed. Like a bib or beverage. And I don't have to clutter our everyday diaper bag with these seldom used items. At go time, I can just grab fresh sippy cups and we can be out the door. After our outing, I will clean out, replenish and reorganize the bag, and then put it back for the next trip. Now when we make a last minute decision to go out to dinner, or Mark calls asking if we want to meet him for lunch, there will be zero scrambling to get out the door.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

twice blessed

Kristin's baby shower was last Saturday at Antonio's in Farmington Hills and it was such a fun time! Kristin was surrounded by many of her closest friends and co-workers during the twins Dr. Seuss themed celebration. Here are just a few pictures from the day:
 
Mini fishbowl table favors full of red Swedish Fish and teal blue M&M's for water.
(One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish)
 Baby 1 and Baby 2 (Thing 1 and Thing 2) cakes and invitations.
 The Cat in the Hat balloon holder and a Green Eggs and Ham guessing game.
We also played a game called Daddy Knows Best. We asked Troy a bunch of questions about babies and Kristin had to guess how he answered. Like, how many diapers will each baby need a day, how many diapers does Troy plan on changing each day, how many hours does a newborn baby sleep each day, at what age does a child stop needing naps, how many weeks will Kristin be when she delivers the twins and what will the combined weight of the twins be.

Kristin got a ton of great gifts, including a lot of the big stuff. Plus, the always adorable blankets, booties and baby clothes. So many oohs and aahs and 'oh my gosh that is SOOO cute!' The cutest, though? Kristin! What a hot mama!
And of course, since the twins are children to two CMU grads, Central outfits for two! What a great idea from some of her college friends.
Two months or less. I can't wait to meet my sweet little nephews. I believer the showering of gifts has just begun!

Today: we are building forts under the kitchen table and taking bets as to how much snow we are really going to get in the next 36 hours. The blizzard warning I read this morning says 10 - 15 inches. Lovely. Morgan isn't terribly excited about the snow being past her knees and says she only wants a little bit of snow. Uh oh! I plan on staying warm and consuming large amounts of tea today. And reading my February prompt for One Little Word. And convincing Mark to just stay home tomorrow even though he thinks driving in this crap is 'fun'. And staying off Facebook for a full month, starting today. Seriously. I've even deleted it from my favorites to avoid mindless temptation. More about that crazy challenge soon. Yeah February!