Saturday, December 24, 2011

I Love You, But I Don't Really Like You Right Now.

My mom used to say "I love you, but I don't really like you" to me all the time. It stuck with me. I kind of get that statement now.
Ugh...I debated about writing this it being Christmas Eve and all. But OHMYGOSH!!! The Diva has been out of school since Wednesday. She doesn't go back to school until JANUARY 3RD!!!!!
She is a good kid. She is strong willed. She is stubborn. She is creative. She is sensitive. She is dramatic. She is a complete joy. She is majorly excited about Christmas.
In addition to her excitement I have been letting her stay up late since she hasn't had school. If there is one thing about this child that has never changed. She has to have her sleep. She is a bear if she doesn't have it. I should learn.
Yesterday was trying. She wasn't listening. She was back talking and I was having to remind her a lot that her brother's were babies and she could hurt them. Today. Today was no better. She was in rare form. The high point was when I took her to get her fingernails and toe nails painted at a salon. Special treat right? It all started out well enough. Aunt Bets had found a new salon to try. They had special chairs for kids to sit in while they were pampered. It was a very big deal. I was getting my nails and toes done as well. Of course the Diva finished before me. There was a little boy there and she started playing with him. As I was finishing up I told her to get her shoes and socks on because we needed to go. She started yelling and throwing a fit in the middle of the salon because she didn't want to leave. I tried to keep my composure. I calmly told her I would be happy to leave her there. She didn't like that. She put her shoes and socks on and grabbed her coat. She then asked me for my cell phone so she could play games on it in the car. I told her no. She then proceed to STOMP HER FOOT and yell at me and ask WHY?! Really? This child just asked why and she is behaving like that. I told her it was because she was yelling at me and it was time to go. On the way home she didn't say a word. I made her go upstairs for "quiet time" when we got home. The rest of the evening has gone about the same. Her yelling, not listening and throwing fits. Mr. Mayer and I finally threatened her with Santa not coming to the house to get her to take a shower and pick up some toys. *Sigh* She is sleeping now. I made her go to bed a little early. Mean? Maybe. But, this Mama is worn out and tomorrow is going to be a very big day. However, after she goes to bed she normally comes downstairs once or twice for additional hugs and kisses and we can hear her playing around upstairs. We haven't heard a peep from her tonight. I'm sure she as was asleep as soon as she got still tonight.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

2nd Child Syndrome


I have always been told that attitudes change and parenting styles change when you have your second child. I have never considered myself to be an uptight parent. When I had Diva I thought I was pretty laid back. Looking back now that impression is wrong.
Looking at my current situation I realize that what I was told about the "second child" really is true. Some examples:
When Diva was a baby if she had drool, spit up, dirt of any kind on her clothes I changed her.
Now...Shrek and Donkey have to be looking pretty bad to get their clothes changed. Or have poo on them. My first thought is I don't want the extra laundry. Good enough and not pristine is okay with me. 
When Diva was a baby her eating times were very scheduled and I was very particular about what I would let her eat. I followed all the guidelines about when she could have milk, nuts, honey, etc.
Now...I'm pretty sure the Dudes had peanut butter somewhere around 8 months. I take the "if they can gum it they can eat it" approach. 
When Diva was a baby I only let her eat puffs or plain Cheerios. And she always had to eat in her  highchair.
Now...the Dudes had a cereal mix of Fruit Loops and Peanut Butter cereal in their snack cups this afternoon. I figure if it makes them happy and makes the crying stop. I'm game. And, snack cups are great. If they want to sit in the floor and eat their snack go for it. The dogs will clean up the big pieces. 
Also~ Diva was nearly 2 before I ever let her have juice.
Shrek and Donkey had juice before their first birthday. It's not a regular thing, but they do get juice. 
When Diva was a baby I was militant about changing her diaper. And I always used wipes and and wiped her thoroughly. I clearly remember one time my MIL changed Diva's wet diaper and did not use a wipe. I was horrified.
Now...If it's just wet I don't use a wipe about half the time. And, I have been known to let them wear the same diaper, knowing it was wet, for a while before I change it. Don't judge me. It's a lot of work to change their diaper. 
If I sat here long enough and thought about it I could probably come up with an impressive list. One thing this shows me though is that I can relax a little and my kids are still going to be happy and thriving children. There have been no ill effects from letting them eat Fruit Loops or not always using a wipe when I change their diaper.

Action Packed Week...

What is it about this time of year? The time seems to fly by and my schedule seems to get crammed. I do it to myself. I could say no to a few play dates, parties, and other holiday festivities. The problem is that I want to give my kids the full holiday experience. So I pack our schedules with cookie decorating, parties, Santa Claus, looking at Christmas Lights, etc. I don't want them to miss a thing. This past week was no exception. That weekend we had been out of town visiting my family and came back Sunday evening. We hit the ground on Monday with physical therapy appointments at the crack of dawn. I took Shrek and Donkey in for evals on their crooked little feet. The Physical Therapist suggested we go see an Orthopedist, but that the boys feet and legs should straighten out in the next couple of years. I hope so. I don't want my babies to be pigeoned toed forever. That afternoon I had to take Diva to have an ultra sound. She had been so sick and had such a high fever for so long there was a possibility that she could have kidney damage. We had an ultra sound done to make sure she was okay. She had a minor freak out when the tech put the "blue jell-o" on her tummy. Diva did not like that. At all. After she calmed down she was her normal giggly self. The ultra sound showed her kidney's were fine and there was no damage from her infection and fever! Whoo Hoo! Tuesday it was dentist appointments and a few stops for last minute gifts. Wednesday we had some appliances installed and Mr. Mayer's work party that evening. I wasn't too excited about going to the party. But~ it turned out to be a lot of fun and it was nice to get out of the house. And take a shower. That was nice too. After the party Mr. Mayer and I went and had coffee since we had an hour left with our babysitter. Can't go home early!!!
Thursday I decided to start Pilates and did my intro, then the Dudes had a play date with a a friend and her sweet twin boys. They are 2 weeks younger than Shrek and Donkey. The personality differences in the boys amaze me. My friends little guys are so laid back and calm. Shrek and Donkey were definitely the more wound up of the group. That night some friends came over for dinner and to play. We had a great time. We are planning to get together for pizza and touring the lights at Rhema sometime this week. Friday we had errands and some catch up around the house. Diva had gotten greens at school all week and has been doing really well with her temper tantrums. As a reward I took her to see Alvin and the Chipmunks Chipwrecked. It was a very big deal. She got to go to a movie theater and have her very own popcorn. So exciting. Saturday the Diva danced at a nursing home. She did great. She got to wear a skirt that had bells on the end of it. She thought she was hot stuff.

That evening some friends came over and we let the kids decorate Christmas cookies.
They had a great time. I'm not sure how much icing ended up on the cookies, but judging by their faces the kids had plenty of icing in their tummies. Sunday we did lunch and a gift exchange with our family.

Monday we had another play date with 3 sets of twins and their fantastic Mommies (Schluter's , Walter's and Hogle's).




















The Dudes had a great time playing. It is always fun to see them interact with other kids their age. I worry that they will be their only friends and they won't know how to act around other kids. They don't cease to amaze me. They did fantastic with the other kids. And...saying there were 4 sets of twins (ages 15 months to 23 months) and their Mommies seems like a lot, but everything went smoothly. At least I thought so. We had a great time.
That afternoon Diva had her class party at school.

The kids made snowmen and had cookies and milk for their snack. Then they heard a story and got some fun goody bags. They were beside themselves with excitement. Then after school she had a party at dance. Everyone brought a special treat to the party. Diva took gingerbread. It's a holiday favorite around here. Tuesday....Tuesday was a lazy stay in my sweat pants kind of day. Diva and I did a little Target shopping and had a Starbucks date with a friend of mine, but that's it. It was perfect.
This week is shaping up to be a little calmer. I'm very excited about Christmas. I can't wait for the kids to get up and see their Santa gifts and open their presents. Last year Mr. Mayer and I woke up extra early on Christmas morning so that we could be there when Diva saw her stocking for the first time. I'm sure that we will do the same thing this year. I can't wait.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Christmas Card

Yup...that's the one.
We had a "photo shoot" yesterday in the living room. Owen has an aversion to photography. The camera comes out and he starts crying. I decided not to fight it this time.
Here are a few of our other pictures...









Friday, December 2, 2011

15 Month Stats

Well the dudes had their 15 month check up this morning. A big thank you to my friend Amy and KiKi for helping me wrangle them at the doctor's office!! Gosh they are getting big! Carter has felt rotten for 2 days. They have both had snotty noses and a little bit of a cough so I wasn't sure if they would have to have shots this morning. No fear~ they got shot. I hate that.
Here are the stats as of this morning....
Owen
Weight: 22.6 lbs~ 22%
Height: 31 inches~ 48%
Head: 47cm~ 46%

Carter
Weight: 24.8 lbs~ 51%
Height: 31 1/2 inches~ 63%
Head: 47cm~ 46%

What they are up to....
Busy.Busy.Busy.
I'm exhausted.
The past few days they have been playing with each other, a little. Kind of. It counts right?
Owen has been doing things to get a laugh lately. It's funny. He will stick things in his mouth or on his head and walk around and make sure you see him. When you laugh he will take it out/off and start laughing himself. It's so cute.
They both run for the door to go "bye bye" when I get my purse. They both L-O-V-E to go "bye bye."
Words...still a lot of gibberish and then they look at me expectantly like I know exactly what they said. They say bye bye, hi, yum, no, yay, yes, night night, mama, dada, nana...I'm sure there are some I'm missing. Terrible of me.
Running...everywhere. Big runners.
Clapping~ Carter started today completely unprompted sitting in the corner playing by himself. Owen will very soon.
Outside. They love outside. Unfortunately with all the crappy weather and germs that have been living in my house we haven't gotten to go outside much.
Climbing. Carter is a climber. On everything. Lately he's been taking things into his room and stacking it next to his brother's crib and trying to climb in. Today he took his vacuum cleaner in there and climbed on top of it and tried to get in the crib. None of this stuff is ever big enough for him to climb in. Yet. I'm expecting that soon he will be able to crawl in. Just.a.matter.of.time.
Sleep is better. Carter still fights it usually. For example tonight he cried and moaned for an hour before going to sleep. I go in after 15 or 20 minutes and check on him. After that I don't always go in there. I'm terrible. I know. I feel terrible but he usually gets more upset after I've gone in there. Either way I feel terrible.
I've tried moving them to one nap a day a couple of times. It's great until about 4 pm. Then they fall apart for the next couple of hours. It's not worth it. We are still on 2 naps a day.
They are doing so much and changing so much every day. I'm sure I have forgotten some of the things to share. Right now I can't think of it.
They are at a fun age. There has been a lot of laughter in our house lately.
As a side note...We have an elf. Olivia named her Alyssa. Carter discovered her while eating breakfast yesterday. He was talking his head off to her so I took a picture.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Keeping with Tradition

Today was one of those stay in your stretchy pants and catch up around the house sort of day. I was able to finish up some Christmas gifts I was putting together. Whew! That is a weight off my mind. The Dudes were mildly cranky. They would play a while and cry a while. I'm sure it had nothing to do with me completely putting them on the back burner today so I could get my projects done. They don't really like it when Mommy ignores them. The Diva had another fantastic day at school. Woot Woot!! Mr. Mayer went out with a friend tonight so it's just been the kids and I. I decided I wanted to go to another spin class (I went yesterday). I loaded everyone up and off we went. Spin was great. We came home and I got everyone in bed in 45 minutes. I was feeling pretty proud of myself. I had just sat down when I saw I had a voicemail from my sister/aunt. 
Now...I'm going to preface this next part by saying 1.) I'm adopted. I was adopted by my paternal grandparents. I call them Mom and Dad. It's complicated. Growing up was complicated. 2.) They are elderly and not in fantastic health. They live 3 hours away from me.  3.) My mom will kill me for blogging this but I find blogging a little cathartic and I'm wound up right now. 
So, she called and asked me to call her back. I debated about calling her back tonight or doing it tomorrow. I decided to go ahead and call. She starts by telling me that "My mother"~ we go back and forth on whose mother, hahaha...Anyway. I digress. My mother did what she does every holiday season. My immediate response "Shut your face. She did not." I almost immediately knew what she was talking about. My mother falls. Back to the poor health thing. She falls. Every year for the last several many years she has a really bad (I mean really bad) fall on Thanksgiving or shortly there after. Luckily to this point no broken bones. Just lots of head injuries. Today she fell on their front porch. The paramedics couldn't get the bleeding to stop so they took her to the closest big(ger) town about 30 minutes away. They did the appropriate tests and no internal injuries. My sister/aunt said she stopped counting stitches on her head at 20. Yuck. She's at home resting tonight. I'm sure she is going to be sore tomorrow. 
Notice, my parents didn't call to tell me. They never do. I had just thought yesterday that she hadn't fallen and maybe we were going to scrape by this year. 

Monday, November 28, 2011

Monday Monday Monday

Ack!! It's Monday! What the What?! I'm not sure where last week went. Hope everyone out there had a fantastic holiday. I had big plans to write a Thankful blog last week. Didn't happen. In fact I had 3 or 4 blogs written in my head. Those didn't happen. I could go and write them all and inundate everyone with 5 blogs tonight. I won't do that to you. I will just try to write the blogs as they come to me. It may happen.
Just to catch you up on this crazy Mayer clan.
Mr. Mayer: The Pokes had their first loss recently. How do you think he's doing? Bedlam is this week. Check in with me on Sunday.
Shrek and Donkey: Little bit of a runny nose but croup free. Both are running every where. Talking, dancing and causing mayhem daily. We tried the one nap thing again today. I really wanted to go to spin class this morning. I laid them down at 11:30. They slept for about 2 1/2 hours. Great. Around 4:30 this afternoon they lost it. Bedtime came early. I guess they still aren't ready. Bummer for me. I really like that 10am spin class.
Diva: Her fever broke. HALLELUJAH!!! I only had to take her to urgent care 2x and her doctor 2x. The final time at urgent care they did all sorts of tests. Diva functions better if I can really prepare her and let her know what is coming her way. They said 'Lab Work' so I started prepping her. They started with a flu test. I told her it might feel funny and she probably wouldn't like it. After the nurse was done and Diva was in tears she sits in my lap and says "That didn't feel funny. That hurt!" Yes it did baby girl. Yes it did. Then they took "pictures" of her lungs. Come to find out she had some pneumonia in her right lung. Then they had her pee in a tray. She thought that was gross. Then came the dreaded lab work. Aunt Bets offered to come and help with this. I was tempted to let her. I did not like it. It took me and a nurse to hold her down. Then she carried on for 2 days about how bad her arm hurt. I may never get her back to urgent care. However~ thanks to the marathon of tests Diva DOES NOT have mono (whew!). She did have pneumonia and a severe bladder infection. After 24 hours of antibiotics that dang fever broke and she has not stopped since then. She missed 6 days of school and had a Thanksgiving break. We had a lot of togetherness.
Thanksgiving came and went. Watching the parade was a good time. I asked Diva what she was thankful for. Her response~ "Turkey." Anything else? "Nope. Just turkey." Nice. I'm winning at this parent thing. I tried to tell her a few of the things I was thankful for and she rolled her eyes and said "I know...you are thankful for me, my brothers and I guess Dad." Well, those are three of the things I'm thankful for. Thanks for humoring me kid.
So the weekend proceeded to rush by with the same speed as last week. We went to my in laws for the weekend. They have a pretty house with lots of breakables. I was convinced that the Dudes were going to break everything. They tried hard. But, 8 adults were able to keep up with them and take the breakables and hide them in the nick of time.
Which brings us to today. I'm exhausted. I kept dreaming I was pregnant with my second set of twins last night. Mr. Mayer was having a nervous break down and was in patient and I was having to have the babies by myself in a grocery store. Weird.
I took these pictures last week and wanted to share. The dudes l-o-v-e getting to sit on the couch. Here is a moment with Shrek and Mr. Mayer. Precious.


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

What She Wore Wednesday

Wednesday already? Sheesh! This week the dudes and the Diva have been sick and/or cutting teeth. It's been a lot of fun around here. Diva has taken up residence in my bed to watch TV and movies. I've had to cut off food from my bed after finding goldfish crumbs on my sheets the other night. Not much of a problem since she is refusing to eat anyway.
This has been her standard position since Monday. We have made one trip to see the doctor and one trip to Urgent Care so far. Her temp. is holding steady at 103.5. Urgent Care told me last night it's not concerning until it is around 107 or 108. I told the doctor that I would keel over if that were to happen. Shrek has croup and Donkey is cutting some teeth. They both want to be cuddled and held all day. I keep telling myself that the household stuff can wait. So, I'm holding babies and little girls and watching a lot of Sesame Street. I'm hoping that the fever breaks today. It played a trick on me last night. She was sleeping and didn't have a trace of a temp. Then around 1am she was awake and crying and it was back to 103.5. *Sigh* I just want to snap my fingers and make it all better.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Viva Las Vegas

I have to give props to Mr. Mayer. He's really good at the birthday thing. The first year we were married he took me to a spa in Hot Springs. I had never been to a spa. It was fantastic. Another year he took me to Kansas City. Last year he sent me to Dallas with a friend for a weekend away from kids and all the shopping I could handle. This year he really raised the bar and took me to Las Vegas. I had never been. It was very exciting. The trip was supposed to be a surprise. I just knew we were going somewhere. He accidentally spilled the beans a couple of weeks ago. However~I still didn't know where we were staying in Vegas.
I was a little apprehensive about leaving the kids. It was only the 2nd time I had ever left Owen and Carter. Lame. I know. Olivia was doing a song at school on Friday for Veteran's Day and I was a little sad we were going to miss that (but a big thanks to the mom who recorded it and shared it with me). But, I was so excited to go somewhere.
We board our plane and I learn that you can get drinks on a plane. Yes. I have flown before. Just didn't know you could get grown up drinks on flights. So, I drink my first big girl drink on an airplane.
We arrive and Mr. Mayer tells the cabbie to take us to the Bellagio. Sounds nice (It was).
I only took 2 pictures of the hotel. 
And I only took these 2 for Diva b/c I thought she would like them.


By this point I have my face plastered to the window taking in all the sights. It's impressive. There is A LOT to take in. We walk into the Bellagio and it's wall to wall people. We check in and go to our room. Mr. Mayer says that there is somewhere we have to be. He doesn't say where. We drop off our luggage, change shoes and shirts and leave again. We take the Monorail to the MGM Grand. We walk in and Mr. Mayer goes and picks up tickets for....KA! So excited. The show doesn't start for a few hours so we go have some sushi (yummo!!) and play a few slots.
Now...gambling. My experience with gambling consists of me going to the Hard Rock Tulsa once with $20. I didn't really know how to play the slots and I lost all my money immediately. I didn't really like it. So I figure we are in Vegas. Maybe I'll hit it big. After an hour and a small fortune Mr. Mayer finally agreed with me that I was a terrible gambler. I was even bad luck for him. He would be up several HUNDRED and I would come sit by him and he would immediately start losing. We decided that gambling wasn't for me. I also agreed to stay far away from him when he was gambling. He did much better that way.
Ka was amazing!! I really liked it. Saturday we spent the day doing some window shopping and looking the different hotels. Everything was so over the top. I really liked all the people watching!! And you could take alcoholic beverages to go.  People were just walking around with them. I had a beer and felt really weird the entire time I was carrying it around. We did the aquarium at Mandalay Bay. We went and saw the Bodies exhibit and Titanic at the Luxor. We saw New York New York...explored the Venetian (another very nice place). We took in Cesar's Palace.  I'm sure there were some in between there. We could go from hotel to hotel without ever seeing daylight. It was amazing. Mr. Mayer was excited because we found an authentic Irish Pub. We went and had some fish and chips and he had a Guinness. Everyone in the Pub has Irish accents. I decided it was a job requirement. Mr. Mayer was in Heaven.



















Saturday night we went and saw the Blue Man Group. Another fantastic show. It was so much fun. Sunday we had to leave. I was exhausted. Time doesn't exist in Vegas. It would be 3am before I even realized it. And since I was on Oklahoma time I was awake at sunrise. It was irritating. Mr. Mayer and I were exhausted when we came home. It was a very happy birthday trip. I owe a big thank you to my wonderful friends who kept the kids so Mr. Mayer and I could take this trip. Thanks guys!
The kids were all excited to see us. And all sick. Awesome. So, the past few days have been spent taking care of sickies. I'm hoping fevers break and coughs stop today. That may be wishful thinking.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

What She Wore Wednesday

Happy Wednesday folks!! My motto lately has been "Inconsistent at best." That is true for my blogging lately as well~sorry. Maybe I can get back on the wagon. In the meantime enjoy this sporadic WSWW...as usual the Diva dressed herself (and fixed her own hair) and thought she was HOT STUFF this morning. In case you can't tell from her poses. Sorry for the blurriness. Not real sure what's happening there.

Sweater: Target (maybe?)
T-shirt: Children's Place
Pants: Kohls
Boots: Target
Headband: Target
Hair bow: beats me
Attitude: Her father

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

14 Months


Wow! Time is really flying by...these dudes are 14 months old already. They are busy little bees these days. I can't take my eyes off of them for a second.
Owen~ Looking at this picture you would think he was a Trekkie...maybe he will be. Owen is independent. He will play by himself and LOVES putting small things into bigger things. I have found some very interesting things in the laundry baskets over the past couple of weeks.  Anytime he hears music he starts dancing. It's an awkward head bobbing booty popping type of dance. No matter what kind of song is on. It's adorable. He loves his milk as well. It's a full throttle melt down when he runs out. Once Owen warms up to you he is all grins. It just takes him a few minutes. He also loves to talk. He can say a few basic words (Mama, Dada *favorite!*, Hi, Bye). He will shake his head yes or no accordingly. Most of the time he is just talking gibberish and looks at you intently like you know exactly what he is talking about.

Carter~ Carter. Carter. Carter. I feel like a stuck record lately with the "Carter! No No." Then he looks at me, grins and does it anyway. *Sigh* The kid is a climber. This week he is climbing on his trucks and then onto his toy shelf. I'm pretty sure it is going to topple over on him before long. He has also learned to climb onto the top of the play set in the back yard. It's not so much the climbing to the top platform that is the problem. He doesn't know how to get down other than run off the edge of it. I see some broken bones in my future. At the moment I have the stairs on it blocked off with an inverted piece of baby gate and a small Little Tykes slide. It's pretty ghetto, but working. Carter also loves to have books read to him. We read millions of books during the day. Carter is a charmer! If there is a person within a foot of him he is flirting away. He has learned to wink and blow kisses which he thinks is a big deal. He can also say a few basic words like his brother. 
These boys are really starting to put things together. I find it amazing. I can tell the boys we are going bye bye and they will go to the back door and wait for me. When I open the garage door they will walk out to the van. I can ask them if they are hungry and they go to the kitchen. I can tell them to go get the puppy and they will bring me a stuffed dog. I pull the curtains in their bedroom and they both run out of the room so they won't have to take a nap.
Naps~ that is the biggest change lately. We went to one nap this week. I was not ready for this. I really like the down time 2 naps a day gives me. However, I am able to get more things done in the morning. I was even able to go to spin class at my gym this morning. That is pretty rare. They lay down around 11:30 after lunch and I have been having to wake them up at 2:15 to go get their sister. This is pretty fantastic. I get a big chunk of "quiet time" during the day. 

What's For Dinner?

I like to cook. I like to try new recipes. I am always on the look out for new and different things. My family doesn't always like some of my experiments. Tonight's experiment worked out really well. I saw French Chicken in a Pot on Today a few weeks ago and have been wanting to try it. Not only was it good. It was ridiculously easy. The folks around here were BIG FANS of dinner as well. The only thing I did differently was add some mushrooms to the pan sauce. I had some I needed to use before they went bad so I sliced them and added them to the pan sauce. Worked out perfectly. I also discovered that O&C really love mushrooms. I made some roasted vegetables to go with it. The dudes at 2 helpings. Diva wouldn't touch her vegetables but ate 2 helpings of the chicken.
The vegetables I roasted were sweet potatoes, parsnips and carrots. I diced them and tossed with olive oil, salt and pepper. I baked them at 425 for about 30 minutes. You can cool them on paper towels to soak up some extra oil or just leave it. I do both. You can do this with about any vegetable. Carrots, parsnips and broccoli are the most popular around here.


Halloween 2011

I would love to know how parents of multiples get any cute pictures of their kids~ together! It's not happening for me. As for all those super "cute" Halloween pictures I was hoping to get. Didn't happen. These kids were way to busy to let me take a picture. On top of that Owen is camera shy. The second he sees a camera he runs off. Makes for some really fantastic pictures. This year Olivia went as Olivia the Pig. We are big fans around here. The dudes were Monkeys. I find that appropriate considering their climbing lately.

We also had a pumpkin carving party the night before Halloween. It's always big fun around here.








Saturday, October 29, 2011

A First

The Diva was invited to her very first Halloween party this year. One of the little girls in her class had a party and invited the whole class over. Diva was very excited about this. Halloween is always a tricky holiday around our house. Diva does not like people dressed up in costume. They really freak her out. This includes the cow at Chik Fil A, sports mascots and the mouse at Chuck E. Cheese. Halloween is a mine field. If anyone is dressed scary and approaches Diva it's all down hill from there. When we trick or treat we avoid any house that even looks like it might be scary. The candy isn't worth it to her. That being said she was very excited about this party. I explained that people would be in costume and that there might be some scary looking decorations. She explained to me that it is just pretend and that she isn't scared anymore. Well~ la de da.
So...Mr. Mayer and I decided that since I knew the little girl and her mom I would take Diva. I was a little nervous. I wasn't sure if other parents would be staying for the party or if it was a drop off and come back for your kid later kind of party. I felt silly asking. I don't know why. I just did. All the parties Diva had been to up to this point Mr. Mayer or I one had always stayed. This time was different. 
Diva and I drive the 1.5 minutes to the party (they live really close). There were a few other parents there with their kids. Diva and I walk in. I get the lay of the land. The kids are running around and so excited. Diva is pretending to be shy. We all know she is not a shy child. The other parents start telling their kids goodbye and leaving. Eek! Here goes...
The last thing I want to do is be "that mom" that is overly embarrassing to her kids. I have some quirks. I have spent the last 10 years seeing the absolute worst in humanity. You can't leave that behind entirely. Unfortunately my kids get the brunt of it. I may be a "tad" over protective and hovering at times. I realize I can't protect them from everything, but I can try~right?
I tell Diva that I am going to go and that she needs to be on her best behavior and mind her manners. She looks at me so sweetly and says "Can I go play on the trampoline?" I didn't even get a good bye. I'm glad to know this is as traumatic for her as it is for me. I go get Mr. Mayer and I some dinner and go home. The next hour is spent cleaning and doing piddling stuff around the house. Oh! And having Mr. Mayer and Aunt Bets make fun of me for freaking out a little.
Listen~that is my baby girl and I just left her at a party by herself for the first time ever. I'm going to freak out a little. 
Finally! It's time to go get her. I get there and other parents are there getting their kids. One mom tells me how "animated" Diva is. I laugh and say "I can only imagine what she has been up to." I find Diva. She has lost her leg warmers, ears and shoes. We gather all her stuff and say our thank yous and goodbyes. The whole way home, during her shower and while brushing her teeth Diva is telling Mr. Mayer what a good time she had and all the cool stuff she did and ate at the party. Even eye ball punch. But she didn't drink the eye balls. Whew! I was worried about that. I think it's safe to say that she had a really good time. And, baby steps for me, but it's a start.
She didn't want to stand to close to the scary decorations.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Ex-Hau-Sted

It's been Fall Break around here. This is Diva's first "official" fall break. She's always gone to daycare. I had big plans of how Fall Break was going to go. Like usual those big plans didn't work out so great. Wednesday was Diva's last day at school. She had Thursday and Friday off. I was expecting my in laws to come late Wednesday night. Thursday was supposed be really great weather so I thought that maybe we could go to the zoo. I hadn't planned on Friday yet. Saturday was a TMOM's family picnic that we were going to and then maybe out to Oktoberfest. Pretty easy pace, nothing fancy.
Well....let me tell you. That is not what happened. The in laws didn't come on Wednesday. Wednesday night Mr. Mayer started making a batch of Pumpkin Ale beer. Things were going well. I was watching some TV. All of a sudden Mr. Mayer starts going "Oh shit no! Oh shit no! Oh shit no!" He then said he needed a towel. Wait, he needed several towels. I immediately thought something had happened to the beer. I grab towels. Walk over to the kitchen and see this...
My sink fell. Great. This is bad. We spend the next hour trying to sit the sink up on some type of support. The beer was OK~ thank goodness!
The next morning the kids and I hang out around the house. We go and meet Aunt Bets for lunch. During lunch Mr. Mayer calls and says that he had called the builder to tell them about our sink. They directed him to call the company that installed the sink so he did. He explained what had happened and that the seal broke. The woman arranged for her husband (the owner) to come out in a 1 1/2 hours and fix the sink. No cost! No headache to Mr. Mayer and I. What. a. relief. I met him at the house and he fixed the sink in under 30 minutes. Despite my children's best efforts to slow him down.
Later that evening my sister/aunt (honestly, I'll explain some day) and two of her kids (ages 8 and 18) came for the weekend. We went to dinner at Osaka....the kids LOVED it! As always. The next day Mr. Mayer got up and went to work and the rest of us headed to the mall. The night before Shrek did not sleep well at all. Diva and her cousin FM stayed up WWWWAAAAAYYYY to late. I was having some reservations about taking the kids out to shop. We make it to the mall around 10am. We shop until we drop. Around 4:30 Diva asked Aunt Kathy if we could go home because she was tired and wanted to go to bed. THAT NEVER HAPPENS! She was a tired kid.
We had a little fun before that...
And, to the dudes credit. They did not sleep all day long. They sat in their stroller and did not throw a single fit the entire day. It was weird. They were happy as could be in that stroller all day. Now, taking a double stroller into any store in the mall. Next to impossible. They are not equipped for me. That was a huge headache.
We make it home and the in laws had made it in from New Mexico. They stayed and played with the kids for a while before heading on to their house. We ate some dinner and that the three "big" girls met some other people and saw "Footloose." Wow! What a good movie!
Today we went to Whole Foods, watched OSU go to victory and then headed to the TMOM's picnic. We were late to the picnic because the dudes were napping. We arrived and all 3 of them went full throttle for a few hours. Then Diva fell and conked her head (naturally when Mr. Mayer and I were both chasing babies and couldn't see her which totally freaked her out...crappy parent move #11109008890985982). It was downhill from there. They had hit their wall. We load up and come home. Get everyone bathed and in bed. We had planned to go to Oktoberfest and meet some friends. However~ it started storming as we are getting Diva in bed. We call our babysitter and say "never mind." Neither one of us wanted to get out in that kind of weather. Besides in the whirlwind of the past few days we are like the walking dead around here. 
I'm planning on a much calmer, quieter day tomorrow. Diva and I are going to a friends house to decorate pumpkins tomorrow afternoon. Otherwise we have no plans. I am planning on being very l-a-z-y. 
Oh! Bonus! My birthday is in a few weeks and Mr. Mayer has been planning a surprise trip for it. I haven't known where we were going. This afternoon while we were talking about upcoming expenses he goes "We are doing great even with our trip to Vegas." There are no words to describe what his face looked like. It was priceless. And, now I know where I will be spending my birthday. I still don't know where we are staying in Vegas. This will be my very first trip there~ever! So.very.excited.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Nana Karen's Red Sauce and Meatballs~ Oh My!

When I am in the mood for comfort food my mind immediately goes to Spaghetti and Meatballs. It has been my favorite for as long as I can remember. My version of the dish consists of jarred sauce and ground beef or frozen meatballs because I didn't know how to make meatballs.
Enter Nana Karen. When I was pregnant with Shrek and Donkey there wasn't much I could do the further along I got. Nana Karen would come over about once a week and make dinner and help me with whatever. She was a God send. It was an enormous help. One of the things she would make was Spaghetti and Meatballs. Wow! She made homemade sauce and from scratch meatballs. Every time I eat this dish I am in heaven.
Nana Karen is an old school cook. She doesn't measure anything and makes everything from memory. A few weeks ago she found a pasta maker that her and I have been playing with and making homemade pasta. If you have never had homemade pasta it is divine! She came over today to make some pasta. While she was here she offered to make some sauce. That is a must! I offered to take notes while she made it.
Remember I said that Nana Karen doesn't measure anything? She measured the spices out in this
That is a large OXO brand serving spoon. It works. I wish I could convey the smell that was going on in this house while the sauce cooked.
Nonetheless, here's the recipe....
Made in a soup pot/stock pot/ dutch oven/etc....you get the idea.
Nana Karen's Spaghetti Sauce
Olive Oil
1 medium onion~ chopped
3 to 4 cloves garlic~ minced
Salt
Pepper
1 tsp or less of sugar
dried Basil (3/4 spoon estimated to be 1/4 cup)
dried Oregano (3/4 spoon estimated to be 1/4 cup)
dried Parsley (3/4 spoon estimated to be 1/4 cup)
1 can chicken broth
2 to 3 Bay Leaves
2 small cans tomato paste
1 can tomato paste
1 can diced tomatoes
1 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
Cover bottom of pan with Olive Oil. Saute` onion in oil until browned. Lightly salt and pepper (you can always add more later if desired). Add sugar. Add dried spices and mix in with oil, onion and sugar. Add in minced garlic. Add broth and stir. Add Bay Leaves and tomato products. Stir together and add Worcestershire Sauce. Simmer together all day.
*No exactly necessary but makes all the difference. My sauce started at 12:30 today and was turned off at 5pm this evening.*
What is spaghetti sauce without meatballs?!
Nana Karen's Meatballs
1 pd ground beef
Dried Basil (1/2 or less of  a spoon)
Dried Oregano (1/2 or less of a spoon)
Dried Parsley (1/2 or less of spoon)
Salt
Pepper
1 Tbsp Worcestershire
Parmesan (estimated about 1/4 cup more or less if desired)
Bread crumbs
*in lieu of breadcrumbs white bread soaked in egg can be used*
2 eggs
Mix all ingredients together well. Form into balls. Drop raw meatballs into boiling sauce. Cook for about 20 minutes.
The picture does not do it justice!

Serve all this on top of homemade spaghetti and you have a plate full of Heaven.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Punkin' Patch


The pumpkin patch. I think it's mandatory if you have children. Right? It is in this family. Living up to our parental obligation and the desire to get some cute pics we loaded the clan up and went to the pumpkin patch today.
Naturally, when we sit the boys down they run in opposite directions. Then the second the camera comes out Donkey runs away and wants nothing to do with having his picture taken. Diva immediately starts posing and hamming it up and Shrek....well, he is who he is. He was just having a really good time today.
At this point in life we are happy to get any sort of picture we can.







I made a collage but wasn't happy with how it was turning out. I decided that the individual pictures look better. We came home and had nap/quiet time. Then it was back outside to play some more. We took a few additional pictures. Shrek has learned how to climb onto the play set. We keep trying to block it off with whatever we can think of. He continues to find a way around it. I am convinced this is going to lead to broken bones and a frantic visit to the emergency room. I'm not sure what to do to keep him from climbing on it. He climbs everything. Donkey has 0% interest in climbing it. He prefers walking around and playing in dirt. Their personalities are really starting to shine through.