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.







What A Difference A Year Makes

I know that the dudes have changed immensely in this past year. It really hit me this evening just how much they have changed. The weather is fantastic. We were having dinner on the patio like we do a lot of times. It was about this time last year when we were having dinner on the patio and took this:
Donkey on the left and Shrek on the right. 
Wow! Who are those tiny little people? Tonight looked much different. We took this while eating dinner tonight:
Shrek

Donkey
They are way to big for their bouncy chairs these days. They were having a good time with their dinner and were some very messy little boys.

As a side note:
I made Crock Pot Chicken Enchilada Soup for dinner. I found the recipe on Pinterest. YUM-O is all I have to say. It was wonderful. Definitely going to be put into the regular rotation.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Walter Joe

Circa 2005
I've had a blog post rolling around in my head all week. I want to talk about my brother in law Walter Joe. I just don't know where to start or what to say about him.
Three years ago today my brother in law died suddenly. It was a car accident. I blogged about it a little bit last year. People wear your seat belts! He's been on my mind a lot this week. Today Diva and I were driving towards downtown to pick up my co-op order. There was a man passing us on a Harley (or Harley like) motorcycle. He had a ponytail. For a split second I could believe it was him. I'm still listening for that motorcycle. I lost it. I don't think Diva noticed. She was 1 1/2 when he died and doesn't have any memory of him other than the pictures we show her. I think that's what crushes me the most. My kids will never know their Uncle Walt. He LOVED Diva. I have a picture of him holding her when she was a few weeks old (Naturally I can't find it right now) and he is making goggly eyes at her. He was goofy over her and was making all sorts of plans for when she got older. He and Mr. Mayer used to talk about when she was old enough to date and what they would do. It was ridiculous how goofy these grown men were over a baby.
You know how every family has their "rock star." That one person who is sort of an enigma and too cool for anyone. I always thought of Walter Joe that way. He was the family rock star. Everyone loved him. You couldn't be in a room with the man for more than a minute and not love him. He had the biggest heart and kindest soul of anyone I know. He also had a lot of demons that got the best of him at times.
I didn't get to know Walter Joe until my father in law~ Walt~ got sick. Walter Joe moved back from Tennessee without a second thought and started taking care of the family business. The night that Walt died the family was all gathered together with him. Walter Joe was standing next to me holding my hand. The moment Walt died and we all knew it he hugged me. I will never forget that moment.
The day Walter Joe died was one of my darkest days. Those next few days are blurry. I just remember the pit in my stomach. More than anything I remember my mother in law. Having my own kids I cannot imagine ever losing one of them. My mother in law is one of the toughest ladies I know. Having gone what she went through in a few years I'm not sure I would have done as well as she did. I can't imagine.
Walter Joe had a very distinct walk. I don't see other people do it very often. Every once in a while I will see someone who does something similar and I stare. I can't help it. I stare. My apologies to anyone I creep out by doing that. It's this sort of a bouncy saunter. I don't  even know how to describe it. My very favorite thing about him was that when he would have something he thought was important or make an observation about someone he would always start it with "What we have here folks..." I miss that. At the time it used to drive me crazy...but that is one of the things I miss hearing. I would love to hear him say that now.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Haircuts

As many know I have been getting some pressure to cut the Dudes hair. There have been comments about them having mullets and they could dress up like Rednecks or Hillbilly's for Halloween. Rude. I love those curls. Mullet or not. I realize that their hair was a little crazy and mullet looking. I also realize that they would probably look better with a haircut. However, I also realize that if I cut their hair that they would look more like little boys and not as much as my little babies. I wasn't sure I was ready for big boys. I know it's just hair. I cut my hair on a whim pretty regularly. I have cut Diva's hair as well. I just wasn't wanting to cut my babies hair. But, Mr. Mayer started taking pictures and posting mullet pictures online last night. Again~rude. The time had come. I needed to get them a cut. Nana Karen came over this afternoon and went with me to Kuts for Kids with Mr. Will today. I was nervous! The little guys had a great time playing with all the toys. Carter went first. I wasn't sure if there was going to be crying, screaming or giggles.

These dudes did really well. Thank goodness that Mr. Will is super fast. His hands were flying. We were in and out in 20 minutes. And, they look a little less like crazy haired babies and more like little boys. They are still devastatingly handsome and they still love their Mama.

Yup, That Just Really Happened

I intended to start tonight's post with Shrek and Donkey's first haircut....however, my kids have a thing with poop. Sheesh! Yup, Poopageddon part 4 happened. Where did 3 go? Yeah, that happened shortly after Part Deuce I just didn't blog about it. Long story short. The dudes, in diapers, were playing in my room. I picked them up moved them to the living room. 30 minutes pass and I kept smelling something. I start going about my business and getting ready for my friend and her kids that are coming over. I keep smelling something. I don't know why, I look down and there is poop all over my shorts. GROSS! I go check the boys and sure enough there is poo oozing out of Shrek's diaper. He had even managed to scoot his butt across the floor and trail it around the room. Great. It was awesome. 
So, here we are today. 2 months have passed since any "incidents." I'm breathing a sigh of relief thinking that maybe we had gotten past this. I should know better. Shrek has had a nasty diaper rash so I have been letting him go bare butt for a little bit the past few nights before bed. Risky I know. I was going for it. Tonight Mr. Mayer, Diva and I had just sat down for dinner. I had fed the dudes earlier and were letting them play in the living room. I had taken my first bite when I glance over and see Shrek stand from a  crouching position and walk away from his ball popper. That's when I notice this smiling face 
Did this in my floor
Oh-em-gee! He just pooed in my floor! Ick! Mr. Mayer scoops up Shrek and runs a bath. I take poo clean up. At least I can say that the dogs were standing right there and didn't sample the goodies~ this time. 



Monday, October 10, 2011

12 Month Photo Shoot

Man...I really love these kids. We did the 12 month pictures~ finally. They are 13 months now. A month late isn't bad in my book. We had a great time. Mr. Mayer did excellent work as usual. I learned how to do collages (thanks Mr. Mayer!) finally so you won't be bombarded with pictures. It cleans it up a little. Have you ever tried to take pictures of 13 month old twins? Wow! It is not an easy task. The fact that we have any decent pictures is astounding. It was an all day event for sure. Throw my friends 9 month old and a 4 1/2 year old Diva and we had our hands full! We took the majority of the pictures at my friends house and a garden in Grove, Okla. There are a few we took yesterday in our backyard.
Owen Walter 
Look at the pictures and notice the one where he is pulling out my Pansies!! Dang if it isn't a cute picture. But, my pansies, really?!
Carter James 
This one is a climber. My favorite picture is his Heisman pose. At least that's what it looks like to me. Just saying.
Olivia Grace
Will someone please tell me when she got so big? When did this happen and who let it happen? She is a ham whenever a camera comes out. There were no problems getting her to pose. Getting her brother's to take a good picture with her...that's completely different.

Home Again, Home Again, Jiggity Jig

Wow! What a weekend. It was full. Friday was a busy day in general. I took Shrek in for an eval on his feet. Poor dude is pigeon toed like his Mama. Unfortunately he drags one of his feet while his toes are pointing at his other leg. He and his brother Donkey are going to have to wear some elastics on their feet to turn them out. Some smart info that the specialist shared with me. Being pigeon toed and knock kneed like that can lead to arthritis and other foot problems. Wow! Good to know now that I'm 30 and have those problems. *Sigh* I'm assuming my mother's solution of making me wear my shoes on the wrong feet when I was little did not work.
Friday the Diva learned about Doctor's and made her own doctor bag. She spent an hour taking care of Mr. Mayer and I and bandaging us up.


After Mr. Mayer and I were mended Nana Karen and Papa Brad came over to watch Shrek and Donkey and Mr. Mayer and I took Diva to the Tulsa State Fair.

That is always an adventure. We met some friends there. We all ran our legs off. I let Diva eat a very healthy dinner....followed by cake balls and fried potatoes. I rock. The people watching at the fair is entertainment alone.

The next morning we were up and at em' again. We drove to Grove and FINALLY got around to taking the dudes 1 year pictures. I'm only a month late. Not bad in my book. It was a gorgeous day. One of my best friends lives there and was gracious enough to let us come out to her house and take some pics as well. We had a great time with the Lane's and their precious little Addie. Both of the dudes are smitten with Ms. Addie and liked to pull her hair. It was another long day.
By Sunday we were all grumpy. It was definitely a day of rest. We didn't do much of anything yesterday. Just hung out around the house. Shrek has learned how to climb up the stairs to the top of the swing set in the backyard so it makes playing outside a little more difficult. He thinks he is hot stuff though. Donkey has no interest in following behind his brother. Thank goodness!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

WhAt ShE wOrE wEdNeSdAy

Wow! I haven't done a WSWW since July. Eeeekkk! I'm slacking. However, the family is happy and healthy right now so I'm counting that as a success. As everyone knows I let Diva dress herself. Sometimes this can be interesting. I feel the need to encourage her creativity and independence. There are times I have to make her change or encourage her STRONGLY to go change. She doesn't always take this well. This morning she dressed herself like always. This is what she came down stairs in:
Not bad. Not bad at all. The child is obsessed with mismatched socks. I don't know why. I let her do it. Her socks never match.
Sweater: The Children's Place
Halter: The Children's Place
Jeggings: Target
Socks: I have no idea
She wore her Twinkle Toes tennis shoes with the ensemble this morning. She thought she was hot stuff when she left.

What did your little Darling wear today?