Tuesday, December 27, 2011

3! vacation week

My little Tanner is three today! I swear, I just brought him home from the hospital yesterday. It seems like it anyway.
He is such an awesome kiddo. He is super smart and lovable. He talks nonstop but that is ok, he loves all animals and plants. His favorite food is candy (if you want to consider candy a food group). His favorite thing to do is play with his plastic animals with someone or play puzzles in his room. He loves to read books and go to gymnastics. He can ride his tricycle and jump on the trampoline so he thinks he is a big kid now. He can be a stinker and very stubborn but we all have our faults don't we?!
He is kind of confused because we celebrated his birthday on Christmas Eve (when most of our family was in town) so he doesn't really understand that he is actually three today. That's ok, I know it and I am so happy to be his mommy. I know he and I will have loads of fun in the years to come.

He wanted an elephant cake this year. Do you know how hard it is to find a good sample elephant cake picture? Most of them look perverse! Think about it... two round ears and a trunk coming off them... now do you get it? Just go to Google and check it out, you will see how it is impossible to find a cute one. So I had to get creative.
I cut out sugar cookie elephants and made jungle trees out of pretzel rods and candy. He thought it was "awesome," I guess that is all that mattered. I also used cookie cutters to make the words "happy birthday Tanner" because writing with icing is impossible. I am determined to take a class on this and get better.
My house looks like this..... but everywhere.

I'm sure you'll excuse me if I take the rest of the week off blogging to clean up and take my kids to three different dentist appointments, sports and dance practices, gymnastics, and whatever else I scheduled this week, so much for vacation!

I hope everyone has a great new year!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

A quickie gift if you need it

I've shared these before.

Parker made these to share with his class at school.

Hershey Kisses (I really need to branch out into other candies!)
teeny baggies (you can use any size but the teeny ones are so cute) these are "jewelry" baggies from Michaels
leftover scrapbook paper cut to the width of the baggies

Parker used stickers to decorate his "toppers" (you like my fancy name huh?)
I wrote "from Parker " for him, he would have quit after two toppers, that boy doesn't have time for crafts!

Then just staple the toppers on and you are done.

I made some of these last year for Zoe's teachers at school and they turned out so cute. I used snack size baggies and made the toppers with pretty stamps and paper. It makes a small treat so much more glamorous, don't you think?

Pretzel hugs and things on my mind

Sarah, my princess, here are the hugs I made. I stole this recipe from someone a loooooong time ago. It might have been Becky Higgins, the scrapbooker, but I am not sure. Anyway, I love these little treats and it is so hard to give them away. They are pretty and yummy.

Here are my supplies:
square pretzels (I use Snyders, they are my favorite pretzel, perfectly salty but not too much- I love giant tubs of things from Costco!)
M&M's (I have only tried the orginal kind but I am thinking of going wild and trying peanut next time!)
Hershey kisses hugs (usually I get the white and milk chocolate kind, but this time I tried the peppermint kind, whoo hoo, yummers I tell ya!)
baby in bouncy seat, totally optional, his running commentary made it more fun! Dick Vitale has nothing on this guy
spread the pretzels on any baking sheet or pan in a flat layer
unwrap the hug and put it on the pretzel
bake at 200 degrees for 8 minutes
immediately put M&Ms on the melty hug
let them sit for a few hours to get hard again
then put them in a cute bag with a sparkly ribbon and you are set!

The kids "helped" me put M&Ms on the hugs this year which is why they are all wonky looking. I am usually way-anan-retentive about them being on there all pretty but my crew was really determined to help this time.

By the way, these are the only Christmas goodie I make that I actually sample and eat afterwards. Fudge, buckeyes, cookies, toffee, I get sick of it after I make it all but not these bad boys! Mmmmm mmmm, love them. The peppermint hugs made them have a nice bite. (I have been watching Giada too much, I love that girl. Must make a note to post about my new tv BFF sometime!)

And now some things I am thinking about today.....
really I am just procrastinating my supposed to do things but don't tell anyone!

1. I was at Walgreens again today (between that and my grocery store, I don't need to shop anywhere else!) and I saw a young guy (obviously down on his luck) ride up on a bike and go inside. He was behind me in line. I just happened to see what he was buying, only because I was trying to wrangle Tanner, that boy is like a bucking broncho at the store! The poor guy had an EPT and a box of Trojans. Hmm, if you're buying the EPT, it might be too late for the Trojans. Just a thought. I didn't say anything but I wanted to. Poor guy just put them in his backpack and pedaled off down the road. I'm thinking he might have a rough day today.

2. I am not receiving as many Christmas cards as I used to. **sniff** Do I offend? (You "Pretty in Pink" movie lovers will recognize that as a Duckie line from the movie, anyway.) That makes me sad. I love getting a stack of love every day for a month. It makes all those other envelopes, the kind with the plastic windows saying "statement enclosed" a lot easier to open.

3. Don't you just love the little sayings on the Taco Bell sauce packs? My favorites are: "I'm bringing saucy back" and "take me to your taco." I am a Taco Bell hot sauce hoarder. I love it. I have tried all kinds of hot sauces and none compares. I put that sh** on everything! (hee hee- just like the Frank's hot sauce commercial.)

4. Do not send your hubby to buy family gifts for the kids or you'll end up with this.
I sent Big Tall Hubby out to get some gifts for the all kids from us because we know Santa is taking care of their lists. I was thinking he might get a new Wii game (we only have 3), a microscope, or a new sled. Nope. He got some hamsters. I didn't get mad. But I did say, "why are you explaining to me how to clean their cage and feed them?!" He laughed because I guess he knew where I was going with that one. Their names are Sugar and Speedy, because one is white and the other one is well, speedy. He almost got away last night. Our kids pretty much think we are the best parents in the universe right now. They have wanted a new pet forever. Like we don't have enough already!!!

5. This is my 797th post. Man do I have a lot to say or do I just blab a lot?! Thanks for reading girlies.

Have a great day ladies.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011


I found Tanner hiding behind an end table with four pacis. Just sucking on one at a time. He is only supposed to have them when he sleeps. Stinker.

I had a Christmas related post in mind but this guy is not napping today so my computer time is going to be extremely short. **sigh** There's always tomorrow.

Have a great day.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Cleaning up stomach flu remnants is never on my things to do list

Warning: Tirade ahead....

Friday was Zoe's dance team Christmas party. I forced Big Tall Hubby to stay home with #2 and #3 (he was supposed to go to a basketball game- oh the glamorous life of a high school principal!) so I could take Zoe to her party and only have to keep track of #4 who is easy because all the other dance moms steal him away to get their baby fix. We were dance partying and having a good time when I am talking to one of the other moms. She proceeds to tell me how her daughters and herself were JUST getting over the stomach flu. OK, really?! I wanted to punch her. What in the world was she doing there spreading her germs every-freakin'-where? Of course one of her daughters is one of Zoe's dance BFFs and they were hugging like only little girls who haven't seen each other for three hours since school was out do. You can imagine what I was doing in the wee hours of Saturday morning... it wasn't pretty and I wasn't happy. Should I call that dance mom and ream her out? Maybe make a vague Facebook update so she'll know the havoc she has wrecked on my house? I know, I shouldn't but I want to so desperately. Some people just have no clue. Her, not me of course!

my things to do this week:
  • clean massive carpet stains, hmm, take a wild guess
  • wrap, a lot, like every night until 2AM
  • do a quick house cleaning for Tanner's birthday and Christmas day! (YIKES!)
  • try to maintain my sanity
  • try not to get the stomach flu
  • buy more Lysol, hand sanitizer, and disinfectants of any kind
  • stay away from Zoe (just kidding!)

my menus this week:
  • um, seriously, I haven't planned one meal except for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, I am going to wing it which will probably not help me to maintain my sanity. Stomach flu always throws me for a serious loop, and it takes me a while to recover, even if I am only on clean up duty.
I did manage to finish cookie baking for Big Tall Hubby's staff...

I'm the best wife. Ever.
First I gathered my supplies,
paper bags
stamps and ink
patterned paper
baby foot is optional...
baby toy is necessary!
then I decided to cut the edge of the bags to make them "cuter"
next time I will use my sewing pinking sheers, these paper ones just didn't make nice cuts
I thought, "oh I will be so thrifty and use these paper strips that I saved from my Christmas cards a few years ago" but crap, I am such a doofus, they were too short sooooo...
I added a white circle which ended up being ok, because then I can write "from Big Tall Principal" on there! I'm a genius.
my assistants were excellent supervisors, Asher took his place in my lap
Tanner was at my feet.
If only I had to make the bags, I'd be set! I love paper crafts way more than anything else.
I made cookies, again, this year, but I think I will try something new for next year. I might be asking you all for ideas later.

All packaged. Ready to go. My steam was running out for sure because I should have made cuter bows but by the time I was done, I was DONE, you know what I mean?!

Have a great week, everyone.

One more pic to share, Big Tall Hubby just set this as our screen saver for some reason. It is cracking me up! Poor Tanner. (this is from two summers ago- look how little he was!)

Friday, December 16, 2011

We're in the home stretch ladies!

Only nine more days left! Not that I am trying to send you into a spaztic tirade or anything (please don't yell at me or comment in all CAPs), I'm just stating the obvious. Holy crap, can there really only be 9 days until Christmas!!!??? I am going to need lots of something (chocolate, wine, meds, naps?) to get me through this absolutely crazy time of year.

Whenever I get near the homestretch of anything (the end of a long run/race, the last pile of laundry, the nine days before Christmas, whatever) I swear I always think of this song/scene... I even have it on my IPod for times I really need to hear it.

Don't you just love Rocky? I have had a lifelong crush on Sylvester (shh, don't tell John Travolta, he thinks he is the only one, he is my number one, but there's something about Sly that I just love, probably the muscles and droopy eyes) and this scene gets me every time.

Asher is wearing his gray sweats in honor of the iconic climb up the stairs or at our house, the mad dash to finish all the Christmas preparations.
He'd run up the stairs and fist pump if he could.
I am super excited to report that I got my Nikon fixed! Holla! It has had this annoying spot on it forever and I could not fix it myself. I went to the camera shop and my new hero, the camera shop guy, fixed it for FREE! Holla! (again, jeez, there's a lot of hollerin' goin' on today!) I could have kissed him, but I didn't, he wasn't my type. Hee hee.
I am so glad to have this guy working again. I hope it helps me have some great pics and less yellow ones, you know how I loathe those yellow ones. (Please forgive my icky winter hands, I need a mani like yesterday!)

Have a great weekend.

Rocky Balboa - Getting strong now - HD 720p

I just has to post this (see previous post). You get a way better view of those muscles. ;)

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Cos' girl you're amazing, just the way you are...

Don't you just love that Bruno Mars song?

I never get tired of hearing it, or singing it. My kids, now they get super tired of me singing it. Oh well. I'm the mommy, I can sing as loud as I want to. (In my van of course, like I'd really be singing in public!!! Well, I do catch myself singing along to the music in the grocery sometimes, but I'm kind of kooky that way.)
I don't get to post much about my Zo Zo since she is in school all day. I miss her, I feel like she is growing up so fast. She is amazing, and I'm not just saying that because I am her mom.

She has just finished plowing through the Harry Potter series. She is 8 people! Well almost 9, but still, 8! Those books are HUGE! I have read the first three but never got around to the other 14, just kidding. I do love them though. She was a maniac. She would not stop reading them. Good thing she is reading them now that JK has written them all. If Zoe had to wait until the next one was published, she might have gone insane. Then ABC Family channel has been playing them on the weekends, guess what we have been doing?

And she confessed that she has a "crush" on Daniel Radcliffe. Holy Moly, isn't she a little young for a Hollywood crush?! Well, my first love was (and still is) John Travola when I was 5 so I guess I shouldn't be worried.

Like her lightening bolt scar and glasses? She is a nut.

She was also chosen as Student of the Month. She is too cool. And she was picked to be in some ultra smart kid math group. Holla!

This cracks me up. She is always losing socks. I am like, "hell-o, don't you know you only have one sock on?!"
She's a little kooky that way too, I guess.
Crazy hat and sock day at school, she is normally very fashionably dressed.

I think she's amazing, just the way she is.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

sometimes even moms get a grand slam

Do you have a day where you feel like you are getting it all done and just feeling so darn good about it? Everyone is happy, well fed, laundry is done, all that good mom stuff? I don't have them all that often but today seems to be starting off pretty well. The laundry is not done, is it ever!? But it is getting there...

First I made smoothies for breakfast. Usually these are before bedtime snacks. It is my sneaky way to get Parker to get extra calcium and fruit. He is a protein-aholic, he avoids milk like the plague and fruit is not his favorite thing. I thought maybe they would all drink these up this morning. But nope, they were too busy playing in the kid kitchen.
See Tanner's little toy cup? He said I had to put some in there for his bear. Funny. I brought the kid kitchen upstairs from the basement for him, because this guy is all about being a chef right now. He is making me some awesome meals. All. Day. Long. My favorite: pizza, with salad, and coffee (except I don't drink coffee, but in a play kitchen I can!).
Then I made dinner. Well my ginormous new crock pot is making dinner. Chicken and Dumplings a la Clover Lane. Sarah over there probably thinks I am stalking her. I kind of am. She inspires me daily.

This is my latest crock pot addition by the way. Have I told you about him? Big papa? He is huge. I love him a whole lot. I now have three crock pots. A teeny one for hot dips to enjoy at parties. A regular one that I have had for years and years, he makes the best chili ever. And now this guy. My mom got it for me after Asher was born, she said I would need a bigger one. She was right. Moms usually are. :)

Now I am going to sit on my bootylicious and feed my baby, while this guy sits on my feet to keep them warm. Pugs are awesome like that.

Here are some pics of our sugar cookie baking mania last night.

You know it is holiday season when you have three bowls of cookie dough in your fridge! (three different kinds! just waiting to be baked and gobbled up)

I asked Santa to bring me some new cookie sheets for Christmas. I am not opposed to pracitcal gifts at Christmas. In fact, that is what I want most. I feel guilty when someone (Big Tall Hubby) buys me jewelry, I am really a weirdo.
I didn't even yell once during this process. Yay me! Usually I am sweating and swearing (under my breath of course) by the end of it all. I think it helped that I made the dough myself and had everything ready when they got home from school. I had the cutters out, the oven preheated, the bench flour ready, the roller, etc. There was no room for fighting or nit picking. We take our cookie making seriously around here!
Please ignore the bowl of popcorn on the counter (that was an after school snack) and the baby stuff everywhere. I never stage my pictures. As you can tell! Ha!

Big Tall Hubby and I are going to have to have a serious talk about these flourescent light bulbs. ALL my pictures are yellow and I am hating it. I am all about saving the Earth and lowering our electric bill but my pictures are suffering!!! Any ideas Blog Mommies?

Monday, December 12, 2011

let the baking begin

We're going to be doing a whole lot of this for the next couple weeks...My baking list is incredibly long this year, everyone wants me to make something:
  • sugar cookies (decorated of course!)
  • chocolate chip cookies (for Santa and staff at Big Tall Hubby's school)
  • buckeyes
  • chocolate fudge
  • toffee bars
  • peppermint cookies
  • pretzel hugs (for teachers at school, neighbors, and community friends)
  • gingerbread people (only if I feel like it and the other stuff gets done)

Now, you can see why I have to get started like yesterday. There might be a couple more things that pop up, I hope not, that list seems pretty daunting.

Coincidentally, this is the week I have decided to start tracking my food and measuring for Weight Watchers Points. Ugh. Not that I feel like Weight Watchers is "ugh", on the contrary, I love WW, it's the whole getting started process that is ugh. Once I get going, I know I will feel so much better. I am not going to meetings (I desperately want to but we do not have a free night that I can go, and Saturdays are booked too, double ugh.) so I am going to do it on my own, which goes against the WW philosophy but it is better than nothing. Maybe I'll post about it here, make my own WW meeting of one? Something to ponder.

My things to do this week:

  • enjoy this week, because I know it will only get crazier
  • pack up gifts to mail
  • mail Christmas cards
  • make menus/grocery lists for Tanner's birthday, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day meals
  • finish shopping (almost done!)
  • wrap, wrap, wrap (why do I wait so long!?)
My menus for this week:
lots of repeats from last week (BTH was gone a lot so we have some stuff saved)
  • fish and sweet potato wedges
  • tacos and nachos
  • Italian sausage sandwiches
  • stuffed shells and salad
  • chicken and dumplings
  • tortilla soup and biscuits

Look at my buddy, Tanner, he is checking out his picture with Santa from a couple years ago. He says, "why am I sad mommy?" (he was crying) Gee buddy, I don't know, a big stranger makes you sit on his lap and smile for a picture and you can't see his face and you have to talk to him too. I don't know what you would be crying about?! The things we do to torture our kids!

Bringing out the Santa pictures of the past is turning out to be one of my favorite things of the holidays. Seeing how the kids have grown each year is amazing (not to mention our family!). We actually have some of our "first" baby, Max, our dog with Santa! Those were the days.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Who's in charge around here?

Obviously not me. I really wanted my house to look like Better Homes and Garden, perfectly Martha-ed but my kids prefer the more is better look. More cutesie Santas, snowmen, reindeer, etc, ALL OVER THE PLACE!
I have decorating envy. I love, love, love all the gorgeous holiday decor that I have been seeing on everyone's blogs. I have such good decorating intentions, I really do, I have gajillions of idea pages torn out of magazines showing brilliant mantles and stairways. I have gobs of web pages bookmarked with festive holiday centerpieces and I vow to someday try them all. I literally have about 20 tubs of holiday decorations, most of which never see the light of day. I have decided to just let it go, my kids wanted to decorate the mantle, so I let them.

We usually do not use the heavy silver stocking holders since I am very worried they might pull the stockings down and the holders will bonk their heads (been to the ER one too many times already). AND poor Asher doesn't have one of these cute photo ones, I have been searching for one and have not found one yet. But oh well, they made this garland and demanded we use it. (I did insist on the wreath.)

I always picture my foyer looking all dreamy and glistening with glitter and candles. Nope, they want this. OK. Singing snowglobes rock don't you know?
I really want one of those advent calendars that Clark Griswold has (the one with the doors that open- there is a guy I found online who makes them for $400 each, someday maybe, I really like "Christmas Vacation!") This year, I bought these chocolate-a-day ones for the kids from my favorite foodie grocery store (Jungle Jims for all you locals). These are from Germany. I love to tell the kids they are eating real German chocolate. They don't get really excited, chocolate is chocolate I guess. They are tacky but the kids love them so much it is crazy. Funny thing, I always wanted one of these when I was little. Doesn't it seem like we never got as much candy as our kids do now? I got one for each of my big kids so there would be no fighting over whose turn it was to pop the candy out each day. How about my pumpkin painting? It looks really weird with Christmas stuff by it, this was the only space where I could hang these and keep an eye on them (Tanner, the candy thief, would have emptied them all if I couldn't see them. His calendar is a few days ahead, so I might have to add a couple pieces around the 22nd!)
These shelves usually have some cute antique things and pictures but I switched them out for Christmas. The kids did most of the work, they grabbed a "thing" and put it on the shelf with no thought or planning, for all their kitschy-ness, I kind of like them. Kerri, there is your sign! :) Do you see my blue Kentucky Santa under the desk lamp? I love that guy. The other one is an Ohio State Santa, Big Tall Hubby loves him. (OSU Santa is kind of hidden by the computer when I sit there, so I don't really see him that much. UK Santa would be very jealous if I was checking out another dude!)

So this year, my Better Homes and Garden showplace will have to exist in my mind only. And I have decided I'm ok with that. Someday my kids will be all grown up and homemade garlands, stuffed snowmen, glittered popsicle stick snowflakes will probably be replaced by Pottery Barn candles and Athropologie plates. Honestly that makes me kind of sad. I am going to love on my kooky decorations no matter how many times the glowing, singing choo choo train chimes its song and the baby Jesus from our Nativity takes a ride on Tanner's big rig truck.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

4 months old

Already. I hate it. I swear his little baby life is flying by at warp speed. He is big enough for the exersaucer. He loves it.
Enjoy the cheeks people.
And the drool.

Some toys never get old. My big kids are playing with this too. Parker (6 year old giant!) keeps getting in the seat. My house is never dull. Tanner just walks by and pats his head. :)
Asher was 4 months old on november 30th, I was just too crazy busy to get it posted on that day. you'll forgive me right?!