Saturday, November 29, 2008

Madagascar 2

We took the kids to see Madagascar 2 on Friday night. Aaron was less than impressed by my suggestion. His distaste was two fold, first he knew the theater would be crazy on the Friday after Thanksgiving and second, while his charming wife got up and went to work on Black Friday he decided to brave the crowds...okay not really he went to Sears. How many people go to Sears on Black Friday?...probably other unbrave men. JK, anyway he purchased a Blue ray DVD player and then headed straight to Blockbuster to rent videos so he was really hoping for a night at home.

When we pulled into the mall parking lot, I must admit I thought I was a tad crazy myself! The line to get into the theater was all the way out the door. The lobby was packed FULL of people trying to buy treats for the show. We waited and waited in line. N could hardly contain his excitement, I had to be the killjoy and remind him there was a possibility that we would get to the ticket window and they would be sold out. How heart broken he would have been. It was our lucky night. We walked in to an empty theater. A few more families trickled in but it was pretty much an empty show. (I think everyone else was seeing Twilight or Four Christmases, I want to see them too). We sang along and danced in our seat. The kids particularly liked, "I like to MOVE IT, MOVE IT!" It was a cute movie. Both kids did GREAT although they were both ready for bed by the time we got to the car. This makes N's third movie, he has seen:
Betsy and I took the kids to see the Wiggles live in concert in Ames. We stayed in the Adventureland Inn hotel. The next day we were super brave (or super crazy). I kind of forgot H was only 1 and thought oh yeah I can take her to see a movie no problem...uh wrong! I spent most of the time at the Bee Movie rocking her in the hallway and chasing her in the aisle. N enjoyed his first movie or maybe it was the Junior Mints he enjoyed so much...I can't remember.
Aaron and I planned a special birthday "date night" with N to see Horton Hears a Who. We got a babysitter for H and decided to take him to dinner and a movie since Horton came out in theater on his fourth birthday. Unfortunately, I had to go to CP for a funeral so Daddy and N go to have date night by themselves. N chose to eat at the Strawberry that night. That's his word for Applebee's!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Dora or Puple Broder?

I need to preface this post with a little history. H-girl loves anything Dora, Princess or Purple. Dolls, clothes, plates, "braceleps", underwear, hair ties, washcloshes, towels, you name it even rocks. Yesterday she carried three puple Mancala rocks in her pocket until bedtime. Today she is carrying a puple Mega Block. Christmas should be easy this year ;)

More history...we are re-drywalling one of N's bedroom walls. We have all of his furniture, bed, bookshelf covered in plastic to help keep the dust off. The kids know they can't go into his bedroom until we have it finished. So last night N was having a mini melt down after his bath whining that he couldn't go in his room to get jammies, he would just have to sleep naked and be cold! DRAMA KING! We of course ignored his behavior wishing he would talk in a big boy voice instead of the constant whining. H turned around in her most sincere worried voice and said "Broder, you want to wear my Dora jammies?", my heart melted, I about started to cry. I thought it was the cutest thing on earth for her to offer up her favorite pair of p.j.'s especially since she has about 10+ other choices. Of course he turned around and sneered and said, "Nooo I don't want to wear your Dora jammies!" So then she said, "you want to wear my puple ones?" So sweet!

Sunday, November 23, 2008


If anyone can tell me how to post my pictures better so they aren't weird on the page please's making me crazy!!

Outside Holiday Decorations

I am weird, I have always had this burning desire to be like the Griswold's and go hog wild on the outside of my house with Christmas lights and decorations. I have NEVER been able to convince my husband to go along with my grand idea until today! Shh, don't tell him but we are easing into it. It started out with this little guy. Isn't he adorable? On the way home from church N kept asking us to turn up the music. We were listening to a Mannheim Steamroller CD gone techno. It put Aaron a bit over the edge. So I said we could go to Target and buy a new Christmas CD if he'd like...We went to Target (or the $100 store as we like to call it, still my favorite store but...) for a lint brush roller and maybe a CD let me repeat a LINT BRUSH ROLLER, and we came out with a bill of $234.13 YIKES. Dave Ramsey hates me right now, and truth be told I kind of hate myself..but anyway, we went to the Christmas decorations to find a stocking for H and a blow up snowman for N (for the front yard). He chose the little guy instead.
When we got home it was so beautiful out we decided to work outside for the day. I was hard at work raking 5 more bags of leaves to add to the 13 from last weekend! Aaron got stuck hanging Christmas lights (and that's not what we bought for $234.13, I have TOTES of lights I have been buying since who knows when) So Aaron got one string of icicle lights hung across the garage and came and said to me all nice and I'll do that, I know you have always wanted the lights on the house so you can go do it...let me remind you this was as I was on the fifth and FINAL bag of leaves. Thank you honey!
Well since he worked so hard getting one strand up I decided to leave it up. So we have icicle lights over the one stall garage attached to the house and the front door
and then I finished the rest of the house and the ground with the big colored lights
Aaron conveniently went inside to put H down for her nap and "accidentally" fell asleep.
N was such a little trooper. He went and found his tool box and got out his little hammer and helped me pound all of the steaks in for the lights on the ground. He even "held" the ladder for me as I worked on the roof. As you can see our tree still needs a few more lights. We are hoping for one more nice day so we can get it accomplished.
Next year I am hoping for a snowman family and lights around each of the windows.
As I was decorating this thought popped into my head. When we were kids we would complain about doing the dishes on a nightly basis. We BEGGED for a dishwasher. I'm sure it probably even made our Christmas list a time or two. My mom's response always was, "what in the world do I need a dishwasher for when I have three perfectly good ones?" I think my blood pressure would boil. But I was laughing to myself today thinking I should have had a few more kids so that someday I could have professional rake-rs and light hanger uppers.
Mom when my kids are 12 and 14 don't even think about telling them I was plotting this since they were 2 and 4!

Make it. Take it. Bake it.

So as I promised, here is my blog about this WONDERFUL experience! If you live on planet earth, and you have a busy schedule you must experience this!

But first, I made sure to leave B-town in plenty of time to reach Iowa City so I could stop here for a little taste of heaven! I love their Mochas and Sugar Daddy Lattes. It is a very good thing that I don't live any where near Iowa City. I swear to you I would weigh 200 lbs. I have never been addicted to a drug but I certainly know how it could happen. THIS IS MY VICE! If I could have a drink from here every single day of my life I certainly would make it happen. Even their cups are stinking adorable. Love it! Gotta have it! I would do anything to learn their recipes!

Okay so about our day. We selected the entrees we wanted to make from their website about two weeks ago. We showed up at 9:30a here is the entrance, you can see there's about 10 different stations set up. We put on our caps and aprons and got busy. Here we are ready to get Makin'

we went from station to station and prepared the meals that we previously selected. As we finished with one we placed it in the freezer complete with a label on how to cook it, PLUS calories, fat and fiber included! Yea!

The North Liberty newspaper was there taking quotes and pictures of us so we might even be famous sometime soon ;)

Here's Betsy hard at work at one station. We made 12 entrees before 10:45a. WOW! I selected Crock pot Chicken and biscuits, Bacon Potato Chowder, Philly Cheese steak sandwiches (complete with the rolls), Brushetta Chicken, French Toast Strata with apples, Chicken Caesar Pasta, Ham balls, Classic Lasagna, Brown Sugar glazed pork chops over mashed potatoes. I know that does not equal 12...I choose to make 2 8X8 pans of some of the same recipes.

You have to go on-line and place your order ahead of time so that they can order all of your ingredients fresh for you that day. I was very impressed. All of the products were high quality name-brand items. Very thick pork chops and chicken breast. No skimping. After our hour and fifteen minutes of hard work this is the only clean up we did...

we had to drop our aprons and caps into a crock! Naomi's Kitchen certainly gets eight thumbs up from my family!! The employees scurry around behind you and take your used utensils, and wipe up your mess. You need to be sure to wash your hands between each session or anytime you touch eggs or meat.

The owners of Naomi's Kitchen live in the front half of the business. So quaint and charming.

Naomi is their daughter. The had a son so they opened an ice cream shop called....I don't know about all of you but I hope they have more children! They said that husbands come and do this for Valentines Day and Mother's Day HINT HINT and ;) !! Naomi's Kitchen provides free soft drinks and water while you "make it" and a sample of one item on next months menu. I sampled Mexican Chicken Corn Chowder. Not something I would normally try but it was DELICIOUS! I will be making it in December for sure. So besides all of the obvious benefits, this will also allow me to try new recipes and then make them at home as well as venture outside of my comfort zone to taste new things. One person asked if we could bring wine and they said as long as someone else was driving us home and if we would still be able to finish in 2 hours. I invite all of you do to this with me in the coming months. If you can't figure out what to buy someone on your list this holiday season this is a PERFECT idea. We went to Sears last week and purchased a 5 cu ft deep freezer to store our loot! We can't wait for our first busy night so we can try one of the casseroles.

Our tree

Everyone was involved! Maybe even unwillingly.

We put the tree up on Friday night. Poor Emma girl even helped. She does not look too thrilled huh? I stayed up way too late considering I had to be on the road early on Saturday morning to make it to North Liberty by 9:30. It is Sunday night and finally all of the totes are put away and we can enjoy the finished product. I slept on the couch Saturday night with the tree lights on all night. I woke up a few times just to stare at it. I love looking at the tree when all of the lights in the house are turned off. Aaron and I did the math and figured out our tree is already 8 years old! Hardly seems possible. We hope to one day have a house big enough to hold about 6 trees! I love CHRISTMAS! I am finished Christmas shopping which feels GREAT! Now I need to get wrapping. I mentioned hiring a high school girl to do it and Aaron said no way, I will help you. We'll see. Secretly I like doing it and I can probably use it as an excuse to sit in front of the tv and catch up on a few prime time shows.

For my teacher friends! God Bless You!

Friday night at the dinner table N informed me that he had THANKFUL day at school. I said you did? What are you thankful for? I figured his response would really tear at my heart strings, I waited in great anticipation. His response was,

N: "My grandma" pause

Me: No surprise there (I thought)

N: "but not my alive ones just my dead ones"

It is true what they say, teachers hear EVERYTHING! I had to giggle a little bit. I could only remember this story that my friend Cara told me about her son. The kids were all in a circle at school singing a song, when the song ended he informed his teacher that he had a song and everyone should repeat after him. The song went something like this, my grandma is dead, my grandma has died, my grandma is in heaven...come on guys sing along. I don't even know how to respond to this except for my heart truly goes out to all of you in elementary education. You are very quick on your feet!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Fall Favorites

Fall is by far my favorite time of the year...I am sad to see it ending so quickly but I want to share a few of my fall favorites with you.




Warm comfort foods like lasagna & garlic bread, homemade soup, chocolate chip cookies, apple pie, pumpkin bars. Yummy!

Great fall pictures at the pumpkin farm! I love ORANGE!

Cuddly sweatshirts

I know I am forgetting a few.

There is one fall activity I despise!!!

We raked the front and back yard for HOURS on Saturday. Two people called and offered us their football tickets to the Iowa game and we turned them down to do this!!! I love our massive Oak tree in the front yard. He provides hours of protection against the hot sun in the summer, certainly helping our energy bill, but this is the price I have to pay. Great exercise but YUCK! There is one thing I was sure to count my blessings for though. We were able to do it all in one day because the kids are getting older and can ride their bikes, help hold the bags, go play on the back porch and we don't have to stop every two seconds to pick them up, give them a drink, push them on their bike etc... I miss my babies and it is terribly sad to see them grow so quickly but it is nice that they could be outside right along side us and we could still have a feeling of accomplishment!

After our hard day at work we went to our cousin's house to help him celebrate his 4th birthday! A great time was had by all and we were so happy to realize that Thanksgiving is almost here so we will go back and help him play with all of his new toys in just a short while! Yippee!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

KinderMusik Creation

This semester N is learning about the weather in KinderMusik. He is learning about the sounds drops of rain make, we pretend we are splashing in rain puddles, etc. He has had fun homework assignments. This week he was suppossed to make a windchime. I had him go around the house and choose things that he thought would make cool noises. These are the items he choose...I found his choices quite creative.

windchime (l-r) earring, screw, belt buckle, jingle bells and a spoon

It really does make wonderful sounds! N knows Grandma Andria likes windchimes so he has the perfect place planned for his windchime at her house.

A few weeks ago he was tasked to make his own rain hat. He choose one of daddy's construction hats and a few things from the craft tote to complete his masterpiece.
And here he is sporting his digs

Not sure how dry it would keep him but great none the less!

Good News!

Yeah! H had her follow up appointment today at the U. The doctor was impressed with our progress. Two months ago they asked me to put Miss H on an antihistimine that causes rapid weight gain. Of course I researched this drug and asked everyone I knew what they thought of it. The pharmacists I talked to informed me it is an age old antihistamine and should be okay, however the pessimist in me kept thinking yea but every drug has side effects. And besides that she doesn't need to be on an antihistamine - it just happens to make kids hungry. I was scared. You are talking to a girl who doesn't even like to take tylenol for a headache so I agonized about it, prayed a lot and came to the conclusion that I would do my very best to ignore H's behaviors. If she was eating good at the table I would praise the heck out of her. If she wasn't I would ignore it, not say one word, and when her 20 minutes were up we would get down from the table and move on. I gave this a try for a week and wouldn't you know...she began eating like a champ.

Now I know 2 year olds can eat great one day and then eat like birds for a week so I was a little pessimistic at first. I couldn't help but think meal times would go back to being the worst part of my day. But that wasn't the case at all, we have had a very successful two months! Miss H gained 9.97 grams per day, which was at the 90th percentile for weight gain!! Yes, 90th! Woo-hoo! The prior four months her weight gain has been 2.7 grams per day. A child her age should be gaining between 5-10 grams per day and one that has some making up to do should be gaining between 10-15 g/d. They told me those stats but still said we did a great job. They said to keep calorie boosting everything she eats and ignore any negative behaviors having to do with eating.

We still have a ways to go. She is 2 years and six months and only weighs 21.5 lbs but we are making progress! I have to celebrate that. They would be really happy with 23 lbs.

pic: She had KinderMusik tonight after a long day of traveling. She did not take a nap so she is about falling asleep eating her ice cream before bed. She is wearing her warmy cuddly favorite DORA pjs so I'm sure she'll have a great nights rest.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Naomi's Kitchen

Betsy called yesterday and asked if I would like to join her and our friend Katrina on Saturday November 22nd at Naomi's Kitchen in North Liberty. I had never heard of this. However in my entrepreneurial day dreaming I have thought of such a thing! Probably wouldn't go over in SE IA but I'm certain it will make it in North Liberty anyway I recommend visiting their website but here's how it works. Each month Naomi's Kitchen posts a new menu. You log on and choose 12 meals that you want to make. You go make it all, they provide the dishes to take your meals home in, and THEY clean up the entire mess. You just bring a cooler and take it all home to your freezer for tasty quick meals! At first I thought it sounded a tad bit expensive but when you do the math it's not. Twelve meals for $200. I hate to admit it but I almost spend that much on 10 meals so I'm giving it a try. I forgot to ask her if we can bring our purees to add to the dishes or not. I'm sure they won't mind but I will certainly blog about this experience to let you now how it goes. If any of you Mom's are interested we are addicted to Jessica Seinfeld's recipe book Deceptively Delicious. We puree fruits and veggies and sneak them in to our kids favorite foods and they are none the wiser. For instance tonight we had homemade Chicken Noodle soup, YUM! I added an entire cup of pureed cauliflower to the soup that was already packed full of the veggies my kids will eat (like carrots, beans, peas, lima beans) and they gobbled it down.

Betsy and Katrina visited Naomi's Kitchen in October and they are hooked. In addition to taking the stress out of a few nights a month I will also have a standing date to visit my friends! Thank you sooo much for inviting me!

Grandma Klima

This may seem inappropriate to blog about but I want to remember this so I'm going to do it. Grandma Klima passed away on October 31st after a short illness. I had originally thought we wouldn't take the kids to the wake or to the funeral because they wouldn't understand at 2 and 4. However it was a Sunday afternoon (out of town) and the entire family was at the wake so I didn't have a choice. We had explained to N that Grandma passed away and she went to Heaven. Before we reached the door of the funeral home I decided I needed to explain a little more. I told him, "N, Grandma died, her body was broken and it didn't work anymore. The doctors nor God could fix it so she is going to live in Heaven, she will be very happy there. When we walk in here Grandma will be laying in a special bed and then tomorrow she will go to heaven."

We went in and he insisted on seeing Grandma in her special bed so we went in and said a prayer and told her we loved her. N then told me he needed to go potty. We went to the restroom and this was our conversation:

N: "How long will Grandma stay in her special treasure box?"

Me: "She will stay in there for two days"

N: "Then tomorrow after the funeral, God will shut the door and she will magically disappear to Heaven?"

Me: "Yes honey"

...because we want to keep in touch