Sunday, December 30, 2012

A Balancing Act

Here's my kids on a Friday (October 19th, 2012) while Mommy works downstairs at the desk.
We are borrowing a seat called a Bumbo from my sister-in-law (Heather). It's purpose is for Elizabeth but Benjamin enjoys sitting in it too. Sometimes I will feed him his lunch in it on the desk next to me and face him towards the T.V. so I can continue to get work done. Other times like this instance Benjamin will just randomly sit in it wherever it might be located. Eventually I put Elizabeth in it and gave her a toy to play with. Of course she kept dropping the blue tiger but it was cute. The tiger if I remember correctly was given to Benjamin by my cousin Cassie.
When mommy is working and daddy doesn't have homework to do on the computer upstairs the family room is the hangout (my office is taking up a large portion of the room). The T.V. is usually on with various movies or shows to try to keep Benjamin's attention but daddy has to intervene a lot to keep Benjamin off of mommy. On this date that form of intervening was holding a large ball with his legs so that Benjamin could balance on it. Benjamin just continues to love to be on top of things and is always impressing us with his balancing skills. And yes daddy did get a leg workout balancing the ball himself for Benjamin.

Drenched in Syrup

I was trying to be more organized (emphasis on trying) and so I created a little menu planner for our fridge. I also had a new recipe to try (or this was the 2nd time using it) for pancakes. "Oatmeal Pancakes" found over on It is interesting to use leftover oatmeal in the pancakes but they turned out delicious. I don't normally make oatmeal with much leftovers though. I typically make a batch of oatmeal for my families needs for the day but I have heard of people who make a batch for the week so it would make sense to have leftovers. Anyways to make these pancakes took a concerted amount of effort on my part as I had to make oatmeal earlier in the week.

So this Thursday morning (October 18th, 2012) I made Oatmeal Pancakes. I do love how big they are and moist. Pancakes at our house is always a big hit with Benjamin. He devours them. Getting him to eat is never a problem. The issue is getting him to wait long enough for them to cool. After breakfast Jared and I ran to our computers without thinking about much except making sure Benjamin's hands and face were syrup free. I was working in the living room at the time when I noticed Benjamin back up at the table. I got up quickly to see he had dumped most of the syrup I had left on the table onto the table and was happily playing in it. I tried to get a picture of my little boys fingers just drenched and dripping with syrup but it didn't turn out the best.
I cleaned up the syrup from the table and scolded myself for being so careless (though I am sure I huffed at my husband too).

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Elizabeth at 5 Months

5 Months (and then some) have passed already...Elizabeth turned 5 months on November 15th, 2012.
 My little Elizabeth is growing so fast! At 5 months she has great head control and great balance. She loves to sit up on her own. Her daddy helped her to learn how to sit up by sitting her between his legs on the floor so she could see everything going on. Once she caught on she has demanded to be sitting up. She can already sit up in a high chair out at restaurants which is nice.

She is still in love with her brother who sometimes can take her or leave her. She loves to watch what he is doing and gets really excited when he gets near her.
We thought we were through the majority of the screaming phase...we were wrong. She has gone back to high pitched yelps or yells. She will do it when excited or mad.
Just like it was with Benjamin mommy is for feeding and comfort and daddy is for playing. She absolutely refuses to take a bottle which makes leaving her difficult. I went to see a movie recently and when I got home Jared said I am no longer allowed to leave her unless it's right around 2 hours as that seems to be her max.

If Elizabeth is tired daddy can only get her to go to sleep if they lay down on the bed and watch some TV (she is taken with Curious George). She will enjoy watching TV for a minute or two and then knock out.
Elizabeth sleeps in her car seat next to our bed. I plan on transitioning her to her crib soon but that room is sooooo cold unless the door is open all day. She does enjoy hanging out her in crib though during the day when I work on putting laundry away or cleaning her room.
I'm doing my best to enjoy each stage that Elizabeth is in because she is growing so fast and I know she will be onto the next stage soon. I love that she will entertain herself for decent chunks of time while sitting up on the floor, or in her jumper, or in her exersaucer.
We love watching Elizabeth grow and are so grateful to have her in our family. She has such amazing sparkly blue eyes and rosy cheeks. Her hair depending on the light seems to have 3 different colors so I am excited to see if she goes blonde, darker blonde or red.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Gardening Skills

 We learned a few more things about our gardening skills this year.
  1. Compost is important and very beneficial!
  2. The back of our house makes things nice and hot for bell peppers and jalapenos.
  3. Egg shells to keep slugs out does not work!
  4. We cannot grow lettuce because of the slugs!
  5. Onions are easy to grow!
We are going to extend the garden section on the back of our house next year. We are also going to try some garden boxes on the fence to grow lettuce so the slugs can't get to them (hopefully). We had a pretty good yield but we learn more each year and apply it to the next year.
I really love growing my own food and canning it or eating it.

Friday, October 19, 2012

4 Month Old Soprano

Elizabeth turned 4 months old this past Monday. I cannot believe she's already 4 months old. People think she's older though because she is so big and has such great neck control. I have big babies what can I say.
Elizabeth is such a blessing to our family. We really love her! She has these beautiful blue eyes that will smile first before the smile hits her mouth sometimes. I love those moments. She recently had her first giggle. It was so awesome to her that little baby laugh. I totally had a mommy moment!
At night she sleeps amazing! She goes down and sleeps for 5-6 hours or more and then wakes up and nurses and sleeps for another 2-3 hours and repeat. I am actually doing really good now at putting her back in her bassinet. Which is awesome for all of us because I sleep better and so does Jared but then we are also accessible to Benjamin when he wakes up in the middle of the night and needs us.
She loves her bath time! Getting out of the tub not so much a favorite. Or getting dressed for that matter. Though she does enjoy getting her diaper changed. We figure it's because of the one on one attention. She is taking shorter naps during the day which is hard on me but at least she sleeps great at night.
Benjamin is a source of great entertainment to Elizabeth. She loves to watch him run and jump around the house. I love the moments when they get close to each other and just seem to have a sibling moment between them.
Now we thought the Banshee scream was going away since she is able to handle me eating wheat and dairy again (HALLELUJAH!) but unfortunately not. It's not used for "I am in pain" anymore at least but she is obviously destined for some high soprano music. For example if you listen to this song by the Trans-Siberian Orchestra and you hear those high notes....yeah Elizabeth can hit those high notes no problem. And she will do it while babbling to herself all happy.
I think some of my favorite moments with her are holding her at night after nursing and just feeling her breath on my neck and feeling her body become relaxed as she drifts off to sleep.


I've stumbled upon something really cool! I am super excited to share this new find with you! Are you excited to see? Here you go...

This was from Benjamin playing in our backyard on September 9th, 2012. It was a perfect family day!

Storyboards are templates that you use in Photoshop to arrange multiple pictures. I stumbled upon them while blog hopping this week and fell in love! The world of possibilities is pretty endless. Just need pictures and your creativity. Oh, what will this do for my scrap booking?!! I'm totally jumping up and down inside my body.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

A Week in Review

I know it's longer than a week but I'm a little behind.

Princess Elizabeth September 24th, 2012

Benjamin eating a sucker from his Grandma Lutz on September 24th, 2012

Anyone who has been in my home can you tell what is missing? Getting rid of the old stereo and putting Benjamin's easel there has really opened the space down here. (09/27/12)

Benjamin loves to climb up and sit right in front of the TV now. He will run his finger across the screen or put his face on the screen. (09/27/2012)
Can you find Benjamin? Jared was organizing all the clean laundry to fold it. (09/28/2012)

I love my little toe-headed boy. (09/28/2012)

Elizabeth's blue eyes have a nice sparkle to them. (09/28/2012)

Here is Jared being studious! (09/29/2012)

Benjamin found out he could put things in Elizabeth's hands. He took the light saber away from her and tried to give her the car charger. It was a sweet moment but at the same time a realization of needing to keep a close eye on Benjamin playing with his sister. (09/29/2012)

Benjamin will carry this toy all over the house and play with it. (09/29/2012)

I love this little girl! (09/29/2012)

I took this picture to capture the perfect day I was having my family. The whole weekend was amazing. Just time at home and moments captured in the backyard in the amazing weather at the end of September! Thank you Indian Summer! (09/29/2012)

Our backyard is small but yet Benjamin finds ways to be entertained. (09/29/2012)

Elizabeth enjoys back time! (09/29/2012)

Daddy tickling Benjamin! Isn't the sound of a child's laugh amazing?! (09/29/2012)
Sunday afternoon was spent in the backyard again enjoying the sunshine. (09/30/2012)

Even Elizabeth enjoyed time out in the backyard on her play mat. (09/30/2012)

Touchdown! This is for all you football fans. (10/01/2012)

Jeggings anyone? This is one of my favorite outfits. (10/02/2012)

Benjamin is all about everything that Elizabeth uses. Her swing, car seat, chair etc. He climbs right in and swings himself. (10/02/2012)

I printed out some pictures from and taped them up on the easel. It was a big hit for Benjamin. (10/04/2012)

Look at that beautiful smile! (10/04/2012)

Benjamin wanted to finish watching his movie from Elizabeth's car seat. He fell asleep. This is him waking up. (10/08/2012)

Elizabeth enjoys time in her exerciser while I cook dinner. (10/08/2012)

I have found a recipe for homemade tomato soup! It's delicious! This batch though did not turn out very good. (10/08/2012)

The night before I took my kids out for the first time by myself and went shopping. I bought Benjamin a Cars book that is his new favorite thing to walk around with. (10/09/2012)

I went into the office and when I got home I got Benjamin some chocolate milk. Someone was happy! (10/09/2012)

I love this pumpkin hat for my little pumpkin. Jennifer Halverson from church made it and posted it on facebook and I commented and wound up getting one! Hooray! (10/10/2012)

Laughter is the best medicine! (10/10/2012)

Looks it's a giraffe! This cute outfit is almost run out. Our neighbor Lauretta got it for Elizabeth. (10/10/2012)

While working in my craft room yesterday on a project for myself Benjamin climbed into the swing that was set-up against the window. (10/13/2012)

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Lessons in Motherhood

This has been an interesting week so far. My husband started school up again and he has an afternoon/evening schedule. I work full time from home with my two kids. I thought I could handle it! There's been a huge learning curve! First I am super spoiled and I get that. My husband has been home with me for the last 15 weeks. It's been wonderful! And I get to work from home so I don't miss out on the moments with my children. With that said holy cow! Two kids is hard when they are both screaming, your trying to work, the kitchen is a mess and you need to make dinner. I almost broke into tears the other night. I felt very overwhelmed and alone. Thankfully that moment of dispair passed by quickly. A thought came into my mind just start with one thing. So I did and I managed to make it through the night. I got dinner made and enjoyed time with my kids.
Later that same evening I was busy doing things for myself. I was watching TV for me instead of my son and trying to get my daughter to bed. After I got Elizabeth to sleep I continued to watch TV for me (I know selfish) then I looked out in the hall and saw my son looking at a book. I turned the TV off and scooped Benjamin up and the book and took him into his room. We climbed into bed and under the covers and cuddled together reading books. We only looked at a few books before Benjamin rolled over and cuddled into me and fell asleep for the night.
Today I had the same scenario again and I remembered the advice...start with one thing. I did some dishes and then started on dinner. I had just turned on the stove and was heating oil to cook some onions in them when my daughter started crying. I told her to hold on a few minutes. Elizabeth cried again. I looked at her and then quickly turned the stove off. Dinner could wait! I took Elizabeth into the living room and sat down and nursed her and she fell asleep.
What have I learned this week in motherhood? That dishes, laundry and my work will always be there. But my children won't always be. I'm trying to be better about stopping and enjoying the moment with them. Taking time to enjoy them even when they are screaming and crying. I'm so grateful to be a mother.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Canning is a Family Affair

Growing up I learned how to can with my Aunt Cindy. My first experience was corn. I got to sit on the front porch and shuck the corn, that was it. My next canning experience was pears. I got to peel pears, cut out the bad spots and slice them up. My next canning experience I got to do pears again but I got to learn more about actually canning...I got to learn about filling the jars, our special family secret for canning pears and adding the lids.

My Aunt Cindy bought me a water bath canner, a canning book and a few other supplies when I got married. It's been a great gift! I've done mostly jam but I've done a roasted red pepper spread, corn and yesterday peaches.

Jared and I bought a thing of peaches for $8.50. I was super excited for the work to come to put up some home canned peaches. I cleaned up my scrap booking mess from the morning and went to work on cleaning and setting things up for canning. To my delight and surprise Jared helped out. He helped get jars upstairs. We found plenty of jars which I knew I had several but we also found a ton of lids and rings. I've apparently bought them multiple times over the years instead of going through my boxes. Oh well my benefit yesterday!

We boiled peaches after giving them a little X on their butt and then dipped in cold water. We peeled peaches and pitted and sliced them. Both of our kids took pretty good naps while we were doing this which was great. Eventually Benjamin woke up though and wanted in on the action. It became a family affair. I would slice the peaches and then hand them to him and he would throw them into the water. It was pretty fun!

We were able to can 13 quarts of peaches.

Some things we learned:
  1. The X on the bottom needs to be in the crack
  2. Boil them in the hot water for 2 minutes roughly and longer for green peaches
  3. Don't over tighten the rings as the air will have to force it's way out and crinkle the lid
  4. My small ice cream scoop is my favorite tool for getting rid of the pit and center
  5. Start the water bath water long before you are ready for it as it takes awhile to heat up

Truly Random

I am kind of liking random photos with a quick story underneath versus individual blogs. What do you think? I know this only works for truly "Random" photos when I don't have a lot of story to share.

I love those little baby hands!

Elizabeth's smile is just wonderful! I can't even express how I feel when she smiles like this with her eyes and mouth. (September 18th, 2012)

While Olga was here I moved the easel for Benjamin into the laundry room. I needed him to be distracted and not cry at me for a few minutes so I grabbed the crayons and set up the paper. He went to town! (September 19th, 2012)

Don't you love crayons!

The next morning Benjamin had fun coloring again. I caught him in the act this time! (September 20th, 2012)

Benjamin's laughter is infectious! I can't help but smiling or giggling. If I'm feeling blue he can perk me right up! (September 21st, 2012)

We grew a cantaloupe! It fell off it's vine this week so we brought it inside. The smell was amazing! Benjamin enjoyed picking it up and carrying it around. We ate it today after church with our lunch! Yum!!! (September 21st, 2012)

Elizabeth is all dressed up in a cute outfit from being showed off. I went into the office for my review (which went awesome) and it worked out for Jared and the kids to go with. So Jared picked out a super cute outfit. She has her Jeggings on that you can't see here. She was a great girl and slept through the whole trip. (September 21st, 2012)