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)

Not a Time for Perfection

I love having one on one time with my kids. I know they aren't very old yet but I'm trying to set that precedent now. I do things like cuddling, reading, tickling and last week on September 18th I did cupcake time. Now it wasn't completely just us but we were the ones decorating and eating.
I had some leftover cupcake batter from a baby shower a few days earlier and so I decided to make it up and use the frosting that didn't get used because I overfilled the cupcakes and they wouldn't come out. I need to spend some time perfecting the cupcake because I am always hitting and missing. Anyways...Benjamin got excited as soon as he saw me filling the cupcake pan. After they had cooked and cooled I put some on a plate and grabbed the jar of goodies.
I tried to frost the cupcakes with butter cream frosting that wasn't room temperature long enough yet. So that was a bit of a chore and cramped my hand. I didn't care what the cupcakes looked like. Though in my head I had a picture of perfection I knew it wasn't about perfection right now. It was about having fun and letting Benjamin explore the world of decorating cupcakes for the first time.
He couldn't even wait for me to decorate one before he swiped it. Oh well!

Benjamin and I both had our fill of sweets that night. I had to stop and put them away as I'm a bit of a binger.

Need I Say More!

The next morning we spent getting ready for church. Heather made a fabulous breakfast! Pancakes! And with bananas in them and nutella to go on top. I enjoyed mine but not as thoroughly as my niece Isla did.

Heather and Brooks have a trampoline! Need I say more! It was a big hit. We will buying one in the near future.

When I got clothes out for a Elizabeth a few weeks ago this was dress #2 for the next Sunday after the ruffle one. Riki and Charity Styles got it for Elizabeth. I will have to have her wear it again next week for them.

Church was nice. Jared and I both got to go to 2nd and 3rd hour and just listen and participate. Though when Jared was introduced 3rd hour he was asked if he was the parent of "the runner". 1st hour was a fun one with Benjamin. I wound up in the hall mostly as Benjamin would not stay in the chairs and ran up on the stand.
Heather made us a nice lunch and packed us snacks for our ride home. She is so awesome! Thanks Heather and Brooks for a fabulous weekend!

Cousin Time in Pullman

We went to Pullman last weekend. My mom called me last week and told me that a good friend of ours had passed away. My thought was that makes 3 so are we done for the year? She told me the service would be that Saturday. I didn't debate too long. I wanted to go. Since we were going to be in Richland, WA which meant we were more than half way to Jared's sister's house we decided to see if we could drop in for a visit.

Heather was awesome she didn't miss a beat and said come on over. We quickly packed our bags for the weekend. The service we went to was for Sherry Krull. She was one of my mom's best friends and one of my friends too! Sherry was an amazing woman who helped to teach me that our prayers are answered!

We got to Heather's house in the evening and Brooks Jr and Benjamin went to town playing together! They played really well together all weekend. I loved the fact that my kids got to see their cousins and that we could visit with Heather and Brooks. Heather made us a fabulous wheat and dairy free dinner! (Which by the way we are repeating here at home tonight!). Kabobs and rice! Yummy!

After dinner we took the kids to the park and let them play. Swinging was a big hit. Benjamin did great even on the big boy swing! I was so proud of him!

3 Months Already!

Elizabeth turned 3 months old on September 15th, 2012. Those 3 months have just flown by. She has changed and grown a lot. She is coming up quickly on 17 lbs. I am sure she will double her birth weight without an issue by 6 months.
Elizabeth loves to smile and to be entertained. Jared says her temperament is very different from Benjamin's. Elizabeth wants your attention and for you to entertain her. Which does make working from home a little harder sometimes. Thankfully she is better in the mornings than the evenings!
The "banshee" cry is no longer happening like it used to. I've been starting to have some wheat and dairy and she seems to just spit up now instead of screaming bloody murder. I am going to try to stay off of it some still...but it's hard!
Elizabeth is wearing 3-6 month clothes now. She loves to pull her dresses up to her face or blankets. She is starting to get too big for her swing even though it's a great friend! She tries to play with the bear on her swing which is so cute to watch! She can handle the exersaucer now which is great and she spins herself around.
She can move herself up onto a side which means she will be rolling over before too long. Jared's prediction is that she will be more mobile in 6 weeks. Specifically rolling over and scooting herself around.
There's a tiny bump where her canine tooth would be. So she might be getting a tooth coming in before too long already (for my sake I hope not).
After nursing Elizabeth loves to stretch out on my lap and she rolls her head off my leg and it feels like she is trying to do a back flip almost.
Elizabeth sleeps great at night! She will go down typically around 8:30-9:30 and wake up around 2 or 3 and then sleep for another 2-3 hours and wake up again and repeat. I really appreciate that she sleeps so good. She will fight going to sleep though during the day sometimes which can be annoying. But other times in the mornings she will just lay there and fall asleep without an issue. She actually put herself to sleep a few nights ago. I laid her on the ottoman and went off to do some work and came back and she was out for the night.
She loves to listen to me play the piano and can sleep through it thankfully at church! She smiles when she gets in the car and sees her monkey mirror. Elizabeth does not like to go below 35 miles per hour.
Elizabeth loves to watch her crazy older brother. And she loves to smile for her daddy! We are so grateful to have Elizabeth in our family! She is such a sweet girl that we adore!

Random Pictures

I take a lot of pictures of my kids trying to capture the moment. The problem is that I don't take time to write things down or blog quickly what happened and so then they look like just random pictures. I'm trying to stay caught up so they aren't too random. Though I must admit sometimes I just take pictures because I think my kids are cute or I want to document the outfit they are wearing.
Anyways here's a trip down random pictures lane.
Benjamin wearing his daddy's dress shoes. He certainly enjoys walking around in our shoes from time to time. (August 30th, 2012)
Elizabeth is playing with a crinkly toy that my cousin Ashley made. I want to make some of these for on hand gifts for baby showers etc. (September 5th, 2012)
Elizabeth sleeping next to me. She loves to sleep in her car seat which is fine with us. We pad it with a big thick blanket and then wrap her up. Sometimes she falls asleep on her own other times she falls asleep in our arms and we transfer her to her car seat. There's been nights where she sleeps in her car seat for the first half of the night. (September 5th, 2012)
This picture does not do Benjamin's lip justice. I was upstairs with Benjamin getting a snack or something. Oh we were sharing some of my soy ice cream on the piano bench. There wasn't much room and Benjamin decided to walk off of it while twisting or something and fell straight down with his chin into the bench. His teeth caught his lip and he bit almost straight through. I brushed it off at first thinking he was just scared but while comforting him I pulled my head back and saw that I was covered in blood. I screamed for Jared! It took a bit to calm him down but it did heal just fine. Thankfully the mouth heals quickly! (September 6th, 2012)
I am in love with this outfit. Elizabeth is in the 3-6 month clothes now. She can still fit some just 3 month items and 1 brown 0-3 month skirt that I don't want her to grow out of (maybe I should make her some like them). Anyways I went through the clothes and had a blast realizing all the new adorable clothes she had to wear. This one comes with a pair of jean shorts that have the same material on the edge of them. Thank you to her Aunt Tausha!!! Elizabeth loves to pull her dresses or shirts up to her face! Not always very lady like but then again she is my daughter! (September 8th, 2012)
Benjamin is my little "All American Boy". We've been letting him play out in the backyard more and more on his own. His typical routine is to run along the fence and then hide behind the garden and play in the dirt! (September 8th, 2012)
When I went through all the clothes I told Jared Elizabeth is wearing this dress on Sunday. LaRee Keenan from church had bought it for her along with a cute pink bonnet! Elizabeth looked so precious! I found LaRee at church and had to show her too! (September 9th, 2012)
Jeggings! It's a word! I thought Jared made it up but I've heard others use it. Jeans that are leggings...Jeggings! I do love how they show off her plump little leg rolls! I also find it funny how her onsie says Smile yet she is just staring. Probably wondering what is that black thing blocking my mommy's face. (September 10th, 2012)

Benjamin climbs everything! I mean everything! If he can't scale it himself he will or he will push other items to be able to climb. Here he is on top of my work desk! (September 10th, 2012)

Benjamin playing on the couch above his sister. He enjoys looking at her and laying his head on her to show his affection. (September 10th, 2012)
Benjamin has climbed the bookshelf before so why this picture now?! Because he is doing it on his own without using a laundry basket or chair to climb it! (September 10th, 2012)
Sometimes Elizabeth will fall right asleep on my chest while I am working. I just lean back and let her lay there for awhile while I work. (September 10th, 2012)
Yes that's right! Elizabeth can hold her head up enough to be in an exersaucer (you try to spell that!)! Benjamin loves that this toy is out and available too! (September 11th, 2012)
Benjamin is such a funny boy to watch! He gets really excited and flaps his arms like he is a bird and is going to take off flying! (September 12th, 2012)
Here is Benjamin laying on the ground watching TV holding one of his favorite toys...a car charger for my old CD player. The bottom drawer of the desk is his favorite as it is full of random cables. (September 12th, 2012)