Thursday, January 29, 2009

Snow Cream

It was going to bug me until I got the rest of the pictures, so here they are!
This was a recipe from a friend who felt sorry for us all cooped up. Thanks Dana! It was a HUGE hit.
Very easy- gather up some *clean* snow ;) Then in a bowl mix about a cup of milk, 1/2 cup of sugar, and a tablespoon of vanilla. Then add snow until it's the correct consistency. We used about a full bucket of snow (although I knew better and scooped equally from the buckets of BOTH kids). It was still pretty soft, but I don't think it was getting better than that. We added chocolate and yum! It was very tasty, but I couldn't finish mine. I couldn't get past knowing that it was snow and it just wasn't that appetizing to an adult. The kids were in hog heaven!
Gathering up their buckets of snow- I gave strict instructions on where the snow should come from and watched very carefully. With a dog in the family now, there is no such thing as too careful. ;)

All set!

Yum! We had to add chocolate syrup, it just didn't seem right without it.

As usual, Jack approves!
And just a quick view from the backyard- the sky was blue and beautiful and I thought all the snow covered trees looked really pretty. But every day I'm stuck looking at them, they're slightly less beautiful. By Sunday, I might consider chopping them all down!

Day three of being snowed in....

Well, the title pretty much says it all. We are on Day Three of being snowed in! On Tuesday, we got about 6 inches of snow. Then Tuesday night, we got about two inches of ice. THEN we woke up to 6 more inches Wednesday morning. It's not the snow that's keeping us in, it's the ice in the middle- when the trucks finally came around to plow, they could only scrape off the top layer and then left the ice and more snow underneath, which only made things worse. Haven't heard on school tomorrow, but I have a feeling they won't be going tomorrow. I don't see how a bus could safely make it up the street.
We are trying to make the best of it, and Daddy did a great job with that! He even braved it while it was STILL snowing. Mommy's excuse? Sorry, I don't have warm enough clothes! Bummer.

See? Sully and I are just fine in the sunroom.

Sully didn't last long, though, he was too tempted and came out for a romp. He wasn't too sure what he thought- he loved it, then hated it, then loved it again.
Jack used it like a trampoline. ;)

Today we made some more crafts, did some heavy duty organizing and made snow ice cream! That was really fun but I haven't uploaded the pictures yet. Soon! ;)

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Snow Day!

Today was a snow day! For once the weathermen were relatively spot on- although they couldn't be bothered to be totally correct as we have gotten actually DOUBLE the amount they said we would... but I suppose beggars can't be choosers, eh?
The kids were happy but Eddie was happier, he hopped out of bed to check at 5 am. Sadly, he had to go into work anyway, but got to come home early and won't be going in tomorrow, since they are just calling for more.
We had a really great day around here- we knew we were stuck in so I decided to be creative and make the best of it, which is not always easy for me!
We baked zucchini bread, mostly because I knew if I didn't, they would rot!

We made paper snowflakes, which was my kind of craft- super easy and kept them busy for nearly an hour.

I loved this shot- she was concentrating so hard and had that tongue just stuck out there. Totally looked like Daddy to me!
I'm not telling which ones I did.

Finally let them go outside! Lucky me, we forgot to put the screens back in the front windows after we took our wreaths down at Christmas, so instead of freezing my arse off outside, I sat in a cushy chair with the window propped open just a bit and gave my telephoto lens a workout.

Poor Sully wanted to go outside SO bad but I didn't trust the little bugger.

We also had a picnic lunch inside, which was totally the highlight of their day, who knew?
Looks like we'll be staying home tomorrow, which I can't guarantee will be as much fun for anyone. One day of being snowed in? Creative and fun! Two days in a row? Everyone gets cranky. Keep ya posted! ;)

Friday, January 23, 2009

A little more for ya

This is what I'm doing this afternoon.
Our dvr messed up last night and didn't record The Office. I knew I could watch it online, so I am doing that right now.
While the kids do THIS:

That's not even the best part. First, I turned their volume down really low so that I could hear the computer speakers. That's probably why they're sitting so close. Second, I took these photos with my phone and emailed them to myself so that I wouldn't have to move at all. ;)

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

All kinds of material this week

Last night, we had a family movie night. We watched Horton Hears A Who (save yourself, don't!) and baked brownies. Yum! Half with powdered sugar, half without for some picky family members. ;)
Why does my living room look this way, you ask?

Well, Sully decided he wanted brownies too. He needed a late night snack on my WHITE couch. And any time I take the slipcover off, that equals party time for the kids and they've been busy making tents, jumping on things and just generally destroying the house.
I don't know WHY it didn't occur to me to snap a photo of the brownie destruction until it the evidence was gone. So sorry about that. The one bright spot is that I get to make an Ikea trip, because after a couple washes, I can see that all the bleach and detergent in the world is no match for brownies mixed with dog slobber.
Oh, and do you see a new piece of furniture in the living room? The dog crate? Yeah. Keep ya posted on that, but I'm not sure cleaning poo out of a crate is actually worse than coming home wondering what he's destroyed today. I don't need to hear any "I told you so's", my head is telling me already. Despite all of the demon's troubles, I still love him when I find this:

Gosh, must be a sugar crash after all of those brownies.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Keeping It Real Without Pictures

Just a quick note to prove that I'm serious about this week.
It's 8:30 and both kids just left for school. I had planned to go to the gym this morning, that's logical.
Instead, I decided the second I woke up that I would be climbing RIGHT back into my unmade bed and enjoying my kid free morning properly with a warm cup of tea and a movie.
Maybe I'll go to the gym when they get home. Or not.
(and so answers the question of why I will never be 15 pounds lighter like I want to be)

Had to update just to say that I did in fact make it to the gym later in the afternoon and was quite proud of myself. It was the last thing I wanted to do yesterday! I only went because I knew Eddie would ask me if I had and if I said no, I'd run the risk of having my membership cancelled!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

A Week of "Keeping It Real"

So, my girlfriend and I were having a conversation about how blogging and how perfect everyone's life seems. Of course most people are going to post the positives, but it definitely seems like some go above and beyond to make their lives look pretty darn awesome... which just makes the rest of us feel like losers.
Well, I doubt my blog makes me look like the best mom on the planet, but JUST IN CASE, I'm 'keepin' it real' for a week around here. Should be interesting. Or not.
Last night, Eddie's company hosted their winter/holiday party. It was actually a fun night, he works for a small company and everyone is friendly and knows each other. He works with some really fun people that remind us of the days of Old Anthem. ;) It was nice to be without the kids (Keeping It Real). Oh, and in the interest of K.I.R, as we were leaving them at my parents, Jack hit Neily and she was crying for Daddy (screaming actually) and it annoyed me so much that I yelled at both of them, told them to knock it off and then left. Yup. Then I felt guilty so I called back and told her I was sorry... but that she really did need to knock it off a little. LOL!
Eddie and I on our way to the par-tay! Can't show you a picture of my fabulous red shoes because... the dog ate the fabulous red shoes. K.I.R.

The dog, surrounded by bits and pieces of the fabulous red shoes. All those little pieces on the floor? Hard to see but that's the shoes.

And the K.I.R finale for the day, this is what I woke up to find in my kitchen. The trash on the counter so the dog won't have a heyday in it. Dirty dishes. Cups of dinosaurs and mermaids growing for the kids. A game that we haven't played in years? And instead of cleaning it up... I'm going to go and watch American Idol and hope that my parents don't try to bring the kids back home until at least 4 o'clock.
How's THAT for Keeping' It Real?

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Family "Fun"

We went to the gym this morning like good little boys and girls, and we took the kids to play on the soccer field when we were finished. Normally that would have been about it for a Sunday around here, but I had spent about 45 minutes on the elliptical without my iPod, and the local news kept running the same tickers about local happenings. After I saw "Kids skate free on Fountain Square" for about the 10,000th time, I thought, "We should do that!" Neily had actually seen it on the news last night and gotten all excited, and we kind of dismissed her, so I thought she'd get a kick out of it.
I asked Eddie if he wanted to go, and being a good sport, he said okay. He would never say, "Yeah, they'd love that, it would be fun!" I think it's because he's grumpy, but maybe it's because he's just smarter than me.
Ice skating, downtown on Fountain Square, awwww... we'll file this under "Things That Should Be Fun But Aren't." I am no pro skater, so there was no way I was taking my camera down there on the ice, but I knew I would want pics, so we took Neily's camera. It's some kind of Kodak from 1876, so please excuse the quality. ;)
In the end, it WAS actually fun. Sort of. The first thirty seconds on the ice were filled with, "WHY in the hell did I think we should do this?!" but it got better. And then it got worse. And then it got better again, and it was fun.

All ready to go:

We saw a LOT of this:
*Don't think badly of me for not helping him! I actually hit the button when he was standing and smiling, and the camera from 1876 has about a 3 minute shutter delay, so this is what I got! I wouldn't leave him laying on the ice on purpose. Well, I might, but this time I didn't!*

Neily was ready to give up after about a minute, but then she started to figure it out and really got the hang of it!

By the end of our time, she was actually skating for about 6 or 8 feet on her own before reaching for the wall, and she has asked to go back already!

Jack seems to have forgotten that he was mostly miserable and decided he wants to go back too. They're open until the end of February... we'll see! Maybe Daddy and Neily can go together!

Friday, January 9, 2009

So, I managed to stay home every day this week until Friday. That is a major accomplishment and to say that I enjoyed it is even bigger! But it's true, we had a great week- I even cooked dinner- real dinner!- every night. But, I woke up this morning and knew I needed to get out. However, I really, truly wasn't in the mood to spend money (what's happened to me?) but I was kind of the mood to create something, so I knew it was a thrift store kind of day.
First, Jack and I hit Hobby Lobby, where as Jack will tell you, "Hobby Lobby has everything we need!" Poor kid. As I was getting him out of the car, I remembered I had a gift card from Christmas for Hobby Lobby! I was almost giddy. I ended up with a good haul of stuff. I had this old headboard in the basement that I walk by every day and think, "I'm going to recover that one day!" Well, today was the day. An hour and $12.43 later, I have me a new headboard, folks! We got home at 11, and by the time Neily got off the bus at 11:40, the project was done. It was THAT easy. I was actually eyeing a leather headboard but this turned out to be much better suited for the room, so yay!
*Excuse the lumpy bed, Henry jumped off right before I snapped the photo!*

A little closer look at the fabric, if you care. Just wait until you see what I have in mind for the remnant of this fabric!

THEN, we hit my favorite thrift store, where I spent all of $18 to get all of these beautiful items. I thought Eddie was going to vomit when he saw them, it was like an 80s living room had exploded but it's going to be fabulous! The best find was hands down the chandelier. I am not very good at waiting and searching, but I knew if I was patient (so! hard!) I would eventually find the right one. I wasn't worried about painting it the correct color, but my biggest requirement was that the lights point UP so I could put shades on them. Everything I found over the last few months went down, how annoying! Thanks to sweet Jack who spied this one for me, "Mommy, the lights go UP!" I spray painted it black and can't wait to see the final product. As for the rest of it... you'll just have to wait and see!

Festival of Lights!

This holiday season, we FINALLY made good on our goal to go down to Festival of Lights at the zoo. When we had a pass, we somehow managed not to get down there, and last year because of our busy summer and the kids schedules, we didn't renew. Mamaw and Grandpa Doug had passes for us, so we headed down. It was FREEZING the night we chose to go, but we had a great time. This was the first time we made this type of trip (mall, zoo, amusement park) without a stroller, it was so weird! Jack is just so much easier in a stroller and he doesn't fight it, so whenever we go somewhere like this, we've just always taken it. We felt like we had forgotten something all night! It was nice, not having to figure out where to park it, not running people over... but there was also nowhere to stow your crap and certainly quite a few extra "Jack, please watch where you're going"s that night.
Just a few from that night- I find pretty much no enjoyment in being fancy at picture taking in the dark and I hate my flash, so I didn't even use it much.

Love this one!

Neily riding the carousel!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Happy New Year!

Hope everyone had a happy new year. We had a fun week here and I am truly sad to see the holiday season come to an end. The kids head back to school tomorrow- I am sad to see our little family vacation come to and end but I'm craving normalcy and schedule again. Surprising, huh? We had a really great time over the last two weeks. We rang in the new year with our friends and neighbors the Robinsons. We ate way too much and let the kids run wild. We laughed that only the truest of friends could have partied like we did- all of us laying on the couches like bums making fun of the latest pop stars and reminiscing about Dick Clark. My kind of night out! ;) On New Years Day, both Penn State and UC played in bowls, so we had planned a party. It was a full house and way too much food to cheer on Joe Pa! The kids looked super cute decked out in their Mini Nittany Lion t-shirts but all the roses and navy blue we had in the house were not enough to make it through. We had high hopes for UC later in the night but I'm not sure exactly who that was on the field that night? Certainly not UC. *Choke, choke* Luckily, we had awesome friends to soften the blow for us. The house sounded empty for a good day after everyone left. Haha!

Now that we're back in the swing of things, I have some goals for the new year! I'm not a New Years Resolutions kind of girl, but this year I had some definite changes I was ready to make. Over the last year, we got quite a bit accomplished in the house- I tossed clutter and crap left and right, we paired down and nearly every room got a makeover. Over the last year, this really became a space I love... save the fact that I want to expand every room by about 4 feet! I realized that it may not be perfect, and it certainly isn't big, but every single room is one that I love and reflects us as a family. So, that led to goals for the new year! I'm putting them here because putting it in writing will keep me accountable. ;)
They are... in no particular order:
1. Continue to 'finish' projects around the house

2. Look my best ever on my 30th birthday- I have seven months!

3. Stay HOME and enjoy it! I would say after this last two weeks, I'm well on my way. Yoga pants are my friends.

4. Spend more thoughtfully- go for quality and things I really love and want, not mindless spending. This is hands down going to be my toughest goal, a direct combination with #3!

5. Grow my business and learn new skills.

6. Spend quality time with Neily and Jack every day.

7. Keep our master bathroom vanity clean. Every single day. Oy.

8. Organize my time more efficiently.

9. Continue to grow friendships that are important to me.

10. Be really, really happy with the way things ARE.

So that's it, that is my list! Those are the things I think I need to work on the most and we'll see if a year is enough time. Hahahahahahaha!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Christmas Day!

We hosted Christmas Day at our house again this year, and this is a tradition that we LOVE. Staying home has allowed us to adopt some very special family traditions that I never want to give up! I think Santa was very good to Neily and Jack this year, as well as Mommy and Daddy. Santa dropped off our presents early, though- a camera upgrade for Mommy in November and a new tv for Daddy about two weeks before Christmas (Santa would have brought that but Mommy couldn't unload it from the car alone and I figured he would notice it in the van...).

Every Christmas Eve, we still have to put up a babygate because we don't trust that our kid wouldn't start without us a la Christmas Story.

Happy Jack with his Bendaroos... don't even get me started on these damn things. I can tell you where every Walgreens in a fifty mile radius is!

Neily and Tini Puppini- the dog that Santa brought EVEN THOUGH he really thinks it is disgusting and ugly.
Santa is really, really nice.

Every Christmas morning, we have a special breakfast of french breakfast puffs. The sole reason for making this a holiday tradition is because these puffs are so bad for you, it should be illegal to eat them at any other time. Only on Christmas when you can pretend it doesn't matter!
Jack testing out the Wiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii!
Emmy and Icky setting up Martian Matter with Jack. Another Santa score! ;)

Packaging! UGH! Why? WHY?

Icky playing Santa

Neily kicking butt on the Wii:

Jack doing what he does best:

Neily and Jack all cleaned up for Christmas!

Good night!!!!!

We had an amazing day. It was so much fun to have the house packed to the walls with the people we love. We didn't get Nana on the Wii, but we'll keep working on her. :)