Sunday, December 6, 2009

As promised...

Yesterday was Todd and I's 4th anniversary, tomorrow is Tony's 2nd Birthday and the party is today. The majority of the evening was spent making this lovely cake and getting things ready for the party. I have a feeling we will spend many anniversaries doing much of the same, with one tiny exception; I wont be decorating any cakes. Yes this was a one time crazy idea I had, and I learned my lesson. From now on birthday cakes will be bought. I am not very happy with the way it turned out, very novice looking, but considering Todd accidentally threw away the instructions and I had to use a picture off the internet to copy with no instructions, I think it will do just fine. Especially since I also ordered an Elmo cake from a real cake baker who has a little more talent than I do.

Friday, December 4, 2009

For the love of Barney!

Don't ask me why, but for some reason, out of the white snowy sky, (yes it's snowing here), I feel like blogging today. Hmm, wonder if it could have anything to do with the fact that right now I have no kids, no husband, no house to clean or bills to pay, and no job to do. Yep, I am in a hotel Starbucks sipping a Nonfat Gingerbread latte and totally enjoying this rare quiet time to myself with no other obligations. Todd has been in Grand Rapids for Farm Bureau meetings this week, and yesterday I pawned the kids off on my mother in law and drove up to do some shopping and have dinner and stay the night. Todd has meetings again this morning and then we will head back to life with obligations, after making a quick stop at Costco.

Christmas is coming so fast, I can't believe it. I still haven't gotten a tree or started my shopping. I really need to get on the ball. Yesterday I had planned to do some shopping, but by the time I got to Grand Rapids I only had time for one stop. The cake store. Let me explain...
This Monday is Tony's 2nd birthday, and for his cake I wanted a Barney cake. Not just a cake with a picture of Barney on it, but I wanted the actual cake to look like Barney. My MIL has a friend who made an Elmo cake, which I saw on Facebook and it was so cute, looked just like him. I asked her if she could make me a Barney one, which of course she could, only problem being she does not have a Barney cake pan. So determined woman that I am when I get my mind set on something, I did some Amazon searching and sure enough found a Barney cake pan, for $19.99 plus $9 shipping. Since it was Thursday and the party is Sunday, I wasn't sure that it would arrive in time. Since I knew I was coming to GR for the day I called a cake store and found out that they had a Barney pan to rent but not sell. Well GR is a good hour + drive and the rental is for 2 days only so I wasn't sure that would work either. Todd has another Farm show to attend in GR next week, so I asked if there was anyway we could keep it for a week. She started chuckling on the phone, and then proceeded to tell me that the last time the pan had been rented was in 2005, so she was pretty sure a week would be just fine. "I guess Barney isn't that popular" she said. Well maybe not, but to my Tony, he is #1. Everyday we must watch Barney, many, many, many times. I have several episodes saved on the DVR so we can watch it anytime he wants/demands and he knows it. He will bring me the remote control and say "Barney". If I ignore him or pretend I didn't hear him, he just says it louder and louder until I give in and turn it on. We try telling him that Barney is sleeping sometimes, but that doesn't work too well. I don't really like Barney myself, but he has a good message for kids, teaching them to play nice and morals and all that stuff, so I guess if he wants to watch it he can. I just wish he liked other cartoons too, for a little variety.
Anyway, back to the cake, so I get to the store and I walk in and the whole place smells so good, apparently it's not just a cake store, but a cake bakery too and the aroma from the frosting and cakes baking in the back filled the store. I think it had a hypnotizing effect on me, cause when I got there I did something totally crazy! First of all the cake pan was not at all what I had wanted, it was more like a cake with Barney on it, and I really wanted the cake to be Barney! So I started looking around the store to see what else they had, they had all kinds of cool kids cake pans. I tried to look and see if there was anything else that I could get to take back to the cake baker to make for him and I spotted a CARS cake pan. Tony does love CARS, so I decided that I would buy the pan. And then I started thinking crazy, how hard can it be to decorate a cake, it had a picture on it for me to use as a guide, why do I need to pay someone else to do this when I can do it myself? I asked the lady what she thought about it, I told her that I had helped my sister decorate a cake many years ago and we used a star tip. She said if I could use a star tip then I would be just fine. So I bought all the frosting dye colors, frosting tips, couplings, bags, and clear vanilla, butter and almond flavorings. I walked out of the store feeling really excited about making this cake, but as soon as I got out of the store and into my car, I started having doubts. (That is why I say the store smells had me hypnotized.) So I will probably most definitely be calling my sisters to help me. Hopefully we can pull it off and make a nice cake, but I still think I might go ahead and have the cake baker make me an Elmo cake too (just in case)!

Wish me luck! I promise to post pictures of the cake and party afterwards!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

I'm back (for now)

Well it's been a while since I've blogged, but blogging should not be a chore, so if I don't have time to do it, I'm just not going to. But tonight I just got the kids to bed, Todd is watching football and I just sat myself down in front of the TV with my laptop to watch Grey's Anatomy and yes blog.
Here is a little of what's been going on around here:
For Halloween we had the cutest little girl bunny and a boy without a costume. Well sort of, I actually bought him an Elmo costume because he's almost as popular as Barny is around here, (I actually looked for a Barny costume but couldn't find one) unfortunately as much as Tony loves Elmo, he apparently doesn't like the idea of being Elmo! Every time I put it on him he screamed, so he wore an Elmo sweatshirt instead and it was good enough to get him lots of "CANNY". In fact, we have so much CANNY that it has taken over the house. It is constantly on his mind and he never forgets where it is and asks for his CANNY many many many times a day. Seriously, I can't wait till the CANNY is gone.

In other new, my dad went home a week and a half ago, so that means that the patio is finally done. I am really looking forward to using it next summer. I think that once I get to use and enjoy the patio a little bit, I wont mind as much about the expense of it all. Well truth be told there is one set of steps left to do, but that will have to wait till next year, or maybe even 2 years. My brother has been harrassing me for pictures, but since it is dark out, I can't take them right now, but will try to add them tomorrow.

My business is slowly getting going, finally getting some work, but it's so much harder than I thought, and there have been days I've wanted to just quit and give up before I put anymore money into it. But since the insurance is the biggest expense of it thus far, and I'm committed to a year for that, I decided to stick it out for a year and see what happens. I'm so glad I have a partner in this, she keeps me motivated.

Farm work is slowing down drastically for Todd, which is really good timing, cause Todd's parents just left today for Australia for 3 1/2 weeks. So that means I no longer have a babysitter readily available. It's going to be a long month, cause not only does Todd's mom watch the kids when Todd and I are both working, but she also gives me lots of breaks for shopping, errands and the occasional dinner sans kids for Todd and I. Thankfully though it just so happens that my mom is coming tomorrow to watch my sisters kids for a week while Rachael and her husband are on a "medical conference" in London!

And speaking of kids, Bella is growing like a weed, she eats so good. I am making all her baby food from scratch instead of going the Gerber route. She eats everything I give her! So far she has had zucchini, butternut squash, acorn squash, pumpkin, peas, potatoes, apples, peaches, banana and cereal. Feeding her is really enjoyable cause she actually enjoys it. Tony on the other hand is so frustrating to feed, he eats about as much as a bird. Lately his diet primarily consists of fruit loops, yogurt, pretzels, peanuts, nutella sandwiches and chocolate milk. Oh and CANNY. Hopefully he outgrows this stage soon.

He is also suddenly very clingy and jealous of any attention NOT given to him, and bedtime is a nightly struggle, so I have a feeling this might be the start of the "terrible two's". Bella is constantly on the move, rolling all over the place. I don't think it will be long before she's crawling, time to get the baby gates back out!

Yep, things are hectic around here and these two kids are certainly the cause, but they are so worth every bit of it!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Patio, Kids, and Brewster News

Earlier this summer I had it so good with coordinating kid naps, I could almost always get a couple hours of quiet time to myself each day. Now it seems they alternate so that one is always sleeping, or both are awake, but very rarely both sleeping. This makes it hard to get anything done at home or out of the house. Oh well, it is what it is... I'm sure in a few weeks the routine will change again, and if not, at least I know that farm season is coming to an end and Todd will be home more to help out with the kids. I am so looking forward to that, it's been a long summer.
The patio is almost complete, the only think lacking is one set of stairs and half of the floor. My dad flies back home to Oklahoma in 13 days, so lets hope the weather cooperates so he can get it all done. This has been what seems like a never ending project, and it is so good (especially for our pocket book) to finally see it coming to an end. I'm looking forward to being able to use it next summer. I think we will be spending a lot of time out there if Tony's love for being outside is still as strong as it is now. Bella will be running around too, so the two of them will have a grand time playing in the yard, while I sit on the patio relaxing.
Bella hit a milestone today, she finally rolled over. We were playing in the basement she was on her back on her play mat, I ran upstairs to get my phone, and when I came back she was on her tummy! I am so mad I missed it. But then shortly after that she rolled onto her back again, so she has officially rolled both ways. All in the same day. (See Rach, I told you she would do it when she's good and ready.)
Tony's vocabulary has exploded, he says so many words, I can't even begin to list all of them, and he repeats everything you say, it is so cute (most of the time). He is also starting to put words together like, Where'd it go?, up high, down low, let's go and Fruit Snacks! I just love listening to him talk, he has the cutest little voice. He is learning the meaning to words too. He knows book, milk, money, NO, hot, poop, Barney, Elmo, sister, car, truck, tractor, and the list goes on and on. He also loves to read books, he has his favorites, and we read them over and over and over and he never seems to tire of the same book (unlike me).
Buying fall clothes for the kids has become a challenge, Tony is 22 pounds, so weight wise he should be wearing 12-18 month clothes, but height wise he needs 18-24, Bella has the opposite problem, if they fit her in the waist/thighs they are too long. Poor kids, they are going to look like a bunch of ragamuffins this Fall.
Our dog Brewster went to the groomer the other day, and we were informed that he has fleas, and not just a few, but the second worse case the groomer has seen all summer! Now that is embarrassing, I didn't even know he had them, I never see him scratching. I used to be so good at putting the flee drops on him, but I guess I got a little lax about it this summer. So basically the groomer advised I flea bomb my house! Oh joy. I don't think my house was infested, but then again I didn't think the dog was either, so I figured better safe than sorry. You have to leave the house for 2 hours, and then vacuum, mop and clean all counter surfaces! I don't think I'll ever forget to medicate my dog again for fleas, that was a huge inconvenience, not to mention expensive. Thank goodness I kicked him out of my bed a few months ago!

Okay, now for some pictures....

These are the steps still needing to be built...
Just this half of the floor left to do.

The half of the floor that is done.
Brewster all cleaned up. I felt so guilty about neglecting him this summer, I bought him a new bed.

He discovered the Ice/Water feature on the fridge.
That would be a block of white chocolate in his mouth! He didn't eat it, he just carried it around the house in his mouth all day.
Trying to get into bed to play with Bella. I let him do it once and he fell out on his head, so no more of that, but he still always wants in.
Working with "Boppy" on the patio scratching out joints.

Giving Bella a "kiss"

That's all for now.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Monday, September 21, 2009

A little update

Last week was a busy week for me. I'm still trying to juggle my current ER job and start my new business. I'm really looking forward to October because I only picked up 2 4-hour shifts in the ER to give me more time to focus on the business. So hopefully I get some clients. Having a business is kind of fun in some ways, my company bought me a new super cool cell phone and I also got a new printer/fax machine/scanner. It's kind of stressful in other ways though, for example, the monthly expenses far exceed the monthly income right now, but I am confident that this is only a short term problem.

This weekend I got a bushel of peaches from my cousin-in-law down the road and my sister Natalie was here too, and brought some pears she picked from a tree in her yard. She had the idea to make fruit cocktail... so after a belated birthday celebration for her at Sophia's house of pancakes, Natalie and Francie came over to my house to get to work.

We made 24 jars of fruit cocktail and 21 jars of peach jam.

There were 2 casualties of the day though. I decided to save the peach nectar after we were done with the peaches, so I poured it into a quart jar and was holding it in my hand to tighten the lid when it slipped out of my hand... fell to the floor... burning my arm... chipping my tile floor... spilling a full quart of sticky peach nectar all over the kitchen floor. Let's just say both Natalie and Francie were really glad it was me that did that and not them!
The other casualty of the day is that when we were all done with our 3 batches of peach jam, and were cleaning the kitchen, we found one unopened box of sure-jell. So that means one batch isn't really jam, but just peaches and sugar. So today I get to figure out which 7 jars that is and re-do them. FUN, FUN. I guess that is what happens when you have 3 people trying to make jam. We all assumed someone else put it in.

Anyway, when I was putting the pictures of the peaches on the computer, I noticed that Francie had gotten a hold of my camera since I'd checked it last. I love it when she does this, usually she uses her own camera and then I miss out, but I guess she must have forgotten hers, cause she used mine. Here are a few pictures she took of Tony, who by the way, is so cute these days. He is like my little puppet, he will do or say whatever I do or say first. If you do a stupid dance, he will too, if you laugh really loud or obnoxious he does too, cough, sneeze whatever, he will mimic you. It is really cute. And since I haven't done a blog post just about him, I will tell you a few things about him.
His favorite TV show is Barny, he LOVES LOVES LOVES it! Can't get enough of it, when it comes on he screams BARNY!! and jumps up and down. Don't touch him or talk to him when he is watching it or he will get mad and push you away.
He only eats vegetables in the raw, but will pick up a cucumber, tomato, pepper or any other vegetable and just start eating it like an apple. Until he's done that is, and then he just throws it on the floor and Brewster (the dog) finishes it.
He loves to be outside or at work with his daddy, Todd has to sneak out of the house every morning because Tony gets so mad when he leaves without him. If he even suspects Todd is getting ready to leave he runs to him and grabs onto his leg. He could sit in the truck or tractor all day if you let him. He has lots of toys and tractors in the garage to play with when he's stuck at home with mommy, but they don't even come close to the excitement of going to work with dad.
Okay, it's 8am and I hear Tony awake upstairs so I better wrap this up.

Yes, I know, he needs a hair cut.

Monday, September 7, 2009

County Fair 2009

The last hurrah of summer is the county fair the 3rd week of August. I took Tony last year too, but he was a bit too small to really enjoy it. This year was better for sure, he LOVED the animals, but was a little too short for most of the rides. Hopefully he will grow a few inches this year and next year will be even more fun.

Nothing quenches your thirst on a hot day like a Hush Puppy!
Tony loved the animals, he thinks they all say "boo" It was kind of embarrassing every time he saw a horse or cow he'd yell really loudly "boo".
He thought the goats said 'boo' too.
He was especially fascinated by the chickens, I had to pull him away from them kicking and crying.
This little baby horse was so cute.
Tony thought the rabbits were pretty cute too, until I tried to get him to pet one, then he wanted as far away from it as possible.
This little girl was so cute I just had to take her picture. I wish I had gotten a full body shot, she looked like an orphan, all dirty with mismatched clothes, and holy shoes. She was the proud owner of 3 rabbits all with at least 6 babies each. She appeared to be there by herself, so after she told me they were all her rabbits, I asked her if she took care of them all by herself. She looked at me and said matter-of-factly "I have a mom and dad!"
Standing in line for one of the 2 rides he was big enough to ride.
The other 1 of 2 rides he could go on.
Jack rode with him on this ride. I love this picture because Jack is being so sweet to Tony, look how he has his arm around him.
He loves his cousin Kristen, he was so excited to see her at the fair.
A consolation prize on the way out.