Friday, December 31, 2010

Park

Today did NOT feel like December 31st! It was 60 degrees out! So the plan today was to meet my friend, Samantha, and her son, Niles, at the Children's Museum in Cleveland at 1 PM. We got there to find out they were closing at 2! We so did not know that! It was also INSANELY busy! So we stayed until 2 (we both have family memberships so why not?) and then found a park for the boys as it was SO WARM. This park in Conventry was AWESOME! The boys had a blast as we haven't been able to be out much lately due to weather. This park also has what looks like a great sledding hill - wide with lots of room at the bottom - perfect for little boys! So we will be back after the next snowstorm (and this is Ohio, its coming back, to leave again, to come back again...and so on...). So the day didn't go as planned, but the boys still had fun. Definitely marking this park for further use - plus there is great shopping - with BOOKSTORES - nearby!
Andrew, Niles and Samantha

Adam making music

At the bottom
At the top - I was impressed with him making it up this!
Ray and Andrew
Andrew's first shoulder ride!


Coming down the pole!


Thursday, December 30, 2010

Some Pictures

Andrew loves to steal Adam's sippy cups and is finally figuring out how to use them (not getting anything I don't think, but even if he was, its just watered down fruit juice and the doc says he can have that if we want)
Andrew likes to creep/crawl (he's finally starting to really "crawl") into the bathroom and steal the books!
The artist at work

#2

Adam today runs and gets his book from the bathroom, comes to me and says "potty" and then does #2 on the potty! He did this twice without us asking him! But he still isn't going #1 - he is so weird! [The book thing is us...he's been watching us....]. I think he has more "warning" with #2, hence its better. I HOPE this is progress we can keep! He did also go #2 in the tub tonight (gross!), but he was really tired. Our current problem is that he's so QUIET when talking and not very clear - we can't figure him out fast enough and he will NOT repeat most times. He's actually doing BETTER when we don't ask, strangely enough, so we might try that for awhile. Ugh...this kid will be drive me nuts!

Andrew is teething, we think - definitely not sleeping the best. I had a terrible headache last night, so today's been a push (Ray got up more last night because I felt so horrible, so we are both tired).

On a good note, grades are FINALLY end of the last term at SNHU - we had a really weird end of the term because of the holidays, so it is SO good to finally have that done!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

A better day?

Andrew is probably teething, but he has NOT been sleeping well. He didn't nap yesterday, was really up from 4 AM on today and then didn't nap again. Ray took him for a drive to get SOME sleep. Then guess what? Adam, who stayed home, didn't nap either! AGH!!! I'm REALLY hoping Andrew sleeps tonight...Ray and I could use it!

Sauerkraut Cookie Update

If you remember I tried out a chocolate sauerkraut cookie recipe, planning to use it at New Year's as my grandfather's family (there's some German in there somewhere I'm sure!) believes it's good luck and I don't like sauerkraut. I just made them for New Year's and I think I got the final kinks worked out. First, I had issues with how much sauerkraut and I got that straightened out. Last time I really had too much (it gave it a very rough texture). This year I just a 14.5 oz can of sauerkraut and this gave me just over a cup of chopped, packed sauerkraut (you were supposed to start with two loose to end up with 1 packed...my debate from the recipe last time was if you needed to start with 2 and end with 2...the verdict is start with 2 loose to end up with 1 packed). So rather than the 1 cup of the recipe, I've found just buy the 14.5 oz can and use that and you'll be good. These came out really well - the texture if MUCH smoother and so the entire cookie is better. They are actually very good, which I noted last time, but by fixing the texture, they are even better. Adam was even eating them today!

Monday, December 27, 2010

A few last pictures

Ray was using Adam's easal to "lecture" on how airplanes work!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Chasing the Car

More footage of Andrew chasing that car!

Andrew playing in his Kitchen


Cooking my cup - Adam did this and then Andrew loves to go get the sippy cup as he thinks he SO cool if he scores Adam's cup!
Look what I got? I'm finally getting to play - Adam was distracted! I figure once Adam is helping in the "real" kitchen, Andrew will get some use out of this.



You can hear Adam talking in the background - he was doing playdo with Daddy


Andrew's Activity Table

Andrew enjoying his activity table - until something better (the cat) comes around!

Playing with Playdo

Adam got playdo from Uncle Brian - here's Adam figuring it out!




Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas

I hope you all had a great Christmas - we did. The boys are exhausted and overstimulated - just like they should be! We actually had a pretty quiet day, though, with just Dave here. We did got out tonight for a bit to look at lights, but otherwise just stayed home (we went to Mass last night). Adam wasn't quite sure what was going on when he got up, so we got to sleep in to "normal" time, which is 8ish. He had a ball opening presents, Andrew just tried to eat everything! Adam played with all Andrew's toys, of course (Andrew's play kitchen was a huge hit for Adam....), but he always made sure Andrew had something to play with all day as well. Whenever he'd run by, he'd give Andrew something - it was so cute! He even shared his favorite - the toy car remote! We had a lovely ham dinner at noon so the boys could eat with us (Andrew got homemade applesauce, which I made for the ham, along with his baby food). Adam didn't nap, so was totally exhausted by nighttime. We ended the night watching Yogi Bear's First Christmas (a favorite from my childhood), but Adam was crashing and didn't quite make it to the end! It'll take the boys days to actually figure out their new toys - they need to calm down first.:) With a calmer Adam tomorrow, we might get out the paint for the easal - we stuck to pencils/markers/crayons today!

Christmas Toy Car

Aunt Maureen sent this remote control toy car to Adam - it was the hit of the day. Adam loved playing with it and Andrew chases it! As you can see when Andrew catches it, he just likes to eat it!

Christmas Morning

Adam coming down the stairs to see what Santa left for him. Ray asked him "who came last night?" He said "PaPa" [who did arrive last night]. I don't think he's quite got the concept, but he enjoyed his new toys.:) He can say "Claus" and recognizes him on TV, just isn't sure on all the ins and outs of it. Andrew obviously didn't care, just thought it was all fun to get into!


Andrew's New Skill

This is at the Childrens' Museum, but its a good illustration of Andrew's latest skill - getting to sitting up all by himself!

Pittsburgh Childrens' Museum

The travelling exhibit is on air - how it blows and moves.

In the wind area - he had to wear goggles and everything. It took him a few minutes, but he figured it out! Andrew enjoyed watching brother!

Watching parachuettes fly - Adam even made one with Daddy's help (well, a lot of help....Adam prefers scissors!) You can see their "work below.


Exploring surface tension with bubbles!

Pittsburgh Childrens' Museum

Showing what wind does!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Pittsburgh Childrens' Museum

We took the boys to the Childrens' Museum on Thursday as we had to drop Mo off at the airport. They had a blast - this is such a great place to take kids!

Andrew hanging out in the car in the garage

Totally loaded up! We aren't use to the "little" stroller, but we didn't want to haul the big one because we had Mo's luggage (Ray said it would have fit, I was unsure...it was a big to-do!:)



Andrew playing cars

Adam playing cars

Santa put his elves to work!

Dave and Ray helping Santa out by setting up Adam's art easal. Can't wait for him to see it tomorrow!

Making Coleslaw

Adam helped me make Great-Gram's colelsaw!

I'm to tired to eat, Mommy!

I'm put him in here to eat with us...he just went to sleep!

Boxes are fun!

Aunt Maureen sent us presents in this box - the boys are in love with the box!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Is there a boy in there?

Adam likes to bury himself to go to sleep!

Christmas Dinner

So what are you up to for Christmas? We are staying home and Dave is coming down from Michigan to join us. It should be a fun Christmas for the boys!

I thought I'd post my menu. I've already made "dessert" - we are just doing cookies. I made orange sugar cookies and molasses cookies (what Ray and I wanted!). Ialso might make some fudge.

Now for Christmas Eve we are having steaks, beer bread (because I have leftover beer from when my father was here and we don't drink it...I bought Dave some new stuff) and Caesar salad.

For Christmas, I'm making ham the way Dave and Pat made it with pineapples slices and juice. Very good! I'm also making rolls, Gram Stannard's coleslaw, green beans and then potato casserole (so not god for you, but very yummy!).

Monday, December 20, 2010

Friday, December 17, 2010

Root Canal: Part Infinity

I'm not sure if I mentioned it here, but the tooth I had a root canal on last year (while I was pregnant with Andrew) keeps getting an infection. It was infected when they did it, they fixed it, antibiotics "cure" it, but it keeps coming back. While my dentist sent me back to the endodontist after this last return. The verdict? It will keep coming back as too much bone was lost and the tooth needs to go. This makes the root so NOT WORTH IT!!! I am NOT HAPPY! So this will be ANOTHER long procedure, I'm sure, on top of the last one. At least I'm not pregnant, but UGH! I was joking my teeth can't take another pregnancy....this might be true! I have 24 hours of labor to hold over Adam, this is what I can hold over Andrew! Not that he isn't worth it - he's healthy and that's all that REALLY matters, but this is still annoying! I'm SO SICK of this entire thing! Had I known this, I would have just had them pull the tooth to begin with instead of enduring a blasted root canal!

Andrew

My friend, Samantha, took this at the children's museum.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Snow Update


This is this morning about 9 AM. You can see Ray's tracks - Kent is back in session so he went to give his final this morning. We are still getting some snow, but definitely much slower. The road crews can actually keep up and the slower snow yesterday allowed them to catch up. A snow day was nice, but with it being finals week, Ray was actually glad Kent was opening back up. He put his Monday final online, but some students will have to do make-ups, which are scheduled for Christmas week. I know I always had tickets home that couldn't be changed, so it'll definitely be some mess. Ray's only problem is make up FAA exams, but he'll probably just stay an evening and add a session as that's all "by appointment." A few students just missed their appointments.

The boys and I are having a lazy morning today. After writing this, I plan to get my butt in gear. We'll see what gets done.:)

Ready to go outside!

Microwave Stand

My microstand stand was decidedly sad, so we got a new one. A couple of moves does that to furniture not made to last!
Daddy's helper!
Finished product

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Orange Julius Cookies

This was my second recipe. Again, these are similar to my orange sugar cookies, which I think are slightly better. I tried these because they are supposed to take like an Orange Julius and I remember that the old Cottonwood Creek mall used to have one....memories! Not sure that I ever had one, but I remember that stand! I can't believe that mall is gone (darned Target!) when it wasn't even as old as me! Waldens......

Orange Julius Cookies
Modified from Plum Pudding Murder by Joanne Fluke

2 1/4 cups flour
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp baking soda
1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 beaten egg
3 tsp grated orange zest [I used the zest of one orange and it seemed to work...I love the smell of this...don't be "tricked" by dried orange peel, that's garbage.]
1 pkg (12 oz) white chocoate chips

Spray cookie sheets if necessary and preheat oven to 350.

In large bowl, combine flour, salt and baking soda. Stir well and set aside.

In another bowl, beat butter and sugar. Add in egg and stir. Stir in orange zest.

Stir in flour mixture and mix well. Stir in chips.

Drop onto cookie sheet and flatten with fork. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Leave on sheet for a few minutes before transferring to cooling rack.

Makes 5-6 dozen cookies [I got less, only about 3-4 dozen].

White Chocolate Pumpkin Dreams

I made two new cookies recipes for my Christmas shipping baking (I'll bake for us next week). I wasn't too impressed with these - I like my regular pumpkin cookies better.

White Chocolate Pumpkin Dreams
Modified from Plum Pudding Murder by Joanne Fluke

1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 large egg, beaten
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp caradamon [you can lump all three of these together and use pumpkin pie spice if you like, I keep all three on hand, so I did it that way.]
1 cup pumpkin [NOT pumpkin pie mix]
2 cups flour
1 pkg (12 oz) white chocolate chips

Spray your cookie sheets if necessary (mine don't need it). Preheat to 350.

Mix sugars to a uniform color. Add butter and beat to light and fluffy. Add egg and mix. Stir in baking powder, baking soda and salt. Mix thorougly. Mix in spices. Measure out the pumpkin and add it in and mix until smooth. Add flour in 1/2 cup increments, stirring well each time. Add in chips. [They alsed added in 1 cup of chopped pecans, which I left out.]

Drop onto cookie sheet (they will spread in baking). Bake for 12-14 minutes or until they're firm.

Keep on the cookie sheet for a few minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.

They frosted these....I find frosting cookies pointless, so I didn't. They also said you could just sprinkle with powdered sugar. I liked them plain.

Makes 6 dozen cookies [okay, I only got about 3-4 dozen....some of that was missing nuts I'm sure, some is that I always make large even when TRYING to make small.]

Helping Make Dinner

Adam helping make our dinner (chicken caesar salad)!

Snow Storm

As many of you know, we've been hit hard - Kent was closed most of Monday and all of today. We got a LOT of snow. Good thing we just bought a snowblower last weekend! Its still lightly snowing, we could get more through tomorrow.



New snowblower!

Almost Crawling!


Cheap Gas

My grocery store has a program where you get fuel perks for each $50 you spend and gift cards count (so like you buy a Home Depot gift card and that counts to your fuel perks). At the holidays they double fuel perks on gift cards, so that you get 20 cents a GALLON off per $50. Since I already know what I'm going to buy, I can prebuy the gift cards for the stores I need and get the fuel perks. I also did that with our snowblower (which as anyone who has one knows isn't cheap) and pretty much got a free tank of gas! A nice perk to holiday shopping. I paid 16 CENTS a gallon - pretty awesome! Anytime I know of a big purchase, I buy gift cards first just because of this program and I think its worth the extra step. Cheap gas makes me smile.:) I know they are still making money (as I'm sure they charge the retailers to sell their gift cards), but I'm still happy.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Feeding the Kitty

What amazes me here is his patience! He loves the cat!

Cleveland Childrens' Museum

This was Friday - I took the boys up to the kids museum to meet my friend, Samantha, and her son, Niles (the blond).


Fixing a tire

Fixing the engine

Playing in the "bedroom" in the play house

This is in the barn, which is for infants and is great for feeding Andrew as it cages Adam for me! There's a gate to this room unlike the others.
Climbing up the wall - I was so proud of Adam as I really thought I'd have to go "rescue" him, but he went up and down a bunch by himself - he followed a couple of older boys, which I think helped!


He was doing a great job of getting it lined up - not easy! He did get water everywhere, but I've learned to bring dry clothes!

Christmas Baking

Helping make sugar cookies!

My kitchen crew!

My mixer man!
Being cute helps, right?

Olga's in for it!


Andrew has discovered the kitty - he's happy, she is NOT!

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

$10 million for a book?

Sure its gorgeous, but I wish it was in a museum and even I think this price is absurd! The problem with this is it is probably going in someone's vault, never to be seen again!

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Shovelling

This was last night shovelling.


Mowing the snow helps?