Thursday, March 31, 2011

Prayers Please

Lauren and Tyler's friend Troy, need your prayers right now. (Troy is in the front row with the red shirt and blue shorts.)

His (33 year old) mom suffered a stroke yesterday and is in the ICU. She is breathing on her own but she is unresponsive.

I've been trying to process this all day but I can't. How can something like this happen to someone so young? I've only met Troy's mom two times (his parents are divorced) but both times I could tell that she and Troy's Dad always had the best intentions for their son.

It's amazing/heart-breaking how fragile life is and how fast things can change.

Please pray for Troy's family.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Go Diamondbacks!

Here's my boy all ready for his T-Ball Picture Day.

(He's ready...minus the belt, socks, shoes and SMILE) (please don't notice the mess o' house behind him)

Here's my boy warming up for the first T-Ball Game. "Coach, I'm ready."

the wind-up and "step when you throw" just like the Coach taught him

I didn't clock the throw but I'm thinking it just may be a 5-year-old T-Ball record!

Here's my boy acting like an experienced baseball player. (see un-gloved hand) I'm sure his baseball playing Uncles are proud. (especially Uncle Brian)

Here's my boy playing his first game. He played 3rd base, 2nd base and, in the outfield. (in this pic he's in the outfield next to his coach)

T-Ball today is a little bit different than when I played. These days (or at least in "these parts") the (batter's) coach pitches the first three pitches from the pitchers mound. If the batter misses, a tee is brought out and then the player has 2 more chances to hit off the tee. The inning ends after 3 outs or after 9 batters have hit.

Tyler had so much fun. He was smiling, jumping around and enjoying himself the whole time. He had his fun but when it was time to get "Baseball Ready" my boy spread his legs and put his glove to the ground ready to field the ball. Just like the coaches told him.

His Daddy and I were so proud of him.

Go Diamondbacks.

(next game is on Saturday if you want to come)

PS. I have to mention my Dad in this post (who suddenly passed away in 2007.) He loved sports, especially baseball. He coached all of our teams (my brother's and I) and I'm pretty sure he expected to coach or at least attend all of his grandchildren's sporting events.

I thought of him often during Tyler's T-ball game.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Jump Up and Party Down

Today was Tyler's birthday party at Jump 2 It.
Jump 2 It donated a free party as a raffle prize for our Mom's Club Spring Luncheon last year and I was the lucky winner!
(seriously, I never win anything)
Tyler's 5th Birthday gave me the perfect excuse to use it!
All day Tyler could not wait to go to the "jumpy place." He asked no less than 50 times, "when is it time to go?"
Two hours before the party he crashed out on Lauren's chair.
Too much anticipation I guess.
The impromptu nap definitely worked out in his favor because his party was full of non-stop action. I was exhausted just watching them play.
(our party coordinator took over 85 photos, and even though I'd be more than happy to post them all, I restrained myself.)
Here are some highlights:

Group Shot
(minus one friend who showed up late)

Silly Group Shot
the cake
blowing out his candles

being a boy......(see hand)

Lauren invited some partners in crime to keep her company.
Tera, Lauren and Emma
The Birthday Boy on his throne.
While sitting on the throne he opened his presents. He received some learning games and notebooks, two sets of Bakugan brawlers, and a SpongeBob DS game. He loves this game because I don't love SpongeBob and that makes him happy. =)
Everyone had a good time at the party. After over an hour of jumping there were only tears 2 times. (head vs. foot and head vs. head)
I think the great time had by all was pretty much due to our party coordinator, Daniela.
(Jump 2 It did not pay me to say this but...)
I have to mention how impressed I was with our party coordinator. Daniela was Awesome! She was energetic, lots of fun and she played right along with the kiddos. (If I could only bottle up her energy.) Any locals looking to book a Jump 2 It party should definitely request her. But hurry because she's a senior in HS and most likely won't be around much longer.
And with that I am through with my March Birthdays! Yay!
C'mon May! (Matt and I both have birthdays in May)

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Happy 5th Birthday, Tyler!

My sweet "little" baby boy turned 5 years old today!
When I say "little" I don't really mean "little." The boy weighed 9lbs. and 12.6oz! at birth.
(Tyler 10 mos., Lauren 2 yrs and 10 mos.)
First picture as a five-year-old.I made confetti cake cupcakes with chocolate icing to share with his Pre-K class.
They were a hit!
After school L and T played with Jake and Dylan across the street. I told them when Daddy got home from work he would come get them and then (and only then) we would open the presents.
Tyler was a BIT excited to come home!
(don't worry he looked both ways before crossing the street)

He ran in and gave me an unsolicited hug.
(this doesn't happen very often anymore)
And now for the presents!

He made quite a haul!
(He'd like you to notice the $100 bill from Great Grandpa Bob!)

Dinner was completely up to Tyler.
When asked what he wanted for his special birthday dinner he said,
"a Pine-Apple and Macaroni and Cheese."
Dinner did not disappoint.
(Annie's Mac-n-cheese is only 8 WW+ points per 1 cup serving.)After dinner we played with the new toys...
Lauren built the Lego set she chose for Tyler all by herself!
...and then we had Cupcakes!
Tilt your head and say, "Happy Birthday, Tyler!"
We Love You!!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

It Had to Happen

Yesterday, Lauren got in trouble at school. (a.k.a. had to pull a stick) After getting home she 'fessed up right away. Right off the bus she said, "You need to look in my Agenda!" (Her Agenda is the notebook her teacher and I use to keep in touch daily.) I looked in her Agenda and found this note from her teacher.

("Hey, Lauren had to pull a stick today because she was telling a student to take another student's supplies. She became quite upset with me and raised her voice. I talked to her about making good choices - she did settle down but I wanted you to know this happened.")

I asked Lauren about it and she insisted she did not tell anyone to take somone else's supplies. She said one of her classmates told her teacher she did even thought she didn't. I wasn't too concerned about this part of the note. I might actually believe her. However, I am concerned about the Raising Her Voice part to her teacher (and "being ugly and throwing a fit" --her own words.) We talked about being RESPECTFUL to our teachers and then I took away all Screen Time for the evening. This was DeVaStAtInG! It was so devastating that after a couple rounds on the naughty chair she fell into an exhausted late afternoon nap.

5 o'clock

and 6 o'clock

My poor girl had an exhausting day. She misbehaved, she was punished and now we are back to normal and moving on.

Today though... Today is Tyler's last day as a FOUR YEAR OLD! I can't believe it.

We celebrated by taking his blanket into Walmart after school. (When he is FIVE he must leave his blanket in the car (and eventually at home.))
He's pretty excited for this picture.
(FIVE minutes later he was ASLEEP.)

Here he is again reading books with Daddy.
Happy Day Before Your Birthday, Tyler!

I'll close with the last couple of meals we LOVED.
and tonight's,

Five Years Ago, this very evening, I was preparing for my early morning, scheduled C-Section in downtown Atlanta. My precious son, Tyler was waiting to make his earthly entrance. I love you, Tyler!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Weekly Menu 3-21-2011

(weekly lunch soup: Fresh Vegetable Soup (WW+=1)) (You may have to be a WW member to view the recipe? Please let me know.)
Monday: Mini Farfalle with Roasted Peppers, Onions, Feta, and Mint (WW+=12)
Tuesday: Chicken Tagine Stew over quinoa (WW+=12) (you may have to sign your life away to get the recipe...let me know if you're interested and I can post it for you)
Wednesday: Paella with Soy chorizo and Edamame (WW+=8)
Thursday: Salmon Sandwiches (WW+=11) & Sesame-Ginger Glazed Asparagus (WW+=0)
Friday: Beef-Broccoli Stir-Fry over brown rice (WW+=6)
Saturday: left-overs or pantry meal
Sunday: left-overs or pantry meal

Fun Days, Fun Eats

Oh my goodness! Lately, the weather has been B-U-Ti-Full! It's been in the 70s and even breeched the 80s!! I am so ready for Spring. I do have a request though. (I'm talking to the weather.) I'd like a few more weeks of Spring than last year. Last year when mid-April came around it became scorching H-O-T and did not relent. This year I'd like to put in the request for some warm days without the instense heat and humidity. Thank You.
Lauren, Jake and Dylan enjoy the warm weather.
Along with the warm fun days we've been enjoying some Fun Eats as well.
(minus the avocado...cuz I don't like it)
(I also don't like corn tortillas so I used flour)
Matt said, "Wow, this is good. The green sauce and onions totally makes it."
Since Matt said this you should most definitely cook this ASAP.
(Matt does not usually like any dish with fish in it.)

Another Fun Eat I wanted to share was the vegetarian Artichoke and Goat cheese Strata. I'm not a huge fan of cooking egg based dinner dishes but I was very happy with how this turned out. It was filling, tasty and very easy (although time consuming) to make. I've been enjoying the left-overs all weekend.
Next post should contain some more good eats. Next week's Weekly Menu. Stay tuned.......

One Year Later

March is always special because it is the month in which both of my babies were born.
I love my babies, I love March.
Ever since last year March is also special because my husband (the father of our babies) did not die.
I will always remember the heartache of March as well.
March to me is the month of birth, the month of trials, and the month of new life.
Let's reminisce, shall we
~~~March 2010~~~
(you can skim until the the end!)
Matt Update 3/23/10
(scariest evening of my entire life)
One year later, Lauren turns 7 and Tyler turns 5. This year Matt will not have to spend both of their birthdays in the hospital.
He did, however, show me a scratch on his finger today. It was very similar to the scratch he had on his finger last year which is where we believe the initial infection entered.
For piece of mind, I just may bring him to the ER tonight to be sure it's just a harmless scratch. =)
Happy Spring!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Hey Good Lookin'

Well since you asked and there's not much else to talk about I suppose I'll tell ya.
Yesterday we had Baked Pasta with Spinach, Lemon, and Cheese and Sauteed Brussels Sprouts with Bacon (Bits.) I don't like to cook bacon (it splatters and burns me) so I just used Bacon Bits from the jar. It adds the flavor without the extra fat and oil burns.
The pasta was a bit bland for me. It was just okay according to Matt and the kids didn't really eat that much. I, alone, loved the brussels sprouts though. Due to the lack of excitement about this dinner from my family, all of the left-overs were packaged up and delivered to Mr. Mike across the street (aka the garbage disposal.)
Today we had Pork Posole and toasted baguette with butter. Yumm! Lauren and I ate every last bite in our bowl. Tyler ate all the bites of pork but not much else. Matt ate dinner at a work conference but he did try a bite and said it was "awesome."
(tilt your head sideways)

A no-cook meal is coming up tomorrow. Stay tuned.
(This is actually my favorite version of the Hey Good Lookin' song. Barbara Mandrell nails it! This reminds me of my childhood and long car trips with my family.)

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Weekly Menu 3-14-2011

lunches: Italian-Inspired Vegetable Soup I made a big batch of this this weekend to carry me througout the week. (so far I'm loving it...I added 2 jalapenos to spice up the taste.)

Monday: Baked Pasta with Spinach, Lemon, and Cheese and Sauteed Brussels Sprouts with Bacon
Tuesday: Pork Posole & garlic bread (from the freezer)
Wednesday: Romaine and Greek Vegetable Salad with Turkey Roll-ups.
Thursday: Fettucine with Sauce Duguay
Friday: Blackened Tilapia Baja Tacos
Saturday: Artichoke and Goat Cheese Strata
Sunday: l/o or pantry meal

My Little Artist

Lauren is my little artist. She impresses me all the time.
This evening I gave the 15 minutes 'til bed warning and Lauren decided she wanted to draw.
She grabbed a blank sheet of paper and also her new Zhu Zhu pet carriage to use as a model.

In 15 minutes she came up this this masterpiece.

I told her that I thought she was a very talented artist. I also told her that she most likely gets it from her Grandma Jan and her Daddy.
Without missing a beat she told me, "No, I'm better than them. I just can't draw skeletons or cars as well as they can."
Gotta love her!!
Dinner tonight was Out-N-In California Burgers.

These were VERY good. I left out the avocado (on accident) but they were delish. Matt, Lauren and I ate a whole burger and Tyler ate almost 1/2. I've never been to In-N-Out Burger but I'm sure what I made tonight was comparable. (by the way...if you click on the In-N-Out Burger link make sure you turn your volume down.)
I hope you all enjoyed your Sunday as much as we did.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Party Time, Excellent!

Today was Lauren's Birthday Party!
We had a house full of of 7 girls and 1 boy (Tyler.)
Everyone had a great time.
We started with some free play.
(I gave Lauren the camera and I think she took the best 2 pictures of the night.)
Check out the see-through hand!
Who knew these chairs were built for three?
Soon it was game time!
Game #1: Ping Pong Hide and Seek
I wrote each girl's name on a ping pong ball and one at a time had them hide it in Lauren's room. After the last ball was hidden Lauren got to go up and seek the balls. The name on the last ball she found won a prize.
Game #2: Twinkle Toes
I split the girls into 2 groups and had everyone take off their socks and shoes. I sent one group out of the room (and out of ear shot) and had the other group lay down under a sheet with only their feet sticking out. When the other group came back in they had to guess whose feet belonged to whom. The girl with the most correct answers won. Switch and Repeat.
Game #3: Pin the Tail on the Donkey
(we all know how to play this right?)
Game #4: Pinata Bash
This was fun and dangerous and everyone loved it.
I really wish I had a picture.
After the games we ate pizza and then opened presents.

Once the presents were opened it turned into a wrapping paper destruction party.

Finally it was time for the Birthday Cake.
(only 1/4 of the cake was eaten)
After cake and ice-cream sandwiches it was back to free play for the duration of the party.
Lauren had a great time with her friends. She even lost another tooth in all the excitement. (Did you hear that Tooth Fairy?)
One party down and one to go. Tyler's birthday is in Two Weeks!
Matt's weekend project:
New Garage Door Opener