Thursday, June 30, 2011

Trying Something New

As of Tuesday, the boys are only taking one nap.  On good days, it's a three hour nap.  It seemed as if every time I put them down for their nap before, there would be 15-30 minutes of screaming.  So between two naps, they were only getting a little more than 3 hours sleep.  So far, it's been good.  Day one they crashed at 7pm, but day two they were up, and happy, until 7:45.  I am going to give it a week, and then reevaluate.  I anticipate having to make changes.  It just seems like they are too little to be taking one nap, but I know every kid is different.  Man, parenting.  It's not always easy, and some days I feel like I don't have a clue. 

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Monday Night

Monday nights are typically the day of the week I get to spend on my own.  Eric comes home from work, and I am off.  He's solely responsible for feeding the boys dinner, getting them bathed and putting them to bed.  Sometimes I have plans and sometimes I don't.  This past Monday, I spent the first half of my evening working on a project.  It was so nice to work on it for two uninterrupted hours straight.  I think that I sometimes do better that way, since I can get into a groove, whatever that really means.  About halfway through the evening, one of my best friends met up with me and we spent the rest of the night drinking Starbucks and reading fashion and gossip magazines.  Despite what some people may say, particularly my husband, it's a good time.  And it's this time that I so desperately need.

Just having a night to myself, whatever I do, is great.  I feel like I am better able to be with the boys the rest of the week without feeling like I am going crazy.  So hooray for Monday nights!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Are we bad parents?

This weekend, for some reason, Eric was standing around the kitchen while I fed the boys lunch.  In particular, I was giving Baxter yogurt.  I accidentally got some on his face, and Eric said, "you should make a curly mustache out of yogurt and I'll take a picture."  So, I did.  I was pretty funny.  Baxter didn't know what to think about it.  He just wanted to eat his yogurt.  Does this make us bad parents?  I figure that sometimes, you just have to do weird stuff with your kids.  I think it helps me stay sane.

We didn't make a yogurt mustache for Atticus, so Eric just snapped some photos.  He's just so rolly-polly cute.  Kissing his cheeks is like the best thing ever.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Weekend Wears

This weekend, summer weather decided that it would make another appearance.  I mean, now that it's actually summer time.  Friday was still on the cooler side, but Saturday and Sunday were just perfect.  Not too hot and not too cold.

On Friday night, we had some friends over for dinner and played euchre once the kiddos went to bed.

Top: Urban Outfitters
Jeggings: Target
Flats: Target

On Saturday, Eric worked in our basement, and I weeded the flower bed in front of our house.  I love productive Saturdays.  And I was even able to thrift a little while the boys napped. I intended to go several places but only made it to two, because one was having a huge sale.  That evening, we whipped up a quick dinner, and took a walk to get ice cream.  I am now able to eat it, and it sounded so good on such a nice day.

T-shirt: Forever 21
Tank: Target
Jeans: BDG
Sandals: Charlotte Russe

Sunday had the best weather of all this weekend.  We spent so much time on the deck during the morning, and then even more while we were at Eric's parents.  Eric's mom just got back from India.  She was there for 3 weeks, so we spent a lot of the afternoon there.  And then that night, we watched a movie with friends, like we do every week.

Dress: New York & Company
Wedges: Nordstrom Rack

Sadly, the nice weather did not carry over to the week.  It's pretty gloomy today.  Although, it isn't as cold as it was last week, so I can't complain.  But according to the weatherman, it should be nice and warm the rest of the week.  But really, how much can you really trust weathermen?

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Homemade Bangles

I read this blog, Pink Pistachio.  She's super cute, and has a lot of great tutorials.  When I read this one, I went right out and bought fabric.  Cute, cheap and a new jewelry piece, yes please!

So, this is not an original tutorial.  The full and very informative version is here.  Even if you don't want the tutorial, you should check it out.  I highly recommend it.

Anyway, onto how I made my very own fabric bangles.

I bought some cheap jersey fabric from JoAn's.  Bonus, they were having a really great sale and it was all half off.

To make the bangles, you cut your strips of fabric 1-inch wide, the long way.  Cut several pieces of each, since you will probably use more than one for a bracelet (unless you have really small wrists).

The process to actually make the bracelet only involved the fabric and your hand.  I was a little nervous that it was going to be complicated, but once I got started with one, the rest were super simple to make.  I don't have step-by-step pictures, but like I said, Pink Pistachio has a very informative video. 

 And there you have it!  Super simple, super cute, and super cheap.  You really can't beat it.  What I found helpful though, was to count how many times I made a knot, and then I could know exactly how many would fit my wrist.  The first couple are a little big, but once I figured out the number, they were perfect.  Happy crafting!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Family Dinner

On Wednesday, Eric suggested we go out for dinner.  I always get a little nervous about going out with the boys, but they have never disappointed.  They are really well-behaved (as long as they have something to eat), and I always leave so proud.  We grabbed dinner at one of our favorite local restaurants.  It's just a few blocks from our house, so we walked.  I absolutely love walking.  I would choose it over driving any day.

It was such a nice little family outing.  I think we need to do it more.  For some reason, I am always afraid that they're going to freak out, and we're going to be the family with ballistic children trying to eat at a restaurant.  But I guess if you don't take them out, how are they going to learn to behave in those settings, right?  So I think it's decided, more family outings are needed.  Maybe I'll suggest thrifting this weekend.  Oh how I love thrifting.  Yep, I think we will.  If I want them to love it as much as I do, better start 'em young.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

New Food: Tamale Pies

When I found this meal, I was looking for something that would freeze well.  You see, I made this meal for one of my best friends, who is about to have her first kiddo any day now.  We are all super excited for Henry's arrival and are doing what we can to help out.

I found the recipe online, here.

2 lb ground chicken
1 1/2 tsp minced garlic
1 can (15 oz) red kidney beans, rinsed
1 can (11 oz) corn niblets, drained
2 cans (14 1/2 oz each) diced tomatoes with chiles
2 cans (10 oz each) enchilada sauce
6 scallions, chopped
1 pkg (17.5 oz each) soft taco-size flour tortillas
3 cups of shredded Mexican cheese

Coat two 9-in. round disposable foil pans with nonstick spray.

Heat a 12-in. straight-sided skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken and garlic; saute, breaking up chunks, 5 minutes or until meat is no longer pink.

Spoon into a large bowl; stir in beans, corn, tomatoes, enchilada sauce and scallions until well mixed.

Place prepared foil pans on counter. Put 1 tortilla in each; spread each with 1 1/4 cups meat mixture; sprinkle with 1/4 cup cheese. Repeat layers in each pan 3 times. Top with a tortilla, press slightly on meat layer, then flip tortillas over so there’s some sauce on top. Sprinkle with remaining cheese.

Cover with plastic wrap, then tightly cover with nonstick foil. Label and freeze up to 3 months.  To reheat, thaw in refrigerator overnight. (If pie is not completely thawed before baking, that’s OK). Heat oven to 375°F. Remove foil and plastic wrap, then re-cover with the foil. Bake 1 hour 20 minutes or until center is hot (insert tip of a knife 30 seconds; if tip is hot, so is center). Let stand 5 minutes before cutting in wedges.

I actually had a lot of the filling left over, so I made a third pie, for Eric.  He really liked it, so hopefully it will turn out well for Katy and Patrick.  I liked the idea of giving them pie-sized dinners, since it only needs to feed the two of them.  And then they get two meals.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

I Said No

This is usually how I go places, unless there are carts.  It's easier to maneuver the smaller stroller, and it's convenient since it's always in my car.  Plus, not every doorway is wide enough to fit my double stroller.

Anyway, this is how I went to the social security office yesterday.  I knew there would be chairs inside, so I wouldn't have to hold one of the boys for long.  And then, I would just need to hold one while I was at the counter.  No big deal.  While we waited our turn, the boys did pretty well.  It was almost time for a nap, but they would only have small, 30-second outbursts.  I was pretty pleased.

Then, our number was called and we went up to our assigned station.  That's when the boys started to freak out.  What made everything worse was that our employee was in training, so everything took a lot longer.  I was starting to get frustrated, but kept my cool.  I figured people must bring in crying kids all the time.

Out of no-where, a woman came up, arms outstretched, and said, "let me hold one of your babies."  She was a total stranger.  I hadn't even spoken with her while we waited (which may have made more sense).  I was stopped in my tracks.  I somehow managed to tell her I was alright, but she insisted.  I eventually just told her that the boys don't take well to strangers.  She accepted that response and went back to her seat, but seemed a little offended.

I know a lot of moms talk about women asking personal questions or wanting to touch their babies, but hold?!  Have you ever gotten that?  She seemed well-intentioned, so I didn't want to be rude, but I couldn't believe it.  It probably irritates me more than others because, although I know she probably didn't mean it, I take it as she thinks I can't handle my children, that she must think I am too young or in way over my head. 

Has this ever happened to you?  If so, how did you respond?  I'd love to know.  I felt like I was stumbling, trying to find the right way to say no, without literally saying no.  Or, would you have let her hold one of your kids?  And if so, why?  I would love to get different perspectives about this, because Eric and I see it differently.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

I Did It, It's Cut

Yep, I actually cut my hair.  I didn't go too extreme, but it's definitely something different.  I use a lot less shampoo and conditioner, it takes a lot less time to blow dry, and it has a lot more volume.  I am very please.  Aside from trims, I haven't cut my hair since the fall of 2007, so it was time for a change.  And the boys were getting to comfortable using it as leverage to stand.

Here is a side-by-side comparison.

Yeah, I'm glad I did it.  It feels good, and it'll be nice on hot summer days.  Long hair is hot.  And I can always grow it back.  It'd just hair.  Although, don't let my husband hear you say that (don't worry, he likes it).

Monday, June 20, 2011

Weekend Wears

This weekend our little family had a lot of fun.  In true Michigan fashion, the cold weather we had last week disappeared and warmth showed up.  It was even hotter than we had expected it to be.

On Friday, as you previously read, Eric and I had a night all to ourselves.  The boys slept over at my parents.  It was wonderful.  We were out until after 2am.  I can't remember the last time I was out that late.  I felt so rebellious ;)

 Top: Thrifted
Belt: Target
Jeans: BDG
Shoes: Nordstrom Rack

On Saturday, we went to a picnic with our adoption support group.  We have been attending this group since before we started the adoption process.  Everyone is so awesome, and it's such a great support network for us and our boys.  We just love the fact that there are so many adopted children for the boys to be friends with.  After the picnic, Eric's siblings came over.  They hung up until the boys went to bed, and then Eric and I played Scrabble on the deck.  It was such a beautiful night.  And winning made it that much better!

(He told me that he had to take at least one photo with his motorcycle in it)

Top: Forever 21
Belt: Thrifted
Jeans: BDG
Sandles: Charlotte Russe 

 On Sunday, we celebrated Father's day with both of our dads.  Eric's family came over for muffins and coffee.  We sat on the deck for a couple of hours, just enjoying the beautiful weather while the boys napped.  Then, it was off to my family's house for lunch and swimming.  And it wouldn't be Sunday night without our weekly movie with friends.  A busy, yet very enjoyable Sunday.

Well, there's my weekend for you.  I hope yours was nice, and you were able to spend it with those you love.  I'm off to take my last exam.  No school til fall.  Now I just need to get reading those books!