Sunday, May 04, 2014

Jude Turns 7

I'm a million years late with this post - but better late than never, I suppose.

Waaaaaaaay back in January, Jude celebrated his 7th birthday.  He's such a different kid this year.  First of all, he finally has two monstrous teeth in the place where he used to have a massive hole in his mouth.  Why are kids' teeth SO STINKING HUGE?!  Nonetheless, they are there - and he will one day grow into them.  If he's anything like Rob and me, he will not only grow into them, but he will grow out of them and end up with relatively small teeth.

In December, Madelyn got a rainbow loom from Santa.  Santa knew that Jude would be interested, so he gave her two looms - to share.  Santa had no idea that Jude would become a rainbow loom factory, and OBSESS over all things rainbow loom.  He can make anything and everything.  He has made more bracelets than I can even count, Elsa (from Frozen - for Maddie) a 3D version of Olaf (from Frozen) an iPod cover, panda bears, a bazillion necklaces, keychains, etc.  If it CAN be made - he has made it.  And he is awesome at it.

Wait for it - he even looms in his sleep.  Jude has taken up sleepwalking - and on more than one occasion, he has come into our bedroom talking gibberish, and looming.

A couple of weeks ago the loom broke, so he has had to replace it with something - and his obsession for the moment is playing Mario on the Wii.  Rob and I know that we should discourage him from becoming so obsessed with video games, but it has been a nice break from all of the looming that he does.  We are kind of relieved to see that he has other interests.  (Although he can't seem to have more than one interest at a time..)

He is kind of a quiet kid.  He doesn't demand a lot of attention, and for the most part is pretty easy going.  I realize he is a boy - but my gosh...I'm pretty sure he is the messiest little thing I've ever seen.  I have no idea what half of the stuff is that he has out at all times, but it seems as though messes follow him everywhere.  I can walk into his room and even though it's clean (according to him) I can feel like I am suffocating from the clutter.  It's his creative genius.  I will never understand - but when he is famous for having invented the coolest whatchama-jig ever (the future's version of the internet) I will not be surprised.

The kid has never EVER asked me for help on any of his homework, and whenever I go and check it everything is always right.  His math skills are beyond mine, and he rocks all of his spelling tests.

Jude, your awesomeness never ceases to amaze me, and I know that I'm not alone in my envy of your adorable and kind natured personality.  You can't go to church, EVER, without being called on and picked for the activities in Sunday school.  I often roll my eyes at how obvious it is that you are everyone's favorite in primary (but I'm secretly smiling too!)

Thank you for waving and running every time I drop you off at school.  Your adorable smile as you try to beat me to the corner always makes my day.

I love you more than you can ever know.

.....and now, the birthday pics.....

Saturday, January 25, 2014

The Robbers

I woke up this morning to three children hovering over my bed in the dark.  I could hear them whispering to each other asking if this was a big enough deal to wake me up for (I am a bit of a bear in the mornings) when Jude says, "This is the kind of stuff they teach you about in school. You always tell a parent when there is a robber in the house."

A robber in my house, aye?

I scare them all when I shoot up in bed and say, "So we have a robber, do we?"

Jude replies, "I'm sure of it,  Mom.  We were all downstairs and we heard a 'shhh' sound."

"A shhhhh sound?"

"Yeah.  OH!  And there was a headband on the table and NONE OF US PUT IT THERE!"

"So, you're telling me that there is a robber in our house telling you all to be quiet and putting away the things on the floor?  This robber sounds fantastic.  Maybe we should make him some breakfast."

"NO REALLY MOM!  Lily (Maddie's friend who slept over last night) saw him poking his head up over the couch - TWICE! He painted his face black.  Then when we went back to get him, he disappeared."

Ella chimes in, "Man, this guy is good."

I roll out of bed and tell them that I will come downstairs in a few minutes to make sure there is nobody hiding behind the couch.  As they run away I hear Jude say, "I'm going to spray the robber with water.  They hate that!"

Ella says, "Yeah! And I'm going to get him in the balls."

WHAT?!  Did my barely-five year old girl REALLY just say that?!

I go downstairs to talk to Ella about what she just said, and I see this:

With the balls.  WITH the balls.

We need to work on her prepositions.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Tried and True Healthy Foods...Part 1.

Well, here we are...three weeks into January.  This is the week where keeping New Year's resolutions gets a bit hard.  Mostly (for me at least) because stores start filling their shelves with yummy valentines candies.  And by this point in the year I'm SO past Christmas candy (talk about passé) ....but Valentines candy = true love, right?


Valentines Day candy is the devil.  Because once you stuff your face with that stuff you think, "Well, I already blew that resolution..." and continue eating candy hearts until your own heart aches of food guilt.  Vicious circle, I tell you.  Vicious circle.

This year I've entered a weight-loss competition (more about that on my other blog ------>) and have worked really hard at eating healthier in 2014.  Because of that, I wanted to share some of my absolute favorite recipes and go-to foods that are keeping both my husband and me food-guilt free.  Add them to your healthy foods board on Pinterest, and then actually eat them.  They are GOOD.  Now, these aren't my recipes...just some that are tried and true.

Carne Bistec found HERE.  This had great flavor if you love Mexican food.  I served mine with sliced avocado.

Magic Weight Loss Soup found HERE.  I leave out the mushrooms and replaced the cabbage with kale,  but it is packed full of vegetables, low in calories, and surprisingly flavorful.  It freezes well, and rewarms tasting just as good.

I know that some of you are thinking about the preservatives in frozen meals, but for me, lunch is all about convenience.  If I don't have something I can throw in quickly - I'll just eat whatever I can find (read binge on chips and salsa).  This pizza is actually pretty good, and warms up in about three minutes.  I also really love WW three cheese ziti.  I ate that almost daily when I originally lost 50 lbs. Posted HERE). I add a coke zero and call it good.  (Yes, obviously water would be the healthier choice, but I'm a junkie.  We'll leave that to another post.)

Salmon with mango-kiwi relish found HERE.  I usually avoid fish.  It kind of both grosses and creeps me out.  ESPECIALLY in my own home.  I trust restaurants to cook it well, but am terrified of making it myself.  This recipe changed my mind.  Super easy, super delicious.  I think this one was Rob's favorite of all the healthy dinners.  

Healthy Chicken Salad found HERE. I loved this one because I could make it in advance, and when dinner time rolled around I just pulled it out of the fridge, threw two scoops on top of a plate of spinach and chowed down.  Rob topped his with a low calorie dressing, but I enjoyed mine plain.  It was also great the next day.  

Chobani Flips, in Key Lime crumble.  I LOVE these.  I'm actually eating one now.  They are a great go-to for those moments when you really, REALLY need something sweet.  I'm not usually a lime fan, but my sister in law let me try one of hers and I was immediately hooked.  

PB2.  Can be found on, or in most natural food stores.  This stuff is amazing.  It is basically pressed peanuts without all the oil, fat, calories, etc.  You can add water to turn it back into a cream, or add the powdered version to your protein shake or smoothie for some real PB flavor.  I posted my favorite PB2 recipe on my other blog as well.  

Now that I've shared a few of my favorites, cook yourself something healthy tomorrow.  Your body will thank you.  I'll post a few more of my favorites in a couple of days to keep the resolution-ending cravings out of mind.  And if you want to follow my newest weight loss challenge, I'll keep updates over on the other blog. Happy (and healthy) eating, everyone!  

Tuesday, January 14, 2014


The little lady is now three years old, and in true three-year-old-fashion, she chose to celebrate her birthday at Chuck E. Cheese's.  The kids seemed to enjoy themselves, and as far as we know, none of them contracted hepatitis while there.  I guess we shall find out at their next well-child exams.  For now, we will call it a success.  

There are no words that can adequately describe the child I am raising.  The only way to really understand Claire is to meet her in person - but I will do my best to put her personality into words.

Claire is hands down the friendliest, and most social child we have.  She is always walking up to strangers (great) and asking their name - where their kids are - what their favorite color is - how old they are - can I play on your cell phone - etc. 

She loves to sing, dance, and twirl.  She looks at herself in the mirror with each day's outfit and spins in it just to see how the outfit looks spinning.  She is obsessed with jewelry, makeup, and playing on the computer or iPad.  We are constantly being told that we need to get her an agent because she's a natural entertainer, and can eye-roll better than most teenaged girls.  Don't even get me started on the hand that is constantly on her hip.  The worst part is that it's absolutely adorable....well, most days.

Heaven help me.

Presenting our Claire:

Happy 3rd Birthday, Little Red.  You are the sweet and sour sauce of this family, and our chicken and rice home just wouldn't be the same without you.  I love you from head to toe, and am so grateful to be your mommy.