Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Zucchini bread overload

The boys and I made zucchini bread last night. Except I had to call it zucchini "cake" to get Grant to eat it. Ah, a boy after my own heart.
They were SO helpful--really! except it took quite a bit longer with their "help" but that's ok--they both took turns grating up the zucchini, they dumped in ingredients, Connor beat the eggs, Grant stirred the mixture. Connor has been working on his flour-measuring technique (not exactly a requirement to get your "man card" but important when you're baking with mama) where he levels off the flour. Oh, he is getting good at it!

We made a double-batch so we could give some away. I always love to send some to J's grandparents b/c it is her recipe, and sometimes we share with the neighbors. We made five small loaves and one large load (underdone inside, so a bit wasted) and easily polished off a small loaf and a half last night. today I think I have eaten about 1/4 of the large loaf--the done part, of course!--and am starting to feel a bit queasy. Ugh.

I love baking, and I do hope it is something the boys will continue to do with me as they grow. Sometimes they want to help, but mostly they just want to eat. It seems they are more motivated to participate when they have jobs, so I need patience and a little extra time for preparations.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Some fun pictures

The boys were both sick over the weekend. Connor with pneumonia, Grant with croup.
Good times.
We did get out for a little while Sunday night and the boys enjoyed bubbles. Connor blew through a whole bottle, and Grant mostly tried to make bubbles come out of the wand by spitting at it.

My dear ankle-injured husband would have you ignore the height of the grass. I am confident he will be mowing soon. Notice Truman, our wild jungle-dog.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Night Reader

Connor got into a little trouble the other night. Not "bad boy" trouble at all. In fact, more like "good boy" trouble.
The kids LOVES to read. Has since birth. He recently started reading, and I am quite the proud momma since he hasn't even started Kindergarten yet! The kid reads everything! It's crazy.
We've (mostly Jeff) been reading to him before bed since he was a wee little baby and have continued the tradition to this day. He loves this reading time and it is one of his *worst* punishments to have his "books before bed" reading time revoked for any reason.

The other night, Jeff went into his room to check on him and found him reading IN THE DARK by the light of the night light.
After stifling a chuckle, Jeff reminded Connor that it was time for bed and that he should not read books in the dark as it can hurt his eyes. Connor was quick to tell Daddy that his eyes didn't hurt a bit!
Jeff and I talked about it and made a decision that Connor could pick out a book each night to read on his own AFTER his normal bedtime books. The stipulation was that he had to leave his lamp ON and then turn it off whenever he was finished. So far so good.

Would we be so lucky that all of our kids get into this kind of "trouble!" That would be great.

Conversation with a Granters

I picked him up from the sitter's yesterday and our conversation went something like this:

Me: How was your day today, Grant?

G: Good. I hab pun at Judy's!

Me: What did you do?

G: Pun!

Me: You played and had fun?

G: Yeah!

Me: What did you eat for lunch? (I always ask the kids this question, I don't know why.)

G: Yes.

Me: No, what did you eat for lunch?

G: Wunch?

Me: Yes. What did you eat?

G: Eat.

Me: Yes...what did you eat?

G: Eat....samich.

Me: Oh! (breakthough!) You had a sandwich! That sounds so yummy!
What was on your sandwich? (I should have just quit while I was ahead)

G: Yes.

Me: No, I asked what was on your sandwich?

G: Yeah.

We went on like this for a few minutes. Both of us getting frustrated, him saying "yeah" several times to questions that aren't asking "yes" or "no"

And...the conversation was...over.

No wonder we're exhausted when we get home, I spend half of my leftover energy trying to extract information from a child who is trying desperately to figure out why I keep asking him about his lunch. He already said "yeah" for Pete's sake! Enough, woman!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

love this one

This would have been such a cool picture...if I had moved my camera over just a centimeter or so. I just love the way he is running!

T-ball pictures...possibly one at a time.

I will keep posting pictures one at a time until I get all of the cute ones in! This is my big boy!

No pics yet--but fun weekend!

Apparently blogger is having some serious issues with photo uploading. Let me tell ya about our fun weekend with the boys!

Saturday we visited historic Independence and ate at Square Pizza. What a fun night! The pizza was super-yummy--I highly recommend the cheese breadsticks. Afterwards we visited Clinton's Soda Fountain and had ice cream. Mmmm!
It was a gorgeous night, so we walked around the square, reading the historic monuments and explaining what they were to Connor. Then Grant started to get a bit cranky, so we packed up to head home. Instead of the usual boring highway-way home, we took the scenic back route through old neighborhoods and quiet streets. I love a long drive home when everyone is full and happy, and though the boys got a bit antsy, they seemed to enjoy it too. In fact, Grant was in a pretty good mood. Nearly every song that came on the radio he said "I wike that song!" The best was his spontaneous outburst of praise on the way home, he proclaimed: "I wike square!"

Sunday was great too. We bought a Friends of the Zoo pass this year and are already loving it! I don't remember how much it was, but we've decided it is totally worth it! We can go to the zoo, hit just one area and avoid the all-day "come-on-we've-got-to-pack-all-this-fun-in-right-now-because-we-paid-for-the-whole-day-and-we're-gonna-use-the-whole-day-dangit-no-matter how-tired/cranky/hungry/sunburned-we-all-are!
I tell you all that to say that we went at 4pm. The zoo closes at 5pm. I am so crazy, I directed Jeff where to park (the parking lot is under construction and a little nuts) soooo far away, with my reasoning being "that is where all of the people are headed...they must be headed inside!" Um, no. Most people were LEAVING the zoo, and instead of rock star parking we were eons away from the entrance. My lovely husband did not so much as tell me "I told you so," God bless him.
Anyway, as we fought like salmon to get into the zoo, we realized that coming at the end of a day like Sunday (nice weather, not too hot) was a great idea! The sea lions were extra lazy, but we got to see one sleeping that reminded us of Sweet Molly. The un-lazy sea lion was rather enjoying a water bottle that had hopefully been inadvertently tossed into their pool.
We saw the kangaroos lounging around and one even wanted to come check us out a bit before we scared it away with our noise!
The best visit that day was by far the tiger's cage. There are two enormous tigers on exhibit that usually are found sleeping inside these gigantic logs. We happened to arrive at feeding time which was obviously something that got the tigers' attention more than oodles of onlookers. They were pacing around their cages, running back and forth, alert...it was cool.

We topped off the fun with dinner at McDonald's on the way home. I saw a former student...she was no less pleased to see me than I was to see her. She is an interesting character, and definitely not on my list of "happy memories" from a former job. Actually, I can't remember any "happy memories" from that particular job! Oh well, it was good to see her in her element, yelling at the other workers--and she did ensure that Jeff got his double burger without cheese QUICKLY. Maybe she'll go off to join the military?

The boys slept WELL that night, and I felt great because we'd gotten to get out and enjoy our city a bit. Grant is still talking about "go to zoo and see the 'angoos, the grillas, sea wions, and tigers!"


P.S.--on top, because that is how these things are read....I am going to try to post the pics in a separate posting...blogger seems to be having a little trouble with images right now.

We were soooo excited for t-ball practice on Saturday morning! Though it was wet and pretty chilly outside, Connor had a great time running around, fielding, batting, and catching the baseball. Almost all of the other kids on his team--the 98.9 The Rock "Snakes" will go to his elementary school, so we're happy that he'll already know a couple of kids next year. Mostly the kids just stood in a big clump trying to catch the ball, then waited patiently in line for their turn to catch and/or bat.

The coach seems good--and on a side note, he told all of the parents that he can occasionally get concert tickets. There are three coaches, and they seem pretty knowledgeable, but the best thing is, they seem to like the kids. There was one dad there that ought to be...interesting. Jeff said that he was directing the boys--taking over and yelling at his kid, out on the field. They're five, dude...back off! I guess we'll get used to those parents...oooh...I just had a terrible thought...I hope no one ever refers to me as one of "those" parents.

While Connor had a blast, Grant got a little antsy. Actually, he preferred for me to "hold-ju" (hold you--him) during practice, so we scooted out for a while and got our grocery shopping down. Yeah for efficiency!

Enjoy the pictures!

Friday, April 18, 2008

No T-ball AGAIN!

What a bummer!
The rain started about 15 minutes before practice was to begin. So I did what any good mother would do...I consoled my children with homemade cookies and television. Actually, Connor watched a movie, wrote for a little while, and Grant ended up playing with Mr. Potato Head. Overall, it was a nice and rainy night.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

"Conker" Bwett!

Just a funny memory to record...

I often call Connor, "Connor Brett" in everyday conversation--not when he's in trouble or anything, just to get his attention, or for no reason at all.
Grant picked up on that on our last trip to Iowa...which reminds me of the other fun details of that trip!

Grant had been really constipated--I can't even remember why (it was a whole month ago!) but he was. We'd been giving him Miralax and juice and stuff, but he was pooping out what appeared to be golf balls--not white, gross.
Anyway, he had a HUGE blowout on the way to visit Jeff's grandparents the LAST time we went, so we were at least relieved that this time he was constipated. Well, there must be something relaxing about going to Iowa for Grant, because he turned it loose again for us on the way up there.
It was just awful...funny, now, but awful then!

We stopped at Subway to survey the damage.
I went around the side of the van to get him out, and hopefully take him in to the changing station inside the restaurant.
I lifted him out and...um, we would not be welcome to go IN anywhere in his condition! Immediately I start shouting orders to Jeff as if I am a surgeon.
"Clean clothes!"
"Get me a trash bag--STAT!"

I start peeling his gooey caked (sounds yummy, huh? It wasn't!) clothes off of his body and he is crying. I would be crying too if I had that much poo all over me. It is about 30 degrees and dusk and I am standing in the parking lot of a Subway restaurant in WhoKnowsWhere, Missouri (or were we in Iowa?) with patrons trying to enjoy their sandwiches (meatball, anyone?) wiping the poop off of Grant that extended from his neck (no joke!) down to his feet.
My poor little Bean is standing in the cold wind completely naked while I clean his body with baby wipes.
We eventually did get everything cleaned up, found clean clothes and he was even able to return to his seat--amazingly, that stayed relatively clean throughout the whole ordeal!

After all of this craziness, you would think the kids would be tired--especially Grant. We arrived at the Grandparents' house around 9:30 or so? Of course, I bathed Grant first thing, then took him downstairs to go to bed. He apparently wanted Connor to come down there and be near him while he slept.
We could hear him from upstairs:
"Conker Bwett!" "Conker Bwett!"

It was nice to have a good laugh after the events of that evening!

We decided next time we go to Iowa we are either going to starve Grant before we go (so he's empty) or dress him in a trashbag! Clearly Iowa bring the best out of him!

Rain, Rain, Go Away!

I am praying and hoping that the rain will not come to our town until AFTER 7pm tonight. Connor is supposed to have t-ball practice--what should be his THIRD practice will actually be his FIRST--a rain out and a cold/snow out prevented our previous practices. He is so excited to finally go...he's been out hitting balls almost every night! If I do say so myself, I think he's pretty good!
He was so disappointed last week when it was cancelled--we didn't have the heart to tell him that he was supposed to have practice on Saturday, too, but it was snowing, so no go.

Now, here's the dilemma. Little Bean thinks that he is a baseball player (A "Wildcat!" no less). He has been carrying "Conquer's (Connor's) baseballs around the house (at least 2 of them, but usually 3 at a time) and last night tried to sleep with them in his bed. I am afraid is going to be devastated when he is not allowed to go out and play with brother tonight. At home the boys take turns hitting. It is still difficult, as Grant wants to use "Conquer's" aluminum bat and he can't even lift it off of the ground. We've even had a couple of near-misses with Grant almost getting knocked in the head with the bat or one of Connor's super-hits!
Of course, I could just skip taking Grant to practice and have Jeff and Connor go on their own, but I don't want to miss this.
My guess is, Grant and I will need to drive separately so that he can be brought home in the event of a meltdown--his, not mine.
I will bring the camera and hopefully have some good (non-crying) pictures tomorrow!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The trouble with lying

Connor has had a little trouble with lying the past few days and it has gotten him into quite a bit of trouble. He has not yet realized that telling the truth, even when he does the wrong thing, will get him in less trouble than telling us a lie to cover his hide.
Last night he and Jeff went to the park to play. A situation arose where Jeff asked Connor if he'd done something and Connor said "no" repeatedly, until he finally wised up and told the truth.
They immediately came home, missing out on at least a half an hour of park fun.
When they came home, Connor went straight to his room, crying. He was so upset because he knew he'd disappointed Jeff and that is just about the worst feeling ever for a compliant first-born (I should know!). After crying in his room for a couple of minutes, he came running out to find me, just bawling.
"What's wrong?" I asked him.
"I was hugging the picture of dad and me in my room and I broke it!" More sobbing ensued.

Poor kid, he was so upset he was actually hugging a picture of a happier time with dad...and then dropped and broke it.
Jeff fixed the picture frame and Connor calmed down. Hopefully a lesson has been learned.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Goofy Eye

Well, Grant got pinkeye over the weekend. He came down with it Friday while he was at Marjie's house, so thank God she had him and not his sitter. We got the medicine Friday night while his eyes were super-goopy. I guess Marjie had told him his eyes were goopy, because as I was washing them out that evening, he laughed into the mirror and said "I have goofy eyes!" It took me several times of him saying that for it to register that every time I said he had "goopy" eyes, he said "goofy" eyes.

Friday, April 11, 2008

More Grant

We have been doing all-out BATTLE at dinnertime. Connor is 5, so it has been a while since we've fought with a toddler over mealtime. Every afternoon Grant tells me how he doesn't want to eat dinner, he wants to eat snacks. The kid loves crunch. Crackers, chips, popcorn, cereal...you got the picture. Typically, dinner is not all crunchy and involves things like meat, so it just isn't up his alley.
We went to my parents' house for dinner Sunday and he absolutely refused to eat any of his raw veggies (which he generally likes). I kept reminding him to eat one green pepper slice or cucumber chunk. He kept refusing, and instead eating his hot dog. I hate feeding my kids hot dogs and choose to see them as nutritionally deficient, so there has to be something redeeming eaten during the meal. Everyone else finished their meal despite our back-and-forth banter about eating peppers or cucumbers. I gave him a choice, isn't that what toddlers crave? Choices to help them feel more in control over their lives?
Anyway, time went on, and on, and I just left him at the table. I periodically went back into the kitchen to check on him and remind him that fun and sweet treats were an immediate reward for eating one measly vegetable. He had been pretty adamantly saying "no" and was fairly confident in his decision. The next time I came in, I noticed that he was changing his tactics.
"I'm vewy sad" he said with his most pitiful face.
I am proud to say that it didn't work on me, not this time anyway.
A few minutes later my dad walked into the kitchen and said, "Hey, why don't you eat your pepper so that you can get down from the table?"
Grant immediately ate the veggie and ran into the living room, smiling with his triumphant exclamation:
"I ate my peppers!"

He's a character.

Sweet kid

Connor is such a sweet boy, especially when he doesn't feel great. Allergies have hit full-force in our home--and he is suffering the most right now. His little eyes are all watery and his nose is stuffy.

He has been extra lovey and in general just very sweet since he started feeling bad. I hate that he feels bad, but love the effects.

We went to the library last night and get several books that I had reserved for him. He was so excited to read them last night! He read the whole Transformers book on his own! Such a smart boy.

Tonight is mom-and-boys date. I think we're gonna hit some fast food and even get a toy. I generally have them skip the kids' meals because they are more expensive and the toys are just junk. Junk or no junk, kids love to get new trinkets, though, so I will probably treat them to one tonight.

I love to do fun things with my boys.

We'll be busy reading tonight!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008


It's is shocking, I know that this sweet little face belongs to a master manipulator. He has his momma wrapped around his sticky little finger. Let me back up just a bit...We have had, shall we say, a "difficult time" adjusting to me no longer being at home and going back to work. Early in the school year, he cried and was sad for much of the day. If you are a mother, you know the heartbreak I felt each and every day that I left him. He was then ok for a while, really enjoying his time at the sitter's, and seemed pretty well-adjusted. I had a bit of a setback in my resolve to work, and he must have sensed the weakness in me. He began pouting, then crying, then saying "momma, I want my momma," most mornings when I dropped him off. My heart was torn in two as I dropped him off daily, and I left for work crying most of the time.
The sitter pulled me aside last week and told me,
"Grant is SUCH a happy child!"
Me: "Really?" It's not that I don't believe it, because he really is a joy, but he also really seems to enjoy whining and screaming at home..I digress.
Sitter: "Oh yes, in fact, I have been wanting to tell you this, but I think that he is "playing you" in the mornings. I think he sees how upset you get whenever he is upset, and he is perpetuating that.
Me: "hmmm...I had never guessed he would do that, but I suppose I could see how he might..."
I have watched him carefully and talked with him a bit about this, and he is at an age where he is enjoying any kind of "power" that is given to him. I do believe that the sitter is right. He likes to help around the house, to be in charge of something, and to tell me "no" with as much frequency and volume as he wants.
One of his favorite games is the "love" game. I will tell him how much I love him, then we'll say, "who loves Grant?" Or the other variation, "who does Grant love?"
When it is time for the answer to be "mom," he will look at me, grin that ornery grin, and say "NO!" with as much force as he can muster.
It is good to be loved.

Monday, April 7, 2008

My "pace" hurts!

We had such a fun weekend! My BF Marjie and her family came over for a cookout. The boys all get along so great and are stair-stepped in age--5,4,3, and 2. Grant had such a great time trying to hang out with the big boys. The older boys were running around the yard, just being kids, enjoying the warmer weather. Grant tried so hard to be a part of things, just laughing when they laughed, perching his plate on the edge of the (very overcrowded) picnic bench where the other boys were eating. He was satisfied just to be a part of things.
All of the boys were super-tired that night--up wayyy past bedtime. Finally, at 9:00, Grant had been so silly, munching on snacks, being cute and getting extra treats for being that way...he walked up to Marjie and said "Mawjie, my wegs (legs) hurt!" I then took him off to his room to go to bed, and on the way back, he starts telling me of his ailments.
"My pace (face) hurts! My eyes hurt!" Poor kid, I don't think he's ever been that tired before!

He awoke after 8:30 on Sunday morning, so it was good!

Friday, April 4, 2008

funnies to remember

I have to tell you about Connor. He is sooo matter-of-fact, super-bright, and such a firstborn (just like his Momma!). When Grant was just a few months old, we had a bad night-time spell. You know the spell--it sometimes lasts for years within families--the "I'm not gonna sleep at night" spell. Thankfully our spells were both short-lived, but no less memorable.

Anyway, one night we were having trouble getting Grant to sleep. I was in and out of his room several times that evening before I went to bed, soothing him, rocking him, feeding him...you know the drill. This was very close to the time that Connor had requested a night light for his room. We gave in, knowing that he was probably scared in his room, but at the same time knowing that he generally wouldn't sleep a wink unless a room was pitch-black. Connor got up way past the time he was supposed to be asleep and I sternly asked him, "Connor, is your night light keeping you awake? If it is, we're going to have to turn it off!" He calmly replied,
"Mom, it's not my night light keeping me awake, it's my BABY!"

We laughed about that one for weeks!

My two boys

I named this one Two Boys Doin? because of Grant. Whenever he sees two (or more) people doing anything, he asks me "Two boys doin?" meaning, what are those two (people) doing? It gets a little tricky when the "people" in question are not boys! Oh well, he is two and he still thinks that everyone is a boy, just like him.

I am also reminded of Connor when he was about this age, anytime there was multiple anything he'd call it "two."

I wish I'd thought of blogging all of the cool happenings of my kids' lives earlier, but starting now is better than not starting at all, right?
Connor is 5 and we are gearing up for Kindergarten this fall. Grant is 2. I am beyond blessed with my two boys and look forward to sharing with you more about what we're "doin"!