Friday, September 30, 2011

This week: In Pictures

Monday - I made some delicious cinnamon rolls. They were SO good!
Find the recipe here.

Tuesday - Patrick for some reason LOVED to sit on the grass. This picture shows him looking up on our neighbor's patio to see their dog. It was cute that he just sat since he is always on the go these days! I'd like to label it "The Thinker."

Also on Tuesday...Payden got his first safety pin! For the life of him, his pants WOULD not stay up. The length was perfect though! I guess it's because of his no waist or bum!

Wednesday - Patrick has started to become obsessed with climbing IN everything. While I was cooking dinner, he emptied my canned food drawer only to climb in!

They are both into the climbing thing now. We've found (and removed) them from climbing table chairs, all couches, end tables and our bed! I'm just waiting for the kitchen table!

Thursday- we took a walk to Hyvee like we do almost daily to get some awesome sales. On the way back we saw this construction worker. Patrick started freaking out and pointing at it. Apparently I went by it too fast! I backed up and got as close as I could so he could watch and point and watch the guy work! He loved it!

Friday - Again with the climbing... Patrick climbing in Maddie's dog crate. Funny too that Payden will stand outside it and hold it shut so Patrick can't open it. Too Funny!

Also Friday - Payden finally discovered the outside! Usually he's content to stay and play inside but today Patrick ran off and found a mini hill to go UP and DOWN and did it for about 15 minutes. I ran over to get him.. he was pretty far away from the back door. I see Payden coming out walking on the grass which is SO good for him. He still has trouble with uneven surfaces so this was big! Walking back he grabbed for my hand.

He has a blast playing with a beach ball in the sun!

I'm going to get you!

I got you!

Ooh, I found a pillow!

Cinnamon Rolls - A Yummy and easy Recipe!

Last Monday, I made these delicious Cinnamon Rolls. I had been thinking about them for a couple of days and mulling over the recipe in my head and wondering if I had everything for them. I had to take one stop to Hyvee to grab Evaporated milk but other than that I was good to go!

Here is the recipe. I got this from my mom and made it countless times during college and my marriage. It has been used so many times in our family among my brothers and sisters. If I remember correctly.. I think my brother made them for his future wife for their first date! They're legendary! I confess I don't know where exactly she got it from though. :)

Cinnamon Rolls

2 cups scalded milk (or powdered)
1 cup sugar
½ cup sugar
½ cup shortening
1 cup mashed potatoes (you can use real, pearls or flakes)
2 eggs beaten
2 pkg yeast in ½ cup water
1 tsp salt
7 cups flour

½ package powdered sugar (3 cups)
½ cup butter
1 tsp vanilla
enough canned milk to make spreadable


Make sponge of milk, sugar, shortening, salt, and poatoes, eggas and 4 cups flour. Beat for 5 mnutes. Add yeast mixture, rest of flour and 1 cup raisens. Stir the last cup by hand. Mix until smooth. Dough will be sticky. Refrigerate at least 2 hours before rolling out. Roll our—spread with soft butter and sprinkle with cinnamon/ sugar. Roll up like jellyroll. Cut with floss. Let rise until doubled (at least 2 hours). Bake at 375 for 12 minutes. Spread on icing when rolls are hot. Dough can be frozen for 30 days.

(This recipe is REALLY easy to HALF. It makes 16 large rolls if halved).

Have fun!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Bus Trip!

The boys and I got to ride a bus on Wednesday! We rode the bus to the library for the story time there this morning. I have wanted to do this for awhile but thought it would be nuts to do it by myself with just the two boys. So instead, we have been planning for a month with the boy's Physical Therapist and Speech Therapist through the Tiny-K program. They really want me to get out more which is super hard because I don't have a car at home. I told them that I was thinking of trying to take the bus but hadn't done so. They immediately offered to clear their schedules for an entire morning so we could all go!

What a adventure it was!

Kristin and Candice arrived right at nine and we put the boys in the stroller and walked towards the bus stop. The bus stop is right in front of the grocery story and maybe a block or so away. Very easy distance. We got there right as the bus pulled up. The boys loved it! I think they loved not being in their car seats too! They sat on their seats like big boys and LOVED looking out the window at all the cars and trucks we passed.

Patrick totally enjoying himself.. and pointing at objects out the window.

Payden is more laid back..

We took one bus for about 15 min and then transferred to another bus that took us the rest of the way downtown. I found that as we rode this particular bus it could take me to: Target, Walmart and even Checkers, a grocery store I love! Oh the possibilities!!

Then we walked for about 4 blocks to the library where we were just in time for story time. This story time is called Books and Babies and is designed for 8-23 month old children. It was all about the body they did 6 books and probably 7 songs for them. I wasn't sure how Patrick and Payden would do since they usually like to walk and explore a new place. They did some exploring toward the end but for the most part sat on or by their carpet squares with rapt attention.

One of the books, the lady read was one we had read at home together. Payden went right up to the librarian and helped her fold up the flap as she read the book. I was impressed he recognized it so well!

After it was over, I changed a Patrick's diaper and away we left to catch the bus home. Again, the boys were great. The bus trip home went pretty smooth. I think Payden wanted to walk around the bus which wasn't safe so I brought out books that he could read on the chair. Luckily a couple of these books were in our Sunday bag and it had been a few days since he had read them. Patrick was happily pointing at things out the window to Candice who was his little friend the entire time.

One of the cutest things though was Patrick singing the entire way home. He has this thing now he just throws in whatever jabber and does it in a sing-song type way. He did that the rest of the time home.. Even once we put him in the stroller for the walk home... he continued singing.

Best part of the day by far: I put boys down for nap at 1:15 and both were asleep in minutes and not ONE peep until 4:00. A wonderful nap for all!!

Even better news: We are going to do more in the future! Maybe once a month until I get to the point where I can do it all by myself.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Edible Playdough - in pictures

Yesterday, I made the boys edible playdough to see what they would do. I was looking for an edible recipe as I'm afraid they will just try to eat it. 

Apparently I was right!  

In the end, this recipe was WAY too sticky but still fun to experiment with.  After he was done, we changed his socks, shirt and pants.  I guess I need to keep looking since, I don't see us using this recipe again.  But it was good for the time we used it. 

Disclaimer - I know that these pictures only show one of my boys (Patrick) but Payden was happily reading books and playing with toys; Patrick was the grumpy/bored one so I decided to try this out first with him. I wasn't entirely sure I could handle two toddlers + playdough.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Random Thoughts Thursday

  • I know I mentioned this but it's so darn cute and I love it. Patrick loves to point. Today he actually came and was trying to tell me something. He pulled my pant leg towards the kitchen. I kept asking him what he wanted and he was pointing up. I picked him up and he pointed toward 3 big bowls. He had one but wanted more. I think he LOVES that he can get what he wants because he now can tell us. I LOVE this communication thing!
  • This piggy-backs the last bullet point.. I know that kids at earlier ages communicate like this but for us this is big. Believe me I have worried and continue to worry so much because I know my kids are behind but they are gaining and continuing to learn; I have to keep telling myself that!
  • No one ever told me how worrisome it was to be a mother. Maybe someone did but I guess I refused to listen I worry that kids will learn everything that they need to learn at this stage of development...and worried that they are not too bored at home. It's hard to read about other kids online or even about family and hear what new things kids are doing. I try to be happy for them but then start worrying all over again. I keep telling myself that they will do things in their own time... it just needs to sink in!
  • This morning, Payden screamed for over an hour. By 10:30, I had a monster headache and didn't understand what was wrong. I have a feeling that he is really constipated. He has been on Miralax since April and it is helped immensely. Then at our family reunion in July, he found raisens and they have been a Godsend. So I gently weaned him off the Miralax and it's been maybe 2 weeks. But he's constipated again.. Yesterday morning I finally got him to go but it was so hard... I fear that his stomach is cramping and it plain just hurts. On the other hand, Patrick is as predictable as the sun... nice to have one that way.. Any suggestions on something that worked for you? He's still a picky eater and unfortunately LOVES yogurt, milk, and especially bananas...
  • A Mommy Smile moment... I was calming Payden down after lunch (he had fallen) and was reading a favorite book. I could tell Patrick wanted something. I asked him what he wanted and he pointed to my other leg that was free. He wanted up in my lap too to read the book. So cute.
  • It is getting hard to do things with just one of the boys.. because inevitably, the other comes over and wants to do the same thing or takes the book/toy away. If one wants in my lap, the other does too
  • Big sucess last night! I made Sloppy Joes and Patrick LOVED them.. It was a huge surprise. I gave him a little pile of meat and sprinkled some cheese and he ate every bit. He then ate 4 more piles. He ate 3 more piles for lunch today. This is the FIRST EVER ground beef for him and he likes it! This has opened so much for me... maybe he'll like taco meat too! :)

Random pictures from my phone... So Cute! Something to smile about!

Patrick eating breakfast..had to have Monkey in one hand.

Payden - yesterday during our walk to Hyvee. He is wearing a new jacket my mil and I found on a great sale!
Patrick- yesterday during our walk to Hyvee. He is wearing a new jacket my mil and I found on a great sale!Patrick just lounging on our new bean bag! Christian's co-worker gave it to us. They love it and so does Maddie. If ever I get a chance to sit; she paws my leg wanting to snuggle and sleep too.
I didn't pose his hands there... that was all him!

Payden during lunch.. had to have his feet up!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

18-19 Month Post

Patrick and Payden are now 19 months old..

Here is a bit of what they're up to!


Weight: 23 lbs (12%)
Head Circ: 19.75 inches
Height: 31.75 inches
  • Can get into to trouble in no time! His all time favorite toy are cups and it doesn't matter what kind. They are the first thing he grabs in the kitchen whether on the floor on the counter.
  • Christian's mom gave us a couple puppets (monkey and elephant) to take on the plane. After bringing Monkey to church with us a couple weeks ago.. Patrick hasn't let it out of his sight since. For a couple days, it ate every meal with us; clutched in his hand. It is about he same feel as his blanket.. maybe that's why.
  • He can make the sounds of a dog (panting), monkey (beating on chest) and fish (moving mouth). However lately everything has been monkey
  • He absolutely loves books now and has to be the one to choose the one to read next. Usually it is the same one over and over again.. Thankfully this changes daily so I get a break :)
  • Patrick is now showing us what he wants by pointing. Usually I ask him to show me what he wants and he either points outside or the fridge where his milk sippy is kept. One time it was the fruit snacks in the cupboard. Mostly it's outside; we go for walks a lot since his favorite place is to go to our neighbors and splash in bowls of water that she keeps to collect rain water.
  • He is SO close to opening doors... I hope that day doesn't come too soon.
  • I think he FINALLY has his 4 molars in after months of teething. Yay!

Weight: 22 lbs 8 oz (8%) We were so happy that he gained so much!
Head Circ: 20 inches
Height: 32 inches
  • Payden has just started to jabber and it's the cutest thing ever! Mostly it's Ba Ba and Ya Ya. Then it switched to Da Da Da. I think that's either for Doggie or Daddy.
  • A full fledged walker! Happened right exactly 18 months and he is getting so much better. He still has a hard time on certain surfaces and has had a few bonks to show for it!
  • One of his clear favorites are books. He will just sit and look at a book. If he's fussing at me and I'm making dinner.. Usually if I hand him a book, he'll sit down and look at it.
  • He has just started escaping upstairs and usually without me knowing about it. Once I heard Patrick carrying on (jabbering) a the bottom of the stairs. Apparently he was tattling on his brother who had climbed up and was playing in our bedroom. Usually he escapes to climb on our bed or play with the computer or slam doors.
  • Whenever we get home from going anywhere and Maddie is in our kennel. All I have to say is "Can you get the doggie for me?." Both of them go to the kennel and unlock it and let Maddie out. Also.. a clear favorite (and EASIEST way to get them in the house after playing outside) is ask them to give Maddie a cookie treat. They both get so excited to feed her a doggie cookie treat.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Catching up - an update of sorts

Here's what we've been up to list format since that's easiest.

  • In early June, we moved to a much bigger town-home. It has 3 bedrooms and a full walk out basement which works wonderfully as a toy room. The boys love the extra space and much fuller kitchen. Seems like there are always some things strewn on the floor that they've been playing with in there. Payden's favorite - Maddie's food bowl and the clang it makes on the tile floor. Patrick's favorite - lets see... fridge, pans, canned food... and the list goes on.
  • I got my very own piano! After being so jealous of my siblings who found some really good deals, I couldn't believe when I learned that we were going to get our own. It is a Yamaha Baby Grand and a beauty! It's a sad situation since my sister-in-law's mother-in-law gave it to us as a request when she died in July. It sits in the corner of our basement and I love the stress relief of playing it! She also gave us a 42+ inch flat screen TV that now sits in our living room. All I can say is Wow!
  • Both boy are fully walking - Patrick is getting faster and faster and harder to catch! Payden has been going on his own for probably a good 2-3 weeks. He'll still lose his balance some but doing better and better! They are so much harder to chase but lots of fun!
  • Since the boys turned 18 months (I know, I know.. 18 month post coming too!) we have been trying to go to nursery but that's another story for another post since my frustrations are about up to eye level. For example: 13 kids and 2 leaders in a small room, leaders that don't watch the kids very well, and also helping my kids overcome tiredness to make it through the morning. All in all.. very stressful and I'll be so happy when this transition is complete as I am really missing my classes.

That's all for now... I promise I'll try to be better!