Friday, May 31, 2013

This is what a rainy day looks like

Painting with too-long-needs-to-be-cut-bed-head-hair. (and sportin' Great Grandpa's "champion" apron.)

A lot of train track building.....surprised?

Derailment extraordinaire at your service....

Caught red-handed. (looks just a teensy bit guilty don't ya think?)

There's rain watching and wishful thinking.

Some stink eyes.

And of course some fun in the rain when dadda gets home. 

Rain doesn't deter the die hard skate boarder at heart. Good thing we got a long board, any smaller and it would be just plain too crowded!

 I think Bennett likes it!

  Cole decided he prefered to push rather than ride. Better way to burn off energy anyways.

 There may have also been some veggie tales, cuddles, and cookies somewhere smooshed between the playing and napping.

 Lots of times, lots of crying. 

A dance party/Cole's version of musical chairs, minus the chairs.

A lot of spinning ourselves's all fun and games until someone hits the wall.

boo-boo kisses.

Lots of kisses in general.

 Hot coffee, and maybe a dark chocolate piece....or two. (for sanity of course)
And that is how we deal with the rain around these parts.

Good thing I see sun on the horizon, spinning outside is less hazardous with no walls around....just sayin'.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

It's been awhile

I can't even remember the last time I posted a recipe. So to make up for it, I have two for you today. We will start with breakfast, since that is the most important meal of the day anyways

This has got to be my new go-to breakfast recipe, it has made its appearance at least once a week since I discovered it about a month ago. My hubby says he still likes it, but I should probably switch it up so I don't ruin a good thing.

But here's the thing, it's sooooo easy! literally I toss the few ingredients in a bowl, whip it by hand for a minute or two and toss it in the oven. Then I let it bake while the rest of the house is waking up.

Cole can nearly eat half a pan just himself.

I usually have to cut him off. (Look how sad he looks, as if I'm going to take his plate from him....)

It's called a Finnish Pancake or a "map cake" as Cole likes to call it.

You can find the recipe here. I make it exactly as written, except I do add about a tsp. of vanilla  and sometimes I bake it a bit longer than called for. It is a cross between a crepe, dutch pancake, and souffle. We have served it with maple syrup, real berry preserves, and powdered sugar. If we have left overs they work great reheated the next day...Cole usually has dibs on them first.They help bring a little sunshine to a rainy morning, like today. Although, just saw the forecast for next week, and I cannot even begin to tell you how excited I was to see sunshine on the seven-day. I don't even care if it is warm, I just need to see something other than gloom day rain.

As soon as the weather starts warming up, we start firing up our grill. Over the past couple years I have been on a search for a good turkey burger recipe. We just don't eat a lot of red meat around here, and unfortunately a lot of turkey burgers end up dry and flavorless.

Now let's take a pause break.

These turkey burgers were actually prepared and all ready to go for the holiday weekend....a week early. Apparently when you are sleep deprived you can't keep track of your Mondays from your Tuesdays....or in my case, your normal Monday from your holiday Monday. Embarrassing, I know. Perhaps I should take that as a queue to purchase myself a giant calendar and plaster it on the kitchen wall.  However, the mishap took a turn in my favor because it truly made our holiday relaxing as I didn't have to do any preparations for a yummy meal. Also, I found that by freezing the burgers they didn't fall apart on the grill, and they still taste just as good.

Honestly, I was pleasantly surprised after my first bite of this turkey burger--I was sold. It was full of flavor, it didn't fall apart, and it stayed moist (and there wasn't even added breading--so it's perfect for all who need gluten-free patties). Even my meat-picky-eatin-eater ate it right up. I don't know why it is so hard to get Cole to eat meat, it always takes me by surprise when he willingly will eat a meat dish I put in front of him.

I found the recipe here on Annie's Eats. If you haven't visited her blog, you really should. I don't think I have ever tried a recipe that didn't turn out great! The only change I made to this recipe was I added a good two tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce, used only fresh sage and parsley and dried herbs for the others...and the flavor was still wonderful!

So there you go, two easy peasy recipes so that you can enjoy the sun and enjoy your weekend! (And yes, I am fully aware that tomorrow is Friday and not Saturday...even though all morning I was thinking it was Friday......)

And let's just end with that shall we? Enjoy!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Between the crawls and the itches...

Let's start with this.

How he musters up enough energy to push himself daily is beyond me.  Apparently this little boy requires very little sleep to function and reach milestones.

He's growing up, and quick.  Even his pediatrician said that he has lost his little baby look already, sniff.

He is busy, always busy. Always pushing, always striving to be bigger than he is. And always scooting up to where big brother is, sticking his picker fingers into whatever Cole has been meticulously working on...usually his "choo-choo's".

Bennett is great in the derailment department.

And big brother is slowly but surely speaking his mind, especially regarding his choo-choo's and the derailments!  Every day it seems his vocabulary grows a little more. It brings this heart joy to hear his sweet voice form words and opinions.

I can't even tell you how many times someone has told me, "count your blessings, as soon as he learns to talk you will reach a point where you wish he didn't."


It makes me sad to think that listening to your child talk would actually drive someone to warn a fellow mom about the hassle of kids finding their voices.  Sure, you get the whines, the endless questions, and the fits...but for someone who has been anxiously waiting for her son to talk, I will take anything I can get. I will joyfully listen to a bazillion and one questions my little boy wants to ask if it means I get to know him on a deeper level.

I have learned that I was right all along when I thought Cole to be a tender hearted boy. With him speaking more, I can hear those thoughts that make him who he is, seep like honey from his lips.

Cole is a such a good big brother, he is patient, kind, and for the most part loves having his mini me following closely behind.

But to be honest, I think Bennett would prefer doing the leading instead of the following...we shall see how this pans out as he gains even more mobility and more strength.

I, on the other hand am loving this phase, the mobility part....still trying to appreciate and balance the lack of sleep part, but I suppose, that too shall pass. Although our pediatrician informed me that she has a daughter who never slept as a baby and never sleeps as an 11 year old. To which I replied, "so what your saying is, it won't get better...." I suppose, buck up and deal with it should be my motto from now on.

And buck up I have been trying to do. Thankfully I am on the mend of my shingles, and thankfully I only had a very mild case, we caught it early and attacked it quickly. But I think the healing part has actually been worse than the actual shingles themselves. Basically I want to claw and rip my face off. I guess it's the skin healing and I just learned I could deal with the itching for several more months.....

So if I look like I got in a fight with a rake, now you know why.

Man, life is a crazy ride sometimes.

Still no house. Still looking. Still up at dawn....and every hour before, sometimes all night.

But I'm learning to take deeper breaths (while drowning myself in coffee and scratching my face).

To pray more.

To swallow my pride....

And lean more on the one Solid Rock.

He has had to pick me up from being face first on the floor more often than I would like to admit lately. But I suppose it's better that I allow him to lift me up rather than to lay there wallowing in whatever I feel isn't going just according to my plans.

So that is where we are at in life. Lots going on, and always always learning.

I'm just so thankful I get to learn my way through life with such sweet boys.

Apparently Bennett is learning his way around using the I said before, he does things his own way, always.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Imagine if he actually slept....

That's on little to no sleep people.

Wish I could have the same enthusiasm.

But honestly, it's been hard, real, not sure if we can do this again hard. Perhaps I am talking out of lack of sleep, and raw house hunting disappointment mom is praying that is the case.

Just to be clear, I would not trade my two boys for the world. I would go a thousand plus nights of no sleep if I had to. But I am, more like pleading with God to not make me do that. Already I feel as if I may die of exhaustion. And this is coming from a person who is used to functioning on little to no sleep.

We seem to be on a slippery slope of a downward spiral in the sleep department. Frankly I am more than fine getting up every 2-3 hours for feedings. That's fine, that is what I expect when having a baby and breastfeeding. What I didn't plan on was a baby who would rather be up ALL NIGHT instead of sleep.  I can't even begin to count the times I have cried to Kyle saying, "we have ruined him, he will never ever sleep".

I blame it on circumstance, we have kind of been at the mercy of our surroundings. And unfortunately is seems that wherever we have lived since Bennett was born hasn't given us ample opportunity to sleep train in the slightest. It wouldn't be fair to those around us or even us or our baby for that matter.

Which is why we need a new home. We need a place where we can finally let down our roots and allow them to grow. A home to create stability for our family, and to allow us to develop both boys in a fair fashion.

And yet, I don't understand why we can't find what we need.

People say the right one will come along....will it? I mean, honestly....will it?

I read countless updates and blogs about friends who were in our exact situation and it was like God handed them a home on a silver platter. Perfect for them, just what they wanted, and exactly as they needed. I can't help but feel a twinge of jealousy and then slight ache when I pray daily that God will provide for us as well, and it seems to fall on deaf ears. I know, it's silly the grand scheme of things. And deep in my heart I know that there is a listening ear, and there is a plan, and there is a house.

But sometimes my doubts seem bigger than that truth.

And then I think of how stupid it is for me to worry, stress, and cry about this. Because there are many people in far worse situations than ours, some people going through unbearable circumstances, and gut wrenching pain.

Who am I to be crying over not finding the perfect house? Or not getting sleep?

I suppose that is the power of doubt, it makes even the smallest trial seem like the biggest mountain.
And for a God that moves mountains on a daily basis, surely He can find us a home. And after two cups of coffee this morning, it is clear He definitely knows how to provide me energy to make it through the day.

Now if He could just sprinkle a little sleeping sand on my sweet boy at night, and whisper in his cute little ear that nighttime is not the time to practice crawling, to talk and scream, and definitely not time to roll next to mama and practice his dance moves that he just learned (although extremely cute and adorable...I would have a much difference response if it wasn't 3am!)

I'm tired and raw right now, but am going to put my mom pants on (ok, not mom mom pants) clear my head with maybe another cup of coffee, and trudge my weary soul through some more houses today.

Going to try and keep my heart in an optimistic state, and keep God in front to lead us, because clearly I do a sorry job leading myself.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

8 month Mover and Shaker

How can this baby with the most adorable wrinkles be 8 months old?

I mean, really....the wrinkles. Gah, they kill me!

He still kills me with his cuteness.

And he still surprises me with how fast he can go from this....

To this....

Mere seconds.

Regardless, he still blesses us daily with his sweetness and strong personality. Although he baffles me at times, and am often left wandering what caused such a catastrophic melt down.

I have learned rather quickly that one cause can be taking anything away from him, and when I say anything, I mean anything. Even something as trite as a piece of fuzz. 

Such a funny little boy.  The complete opposite from his brother. 
And one that is growing up super fast.

This month has been a big one in the milestone department. He has started mimicking little things we do, such as raising both hands in a "hallelujah" stance when I say "YAH!".

He has started trying to wave. Melts me.

He has finally mastered the art of his own version of an army crawl. I'm convinced real crawling is right around the corner.

With this new found mode of movement he has been less dependent upon myself for his entertainment. It's fun to see what peaks his interest and where he wants to go. Often he wants to be right where big brother is, and playing right in the middle of whatever big brother is trying to do. Cole both loves this and hates this.

As of this morning he has started dancing and bouncing around to music. I guess you could say we have a mover and a shaker.

He still is up all hours of the night....beginning to think this will last until he is 21. 

In our own efforts to cope, we have resorted to (gasp) co-sleeping. Something I swore I would never do.  But in doing so, we all seem to get a better nights rest....and can function more properly during the day. Meaning you won't find me putting the milk in the pantry and the cereal in the fridge nearly as much.

He still likes to play at around 3am-5am. Then wakes up happy as a clam as if he got in a solid night of beauty sleep. Mom on the otherhand, looks as though she got in a battle with the sheets and lost. 

I never knew the meaning of dark circles as I do now. I have a new found appreciation for make up and illuminating powder is my saving grace.

He's still got the stiff as a board routine down to a "T". And now uses it to his advantage when he doesn't want to go in his highchair. I thought all babies liked highchairs. Just another example of how Mr. Bennett likes to dance to the beat of his own drum, and his drum only...and you best not try to change his mind.

And after I can convince him to sit his diaper bum down, he gets excited and talks his way through trying new foods. That is when he doesn't decide to blow raspberries right after taking a bite, I ended up with pear all over my face, down my chin and decorating my hair this morning.

We are still moving slowly, partly because I love to breastfeed and partly because half the time I simply forget. We got in such a good nursing routine, that it's been hard to interrupt it. But I am getting into a good baby food making rhythm, and have a growing stock in the freezer. My goal is to try and have at least 4 different purees to mix and match after he has tried them. 

Still amidst the splattered purees, sleepless nights and drooly mouth. I love him. I love those eyes, those cheeks, that growing chin, and that unbelievably kissable forehead. His forehead has my heart, as in, I Can't.Stop.Kissing.It. I don't know what it is about it, it has this perfectly soft, yet still kind of wrinkly spot that just begs to be smooched.  So I smooch him in the morning, after his nap, in the afternoon, at 2 in the morning. That forehead is going to have a permanent mama kiss on it until the day he dies. 
I'm sure he will love that when he turns 16, which might as well be tomorrow at the rate these days seem to be flying by.
Regardless 8 months or 16 I will love him to the moon and back, because he is just what I needed, he keeps me fine tuned, keeps my patience well oiled, and keeps my love overflowing. 

Happy 8 months baby boy.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Gentle reminders

The sun is out. The day is warm. I'm sipping Hubert's lemonade tea.

One is napping. One is sipping on water. He would rather have round 3 of milk, but is begrudgingly settling with water.

Life is good.

I can't get over how much these two are changing, growing, and learning daily.

They have been my constant in many crazy days. They constantly love, they constantly need, and they constantly calm my soul. 

Daily. Even in the midst of a lot of unknown.

We are still working through this process of searching for our next home. God was incredibly faithful, and we were completely awestruck when an above asking price offer was made just a day and a half into putting our house on the market. So far it looks like it will be a done deal, and while that is so so great, we are in a mad hunt for where we will call home when we must evacuate here.

A lot of unknown.

A lot of praying.

And a lot of trusting.

We thought we had found the perfect home, perfect location, great schools, beautiful park.....lots of young families in the neighborhood....

"God make it known if this house is not for us, because it seems so perfect."

A cash offer was made last minute, thus giving me the answer to my prayer.

So we continue to wait, continue to search daily for a home, and continue to see where God leads.

To be honest, waiting is not easy for me.....I have been around many different emotions during this process. Even this morning I was hopefully checking to see if any new homes popped up--nothing.

I wanted to cry, but tried praying instead.

And then I turned around to soak in a little some of this.

He also learned a new trick, this is what you get when you say "YAH!"

He is my joy.

And so is he. A big boy joy.

Gosh, I love how God gives me two perfect reminders daily and nightly that He's got this, our lives, in His big hands. I don't need to worry, even though it seems completely necessary at times, but really I don't.

He's got this. That's all I need to know.

Now to allow my heart to rest in that truth, and to soak in more of those eyes. Such lovely, blue reminders.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Fire up the grill

It's getting to be that time again, the time of year when most of our dinners are prepared outside, on the grill. I love it for many reasons, but mostly because it means my kitchen stays a bit cleaner and looks less like a bomb went off.

Since this weekend is supposed to reach the 80's I thought I better leave you with at least one good grilling recipe. I actually can't remember if I have shared this one or not, I feel like I have, but am too lazy to search through my posts to verify.

Picture Credit: Chef in Training

Even if I have shared, it is really good and definitely worth sharing again, and again. At first glance it seems like your typical teriyaki chicken recipe, throw in some coconut milk, some coconut rice....and wa-la!

Not your average Teriyaki.

I usually like to toss some fresh pineapple or mango on top. I just love fruit and meat together, it's that sweet and salty combo that gets me every time. (Recipe here)

Another tip with this recipe is to reserve about a cup of the marinade (prior to marinating chicken). Throw in the remaining coconut milk that you used for the rice, and then drizzle it over everything right before eating!

I hope you get a chance to fire up that grill, throw on some chicken, kick your feet up and enjoy the sun beating on your face this weekend.

I think we've earned it. You know, being Oregonians and all.