Friday, September 14, 2012

New blue baby

Oh hey there...its only been eons since I've blogged. 

So for those of you who I'm not connected with on facebook, guess what?? I'm pregnant!!!

And its a BOY!! Another boy.
Not gunna lie...I really thought this one was going to be a girl. And not because of any motherly intuition because I already know I have NONE...that was proven when I really felt that my previous babies were going to be girls. To really "feel" something on a maternal level and then have those feelings bashed by reality- a good reality but different from the reality you'd felt nonetheless- does crazy things to feeling in tune with maternal self. No no, I felt this one would be a girl because my pregnancy has been so different from my previous two. 
I was starting to think that pregnant and post-pregnant women all over had dramatized their pregnancy dilemmas because I had had TWO babies and never had an issue with the smell of my husbands deodorant, never had a craving (that I didn't want...that particular issue can come in mighty handy as an excuse when its midnight and you're lacking self-control!). I had energy to exercise through my other pregnancies and rarely took non-normal naps (everyone naps through highschool and college right?). 
But this pregnancy has been a slap in the face and I bow in humility to you strong women who experience these symptoms with every pregnancy but have continue to have these sweet babies. I rarely left the house for the first 3 1/2 months, slept around the clock (I win worst mother award to my other 2 kids!), rarely ate because everything either sounded horrible or would actually make me sick if I ate it, and have used up my years worth of bathroom time standing over the toilet, although I rarely actually throw up. 
But the worst is past. I finally have energy to go out on the town, stay up past 8:30, only take one nap a day,  and eat- although the mention of meat still makes me want to hurl. Hallelujah!!

I had my ultrasound appointment yesterday and at 19 weeks it is definitely a boy with healthy measurements and activity levels. He weighs approximately 9 ounces and his due date is still February 10, 2013. I have gained 2 lbs so far (although I haven't been feeling great the past two days and hadn't eaten much so I'm sure that brought the scale down a little) and all the blood work has had good results. What a blessing!!! We are so excited to welcome this new little man into our family next year!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Healthy happy kids:)

Once upon a time I had the most picky eater you've ever met. Not only did he adamantly refuse to eat his veggies, he wouldn't even touch anything remotely healthy. He would pick at his meals and maybe eat a bite or two- if I was really lucky- and then refuse to eat any more. I tried making him sit at the table for hours until he ate his food. I tried bribing him with yummy desserts. I tried turning on the TV so he wouldn't notice I was shoving peas into his mouth. I tried sending him to bed without any dinner.
 Nothing worked.
 And I would get so frustrated that I stopped trying to make him eat healthy food for awhile (his diet consisted of yogurt, cold cereal, and sometimes fruit. Not bad but not what a rambunctious little boy needs to keep up his energy!). The result: a very sad child that caught every virus that came his way. And I got sick of that too...even more sick of trying to keep him not sick than I was sick of trying to get him to eat! (did you follow all that? he he) So I peeled myself off the ground and decided to revamp my efforts. I wish I could say I came up with a fail-proof Master Plan of what to do and not do that works like a charm. But the truth is I learned a lot just from trial and error. But the end result was worth all the tries. My picky eater is a certifiable veggieholic.
Now he asks if he can pleeeease have a few more carrots before he goes to bed (whether this is a result of him actually craving carrots or just trying to stay up a few minutes later I'm not saying..) and I don't have to bribe him or hold him down while I shove bell peppers down his throat. I don't even have to be tricky about it...hiding carrot puree in his orange juice, squash in his pancakes, zucchini fried so long its past recognition (and nutrients:/)- these are all things of the past. I now hand him a plate of assorted vegetables and he gobbles them down and then asks for more. I kid you not. 
And in case you have a horribly picky eater that keeps getting sick because they don't have the nutrients to keep them healthy and strong which in turn is making you want to pull out your hair and call in a sick day too just so you don't have to deal with the maddening meal times *breath* I thought I would share some of the things that worked for me:) 

He particularly loves red bell peppers.

1) Serve the veggies while you prepare the rest of the meal. For lunch I will give my boys a plate with carrots, celery and peanut butter, bell pepper strips, frozen or fresh peas, asparagus, tomatoes, or whatever else is in season and let them eat that while I prepare sandwiches or warm up left overs. Because they are so hungry they usually will gobble up whatever is placed in front of them first. If I give them veggies on a plate next to chips and a sandwich they will most likely go for the chips and sandwich first because they look more appetizing. This way the veggies aren't competing with anything else!

2) Bribery. For a long time this didn't work with my son. He wouldn't eat veggies even if I gave him a whole bag of marshmallows after! But one day his reasoning skills kicked in and my life got loads easier. Now I can tell him he will get a brownie after he eats all of his dinner (veggies included!) and that's usually enough to motivate him to eat every bite on his plate without another complaint. The prize doesn't always have to be sweets either- promising a game of softball or a bike ride after he eats all his dinner works wonders as well.

3) Parental example. This was probably one of my kid's downfalls in the first place. I don't love picking up raw veggies and eating them like I'm a rabbit. I love them cooked into casseroles or on a skewer marinated alongside chicken chunks and then thrown on the grill, but not straight out of the bag they came in. So I had to change myself for this one. And I'll admit, I still give my kids way more raw veggies than I'm willing to eat but that's still to their advantage right? Right. And they love it so we all win.

4) Veggies are exciting! I tried to make veggies seem more appealing by getting all excited about eating them. You don't necessarily have to do a happy dance while you peel your carrots (although that might work...if you do it please record it and post it on you tube and then send me a note telling me you did) but when I pull the the veggies out I'll say something like, "Look Caleb! We have cucumbers today!! Isn't that GREAT?!?!?!" Eh, kids are impressionable. The excitement of veggies will rub off on them.

5) Let the kids get involved. This is a fantastic way to help kids enjoy their veggies. I love to buy corn on the cob just so my kids can help me shuck it. They love it! And then I have to assure them they can have it back right after we cook it. They can hardly wait and it gets chowed down the minute it cools off enough. No butter or salt required. 
The other thing I love to have my kids help with is planting the veggies. Last year my son helped me plant the seeds and water the plants every day. He was ecstatic when the little green shoots appeared. And then he got to watch the tomatoes ripen and it was the best day ever when he finally got to pick them and eat them. This was great on so many levels- he actually got to see where his veggies come from, he learned what it takes for plants to grow, he learned the different stages of plant maturation, and he got to have some rewarding responsibilities (watering them and making sure little brother didn't pick them too early). I highly recommend planting a garden, even if its a little one in buckets on your us.

6) Present variety and options. I usually give my kids several different veggies at lunch and dinner. Not only do the kids get different nutrients from each veggie, but they also get to choose which veggies they eat first, second...last. Of course they have to eat all their veggies but for some reason having options= happy kids. Having a variety also keeps things new and exciting (as exciting as veggies can be). One day we'll have frozen peas and carrots. The next day we'll have corn and bell peppers. I'm not mentioning fruit because my kids have never had a problem eating fruit...and yes we eat lots of fruit each day:)

7) A veggie a day... I give my kids veggies EVERY lunch and dinner. In the past I served them based on  convenience; if I had time I would prepare them with their lunch and if I was too busy or lazy I would just skip on the veggies and just serve up a pb&j. This made my kids wonder if they could get away with not eating veggies like they had the day before and when I did make vegetables they would throw a fit and try to get out of it. Now they know veggies are just a part of the meals every single day and there's no complaining or fit throwing. And they'll even ask for seconds...oh happy day!!

These are just a few ideas that have worked really well with my chillins. If you have an ultra picky eater maybe one or all of these will work for you too? Its worth a try!! My man child has so much more energy and hes just happier in general.! 
Do you have any good suggestions that have helped your kids breach the nasty vegetables perception?? Send them my way!! Just in case my kids remember veggies are supposed to be gross:)

Monday, May 14, 2012

The big O- Four

Four years ago it was Mother's day morning and I was in the final stages of labor. And then the best present I've ever received laid squirming in my arms. I became a mother on mother's day.
But this post isn't about me. Its about my present. My baby. My great big 4 year old boy. My little comedian/teacher/tasmanian devil.
And he wanted a Thomas the Train on his birthday cupcake. I forgot about that part. Sorry mister.

 This kid is his father all over again. He can't take a serious picture to save his life. I love that.

 Hey guess what?? I'm FOUR now!! And this is my favorite birthday ever!!
 I banished him to the living room to watch Jungle Book while I got everything ready for his party.

 Party Menu
root beer - sparkling lemonade - apple juice
apples - strawberries - blackberries - pinapple & fruit dip
tomatoes - carrots - celery & ranch dip
cake batter muddy buddies
chips & jalapeno cilantro hummus (recipe coming soon!)
animal crackers - nilla wafers - oreos - graham crackers & chocolate chip toffee cookie dough dip
blue & white gummy bears 

 For his birthday he wanted to invite over a few of his friends to play.
How cute is this little guy?! Black eye and all!

 This is the ridiculously cute mother of the ridiculously cute boy above. Everything makes sense now.

 Happy birthday to you! Happy birthday to you! Happy birthday dear Caaaaleeeeb! Happy birthday to yoooooou!!!
 Parker was there doing what he does best. Chowin down.

 And the best part...Presents!! Thank you awesome friends!!

Caleb won't except the fact that his birthday is over. He sings happy birthday to himself several times a day followed with a great big sigh and, "I have the nicest friends. That was favorite birthday ever!" and when we go grocery shopping he holds up four fingers and waves them at every one we pass while yelling, "I'm four now! Its my birthday!!
Happy birthday little man. You are a joy. You make my life exciting...usually in a good when you're not shoving bobby pins into Parker's brain through his nose...please don't ever do that again!!!
I love you!!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

No-sew pleated lampshade cover

Remember back in the day when I posted this picture and said I wanted get a smaller lamp and replace that big green picture with two smaller ones?

Well it has been done. I found a cute little base that was a hideously outdated gold and tan color but hey, it was 3 bucks. So I took that sucker home and spray painted it a glossy red. Oh yes I did. And its currently my new favorite thing. I looked around for the perfect lampshade to go with it but having been spoiled with a 3 dolla lamp base I wasn't about to go spend 6x that price on the lampshade! So (lightbulb moment) I decided to buy a shade and cover it! Bril. I found a plain ol white IKEA shade at the thrift store for 2 dollas. The sides were bent up a little but it was going to get covered up anyway. At this point I was very happy with life.

Until I realized that there are like NO tutorials on covering a cone-ish shape lampshade. Turns out everyone else is smart and buys a drum shade so its a simple matter of gluing straight across. Not me. I love a good challenge. OK I really just didn't think about it but turns out, its really not that bad

I give you:

Here's the naked lampshade (before it got dressed up):

You can't see it very well in this picture, but there were quite a few dents all the way around it. So I went to Joanns and got 1/2 yard of  fabric. 

First, I folded over the edge and hot glued one long side and the two short sides, leaving one long side raw.
This is how I folded it down and glued it. Simple.

After I got the three sides glued down, I turned my lampshade upside down so the top of the shade was sitting on the table. You will first glue the fabric to the bottom of the shade. So start with the edge pf the shade furthest away from you so you can see what your doing. Hold the fabric to the shade so the fold is towards you. Once you fold your fabric over the shade and glue it down the fabric will look like a finished edge.

Glue away! Slowly working your way around the lamp base...

Once you get the fabric glued all the way around the base flip the lamp back up so the base is on the table. Take the two short sides of the fabric and glue them up the side of the lamp so it looks like this:

Then pull rest of the fabric up tight over the top and cut all the way around leaving about 2 inches of fabric over the top shade rim.

After you get the top trimmed up fold the raw edge down and glue it just like you did the other three sides in the beginning.

Then, starting at the place where you glued the two short sides up the side of the shade, glue the underlapping piece of fabric onto the inside edge of the shade. Then grab another piece of fabric and over lap it slightly onto the piece you just glued down and then glue the new piece down. Continue this all the way around the lamp. (sorry, this part is kind of hard to explain but it makes more sense when you're actually looking at it)

I know this looks long and complicated but its really not. It took me about 45 minutes start to finish and I had no idea what I was doing. But I love how it turned out and it looks so much better.
After you finish all the overlapping and gluing you are done!! Do your happy dance! You now have a lampshade that is screaming (or whispering) your style. That feels good. And you can do the whole thing for a few bucks. You could also add embellishments like flowers, trim, lace, Oooooh the possibilities! If you redo one of yours send me a pic and we'll do a happy dance together! =D

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Utah. Again.

We have a hard time staying away from Utah. And Arizona. I blame it on our family completely (why else would anyone in their right mind find every opportunity to hang out with scorps in 120 degree weather?! They wouldn't I tell ya!). But we were blessed to be able to go spend a week or four with family and it was a blast. It would take way too long write down all the fun things we did so I'll just tell it with pictures. This post is dedicated to Utah. The next one will be about Arizona. I spent a week in Utah before Kiel joined us after his finals and then we got to spend a blissful week together before he had to return home to resume his scholarly responsibilities. Of course I spent 2 more weeks frolicking with the fam.

We went to a sports class for lil tykes and there is nothing cuter than watching all these little bodies run and roll around! Parks was a natural...he must have gotten it from his brother.
 Obviously my monkey of a son struggles following simple instructions like streeeetch! Unlike Cousins Thing 1 and Thing 2.
 We took the boys bowling for the first time ever! Way more fun than being all serious and competitive and stuff.

 Ever wondered how to keep 10 kids calm and content at Costco? I present to you the Petramalo Method- tried and true. A) Find one of the long flat carts B) Pile kids on said cart C) Park said cart in front of a TV D) Leave a semi-responsible child to watch the other children E) Enjoy your shopping trip and don't forget to go back for 3rds on tastes!! =)

Ice Skating
Along time ago Kiel and I broke up. This was before we were married mind you. And he wanted to win my heart back so he took me ice skating. Apparently I'm a sucker for men in sexy ice skates doing toe taps and a triple axel. Can't resist! Anywho, we hadn't been back until just recently when we all went together as a fam. Shocking how 5 years can change everything...single and dating to married with 2 kids and some serious responsibilities...oi.
 Don't let him fool ya...he loved it.

 Us trying to be being legit, players.
 My bro acting all like he's helping the lil one when really his lungs felt like they were about to explode. As if anyone fell for it. And yes, we have awkward stares at the camera down to a science in our family. Proud of it yo!

 Aww...the whole family on ice. I shall submit this to Disney.

At the cabin
My in-laws finished building a cabin at about the same time we left for law school. Who planned that one I ask you?!? But its still a favorite get away any time we go home for a visit. We put the snow machines, sleds, inner tube, and snow shoes to good use. Indoors we warmed by the fire with magazines and books or played airhocky, foosball, or ping pong in the play room. Yeah...we sorta like the cabin.

Don't judge peeps. I didn't want to haul down a bunch of snow gear so we just borrowed my sister's kid's clothes instead. She happens to have girls. 
 Kiel showing his snow shoe stuff

 Parker wasn't sure what to do with all the was kinda swallowing him up
 After a long snow shoe hair doesn't just look like this everyday. Stop judging!

 Me snow shoeing in the back of the cabin

 Natalie, Bryce (BIL and SIL), Kiel and I went on a 3 hour snowmobile ride and it was fantastic. I was so sore the next day! Love it!! PS. Bryce is a mega show off. :p

Jazz game
I, of course, was not invited to this party. I guess my allegiance to my PHX Suns boys disqualifies me from ever sitting on the front line of a Jazz game. Whatevs. I can see it just fine at home on my comfy couch while munching on Doritos. What up now yo?! (I'm not sure why I'm feeling all gangster right now...just go with it..) 
My FIL's company is in the Jazz 100 club and I guess that means they serve you a fancy shmancy prime rib dinner before the game. Don't they look thrilled??!

 I'm not sure what this is a pic of but my husband said its important. So be it.

Dinosaur museum at Thanksgiving Point
Gramma and Grampa Willmore took us to the Dinosaur museum. If you haven't been there and you live in the SLC area and you have little boys, you should probs go. My boys LOVED it! Heaven in a museum! 

 Caleb's face is priceless.
 Really Grampa?? Don't let him touch that.
 They have this discovery zone where the kids can build little sand hills for the plastic dinosaurs and then pour water over them, reenacting how dinosaurs died by floods. Awesome.

 Grampa+Caleb+Parker= the same weight as a duphesaphorus

 Again, be amazed at Caleb's facial abilities. 

Yes, we had uber fun in Utah. Yes, we plan to go back soon. Thanks Gramma & Grampa Willmore, Jana & Bret, Joseph & Mindy, and Mary for making our stay so fun. Loves to you all!