Friday, February 28, 2014

Friday Funnies

That's so fair!  (This means that he thinks something is NOT fair.)

Gabby has bells on her vacuum cleaner.  I mean pipe cleaner!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

What's Cooking

Here are some of the things that have been on our table lately...

Japanese Cream Sauce on fried rice with Sesame Orange Chicken, sans the orange.  Very good stuff.

We've also had Mediterranean Baked Chicken.  It was quite good and didn't take long to make.

I made Samoa Cookie Bars to take to our small group.  I thought they were just okay, but someone did ask for the recipe.

I also made sour dough bread for awhile.  I got the recipe from my mother quite a few years back, but the link appears to be the same one I use.  My starter went really sour, and made the bread, while edible, sour, so I tossed it and will have to start it again.

One Saturday afternoon, for fun, I made these Churro Waffles. The recipe made quite a lot.  We did not butter and cinnamon both sides or serve with syrup, as recommended, but they were very good.  They are definitely not for regular consumption, but they were a fun rainy day treat for us.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Sick Day

I was sick for a little over a week.  One of those mornings I was up with Ellie around 4:40.  After her feeding, I didn't have a chance to fall asleep before my turn in the shower (I shower before Justin leaves for work because...well, four children).  After that I tried to lie down, but Ellie got up again.  I finally got her back to sleep.  Then the big kids were up.  I got them breakfast and tried to lie on the couch.  Three munchkins are not quiet, even when they thought they were trying to be.  I gave up, but Kate did have the school books out when I came down.  She evidently had been giving Gabby a spelling test.  Oh dear.

Mamas are not allowed to be sick!

Monday, February 24, 2014

Things I've Learned

More than eight years ago I became the Mama to one tiny little person.  In the scheme of things babies two and three came in quick succession.  Now here I am with a brood of four.

There are a few things I've learned along the way that have made manuvering the world a little easier with several tinies.  The first things I've learned is every baby is different, so  as much as Kate needed her alone time as a baby Ellie would prefer never to be put down, so take anything I say with a grain of salt!

Wearing these last two babies when we go out has made life so much easier.  I don't have to carry the 15 lb. baby and the 10 lb. carrier.  I have two free hands to do things like open doors, find my keys, and hold a hand or two.  We do take the infant seat to places like restaurants in hopes that I might be able to let her sit while I eat.  We don't go out to eat often, but I think this has only worked once.

Instead of an absurd tent (nursing cover), I had a friend knit me a shawl.  It has regular function, so it is less out of place, so it doesn't draw attention like a huge black cape.  It isn't as easily kicked off as a receiving blanket, since it is over my shoulders.  It doubles as a blanket when folded over her in her car seat, so we take it every where.  Seriously, why didn't I think of this three babies ago?

Some babies need schedules.  Or I used to.  Or both.  When Kate was a baby, I knew I had 11 weeks to get her on a schedule before I went back to work.  I feed her every three hours, and set her feedings for her new wake-up time, to coincide with my lunch break, and the end of my work day.  This is the child I taught to read a clock when she was two because she always wanted to know when things were happening.

Ellie has no real schedule.  She eats when she's hungry.  She naps at some point each day.  She goes to sleep at some point in the evening.  I'd like a slightly more consistent evening schedule, but I'm glad she's flexible.  We have different schedules on different days because of activities in which the older girls are involved.  She rolls with it as well as I could ask.  I don't know if these girls are so different in their need for schedules because of me or their innate personalities.

I have also learned that I am horrible at sleep training.  I did finally move Ellie out of our room.  Thankfully she's been good at, since I can't stand to let them cry.  She generally gets up once a night now instead of the many times we had been doing before we moved her.  Someday she'll sleep through the night, but hopefully she'll do it one night without my pushing it.  You know, because I stink at it.

I have yet to figure out what to do when Mama's sick though.  So if you figure that one out, can you pass it on?

Friday, February 14, 2014

Big Puffy Heart Day

 Here is Miss Ellie's very first Valentine's Day (She kept playing with the little bows on her tights and falling over!),

And the whole crew.

I hope that you have a lovely day!  We don't do much to celebrate, but there was a box of chocolates waiting for me this morning.  Later I found a four pack of Frappuccinos in the fridge.  Thank you to my husband!  Gabby and I are baking a chocolate cake for dessert tonight.  And that will be it for our celebration.

Monday, February 10, 2014

30 Minutes

I had the chance to sit and hold the baby girl for an entire half hour as she slept.  I didn't give a spelling test, teach fractions, read email, check Facebook, go over a book.  I just sat.  And enjoyed her.  I stared at her eyelashes.  The ones that were so short and stubby four months ago.  I traced her chubby little cheek as the dishwasher swirled and the rest of my family played a game of Sorry.  I looked at the way her hair swirls around her cowlick and wondered if her hair will be straight like Gabby's or have the curls that Kate used to have.

It was beautiful.  And fleeting.  I am so grateful to be her Mama.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Because Everyone Needs Minions

We had the chance to watch Despicable Me 2 (We haven't seen the first one.), and Justin told the children he needed some minions.

 I wasn't quite sure where to get the little guys, so we made some of our own.

I made templates for the girls to trace and cut,

cut pieces for Nate, 

 and made a sample--on a packaged yellow sponge cake.

It was a fun little art project, and Justin got his minions.  Even if they were eaten shortly thereafter.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Acting Up

The girls have caught the acting bug.  I guess that's not quite fair to say...  Kate has always had a flair for the dramatic!

There is a local woman that organizes a musical each spring for local home schoolers.  Last year we attended their production of Music Man.  Kate was thrilled to see that they were putting on Little Women this past fall, but as it turned out, the cast was for older students.  That worked out well for us as a family, since Ellie's due date was the same week as auditions.  The spring musicals are open to children as young as five, so both girls were excited to try out for Beauty and the Beast Jr. last week.

I was involved in my high school's musical production for three years and loved it so much.  That was actually one of the things I was sorry our kids might miss out on with home school.  I've learned that if you are willing to drive (and pay) for it the kids can do just about everything they could have done in public school (at least in a town the size of ours)--possibly a great deal more.  I know my elementary school didn't collaborate with the local middle and high schools to put on Disney musicals!

The girls' parts were emailed last night.  I wasn't surprised for them both to be given chorus parts instead of leads.  Evidently last week, after drop off for auditions, the girls decided to try out for 'parts' instead of just being in the chorus.  There was a fleeting look of disappointment on Kate's face that she didn't get 'Young Belle," but I'm glad for them to have this chance to dabble in musical theater.  The director took the time to name each part, so they have their individual names (Zoe and Louise in the town), and they get to be napkins in the castle.

And about that bug...I hear Nate saying, "I wish I could be that Beast, but I'm not old enough."