Friday, May 30, 2014

Bogged Down

Life has been busy over here. In addition to work being busy for the both of us, we've been trying to double up on some of the home renovations.  Summer is always fun and exciting.  We have lots and lots of visitors. I love it so much! And while I know not everything is going to get done before everyone arrives....we still keep trying.  We ended up making of list of the things we wanted to get done before our first visitors arrive (my brother and his family) and we've almost knocked out the YAY! One small step for man kind...or at least for us.

I've gone to pick up my camera twice this past week and realized that it is completely dead and of course it was too much work to charge in between painting, grouting, hanging doors, playing with Lars, and laying floors that I've filled up my phone with pictures. So this post is a tribute to my phone.

I took off on Friday to make for a 4 day weekend and it was so lovely.  Just what I needed!  Lars and I made vegan peanut butter cookies and let me just say they were possibly the most delicious and chewy peanut butter cookies I've ever had. I wasn't planning on baking cookies but Lars asked and I obliged.  I scoured the pantry to see what we had and looked up a vegan recipes for peanut butter cookies.  I clicked on the first one and decided to go with it not expecting much except a fun mess with Lars. They are simple and amazing.  Bob and other non vegans agree too....just in case you were wondering.

He stopped 'helping' shortly after we finished mixing the dough.  He took on a more abstract way of helping as you can see.  It was a lot of fun and just an added bonus that the cookies were incredible. 

If you keep up then you know Lars has been being pretty picky when it came to eating.  Maybe it was those 2 year molars....maybe it was just Lars being 2 but not to worry!!! My good eater is back in full swing and I couldn't be happier. 

Friday morning I made him frogs on a lily pad for breakfast which are slices of bananas with peanut butter and raisins on them.  He had me name all of the 'frogs' before he would eat them. 

I don't know if there's anything that makes me happier than seeing my little man eating good, healthy clean food.  It makes it a little less cringe worthy when he is licking the icing off of a cupcake or sneaking a peanut butter cookie with Dad.  His lunch  here is grapes, avocado, tomatoes, peaches and spanish quinoa mixed with black beans and feta. 

He was making his pizza for dinner and I caught him shoveling mounds of feta in his mouth.  He likes to snack while he cooks....I don't blame him. 

We had plans to completely take a break on memorial day.  To do something fun with Lars and to not worry about the house.  We were going to head to the zoo or a swimming hole....well it decided to pour down rain the whole day! Not just a little thunder storm either.  A full on torrential down pour.  So we had a quick change of plans.  Options were obviously limited as it was a holiday and raining like crazy.  

We looked at each other and knew what we had to do.  We had to go to the mall.  We took Lars to Build a Bear for the first time. It was his first time there and in a mall and Bob and I's first time in a mall in years.  Lars had a blast building his bear he shockingly named Panda (it's a panda bear).  BUT then things got really so exciting Lars almost couldn't contain himself.  THE ESCALATOR!!!!!!! WHAT!!!! We rode that damn thing at least 20 times. Up and down and up and down and up and down.  It was too cute.  In all seriousness we could have completely passed on Build a Bear and just rode the escalator.  I'm pretty sure he thought he was at some sort of amusement parking riding the ride......little country boy come to town. 

Lars was giving Panda a quick bath before we left....actually he gave him like 10 baths before we left.  


They were getting his birth certificate and choosing a name.  Decisions, decisions. 

BEST. THING. EVER. .....The end. 

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Dinosaur Eggs (so much fun!)

On Saturday while Lars was napping I (struggling to deny the 4 piles of laundry, dirt on floor and sink full of dishes) decided to make him some dinosaur eggs! I saw this idea a while back but just never got around to doing it.  It was so much fun and Lars had a blast.

Basically, you make a 'dough' then mold the dough around the tiny plastic dinosaurs (or if you're like me and don't have enough tiny dinosaurs, you use any tiny plastic animals or treasures) then bake it at a really low heat.

What you'll need

1 cup flour
1 cup used coffee grinds (make sure they have dried out for a substantial amount of time)
1/2 cup salt
1/4 sand
3/4 cup water
mixing bowl
plastic animals
baking sheet

How to

Preheat oven to 150

Mix all the dry ingredients together then slowly add water while kneading with your hand.  I ended up having to add a bit more flour and sand to get it thick enough.  It should be pretty thick and form a ball. 

Mold the dough around the animals.  Place on a baking sheet and bake at 150 for 20-25 minutes or until the eggs are hard.  We have a convection oven and my temperature would only go down to 170 and I ended up baking them for a good 30 minutes because the eggs were pretty large.  Just keep checking them.  It will depend on the size of the eggs you make. 

Once they were done I made a little nest of of some grass and twigs and placed the nest with the eggs in it in our front garden area. 

When Lars woke up, we went outside and he immediately noticed them and asked, "what is that, mama?"  I told him they were dinosaur eggs and guess what he did?  He freaked out!  Once he calmed down and Bob and I showed him that everything was ok, he was all about it.  

He thought it was so cool to break open the eggs and find an animal or dinosaur.  He kept asking for more, so it looks like I'll be making some dinosaur eggs this weekend.  

It was such a simple thing to do and Lars thought it was the least after he freaked out about it.  :) 

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

It's the little things

There are so many times during the day/week/month/year that make me realize that it really is the little things that bring the most happiness.  

This past weekend we stayed home, worked on the house, played outside, ran a few errands, got a sno cone and made dinosaur eggs (future post on that).  I tried not to feel obligated to clean the house like I usually do, I didn't finish the laundry and we even went out to eat which is a once in blue moon occurrence for us. 

It was nice.  Now, don't get me wrong...we got a lot done around here.  We rearranged the living room, finished up the bathroom (for the most part), officially designated part of the office to Lars' art space but there's something about not having to worry about cleaning, laundry and dinner that was really enjoyable. 

And because I wasn't distracted with normal weekend chores I got to spend more time capturing the life of this beautiful little creature.  Lars asked for whiskers on Saturday morning so I drew him a little cat face.  To say that he loved it is an understatement.  He was thrilled.  He drank water out of a bowl on the ground and also ate his lunch from a plate on the rug.  He walked around meowing and shaking his head like he was scratching.  This lasted all weekend and it was one of the cutest moments ever! I love this kid! 

He kept wanting to look at himself and his new cat face.  I found a mirror that was tucked away in a closet and he had a ball.

Aunt Ann came over to help rearrange the living room and cover some dining room chair seats and brought Lars some macaw feathers.  She brought 3 of them and they were so beautiful. Lars thought they were the greatest.  

Here's to the little things like cat faces, feathers and mirrors.  

Friday, May 16, 2014

A few things

We have another lovely weekend dedicated to being home.  Ahhhhhhh.....I can' wait. I'm so excited about the weather we've been having.  This (what I call San Diego weather) is short lived here in Texas.  Often times it seems like it goes from being freezing cold to scorching hot in a matter of weeks. So taking advantage of these few weeks in between is key!

We're hoping to finish the bathroom, put the last coat of paint on the master and perhaps find a local farm to take Lars to. He asked to go to the zoo, but we have about 3 planned trips (so far) to the zoo when family comes to visit over the summer.  I thought maybe the farm would be a nice alternative.

Have yourself a lovely and peaceful weekend.

This sign seems all too appropriate for our life right now.

My sister-n-law Katie recommended this book after I asked for suggestions on parenting/discipline books.  I swore up and down I would never read another parenting book after reading 30 sleep solution books, but I've realized we've never been parents before and a little help never hurt.  I'm in the middle of the book now but so far I'm a fan.  It's simple and short and to the point.

If my husband reads this please know that a vacation at this house would score you lots of lovin' and beer. Ignore the $600/night would be worth it, right?  It's also my dream farm house.

I've been eyeing up some cool vintage macrame wall hangings to hang above our bed once all the painting is done.

A list of a few of my favorite things 

I don't have kids in school but I can relate to this hysterical post!

My co-worker inspired me to look into baking something with chocolate and lavender.  I found this scrumptious looking delight.  I'm a little concerned about the instructions to use 3 big whole coconuts.....I will most certainly be taking the easy way out on that one and taking full advantage of Whole Foods selling packaged coconut meat.

#MyWeirdNeighbor tweets from Jimmy Fallon

Just because I'm a Game of Thrones junkie and this is hysterical.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

At our house

We spent the weekend at home and oh how lovely it was.  Bob worked on the bathroom which is of course taking much longer than we had thought but keeping my fingers crossed this weekend is THE weekend to finish.   I will share my theory with you on home renovation projects:

If you think it's going to take you 2 days, it's going to take you 2 weeks.  If you think it's going to take you 2 weeks, it's going to take you 2 months.  If you think it's going to take you 2 months, it could potentially take 2 years.  That's the truth. 

The weather was amazing so we spent a lot of time outside exploring and chalking up the front porch.  Our front porch looks like a a beautiful  and colorful canvas at all times.  Even the walls, screens and front door. The world is his canvas, right?

I mixed rice and lavender and gave him some spoons and cups.  He thought it was amazing.  I'm mad at myself for not getting a picture of what the island and floor looked like after he was done playing.  When he was done he got the broom to help me sweep.  Sometimes he's just too wonderful.....

If you read my previous post, you know Lars has been a pretty crabby eater for the past couple of weeks.  I saw this idea a while back on a blog and decided (out of desperation) to try it on Friday.  (Top Row L-R) tomatoes, peas, black beans, strawberries, crackers, raisins, bananas.  (Bottom Row L-R) watermelon, oranges, hummus, peas, black beans, cheese, peaches. 

He was pretty stoked about his food being in squares!  I was impressed for the most part.  It definitely took more time than I normally spend on his meals, but it was well worth it and sort of fun!   

The aftermath.  I'll take it! 

We were exploring.  Looking for dinosaurs and bugs of course. 

Bob found a bunch of beach toys in the shed.  Buckets, watering cans, shovels and boats.  It was like Christmas! 

Lars sat in the rocking chair and asked me to bring him all of his 'friends'.  He was so happy!!

We have hanging ceramic pots on the front porch and have discovered several of them have tiny bird eggs in them! Lars is going to freak when they hatch....I can't wait. 

How I spent mothers day morning.  Laying on the couch watching Gnomeo & Juliet. It was pretty pefect. 

Bob made this bad ass stuffed pizza. Stuffed with ricotta, spinach, tomatoes and sauteed veggies. 

He also made homemade salsa.  Chips and salsa are a staple in our house but when it's homemade it's that much better!

Bath time got way cooler on Sunday night.  Lars insisted on wearing my sunglasses during bath time and even while I read to him before getting in bed.  Outrageous I tell ya!!! 

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Going to great lengths to get Lars to eat well (when he doesn't want to)

I've said before that Lars is a pretty good eater (knocking on wood right now).  He always has been.  Most of the time he's willing to try anything I offer and eats an array of delicious and healthy food.  I consider us very lucky to have such a good eater on our hands.  But there are times when eating can be the cause of a full on tantrum. lots of chaos and stress.  This week has been one of those times.

Lars is working on his second 2 year molar and eating anything is not on his list.  It's so crazy to see him go from eating his normal meals to pushing away some of his favorite.  It can be very frustrating and challenging, but we go to great lengths to get him to eat well.

Making sure Lars eats well and clean (the majority of the time) is most defiantly one of our top priorities. I say 'our' because sometimes it really does take a village.  Both Bob and my aunt (who watches Lars) feel the same way. 

We will cook 2 maybe 3 different meals, cut up 4 different fruits, whip up a smoothie or juice in hopes that something will appeal.  I've said before that I'm not the mama that puts one dish on the table and that's it.  I always try to provide a variety of food of different colors and textures to encourage Lars to eat and to allow him to experience different flavors. 

I will also own the fact that I still feed Lars a lot of the time.  Lars is totally capable of feeding himself but when he's having a bad week it can take some serious coaxing to get him to 'take a bite'.  I will also let him eat outside, or on the rug or even while watching a show.  Sometimes watching a show is our saving grace because he is distracted and before he knows it, he's all done. 

Sure, these tactics aren't always preferred but what is always preferred in our house is eating well and getting lots of nutrients. That always comes first and if I have to sit on the rug next to him while he watches a show to get him to eat well then that's what I'm going to do.

Some evenings (like every one this week) I feel like it's a constant battle when it comes to eating and it's the same for breakfast and lunch.  There are so many times when I just want to give him a bowl of pirates booty, cheese bunnies and call it a night but I just can't.  

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

This and that

Like always, we've been pretty busy over here. It's been busy, but least most of the time.  We were in Lake Charles this past weekend for my cousin's wedding.  I was lucky enough to be her maid of honor and it was a beautiful wedding.  And as crazy as it sounds, I actually don't have any pictures from it.  Shame, shame...I know but sometimes you just have to put your phone and camera aside and be present.

The sweet and oh so adorable picture above is courtesy of my sister in law Jennifer. This was at the rehearsal dinner on Friday night. I'm so happy she caught this precious moment because the rest of the time was what I like to call pure chaos.  4 kids, lots of breakable table settings, beautiful flowers, a buffet table low enough for little hands to reach and the fact that it was a fairly formal event.  Good times...good times :) 

When I wasn't helping with wedding festivities, I was enjoying this view.  What could make 4 kids happier than a huge mound of sand and buckets of water?   Nothing. Absolutely nothing. 

Bob and I also got to spend part of the day with my sweet nephew Maddox.  Him and Lars had so much fun.  It's not very often they get to play together without the girls around so it was a special moment.  Maddox is so patient with Lars and watching Lars follow Maddox around doing whatever he did was really great! And oh yea, Bob had to join in. 

 This is how Lars was for most of the trip home.  He insisted on keeping his 'friends' (his stuffed animals he sleeps with) all over him.  It was so funny!

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