Thursday, May 24, 2012


I'm going away from the boys for the weekend for a bachlorette /cabin weekend with some of my girl friends.  It'll be the longest I've ever been away from either of them.  (And that's including my hospital stay when Jack was born.)  I'm excited, nervous, scared.  I haven't even packed yet and I miss them already.  I know it'll be good for me.  I am really worried about how Jack-jack will do.   Two nights ago he wouldn't go to sleep until I came home from work because he missed me.  I was gone a total of five hours. 
Next week is Carter's last week of preschool for the school year.  I'm excited to not have to rush out of the house in the morning.  I'm sad because it's been a great group of kids this year and I know we will only be with a few of them again next year.  Carter doesn't do well with a change in routine, so I'm also really worried how the first couple weeks will go.  I'm thinking I'll be dealing with even more behavior issues than normal. 
I may or may not being going back to school in the fall.  It pretty much comes down to whether the financial aid/scholarships.  I'm excited over the thought of learning new things.  I have very mixed emotions on whether this is the right path for our family a this time.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Weekend Update

It's around 9 am here and both boys are still sleeping.  Can you tell we had a really busy weekend?  Friday night Tim and Carter went to pick up Stacy (Tim's youngest sister) from River Falls.  She had been on a retreat in Michigan with a campus ministry group.  The original plan was that she'd be back around 5pm or so, but someone was going to drive her back to the Twin Cities, and then a car broke down, so it ended up being after 7pm.  Jack and I stayed home since it was way past his bed time. 
Saturday, I got up and went to the garage sale at Island Lake School.  I was really hoping to find a bike for Carter, but I ended up buying just some pants with adjustable waist pants for Carter and a cute Gymboree jacket for my niece, Lauren.  Then Tim and I ran to Costco to pick up groceries, while Stacy watched the boys.  Then Tim took Stacy into urgent care to have her ankle x-rayed.  It turns out she had broken a bone in her foot on the retreat playing barefoot soccer. 
Tim's parents were staying at a hotel for the weekend in Roseville (Tim's other sister, Stephanie, was graduating from St. Kate's).  So we met up with them at the hotel for a swimming party and picnic.  The boys haven't been swimming much since last summer, so it took some convincing to get them in the pool.  Jack took a little bit to get use to the water, but them really enjoyed it.  But he hated being in his floatie, preferring to hold on to Tim or I.  By the time we were ready to get out, he was jumping into the pool.  Carter hates having water in his eyes, so it took him longer to feel comfortable.  I definitely need to get him to the pool a couple more times before we start swimming lessons. 
Sunday Tim's brother Jeff, sister-in-law Heather, and their kids Ben and Lauren came over to play after nap time.  The boys were so excited to see their cousins since the last time they had seen each other had been the week after Easter.  After an hour of playing, we headed to the Como Zoo.  The zoo was fairly quiet for a weekend, so the kids were easily able to see everything.  We even attempted to get a picture of all 4 kids.  Jack loved the monkeys.  I think we could have stayed there all day. 
After the zoo we headed to meet Tim's family for dinner at Buca's to celebrate Stephanie's graduation.  (They were only given 3 tickets per graduates, so we couldn't go to actual ceremony.)  It was a really fun night.   

Friday, May 11, 2012

Chipotle-Inspired Crockpot rice

Chipotle is one of my favorite places to eat.  Unfortunately my children tend to have major melt downs every time we go there.  I think it's just way too overstimulating for them.  Attempting to re-create my favorite aspects of Chipotle has been a challenge I've been working on for awhile.  Most of the recipes are too labor intensive or require ingredients that I don't usually have in my kitchen. 
This is an adaptation of a crock pot rice recipe from Moms with crock pots and the Cilantro Lime rice recipe from Budget Savvy Diva . 

Easy Cilantro Lime Rice

1 cup rice
2 cups water
dash of salt
juice from one lime
3 TSP Olive Oil
3 TSP finely chopped cilantro

Spray crock pot with cooking spray.  Add the rice and water.  Cook for 1.5-2.5 hours on high.  Mix the rest of the ingredients and let sit.   When rice is fully cooked, mix with cilantro/oil/lime mixture.  Eat alone or in a burrito. 

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Birthday Party Planning

The boys' birthdays are coming up in the begining of July.  We're planning on doing another combined birthday party since Carter and Jack's birthday's are only 5 days apart.  Life is going to be pretty busy around here in May and June with Mother's Day, Father's Day, quite a few birthdays, SIL's college graduation, a bachlorette party, bridal shower, and a wedding that I am in.  So I'm trying to get a start on things early this year, so I'm not stressed at the last minute trying to throw something together. 
We playing around with a couple different themes.  Carter, of course, would love to do another Cars party.  I'm pushing more towards a Shaun the Sheep/Farm/John Deere party, which Jack and Carter both love.  There are tons of fun farm themed parties on pinterest to inspire me since there are no actual Shaun the Sheep party supplies made. 
So far I'm thinking crayon rolls and farm themed coloring books for party favors.  It'll be a big undertaking to make for the 12 or so kids that will be coming, but such a fun detail. 

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

The Terrible Threes

I am really struggling with dealing with the Terrible Threes.  The twos weren't so bad.  Jack was born a week after Carter turned two years old.  Yes, we had some tantrums, but they were generally logical in why they were occurring: told not to do something, tired, or hungry. 
The threes have been much more intense.  The good times are amazing.  Carter is so smart in pretty much anything relating to science and engineering.  He can understand and explain concepts so beyond his 3.5 years of life.   His memory is also pretty amazing.  He can remember things that we did when he was only a year old including small details like where we sat in church or what someone was wearing.  Carter loves school, learning, and his teacher, Miss Annie.   He can be very sweet and loving to Jack and others. 
On the other side, the bad times are really bad.  We are really struggling with some behavior issues at home (no issues at school).  In the last couple days, he has drawn on the couch, wall, and curtains with crayons, covered the couch and carpet with moisturizer, and peed on his brother's bed (on purpose).  I can understand curiosity, but none of these misbehaviors were first time offenses. 
The tantrums have been our other major issues.  They are frequent and can be set off by pretty much anything.  Something as simple as not having the right color milk glass can cause a melt down.  He has improved greatly in the last few months in his ability to express his feelings using words, but coming up with solutions to problems is still a struggle. 
I've been meaning to read Raising Your Spirited Child Rev Ed: A Guide for Parents Whose Child Is More Intense, Sensitive, Perceptive, Persistent, and Energetic for quite awhile.  It has been recommended to me by friends and ECFE teachers as a great parenting resource quite a few times.  But as a parent of small children, I don't get a whole lot of time to read.  So after the last couple weeks being extremely challenging, I decided that I couldn't wait any longer to read this book. 
I've only read the first few chapters, but already I'm feeling like I really should have picked up this book earlier.  I am excited to learn how to be a better parent to Carter. 

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Strawberry Muffins

We're big breakfast fans around here.  And since baking is one of my favorite stress relievers/procrastination tools, I'm almost always up for trying something new.  Last week when I made blueberry muffins, Carter requested that I make strawberry muffins next. 

Strawberry Muffins
(Based on this recipe for

1/4 cup canola oil
1/2 cup milk
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup white sugar
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup chopped strawberries (I diced into 1/8th)

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. 
  2. Line muffin tray with muffin liners or spray with cooking spray.
  3. Combine oil, milk, and egg.  Add flour, salt, baking powder and sugar.  Fold in strawberries.               
  4. Fill muffin cups. Sprinkle with sugar (optional)
  5. Bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for 15 minutes, or until the tops bounce back from the touch.                 

My critics said they were delicious!