Monday, April 26, 2010

De-De for a bike

Brooke LOVES her De-De. (pacifier) I have wanted her to stop using it for a long while but sometimes its just easier to plug her up. She only uses it for naptime and bedtime so at least she doesn't suck on it all day long. Three is my cut off though. 
Brooke has been begging Aaron for a bike. (Seems she always has something she is asking her Daddy for.. I hope this doesn't indicate what she will be like as a teenager!!) Well the other day I had the brilliant idea to offer her a bike, IF, she could give up her De-De.
Well her face lit up and she ran to collect all her De-de's and hand them over. She made it two naps and two bedtimes without them! I was so impressed! She had a little bit of a hard time falling to sleep which is understandable because she had to figure out a new comfort but she never once asked for it. 
I was hoping it would last, but we went on a Saturday all-day-family-adventure and she didn't take a nap. When it came to bedtime the poor thing was beyond tired and upset. Maybe I should have let her cry it out, but she needed to be comforted and I needed peace!
I think thats why its hard for me to give up her de-de. She like the comfort of sucking on it. How can I just yank a comfort away from her? I am not too happy if Aaron takes my pillow or happens to wear the shirt of his that I wanted to wear. It is easy for me to adjust and find a different comfort but how is it possible when you are 2? I tried music. She yelled at me over and over, "I don't like it!" I tried toys. She plays with them instead of sleeping. I tried laying a spoon down by her bead as a warning. She bangs on the wall crying I don't want to go to sleep!! 
I am worried her teeth will start getting dis-formed so I know I need to get rid of it soon.
But her little eyes that fill with tears tug at my heart strings.. 
Today she took all of Brayden's de-des, put them in a bag, and told him he was was a big girl and didn't need them anymore. She proceeded to have a conversation with him telling him about getting a bike if he gave up his de-des. Maybe I won't have to stress so much and just maybe one day she will get the idea herself? I am praying so.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


When Brooke is tired, she is tired and needs her sleep! In cases of extreme sleep she finds bizarre places to fall asleep. 
Here we had been watching a movie and she crawled under the pillow and passed out. 

I love when they sleep with their little bottoms up in the air.

Aaron is stretched thin being a full time student and Daddy. Between homework and class its hard for him to find time to hang out with us and still have time for relaxing and naps.. He has gotten creative. He doesn't have the attention span or time to play with them for hours on end, but he still wants to spend quality time with them. Aaron figured out that just by hanging out in the room, Brooke is content to play by herself.
Well, on this particular night I heard Aaron conversing with Brooke and the rattle of her toys.After some time, all I heard was Brooke talking to herself while rattling her toys. I peeked my head in the room and saw this.

Poor Sleepy Daddy!

If you look closely, in his hand is a cup of delicious coffee that was so carefully made for him with quality air and an elephant for cuddles. 


Brayden loves to smile!! I have been trying to capture a picture of his smile with his little snaggle tooth. 

Finally got one!! He is not getting 3 more on top and two more on bottom.
So ticklish under his chin. Love those teeth!

My little Wubsie Bear that looks just like his Daddy. He is such a little cuddle bear. 
He pulls himself up on furniture and walks all over the edges. When you hold his hands to walk he will let go of your hands and try to walk himself. Hopefully he walks soon! He loves to eat and get into big sister's toys. He is very protective of his Mommy. He doesn't mind sharing with Brooke but watch out other babies! 
I helped out in the nursery this past weekend. The same room that Bubba was in. Everytime I held a baby in a my lap, he would crawl right over and try to push the baby out of my arms. He would crawl into my arms and continue pushing and hitting the other child. 
He still screams like a little girl when he doesn't get his way. Or when you don't feed him fast enough. 
Can't believe he will be 1 year old soon! Goes by way too fast.

A pet for the kids..

Brookelyn has been begging Aaron for a kitty cat. Everytime we tell her we are going to go bye-bye she asks, "uh buy kitty cat?" We looked into adopting a cat. Until we saw the $135 adoption fee. and thats not including food, litter and a bed. That idea got vetoed, but not Brooke's insistent nagging for a kitty cat.
We were at  play date with some other Mom's and her little boy had a Zu-Zu pet. If you don't know what that is its a mechanical little hamster. Her little boy loved that thing and she said he carried it with him everywhere. Talked to it, fed it, slept with it. A light bulb went on it my head, but due to a mommy brain fart I forgot to tell Aaron. 
We were walking around BabysRus and Aaron saw a Zu-Zu pet and wanted to get one for Brooke. I told him to stop reading my mind so we took home a Zu-Zu pet.
Brooke named her Mouse. 
We took a box and made a house for Mouse.

Brooke took one of her prized taggies for Mouse's bed.

She decided that Mouse needed a bowl of food. Can you guess what a hamster named Mouse eats?
Bugs!! I think a green firefly was Mouse's favorite.

Rocking Mouse to sleep

Brayden crying because Brooke wouldn't let him play with the new pet. He loves to chase it even when it goes under tables. He has gotten stuck a few times.
I love this new pet.
No litter box. No food bowls that the crawling baby can get into. No fur all over my couch. Entertains the kids without fear of retaliation in the form of scratching or biting. Well their might be scratching and biting but only if my two lovely children turn on each other.
 I have always said.. I would rather have a child than a pet! Someday we would like to get a family dog. When the kids are older and can share in the poop scooping responsibility. 
For now, ZuZu the Mouse will do.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Going Green, Coffee style!!!

I am a coffee fanatic. And that is stating is lightly. I think it started when we moved to Seattle and I was exposed to Starbucks on every street corner. My sisters and I were buying so much Starbucks my Dad bought us our own espresso machine. Having limited knowledge the first lattes we made were not very appetizing! 
I started paying attention to what coffee tasted like. Without pumps of flavor or packets of sugar. To pick my coffee beans for  lattes, I would go up and down the coffee isle, munching every coffee bean until I found one I liked. That started a weird addiction where I would carry coffee beans around and munch on them whenever.  
When I got pregnant with Brookelyn I craved dirt (iron deficiency) and coffee beans were the next best thing to get rid of the craving. But I decided the caffeine was not good for Brooke so I cut myself off from coffee. That is until I went to Italy and had my first Italian cappuccino.  I fell in love so to say.  Aaron had to help me control myself. I would have had five a day! There coffee was like nothing I had every tasted!!! I would scrounge all the change I could to go buy a cup :) I limited myself to two a week. Filled the craving for that delicious nectar with eating huge amounts of strawberry/banana gelato. 
I remember sitting in the Rome airport waiting for my flight back to the states. I was super thirsty but only had a little bit of Euro left. I had heard you weren't supposed to drink the water from Rome faucets and there were no drinking fountains so my choice was buy a bottle of water or one last cappuccino. Can you guess what I might have bought?
Yup. The Cappuccino. I sat there for half an hour savoring every last drop.
I got back stateside and found myself ordering a Starbucks. I took one drink and threw it away.  I didn't drink any more coffee for a long time. I slowly started drinking Starbucks again for lack of something better. I also resorted to drinking black coffee loaded with creamer. All I wanted was a cup of good coffee!
Well my wonderful husband is amazing. When he knows there is something I like, he goes to every length to makes sure I get it! He started researching and decided to get me the means to roast my own beans.
We found a little place near SanFrancisco that sells green coffee beans and ships cheaply. We have gotten 6 different blends trying to find one we like best. And yes I said WE! Aaron always drank coffee in Italy but hated coffee here in the USA. He called it puddlewater. He is now a converted coffee drinker. I am able to roast the beans exactly the way I like them. There were a few batches that weren't so tasty but we have gotten the art down and have some tasty beans!

Starting to turn color..

My adorable assistant
 helping me cooling the beans off

My other adorable assistant grinding the beans. While reseraching coffee Aaron learned that you need a burr grinder instead of the normal blade grinder. The make automatic burr grinders  but I wanted an old fashioned hand crank one! Brooke loves to help out. She hears us grinding and runs up saying, "I help make toffee?"

You need the perfect amount of coffee that has been freshly ground, 
and the proper tamp (30lbs of presssure... I don't know if I always get exactly 30lbs but the idea is to push it very firmly)

To make the perfect shot of espresso.

Look at that thick crema. mmhmm!!

All the above makes a cappuccino that tastes pretty darn close to the Italians ones!
I don't have the nicest espresso machine.. I am waiting for this one to die before investing in a better one but I have learned you don't need a super expensive machine. 
When you know how to use the machine to it's fullest ability, you have delicious beans, know all the tricks, you can get an amazing result! Another delicious option is getting a french press. That enables you to fully enjoy the coffee flavor. There are even stove top espresso percolators. (Cheaper than getting a big espresso machine) Still have yet to get one of those and try it out. There were very popular in Italy so they must be good.
So if you are ever in the neighborhood, stop by and we can chat over a hot cup o' joe! 
But don't ask for sugar or creamer because I don't serve those with my coffee!!!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Snack time

Brooke has a habit of going into the fridge when she is "hungie" and helping herself to a snack. Usually she finds something normal to snack on but today was far from normal.
I couldn't decide how to deal with her so I snapped a few pics before decided on a spank. It is an ongoing battle to keep her out of the fridge. Her favorite snack is yogurt but if she hears me coming she will throw the whole thing away to hide her naughtiness. I thought about putting a child lock on but I want to teach her boundaries and this is the only place right now that is a no-no. I try to keep no-no places down to a minimum so she doesn't get overwhelmed but I think its important for them to learn the word no. She had been doing really well asking me for a snack.. until today!


I did not grow up celebrating the Easter bunny. I do remember one year my mom got us easter baskets with treats in them and we were all shocked! It was a fun surprise because we all love candy. For many years my Grandma bought me new dress shoes and hat. One Easter my dad let me wear the hat to church! I was ecstatic. 
I didn't feel I was missing out on anything because Dad always told us we should celebrate Jesus's death and resurrection everyday so when Easter Sunday came it was just extra celebrating his resurrection. He explained we didn't need candy and eggs to help us celebrate the risen Jesus. Even in my little mind I knew he was right. Besides, the idea of an easter bunny seemed absolutely ridiculous! Santa was a little bit more believable in my mind. 
I remember the first time I colored eggs. I kept asking everyone what the point was. Finally some one told me to be quiet and just have fun.  It was fun, but I still don't quite understand the point of having colored hard boiled eggs. I did enjoy my first egg hunt. Its always fun hunting for treasure. I want an egg hunt more than once a year.
Aaron's mother did egg hunts for him when he was younger so he wanted to carry on that tradition. We don't want it to overshadow the importance of celebrating Jesus but Aaron loves seeing her little face light up when she finds an egg! This year we got her eggs with play dough in them. Glorious idea. Must have been a mother concerned about giving her children a sugar high. I did get these cute little elmo eggs and put in a couple tic tacs and fake bugs. She loved the bugs!

She hunted all over the yard and when she would find an egg exclaim, Oh! Day-doo mommy!" After they were all found, she brought her (Christmas) bucket filled to the brim with bright colored eggies and proceeded to sort her loot.

I have been singing these two songs all day in awe of the Savior we are called to serve

"Jesus our King, we lift you High.
Be glorified, be glorified
Jesus our King, we give our lives
To glorify you now and forever
 Death could not defeat,
The grave could not contain
You rose in Victory
Now in glory reign!"

"Oh happy day, happy day
you washed my sin away
Oh happy day, happy day
I'll never be the same
Forever I am changed
Oh what a glorious day
What a glorious way
that you have saved me
Oh what a glorious day
What a glorious Name!"

Going Green

I have been trying to come up with ways to save money around the house so we can focus on getting Aaron through school without massive debt. One of the first things I wanted to do was make my own laundry detergent. My friend from WA gave me the idea and I was eager to do it but that eagerness was stunted when I couldn't find any of the ingredients! When we moved to CA I kept me eyes open for the ingredients but once again couldn't find them.  Then another friend blogged about her money saving ways and it was the push I need to do it. I researched and found out I could order what I needed and have it shipped to Ace hardware for free. I was also thrilled to find a bright green bucket for under $7 at Wal-Mart.

 For some of you that have done this already, is this what it is supposed to look like??

I am washing my first load of clothes with it now and am excited to see if it can get rid of my stains...
I feel good.. I bought everything for under 18 dollars, made one batch and have plenty ingredients left over to make another batch. I am putting green in my pocket, using a green buckets and using earth friendly 'green' ingredients.  Score!