Saturday, October 25, 2008

Hostess Cupcakes & Apple Pies

No this is not the new lunch menu at our home, but rather ingredients to impress upon our 2 1/2 year old who does not seem to care about following directions or acting appropriately towards others. He learned the word "stupid" from his sister and just won't let it drop whenever he is upset. He will call people stupid when he is unsure of a situation or gets the answer 'no' or just plain does not like what a person has to say. I have been trying , unsuccessfully, to get him to say what he really wants but he persists with this word.

Needless to say , it worked. So enter the Hostess cupcake. They look really yummy and come in packs of 2. He was gorrible at the airport the other day. Just refusing to listen and wanting to explore on his terms. Then he called another adult stupid. We left pretty much right there and he was not happy becasue he wanted to stay. I pulled over at the roadstop to give him a time out because he continued the stupid rant in the car. Ella pointed out that htere were snack machines. I wondered if there was something there that might help me in my situation. Hostess cupcakes sounded great! I proceeded to give Ella one and she was very excited. She talked about it and how yummy it was and how it had filling inside. Then Lars realized he was not going to get one. But he was most confused because he saw two in the package. He screamed and cried pretty much the whole way to Coralville. I refused to talk to him until he calmed down. He did eventually (15 minutes later) calm down. He wanted to have the treat in the car, but I would not let him have it in the car. I would not even discuss it with him until he calmed down. Ahh the power of the cupcake. one things Lars may need is motivation to change some of his naughty behaviors.

So for lunch today, Bret had 2 apple pies. When Lars started goofing off, Bret gave his apple pie to Ella. She actually knew what we were doing and played along really well. He finished his eating and ceased all goofing off behaviors immediately when given the chance. Now- I do not want to develop a sugar monster here but this seems to be all that he really wants. He can't wait for trick or treak, now I guess I know why!

Friday, October 24, 2008

He finally did it!

I have been trying, unsuccessfully to get my children to eat tomatoes. They always wanted one of the cherries from the garden because they looked so red. I think it reminded them of grapes. So they would put them in their mouth. Then out came the tongue with tomato usually with a huge- YUK!

Until Sunday. Lars wanted what mommy was having since he helped me pick the last remaining tomatoes. I wondered if he would eat it if I put sugar. Apparently a spoonful of sugar can make anything go down!

There really must be something going on with my kids right now. Ella also ate an acorn squash. Not a few pieces or some mashed up. She wanted a half just like mommy's. So I showed her how to scoop it out and mix it with the sugar mixture in the bottom of the bowl. She proceeded to eat all of hers and some of mine. I was impressed!

I am blessed to have such good eaters. They frustrate me at times but then they surprise me too!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Have you seen my front yard?

This is the old sign, the kids were able to help prime it. Boy they had fun. It was a great mess- but fun!

Its a bonus I know- but here is a peek at Lars as a pirate. Ella's costume is not done yet so she was a ballerina and mom as some weirdo crazy retro girl. They church had a party for the young kids for Halloween so we wore our costumes.
It was tons of fun and we had pictures right before it with the big Obama sign.

Monday, October 20, 2008

5 Things I Hate to Admit....

I really should be working, but I should really get these things off my chest.

1. I hate to admit I really don't care about organic foods. I know some things are a big deal. And I even buy it sometimes, but life is just too short to worry about it. My kids love all food and I just want to expose them to as much good stuff as I can. I believe in buying local when I can. and you all know in many cases that may just mean HyVee :).

2. I have to admit I have a weakness for kids clothes- most of you know this. But the problem lies that I have a weakness for expensive kids clothes. Good thing I refuse to spend much money on this habit. I love the art of a deal. I would guess I still spend too much here though. Thus my resolution to buy less. (I am working on it!) Good thing I have garage sales, Stuff and Goodwill to supply my shopping needs.

3. I hate to admit I love kids music (most of it) and bad movies. For the music- I think it is more predictable and easy to remember. Now don't get me wrong - I love high brow artful thinking movies too. But give me Roadhouse with the Swayze and a beer and I am oh so happy.

4. I hate to admit I love Cheetoes a bit too much. I always hate myself after I realize the entire bag is gone. In fact some of the bags I have noticed are 4- can you believe it- 4 servings. I try so hard to not eat them in one sitting, but you know...

5. I really hate to admit,we do not read everynight (GASP!). Scooby Doo has infiltrated our bedtime routine and a miracle has occurred. (see prior blog) The kids actually go to bed everynight- with fewer issues. It is a miracle. I am set to continue the Scooby and Shaggy tradition- with little regret. I need to work on reading at other times.

One more to make you all laugh... I really need to admit that I really, really hate my feet. I hate pedicures because someone else has to touch my feet. Ewwww. I kinda think they look better afterwards but it still creeps me out. They cut off skin and rub off skin. I think it may the one of the grossest jobs ever. I need to remember to tip them more next time I go! I hate plenty of other parts of my body- but I at least feel I can change them with work. Unfortunately, I am stuck with these size 11 feet forever.

Mindy- btw I share the toothbrushing issue. It just seems like so much work some days...

Monday, October 13, 2008

Scooby Doo

We have tried hard to read to the kids every night. In fact we usually do- but the Scooby Doo tradition just snuck up on me. Bret found it was a great way to get them to calm down right before bedtime and then before we knew it, it really worked. So, Scooby at bedtime it is unless there is some kind of weird programming change on Boomerang.

Lars' favorite is Thelma (although it sounds like Wilma). I was confused on this for weeks, since we also would watch Flintstones from time to time. Ella likes Daphne becasue she is pretty and has a pink dress. So if you would happen to wear a pink dress, you too could be Ella's favorite. Her criteria is pretty simple! I had a pink tank top on at bedtime last night, and you would have thought I had a prom dress on by Ella's reaction!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Oktoberfest & Apples

It was a busy day from the start but it we were presented with such beautiful crisp fall weather, I have nothing to complain about. Everyone managed to sleep in until 7- this us heaven for me when it actually happens.

I made yummy oatmeal with raisins, which Lars ate heartily and Ella picked at. I never seem to know what she will eat int he morning. Her appetite is usually great, but in the morning she is just not ready to be cooperative much of the time. After eating we got dressed and then we loaded up for our adventure for the day. We drove over to pick up Jess and headed off to Amana for the Oktoberfest parade and festivities. I also made arrangements with our guidance counselor, TJ, to visit his house after the parade to pick apples from his apple orchard. On the way to Amana, Ella proudly told Jess that the cow in the pasture was for sale. Jess had no idea what she meant, but I asked Ella if she meant it was for sale because it was written on. Ella said yes- just like a car. Of course, cow 4 sale- cheap! We laughed pretty heartily at this.

We arrived about 40 minute before the parade, which is necessary because parking is crazy hard for events such as this. We went up to Macumber's house where Ella greeted Mary and then many other kids rolled in. The parade was setting up just across the street so while we waited the kids just ran around us and were having so much fun playing tag. Fox's arrived with Cam, Riley and Carson. Harrison and Jackson arrived at the end since they were going to be in the parade. Ella was very excited to see Harrison since he is her best friend in preschool because as she puts it, we always play together. I think she misses him when he is not there. Pete and Jess were there with Gracie. All in all, I think there were 7-9 kids running around and about 10 adults. It really is a great thing that we all are blessed to work together and have kids together and be able to bring them together for events like these. Susan and Ben are so hospitable and provide juice and coffee and donuts for people. I am always concerned because my kids eat more than their share. I must remember to thank them for letting us take part.

Once the parade began, the kids were very excited. Then the candy began! This is such a small town parade- it really is a safe parade and one I do not worry about the kids too much. It helps we know more than half the participants in the parade too. At one point I caught a look at Ella and she was just standing at the side of the road with her arms outstretched- more please! Tehy loved the parade and had such a great time. Favorites include the band- always fun and this year the Ghostbusters car- which had 2 scary old masked people driving the car and threw out clear bouncy balls. Unexpected to say the least.

When the parade was done, Jess and I considered getting some food- but quickly changed our minds when we saw the lines at the festival hall. We heard of kids stuff a block over and headed that way. Lars and Ella loved looking at some animals and making Halloween and Oktoberfest crafts.

Then we got in the car and went apple picking at TJ's orchard. He fist gave us a tour of his orchard which consists of approximately 20 trees- apples, pears, plums, peaches. We also saw kiwi bushes and grape vines. TJ, of course, knew the name of all the apple trees- which I tried to remember...but could not. He gave us these handy dandy apple picker baskets on long sticks which made the job go much much easier. He had me sample many apples then we would toss them into the ditch. Lars thought this was great fun- so he pretty much decided to eat or take a bite from a pile then throw it as hard as he could into the ditch- the rest of the time. Argh.

He also found a very cool praying mantis followed by a small fuzzy caterpillar which he squashed and horrified Jess with his sheer brutality. To Lars, however, he was just stomping a bug. He likes to do this. No matter how much I plead with him- he likes to stomp bugs. I was very proud that he did not stomp the praying mantis. You gotta take what you can get.

Well after about an hour of apple picking, we had about 8 gallons of apples - red and yellow apples. I also has a shopping bag of pears- asian and bosch. I made an apple crisp tonight and will likely make pies tomorrow to take to work on Monday. We have a lot of apples- I may be making apple baked goods or applesauce all the rest of this week. If only I knew what to do with all these pears?

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Up the Hill Tantrum

I forgot to write this ancetdote about Ella. I will start with the preface that I am NOT ready for her to be grown up.

Last week, Lars was sick and needed to go to the doctor. Dr. Hackbarth was not available so we went to see Dr. Shaw. Ella was less than well behaved at the office. She ran away from me at the end of the appointment- she was tired and hungry. I was pretty upset as she was very naughty and kept running away from me. I hurdled Lars into the car, then I needed to go back and grab Ella and put her into the car. She was getting huge delight in running away from mom and eliciting a reaction form Mr. Lars. In the car she demanded I sing the "Up the hill" song when we go up a big hill by where we live. I was pretty riled up from getting her into the car at the doctor's office, so I told her that I will not do fun things for for 2 reasons- one: she demanded rather than asked I sing and two: when you act naughty you do not get to do fun things. She was very mad at this response and with crossed arms (in her car seat) she declared loudly that she was not going to be my little girl anymore. she really my little girl now? Now I know this is not the worst I will see but she is only four. Oh my.