Thursday, May 31, 2012

Baking with Boys

I recently had a banana that was going beyond it's prime. Shane threatened to throw it away one morning if I didn't make the promised banana bread with it soon. Finally the baby stopped needing to be held for a few minutes so I ran into the kitchen and grabbed all the ingredients and set them up on the counter. I decided to let the boys help me even though it made me frustrated and took way longer. Baking soda ended up on the floor, some measurements had to be redone, but in the end the boys had so much fun. Dylan practiced some fractions with measuring spoons. Lincoln got to dump some things in. And I learned that some help is still help. The bread still turned out fine (although not as good as the loaf my friend Deanne brought over for us the other day!) and look at those happy little faces licking off beaters when everything was done. I will still probably wait a little longer before trying to bake again because Warner didn't stay asleep for long, but life is a learning process. 

Lincoln watching Dylan, Dylan looking for "1 tsp". 

Copy Cats

Can you say camera ham?

That's some serious finger licking!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Sisters

 Who knew that when I was a kid, forced to share a room with my arch enemy, that one day I would grow up and have an automatic best friend? I finally realize how important siblings are in your life as I watch my boys play together. Yes I make them share and play together and take care of each other. They will always be around no matter how sad or angry you make them. Heck I sat on my sister when she was inside a sleeping bag and my friends and I used to tease her *Jackie, she is so tacky...* but I think she's forgiven me. She came for an overnight trip last week to meet Warner and to help me out around the house when Shane first went back to work and I couldn't be happier to have her in my life. I can text or call or facebook her any time to tell her a funny story or ask her for advice. We're even attempting to take all of our combine 5 kids (three under two!) on an 800+ miles on way road trip in a few weeks. I didn't appreciate all the family time when I was younger buy boy am I thankful for it now. 

video 

Dylan was working on his camera skills while she was here last, hopefully you enjoy a run through our house. Disregard the woman waving wildly in our dining room :)

In January when her baby was a baby, my how four months flies by!
Luke and Warner, I didn't realize how red this kid was until I saw them next to each other.
Luke and Lincoln, bffs.

Dylan took this picture of us being goofy in the kitchen 


Staying Afloat

Wowzers. Having four kids really is a change. Maybe I will get used to it soon, but for now it is very umm... jam packed with excitement (falling out of cribs, sleeping through school bus pick up, crying during dinner etc), changes (of diapers mainly) and growth. Shane went back to work late last week so that sort of threw a wrench in the some what stable routine we started after the baby was born, but I know that now I just have to build a new normal routine. Danielle has 8 days of school left. Dylan has 15. Again our days are going to change so I am trying to get some things in order before pandemonium becomes the new norm. Warner is starting to be awake more often and Lincoln likes him well enough... I'm just struggling to find the balance of nursing, playing, cleaning, discipline and sleep. It has only been three weeks so I'm not worried I won't get it figured out, I'm just trying to stay afloat in the meantime. Thank God my kids are so stinking adorable because I'm pretty sure I hissed at Dylan this morning when he was whining about being so tired for school. So let's see, what have we been up to since I blogged last...
Lincoln figured out how to climb out of his crib and we tried to fight it for a week or two but when he actually fell out we took down the front rail and he is officially in a toddler bed. He thinks it is so cool. The first few time he snuck out and then closed the bed room door, probably to try to hide it from us. Now he just peeks out the crack and then slowly comes out and climbs on Daddy's lap for a late night cuddle (who's the softie?). One of these days I imagine he will stay where we put him, but just not yet. Joy.
Trying to get him excited about his big boy bed


Yess! Asleep on the first try for nap time... not so successful at night time.
Memorial Day Weekend - We pretty much hung out at the house. We did get pizza and found $1 smoothies from Burger King, a royal treat. We did walk to a store in town and I got my first sip of wine since last summer. We had a bon fire in the fire pit I built at least two summers ago and had yet to actually use it. We played out back for hours enjoying the wind free day (which is really a rare treat in Ellensburg in the Spring). I stayed in my pjs all day on Sunday. Or was it Monday. We watched a lot of movies including Wild Hogs, twice.
Super Dad, able to hold a sleeping baby and toddler just out of the bath.

Back yard baseball. 

We have fire!

Hanging out on the plastic furniture.

Dylan doing a baseball pose.



Looking for rollie pollies - pill bugs - potato bugs.

Little man.

Shane tells me my eyes aren't this dark in real life, thanks babe!

Cool dude, minus the pacs.


Warner trying to keep up with the big bros. 

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Warner has arrived!

It's been a week and a half but things have finally settled down enough to sit and write for a bit (hopefully).

Early Wednesday morning I woke up and thought I was having a bad stomach cramp. About 10 minutes later when I had another one I realized that these weren't the cause of eating something bad, but contractions! About 3am I started timing them and for the next few hours I tried to rest, browsed the internet for a new diaper bag that would accommodate two kids still in diapers (I have two that I like but neither one fits the enormous amount of stuff I feel like I need to lug around with me for 4 kids total), watched some reality tv reruns and then finally my alarm went off at 6:35. After I got Dylan off to the bus like usual I showered and told Shane he probably wouldn't be going in to work. At 8 we started making arrangements with my mother-in-law to watch Lincoln and started getting all the stuff moved to the van. Then I NEEDED to sweep the kitchen before we left. If you ever really want your contractions to get intense, start sweeping the floor... it works great!
Finally after running some errands first we checked into the hospital at 9:42am. The set me up in a little room and started monitoring my contractions. They weren't showing up very well so it took them a while to figure out how far apart they were and once the nurse finally check me and decided to move me into the labor room it was about 10:30. We got me up and started walking to the room and had to stop half way there, about 20 feet into the walk and I literally thought the baby was going to fall out in the hallway. We made it to the labor room and realized that our bag that had the camera was still in the van. Shane ran out to grab it and my water broke just as he came back into the room. My doctor barely had time to get into the proper delivery clothes things were moving so quickly. I pushed twice until the head came out and since no one likes having a baby hanging out of them I just kept pushing and voila Warner James Sadler was born at 10:40am. 7 pounds even and 19 1/2 inches long. He was perfect! He came so fast Danielle didn't even make it in time to see him born but was there to help get him washed up and cuddly. Unfortunately they think he took a big gulp of amniotic fluid right as he was coming out so he kept gagging on fluid and they actually had to suction out his stomach with a tiny little tube but it didn't seem to bother him too much.
Warner is such a little love bug and we are so excited to have him in our lives.
The night before we became a family of 6. 

The last picture of me pregnant.

And he's out!

Proud big sis

Grumpy old man face

Checking each other out

Staring at Mommy

Sleeping in his basinet at the hospital

Grandma Shirley with ALL the kids

Proud Daddy

My Boys

Family at home. 

Monday, May 7, 2012

Bounty of Poultry

Shane has a way of getting his hands on the weirdest things for free (including house plants, chocolate, lean cuisine meals, chorizo, yogurt etc) and he recently came home with a windfall of chicken. Forty pounds of boneless, skinless chicken breasts. I'm estimating it's worth at least $80 around here considering I think about $1.99 lb is a decent price. All we had to do was separate it. It seemed to come in about 10 pound bags all frozen together in one giant chicken pop. After defrosting it, we BBQd about 2-3 lbs for dinner yesterday and stuck whatever we didn't eat in the fridge because Shane is going on a diet kick and says he will eat chicken all the time. (I think those extra 6 pounds might have something to do with all the baking I've been doing lately, sadly no more) This is my most favorite type of meat to work with... or eat but I don't always have it around so I am more than excited. Here's what we did:

I threw about 7 pounds into the crock pot with about 1/2 cup water, garlic salt and pepper on low overnight for about 10 hours. I shredded all of it, set aside two cups for chicken divan for dinner tonight and mixed the rest with BBQ sauce for chicken burgers sometime when we have a crowd over. With graduation and the new baby coming soon I figure that will be really easy to serve if we need to.

We bagged up another about 15 pounds in 2-4 pound portions for ease of thawing. I made a huge list of meals that I want to make eventually when I have all the ingredients on hand with the chicken such as: coq au vin, chicken parmesan, chicken quesadillas, chicken fijitas, chicken chili, homemade chicken taquitos and chicken and biscuits. Yum I'm getting hungry.

Here's what I've actually made and put in the freezer since yesterday... man not sleeping well sure gives you plenty of time to plan.
chicken curry sauce
Teriyaki Chicken, chicken curry x3, sliced for Stir Fry, teriyaki chicken burgers, orange chicken, chicken piccata, the chicken divan and the shredded chicken. I love that most of the meals are freezer friendly! Can't wait to eat them all.

Oh I forgot to mention that I also made taco meat and pulled homemade refried beans out of the freezer so the family can have tacos the night I stay at the hospital... man I am so ready for this baby to come.

Mom Connection Winner

And the grand prize goes to...
Courtney!

I know you are out of state so we will have to negotiate the hula hoop part of the giveaway, but please message me your mailing address and I will get the book out to you asap. Congratulations!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Our Favorite Muffins

So I've been baking more since my freezer is still pretty full of freezer meals and we have completely fallen in love with this chocolate chip zucchini muffin recipe. The are so yummy, somewhat healthier than the no-bakes that I've also been making and they stay good until the last one is gobbled up (which isn't that long around here.) I've probably made four dozen since I found the recipe online and frozen about a dozen to have on hand after this baby comes. Will he ever come? Hopefully soon but until then I have these great muffins. If you make them, you will thank me.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Mom Connection (Book Review and my first Giveaway!)



I was recently given the opportunity by MOPS International to read and review next year’s theme book called Mom Connection: Creating Vibrant Relationships in the Midst of Motherhood by Tracey Bianchi. In her book, Bianchi examines the relationships between today’s mom and finding her rhythm with her children, spouse, her schedule and commitments, her extended family, friends, community and the world. Like trying to sling 100 hula hoops at once alone, mothers in today’s society try to do it all and look good while doing it. Bianchi discusses mommy competition and while we are all on the same team being just a mom can be isolating, “We are never physically alone and yet our souls starve for connection.” Once we recognize how great we are and how important others are to us then we can flourish as a spouse, mother and person in society. Remembering to “take regular moments to rise up into your gifts and passions. To live fully into the rhythm of your life, you need to celebrate all that you are.”

The book is well organized and easy to read between diaper changes, never-ending snack time, and the sacred bedtime. I started writing down quotes I loved from the book and ended up with 6 pages (mind you it was during “Glee” and I was writing sloppy on a wide ruled notebook) because so much of it I wanted to remember or apply to my life. I felt that the spouse and extended family chapters were especially important for me to read because I have a hard time balancing my needs with the needs of other who are important or I think are important such as “working on your partnership takes energy you are likely short on at the moment, but you need the payoff to thrive.” I want to thrive in my relationships! I also have to remember that “newlyweds become oldyweds, and oldyweds are the reason that families work.”

There are three sections of the book; including finding your own rhythm as a mom, finding rhythm in your relationships and helping others find their rhythm. At the end of each chapter there are three tips to try out at home, a place to jumpstart prayer and a journaling opportunity. I highly recommend reading Mom Connection no matter what season of motherhood you are in.

If you would like to win a copy of Mom Connection: Creating Vibrant Relationships in the Midst of Motherhood you are in luck! From now until 11:59pm on May 6th you can enter to win a brand new copy of Bianchi’s book and a hula hoop. You’ll have to read the book to understand that part a little better. To enter please leave a comment on this post explaining why you love MOPS or are interested in getting involved in a group near you. The winner will be randomly drawn and announced on May 7th.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Cutest Kids in the West

I was reading a book the other day and one of the quotes that jumped out at me was something along the lines of "Be the Steve Jobs of mothering." I was to leave a legacy and have people talking about how great I am... ok that came out a little wrong but it is good for the mind and soul to realize how great you actually are, even in the midst of feeling like you need to flop on the couch and scream (I'm not saying that necessarily happened yesterday around 6:30pm). So let me brag about my adorable children for just one (more) moment.
Even though there is a five year gap between them, my boys... that are actually out in this world as we speak... for the most part love each other and can be best buddies. Such characters!
I think if Linc wasn't eating a pretzel we might have had a better smile. 

The smile and the scowl, that about sums them up.

Just your typical Tuesday morning before school.
And Danielle, holy cow have you seen this girl? She's only got 25 full days of school left as a senior and she will be graduated! Yikes, where has the time gone. Now don't get all crazy and print or post this picture because I will be sending it out with her graduation announcements in the mail hopefully by early next week. June 11th is going to be a tough day. My oh my I can barely wrap my head around the fact that once she's out of school she will be more of an adult than ever.