Friday, January 28, 2011


We drove up to Kennesaw and went to a train museaum with Jared's parents last weekend. The girls got to see lots of model trains, play on a small "pillow" train and walk along a painted railroad track that led to a real train engine. Our little monkeys had a great time and it was fun for all of us to get to do something different.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Their Own Style

Halle Kate was so excited to have her first ponytail she took of her shirt and put on some snazzy sunglasses. She's so stylish!

Check out these wild girls. See Mantey? She lives in this outfit right now. It's a leotard that her Texas Aunts bought her two years ago and her "real ballerina shoes". These girls are definitely going to follow in their Mama's footsteps and be voted "Most Fashionable" in high school. Ha!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

6 days of no fresh air

 This is what happened when we didn't leave the house for 6 days. Total chaos and disaster. Poor Matney seemed to have given up on finding anything worth playing with. She tucked herself into her sleeping bag and is just watching HK destroy the playroom. I love my house and I love my children but six days inside is about five too many for me. On the fourth night stuck home Matney came turning into the kitchen yelling "there's a car on our street, there's a car on our street!" at full volume. When I got her calmed down enough to say something else she said "there's a car on our street and it came to take us somewhere!". Bless her sweet heart. She was desperately hoping someone would come take her away. She had no idea that if there was a service that could get us out in the show I would have handed them our check book and said "let's go!"

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Menu Overhaul

I feel like it is my job as the mom - the primary grocery shopper, meal planner/cooker, adult providing meals and snacks - to research healthy foods and feed them to my family. Several times before I've attempted to overhaul our diet only to get tired, stressed and out of time or off the budget and go back to feeding us things I am not proud of doing. If you've known me for a while you know that I am not good at cutting myself any slack, I am pretty all-or-nothing and I get frustrated and quit easily.

As we started 2011 I had many nights awake with HK to think about things I'd like to change during this year and one of the first things is what/how we eat. One of the things that I realize is that some of the problem is my all-or-nothing thinking and getting frustrated and quitting. Because Jared isn't home until really late family dinners are not an option on the week days. Those nights it is much easier for me to eat before or after the girls and just feed them at their table. However, I do believe that eating together is super important so the girls and I are going to start dining together, even if that just means that I am eating fancy peanut butter toast that I made quickly. I really really want us to eat less processed food and more fruits and veggies. We're still going to eat cookies and ice cream but we'll make more of them ourselves. I want to expose the girls to new foods a little at a time over the next months and hopefully we'll all learn to reach for a bag of nuts before a bag of chips. My hope is that, with ups and downs, over the course of the year we'll be eating healthier foods 2012...with no tears and no whining and no feeling like we're missing anything.

There are several websites that I've followed for a while and books that we've read that I wanted to share  a few of them here. Many of our friends I know have the same goals so I hope that these can help you too.

Summer Tomato is a great site with TONS of general information. If you want to sum it all up quickly she made this quick flow chart. Sad to say that much of what we eat is "at your own risk". - this mama is amazing! A year ago they were Chickfila junkies like we are. They did some research and decided to slowly change how they ate as a family, trying to eat real food (vs non-processed "fake" food). They did that and then decided to try "100 days of real food" ie - take all processed food out of their diets for 100 days. They accomplished it with a 3 and 5 year old. However, it took the mom doing lots of research and spending a lot of time in her kitchen. After the 100 days was over she responded to readers comments that real food is a great ideal but is super expensive. So, now she's wrapping up "100 days of real food on a budget). Her family of 4 spends $125 a week on groceries - less than a family of 4 on food stamps would have to spend.
She posts lots of great recipes and several like the pancakes, cream of mushroom soup (so that you can make casseroles without the can condensed soup), mac and cheese for the kids, kale chips (hk loves these), banana ice cream we have tried and all really liked. If you're interested there is a recipe tab on her home page that is broken down into categories. She's got tons of great information so plan to spend some time if you check it out.

Homemade Granola Bars  - look through the comments, there are lots of good changes you can make to suit your family best

In Defense of Food and the The Omnivores Delima  are two of the main books we read  - such incredible, eye opening information

Have you heard of this? Healthy homemade bread in 5 minutes? I had been wanting to try this for a while and got the cookbook and ingredients for Christmas (thanks Mom!). It really is simple and there's a whole book of recipes to try. If you don't love one "flavor" then flip the page and try another. My first try wasn't my favorite, Jared thought it was fine, but the second one I tried is yummy! My hope is that we can stop buying bread with 20 ingredients, most of them I can't pronounce, and make our own bread with 5 ingredients that I know where they came from.

So, there you have it. No big changes this month but hopefully a year full of commitment on my part with careful shopping, budgeting and planning. I'm learning to batch cook and freeze meals/ingredients. There is no doubt that this will require more of my time - and I HATE being in the kitchen - but hope that this is something that makes as lasting impact on our health and lives. And ps- if you come over for dinner one night I promise we're not going to throw weird things on your plate!

Marshmallow Fluff

We are working on a food overhaul again in this house. More on that in a different post. I've cleaned out the current food we have and gotten rid of many things I'd rather us just not eat. The marshmallow cream was leftover from a cookie recipe at Chrsitmas. Before I tossed what was left I thought I'd let HK try some on a spoon.

HA! What do you think? I am pretty sure it was a hit!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Maggie's back!

My girls have a BFF (best friend forever) and it is Maggie! Oh my! Maggie came to play not long ago and do you think my girls were excited? Saying "Maggie" in this house is followed with cheers. Dear Maggie, please come play EVERY DAY. Love, the Mommy who can get things done while you are here.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

(Too) Big Girl

I cannot believe my baby girl is going ot be three in less than two months. The earth is spinning way too fast! Look at how grown up she looks. This is one of her favorite outfits right now because she likes very much that she is older than Halle Kate and therefore the "big SIS". She also has to have a her hair in a ponytail and wear her silvers shoes to make things complete. I love watching her grow and change but I feel like I am already forgetting so many things she did just days before. Being a mom is an incredible gift and I LOVE this big girl!

Sweet Halle Kate

Sweet is not normally the first word we use to describe Halle Kate. Usually we only have time to say WILD before we have to run and chase her. I snapped these pictures while she was in a good mood watching Matney and Jared play in the snow outside. Doesn't she look so nice? She's such a cutie! Thank goodness she seems to be feeling better (we are still waiting on repeat bloodwork results). And look, we finally have lots of hair!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Snow, Snow, Snow

We had almost 6" of snow fall in less than 12 hours on Sunday night. We went to bed without a flake in the sky and woke up Monday morning to a winter wonderland, complete with deer in the backyard. It was beautiful. The girls were not too impressed with the snow itself but when they noticed the deer they went wild. Apparently two weeks is not enough time to forget anything and their minds snow + deer = Santa, Christmas and presents! Seriously, we were explaining all day long that just because we had snow and deer in the yard Santa and his sleigh full of goodies would not be making another appearance at our house. It was too funny.

We ventured out mid-morning. Living in GA we did not have good clothing for snow. Matney really wanted to throw snowballs but the mittens we own were about the equivalent of having socks on her hands. HK liked being outside but wanted down. Six inches of snow came high up on her leg and she toppled right over. The snow got on her hands and she started crying immediately to go inside. Now anytime she hears the word "snow" she holds her hands out and says "no hands, no hands".

 So glad we don't live somewhere that deals with snow often. Five minutes of snow equals a big mess of clothes and wet floors. Yuck.
When the girls took a nap I made encouraged Jared to go back into the freezing cold and make the girls a snowman. They were both in love with Frosty so they needed one, right? It was super cold so he ended up a little short and I especially like the eyes made of prunes. How funny. As it has warmed up outside Matney got very concerned that we hadn't taken Frosty back to the North Pole. She's definitely seen the movie lots of times!
We live on a fairly steep hill and there were kids (and several moms) going wild on sleds. Jared and Matney thought they'd try to use a laundry basket since we didn't have a sled. Matney didn't really like it but I am pretty sure Jared would have stayed out all day if he'd fit! I wish those little boys across the street had invited him to play. The girls and I were nice and cozy inside but I am pretty sure he would have been out all day had they asked. When the sledding was a bust they ended up swinging in the backyard.
It was a neat experience for this GA family. However, the girls and I didn't leave the house for 6 days and I about lost my mind by the end of it! AGH!!!! I promise Jared that if there is ever a threat of serious snow again the girls and I will be throwing our stuff in the car and heading south! No more snow this year, please. Let's go back to preschool!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Christmas Pics up

Ok, the Christmas pictures are up as best I can do right now. I am so behind! There's not much commentary or spell check but I'll work on that later. I'm trying at least get the photos uploaded so that you can see them and I can get 2010 ready to print. Scroll through the next few pages and you should see them.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

2011 Lessons learned

Wow! Hard to believe it is the first week of the year I've already been learning some valuable lessons. Number 1 - don't say that my children are "finally feeling better" and put the medicine back in the cabinet because one of them will get sick again. Poor Halle Kate started running a 102 fever again this week and was up all night Friday crying. And when I say all night I mean I never got into my bed and eventually curled up with a blanket on the floor by her bed the few times I tried putting her in her crib. We spent some quality time at CHOA yesterday and my sweet girl was very brave for several tests that ruled many things out. She does not have any kind of infections, no ear, no bladder/kidney, no pneumonia. That is the good news. However, her blood work in some areas was "off". This could be because she's been sick with several different kind of infections for several weeks now or it could be a sign of something else (not exactly sure what those possibilities might be). At 10pm we finally got to come home and go to bed and she slept all night. I did too, thank goodness. More peacefully that I had been because at least I know that there isn't something we could be doing or some other antibiotic she should be taking. They gave me some things to watch for and assuming nothing changes we'll go back to our normal dr after the snow melts and have the blood work redone. They also said that based on her blood work she has no immune system and would catch any germ she's around so keep her home. Thank goodness for snow. That will keep us occupied (and keep daddy home) while we're hanging out here alone for a little bit. We'll miss you but we love you!

Several of you have called/emailed/texted since you saw her cute picture on Facebook and the easiest way to update it here since I know our families read this pretty frequently. Please pray our next round of blood work comes back normal and our sweet girl is well soon!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Let it snow!

If you didn't know it already take a look at the blog...snow is headed to GA again. Right now the winter weather advisory is saying 5+ inches in our part of town. This week we've had 102 fevers again, with a night full of HK barfing...being snowed in this house is not a very appealing idea to me! However, other than a trips to the mountains to ski as a kid I've never seen that much snow so who knows, it may be fun after all. My dad has quickly sent me a list of "must haves" and gotten us a propane heater so we should be all set to stay warm, fed and happy no matter what. Assuming we don't loose power for anything my plan is for Jared to enjoy some little girl time while Mommy stays upstairs and catches up on laundry and the blog! Hope all of you around here are tucked in tight and ready for a winter wonderland! And ps- Jared doesn't know about that last part yet so if you talk to him keep it quiet!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Sick and SPOILED

This is what happens when you are one and you've been sick for a month. You get spoiled. Sure HK, go sit on that bean bag and I will be more than happy to cover you with your blanket and go get your robot. No problem. And yep, I'd be more than happy to watch the same two minutes of your favorite show one.more.time. No problem!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

You know you've been sick...

You know your kids have been sick for a long time (and that people have been around them and feel sorry for you the parents) when the UPS man drops of Kleenex at your door. HA! Thanks, Dad! Sorry you caught our crud.

Actually, 48 hours of this last antibiotic was the cure for the girls. They are MUCH better! Last night on New Years Eve everyone in this house was asleep before 9:30pm and the girls and I all slept until after 8am. We were exhausted! Matney is totally back to normal except that she is convinced she should be held all the time since she got many more cuddles while she was sick. Halle Kate still has a runny nose but it doesn't seem to bother her. They both are acting like our sweet girls again. Thank goodness!

Now that the girls are well I have to dig us out of the chaos that has exploded in this house. Yuck! The dining room table was my "home base" for the past month and is still a disaster. I don't know what I'm going to find in all that mess when I clean it off this weekend. Probably lots of things I needed that I've totally forgotten about. In fact, while the girls are sleeping I should be cleaning.