Friday, January 30, 2009

Thank You

Thanks to everyone who has called and emailed birthday wishes to the boys. I'm thankful to have such awesome friends and family.

Here is a super cute video my sister took of her boys singing to my boys. SO CUTE!!!

Happy Birthday from GH on Vimeo.

What do two year olds eat for breakfast???

Toast with strawberry Brummel and Brown, apples, and sausage, all in the shape of a "2"!!!!!

2 Years Old

The boys are officially 2 of 4:54 am. Eric and I were talking on the phone last night about how hard it is to believe that they are 2 already, how much fun they bring to our family, how we would love to have more in a few years, and how plain awesome they are!!! I think we have pretty cool kids and wouldn't trade them for anything. All the tears, from them and from me, colic, NICU, lack of sleep, breast pumps, 2 times EVERYTHING, ER trips, ear infections, food allergies, diapers, doctors appointments..all of it...I wouldn't give it back in a million years! Love you boys and hope you have a very HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!

Brandon Michael...3 lbs 10 oz 16 1/2 inches long...born 8 1 2/ weeks early...
Connor Arden...4 lbs 1 oz 16 1/2 inches long...born 8 1/2 weeks early
Brandon on his 1st birthday
Connor on his first birthday

The boys now!

I couldn't get in the doctor for their 2 year old check up until mid-February. I'll update everyone on their "stats" later!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Play Group Birthday Party

I invited the ladies of our play group over today to celebrate the boys' birthday. This is such an awesome group of moms and all of the kids get along really well together. There are 5 other toddlers and 3 infants. All of the toddlers were born within about 6 months of each other, and the infants range from 5 months to 5 weeks old. I got into the group because one of the ladies is the wife of the JAG officer that helped Eric with some stuff when I was pregnant with the boys. Low and behold, she is a physical therapist that used to work with the PT that was deployed with Eric. Then, come to find out, most of our husbands work together...small world I tell ya.

Anyways, I invited them all over to enjoy some home made Southwestern soup, chipotle chili and cherry corn bread, fresh strawberries, pineapple, punch, and of course the train cake. All of the food turned out super delicious which was great because they were all new recipes! I'll post those later. I'm telling ya, the rice krispie cake was a fabulous idea! It wasn't as messy as normal cake...and who doesn't love krispie treats??? Here are a few pictures from the day...enjoy! I'm totally exhausted from preparing for this and then executing it.

The final outcome on the cake...with the smoke stack and HAPPY BIRTHDAY candles
Brandon in his shirt I made...

Connor's shirt...
The goody boxes I put together for the kids. I used take out boxes and wrote their names on them...they turned out really cute!

Connor, Ivette, Brandon and Billy chowing down on the #1 toddler staple food...GOLDFISH!

The other set of twins...Angelica in the white and Katie in the red...I think!
Connor, Brandon, and Billy...the lone boys...listening to the Wiggles CD

Two of the babies...Jillian in the white and Ilyssa in the pink. It was fun to get out my pack n play, floor gym, and bouncy seat. We aren't having anymore for a while so don't get any ideas!
Brandon snatched up one of the "smokestack" balls of fondant and shoved it in his mouth. You can tell my kids don't get sweets too often. I let him chow on's his birthday by-golly!
The crazy family room after they opened presents least I'm pretty sure it's Katie...and Brandon sitting in the dump trucks
Connor kept putting this trash can on his head while vacuuming (or as he says, bacOOOm) the kitchen. This picture is for my sis, Bri...remember the part in Parenthood when the little boy kept slamming his head into the wall with a bucket over it???HELP HELP HELP...hahaha
Their birthday presents. Thank you to all of the ladies and their kiddos. We all had a fabulous time and I can't wait for Billy's party in February!!!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Cute Video

We went to the library today to get a few books. As we left, I passed the children's CD shelf and found a Wiggles CD. The boys LOVED it, and kept asking for it over and over and over. I have a feeling I'm going to be sick of it very soon. In the meantime, enjoy them singing Hot Potato for you! I was surprised that they knew all of the hand movements!!!!!

Monday, January 26, 2009

My Almost-2-Year-Olds

The boys are like sponges lately when it comes to words, phrases, and basic info. I was cut off by another driver the other day and said, "you idiot"...then Connor said "you idiot" OOPS! Now I can't even say those kind of words because I don't want the boys to use them. Shew.

We got the flashcards out after dinner. I go through these with them about twice a week or so....or every time they bring them to me. I never turn down a book or the flashcards. I was amazed at how many of the cards Brandon knew and could tell me what the card was...pretty clearly. Here's a list of what he can say...

butterfly (he calls them bah-bys)
cow - and says moo
dog - and says ARF
giraffe (he calls it a "jaff")
owl - and says WHO WHO
apple - he says this word VERY clearly
train - and he says choo choo
lady bug - he just calls it a bug

Connor can recognize all of those too, and also

chicken - and says "bawk bawk" the Cadbury Bunny

I guess I was so amazed that they both recognized all of these things AND said the word. They each sat with me for 30 minutes each to go through the cards. I would just hold up the card and say, What is this? There are a lot of other words they know like body parts, food, the Wiggles characters, and names of their toys. Connor has pretty much mastered the shape sorter, and Brandon is SO close to getting them all correct. They know the colors yellow and green (neen as they say it) I'm officially no longer concerned about their speech at all!!!! They know about 5 2-3 word phrases like, more please, up please, i love you, hi...fill in the name, and buy bye...fill in the name, and all done. They know a lot of my friends by name as well as other little kids by name. They call each other "Nonnor" and "Mandon" They used to call each other bubba, but they are starting to use names now. I'm so proud of them. I know these are things all other almost 2 year olds do, and I'm not bragging about them at all. I'm just excited that they are learning at a normal rate and are able to communicate with me more.

Brandon is a very observant little boy. Aunt Bri was in town at the beginning of the month. They started called her Aunt B. I was at my friend's house earlier this week and Brandon kept pointing to her kitchen counter and saying Aunt B. I said, No honey, that's Miss Michelle...not Aunt B. Then, when I looked up on the counter, Michelle had the exact same Very Bradley pattern that Aunt B has. I couldn't believe he noticed something like that. I love Vera Bradley and I didn't even notice. He's such a smart cookie!

They are also FINALLY picking up on the whole idea of using utencils at meal time. I know everyone will do things when they are ready. Some of us stubborn moms want them to do things on our schedule. I gave up with the spoons and forks about a month ago. I spent more time forking their food for them or cleaning up huge messes from them turning the spoon upsidedown. Now, they eat with a spoon very well and are actually attempting the fork...and succeeding sometimes. One thing I absolutley will not push them on is potty training. They have both pooped once on the potty and that's it. They each still sit on the potty regularly...especially when I hear their pooping sounds, but nothing has happened. I put one of their potties in their room and they like to say potty and sit on it. That's about as far as we've gotten. I don't think I'll go full force on it until this summer, but there's no problem in talking about it. It's a long work in process!

Here are some pictures from "craft time" today. They painted for the first time and did pretty good. I found some old paint from when I was an RA in 9 years ago. It happened to be Crayola Washable. I gave it a good shake and it was good as new! I tape the paper to the table whenever they use crayons, stickers, markers, etc and it works like a charm. I also taped their paint pallet (a plastic plate) to the table so they wouldn't toss it on the floor!!!!

Here are a few cute videos from this week...just so their Daddy can see what they've been up to!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

B & C Express

The boys will be turning 2 next Friday. Since Eric is gone, we won't really be celebrating their birthday until he comes home for a long weekend in February. I decided to have a play date with our play group so we can still celebrate their big day. I love planning these things and coming up with cute ideas for the food...and especially the cake!

I got this idea from a fondant book my sis bought me for Christmas. The only thing I changed was the actual cake. I made their "cake" out of a big rice krispie treat. Due to allergies, they can't have cake but they can definitely have krispie treats. I've seen plenty of episodes of Ace of Cakes and I know that they use rice krispies often. it goes. Start to finish...about 2 1/2 hours.

First of all, I made the tradition Rice Krispie recipe and put it in 2 loaf pans and one prep bowl.

Next, I made the fondant. time I will purchase the white fondant and color it. It's really expensive that way, but now I know why! The recipe I used was for buttercream fondant. It wasn't very easy to work with...not like to premade stuff. Oh well...I tried!

Next, I had to cut the shape of the cake out of cardboard. I knew those diaper boxes would come in handy at some point!

Then I covered it with foil

Next I cut the krispies to fit! I only had to cut 3 inches off of one of the loaves.

Then I started working with the fondant.

Here's the finished product. I'm very happy with it, even though it turned out a little different than expected. I can be a perfectionist at times, and I can definitely pick out the flaws, but I think it's very cute! I'm going to add a fondant smoke stack later.

Now I also know why fondant cakes are expensive to buy. They take a lot of time and are kind of pricey to make. If someone were to ask me to make this cake for them, I think I would charge about 50-75 bucks!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

First Play in the Snow

Here are a few pictures from the boys' first play date with the snow...

The woods behind our house...

The girls playing...see the video below for more of the doggies playing!

They soon figured out that it was edible!

I love this picture of B!!!
Doesn't Rena look super cute in the white snow??

Connor feeding Brandon some snow...
The wet aftermath...
Warming up with the Wiggles

Snow in NC???

That's is snowing in NC for the first time since we moved here almost 5 years ago. Well, it's flurried from time to time, but nothing has actually accumulated. What's so funny about this is that all the schools were cancelled before I went to bed last night!!!! If this were Florence, we'd be going to school, and I know Eric would be going to school where he grew up in PA as well. Mother's Day Out is also cancelled along with a lot of other day cares...which I find surprising. I have to go cancel the appointments I had today :( The boys and I are still going to run a few errands that I HAVE to do today. Then I'm going to bundle them up, cover their shoes with plastic bags and let them have some fun in the snow. I'm not sure how they will know I'll post pictures though!

The car is covered...not sure if I even have a scraper anymore!!!

The house looks pretty with a light blanket of snow

Here's a view down towards the cul-de-sac..notice the lack of snow on the roads! HAHA

Sunday, January 18, 2009

The Boys

Here are a few candid shots of the boys from today!

Brandon loves his new slippers!

Meatless Mexican Lasagna

Here's another very tasty recipe. This is a great one to have on hand when the family has a busy night and the mommy and daddy don't have a lot of time to get something on the table...not to mention that it's low cal and low fat!

2 cups frozen corn, thawed
1 15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes with basil oregano and garlic, undrained (can sub with salsa!)
1 4 oz can chopped green chilies
3 green onions, sliced
2 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp ground cumin
4 6 in round corn tortillas
1 1/2 cups shredded Mexican cheese (use the 2 % cheese to cut down on some of the fat!)
6 tbsp plain yogurt

In bowl, combine the first 7 ingredients. Place 2 tortillas in an 11 x 7 in baking dish coated with cooking spray. Spread the tortillas with half of the corn mixture, sprinkle with half of the cheese. Repeat layers.

Bake, uncovered at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until heated through. Let stand for 5 minutes, garnish with yogurt, if desired.

This was very easy and quick...and VERY tasty. I also made some mini cornbread muffins. Instead of taking a picture of my plate, I took a picture of Brandon's...before and after!

Brandon ate ALL of his Mexican Lasagna, muffins, cheese, and berries...and even had a second serving of cheese and a second and third serving of berries...although he left some of the berries at the end. Since he, and Connor, ate so well, they earned a treat...

half of a heart cupcake and some cool whip...YUM!