Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Key Lime Pie

The girls and I made our first Key Lime Pie tonight. My meringue looks great, which makes me very excited. We will try it tomorrow, make our friends be guinea pigs, and tell you how it turned out later.


Although I had some reservations about going, we decided that we should take them while we had the money. We started driving on June 16 and spent the night in Los Banos (not the bathrooms). The next day we drove to Anaheim and cringed everytime we turned a corner. We hadn't told the girls where we were going and there were Disney signs and characters EVERYWHERE. After getting to our hotel and seeing several kids wearing Disney hats, we decided that we couldn't wait any longer. We went to our room, pulled out the camcorder and made our announcement. We had a great first day touring Disneyland until I lost my camera on "It's a Small World". Just one more reason to hate that ride. It's August now and still no sign of my camera (I think it might have fallen in the water). We went to California Adventure the next morning and were fortunate to be there with only a few other families in the bug ride area, which meant next to no wait time. The highlight of our trip was dinner that evening. We took the kids to Ariel's grotto as a pre-birthday dinner for Natalia. The food was so-so, but the looks on the girls' faces were priceless. They were greeted by Ariel and also got to see Cinderella, Snow White Belle and Aurora during the dinner. Natalia was the most animated of the whole week and couldn't stop petting Belle's dress when she came to our table. The final day, Natalia's birthday, was spent at Disneyland with Mark's 2nd cousins CeCe and Laura. We made some great memories!

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Comings and Goings

Wow a whole month since I last posted. Life seems to be zipping by lately. We celebrated Isabella's 5th birthday by going to pizza at Roaring Rapids, her request. The following Saturday we had 4 friends and 3 siblings over to have a kid party. So much fun! It was a princess theme. We made our own crowns, rescued Snow white from the poisoned apple, tried to wake sleeping beauty with a kiss, and determined our royal character by finding the pea. Castle cake and presents and then off back to their respective royal kingdoms. The next day was mother's day and we were blessed to share it with some of the women in my family. While waiting for lunch my little family went down to the river and fed ducks/geese. Then we met my mother, grandmother and aunt, plus cousins, brother and girlfriend, at Marie Calendar's. Shortly after that, was mom and grandma's birthday. We celebrated by again going for pizza. Mark finally got to start on replacing the roof shingles, which he has been wanting to do since we moved in. Then off to Lincoln beach for some pseudo camping with Mark's family. It was roughing it in so much that we were sharing an RV with 2 other adults and 6 children. Then we hurried back home to finish the roof before any chance of rain. I'm tired just thinking about it.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Young Boy's New Invention

Alternate titles: Baby Shower, Squeaky Clean, 101 Uses For A Dishwasher, April Showers...

King of the Hill

Fast Break for the Ottoman...

Hello Nose. Meet Ottoman...

This is the Good Part...
Just a Little Further...
Almost There...

Look Mommy, I'm So Cool...

Got Down, Climbed Back Up, And...

Oops! Rolled Off the Other Side.


Photos that take me back...or make me do a double take...

Christi and family friend Nathan circa 1984

Nick and Isabella 2008

Mike (my brother) circa 1984

Tobias November 2008

To The Tune of The William Tell Overture

Mommy is so wonderful,
Mommy is so wonderful,
Mommy is so wonderful,
Mooooommy is so wonderful!

Shortly after my last post, I called my Mom to bemoan my situation and my missing camera. She hadn't seen it, but asked if I had looked in several bizarre locations. Equally bizarre, if not more, is the fact that I had already checked all those places. As well as relocated my couch to clean out all of the kiddo klutter. I told her I would check the refrigerator one more time before I dove in our dumpsters (the next morning was trash pickup). Low and behold, my camera! I had set it in front between the freezer and refrigerator and I never put stuff there. I jumped, I shouted, I sang the song ~ my kids thought I was crazy. So I explained that I used to sing the song to my mom when I was little. They still thought I was crazy. Oh well, I didn't care. I was just happy to have my camera back.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Tobias' First Birthday Party

I have been waiting to post pictures, but as I have already informed you...well, it's too painful to say again. Anyway...

We took Tobias to our favorite restaurant (so favorite that it was the first meal I had after having Natalia. Indeed, my in-laws brought it to my delivery room), Hole-In-The-Wall BBQ. We were joined by my parents, brother, and grandmother, and Mark's parents, brother, niece and nephews, Aunt, Uncle and cousin. Tobias packed away the food, anything and everything we would feed him. He also helped himself to his grandfather's french fries. Grandpa retrieved a fist full of fries and surprisingly, Tobias didn't cry. We soon discovered that he had secreted away a few french fries in the other hand. We had his picture taken with the pig hat and packed everyone up.

We went back to our house for presents, cake and ice cream. He was thrilled with his gifts and opening the presents. He has to fend off his sisters, who are very interested in the toys that he received. He really likes the cars and musical book, but he has played with each of his toys numerous times already.

After opening all of the presents, we gave him his first cake. Isabella requested a cake she had seen in a cook book, but I didn't have a bundt pan and I didn't want to buy one (I probably wouldn't use it again for several years). Anyway, I used a mini springform pan and but a prep cup in the center. It worked, it looked like a donut, but it worked. From there, I frosted it with chocolate icing, sprinkles, 3 straws were stuck in it to support the carousel top and animal crackers were put between the straws to complete the carousel picture. (Apologies for the description, but again no pictures available)

He grabbed the animal crackers one at a time. Once they were gone, he picked at all of the sprinkles. Once these too were gone, he began taking pinches of frosting. Bigger and bigger, until he was also eating cake. He was tired because, at this point, it was past his bedtime. He kept rubbing his hands in his hair and, yes you guessed it, plastered his hair with frosting. (This was the last time I remember having my camera)

We went straight to the bathtub and then back to the living room to get in some more play time before bed.

Despair! Oh Dark, Despair!

I can't find it. Anywhere. I decluttered the kitchen after all the cooking on Easter. I picked up all the loot from Tobias' first birthday party. I cleaned the top of our television, one of the last strongholds against the children. I even, I know you won't believe this, I even moved my couch and rummaged through the socks, toys, dishes, writting utensils, and even a sun visor for my car that had all collected there. Still I couldn't find it. I cleaned my bathroom (multiple times, as this is the first room to get completely massacred by my children).

Oh what a depressing feeling...my camera is gone.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

School House Rocks!!!

We went to the library on monday and I found it. Instant nostalgia. Saturday mornings, still wearing PJs, eating breakfast while laying on the living room floor and watching cartoons. Of course, I had to borrow it. I was a little saddened when the girls both protested. "I want Mickey" and "I don't want a singing one" didn't daunt me. I started it none the less... Okay, so I had to bribe them with princess shaped graham crackers within the first five minutes, but they will thank me...someday.

And who decided to call them crackers anyway. They are just a glorified cookie...

My Little Guy is 1!

He did it; he survived his sisters. He is currently in possession of 4 half teeth (none of them are all the way in), a not so lovely cough, and a snotty nose. He is also presently screaming on my lap, because he apparently needs to demonstrate his ability to throw a tantrum. Although not sleeping through the night, he is much easier to put back to sleep and is only waking up once a night.

He LOVES to play peek-a-boo. He thinks it is funny to move your hands away from your face and he enjoys being able to manipulate things. He will hurry around a corner, so that he can peek back around it. He knows how to push open doors and which doors Mommy doesn't like him to open (he still opens them if he can).

He adores Isabella and likes Natalia when she can curb her natural affection, which can get a bit overwhelming.

He is thrilled by bathes and, like all babies, loves to splash the water. He doesn't seem too concerned when he manages to get a face full of water.

He is quick to wave bye-bye when the word is mentioned and is experimenting with words like: Da (daddy), talia (we think he is trying to say her name), mama, ki (kitty). We have even heard him say thank you on occasion, although, the jury is still out on whether or not it was intentional.

He is still small for his size and I am sometimes surprised by a label to realize that I have been putting a 3 month outfit on him. He is not walking yet, but can stand up when holding on to something. He has the strength and balance to stand on his own, but won't do it on purpose. He enjoys practicing his steps.

Unfortunately, being number three, we didn't get to do anything eventful on his big day. But, hopefully we can remedy that when we have his party on Saturday.

The Joy of Youth

The kids were absolutely tickled by open windows on the freeway.

I wasn't able to catch Tobias' expression because he was still in the rear facing car seat (but not anymore!). He was clapping and waving his hands in the air and had a very exuberant expression.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Port Orchard

We had the pleasure of visiting some dear friends at the beginning of March. Mark and I both went to school with Katherine and when she married Kevin, Isabella was in the wedding party. They have lived in Port Orchard for the last several years, but with three small children, this was our first visit. The girls promptly struck their claim on Kevin while watching cartoons. After a wonderful breakfast of pancakes and eggs (requested by Isabella) and cinnamon rolls, we decided to go to Poulsbo for a late lunch and some site seeing.

We ate at J.J.s (you will have to correct me if I'm wrong, Katherine) and being indecisive, I went with peer pressure and had the Halibut fish and chips. Delicious!

Mark and Tobias

Kevin helping Natalia clean up.
Kevin let the girls hold the leash to Fergus (Golden Lab) while he held on to the lead closer to the collar. They thought it was great!

Fergus poses with Natalia.

"Don't take my picture!" Although she didn't see me sneak this one.

The whole gang at the water front. Isabella called it the lake. Well, what else would a large body of water be? Port doesn't really translate in Toddler speak so I just let it be.

Thanks Katherine and Kevin for opening up your home and all of the wonderful memories we crammed into that too short day. We love you.


I can think of nothing more exciting as a mother, than watching your children play nicely together. Especially the more children you add to the mix. The kids are playing with some Mr. Potato Heads, current and vintage. Well, vintage if you count items from the late 1980s. So funny to see their creations. And it lasted all of 30 minutes.
And my old childhood standby, card table forts!

Messy Messy!

Healthy but, oh, so messy. Tobias, like his sisters before him, doesn't turn his nose up at anything. Well, he's not too keen on certain textures but, he is a great eater. Today, Mark said that he devoured the cornmeal pancakes that were offered him.

Here is his first introduction to lentils. Despite the head gear, most of the lentils ended up in his stomach and this picture is of his second or third helping. (The bits of green are spinach)
And this is a Cameron favorite (definitely not a Christi favorite)...Beets! The kids eat them like they are candy. I on the other hand think they smell like stinky feet. Tobias is eating them sans shirt in an effort to preserve his clothing from anymore unsightly stains.

For the Love of Popcorn

What a crack up! Tobias loves popcorn and can hunt it down no matter the distance. As soon as he is blessed with one of the pillowy pieces, he bobs up and down and grins a mile wide. Mini me pose?

One of My Favorite Pictures

Piggyback ride with Daddy.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

February Funnies

Natalia is 2 1/2 and very precocious. She is constantly into everything and creating messes. Her vocabulary far exceeds the expected at her age and she seems to comprehend so much, yet she still wants a pacifier. Her love language is definitely touch and you have to be careful that she doesn't smother you. Yet, her spirit is so sweet and she will do anything to gain approval. We are also in the midst of potty training, still. And while most days are great, we still have some days that I wish I could wave a magic wand and be done with it. Now if I could just get her to stop picking up Tobias, I will feel that I have accomplished a great deed.After being told to leave the grapes alone, she stuffed as many into her mouth as she could. Daddy, unaware of mommy's directions to her, thought it hilarious that she had so many grapes in her mouth and rewarded her by taking a picture. Oh, what to do!

My little warrior - Tobias is 10 months and closing in on one year. I can't believe it is already upon us. As you can tell, he is very excited by the broom. Not because of the cleaning capacity that it holds, but because of the weapon like quality it possesses. I am amazed that at such an early age he is already completely different than his sisters. He absolutely loves to wave the broom around and it is even better when he has the mop and can bang them together. Look at the great swing!
Tobias is very sweet natured and it is very easy to get him to smile and show off his dimples. He loves to flirt and has started "singing" with his sisters as well as babbling. He has been crawling since six months, pulling up to standing since eight months, cruising since 9 months and I can only imagine that walking is right around the corner. He is such a good baby, I can only pray for the day that he starts sleeping through the night.
Isabella is quickly approaching 5 (birthday in May) and I cannot believe that she will be in Kindergarten in the fall. We recently purchased a booster seat for her and she was so enamored with it that she found an excuse to sit on it all day long. She is my problem solver and can often come up with a great solution if she doesn't let her anger get away with her. She is definitely a first child and tries to constantly control the situation. Mark recently told her that she wasn't the equalizer and she responded by saying, "I'm not an appetizer, you don't eat appetizers, Mom(with a laugh), Daddy called me apple cider." She can write her name and sometimes Natalia's. She amazed me the other day with a grocery list. The first two items were peanut butter (pen bdr) and bread (brad) and the rest were squiggly lines. Apparently, she got tired, although, Mark told me that one of the squiggly lines was supposed to be eggs. She also is very aware of anatomy and recently drew a picture of Mark's cousin that left me speechless. Nothing inappropriate happened and the only one she has seen naked is her brother. It is apparently time for separate bath times. She loves to help cook and I often find her trying to clean, without being asked. But when it comes to her room, the age old rebellion wages strong.


Inspired by one of my very talented cousin Beth and her recent hobby of scherenschnitte (german paper craft), I decided to teach myself hardanger. The scherenschnitte, with all of it's intricately cut edges and patterns and pictures, reminded my somewhat of the delicate stitchery that was much a part of my childhood. I am blessed to have a family heritage that has not been forgotten and have actually been able to see pieces that my great grandmother created. I have always treasured the beautiful needlework and the difficulty, but not so much as I do now that I have created my own. This snowflake is 2" x 2 6/16", followed by a close up.

This snowflake was to 2 3/4" x 2 3/4"
This is one of my favorites, probably because there is so much fabric cut out for the lacy appearance and it is more traditional. It is 3 6/16" x 3 6/16". Followed by a close up This is one of my other favorites, because of it's resemblance to a snowflake. However, it is not as traditional. At least, it isn't in comparison to the pieces from my great grandmother.
The size of this is 4 3/4" x 4 3/4". (Thanks for the measurements!)

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Obligatory Lemon

The lemon initiation. My mother-in-law thinks we are cruel, but each of our kids has received their first taste of lemon at our favorite restaurant: Hole-in-the-Wall BBQ. And not one of them would relinquish there hold on that lemon. In fact, each of them threw a fit when we did try to take it away. This is after 2 or 3 tastes of the lemon. This is the 4th picture, probably a minute into the taste test and the first pucker he made!

We finally convinced him to trade the lemon for a rib.