Saturday, May 25, 2013

Let's get crafty

I'm not a crafty person. I don't have the urge to create stuff from ribbon, yarn and glitter, but if I see something on Pinterest that I like, then I'll do it, but there have to be really specific instructions. I'm a science student, it's how I roll.

Well, because I'm not crafty, I don't do a lot of art stuff with the boys. It's messy. It requires preparation. There's a huge chance that the boys won't even be interested and then I'll have a bunch of craft supplies and no one to use them. Because what would I do with them?

Occasionally, though, I get a wild hair and do something mildly crafty. Because I'm a masochist. :)

At the Renaissance Faire, Hank got a few "treasures" from the characters roaming around. Probably because they couldn't walk by his cute little face without wanting to give him something. I know how you feel, guys. Anyway. They're pretty small and they keep getting lost, so when I saw two small, unfinished wood treasure chests at Michael's for a couple of bucks, I grabbed them. And then the boys picked out some paint and we went home, excited for our little activity.

Granted, it took me a couple of days to work up to actually doing it. But we got there! And wow, did they have fun!

Did you know that if you mix purple, yellow, electric green, royal blue and red together it makes army green? Well, both treasure chests are now army green.
 It actually went pretty well. Until they started painting on themselves. See, the boys BEGGED for the fun, colorful acrylic paints at Michael's. They were tired of the lame, washable colors that we had at home. So I figured, why the hell not? I'll just make sure they're naked before they start painting.
 Totally didn't foresee Hank painting his hair. And it staying in his hair for weeks. Oh well!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Hank is 23 months old!

I'm 23 months old!
This is my "I'm getting tired of saying 'cheese'" face.
Wow! That means I'm only one month from the big 0-2! Sweet! My mom is planning a party for me with a bounce house, construction vehicles and caution cones and I'm really going to have a lot of fun. I can't wait!

Recently I've been very interested in make believe. My favorite make believe game is making Mommy food in my kitchen. She says it's adorable. I've made her eggs, a cake with hummus on top, and lots of sandwiches. I'm quite the chef! I even helped her make cookies the other day! I added the salt and the baking soda and the flour. And then I lost interest, but that was the most important part, right?

I'm really getting into different kinds of foods now. I'm up to try almost anything. Especially whatever Mommy is eating. Like what she has on her fork and is putting in her mouth. I like sushi, shrimp, enchiladas and anything I can dip in ketchup. I like hummus, too, and will ask for naan or carrots to dip in it, depending on how I'm feeling. I also got to try Oreos for the first time this month and I am addicted!! They are so delicious! I have no idea why Mommy didn't let me try them earlier. Or has bought them since. 
I mean, WHY wouldn't Mommy want to see that face all the time?!?!
My favorite book right now is Goodnight Goodnight Construction Site, which was actually a gift for Johnny from Aunt Renea, but I read it every. single. night before bed. And then when Mommy finishes reading it I say, "I like that book." I know. I'm so cute.
I'm still really into cars and trucks and construction vehicles (I know the difference between an excavator and a front end loader and I WILL correct you if you don't!) and I am obsessed with caution cones. I know most of my alphabet and only get a few of the letters confused. I can count to 20, but I forget the numbers 13, 14, 15, 16, 17 and 18. I like to go to the library and get new books to take home, though we usually end up getting the same books about the planets with a few different ones thrown in for variety. I've gotten interested in the movie Cars lately and I can tell you the name of everyone in the movie. We've been stuck inside with colds for the last two and a half weeks, so there's been lots of time for movies. I'm also really good at my pronouns ("I am hungry" instead of "me hungry"), and following directions. I am also delighted by the strawberries and peaches we are growing in our backyard. 
The first strawberry of the season. It was delicious.
Basically, I'm fascinated by nearly everything around me and am getting so good at communicating that even complete strangers know what I'm saying. One of my favorite things to ask is "Where did [insert person] go?" Then I go find them and say, "There's [insert person]! I found you!" 

Being nearly 2 is pretty awesome.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

I am 14 weeks pregnant.

The last time I blogged I was getting all excited about having more energy and was thinking "It can only go up from here!" Wrong. That whole week was just a repeat of the previous weeks. But it ended and week 13 brought some energy with it, that I used entirely on cake making. John's and my friends got married last Saturday and it was a simple affair, so I offered to make her cake quite awhile ago, not even dreaming that I would be pregnant. So that's how I ended up spending the end of my first trimester making this cake:
They wanted a cake that was fun and included things about them. So there are basset hounds, a bike, an organic fruit (the bride certifies organics for a living) and sour patch kids (the groom's favorite candy). And the entire cake is a suitcase since they both travel A LOT for work and pleasure.

I made these little basset hounds out of fondant. I was pretty happy with how they turned out.
Why, yes, I did add stitching to the dark "leather" pieces.
Now, don't be too impressed. I found an online tutorial (here) that walked me through how to do all of it. And I had a lot of help during the day with the boys (thanks Gail, and Dad and Gayle!) so I could get some prime time working on this bad boy. However, I still had to pull a few late nights to get it all done. It was all worth it though since the bride and groom were STOKED and the rest of the wedding guests were majorly impressed. Plus it tasted awesome. (I used homemade chocolate marshmallow fondant [recipe here], in case you ever want to try it. It is easy to work with, cheaper than commercial fondant and tastes delicious.)

And then on Sunday, it was my brother's graduation party, so I made another cake for his party. That one... was not so impressive though.
Womp, womp...
So, the beakers and graduated cylinders (that are fondant formed around shot glasses) were sabotaged by Hank (hence his presence in the picture) when he threw a toy on the counter, which knocked over a cup that splashed liquid all over the fondant pieces. And then the markings I had so carefully painted on them melted and the fondant got all sticky. Then the fondant wasn't dry enough to write on in food pen, so the words "Congrats Dylan!" look like Johnny tried to write them. Then the buttercream melted on the drive to my mom's house, which is why the cake is leaning in weird directions. Let it be known that I'm not infallible. :) The only thing that saved that cake was putting the dry ice in the fondant covered beakers giving it the smoking appearance above. It was pretty cool.

Note: CONGRATULATIONS, DYLAN!!!! We love you!!!

Anyway! That was my entire week last week and now I'm just trying to catch up on sleep and blogging and hoping that my energy will come back soon. Oh, and look, I took a belly picture.
This was taken in the evening, which means this belly is about twice as big as it is when I wake up. Weird.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Today I am 12 weeks pregnant

I'm nearly to the end of my first trimester. Thank goodness.

The past week has taken with it most of my nausea (though some food aversions still remain) and has given me a little bit more energy. I actually come out of Hank's room in the evening and can type out a blog instead of just diving headfirst into bed. Hence all of the blogging lately. It's funny, my energy comes in spurts at random times and gives me random urges. Like the other day, Hank was napping and I was hanging with Johnny when I got the itch to make a yarn wreath (here's an example of what I'm talking about). So grabbed one of the wreath forms I got on clearance online a few months ago and some yarn and bam! Knocked out a yarn wreath. And then the energy was gone. So weird.

I still wouldn't say I have all of my energy back, though. Of course, that might be because I've been keeping up with my boys during the day, which is enough to tire anyone out, right? Especially since they were both up at 4:45am today. Urg. Talk about a long day.

I was actually considering taking a belly picture today... and then decided against it because I just look like I've been chowing down on donuts. Seriously, my body is so practiced at this pregnancy thing that it got the memo that it was pregnant and my abdominals just disappeared. Hopefully the rest of my body is just as awesome and will just pop this baby out in 28 weeks. You hear that, uterus?! Have a consult with my abdominal muscles, STAT!

And that's really all. Not much else to report. Except for getting kinda depressed after reading this article: Three is the most stressful number of kids. Hopefully John doesn't read this thing any more or he'll be pushing for a fourth one soon...

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Escondido Renaissance Faire

[WARNING: Picture-heavy post]

You guys. We had the most ridiculously fun time at the Renaissance Faire on Saturday. So much fun that I don't even feel nerdy raving about being at the Renaissance Faire. :)

Johnny's favorite movie right now is Brave, which is about a young Scottish princess who is not into getting married, but very into horseback riding and archery. Thus, Johnny has been obsessed with riding a horse and with shooting a bow and arrow. All kinds of things get turned into bows and arrows: bamboo skewers, drumsticks, branches he find at parks, etc. When I heard about the Renaissance Faire in Escondido was happening this past weekend, I figured Johnny would get a huge kick out of it. I mean, what little boy wouldn't like knights, swords, and pirates?

So we went with my mom. And spent all day there. Seriously. We got there at 11am and left at 6pm. It was crazy. We saw pirates, fairies, fauns, a queen, knights, cabin boys, wizards, and LOTS of cleavage. Of course, once the boys spotted the playground, they bypassed everything else and played there for awhile.
Arriving at the Faire. Hank was sleeping in the car with John.

Trying out a fireman's pole for the first time.

The Queen's Parade. Both boys stopped playing on the play structure and watched. They were enthralled by the costumes and music going by. Heck, I was, too!
But by far, the best part of the day, was when Johnny and Hank spotted the archery area. Remember how I said Johnny was really into bows and arrows? He spotted the bows and said, "I wanna try!" My original plan was for John to take the lesson with the archery instructor and Johnny could watch, since Johnny is 3, and therefore not so much into taking direction. But when we bought our ticket, Johnny was SO EXCITED to pick out his bow and try it.
This is what unadulterated excitement looks like. For Johnny.
When we got to the front of the line and met our instructor, Johnny tried out the easiest bow, but he couldn't pull it back. So the instuctor just said, "I can make that work for you," and he walked us back to the farthest target (he said we'd get the best pictures there), where he proceeded to instruct Johnny on how to pull back and shoot an arrow. 

The guy was SO patient with Johnny. Since Johnny is, you know, THREE, he had a little trouble following the man's directions. He would say, "Okay, now let go of the string. Let go of the string. Just let go," over and over and over again without raising his voice or getting impatient. For all seven arrows. The man was a saint.

Look at that face!!! Such excitement.

The kid was stoked.
You guys, it was magical. Johnny has been talking about shooting a bow and arrow since the first time he saw Brave a few months ago and he got to fulfill his dream this weekend. When I uploaded all of the photos, I got all teary-eyed looking through them because just look at the JOY! Gosh, it was awesome.

Anyway. Moving on from the archery. The rest of the day was spent watching the entertainers, listening to music, eating some lunch and more playing on the playground.
Eating some lunch. Fulfilling dreams is hard work!

The handsome hubby

The boys dancing to the live music and vocals of Mister Mac (not pictured)

Watching a juggling show.

Juggling with fire.

Standing on top of five precariously balanced chairs and juggling fire.

It's fun when you run, Daddy!

Playing a "choking on water" game with G-ma. Hank thought it was hilarious.

Watching some play sword-fighting.

Old school teeter-totter on our way out.
It was a little pricey to get in ($17 per adult, 4 and under free) but for a whole day of fun, I thought it was worth it. Especially since both boys SLEPT ALL NIGHT! Whoo-hoo for tired children! :)

Saturday, May 4, 2013

And that has made all the difference.

No, this is not a post paying homage to Robert Frost.

It's about sleep. 

Hank has never been a great napper. For the first eight months, he slept in a sling on my chest because he just couldn't settle himself at the 45-minute mark (which is the length of an infant's REM cycle). Then for awhile, I nursed him to sleep and placed him in his crib for naps, but he just could not sleep past 45 minutes. Sometimes I'd get an hour, but that was pretty rare. I figured out pretty quickly that if I went in there, nursed him back down, and then held him for the rest of his nap, he would sleep soundly and thus, sleep better at night. So I would hold him for about 1.5 hours on the weekends and a couple days during the week when Johnny was occupied with something else. But the guilt! Oh, the guilt. I'd be sitting in there holding Hank, knowing I couldn't put him down or he'd wake, listening to Johnny talk to himself down the hall, sometimes coming to Hank's door and saying, "Mommy? Can you come play with me, Mommy?"And the fact that he wanted to play with me and I couldn't (or wouldn't, depending on how you look at it) come out really wrought havoc on Johnny's and my relationship.

FINALLY, as in, for the last nine days or so, he has started sleeping for a full two hours. Sometimes longer, depending on how long our morning was. And I don't have to do anything at the 45 minute mark. I guess he finally got to the age where one nap is enough and is no longer overtired by the time I put him down.
Napping like a boss.
Now Johnny and I have some one-on-one time together and it's great. I'll tell Johnny, "I'm going to go put Hank down for his nap. I'll be right back, okay?" And he'll say, "Okay. Then we'll have some Johnny and Mommy time?" It's really nice that my independent, will-not-hesitate-to-leave-me-behind-in-a-public-place little boy wants to spend time with me. Hank's napping really HAS made all the difference.

Product of Johnny and Mommy time.