Thursday, December 30, 2010

Handmade gifts

I only made a few gifts this Christmas, but I thought I'd share, now that they are safely in the hand of the recipients.  I wanted to make the boys superhero capes, but time just ran out, (or I got lazy).  I'll save those for another day-maybe Valentine's Day?  Is that even a gift holiday???

For the boys' teachers, I made little half aprons.  The bottom is a hand towel so they have something absorbent to wipe hands on.

My sister and I got our mom a Kindle for Christmas, something we think she has wanted for a while-hope so Mom!  When it came in the mail, I was surprised at how thin it was.  It needed a little case to keep it in, so I followed a great tutorial and I think it came out pretty well (if you don't look too closely).

I need to make myself a list of things I would like to make next year, and do them throughout the year, but I don't see that happening.  Crazy December here I come!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Oh my yum

So, there is this thing I make, and everyone LOVES it.  It's not good for your body, but it's good for your soul.  I considered making it right now, so I could have some nice pictures, but I just can't do it.  But you should.  It will be making an appearance on Christmas morning, and again on New Year's morning, and maybe a few times in between.  Maybe-hopefully not. 

Oh my yum,

Cream Cheese Delight
(please someone think of a less stupid name for this)


2 packages of soft cream cheese
2 packages of crescent rolls
1 cup of sugar

¼ cup of sugar
1 tsp. of cinnamon
¾ stick of margarine

Take one pack of the crescent rolls, and put the entire piece in the bottom of a 9 x 10 pan.  You may need to pinch it together some.  Then, mix cream cheese with 1 cup of sugar.  Spread that mixture over the crescent rolls.  Next, put the other pack of crescent rolls in one piece on top of the cream cheese mixture, pinching again if necessary.  Melt ¾ stick of margarine, and pour over the top of the rolls.  Mix ¼ cup of sugar with the tsp. of cinnamon.  Sprinkle this mixture on top of the butter, and bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

What are you waiting for, get to the store!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


My oh my is it cold here today.  Blah, Blah, Blah-I'm sure you are as tired of hearing that as I am.  But it is-and we aren't going outside.  It is almost 1:00 and we are all actually still in PJ's.  I spent most of the morning really cleaning the kitchen-because I have a huge to do list and that wasn't even on it, but it needs it.  Ironically, the cleaner the kitchen got, the messier the rest of the downstairs has become.  There are Batman guys and Trio blocks everywhere.  And let's ignore all of the play food scattered around the playroom.  That's my plan-ignore.

The boys got really quiet earlier and I heard Ben sneaking up the stairs.  I'm not sure why they were being so sneaky, but they ended up with costumes on over their pj's.  A Batman costume over feety pj's is pretty cute, I have to say. 

The green blanket was "gobbeldy gook" that Nate had to jump over. 

Nate and Santa hung out. I don't think Nate loves Santa for the presents as much as for the endless supply of candy he is providing.

Then they hung out by the tree for a little while.  That little advent house, which I love-has become the scene for many superhero adventures.  Invisible bad guys hide behind the doors and Batman has to save the day. 

Our elf, Woody, has been found in some very interesting places lately.  This morning he was hanging on the ceiling fan.  Luckily, nobody has turned it on or Woody might lose his elf magic.

And last, but not least, let's talk potties.  Is it wrong to scare your kid into going on the potty?  Nate is really too young, he hasn't hit 2 1/2 yet, but we are tired of diapers around here-buying them, and the stuff in them.  I wasn't in any rush with Ben, and frankly, it is easier to have little guys in diapers, but we are starting to think about it. 

Nate is very fascinated with and terrified of this guy...

He asks us to go see him at Target all the time, but then he won't get near him, especially now that we have done the little demo where the big guy smacks against the plexiglass trying to get out.  We can be sitting anywhere and you look over your shoulder and say, "Hi Bigfoot" and Nate scrambles into your lap as fast as he can.  When I was changing his diaper earlier, I told him that Bigfoot doesn't like diapers and maybe he should go on the potty.  How mean is that?  Better make a deposit into the future therapy account.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

An idea

Nate has a new favorite expression (and it has nothing to do with Batman!)  He loves to say, "dis is a idea" or "this is an idea".  You can hear him saying it all the time.  Today he and Ben were playing and Nate got really excited over something and just kept yelling "Hey Ben-dis is a idea!!"   Or he will come up to Gil or I and say it.  It is sometimes in context, often he will really have an idea, sometimes it is just weird-but it is always cute.

He has also started saying he loves us all the time.  He has told us he "ubbs" us for a while-but lately, he tells all of us all the time.  I pick him up at the gym and he yells it across the room, or just around the house.  It is especially sweet when he tells Ben he ubbs him. 

And that Ben, he ubbs Nate right back.  I find those two attached at the hip all the time, playing or just sitting around talking to each other.  It warms a mama's heart.

Something else warming my heart today-  I am DONE with this semester of school.  It has been a little challenging and a lot annoying-but it is now OVER.  I'm sure I will quickly be complaining about my spring classes, but I am glad to close the books on this one!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Goodbye old friend

It was bound to happen, Black Batman should have known better than to ever leave our house.  Try as we might, it was just not worth the fight to keep Batman in the house.  Last weekend was a tough one for him, on the way back from the football game, his helmet got lost at Starbucks-rolled under a table and could not be retrieved.  Then he lost another helmet in the backyard-oh well.  The accessories did not make the man.

The zoo today finally did him in.  I think he was swept up in the excitement of feeding the goats.  He might have even been dropped on the ground on one of the many occassions Nate would get up his nerve to actually try to feed the goat before squealing and throwing the pellets at the goat while running away.  (Note to self, the goats are fairly aggressive at 9:00 in the morning before they have been fed all day long).  I'm not really sure when it happened, but it might have even been a little bit my fault.  I think I remember Nate handing me Black Batman and his sunglasses at one point, and now only the sunglasses remain.

It happened at a good time, though.  We are heading out to Charleston this afternoon and won't be back for a few days.  The change of scenery might lessen the blow.  Nate is actually taking it pretty well with minimal tears shed.  Don't tell Black Batman's ghost, but he has already been a little bit replaced by Freeze Batman-I'd take a picture, but Nate has him in a death grip while he is taking a nap.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


We've been playing in the leaves a good bit lately-so original, I'm aware.  It has just been so nice and the leaves are so crunchy.  Good combination.  The boys come in filthy, but they are boys-if they end their day clean, I've failed (and I fail a lot-sometimes I just don't know what to do with them outside!)

Because I've been such a lazy poster, and the boys are so cute, I thought I would just let the pictures speak for themselves.

And Gil and I did something I didn't anticipate doing for a while to come.  Don't be silly-nothing bad.  We took the boys to a Carolina basketball game and a Carolina football game this past weekend.  Well, Gil's sister Leslie took Ben to the football game and we took Nate, and we all ended up together.  They did really well, too.  We were still in the Colonial Life Arena (is that right, Gil?) well into halftime, although our behinds were not in the seats very much.  And we made it through halftime at the Troy game on Saturday.  Ben did not like the noise-and he was way overtired to boot.  Nate took it all in stride though.  He watched everything and then fell asleep on me without a grumpy noise uttered.  Woke up happy and was ready to party. 

I think we can handle basketball, unless we are determined to watch the entire game.  Our mistake this game was letting the boys walk around too early.  If we had kept them in the seats longer (and allowed Black Batman to join us), they wouldn't have known the difference.  Football though is much more enjoyable without kidlets.  Sorry monsters, but you've got a few years!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

These Days

Because this blog is pretty much my baby book, I am going to start just doing little "These Days" posts now and then.  There are so many funny things the monsters do that I forget as soon as they stop, and that's just sad.  So, around here these days...

Nate will run up to me, while I'm doing something else, and says, "Hey mommy, I'm busy" then runs away to play some more.

Nate- instead of saying , "I love you." Nate walks up to you and says, "I love you too".

It is so sweet how Nate's hand automatically reaches up to grab mine, without even looking. I love the confidence that someone is there to hold his hand when he needs it.

These two sweet boys are so cute looking out for each other. Of course, this is only about half of the time, while the other half is spent trying to draw blood from the other. I hear them all the time telling each other I love you. But don't get me wrong-there is a lot of fighting.

I am amazed at how Ben is really understanding number concepts (yep, the teacher is still in there somewhere). He does math in his head, which I think is really amazing for a 4 year old and already gets basic addition and subtraction.

I also think Ben is pretty close to reading a little on his own. He tells us all the time what letters are in words. He also looks for "the" and "and" when we read stories. I am guessing he'll be able to read a few words in the next few months.

Nate asks us all day if he can play Super Mario Brothers, at least ten times a day he asks this. We play after they take a bath at night for a few minutes before bed-and Nate never plays-he just watches. We ask if he wants to play and he usually does not-but he will sit and watch so contentedly. It's just funny how he asks all day to play and then watches.

We were all playing downstairs the other day and the boys actually played with their adorable kitchen for the first time in a while. Ben and I used to play with it a lot, but now they are just too active I guess. We decided to have a tea party-ok, I decided-I should get to do some girl stuff now and then-right?? So, here are some scenes from a tea party with one mama and two monsters (don't forget to look in Nate's hand).....

And then just a few from a beautiful fall lake day.  Poor little Allie was stuck with all these boys!  And that sweet girl only has one other girl in her whole preschool class.  We need to buy that girl a girl friend!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Black Batman

Around these parts, Batman is KING.  To say the boys are obsessed with Batman is a little tiny understatement.  They play with their Batcave a lot every day and are pretty creative with it-the batman guys have all kinds of non-Batman adventures.  And the space station is often right next to it, Batman in Space!  And space guys in Gotham, pretty interesting.

Nate, of course, has to take it a step farther.  There is one particular little Batman that is his bestest friend.  He is Black Batman.  We have 3 or 4 different Batmans that are black, but only one is "Black Batman" and none other will do.  And oddly, Black Batman is the one with the least black of all the black ones.  BB is Nate's CONSTANT companion.  He goes everywhere with that kid-including trick or treating.  Nate has gotten very good at functioning with Batman grasped in his pinky and ring finger of one hand.  He can do anything with the rest of his fingers and does not let Batman go. The accessories are interchangeable, but BB never changes.  The poor little Batman is not looking great these days either-the paint has worn off his chin, giving him a creepy little goatee, and his hands are a little worse for the wear.  And the kicker is-you can't buy this particular Batman without buying the whole huge Batcave!  So, no back up for us.

Wow, he looks really bad up close.  I don't really see much beyond his head and feet usually, because of the death grip and all.

I try to leave him home when we go to school-Nate has a fit wherever he says his goodbye, and I'd rather he screamed on the way to school, than getting him out of the car.  He was upset the other day, but handling it-and I looked back and his Batman fingers were twitching.  Pitiful I tell you!

Just a few shots taken yesterday in a 30 minute period.  Check out the dark shadow constantly in Nate's hand.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

The Marios

We have become obsessed interested in Super Mario Brothers around here lately.  It might be a little bit my fault.  I love those little Italian dudes and their crazy turtle jumping.  I can sort of remember playing when I was younger, although I'm pretty sure I never had the game, must have been at friends' houses.  Ben got it for his birthday in July and we have been playing it before bedtime.  It has also been a good bargaining chip- "Stop jumping on your brother's head or we won't play wii tonight!"

For Halloween, we have unfortunately moved beyond sweet little costumes and are now onto full on boy stuff.

Ben's first Halloween-2006


2008-Ben was 2 and Nate was 2 months

How pitiful is this?  He urped all over his costume right before we went to the Fall Festival, so he wore the shirt in the above picture, but I needed a picture of him in his costume, so I did this later, but didn't have the heart to put on the whole black layer underneath, so pitiful and adorable, all wrapped into one little package.

2009-Ben was a really cool homemade bat, and Nate wore 4 different costumes to the 6 or 7 dress up events we attended (which we will never do again-we were so Halloweened out by the actual day!)

And now for 2010-Nate didn't wear a costume for the first few dress up occasions, but finally settled on Batman.  And Ben was the famous Mario (except at the zoo, he sported a Batman from the dress up stash for that one). 

Coleman, Ray, Allie, Griffin, Nate, Ford, Lincoln, and Ben (aka capri pant Batman)

And, to tie in my random title, Nate has really enjoyed wearing the Mario (and Luigi) hats from Ben's costume and the Luigi one I might have bought the day after Halloween.  But he doesn't really wear it straight on, he prefers it cocked to the side or all the way backwards.  Which is good because when he wears it correctly, it almost looks like something from World War II Germany.  But backwards it looks a little like Samuel Jackson, pretty funny if I do say so myself.  And yes, we were the weirdos at Bellacino's the other night with a kid with a Luigi hat on, thank you very much.

Apple FAIL

A few weeks ago, spur of the moment after lunch on a Sunday, we decided to head up to Spartanburg, or Moore to be specific, and pick some apples.  We went 2 years ago, with tiny Baby Nate and sweet little two year old Ben...

So, we load up the car with the wagon and the dvd player, hoping the kids will sleep on the way up-HA!  When we got there, it was PACKED.  We went to the counter to pre-pay for what we would pick (accidentally cutting in front of about 12 families-oops)-and I asked Mrs. Apple Lady for one of the long hooks to get the high up apples and she looked at me apologetically and said there were no apples on the trees.  We would just be able to pick them out of the big BOX.  What????? 

So, here are our beautiful, getting out in nature, teaching our kids that food comes from trees and not Publix, apple picking pictures....

Some other things we saw around the farm...

Sweet baby chickens

Oddly shaped pumpkins...

Honey Bees

The hayride not taken (we had just been on one a few days before, and hay is really prickly!)

Sad, naked apples trees (apparently the extreme heat of August, paired with too little rain-made the apples fall early this year).  I'm pretty convinced that the apples we ahem, picked, came straight from the grocery store.  But we had fun!

If a fun trip is measured by the speed the monsters fall asleep in the car-this one was a 10.  They didn't even make it back to the highway for home.

And, last but not least, the apple pie we had for dessert that night...

Also seen in our house, courtesy of Niven's apple farm's huge box o' apples,
caramel apples on Halloween, an apple crumb pie (so, so good), sauteed apples at dinner one night (and maybe for dessert with ice cream on top after the littles went to sleep), apple bread, and a big apple pancake.  There were probably a few more, but I can't remember.

Want some irony?   The monsters haven't eaten a single one whole.  These kids that would walk around munching apples all day long, have not wanted a single one that they "picked".  Monsters indeed.