Wednesday, September 30, 2009

A Walk to the Park

I promise this post won't be as long as the last!

This evening after dinner we decided to take advantage of the "cooler, fall" temperatures and walk to the park that's a couple blocks from our house. BBug wanted to practice riding her bicycle for an upcoming trike-a-thon at school a.k.a daycare and SweetSweet wanted to go so we put BuddyRoe in the wagon and headed out.

Once we got to the park we let SweetSweet relax for a little bit while we all played.

We let the boys lead the way and took the long way home so that we could enjoy a little bit of quality family time.

Once we got home BBug and BuddyRoe wanted a little more action so they went for a spin in the Jeep (the Barbie Jeep, not our 'real' Jeep).

A Walk to the Park...just another reason I love fall!

And because I didn't have a picture of the fall display for my last post...

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Another Fun Family Weekend

This past weekend was another full of family fun. But what made it even better was that it was also a pretty laid back and relaxing weekend - finally!

Friday afternoon Hubby and I were discussing dinner options for the night and both agreed that we could really go for some Japanese Steakhouse. We're both big fans, but unfortunately the last few times we've tried to go BBug has not been impressed. We decided that since it's been about a year since our last attempt we would give it another go. I got off of work, picked the kids up and swung by to pick up our friend Uncle M at his house. Then we headed to the restaurant where we met up with Hubby and Aunt A (it was closer for them to just meet us there rather than come home and then go back).

Bug still isn't overly impressed - like I've said in the past, she is not a fan of fire at all.

Side note: My daddy actually asked the other day if I was sure she was mine. His reasoning...I've pretty much always been a little fire bug. If there is a box of matches around, I've always been one to grab 'em up and start striking. I don't necessarily need to light anything on fire, just striking the match is enough!

Back to the weekend - BBug wouldn't let me put her down for the first few minutes and when I finally convinced her to sit down she proceeded to climb under the table until the man was entirely done cooking and cleaning the grill! When she finally climbed back in to her seat she decided that she didn't like anything on the plate and decided not to eat at all.

BuddyRoe on the other hand, good heavens to Betsy did that boy eat!! He started fussing when the soup and salad came out. I knew we would have a problem then because there's no way an 11 month old is going to eat ginger salad and Japanese onion soup. I decided to give it a try though, and lo and behold the child ate. it. up! I couldn't get the lettuce and soup in his mouth fast enough. Then he moved on to the main course. Between my plate and BBug's he ate the equivalent of an entire plate of rice, steak and grilled veggies. It was ridiculous!

The funniest part though, by the end of the meal he was so full that he just laid back in the high chair and opened his mouth for more. He would try to sit up but his little (ok, it's really not that little) belly was just too full - he would just fall backward! It was hilarious!

Saturday morning saw us heading to the store for groceries and some fall decor. BBug picked out several pumpkins, gourds and other produce to decorate with. Hubby pressure washed the house and then we got to work. We didn't do a whole lot of decorating, but we were happy with what we did do. I pulled out the summer flowers from around the bird bath and replaced them with mums. BBug was such a big help with all of the yard work! Before we pulled out the old flowers she clipped a few to make an arrangement in her pumpkin.

After we took care of the flowers we set up a scarecrow display in the yard. I saw something similar on another blog (again, I'm really bad about remembering where I see things) and then we put our own spin on it. I didn't get a good picture of it, I'll try to get one tonight - but it's a scarecrow pushing a wheelbarrow full of hay, pumpkins, gourds and another scarecrow sitting in it.

We also trimmed the gardenias and cleaned them up. Hubby, BBug and I had a great time, BuddyRoe wasn't so sure. He isn't a big fan of grass!

While we were working with the flowers Hubby and BBug got a little carried away with the water hose.

Saturday night we just relaxed around the house and watched the UF game, GO GATORS (and we're so glad Tebow is alright!) BBug was so excited. Whenever one of our guys would get the ball and start running down the field she'd yell, "Go son! Go son!" (If you know her daddy you won't have to guess where she learned that!). Then when we scored she'd turn around and holler "Whoo Hoo! I did it!" She was a riot!
Sunday morning we visited a new church. I'll go in to that more later perhaps. It's a whole other story. After church we went to lunch and shopping with Uncle M and Aunt A. Our biggest purchase was for BuddyRoe...He got two new big boy carseats! He has officially outgrown his infant seat. I literally can no longer pick him up in it. And while I'll admit I'm a weakling, it's even getting tough for his daddy to carry!
That's pretty much our weekend in a (long) nutshell. I want to leave you with two recent BBug-isms.
The first was while we were driving to dance the other night.

Mommy: BBug, who made the trees?
BBug: God.
Mommy: Who made the grass?
BBug: God.
Mommy: Who made mommy and daddy and BBug and BuddyRoe?
BBug: God.
Mommy: And who loves us more than anyone in the whole wide world?
BBug: NahNah.
Not the answer I was expecting, but she's kinda right - NahNah does love us an awful lot.
Mommy: Well...NahNah and God!
The other was last night. BBug was running across the driveway barefoot and scraped her toe pretty good. After we came in and got it cleaned up she had this to say...

BBug: Mommy, what ever will I do about my toe?

It was really funny at the time. She sounded like such a prim and proper little lady...Ha!

Friday, September 25, 2009

A Post That Will Make You Say "Mmmm"

It's time for desserts over at Kelly's "Show Us Your Life" and this is one that I'm so excited for!

I have a lot of desserts that I enjoy making - yes Hubby I do enjoy making them, I just don't have time that often - but I decided to share two today. One that makes me think of summer and one that makes me think of fall.

First, for summertime I have a recipe that our friend Aunt A shared with me. It's divine!

Blueberry Buckle

1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened

1 cup sugar, divided

1 large egg

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour, divided

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 1/2 cups fresh blueberries

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 cup butter or margarine

1. Beat 1/2 cup butter or margarine at medium speed until creamy. Gradually add 1/2 cup sugar, beating mixture well. Add egg and beat well.

2. Combine 1 1/4 cups flour, baking powder and salt. Add to butter mixture alternatively with milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Mix well after each addition. Stir in vanilla.

3. Pour butter into greased 8 inch square baking dish. Top with blueberries.

4. Combine remaining 1/2 cup sugar, remaining 1/4 cup flour and cinnamon. Cut in 1/4 cup butter with a pastry blender until mixture is crumbly. Sprinkle crumb topping evenly over blueberries.

5. Bake at 375 for 40 to 45 minutes.

The other recipe makes me think of fall (and I am SO ready for one of these!). It's from my good friend, Betty Crocker!

Pumpkin Cheesecake

Cheesecake Ingredients:

1 can (15 oz) pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix!)

1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, cut in to 16 pieces, softened

1/4 teaspoon vanilla

3 eggs

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup Original Bisquick mix

1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

Topping Ingredients (if desired):

1 cup sour cream

2 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

1. Heat oven to 350. Spray 9 inch glass pie plate with cooking spray.

2. In blender, place all cheesecake ingredients. Cover; blend on high speed about 2 minutes or until smooth. (Or beat in medium bowl with hand beater 2 minutes, scraping bowl constantly) Pour in to pie plate.

3. Bake about 45 minutes or just until puffed and center is dry (do not overbake). Cool on wire rack 10 minutes.

4. Meanwhile, mix all topping ingredients. Carefully spread topping over cheesecake. Refrigerate at least 3 hours until chilled. Store covered in refrigerator.

Enjoy! And (mainly for the grands and aunts on here) here's a new picture of all my Gators!

At least the kids have their eyes open!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Show Us Your Life - Dinner Recipe

Kelly over at Kelly's Korner - you know, Harper's mom - is continuing her 'Show Us Your Life' tour today with Dinner Recipes.

We have lots of "go to" dinners - you know, the basics like spaghetti, pork chops, stroganoff, chicken and rice - but lately I've been trying out a few new things.

Last week I stumbled upon a recipe for a Spinach Pasta Toss on one of the many blogs I peruse. I'm very sorry to say that I can't remember which blog it was on, so I don't know who to give credit to.

Spinach was one of those things that I always fought with Momma about eating when I was growing up. On the rare occaisions that she made it, the meal would play out something like this...

Me (in the highest, whiniest voice imaginable): I don't wanna eat this, it's gross!!

Momma: Well, that's what we're having. You can eat it now or you can eat it for breakfast. (Yes folks, she would actually save it and feed it to us for breakfast. It was a tough, tough life we led as children.)

Me: But momma, it's gross!! (Don't you love my debating skills?)

Eventually it would end with me holding my nose, taking a bite and gagging the entire time I chewed.

These days, I am voluntarily cooking and eating this stuff - because this recipe is THAT good - and enjoy it so much that I have to share it in case you haven't tried it. So without further adieu...

Spinach Pasta Toss

1 can (14-1/2 oz.) Italian-style diced tomatoes, undrained
2 cups penne pasta, uncooked
1 cup water
1 pkg. baby spinach leaves (about 9 oz. I think)
1 cup three cheese blend

Bring the tomatoes, pasta and water to boil in large saucepan; stir.
Cover; simmer on medium-low heat 10 min. or just until pasta is tender.
Add 1/2 of spinach; simmer, covered, 2 min. or until wilted. Stir.
Repeat with remaining spinach.
Top with cheese and serve.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Good or Great?

In one of my (many) moments of random thought today, I started thinking about which is better - good or great.

Is it better to be good at many things, or great at one thing?

For example, growing up I did a little bit of everything when it came to extracurriculars. I participated in dance, gymnastics, modeling, piano, playing the oboe, horseback riding, soccer (for one VERY bad summer in middle school), cheerleading, baseball (for one VERY bad season when I was six years old), public speaking contests, raising/showing livestock, and more! Like I said, a little bit of it all.

And I was good at most of it (I've already admitted that soccer and baseball definitely weren't my strong suits!).

But would it have been better if I had focused all of my time and energy on just one of those things in hopes of being great at it?

What do you think? Is it better to be good or great?

A Quick Visit With PopPop

While talking to my mom earlier this week I found out that my dad had some last minute travel plans to our state for work. NahNah wasn't sure where exactly, but she thought it was some where in our general area. So I called PopPop himself and asked for details.

Turns out he was less than an hour away from us and had last night free. So you know we just had to jump in the car after work and head that way for dinner!

BBug was so excited to see PopPop, especially since it meant we got to go to a hotel! That child is in love with hotels. It doesn't matter if they're big, small, fancy or plain - she loves them all! She does not discriminate.

I'm sure BuddyRoe was equally excited, he was just too tired from dealing with this head junk that he has again to properly express his joy.

It was a very short visit, just dinner and a quick stop by the hotel to change a diaper afterward, but it was so nice to see PopPop. The only downside was that NahNah didn't get to join us. Maybe next time!

Unfortunately, between BuddyRoe's not feeling well, BBugs being overly excited and PopPop appearing just a tad overwhelmed (I'm sure it was jet lag - never mind that his flight only spanned one state and lasted probably all of an hour and a half at the most) none of my pictures turned out very well. This is the best I could do...

Monday, September 14, 2009

Where Has Time Gone?

Look who was 11 months old on Monday!
My how he's grown...where has the time gone?

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Another Fun Weekend

We've had another weekend full of fun.

This weekend started off with another one of BBug's friend's birthday party. It was all set for Saturday morning at a local park that has a fun water feature for the kids to play in. We all loaded up and headed to the park. When we got there it was raining - not too big of a deal, after all it was a 'swimsuit party' anyway and there was no lightning. But there was also NO parking. As a matter of fact, there were lots charging $5 for parking!!
As we drove up I told Hubby, "Wow! Birthday boy draws a crowd!" Turns out there was a political rally going on (2,500 people strong I might add) at the same park! I felt so bad for his poor mom.

Despite the rain and the rally we had a good time celebrating with the Birthday Boy and playing in the water.

Saturday night some of our good friends came over and we grilled steaks and enjoyed the company. While the adults were gabbing after dinner, the kids were all raiding BBug's dress up supplies. It was quite a show!

Sunday saw Mommy, Daddy and BBug heading to the Disney on Ice - Princesses show. We left BuddyRoe at home with Grandma and were on our way. Once we got to the arena that the show was at, BBug changed in to her Cinderella gown and glass slippers. We saw lots of little princesses at the arena!

And we saw all of the "real" princesses too...Cinderella, Ariel, Jasmine, Aurora, Snow White, Mulan, Belle, the whole crowd was there. Plus Mickey, Minnie, Goofy & Tinkerbell!!

The show was really good, and even though she's not a fan of any kind of pyrotechnic and there was a good bit of it BBug enjoyed it all. And true to form from our Disney visit in March, Ariel and Jasmine are still Daddy's favorites (and yes, they are still in the skimpiest outfits!)

All-in-all it was another great family weekend!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Tiny Dancer

BBug is officially a dancer!

She had her first ballet and tap class Thursday night. Last week was actually the first class, but she had to miss it due to the swine flu.

Unfortunately, I wasn't able to go to class this week - I had committed to judging a youth speech contest without realizing the date. But Daddy was up to the job! He picked BBug and BuddyRoe up from "school," got them home and fed, got BBug outfitted in her leotard and tights and headed to the dance studio.

BBug had really looked forward to meeting new friends at dance class, but she was in for a surprise. When she got there she found out there several of her old friends (who we haven't seen in a while) in her class!! Including her very first BFF, "Pancake"...

(This isn't the best picture of them but I don't want to show Pancake's face full-on, you know other people's privacy and all that.)

Pancake and BBug have known each other since they were still in the womb. Hubby and I met Pancake's parents during our 'Prepared Parenting' class. Three weeks after we had BBug we went back to the hospital to visit our favorite nurse and ran in to them again (they had just had Pancake). When the girls were a couple months old we went in to daycare one day only to find out that Pancake was in BBug's class! We decided then and there that they were just destined to be friends. Pancake is actually the one who gave her the name "BBug." Pancake changed 'schools' a few months ago and the girls haven't seen each other as much as they used to so it was great to see her at dance!

Like I said before, Hubby did a great job handling Dance Daddy Duty. I was so upset that I was missing her first class I made him promise to take lots of pictures! Now, if you know my husband you know that his definition of lots and my definition of lots are very different! So we actually discussed just what I meant by lots. We sort of compromised - we agreed on about 15 with some video if possible. Well, he didn't get quite 15 but he did get a good bit of video so I was happy. Especially since he did it all while juggling BuddyRoe too! He scored major points!

The video clips are pretty short because he was trying to "sneak" them. See, the parents aren't supposed to be in the room (they don't want the dancers distracted) so he was taking it around the corner and had to jump back when she spotted him.
Here is a short clip of her stretching. She's in the back row, second from the closest end.

I will admit, she's appears to be the "flighty" dancer in class. While the other girls are diligently watching the teacher and working on their pointing, she's looking at the mirror and working on her twirling! But, to be fair it is everyone else's second week and only her first!
Overall, I think she enjoyed it and if I do say so myself (and I do) she's the cutest darn ballerina/tapper I've ever seen!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Pearly Whites at Platinum Prices

When I picked BBug up from school a few days ago (before the sickness overtook our home) we had the following conversation:

BBug: I busted my teeth today!
Mommy: You what?
BBug: I busted my teeth!
Mommy (looking for blood and/or broken teeth): How did you do that?
BBug: K (another little girl in her class) and I were running and we fell and busted our teeth.
Mommy: What did you and K bust your teeth on?
BBug: The table.

Seeing no obvious signs of trauma I asked Hubby to inquire with the teacher the next morning and see if she had in fact 'busted her teeth'. When he asked her response was "Oh yeah, I wrote up a report about it."

There didn't appear to be any damage - no blood, no loose teeth, no swelling, nothing - we didn't think a whole lot about it. BBug did mention a few times that her tooth hurt, but that was it.

Now, a couple weeks later her left, top, center (got that?) tooth is rapidly turning brown! OK - so obviously she hit it harder than we thought and she wasn't kidding when she said it hurt.

It's time for her 6 month dental cleaning any way so I figured we would kill two birds with one stone. I called the dentist we've gone to in the past - yes, we were one of those by the book parents (ok, I was) who started going to the dentist before the 1st birthday - and they've increased their prices.

They wanted $142! Just to clean her teeth!! No x-rays, no work, JUST CLEANING!! So I called another pediatric dentist thinking that was crazy...

They wanted...are you ready for this...$180!! Again, just for the cleaning. And if I want BuddyRoe to have his first visit/consultation (they do NOTHING, just get him used to the dentist and look in his mouth to make sure there are no glaring deformities) it would be $48!!

Seriously? You want $180 to brush my kid's teeth? Because really, at her age that's all they're doing! And people wonder why there are so many gross mouths out there! Who in the world can afford $180 a piece to get their kid's teeth cleaned every 6 months?

I did finally find a practice of dentists - who I have since heard wonderful things about - that includes a pediatrict dentist (they actually cover the whole spectrum which is nice) who only charges $78 for a cleaning. And when I tried to make an appointment for BuddyRoe they laughed and told me just to bring him in with BBug and they would let him sit in the chair and take a quick look - at no charge!

I know pearly whites are important and I'll pay whatever I have to to ensure my kids' have good health (dental included), but seriously folks? Am I the only one that thinks this is outrageous?

Am I just being cheap? (Hubby, I swear if you say anything about me being cheap I'll have to hurt you!)

Monday, September 7, 2009

A Busy Labor Day Weekend

Now that we're all recovered from the flu we jumped right on in to a busy Labor Day weekend.

Saturday, Hubby took the kiddos down to his mom's so we could head to Gainesville and catch up with our old friends, the Florida Gators. See, we have season tickets but because I wasn't allowed to travel at all last season because of my pregnancy with BuddyRoe (we found out about the complications in July and by the second week of September I was in the hospital) we sold them to some friends. So, it's been a while since we've been to BHG Stadium.

We got there and enjoyed a good meal and some laughs with a bunch of Hubby's hunting buddies and then headed in for the main event. I know we pretty much killed Charleston Southern, but I'm gonna give their boys credit - they certainly came out with a lot of heart and gave it their all.

On Sunday our good friends Aunt A and Uncle M came over for dinner. We had ribs and chicken to go along with some lemon pasta that Aunt A heard about on the Pioneer Woman's website. After dinner while Hubby, Aunt A and I were cleaning up (and BBug was playing in her room) we noticed that Uncle M and BuddyRoe had slipped outside. When we looked out back we found the playing on the swingset. We are so blessed to have Aunt A and Uncle M in our lives. They love our kids almost as much as we do and would do anything for them. They also aren't afraid to lay down the law with them (mainly BBug right now) which I love!

Monday found us loading up and heading to our favorite State Park. We met up with Aunt Sheri, Uncle Chris, Kyler, Grandma, and the "Grapes" (great-grandparents). We spent the day riding bikes, going for walks, playing on the playgrounds, eating good - but not so good for you - food, and just being together.

When we made it back to the house and both of the kids were covered in dirt and sweat and sound asleep we knew that it had been a good day!

We had such a good long weekend, and I'm so glad that we're all doing well again! We have a couple big events to look forward to this week as well - BBug has her first ballet and tap class (she missed the actual first week because she was sick) and we're going to Disney Princesses on Ice next weekend!!

I hope you all had a wonderful and blessed Labor Day Weekend as well!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Beware of Flying Objects

Things have been flying around here for the past couple of weeks and to be completely honest it's left me just plain wiped out emotionally and physically.

Last Friday hubby went to the doctor because he wasn't feeling 100%. The doctor told him he had the H1N1 flu. By Monday BBug and I had also been diagnosed with it. Yep, that's right the swine flu invaded our house, but thank goodness I think the last of it is about to fly right on out the door. Hubby and I both caught ours very early and with the help of medicine had only a couple days of mild symptoms. BBug on the otherhand wasn't so lukcy. It wasn't really any worse than any of the other big sick events we've had, but we've spent five days now fighting fevers as high as 104.7, bodyaches, headaches, cold sweats, snotty nose and cough. Today has been really good though. Her fever has stayed right at 99.0 - practically no fever at all!

Between watching over her at night, when her fevers tended to rage and BuddyRoe not sleeping well (couldn't tell you what his issue was, the only thing that gets him to sleep is ESPN SportsCenter - thank goodness it's on a lot in the middle of the night!) Hubby and I are sorely lacking on sleep.

Just as things started getting better on the health front, we encountered another flying object - accusations. In a family matter that is much too dramatic, and frankly ridiculous, to go in to on here I was accused of something that I did not do. Not only was I accused, but I was basically ripped apart in a series of lovely emails. There was a part of me that said, "It's not worth it. Just ignore it and let it go, you know the truth." But then there was that part of me, the bigger (or smaller, depending on how you're looking at it) part apparently, that said, "Not no, but heck no! I'm going to defend myself!" Well the whole mess blew up in to an all day war of the words. And to be honest it not only wiped out the last bit of physical energy that I had, but it pretty much depleted my emotional stores as well. .

And as if all that wasn't enough then I realized that time is flying too! My baby's (BuddyRoe) first birthday is just over a month away! It truly seems like just a couple weeks ago that the doctors decided it was time to go ahead and take him, for his safety and mine at 35 weeks. And now, now it's time for me to start getting things together for his first birthday party! We're doing a sports theme - we thought it was only appropriate considering his late night entertainment preferences - and accepting that my days of having little babies are rapidly disappearing.

I told ya folks, things are flying around here and all I want to do is duck and take cover!

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