Saturday, December 25, 2010

2 years later

It is amazing how much my family has changed in 2 short years. Colin is so much bigger and we doubled our family size! You can see that my mom did some improvements to her living room as well lol

Two years ago, I would NEVER have dreamed my life would be how it is today - and I would not change a thing. Our family is complete :)

The first picture is from 2008, the second is from today (Christmas 2010).

I should have worn flats - I know I was wearing flats in 2008. And, for the FIRST time, I am glad I had to blur out Lil J's face. He was being a total sour puss in every picture. He wanted to get up, get down, lay on the floor, etc, etc.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas Eve Eve

Christmas is just a few days away, and I feel like I am so unprepared. I don't know what it is - but, I guess I am just having the Christmas Blahs.

I still have wrapping to do, still have stocking stuff to buy, still have to ...........

I got started early on shopping, and now here it is two days away and I am not done.

Maybe because it is harder (but not impossible) to get out of the house, maybe it is because Frank has worked later EVERY day for months - getting home after the kids are in bed, I don't know.

Please - someone kick me in the head with some Christmas Spirit.

Monday, December 20, 2010

15 Month Stats

Cora had her 15 month appointment last week. I just have not had a second to post about it.

People keep saying that she looks like a 2 yr old. Never really thought that much about it. Yeah, she is a big girl, but she still looks like a baby. maybe it is the lack of hair.

So her stats:

Weight: 27.5 pounds
Height: 32.5 inches tall

That finally puts her on the chart! 95% for both.

Friday, December 17, 2010

My Life in Pictures

I found this application on facebook and think it is the coolest thing. It basically takes all your pictures from facebook and makes a (super fast) slide show. I can't stop watching it :)

"When are the girls gonna leave?"

That is what Lil J keeps asking me. "when are the girls gonna leave"

We talk about his mom. We tell him that he lived with his mom when he was a baby. This is usually in response to something that the girls do. He might say something like "remember when I was a baby......"

He knows that he has two moms, he knows that he came to live with us at about 3 years old, he knows that he mom loves him, bla bla bla.

Well, apparently, he thinks that his life is what happens to everyone. That you live with one mom as a baby, and then live with another when you get older. He keeps saying that when the girls get older, they are going to live with their other mom. It totally breaks my heart that he thinks this is the norm.

I have tried to explain to him that the girls are here to stay, and that HE is also here as part of our family. And, that the other mom was not able to take good care of him, which is why he is part of our family now. And, while he does not live with the other mom now, that she loves him very much.

He really doesn't have many memories from before he came to us, or at least he does not talk about anything. He came to us a month after his 3rd birthday, and really how many kids have memories from when they are 2 yrs old?

Ugh, heart crushing.

We are actually VERY concerned about his mother right now. There has been a strange twist in his case.

His mother is currently MISSING. Yup, she is missing. Because one reason or another, the visit schedule had changed back and forth between every week and every other week. On October 27, she had her last visit. At that time, the visits were to be every other week.

Well, since then, she has not contacted our caseworker at all. She is supposed to call 24 hours before a visit to confirm that she will be there. But, not only has she not called to confirm the visits (which were obviously cancelled), but her phone goes right to voicemail, she does not return phone calls, and 2 certified letters were never picked up from the post office.

So, short of driving out to her house, she is officially missing. It has been almost 2 months of no contact. And to be honest, I am concerned for her. Very concerned. Other than when he was first here, and she had no contact with the CW for 3-4 months, she has not just disappeared. Yes, she missed plenty of visits, didn't call to confirm a visit, etc. But, it has never been this long without contact of any kind.

Most of her missed visits were either because of no confirmation, or she would call and give a lame excuse.

My CW has been advised by her supervisor that they need to do an official "search" for her, which means sending more certified letters, more phone calls, checking hospitals, jails, etc.

In our state, one reason for termination of rights is abandonment. Since we are heading towards termination anyway, this will just be another item on the list which shows that termination is the proper and correct thing to do.

But, I was hoping that she would surrender her rights, I was hoping that she would care enough to want contact with him, that I would not have to explain to Lil J one day that I don't know where she is or what happened to her :(

So, it is a huge change in the case, not one that I ever saw coming.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


One day, I might get them both to look at the camera LOL

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Annual Cookie Baking

Every year we have a cookie baking marathon with my sisters. We bake all day and then make baskets for so many people - work, parties that we go to, the doorman, pre-school teachers, etc, etc

Each year, we keep track of the # of cookies that we made. This year it was 136 dozen plus a few. That is over 1632 cookies!! I really should have counted the number of baskets that I made, but they were all different sizes, and all had different amounts.

But, I did count the number of cookies when I was preparing one of the plates/baskets. There was 75 cookies on that plate. I could have added more, but they were starting to topple lol. And, that was one of the "small" plates.

At the end of the night I was exhusted!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Brownie Covered Oreos

I got this idea from Picky Palate, and knew I just had to make them. Now, they are no where near as pretty as the examples, but they are yummy!

You can click on the first picture to see kinda step-by-step instructions. The only thing that is not written is that the pans must be well sprayed with cooking spray

My kids, the clones

OK, I think they look TOTALLY different in these pics, but when I asked my husband - he could not tell at all. I even showed him several pics and he could figure it out.

I think it is prett cool that I have all of Cora's clothes, and that I can *try* to take similar pics. This one however, was totally on accident. I was taking pics of Elsie and when I saw them I realized that I had pics of Cora in the same outfit. When I looked up the pics of Cora, most were in the same exact position. But, at this age, almost EVERY pic in in the same pose. She is just wedged in a corner lol.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Happy Anniversary

Frank and I got married 5 years ago today. Man, my life has changed so much in those 5 years!

I look at these pics and can't believe how little Colin is - he is now 6 feet tall!

It was so bitter cold that day, but we were DETERMINED to have outdoor pics. So glad we did, because they are some of my favorite pics. Sorry they are so big lol

Monday, November 29, 2010

A Trip to see Santa

We had a photoshoot this morning, which I will blog about under it's own post. But, I figured we would try to go see the Jolly Man after. We got a great pic with NO crying from anyone.

Cora would not smile, I guess after a morning of smiling and being cute, she was slightly grumpy LOL. Lil J is cropped out, but he LOVED Santa. There was no line, so he just chatted with Santa for a while. So cute!

And, my goodness - I apparently have Ghost Children lol

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Ordered our Christmas Cards

As I mentioned in a previous post, I received 50 free holiday cards from shutterfly. Seriously, they have so many designs that it took forever (read: 2 days) to decide on one. I narrowed it down to 8, and then let Frank pick from those. That is kinda the way every decision works in my house....I make the options, and he just picks from there. Was this way for baby names too.

I really wanted to have a group shot, and then an individual pics of each kid. But, when we got our pro shots done - there was not a indiv shot of just Elsie. So, I would have to take one myself. I knew I would not get the same quality as the studio, I decided to skip it.

Thank goodness that I did, since it would have taken me even longer to pick a card. I really made the mistake of falling in love with a square one. But, I know from experience that square ones need more postage. And, well - I am cheap like that LOL.

I really love the one we finally picked out. I think the bright colors really go well with the colors in the pictures, and liked that there was enough room to put all our names (and our super long last name) on the card. Plus, it covered everyone with the "Happy Holidays" saying.

I am hoping to get them out as soon as we receive the order in the mail, even bought my stamps already.

Here is what we decided on:


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

DIY Hand-Print Turkey Shirt

I had seen this idea on several blogs that I follow - so I thought it would be cute to make for the 3 little kids. It really was super easy. I was afraid that they would look like a peacock, instead of a turkey...but, I think they came our super cute. You can scroll down for the final product.

Basically, there is a product that makes any fabric an iron-on. I use this product all the time for crafts. It really allows you to make something unique as there are so many fabrics to choose from. I am not sure of what brand I used - but this is one brand out there

I just used whatever fabric I had around the house. But, you can get fabric for real cheap, especially since you don't need a lot. I used this product on every aspect of this project (except the eyes).

Some things like the legs and beak could be done with tacky glue or something called liquid stitch. I can't wait to show pics of the kids in their outfits :)

I added step by step directions, with pictures :)

Monday, November 22, 2010

Elsie's Baptism

We baptised Elsie yesterday. She hardly cried at all! The dress is an heirloom, first worn 37 years ago. I think it is really cool that all of my kids have worn the same dress that I (and all of my sister) wore on our Baptism day.

We took some shots in her dress when we got our holiday pics taken. But, it was at the end and she was DONE. So, pacifer in the mouth - whatever works, right?

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Free Holiday Cards from Shutterfly

Shutterfly is offering 50 free Photo Holiday Cards for bloggers. Each year, I search high and low for the perfect holiday card, along with the perfect picture. Shutterfly has great designs. But, they have so many great ones, that it is hard to pick just one

In the past, it was easy - just put Colin in front of the tree and snap. Not so easy this year. LOL I remember a few years ago when we went to the Holiday Section of Walmart to take our holiday pics. To be honest, it really was the best idea. It was festive, many different scenes to choose from, and um,,,,,it was free. Gotta love free.

I remember the year that I tried so hard to get the perfect picture in front of the tree. I thought I got a great one, uploaded them to shutterfly, picked the perfect card design and ordered them. It was not until after all of the cards were addressed and mailed that a small detail about the picture it was brought to my attention. Turns out, my “perfect” picture was a picture of Colin with his fly down. Oh well.

Over the years, he has gotten used to the Christmas pics that I require him to take. He knows that a few minutes of pictures will make his mother oh so happy.

Last year, the pictures were a disaster. So, I had to do three separate pictures. And, I had to photoshop Colin’s picture to match the other two. This year, I got really lucky. Colin was a great help, and actually got some great pictures of all four children.

Four children. I still can’t believe that - I have FOUR children!

Shutterfly has so many awesome designs this year. So unique. I can’t wait to hear all the ohhs and ahhs from my family when the get this year’s holiday card. Sure, some because my kids are so damn cute. But, I am sure some will be from the great design of the cards.

Check out all the new designs for this year here: It is gonna be a hard choice again this year.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Chocolate Covered Pretzels - Baptism Favors

Elsie is being baptised this weekend. I wanted to do a simple favor. Last year, I did the cupcake bites. They were a big hit. But, I wanted to do something different. And, let's be honest....something simple.

I love edible favors, and figured the easiest thing would be chocolate covered pretzels. I made dark choc and milk choc with a white choc drizzle. I used the "defrost" setting on the microwave. I think it actually melts the chocolate better than the full power. In the past, I have use the regular power and feel like the chocolate got "burnt". I let it go for about 60 seconds, stirred it and then let it go for another 30 (ish) seconds. It was the perfect consistency at that point

One tip that I found on-line was to pour the choc onto wax paper and then just roll the pretzel (1st pic). This worked out really well and gave a nice even coating for the pretzel. I have seen some pics and they seems very thick and chunky. I think those were "dunked" in some kind of cup or a deep bowl.

I think the wax paper method worked really well. The only tip with that is not to put too much on the paper at one time. It cools really fast when in thin amounts. After the first time, I just put a smaller amount on the paper and rolled it. I did "tap" it a bit before putting it on the cooling rack. The rack worked better than just waxed paper. The rack allowed less surface area touching the pretzel - so no flat spot like if I just put it on the waxed paper.

After the chocolate was "set" I melted the white and then took a fork to drizzle. I am sure it would have been fine if the choc was not set. But, I did not want to take any chances since I did not have more time. to make more if these were ruined somehow.

I made 60 total - 30 milk and 30 dark. Each favor has one of each. I just made a simple tag. I had wanted to use the extra paper from the invite kit...but my printer was totally not cooperating. So, simple tag it is. No worries :)

Oh, and I gave Cora a small piece of pretzel with chocolate on it. She loved it.

UPDATE - I have made these several times, and have gotten between 35-40 pretzels out of a one pound bag of chocolates.


Holiday Pics of the kids

We went yesterday to TRY to get Christmas Pics of all 4 kids. We did get some good ones. But, boy - it was NOT fun.

Colin is so handsome, if I do say so myself :) He actually asked to have a few of just him.

I hate that Lil J is cropped out of these. But, I did blur his face in the first one. It is just too sweet not to share. Too bad Elsie looks like the forgotten child in the back there LOL

Friday, November 12, 2010

Cora is getting so big

I have done this before, but figured since I am boring, and have no topics to write about - I would add pics of Cora.

She will be 14 months tomorrow, it is amazing to see these pics; and to see how much she has grown. I have done the same for Elsie - but since she is only one month old, there is only one pic. In a couple of weeks, I will add her pics.

We had our flu shots the other day and I asked if I could throw her on the scale. She is a BIG 27.5 pounds. More than 20 pounds than she was at birth! Wowza! And, she is heavy. I have to carry both girls most times to the car. Cora is a walker now. But, not a directed walker. So - it is not like I can just put her down and say "let's go to the car"

She is still not talking - unless you count "ugh" as a word.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween from Cora, Elsie, and Lil J :)

Friday, October 29, 2010

They even have the same feet

Look at the girls' feet in the first picture - they girls even have the same feet. I think they look very different, but of course in pics they look very similar.

The order is not the same in all the pics lol

Monday, October 25, 2010

Elsie passed her carseat test :)

We had Elsie's follow-up carseat test today. And, she PASSED. After failing the initial test two times, we were concerned that she would fail again. especially since her hands were turning purple when sitting up (which only stopped about a week ago)

We were able to go back to our local hospital, where she was tested in an extra room - think is was the lactation room. She could not go back in the newborn nursery..too germy lol.

I am just thrilled to get rid of the carbed. It is so much easier to get out of the house without having to physically carry both girls. I celebrated by going out alone with all 3 little ones.

We took a pic of the carbed when we went to her first ped appointment, so is SO much bigger now, 4 weeks later.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Cousins meet :)

The newest cousins met for the first time today. My mom was thrilled to have all her babies in one place.

You can see the joy in her face.

Not sure what is so funny in the first pic, guess I missed the memo lol

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