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The Sunday Somethings, 06nov11

Sunday, November 6th, 2011

Something I’m thinking: I need to see an allergist again. I’m back to being congested every morning, which is how things were before I was pregnant with Maddie. I had this issue at the beginning of the pregnancy with Maddie, but then I was fine for the majority of the rest of it, through both pregnancies and nursing. Now the issues are back. Boo.

Something happening around the house: Gabe’s mom, grandma, sister, and nephew are visiting for a few days. We have a full house!

Something I’m reading: A Feast for Crows. I like the series, but I don’t think I love it as much as the fanatics out there. I think I’ll have to read some quick and easy things in between A Feast For Crows and A Dance with Dragons.

Something Gabe is reading: The Well of Ascension.

Something I’m watching: New episodes of Beavis and Butthead. Ha!

Something I’m playing: We played King of Tokyo, Telestrations, and Trivial Pursuit: Bet You Know It with Gabe’s family.

Something tasty: Gabe’s family requested rainbow cake. It turned out pretty and tasty! I also made cookies from a new recipe, Chewy Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies. They were pretty yummy, too. I finally posted Gabe’s Chicken Pot Pie recipe. He made it for his family last night, too.

Something about both kiddos: Despite a cold, rainy Halloween evening, we ventured out to maybe a dozen houses for trick or treating! I hope the weather is better next year as both kids demanded to be carried in the drizzle.

Something Maddie is doing (44 months old): She had the Halloween parade at school, but she looked like she was having a miserable time! She does NOT like it when it’s cold. When we tried to take photos before school, she was a surly little Minnie Mouse! When I asked her if the parade was fun, she said that it was. She sure didn’t act like it! She had her first ballet class in a set of 3 that is being offered at my work. She refused to participate for the majority of the class. She was slightly more interested when the props were introduced. I broke down and finally went out and bought her a leotard, ballet skirt, tights, and shoes to try and entice her to participate. I think I convinced her that the reason she didn’t want to participate is that she didn’t have a ballet outfit. On Halloween, Maddie chose to select 10 pieces of candy to keep for herself and gave the rest to the Halloween witch (who brought small stuffed animals Nala and Minnie Mouse). It was fun to see how she selected the candy. She kept every lollipop that she had. When she came across a new piece of candy that she wanted, it was fun to see how she decided which previously selected piece of candy that she wanted to put in the bucket for the witch. With 10 pieces, she still has enough candy to last a while. It took her 3 days to eat a tootsie pop! She has shown more interest again with Annabelle and Henry and “baby sister.” This causes a lot of grief for her brother.

Something Cullen is doing (21 months old): Cullen is speaking in sentences more and more often. He’s often saying things like, “Daddy has ABCs on his shirt” or “I want a muffin in my bowl.” He has started shaking his head “no” when he wants to say something is not true. Like when Maddie had a snack and Cullen didn’t, he said, “I have a snack” while shaking his head. He had fun trick or treating, though we didn’t let him have much candy at all. He doesn’t really know the difference this year. We were glad he finally agreed to wear his costume since he was so against it for weeks. He was also excited to be Pooh for school that morning! He made an adorable Pooh! The Halloween witch also brought him a Nala and Minnie Mouse. If you ask Cullen what Santa is going to bring him, he says, “my Annabelle.” I don’t know if we’re going to be able to get away with giving his new “Annabelle” a different name, or we’re going to have “Maddie’s Annabelle” and “Cullen’s Annabelle.” He is still very into Annabelle and throws a ton of tantrums when Maddie won’t let him play with her. Christmas can’t get here fast enough! He has started asking for my iPhone more often to play Peek-a-Boo Barn. He’s learning his way around that thing. He’s not getting an iPhone for Christmas!!

Something I’m looking forward to: A shopping trip to the outlet mall, lunch with a friend, Maddie’s ballet sampler class, dinner and games with friends, and games night!

Something captured: The kids checking out their Halloween loot.

Others writing The Sunday Somethings: Audrey

The Sunday Somethings, 16oct11

Sunday, October 16th, 2011

Something I’m thinking: I’m thinking about when we will have our next games night. I love that we’ve been able to have one almost once a month. We should be able to fit in one more before our New Year’s Eve party.

Something I’m hoping: I hope that I’ll be happy with the image quality of the new point and shoot camera that I ordered. My goal is to leave the SLR at home for our cruise as it would be a pain to lug around. It would likely be left in the cabin the majority of the time that we’re on the ship, too.

Something happening around the house: Gabe has been busy! Last week, he nearly finished the deck, and this week he painted the utility room (with awesome colors from the bonus room) and installed an organization system for the alcove. It’s the best thing ever! We’ve been wanting to do that for a while, but we hadn’t gotten a chance. We have two shelves at the top for items we barely use, a place to hang coats on hangers, and two drawers for hats, gloves, and scarves. We also have a place to hang our keys and two sets of hooks on the opposite wall – one set for our every day jackets and the other for the kids’ every day jackets. The kids were excited to hang their own jackets on their level. I love it!

Something I’m reading: I finished Rebel Angels, and I started on both Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children and The Sweet Far Thing (the last book in the Gemma Doyle trilogy). Miss Peregrine is quite interesting and different so far. I look forward to the book club discussion in a couple weeks. I better get moving on it, if I’m going to finish in time.

Something Gabe is reading: Mistborn. Still.

Something I’m watching: We’re getting ready to watch Amazing Race in a few minutes.

Something I’m playing: King of Tokyo (several times), Die Burgen von Burgund, Quarriors, Palazzo Paletti (first time in a long time!), Die Mauer, Trivial Pursuit 6, and Medici.

Something tasty: Homemade banana bread! Gabe has been buying more bananas than he thought we would need the past several times he’s been to the store. He has been secretly hoping that we wouldn’t be able to eat them fast enough, and that I would make banana bread. It worked out for him this time!

Something both kiddos are doing: Both kids are helping me in the kitchen quite a bit these days! They love sitting on the counter, pouring in ingredients, and stirring.

Something Maddie is doing (43 months old): Maddie had a dental appointment and did great! She’s a wonderful little dental patient. She’s so wiggly. The child cannot sit still! She falls out of her chair at dinner at least once a week. We have started to make her stand when she can’t sit properly in her chair. That seems to help a little. She’s excited about going to the fair. Maddie gobbled up pureed butternut squash like it was pudding tonight. She also loved the butternut squash muffins that Cullen, Maddie, and I made together. When she helps me in the kitchen, she says, “we have our own bakery, right?”

Something Cullen is doing (20 months old): Cullen is more attached to Annabelle than ever. Twice this week, he cried all the way to school because he couldn’t hold Annabelle. Maddie lets him play with her a lot, but it’s her doll. We don’t force her to share the doll. The last four nights in a row, he has insisted on having Annabelle in the crib with him. He’s very sweet with the doll. I think Santa is going to have to bring him his own Bitty Twin. He tattled on Maddie twice this week. Both times it involved Maddie hitting him, once in the car with a stuffed animal and once at home with a broomstick. Both times were accidental. Cullen exclaimed, “Mommy! Maddie hit me!” His ability to communicate is incredible. He’s using more adjectives, prepositions, and articles. He often says things like, “close the door” instead of “close door.”

Something I’m doing towards my goals: I signed up our Team for 2012′s Walk MS event. I guess that’s step one when it comes to the fundraising.

Something I learned: I installed the OS upgrades for both my MacBook Pro and the iPhone. I’m still getting used to the new gestures on the MacBook. I also learned that when you put “7pm Event Name” on my Google calendar, it picks up the time (I already knew if you put @ place name, it would update that part). I’m not sure how I missed this previously, since it gives an example of it under the prompt. I have been finding it annoying that I would have to edit the whole calendar entry in order to enter a time, so this will save me a lot of hassle.

Something I’m looking forward to: I’m looking forward to getting my new camera, hopefully in time for the fair with Maddie, a food tour in downtown Raleigh with my girlfriends, and our anniversary dinner!

Something random: Is there a fruit or a vegetable that cannot be made into a tasty baked good?

Something captured: The kiddos in their coordinating Halloween jammies (they also glow in the dark!). Cute!

Others writing The Sunday Somethings: Audrey

The Sunday Somethings, 02oct11

Monday, October 3rd, 2011

Something that makes me happy: The timing of the refinance and the final payment of our cruise was excellent. We both closed on the refinance and put the final cruise payment on our credit card on Wednesday.

Something I’m reading: I got notification that my first library kindle book was available for download. I started and finished The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society. I look forward to discussing it at our November book club meeting. I’m also reading Rebel Angels. We discussed the first book of that series at book club this week, and the club’s opinions were mixed. I like the series just well enough to keep reading it, but I don’t think I’d highly recommend it.

Something Gabe is reading: He’s still reading Mistborn.

Something I’m watching: Too many shows! Not enough time!

Something I’m playing: My development team played a game of 7 Wonders during lunch on Friday.

Something tasty: I finally got my very own stand mixer, and I made Triple Chip Cookies. Yum!

Something about both kiddos: Catherine came to take photos of us! I can’t wait to see them.

Something Maddie is doing (43 months old): She continues to add new lessons at school. Today, she did some sort of “number roll” which involved the numbers 1-9 and counting out stones for each number. I’m not surprised that she did well on this one, but she apparently impressed her teachers!

Something Cullen is doing (20 months old): Every week, it’s the same update, but I continue to be impressed with his vocabulary. It’s impossible to catalog everything new that he is saying each week. He adds words and sentence structure. This week, he saw a school bus pass us and said, “I saw a school bus!” We walked past two double strollers of babies at daycare, and he said, “lots of babies!” and just after that we passed a bunch of rocks and he said, “lots of rocks!” He continues to be my sweet little boy. He has started to get really good at bedtime stalling techniques, mostly in the form of asking for lots of hugs and kisses from anyone around. And I think I’ll fall for it every time because it’s so ridiculously sweet.

Something I’m doing towards my goals: We paid for the cruise on Allure of the Seas, so we’re that much closer to fulfilling our mega-ship goal!

Something I learned: I learned how to get a kindle book from the library (and how to return it when finished). Aside from the potentially long waiting list, it was a very easy process!

Something I’m looking forward to: Gabe’s birthday, dinner/games with friends, the zoo, and the pumpkin patch. Big week! Our plans for the mountains this weekend fell through, but I think we’ll be spending time with the same friends at the zoo instead. The weather should be perfect!

Something captured: My newest little kitchen helper. My sweet boy!

Others writing The Sunday Somethings: Audrey

The Sunday Somethings, 29may11

Sunday, May 29th, 2011

Something that makes me happy: I’m sure I’ve said this many times already, but spending time with family and friends makes me happy.

Something I’m reading: I’m about halfway through Kushiel’s Justice.

Something I’m playing: We played Carcassonne: Hunters and Gatherers and New York Chase this weekend with the Leslies.

Something tasty: I made my Grandma’s chicken divan for the first time in a while.

Something Maddie is doing (39 months old): Maddie has continued to do a little more name calling as she’s being influenced by the older kids in her class. She was calling Cullen an “eyeball head” in the car the other day. I told her that it wasn’t nice to call people names, and she then said, “well, I’m an eyeball head.” I didn’t really have a response for that. I guess it’s ok for her to call herself names. She has been talking in extremes lately, especially with the use of the word, “never.” “You never give me a snack!” “I don’t like that food. I’ve never liked that food.” (when she’s never tried the food in question). She had soccer this week, and she was showing us some of the things that she learned. She’s signed up for a swimming class and a dance class that both start soon. She gives great hugs and kisses and tells us that she loves us unprompted at times. She says, “okay!” a lot in response to use telling her to do certain things. She doesn’t always listen, but it’s nice that she’s so compliant a lot of the time.

Something Cullen is doing (16 months old): I forgot to mention a few things from last week. We had our first ever exploding diaper. I had heard other parents talk about diapers getting so wet during the night that they spilled the gel/beads/gunk from inside the diaper. This was the first time it had happened to us! We have started weaning Cullen from the paci. He no longer has the paci at school now. We asked them to try a couple weeks ago to see how it would go, and it went great! He wasn’t using a paci in the car, but his last several days in the car have been so awful that we went back to allowing it in the car. We knew we were about to spend a lot of time in the car traveling, so maybe we’ll try again after our trip. He only has the paci when he’s sleeping and in the car, and he’s doing pretty well with it. He was sick this week with a high fever for a couple of days. His fever was up to almost 104. Poor little guy. The fever went away, and he soon had a rash on his torso. We didn’t take him back to the doctor as the rash went away, but we are assuming that he had roseola. We went through the same thing with Maddie at some point. He still continues to love books. He brings us books all the time and climbs into our laps. He puts a lot of stuff in his mouth, including books. Unfortunately, he’s eaten some corners of our books. Now I know why kids’ books are in such bad shape. Maddie didn’t abuse her books as badly as Cullen does. He will put anything he can find in his mouth, so we really have to watch him. We’re convinced he’s still teething as he drools a lot and often has his hands in his mouth. I know we’ve felt this way for a month or two, but I really think that’s the culprit of extra drool and fussiness. Cullen had his ENT check up and his “mucus glob” looked better, and the ENT declared that it was not a cholesteatoma. He had his first haircut on Friday, and he did great! He is saying more and more words all of the time. I’ve definitely lost track of them, but some of the recent additions are truck, broom, Elmo, fish, nap, bottle, duck, quack quack quack quack, mouse, Henry (Maddie’s doll), green, blue, mine, all mine, and Minnie. He also says things like, “I want that” and “I want milk.” It sounds like he’s saying those things, anyway. Edit: I thought of a few more words: bar (for breakfast bar), sleep, go, and bowl.

Something I am struggling with: Maddie slammed her head into my chin yesterday, and I just about bit my tongue off. It was not pretty. Some of my teeth actually slammed together, and my tongue was in the way. There was lots of blood and pain. I managed to stay calm and not shout obscenities, so that’s good.

Something I’m doing towards my goals: My photography class starts this week, but I unfortunately have a scheduling conflict for the first one. Darn.

Something I’m looking forward to: We’re looking forward to our trip to Cincinnati and Kentucky (and Gabe’s looking forward to seeing a Reds game).

Something captured: Cullen, during his first haircut!

Others writing The Sunday Somethings: Audrey

Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins

Tuesday, May 17th, 2011

After seeing this recipe on Feeding Four, I knew right away that I was going to have to try it. I love muffins. I love banana bread. I love chocolate chips. This sounds like the perfect match.

I made these during Mother’s Day weekend. I’ve added the recipe to my collection on the site. I will definitely be making them again.

Be sure to visit Feeding Four for the original recipe and much better photos (well, that post is lacking in photos of cute kiddos, but some of her other posts fit that bill as well).

I gathered my ingredients. I didn’t want to get halfway through the recipe and realize that I was missing an egg! I am missing the butter in this photo as it was melted in a bowl in the microwave. So much for completeness.

I made a well, as she suggested, and I thought it looked pretty like a flower.

Maddie loves helping me in the kitchen. She especially loves stirring, dumping in ingredients, and putting paper cups in the muffin tin.

Ready to go into the oven!

Mmmm….time to eat!

Cullen approved!

Maddie approved!

We all loved them! My family loved them so much that they ate all but one of the leftovers on Mother’s Day morning while I was sleeping in. I was all ready to eat chocolate chip banana muffins, but little did I know that the rest of the household had the same idea! I am looking forward to making them again!

Holiday Baking

Saturday, January 1st, 2011

Last year, I remember I made individual bundles of cookies for each of the teachers, including some of the assistants that we have come to know well over the last few years. It ended up being a lot more work than I thought it might be as I had quite a few bundles which translated to quite a few cookies (plus a cookie exchange). I swore I wasn’t going to do that again! And this year, I didn’t do exactly that…but I think I ended up doing way more. Granted, I wasn’t 8 months pregnant. It turns out that makes a huge difference!!! This year, I had a pint-sized “helper” who was very excited to assist in the kitchen.

I started with the Oreo truffles. This year, I made regular, mint, and peanut butter ones. The mint ones were a big hit. The peanut butter ones were a little weird (but did not have cream cheese). The texture wasn’t as creamy and a tad on the crunchy side.

I also used candy melts to make them red and green (and used both the chocolate and candy melts for decoration).

I boxed them up and gave them as gifts to Maddie and Cullen’s teachers. I was very happy with how they turned out!

The following weekend, I was inspired by one of Cullen’s teachers to give cupcake bites a try. The cupcake bites weren’t too difficult to make, and they were super cute!

The bottom is a bit of chocolate in a peanut butter candy mold. Now that I have such candy molds, it makes me want to try to make peanut butter cups sometime…

Did I mention that the cupcake bites were CUTE??

Maddie and I also made my mom’s recipe for ginger snaps. I found a new recipe for ginger snaps that we made on Christmas Eve Eve. Maddie did a great job rolling each ball of dough into the sugar.

These cookies are YUMMY. The other recipe turned out pretty well, too. Most people liked both cookies the same or preferred the old recipe a little bit. I’ll probably make a little of both each year!

Most of the time, Maddie watched instead of participated in the baking. I wasn’t sure what to think of the peanut butter truffles, but I thought they looked nice with the nut topping.

I made a lot of treats that weekend, and again they made nice little gifts for the teachers. The teachers received a lot of goodies this year, especially since I wasn’t able to eat many of the goodies (most are NOT dairy free!).

After my cupcake bites experience, I thought that I could handle making Bakerella’s Christmas themed cake pops. They were a lot more work than I had thought they would be (what was I thinking??). I really don’t think i would want to try to make them again, but they did turn out really cute.

My favorite baking project out of all of our many projects this season was the sugar cookies. I have very fond memories of cookie making and decorating as a child, and I am thrilled to be able to share this with my children (well, just Maddie this year). She LOVED it, and I’m glad we were able to do it with Nana this year.

I think Maddie was proud of our cookies as well!

Maddie was quite liberal with the sprinkles. I had to shake off the excess each time as we put them on the plates. I think they turned out pretty well, and they were TASTY! I made Mandy’s Holy Grail Sugar Cookies, though I did substitute vegan butter. I still think that they were fabulous, even without real butter. I can also appreciate a dough that I feel comfortable eating raw (I used to have no issues eating raw dough with egg, but I can’t bring myself to do it anymore!). I think that next time I’ll make the icing a little thinner. I felt like the cookies were a tad too sweet for me (though that doesn’t stop me from eating one just about every time I pass the table).

I also made a tree out of 6 different sized stars. A friend of mine had posted photos of hers on Facebook, and I thought that looked fun! I love it!

Our tasty creations have made nice centerpieces for our holiday dinners.

Oh and Christmas morning, I made red and green pancakes! Fun and yummy!

I love the holidays!!!

The Sunday Somethings, 19dec10

Sunday, December 19th, 2010

Something that makes me happy: Baking and creating in the kitchen! I think I’ve finally justified the need for a Kitchenaid mixer. I have wanted one for a very long time. Too bad that I didn’t figure this out a few weeks ago. I’ll have to wish for one next year!

Something I’m thinking: I am itching to get my 2010 photobooks done, but I know I won’t get much time for that until at least after Christmas.

Something I’m hoping: I hope that the weather doesn’t interfere with our plans to host our families at various times over the holiday break. I can’t believe that it isn’t even officially winter yet, and we’ve already had like 4 different winter events (and the bitterly cold temperatures in the teens – brrrrrr!!!! Our heating bill is going to be insane this time).

Something happening around the house: I’ve gone through several iterations of destroying and cleaning up the kitchen in the last few days!

Something I’m reading: I’ve made a half-hearted attempt to start reading The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. I’ve been busy.

Something I’m watching: I forgot to mention that we watched the finale of Amazing Race, and I can’t wait for next season’s “second chance” edition!!! Woohoo! I see some favorites returning.

Something tasty: I updated my recipes to include the cupcake bites and the mint variation on OREO truffles. I’m going to try making peanut butter OREO truffles today. Friday night, I made red velvet cupcake bites. Saturday, I made Chex Mix, ginger snaps, and Devil’s Food cake cupcake bites. I’ve already made 4 batches (well, two double batches) of Chex Mix. I think I might make another 4 batches before the end of the year. I have to make the original oven recipe. The microwave version just won’t do. I love Chex Mix…YUM! I’ve been making the batches dairy free (for me!), and I still think it’s great. I plan on making a few vegan batches later this week (did you know that regular Worchestershire sauce has anchovies? I have some vegan Worchestershire sauce so I can make Chex Mix for my vegetarian friends).

Something Maddie is doing (33 months old): Maddie is quite the helper in the kitchen! She watched me make some things and was just as excited as she would be helping. She helped me mix batters, helped me pour in ingredients, and was almost solely responsible for coating the ginger snaps in sugar before putting them in the oven. She’s pretty good about listening when I tell her to stand near the kitchen sink and away from the oven when opening and closing the oven door. Her best friend’s family gave her a Christmas apron as a gift, and she loves wearing it while we “make things.” Her classroom had their holiday party on Friday, and we decorated gingerbread houses. I think Maddie was the only one who wasn’t eating more candy than they were using to decorate! I had told her that she couldn’t eat the candy when we made the train from the kit last week since gingerbread house kit candy is a bit sketchy. The candy at her holiday party wasn’t sketchy, but I let her continue to believe that the candy was just for decorating. She has had a few M&Ms while we’ve been baking (and has sampled pieces of the ginger cookies). Oh, and her bedtime has continued to be terrible! I hope that this is just a short phase. She hasn’t been falling asleep until after 10pm. She does better when we put her to bed later than her usual 8pm bedtime. We’re going to have to try to shift her bedtime back to 8pm. It’s been nice on the weekend, as we’ve had more time in the evenings to bake together, and she’s been sleeping until almost 9am in the mornings!!! That’s unheard of for Maddie. She is much more likely to get up at 6:30am than she is to sleep past 7:15am on any day. Unfortunately, this routine won’t work for our daily work/school schedule. Hopefully, we can work on this while on our holiday break together. We have to keep an eye on her these days with Cullen. She tends to want to push him out of her way when he’s trying to get one of her toys. We are constantly working on her to not snatch things from him, regardless of whether they are “her” special toys or not. When we tell her to go to time out, she is not usually happy about it but goes to the time out corner without a fight. She tends to do a good job about staying there until we allow her to leave. She then tells us what she did wrong and what she can do instead (push her shopping cart instead of push her brother, tell a parent to remove Cullen from her domain instead of scream and push her brother, etc). She doesn’t get sent to time out for many reasons unrelated to her brother.

Something Cullen is doing (47 weeks old): Cullen’s holiday party was also on Friday. One of his teachers inspired me to give the cupcake bites a try since she made cake bites for the party. I haven’t been able to eat them since they are not dairy free, but everyone seems to like them. Cullen is excited about his new egg shakers (which is a good thing since Santa is bringing him a few more). Cullen’s last two nights have been so much more pleasant. That’s not to say that he didn’t wake up or nurse during the night. He still did that, but he went back to sleep pretty easily and didn’t scream all night. I’ll take that every night for sure. I think he also didn’t join us in bed until after midnight both nights, but I’m not always sure what time Gabe goes up to get him. Since the last two days also involved him not taking his antibiotic (which still involves a huge screaming fit each time), I’m not sure whether the two events are related or not. Perhaps the antibiotic is still the culprit?? I don’t remember if I have mentioned his separation anxiety in these things. He is very attached to his parents right now (especially me), and he does not like it when we leave the room, especially when we leave him at daycare. We found out this week that Cullen doesn’t like it when Gabe leaves him either, so it’s not just a Mommy thing.

Something I am struggling with: I can’t find the spare battery for my little camera. We tried to find it before Thanksgiving, and I still can’t find it. Maybe it will turn up after we shuffle around everything for Christmas?

Something I’m doing towards my goals: I’ve been doing pretty well with my mini goals. I sent out the majority of my cards yesterday, as planned. I have a few more that were lacking addresses and the ones for the teachers. I hope to make some more ginger snaps, schedule a few blog posts, and wrap presents today. Oh, and I finally got Cullen’s letter finished up and posted yesterday!

Something I learned: I learned how to make cupcake bites. Mine don’t look as awesome as Bakerella’s, but I was excited about how cute they turned out!

Something I’m looking forward to: Christmas!!!!!! I love Christmas!!!!

Something random: The other day, I thought of the perfect gift idea on the way from my office to the parking lot. I used the app on my phone, found what I wanted to get, ordered it, and it was on my doorstep two days later. It was a lovely combination of two things that I have come to love in the past year or so – amazon prime and having a smartphone (specifically an iPhone).

Something captured: Our family at Maddie’s party at school

Others writing The Sunday Somethings: Audrey

The Sunday Somethings, 02may10

Sunday, May 2nd, 2010

Something that makes me happy: Weekend afternoon naps.

Something I’m thinking: I’m thinking about gifts for our teachers this week during Teacher Appreciation Week.

Something I’m hoping: I’m hoping that this week isn’t too stressful.

Something happening around the house: We had guests this weekend. Catherine came to take photos, and Matt and Aiden were here to visit as well. Catherine took a ton of photos of all of us, and we had a nice time visiting with her family.

Something I’m reading: Not much time for reading this week.

Something I’m watching: We watched Pixar’s Up with Catherine’s family this weekend. They hadn’t seen it yet. I forgot how much I enjoyed that movie.

Something tasty: We had our first week of The Produce Box. We have managed to use the majority of the veggies in our box even with the tons of lettuce. Our salads have been very good! The strawberries were especially tasty! I’m happy that little to none of the box is going to waste this week.

Something Maddie is doing (26 months old): She’s officially counting to ten and attempted to tell her first knock-knock jokes this weekend. She’s not quite getting it. It generally goes something like this (with Maddie telling the joke): “Knock knock” “who’s there?” “banana!” “banana who?” *giggle, giggle* “banana who! knock knock joke!”

Something Cullen is doing (14 weeks old): We have finally turned a corner with bedtime! The past several days, we’ve been able to put him into the bassinet without me being in the room. The last two nights, I’ve actually been able to put him back into the bassinet after he wakes up to eat, too. He still spends a little time at the end of the night in the bed, but this has been encouraging! This afternoon, we took a nap together with him swaddled in the bassinet and me sleeping next to him in the bed.

Something I am struggling with: Making cookies for Teacher Appreciation Week. The Ginger Snaps are very tasty but a bit of work! It didn’t help that I forgot to add baking soda in the first batch. Who knew that baking soda was a key ingredient in baking? Oh, and just now I forgot to set the timer on the last batch, and the cookies are totally black. Awesome.

Something I’m doing towards my goals: We’re getting close to booking a cruise on Allure of the Seas which certainly qualifies as a megaship!

Something I learned: I’m not a fan of making the ginger snaps, but they make others happy, so I guess I’ll continue making them.

Something I’m looking forward to: Seeing our photos from Catherine Keene Photography.

Something random: Gabe is currently snuggling with the Boppy while we watch Amazing Race.

Something captured: Cullen looks like he’s dancing!

Others writing The Sunday Somethings: Audrey

The Sunday Somethings, 07mar10

Sunday, March 7th, 2010

Something that made me happy this week: Going on a walk this evening before dinner with my family.

Something I’m thinking: I’m thinking about buying a double stroller. We could have both pushed strollers tonight, and that would have been fine. I’m sure there will be times where one of us will need to stroll both kids, and Maddie is still a bit too young to walk everywhere. I actually walked this evening’s walk with Cullen in the Sleep Wrap. It wasn’t too bad, but I don’t think I could walk around all day at a zoo or park like that.

Something I’m hoping: I’m hoping that Cullen doesn’t get sick again. His temperature is a little elevated this evening (though not a fever at this point), and he’s not quite himself.

Something happening around the house: Ugh. We’re experiencing some “fun” home ownership issues. I guess our house is starting to act its age. The water heater broke yesterday. Gabe walked out with Maddie to go grab some lunch, and he discovered that the garage was full of steaming hot water. Not good. Fortunately, we found someone to come out almost right away and they fixed it yesterday. We have been enjoying our hot water today. We also bought a new kitchen sink and faucet today and plan on having the same guys install it. Our kitchen faucet and sink are falling apart and got worse this morning with the messed up water pressure due to air in the pipes. We are thinking about getting lighting installed in our library, something that we have wanted to do since we moved into the house. What kind of library doesn’t have suitable lighting? We are debating replacing the remainder of our brass light fixtures. I’m not sure we’re ready to do all of that.

Something I’m reading: I finished Flyte! Our book club is sorting out our picks for the next 6 months, so I might have to start reading some of those if I’m ever going to finish any of them.

Something tasty I ate this week: I made my own pizza for the first time! I didn’t make Cindy’s pizza, but she inspired me to give homemade pizza a try. Yum! I will have to make Cindy’s someday. It looks very good.

Something Maddie did this week (24 months old): Poor girl got strep throat for the first time. She seems to be getting all the same kind of illnesses that I had frequently as a child. Maddie felt pretty bad, resulting in some sweet cuddles with her Daddy. I think she’s feeling more like herself now. Not feeling well did contribute to some extra toddler tantrums. She is certainly embracing being a two year old. She continues to say funny things. She often requests socks saying, “her feet are cold” (whether or not that is actually true). This week, she came up with a new one. She said, “Daddy, I need my shoes. My socks are cold.” I love the toddler logic!

Something Cullen did this week (6 weeks old): He rolled over from his front to his back this week, though clearly not intentional. He has done this a few times previously on the bed, which I thought was a little sloped so it didn’t “count.” This time he rolled over on the floor. It certainly wasn’t intentional, but he was happier afterward. Cullen smiles a little each day. He still has a little acne and a lot of cradle cap. He’s holding his head up extremely well. We estimate he’s between 11.5 and 12 pounds.

Something I struggled with this week: Broken water heater, sick child, recovering my iTunes library (the only copy of it was on our iPods and a broken hard drive), dealing with toddler tantrums, realizing that my maternity leave is half over, realizing that Cullen is no longer a newborn, accidentally not refrigerating Maddie’s antibiotic necessitating a new prescription (which is not covered by insurance, by the way), chronic lack of sleep.

Something I’m doing towards my goals: I’ve been actively gathering suggestions and sending out emails for our book club. This falls under my goal of staying active in at least one book club. I’ve also done a little bit towards my MS fundraising goals and plan to focus some more efforts in that direction soon. I went back and created my 2005 photobook, so I guess that can potentially count as “create yearly photobooks for my family” since some of it has both Gabe and me. Ooh, and I see that “replace the kitchen sink” was one of my goals…we bought the sink and faucet and are replacing it very soon!

Something I learned this week: I learned that I had already scrapbooked 2005….after I finished my 2005 photobook! Hrm, oh well, the old scrapbook was heavy and bulky. The photobook version is a little different, but the important things are well represented.

Something I’m looking forward to next week: A relaxing, stress-free week???

Something random: We’re watching more reality shows than normal this season – Survivor, Amazing Race, and American Idol. We’ve really been enjoying all three! I’m not sure who we want to win Survivor, but I love the Heroes vs. Villains thing. I haven’t watched Survivor in several seasons, but I know a lot of the players this season. The cowboys on Amazing Race make us laugh. We are rooting for Crystal Bowersox on American Idol and also like several others: Alex Lambert, Andrew Garcia, Casey James, Lee Dewyze, and Lilly Scott. Lee Dewyze is probably my second favorite at the moment.

Something captured: Poor sick little girl wanted to snuggle with Daddy and read books.

Others writing The Sunday Somethings: Audrey

The Sunday Somethings, 07feb10

Sunday, February 7th, 2010

Something that made me happy this week: We had several friends bring meals to our house this week which was a huge help. We are very grateful for this and have enjoyed eating some different dishes that we might not normally try.

Something I’m thinking: I’m thinking I could use more sleep.

Something I’m hoping: I’m hoping to get my taxes done this week. I started on them this past week, but I need to make sure my numbers are correct.

Something happening around the house: Gabe’s mom came to visit for a few days during which time Catherine came to set up a studio for photoshoots of Cullen and the rest of us. I can’t wait to see the photos!

Something I’m reading: Still not reading much, aside from blogs in my feed reader.

Something tasty I ate this week: Friday night, friends brought over a tasty meal of sausage corn chowder, salad, bread, and a cheesecake/mousse pie. I think we’re going to add the chowder to our normal rotation of meals. We both really enjoyed it! I’ve posted the recipe.

Something Maddie did this week: She missed two days of daycare due to the weather (and one day due to the photo session with Catherine). I’m hoping that having her in daycare full time this week will help with her overall routine. Hopefully, it will help improve her sleeping schedule as well.

Something Cullen did this week: Cullen had his first of many photo sessions with Catherine Keene Photography. At this rate, the kids will have to pay for their own college but they will have beautiful photographs of their childhood.

Something I struggled with this week: Sleep was a struggle a few nights this week, but of course that’s to be expected with a newborn. The toddler is having more sleep issues than the newborn, it seems. It’s taking 2 hours to get her to sleep each night, she wakes up several times in the middle of the night, and one night this week she was awake the majority of the time between 1am and 5am. I’ve also been struggling with not being able to give Maddie the same attention we gave her a few weeks ago and miss snuggling her in our bed in the middle of the night. It’s an adjustment for everyone.

Something I’m doing towards my goals: Surprisingly, I did work on one of my goals. Just last night, we got out the Dead Like Me DVDs so that we can watch the rest of that series as we have time.

Something I learned this week: I learned that the daycare uses the phrase “time out” (sparingly) in the classroom. When Maddie repeatedly wouldn’t listen to me, I asked her if she wanted to go to “time out.” We had never used that phrase with her previously, so I’m not sure why I even said it. Well, it worked. She no longer thought that misbehaving was funny and stopped that behavior. Her little face then scrunched up in a heart wrenching way, and she got really upset! She went running to Daddy, “I don’t want to go to time out! No time out!” and was crying. I talked to one of her teachers who said she didn’t think that Maddie had ever been sent to time out, but apparently she has a healthy respect for the punishment! We’ll have to remember that in the future (but use it sparingly).

Something I’m looking forward to next week: I’m looking forward to seeing our photos from Catherine, my first “normal” week on maternity leave with Maddie in daycare the whole week and no house guests, and Cullen’s 2-week appointment and weight check.

Something random: I’m still waiting on Cullen’s cord to fall off. Poor guy doesn’t have a belly button yet.

Something captured: Grandma had a lot of fun playing with Maddie and holding Cullen this week!

Others writing The Sunday Somethings: Audrey