Thursday, March 31, 2011

Because I CAN...... So we DO!!!!!!!!

Sugar Cookies... Ummm, well yes it is a holiday thing. Yup, I have Christmas, Hearts and a pig and Mickey Mouse cookie cutters... Oh well.

It starts with Corey and his big yapper. "Wow, Gabe you are so good at Play Dough. I bet you could make sugar coo... (NO COREY! DON"T SAY IT!!!!!!!!!!) kies all by yourself. (Sure- he could whip it up, roll them, bake them - What the?! He's 4.) Mom might let you if you have been really good." (Deep cleansing breathes.) "Can we Mom? Please Mommy? Ok Mama? Right now MO-OM?" I cast an icy stare at Corey. He grins and says, "Ohhhhh... sorry babe." "Tomorrow Gabriel. Give me time to finish dinner. I THINK DADDY WANTS TO PLAY WITH YOU!" I wink, Corey laughs and off they go to play swords and pirates until dinner. Ahh... I love that man! He is my Mr. Wonderful ~ plus it is HOT seeing your man playing with your beloved kids.

Thus begins the cookie making. Whole wheat dough (ya know ~ to off set the word SUGAR somewhat, MAYBE?) made that night after dinner with 3 mini chefs, rolled, cookie cuttered and baked the next day and then Friday frosting/decorating/eating!!! Here begins the best part. We even have Ellie here for the fun!

1. PICK A COLOR. 2. HAVE UTENSILS LAID OUT - knives, frosting, cookies, and done place.


4. STIR! They are so EXCITED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That's why I do it. For those grins.
5. INSTRUCT, "Don't lick it. You can eat them when you are DONE!"
7. PAY ATTENTION - or else someone will dye their fingers. Ahhh... c'mon!!!
8. REPEAT - PAY ATTENTION! Crap, obviously to the sprinkling too!
9. Shake it off and relax, but seriously don't leave or turn your back!!!
12. EAT!
(Yup, lots of Christmas trees, santa, and hearts)
(Here is Mickey Mouse, gingerbread boys, double hearts as shamrocks and headless angels to be bunnies.)
Oh well, I love these rascals. Aren't they cute!
Oh, and the whole wheat sugar cookies were as good as they were fun!! SCORE!!!! :) Knowing me I will probably make them again, just for the FUN of it!!!

I get so EXCITED (and try not to freak them out and touch their stomach!)

So here is my BEST friend from my entire K-8th grade and most of High School. This is TESS and honestly I love the girl! She is sassy and sweet, kind and brutally honest, has a HUGE heart for kids, is competitive, great athlete and married a rockin' awesome guy. They have a lovely home in the Seattle area and I went and visited them (with Gavie and Grant-Grant) about a month ago when Corey took Gabe down to ABQ to visit his brother. We had such a nice time and my boys Luv-LOVED Tess and Brent and their pups. As you can see, Tess is PREGNANT. I get so excited for people prego and having kids. OH MY WORD. I love babies. I love kids. And being a Mom ~ is the icing on the cake. I wanted to be a Mom since I was 18 mth. and my little brother was born. I am thrilled for Tess. I am so happy for her and Brent. They will be GREAT parents and have such a happy marriage to bring little Sophia home to! It was fun to be with Tess, and us be the BIG girls now (ya know, like the responsible adult- parent types!) Ahhh... Well, I am so thrilled and excited for them. A few more days now!!!!!!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

All kinds of FRIENDS!

I have been a mom for almost 5 years (this Monday!!!) and I would have seriously struggled to make it had I not had special friends in my life.

See as a Mom, I believe that you need many types of friends. TRUE Friends get it! True Friends have your back when things are tough. True Friends let you cry and hug you tight when you are done. True Friends listen and reassure that you aren't crazy. True Friends also love you enough to confront you on the issues in your life. True friends are the much needed gift to gracefully/or barely survive and thrive in this wild ride called motherhood. I am so grateful for my dear friends. They are gems. I value their comments, deeply ponder their wisdom, adore their laughs/snorts, relax and feel refreshed after time with them and feel so blessed after time, a chat or a hug from these special dear ladies. They rock, keep me sane, love me and my family, and tickle my funny bone. We all need a friend, and a variety of types has made motherhood a DELIGHT (most of the time) for me.

Here is my basic list of friend types and I am so grateful for all of them:

1. a ONE STEP AHEAD mom friend
  • This for me is my Bestie Jeanna. Her son is 6 weeks older than my oldest, her 2nd is 4 months older than my twins. OK, she is a BABY WHISPERER. She taught me so much ~ Gabe your surviving is due to Jeanna. She taught me to swaddle, nurse, let him cry and gave me the "Yeah, that's totally normal. " or "Jack does that too." or "Maybe you should take him in." Seriously she was a God Send... Plus our husbands are best friends, our kids are, and I love her. She is sweet, straight forward, honest, generous, and a kick in the pants. I love this girl, value her friendship, and think she is a fan*frickin*tastic mom. Everyone needs a Jeanna ~ or your own ONE STEP AHEAD mom friend who can ease your fears and let you know that what is going on is TOTALLY normal.

2. a TWIN mom friend

  • Twin moms are those mom friends who are right at the same stage with you. They are dealing with the same shenanigans that you are dealing with. They are great story-swappers and have great advice, feedback or ideas on what they are trying. My TWIN mom Bestie is Jenae. We are both at pre-school everyday, hauling along our little munchkins who are dying to be in pre-school. She gets it! We swap kiddos often, give each other breaks, help out with child care and it is nice to know that I am not alone, not doing all this in vain, they are learning and growing. Jenae is a great friend who our husbands get along great, as do our kids. We all were hanging out together before kids and then had them together, our oldests were both HORRIBLE sleepers and were able to "feel the others pain." Ahhh... my Jenae is a blessing straight from Heaven. I am so grateful and blessed to have such a sweet, godly friend like her. Find your self a TWIN mom friend and it helps the daily "craziness" seem normal!
3. a MENTOR mom friend

  • Really, do I know what I am doing raising these 3 little angel babies? No, but I love them so much my heart could burst and I TRY to do all I can to train them into becoming Godly, kind men who love God, love others and have wisdom. What a calling... Whew! It can sound like such an unreachable task until you talk to a lady who becomes a MENTOR mom friend. I have a few of these in my life, and while we don't "hang out" I glean out all kinds of wisdom from them EVERY single time. They remind you of BIG picture things, not the immediate view from down in the trenches ~ cause bein' Mommy 24/7 is HARD WORK! So Kristy tells me about Nicholas turning 6 and her break down because he is a BIG boy now. (Tears are pricking my eyes at having a Kindergartener next year!) Susan reminds me that time is so fleeting with our little ones and that we shape their personalities and hearts mostly by age 3 (Hannah and Samuel in the Bible) ~ I decided to pass up working next year! Sandy gently showed me how I don't NEED a girl, boys will always love their Mama and have a special bond. My Mom explained that the baby stage is precious, but just wait and imagine the fun of new stages ~ I now cherish each stage but look forward to new, fun ones. Jeanna wisely reminds me to not wish them grown-up ~ they grown up quick enough and this is just a stage. ~ I am going to look back and miss the pouty lips and snuggles, "please sleep with me Mommy?", and "One more book?" YES, MENTOR MOM FRIENDS ARE ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY!
4. a WILD kid-less friend

  • My friend like this is Erika. She remembers my name is Karen , not Mom. We do things that I actually was into before kids. I almost forget about these things. We go to the SAM (Seattle Art Museum), the Spa, Broadway shows, have long, deep, thought-provoking conversations (due to no interuptions by children probably ~ ya know, like a finished thought/conversation.) We drink Tequila shots, sing karoeke, go to Martini bars, and have dinner at 9:00 p.m. She is non-stop fun and I always feel refreshed, recharged, yet blessed to go back to what I TRULY do adore ~ my family. KAREN is back full of zest, sass, spunk and saucy-ness ready to be hugged non-stop, have wet smooches, wipe faces and do load after freakin' load of laundry. But grateful and happy at the life I have the friends who make it so wonderful! I just signed up for a half-marathon with this WILDLY fun girl, because I used to love running and be good at it. We are having ourself a 13 mile run this Labor Day.

5. a NEWBIE mom friend

  • This friend is my Maren. Ahh... this little lady is a precious gem. She was a couple years behind in her life stages than me, but it is nice to be the one giving suggestions, calming anxieties and being THRILLED for them on this adventure called motherhood. I couldn't be more happy for her and her little ones. She is a great mom, and a wonderful friend. I love having a baby around to hold, cuddle and smooch on since mine are growing like weeds, but still I am not getting up for late night feedings. (Thank you Jesus!!!!!!)

GOD HAS BLESSED ME WITH SO MANY GREAT FRIENDS. I encourage you to cherish, appreciate or seek out friends in this category. Friends make life so much more fun!

Do you feel like you have a variety of friends? What categories do you feel like you have? Is one more important at this moment? What are your thoughts on friendship and motherhood?

Friday, March 11, 2011

The Teacher in me is ESCAPING!!!

I am a teacher. I love young children, am a slight control freak, and adore planning units and activities. I am NOT a clean freak, therefore doing crafts and wild activites are GREAT fun for the munchkins and myself.

One thing that I FIRMLY believe in is (educationally) that teaching in THEMATIC UNITS is extremely beneficial for small children.

So I decided it was time to start some pre-school concepts with my 3 small disciples. I picked out a few themes to start with: OCEAN, BUGS, FARM, DINOSAURS

Then begins the fun part: I pick one theme (oceans) and:

1. Dig out all my books with fish, oceans, or ocean animals in them. (reading)
2. Find some handwriting pages from my fave website with an OCEAN theme ( )
3. Find some DVDs about the Ocean (Finding Nemo, Veggie Tales Jonah, Disney's Ocean)
4. If feasible, head to the beach, zoo, aquarium at the end of the unit
5. Art projects - Color some fish with crayons~discuss shapes oval plus triangle tail then water color blue over the top, Water color seahorses in pastel colors, make a paper plate fish (cut a triangle out for the mouth- then staple on as tail)
6. Creative play - make jellyfish hats with a shower cap and tie tentacles on with curling ribbon
7. Fine motor- make seastars by glueing on Cheerios onto the seastar. Teaches great preschool skills of cutting and glueing. We also did the 5 senses with feeling our seastar vs. a real one.
8. Biblical - Learned about obedience and the Bible story Jonah.

I then checked and made sure that I had a balance of Language Arts (reading/writing/listening) , Math, and Science. I was pleased! **We did a ton more ~ but the rest is probably boring teacher STUFF!

Our paintings, "O" practice writing, and Ocean Charts.
We focused on 2 letters these 2 weeks ~ O and F.
Here were our 2 pages of F practices, Fish and Handwriting pages.
Here was our project that was the most fun! The Cheerios Seastars!!!
Gabe hard at work!
Gavin struggling through.
Grant doing great!
Gavin was ready to be done here from his look! I let him take a few minutes break, but made him come back and continue working!

The little ones loved doing their first handwriting. They were so proud! The shapes allowed for them to stay in a confined area first, learning the design/shape of O, before having to trace O and create their own.
And here they were! We have enjoyed starting some deliberate pre-school units.
How do you work with your children? What do you think would be fun units to do with kids? My kids are 3,3,and 4!

Friday, March 4, 2011

SNOW much fun! (as in our ONE snow day!)

Saturday Morning: 6:45 a.m. - the last one of the 3 mini munchkins has climbed into bed with me (us.) Corey gets up early everyday and so I decide to be SUPER sweet and get up with the monkeys to let him sleep and, lo and behold, WE HAVE SNOW (finally!) The boys saw and were as excited as I was.

7:10 a.m. we head out into a winter wonderland.

It actually was pretty dark out still, but beautiful and barely snowing.
I bundled up the boys good. PJs, another pair of fleece footie PJs, sweatpants and sweatshirt, coat, hat, hood and gloves. We were all toasty roasty!
I think the coolest thing to them was EATING SNOW!
Gabe loves it!
Gavin loves it!
Grant loves it too, even straight off the tree!
Must be tasty, or just FUN!
We had a quick chat about yellow and brown snow, "No bueno ~ Don't eat it! That means it might have potty or poop on/in it."
**I was quickly chastised for using "potty talk" not in the bathroom.**

We talked about what we wanted to do and they decided that we should walk to the park and play on the equipment in the snow.
"Good Idea Mom!"
We ran, played, slipped, stomped, slid, and swung ALL IN THE SNOW all having a BLAST!
The Merry-Go-Round was the only one I couldn't manage in the snow. It was slick and HEAVY! Don't worry through, they just ate some snow off of it or made snowballs with the snow on it!
" Watch out Mom, here comes a snowball!" Gabe loved throwing snowballs!
Grant being... CUTE!
Gavin being silly, making us laugh. That kid is such a GOOF! Gavin LOVED his new gloves and hat. He was so proud of them.
Our neighbors' tree fell in our yard. A perfect snow fort for the boys.
They loved finding shelter. Of course it was from PIRATES.
More snow for Grant.... :)
"Can you see me?" "Could Capt. Hook see me?"
"Mom!!!" SPLAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
That would be my camera lense. Not a happy mom and a sheepish looking Gabe.
Alright, party's over. Time for cocoa and some oatmeal!
The tree house in the snow.

Hopefully we will see you in another 9 months snow, it was fun! Until then, Ciao!!! Bring on the sun!
** Do you still love playing in the snow with your kids?**
**Are you shocked by the amount of coats, clothes, socks and gloves it takes?**