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Captivated…

31 May

My little ones and I are safely home from a week-long stay at an American paradise that just so happened to be featured in this month’s Disney Family Fun Magazine.

There was lots of fun in the sun…

and shade…

Bicycle rides {although, not really in the sand}…

Some people watching…

breathtaking sunsets…

and shells galore!!

We miss you, Captiva!

He is Risen!

24 Apr

Our Easter looked like this…

My baby boy’s first Easter egg hunt on Good Friday.  Big sister is already a pro egg-finder.  On a side note: My husband is not a fan of my daughter’s fuchsia dress {seen below}, but I loved it…I could spot her in a second while she ran through the kid-filled park.

I baked and decorated {have I mentioned how much I despise decorating?} our family’s traditional lamb cake…something that has been done every Easter since I was a child.   I have already made plans with my mom for Easter 2012…that SHE will be here to make that cake {NOT only me}!

My husband and daughter had a traditional Easter-Sunday church experience…having to listen to the service from outside the church since it was packed inside {I stayed home with my sick baby boy}.  And then it was off to Nana’s house for brunch and to hunt eggs {again}…

I hope everyone enjoyed their time with their family and friends as much as we did.  We are truly BLESSED!!

Happy Heart Day.

14 Feb

Happy Valentine’s Day!

I hope everyone showered their loved ones with heart-shaped food today.

I sure did!

My daughter was delighted by her heart-shaped pancake and egg this morning.

{I’m afraid I may be expected to prepare fun-shaped food from now on}

My husband *said* he felt very special today.

I love him even more because he endures my cheesiness.

Tradition

28 Dec

With Christmas comes tradition.  Our family has a few, but I hope to develop more over the years to come.  One of our family traditions that is completely unoriginal, used by many, but still fun is opening pajamas on Christmas Eve.  My husband and I started doing this even before we had children to share in the fun.  Back in those days, I picked out both of our pairs of jammies and we donned them Christmas morning.  Last year my husband and daughter took over purchasing my Christmas Eve pajamas and the results have been comical.  Last year I had a one-piece number that wasn’t so flattering on my postpartum figure.  And this year, I opened full-out footy pajamas…hot pink with dog faces for feet.  Part of my push to have Christmas pajamas started from my desire to have cute Christmas pictures from the morning of.  I now fear my children are going to look back at our Christmas pictures one day and by the looks of their mother’s Christmas attire determine that their mom was a huge dork!!  I’m hoping that by next Christmas I can join the rest of the family in wearing cute, fashionable, and COMFORTABLE jammies on Christmas morning!

Why the emphasis on comfortable?  If any other adult has ever considered wearing full-body footy pajamas, this is my review…

1.  Comfort: C+

I am no giant, I’m only about 5’7″,  but I still would have found a few extra inches in pajama lenght to be beneficial so I could have stretched my arms above my head without the pajamas riding up {you know where}.  Or a couple of extra inches, so I could sit down without feeling like I was being strangled.  At least I learned for my children’s benefit to no longer squeeze them into their footy pajamas…a little extra length in those things is desirable!

2. Warmth: A+

Fleece full-body jammies bring the warmth for sure!  So much that I didn’t need to use that extra blanket that I keep on the end of the bed during the night.

3.  Convenience: C+

I loathe having to get completely undressed just to use the restroom.  And, although it’s nice not to have to mess with socks or slippers when walking around our cold tile floors, I found it a little weird to get into bed with my “slippers” on {since they were attached to my clothes}.  I normally prefer not to have “shoes” in the bed.

4. Appearance: B-

I’m sure the pajamas would have been a lot cuter if I was a teenager and not a mother of two who has lived over three decades.  Did I mention there were pockets over the hip/thigh region?  Extra material in that area is always a negative in my book.

—–

Nonetheless, My daughter’s smile when she saw me wearing this get-up on our Christmas morning made it all worthwhile.  I can see Mama’s silly Christmas pajamas becoming a tradition all of its own!

Lazy Daisy Birthday…

22 Nov

Today is the day I was born.  On the actual day many years ago, it was Thanksgiving Day.  My mom still says it was the best day of her life.  I’m her only child so she can safely say that.  Now that I’m a mom myself, I can understand how a day ridden with stress and pain can turn out to be the most special and memorable day of your life.  Sadly, I didn’t realize it was her day just as much as it was my day until I had my Olive.

My mom usually bakes me one of my favorite cakes around the time of our special day, but today I made my cake with my daughter.  I know some may think it’s strange to bake your own birthday cake, but nothing beats a homemade, from scratch cake in my opinion {my husband said he planned to buy one}.  It’s also fun to share some time in the kitchen with my little girl~ it was the recipe for a pretty perfect birthday.

So, here is my Mama’s recipe {I imagine it has been published at one time or another, I just don’t know where, so hopefully I’m not doing anything illegal by writing it here}…

Lazy Daisy Oatmeal Cake

1 1/4 cups boiling water

1 cup Quaker Oats

1/2 cup butter; softened

1 cup white sugar

1 cup brown sugar

1 tsp. vanilla

2 eggs

1 1/2 cups flour

1 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

3/4 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 tsp. nutmeg

Pour boiling water over oats, cover, and let stand for 20 minutes.  Beat butter until creamy.  Add sugar gradually and beat until fluffy.  Blend vanilla and eggs.  Add oats and mix well.

Combine dry ingredients and add to creamed mixture.  Pour batter into well-greased and floured 9″ square pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 50 minutes.  Do not remove from cake pan.

Frosting

1/4 cup melted butter

1/2 cup brown sugar

3 tbsp. milk

3/4 cup shredded coconut

Combine all ingredients for frosting.  Spread over cake immediately after baking.  Broil until frosting is bubbly {this only takes a few minutes~ don’t let it burn!}

Once again, this is not a traditional birthday cake {and my picture does not do it justice}, but it is one of my favorites.  It is an even better breakfast cake if it can make it through the night.  That is unlikely.

Meet the crew…

26 Aug

The clean-up crew!

This picture was taken a few years ago, so there are quite a few more white hairs these days…life with children is hard {believe me, they are not the only ones who have aged}!

These pups were my babies before I had babies…my first children.  They taught me so much about responsibility for another living thing.  From them I have learned about forgiveness and unconditional love…they have THE biggest hearts…they are THE best dogs {and only sometimes the very worst!}.

Children and pets are such a wonderful combination.  There may be more responsibility and more mouths to feed, but they pay their dues…I rarely clean a crumb or spill off the floor.

Three

24 Aug

I have always dreamed of having three children.  It seemed like the perfect number for me…two seemed too few and four possibly too many {and would make family outings in a “normal” car impossible}.  Even after two damaging deliveries {my obstetrician even  laughed when I said I would consider having more children} the number three was still stuck in my head.

A few months into my son’s life I decided {along with my husband, of course} that two children would probably be it.  It wasn’t necessarily the lack of sleep or the chaos in my home that caused my change of heart, but my overall care and concern for the two that I already had.  My heart was heavy…I couldn’t provide my son with the attention my daughter had as a newborn because I was splitting my time between two, and the quality time that I had always spent with my daughter on a daily basis had dwindled.  Mothers’ guilt had me…and I couldn’t imagine how guilty I would feel if I were to divide myself among even more children.

Last week I accepted the challenge of caring for three little ones for the week {my two, plus a one-year old}.  Surprisingly, I found that I was very comfortable with three.  I enjoyed the kids even more than usual because I was committed to playing with and caring for them…and NOTHING ELSE {a lesson learned and one that I greatly value}.  I deep cleaned the house and grocery shopped the prior week in preparation.  I attempted no housekeeping, only minor cooking {we have to eat, right??}, and no blogging {or really any personal time at all, for that matter}. We managed to get out for daily outings for the sanity of my 3-year-old and myself, and it went smoothly…even more smoothly than the afternoons that we stayed home to play.  Maybe what I had heard all along was true…two is the most difficult transition, but after two, the more the merrier.

All week I couldn’t stop thinking about me and the number three.  I know that I would never regret having another child, but would I regret choosing not to??  By Friday afternoon I thought I had my answer…I had three grumpy children and two crying and fighting for a place on my lap that they did not want to share.  Although I could meet the physical needs of three children, would I be able to meet their emotional needs as well??

There will always be room in my heart for more children {the heart doesn’t divide into pieces with each additional child,  it multiplies in size}, but I will never grow another pair of arms nor will there be more hours in the day to spend with each child.

So, my decision is…no decision.  What is meant to be will happen.  But, for now…my two are enough.  They fulfill me…my every day, my every thought.