Monday, January 31, 2011

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Conversation with Chase

I put Chase to bed 2 hours ago, and just now I heard him thumping around in his room.

Me:  Chase, what are you doing?
Chase:  Play.  Ow! (he is shutting a stuffed monkey's arm into the toy box)
Me:  Chase, why are you playing now?
Chase:  No sleep.
Me:  Chase, you have to go to bed now.  It's night time, okay?
Chase:  No-kay.  Play!

This conversation doesn't look like much, but this is HUGE for us.  Even though he was out of bed, blatantly not doing what he was supposed to be doing (go to sleep, for crap's sake, child!!) I was so proud of this little exchange that I couldn't care less that he was trapping a monkey inside a toy box instead of snoozing.

Star Wars Planning

I was making the invitations for Ian's Star Wars birthday party (my boy's gonna be SIX!!) and I came across this graphic:





Ha!  There's my giggle for the day.

Edited to add:
I should have waited until I searched through all the results to post this, because there are a LOT of hilarious Star Wars things out there.  Like this:

Or you know how everyone in the world has cute vinyl lettering on their walls now?

Namaste:

Those Storm Troopers are EVERYWHERE:

For the littles:

Dang.  I wish I hadn't just bought my Dyson:


...and I am not even going to post the photo of the large man with the characters from Star Wars tattooed on his back.

Wanna Kiss...Mom?

By FAR my favorite thing that Chase says now is, "Wanna kiss...Mom?"  And then he leans in for a smooch.  So cute.

But it has to be on his terms.  I've tried to replicate the experience by saying, "Wanna kiss, Chase?"  And he tells me, "Noooooooo!"

He's 3 and already I am cramping his style.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Cooking with My Kid

New favorite blog for a bit:

Cooking with My Kid

Haven't read a ton, but was happy enough with my quick browse through at 11:30ish this evening to want to come back for more tomorrow.  My dinners are getting boring.

McDonald's and Other Randomness

*Going to McDonald's now with the kids is super fun, except when it is on a Friday night and there are one hundred other children in the habitrail.  Then it is freaking loud.  Still, the boys are all really quite independent on it now, and Ian is so good at keeping an eye on the littles to make sure they don't get trampled on.

*Guy has been clingy lately, which makes it hard to get a whole lot of anything done here lately, which is awesome because I have PTA stuff to do and adoption stuff to do...and that little thing called laundry and cooking for everyone.  Let's just say I am really glad it is Friday :)

*I lost my voice last week and it is still not back completely.  I sound like a 1-900 operator, which is weird when I say stuff like, "Clean up your room!" and "Please go practice the piano."

*Ian has come home with TWO B's below the line, which is Kindergarten-speak for behavior warnings.  Apparently he is now comfortable enough at school to talk too much to his classmates instead of doing his work.  The second time he came home with a B-below-the-line, I had him write an apology note to his teacher.  He got all bent out of shape because "All you want to do is WASTE MY PLAYTIME!!!"  Oh, really?  I'll show you wasting playtime, Mister.  I thought this kind of stuff didn't happen until he was at least 8...

*Did you know that jumping on the trampoline and playing DS at the same time was even possible??!

That's it for now.  My goodness, I am tired.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Baby in a Box

Guy made his little nest here all by himself, and has spent the last 20 minutes there.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Mess!

Guy is so big now.

He was just eating a cup of yogurt (with a spoon, by himself) and when he was finished, he looked down at the drips on the table and said, "Uh-oh!  Mess!" so he got down from his chair, walked to the stove, grabbed the towel hanging there, took it over to the table, smeared yogurt all over the table wiped the drips up, and then hung the towel back up.

THEN, I set down the yogurt I was feeding one of my daycare kids, and I turned around to the computer to blog that (because if I don't do it right away I forget).  When I turned back a minute later, he was feeding the yogurt to her in my absence.  When I took it back over (because, honestly, a 19 month old feeding a 15 month old is a messy process) he let out this big sigh, like, "I can't believe I have to do everything around here."

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Chase- Eye Follow Up

I took Chase back to the eye doctor again today.  We didn't go yesterday, even though we had an appointment, because I remembered about the appointment 20 minutes before we were supposed to be there.  FAIL.

Luckily, they had another appointment today.

So, from what I understand, his amblyiopia is not due to the myelinated fibers in his left eye (or something like that) anymore, but due simply to the fact that his left eye is more far-sighted than his right...?  Or something.  Whatever it is, it is getting better, and we are to continue patching the right eye 3 hours per day until June, but we have to go back in 3 months to check it (which I believe, but am not totally sure, is just a way to squeeze in another visit and another co-pay).

She didn't sound real confidant that the patching would fix it well enough to avoid glasses, but we will see.  I guess in the long run the patching is worth a shot, but when faced with 6 more months of it, with an iffy outcome at best, it is a little disheartening.

On the up side, I can totally picture Chase wearing glasses, and he is adorable.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Slang

Signs that Ian is growing up:

He says, "Wow, that was lame," after losing a game on the Wii.

What is he, fourteen?

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Miss youuuuuu!

In classic kid fashion, Chase and Gavin are having the time of their lives playing with a cardboard box that Bryan left for them in the family room last night.

(excuse the horrible photo- I have to use my phone since I left my camera at Kristy's house on New Year's)

Overheard (as Chase was closing Gavin up inside the box):  "Byyyyyyyye, Guy!!!  Miss yooouuuuuuuu!!"

Yup.  That would be two two-word phrases coming from my boy :)

PS- That is the clean laundry littered all over the room and in/outside the box that I brought down to fold today.  Yeah.  That's gonna get done.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Snow Daze

The Storm of 2011 hit Charlotte hard, closing the schools for FOUR DAYS STRAIGHT.

Confession:
Ian has gotten out of his pajamas once this week!  He even played outside in the snow with his snow gear on top of his little striped jammies.  Ha!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Castle in the Sky

Since it was a snow day (our second this week, and one more tomorrow!!) we got pizza and a movie for dinner tonight...it's like camping out, but in.

Bryan started the movie and we were busy bees getting the food handed out and such...and didn't really realize that we were watching the Japanese version of Castle in the Sky until we were about 10 minutes into it.  So, he went to go change it and find something, you know, in our language, and Chase threw a fit!  He didn't care what language it was, he liked it.  AND Ian wanted to continue watching, too (he also said that we 'could just read all the captions for me and then I would know what was going on.'  We refused- bad parents- on the grounds that we would also like to eat our meal, too).

So that's how we spent the night.  Watching a movie no one understood, but everyone liked.

*Sidenote:  Ian's new favorite word is apparently.

Adding to the Madd-ness!

Our new adoption blog is up!!

My, this is all starting to feel so real...!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Happenings

Even with our Big Announcement, time doesn't just stop around here!

Points of interest:

*We had a big ol' snow today-there were huge, fat snowflakes falling almost all day long here.  There is something awesome about a snow day...Bryan's branch was closed, so we had a whole day at home just to hang out; nowhere to go, nothing to do but drink hot chocolate, watch movies, and play in the snow.  Honestly, it was only Ian in the snow with his soul mate, Andey, but we had fun watching him and warming up his little red cheeks when he came back inside.  The littles just don't LOVE the snow for enough time to warrant getting everyone dressed up and outside.  Maybe next year they will learn to keep mittens on their hands.  Until then, we are destined for very short outings in the winter.

Oh, and since we live in NC, we have a snow day tomorrow, too, because everyone is afraid of weather here. So, yay!

*I still love my Dyson.

*Guy and Chase are cracking.me.up. all the time.  Today Chase was showing Gavin book after book as he pulled them from the book box, and it seemed like he was even giving a synopsis of each one (in his own language, with intelligible words interspersed), and Gavin was either yaying or naying each one.  So funny.

They are also rambunctious little dudes, jumping into piles of blankets that they arrange, jumping on the couch, jumping onto each other.  Gavin ended up with a bonk on the head this evening, which was possibly a direct result of Chase, though we are not entirely sure what happened.  :(

*Ian is becoming quite a little Tetris addict.  I try to get him to play the reading/math games on his DS (Christmas present...have I not posted about Christmas yet?  Gah!  For shame!!) and he was reluctant at first, but has since declared, "Hey!  I am getting to like my learning games a LOT, Mom!"  (dork.)

*Did I mention that we decided to adopt Danil?!?!?!  AND that we have an incredibly supportive and wonderful, amazing, fantastic circle of family and friends?!?  For REALSIES!!  Love you guys!!!!!

*On that same note, I need a name for our adoption blog.  Go.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

BIG NEWS

We've had a lot on our mind at the Mad House...you know, intermixed with the Christmas decorations coming down, and thoughts about the Star Wars Extravaganza that Ian wants for his birthday party in February.

But mostly it has been about this little guy:


Remember I talked about Danil here?  And have been peppering Facebook with his photo throughout the Reece's Rainbow Angel Tree Fundraiser for the past few months?

Well, guess what?

You know already, don't you?



He's gonna be ours.  I hope.  I really really hope.

We are still in the very very preliminary stages, but we are scheduling our first home study appointment this week, and have officially, unofficially, placed him on HOLD for our family as of today.  We have 10 days to get some stuff in and submitted...and then we do this home study thing, and cross our fingers and pray that the social worker sees that he belongs with us, too...

...and then, well, as far as I can tell, we do a whole bunch MORE paperwork, raise a TON of money, visit him in Ukraine, and then bring him home.

Simple, right?  

We really have put a LOT of thought and prayer into this decision.  We know it sounds crazy.  We know we already have our hands full.  But as a good friend told us, we gave up playing man-to-man 18 months ago; we are already playing zone defense.  What's one more??

And little Danil...and ALL those sweet babes listed on Reece's Rainbow...they have so little.  And we have so much.  I mean, not that we are rolling in extra money or unlimited free time, but comparatively?  How can we not?  

Doesn't this face just scream MAD HOUSE??  He will totally fit in, I know it.  I also have a feeling that he and Chase will be up to a lot of mischief together.  God help us all.

breathe in...breathe out....

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Superfood of the Day: Lentils

This turned out really good tonight, and has a 4 star bonus for being super, super easy.  The boys each had THREE servings of it.  I used it as a main dish, but it could easily be a great side.

Lentil One-Pot Casserole 
Weight Watchers: 4 GIANT servings (1 hearty cup each)/7pts per serving (points plus program)


1c rinsed green lentils (dry)
1/2 c uncooked brown rice
2 c shredded carrots
3-4 c water (I put 3 in at first, but added water and cooked a little longer at the end bc my rice wasn't quite done yet)
1 packet onion soup mix
1t dried basil
1t garlic powder
1t olive oil

Place all ingredients in a large pot.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, cover and cook until rice is done, about 20 minutes.

I dumped everything in the pot about 2 hours before dinner time, then I just let it sit on the stove and began cooking it when I was ready for dinner.  It cut down on my prep time while the boys are at their crankiest, and all I had to do was turn on the stove 30 minutes before eating.



And if you are not already a believer in lentils, read this interesting legume info that I learned tonight from Wikipedia (just because I was curious):

The plant likely originated in the Near East,[1] and has been part of the human diet since the aceramic (non-pottery producing) Neolithic times, being one of the first crops domesticated in the Near East. With approximately 26% of their calories from protein, lentils and generally any pulses or legumes have the third-highest level of protein, by weight, of any plant-based food after soybeans and hemp[2] and is an important part of the diet in many parts of the world, especially in the Indian subcontinent which has large vegetarian populations. 


Lentils contain high levels of proteins, including the essential amino acids isoleucine and lysine, and are an essential source of inexpensive protein in many parts of the world for those who adhere to a vegetarian diet.


Apart from a high level of proteins, lentils also contain dietary fiberfolatevitamin B1, and minerals. Red (or pink) lentils contain a lower concentration of fiber than green lentils (11% rather than 31%).[7]Health magazine has selected lentils as one of the five healthiest foods.[8] Lentils are often mixed with grains, such as rice, which results in a complete protein dish.

Melmo Mania

We had a little Elmo crisis here.  I bought an Elmo Alive from a consignment store for Gavin's big Christmas present...but then found out after replacing the batteries Christmas eve, that the Elmo didn't quite work. 

SO then I ordered a new TMX Elmo from Amazon to be the replacement (better late than never).  I was so excited to see Gavin's reaction to it.

Turns out, however, that his reaction was:  terrified.

He warmed up, though, and now thoroughly enjoys his array of "Melmos"- the working one, the broken one, the old one...and a tiny one that is always shunned and thrown aside.

Today, he lovingly put the 3 Elmos that he liked to bed on the kitchen floor, tucking them in with blankets and pillows (also mostly Melmo-themed, a gift from Bryan's mom), and saying, "Niiii, niiii, Melmo."

Week Off

This week, Ian and Chase went back to school, but my daycare kids (except my one new little boy) still have another week off.  So *gasp* I have only 2 kids home with me!  What to do?!

Having 3 boys + daycare kids really puts parenting in perspective.

I spent Monday cleaning and hanging out with Guy...running some odds and ends errands, and waiting for Becky to show up (she and Ed from Sail22 and Always Happy Life were passing through town).  It's always nice to catch up with her in person, though we don't get to do it a lot.

Other things on my agenda:
*Christmas New Year's Cards.  Which soon may turn into Valentine's Notes. They are addressed.  Some are stamped.  And now I feel compelled to write a letter to enclose.

*Related to the above:  Send out gifts to the nieces and nephews.  Still.  Gah.  I am so bad at this gig.

*Thank you notes- we have such thoughtful family and friends, and the boys LOVED the gifts that everyone sent.  I am determined not to send out thank you cards in February as well.  Because then I will have Ian's birthday to contend with, and then those thank-yous will be pushed to April, and then Chase's bday notes will be pushed to June, and Guy's bday notes will be pushed to August...and, well, you get the picture.  It is a miracle that I get anything done here, ever, right?

*Spring Fling.  Without really thinking things through, I signed up to be the chair of the failing Spring Fling at the elementary school.  This means that I don't have a lot to live up to, but I also need to turn the whole thing around.  I have started booking things and soliciting businesses this week.  Let me tell you, if there is one thing that I love to do, it is asking people for stuff.  Not.  NOT NOT NOT NOT NOT!!!!!  AGHHH!

*Vacuuming with my Dyson.  This I do like.  Really.

*Willing myself to get back on the exercise bandwagon.  I kinda let things slide the last 5 months.  Like, a giant landslide of eating and sedentary habits.  Sure, I watched what I ate.  I watched myself make it, and serve it, and eat it, and blah blah blah blah.  I am feeling better now that I am actually paying attention again.

*Toying with a new business idea...I had a lunch meeting with a business contact of Bryan's on Monday and now my wheels are turning.  More about that later.

That is it for now.  I am loving my time with Guy...sitting and playing, not being called to anyone else's aid, and ignoring the dishes in the sink is awesome.  I just realized that today is Wednesday, though, and that means that I am on the downhill slope to returning to real life.  *sigh*

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Clean Freak

This week Chase has evolved into a little neat freak.  Well, a selective neat freak.  If he gets the least bit of food on himself, or the table, or his clothes, he kind of whines, says, "Mess!  Oh, no!" (or some combination of those words strung together), and will not let you rest until you wipe him off.

OR if you are, say, changing the laundry upstairs and not around to serve him, he will get a giant wad of napkins from off the counter and use them to wipe off the one blob of rice and beans that he spilled.

OR he might take off his pants and wipe the yogurt off the ground and then give you the pants, claiming that they are 'wet'.

OR he might try to wipe Guy's mouth after every bite he takes (cue agitated screams from Gavin).

I am hoping that this neat freak habit is going to carry over into the toy department.  I am just the tiniest bit over the category 4 hurricane aftermath status that is our playroom.  It would be lovely if someone could develop an urgency to put things back on the shelves when they are done.

*In other news about cleaning, I broke down and bought a Dyson.  It is a refurbished older model, but dang, if it isn't a THOUSAND TIMES better than our dying Hoover.  

Saturday, January 1, 2011

New Year's Eve, 2010 Style (and an awesome recipe for Hoppin' John)

Yes, I realize I have yet to post Christmas photos...I have so many photos I am starting to freak out about organizing them and posting about the day!!  I will.  That is next on the list.

But first:  New Year's!

I made a new Hoppin' John recipe- Vegan :) and SO GOOD!  We will be making this many times this year, thus bringing much luck on our family.

Hoppin' John
(serves 6)


1T olive oil
1 med onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 15 oz cans of black eyed peas, drained and rinsed
1/4 c veg broth
1t salt
1/2t freshly ground black pepper
2 green onions, thinly sliced 
1/4c flat-leaf parsley, minced
Cooked rice
Shredded white cheddar
Hot sauce


1.  Heat olive oil in a large saucespan over med heat.  Add onion, red bell pepper, and garlic.  Saute until onions are translucent, about 5 minutes.
2.  Stir in black eyed peas, broth, salt, and pepper.  Reduce heat to low; cook 10 more minutes.  Stir in green onions and parsley.
3.  Serve on top of rice and garnish with cheese.  Add hot sauce if desired.


We spent NYE at the Lally's house, who we met through Ian and Chase's preschool.  There are three families in our little preschool tri-pod, and the Coreys were there, too.  It was so awesome, because the kids all go to different schools now, but when they get together, they pick up right where they left off, even the siblings.  Bonus:  another family that also attends the Lally get-togethers has 2 teenage girls that don't mind keeping an eye on the kids while they play upstairs.  Awesome!

Our plan was to hang out with food, drinks, and games, and let the kids play until they crashed on the floor somewhere, and then cover them up with blankets.  That worked for Gavin, who fell asleep sitting up in Bryan's lap.  Ian and Chase, however, kept the party going until 2AM when we got in our car to leave.  Seriously!!

Some highlights:
*The food...oh!  the food!!!  Shrimp, multiple yummy, fattening dips, mint brownies, cookie cake...and Jim made his famous tiramisu...Heaven.  (Note to self- you may NOT continue to eat like this in 2011!)
*Finding out our friends' true personalities while playing Loaded Questions
*Watching the men do Irish Car Bombs
*Playing dangerously with dry ice (used to make the traditional NYE witches' brew...)
*Catching Ian and Colin doing crazy boy stuff
*Chase stealing a large piece of cookie cake right in front of everyone
*Gavin getting scared by the dog (he walked up to the crate and said 'hiiii!' and Whiskey started barking...Gavin backed up, shaking his head from side to side vigorously, yelling, 'Nooo nooooo noooooo!'  Bad parent moment- I laughed.  It was kind of funny, the way his hair goes all over when he shakes his head...!)
*Bryan peer pressuring everyone to partake in his new Christmas tequila
*Testing Jim's Breathalyzer before driving home (awesome party trick, btw.)

All in all, it was lovely for everyone to ring in the new year with friends and family.  Ian was a little weirded out when I said he had to kiss someone for New Year's, and looked at his friend Katherine sideways...but was much relieved when I said it could be me.  I got kisses from 3/4 of my main Maddex men (I grabbed one from Guy when he woke up later), and can't think of a better way to welcome 2011.

Bring it on, baby!  It keeps getting better and better (or maybe my sense of humor is just improving...?)  Either way :)  Many happy new year's wishes to you!