Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Starting school

We started "school" this week! We started with the letter 'A' and we have been having a lot of fun. Noah loves to learn and he has been soaking it all up. He told me "This is my first letter", and I hadn't even told him that.

We have been learning what sound the letter A makes, and about Ants, Alligators, Apples, Ambulances and Animals - oh yes, and the color for the week: Aquamarine. :-) So cute to hear him say it. We have also learned that Abigail starts with A, as well as Aunt Grace, and Aunt Melissa.

We made an apple shaker tambourine, had ants on a log for a snack, and have been coloring pages of Alligators, Anteaters, and Apples. Noah made his own little ants (with his fingerprints) for the anteater to eat up, and learned that ants (and all insects) have 6 legs.

We are also starting math and learning that 1 ant + 1 ant = 2 ants. And 1 ambulance + 1 ambulance = 2 ambulances. :-) He loves to show Daddy what we have made and what he has learned when Daddy comes home.

Kisses, sharing, and sucking.

Noah is giving Abigail a kiss and sharing a toy - so sweet!
Here is a video of Abigail sucking on her fist and nodding yes when I ask her if she likes it. So cute.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Random thoughts for the day

My mom gave us Abigail's bedding for her room and I just got it yesterday and put it up today - it is SO CUTE!!!!!!!!! My camera is out of batteries and we have lost our charger, so we need to buy a new one, but when I am back up and running in that department I will take pictures.

I am hoping to paint her room this weekend - if I can talk Doug into it! :-) He loathes painting. And he has been doing a lot of work over at our rental property lately, and today he had to paint some drywall he fixed... we shall see.

Abigail LOVES her mobile. She will just lay there and stare at it - looking very content and mesmerized at the same time.

Beerocks are yummy: I made them for lunch today, and Doug said that they are in his top 3 of all time favorite foods. If you know Doug, that is a big deal. Noah liked helping, rrr.... playing with the Beerock dough.

Now is using really big words to describe things - like "fantastic". Today he was saying "These grapes are fantastic!" He is also known to say amazing, awesome and growdy (Doug taught him that word in reffering to the garage floor).

When Noah was sitting on the toilet yesterday he was telling me "Mom, this is really hard". Just the practicing of the sitting on the potty mind you - there was no potting happening - yet! ;)

Abigail is sleeping really well. She will usually only wake up once or twice during the night, and will usually go at least a 5-6 hour stretch.

I cut Noah's hair today and he did a REALLY good job sitting still - I was SO proud of him! He got two stickers and a big "good job" from Mommy and Daddy.

This is a picture from the baby shower that Marcie took - thanks Marcie! Seems like in most of our pictures one of us is looking away - oh well!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Crockpot Chicken Tacos and Tortilla Soup

Crockpot Chicken Tacos and Tortilla Soup

I found this recipe online yesterday and am now calling it my own. :) We tried both and they are super yummy! SO... this is my super-easy, incredibly versatile recipe for chicken taco filling. The leftovers do double-duty for the best and easiest tortilla soup ever.

Chicken Taco Ingredients:

6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 16 oz jar of salsa
1 packet taco seasoning

Dump everything into your crockpot and give it a little stir to blend seasoning with salsa. Cook on high for 4-6 hours or on low for 6-8. When done, the chicken should shred easily when stirred with a fork. You then just put it in your warm tortillas with you choice of fillings. You can also use it for enchiladas, nachos, tostadas, etc.... Any leftover chicken can then be used for the Tortilla soup (make it the next day or freeze chicken for another time).

Tortilla Soup Ingredients:

Approx. 1 cup of leftover chicken taco meat
1 32 oz box of chicken broth
1 can of MILD tomatoes with chilies
1 can of corn
1-2 Tbs fresh chopped cilantro
1 Tbs lime juice

Crumbled tortilla chips
Shredded Mexican cheese blend

Dump all of the first ingredients in a pot. Simmer for about 30 minutes. Note - I enjoy cilantro and tend to use more than just one tablespoon but I know that some people can't stand the stuff. You can cut back but please don't omit it altogether; the soup will lack the wonderful, undefinable depth that only cilantro can provide. And you'll hurt my feelings. ;o)

To serve, place some crumbled tortilla chips in the bottom of your bowl. Ladle soup over the chips and stir in a handful of Mexican blend shredded cheese. Eat. Slowly. Don't burn your tongue. :o)

The amounts above should feed four on taco night with enough chicken left to make soup for four, as well. Both recipes can be doubled or tripled for bigger families or parties.

My parents are in Norway - BLOG

My parents are in Norway and we miss them a bunch!!! They have been doing some updates on a blog my Dad created. It has some beautiful pictures! Check it out HERE.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Grandma Dee and the beach

Here are the photos I tried to post earlier! :-)

Fun in Carmel

We had such a great trip in Carmel! It just didn't seem long enough! On the way over there we stopped and had lunch with Grandma Dee in Los Banos. It was great to see her, and this was the first time she got to see Abigail, so that was really special. When we were in Carmel we went to the cute little park across from the house a few times, and also went to the beach. Noah had a blast digging in the sand, and we even got to see a mini excavator in action! None of the beach pictures of Abigail and me turned out very well, but I wanted to post at least one of them for proof of her first trip to the beach! This was her first out of town trip (except for Modesto), and I guess my mom said that Carmel was my first trip as a baby as well. Besides that, we just relaxed, went out to eat at yummy restaurants, and Doug and I played a number of board games after the kids went to bed. We are so blessed that my Grandmother Vivienne has a house over there and graciously lets us stay, it is such a place of rejuvenation!

Rrrrr... I just accidentally erased all of the pictures of Noah at the beach, and Abigail with Grandma Dee, so I am just going to post this and then re-upload them later in a new post, because that part takes a while. :-)

Toddler bed success!

The first night for Noah sleeping in the toddler bed went great! He didn't get out of bed once, and he didn't even get up out of bed in the morning. We told him to call for us and have us come get him in the morning and so he did! (We didn't want him wandering around the upstairs!) This afternoon he fell out of bed once when he was still settling in to go to sleep. It obviously startled him quite a bit, but Doug explained to him about the rails being at the top of the bed, and how he wouldn't fall off if he stayed up there... we will see how it goes from here. :-)

Monday, June 9, 2008

Toddler bed

We just got a toddler bed for Noah today, and Abigail will get his crib. (On a side note Doug was thinking that it would be o.k. to not get new bedding, and that Abigail could just use his blue Sailboat bedding!!! :-) We still need to put the bed together, but Noah is excited for his "big boy bed". Fortunately he hasn't yet figured out that he can climb out of his crib. I am curious to see how the transition goes - he does a number of 360's during his sleep, so although the new bed has partials rails, there still might be a few bumps in the night. We are going to go to Carmel for a couple of days, so we will wait till we get back from there to transition him into his new bed. I will keep you posted.

Smile with Grammie

Here is a cute smile with Grammie! I wish you could see the cute little frills on the backside of this onsie... Oh, and I have decided that I really like Abigail in purple. :-)

Check out this stroller!

We have been enjoying the nice weather lately and taking a lot of walks. I love the park by our house - they just put up shade structures which makes it so nice! And it has sand - one of Noah's favorite activities is digging, so that is a good fit for him. This is a stroller that my VP sisters in Arbonne gave me. It is so cool and a real life saver! It is called a sit and stand, and it has a little bench that Noah can sit on, or a panel that he can stand on. I like it because I don't have to constantly be lifting him in and out. For example when we go to the zoo he can get himself in and out to go and see the different animals.

Baby pictures of Noah - flashback

Here are a few fun baby pictures of Noah that I came across the other day. They were his 3,6,9, and 12 month panel pictures. (They are pictures of the pictures, so that is why they look kind of grainy.) Look at what a "chub-chub" he is in that 6 month picture! He HATED sitting in that cold porcelien bowl! I am surprised the photographer was able to get a semi-decent picture! :-)


We had a baby shower on Saturday, so of course Abigail had to have a party dress. The night before I was trying them on her and took a few pictures. My sister in law Melissa put on the shower and we all had a great time. My friend Sarah was in charge of the games, and that was a lot of fun. Who knew I could change a diaper while blindfolded?!?! In this first pictur it looks to me lik Abigail is doing the "Y" of the YMCA dance!!! :-)

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Sleeping bliss

I had written a few weeks ago about all of the crying and Abigail only being able to sleep during the day when we would hold her - if we set her down she would wake up and the screaming would start again. Well, a few days ago I was inspired to re-read a book I had read before Noah was born. BabyWise. Following the principles worked great with him, and this time we were doing the part as far as the babies routine being Eat, Play, Sleep, but we had forgotten some of the finer points about sleeping during nap times. Before I go further, I have found that people either LOVE or HATE that book, and I would say that most of those that don't like it haven't actually read it, or at least not all of it. So, before I get tomatoes thrown at me by all of my AP mommy friends :-), let me reassure you that I feed Abigail whenever she is hungry!

O.k. so that being said, we decided that Abigail needed to learn how to fall asleep on her own, and be able to stay asleep when she wasn't being held. I thought that this might involve a lot of screaming, but I knew that it would be best for her, and best for everyone in the long run, so we were all going to tough it out.

So yesterday morning at her first nap, she cried for a total of 10 minutes, and then - silence. She was sound asleep, and I was actually able to do things. It might seem like 10 minutes is a long time, but she would often scream for 10 minutes before going to sleep even when we were holding her trying to get her to fall asleep. And this way I didn't have to hold her the whole time while she slept! I was thinking, WHY didn't I do this earlier? So today at her first nap she didn't even make a peep, not one single peep, she just fell right asleep. I couldn't believe it! (Well, actually I could because that is what happened with Noah) I just bundled her up, laid her down when she was happy and she fell right to sleep. At her second nap she cried off and on for about 10 minutes before going to sleep, and at this third nap she cried just a little bit and now she is just making little happy noises and grunts and is about to drift off to sleep. Ahh.... sleeping bliss! :-)

Oh, and the reason I got inspired to re-read the book was I was talking with a gal who was hosting an Arbonne party for me and she was telling me how her kids would just go right to sleep when laid down. Turns out she followed the BabyWise principles. I am thanking God right now that we had that conversation!!! :-)


A few things that I found funny this week:

The other day Abigail was sitting in her papasan chair and Noah asked her "Abigail, do you need a little buzz-buzz?" (Which is what we call the vibration)

Yesterday Noah asked me if he could shave my beard. Yikes! He was referring to the hair on my arm, and he was wanting to "shave" it with his snow plow. I explained to him that it was called arm hair and NOT A BEARD!

Noah is learning all of his baby animals. The most impressive one is knowing what baby turkeys are called: poults. It is so cute when he says it.