Monday, December 31, 2007

Deceptively Delicious-Tried and True

I'm realizing that our country is beginning is past the early stages of raising a people on fast food, fat food, and sugar. And how easy is it when a lot of the foods out there are packed with nutritious nothings. I heard just the other day that heart disease is at its all time high where its patients are heavier, and also younger than they have ever been. This is disturbing to me that today's children are at risk of living shorter lives than their parents. So, I look at it as part of my job as their mommy to feed them healthful foods...especially fruits and vegetables. I don't know about you but right around 1 1/2 my children's tastbuds seemed to change toward these foods. They don't seem as tasty to them anymore. So I took the liberty to work around it.

Have you read this book?

I just got done reading through them both and they are WONDERFUL!
I've tried 4 of their recipes and it's true, they work.

One rushed night before Christmas I added an entire 1/2 cup of pureed carrots to a box of Mac-n-Cheese. Watching them devour it was more than satisfying.

The next night I made homemade Tuna Casserole and added a 1/2 cup of Navy beans, once again, they loved well as my Marvelous Husband.

And since then I have added pureed carrots to whole wheat quesidillas and mini pizzas. I made "Green Eggs" for breakfast this morning that included pureed baby spinach. And for lunch I added a 1/2 cup sweet potatoes to homemade Mac-n-Cheese.

Knowing how important all these veggies are for us, I do believe this is the way I will cook until they are out of the house. Don't worry, we always serve a "visible" veggie on their plate with their meal, and if they eat it-double bonus.

Norah Joins Her Sister

Amongst all the hustle and bustle of preparing for Christmas, this happened...Can you see them?

Friday, December 28, 2007

I'll Give You One Guess

It's been 8 nights of waking 2 soaked-through baby girls around 10:00 (right before we go to bed) to change their onesies, pajamas, sleep sacks, AND crib sheet because of their "tummy bug." But tonight...tonight was the night I was waiting for, to walk in and not have to breath through my mouth. We tiptoed in and tiptoed out. Yea!!

But, I'll give you one guess as to what happens, on this 9th night, to these sleeping-through-the-nighters-since-3 1/2-months-old...around 10:30. And why wouldn't it?!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Laugh Cackle Giggle

As a Christmas gift, my Marvelous husband got us a night out on the town, babysitter in all. It included laughing and dinner. For those of you mommys out there, you know that in itself is like Santa leaving a winning lotto ticket in your stocking.

But wait, it gets even better! He got us tickets to the "sold out" presentation of last season's Last Comic Standing winner-Josh Blue.

Somehow we got hooked on that show last year and watched it to the end when we were cheering for Blue.

After a night full of belly laughs we were able to meet Josh and shake hands.

After researching "Laughter" I found this. I'm sure you remember hearing that "Laughter is the Best Medicine." We've all been taught that...but laughter REALLY has enormous amounts of health benefits.

Check this.
A study done in Japan found that laughter helps regulate gene expression to help control type II Diabetes.
And, studies also suggest that laughter positively affects rheumatoid arthritis.
AND, perhaps the biggest discovery is that laughter is now being proven to alleviate some of the lasting effects of heart attacks such as less medication and fewer repeat attacks with humor therapy of just thirty minutes per day.

God knows what he's talking about when he says, "be joyful."

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

From Under the Piles...

...of wrapping paper, empty toy boxes and laundry from the twins' "tummy bug" I come to you to say, "Hi!"

And, that's about it.
Hope to catch up with you all soon.

P.S. I was granted my one Christmas wish. I just didn't think it would get passed to the twins.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Oh the Weather Outside is Frightful...

...but the fire [in our fireplace] is so delightful
and since we've no place to go [because of the white-outs]
Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

It doesn't show signs of stopping [it might-as-well fill the ski hills for our ski trip next week]
so my two boys made some [oreo balls*] for popping
the lights are turned way down low
Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

*crush 1 pkg Oreos, mix with 1 pkg softened cream cheese, roll into 2 in. balls, chill 20 mins, dip in melted vanilla almond bark, chill. Who knew about these and didn't tell me???

Friday, December 21, 2007

Project Manager Mommy

I mopped today.

This wasn't like yesterday's mop, where I merely mopped the perimeter of the KIX spill, this was the "seriously-nitty-gritty-sweep" first, after pulling the table and all the chairs out...along with "shaking the rugs," followed by "filling the sink with suds" (scary, I know) and using a little "elbow grease" enabling me to get even the corners to sparkle.

I'm not telling you this to brag, because if you remember I don't mop often...
(Which reminds me, I don't think I clearly clarified my whole mopping situation. You see, I LOVE to mop...along with vacuuming. I just don't do it as often since the twins were born. But, this love for it, I think it has something to do with the process and the finished product. There's something that makes my heart sing about seeing a freshly vacuumed floor with perfectly drawn lines from the wheels along with a shiny kitchen floor (shiny as NOT in ketchup splats and dried shredded mozzarella).

Anyways, I'm telling you this as a precursor for my morning events.

I chuckle as I gather my "keys" to explain this. "Chuckle" because the longer I sit here the crazier I think I am, and the faster my leg is bouncing under this desk..for using this precious time to post instead of doing all that needs to be done before my in-laws are here. This was a change in plans, Christmas was to be at their house tomorrow, but because of the weather, it is now, and tomorrow.

You see, when Mitch's alarm went off at 6 this morning and he wasn't in our room, he had moved to the chair in the livingroom somewhere during the wee hours because he couldn't sleep. I rolled over to shut it off but was left wide-eyed. So after getting ready for the day, getting the babies their bottles, the "big kids" their scrambled eggs, followed by the babies their rice cereal (I haven't shared with you that we started that...I'll post about that later, it's going well.) our first scheduled appointment showed up.

We had the water softener replaced. YEA!!! So as I am walking the man down to his appointed room, introducing myself, and telling him to just hollar if he needs me, our next appointment showed up.

We had our in-wall oven and micro pulled out a couple of days ago and our handy man, Gary, came to cut out a slightly bigger space for the new. As I am talking to him, in walks another "appointment." The crew that was to install the new stuff was here. (What better time to have it done then the days before Christmas, right?)

So as I'm answering questions and directing here and there, I'm holding two babies in my arms, trying to keep Jaclyn from asking each visitor 101 questions while they try to get their work done, and holding Oli back with my leg so he doesn't walk through the many piles of sawdust that are now accumulating on my kitchen was then, that very moment, that I imagined this spotlight of some-sort that started shining down on me as if I was this wonderful "Project Manager Mommy."

So THAT my friends, is why I mopped today. Right after I wiped down the cupboards, countertops, and swept, I MOPPED the many snowy, wet "Big-Man-Shoe-Prints" right out of my house.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Thankful Thursday

  1. The MOP that wiped up a dropped bowl of KIX and a sippy cup of cranberry juice that hadn't met its lid yet.
  2. The TOWEL that dried a very wet bathroom floor from 2 rambunctious bathers.
  3. The RAG that cleaned up 2 milk spills at lunch.
  4. The PLUNGER that unplugged 2 of our 3 toilets today.
  5. The WASHING MACHINE that cleaned a very wet crib sheet from 2 overloaded night time diapers.
  6. The KLEENEX that has wiped many drippy noses.

and most importantly...

7. My WONDERFULLY PATIENT and UNDERSTANDING HUSBAND who loves me unconditionally even after hearing about my cell phone (3rd one in less than a year) that vibrated off the kitchen window sill into the sink full of suds.

I wonder what this afternoon has in store for us.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

When NOT to take a 3-year-old Along for the Ride

If you don't want your husband to know you went to...let's say....for example Fleet Farm to quick pick up a Christmas gift for him (even though you said you were going to drop off an overdue library book that you didn't want to continue paying late fees for as it sat on your nightstand, which is the truth but not the main reason to get out of the house)

...don't take your 3 year old along for the ride.

Because, once he asks you, "What took you so long?" and you reply with "I just had to make a quick stop somewhere else" but you refuse to tell him where...

...that's when your darling 3 year old might pipe in with the most excited little voice, "Daddy, I love going to Fleet Farm."

There are No Monsters in Your Room

This is what I woke to at 5 this morning.

(The sound of a humungo elephant J running across our wooden floors to our room as she burst into tears.)
Daddy: "J, Jwhat's wrong?"
J:"There's a monster shaking my bed."
Daddy: "J, honey, there are no such thing as monsters."
J(sobbing): "Yes there are, I just felt it shaking my bed."
Daddy: "No, there are no monsters anywhere, God never made monsters."
J: "He didn't?"
Daddy: "I think what you heard is that [darn] squirrel that thinks it can live in our attic. Remember? I heard it run across the roof last night when I kissed you goodnight."
J: "Oh yea."

After snuggling with daddy, because he is the best snuggler, maybe because Mommy gives a kiss and makes her go right back up to bed so we can both get quality sleep eliminating a heel in my back a sleepless rest of the night, daddy says this...

Daddy: "Ok, go back up to your bed, hon. I'll see you in the morning."

A couple hours later as J and I were feeding the babies their bottles in my bed I asked this...
"J why did you think there was a monster in your room? God never made monsters, remember, they are are just pretend."

J: "But I want God to make monsters so that mean animals [tigers & lions] can eat them so their tummies won't be hungry."

(This comment might have something to do with the Let's-Talk-About-What-Mean-Animals-Eat" conversation we had a couple of days ago. Although, monsters were never mentioned.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Just Another Manic Monday...Whoa Whoa!

Almost every Monday my mom, bless her heart, comes over to watch the little ones while I run frantically around town tackling every errand possible from groceries to doctor appointments. Ahhhh...the freedom of getting in and out of the car without strapping 4 seatbelts, covering 4 heads and fingers, and folding and unfolding a 2 ton stroller. Due to the mile long list I wrote last night, my eyes popped open without hesitation at an abnormally early hour this morning.

After rerunning today's events in my head, I knew canceling our fitness center membership a few months ago...because of the child care that just didn't pass as professional in my eyes but that's a whole different post...was going to be an o.k. move.

Who needs to pay to exercise when I can get a month's worth of working out in just 4 Manic Mondays? Here's how I got my workout in today.

"Stretched" as I gave hugs around 4 little pajama bodies before leaving the house by 9.

Ran "Power walked" through the mall to return a gift and search for tall black dress boots for Jaclyn and a Christmas sweater for Oli. (No luck, once again.)

"Jogged" from the car to the entrance of each store and back. Eight stores in all.

Worked on "Deep Muscle Stretching" while holding my phone up to my ear with my shoulder as I ran around gathering last minute Christmas gifts, paid for my items at the checkout, and drove. (woops)

"Walked" through CUB (because I'd look pretty funny running, right?) while loading ingredients for our Cookie Baking Party on Thursday, formula for the next few weeks, and the basics-milk, eggs, etc.

"Lifted" 6 cases of Similac RS (Reflux Sensitive) premixed liquid formula into my cart...then into the car...then into the house. This is 36 quarts of liquid food for the girls. I consider myself a champion weight lifter now.

And, "Practiced Deep Breathing" as I looked at the clock to find I had 30 minutest to run to 3 more stores that were nowhere near eachother. Needless to say, I didn't finish everything today. I'd love to share with you the specfic stores I visited and the items I purchased and didn't purchase, because this is a blog and I enjoy sharing unimportant specifics with people who I don't always know, Marvelous Husband reads this and...well, that would ruin some Christmas surprises for him.

After unloading the groceries to their entitled spot in the kitchen, putting the little ones down for naps and giving kisses and hugs to my mom as she darted out the door to finish her Christmas shopping, I engaged myself into the much needed "Cool Down Segment" of my day by preparing a warm, tasty bowl of my mom's famous chicken vegetable soup. Mmmm.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

All I Want for Christmas...... for Luke's diarrhea to take a hike.

Poor lil' bum..(and little thighs). It's too bad it doesn't take a break at night. Is there a cure-all for this that I don't know about?
Sorry, does this constitute as something that should be left unsaid?

Friday, December 14, 2007

Back to My First Love

Last night I took a break from blogging (gasp!!!) to go back to My First Love.

A scrapbooking comrade of mine joined me after the kids were in bed and here are my finished products, minus the journaling that I need to do today.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

What Christmas song am I most like???

I found this over at Petersonpress and thought it was really fun.

If I was a Christmas song I would be "Let it Snow." And this is why...

Maybe you enjoy all of the year's holidays, but there's just something about this time of year… Even if Mother Nature cheats you out of a White Christmas, you know how to make the most of the season — whether with loved ones or strangers you meet along the way.As much as you might like to bundle up and romp outdoors (added by me-I USED to like to do that), you also enjoy kicking back to bask in the glow of the season — or maybe the glow of a dozen strings of lights in your living room (Exactly.) You, more than others, really know how to feel cozy. And for someone who enjoys curling up by a fire (how did you know?), warming a cup of cocoa, or snuggling down with a classic Christmas movie, there's no better theme song. So just remember: If the weather outside is frightful, but the fire is so delightful, and if you've no place to go, let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

Try it out and let me know which song you are.

Thankful Thursday

  1. Aveda's Rosemary Mint line
  2. Tator Tot Hotdish ;)
  3. Sleeping in until 7:30...Wo!
  4. Indoor play gyms during Winter months
  5. I'm going with Kim on this one-a good pea coat, mine is black.
  6. EVOO-for your food and hydrating your body
  7. Giggling babies
  8. When Oli hums to me in the rocking chair
  9. My husband's cold ears after he comes in from outside
  10. Prayer

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Mario and Luigi's Quest to Save Lunch

It's one of those bizarre days. I'm talking about the days that you know your husband won't be making his entrance at his usual 4:30-5 timeslot, so you not only work your entire dayshift by yourself, as usual, but then work the nightshift solo too.

So on these "special" days...."special" as in "Everyone will be happy and at ease without daddy if the day is carefully planned out" kind of special....I try and do abnormal things. Some of these abnormalities include: All play and no work when it comes to house cleaning, trips to the our friendly Mega Store after everyone's pm naps, and....Tator Tot Hotdish.

This delectible and Oh-so-Mouthwatering meal is a favorite of mine and the kids too. So, we make a big batch of it when he's gone and eat it for lunch AND dinner.

Without assessing the ingredient situation, I started browning the hamburger but then remembered that our oven went on the brink. Oops, pausing for a nano second. That's ok, I'll make my own, "Simmer version."

As I went to grab some milk, I stood staring. Shoot. No milk. Something that is on our list for the Mega Store this afternoon. Well, heavy whipping cream will work.

After adding the rest of the ingredients I was ready for the Tator Tots. Right? Because we are making Tator Tot Hotdish.



Now, I hope this doesn't change my friendship with all of you. You do realize my circumstances right? Two babies drinking bottles in their carseats while our 3 year old is painting at the counter and our little man is running around pushing his basketball in the baby stroller. And it is one of those weird days, did I mention that?

Well, the hashbrowns that we had crisped up quite nicely and were a perfect stand in for the Tators.

A success! Finished. Let's Eat!

As I was savoring each and every bite of our meal, watching the kids "Mmmmm" through it all...I couldn't help but picture myself as Mario or Luigi running through a little Mommy-world dodging numerous Warios, Troopas, and Bullet Bills.

Well, I saved her y'all...Princess Peach that is.

And our Tator Tot Hotdish.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Ok, Who are You?

Alright, whoever you are...Mrs. I-mop-my-floor-EVERY-SINGLE-DAY, you just shattered my contentment of having an imperfect "so fresh and so clean" kitchen.

Please reveal yourself.
(I'd love to have you as a guest host here on 4under3. Us stay at home moms could revel in your glory.)

I'm trying to convince myself that you have no children because we all know the amount of time our pre-kindergarten children require of us. But now I am scratching my head because if you have no children, what is making your floor so dirty?

Monday, December 10, 2007

Mucho Marvelous Yet Again.....

(Written by the Mucho Macho..I mean, Marvelous himself.)
Rarely will I post on this thing people call a "blog"...with make believe friends. (If you can't grill and ski with them, then they are not real.) But today is a special occasion. I am officially into the Fantasy Football semi-finals. The 124 points scored this week is an all-time high for our league and I now have a man-crush on Tom Brady. I won't say how much money I will be awarded because it doesn't matter. I do it for the love of the game. I love a few things outside of Jesus and family. Fantasy Football is one of them....and my wife knows this. Every Sunday after church she tries to let me watch football...but by the end of the second game she ever-so-gently tells me all she has done for me and what I NOW NEED to do for her. I love her!

(updated on Monday at 3:07p. To all my REAL blogging friends-With you, my days amongst little people are a tad bit spicier. I guess my husband doesn't understand the "quiet ramblings of the mind," yet. But he does know who the Blockbuster football players are. Booyah!)

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Sunday Morning Mental Note



Never try to skip the shortened morning naps before church when dealing with babies built on a firm "Babywise" foundation. No matter how great of a job they are doing playing on the floor...their lack of a shortened morning nap before church WILL catch up with them. This causing two very, very, very tired, sad, and tear stained babies along with a quite loud and crazy house during the "exiting portion" of the morning.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Our Little Snow Bunny

Since Mitch and I have been married we've shared the love of downhill skiing together....well, when I wasn't pregnant we went together. Which now that I think of it has only been 2 winters of our 4 years together. And, ever since J was born we have longed for the day we could take our children skiing with us.

Today was that day!

With size 3 Spyder socks, toe clips and a youth ski harness in hand, J and daddy hit the slopes. I wanted to go soooo bad, but didn't think the chalet would be a toddler/infant-friendly place for 4 hours. We didn't really know what to expect...and both knew that no expectations going into it would be the best. Well, she had a blast and wants to go back. Yea!

(She was "out" 2 minutes into the ride home while holding a half eaten granola bar in one hand.)

Friday, December 7, 2007

Egg Nog without the Egg

We only have this in the frig for Mitch...but J kept asking to try a sip. Being a non-egg nog drinker, I tried to convince her that it was "Oh-so-nasty"....if you remember that from a previous post of mine. I guess her 'buds' beg to differ. This is now a new favorite of Julia's.

Trial and Error

In case you're wondering how much fun is involved in bundling up
4 children under 3.2 and going outside together to make fabulous memories in the snow......there's none!

(J turning her back on me with her arms crossed)

(Oli begging me to unwrap the blue tape from the mitten that is covering his "favorite thumb."

(Geneva and Layla had just as much spirit as their older siblings.) gah....

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Thankful Thursday

  1. The beauty of a serious downpouring of snow
  2. Heated Seats
  3. My MOPs girls
  4. In knowing that there will be a day when someone will want to watch all 4 of our children at the same time
  5. Balmex
  6. Rocking chairs and snuggly babies
  7. That Jaclyn and Oliver love to play together every minute they can
  8. A good haircut
  9. Christmas choirs
  10. My hard-shoveling husband

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Ring Around the Rosy

We have 2 poles in our basement...

that the kids LOVE twirling around....

(notice our little "ear fettish" girl?)

...we all fall down!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

My husband is Mucho Marvelous

Yesterday was "My husband is Mucho Marvelous" Monday. Now, don't get me wrong, my husband is mucho marvelous every day, all day long, like yours I'm sure. Well...except on those days when he is slightly marvelous...without the mucho.

You know, like when we're in bed and he rolls over, pulling my covers out from being so neatly tucked in at my foot of the bed. Or, when he gets over zealous while filling the dishwasher, craming dishes above and beyond the load limit causing the "spinner thing" to never make a full turn the entire 2 hours and 18 minutes that it is running. Which leaves every dish in need of a second cycle. But that's not what I came to say. I came to you to talk about My Mucho Marvelous Husband.

Yesterday we had a big date. My mom came to watch the kids over night while we went out frolicking around like fools-in-love.

After a much needed marvelous 1-on-1 adult conversation during our drive to the cities that included how great he thought I was as a mother (go ahead, say it..."awwww.")...we walked around the MOA looking for a couple pre-Christmas gifts for ourselves. Oh I miss that place!!! And tell me the truth. How many of you out there have this same problem I have, which I NEVER had in college. Who feels like you would be ridding your family of bare necessities like food in their tummy if you bought YOURSELF something? I mean, a $20 dark olive vest is not a 4 letter word, right? Well, I have this problem with spending money on myself when I am by myself...BUT, if my husband is with and gives me the's like Christmas morning. I love that he wanted to take me shopping. Isn't he so marvelous!

Then we met some friends of ours at a cute, overcrowded restaurant in Dinkytown for a little pregame supper before the "Goph's" kicked NDSU nearly back home. It was a marvelous yet bittersweet win for us 4 since we're all big fans of the Bison's starting point guard Ben Woodside who grew up in a neighboring town of ours.

All in all, the day was a blast. We felt like we were single again...married but pre-children that is. But ohhhh did it feel good to get home and check on 4 little pumpkins who were fast asleep, digging my nose in 4 little cheeks and giving 4 little good night kisses. Mmmmmmm!

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Have you met Nictoria?

I love the imagination of a child. As I was cleaning up the kitchen after supper tonight, Jaclyn sat at the island and shared with me some bits and pieces about her new "friend," Nictoria.

I found out that "Nictoria" is a 5 year old little girl..."no wait, 6 years old. She just had her birthday. She's growing very big." Some things she likes to do is go to Sunday School and go to the doctor. When she goes to the doctor, though, she doesn't get shots. Nictoria has a dog and her name is-Nictoria. Imagine that! "Jaclyn," I asked, "why haven't I met this friend of yours?" "She's never been to our house, Mommy. She stays at her own home with her mommy and daddy. But she's going to come over real soon. And she has a brother, just one brother. Did you know that her favorite color is red? It is."

"Ok mommy, you finish, I'll go get my jammies on, and we'll talk more about Nictoria, Ok?"

Ok hon. (Oh, I could just chew her up.)

Body Massage-for Free!

What is it about...Sunday afternoons in comfy pants, a big ol' pot of chili, watching the Vikings win, and frequent cat naps on the couch with my all the little babes sleep...that makes me feel like I got a full day's worth of a body massage-for free?!

Saturday, December 1, 2007

A few of my favorite things...

Today could not have started out better. I'm sitting here thinking about how many of my favorite things have been a part of this beautiful morning and it's only 9:34am. First, it's Saturday, which means that my babes doesn't have to get up early to go to work-Extra cuddle time. (Favorite #1 of the day.) Love it!! Then we all...babes and I along with Jaclyn and Oli...snuggled while we fed the twins in our bed. (Favorite #2) As daddy started getting out the traditional breakfast ingredients for Saturday mornings-eggs, hash, toast, oj- I got this really crazy idea to go out for breakfast...all of us! Mitch was game so we drove to the bottom of our hill to the friendly Old Country Buffet for omelets and waffles marking off another "first as a full family" excursion. Everyone was well as the bacon, mushroom, and tomato omelet that Fernando perfected for me. (Favorite #3) As Jaclyn and I were getting our milk and OJ the cutest little old grandma and grandpa were watching us. We began to walk back to our seats and they stopped us to talk to Jaclyn. They were adorable! Adorable! I love conversations with the "experienced life learners," don't you? (Favorite #4) Then, as if the morning wasn't good enough, I look outside and snow is falling like a bad first time skiier on a bunny hill. (Favorite #5) "Look!" I said. It is so beautiful...and still is so beautiful since it hasn't let up even the slightest. If I was writing this tonight before bed I would be adding a trip to a drive-thru nativity scene at the local Christian college(Favorite #6) and a date on the couch with my babes watching Die Hard-Live Free or Die Hard. (Favorite #7). Even though there were no "Cream colored ponies and crisp apple streudels, Doorbells and sleigh bells and schnitzel with noodles," my day has been fantastic with a few of my very own favorite things.