Monday, August 30, 2010

Weekend Wave Running

This past weekend was absolutely busy, but completely fun. Saturday night Tim, Lauren and I attended Tim's friends Emily and Geoff's wedding. They could not have picked a better day! The weather was wonderful, especially for August in Oklahoma. The venue was fantastic, and the bride looked gorgeous. They had some awesome food and enjoyed their first dance next to the pool. We were able to meet some really nice people and had fun cheesing in the photo booth. Thanks for inviting us Emily and Geoff!


While we were celebrating, Brenden was able to hang out with grandma and grandpa Kelly. He wasn't feeling super well, I don't think he's completely kicked the ear infection he had a few weeks ago, so they called it an early night. We did have a moment after we made it back to their house where Brenden was crying and Lauren was screaming (teething hurts!) and wow, it was busy. But we made it through and Mike and Connie were super nice and watched the kids for us the next morning so that Tim and I could get a little extra sleep. Thank you, guys!

Showing off their hats.

That morning, after Lauren showed off her new rolling skills, which really just means she rolls onto her tummy and gets stuck, we headed out to the lake. Mike and Connie bought a wave runner about a month ago and it needed some work so this was the first time they had a chance to try it out. It was so much fun!

We all had a chance to drive it and the person who enjoyed it the most was Brenden. I didn't think we would ever get him off of it! Tim and I did have a few spills and I cracked my nose on his back and then on his head (OUCH) but we all made it through with only minor injuries. Mostly Tim and I are burnt. My back is particularly painful and Tim's feet are super sensitive, but it was definitely worth it.

The Kelly Boys

All the fun wore Brenden out and he climbed into the "tent" we had built to protect Lauren from the sun and promptly fell asleep. Anytime he willingly takes a nap you know he's exhausted. I'm so glad that the kids are going to be able to grow up going to the lake. Considering Brenden's first trip on the boat was at 8 months and Lauren's first trip was at 6 weeks, I think they are off to a good start.

We love the lake!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Etsy Doll

I am in love with the website Etsy. You can find so many one of a kind things that are either antiques or handmade, most of which are awesome. There are some "not so awesome" items. For those please visit Regretsy. Although, be careful. Some of the things aren't necessarily safe to look at while at work and some are down right disturbing. But they are all real!

I found out about Etsy not long before our ultrasound to find out that Lauren was indeed a girl. I then spent hours pouring over hundreds of bows, hats, dresses and toys. One thing I really wanted her to have was a homemade doll. I had seen one on a blog I read and I loved the simplicity of it. Plus I really liked the idea of her having something that didn't come off of a store shelf and that was only meant for her.

After picking several different ones and saving them as favorites I asked Tim to weigh in. He was not a fan of my favorite doll, but agreed to let me have the final choice. I placed my order and sent the seller a message with my requests for hair color and dress color. In two weeks a brand new, one of a kind doll was in my mailbox and I loved it!

A few days ago we were out at Walmart for our weekly shopping trip. Lauren had a tiny doll in her stroller that she often chewed on and played with while we were out. Sometime along the way it fell out and we never found it. When we got home today I mentioned that I was sad Lauren had lost it and that I would have to look for a replacement when I went to Target. "Just give her that million dollar doll you had made," Tim replied. (It was not a million dollars, it was $20. And I have a receipt, Tim!) I jumped up and grabbed it, excited to see if she would even play with it.

It was definitely one of the happiest moments this week. She grabbed it, chewed on it a bit, and then her face lit up into a huge smile. She even giggled! It was fabulous. Tonight she fell asleep holding onto it's leg. Sorry, Tim. Your daughter shares my taste! :)

Friday, August 20, 2010

This Is Why I Need More Adult Interactions

Brenden is really starting to make sense now, at least when it comes to how well he's speaking. What he's actually saying is a completely different matter. Sometimes it's very logical. Other times...I have no idea. Here are a few of the random conversations I've had with him lately. And yes, most of the time he really does speak with an exclamation point.

Me: "Brenden, you act like a monkey!"
Brenden: "I'm not a monkey! I'm Brenden! I'm a big boy!"

Me, quizzing him on his knowledge of body parts: "Do you have ears?"
Brenden: "Yes."
Me: "Do you have knees?"
Brenden: "Yes."
Me: "Do you have eyes?"
Brenden: "Yep."
Me: "Do you have a tail?"
Brenden: "Nope! I have a booty!"
Me: "Do you have whiskers?"
Brenden: "Nooooo."
Me: "Who has whiskers?" (I expected to hear him tell me one of the dogs names, or maybe a cat."
Brenden: "Daddy! Daddy has whiskers on his face!"

While drawing happy faces...
Brenden: "Draw mommy!"
Me: *draws a happy face with curly hair*
Brenden: "Draw me!"
Me: *draws a happy face with a little hair on top*
Brenden: "Draw Lauren!"
Me: *draws a happy face with a little hair and a bow*
Brenden: "Draw daddy!"
Me: *draws a bigger version of the happy face that was supposed to be Brenden*
Brenden: "Mommy, you didn't draw daddy's crutches!"

In the candy aisle at Walmart...
Brenden: "No! I don't like that! It's gross! It smells like cat poop!"
Me: *blushes* *hurries away from the several people who are now giving me weird looks*

Brenden: "I'm a boy!"
Me: "Yep. Who else is a boy?"
Brenden: "Daddy."
Me: "Good job! What is mommy?"
Brenden: *sly smile* "You're a boy!" *laughs*
Me: "I don't think I'm a boy. What am I?"
Brenden: "You're a boy! Lauren's a boy, too!"
Me: "Okay, crazy. You know I'm not a boy. What am I?"
Brenden: *sighs* *rolls his eyes* "You're a girl. Lauren's a girl, too."
Me: "Thank you!"

Thursday, August 19, 2010

4 Years Ago... front of all of our family and friends, I married the love of my life. Tim, you are a fabulous father and an amazing husband. And you gave me the best gift of all this year...NO MORE CRUTCHES! :)

I Love You!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

"A daughter is one of the most beautiful gifts this world has to give."
- Laurel Atherton

Monday, August 16, 2010

4 months old!

As I say every time I write about Lauren's well baby check ups, time is flying! Just the other day she was this tiny little thing that slept, ate and pooped. Now she's doing an amazing array of things!

First, her stats from her well baby check up:

Length: 25 inches (75th percentile)

Weight: 14 pounds 10 ounces (75th percentile)

Head: 16 1/2 inches (75th percentile)

You may notice that her head seems to have stayed the same size. The nurse that measured her today said she didn't trust the last measurement. She was probably a lot smaller, closer to something that would put her around the 75th percentile, which seems to be where she wants to stay. She's perfectly rounded! The doctor was very happy with how she is doing with her growth and the milestones she is hitting. She recommended starting her on solids since she is now a supported sitter and has great head control. So that's just what we did!


I started out with the really soupy rice cereal. She was not a big fan of that, so we moved on to some applesauce. Much better! She was already chewing and really enjoyed it! She did make some funny faces, but when you are used to formula I'm sure the texture and taste of apples will throw you for a loop.

She has started doing all sorts of new things, most of them within the last week or so. She is laughing out loud, which is one of my favorite sounds! To get a big old laugh all you have to do is talk back to her when she gets to babbling. She is also much happier about tummy time and will hang out on her tummy, smiling away, for at least a few minutes. She has rolled once or twice from both her tummy to her back and her back to her tummy, but she would rather just lay on her side. She'll lay there and push with her feet, turning herself in a complete circle, which is why we've started calling her Curly.

She has definitely turned into a "grabber" and of course, like all babies, anything within reach makes it to her mouth. Just today we went to Walmart and a plastic sack was right next to her carseat in the cart. She reached out and grabbed it before I even realized that it was close enough! Most of the things that make it into her fists are no where near as scary as plastic bags. It's usually a toy or blanket, sometimes one of our fingers, and once she got a good hold on my nose and pulled. She has quite a grip!

There are only a few things that she does that are no fun. One of them is screeching, which usually signifies she's hungry or tired, wants her diaper changed (very particular about that!), or her teeth are hurting her, Which leads me to the next unhappy thing...teething. Brenden was drooling at this point, but he wasn't screaming bloody murder. Poor Lauren will have moments where she is inconsolable. We've had to break out the Baby Orajel and the teething tablets, both of which have saved my sanity.

She's also started sucking her thumb in the middle of the night, which is both good and bad. It's bad because you can't really take her thumb away when you're ready for her to quit sucking it. It hasn't become an all day thing yet so I'm not super worried. The good thing about it is she can self soothe herself at night when she wakes up, which is how I found her a few nights ago.

Very content, sucking on her thumb.

The best part of my day is going to pick her up in the morning and seeing the huge smile spread across her face. She is the sweetest baby and an absolute joy. Happy 4 month birthday, Lauren! We love you!

4 months old!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Twitter Makes Me Happy

I'm not sure how everyone else feels about Twitter (I'm @AJK124 by the way.), but I'm a huge fan. I get to complain, share blog posts, post funny pictures about my kids, and meet super fun people who keep me entertained. I also get to watch wonderful things happen, like #tutusfortanner, which is a fund raiser to help a boy with Duchennes Muscular Dystrophy spend his last days at home. I've learned things about parenting and even found out about major world events from my Twitter feed.

Today I participated in something called HomeHer, a twitter "event" created by @BackpackingDad for everyone who wasn't able to attend BlogHer. (I would be so scared to attend BlogHer! There are some very influential people there!) Everyone was invited and the best part was it was FREE. I didn't have to do my hair, I didn't have to get out of my pajamas. Brenden's picture was even included in a post over on Stiletto Mom.

So that's how I spent my day...tweeting about boring my "attendee". How was your day?

Recipe: Slow-Cooked Pulled Pork Sandwiches

I find recipes everywhere online. One of my favorite things to do is ask my friends on Facebook for recipes they like. Not long ago I saw that my friend Jennifer was fixing a slow cooker recipe that she had received from someone else and I asked her for it. I am SO glad I did. It's delicious! It doesn't take long at all to fix but it take awhile to cook. Absolutely worth it. Tim declared it "excellent" and Brenden, who has become a very picky toddler, ate his meat with no complaints. That's what I call a success!

Slow-Cooked Pulled Pork Sandwiches

1 tbsp. vegetable oil
3 1/2 to 4 pound boneless pork shoulder roast, netted or tied
1 can (10 1/2 ounces) Campbell's Condensed French Onion Soup
1 cup ketchup
1/4 cup cider vinegar
3 tbsp packed brown sugar
sandwich or hamburger rolls
  • Heat the oil in a 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add the pork and cook until it's well browned on all sides.
  • Stir the soup, ketchup, vinegar and brown sugar in a 5-quart slow cooker. Add the pork and turn to coat.
  • Cover and cook on low for 8 to 9 hours or until the pork is fork-tender. (or 4 to 5 hours on high)
  • Remove the pork from the cooker to a cutting board and let stand for 10 minutes. Using 2 forks, shred the pork. Return the pork to the cooker.
  • Divide the pork and sauce mixture among the rolls.
I couldn't find a 3 1/2 - 4 lb roast. All I could find was 2 1/2 or 8-9 lb size. I got the one closest to 3 lbs I could find and it worked out great. I also added a little bit of garlic powder and black pepper. Enjoy!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Food Wars

You would never know from looking at him that Brenden has become a picky eater. It's not just a "growth spurt" or "phase" either, it's absolutely an "I don't want to eat that and you can't make me" attitude. Night after night we would bargain with him. Three bites of a food he didn't want to eat for something he DID want to eat, like a cookie or ice cream. Two more bites and he could watch Mickey Mouse. One night I even ate dessert in front of him. That was the most awful ice cream I have ever eaten. He was unhappy, we were very unhappy, and lots of time was spent sending him to time out or cleaning up food he had slung off of his fork in anger.

Then I ran across a blog about toddlers and how to handle picking eating. Some people claimed that picky eaters were "made" by parents that allowed their children to only eat one specific thing, such as peanut butter and jelly, every night. Others said that children should be introduced to all sorts of spices and textures early to allow them to develop a taste for everything. Since we were obviously past the "early" stage and we always required him to eat what we ate, we really weren't sure what to do.

Then, one day, we decided to just calm down and let it go. No, he would not be picking out his meals every night, but we would place dinner in front of him and he could eat it or not. There would be no more forcing and no more bribing. After a reasonable amount of time we would get up from the dinner table, clean the kitchen, and do whatever we were planning on doing that night. We thought removing some of the stress from the situation would be good for us, even if it meant Brenden might eat a little less. (Have you seen this child lately? He's not so chunky anymore, but he's not small by any means.)

The first week was hit and miss. We had to remind each other not to get upset if he sat there the entire time drinking his water and nothing else. One night he didn't eat a thing and requested oatmeal after dinner. Our reply was, "I'm sorry, you didn't eat dinner. No more food tonight." Okay...even typing that sounds harsh. We weren't doing it to starve him, we were trying to teach him that he was expected to eat what we were having for dinner. That happened once. Since then we've never had to say it again.

That's not to say that I haven't fixed him something different for dinner if it was really spicy, which he doesn't handle well, or I thought it turned out badly. And if he eats his dinner and requests to eat more afterwards we're okay with that as well. He's also had a few nights where he ate very little but didn't complain. The next morning he will usually eat twice as much cereal.

This does not apply at restaurants. If we don't have to eat the same thing as each other then why should he? Plus, he is learning to make decisions, which I think is good for him. For example, this past weekend we went to T.G.I. Friday's and he was able to decide between macaroni and cheese, chicken fingers, pizza or a hamburger. He chose macaroni and cheese with mandarin oranges for the side. He practically licked the plate clean and was very well behaved. I'm glad we figured out what works best for him in that situation.

I also give him choices at lunch time. I watched my friend Heather G. do this with her daughter and I thought it was great. If he decides on a sandwich he is allowed to choose between peanut butter with honey or jelly. (He usually chooses honey.) If he chooses jelly he can pick between grape and strawberry. Then he is allowed to decide if he wants squares or triangles. One day he even told me he wanted "big triangles", which made me laugh.

Giving him a choice has made a huge difference for us, even if it is just the choice between eating and not eating. He's calmer and eats almost everything we give him. We're calmer and enjoy dinner so much more. Happy dinner times makes for a much happier family, and who doesn't want a happy family?

All done!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

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