Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Wordless Wednesday--Off Road with John Deere

For Gilead's birthday my mom gave him a John Deere ride on tractor.  He's now grown into it and going everywhere.  Yesterday he discovered that he can follow his sister around the yard without having to come into physical contact with the grass...

Friday, May 27, 2011

Happy 3rd Birthday, Mercy Girl!

Today was Mercy's third birthday.  It's hard to believe that we have had the blessing and privilege of being her parents for a full three years now.

Mercy's 1st Birthday

Though we aren't really doing a party this year, her birthday is somewhat of a drawn out affair.  On Wednesday evening she got to go out for an ice cream with her cousin Timothy (who she adores) while we were visiting my mom.  Today we did cake and presents.  Tomorrow we'll do ice cream again.  She has a coupon for a free one at a local place.

Mercy's 2nd Birthday

And this year...
Mercy sampling the frosting. 

 Me working frantically on finishing her Pooh Bear cake on time.  Wearing my new maternity apron from Bon Appetit Aprons.  I love it!  Watch for a review and giveaway soon!

Mercy trying out her new Ergo doll carrier from her aunt, uncle, and cousins. 

Opening the carpet sweeper from Mommy and Daddy. 

It really works!

A new piano from grandma and grandpa.

The Winnie the Pooh cake.  Sorry it's sideways...

Blowing out the candles.

Gilead enjoying his cake.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Wordless Wednesday--Outside!

For those of us who live in regions of the country that aren't conducive to outdoor play most of the year, the advent of spring is a big deal.  We enjoy it at every opportunity!

Mercy running outside to "help" Daddy with a project. 

Playing with Daddy. 

Gilead being a brave boy and sitting on the grass.  He has, as a rule, hated grass.

Swinging on the tree swing at Nonni's house.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

To Market, To Market...

Due to a hand injury, my Mom recently lost her job.  Therefore, she is needing to put her house on the market.  So, this last week, we made the 6 hour drive to her place to help get some things in order.

You know those places that collect stuff, even when you try to prevent it?  Like the basement?  Well, those are the ones we decided to attack first.  They're coming along.  Unfortunately, I didn't think to take many "before" pictures.  But here are some "in progress" pictures.

Not too bad for a basement, and we'll be doing more in the next few days.

We also tackled "the hole."  Otherwise known as the mudroom.  It was dubbed "the hole" because it is a couple of steps lower than the rest of the house, and tends to collect things.

The desk on the right.will be migrating to a different room in the next couple of days.  And cleaned off before that happens.

"The hole" also has a nifty loft bed option.  

The house is technically only a two bedroom, but you can get two extra people on this double bed.  Ryan spent a lot of nights there during our long-distance courtship.

Now we're in the process of tackling the 2nd bedroom.  It is being painted by mom and Ryan as we speak.  It was decided that I shouldn't since I'm pregnant and have had problems with pre-term labor in the past.

Tearing up the carpet.

Prepping with painter's tape. 

Gilead putting in his two cents.

More taping. 

Mercy had to help, too...

There are some things, of course, that we aren't qualified to do.  Like refinishing the floors.  However, by the time we leave next week, we're hoping that most of the cleaning out and re-organizing will be taken care of.  So don't be surprised if you don't hear much out of me for another week or so!

Friday, May 13, 2011

I've been featured!

I was honored when Deb from Lucas's Journey with Sensory Processing Disorder contacted me to say that I'd been selected as the featured blog this week.  Thanks, Deb!

Yard Sale Deals!

Where we used to live, yard sale-ing was a brutal Saturday affair.  The sales started as early as 6am (8am was a late one), and at opening there would be people lined up at the sidewalk ready to descend.  Here, it is an entirely different ball game.  We're just starting to figure it out.

Sales start as soon as Thursday, and they all seem to operate on at least Friday and Saturday.  So today I mapped out the sales and was at the most promising sounding one at 8am.  I was the only one there, and they were still setting up.  I returned a couple of hours later to find even more things out.

Here are our finds.

Weather permitting we love to grill and eat outside.  Ryan and I manage just fine eating out of our camp chairs, but the kids need a solid surface.  This table will get lots of use.  And, the table and chairs fold up for compact storage!

It's a beautiful day, so the kids had to eat lunch at it.

We also found this, but because it had to be disassembled to get it into our car tidily, it isn't available for a picture--this is from the Melissa and Doug site.  It's being tucked aside as a birthday gift for Mercy.

Only $15 and in great shape.  That's a $140 toy!

And a Baby Bjorn potty that my sister had us pick up for her little girl.  This particular sale was full of high quality, well cared for items for very, very inexpensive.  They even had a Bugaboo Frog stroller, Ergo Carrier (modified to carry outward facing, too), and a Phil and Ted MeToo hook-on chair.

All in all, we spent less than $15.  The piano will be a gift from Mercy's grandparents and the potty is my sister's.  But we got the table and chairs, trash can (a $50 can), Boon Frog Pod, swimsuit, sunhat, a Melissa and Doug puzzle and a board book for less than $15.  Not too bad!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Wordless Wednesday--Berry Cheesecake Ice Cream!

Ice cream is my biggest food weakness.  My husband's, too.  So when the weather warms up I make quite a bit of it.  This is a berry cheesecake ice cream.  It calls for three packages of cream cheese, so how could it be bad, right?

And, though the recipe doesn't call for it, I love graham cracker crust, so I used some Kinnikinnick gluten free graham crackers and made some graham cracker crust to fold into it.  

There are some things that are worth a special diet.  Like the desserts you are forced to make that are SO much better than what you could buy in the store!

Potty Training Success!

I began potty training Mercy when she was ridiculously young--15 months.  But she took to it quickly, and by 17 months she was in panties.  We had a brief hiatus at 20 months when Gilead was born and she had pneumonia all at the same time, but six weeks later she was back in panties.

Then we moved in August.  After about a month she was back on track.  Then we moved again in December.  And every one to three weeks after that for three months.  This was not helpful in any aspect of life with small children, let alone potty training.  Mercy no longer slept through the night and had lots of accidents.  I threw in the towel and we used pull-ups most of the time.  Major upheaval and life insecurities are not good potty training companions.

We've now been where we are for nearly two months.  I switched Mercy back to panties while at home about two weeks after we got here, and while she had a couple of accidents a day, panties were still much more economical than pull-ups, so I stuck with it.  However, there has been so much going on that I also haven't really "focused" on the potty training thing the way I did the first time around.  There have been plenty of other things to stress out about besides changing her pants once or twice a day.

And all of a sudden, about five days ago, when I was sick and Ryan was letting me sleep in he went to put Gilead down for his morning nap and heard Mercy yell "I go potty on myself!"  Well, as it turns out, what she had actually said was "I go potty all by myself."  And sure enough, she had.  And continues to do so.  There have been a couple of accidents (but not for three days now!), but overall she takes herself, wipes up, and then rewards herself with a sticker.  We're not complaining a bit.  Such a big girl!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Strider PREbike Winner!

The giveaway for the Strider PREbike ended last night at 11:59pm PST, and this afternoon random.org generated a winning number.

And, you're not going to believe this, but the winner is...number 1!  How funny is that?  My husband watched the process and can vouch for the truth of the matter.  I couldn't figure out how to get the results to transfer in that neat little box to show you all, but I did try.

So, "Mama," I will be sending you an e-mail shortly to officially inform you that you have won the Strider PREbike.  You have 48 hours to get back to me with the color of your choice and the name and address you would like it shipped to.  Congratulations!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Gluten-Free Ice Cream Sandwiches!

This is what happens when a pregnant woman craves ice cream and chocolate chip cookies.

The cookie recipe is from Annalise G. Roberts' Gluten Free Baking Classics and the ice cream is Tillamook's Udderly Chocolate.  Yum!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Some 20 Week Pictures

Wordless Wednesday--A Great Day

We're having some overdue spring weather today, and I took some pictures of the kids enjoying it.  While splashing around in the water table I overheard Mercy tell Gilead that it is a "great day."  Indeed it is!