Tuesday, November 29, 2011

31 weeks...

Give me serious...

Excellent job!

We are still in moving mode...will it ever end? Mr. B finally got used to his full size crib which had been beneficial for the whole family. He's eating more foods and had yet to come across a food he doesn't like. (Hard to tell, I know...don't you just want to kiss those chunky thighs?!) Hunter has learned how to entertain (without hurting) him for good amounts of time which had also been very beneficial.

We're still making a whole lot of adjustments but it's feeling like home more and more each day!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving...

I have so much to be grateful for - it has been a good year. We are healthy and strong. We are free. We are active. We are warm. We are surrounded by family. We are learning. We are growing. We have our own home. (I'm still letting it soak in that we are officially in our own home.) Life is really good, we are counting our blessings.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

30 weeks...

Someone is done with the moving process...

I'll give you one guess...and it's not me (yet!)

We moved all our stuff on Friday and spent several hours on Saturday and all day Monday getting it somewhat "livable". But Bennett is just plain done. He has been such a trooper - we're trying to get him to sleep in the crib (as opposed to the play pen he's used to) and it's taking a little longer to get used to than we thought. We're officially going to sleep there tonight for the first time so we're keeping our fingers crossed he'll sleep well tonight. I like to think he's just missing mommy time with me - it's not the move or the new house!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Be Grateful Banner...



If you have access to a saw (mitre or hand) - this banner is right up your alley.

I went to the Depot and purchased a 1x6 board and several eye-hooks. I cut the board into symmetrical triangles (each side measuring 6.25 in).

I painted the triangles a soft white and then prepped myself to hand paint each letter. Let it be known...vinyl is an easier route!!However, If you're like me and prefer a more natural look - hand painting is the way to go. (I intend to lightly sand over the boards for a more natural weathered look, just haven't gotten that far).

I printed out the letters I wanted at the size I needed. I took a pencil and lightly colored on the back side of the paper, and then traced the letter on the board, the pencil mark was the perfect stencil. At first I meticulously painted all the edges and then would fill in the letter. This was difficult to get a clean outside line. So I pulled out the fine point sharpie and started creating outlines that I filled in with paint. This was definitely the easier route.

Once complete, they were strung on jute and hung. I love how it turned out and already I've got a Christmas, Valentines, 4th of July and Halloween one in mind.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Moving day...

I have waited a long time to write that title...and we have arrived! We have the truck rental for noon, all the family is showing up at 3 and I'm hoping to unpack like crazy tomorrow. To say I'm excited would be a gross understatement. And although we've been relatively homeless for a year, this house was definitely worth the wait. (I can say that now that its officially ours!)

Pictures to come soon...

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Pumpkin Spice Trifle...

I recently hosted all of the Pothier women (including cousins and aunts) for the 1st Annual Pothier Pumpkin Palooza. (Based on a party my friend Karen throws in Wisconsin every year) Everyone was instructed to bring a pumpkin based dish and they all replied to the invite what they were bringing so we wouldn't have 5 pumpkin rolls. We had a great turn-out and everything was delicious. Our menu included:
Pumpkin Eggnog
Pumpkin Cranberry Muffins
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars
Pumpkin Cream Cheese Roll
Pumpkin Pancakes
Pumpkin Fluff Dip
Pumpkin Ice Cream Pie

My contribution - Pumpkin Spice Trifle from Tasty Kitchen. (Of course, envision it in a beautiful trifle dish which I keep telling myself I need to purchase!)
 
1 box (18.25 Oz.) Spice Cake Mix 
1 can (small Can, 15 Oz.) Libby's Pumpkin 
¼ cups Milk 
¼ cups Vegetable Oil 
2 whole Eggs 
2 boxes (one Large 5.9 Oz. Box And One Small 3.5 Oz. Box) Cheesecake pudding
16 ounces, weight (Large Tub) Cool Whip 
½ bags (16 Oz. Bag) Ginger Snaps (about 30 Cookies)

Mix together the cake mix, pumpkin, milk, oil, and eggs. Bake in a 9×13 pan in a preheated 350-degree oven for about 30 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Allow cake to cool.

Prepare pudding according to package directions. Let cool.

Cut the cake into cubes. Layer half the cake cubes, half of the pudding, and half of the Cool Whip. Repeat.

Top with ginger snap cookies and crushed cookie pieces. Refrigerate and serve cold.

I didn't end up using the whole cake in the trifle, instead we continued to eat on it for three days - by itself it was very tasty!

 

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Thanksgiving Wreath...

Halloween has come and gone which means the wreath I made (here) needed to be switched out. I went back to micheals for supplies. I walked away with a twig wreath and some berry stems, and then I stopped by Joanns for some felt and linen.

I scoured the internet to find different methods for making fabric flowers and I ended up with this.


I made the fabric rosettes (which I also used on the Halloween wreath).

I found this picture on my pinteres and although it was in another language, the picture was pretty self explanatory. I didn't have my sewing machine so I skipped that step, so my flowers didn't have that curl to them, instead I just rolled them.

I also liked this flower which was easy peasy.

And lastly I liked this flower, but it was on etsy and didn't offer any instructions, it wasn't rocket science figuring it out. Fold a piece of wool felt in half length wise and glue. Cut slits all along the folded edge - then roll. It produces the cutest little puff flower. I experimented and tried different lengths of felt and different widths of slits. They were all cute.

I arranged them all and glued.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

29 weeks...


I expressed last week how we had had a rough week with Mr. B's sleeping issues. I was so tired of waking up every night to roll him over that I decided it was time to stop swaddling. But I was scared because he LOVED being swaddled. We had purchased a "Woombie" off a recommendation from a friend and it has been amazing. Every time we would zip him up in it, he immediately went to his happy place and became calm, so I knew taking it away from him would be rough.

But like most things with our children, when its time (aka bottles, pacifiers, whatever...) we do it cold turkey. So - After I wrote last week's post, I decided it was time to quit swaddling cold turkey. It was a nightmare for the first day! So painful! Every fiber of my being wanted to just wrap him back up and wake up once or twice a night to roll him over. He didn't nap all day and at night he was up for hours. Steve and I were working on very little sleep and it was frustrating. Days started getting a little better, but the nights were brutal. Nights 2-4 Steve slept downstairs just so he could get some decent rest.  But then something magical happened. Night 5 came and went and I woke up realizing I didn't hear him at all during the night. (It could've been my extreme exhaustion!) and then night 6 and 7 came and went without any screaming.

This morning I woke up and I realized, we did it. He sleeps for nap time and at night without being swaddled. It was a rough week but I think we are in the clear. (not to say that he's never going to wake up at night, but at least the hours and hours of screaming are hopefully behind us!)

So one last  picture of our sweet little guy with his arms restricted. He would always put his right hand on his face while sucking on his left hand, all while being swaddled!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Making bubbles...

We made a huge batch of bubbles for Hallie's birthday. We used them for the birthday party and then kept the bucket outside for two weeks after. Hallie and Hunter were drawn to this bucket multiple times each day. Their favorite bubble technique...two straws connected with a piece of cotton string. (It makes really long bubbles). I decided this is a must for next summer!


Friday, November 11, 2011

DIY Toy Box...

A while back I made a laundry list of all the things I wanted to build in the near future. It was a long list. Slowly but surely I started crossing projects off my list. One day while searching my building website I came across a cute and simple toy box. They quickly shot to the top of my list. I had this vision. Hunter and Bennett sharing a room. Two matching twin beds, with two matching toy boxes at the foot of the bed. I was on a mission.

I drew out the plans early this summer and sat on them for quite a while. It was too hot outside to start a project of this magnitude. While in Idaho late this summer I had my dad help me cut all the pieces to size using a table saw. (I decided making two at the same time would be the best route.)

I contemplated what materials I should use and after a visit to Home Depot I settled on 12 foot particle board stair tread that was 15 3/4 wide (has a rounded edge on one side). I had to change my plans just a bit to accommodate the materials I had purchased but it was much more cost effective.

I kept the rounded edge on all pieces (knowing very well that it would be covered by moulding eventually), except the bottom piece which was trimmed down to 15 1/2 inches. The front and back pieces were cut to 33 1/2 inches, the sides cut to 15 1/2 inches.

I took the bottom piece and used my handy dandy kreg jig to drill holes in all directions. I also drilled holes in the side pieces (inside of the toy box) to connect the front and back to the sides.


Using 36" clamps, I held the front and back to the bottom piece and used kreg screws to screw them together. Did the same thing for the sides and eventually the inside of the side boards.


With the basic box built, I started adding trim with a finish nailer. I'm a very basic, non-ornate person, so I chose a simple mdf profile. I took another piece of mdf and attached it to the top using wood glue and the finish nailer.



After all the trim was added, I used crawford's painter putty to fill in all the nail holes, Dap Dry Dex to fill in the screw holes on the inside (the holes underneath weren't filled), and caulking around all the inside seams.

I then used spray paint primer and lightly sanded after the light coat.


I finished with a white paint rolled on with a foam roller and foam brush.




I can't wait for them to share a room!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Pop-up Pancakes...


I came across this recipe on the website www.makeandtakes.com. (picture from there as well) Although it would make sense to file this under "breakfast foods", in all the times we've made them, it was for dinner. At first I made a single batch and they were gone in minutes. I've learned that our small family requires a double recipe!!

We serve them with powdered sugar and syrup, with fruit smoothies - we always eat them with smoothies! Try them out!

Ingredients:
1 cup milk
1 cup flour
6 eggs
1/4 cup melted butter
dash salt
  1. Preheat oven to 400ºF.
  2. Blend all the ingredients, works best in a blender to get the batter smooth.
  3. Grease your muffin tins or baking pan very generously. Makes 24 muffins or fills a 9×13 inch baking pan.
  4. Bake them for 15 minutes, or until puffy and golden on top.
  5. Use a knife to pry them out, hopefully they were greased well enough and should pop right out.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Balloon Spooktacular...


We took the kids to the Scottsdale Ballooon Spooktacular on Halloween weekend. I've always had a slight fascination/obsession with hot air balloons (and still patiently waiting for Steve to take me on a ride) and it always makes me happy to see a hot air balloon lit up at night.

They did some trick or treating to several booths that they had set up. Their favorite treats...a pad of paper and a pen. We sat down in the grass to enjoy the view for a bit and both Hallie and Hunter went to town filling their notebooks.


I could have sat there all night...if it wasn't for a certain little being - approximately 6 months of age - who made it more than clear he was done!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

28 weeks...

It's been a rough week for this guy. Due to his rolling to his stomach while sleeping and not being able to flip back over- he's lacking in the sleeping department. 2-3 times a night I wake up to his screaming, I flip him back to his back, but because he's so worked up, he doesn't fall back asleep very quickly. I'm seriously trying to wean him off being bundled, but he loves it so much. I didn't know a kid could love it as much as he does. He'll be grumpy and fussy and crying - the minute I wrap him all up, he's calm as can be. I'm trying nap times with one arm not bundled. It's not going as well as I had hoped. Here's to a new week!

He had his six month check up this week and he's tipping the scale at 18 lbs. Which seems rather heavy, partly because I'm lugging him around all the time, but also because our other two were lightweights. The doctor assures me he's really not that big, he's average, sitting in the 50% of babies his age.  My arms that are about to fall off would tell me otherwise!

Per Jamie's request - here are the other two at six months old. (Both of which were sitting on their own by this time).


I think he definitely looks like Hallie.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Army men love...


"Let's face it. When the trash bags come out, we army guys are the first to go." Toy Story 3


I reluctantly bought these army men for Hunter for his birthday. He. Loves. Them.


However, I continually find them around the house, in random places. The dishwasher. Couch Cushions. Shoes.

He lines them all up along the table, the entryway and across the bathtub. They keep him more than busy. Worth the $6 we paid. But they're dying off slowly. We're already down 10 men. Eventually we might have to rebuild the army!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Bubble Bash...

Little miss turned 6 - party on!

We weren't sure how this party would go down because we don't have a whole lot of friends her age since moving here, but luckily there were several kids from her class that were able to join us.



This years theme: bubbles. Everything bubbles.



We blew big bubbles, small bubbles, snake bubbles, bubble gum contest, bubbly root beer floats...bubbles galore.





It was a lot of fun. My favorite part - it was outside, the whole time! We had beautiful weather and the kids were more than entertained with all the different bubbles they could experiment with. I made a homemade bubble solution (soap, water and glycerin) and we dumped it into a lot of different containers. We then made some frames with cotton string and two straws (this seemed to be the favorite method of making bubbles, because you could make really large ones).


In order to make "snake bubbles", we took water bottles and cut off the bottoms. We used a rubber band to secure a piece of terry cloth to the bottom. We then dipped the terrycloth in dish soap (with a teensy amount of water) and they could make long continuous bubbles)

Although it was somewhat messy, it's the only mess that kids walk away cleaner!! That is a mess I can deal with!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Semi-Fresh Salsa...

Our family goes through a lot of salsa, a lot. In fact we go through a quart and a half a week. Consequently we also go through a lot of chips and tortillas. Typically, in the past, we would grow a garden and we would make and can a whole lot of salsa. All those pretty jars of salsa are now in some box in storage. Although it wasn't a worthy substitute, we started buying the big container of fresh salsa at Costco. This worked well for us for several months...that is until the neighbor brought some salsa over for us to try. It was good and Steve deemed it to be superior to the stuff we were buying at Costco. So I got my hands on the recipe and we have been making it ever since. I make it every week. (I'm sure production will slow some once Kaytlin is no longer living with us because I swear she drinks the stuff!)

Semi-Fresh Salsa
Blend:
8oz can tomato sauce
3-4 cloves of garlic (I use the jar of pre-minced that I keep in the fridge)
1 jalapeno (use more or less depending on your tolerance of heat, and how hot that particular jalapeno is!)

Then add and blitz (do not fully blend...just blitz it a couple times to get it good and mixed up):
1 28oz can diced tomatoes
1/2 of a medium onion
1 7 oz can diced green chilies (or 6 oz if that is what you can find)
1 bunch of cilantro
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
3 tbsp sugar

Pour into container and add 2-3 medium or 1 large tomato finely diced and a half cup of water (or more if you prefer a runnier salsa). Stir it well and serve.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Halloween 2011...

I always have such big plans for Halloween and yet the day arrives and I have all sorts of seemingly unimportant things taking up my time. We started the morning with Hallie's Halloween parade and helping with her class party. Hunter was amuzed with all the cool costumes and made it a point to point out every Woody and Jessie he saw!



We spent the afternoon running random errands including taking Hunter's bike to the shop to figure out how to get the valve covers off. They child proofed them...owners manual doesn't inform you how to get off the child proof covers. I was happy when the man behind the counter didn't figure it out for a while, made me feel slightly less foolish.

Everyone got dolled up and ready for the night - aka picture heaven for mothers! Even Bennett got in on the action. It's fun to see him in the costume that Hallie wore 5 years ago!





We were going to hit up Steve's sisters for dinner, but Steve couldn't get off work early and didn't want to miss out on the festivities. Little Caesars pulled through with a nutritious dinner! We walked the neighborhood with some cousins, got more candy than my kids know what to do with, met up with more cousins for a quick hello before heading home and dumping/sorting out the loot! Hallie meticulously sorted before choosing her 10 favorite pieces (the rest was taken away, there is no way we were going to let them keep all that candy!)

I've got to remember for next year, Steve's cousin utilizes the "Switch Witch". You leave your candy out at night and the Switch witch comes and takes your candy and leaves a toy behind. Genius!

The kids had a great time and this was the first year that Hunter really got the concept of Halloween and we couldn't get him to stop! Another first - wearing costumes without winter coats over them - I could get used to trick or treating in flip flops!!





Is it seriously
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