Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Spring Came Early!

All through the month of February, I've been waiting for our annual blast of winter that usually arrives out of nowhere once we've already had some warm days.  Now that we've made it to the end of the month, I guess it's just not coming this year.  I know three kids who definitely haven't minded our mild winter & early arrival of spring.

Beau's first encounter with the climber in the back yard was love at first sight.  He loves being able to walk around it while holding on & go through the little door.
A little snack picnic for the big kids - Mal's smile makes up for her post-nap hair.
Fruit snacks - snack time treasure!
Snacks have to be carefully guarded from a baby brother attack.
Happy Spring!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Getting Our Hands Dirty

Nothing makes craft time more fun than finger painting!
Jake started with a controlled approach using one finger.
Mallory only wanted to make "rainbows" & found great joy in doing so.
This little cutie didn't get to join in, but he didn't seem to mind.
She's very serious about her rainbows.  Never mind that most people draw them as arches of color; she thinks outside the box.
That's more like it - get the whole hand messy!

Friday, February 24, 2012

My Pitiful Puker

Stomach bugs always hit Jake hard.  He sure does look sweet sleeping it off, though!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Squeaky Clean

Jake & Mallory had their first dental exams today, & they did so well!  We chose a pediatric dentist close to our house that our pediatrician had recommended.  I'm so glad we did - her office was the ultimate in kid-friendly.  The waiting room had fun toys & a big TV playing The Little Mermaid, which is a household fave.

Once we got back to the exam room, the sweet hygenist hooked them up with cool shades for the bright lights, & there was another TV back there with Finding Nemo playing on it.  Mal opted to go first & loved the fun explanations for all of the dental tools.
I hung out on this window seat just across from the exam chairs so I could watch the action.  While Jake waited for his turn, he helped this gorilla & his friends get their teeth clean with a giant toothbrush.
Jake soon got settled in the chair next to Mal's when it opened up & was instantly tuned into Nemo.
He was a big kid as well & handled everything like a champ!
Mal joining in on the brushing fun
Our first visit to the dentist was a success!  Both kids got good reports, new toothbrushes & some fun prizes.  Way to go, big kids!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Beau the Bookworm

This little boy
(& also roar!)

Friday, February 17, 2012

Boys in a Basket

How much mischief & simultaneous cuteness can you pile into one basket?

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

We Love LOVE!

Jake & Mallory were very into Valentine's Day this year, & anticipated their class party with much excitement.  I think that poor Mrs. Meagan had to answer the question "Is it party time?" quite a few times throughout the day.  Grammy was gracious enough to keep Beau all day so I could focus on the big kids.  I attended chapel with them in the morning, set up for the party while they were in music & then got the party started about 1:00.

Waiting patiently for party time while being distracted with a game of memory
Sweet school friends - I can't believe I got all eight smiling! (Well, almost.  Jake isn't really smiling, but he's at least looking.)
Each kid got to decorate a shoe box to hold their valentines, & then everyone delivered the goodies they'd brought for their classmates.
Looking through the loot while snacking on strawberries, pink fruit dip & pretzel sticks that they'd dipped in white chocolate & sprinkles
Our party game was musical chairs, & I think it was everyone's first time to play.  Most of them did surprisingly well with the concept of having to be "out," but we did have one crier.
We love Mrs. Meagan & will miss her so much when her maternity leave starts in a couple of weeks!
V-Day was celebrated at home on the 14th with cranberry muffins for breakfast & new red & pink clothes.  Then it was off to Mother's Day Out, equipped with heart-shaped sandwiches for lunch.  We had dinner as a family that night & finished off the day with heart brownies.

Can't you tell they love each other?
Poor Beau.
That's better!  I love these three sweeties!  Hope your day of love was lots of fun!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Beau Harrison at 11 Months

Beau is just one month away from the one year mark!  My sweet boy is growing & changing so much.  I have to remind myself to stop & enjoy him at this age before it's gone!

The little man now weighs in at approximately 20 pounds, & my arms can testify to that fact.  In that sense, I'm ready for him to walk so I can lighten my load!
At 10.5  months, we had to start supplementing with formula to keep up with this boy's appetite.  He is now totally on formula & takes bottles at breakfast, lunch, late afternoon & bedtime.  This switch seems to have helped his sleeping at night, which is nice for everyone!  He goes to bed at 8 pm & usually gets up around 7 am.

Most days, Beau is a nap champ & takes two good naps for me, totaling around 3-4 hours.  His vocabulary continues to expand, even though much of it is babbling.  He has said "Jake" a few times, though, & yesterday I heard a "nigh-nigh" when I was putting him to bed.
My speedy little crawler can get across a room in no time at all & is pretty good at finding things to get into.  An open refrigerator, freezer or pantry motivate his quickest moves.  He's always so disappointed when the door closes!  Beau has started letting go of furniture & standing unassisted for short periods of time.  When given anything that he can push, he runs as fast as those little legs will let him.

He loves music & will dance to just about anything.  He's also big on head bobbing - so cute!
Beau recently mastered getting snacks out of a snack cup, which he's very proud of.  Yesterday in the grocery store, he also managed to get the lid off of the snack cup.  Not cool. 
We're looking forward to celebrating Beau's birthday in just a few weeks.  We love our sweet, funny boy!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Expressing our Love

Making valentines with the kids was lots of fun this year.  They love making one for each of their grandparents, aunts, uncles & cousins.  It's a fun way to feel connected to family members that are far away.
For Jake & Mallory's classmates, Nana found a fun idea for us on Pinterest.  They enjoyed sorting M&Ms by color, filling each heart & especially eating the extras!
Can I help?
The finished product

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Hottest Watch Party on the Block

Our family didn't have any stake in the Super Bowl this year, but we did want to watch it.  This little makeshift picnic in Mommy & Daddy's room worked well for the occasion.
Sorry, Beau, you can't come on the carpet.  Your track record for cleanliness is not good.
In a three-year-old's world, not much beats hot dogs & Capri Sun eaten on a blanket on the floor!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Recipe Edit

A kind friend pointed out that I left out the step to add the chicken broth to the enchilada recipe below.  I have updated it accordingly.  Thanks, friend!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Yummy to My Tummy: Sour Cream Chicken Enchiladas

This was another dinner success last week from Confessions of a Kitchen Diva.  I made a few revisions to the original, which called for dipping each tortilla in sauce before filling it & then folding it to completely encase the filling.  I also used a 7-oz can of green chilies instead of the smaller one, at Justin's request.  Just a warning: the leftovers were too soggy for my liking, even when reheated in the oven.  Halve the recipe for a smaller crowd or invite someone to join you for dinner.  I think it's my favorite chicken enchilada recipe yet!

Sour Cream Chicken Enchiladas

2 T butter
1 medium onion, chopped (1 C)
1/2 C chopped green bell pepper
2 C chopped, cooked chicken
1 can (4 oz) chopped green chilies
3 T butter
1/4 C all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp coriander
3/4 tsp salt
2 1/2 C chicken broth
1 C sour cream
1 1/2 C shredded Monterey Jack cheese, divided
12 (6-inch) flour tortillas

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet.  Saute onion & bell pepper until limp.  Remove from skillet & combine with chicken.  Add green chilies.  Set aside.

In the same skillet, melt 3 tablespoons butter; blend in flour, coriander & salt.  Cook over medium-high heat 1 minute, stirring constantly.  Slowly stir in chicken broth; bring to a boil & cook until thick & bubbly, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat & stir in sour cream & 3/4 cup cheese.  Stir 1 cup of the sauce into the chicken mixture.

Spoon chicken mixture into tortillas, roll up & place in a lightly greased 9x13-inch baking dish.  Pour remaining sauce over tortillas.  Cover pan with aluminum foil & bake 20 minutes.  Remove foil, sprinkle with remaining cheese & return to oven for 5 additional minutes or until cheese is melted.

Friday, February 3, 2012

God Bless You

More adorable laughter, this time from fake sneezes.  That sound just doesn't get old!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Yummy to My Tummy: Thai Peanut Chicken

This recipe from Confessions of a Kitchen Diva was a little variation from our norm, but it may have to become a regular.  Super easy & delicious!

Thai Peanut Chicken

2 T olive oil
2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, sliced into 1/2 inch pieces
1 large green bell pepper, cut into 1/4 inch slices
3/4 C chicken broth
1/4 C chunky peanut butter
1 T soy sauce (I used low sodium)
1 1/2 tsp lemon pepper seasoning
3 C cooked rice

Heat olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.  Working in batches, cook chicken until no longer pink, about 4-6 minutes.  Remove chicken to a separate dish & set aside.

Add bell pepper to the pan (adding an additional tablespoon of olive oil if necessary) and cook 3-4 minutes until limp.

In a small bowl, whisk together broth, peanut butter, soy sauce & lemon pepper.  Stir into the skillet with the cooked pepper.  Bring to a boil; reduce heat, add chicken & stir together until well coated.  Serve over cooked rice.