Monday, February 28, 2011

February Favorite Things

My new camera bag & camera strap.

Independent little girls.

This girl.

This boy and his bears.

Precious moments.

Narls and Ava being appropriately inappropriate at Mongo.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Adventures in Thrifting: The Fisher Price Edition

My brother and I had this exact record player when we were younger.
I have such sentimental feelings about this toy then I knew as soon as I saw it that I was buying it.  I did an actual squee when I got to the counter and found it was only $7.25. God bless you Goodwill and your half-off days.

Now my children are creating their own memories and this brings me a whole different kind of happiness.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Rainy Day Box (On a Sunny Day)

I knew immediately when Emerson woke up this morning that she was feeling better. It may have been the way she poked my eyeballs repeatedly until I opened them. Or perhaps it was her direct dash into her brother's room to steal Bear from his sleeping owner, stepping on Snowmeow's tail along the way.

"Sowwee!" At least she's polite in her terrorizing.

Her fever finally subsided late yesterday evening but her daycare requires 24-fever-free-hours before she can return, so it's one more sick day for my children and me.

Thank heavens for this Rainy Day box that my mother-in-law made for Narls.

She filled it with damn near every art supply that a child would need - spill proof paints, construction paper, glitter glue, retractable makers, foam stickers, crayons, and so. much. more.

The kids and I spent a good couple of hours creating masterpieces.

And I got to drink a whole cup of coffee without reheating it.  It's the little things, folks.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Afternoon Delight

Another sick day. Sigh.

My girl isn't any better but on the plus side, she isn't any worse. My intention was to only take the morning off from work but when Clay got home at noon and I passed Em to him, she screamed for me and pretty much broke my heart. So I took her back. And I silently stressed about how much work will be waiting for me at the office if I miss another day and how I was letting my team down and how if I'm going to be off another day then I really need to be starting those dishes or another load of laundry. 

But Em was still crying so I took her down into the family room where we both sat on the couch and took a minute to catch our breath and calm our nerves.  Narls came down, followed by Clay and then Snowmeow and before I knew it, together the five of us sat  with our blankets and the sunshine streaming through the windows and a fire roaring and watched Despicable Me, which was adorable by the way.

After work and preschool and daycare, our family's weekday evenings are rushed with dinner and swim lessons and baths and catching up on each others' days and bedtime. And our weekends are full with birthday parties and home improvements and grocery shopping and errands. It's so very rare that we all just stop and do wonderful nothingness together.

That's the thing about an illness, I guess- it forces you to take a break, relax a little, let your body catch up and stop stressing about everything. And it's funny to me how the littlest-person-in-the-house's illness stopped the whole house...

and brought us together.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Sick Day

On Valentine's Day my littlest Valentine came down with a cold. After an, um, particularly affectionate Valentine's night, Clay and I stumbled into bed to find a very hot sleeping Emerson. As luck would have it we had nothing to bring down her temp, so I headed to the drug store at midnight for some Tylenol and Motrin.

The medicines helped to bring down her fever but Em still wasn't feeling any better the next morning so I took the day off to stay home and take care of her.

The only time she left my chest...

was to crawl into my lap.

So there I sat in the middle of the floor, back burning as I had nothing to lean against, while my little girl rested in my lap.  I rubbed her back and stroked her cheek and took a bit of comfort in the snuggles of my otherwise very independent daughter.

Sometimes you hafta take when you can get.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Valentine Decorations

...will likely be up for the entire month of February. I can't bear to take them down yet.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Valentine Goodies

These brownies were a complete surprise. My kiddos were particularly difficult to please one evening last week so I suggested we do some baking. Narls said he wanted brownies, which sounded good to Em and me, so I went to my trusted recipe.

I spied some mini marshmallows setting all deliciously in the pantry as I pulling out the ingredients for the brownies, so I pulled them out thinking maybe I'd add a marshmallow topping or something. Sweet little mini marshmallows.

We cut our brownies into hearts for Valentine's Day and it was Narls who said he wanted his brownie to have two hearts, so I thought, why not fill that second heart with the marshmallows? We added some sprinkles and dug in.  The result was heavenly.

I had no intention of making the brownies but I knew I was making some Valentine bark since the moment I saw it. I'm actually on a diet, which is of course when my need to bake intensifies, so I figured I'd make this for my coworkers.

I scoured a ton of different stores looking for strawberry candycorn and found it no where. I went to Target, Walmart, Meijer- all with no luck.  I even tried a speciality shop near my house and ended up buying some Valentine Jelly Belly's at the recommendation of the clerk after again having no luck with the candycorn there.  

I had to make a quick stop at Rite-Aid for Clay's Valentine card and that's were I spotted the Red Hots. Duh!  Red hearts? Spicy hot? Perfect for VDay.  And I actually think the cinnamon would be a better addition to the white chocolate than candycorns would be, even strawberry candycorns.  I haven't tried the candycorn version (yet), but trust me (and my coworkers), this stuff is amazing.