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Sunday, February 26, 2012

Need a Moment to Yourself?

I love my kiddos.  But some days, I just need to finish my cup of coffee.  In order to attempt this, I set up a little activity when they wake up from nap or return home from school.  Some days, it is simply setting out clean paper and crayons.

I also pre positioned stickers on the edge of the table for Soleil to stick on the paper.  (They were leftovers from an old CBeebies magazine.)

3 bowls-one filled with rocks, one filled with sticks, one empty.  I got the most return on this one!

This was for Tate.  The colorful little bits are PlayMais, and can be found online in the US and at craft shops Europe.  They are made from corn, so safe, and you put a little water on them from the sponge and they stick together.  You can make all sorts of things with them!  This batch has lasted us years.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Mama Craft and Easy Lunch

I am addicted to Pinterest.  Seriously.  If you don't know what it is, it is another way to waste lots of lots of time, like Facebook.  But, like FB, it is fun.  People post pictures of things that are linked to the original source, so that you can make/find/buy/be inspired by whatever it is.  

I found the tutorial for these fabric baskets, and I had to make 3 of them in a weekend.  
Thanks, Leslie! (I don't know her, but the pin of her baskets led down this road.)  The baskets are now used for Little People, marbles, teeny books, whatever kids want to put in them.  

And if you are really lazy, but are starving, take some premade dough (JUS ROLL in the UK, Cresent dough in the US) , wrap it around cheese, ham, and a little mustard and bake.  Yummy!
 I also just started doing this to make life easier...I put all the dishes on the tray to take to the table, and then use the same method of taking to the sink.  Simple, but it saves time.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Home Decor Help!

My house is not yet a home.  We have been here about 8 months, and I still don't feel settled.  Which of these do you like?  Or not at all?
 Any and all advice more than welcome!  Pinterest is wonderful for inspiring, but it doesn't give me feedback.

And a few photos from our long weekend. Here we are at the end of a longgggg dining out experience, mainly because this cute baby goes to bed at 6:30pm and it was 6:45pm when this photo was taken.  She had gone "loco" at this point.

ON our way for a walk.  I really need to clean the lens on my phone.  

 While Sister Bear slept, Tate created.  It was the easiest activity ever--just put marshmallows and pretzels in separate bowls and them create.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Easy Meals

Chicken Cordon Bleu Pasta.  I found this recipe on, one of my favorite sites.  

Chicken+Butter (brown chicken)+Wine (cooked until reduced)+ Salt and Pepper+Ham+Soup+Cheese and put over cooked pasta.  

Pretty good for being so easy.
(not loved by the kiddos, though.  Paul licked the plate.)

My sous chef. 

Breakfast Burritos!  These can be made for the week, wrapped in paper towel, and then shoved in a freezer bag, and enjoyed all week.  I was a doubter, about how good they would taste, but they were actually BETTER heated up than fresh.

Hash Browns cooked, then set aside to drain off excess oil.
Red Pepper+Onion+Ham+Hash Browns+Scrambled Eggs+Tortilla+Cheese.  (Basically, put first 4 ingredients in pan with butter or oil, then add eggs--with or without milk-- and cook until done.  Put in tortillas and top with shredded cheese.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Four Hours of Tent Making

Last year, for Valentine's Day, Paul and I made a basic tent for Tate and had a picnic for dinner underneath, as a little surprise.  So this year, I told Tate that we would build another tent for Daddy before he got home, since Paul was supposed to work until late.

Since I wasn't sure how I was going to construct the tent, being in a new house and all, I started making it during Soleil's naptime.  Since I knew the time between picking Tate up from school and dinner is kind of hellacious on a normal day, I thought I would prepare ahead of time.

I really got into it, and since Baby Soleil took a good nap, I worked on this thing for about the full 2 hours she was asleep.

When Tate got home, I thought he would be thrilled.  NOT SO.  He became entirely irrational complete with snot covered crying, yelling, stomping, etc.  When I got to the bottom of it, and had calmed everyone down, he said "But you said WE would build the tent and it is done already!"    A part of me wanted to laugh, but I was so tired I asked what he thought a good solution was. The only thing that would satisfy him was if we took THE WHOLE THING DOWN.  So I did.  I did give him a long talking to about frustration managament, etc etc but, I mean, it was Valentine's Day, after all.  
The next part of the solution, was to rebuild the tent.  I was exhausted at this point, and we had about an hour before Paul was to return.  We started building, and trying to get it done before he came home.  Paul sent a message, saying that he was bringing dinner home, which was odd considering it was his late night from work.  I told Tate this, and then he asked if we were eating dinner in the tent.  And then he stopped.  And BURST INTO TEARS again.  Oh Lord, help me.  He then said " I didn't realize it was Valentine's Day and I ruined the whole thing and now Daddy will have the food and we won't have the tent ready!"  

Since Paul is a professor, and he had a class that he had starting started teaching at 3:30p, I couldn't even call him to clarify details.  See, the kids eat at about 4:30-5p, and Paul doesn't get home until 6p.  At this point, Soleil started whining for food.  I sent Tate downstairs to get her a piece of bread to eat while we worked.  I had made a small effort to look nice, but now I was covered in sweat and my hair was a mess.  I was pinning sheets, and standing on chairs, and getting more sheets, moving furniture as quickly as I could, with a teary boy and a baby getting bread crumbs all over the floor.  

As it always does, it came together in the end.  We got the tent built about 3 minutes after Paul got home with chinese food and we ate while sitting in the tent, and let Tate watch a Valentine's Day show.  I poured the wine within 30 seconds of Paul coming up with the food.  

Since Tate's design has the tent around the couch, around the TV, it is kind of like a little movie theater.  Because of this, it is still up.  I don't think that I will win any home decor awards, but it is cozy in there, I have to admit!

Lesson of this story....Must work on expectations for holidays, both with the boy AND the mama.

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Cards, Cupcakes, Cookies

Getting some help with the cards.

 Soleil helping to review the cupcake shop, Sweet Retreat in Edina, MN.   Oreo cupcake...YUM.  This cupcake was really moist and flavorful without being overly sweet.

One of Tate's classmates gave me this temporary tattoo at his school's family day.  Soleil loved it so much she kept pointing to her arm in the same place.  I used some washable markers and drew one on her arm. My mom will die after reading this. (She HATES tattoos.)

Making sugar cookies is better than therapy for me.  These were for one of my best friends, as a surprise.  Tate loved helping to decorate as well:)