Big Girl Room

Yesterday we had planned on spending the day hanging out with Russell’s youngest brother and his wife, but due to some crappy LA traffic on Wednesday night they weren’t able to make it over to us. So instead we took advantage of some extra time and got to work on the girls’ new bedroom. AKA the old guest room. The girls “helped” a lot and I have a few pictures to share with you.

Alyssa in the toy chest

helping... quality control?

testing the beds

You can see the owl art we picked up at target, but please notice the girls’ banners with each of their names on them. They were a gift from my friend Courtney over at Court’s Crafts. Go check out the stuff she comes up with… she totally inspires me. If only I could do paper crafts… I am hoping she will be willing to make another banner for Sprout. Although, ideally, it would say Wyatt or Amelia instead of Sprout. And yes, in case you were wondering, I just announced our picks for baby names.

Also, notice the beautiful quilts hanging on the back of the girls’ beds. Those were a gift from my parents’ friend, Delia. She also made the wedding quilt that was on the guest bed, and you might remember our friend Mr. Turtle. She made him too!

toy chest and bookcase

owl lamp detail

And in case you were wondering, the dresser is in the closet. Our girls still do have clothes 🙂

And the best part is… the girls LOVE it! They smile when they walk in the room, and play in there a lot. Alyssa walked into the nursery once, barely looked around like “I am so over this” and bounded into her new room. There has also been a lot of “whoo whoo-ing” around here lately. I guess they feel like big girls now.

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Published in: on November 25, 2011 at 7:57 am  Comments (1)  

Apple Cider Caramels

MMMMmmmm!

That’s the best way to describe the recipe I am sharing today. I found this recipe here, and am simply sharing it with you today.

Here is what you will need:

A candy thermometer (less than $10 at Target)

A pot, wooden spoon, oven mitt

2 c. high-quality apple cider (like Simply Apple)
1 c. heavy cream or whipping cream, divided
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
Pinch nutmeg
1/4 tsp. allspice
1 1/2 c. sugar
1/3 c. light corn syrup
1 stick (1/2 c.) real butter, cubed

I recommend doing a few things in advance, so you can focus more on your candy while it is cooking. Here is what you do start with.

  • Place 2 cups of apple cider into a saucepan and boil it on high until it’s reduced to 1/3 of a cup. This will take about 20 minutes, give or take.

  • Cut butter into cubes and set aside.
  • line an 8×8″ square pan with parchment paper with the paper going up the sides and over the edges of the pan so the candy can be removed easily. DO NOT make the same mistake I did the first time and try to substitute wax paper for parchment paper… they are not the same thing!

Then,

  • Combine 2/3 cup heavy whipping cream with the spices and reduced apple cider.

Now it is time to start really making candy!

  • In a large, heavy saucepan, combine the sugar, 1/3 c. whipping cream + enough water to reach the 1/2 c. line on the measuring cup, and corn syrup. Cook over low heat until the sugar dissolves. Insert the candy thermometer and simmer until the syrup reaches 234 degrees.

  • After the candy thermometer reaches 234 degrees, remove the pan from heat and slowly stir in the whipping cream mixture and then add the chopped butter.

  • Return the pan to low heat and re-insert the candy thermometer. Cook, stirring frequently, until the thermometer reaches 248 degrees.

  • When the candy has cooked, carefully pour it into the prepared pan. Allow the caramels to cool completely on the counter or in the refrigerator.

Then it is time to cut, and wrap your delicious candy.

  • When ready to cut, lift the edges of the parchment to remove the entire sheet of caramel. Cut the candy into 1/2″-thick strips

  • Then cut them again in the other direction, making a 1/2″-1/2″ candy.

  • Cut pieces of wax paper into squares or rectangles at least 3 1/2″-4″ on each side. Place a caramel in the center of each piece of wax paper and roll it up like a Tootsie Roll. Then twist each end.

Now, TRY to share these with neighbors, co-workers, heck… even your family. I dare you.

Published in: on November 22, 2011 at 1:36 pm  Comments (2)  

24 Weeks

I apologize things have been a little quiet on my blog lately. The girls came down with colds on Tuesday (the second time they have been sick, ever!) and unfortunately it mostly took its toll during the night. For three nights straight they woke up about ever 1/2 an hour and couldn’t fall back asleep on their own. Needless to say, Russell and I took turns sleeping in the nursery with them. So we have all been a little tired and cranky around here. BUT… I am happy to report a better nights sleep last night for all of us, and a new picture of my baby bump!

Here I am at 24 weeks, 2 days.

And, you know I love to compare, so here is the best one I could find of me at exactly 24 weeks with the twins. This was taken at my baby shower with my fabulous mother, and my soon-to-be sister Angie.

And… since I know a few people enjoyed it before, here is a quick babycenter.com update about Sprout.

Your baby’s growing steadily, having gained about 4 ounces since last week. That puts him at just over a pound. Since he’s almost a foot long (picture an ear of corn), he cuts a pretty lean figure at this point, but his body is filling out proportionally and he’ll soon start to plump up. His brain is also growing quickly now, and his taste buds are continuing to develop. His lungs are developing “branches” of the respiratory “tree” as well as cells that produce surfactant, a substance that will help his air sacs inflate once he hits the outside world. His skin is still thin and translucent, but that will start to change soon.

Published in: on November 19, 2011 at 8:00 pm  Comments (1)  

For The Families

With Veteran’s Day just past, I wanted to send out a little message to another group of patriots who sacrifice daily for their country, but are given no day of acknowledgement.

The families.

Especially the wives (or husbands) who stay at home with young children. These people do something that many of us cannot imagine. Last night as I was reading before bed I came across a letter from Abigail Adams to John Adams in 1782, during one of their many long separations. I wanted to share one paragraph with you today.

“I will take praise to myself. I feel it is my due, for having sacrificed so large a portion of my peace and happiness to promote the welfare of my country which I hope for many years to come will reap the benefit, tho it is more than probable unmindfull of the hand that blessed them.”

Please let us all try to remember to honor, pray for, and serve these families who sacrifice something so large for their country.

Published in: on November 15, 2011 at 8:33 am  Leave a Comment  

Someday

Someday I won’t have to help them get dressed.

Someday time-outs will be a thing of the past.

Someday there will not be toys all over the house for me to clean up.

Someday they won’t need my help to fall asleep.

Someday they will give me 5 minutes of peace and quiet to myself.

Someday they won’t pull me around the house by my finger.

 

But for now, I will try and cherish this time. Because…

 

Someday they won’t want my help anymore.

Someday they will have a life of their own.

Someday I will lay in bed awake worrying about them while they are staying out late.

Someday I’ll complain that they don’t call often enough.

Someday I won’t be able to solve their problems with a kiss and a hug.

Someday they will be all grown up.

Published in: on November 11, 2011 at 1:05 pm  Comments (1)  

I Wasn’t Kidding

There isn’t anything my girls can’t use as a ladder.

And no, that is not where we normally keep the high chairs.

Happy 21 months to my little munchkins!!!

Kylie Bear

Alyssa Bean

 

Published in: on November 9, 2011 at 6:14 pm  Comments (4)  

It’s My Monday, Give Me A Break

Many of you who know me know I like to be organized, and to plan ahead. So I am not sure it needs to be said that I am struggling to be patient about moving the girls into their “big girl room” (currently known as “the guest bedroom”) and get the nursery ready for the baby. Maybe it is nesting, maybe it is just me, but it drives me crazy that it isn’t done yet.

Yes, I know I am only 22 weeks.

But the books say you shouldn’t make any changes for older children during the 3 months before, or the 6 months after the baby arrives. Which means by those standards we should have the girls completely transitioned into their new room by the end of this month. Here is a sneak peak as to what that room currently looks like.

Did I mention we have guests coming for Thanksgiving?

We are so thrilled Russell’s brother and his wife are coming over to spend Thanksgiving with us, but that means I really need to get my butt in gear getting that room decent for guests. And then immediately after they leave get it completely switched out with all the girls stuff.

Here are the big problems I am having.

1- I can’t put the baby stuff in the nursery until we move the girls stuff out. BUT, I don’t want to move the girls stuff into the guest room until we are ready to move them too.

2- We have a ton of old clothes for them, but nothing to pack them up in, so they are just laying on the bed.

3- I haven’t decided whether to keep or toss our clothes that were covered in lighter fluid. I washed them about 50 times, but you never know. (If you don’t know about that I need to do a post soon with all the craziness the girls have been up to)

All of that is to say, this girls room/guest room problem is making me crazy. So this morning to take my mind off of it I spent a little quality time with my sewing machine. I made a super soft, cozy cover for the diaper changing pad

and two pairs of (already loved) owl flannel pants for the girls.

owl print detail

We also spent a lot of time yesterday searching for sturdy and functional pieces of furniture for the “big girls room”. The girls went with us to nearly 10 stores and they did AWESOME. They were so patient, listened when we asked them to follow us, and didn’t break anything! Major success. Although by the end of the day (and three trips total) we ended up buying everything we were looking for at the first store. Now it is time to assemble some furniture and store it in the garage until after Thanksgiving. Also I need to make curtains for their room, which I am very excited about now that we have picked a theme!

This really should have been about three posts, so if you are still with me you must be a true friend.

Published in: on November 8, 2011 at 1:22 pm  Comments (2)  

22 Weeks

I actually feel terrible about how late I post these. I mean, by now I am closer to 23 weeks than 22 but oh well.

If you are curious, here is what babycenter.com say our little Sprout has been up to.

“… your baby is starting to look like a miniature newborn. His lips, eyelids, and eyebrows are becoming more distinct, and he’s even developing tiny tooth buds beneath his gums. His eyes have formed, but his irises (the colored part of the eye) still lack pigment. If you could see inside your womb, you’d be able to spot the fine hair (lanugo) that covers his body and the deep wrinkles on his skin, which he’ll sport until he adds a padding of fat to fill them in. Inside his belly, his pancreas — essential for the production of some important hormones — is developing steadily.”

Published in: on November 7, 2011 at 8:51 pm  Comments (3)  

In This House

There isn’t anything that can’t be used as a ladder.

Published in: on November 6, 2011 at 4:06 pm  Comments (2)  

Pregnancy Reflections

When I was pregnant with our twins I had not started this blog yet. I did, however, keep a blog on an online pregnancy journal website. One of the features on the site were monthly reflections for you to fill out and look back on. It was something I enjoyed, and an idea I am going to borrow.

I started thinking I might be pregnant when: I forgot the word for grocery store. I know it sounds funny, but I had major “pregnancy brain” during my last pregnancy. I forgot common words for things all the time (when I couldn’t think of the word raisin I said dehydrated grapes!) When I couldn’t think of the word popsicle, I was sure.

I found out I was pregnant: July 13, 2011. Two years to the day after I found out I was pregnant the last time.

The hardest thing for me to give up was: Not much since I eat pretty healthy and don’t drink caffeine. But I do miss having the occasional drink. Especially when all my mom friends go out :/

What I am enjoying the most about the pregnancy so far is: Feeling the baby move so much earlier and more often than with the twins.

What I least expected about this pregnancy was: All the back pain. Honestly I thought if I dodged it so easily with two babies, one would be no trouble at all. But there is a lot more lifting, bending, crawling and sitting on the floor that I have to do this time than I did the last.

My hopes:

– I hope the baby will be nice an healthy!

– I hope the kids will like being close together in age.

– I hope the girls like being big sisters and transition easily.

– I hope I don’t lose my mind with three kids under three.

My fears: I really don’t want to do the whole preemie baby/NICU thing over again. I know our chances of that happening are really small, but I can’t keep that fear out of the back of my mind.

Published in: on November 5, 2011 at 12:53 pm  Comments (3)