Thursday, October 27, 2011

ok... this is just one I don't want to forget.

So I should be writing about the kids and the fun days and milestones but nope.  This is all I have for now...  YUMMY!!
from That's so Michelle...  blog

Cranberry Margarita

I had planned on posting these really delicious baby red potato bites (a perfect Sunday football snack or party app.) but I'm in such a cranky mood right now that a cocktail just seemed much more appropriate.

It's Friday and I could use a margarita, how about you?

A postal services truck that was going only 10 mph some how managed to cut me off this morning and it was enough to make me curse out loud. 

Coffee splashed out of my mug on to my desk and I almost cried about it because I had just finished cleaning up coffee that I had already spilled in the bathroom while doing my makeup.

I don't know what's going on with me ....  but it's been a rough 24 hours.

All I can say is TGIF.  Tonight we will hop in the car with the Honey Bear and head to Southern Virginia to spend sometime with the grandparents and I think it's just what I need.

Long games of evening scrabble, fall leaf rides through the Blue Ridge Mountains, family brunch and maybe even a trip to a vineyard.

Ahhhhh all better.  Now, about this margarita, local grocery stores just started stocking fresh cranberries in the produce section. Their tart factor is just about the same as a regular lime margarita but the color is GORGEOUS and it's so seasonable.

Rim the glass with sugar and you've got a crowd pleaser, or a mood tamer, whatever you need ;)

Shopping List (makes two cocktails)
1 1/4 cup cranberry juice   
1/2 cup sugar   
1 1/2 cup cranberries (fresh)   
3/4 cup lime juice
3/4 cup tequila
1/2 cup grand marnier

Place your cranberries and sugar in a sauce pan on medium heat until the berries burst (about 10 minutes). With a bowl or large glass under a strainer, pour your cranberry and sugar mixture into the strainer so that the syrup runs out into the glass or bowl below.

In a cocktail shaker add your cranberry juice, lime juice, tequila, grand marnier, ice and cranberry syrup. Shake vigorously and pour into a sugar rimmed glass.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Catching Up

OK..  I am so unbelievably behind but here is my shot at catching up with our very busy spring.  Just trying to remember the small things between all the big steps--so here's what we've been up too-
-Oma visited this spring and had a great time with the boys and helped with Ian's surgery.  She and Luke really became best friends during the visit.
-Ian had his tonsils out after too many cases of strep and came through it like a champ!
-We celebrated Easter with a quick trip to Knoxville and the most fun Easter egg hunt ever with all the cousins.
-Ian won the game ball at his tball team game after his surgery.
-We took the boys to Disney.
-Luke had his 2nd birthday at T-Rex at Disney.
-Ian had his end of the year party at school, end of the season party and field day at school.

Lots of pictures to come and lots of fun details when I can get my head together!  The boys are growing so fast and changing every day--takes my breath away!! 

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Jedi Training Camp--AKA Gymnastics BDay

OK--I'm nuts when it comes to parties.  Love them and I swear in another life I will be an event planner.  Secretly it's one of my passions to throw a fun party.  Ian had his 5th birthday party at All Around Gymnastics and they did such a great job with the Jedi Training Camp.  Starwars is his newest passion and we had so much fun with it.  Kids loved taking home lightsabers too!!!  Seriously--would love to do this all the time but with every fun event is a bit of learning that comes along.  What did I learn? 

-Parent drop off parties are still lots of fun!!  I wasn't sure about it this year but it really was a blast.
-Kids really get it at 5.  (Example- we had a small cake for Ian decorated with Darth Vader that was at most a 4 person cake.  Well--the kiddos at the cake end of the table had a very heated and engaged debate on how all the kids at the party were going to get cake when the cake is so SMALL...  I loved it!!)
-5 year old kiddos are not quite ready for sparkler candles--I think I terrified half of the kids at least 3 peed their pants--not really but it was definitely an attention getter)

-5 year olds can have a TON of fun!!!!!

Silly Sweet Naughty and Nice Luke Man

What !?!?!  I have a dirty face???

You have to be kidding me!

Fine--maybe it's dirty but YOU will not wipe it off!!

Even Batman loves a good lollie!!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Tiny Town

We wrote a letter for Oma and mailed it

Clean shave

No 5'clock shadow here

Ian and his best buddy Owen

Ian is the traffic director for Owen and Nicholas
Ian's school had a tiny town and it was so cute to see the kids work in the minature town.  Ian and I worked at the hardware store, mailed a letter in the post office, Ian had a shave and a cut in the barber shop, drove the cars through the car wash and went to the city hall to meet a police man.  Serious cuteness!

First Sleep Over

We had our first real sleep over and how much fun!!  Mia and Eli had a blast spending the night and all four kids played SO well together.  It was a blast to see them all gel together.  I think it will be the first of many.

Happy 5th Birthday!!

My big man really is getting BIG!  My super sweet first born turned 5 this week and it seems like such a big birthday.  He has officially left the preschool stage and it now a BOY.  He has had such a break out year-shedding lots of his shyness and really taking on a bolder personality.  Can't believe it was just 5 years ago that Marco and I jumped into the most amazing jobs that we could ever imagine.  It's been such a wonderful trip and getting to see the world through his eyes has been oh so fabulous!  We've had lots of fun, laughs, giggles, tears, screams and it just keeps getting better. 

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Everything I thought I knew...

Well--I wasn't expecting this one...  MR LUKE at 20 months has figured out how to climb out of his crib.  WHAT....  today after a struggle for nap and going back to his room three times to console him I thought that I had won.  It was really quiet in his room and after a small little victory dance, I went down stairs.  It was about 10 minutes and I hear the click of the top gate shut and boy oh boy the little man was on the stairs with a guilty grin 10 miles wide.  I still can't believe it !!!  What now?  This is new territory for mamma--I guess we will be shopping for a big boy bed this weekend.

So Luke is officially my little monkey climber where his brother was definitely the jumper.  I put him back in the bed and was asking him what he did.  In true Luke fashion (no words..  just action), he used his arms to pull his body up just enough in the corner to swing his leg up and over.  Voila out of the bed!!!  Big SIGH...  but I have to love his determination.  Ian is my child that will talk, or dare I say whine, you into submission (maybe a corporate lawyer or UN negotiator in his future).  Then I have the child that goes in a room, accesses the situation and walks right in to take what he wants!  All the while flashing a charming little smile so you forget he just took your watch (sales--definitely sales in his future).

Wow what you start figuring out about the world while raising children.  It's so obvious just how different personality types are and how they start to emerge far before the child has the maturity to formally express himself or herself.  So early you can see what drives a child and generates the energy that makes them go.  It's also so beautiful to see those personalities navigate the world and how they treat the world differently.  Truly a ever changing battlefield!!!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Sometimes you win.... sometime well you win

Ok there are days when the kids are just so funny how can you not write it down.  Ian and Luke fill every minute of my day with fun, laughs, screams and giggles.  Sometime in the last couple of months we have achieved this amazing balance but boy do they get the best of me some days!  This was one of the days that they both amazed me in the best and funniest ways.  Many days I fail to see the beautiful moments that happen every day.  It's so easy to get caught up in what has to be done, where you need to be, what you have or don't have that it's nice to stop and take a breath.  In those small "breathing" moments it's so wonderful to take some time to see what incredible little people I am blessed to have in my life. I don't want to forget the silly little moments-

-When we were getting ready this morning Ian decided I wasn't keeping up with the laundry as I should.  He took it into his own hands to "really get his socks and undies clean and taken care of.." and loaded up the washing machine.  I love it!!! Some girl will thank me in the future if he is already doing laundry!
-Dinner really rocked tonight and Ian was especially enthusiastic about eating of all things, MEATLOAF??  He told us it was the best meal ever and decided it was so good he should "slap his mother"! thanks Marco.  Haha
-Luke has been super snugglie lately and nothing melts my heart more.  We have a new morning routine where Marco gets him up and he snuggles with me for about 15 minutes before we really have to get up.  It is is an absolutely perfect way to start the day.  This morning was particularly special because I was lucky enough to get snuggles form both of my boys.  Can't beat that !!!  Even this night owl can love these mornings.
-Luke blew my mind when he counted out one, two, three, four...  we have been practicing anytime we walk up the stairs or do repetitive activities.  I count just to expose him to the numbers or get him to move along.  I was floored and so proud of the little smartie!!
-I am also trying something new with Ian--those cute ears are having lots of trouble listening.  Ohhhh so frustrating to say things over and over and over and over then end in yelling .  So my new zen is allowing Ian to choose and getting one chance.  I am sooo trying not to yell but hold firm with what I say and Ian has to learn to live with the consequences of his choosing not to listen.  Wish me luck--this one is so hard for this hot tempered mama.  I am going to win--I know Ian is such a good kid but we have to find a better place with the listening.  Deep breath and sigh.... please work!!
-Luke's new thing is to put things in his onsie to hide them.  So we have found pacifiers, hot wheel cars, coins, ..  we could keep going here.  Today-it was so funny to see him try and stuff big mega blocks down his shirt.  He had his shirt stretched out and could hardly move.  What goes through his head??

It's an adventure raising two boys!!!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Snow tubing part 2

Snow tubing

SNOW days

Add caption

Well--our less than southern weather has been insane in January.  Over 6" of snow and up to 1/2" of ice fell and what a winter wonderland.  I am a bit like a kid when we get the rare snow here but it is insane this week.  We had so much fun to see the snow and Ian had a blast.  He's such a dare devil and couldn't wait to take a run down the hill on an inner-tube.  He would stay outside for hours!  Wet feet and cold hands didn''t stop him.  Luke didn't share his love for the weather-he screamed with big alligator tears the entire time he was down alone.  I think it was less about the snow and more about having to wear all the layers to stay warm including the mittens!  Buzz probably loved the weather most of all and would stay out all day!  Looks like our entire week may without school. 

Boy oh Boy.... Luke is 20 months

Sweet and crazy little Luke is not so little anymore!  Can't believe that this baby has been with us for 20 months.  What a nuts little guy--my little extreme man!  He is absolutely the happiest most giggly boy and at the same time can clear a room with his screams.  He's grown up so much in the last month and we are having so much fun (more every day)!!
Luke is a boys boy..  he loves loves BALLS of any time or any kind.  And he has a wicked throw!!  He also likes dinosaurs and books and would read all day long!  He is also talking all the time now and about half I understand.  He is becoming a little parrot -- every day new words and putting words together.  My new favorites are:
-uwwww "tinky" when we change his diaper
-he loves to tell secrets and whisper in your ear but it sounds like "whish sowdens whenssit" every time
-mama has evolved into Mommeeee
-okkeee and tank ewuu
-peeesssee (please)
-orange juce
-nose, ear, eye, mouth, haaair, toooes, tummy, head, hair
-nooooo!!!  (this one drives me nuts) and "esss"
-broder EEN
and the best for last..
-"TA DA" when he does something special
There is definitely a trend with his words--he loves to stretch out the vowels.  

He thinks he can do anything Ian does and gives it a good try, possibly too good of a try for me.  He can climb ANYTHING but isn't the jumper that his brother was at this age.  He is a dance machine and loves to do it anytime the music hits and even when there is no music.  Jacks Big Music show is his favorite tv show now (oh yeah--he says "t show") and will shake that little money maker the whole time!  He tells me when he has a dirty diaper and wants to pretend to pee in the potty.  (again anything any does!)
Ohhh eating is a struggle-he is a two bite baby.  He will eat two bites of things and then locks down his teeth!  Exhausts me to feed him and so much he wants to do himself and is sooo messy.  This is also how he has become the best buddy to Buzz!

Christmas was a blast playing with his brother and cousins but he didn't quite get the gift opening yet.  He was a little hesitant and then just wanted to play with Ian's stuff.  We had a first by spending Christmas Eve with just our family of four in Atlanta.  It was great having the boys at home overnight and waking up for Santa here!  New Kuysten tradition.

We have also started going to church and he did great with his class.  No tears the first time and Marco and I were shocked.  So proud and there are so many boys in the class for him to grow with over the years.  Gymboree is a new thing too and we'll see how much he likes it.  A little quiet and tears at the start of the first class but think he really had fun.

He gives sweet kisses now and hugs all the time!  He cuddles more now and snuggles blankie all the time.  The "baba" (passie) is mandatory at night and he is experimenting with thumb sucking when he sees his brother doing the same.  It's so funny because he doesn't get it at all and always makes his silly little grin when he tries. 

It's been a beautiful month with the little man and can't wait to see what the next brings.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Waking up to Santa

The Boys

Love the hair

Seriously--are you making me do more picts

So Handsome

Brothers goofing around

Luke always has a ball in his hand

Ian's new best friend

Playing outside

Me and my truck

Pictures by Keri Janton - November 2010

More funny Ianisms

So it may be a little silly to write down so many of the funny things Ian says but it's the simple things that make me smile.  I smile every time I reread the posts of how the big man is growing and love the glimpses into what he is really thinking.

-I was so excited to show him a picture of me and my brother and sister sitting on Santa's lap thinking there would be such a great moment shared.  Ian's comment "MOMMY--Why were you a boy when you were little?"  (yes mother--thank you for the delightful Dorthy Hammel (spelling ??) haircut)!

-After a completely awful attempt at dinner (I actually burned the frozen pizza so severely that a layer of smoke flooded the downstairs), I was telling Marco that I was a total failure today and Ian chimed up "Really Mommy, I thought you were just half a failure!".  

-When  I was trying to get Ian's week scheduled I told him what we had planned and after a little thought he told me "OK mommy, this sounds good but when do I get a day off?!"