Wednesday, January 25, 2012


This is the latest addition to our home decor:
 We love it. 

We've spent most of the past 3 weeks hanging around the house in our underwear.
 It was totally worth it because . . .
Leo is potty trained!
(And, as of now, Jay is doomed to be in diapers forever.
I never want to potty train another kid, ever!)

This is Jay's new favorite past time: 
 It's called, "Climb on the Back of the Couch Until Mom Sees You and You Get Spanked."
Guess who taught him.

This is Leo's idea of posing for a picture.
 Also, he's obsessed with that hat and gets mad when Ty takes it to work.
He does that often since it's part of his uniform.

Jay is really good at entertaining himself and will read like this for 20 or 30 minutes at a time. (Or as long as Leo is otherwise occupied.)

And lastly, a self portrait by Leo

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


Like nearly everyone else, one of my New Year's Resolutions involves becoming less fat. 
I thought I'd share a few things I've found that are helping me to accomplish that.

Fat free Reddi Wip
 In spite of the ridiculous way they have chosen to spell "ready whip" this stuff is delicious and only 5 calories for 2 tablespoons. You can put it on sugar-free jello and get your sweet fix for only 20 calories. Or you can eat it by the spoonful. My record is 20 servings at one sitting. Still only 100 calories.

Skinny Cow Ice Cream Cups
 These are definitely not as good as real ice cream, but they're one of the best imitations out there. And you can have more than a tiny spoon full and still eat other stuff without blowing your whole day. I especially like to scoop the ice cream into a cake cone (only 20 calories). It makes me feel like I'm getting more ice cream since it overflows the cone. And, cones are yummy. Especially when they're soaked with melted chocolate fudge brownie "ice cream."

 Nabisco Fudge Petites
 I randomly grabbed these from the plethora of 100 calorie snacks, and they are delicious! Melt-in-your-mouth, mint chocolatey goodness. More of an occasional splurge than an every-day snack for me, but that's because I like quantity, and these have a pretty small serving size.

Quaker Rice Cakes
 These are good for salty or sweet cravings. I especially like the caramel and the white cheddar. You can also get the bags of mini rice cakes, but I prefer these because the serving size is smaller and therefore less calories. I'm usually satisfied with one and even if I eat two it's less calories than a serving of the mini-cakes.

 Whole Wheat Ritz Crackers
All I can say is, "Where have you been all my life?" These crackers are so good! They still have that buttery flavor of regular Ritz, but also a nuttiness from the wheat. They are really good as a base for tuna or chicken salad, but they're best with cheddar. And you can have 5 crackers for 70 calories, which is about the same as plain saltines.

Ritz Crackerfuls
At 130 calories each this is probably the least diet-friendly item on my list. I really like it for an occasional treat though. It's just enough different from the every-day to feel like you're getting something special. 

Special K Cracker Chips
These are a little weird tasting, but if you want a lot of something for a relatively small amount of calories, these are for you. A serving is 27 chips, and that's 110 calories. I usually use these as a base for tuna/chicken salad, since that hides their weirdness a little, and I usually only have 15 of them, which makes it even fewer calories.

Sara Lee 45 Calories and Delightful
 There's nothing really special about this bread other than that it's 90 calories for two slices. Regular Sara Lee bread is 150 calories for two slices, and the really yummy bread is closer to 200.

Yes, that's right. Powdered peanut butter. I found this at the Commissary completely by accident one day. The ingredients are peanuts and sugar. You reconstitute it with water, so you save the calories that the oil usually adds. Now, it does not in any way compare to actual peanut butter, but at 45 calories per 2 tablespoon serving it's good enough. You can have an entire peanut butter and jelly sandwich (using sugar free jam and the sara lee bread) for fewer calories than 2 tablespoons of actual peanut butter. And it would probably be really good in something like no-bake cookies.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012


This little boy:

*Hates the beach.
(Funny story: It's apparently really dangerous to swim here because the waves are really strong and there are riptides. We didn't know this until our third trip to the beach. Leo may have gotten knocked around a little bit by some rather large waves and now he's terrified of them. To the point that when Ty and I were in the water he was throwing a huge tantrum, clawing at the sand and begging us to come back out of the water. Now any time we suggest a beach trip he just says, "I don't like the waves.")
 (This is before he developed a hatred of the beach.)

*Is in the midst of potty training (again)
and is actually getting the hang of it this time.

*Prefers to sleep on our bed.

*Loves movies about pigs, to include:
Charlotte's Web (animated and non-animated)
Charlotte's Web 2
Babe 2: Pig in the City

*Asks at least once a day if animals can talk.
("No, Leo, they cannot.")
And then asks why the pigs in the movie are talking.
("Look mom, he's talking right now.")

*Wants to be "big like daddy".
(Not to be confused with "big to touch the moon"
which is a scary thing to him.)

*Has the craziest imagination ever.
(The other day I saw him walking up the stairs, cradling the changing pad like a baby. I asked what he was doing and he explained that there was a boy on there, but he didn't have a brain. Then he ran into the other room and showed me the box where the brain was. Later I saw the changing pad laying on the floor and asked him where the boy was. He told me that he put the boy's brain back in, but he died, so he (Leo) buried the boy in the dirty clothes hamper.)

*Thinks he should be able to live on candy and soda pop.

*Struggles with being the only extrovert in a family of devoted introverts.
(I seriously need to get him in pre-school or gymnastics or something so he can re-charge his batteries without draining mine.)

*Loves helping around the house.

*Loves running (Still).
He's really into racing right now and losing is hugely devastating to him.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Jay Alvin

These days this little boy:

*Loves books.
He will make you read to him all day and night.
He's even started taking books to bed with him.

*Talks a ton.
My favorite thing he says is:
"Shank Ooo"
which is immediately followed by
over and over again.
His favorite thing to say:
He's also discovered "why?'
and asks it constantly.

*Knows animal names and sounds.
(The video is mostly of the back of his head because he'll stop as soon as he sees the camera.)

*Eats constantly.

*Likes to have his shoes on.
(Pants are optional)

*Covers his eyes when he is embarrassed, hurt, sad or angry.
(This happens a lot because, apparently, he's very sensitive.
In fact, I just flicked his mouth and he cried for Ty for a good 5 minutes.)

*Does not love nursery.

*Thinks he's big like Leo.
(Why yes, he is wearing a pair of Leo's underwear over his diaper.)

*Thinks he's too old for naps.
(Sometimes this is fine.
Other times, this happens:)

*Is perfectly happy to play by himself for a while.

*Is getting really good at matching patterns 
and finding things in books. (ie. Where is the dog?)

*Loves to hold hands.
If we go anywhere, especially the store or in the car,
he immediately says, "han!"
over and over until he gets what he wants.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Merry Christmas!

(Sorry this is late. We got the flu for Christmas and spent the next week passing it around.)
Christmas here was pretty quiet. We did get to see Santa 3 times in the weeks leading up to the big day. Neither Leo or Jay enjoyed it at all and only got near Santa in order to get candy.

Even though they didn't treat Santa very well, he still got them an awesome gift.

(Here's the tree before Santa came:)

(And after:)

I was so excited for the boys to get this gift. Leo has wanted a wagon for as long as I can remember. Every time he sees someone else with a wagon he cries when I tell him he can't get in it. And Walmart has had one of these babies on display for the entire month of December. Every time we went shopping Leo begged to "try it out" and cried when I told him no. I thought this would be such a big hit and I even recorded the boys coming down the stairs and seeing it because Ty wasn't home at the time. Their reaction was like, "Meh. Is that ours? Meh." I almost cancelled Christmas right then and there. It was a huge let-down for me.

The boys did love some of their other gifts though.
Like the Pez dispensers:

And all the junk I got in the dollar section of Michael's:

Note for next year: don't spend more that $2 on any one gift.
Also, don't decide in advance which gifts they will like best because you will be wrong.

Bonus Christmas Disaster story:
I decided to make quiet books for the boys this year. They're really loud during church and I thought it would be a fun way to keep things under control. I spent weeks coloring, cutting, laminating and assembling them. Finally Christmas day came and I was so excited to take them to church with us. They ended up being Opposite of Quiet books. I put the pieces together with velcro so every time they started playing with one there was a series of riiip, riiip, riiips. And then the, "Is this where this one goes? Mom? Mom?" and the, "I need another one! No, not that one. The other one."  It was not quite what I had expected.