Sunday, July 26, 2009

Halle's big day

It's official--Halle lost her first tooth! And boy was it exciting. The anticipation has been building for about two weeks when she first discovered she had a wiggly bottom tooth. It's something we've been talking about for awhile, as a few of her friends have lost teeth and she couldn't wait to join the ranks. We were in the car one day listening to "my wiggly jiggly tooth" and she said, "I have a loose tooth." I naturally don't pay much attention b/c I think she is just mimicking the song. But sure enough, it was loose! Yesterday she came running up to me and said, "I think it's time to pull my tooth out!" With just a few little tugs out popped her very first tooth. She put it in a bag and carried it around the rest of the day. The first thing she said after it came out was, "I can't wait to tell my Grandmas and Grandpas!" Grandma Banks told her she is the very first grandchild on the Banks side to loose a tooth. That pretty much made her day.

Now for the Tooth Fairy. She had read a story in which the Tooth Fairy brought SILVER dollars in exchange for tiny teeth. I had to do a lot of convincing over the last week that paper dollars were just as good. She put her tooth under her pillow and was asleep before 9pm (Which for us this summer is really amazing). AND she was up before 6am. This is the child who has never woken up before 8:30 on Christmas morning, but for the Tooth Fairy she is up at the crack of dawn. She was pleased as punch and can't wait to share the pics with her family and friends (although you can't really see the lost tooth in the pic--bummer) Welcome to the Big Girl crowd Halle. We hope you enjoy your stay.

What's for Dinner?

Here we go again,

Monday: BBQ Chicken Sandwiches (using the BBQ sauce Sharon recommended last week), baked beans and a fruit salad
Tueday: Spaghetti with green salad and garlic bread
Wednesday: Leftovers
Thursday: Black Bean & Sweet Potato Enchiladas from "4 little men and girly twins"
Friday: Just find something that works.
Saturday: Go out
Sunday: My mom's "Fried" Chicken, mashed potatoes and corn on the cob with a fruit smoothie

Black Bean and Sweet Potato Enchiladas
Sauté garlic and onion with 2 t. chili powder, 2 t. cumin. Add 1 C. brown rice, sauté a bit. Add juice from large can of diced tomatoes plus 1 C. water and 1 T. tomato paste. Stir and bring to boil, reduce heat, simmer until done. Cook diced sweet potatoes. Fill tortillas with rice mix, sweet pot, 2 Cans black beans and wrap… top with Salsa and bake for 15 minutes at 375.

How to surive 3 kids while your hubby is out of town

3. Early bedtime. I'm glad it's summertime and they normally go to bed while it is still at least a little light outside. This way they didn't notice I was putting them to bed at least a 1/2 hour earlier than normal.

2. Keep Busy. We went to playgroups, birthday parties, swimming, Chuck E. Cheese, shopping, etc. You might ask, "Tara, wasn't it hard to haul all the kids to these places?" My answer would be "infinitely easier than listening to them bicker over toys all day long at home."

And the #1 way to survive when your hubby is gone is NO COOKING. Seriously not one little bit. I think I blew the grocery budget for the rest of the month, but it was worth it. My house stayed cleaner and I stayed saner.

So if you too follow my 3 tips you can have a fun and enjoyable time with the kiddos even when you have no husband to help.

Rusty was in Chicago from Thurs-Sun attending the annual BlogHer comference. You might ask, "Isn't this is conference for women?" Yes, yes it is. Rusty was one of about 10 men, most who lived an "alternative" lifestyle. But he used his good looks and charisma to woo mommy bloggers into using the BlogFrog and I think the trip was a success! If you want to read more about his trip check out his BLOG.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Things I love about Blake

*I love watching him fall asleep. He gets pretty fiesty and starts thrashing around trying to find a position he likes. After much bouncing and shifting and once he finds the perfect spot he nuzzles his little head against you, claiming his territory. And if you dare shift him even one centimeter he lets you know he's none to happy about it. After the nuzzling comes the eye drooping. The blinks get longer and longer, and his tiny mouth starts twitching. Finally, the eyes close for good, and he always gives one final sigh before drifting off. Naturally, his favorite place to sleep is cuddled up next to a warm body. I don't blame him--I quite like it too!

*I love his oh so yummy baby breath.

*I love packing him around in his sling. (Most of the time). I have never used a sling before and I am loving it! Blake gets to help me do dishes, play with the kids, work on the computer, and it's all on his schedule. If he wants to nap, he lays his head on my chest and goes to sleep. If he wants to look around at the world he can. (It also protects him from his siblings!) And it's really the only way to go grocery shopping with three kids.

*I love changing his diaper. Is this wierd? He has his happiest, cutest moments while getting his diaper changed. I know most kids don't like a dirty bum, but Blake detests it. If he is stinky for even one minute, he about has a heart attack. But the second he is fresh and clean again he just starts to coo and grin.

*I love giving him baths. Just cause naked baby's are so cute.

*I love taking an afternoon nap with him. I put Josh down for his nap, get Halle busy coloring or on a computer game, and Blake and I make a mad dash for the bed. He cuddles up in the crook of my arm and we promptly go to sleep to the sound of Rusty clicking away on the computer. Rusty's computer chair has a very loud squeak, and every time the chair squeaks Blake jumps a mile. Thank heavens for swaddling!

*I love burping him b/c his cheeks bounce up and down every time I pat his back.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Boulder Creek Trail

Last Saturday we made a trek over to the Boulder Creek Trail. This is a wonderful little path that meanders through Boulder along the creek. The kids had a great time splashing in the water and throwing sticks and rocks. Throwing stick and rocks into water is seriously one of their favorite pass times. I should just fill up some buckets in the back yard, give them a pile of rocks, and I probably wouldn't see them for hours!
There are these cute little "kids fishing ponds" along the path that we had never seen before. A man and his daughter were there fishing and Halle and Josh were fascinated. The man was so nice and offered them both a few turns with an extra fishing pole he had. They didn't catch a fish, but they sure had fun trying. Another man did catch a fish and he brought it over to them to see while it was still flopping around. They thought it was the funniest thing they had ever seen.

And what would a trip to Boulder be if you didn't see anything wild and crazy. We witnessed the 2nd annual Big Wheel Rally. This is apparently where adults dress up in crazy costumes (gold capes, bright red tutus, wigs and masks of all sorts, boas, etc) and ride around a big circle on their big wheels. It was pretty entertaining and this pic doesn't do it justice at all. Josh was pretty upset that he couldn't ride one of the big wheels.

This one's for you, Dad

Finger Paining with Pudding was a favorite activity of my growing up years. This very creative and tasty idea originated from my Dad. He was always coming up with wacky, fun things for us to do. (Tickle Monster was another favorite)
I decided to keep the tradition alive, and so the other day we had a pudding finger painting fest. The kids loved it! Josh had so much fun squishing it between his fingers and them making handprints on his paper. Halle attempted an actual picture, although by the time we were done it just looked like yummy swirls of pudding.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

From the mouth of babes

We always bring a little snack to church for the kiddos (as I'm sure most of you do as well). Our rule is that they have to wait until after the sacrament to get the treat, and then if they are reverent they can have it. Josh was particularly onrey on Sunday and kept begging for his treat. I had also packed a water bottle (mostly for me) and he could see it in the diaper bag. I told him he had to wait for the bread and water to be through before he ate his treat. He then pulls the water bottle out of the diaper bag and says, "I have my OWN water. I DON'T need the church's water."
Not so Josh, not so.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Closet dividers

I have been given so many cute outfits for Blake that are for his later months, and I don't want to forget about any of them. So I went online to find closet dividers so I could separate his cloths by size. Halle and Josh are also lucky enough to have lots of cute hand-me-downs in various sizes, so I wanted some for their closets as well. Well, I did find lots of cute ones, but with shipping it ended up being about $30. So I just decided to make them myself. Final cost--about $3. I made them in photoshop with digital scrapbook paper, then cut them out an laminated them. I am not a crafty person at all, so I was quite proud of myself! I have the files saved as PDF's, so if anyone wants a copy I'd be happy to send it your way. I have boys in sizes 0-3 months all the way to 5T, and girls sizes 0-3 months all the way to size 8.


Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Back to Reality

The kids are home! We are so glad to have them back--our house was way too quiet without them. (But it is way too messy with them:) Nat, Michael and Jack flew the kids home on June 30th, then they stayed over the 4th of July. We had such a great time with them here. I think I am going to sabotage their life in Utah so they are forced to move out here. Here are some of the highlights:

Boulder Res: The kids adore this lake! We had fun just splashing in the water and playing in the sand. Halle calls it the "Beach" and I think she'd go everyday if she could!
Boulder Res

Celtic Woman: Nat and I left the babies with the boys and took off for a girls night out. We went to Red Rocks and saw Celtic Woman. It was awesome! Their harmonies are some of the most beautiful I've ever heard. And they have a violinist who really knows how to put on a show! But the best part might have been the woman sitting across from us-- bright yellow shirt, bright green skirt, fanny pack--doing some sort of tai-chi like movements throughout the whole concert. It was hard to concentrate on the stage with such entertainment close by. It started to rain while we were there (not too hard) and the thunder echoing off the rocks sounded amazing. On the way home it started to POUR. We had to pull off the freeway and wait it out. It was nice to get away for a night, and now when I need to relax I just load Celtic Woman on the ipod and drift away.

Hiking Mt. Bierstadt: On the 4th Michael and Rusty hiked a 14er. It was the perfect day for it, and they had a lot of fun. Nat and I took the kids to the Boulder Farmers Market, which was quite the adventure. We ended the day with Old Chicago pizza to offset all the organic, healthy snacks we had at the farmers market.

4th of July Fireworks: Sara and Brian and Fam joined us for this annual Vista Ridge tradition. We had a BBQ in the park, complete with blowup toys for the kiddos, then off to the fireworks. I think this is the first year none of the kids were scared. Josh had some pretty funny faces, and Halle still covers her ears, but no one cried. (Jack and Blake slept through the whole thing)
4th of July