Saturday, April 30, 2011

Arin and The Bully

Do you ever have one of those times that your child is upset, really upset, world crushed, feelings hurt kind of upset, and while you are trying to console them, you are also trying hard to hide your laughter, which is caused by the exact thing that is sure to ruin their precious little world (for the moment)?  Yeah, we had that happen a couple of nights ago and since I do not keep scrapbooks or baby books or any other type of documentation, I wanted to write it down here to remember it, because it just really hit me the right way.

It happened a couple of nights ago.  We were at a large, outside event that our community sponsors once a year.  It was dark and we were sitting on the grass waiting for the fireworks to begin.  The kids were running around, throwing glo sticks and playing with one another.  The girls had already been playing with several of the kids for an hour or so.  I looked over and saw Arin talking to an older boy.  I'd guess him to be about seven.  I didn't think anything of it and I turned back to talk to Andrew.  My sister-in-law, Sarah, got my attention and asked what was going on with Arin and the boy.  The boy had gotten down on both of his knees in front of Arin (making him more at her eye level), who was twirling her glo sticks as she talked to him.  I didn't really see anything too unusual, but suddenly Arin turned from the boy and quickly started walking towards me.  I could tell she was upset and was fighting back tears.  She got to me and I grabbed her up and hugged her and held her in my lap.  I started questioning her as to what had happened.  She did not want to tell me.  I kept pressing on, starting to get a little worried about what had happened.  She burst into tears and a full out cry.  Again, I asked, and again, she did not want to tell me what had happened between this boy and her.  I knew it must have been something bad.  Was he teasing her?  What had he said?  Well, finally, in between sobs, I got it out of her.  According to Arin, it went something like this:

That boy over there, that really big boy (sob, sob) was asking me things like what is 2+2 and what is 10+10 (full cry) and then he asked me a really hard one (sob, cry, sob) with really big numbers that I don't even remember.  And he isn't even homeschooled!!!

Hahaha, my girl is sensitive about her math, and yes, I asked her if he said anything else about it, and she said no, she was just upset because she didn't know the answer to the really hard one.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Arin's Owl

I love that Arin loves to draw.  This is her latest creation that she gave to me today.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Cherry Cheese Tarts

Cherry Cheese Tarts
3 - 8oz cream cheese blocks, softened
5 eggs
1 cup of sugar
1.5 teaspoons of vanilla
sour cream
pie filling cherries (or blueberries)

Preheat oven to 325.
Line cupcake tins (makes 24)
Mix together the softened cream cheese, eggs, sugar, and vanilla.
Pour batter into cupcake tins.
Bake for 40 minutes.
Remove from oven and top each cheese tart with a dollop of sour cream and cherries.
Return to oven and bake for 5 minutes.
Remove from oven, allow to cool, refrigerate until ready to eat. (best served cold)

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Oatmeal Unleavened Bread

We're celebrating the biblical Feast of the Days of Unleavened Bread this week.  As a kid, we always ate the store bought matzos during this festival.  We ate them and we loved them.  I mean, we really loved that stuff and looked forward to eating it (not enough to eat it any other time of the year, but during that week, we devoured many boxes of the giant crackers).  My husband's family also ate the store bought cardboard like matzos, but he was never thrilled about them.  His mom made it tolerable to him by topping them with butter, cinnamon and sugar and baking them for a minute or so, but he never really liked them.  When he was a young teenager, his cousin introduced his mom to this recipe.  From then on, he loved and looked forward to eating unleavened bread.  He loves this stuff the way I used to love matzos.  I admit, since I have eaten this bread, I no longer love the store bought stuff, but we do buy a box or two every year.  I still like it (not love it anymore) and Arin prefers the store bought over the homemade.  Ella loves them both!

Oatmeal Unleavened Bread
1/2 c water
1/2 c butter
1/3 c honey (can use less, but we like ours a little sweet)
2 c old fashioned oats
1 & 1/3 c flour (or possibly a little more)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Bring the water to a boil.  Turn heat off.  Add butter to the water.  Stir to melt the butter.  Add the honey and stir.  In a separate bowl, mix together the oats and flour.  Add the honey/butter/water mixture to the flour/oat mix.  Stir to form a dough.  It'll be a little "wet" but not so wet that you can't roll it out.  Flour the counter, roll the dough out to about 1/4" thickness.  I work in batches.  Use a pizza cutter to cut the dough.  Place the cut dough pieces on an ungreased cookie sheet.  Bake for 10 minutes.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Zoo

We took the girls for their very first zoo trip this week.  We have taken them to places that could be considered partial zoos, like Silver Springs, Busch Gardens and Homasassa Springs, but this was the first time that we've taken them to a place that is officially called a zoo.

Arin had been asking for several months to go to and we finally had the opportunity to take her.  We had told the girls we were going on a picnic, but didn't tell them where we were going.  Once we pulled into the parking lot, Arin spotted the sign and she was so excited.  She said, "Were you trying to surprise me?"

For the most part the girls loved it.  It was about 95 degrees out, so we were very thankful for the many walkways that were lined with over-hanging trees.  We only stayed about four and a half hours and did not see everything, but we did buy annual passes, so we will be able to see other things on our next visit.

One highlight of the day was feeding the birds.  It took a little patience to find a bird willing to cooperate, but once we did, the girls both got the biggest kick out of this.

The main reason that Arin wanted to go to the zoo was because she had been seeing the commercials for the dinosaur exhibit.  She was so excited to check them out.  That excitement quickly vanished.  It was a small area that we walked around with 20 dinosaurs on display.  Their heads and mouths moved as well as some of their arms, but their feet were stationary.  Some of the dinosaurs were made to scale, so some were quite large.  They also had pre-recorded growling and roaring near every dinosaur.  The girls were scared.  They were both quickly in tears.  Andy touched the dinosaurs to show the girls that they were fake, but they were still trembling.  They were not the only kids scared of the dinosaurs.

Arin took her first roller coaster ride.  She was so excited to get on this ride and even more excited to get off it!  Andy rode with her and said that she was a good sport the first two times around, but the third trip around the track created a meltdown.  She said that she's never going on it again.

I was happy that I had planned ahead of time and packed bathing suits and sun shirts.  There were two water areas, which the kids loved playing in to cool off.

The girls loved the other activities in the kiddie area, like the train, the play land, the flying bananas ride (Arin's very favorite) and the carousel.

We ended our day by checking out the wallabies. The three females had recently become new mamas.  One of the babies was big enough to poke his head out from his mama's pouch.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Painting Pottery

We have several fun family activities planned for this week.  Last night, the girls met their cousins as a local art cafe to paint pottery.  This was the first time that we've been to this place.  The kids loved it!

Arin picked Tinker Bell.

Ella picked Mickey Mouse (her favorite tv show is Mickey Mouse Clubhouse).

Matthew picked a school bus money bank.

The kids painted the pottery and in a week, after the pieces have been fired and glazed, we'll go back to pick them up.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Yy is for Yellow Yarn

Today, the girls had fun gluing small pieces of yellow yarn to the letters Y and y.

Next, they took pieces of yarn, dipped it in yellow paint, and made pictures.  They did have fun with this, but eventually asked for paintbrushes so they could control the paint better.

Finally, the girls learned how to finger knit.  We used this video.  Originally, I had only planned this project for Arin. She picked it up right away.  While she was busy working on her bracelet, Ella got very interested too.  She took a turn at it.  I wrapped the yarn around her fingers and she would take it off each finger (the right way), but her hands are small and the yarn got too tight, so I ended up making the bracelet for her on my fingers.  I should have bought a thicker yarn for this project. 

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Pregnancy Journal: Ultrasound Scheduled!

After I wrote here that it'd probably be five or six weeks before my ultrasound, the birthing center called to tell me that they had it scheduled.  I'm having my ultrasound on Monday, May 2!  I won't be quite 16 weeks along, so I am hoping that they will be able to tell the gender.  It'll be the earliest ultrasound that I've had.  Arin's was in the 18th week and Ella's was in the 17th week.  Please leave a comment with your guess - will it be a boy or a girl???  Thanks!

Pregnancy Journal: Week 13

Yesterday was my first prenatal appointment.  I was very anxious for this appointment and it felt like it was never going to get here.  Originally, my appointment was scheduled for last week, but the midwives had something going on, so they rescheduled me for yesterday.  The thing I was most anxious about was hearing the heartbeat.  Despite the fact that I have heard the heartbeat four times prior (thanks to my sister's midwife) and despite the fact that I have been getting sick sometimes (if I wait too long to eat or when I brush my teeth), I was still nervous about it.  Finally, at the end of the two-hour long appointment, it was time to hear the baby.  My midwife tried and tried for what seemed like ten minutes, though I am sure it was less than that, to find the heartbeat.  No luck.  She did say that she picked up some kicks.  I am not sure if they were really kicks, or she was just trying to make me feel better???  I had told her that I had already heard the heartbeat, so she changed dopplers and in the first few seconds she was able to pick up a nice, strong, healthy heartbeat in the 150's.  Phew!  It was a few nerve wrecking minutes, but all seems well and the baby sounds healthy.  My next prenatal appointment is in four weeks and in the week or two after that, I will have an ultrasound.  We are very excited to find out if we will be welcoming a little boy or another little girl into our family.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Busch Gardens

Recently, Andrew's work hosted their annual company picnic at Busch Gardens.  It was the first time that the girls have been to a major theme park and they had a blast!  Andrew and I used to go to Busch Gardens just about every year from the time we were dating until we had kids.  Back then, we used to spend all day riding roller coasters.  This time, the park was a much different experience for us.  We spent our day walking around, looking at the animals, watching the shows, and playing with the girls in the kiddie area.  It was a whole new kind of fun.  As an added bonus, Busch Gardens is running a special right now: Pay for one day, play the rest of the year free.  Andrew's work paid for our tickets at a discounted rate, so for a small out of pocket fee, we will be able to go back and enjoy the fun until the end of the year.  This is great news for Arin.  She was not ready to leave and she asked to go back the next day!


The kids got soaked in the water area.  They especially loved it, because the temperature was a high of 91 that day!