Easter Eggs

20140418-114705.jpgWe dyed Easter eggs yesterday. First, for those with little ones, there’s a pin on Pinterest where you place the egg inside a wire whisk and let them dunk the whisk. It’s GENIUS! Xander did that for the first twenty minutes and didn’t get dirty at all! Then he decided he wanted to use his hands to get the egg out of the whisk and we slowly spiraled into a melt down.
It made me a bit thankful we only do this once a year, because my neat freak child couldn’t handle it more than that. We ended our egg dying experience by accidentally knocking a cup over, and I thought he was going to shatter the windows by the high pitched shrieking that followed. The ends of his nails are still colored today, but he hasn’t noticed thankfully.

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What I’ve noticed is how beautiful the eggs he dyed turned out. There is a sheriff’s deputy here that is known for saying “I look at these beautiful children and know there is a God in heaven.” And that’s kind of how I felt when I saw Xander’s eggs this morning.

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When we set them aside to dry they were all solid colors, and I’ll be honest several of them were the famous “preschool gray”. If you don’t know what that is, look at any preschool paint palate. All the colors get mixed and you end up with a gray or brown color depending on what colors were given to start. The gray colored eggs ended up being some of the prettiest ones though. I’m not sure what caused it to happen, but all the eggs ended up looking speckled.

20140418-115019.jpgNow, of course I see my children and know there’s a God in Heaven, but when their artwork comes out like this it completely proves it. I hope you and your family have a blessed Easter! He IS risen. :)

Peek A Boo

20140416-204954.jpgThis little cutie has found out how much fun peek a boo is, and we are currently playing multiple times a day.

20140416-205003.jpgTonight Xander started our game while face-timing Granddad on the iPad. Then Liam joined in and I took these photos. He would hold the washcloth up, and then pull it down, but the water would go down his face as he opened his eyes. If you’ve never played bath-time peek a boo with a baby, you haven’t lived! It was quite possibly the cutest 15 minutes of our day.

Too much excitement

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Yesterday the boys got to spend the majority of the day with Nana and Granddaddy Luna. They had an absolute blast being outside most of the day, getting lots of new toys and clothes, and just having a great time getting extra attention, but neither of them took really good naps. (Xander slept all of 10 minutes!!) So today, when Liam woke up at seven I tried my hardest to keep him quiet so Xander could sleep. Sleep he did! Xander slept until 8:30, an hour and a half later than the norm, which meant Liam got to play with ALL the toys by himself! The boys are both awake now and enjoying the new toys nana brought, and I’m enjoying a little “me time” before we brave going to the grocery store. This afternoon I plan on starting to dye eggs with the boys. I can’t believe Easter is on Sunday! This year has flown by so far!!

Motherhood: What They Don’t Prepare You For

20140409-194612.jpgI have plenty of posts where I praise my children and tell the world how beautiful they are on the inside. Today’s post is not one of them. Don’t get me wrong, the boys are a close second to the center of my world, and that will never change.
What does change is my perspective on motherhood. There are days when I contemplate how much easier my life would be without babies. Yes, I’d be working outside of the home, and who knows what that would entail. But, there wouldn’t be a 10 month old unfolding every piece of perfectly folded laundry as soon as I set it down. And in a world without my children I wouldn’t listen to my toddler scream for fifteen minutes because “I want to throw it away myself!!” after you finally threw something away after asking him to do it several times.

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Nobody tells you that there are days as a stay at home mom where you lock yourself in the bathroom once your husband gets home from work to cry a little. It isn’t because life is so horrible, because in reality you love your children more than anything and would give everything for them. Today I cried because I’m just overwhelmed. I’m overwhelmed by Liam getting four teeth at once, I haven’t slept through the night in nearly three years, Xander proved that a sugar high is not an urban legend, and the amount of dishes I still needed (and need) to get done, etc. etc. The list could go on for days.

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Motherhood is overwhelming. It is. And I’m sure every mom would agree with me that every stage has it’s quirks. (I say this knowing that my 2.5 years of being a mother are not sufficient in telling of every stage of parenting!) Every stage also has it’s absolutely justifying moments. For example, Liam took two unassisted steps today! They weren’t to me of course but he “walked” to our lab, Piper. Xander is in love with bounce houses now, and today he semi-conquered his fear of the Easter Bunny when he went up and high-fived the creepy 7 ft tall fur-ball!
My children are just as beautiful on the inside as I believe them to be on the outside. And even though there are days that I would like to pull out every strand of hair on my greying head, I enjoy nothing more than being their mother. So motherhood, they don’t tell you everything when you sign on but honestly, they don’t have to. Even if I had 52 days in a row like my crazy day today, my kiddos would flash a smile and that one second would make everything else worth it.

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Cooking With Toddlers: Green Smoothie Muffins

Green Smoothie MuffinsIf you’ve got a picky eater, or are just trying to find ways to be sneaky and boost the nutrition your little ones are getting, I have news for you.  You don’t have to drink your green smoothies!  You can eat them too!

Xander is a muffin fanatic!  No kidding, this kid can eat a dozen muffins in one sitting if we let him; he’s like his momma and would absolutely fail if he had to do any lo-carb diet! But, I’ve been trying to eat a little healthier and while banana bread muffins are delicious, I couldn’t help but cringe when I looked at how much sugar we were adding to the batter!  I did a little searching and was able to come up with a few modifications to our normal recipe, and while it doesn’t taste exactly the same, both boys are gobbling down muffins as I type!

The very first thing you’re going to do is preheat your oven to 350 degrees!

It might not look like it, but there are four cups of spinach/kale in there!

It might not look like it, but there are four cups of spinach/kale in there!

Then you begin by shoving your bananas, coconut oil, milk, and as much kale and spinach as you can fit into your blender.  Toddler Baking

Next, have your adorable toddler empty all the dry ingredients into the mixer.  You can pre-measure and let them dump a bowl, but we’re working on counting and letting Xander measure things out himself lately. (It’s going pretty well!)Toddler Baking 2

Next you (or if you’re really brave your toddler) can go ahead and pour the contents of the blender into the mixing bowl.  Mix everything just until it’s the same consistency.  You can teach your child the word homogenized if you want—it’s pretty darn cute hearing a two year old say it, just FYI.Mixing Green Smoothie Muffins

Once everything is mixed, use an ice cream scoop to pour equal amounts into muffin tins.  You want them to be about 2/3s full, we ended up with 17 muffins, but you could end up with more or less.  We baked them for 19 minutes, but I started toothpick testing at 17 because our oven is a bit temperamental and I never know if it’s having a good day or not.

The muffin pan on the left is a prime example of why I'll never be a food blogger! Haha.

The muffin pan on the left is a prime example of why I’ll never be a food blogger! Haha.

My boys, even picky eater Liam, devour these muffins.  The best part is that I feel comfortable letting them have seconds, or even thirds since I know what is in them.  Paul thinks they are pretty good also, even if they are a bit healthier than the sugar-laden banana bread he loves so much!

 

Yes, that's Liam's little hand grabbing at the muffins!

Yes, that’s Liam’s little hand grabbing at the muffins!

Recipe:

  • ¼ cup coconut oil
  • ¾ cup vanilla almond milk (dairy milk also works, you’ll just need to add a tsp of vanilla)
  • 2 cups kale
  • 2 cups spinach
  • 2 ripe bananas
  • ¼ cup honey (this is “to taste,”  we only added 2 TBS this time and still loved them!)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp salt
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line muffin pans with paper liners.  (We needed 17, but we always fill the pans with liners and then take away what we don’t use.)
  2. Blend coconut oil, milk, kale, spinach, honey, and bananas in blender until completely pureed.
  3. Add remaining ingredients to mixing bowl.  Mix well.
  4. Add the blended ingredients to mixing bowl and stir until completely combined.
  5. Fill muffin cups about 2/3 full and bake 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.  Enjoy!

    At this point you should pick up your fussy baby and let him think he's helping.

    At this point you should pick up your fussy baby and let him think he’s helping too!