September 26, 2008

Any Advice? Anyone? Anyone?

His charming looks are deceiving!
I have found this works to calm him down
But so does this :)

It happened about 2 months ago, coincidentally when Jake was getting ready to leave. Or maybe that wasn't a coincidence. Eli is almost 2 and is very much the typical 2 year old. I don't mind the battle of dominance (him wanting to control himself and Me wanting to control him), the tantrums, the mischievousnesses, the endless chattering, "MoMMY! Motorcycle! Motorcycle!" "MoMMY! Hear dogs barking!" I hear these things a lot. He likes to tell me EVERYTHING he hears. "MoMMY! Hear Grandpa!" "MoMMY! Hear tar-tar (guitar)" My personal fave is the repetitive yelling on my name in the car, "MOMMY! MOMMY! MOMMY! MOMMY!" When he was just starting to talk he would always say, "Mommy!? What." Because I would always ask "what?" right after he called me. He would say that over and over and it drove me a little nuts sometimes, but now I kinda miss it. Maybe I will miss him yelling my name over and over too?
What I DO mind is his refusal to take naps. He is way to young (for my own sanity) to stop taking naps. He does need them too. When he doesn't take a nap he is ornery in the evening. He will pound his flinstone feet against the mattress of the crib, which reverberates through the two story house. He yells and screams. For 2 hours. SOMETIMES he will give in and fall asleep. He has also taken to waking up at night. He will wake up 1-3 times and is awake crying for at least 30 minutes. This has been going on for weeks. I'm down to 2 conclusions: He's having nightmares OR has separation anxiety. I was thinking nightmares, so I did a little research and found that it is very common for toddlers to wake up multiple times at night due to separation anxiety over the deployed parent. Either way, I'm doing all I could for either. So far the last 2 nights have been interruption free, so lets hope it lasts.
Anyway, I know you all sympathize. Almost all kids go through it, and although it drives me crazy sometimes, there are so many awesome things about this age to enjoy. Like him "sharing" his breakfast with the dogs...got to go...
Brynn doesn't try to suck on my nose anymore! Come on, I know all parents do it!! It's such a precious newborn reflex. I noticed yesterday as I pressed my face to hers that she didn't even go for my nose like usual. Of course, I tried it again a few times and nothing. It made me sad to realize that she's not in that 'newborn' phase anymore. She's 3 1/2 mo. old now and getting bigger every week. She is the chunker of all her baby friends, just like Eli was. Hopefully her length will give her a girlish figure in the long run and not the tank of a body my son has :) Both my kids are such a blessing in my life, they bring me so much joy in a time that I really need it.

September 16, 2008

An Excerpt

I have to thank my friend/cousin-in-law Randi for sending me the Zippy books a few years ago. They continue to make me laugh out loud, even after the third read. Here's a long excerpt, one of my favorites:

"I was convinced Edythe ate puppy stew in order to give her the strength to put spells on people. I thought this because my sister had also mentioned, in passing, that if Edythe got me in a hard-core eye-lock she could draw me right into her house, which was unimaginable. When I pressed for the details of what Edythe would do to me once she had me, Melinda became uncharacteristically silent. "Tell me! I have to know! I have to know how to protect myself!" "Well, sweetheart," she began, while gently trying to press down a clump of my gravity-defying hair, "you know she hates all of us, but especially you. There isn't really anything you can do." I felt the urge to shimmy up my sister's body like a panicked little money. "Why?!" I wailed. "Why does she hate me so much?"...."She hates you because she and Mom used to be best friends, and then you came and broke up their friendship by demanding so much attention"....I sat down in the yard, defeated. Half of my butt was falling into a big earthworm hole I'd dug in the middle of the night...."But didn't she know I was going to get born when Mom was pregnant for me? Couldn't they have just worked southing out then?" Melinda looked off into the distance, still patting the top of my head. "What? Lindy. What." "I don't think I should be the one to tell you." "Aaaaaahhh! Tell me what?!" I knew from Marcus Welby, M.D., that this could and did sometimes happen, that bad news was followed by more and more bad news, until finally the doctor was telling you that you had to give up coffee, which I knew for a fact would have killed my dad. "Mom doesn't want you to know yet, but I think you're old enough." She paused for dramatic effect, as my heart leaped around in my chest like a bluegill on a line. "You're adopted."...I had to lie straight down in the dirt. Oh my [gosh]. This explained so many things. I couldn't think of any right off hand, but I knew my life was about to become tragically clearer to me. When the sky stopped twirling I jumped up and ran straight in the house to my mother...I skidded to a stop in front of her and gave a look of hardest accusation. Without looking up at me she said, "You should brush that worm stuff off before you come in the house." "As if that matters! How could you not tell me I was adopted?! Don't you think I have a right to know? And who were my real parents anyway?" I was trying to be mature, but periodically spit flew. "Gypsies, honey." She had still not looked up from [her book]. "Gypsies? Really?" This was somewhat compelling. I sat down. "They were just passing through....They were such a great sight." There were at least forty-two questions I needed to ask, but only one that really mattered. "What did you trade for me?" Mom looked at me lovingly. "A green velvet bag." "A velvet bag?!"...If you had such a great bag...then why did you trade it for me?" "The gypsies were camped out down at the school playground, and one night your dad I and I were drawn by the preaching wolves. And just before we left we peeked inside on of the wagons, and there you were, lying on a sheepskin rug in a pool of lantern light....one look at you and it was just like falling in love." "Ugh." I made a little throwing-up face..."Plus, you were born with a tail." I looked up at her, completely speechless, my mouth hanging open exactly like a creature with a tail. "We had it removed so your pants would fit. Also we didn't want you to suffer in school." I jumped up and headed for the door. "Okay, thanks, that's good enough for me, I'm just going to go outside for a minutes and..." I stood on the front step for a moment, contemplating the news...
"Did she tell you?" Melinda asked..."Oh. Yeah, she told me." And I stepped off the front porch and headed for the drugstore...I took myself and my gypsy blood and my tail and walked right past Edythe's house instead of crossing the street like I always did...

I highly recommend these books to anyone that likes to read! They are memoirs written from a child's point of view, and hilariously so. The first is called 'A Girl Named Zippy: Growing Up Small in Mooreland, Indiana' and the second is "She Got Up off the Couch: And Other Heroic Acts from Mooreland, Indiana.' Both written by Haven Kimmel.

September 13, 2008

By Popular Demand..

It's high time I share this recipe with ya'll. We first had this cake at our great friends' the Cleaves' house and they only had three pieces, one for them to share, one for Jake and I to share, and one for their boys to share. So Jake and I are devouring our piece and there are a few bites left. I had to go to the bathroom, so I excuse myself and when I come back....Jake ate the rest of the cake!! I was so mad!! I took my revenge by completely trashing him in Settlers of Catan. Thank goodness Shelley gave me the recipe so I can make it all the time. I don't know the name...maybe Devilishly Delicious Chocolate Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting?? Call it what you like and make sure you have a tall glass of something cold to go with it. I would say milk, Jake would say Diet Dr. Pepper.

Cake:
1 Yellow Cake Mix
3/4 Water
2 Eggs
1/2 Oil
1 Sm. Instant Chocolate Pudding Mix
1 c. Sour Cream
Beat all ingredients 3 mins. Fold in 1 1/2 c. chocolate chips. Grease & flour (I used cocoa powder to flour) bundt pan. Bake at 350 for 50-55 mins.
Frosting:
1/4 c. Butter, softened
3 3/4 c. Powdered Sugar
2 tsp. Vanilla
1/2 c. Milk
12-16 oz. Smooth Peanut Butter
This makes a lot of frosting. I have made it thick with a lot of powdered sugar to be able to ice the whole cake and I have made it thinner with less powdered sugar and more milk to make it a thicker drizzle. I actually like the consistency of the drizzle better...but thats just me!

That's it. I know, easy and not very home-made at all. But I never said it was! ENJOY :)

September 12, 2008

A Celebration!

Each month that passes I have a little party with my family and my in-laws. We eat lots of yummy food and celebrate that it's another month down and we're that much closer to seeing Jake! So far we have had one party and are about to have another...it's been two months. Of course I don't leave Jake out, it's his party too! Have you ever heard about a 'cake-in-a-jar'? Each month when I make our dessert for the party, I make some for Jake too, but I bake it in a jar. After it's done baking you seal the jar while it's hot and then freeze till you're ready to send it. I was skeptical because it takes 10-14 days to get packages to Kuwait, but Jake says it turned out great and was still really moist. Fun idea!
She was pretending to lick the cake but it looks like she's barfing on it. It was really very good! I love this cake...can't go wrong with chocolate and peanut butter!!
Cake-in-a-jar! These have been frozen, that's why they look a little frosty