Thursday, May 22, 2014

Kiddos

Here are a few of my favorite random pictures from the past week.  I've been horrible at taking and posting pictures lately.  I also have video of Natalie crawling that needs to go up.  And I've been working on their baby books!  I think the problem is that my head is spinning a million different ways.  I really need to get organized!

(On a side note - these are the directions I used for the awesome bench.  I'll add it to the post below also!)

Miles found these headphones and said "these are Nick and Izzy's" because in the car they are always listening to their music.  He felt like a big boy!



We went to the Stonebriar mall and both kids played together.  SO cute!


She is getting so big, so fast.  She loves the park - we usually hide under the playground in the cool shaded area.  


Does these shorts make my thighs look delicious?

The other day we were in the car and I looked back and saw this young man.  Hardly a toddler any more.  I wanted to cry!

This one cracks me up.  It's hard to see, but as I was putting Natalie to bed she decided to sit up and lean forward over my arm.  She then fell asleep sitting up like this.  Weirdo! 

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Take that Pinterest!

I am currently riding the "Pinterest success", high -- and it feels good!  (Awesome instructions online here!)

I'll be honest -  when I bought this $5 storage bench off a Facebook page I did not expect this to happen! 
Even trying to get it into the car by myself (with the nicest pregnant lady helping me) I thought I was in over my head.  But - $5.  I figured - if I fail, it's not that big of a deal.  The lady selling it even gave me a baby toy for Natalie because she was crying in the car.  A toy worth over $5 - so this bench was practically free!

With Tony out of town - I pulled this sucker out of the car myself and got to work!
Since the cover was torn I decided to rip it off.  It was a huge mess!
Some of the batting came off the side - so I had to get creative!
Any guesses?
Off to Hobby Lobby for some fabric and I officially have a new addiction.  Who knew Hobby Lobby was the best store in the world??
As I was checking out, the checkout lady scared the crap out of me.  She noted the fabric and then said I had to be extra careful because with the pattern if I did this wrong and it ended up crooked I would be upset.  UGH - the stress!!

Thankfully Tony was back in town for this part because he helped me make sure it was straight, helped get the corners perfect, and was a huge help as the muscle (of course!).
We took a bit of a chance with the fabric choices - but I could not be happier with how it turned out!
Now we just have to agree on where to put it.  Tony wants it here to put our feet on.  I want it in the corner as seating across the room.  Choices, choices.  :)

Anyone have a storage bench for sale??  I need at least 3 more of these in my house!!!



Dallas Zoo in the Spring


We made a spring trip to the Dallas Zoo a few weeks ago with a friend and had a blast!  I just cant get over what an awesome kid I have!!

I wore Natalie in the Maya Wrap most of the time - so no pictures of her.  But she slept and cuddled and had a great time - I promise! :)

Someone loved the goats!

 

Cheese

Feeding the Giraffes was a huge hit!



This stone mouse scared Miles so bad.  LOL

BFFs


Friday, April 4, 2014

Bedtimes

A calm has settled over Casa Lauro -- the littlest ones are asleep and we are currently threatening begging the big kids and their friends (who are staying the night) to be quiet enough to not wake them! 

I'm not holding my breath. 

But I am going to pat myself on the back.  We have started doing a "real" bedtime for both kids lately.  And it's been working!  I do realize that by talking about it - it'll all fall apart.  But for the past 2 weeks I've been doing bedtime at 9 pm for both kids, and amazingly - they both go to sleep!!

They both still sleep with us, so lets not get too excited.  But to have them both asleep by 9 is big for us.  Miles fights sleep so insanely that it was always pointless to put him to bed at a reasonable hour.   He'd fight sleep for an hour or more - until we all fell asleep-resentful at our lost evening.  CIO was never an option for us (no judgement).  Sleep training didn't ever stick because he cannot sleep the full night without us.  So we let him stay up.  It was for our own sanity really.  And he was always happy.  When he got tired, he would curl up on my lap and fall asleep - and then sleep in the next morning. Win-Win!  Sometimes he would nap during the day.  Sometimes not.

But in the last month he dropped all naps and suddenly he will fall asleep at 9 pm and sleep till 8 am - no problem!  And Natalie has been going to sleep at 9 also!!

We'll see how long this stage lasts - but I'm enjoying every second of it now! 

As Natalie is exclusively nursing still and co-sleeping with us - her sleep is still sporadic.  She's out by 9, then wakes up to nurse all throughout the night.  I think it's something like 1 am, 4 am and 6 am -  but since I'm half sleep through the nursings - I can't say for sure.  All I know is that I wake up anytime from 7am to 8am most mornings feeling pretty refreshed!

In less boring news though -- here is my favorite GIF of the week  --

Miles played with her for about 10 minutes and it was so fun! 

Then my strong baby did this!

And I was so proud!!

I'm scared.  She's gonna want to crawl soon!

Ok, so I've surfed and blogged and now I get to go to bed when I want to!  Goodnight!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Sporadic

Let's call a spade a spade -- I'm a terrible blogger. Or maybe it's just that I'm terrible at time management with these 2 kids. But by the end of the day I'm just happy we all ate and that none of us stink. Too bad.

Life with 2 is just so much easier and so much harder than I expected it to be, all at the same time! Natalie is such a great baby - she is so happy and sweet. And way more easy going than her brother ever was. But there's just 2 of them and only 1 of me. And the real kicker is that Tony has been traveling so much for work lately - that it's just tough.

It's also hard to find time to blog when neither one of your children like to sleep all that much. I thought for sure Natalie would be my sleeper - but nope -- she's just as bad as her brother.

But tonight Miles wasn't feeling well, so it was Tylenol and early bedtime and I found myself with a whole extra hour!!

Aren't they sweet! :)

Natalie is just getting so big and sweet. Some of her favorite things in no particular order (except for the first one)


  • boobs

  • laughing at her brother when he cries

  • playing with any of her brother's trains and putting them in her mouth to make him cry

  • blowing raspberries at her brother to make him mad

  • the tv remote



She also really loves every single time you smile at her (it's so sweet because she just gives you the biggest grin in the world), getting her diaper changed (she laughs when you clean her), being tickled (she's so ticklish), and of course more boobs!

On that note -- she is still nursing like a champ! I've been following all these nursing facebook pages that are kinda crazy with their "nurse-ins" and protests. But they have been SO helpful with info and encouragement. This was around the time I quit with Miles - but this time my expectations are different and we are doing so good. That's all info for another post - but suffice to say - we are both happy and my little chubbester is doing good -- so I am grateful!

She's been working on sitting up on her own lately. She really impressed her daddy the other night when she started to fall, but then corrected herself and sat back up again. It was adorable.

But, I do have to admit that I have no idea if that's what she's "supposed" to be doing at this age. I've been terrible at following and checking off her accomplishments. Second child syndrome. (That's not the word, but it's late and I'm drinking wine in celebration of 2 sleeping kids -- so we are going with it!)

In other news -- Miles is also doing so great! He's getting so big it makes me happy and sad at the same time. Some adorable things he likes to do, in no particular order -


  • Refer to himself in the 3rd person. "Have to be nice to Miles" he'll tell me when I don't let him have a 4th cookie.

  • He still worries about where Natalie is at all times. If he can't see her or doesn't know I've put her down for a nap - he has to go find her and make sure she's really okay!

  • He has a new obsession with feet and loves to grab Natalie's feet (without socks on) and say "I got my footie". He will hold her feet in the car for as long as she'l let him.

  • "I do it myself" is one of his new favorite things to say. He loves to grab his little Ikea chair and take it around the house to do things - like turn lights off and on or get napkins and then get stuck on the counter.


He really struggles with sharing with his baby sister, but I can tell he wants to be a good big brother to her. The other day he spent a good 5 minutes just trying to make her laugh and it made my heart so happy!

So that's just a bit of what we've been up to lately! Hopefully enough to hold you over until I can get back into the swing of things here.

I better get to bed before it gets too late -- I'm on solo duty for the rest of the week again. But Tony loves his job so much and I have 2 amazing children to snuggle with till he gets back - so I will count my blessing and get to snuggling!

(The wine really helps also!)

Friday, February 28, 2014

Chocolate Covered Candied Grapefruit Peels

I love to follow random Instagrammers.  Other moms, Dallas moms, or just anyone that takes beautiful pictures.  I'm not sure how I find some of them, but one of my favorites is MamaEatsPlants.  She is a vegan, but she posts such gorgeous pictures of the fruits and veggies she eats - I find it inspiring.

Right before Valentines she posted another beautiful picture of one of her rainy day ideas - candied grapefruit peels and I was fascinated.  I'd never heard of it before and knew I had to try it!!

I bought 2 grapefruits, sugar, and some dark chocolate chips. 

After some Googling (sorry Bill) I found this recipe and went to town!

Basically you first carefully remove the peels from the grapefruit leaving on as much of the pith (or white part) as you can.  (Quartering them is easiest.)  Then you slice the peels into thick strips.

Then (and this is the fun/annoying part) -- you'll boil those peels 4 separate times.  Put them in a pan, fill with water, bring to a boil and then drain the water out and start all over X 4.  You are trying to boil out as much of the bitterness as possible, so fresh water each time is important.


Then you will return to the pan and add water again and this time about 2 cups of sugar.  Place over low heat and let it simmer for about 2 hrs.  

After 2 hrs the pith starts to turn clear and you have jellies!!  It's pretty cool.  Store with the syrup in an air tight container until you are ready to use or until they cool.
I left them in the fridge for a few hours and then laid them all out on these wire plate separators to dry overnight. 

Next came the fun part!  Covering them in chocolate!  My sister suggested that it's easiest to warm the chocolate in the microwave.  Start with 30 second, try to stir and then add either 5 or 10 sec at a time to get it melted but not burnt.  Making sure to stir often.  Usually parts\ of the chocolate will be super hot and when you stir that will help melt all of it.

Then dip and let dry on some wax paper!



I got carried away and started dipping everything in the house I could find.  It was delicious!

And the candied grapefruit was the biggest hit! 

I cannot wait to make them again!  They were tart and tasted like grapefruit, but jelly and a good mix with the chocolate.  And I loved using the rinds that normally get thrown away!

Saturday, February 22, 2014

GIFs - Another Thank You to Google+

I have had this post in mind for weeks -- but for some reason I could not figure out how to get these GIFs to cooperate.  

But a little digging and - TA DAAA -- another reason to love Google+.  (Sorry Bill!) 

Somehow, when I take a few pictures in a row - Google+ will create a GIF all on it's own. Here are my favorite ones, aka all of them from my phone!

(Hopefully you can see them on your cell phones too, I imagine they might take a minute or two to load.)

We gave Miles some water in a coffee mug at the hotel on our recent trip to San Antonio and he felt so special!  It was totes adorb! 

We met up with some friends in San Antonio and Miles and Dylan hit it off great!!  New bffs!!

Best Daddy in the world took us to the zoo last weekend! 

We went to see the Butterflies at the Texas Discovery Gardens at Fair Park last week and Miles wanted some butterfly wings.  I let him pick the color on his own -- he wanted green for him and pink for baby sister.  I've never told him pink is for girls only, but that's what he wanted.  I know wings for her is probably the most frivolous thing ever - but I couldn't resist!!!


Sunday, January 5, 2014

Happy New Year

I'm sorry I was so terrible at posting last month.  Tony had an important work test to take in December, so we decided last minute to let him study in peace and I took the kids to NM to visit family and let everyone (most everyone) meet Natalie.  The kids and I left on our own at the beginning of Dec with Tony meeting us after he took (and passed, of course) his test!  

We had an amazing time - tons of family time, late night wine with my sister, beer with my nieces and nephews, shopping with my mom!  I soaked up every second with my family and relaxed as much as possible.  

Then we headed home to spend a week with the big kids and Tony's nephews and parents for New Years.  Needless to say - December was quite the busy month.  So much so that everyone left yesterday morning and I immediately crashed and realized that I am sick.  It's probably (hopefully) just a cold, but I feel horrible and do not want to get up off the couch.  

I have a few pictures and posts of our trip and New Years - but I also want to take a nap.  So I will start by sharing this fun video from Google+.  All on their own -- Google+ decided to compile some pictures from 2013, set it to music and send it to me the day before XMas and I have to say - Well Done Google+!!  I still do not understand how to use you or why I should bother.  But you did make me cry!!  In a good way!