Monday, January 27, 2014

36 reasons why you're the coolest kid we know!

For the past 10 days I have been trying to think of a way to tell you how much we love you.  I could write letters over and over to you about all the cool things you do!  This age is so much fun!  I know I say that every time you enter a new phase, but in all seriousness, each age has it's wonderful perks!  So I sat down with Daddy and we decided to make a list of 36 reasons why you are a really cool three year old (and believe me, the list could have been a lot longer! - smile):

  1. Everything you say and do is filled with excitement!  You over exaggerate what you are feeling at the time and think everything is, in your words, "Super Cool!"  Love it!
  2. "M" is a place for food. - You LOVE McDonald's and have called it "M" once you realized the Golden Arches made the shape of an "M."  (Coincidentally, we only went to Little Caesar's once to pick up pizza but you know that it's a pizza place!)
  3. Continuing to talk about food, you LOVE M&M's.  I think you'd be perfectly happy to only eat them, well, only have chocolate of any kind.  You LOVE chocolate!  But what is even cuter?  You add an extra "M" when you ask if you can have an M&M.  "Can I get an M&M&M?"  (smile)
  4. You've started saying a phrase that, let's be honest, we laughed so hard the first time you said it so now you say it all the time.  "What's the hub-bub, Bub?"  Love it!
  5. You say "cool" as if it is a two syllable word, "cool-wl."  (smile - and confession time, I think I say it the same way too - smile)
  6. You received a CD/karaoke player on your birthday from Grammy and you love to play music on it daily.  But, it's taken you a while to call it a karaoke machine.  You heard "washing machine" and it was so cute when you'd ask us if you could play with your "washing machine."  (smile - Coincidentally, you've done that in the past as well.  The microwave you used to call the microphone.)
  7. On the way home from church, we pass by Buscemi's and you wave hi to the "hot dog" (it's actually a sub - smile) sign. You've since learned that it is the place more often than not that we will buy pizza and now you ask for pizza every time you see the sign!
  8. Once we are in the subdivision, you get very excited and say, "Oh Mister Beeee-aaaaar!"  In the fall, a neighbor two houses down puts out a University of Michigan blow up bear and you just LOVE that bear!  Sadly, they didn't do so well this past Fall so he ended up hibernating a little earlier than usual.  You asked where he was and Daddy told you he must be in the pumpkin patch.  Then it was the Christmas tree lot.  Now you make up stories as to where he might be!  LOVE IT!
  9. Speaking of Christmas, you LOVED Christmas decorations!  You were sad to see them go and have asked almost every day since when do we get to put Christmas decorations back up.  (smile)
  10. You are becoming very independent!  You want to do everything "by myself."  Sometimes you have success, other times not, but I do try and leave plenty of time for you to try it "by myself."
  11. "Can I too?" has also become a huge phrase in this house.  You want to do everything that Mommy and Daddy are doing!
  12. On the same subject, you LOVE to help cook and/or bake!  You like to see how the batter looks when we add the items, but the funniest, and maybe the cutest part, is you SMELL the batter at each step.  Sometimes you even smell the ingredients before they are put in the batter (which resulted in a funny incident once with cocoa powder when you accidentally blew instead of sniffed - cocoa all over your face)!
  13. You have recently discovered sock lint in between your toes.  You say, "There's bugs in my toes!" and proceed to get the lint out, by yourself.  (smile)
  14. Your running is by far the cutest running I think I have ever seen.  You LOVE to run and when you do, you run with your whole body.  And usually that means you are also on your tip toes!  I hope to get it on film someday soon!  It is wonderful to watch you run!
  15. Speaking of running, you have created games that involve running!  You LOVE to play chase and run around the circle on the inside of the house!  Sometimes, we don't even have to actually chase you!  You ask us to count the laps with you!  You even ask us to keep counting so you can do more laps!
  16. Another running game you do is you come up to Daddy and say, "Who's that over there?!"  Daddy then says that to you and points, you look in the direction he's pointing, and he takes off, with you laughing and giggling chasing him all over the house!
  17. Many times while playing, we end up having a monster chasing us!  One time, you said that and we hid under the covers, away from the monster.  Now, each time a monster is chasing us ("Oh no!  It's a monster!"), you have to run and hide under a blanket on the couch.
  18. Speaking of hiding, you aren't so good at it.  (giggle)  You like to hide but then when we are looking for you, you giggle constantly and end up coming out of your hiding place!  Cutest thing!!!
  19. You love to hide but they tend to be in the same places.  (smile)  Most of the time, your hiding places are your closet in your bedroom or the pantry in the kitchen.  (smile - I'm sure they will change as you get older.)
  20. Another game you've "invented" is whenever Daddy is laying on the floor, you want to "flip daddy over like a pancake" or squish and walk on his back.  It's so cute!
  21. You're imaginative play is really kicking into high gear and I cannot help but smile and be happy/sad at the same time.  You are now spending a lot of your time playing by yourself in your playroom.  It is so fun to listen to you play!  (Just stay this little okay? - wink)
  22. You also LOVE to play pretend!  When it's the three of us playing, you like to pretend you are Roo, I am Kanga, and Daddy is Tigger!  And let's face it, Daddy does a great impersonation of Tigger!  "The wonderful things about Tigger's, is Tigger's are wonderful things!  Their tops are made of rubber, their bottoms are made of springs.  They're bouncy, trouncy, flouncy, pouncy, fun fun fun fun fun.  The wonderful thing about Tigger's, is I'm the only one!"
  23. Most of your stuffed animals or toys that did not have names when given to you, still don't have names.  (smile)  Puppy is still "puppy" while kitty is "kitty" most of the time but, sometimes you call him "Mr. Cat."  But the cutest one is the baby doll you got on your second birthday.  It was dressed all in pink but you insisted that HIS name was Johnathan Xander, named after two boys you had in class with you at the time.  (smile)  Crushes start early don't they?!  (wink)
  24. And while on the subject of dolls, for some reason, your dolls are ALWAYS naked.  The first thing you do with them is take their clothes off!  Ha!  (Funny thing is, Daddy and I found a box of my old dolls in the basement this past weekend.  You guessed it.  They were naked too! - smile)
  25. You love to play "The Opposite Game."  Most times, if I start shaking my head yes, you shake your head no and then when I shake my head no, you shake your head yes.  Giggling ensues and we laugh and laugh.  (smile)
  26. Your sillies are at an all time high!  One of the games you like to play is the "Does this say this?" and you say "NOOOOO!"  For instance, "Does a dog say moo?"  "NOOOOO!" said with a huge smile and laughter. 
  27. You have also become quite the negotiator.  Ten more minutes, 5 more pages, 3 more times, and so on and so forth.  (smile)
  28. You have been doing great on the potty for quite some time now!  You have your accidents every now and then but overall, you are doing wonderfully!
  29. Potty is a word that might be said over 50 times each day, no kidding.  But one of the funny ways we got you to be very successful in potty training, is one time we offered to read you a book to get you on the potty.  Well, that made you VERY happy and now, every time you go to the potty, you MUST have a book.  We now say, "Let's go get a book and go on the potty!"  (smile)  You also like to pick out which book is to be read on the potty.  You pick it out, and then hold it high in the air on the way to the potty, just like the gospel is raised high in the air at Mass!  LOVE!!!
  30. This past November, we removed the front railing of your crib to help you transition into a big girl bed.  You have been doing great!  We have no "safety" on the crib (you're only a few inches off the floor) and you have only fallen out once!  You love your new freedom!
  31. With this new freedom, most days we no longer get you out of bed, you get yourself up!  You get up, come to our door, slowly open it, and say "Good morning!" always with puppy and kitty in tow.  Shh, sometimes we even let you in our bed. (smile)
  32. Sillies are at an all time high at bedtime.  You laugh and giggle and do everything to make the bedtime routine as long as possible.  Currently, the routine consists of bath, potty, pj's, diaper, comb hair, brush teeth, read story, say prayers, sing a song, hug and kiss, then hail Mary.  Phew.  
  33. During this routine, you sometimes run off and laugh!  One of the things you love to do is run your fingers down the spokes of the railing in the Galley.  It's "music" to your ears and you love to "make music."  (smile)
  34. One of the special things about bedtime is that is time for just Daddy and you.  Sometime during your routine, you stop and ask to say goodnight to me.  I come up the stairs, stop at the top step and hug you.  You go limp, I lay you on the floor and you look up at me, moving my hair out of your face, and smiling ask, "How did you grow so big?"  LOVE this!!!
  35. This past October, we lost our kitty, Reese.  I had had him for over 15 years and it broke me to say it was time for him to go.  He really wasn't a healthy kitty.  That day, we spent a lot of time petting and saying our goodbyes to him.  You saw me cry a lot that day and came with us to the doctor.  I didn't let you in the room during but we told you that he was staying with the doctor.  You still ask about "Reesie."  "I miss Reesie.  He's at the doctor.  We should go and pick him up."  I love your love of animals.
  36. Lastly, and truly I could say so much more about you and your personality right now, but I'll end on this note.  Lots of people give you compliments which truly warms my heart.  But I have to stop myself from laughing when I hear your response to them.  Instead of saying, "Thank you!" you look matter of factly up at them and say, "Yes." or "I know."  Cracks me up every time!  I have to force myself to tell you to say "Thank you" which you do, but that first reaction out of your mouth is so priceless!
There are so many many reason we LOVE you baby girl!  I could go on and on and on.  But now that I've mentioned some items that make you you, here are just a few of the things you love:
  • books (first love and honestly, I hope you always love your books!)
  • princesses
  • movies - Rio, Despicable Me, Tangled and many other Disney movies
  • episodes - Daniel Tiger, Super Why, Jake and the Neverland Pirates, Cat in the Hat
  • playing dress up (already wearing Rapunzel's "high heals" at three!)
  • puppy and kitty (they go every where with you)
I look forward to seeing where your life is headed!  Happy birthday to my now THREE year old!


Monday, January 13, 2014

Monday Munchies!

With our new found "Year of Change" in full swing, we experimented this weekend with some new foods and some oldies but goodies!!!  All without having to go to the grocery store!  

(Photo courtesy of

On Saturday you and I worked together to bake Banana Cake.  Now, it may sound crazy to make a cake so close to your birthday which is not for your birthday, but here's the story as to why.  (smile)  We had two leftover bananas that were over ripe and ready for making Banana Nut Bread.  But on Friday, I found this recipe for Banana Cake with Fluffy Cream Cheese Frosting on  Daddy took one look at this recipe and really wanted it.  We put it up to a vote.  It was a tie!  You voted for Banana Nut Bread (you LOVE mama's Banana Nut Bread) and he voted for the cake.  So we compromised that the next time we had over ripe bananas we'd make the bread and this time we'd make cake.  Saturday morning we woke up and made this cake.  It was so much fun having you help me and you definitely wanted to help!  The only "substitution" we did is the recipe called for four ripe bananas or about 1 1/2 cups.  We only used two and personally, I think if we had used four, it would have been too much banana.  (smile)  You licked the paddle while the cake baked and once baked, we allowed it to cool.  The batter was delicious so I knew I was in trouble.  (wink)  After dinner I frosted the cake with the frosting recipe listed and we had some cake.  It is wonderful!  I'm not sure I've had Banana Cake before but we'll definitely be making it again!  In Daddy's words, it's the banana's version of carrot cake PERFECTION!  Truly yummy!

(Photo courtesy of

For dinner that evening (before the luscious Banana Cake), we made this, Mojo Black Bean-Chicken Pizza.  We've made it before so we knew it would be a big hit.  This time I did a little tweaking and what we thought was a perfect mediterranean type pizza became even more perfect!  Neither I nor Daddy thought that was possible but it indeed was!  For the marinade, we used parsley instead of cilantro (I'm just not a fan of cilantro) and added two cloves (very large cloves I might add) of garlic.  For the chicken, we thawed a chicken breast, cut it into bite sized pieces, and pan cooked it in Zesty Italian Dressing (no oil, just dressing).  It was AWESOME!  And what's neat, it's only 290 calories per slice!!!  Yipee!  A fairly "healthy" way of still eating pizza!  YUM!

(Photo courtesy of

I felt like I was on a cooking roll!  I hadn't cooked/baked so much in a LONG time.  So when I woke up early Sunday morning, I was ready to cook some more.  Since it was officially your birthday week and you were not yet awake, I decided to surprise you with a Sunday breakfast.  I knew I had wanted to make chocolate chip pancakes but had no idea what recipe to use.  So I went searching and found this Whole Wheat Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Pancake recipe.  It was fantastic!  I made it exactly as printed, no substitutions, well almost.  (wink)  I did not have mini chocolate chips, next time, I'll make it with mini chocolate chips.  Daddy said these pancakes tasted just like Cholocate Cake.  They were a hit and I will definitely be making them again.  The only thing I "might" change is the actual flour I used.  The whole wheat flour we have does have a bit of an after taste so I'm thinking of looking for a different brand.  But all in all, a HUGE hit and a new family recipe!!!

I cannot wait to see what other things we decide to make this year!  Continuing on in our year of change!


Friday, January 10, 2014

2014: A Year of Changes

Before I begin writing my thoughts on this, I must first apologize to you Miss E for not keeping up with all the happenings and everything you've done over the last several months.  I have lots of pictures but I have failed in my intentions to write you multiple letters.  However, with each failure there is success, and I will continue to strive to write to you as often as I can. (smile)

I try not to be the Debbie Downer type, but admittedly, last year was one of the hardest years of my life.  There were illnesses, surgeries, deaths, fertility problems, the list goes on and on.  Knowing we were about to start a new year, we wanted to make it a fresh new beginning.  And thus our "Year of Changes" was born.

(Photo courtesy of

First change to make in this year is to improve our overall health.  We have changed how we are eating.  No more eating out (well, trying to limit that to only once a month), taking our vitamins daily, and try to use every morsel of food by either more preparation or more canning, etc.  For instance, in December we made a turkey and a ham and received a second ham bone.  We now have a TON of stock!  First time in my life making it and I was shocked at how easy it was!  I made Leftover Hambone Soup, then froze three 2/3 full quart sized Mason jars of hambone stock and we have four quarts of Turkey Stock!  (Now, for those of you reading this, go, run over to Brown Eyed Baker's blog!  Her recipes have never let me down!)  I'm excited to see what foods we will come up and prepare!

(Photo courtesy of

Second change we're making is to become a "Green" (or at least greener) family.  Some may say I'm just a little too much of a tree hugger as it is, well, you may see an increase this year. (smile)  This year, we plan to use up our household cleaners and also try to use more environmentally safe products.  I see me, baking soda and white distilled vinegar becoming great pals. (smile)  Already today, I descaled my Keurig using this technique and then cleaned my shower head using this technique.  IT WORKED!!!  And I had to do practically nothing, no scrubbing what so ever.  AWESOME!

(Photo courtesy of

Third change is a huge challenge, but one that must be met with vigor and success, and we WILL be successful.  Since this will be my first full year as a stay at home mom, we will be pinching as many pennies as we can.  Some call it being more fiscally responsible or frugal, others, call me cheap.  (smile - you know who you are and I hold no ill will)  This doesn't mean we won't do things, and have fun.  Our attempt is to be much more frugal about it and knowing what everything costs.  Step one, I'm signing us up for (gulp)

(Baby L on his first day in this world)

There are more changes, challenges and fun times ahead in 2014.  I will be getting to be a nanny again to my newest nephew, Baby L!  I look forward to watching how Miss E gets to play big sister to her cousin.  We are also planning a few camping trips for the summer and even trying to think of what we should do for our FIVE year anniversary in October (cannot believe it has been five years already - any suggestions as to what to do?).  The possibilities are limitless and I cannot wait to make this year our own.

Doing all of these changes will help us to be better parents, be a better family, and to have an overall better view on life.  So many times people are weighed down by the things they see on Facebook, or the items pinned on Pinterest, and believe they just aren't doing enough and their child/ren will suffer.  I am not the first to say this, but you are doing what you can and that makes you a great mom.  I am not a Pinterest crafty mom.  But I do what I can.  And I have to have confidence in that, something that has been lacking over the past year or so.  I read this blog this morning and it talks of being a good enough mom.  I could not agree more and I will strive each and every breath to remember that I am enough.

Love you so much sweetheart,