"Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things."

Friday, January 29, 2010

Back To Bread

I was exhausted today after a few nights without adequate sleep. Stayed in my pajamas all day. I should have napped, but Averie wasn't allowing that. So I made bread while my baby slept. Probably not the wisest decision, and I'm sure I'll deeply regret it at about 3 am. But for now, I'm enjoying the bread.

I got a really cool bread book for Christmas, which I have read twice and have been dying to try every single recipe. They are all fancy artesian breads made with "pre-ferments" and about 20 complicated steps. Today I tried traditional Ciabatta bread.

I made the pre-ferment (called "poolish")a few days ago and had it in the fridge ready to go. It was harder to follow the directions than I expected, especially with all the distractions. (Averie's constant "helping" and numerous interruptions to feed and take care of Rylan.) It was somewhat amazing that the bread came out edible at all. I accidentally formed the loaves before the final rising which popped all the beautiful air bubbles forming in the loaves. They still taste pretty amazing though. They made a mean sandwich for dinner.

While I was up to my elbows in flour I decided to make a few baguettes on my new baguette pan and use up the fresh rosemary from my last produce co-op. I made some SUPER yummy garlic rosemary bread. It's so very yummy. I hope my family helps me eat it, or I just might eat all three loaves myself. That would be bad. The recipe I used was from another blog, (click HERE for the recipe.) and was super simple and easy to follow. I just added garlic chunks as well as the rosemary it calls for.

I don't know why I always have to over do things. I think I'm ready for bed now. Hope the baby sleeps a little tonight.

Tooth Fairy Bargaining

Mason F I N A L L Y lost another tooth that has been hanging by a thread for months. He was fascinated by the little thing and really really wanted to keep the tiny tooth. But he also wanted the cash from the Tooth Fairy. It was a definite quandary.

He came to the conclusion that the only course of action was to petition the Tooth Fairy for special permission to keep the tooth. Here is his note:

And her response:

It reads:

Dear Mason,

You have been very good lately. That is a nice juicy tooth you have there, but I guess it is okay that you keep it this time. I hope you have been brushing and taking extra good care of your teeth.

Love, the Tooth Fairy

He was astonished by the teeny tiny writing. Mason and Ellorie concluded that the Tooth Fairy must be really small.

"I wonder what she does with all those teeth anyway," says Ellorie.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Three Weeks Old

Well, I definitely spoke too soon on the whole "sleeping through the night" post. Yeah. Rylan is totally over that phase. He usually has at least one 3-hour nap sometime at night though, so it's not too unbearable. It turns out that he really does belong to our family...

Averie is totally enamored with the little guy. She calls him, "my baby brudder", and "you baby". She always asks me, "Is that you baby mama?" and then she comes and tells me, "Mommy, you baby is crying and crying for NO reason!"

He really doesn't cry that much, but she is very concerned when he does.

She is finally over the flu and her nasty cold, so she can hold Rylan now. She just loves to hold him. I'm a little relieved that she isn't jealous.

She's his biggest fan for sure.

Ellorie and Mason are funny with Rylan. They sort of like him. They think he's cute and will occasionally look at him, but they really aren't that "in" to the baby. Ellorie often forgets his name and calls him "the born baby".

I think it's still a bit new and overwhelming for them. I'm sure they will take more interest when he becomes more interactive. I remember feeling that way when my little sister was born. (I was nine.)

It's always difficult adjusting to major life changes.
I think we're doing pretty well though.

Monday, January 25, 2010

It's Off!

Hooray! Ellorie's broken arm is all healed up. She is very relieved to have full use of her arm again. She was most excited about being able to scratch her arm. I imagine it was pretty itchy. It was really stinky too. She found all the dead skin fascinating. Ewwwww!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Pandemonium: Adjusting to life with Four

Rylan is two weeks old today! I think that means I've officially survived. Or something like that. He is such a super good baby. I feel so blessed to have him in our family. He is so much fun to hold and cuddle.

And I don't want to jinx anything, but I have to brag a little:

He actually sleeps at night.

I'm serious.

Like I have to wake him up to eat, or he will sleep all night.

I'm not holding my breath. I realize this may be a temporary development, but I'll take it. All my other children woke up (continue to wake up...) every hour of the night to eat/drink/scream/whatever. Mason did that until he was potty trained. Sometimes after. With night terrors nearly every night. I'm not exaggerating. Averie STILL wakes up on a regular basis at night. My kids do NOT sleep well.

I was all geared up for the newborn zombie phase where I adjust to functioning on little to zero sleep... and I'm the one waking him up. I'm still sort of shocked.

So things are going great. I really, really, really appreciate all the meals, help, cards, gifts, and kind words since I've had the baby. Thank you! You know who you are.

We're adjusting to normal life again. Attempting to keep the house in order, getting back on a reasonable schedule, etc. Tax season is upon us and we really miss having Brandon (a.k.a Dad) home. The kids only get to see him for a few quick minutes in the morning if they are up in time. They are sound asleep before he gets home from work. We hate tax season. Hate it. Dinner times are a bit harried with Brandon gone, but we don't really eat conventional dinners either, so it's a bit easier. Someone wants leftovers, great. Oh, you want scrambles eggs? Super. How about sandwiches? Perfect. {Insert multi-tasking skills here.} Then it's time for homework, getting ready for bed, crazy, crazy, crazy.... then suddenly everyone is quiet.

And I'm LOVING my food co-op about now. A huge variety of fresh fruits and vegetables every two weeks for super cheap. I hardly ever have to go to the grocery store. They just opened a new location really close to our house, so it's even easier. Last week I couldn't believe how much there was. We've been madly eating fruits and veggies to finish them before the next order.

Uh... I think the Babylegs are still a bit too big. Bummer. So cute anyway. They are my absolute favorite baby accessory.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Bubbles, bubbles, bubbles

When Grandma was here, the girls had a bubble "photo shoot". It turns out they are quite hams for the camera when it's not Mom behind the lens. I love Averie's silly grins. They had so much fun playing with Grandma while their mom rested...

Friday, January 15, 2010

One Week Old

Rylan is a week old today. It's hard to believe. He is such an amazingly good baby. He sleeps and sleeps and sleeps right now. I love the little baby grunts and noises. He doesn't really cry much yet. He is just so sweet!

Got Wrinkles?

Big bright eyes. On the rare occasions that he happens to be awake.

He looks so very tiny in his car seat.

We're adjusting well to having a new little baby in the house. Averie has been really sick so we have kind of quarantined Rylan from the rest of the house. I think it has been frustrating for Averie not to have full access to her mom and the baby. She was feeling better today, so hopefully we're over that hurdle. I'm so glad my mom has been here to help. I don't know what I would have done with a newborn and a very sick two-year old all week. She has been a lifesaver. Thanks mom!!

Fun with Grandma Gina

My mom came this week to help out with the kids and the baby and everything. I am so glad she has been able to come and stay! The kids have had a blast playing with her.

She brought Ellorie a new umbrella and a princess dress for her birthday. So much fun!

They absolutely love playing and being silly with Grandma Gina:

Thanks mom, for entertaining the troops!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Love, Love, Love

We are totally in love with this little guy. The kids just adore him.

I just can't get over these wrinkly little bird legs. I know they won't last long. Just savoring the moments. So sweet!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Welcome Baby!

No waiting until Wednesday for this babe. I felt a little "different" all day yesterday. I had a few mild contractions, but nothing crazy. I knew I was dilated to "2" on Tuesday, and was not about to have a repeat of Averie's birth, so we made the decision to go into the hospital last night to be checked. (My awesome neighbors took the kids. They had a very fun sleepover and went to school with them this morning.)

I was already dilated "4" and so there we stayed. It took several hours to reach a "5" and then from there to baby was about an hour! He was born this morning at 1:35 am. It was a virtually perfect delivery. I feel so blessed!

We've decided to name him Rylan Vaughn Allen. He weighed 6 pounds even and he is 19 1/2 inches long. (Exactly the same as Averie!) I can't believe he was two weeks early. It seems a little bit surreal, but I am totally mesmerized by this sweet little boy.

I'm excited for the kids to meet him. More soon....

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Ellorie's 6th Birthday!

Ellorie's birthday was yesterday. I can't believe she is 6! She didn't get a "friend" party this year. I just couldn't do it in my current "condition". We still had a really fun day, and we're going to have another day with friends after the baby gets here.

Ellorie chose her favorite meals for the day.
On the menu:

breakfast- bacon and pancakes (in that order)

lunch- we went to lunch with Daddy to her favorite mexican restaurant. She likes it because the salsa isn't too spicy and it comes in ketchup bottles so she can squirt it on the chips.

dinner- mashed potatoes, steak, and cabbage. Go figure.

She got to open some presents before Mason left for school. (It was her day off today.) She played with her new toys all morning, and had a manicure with her new nail polish. Averie was having a hard time understanding why she didn't get all the cool new stuff. Ellorie was very kind to share everything.

After the kids played for a bit we bundled up and went to town for some shopping and playing. The first stop was the pet store for some window shopping. The girls like the pet store more than the zoo I think. Their squeals of delight rang out through the store. The ferrets and mice are the favorites. (We'll let them stay at the store though. I don't need any more pets...)

After the pet store we went to some toy stores and Ellorie got to spend her birthday and Christmas money. She found some very fun toys and picked out a movie.

After dinner we had a family movie night and watched this:

It was pretty funny, though Ellorie could hardly handle the suspense at the end. Mason absolutely loved it. Ellorie's cute friend came over and gave her a present during the movie. You can see her holding her gift here. She was so excited that her friend remembered her birthday. Very cute.

Last of all before bed we had cake and ice cream. Probably the creepiest cake I have ever made, but Ellorie insisted that she have a "red puffle with teeth".

YIKES! Not my finest work.

Oh well. It tasted good.
She had a lot of help blowing out candles. I think she had a wonderful birthday.

We love you Ellorie!!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

"Dere's a baby boy in dere." - Averie

I had my VERY LAST doctor's appointment this morning.
Everything looks great, measuring good, baby is in a good position, blood pressure good, etc... I'm already dilated to a solid "2", so I hope I can hold out for one more week.

We are inducing on Wednesday, January 13th at early o'clock in an attempt to avoid
"precipitous labor".
I have instructions to RUSH to the hospital if I have the slightest inkling of labor pains.
We are not having this baby in the car.
(And an epidural would be lovely.)

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Family Photo

We had a professional family picture taken at the church Christmas party a few weeks ago. It was so nice! I love that it hides my big ol' baby belly, and Ellorie's broken arm. Averie's even smiling. Amazing. And can't beat the price. : )

Too bad it will be out of date very shortly as our family will have a new addition... I have a doctor's appointment on Tuesday, so we'll know a little more then. If not sooner. I don't think my poor feet can get much puffier. My toes look like little sausages... Lovely.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy 2010!

I had another holiday picture-taking lapse. I think I took 8 pictures. Oh well. We had a wonderful New Year's eve party. Melissa, Jason and kids and Ross, Jana and kids came to party. 10 kids in total! I think everyone had a blast.

It's becoming somewhat of a tradition to cook massive amounts of fried food. It's the only time we break out the fryer. Not healthy, but delicious. I made egg rolls and Brandon made homemade donuts. We had lots and lots of snacks and appetizers as well.
(Even sushi, and yes, it was worth the heart burn.)

The donuts were beautiful, and far too tasty. We're not going to talk about how many I actually ate.

Brandon had lots of excellent helpers.

We talked and cooked and ate and played Rock Band to welcome in the new year. Averie lasted until maybe 9:00, earlier than her normal bedtime.

Ellorie was a trooper and held out until about 11:30ish. Her cousin came up to report that she was in the basement "sleeping in a box". And indeed she was:

Mason made it to midnight (and beyond). He was delighted with the fireworks our neighbors brought us. Such fun!

And of course we have loved the snow today. It's been so pretty and crisp and not too frigid. We just love Idaho.

We hope all of you have a wonderful 2010!