Thursday, March 25, 2010


In passing this week, Maren mentioned to Brad that the day had been a doozie, and she was looking forward to crashing on the new couch, eating Bonbons and zoning out with some t.v. Brad was off to church that night and came home a few hours later. He walked in the door with a bag of Butterfinger eggs in hand. "I went to two different stores looking for Bonbons and no one knew what I was talking about." Maren's heart melted. She had unknowingly sent her husband on a wild goose chase looking for a candy that can only be found in Europe or by mail order. And she didn't even care about Bonbons. She had only mentioned them as an indicator that she wanted to be completely irresponsible and treat herself to a few minutes of, well, treats!

He's a keeper!

Saturday, March 20, 2010


The life of this 5 month old is pretty simple these days- sleep, eat, bounce, diaper change, eat, sleep some more. The plan varies when she has to ride in the van for carpool or errands, and she more than occasionally has play time with Mommy. She often wears ruddy cheeks tastefully accessorized by a sweet, dimpled smile. Her attempts at being irresistible are far from futile.

At mealtime, she has conquered rice cereal with breastmilk (pumping is a dreaded chore, but a necessary one now that Laney seems to have inherited Daddy's milk allergy). She also gobbles up her sweet potatoes. This morning she tasted avocados and try as she might, couldn't capture the enthusiasm Mommy was hoping for. In fact, they triggered a gag reflex...yuck.

Laney tried out the swing at the park this week. Mommy was hoping she'd enjoy it as much as the bouncer, but Laney seemed pretty indifferent about the experience. On the other hand, the bouncer is a favorite (of Laney's and the rest of the family). She will stay in it for LONG periods of time. For example, Laney woke up for good a little after 6 a.m. one morning this week, and Mommy was far from ready for the day to begin. So after a feeding, into the bouncer she went, and Maren fell asleep on the couch. One hour later, Maren woke up and Laney was still bouncing! Another day this week, Laney was in the bouncer while Maren was cooking dinner and Laney fell asleep while bouncing. She startled at a loud sound and then bounced herself right back to sleep a few seconds later!

Sunday, March 14, 2010


Until this point, Baby Laney has been on a liquid fast. The diet caused her to pack on the pounds, so she has now moved on to "soupy solids". Her girlish figure may not be ready for swimsuit season this year, but maybe the additional calories during the day will help her sleep a little longer during the night! A mother can hope!

Thursday, March 11, 2010


Since Maren's on a cooking-at-home kick, the Chronicle has added links on the sidebar for the week's dinner ideas. Some people asked for recipes. This is the best we can provide.

P.S. Does anyone get the Food, LLC joke? Brad thinks I'm the only one who will find that funny.

Friday, March 5, 2010


It occured to me that I forgot to mention something else that happens as I pick Brant and Laurel up in the carpool line at school. Keep in mind that Brant is in PK3, this is 2 years under kindergarten. As he's getting in the van, TONS of other big kids say "Hi Brant!" And sometimes, Brant will lean out of the van and yell to a couple of kids that may not have seen him, "Hi [insert name]" How does this little 4-year-old know all these big kids? Sometimes he'll report to me about conversations he has with the big kids in the bathroom. It's all clean, innocent, and funny stuff, by the way, nothing bad...but still, since when do four-year-olds socialize with big kids?! I think Brant is already "cooler" than I was or ever will be.


This is how Brad found Laurel last night during his check-on-the-kids-before-going-to-sleep routine. She's 100% asleep here. This picture well-represents the intensity of Laurel. She sleeps hard, plays hard, works hard, cries hard; you get the idea. She has no hint of mediocrity in her personality. She's either laughing, screaming, crying, and it feels like she's been this way since birth. This morning, for instance, Laurel was complaining about some article of clothing "bothering her". This happens EVERY morning. Maren is working on ways to deal with this, but that's a post unto itself. She shed lots of tears in frustration as she tried to get herself ready for school. Putting it mildly, it wasn't a sunshiney morning UNTIL...Laurel ate some waffles, put on her jacket and book sack, walked outside and shouted at the top of her lungs, "GOOD MORNING EVERYONE!!!" Is this more evidence that her mood is highly affected by hunger? Once she had some food in her tummy, she was sweet, rational, and easy. Obviously, next week, a few changes are being made to the morning routine, including: Breakfast first! Maybe by the time Laurel goes off to college, Maren will have figured out how to raise her.


I remember back in the day at swim practice that if I could just make it to the last one of a set of laps, I had it made. No interval to make, no stress about getting enough rest. I could swim it as hard or as easy as I wanted with no consequence. Now this same philosophy applies to Fridays at our house. Once the kids are put to sleep on Thursday night, I feel like the weekend has officially begun. Everything is easier on Fridays. The best part is that the kids can watch t.v. or movies when they come home, so I have my own electronic babysitter. Brad can come home as late as he needs to because I'm under little or no stress. In fact, I've scrapped my previous dinner plans because we have enough leftovers and canned food to make everyone happy tonight. Bed times are relaxed, and many times, we'll even skip baths for the kids :). It's a night for unwinding and I've come to cherish it.

In other news, Brant asked me this week what "bling" is. He didn't remember where he heard it, but I'm guessing school. Brant remembers almost everything he hears. This week, his class has been learning about insects and he has been telling me all about caterpillars and "crystals" and butterflies. He's now about 48 lbs. and at least 3'7" (it's hard to get him to stand properly when measuring). Brant gets a lot of notes home about "being all over the place" at school. Apparently, he has trouble sitting still and keeping his mouth shut. But, he's rarely defiant and I still don't think he has a malicious bone in him, so I try to let school issues stay at school. His note home yesterday said, "Hard worker today!" and boy was he proud! It's precious how much children want to please their parents. He flashed his dimple-studded grin all the way home.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010


For this week, Maren has planned-

Yesterday: Honey-spiced Pork Tenderloin, asparagus, and stuffing
Tonight: Chops on Top from Kraft foods (long-time family fave with apples and carrots)
Tomorrow: Hoppin' John (Black-eyed peas with Turkey sausage)
Thursday: Sticky Chicken drumsticks, some kind of potato, and zucchini?
Friday: A Tex-Mex Pork chop recipe (to finish the family pack), texas caviar (with some of those black-eyed peas), and some chips.
Saturday: NO IDEAS Yet!

To our readers who couldn't care less about our menu, we send our apologies. For some reason, posting the plans helps Maren maintain the excitement of cooking every day. This seems to be the one area of homemaking that she can potentially excel at. (It certainly isn't cleaning!)