Sunday, February 3, 2013

Ok, ok. I have been a slug, lazy and ignored the blog for what, the past 2 months. I was supposed to have posted at least 23 more posts now from December in what I was calling the 25 days of treats. Where are they? On my computer and in my head. I plan on getting those posted by the end of this next week. A lot to promise? Yes. Can I get it done? Yes.

But in my own defense I have been staying super busy in my real life. Life has been moving so very fast here for our family. Having 4 kids at home has been a joy for me. Yes, a little overwhelming at times, but I wouldn't trade it for ANYTHING.

In a short update:

     Asha has turned a corner in her development. She now speaks more fluent sentences. She is so eager to repeat anything she hears from most of us, even if it is an occassional slip of a not so good word. (Ok, I do sometimes get road rage, and yes, it would be from me.)  But she is also turning into a grazer eater. Asha rarely sits to eat and entire meal anymore, but she continues to gain weight and meet the goals for her age.

    Azy is continuing to excel in school. She is currently in 11th grade math! Can you believe that?! I am beyond thrilled, proud and shocked. She absolutely loves Seminary, will be resuming band in the 2nd semester in school and keeps amazing me with how smart she is.

    Ashkon is becoming more involved in reading and discovering his love of books. He asks me to read to him and even help him to read more books that are above his grade level. I love his imagination!

    Ayla is growing and eating all the time! I love this girl! She really loves to be with me. The phrase daddy's girl is just not relevant to her. She is 100% momma's girl. If she even senses me in the house, after being gone for a short while she goe nuts. (Not to mention, if she hears me!)

So next posts should be some more delicious recipes Azy and I tried this past December......

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Day 1

December 1 -- Choc-O-Chip Cookie-mini sandwiches!!

Az and I decided to make my grandma's incredible chocolate chip cookies and turn them into sandwiches. Oh.My.Gosh. My grandma had such a gift for baking. It really felt like everything she made was delicious. I am sure that was not always the case, but her baked goodies were oh so good.
So Az and I wondered, why not change it up and make mini cookies and make sandwiches out of them!

The basic recipe:

                       6 tbsp brown sugar
                       6 tbsp granulated (white) sugar
                       1/2 cup shortening (or 1/2 stick of the shortening bars)
                       1 egg
                       1 1/2 cups sifted flour
                       1/4 tsp salt
                       1/2 tsp baking soda
                       1/2 pkg chocolate chips

Cream shortening and butter together. Add egg and mix well. Sift all of the dry ingredients together; mix well. If the mixture is too dry add a little milk (about 1tbsp).  Add the chocolate chips in, but mix by hand.  Drop by spoonful onto a greased cookie sheet (or ungreased silicone lined cookie sheet). Bake for 9 minutes at 400 degrees. I usually bake at 375 for 9 minutes.

For the frosting we used a traditional Wilton buttercream recipe.

        1/2 cup shortening
        1/2 cup butter
        1 tsp vanilla (the recipe calls for clear, but we used regular brown colored and it was
        4 cups sifted confectioner's sugar (powdered sugar)
        2 tablespoons milk

Cream butter and sugar. Add vanilla. Add sugar one cup at a time. Scrape sides of bowl as you add sugar. If mixture appears too dry, add milk, a little bit at a time.

Simple and delicious. And WAY better than store bought. :-)


25 Days of Treats

Ok, so last month I mentioned something big coming up for December. Something that would start December 1. Well here it is December 29 and I have not posted anything. Yep, it has been one of those crazy busy I am deprived of sleep kind of months. But I did follow through with my goal.
My goal this year for December was to make a different treat everyday from December 1-25. And we (Az and I) did. Az was actually really good about it for the first 10 days. I was exhausted from the  work/baby'housework balance.

So here we go, on to the next posts--the goodies.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Update & Up and Coming

Things in our household have been CRAZY! Yes, life with 4 kids at home now is very busy and there is never a dull day. But I love it. I love that the 3 older ones are always going different directions, yet they can still settle down with each other and play or watch a movie.

Asha is adjusting to having a little sister pretty well, but we have learned that she probably cannot be left alone with the baby until they are both older. (She likes to squeeze Ayla's arms, poke her in the eyes, push on her tummy and lay on her legs.)

School started for Az and Ash (9th grade and 1st grade).  Az is loving Seminary in high school, but did tell me that she is struggling to like her other classes. Well, yes that would be high school. Definitely not every kid's favorite place to be sometimes. But I have high hopes for her. I know she will find the classes she likes in time. Isn't that why the saying is for this time in her life "to find herself" or "figure out who she is, or who she wants to be"?

Ash loves being in school all day now. He really likes the school lunches, so much he would rather buy his lunch than take one. ??? Ash is doing so well in math and reading, and he has also learned the National Anthem. I listen to him sing it in the car on our way home. (I am one proud mama!)

Meanwhile Asha is home with me and Ayla until we head out to pick up Ash. I really think Asha loves that she has the run of the house while her older bro and sis are out at school. You would never know she is 2 by the way she takes the lead.

Work has been keeping me busy in the evenings, so when I finally get to come home I am a zombie, pretty much crashing with Ayla until morning. Then I get to be up and start all over again. My days also consist of entertaining Asha, while balancing Ayla and housework. I am not complaining, just stating for the record that I am a busy mama. But I do love it! I love that I am busy with these beautiful spirits. That I get to watch them grow, change and evolve into the wonderful people they will become as adults. It is a gift from God.

On to the up and coming.....As Christmas approaches we are all getting excited. I cannot wait to be able to feel good this year and BAKE! In our home I love baking all kinds of goodies with my kids, then we usually share them with friends and family.  But for that last few years I have not been in good health because of my last 2 pregnancies (and the 1 year I was slowly adjusting to having Asha.) So I have a 'plan' this year. I am going to start with some new posts December 1st. Stay tuned for that, it will be exciting! I am also very excited to be able to decorate our house for Christmas. Again, with the poor health I have not been very motivated to get  into the holiday spirit. This year is going to be great!!!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

My kids-Fall 2012

We do not purchase school photos. After years and years of settling for the "just OK" photos, I decided that it is just a waste of time and money to purchase them. And in all of those years I only ended up with 1 or 2 really awesome photos. I think the best ones were when Azy was in Kindergarten and then again in 3rd grade. I am not willing to throw our money out the window and settle. So I have been doing it myself now.

Here are some of the best shots I took of my kids a couple of weeks ago--before the rain came.


 I love my kids, so very much!

Ayla 1 Month

Ayla has been growing so fast. She went from 10 lbs 1 oz, to just under 9 lbs and back up to 10 lbs 3 oz by 2 weeks! She has been eating whenever food (breastmilk) is presented to her, but she is NOT a fan of bottles. That makes me feel kind of bad for Shawn and Azy.

This little beauty has been keeping me busy during the day with her eating, snuggling, sleeping and pooping. With my previous 3 kids I have never had such a strong pooper! Wow. But it comes with the job, right?

I have found myself surprised that she let me sleep for about 6-7 hours one night already! I did not expect that luxury until she was closer to 4 months old. But most nights she and I sleep 4-5 hours. I can do with that for now.

Everyone in our house has adjusted to having Ayla pretty well. Ash loves Ayla so much. This 6 yr old man of mine is truly smitten with her. He kisses her, hugs her and BEGS to hold her all the time. It melts my heart to see them.

We decided to have Shawn bless her Sept. 3, since we were not expecting any family members to be there. It was a very special day for us, to be able to hear what Shawn would feel impressed to say. I love this girl so much!
BTW--This is the same dress Azy and Asha were blessed in.

And Comes Baby

Ayla Arline came Tuesday, August 14.
It started with my "regular" checkup on Monday, the 13. My doc had just returned from vacation, or rather--time off the previous week. He had been on call Sunday night, August 12. (Which was when we thought Ayla would come--since the previous 3 had all come exactly 2 days late.) So my mind was on track with going into the hospital Sunday the 12th. Nope, didn't happen.
Back to seeing my doc.....he had told me weeks before that if I didn't deliver by the 13th I would be induced. Fine--being a gestational diabetic is hard, and it is sometimes better to induce rather than wait it out. He scheduled me in for the next morning, because he was going to be on call in the hospital all day Tues (and would gone again later in the week).
I can laugh now when I say we were fighting so badly on the way to the hopsital I was really ready to have the baby ALONE. Yes, alone. I wanted to kick his keister out of the SUV and drive myself to the hospital. What was this fight about? I was mad that we would be at the hospital right at 9:30 and not earlier. I hate being late. I would rather show up somewhere a little early than be late. So he insisted on driving and while he is a safe reliable driver, he seems to drive slower than a 90 yr old woman. And it can be irritating.
So we checked in at 9:30. The nurse who was assigned to be with me was very nice and joked with me a lot. She went over the usual questions, had me change into one of those hideous gowns that never seems to fit right, and get into the uncomfortable bed I hate so much. Then she asked me the "Are you safe at home question". I laughed and told her I was fine, but that she needed to ask my husband that! Of course I was joking, but she told me no one had ever answered it that way before. On a side note---I AM NOT MAKING A JOKE OUT OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, I WAS ONLY JOKING THAT BETWEEN ME AND MY HUSBAND, I AM THE ONE WHO IS NOT AS NICE (HE IS THE KINDER PERSON).
Anyway, when I checked into the hospital I was about 4 cm dilated and 90% effaced. The nurse estimated that it would not take very much pitocin to get me ready to deliver. I think they started the actual pitocin about 11-noon sometime. My doc came in to break my water at 2 pm and that seemed to wake my body up.
I started having pressure about 3:00 and realized that the epidural was not working 100%. I told my husband to ask the nurse if they could turn me over from my right side to my left, that maybe that would get the meds flowing again. By 3:20, I realized that I felt the baby sitting REALLY low. As in, it felt like she was going to fall out! After checking me, she said I was ready and they called my doc back in.

Ayla came at about 3:43 pm. She weighed 10lb 1 oz. Yup, my biggest baby, but still pretty easy coming out. I couldn't have asked for an easier delivery! She had all of the same hair Asha had, and she even looked just like Asha did! But this little girl did not want to cry for us. We waited what seemed like 10 min (but I am sure was only about 5) before she finally cried. It was only after the nurses took her to weigh her and clean her off that she screamed/cried. I like to think it was her being separated from her mama that did it!
I am thrilled to have this girl in my life; to be her mother; and to watch her grow in our home. I cannot wait to see if she remains a quiet, patient girl, like she was in utero.