Thursday, November 29, 2007

Make your own Advent Calendar! Thanks to Teresa for the step-by-step instructions.


Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Last night was book club - SOOOO good to get out and be with friends sans children for once! Here's what we're reading this time: Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen.

To my son - 2 months old - 11/27/07


First of all, this isn't your real smile - this is actually a cute expression in-between cries. I just couldn't get you to crack your million-dollar smile for a photo today - so we had to settle for a phony. Yesterday marked 8 weeks since you were born. I can't explain how it seems both that I've known you for so much longer and also that it was just yesterday that you swam in newborn clothing and the velcro straps on your diaper overlapped. For sure though it is hard to imagine my world without you in it. How quickly - instantly, really - I fell in love with you. You make it easy though - such a good baby! You usually only cry when there is something wrong - MUCH less drama than the girls...even at this age I can tell you are more mellow than that. You are so snuggly - burrow your head into my neck or chest - and this is why I get nothing done. How can I not hold you when you cuddle up with me so perfectly - as if to communicate how much you love me and need me.

This month you've found other ways to communicate too! You smile now and it absolutely melts my heart. In addition to smiling, you've let out an occasional chuckle and have begun experimenting with different vocals. SO CUTE! Your Dad and sisters love you a whole bunch too.

You received your first immunizations yesterday - and you just haven't felt well since. I believe you are even running a small temp...poor baby. Your 2-month check was perfect though. You have gained about 4 pounds since birth ( you now weigh 12 lbs, 10 ounces - 75th percentile) and you've grown almost 4 inches (24 inches long now! 90th percentile).

I am trying to soak up each and every day with you - to try to bottle your scent in my memory, to forever capture the undescribable softness of your skin, to remember each milestone and each heartwarming moment....because I know they go too fast...and you are my last run at this Mommy thing...and I want to make it last as long as possible. I love you, little man!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Turkey again...

Here's what's for dinner tonight:

Turkey Tetrazzini Recipe
1 (8 ounce) package cooked egg noodles
2 tablespoons butter
1 (6 ounce) can sliced mushrooms
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
2 cups chopped cooked turkey
1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of celery soup
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).Melt butter in a large heavy skillet. Saute mushrooms for 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper, and stir in turkey, condensed soup, and sour cream. Place cooked noodles in a 9x13 inch baking dish. Pour sauce mixture evenly over the top. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.Bake in preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until sauce is bubbling.
MORE Thanksgiving pictures:

Sunday, November 25, 2007


Thanksgiving Day, 2007 brought to us MANY reasons to give thanks. This year we saw good health, good times and the addition of Grant to our home. Blessings abound our family and this day was no exception. Mom & Ron brought lunch to us - ham (because I was making Turkey on Saturday), mashed potatoes, turkey cookies and I made corn casserole. We followed up the meal with a birthday cake they brought over for me. I woke up on black Friday, my birthday, and headed out to Penney's and Target - the two stores that had the most items on my gifts to-buy list on sale. I waited until after 6:30 to go...and I think that was a wise decision. I was able to find almost everything I wanted still available...with no waiting in line!

On Friday I received a call from my sister asking if she, her boyfriend, Robert and my Grandma could arrive that night instead of Sat. morning - YEAH! But that meant a fast cleaning needed to happen. Here are my girls pitching in...
After the cleaning, I put up the tree - LOVE IT!
So Thursday and Friday were enjoyable - a great birthday, complete with the gift of a pink bluetooth thingy to match my new pink Razr! love it! Thank you Mark and kids!
Saturday began with dinner preparations....which took ALL.DAY. LONG! Man was that a lot of work - and virtually IMPOSSIBLE to get everything ready to serve at the same time. I much prefer the childhood Thanksgivings where all you did was show up to eat at the kid's table and then run off to play. No all-day preparations and no clean-up! (which Mark did most of, by the way - look at him here doing dishes!)

I will say that the turkey turned out fabulous though. Here are a few pics of the spread, as well as a lame version of a centerpiece from Family Fun magazine. Jami, Robert and Bailey had fun making him though - SNOOD & all. ha.:

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Could he be any cuter than when he's sleeping soundly?

Monday, November 19, 2007

The Bachelor....

WHAT in THE HECK?!@# Un.Be.LEEEEEEEEEvable! This is the first time in Bachelor history where I've ended up rooting for both women and wanting to hurl my remote at the TV to knock the guy square between the......eyes (what did you think I was going to say?). Can't WAIT for the "After the rose" special tomorrow night, cuz Brad? You got some 'splainin to do.
Grandma Niedermeier with her newest great grandson


What a great weekend! Friday my grandparents, my aunt and my cousin arrived from Illinois. This was the first time most of them met Grant and it was wonderful. It absolutely warms my heart to watch my Grandma with my children...especially my baby. The joy she receives from babies is beyond words. In fact, I can tell you already that if we are given jobs in heaven, someday she will definitely be rocking babies. They made the 5 hour trip to Des Moines for Grant's baptism yesterday. It is a long trip for them and I am SO thankful they made it out. My cousin Krista came too - we asked her to be Grant's "sponsor/Godmother." She was the absolute perfect choice - she's so cool, so nice, so faithful...and just an awesome role model for our kids.

Anyway - back to the visit...after initial conversations, each of my girls took their turn "performing" for family. Since they don't see the kids very often, they always look forward to hearing all about everything the girls are doing, which of course involves music. So, Bailey was a good sport and performed her guitar/vocal number (A Taylor Swift song she will be performing at her concert Dec. 10) and Lauren, not to be outdone, wanted to play her "ma-ca-ca" (harmonica). After her thrilling performance, she then wanted to duet with sissy. She ran through the house saying "C'mon, sissy - Let's do it! Rock 'n Roll!" What a child.

Sunday was perfect too. We were received as new members at Zion and then Grant was baptised. Pastor John pulled out a folding chair and had Lauren climb up so she could get a better view of the sweet! Too bad that was offered prematurely - before he was actually ready to baptise Grant. So, this led to Lauren trying to splash her hands in the holy water (she accomplished this once). She watched intently as the water went on Grant's head, and then patted her head and exclaimed "My turn! or My head!" - something to that effect. Cute. All in all she was decently-behaved though - SHWEW!

After family left later that afternoon, we all changed clothes (Bear-wear...Sunday and we're ready for some football!) and relaxed. A perfect Sunday. Here are a few pictures from the weekend:

Thursday, November 15, 2007

The boy slept 6 hours...IN.A.ROW! Praise God, my prayers have been answered! Woo-Hoo! 6 straight hours of sleep!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

I know I"m fantasizing here - thinking I'll have time to make these...but seriously - how cute are these?!@# Maybe I could get the tube of dough and go from there - I think I can, I think I can....
Gearing up for Black Friday shopping.....
TMI for the Schwan's Man...

When the Schwan's man arrived today, Lauren ran up to him and said "I Poopy!" (which she was NOT...she was trying to explain the apparently thrilling news that she HAD pooped earlier in the morning)....anyway, when that failed to get our attention she said "See? Right HERE!" and then she grabbed and pointed to her diaper area. oh, aren't kids so cute? ugh.
GRANT SMILES! REAL SMILES! (you might want to mute your speakers - extremely annoying Mommy voice warning)

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

I have been LAME-O with the blog posts lately...not that anyone is reading...but if you are? I'm sorry for the lack of posts. You see, between diaper changes, nursing, burping, rocking, laundry, time-outs, shuttling the kids, out-of-town family visits, cleaning up potty-training accidents (don't ask) and emptying and filling the dishwasher - NOTHING else is getting done....literally. I did manage to squeeze in a couple of items not on the forementioned list - and here they are:

1. Toddler Time at the library (love it, love it, LOVE IT! I wish it lasted longer and was every day of the week!)

2. Searching for something for Grant to wear for his baptism Sunday - something that would also work for Christmas dressy wear and that would also coordinate with Lauren. After several stops, FINALLY found it at The Children's Place (LOVE THAT PLACE!). Here's what we settled on - a dress shirt and sweater vest paired with a cute pair of black cordoroys, which I can't find a picture of. ADORABLE dress for Lauren - perfectly coordinated! I can't find a picture of it anywhere online - but it is the same print as Grant's dress shirt, with a red velvet bow positioned at a high waistline position - a sleeveless jumper-style dress. She'll wear a red long-sleeved shirt underneath and either red or black tights. Bailey will wear a red sweater and black dress pants. CUTE!

3. Trying to put together top-secret Christmas gifts for all of the Grandparents - and there are a lot! Between Mark & I - the kids have 4 great grandparents, 5 grandparents and a few very special aunts/uncles/others that are right up there with grandparent status.

4. Making lists, getting groceries and making plans for Grant's baptism, holiday company and meal prep for Thanksgiving. This weekend we have my Grandparents, my aunt and my cousin coming into town for the baptism and to meet Grant for the first time. Thanksgiving weekend is not only MY BIRTHDAY, but also my Grandma's birthday - and she's coming to visit! This woman is 84 I think...and is kicking ovarian cancer in the butt. She and my sister and her boyfriend (it would be shorter if I could type fiance) will be visiting. I have big birthday black Friday plans - we'll see if I can get up and follow-through. Stay tuned.

5. We are also in the process of joining a new church, although I have personally missed 2 of the three meetings so far...lame! I'm just SO tired by the time evening rolls around. But I MUST go this week - the last meeting.

Ok - well...back to the routine. I'll try to do better.

Friday, November 09, 2007

I'm going to test this recipe out - see if it is Thanksgiving-worthy...

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bundt
Perfect for holiday stuffing, this Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bundt winning recipe was created by Erik Lehnardt, Rhodes' Food Service Sales Manager.

24 Rhodes™ Dinner Rolls, thawed but still cold
1 small box vanilla instant pudding
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup canned pumpkin pie mix

Pour pudding mix into a bowl. Cut 12 of the rolls in half and dip in dry pudding mix. Place in sprayed bundt pan. Sprinkle half of the chocolate chips over rolls.

In a saucepan, melt butter and sugar together to form a syrup. Remove from stove top and stir in pumpkin pie mix. Pour half of this mixture over rolls in bundt pan. Repeat the above process with remaining 12 rolls. Sprinkle any remaining pudding mix over the top. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise to one inch below the top of the pan.

Remove wrap and bake at 350°F 40-45 minutes. Cover with foil last 10 minutes of baking, if necessary, to prevent over browning. Remove from oven and invert onto serving platter.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

How lack of sleep can affect you...

Normally if I were to get stuck behind someone at the grocery store with 8,000 items, unruly kids and a wallet full of coupons, I would scoop all of my groceries off of the conveyor belt, load them back into the cart and get in another line just to make a point - even if that new line took longer in the end. But in a recent trip to Wal-Mart, which I strategically timed so that Grant would be sleeping the entire time, I found myself behind such a woman. in addition to a million groceries and coupons, she also had competitor ads for price-matching AND pointed out at least 20 Halloween items that were NOT ringing up 75% off. (Can you just SENSE where this is going?)

Well, since there were only a couple other lanes open - all of which were far away and also filled with people, I decided it would make more sense to tough it out in the lane I was in - the one where all of my items were already organized on the belt. I can be patient - Lauren is behaving, Grant is sleeping - everything is fine. But this price matching, coupon-carrying, scanner stalking thrifty crazy nut pulled out every...and I mean EVERY time-sucking punch to make sure she saved another penny. Soon Grant was fussing. I began rocking his car seat as I considered a) leaving my groceries and walking out of the store; or b) loading everything back up to move to another aisle where I'd need to unload it again. I'd already invested an HOUR in the store - so I stayed.

Grant's fussing picked up - he was no longer asleep - and I knew he was going to be hungry soon. I swung his car seat a little more feverishly - praying - PRAYING that this woman would hurry up and LEAVE already! No luck. Now her kids were misbehaving and she was distracted from her coupons - further delaying the checkout process. Now Grant is BAWLING - I'M. HUNGRY. NOW!

And this is when I begin crying....CRYING in the Wal-Mart checkout lane....while Lauren looks up at me from underneath the gallon of milk and bread I've buried her under to say "You sad, Mommy?" Now, with this added guilt that I"ve concerned my toddler, I begin crying MORE. keeps us sane....I need some.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Ok, I swear when this was happening it didn't seem like these were half-asleep smiles - honest I think in real life he appeared more awake...but the videos...looks like the not-real smiles...the sleeping smiles. But hey - equally cute, right? Just not smiles because of time.


While consuming my 10 THOUSANDTH Halloween candy calorie, I had an Andy moment from The Office.

Anyway, in digging through Lauren's candy I came across two mini packages of Rolo.....remember Rolo? I don't think I've seen that, heard of that and definitely not eaten that since the 80's. So I began the process of trying to recall the jingle. I faintly remembered the commercial - and thanks to the wonder of YouTube, here it is! SOOOO embarrassed that I"m this old. Just look how old this commercial is! Crazy!