Saturday, May 29, 2010

My Blog Readers

If you haven't noticed, I have a visitor log at the bottom of my blog that shows the different countries from which I have received visitors.  Whether you are in the US or another country I would love to know more about you and what brought you to the blog.  Feel free to post a comment or contact me separately on my contact page.  I'm interested in finding out more about my readers.


Friday, May 28, 2010

Gus

Gus is trying to say more and more things.  I think he is frustrated that he can't always communicate and I am definitely frustrated with the screaming he does when he wants to tell us something but can't.  We've been trying to get him to say John for a while, which comes out sounding like 'da' but the other day I tried to get him to say Gus and this is what I got.
video
He is so proud of himself.  I love that it looks like he will pass out just trying to get out that "G."


Monday, May 24, 2010

Who Taught Him How To Dress?

John wanted to go to the store with his dad this morning so I told him to go upstairs and get dressed.  He came out of his room a few minutes later wearing this...
He thought the outfit was just fine.  I asked where his pants were, but he said it didn't really matter.  Gotta love him!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Boys and Dirt

I don't think you can have one with out the other.  My apartment stayed very clean before I got married and then became a lot messier after having John.  Now, my house is just a breeding ground for dirt and other dirt-like particles.  I made the rule awhile ago that food was only to be eaten in the kitchen or dining room.  Surprisingly, even though we have the rule, I am constantly sweeping and vacuuming what looks to be food-like particles and dirt all over the house.  I have come to the realization that boys just can't help it.  In my years of teaching I have come across only two boys who didn't enjoy getting or being dirty.  Not my boys.  My boys constantly play outside in the dirt, find water to make it mud, then proceed to smear the muddy mixture all over themselves.  When it isn't mud they like taking a bucket of dirt and pouring it over each other's head.  I used to look at kids in stores with dirty little faces and say to myself that I would NEVER go out with my kid like that.  Now I understand and feel the other mother's struggle.  I kid you not, I will give the boys a bath Sunday morning, get them ready for church, put them in the car clean and, by the time we make the 5 minute trip to church, they both have messy faces.  How can that be?  Baby wipes are my best friend.

I enjoy having boys, but a nice, clean girl would be nice.  Until then I will continue to live in a house full of messy, fun-loving, LOUD, dramatic, high energy boys.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

The Adventures of August

Yes, this little boy already has the stories deserving of his own blog posts.  I think his brother has taught him well.  We had high hopes for Gus as he was born seemingly low maintenance, but something happened.  We're pretty sure John changed him.  Now that we have a third kid coming along we are convinced more and more each day that he/she should be raised in isolation from the other two.

Gus isn't really talking a whole lot.  He can say a few things like dada and mama and even something that sounds like John.  He also says dog and ruffs at any dog that seems to cross his line of vision.  He has also learned to say hi and bye and night night, although that is like a curse word for him.  However, despite his lack of vocabulary he is very good at voicing is displeasure and even his boredom.  A few weeks ago in church he decided he wanted to go out and play, and rather than throw the normal fit to get me to leave he decided to spit at me, his brother, his dad and everyone else sitting behind us in church.  When I tried to cover his mouth he would either lick my finger or bite it and keep on spitting.  Everyone but me thought this was funny.

And, on the subject of church, when we were at the communion rail Gus got really excited to see his dad up close and personal.  He just kept saying, "hi, hi, hi, hi, hi" over and over and over again.  He was very sad to leave the rail not have any acknowledgment from his dad.

It is funny how the second, and subsequent, kids always seem to pick things up a little faster that the first when it comes to causing harm to others.  We were outside enjoying a beautiful day and the boys were playing nicely.  That is, until August found a stick.  John, who was actually not bothering Gus started crying and screaming,"No!  That hurts."  I looked over to see Gus hitting John with the stick.  Repeatedly.

Gus has come to hate Thursdays.  I mean HATE.  On Thursdays I watch a 2 month old boy named Nathan.  He is a sweet, quiet, good baby and is really no hassle at all.  John loves Nathan.  He wakes up asking when baby Nathan is coming over and always asks if we can keep him.  John is my big helper with Nathan; he gets me diapers, wipes, pacifiers, you name it.  Gus on the other hand is counting down the minutes until Nathan goes home.  Gus throws fits, takes Nathan's toys and pacifiers and acts like he is being neglected when we hold Nathan.  This is good for Gus.  This is good practice for what is to come in 5 1/2 months.  I think Gus is already suffering from middle child syndrome.





Thursday, May 6, 2010

The Tales of John

One day we were all playing outside, and John really needed to go to the bathroom.  I must say he is really good about telling me just in time.  I think he has only ever had one accident because he has waited too long.  I was getting a little concerned when he seemed to be inside for a long while so I went in to check things out.  When I went into the bathroom, John was just sitting on the toilet with a very concerned look on his face.  I asked if he was OK and he just nodded.  I took one step closer and immediately realized why he had the worried look.  "Is this pee all over my floor?" I asked.  "Ummmm, yes.  Well, I heard the ice cream truck and had to see it.  But when I stood up I just couldn't stop peeing."  So, instead of sitting back down, John just decided to stand at the window in hopes of catching a glimpse of the ice cream truck.

John has been very enthusiastic about singing in church.  He can sing louder than everyone else combined.  The only problem with this is that he can't read and doesn't know a whole lot of the words.  To compensate, John has decided to sing his own songs with various religious words like Jesus Christ, holy, amen and so on.  The other Sunday, Hans chanted 'Bless we the Lord' to which the congregation is supposed to respond 'Thanks be to God'.  Since John didn't know what sing he just sang at the top of his lungs. "Jesus Christ is awesome!"  Hans had to keep himself from laughing out loud while finishing the benediction.

One night, before bed, I told John he would need to clean the family room if he wanted to watch TV the next day.  He immediately told me he was too tired to clean the room and that he would do it later.  I told him that was fine, but he would not watch TV until it was done.  This was over a week ago.  He doesn't ask to watch and hasn't complained.  He is simply a stubborn child.  I wonder how long he will hold out.  I would be fine with this for the rest of my life, but we have vacation coming up in a month and I have to decide if I'm going to let him watch the DVD player in the car if the family room is still a mess.  We also have company coming next week.  But, I will win this battle.  So, if you visit my house, be prepared to see a toy infested family room because I am not lifting a finger.  Where does he think he gets his stubbornness from?

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Cake

I received some wonderful things for Christmas that had to do with baking cakes.  I was given nice spring form pans and some great cake decorating books along with some cake decorating classes, which I haven't taken yet.  I've been reading through my books, watching Ace of Cakes on the Food Network and Cake Boss on TLC and just had the itch to make a cake.  My problem, aside from being tired all of the time, is that once I made the cake we would have to eat it.  I'm not much of a sweets person, so having cake in the house just goes to waste.  I was excited when I realized that I would be meeting with a group of about 20 people this past week and thought it would be a perfect time to try out a new cake and some new decorating styles.
These are some of the books I got for Christmas.  I highly recommend "Cakes to Dream on",  it is a great book with wonderful instructions on how to make some pretty awesome cakes.

I didn't follow any kind of pattern when doing this cake.  I just took bits and pieces from things that I read about or saw on TV.  I knew I wanted to try to make a 2-tiered cake and fill it with something good.
Here is one of the layers of cake, just out of the oven.  I was letting it cool on the table when John came into the dining room and said, "Mom, I'm so sorry I ate some of your cake."  If you look on the left side of the cake near the bottom you will see a little discoloration.  This was John's work, as he took his little fingers and helped himself.  It could have been much worse.

This is the good stuff here.  This is some premium dark chocolate.  I used this chocolate to make some wonderful ganache.

Filling the cake with ganache just wasn't enough, so I decided to add some strawberries.

Doesn't that look good?  Each cake tier had three layers of cake and two layers of ganache with strawberries.

I also decided that I would try my hand at fondant.  I've always wanted to try using fondant, but it can be pretty expensive in the store.  When I saw my friend Jan's blog with a post about marshmallow fondant I just had to try it out.

So, here it is.  A two-tiered white cake with chocolate ganache and strawberry filling, iced with homemade buttercream icing and wrapped in marshmallow fondant.  It was fun to make and I learned a lot about what to do in the future to make it look better.  I didn't actually try any of the cake myself, but there were only a few slices left after people got their hands on it.  I'd say it was a success.