BAM Family

BAM Family

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Birthday Twofer Dress!

Yesterday was my 27th birthday! I have realized that as an adult, it is up to me to make my birthday special so I planned a dinner out, picked a movie to watch after the kiddos went to bed ("The King's Speech" VERY good btw!) and made myself a new dress!


 Paired with cute round-toed brown pumps, this little dress and I were ready to take on my birthday. I had a great day!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Double Trouble--the Meng Twins strike again!

So, I was having a nice Easter conversation with my sister during the boys' naptime today when I heard my husband bellow:
BRIT! COME IN HERE BEFORE I KILL SOMEONE!!!

I sweetly informed my sister that my husband seemed to be needing some assistance and skipped lightly to the boys room.

Their room where they were supposed to be napping.

Napping so that their father and I could pull ourselves together so we could do three-year-old-twin-parenting for the second half of the day.

I got to the door of their room and my jaw dropped.

It was white. As in white as snow.

Except it was baby powder. Covering EVERYTHING. The walls, the beds, floor, toys, books, sheets, pillows, blankets, EVERYTHING. Pure white. Everywhere.

Except where there was poop.

Everywhere.

On the walls, on the floor, on the sheets, pillows, stuffed animals, little pieces of stuffing that they pulled out of pillows.

Yep, everywhere.

My children were white. Covered. Encrusted in powder.

And poop covered.

My husband was angry.

No, that is too mild a word. Perhaps "ballistic" might suit better.

All I could do was laugh. (I have discovered that this is my go-to response when I feel completely out of control. Funny, huh?) How do you start to clean up a mess of such epic (and I mean epic!) proportions?

I wish we had gotten a picture of the mess. It was pretty amazing. How do two such young children wreak such havoc in such a short time? Amazing.

Sadly, Aaron and I were in such a..um..delicate...emotional state to take a picture.

Here is some of the aftermath though. This is AFTER we vacuumed with our regular vacuum AND the shop vac, AND scrubbed the, shall we say, "messes" off the floor.
 After their long, rather cold bath. 
Look at their guilty faces
 Cleaning up

24 oz of pure mess. Yep, it was empty. 

The ironic thing is that I don't even USE baby powder anymore! I should have just thrown it away a long time ago (or given it away!) 

It took us 45 minutes to clean everything up. 

WHAT possesses my children? WHAT??? Can someone enlighten me into the minds of the three-year-old twin boys??

(I haven even written blog posts about the Vassaline/Vick Baby Rub incident of last Saturday. The kicker? Micah planted the "evidence" (the bottles of Vassaline that he smeared all over his body, head, blankets, pillow, books and brother) in Benji's sleeping arms. That's love, I tell you. True brotherly love. 

Oh! And I could also write about how Benji stuck is metal car in the microwave and started it. Can you say fireworks and freaked out mommy??? Good thing I was near by and stopped it immediately!) 

Stay tuned...I'm sure the Meng twins will strike again soon....

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Meng Menu

Saturday: Hot dogs, salad
Sunday: BLTs, chips and dip, apple slices
Monday: Shrimp stir-fry with veggies and rice (recipe thanks to Kroger mailer)
Tuesday: Zatarain's Jambalaya with kielbasa
Wednesday: Breakfast casserole, fruit salad
Thursday: Pan fried chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, steamed broccoli
Friday: Homemade pepperoni pizza

Friday, April 15, 2011

How to Sew a Twofer dress: Take 3

My previous two posts on "How to sew a Twofer Dress" have generated the most google hits in my blog history. WOW! Who would have thought? I have been wanting to make some new twofer dresses for a while a-a-a-a-n-d.....

Here is my latest creation! I absolutely love it! I randomly stumbled across this awesome tutorial  by Maybe Matilda a few weeks ago and have been so excited to make a new dress for myself. PLUS, I got a new sewing machine for my birthday/graduation/anniversary present (according my to my husband!). It is a Janome 1000 Heavy Duty machine. 
And this twofer dress was its maiden project. It went off without a hitch! I didn't have to pull out my seam ripper once! :o (Amazing, truly!). 
 Maybe Matilda's tutorial is so easy to follow but I will give you the general breakdown of what I did. The skirt is just a rectangle that has in-seam pockets (I actually sewed them a little too low...oh well). I followed the genius advice of Maybe Matilda and only gathered the fabric in the front and back--not on the sides, thus reducing fullness in the hips. A BIG plus in my book as I am, um, curvy, shall we say. 
The only thing I changed about this dress was the waist tie. I LOVE the bow that the original has but my material was too bulky to tie in a nice bow. (in Aaron's words: "I hate the bow" And I had to agree). So I looped the long sash around my waist twice and tied it in a nice neat knot in the front. Perfect!!
I love the high waisted look! It is so slimming and hides my belly left over from pregnancy (or that's what I keep telling myself...it really just just my excuse because I don't exercise like I should!)

I adore the final result and the best part is...this little number only took me about 2 hours to complete--including hand sewing the hem. 

Go ahead! Make a twofer dress for yourself. 

And stay tuned for more twofer creations from your truly in the near future. :) 

Monday, April 11, 2011

Meng Menu

I am definitely NOT on the ball as far as menu planning goes this week. In fact, I haven't even gone "large" grocery shopping. We had to stop for bread on the way home from church yesterday and I frantically snatched some groceries up that would tide us over for a few days. I might end up going to the store tonight or tomorrow morning.

Saturday: Calzones
Sunday: Bacon, eggs, orange Julius
Monday: Pan seared red snapper, roasted red potatoes, steamed broccoli
Tuesday: Frozen Pizza
Wednesday: Chicken and Rice, green beans
Thursday: Shrimp and grits, jello salad
Friday: Chicken fajitas, refried beans

I am NOT supermom

It has been one of those days...or mornings, since today is only technically half over. Really? Only HALF over...seriously?

Two crabby monsters have taken over my children's bodies. And a big grumpy monster has taken over my body. I feel like I swing between irritation, frustration, and exhaustion lately as a mother. Oh and extreme anger. Yep, my name is Brittany and I have an anger problem. And a patience problem. And a host of other nasty problems when it come to my children. Around adults, I am virtually perfect--sweet, loving, patient, intuitive, and gentle.

To my kids? I am a grumpy, yelling banshee. :P :(

Micah and I butted heads all morning. I don't know if he was tired or just in a really bad mood but he was crying, clingy, whiney, defiant, mood-swinger etc. etc. etc.

I feel like every other word coming out of my mouth was "NO! STOP THAT! QUIT! MI-CAH!" etc. etc. etc.

As far as the things I got done this morning, it looks like I've had a great day so far:
I showered! (be excited for me. It doesn't happen every day)
Did the dishes (again, be excited. This usually doesn't happen before 4pm)
Did a load of laundry (Micah soaked through his pull up and wet his bed. Pretty much a daily thing. I will be so glad when they are night-time potty trained)
Fed and dressed the boys
Dressed them again after the both had accidents :P
Made banana chocolate chip muffins with my squishy brown bananas
Played outside for 1/2 an hour

I wish the playing outside could have been longer but Micah fell off the swing backwards (not while swinging) and got covered in mud (I think I dressed him again after this...) and then was inconsolable.

(btw, I am covered in mud too from the boys kicking me in the legs while I was pushing them on the swings. Oh, and mud is all over my butt too from Micah's shoes when I was holding him. And no, I have not dressed myself again).

Whenever Micah had one of his meltdowns today (and there were MANY!) he would wail "I WANT MY DADDY!" This has been his mantra lately. Mommy just doesn't cut it these days.

He also cries for Daddy when I am mad at him. Yep, I guess I am the mean parent.

After the swing incident we came back inside and had some snuggles on the couch and talked about how he was feeling--my attempt at "good" parenting today. He calmed down and then we started the muffins.

That was a good 10 minutes.

It all fell apart again when I was standing at the stove putting the batter in the muffin tins. Micah wanted to lick the spoon and very adamantly informed me of this fact over and over again. To get closer he put his foot in the oven drawer and held onto the oven handle. Can you guess what happened next? (I am not winning the mother-of-the-year award for this one). The oven door opened (it is hot) and he fell backward. He didn't burn himself or hit hard but it did scare him quite a bit (and me). And what do moms do when they are scared for their children? They yell! Which made him cry more. Gah.

After I finished my yelling, I held him for a while and then did what any good mom does when she is fed up for the morning. I turned on a DVD.

And then once Micah calmed down, the drama-queen bug bit Benji.

SIGH.

Motherhood is hard and has not been very much fun lately. Maybe it is the age. Maybe it is me. But sometimes, being a mom just sucks. There I said it.

I am amazed that my kids love me as much as they do because they definitely see the WORST side of me every day.

Sorry for such a long diary-esque post. I think I just needed to process and vent. Can anyone else relate?

Friday, April 8, 2011

New Beds!

Our little men are growing up. They have new beds! The cribs are officially gone in every form. :( or :)?

Aaron had been talking about building the boys beds for a while but the process got a kick in the pants last week when...um...Aaron broke Benji's bed. He sat on the edge of his bed and CRACK! That was the end of the toddler/crib bed. (There was a knot in the wood of bed rail and that is why it broke).

We have had the mattresses on the floor for the past week and a half (Micah couldn't be left out of the "fun" so we took his bed apart too and he slept on just his mattress too).

 So here they are! The boys love them! They are still small enough to sleep comfortably on the small mattress so Aaron made the beds to fit the crib/toddler mattress.
See the holes in the bottom? Aaron is still building the drawers to go underneath for extra storage for toys/clothes.

They are the perfect hight for the boys to get in and out by themselves and also for Aaron and I to sit on the beds to read or sing. I love them too!

Sleep tight in your new beds, little babies. Oh wait...you aren't  babies anymore. My little guys are growing up!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Children's Books I like: All the World

All the World

This picture book by Liz Garton Scanlon and illustrated by Maria Frazee is pure delight. I bought it on a whim at Ollie's for Christmas. It fit my criteria for a "good" kids book ie. few words on the page and good pictures.

This book has GREAT pictures though. As in, it won this fancy prize in 2010 called the Caldecott Award. :D 

I love introducing Caldecott books to my children. I feel like I am holding a true piece of art. 

While the pictures are exceptional, the text is equally captivating. Scanlon writes in poetry--not singy-songy kid poetry either--true verse. Her words taste so good as this book is read aloud. They simply roll off your tongue and just hang in the air for a moment. Truly delicious. 

The pictures and poetry follow the story of a family and small community throughout their day. It is a perfect goodnight book. The cadence of the poetry makes you slow down and speak softly. By the last page, I find myself nearly whispering. The boys lean in to hear the last phrase and their heads are so close that dropping that final goodnight kiss on their fuzzy little heads is just the right ending to this wonderful book. 

My favorite lines are at the end of the book: "Hope and Peace and Love and Trust / All the World is all of us"

::happy sigh::

Check this book out! No, don't do that. Buy it. 

It's a treasure of literary beauty and simplicity. 

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Meng Menu + Cake Cookie Recipe!

Saturday: Chicken, steamed broccoli, yeast rolls
Sunday: Soup, Sandwiches, leftovers
Monday: Grilled Pork Roast, roasted potatoes, green beans
Tuesday: Breakfast bake, fruit salad
Wednesday: Chicken tenders, mashed potatoes, green beans
Thursday: Cheese and Spinach pasta roll-ups, salad, yeast rolls
Friday: Homemade Pizza, salad

Grocery bill this week was $126 and change. Not as good as previous weeks but still not out of control. I did buy a $10 pork roast that will service dinner on Monday and leftovers for the rest of the week (possibly another dinner as well if I end up shifting the menu a bit). I also bought an $8 bag of chicken cutlets that will last until next week (I usually get 3 meals out of one bag of frozen chicken). So all in all, not bad. 

This price also included a 2 pack of round cake pans ($3.99) because I cannot find my round cake pans anywhere. Now that I've bought the new ones I will probably find my old ones, right? 

Sweet snacks this week include Cake Cookies. I LOVE this recipe! It is SO easy and really economical too. Oh, and they are delicious too!

Cake Cookies

One box cake mix (I am using lemon this week but I usually do chocolate. Heavenly!)
1/2 cup oil
2 egg

(yep, that's it)

Preheat oven to 350. Beat all ingredients together until combined. Mixture will be very thick. (I usually add chocolate chips at this point if I am doing a chocolate cake mix. Double chocolate baby!) 

Drop a teaspoon-ish of dough onto greased cookie sheet about 2" apart. 

Bake for 10-14 minutes. (It really depends on your oven and the brand of cake mix you use. They are done when the top looks dry and is slightly cracked on top--think ginger snap). They should be slightly soft to the touch at the center. 

Let cool on cookie sheet for 3-5 minutes and then remove to rack or counter. Let cool. They will be really soft when you take them off but they will harden up. They are perfect when they are crispy on the outside and chewy in the middle.  

For the lemon cookies I drizzle a glaze of powdered sugar and lemon juice on top after the cookies have cooled. Yumm...bring on the cookies and a hot cup of tea. Sigh...:)

I also love to make these with a white cake mix and white chocolate chips. They taste just like white chocolate chip macadamia nut cookies (Aaron is not a fan of nuts but go ahead and throw them in for yourself!) It doesn't get any easier than that!

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