Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Monday, September 27, 2010

The Big 2-8

I celebrated my 28th birthday this last weekend and I must say that I simply cannot remember a birthday where I felt so pampered and blessed by those I love! My sweet family pulled out all the stops and showered me with lots of gut-busting time together and all sorts of birthday goodies! Nothing compared to these beauties though...

They were a surprise delivery from my sis that seriously had my entire family sitting around the coffee table at ten o'clock at night From Pumpkin to Butterscotch, Birthday Cake to German Chocolate, we got our chow on. Boston Cream Pie {upper right hand corner} won all of our affections, though. DI-VINE!
Thanks to my momma and Mark, our UPS lady dropped this off as well. Would you believe it if I told you that for the last few years we have had to heat up our coffee in the microwave just so we can drink it hot! For real. I'm glad they took pity on me because I was obviously stuck in a brew-and-nuke rut. Here's hoping that in my twenty-eighth year of life I acquire the gift of coffee etiquette!
And last, as a gift to myself, I bought these yard sale jewels. Aren't they pretty woody?! I actually bought them from inside my car, on my way to an appointment that I was running late for, and from a house in our neighborhood that we have affectionately come to call, "Cajun House" {for all reasons that can be inferred}! Because of my haste, I even agreed to pay $17 for the them, which breaks down to $4.25 a chair OR $4 a chair too much in Jer's opinion. They are in bad, bad shape, people. So bad, in fact, I couldn't even bring myself to take a picture of them pre-hosed down, hence the two-tone in the picture. I actually found a piece of floss tucked between the cushion and the wicker on one of them! And even tonight, as my prized yard sale gems sat dripping drying in the front yard, we watched as a young couple rode by on their bikes, laughing and pointing all the while. 

I wonder what they'll call our house...

I  will not be deferred though. I have a vision and I love a good challenge.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Sweet Success.

And in case you're interested in your having a little of your own sweet success; original recipe here!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Monday, September 13, 2010

A Bit of Fall Randoms

Although I feel like it was just yesterday that I was pushing a sweet potato around on my plate and longing for the days of BBQ's and baseball games and bowls filled to the brim with fruit; the time has definitely come where I've had my fill of summer and my mind is eager with anticipation for what the fall brings. Crisp air, leather boots, The Fair, corn mazes, pumpkins, hearty meals, fires, and fall baking. I love this time of year, don't you?
And even though it's a tad bit early to be heating up the kitchen with the oven, I decided that I just couldn't wait to try out a fabulous looking Food and Wine recipe that I've been eying for a couple of weeks. Best-Ever Caramel Cake, anyone?
 Now, I don't consider myself a novice baker and it's not often that something I make, fails. But this failed. It failed HORRIBLY. I think it went south somewhere around 235 degrees, which is where the temperature was supposed to rise to in order for the bubbling sugar and cream to become caramel. Now I'm no candy expert but I don't think the caramel got to where it needed to be otherwise it would not have soaked into the cake like this. Or pooled at the bottom for that matter. And you wanna know what the worst part was? It wasn't even edible. It was wet and soggy and pretty much tasted like defeat. Jer didn't mind a little defeat though...
As for me, I clipped the recipe and tucked it away for safe keeping  in hope of conquering this "quintessential Southern dessert "another time. I'll keep you posted!

In other riveting news, I bought myself a $4 bouquet of sunflowers at Trader Joe's this week. They make me happy every time I walk into the kitchen and see them. {What is it about having fresh flowers in your house?}The Deuce think they're pretty neat too. In fact, they make sure to point them out to all who come to our kitchen door. I think they're just excited that for ONCE mom let something that belongs outside come inside.
As a sweet gesture towards her daughter-in-law who's day had been a little hectic, my mother-in-law gave me $20 this week and told me to spend it on myself. Maybe I should have gotten a pedicure or something equally pampering but instead I spent it making my home a little lovely. My practical side said make the initial door hanging you've been wanting...and buy a  yummy smelling candle...and those pumpkin colored mums you ahhh'd over...

So I did! And they have been as equally a blessing as any pedicure;  so thank you Mimi!
And last, because I know I can't leave you without a potty training update...we have two completely {#1 AND #2} potty trained boys. Things have been working...quite...regularly{!} around here, to which I say "Thank You!" and "AMEN!" The Deuce have also been successfully napping in undies-WHOO-HOO! And even better news is that I am now down to washing/drying/folding diapers one time a week. 

Which, in Layman's Terms, means more time to try and conquer  the Best-Ever Caramel Cake. Just kidding.*

*Not really. 

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Say What?!

These days, with as much chatter that goes on around here I should have blog material for weeks! So much of what The Deuce say is cute...and funny...and just plain TWO! They are constantly amazing us with some word, phrase, or conversation and yet so much of it goes forgotten. I wish I was better about writing things down as soon as they happen! But then again, people around here kinda like to eat and wear clean clothes so something has gotta give! Despite my 9:49 pm Jello brain, I did manage to come up with a few of my favorites though. In no particular order, some of our Duo's toddlerism's... 

Benjamin is very adamant these days about how he would like to see things go. He tries very hard to convince us to do what he wants too. For instance, when he really wants something he uses the phrase, "k" {okay} at the the end. 
  • Example: "Momma! Monster's, Inc., K?!"

And then when it happens to go his way, his word of choice is, "Awesome!" 

Another biggie in this stage of developing independence is "MOMMAIDOIT!" It's almost always accompanied with the signing motion for "please" and a very cheesy but sweet smile. "MOMMAIDOIT'S" are usually reserved for the messiest, hold your breath while the kiddo does it, tasks and are the most prone to be followed by a fit. {His not mine.} "MOMMAIDOIT'S" are a lesson in patience {mine not his} and they cause the occasional hiccup {who needs to be on time to the doctor anyway?!}. But man is it sweet to see him FINALLY accomplish something on his own! Like crack an egg!

For the most part, Ben speaks pretty clearly and without issue. He does have a few words that are his own creation, though. 
  • Pie-pier=paper  
  • Hock-ets=Hotdogs

Now for the DOOZY: WUZATFOR {i.e. What's that for?} I probably hear this 200 times a day, no joke. Everything is, "WUZATFOR? WUZATFOR? WUZATFOR?" Ignoring it does not silence the questioner, either. Only cold hard facts will satisfy this boy. Or an M&M :)

While our Mister A.B. is a lot less vocal, he does have more words that he's put his own little spin on...

  • "Bunny"=Benny
  • "Chocky milk"=chocolate milk {WHY did I ever introduce it?! It's all this boy wants!}
  • "Seat down"=sit down {Said as if he were channeling Arnold Schwarzenegger
  • E-I-E-YO=E-I-E-I-O
    • Example: "Old McDonald had a farm E-I-E-YO!" 
  • Hamas-burgers=hamburgers {My personal fav!}
  • Dinnas Time=Dinner time 
  • Sick=Six
    • Example: "Four, five, sick..."
  • Wahmies=Watermelon
  • Rain-ies=Raisins
  • Egga -plant=Eggplant 
As cute as the above words might be, Abe has also unfortunately picked up on a saying that I use in our house when I'm disciplining, "Give me that, please." It's often used when the boys are fighting over a toy or they get into something they shouldn't be. However, his two year old brain thinks it's how you ask for something you want. And he frequently forgets the please. Needles to say, he's daily being corrected for saying things like, "Give me that chocky milk, momma." 

Our second born is also learning the art of using context to his advantage. Here's a conversation between Abe and I at dinnas time the other night...

Me: "Abe, please eat two more bites of your dinner and then you can have fruit."
Abe: "Too big momma, I choke!"

Too bad it was soup otherwise he could have had a legitimate argument :)

Friday, September 3, 2010

This TWO Shall Pass

We here at Casa de Sloan are four days in to potty training. Four short {but looooooong} days. Under the recommendation of my sweet friend and fellow mom to four potty trained children, I am using Toliet Training In Less Than a Day by Nathan Azrin and  Richard Foxx. It's concise; it's no-nonsense; it's exhausting  {or maybe it's your kids peeing all over the place that about does that}; BUT it works.  After just two days of training, both of our boys have been accident free with the exception of the daily #2 from Abe {you're welcome for that little TMI gem!}. Anyway, we are just trying to ride that one out under the advise of lots of friends and family who assure us that it will happen and that it just takes some kids longer to figure it out.  Man is that a principal easier said than lived out, though!Right now as I type, two little ticking time bombs are running and frolicking about about, completely ignorant as to why I am unnerved. Neither boy has done his business this morning and I am on them like white on rice. These poor chaps cannot even scratch an itch without me practically walking them to the potty. Alas, just as a watched pot never boils, I'm sure the same will ring true with them. As soon as I turn my back to tend to the baby or answer a phone call, the inevitable will happen. It's Mom Law.

As an added measure to help ensure our success, we  also enlisted some of our favorite friends around here. In fact, not one of them was excluded from the party! Our buddies candy, chips, juice and popular t.v. personalities all showed up and totally brought their A-Game. They did such a great job, however, we had to switch gears a little after one particularly smart boy cracked the code and started stopping the "flow" of things so he could get a treat and then go back and finish for another one. Told ya' he was smart!

Meet said boy, Benjamin "Whatastinker" Sloan. Seriously, this boy is so desperate for candy that I think he would sell one of his brothers to a band of gypsies all for the sake of an M&M.
 And then we have our reserved boy. Our number two child who will not do a #2 on the toilet and who kindly says, "No Dan-Du, Mommy" when he's offered a treat for trying. He also prefers that I not sing a song or do our "Potty Party"  dance complete with obnoxious, "Ooooh-Ooooh" after he does go. He is just sooooo not motivated by  conventional  rewards. Thankfully, there is  one thing that will make this boy grin ear-to-ear. After he uses the potty he likes to ask me, "Are you happy, mommy?"  and then  he waits for the exuberant "Yes!" and a big kiss and hug! I'll tell you what, a little lovin' goes a long way with this boy! I guess the occasional fruit snack doesn't hurt either :)
So while still have quite the hill to climb {i.e. learning to undress while wearing clothes, actually leaving the house, accidents in public, pooping IN the potty, wearing underwear during naptime and nighttime, transitioning to standing, no longer being reminded to go} I  am CLINGING to the promise of those who have gone before us that these things will come and not just once they're six! 

I am also trying to remind myself that for every accident that we do have, it's just one less in the however many that are still to come. But it is hard, people! Especially when  that involves scrubbing a pair "Melmo" tighty-whities in the sink, all the while contemplating if they really can or should be saved.
Ah, sweet potty training! But if there's anything I have learned in my short time and experience of being a mother, it's that this TWO shall pass!