Sunday, May 25, 2014

Happy Birthday To Me

The tradition was started last year with my genius husband who thought it would be a great idea to send me on a shopping day with my sister followed by a date with him.  (I have yet to post these pictures).  So this year, the day started off with Matthan and Aunt Sarah snuggles, followed by a leisurely breakfast of cereal, and then off to shopping.  

We stopped for sushi for lunch... not a surprise for anyone that knows us.


Followed by some more shopping.

Trying on shoes that are way too big just for fun

And ended the night with Chinese food, "Frozen", and chocolate amaretto cake made by the Hubs.  Excuse the lack of picture taking, I was having too much fun shopping and eating.  And the lack of text in this post is due to a yummy food coma.  Great birthday!

Saturday, May 17, 2014

It's All Greek To Me

This weekend has been full of fun and smiles.  Please excuse the picture dumping.  Warning: cuteness overload in 3...2...1...

Bubble bath with a side of bubbles

Outdoor snuggles

Big boxes are the best toys - chilling with his ukulele 

Godfather Austin had unloaded some lemons on us this past week, so when life gives you lemons, you make Lemon Ricotta Pancakes with Blueberry sauce, of course.  I used this recipe that I had found on Pinterest (I would add more sugar to the sauce next time).  

Pancakes well received

Fluffy pancakes

Blueberry sauce

Then Godfather Austin came over and we headed out to the Greek Festival.  We toured the beautiful church.  In the dome of most Greek Orthodox churches, there is a painting of the "Pantokrater" (roughly translate from Greek as "all-powerful"; and in this context refers to the painting of Christ).  For part of the tour we were seated almost directly under the dome.  Matthan was fascinated by the beauty and magnificence of the church and when he looked up, he pointed and said "Jesus!".  

After the tour we watched the dancing and then ate dinner.  Oh the food.  If you go for no other reason go for the food.  Best gyro I've ever had.  Then Austin and I bought shots of ouzo.  I did not actually know what ouzo was but I had seen it on "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" and thought that it would be fun to try.  I'll save you the details of my experience and just say that I was not a fan.  I strongly dislike anything resembling black licorice and, unbeknownst to me, ouzo is an anise (black licorice tasting) flavored liqueur.  Oops.  Tim finished mine.

Matthan did great the whole day.  I couldn't believe he let us sit and watch the Greek dancing as long as he did.  Of course, that could have had something to do with the meal sized back of crackers that Daddy packed.  

After sitting for so long we let Matthan push the stroller the half mile back to the parking lot, patiently guided by Godfather Austin who received strange looks from oncoming pedestrians who couldn't see Matthan as they approached.  

And of course we round out the weekend with a Matthan selfie.  Sneaky boy got to my phone.

Smiles for a great weekend!

Friday, May 9, 2014

7 Quick Takes: Matthan Etc.

My Little Man is almost 21 months and he is growing up so fast.  He is quite proficient with my iPhone which I try to use sparingly - like waiting 30 minutes at a burger and shake place for the waitress to take our drink order.  However, I'm not always diligent about putting the phone out of reach and so I often find 100 pictures and one second videos that Matthan has succeeded in taking in a very short period of time.

Matthan "Selfie" 

I've caught him having conversations with Siri.  He has made a few phone calls recently and has sent a couple texts.  He can do this all without entering my passcode.  Anyone know if that is a setting that I can change??  He is quite a little parrot these days and repeats everything.  I really don't worry about him picking anything inappropriate up from those we hang around with the most, but today Siri translated some of Matthan's gibberish as "butt hole".  I think Siri and I are going to have to have a chat.  I'm now good at knowing the "playing on his own quiet" versus "found my phone quiet".

I know that we're well into the happy Easter season, but since I didn't post this earlier, I ask that you oblige me to bore you with some rambling about a Lenten activity.  I got inspired by a friend (Hi Megan!) who told me that she and her husband each choose one item from their house every day during Lent and donate it all on Holy Saturday.  I thought getting rid of forty things was going to be difficult.  But it wasn't.  I didn't even realize how small a pile forty things make, which makes me realize how much stuff I still have.  On a podcast I listened to, these guys do what they (half) jokingly call "the great purge" every Lent and rid themselves of "unnecessary" possessions (unnecessary being subjective of course).  I've been doing a lot of purging this year and I have to say, ridding myself of unnecessary items (those I deem neither beautiful nor functional) has brought me a lot of peace.  Try it.

So back to Little Man's cuteness.  I try to get him involved whenever possible.  He still helps me put laundry in and take laundry out of the dryer.  I can't wait to have him help me in the kitchen, but I still don't trust his balance on a chair.  So his current job is to spin the salad for me.  He can do this on the relatively clean floor.  He loves it.  The other day, The Hubs let him do it and Little Man took the lid off while it was still spinning and lettuce flew everywhere.

Before that incident, The Hubs hadn't know that that was Little Man's job and LM saw Daddy spinning the salad and got really upset.  I couldn't help but laugh.

I love his concentration face

We have lots of books.  Apparently lots of the same book.  They seem to multiply like rabbits.  Buh-dump-chsh.

I know I'm lame, but I've been waiting so long to pull a "Jake from State Farm" (from the commercial).  And finally... a friend lost her cell phone contacts ...

My little book worm's love for books has not waned.  He loves "Go Dog. Go!", "E-E-E" (Dr. Seuss's A B C's), "E-I-E-I-O" (Old McDonald Had a Farm book), and "Moon" (Goodnight Moon).  He recognizes pages too.  The other day he opened the Dr. Seuss book to the "H, I, J page" and said "J, J, J, jelly jar".  I was really surprised.

He also points out pictures of Jesus on books and other objects, like a crucifix.  Of course, a few weeks ago, he called a sphinx "Jesus", so we're still working on it.  He says most of the responses in mass such as "Thanks be to God" and gives a very emphatic "Amen!".  He loves the sign of peace and looks a little disheartened if everyone around him does not shake his hand.

He is walking and running around everywhere and is constantly on the move... unless he is snuggling with me.  He is a great eater.  His current favorites are "gapes" (grapes), "spare-gus" (asparagus), "stwawbewwees" (strawberries), "cOOk-KEY" (cookie), "fwies" (fries), and "sgetty-oh!!" (spaghetti).  And heaven forbid the child finds one of us drinking a kale smoothie without us sharing with him.

Chomping on asparagus

He is definitely showing his little will, and he still smiles as much as ever.  He gives hugs and kisses and even shares his fish "cwackuhs".  He LOVES to be outside running around and chasing "sky birds".  He still loves his "nying-nying" (blankey) and books (which he still occasionally calls "oonts").  It's neat to hear him say words correctly but I also miss his little baby words when he stops saying them.  

He runs to the car when I tell him "let's go get in your carseat".  He also runs into his room yelling "clean diaPUH, clean diaPUH" when I say "let's get you a clean diaper".   

The other day he was asking me to go outside ("outside! shoes! outside! (he knows he has to put his shoes on before going outside)), and I was trying to make his lunch.  So as an experiment, I asked him to bring me his shoes.  I thought at very best he'd bring me two different shoes, but he brought me a pair of shoes.  So then I thought I'd test my luck and asked him to get me his socks.  He went into his room, into the changing table, into the little basket, and brought me a pair of socks!  I was so surprised.  He got to eat his lunch outside :)

That's all folks!  Have a Happy Friday!

For more Quick Takes themed blog posts, visit Conversion Diary!

Fun With Grandpa Jim

This weekend, my dad (Grandpa Jim) came up to visit us.  Matthan warmed up to him really quick and they were running around the yard together in no time.

A new view of the world from Grandpa Jim's tall shoulders

Because it was yucky outside, we headed to "the boy store" (Bass Pro Shops) to check out the fish tank and things that we didn't need to buy.

Not so sure about the large fish

Clinging to Grandpa

Still not sure about the fish that are the size of him

Then Grandpa Jim bought Matthan some clothes because Matthan's pants were starting to look like capris and his pajamas were starting to squeeze him like a sausage.  Thank you Grandpa Jim!

Check out my new shoes!

Brushing teeth in new pajamas

Matthan woke up every morning for the next week asking for "Gran-Pa Jeem".

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Flowers, Furniture, and My Favorite Boy - PHFR


I have decided that my new favorite flower is the violet.  I have told you before that my gardening skills are lacking in areas... the watering, providing adequate sunlight, and keeping-plants-alive-in-general areas.  The Hubs bought me this violet during Advent.  ADVENT!  It had beautiful flowers on it then, and now it has beautiful flowers on it AGAIN!  Do you understand what this means? We've found a plant that has survived my "care" long enough to flower again.  

I took this picture last week, and the violet is currently sporting five blossoms this week.  I've thought about transplanting it to a bigger pot... but I'm letting it be... because we know how that would end.


Our white plastic porch furniture has been in our family for eight years.  It was given to The Hubs for free in college, and was the guys' back porch furniture for a couple years in college, and has tagged along with us to every city and apartment and now our house since we've been married.  It's been loved.  Many a conversation has been had... many a butt has fallen asleep during these conversations...because cheap is this set... but comfortable it is not.  I've also done my best to make it look nice for various gatherings.

Early Spring 2012 ~ The Hubs and Godfather Austin

I've been keeping my eye out for furniture online and in stores and everything was just too expensive or cheap and no better than what we had, but folks the other day I found a winner!  And it's comfortable!  Many the butts that are grateful.

Please excuse the cooler drying in the sun and the cloth diapers needing to be folded

Matthan loves it too because it is just the right size for him to climb up on by himself.

Not that he minded the other options.

Our camping couch


And you know what is also awesome about the new porch furniture.  It came in a HUGE box!  I can sit up in it and not touch the top.  It now has a permanent home in the corner of our living room and Matthan's train chair fits in it nicely.  Matthan likes to shut me in it and have me pop out at him.  I was kind of hoping that he'd shut me in and forget about me so that I could get a nap in there. 


I think Spring is officially over here.  The mornings are getting pretty hot now.  Matthan begs me to go outside every day.  I usually do some work in the yard while he is playing in his car or dumping water on himself.  I told you my issues of plants that grew on their own versus plants that I've touched.  Here is exhibit A.  Here is a picture of some squash plants (I think) that have randomly grown on their own in our garden (i.e. I did not plant them this year).  On the left is a healthy squash plant, left alone.  On the right are two squash plants that I transplanted to be there and they are shriveled and eaten.  Sigh.  I think I have some strawberries growing.  But it could just be a weed.

Hop over to Like Mother, Like Daughter for more blog posts with the Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real theme.

round button chicken

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Tips And Thoughts From A Beginning Gardener - PHFR

I meant to post these pictures a couple of weeks ago.  We've been putting a lot of work into our yard.  We haven't really touched much but the lawn since moving in almost two years ago, and we're pretty sure that the former owners did not do much either.  We've been fighting weeds that have quite elaborate root systems.  


I was speaking with a friend the other day and was explaining that I do not have a green thumb... more like... a gray thumb... I don't kill flowers right away... I just ease them into death... like a hospice worker for flowers.  Anyway, I decided that I needed to start gardening now so that in a few years I might know a thing or two about it.  I've already learned a few things.

For instance, no matter if you check three different sources for the last frost date, that does not guarantee that a frost won't come after the latest date killing all the flowers that you planted (and that you luckily took pictures of before the frost... sigh).

And... even if you have a tendency to neglect your plants and not water them, it doesn't mean that you won't pick a flower that likes dryer conditions and then you diligently overwater it in trying to correct your past mistakes... and ultimately kill said flower.


The secret to gardening is picking a home with established flowers in the garden and completely ignore them, because they will thrive... unlike anything that you've touched or planted or actually tried to cultivate.  

At least there is SOMETHING that I'm good at growing ;) ... 


Little Man loves to watch the birds and other animals in our yard.  Here he is watching the "sky birds". 


I've always wanted a water feature in my yard... I just didn't figure that it would come from the lack of drainage in my yard.  This project will either take a lot of time and work or will take a lot of money.  We're still working out what to do.

These spots developed after the unexpected frost, but I haven't quite deduced the cause of these spots.  Any of you gardeners have suggestions??

I'm sure my neighbors have gotten a kick out of my morning routine of chasing the bunnies out of our yard in my pajamas and rain boots.  The other day, Matthan took off after some birds, yelling "no!".  Eckhmm.  I don't know where he gets that from.

Despite my lack of gardening skills, my gnome still likes his home in our yard.

round button chicken