Monday, September 28, 2009

I Know Some Little Artists that Need to be Surpressed!

You know me. I love to do things that are creative and I have never shied away from letting the girls do something messy if they are being creative. However, I have found the big, black line that needs to stop being crossed!

Yesterday evening, Esther came over to talk. Keith, Esther and I were sitting at the dining room table while the girls were playing quietly in the other room. They were being really good. We talked with Esther for a very long time. As she was getting ready to leave, a purple scribble in the hallway caught my eye. I grabbed my magic erasure and with a little bit of effort, I got rid of it. Then I noticed another and another. There was red, black, purple, green, brown and blue. Dry erase markers! It was especially bad in the guest room and the living room. You could tell the path that the marker bandits took because you just had to follow the marks on the wall. Keith and I were very firm with the girls but we had to hide our laughing when we saw their creative outlet masterpiece...

You can't even tell just how bad this really was.  They drew on toys, walls, ottomans, couches, chairs, pictures, the remote adn radio.  It was ridiculous.  The "pig" drawing was what had Keith and I cracking up and trying to hide it.  The girls were so upset that we gave them each a baby wipe and made them clean their toys.  We have confiscated all the markers except one.  A blue marker is missing.  We have the top.  I wonder how long it will be before the girls enter their blue period?

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Preschool, Brillancy and Sickness

Preschool didn't go great today. This morning and Tuesday morning, Lauren was very sad. She didn't cry but looked like it when I dropped her off. This morning, I found her friend MacKenzie and told her, "Lauren is sad today. Will you take care of her?" I knew if she was anything like Lauren, she would jump at the chance. She did. The teacher said MacKenzie held her hand. When I picked her up, she started crying when she saw me. Mrs. Rogner, the assistant told me that she would sit and cry quietly to herself and didn't really want to participate in anything. When they went outside to play, Lauren started really crying. I was baffled. My big girl who was so ready for school, always wants to be there and was one of the few who didn't need me to coddle her during drop off was suddenly not liking school. She says she wants to go back and that she likes school but I think I figured out what is going on... She is sick. She coughed all night and didn't sleep well. This afternoon she started the sniffles and now she has a fever. Poor thing. She actually asked me to go to bed nice and early. Aw. I hope she gets a good night sleep and feels much better tomorrow. I would hate to think that the crying at school will last any longer than it has.

In brilliant child news...(hee hee) all Lauren wanted for dinner tonight was jelly toast. So I made her some and put the spaghetti away. (Spaghetti is her favorite...especially made with Grammy's homemade sauce.) She took a couple bites out of her toast, looked at it and started laughing. "It looks like a little child." It did in a very abstract way. She pointed out its head, eyes and legs! It was quite amazing to see that she picked up on that. Now I should get out the ink blots, huh?

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Overheard Conversations...

Lauren: Lilly. You smell like poop, sweetie. I'll get you a diaper....and the wipes.

Ah, now if she would just change her, too!

(Lauren calls Lilly sweetie a lot. I love it. It warms my heart!)


Lilly's Two Year Checkup

Yesterday was Lilly's turn to go visit the doctor for her well child check-up. She did so great! She was really talking to the nurse and doctor and giggling. Luckily, like Lauren, she didn't need any shots so that made everyone happy. Dr. Marshall told me I have another absolutely perfect child! What mom gets tired of hearing that? Not this one!
Lilly is right behind her sister growth wise. She weighs 28 pounds and is 34 inches tall. Lauren is 31 pounds and 38 inches tall. So close!
Keith also had a physical yesterday. He did good, too. He didn't have to get a shot either! The doctor did tell him that his job is too stressful and ordered some blood work just to do some early screenings.
We love going to see the doctor! The girls always get suckers and the entire office is sweet to all of us! We are so lucky to have found Dr. Marshall!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

I was Unaware ...

After reading Clifford the Big Red Dog while the girls ate spaghetti for dinner, Lauren and I had the following conversation.

Lauren: I have a dog!
Mommy: You do? Really?
Lauren: Yes.
Mommy: Who is your dog? (I was expecting her to say Daisy, Grammy & Pa's dog.)
Lauren: Um, Millie.
Mommy: Millie? Nice name. What color is Millie?
Lauren: Pink!
Mommy: Must be a pretty doggy. What does Millie like to do?
Lauren: Eat.
Mommy: What does Millie eat?
Lauren: Pss-ghetti.
Mommy: Just like you! What else does Millie like to do?
Lauren: He likes to play.
Mommy: What do you play together?
Lauren: Blocks.
Mommy: Does Millie go to school with you?
Lauren: Yes.
Mommy: Do the other kids at school have dogs, too?
Lauren: Yes.
Mommy: Do they bring their dogs to school, too?
Lauren: YES!!!

I guess we are thisclose to having imaginary friends in our house. Maybe Lauren will be like her Auntie Kelle and have 3 pink piggies following her around.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Overheard Conversations...

After dinner, Lilly wanted her belt off so I took it off and she was playing with it in the kitchen and dining room while cleaned the kitchen up.  Lauren tried to take it from her and I gave it right back to Lilly.  Of course, Lauren started crying uncontrollably. 
A little while later, Lilly walked over to her and tried to stop the crying by giving the belt to Lauren.  Lauren had herself draped across one of the dining room chairs and shooed her away. 

Lilly:  Here, Lauren.
Lauren:  No.  Not now, sweetie.  I am still crying.

I thought that was fantastic.  At least she is getting polite as she turns her sister away.

Also, earlier today, Lilly carried some bubbles into the living room insisting that we open them so she could play.  I said, "No bubbles in the living room, Lilly."  She walked them over to Keith who wasn't really paying attention to us.  He opened them and started to blow a few bubbles at Lilly.  Lauren stopped coloring, put her hands on her hips and said, "No bubbles in the living room, Daddy!" 

Lauren's 3 Year Check-Up

We finally had Lauren's 3 year old check-up yesterday.  She did great!  The doctor, once again, said she is perfect. ;-)  She weighs 31 pounds and is 38 inches tall.  Now we will wait and see how far behind Lilly is at her 2 year old check-up on Tuesday.  I'm guessing she isn't far behind at all.

Last night we went to the funeral home for Todd and today we will be attending his funeral.  This will not be easy.  I'm not so sure it has completely hit me.  It is still such a shock.  This morning I was coming back home from going to get my hair cut (after way too long) and when I pulled in the driveway, I saw Todd's car over at his house and for a second thought, Todd's home.  Oops.  That is going to take some getting used to. 

Thank you to everyone who has called or emailed or texted about this terrible loss.  I will pass on your thoughts to Esther.  For those who asked, we don't need anything but thank you.  And Esther and the boys don't need anything right now.  They have more food than they know what to do with and have received enough flowers that they could easily open a floral shop.  If their needs change, I will be sure to let you know.

Todd A. Dunckel
[Born: July 13, 1968   Died: September 16, 2009]
DUNCKEL, Todd A. – Of Fenton, age 41, died Wednesday, September 16, 2009 at Genesys Regional Medical Center. Funeral service will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, September 19, 2009 at South Baptist Church, G-4091 Van Slyke Road, Flint, Pastor Larry Burk officiating. Burial in Sunset Hills Cemetery with a military graveside service under the auspices of VFW Post #822 Honor Guard. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made toward a college fund for Todd's sons.
Visitation 4- 8 p.m. Friday at the Swartz Funeral Home, 1225 West Hill Road. Todd will be at the church from 11 a.m. Saturday until the time of the service. Todd was born in Saginaw, Michigan on July 13, 1968, the son of Larry and Joyce Dunckel and was a resident of Fenton for many years. Todd graduated from Genesee Christian Class of 1986 and graduated from Cedarville University, with a Bachelor's of Science.  Todd married Esther Caselles on July 16, 1994 in Flint.
He is currently serving in the U.S. Navy Reserve.  Todd was proud serving his country and spending time with his sons. Todd was employed by EDS for over 10 years. Surviving are wife, Esther; 2 sons, Christopher and Ethan; parents, Larry and wife Joyce Dunckel of Grand Blanc; brother, Scott and wife Lisa of Mesa, Arizona; father-in-law and mother-in-law, Gerardo and wife Josefa Caselles of Spain; 2 brothers-in-law, Jose and wife Yolanda Caselles, Gerardo Caselles, all of Spain; grandmother, Bessie Liebmann of Grand Blanc;
aunts, uncles, nephew, Carles Caselles, cousins; best friend, John and wife Janelle Stewart of Davison; along with many other friends.
Todd was preceded in death by his grandfather, David Liebmann.
A special thank you to the ICU nurses at Genesys Regional Medical Center.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Sometimes Prayer Isn't Enough...

Todd Dunckel, our friend and neighbor passed away today after having a stroke on Monday.  There was absolutely nothing they could do for him.  Our whole family loved him so much.  He was a great guy to live next door to. He was kind, funny and loved his family.  He adored Lauren and Lilly like they were his own daughters.  Words cannot say what he meant to us.  We will forever miss him.

Happy and Sad...

First the happy...

Lauren had her first day of preschool without Mommy there and she did super AWESOME!  Kids all around her were crying and parents were hanging around.  I heard the assistant teacher tell one mom it really would be best to just leave.  So I introduced her to the two girls next to her and said I had to go, told her I loved her and she said, "okay.  Bye Mommy."  I got a kiss and was out the door without a single problem other than Lilly crying because she wanted to stay.  It was good!  We went back later because I had to take Ethan to football practice and I had a preschool parents meeting in the school library.  I had Chris, Ethan, Lauren and Lilly.  Keith came over after he got home and watched the kids so I could go to the meeting.  Lauren kept asking if she could go to school now.  She was so disappointed when I told her no.  Her new friend, Mackenzie woke her mom up at 6 a.m. asking to go to school.  I think they will be a perfect fit.  Bonus, her mom and I hit it off, too!  Yeah!

Sad news...

My neighbor Todd had a stroke early Monday morning.  Esther sent Ethan to my house and I went over to their house to see if I could help.  I calmed Esther down and she waited outside for the ambulance.  I stayed with Todd trying to keep him calm and kept talking with him.  He had woken up blind.  At this point he had vision in his right eye but couldn't move the left side of his body and was slurring everything.  It was scary.  He is in the ICU. 
Tonight, Esther came running over at 10:30 asking for one of us to stay with the kids.  The hospital called her to come back because Todd was getting worse.  Keith is staying with the boys tonight.  I am sick with worry.  I didn't sleep last night and now, I just sit and wait and pray.  His boys are 8 and 12 and he is their entire world. 

He has to make it.  HE HAS TO!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

In the Kitchen...

Seems like I have been experimenting with different recipes in the kitchen lately.  I have been on a quest to use up things we already have without running to the store so much.  This leads to some unique creations, sometimes edible sometimes not.  Oneof the things I came up with yesterday was using some of the crapload of cherry tomatoes I have from my garden.  Yes, crapload.  I love salsa, ketchup, stewed tomatoes but I don't like tomatoes.  So yesterday, I washed them up, cut the tops of and scooped out the centers.  This is a very time consuming task when you have a lot of tomatoes.  Then I took some shredded asiago cheese (left over from the previous night's dinner) and mixed in some crumbled cooked bacon, garlic, onion powder, salt, pepper, basil and oil oil.  I mixed that all up and stuffed it into each individual, tiny, wee cherry tomato.  Another time consuming task.  Then I threw it all into a 350 degree oven and cooked for about 30 minutes.  WOW!  First off, it smelled soooo good.  Secondly, it tasted AWESOME!  I will be making more of those when my next crop comes in.
Now, I mentioned the previous night's dinner.  Grab your napkin because your mouth is going to start watering.... Asiago-Crusted Pork Chops.   Super delicious.  This may be my new favorite thing to make and eat.  We have never been a pork chop family.  If I do make it, we slather on the bbq sauce but no longer.... 
What you'll need:
thin cut pork chops
egg or egg white (beaten) this is for coating the chops
Panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
shredded Asiago cheese
salt and pepper
Extra-virgin olive oil

Put egg, panko and asiago cheese into separate dishes or plates.  Take a pork chop, dunk entire chop in egg, then into the cheese (coating evenly) and then into the panko.  Repeat with all chops.  Meanwhile, you should have had a pan with olive oil heating on the stove.  Put all coated chops into pan and cook on medium/high heat.  It doesn't take too long for the chops to cook but make sure they are cooked all the way through.  I remove the chops to a baker's rack with paper towel to soak up extra oil.  THIS IS SO YUMMY!
The first time I made it I had a creamy cheese blend of asiago, romano and parmessan cheese.  It was like a really thick dip.  I skipped the eggs and just slathered the cheese on and dipped it into the breadcrumbs.  This was even better!  Yummy.  Meijer is kind of unpredicible in what kind of gourmet cheese they have so you have to take what you can get.  Yes, asiago is considered gourmet.  That's Meijer for you.  This is actually really easy and quick to make.  YUMMY.  I can't say that enough.  YUMMY!

Now, something that didn't quite turn out and it isn't my fault.  I mixed up some chicken salad for sandwiches.  I asked Keith to sample it to see if I needed to put anything else in it.  He tried it and said, it needs a little more salt because it tastes a little sweet right now.  Many trips to my spice cabinet later and he was still mixing.  He was digging for another spice saying he screwed it up.  I took a bite.... really salty and too much garlic.  I love garlic and use it in everything but he put way too much.  It wasn't completely unedible but it wasn't the best either.  The bread helped hide some of the garlic flavor.  We did not kiss the rest of the night.  (Kidding.) 

Anyway, if you get a chance to try the tomatoes or pork chops, do it.  They are good just don't over do the garlic.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Preschooler Today

I made a layout of Lauren's 1st day of preschool and based it on a magazine cover.  I thought it turned out cute.  To see more pictures of Lauren's first day, go back to the previous post.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Meet the Teacher Day at Preschool

We met Mrs. Hiler, Lauren's preschool teacher, today.  It was an informal drop it but there was lots to do and see.  First we located her cubby and her coat hook.  Then Lauren drew her face and we traced her hand.  The girls loved the play dough, legos and house area but the biggest hit was the classroom's newest addition, a loft!  How exciting!  
Lauren is going to love school and I think she is going to do fantastic!

Cutest Thing Ever

After bath time tonight, Lilly was, well, jumping on Lauren's bed (big no no but I had a bad headache and was tired of being the bad guy) and Lauren was laying on the floor while I helped her into her jammies. Lilly was singing a song from Sleeping Beauty. I don't know the name but it goes, "I know you. I walked with you once upon a dream. I know you the gleam in your eyes is so familiar a gleam...." You know it. Aurora (Briar Rose) sings it when she is off picking berries and dancing with the animals. The girls love this song and associate it with the Disney princesses.
Lilly was singing it and Lauren was looking up at her with the most loving expression on her face. She was smiling like a proud big sister and, this is the BEST part, mouthing the words. When Lilly would get to a spot she didn't know, Lauren would tell her the words. It was the cutest fricken thing EVER!!!!

Tomorrow, actually later today since it is after midnight (I am going to bed soon), Lauren, Lilly and I go to Meet the Teacher day at Lauren's new preschool! Yeah! It is just a drop in thing but I anxious to see what Lauren thinks of her new classroom. The last time we were there was open house night before registration and there were so many people there that we really couldn't check the room out. Plus, at the time we were not sure which classroom would be her classroom. (There are two preschool classrooms.) I told her that I would take my camera and she could have her picture taken with her teacher, Mrs. Hiler. (I kind of have her built up to be this wonderful, princess-like person. I hope I don't let her down.)

Well, it is late and I really want to crank out another digi layout tonight but I wanted to share today's story with you. I am really going to try to do more updates again. We will see. This takes a lot of work!