Wednesday, October 3, 2012

"How To Make Muffins" by Ty Gourlie

A couple of days ago Ty brought me this package of muffin mix (which actually passed the "best by" date last week, but we're still okay) and was asking for muffins.  I had to explain that we actually needed to make and cook the muffin mix before we had blueberry muffins.  So today for lunch while Russell was racing go-karts an the babies were sleeping, that's exactly what we did.  Using my phone camera, I documented the steps we took so you, too can make delicious muffins.
First, don your awesome "ape-err-rin" that may or may not be your dad's old t-shirt that your mom cut for you and tied with a pink ribbon from a present your little sisters received the day before.
 Next, line the cupcake tin with...liners.  Choose your colors wisely.
 After you help pour in both ingredients (mix and milk), mix carefully by stirring in a circle.  As shown below, it helps to say, "Mixing...mixing...mixing..."
 While your mom checks on a fussy sister in the other room, sneak a lick off the spoon and leave a big ring around your mouth so you can obviously get caught.  To ease the situation, say, "It tastes good" to make it seem like you were supposed to taste it.  All good chefs/bakers do this.
 When the batter's all mixed up, scoop some into the muffin tins.  Help from your mom is probably a good thing here.
 "Accidentally" get some on your hand so you can lick it off.
 When the muffin pan has to go into the oven, throw a tantrum because you can't eat all of the batter.  (Excuse the mess and un-made bed, please.)
 Get over your tantrum and come back into the kitchen with your spoon and for protection, your blanket.
 While the muffins are baking, make a smoothie.  Get out bananas, blueberries, yogurt, and milk.
 After half of the ingredients are in the blender cup, decide you would rather eat the yogurt than put it in the smoothie...err...milk blended with berries and bananas.
 Make sure to watch the muffins baking!
 Tell your mom when the "ding! ding! ding!" happens and yell "It's ready!"
Admire your hard work.  Good job, baker.
While eating the muffins and smoothie, Ty asked me to sing "a muffin song."  Good thing I know one!  We repeated "Ty-Ty is the muffin man, the muffin man, the muffin man.  Ty-Ty is the muffin man..._______________" and switched up the last phrase each time.  I love spending time with my biggest little muffin.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

30 Weeks

I can't decide how I feel about being pregnant right now.  Do I like it or not?

-feeling babies move
-reason/appetite to eat basically as much as I want (an extra 600 calories a day?  You know that's not all calories from broccoli!)
-knowing we'll have more kids (because we usually like the one we have lots)
-sympathy/attention from others (I hope that's not wrong/selfish, because it's kinda true)
-wearing cute maternity clothes
-not having to "suck it in" in a swimsuit or any other tighter article of clothing
-Ty kissing or hugging my tummy
-easier taking care of babies inside than out!

Not like:
-feeling babies move up into my ribs, down in my bladder, and an occasional painful jab
-swelling feet & legs=shoes uncomfortable and restless sitting/standing 
-low energy
-harder to take deep breaths
-easily(-er) irritated
-feeling the need to pee all the ding-dong-dang time (the other night: midnight, 3 a.m., 7 a.m. and I usually have a pretty strong bladder!)
-pillows taking priority over Russell in bed

When people ask how I'm doing, I say, "Just fine." or "I'm good!" which really isn't a lie.  All things considered, I AM fine: no bed rest, no crazy pains, no gestational diabetes, no nausea or sickness, and no super premature babies.  If we are comparing how I feel now with how I felt a year ago, I'd probably say, "Not so great."  Maybe my best response should be, "All things considered, I'm a little uncomfortable, but I really am doing well.  Thanks for asking."

Anyway, here's a 30-week visual:

Monday, July 16, 2012

Cheaps McGee

It's no secret that I like a good bargain.  It's also no secret that I find them.  If I come home from shopping without a crazy good deal, that means I haven't purchased anything.  It's a hobby and slight obsession of mine; the manufacturer's suggested retail price is The Man and I like to stick it to him.  Boo-ya.  Anyway, there are some things that I don't have to have a super deal on, mainly because they are necessities. 

That being said, I went to Target today (where I found the following 70%-off: dress for $7.48, leggings for the girls 2 pairs black, 2 pairs hot pink for $1.50 each, and cute shoes a size too big for Ty at $3.88) to buy shampoo and conditioner.  In the past I have purchased shampoo and condish at Costco, but I got sick of having a huge bottle in the same flavor too quickly.  The stars aligned just right in the shampoo aisle as I picked out my Pantene Pro-V hair washers:
Original price for 28 oz. bottle: $7.29 each
Sale price: $5.50 each
Promotion: free travel-size shampoo with purchase (ended up being out, so I got 10% off instead!)
Store coupon I had: $1 off
Mfg. coupon I had: $3 off 2

Is that like the best deal ever?  No, but it was real nice to come out with 2 big bottles of shampoo for less than the price of one.  :)  That's all.

The REAL challenge lately has been trying to furnish and put together the house we just moved into (renting for a year) for less than $468, aka our puny tax return.  So far, we're doing pretty well and have gotten lots of stuff off of our list.  Is it decorated beautifully?  Heck no, but we do have couches to sit on, a dresser for the girls' clothes, a TV stand, random organizational things, a decent kitchen garbage can, some wireless xbox connection thing, and other Lowe's odds and ends.  We still need, however, some blackout curtains for Ty's room and a few other small things that will have to be purchased with the $70 we have left.  Let's just say that Craigslist has been scoured and the key to finding furnishing deals for 2-hand stuff is patience...and a bad housing market so people are moving away and want to sell their stuff for cheap.  (Just trying to look on the bright side here!) 

I'll admit: trying to do stuff within a strict budget has been a little bit fun.  It kinda ups the ante of the "find a bargain" game.  I should apply this to more (as in all) of our financial areas.  The problem I have with that is that then I may have to pass up on good deals because it's not "needed" in our budget right then...  Dilemmas.  My apologies that this has gotten so boring and long.  Oops.  I guess that's what happens when Russell starts back up being gone all day! 

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Adventures in Babysitting

My sister, Leslie called with a few days notice asking if I could fly up to CA and watch her kids while she worked her P.M. nursee shifts and slept during the day.  I had about 0 rearranging of my schedule to do, so Ty and I took a last-minute save-the-day trip up!  Luckily, we found cheap flights on Southwest and came on up!  I honestly was a little worried that I would be bored/wouldn't have lots of fun, but I was wrong.  I did learn a thing or two about being "mom" to two 2-year-olds and got some fun comments from others when we took little trips out like, "I hope you're having just 1 this time!" and "Good luck..." We survived just fine.  :)

Ty and Soy playing cars together.  There was definitely a healthy balance of playing together and hitting/pushing/screaming together.
 Piano time!  They all look so happy--and they were for about 3 minutes.  That bench ain't big enough for the 3 of them...
 Soy is so funny in this picture!  After lunch on Friday I told them they could have a popsicle, the ones that we bought at the store as their special treat earlier that day.  I thought we were buying small ones that they could eat quickly before they melted all over.  I was wrong.  Luckily, I made them get into their swimsuits and be outside for their treat: smart move Carolyn.
 See how Carl's almost done with his and Soy and Ty look like they haven't even started?  They both had popsicle-stained hands, arms, toes, and tummies.  :)  Good thing we just went into the pool after that because I don't do sticky messes real well...  I love that this picture looks like "Summer," though! 
 Ty and Soy are both kinda chicken about swimming, which is fine with me because I didn't want to have to jump in and save anyone and get my hair wet.  Thanks to their life-jackets and my keen life guarding eye, nobody even came close to
 Carl is a fish and enjoyed swimming while the little guys were taking naps--fine with me!
 Ty's feet were getting scraped up on the bottom on the pool (I don't know WHAT he does to his poor toes & feet!), so I made him wear socks in the water.  He wasn't too happy about it until he forgot about his unconventional footwear. 
 On Friday night we watched Cars 2 together--movie night! After jammies were on and blankets were snuggled in with, everyone got their own little brown bag of popcorn.  For the first 30 minutes, all 3 were thoroughly engrossed. 
 ...Then the little guys (mainly Ty and Sawyer joined him) got restless and they ran around the room taking pauses in their chasing each other to watch the movie.  :)

 On Saturday we had a mini birthday celebration for Carl.  We went to the Nut Tree, a spot I used to visit as a kid.  As a special treat, we rode on the little train that circles the play area a couple of times.
 We also rode on the carousel; Ty was still a little groggy from being waken up from his nap and not too sure about this up-and-down frog thing.  He talks about it now, though, so it must have been fun enough!
 Lel and Soy riding on the rocking horses that we used to ride on.
 Mama and Ty-ty on a red horse.  That thing was UNcomfortable.
 Then as another lucky treat, we went to Fenton's, the delish ice cream cafe and shared a jumbo sundae.  They put candles in our treat and called the attention of all patrons to sing to Carl, who loved it.
 Here's how Ty looks when he eats:
 Here's how Sawyer looks:  (Seriously--he was nasty after every meal!  I have been spoiled by a child who asks me to wipe off his hands when they get dirty.)
 Since we missed our flight (long story, not our fault), we got to stay with Mor-Mor and Far-Far for the night.  Ty stayed up way too late so that he could play with them a little bit and get some good stories from Mor-Mor. 

Monday, June 18, 2012

Happy Father's Day/End of School!

Friday was a holiday we (but mainly Russell) has looked forward to for years: his last day of class--ever.  No more lectures, no more scheduled tests and group presentations--aside from the major one next May and the licensing exam in June, of course.  Anyway, Russell will start his clinical rotations in a few weeks, but the "school" part of his graduate program is over with.  So, here he is on his very last day of class: happy.  :)
 As if celebrating classes being over wasn't enough, we decided to throw a little bit of Father's Day love in there!  Russell was very easy about his demands for the day (uhh...none) and we had a nice, relaxing Sunday together.  He requested barbecue meatballs (bbq sauce, not meatballs thrown on the grill) with rice and homemade ice cream sandwiches for dessert, I made snickerdoodle ice cream sandwiches Saturday afternoon.  Like a dummy, however, I forgot to check how many meatballs we had in the freezer.  [We recommend the big bag of frozen ones from Costco--just as cheap as ground beef and way easier to make.]  Since I haven't eaten meatballs in months due to their incredible lack of appeal over the past few months, I didn't realize we only had about 12.  Oops.  I had the sauce simmering on the stove by the time I made this realization, so we threw in some chicken, too.  It turned out pretty good still. 

Earlier in the week, Ty and I went to buy Russell's Father's Day presents.  He may or may not have already purchased the tool-thingy, so that was easy.  He also asked for those Ninja Turtle glasses months ago and subsequently forgot we had purchased them to be given at a later date.  I ordered Russell a gift card to a go kart track place in Vegas he's been to a few times before, which was actually (I think) a welcome surprise. 
 When I asked Ty what he wanted to get Daddy, he thought about it and said, "Wubbypops!  Daddy--wubbypups." So we went to the store and picked out a bag of lollipops.  On Sunday I told Ty we could go and wrap presents for Daddy to which he replied, "Wubbypups, Daddy, present!  Daddy,  wubbypups!"  I think it's adorable that he remembered what his present was and was excited to give it to him.
 I'm sure Ty wasn't expecting to share in Russell's gift at all...course not.  Oh, and the girls give you the gift of not being born yet.  That's about as good as they can do...
We love you, Russell and are glad you're the dad of this family! 

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Mother's and Birth Day

Not everybody is as lucky as I am: I got to celebrate my 27th birthday AND Mother's Day on May 13th this year!  Actually, I'd rather spread out the holiday love, which we did throughout the week, but the more I have, the less birthdays matter to me.  It was just fine.  Plus, this whole Mother's Day thing is kind of a newly celebrated holiday, anyway.

Speaking of mother, how about adding 2 more to the party?  This was the day before my birthday, in some new maternity clothes from my mom.  (Thanks!)
 Thanks for being the reason we get to celebrate twice today, Ty!
I really do like being his mama.
And the next day; I'm not so sure I grew any overnight...21 weeks.
 For our "special" dinner, we had leftovers (good ones) and pulled Ty's little table up to the TV so we could watch the movie Up together.  Ty got a kick out of the kid named Russell, "Russer--Daddy!  Daddy--Russer!"
 Look at this handsome little face...
 Ty was so nice and helped me open presents.  Russell was so nice and got some for me to open!  (For a few, it wasn't too hard to get them, since I said, "Here--wrap this up, please."  This shirt being one of those.)
 Ty and Russell did give me an awesome award, though, signed by both.  See, I am lucky!
 This one really was a surprise--push-up popsicle makers!  I had mentioned that I wanted some a few weeks ago and Russell, the genius, wrote it down.  :)
Nothing like a beautiful bouquet of flowers to make you clean up your front room/table!  Thanks to Vicki and Big Russ for these.  I've never had flowers delivered before!  As they said in the note, though, "Birthday and Mother's Day together, you got ripped off girl!  But with Ty and the twins, you won the trifecta." Indeed I have.  :)

A Middle-of-the-Night Song

Last night as I was rolling out of bed at 3 a.m. I made up this song.  I'm surprised I still remember something from 3 a.m. and that it's been stuck in my head all day; I'm not sure if I should be proud or embarrassed.  Anyway, without further adieu, my 3 a.m. ballad (to the tune of "If You're Happy and You Know it"):

In the middle of the night I gotta go.
Roll myself out of the bed and gotta go.
But now really, it's okay--
I wasn't comfy anyway!
In the middle of the night I gotta go.

Is it appropriate?  For all (most) occasions, no.  For me, big and pregnant at 3 a.m., it sure is fitting.  Pardon me for indulging in my "creative" side.  Hope everyone else out there sleeps well tonight.  :)

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Our Clean-cut Funny Face

Ty's hair was looking a little shaggy around the ears and neck and because I had a $4.99 coupon for Great Clips, I decided that $5 (plus tip) was worth seeing if someone else could make his hair look better than I can.  Results: they can.  :)

Before side shot:
 Before front shot, complete with awesome penguin cape that we looked at and talked about when he had to look down while the back of his hair was being cut.
I think this is funny because Ty looks upset but he really was pretty good the whole time!  Other people in commented on how well he was doing and how smart he is; we said the alphabet and counted a few times to get his mind off of his head.  He was mad about having hair all over him.
 Things got a little better after I told him we were going to style his new 'do then get him a lollipop.
And here it is: a blue dum-dum "wubbypup!"  He really did earn it and when asked over the next day or so about his haircut he responded with, "Hair, cut, penguin, wubbypup."
 Just before going to bed the other night when we were brushing his teeth, Ty discovered that he can make a "silly face" in the mirror.  He was CRACKING himself up!  (Please ignore the dirty mirror from him splashing water all over it."
 Tonight he asked to go brush his teeth so that he could make his silly face in the mirror again.  Apparently, the face isn't being made/nearly as funny if he can't see it!