Archive for February, 2013

Napoleon Dynamite

A few days ago we rented Napoleon Dynamite, a favorite movie of James and mine. We were reminded of it because I think the last time we watched it was while I was in labor with Aslan. We knew that there would be parts and humor that went over the kids’ heads, but we didn’t realize just how strange and generational that movie is until our kids stared blankly at the TV screen while we giggled. It was interesting watching it this time, thinking how our kids’ lives are so different than ours were. Luckily, they still enjoyed the orange fight, the sideways ponytail, the llama, the quesadilla, the tether ball, and the dancing. I don’t think they’ll ever understand the school experience of those kids and I’m glad of that!


Read Full Post »

Wake Me Up!

I do not have any specific plans for my kids during the birth. Maybe they’ll watch movies or maybe they’ll be in the birth room, or hopefully, the can sleep through most of the labor. The big boys got to see when Baird was born, and we know that Liesel wants to see her sister be born. The other day we asked the boys if they would like to us to wake them up for the birth, or if they’d like to sleep and be surprised in the morning. Aslan said he’d like to watch, and Shiloh wanted to sleep and be surprised. James agreed to wake Aslan, but then the boys switched beds, and then switched back a few night later. James mentioned that he needs to know who is sleeping in each bed so he doesn’t wake up the wrong person! Aslan solved this problem by writing a note and taping it as high on his door as he could reach.

Feb 2013 021 small

Liesel took notice of the note and asked what it said. James explained it to her and then she wanted one of her own on her door so we would be sure not to forget that she wants to be woken up! James wrote the words exactly as she insisted and then she added her name.

Feb 2013 020 small

I love the cute notes kids write!

This morning, though, Liesel insisted that hers said something like, “Wake up Liesel in the high bunk,” which actually makes a lot more sense. The boys, who can read, wanted to turn it into a big argument and so I tried to explain to them that we let 4-year-olds tell us what their work says, not the other way around! I didn’t want Liesel’s feelings hurt, and I definitely didn’t want her to take down the sign to change it! Then Shiloh noticed that ‘wake’ was spelled differently on the two signs and Aslan quickly discovered that his actually said, ‘whak’ which he laughed and laughed about. When I asked him to leave it as it was because everyone could still understand it, he just requested of James that he not ‘whack’ him to wake him up. James promised to comply. I wouldn’t mind him correcting it now because I know that good habits are important, but at that time I hadn’t even gotten my photo yet and I wanted to be able to capture it in its original cuteness.

Read Full Post »

So my last few days have been riddled with lack of sleep and pulling my back out of whack. Baird figured out that he could climb out of his bed and he started getting up at night. We tried having him sleep in another room, we didn’t have the fan on in our room for a couple of nights, the electricity went out etc. etc.  It was also in response to Baird’s lack of sleep that I decided I needed a dark blanket to hang over an additional window. That entailed getting access to a big bin in the garage and…pop….and my back didn’t work right for the rest of the day yesterday. I haven’t felt very human since Saturday, but I feel MUCH better today! One of the the things that saved me was buying some childproof doorhandles so that Baird was forced to stay in his room. I only woke up twice and got up once last night! And after a day of taking it fairly easy, my back just feels 39 weeks pregnant instead of broken! Hooray!

Feb 2013 046 small

This is a pic of ‘baby’ Baird taken recently. I can’t believe that soon he won’t be the baby! He’s going to be a terrific big brother. He points to my tummy and says ‘Bay-Bay’ and kisses it and even says, “Hi”. He loves his doll and he wraps blankets around it. He proved how much he knows about treating babies gently in the sleep fiasco. For one night we tried having him sleep in Liesel’s room. When I moved his blankets and soft toys to the bottom bunk, he got very upset. He started throwing each blanket and all of the animals off of the bed and onto the floor. Then he carefully picked up the doll and laid it gently on the floor. Then he continued his little fit and pulled off his pillow and threw it down. I hope he’s so careful with our new little one! My only real concern is when he wants to ‘help.’ I think he’ll love having a real bay-bay in the house!

Read Full Post »

Comfy Camo Pants

I’ve been meaning to make some comfy lounge pants for the big boys out of some cozy fabric that I got a good deal on. I finally had my pattern just how I wanted it so I went for it. I had just enough left over for a pair for Baird so I went for it. All the boys are pleased, and I wish I had enough for Liesel too, but I often make clothes for her when I don’t for anyone else, so it’s alright. Aslan and Shiloh keep thanking me for the pants because they are so soft and comfortable, and Aslan grouped them together so I could snap a picture.

Feb 2013 016 small

Liesel wanted to be in the picture, and Baird obviously did not.

Feb 2013 020 small


Goofballs 🙂

Read Full Post »

Sleeping Kids

I’m not sure if any other parents do this, but every so often I get an itch to go around and take pictures of my kids as they peacefully sleep. It’s such a peaceful sight after a long day of noise and activity.

Feb 2013 068 small Feb 2013 069 small Feb 2013 070 small Feb 2013 071 small


Speaking of sleep, however, the day after I took this picture, Baird figured out how to climb out of his playpen at naptime. The first day, he still went to sleep  but it was late. The second day he sang and played in his playpen until it was time to get up and when I went in, I found him in bed and the light on in the room. We’re on day 3 now so we’ll see how it goes! So far he hasn’t figured out that he can also get out in the mornings, it’s just at nap time that he does it. That’s just what I need right now right? The week before the baby is born the toddler gives up his nap time. Oh well, maybe he’ll move into Liesel’s lower bunk sooner than I had planned which would make her very happy!

Read Full Post »

On the List

Well, it seems the kids figured out the solution to the problem of not having the baby yet! The other day at dinner, an idea donned on Liesel. When Liesel has an idea, she makes sure everyone knows it! She made her loud announcement with her best facial expressions and dramatic pauses. “I know…. be-cause…Mama needs ………to put it on the list!”

At our house I have lists going for everything. Most of the lists end up on our huge white board. I have lists for grocery shopping, blog post ideas, meal planning, cleaning jobs, etc. Aslan and Liesel went over to our whiteboard and Aslan wrote this:

Feb 2013 060 small

“Evlot born tonight.”

Apparently he decided against the tonight part and gave me a little more grace.

Well, now it can happen because it’s on the list! I have a big reminder that I can’t accidentally overlook or forget about! 😉

Read Full Post »


The promised post:

One dark and early morning, James kisses us goodbye, goes out the door and locks it behind him as usual. Several minutes later, when I assume he is long gone, I hear a key in the lock. It’s James needing my help. His truck battery is dead and he is trying to push start the truck. I take off my robe, throw a coat over my p-jays and put on my shoes. He already has the truck out of the driveway and turned around. (I have no idea how he did that!) It is pointed down a little slope on our circle. He wants us to push it as fast as we can and then he is going to jump in and start it. We start pushing and running and he jumps in, but it doesn’t start. We haven’t gone too far, so we push it back and try again. This time we get far enough down the slope, the truck really takes off, and when I can no longer keep up, he jumps in and tries to start it. I watch as he goes downhill around a curve out of sight, with no headlights, into the dark morning. Then he is out of sight.

I hope he got it started. I wish I was a little farther along in my pregnancy so that little early morning jaunt could have put me into labor! I walk back to the house and am surprised by how far I had run. It was sort of neat to be out in the crisp quiet air! I don’t usually get that in the morning. I go inside and call James to see if he is on his way to work, but there is no answer.

Then I hear his key in the door again. “Everyone in the suburban!” he requests. We wake the still-sleeping kid up, take off the baby’s wet diaper, and grab the rubber boots for the kids. They pile into the cold suburban. We drive around the circle and out to the straightaway before the main road where James’ truck sits, refusing to start. James turns us around so that we are facing the truck for a jump start. He stands outside in the cold, and the kids sit in the cold suburban. I go between the two places. We hope we aren’t waking up the people whose house we are parked in front of! I find out that James’ brake pedal had stuck the night before, so the break lights had completely drained his battery. We wait and wait, but the puny little jumper cables just will not deliver enough juice from suburban to to get the truck started. James still needs to buy a ‘real’ set of jumper cables he says, now that we have two trucks.

Finally, he threw up his hands and told me that I’m going to push him. He needs to get to work and now that the battery has some juice, a push start should work. He moves the suburban behind the truck and makes sure the bumpers line up. “Um, there’s a stop sign up there,” I say.

“Yeah, we’ll kind of slow down to make sure nothing is coming, and then you’ll push me through it.” He says. It’s a main road, but still not too busy. “I’ll wave you through.” With many unasked questions I climb into the drivers seat. I am given no choice, which is sometimes better for me, otherwise I might just break down crying. “Just try to stay right on my bumper.” Those were my instructions.

The kids are jumping up and down in their seats with excitement. What an adventure! We’re going to PUSH Papa!

I lean way over the steering wheel and stare into the gray, without my glasses, at the driver’s side window of the truck. The wave comes and I gently pushed on the gas. In a moment, the truck starts to move, and turns onto the road, and then turns at the stop sign. Nothing is coming, so I keep going, pushing harder on the gas to get up the little slope. Then we are on a straightaway, thankfully alone, and now that we are out of the trees, it starts to look a little lighter out. I think I breathe at this point.

The truck is moving slowly and the waving hand is urging me to go a bit faster. I’ve only driven the suburban a handful of times so I’m still not super sure of it where it ends or the sensitivity of the gas pedal etc. I’m trying to feel the bumper of the truck but I feel NOTHING! All of a sudden the whole truck jerks in front of me and then it jerks again and again as I’m hitting it and then backing off, hitting it and backing off. I’m cringing with each jerk as I give my husband whiplash, and  I try desperately to drive more evenly. The kids and I can’t feel a thing. “We’re hitting Papa!” I screech through bitten teeth, and they think he must be having as much fun as we are. I’m so focused on trying to go fast enough and steady enough that when all of a sudden the brake lights of the truck turn on and it speeds away from me, I can’t figure out what happened. I am just thinking, “Noooooo! Now I’ve got to catch up!” And then I realize that the truck is driving on it’s own power! Hooray! We did it! “Papa’s driving!” I yell to the kids and they try to get a glimpse of the truck in front of us. I drive down the straight road and see James pull into a little parking lot and I pull in there too.

James comes over to my rolled down window and grins in, “Everyone okay? Any airbags deploy or anything?” he asks. I bust up laughing and tell him that we could hardly feel a thing. I could see him bouncing around in front of us, but I couldn’t feel his truck, couldn’t hear a change in the engine from pushing it, NOTHING! James laughs, hardly believing that that is possible given the ride he just had. The kids agree with me that they felt no significant bumps and jerks along the way. I apologize for giving him whiplash and send him off to work, still chuckling to myself as we drive home.

I sure felt alive, awake, alert, enthusiastic for the rest of that morning! I’m glad that my husband sends me on little survivable adventures I would never choose for myself, otherwise my life would be way too boring!

When I told James that I need a picture of the truck and the suburban together, he sweetly parked behind me in the driveway, so you’ll just have to use your imagination to switch the two around in your mind 🙂

Feb 2013 062 small

So that is how the suburban started being referred to as ‘The Monster’ and James’ truck ‘The Baby.’ Needless to say, James feels good about having the kids and I driving around in The Monster.

Read Full Post »

Kid Pictures

We finally got the pictures off our old camera that the kids took last summer. The camera no longer handles lighting, especially outside lighting, right so we don’t want it, but we figured the kids would have some fun with it. Aslan is definitely our photographer and Shiloh our clown. Here’s a sampling of the pictures they took.

kids FEB 2012 012 smallkids FEB 2012 028 small

kids FEB 2012 040 smallkids FEB 2012 116 small

Seriously, the majority of pictures on the camera were of Shiloh being goofy. Here are few others.

kids FEB 2012 021 smallkids FEB 2012 078 small

kids FEB 2012 091 smallkids FEB 2012 257 small

And some toys and Lyon-kid humor.

kids FEB 2012 068 smallkids FEB 2012 022 small

I only included a sampling here. The kids took over 200 pictures, and I have yet to watch the videos they made. It’s interesting to see the world and what is picture-worthy through their eyes. I wish I always knew who took what picture! We plan to let them have the camera again and do a better job keeping it charged and emptying the memory card so they can continue to snap pictures. For now, I’m thinking we might hand that little camera off to Aslan for the birth to see if he can catch any special moments.




Read Full Post »

The kids and I had a great time finishing up These Happy Golden Years. It’s been a while since we had so much fun reading a book. Last summer/fall I read Brighty of the Grand Canyon and Gentle Ben to the boys, which were both big hits. During the Christmas season, we listened to audio CDs so that I could knit while we sat. That’s fun and a nice break from me, but it is different than me reading aloud. Now I have the added challenge of making our chapter books interesting and appropriate for Liesel too, as she has joined the big kid bedtime routine. Next I’m reading Charlie and the Chocolate Factory so we’ll see how that goes! I love reading to my kids!

I also love when my hubby gets a camera itch. He experiments more with different settings and takes better pictures than I do. These were taken that fun night, full of laughter, when we finished These Happy Golden Years. The kids were so excited that Laura and O-Manzo finally got married, and about the little house Almanzo built.

Feb 2013 021 small


The big joke of the night was the two rocking chairs sitting side by side so that someone could read the newspaper and someone could knit at the same time. From across the room, James suggested that Oooo-manzo would knit. My how the kids got a kick out of that! What made it even funnier for James and I was that throughout the evening each of our boys were busy ‘knitting’ on their Strickliesls. They don’t realize it’s beginning knitting, they think they’re making ropes, whips, snakes, etc. Still everyone laughed about that joke until I cried.

Feb 2013 016 small


You can just ignore my uneven pant legs. My maternity pants no longer stay up well so when I go for walks I roll up the legs and…who knows what happened. Oddly enough, my ‘labor pattern’ so far has me having my hardest Braxton Hicks contractions while I read aloud to the kids and slowing down or stopping afterward. That’s new!

Read Full Post »


When I was growing up, M’n’C aka Macaroni and Cheese was a staple food. My dad taught everyone in the family how to make it, and make it well. First, start with a box of KRAFT Macaroni and Cheese and follow the instructions to make it, except don’t measure the butter or milk and add a ton of extra cheddar cheese. As you’re making it, fry up some ground beef until it’s crispy. Mix together the hamburger and M’n’C , load on the pepper, and eat with the little green peppers from a jar, I can’t think of the name of them. Mmmmmmm.

Since I grew up enjoying this meal, it is a comfort food to me. During this pregnancy there were times when I thought I just couldn’t bear my low carb diet and needed a comfort food. It’s been so long since I’ve had proper Macaroni and Cheese anyway, due to the kids and my sensitivity to wheat, James’ low sodium needs, and the overall health of it, I can’t even remember how many years it’s been. It’s just what I wanted so, I had to come up with my own version

Brianna’s M’n’C

Replace the wheat noodles with just a bit of rice noodles (or none at all as I started doing recently) and lots of veggies. If I have them I use fresh mushrooms, red bell pepper, and spinach. If I don’t have fresh, I use the frozen bag of stir-fry veggies from Costco. Cook into that the ground beef, add pepper, red pepper flakes, jalepeno, garlic, and olive oil. Add in the cheddar cheese until melted. What do you end up with? This wonderful, low carb, breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

Sept 15, 2012 093 small

My husband denies that it is Macaroni and Cheese, but he admits that it is good. Well, to me it is Macaroni and Cheese no matter what anyone else thinks, and it’s just perfect 🙂

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »