Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Easy Pumpkin Muffins

This morning I made the easiest and yummiest pumpkin recipe I think I've ever come across (which, if you know me, you know I've tried about anything with 'pumpkin' in the title). And by easy, I mean 2 ingredient easy.

1 box spice cake mix
1 15 oz. can of pumpkin
(am I the only one who keeps at least 4 of these in her pantry this time of year?)

Bake 18-22 minutes at 350 in paper lined muffin tin.

Does it get any easier? They were a hit with our little playgroup (as evidenced by the 3 out of 12 remaining afterwards). My sister even brought some pumpkin butter to put on them. Too much pumpkin, you ask? Never.

Hope everyone has a fun and safe Halloween this evening!


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Sophie and Campbell's Birthday Weekend: Part TWO

 I now officially have two, two year olds. Wow. It's hard to believe that at this time two years ago, I had just delivered the two most beautiful little miracles I had ever seen. In some ways that feels like two months ago, and other ways it feels like ten years ago. It's so hard to remember what life was like before I became a mom. Or really, what my heart felt like before it was so full. I know every mom thinks it, but I couldn't have asked for two more amazing little girls to be my daughters. This weekend was exhausting but so full of fun and love for these two. Saturday night we took all three kiddos to Toys R Us to let the girls pick out a toy. The girls were in absolute heaven, and wanted everything they saw that was related to Dora, Sesame Street, Mickey Mouse, and cars (any type of rolling vehicle/tractor is Sophie's current obsession, along with shoes). Yesterday was their official birthday party, which we celebrated with our immediate families. Last year was such a blast, but I'm glad we stuck to a more laid back one this year. The girls loved seeing so much of all of their favorite people.

Me and my girls (and thanks Nana and Papa for the tricycles)

My Uncle and cousins were passing through Edmond on their way back home to Kansas, and wanted to stop by for a visit. These are my twin cousins, Hayden and Patric posing with the girls! As you can tell, they look nothing alike, too. ;)

The cupcake cake. It was supposed to say "Happy Birthday S & C". Thanks Target :/

My niece, Montana, jumping in the bounce house with the girls.

Family birthday pic. Can you tell we were all playing hard outside? 

The birthday girls! They tried so hard to blow out the candles, but C-dog and Crew ended up having to help... 

The girls with their cousins

We love Aunt Sara!

Frosting Mommy's nose

Best friends

Blowing out candles. How happy does Sophie look? :) And yes, Campbell's hair almost caught fire at the end of the song. Oops!

I can't believe how fast this year has flown by. And to think last year on their birthday, I was approximately 1 week pregnant with Burke! I think I would have passed out if you had told me on this day last year that I'd have an almost 4 month old at their 2nd birthday. ;)

Happy Birthday, my big two year olds! Can't wait to see what this year has in store for us.


Saturday, October 20, 2012

Sophie and Campbell's Birthday Weekend: Part One

This morning we had an adventure to the Orr Family Farm in Moore for the beginning of Sophie and Campbell's Birthday Weekend. Kyle and I agreed it was about 66% a success. Campbell enjoyed nearly all of the activities to do there, Burke slept the whole time, and Sophie pretty much thought everything there was awful except for the slide on the playground, and proceeded to scream "Noooooooo!" whenever I would attempt to take her to do something like the carousel or pony rides. She's cutting 4 teeth right now, so I'm praying this insane amount of attitude the past few days is due to that, and not some new found sense of independence. Praying.
Here's a few pics from our mostly fun morning...

Checking out all the pumpkins

Not so sure about the carousel

Still assessing the carousel

After an embarrassing scene, Sophie decided against riding the ponies and Campbell would only ride on the bench with me, but thought that was super fun. 

Slides are always a hit with these two

Hi Pony

Very fascinated with the real ponies

Yet again, Sophie wanted no part of ponies, but Campbell was chomping at the bit (get it?) to get on a real pony. I guess the fake ones weren't exciting enough for her? She actually cried when it was over! She kept saying "Yeehaw!" and petting it. So sweet. 

Nice Pony.

My little cowgirl. Notice Sophie in the background acting crazy?

Before getting out of the car, I told Kyle I just wanted one cute picture of me with the girls since I never get to be in pictures. I had very small hope we might get a decent one. Good thing I had small hope, because it was another epic fail.

Here, Sophie, I'll let you pour this water bottle all over you if you come pretend you love me and smile at Daddy...

No thanks, Mom, but I'll sit on the concrete...

Campbell, the favorite child for today...

Stay tuned for more birthday weekend fun!!


Monday, October 15, 2012

Fall Fun and Decorations

We were a few weeks late this year, but our fall decor is finally up! And my love of pumpkins is still just as fervent as ever. Our sweet next door neighbors just had a baby, and she is a lover all of things pumpkin (and pumpkin flavored), as well. In an effort to be neighborly, I'll be bringing over some pumpkin cupcakes tomorrow evening and keeping half for me. I'm also debating on whether or not to serve the girls some pumpkin cupcakes for their birthday, which is one week from today. I'm thrilled, devastated, and shocked all at once that I will have two two year olds. Oh, and perhaps I should add terrified? Terrible twos times two? And why did I choose to skip the big birthday blowout the only year I could have a ball with the "two" theme? Sorry, girls. But I already have big plans for your third! 
We will be having a fun little Halloween party with our friends at the pumpkin patch next weekend which will make for some adorable pics, but here's a few of our fall fun pics for now...

Mums and pumpkins. Why can't we leave these out year round?!

My little picassos' masterpieces on the front porch (and right outside their playroom window; they love to admire their work from inside)

We are out on the front porch nearly every evening. I wish this weather would stay forever.

Fall front porch. We have since added 3 hay bales to the left of the front door. Makes for a darling fall photo if you're looking for a good backdrop. :)

Fall mantle. Subway art found HERE.

If you promise not to judge, I'll tell you how many times I've bought candy corn this year. It's more than 3 and less than 6....

The girls love these (in spite of how scary I realized they really were after buying them at the dollar tree).

Everyone pulls their weight around here in the diaper changing department.

Kyle loves taking the girls for bike rides and trips to the duck pond. This happens about 4-5 evenings a week. Just wish there was a place for Burke to tag along!

Sisterly love

Before pumpkin painting fun with Charlotte and the Coy triplets

Swinging away in the beautiful weather

Can't wait to share pics of my little pumpkins in their Halloween get-ups and birthday fun!


Friday, October 5, 2012

Keep Calm

I think we all have our struggles as moms. Specifically, how well we deal with our children when things aren't so pretty. I know moms who resort to crying when they are frustrated or overwhelmed. Some go into their bedrooms until they (and their child) cool down. I have so much admiration for these moms who do either compassionate or wise things when they know things are about to boil over. As of right now, I'm so not one of those moms. I guess you could say my dirty little secret as a mom is that when Burke is screaming, the girls are fighting, or our house is, in a word, a freaking crazy zoo, I yell. And yell. And yes, more often than not bad words come flying out of my mouth. Not just your normal yelling. It's like a demon is being released from my body in the form of my voice. Bad, bad, bad. In these awesome, mom-of-the-year moments, Campbell usually goes dead silent and Sophie looks at me as though I've just told her she has to go live with another family and then subsequently bursts into tears. Burke just keeps screaming, unaffected (I hope). Much like I would imagine an addict feels immediately after their "fix", I have instant, awful regret for my actions. I feel like that horrible mom you see screaming at her kids at Walmart who you silently judge and wonder why God ever allowed her to have offspring. And worst of all, I've let chaos get the best of me. No rising above, no tears of frustration, just plain angry awfulness.

I get it that no one expects me to be a perfect mom. And thankfully, these "attacks" really are few and far between (yes, the girls fight and Burke screams, but it is a rare occurrence it all happens at once). But why is it that in these moments, I'm also making a mental list of all the moms I know who would never lose their cool the way I am in this exact moment? I would hope that even if Mother Theresa had been a mom, she wouldn't have been perfect. I mean, she'd probably be too busy saving all of the other children in the world to fully pay attention to her own, and they would most likely feel a little neglected. Right....right? I mean I'm sure she has so much inner peace and patience that she wouldn't erupt like a volcano like good ole super mom here, but she would have to have some imperfection. I sure hope she would.

In a moms' bible study I'm currently in, we were recently talking about "undiscipline." Specifically, us as individuals (not our children). Women can have all different kinds of strengths, and one that I have always been proud of is my fairly strong amount of self discipline. For example, in 8th grade, I did 100 crunches, 50 push ups, and 50 stair jumps every night, without fail (at the time, I was determined to make the USA Olympic volleyball team), and I made a 4.0 my freshman year of college while playing a sport. Who does that? Someone who is their own drill sergeant, that's who. However, more often than not, in times when my discipline was lacking, it usually turns into some nasty form of beating myself up. The more I have thought about why I feel the need to be so disciplined, I realized that what I really crave is control. Control over my success, my body, my actions, and now, my children. Obviously in these glorious moments where I reach the point of realizing control is gone, I explode. So the cycle basically goes:

Realization control/peacefulness is gone --> Explosion --> Mom Guilt --> Repeat

If having three children in two years has taught me anything, it's that I can basically kiss control goodbye. For miss disciplined Type A here, that hurts. So it seems the only logical solution to this dilemma is to replace "Explosion" with "(better form of coping)." Lately, I have really been working hard on this. I came across this wonderful blog post HERE on pinterest. While reading through it, I had multiple "a-ha" moments, and felt the need to share it with any moms who read this.

One thing I'm going to work on this week is finding a "mantra" or something you repeat in chaotic situations. Not sure yet what it will be. Scripture? Deep breathing? Don't act like a maniac, Stephanie? One quote I came across awhile ago that has stuck with me is "A smooth sea never made a skillful sailor." That one should probably be framed somewhere in my house. I'd like to think that these crazy moments as a mom, much like my 8th grade workout, are really just God's way of refining me and turning me into the best possible version of myself.

Full of patience and inner peace.


Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Burke {2} and {3} Months

So I think it's been almost a month exactly since my last post. Sheesh. I truly wish I could find more time these days, but I've been attempting to work out any chance I get during naptimes in an effort to get rid of Burke's baby weight, on top of the 7 or 8 lbs. I hadn't quite lost yet from the girls. I won't give you an exact number, but let's just say I have a long road ahead of me. And this dang time of year that involves candy corn and pumpkin goodies is not helping me in this venture.
But since I'm tired today, I thought I'd put up a few pics and show you all how much our little peanut has grown. And how adorable his pig-tail wearing sisters are these days...

The girls on the first day of MDO

Our growing boy. He's gotten SO much taller in the last month. I think his face actually looks thinner, but he's grown out of nearly all of this 0-3 month sleepers because he's getting so tall!

I can't get enough of this grin. He loves to smile and "talk" to us/squeal all the time.

Hanging out with Daddy in the evening.

I'm kinda obsessed with this picture. Isn't he such a little charmer? ;)

We busted out the play mat this last week. I didn't think he would really notice it much, but he loves to lay underneath the toys, kick the sides and watch them move. The girls also enjoy showing him how to properly play with his toys and pull the elephant so it sings songs. 

We went to a super fun birthday party at Kite Park. The girls got to eat ice cream (out of a cone!) and listen to Spaghetti Eddie. They loved it! I also kinda wanted to ask for their autograph. We listen to their CD almost daily, so I feel like he's about as cool as Usher or Snoop Dogg.

Sophie stole my pistachio ice cream and refused to give it back. 

Campbell and Crew listening to Spaghetti Eddie. 

My little stinker, Sophie.

Fun at the park with Daddy

Crew bear swingin' away

Miss Sophie has apparently inherited her mom's love of pumpkins. If she's awake, she's playing with a pumpkin. She loves telling me they are "orange" and totes them from room to room. I have a bunch of little ones on our mantle that I have to get down for her daily. She loves lining them up on the coffee table or stashing them in her purse. Aaaah, that's my girl. :)

So I got kinda brave the other day and decided to let the girls hold him unassisted. I think Burke is cursing me in his head for that idea...

Campbell and "Burkey boy" (as she calls him).

The last picture I took, Campbell decided to grab Burke's nose and make pig noises. I about peed my pants when I saw this one. Doesn't Burke look so overwhelmed? I have a feeling he will never fully know what "personal space" is...

This morning we enjoyed the gorgeous fall weather and painted some pumpkins with some friends. I'll do a whole post on pumpkins/fall decor soon {this is my way of holding myself accountable :)}.