5.24.2012

Almost Two Year Old Pictures

Last Saturday we had R&Q's 2 year old picture session. First, I can't believe I almost have two year olds! Aghhhh. Where did the time go? Just 10 short days :( Secondly, I didn't originally plan to do professional pictures this year. In an effort to save money while we go through this whole house building/house selling thing, we were planning on using our "good" camera for once (instead of the iphone) and trying to get some decent pictures ourselves. But then these ladies at 241 Photography had a deal we couldn't pass up. They are sweet college-aged girls and were looking to build their portfolio of pictures of young people. I figured if I didn't like them then I only really was out some time and effort and not much else. BUT they came out great - at least I think so : ) They perfectly captured their personalities and even managed to get some precious shots of them together. That is a feat in itself.

Quinn, of course, was predictably "busy" during the shoot and never.wanted.to.sit.down.or.smile.or.stay.still.or.follow.directions. But we still managed to get some precious pics of her - although none with her huge cheesy smile she has. She was just too enamored with exploring everything else to be bothered to look at the camera and smile. Typical Quinn. Love that girl.

And Ryan was just Mr. Chill as usual. Pretty content to let us move him wherever we wanted and actually smiled at the camera quite a few times, showing what a huge ham he can be. He just looks like such a BOY in these pictures --- no more baby. All boy and all toddler. And those eyes? Those baby blues, a gift from his grandfathers, just melt me.

The most surprising thing to me was to see how much they are starting to look alike. They both can have similar expressions (nose scrunch while smiling), same smiles, similar eyes, and virutally the same color hair. And I also realized wow, they are ALL CLANAHAN. If I didn't carry them, I would wonder if they were mine : ) Totally all Matt's side. Quinn is really starting to resemble Matt's mom and sister to me. Crazy how genetics work. But there was a time where Q was starting to look like my clone so I suppose it all could change again. For now, I think they really are looking like twins and not just siblings, especially since Q continues to grow and put on weight -- she's not that much behind her brother as she used to be!

Oh, my children. I can't believe we are already two years into this roller coaster ride. We love you to the moon and back.
Here are some of our favorites:




























This one? Yeah. That would be my favorite.

post signature

5.21.2012

Excited about Heartwaves!

So thrilled to be a part of a wonderful organization like www.heartwaves.org. Their goal is to provide expert information, informational blogs from parents of heart children like myself, and a place for other heart parents to connect within our community. If you are a heart mama or daddy (or just someone who wants to read some inspirational stories about these incredible children), make sure you like their page on facebook and sign up for their blog notifications.

It's amazing what's  happening in the world of CHD technology these days. It gives me such hope for these children 5, 10, 20 years down the road that perhaps interventions won't be as invasive, survivability rates will be higher, and quality of life will be that much better. So exciting!!!

Oh, and they asked me to share with the heartwaves community about a special piece of technology called the "Berlin Heart". It truly is a lifesaver for the most desperate of cases -- and something that was not readily available to all infants and children until recently. Read about it here...


Yay, heartwaves!!! Grateful for you!


5.16.2012

Last Day of MDO. Pooh.

Yesterday was the kids' last day at Mother's Day Out. And yes, I wrote "pooh" in the title. Very mature of me but that's kinda how I feel. Pooh, pooh, pooh, and more pooh. I know they will miss going and man, I sure will miss that nice little five hour break.

In reality, I actually only recall having one day where I had absolutely nothing to do for the short time they were gone and immediately jumped back in bed (per my mother's wise advice and instruction) and took a nice long nap in the middle of the day. That was an awesome day. Tear.

Typically though, I used the time to do major work catch up and run errands - and wow, I forgot how super productive I could be when I don't have two happily screaming toddlers at my feet or Mickey Mouse Clubhouse as background noise. To be able to concentrate in complete silence was an amazing gift. Most days I didn't even turn on the tv. It was THAT nice to hear NOTHING.

I guess what really, really surprised me is that I missed them so much while they were gone. I mean obviously I've left them for over 5 hours, but this was a different situation. This time they were without mommy or daddy, in completely their own environment, and just a little independent. I always wondered what they were doing, if they were happy, did they eat their lunch, did Quinn settle down for a nap, and were they on their best behavior? So when I would pick them up, I couldn't wait to hug their little bodies and "hear" all about their day via their report cards they received weekly.

And what was truly awesome about our time apart is that I think they missed me too! Plus, my paitence 'o meter had time to reset itself so I was super fun (at least in my mind) to be around when they got home. Suddenly I had newfound energy to play games, read more books, and just be "cool mommy" instead of the "grumpy, OMG if you hit your brother over the head one more time, I'm going to toss you in the backyard, multiple time out because I don't know what else to do to make you listen" kind of mommy. I don't like the latter mommy near as much but such is the nature of what happens when you spend that much "quality time" together for days and weeks on end.

But truly the best part, besides the way it selfishly was a great thing for me : ) was the kids truly, truly enjoyed it. It was only about 3 1/2 months but I feel like they matured and grew during that time. Heck, just for them to be able to sleep on nap mats, eat meals away from Mommy, and learn to play with other children were all valuable lessons and it shocked me that they did so well from the beginning. Goes to show what peer pressure does : ) ha. At least in MDO, it's the good type of peer pressure - the kind where you take a nap because all the other kids are doing it.  Lord help us all when it's a different kind of peer pressure. My heart palpitates just thinking about it.

We really couldn't have asked for a better first school experience for the kids. One day a week was perfect so they could have a little transition time to when they will attend two times a week in the fall (can you see my smile about 2 days a week from here??). They had a wonderfully sweet teacher who loved on them from day 1 and gave me such confidence that it actually was ok to leave them behind with an almost perfect stranger. Who's definitely not a stranger anymore --- when I ask the kids what they liked about school that day, they say "Kara, Kara, Kara". Well, Quinn sort of says it and Ryan says the "Kkkkk" sound but they both get big grins on their face when I mention "Miss Kara" or "school".

Below is a video I took the night before their last day. I typically pack up their stuff when they aren't watching or are sleeping, but I wanted to get it done ahead of time. Of course, they saw their backpacks and had to immediately put them on. See, love school. Lord, I pray that they will always have that excitement about school --- that may be asking a bit much but I do pray that they will always love to learn.

video



And here is their first "school" picture. Wow. I may or may not have cried a little bit when I saw this. My babies. At school? With classmates? And teachers? Ughhh. It may just have triggered me speeding up our timeline to perhaps trying for a third. Maybe.


Yes, Quinn is the only girl in the class. Thus she was spoiled rotten and was the teacher's helper the entire spring. She ruled that class. And sweet little Ryan --- poor thing had a rough haircut the week before the pictures and he sort of has the bowl thing happening. He still looks adorable though and I can't tell you how much he resembles pictures of Matt when he was little - with almost the same haircut too : ) 

 (In other news, we're working on growing that haircut out and then I may never let anyone touch his hair again. We are like 4 for 4 on bad haircuts and we've tried everything, the Great Clips down the street, the little place JUST FOR KIDS AND NO ONE ELSE (but we still give horrible haircuts), and even our adult people who cut our hair. He just has very, very difficult hair to cut. It's very straight, thick and he has about 5 cowlicks that swirl in different directions around his head. Please ask for blessings on the next pair of scissors that touch my son's head)

I realize that whole paragraph above was sort of useless but I thought I should explain and honestly I needed to vent a bit. I just want the boy to have a decent haircut. Just like I would like to have the time to go get  my hair done and remove the oodles of gray that just magically appeared. Maybe someday soon. But not on a Tuesday when the kids are at MDO. POOH :(



post signature

5.03.2012

Product of the Week - Get your MOJO on!

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

First, I feel badly that I haven't participated in POTW for a few weeks - my head has been all over the place. Anyway, I am deviating from my usual "hair/beauty/baby" POTW and going south of the border.

To marinade.

Yes, you heard that right. Makes me sounds very housewife-y, huh?

It also says a lot about how cool I am right now - when I totally get excited about a marinade. My 22 year old self would totally kick my 32 year old self in the you know what.

I digress as usual.

The hubs actually discovered this amazing bottle of goodness a couple of years ago at the HEB. If you don't have an HEB where you live, I'm so sorry. It's one of my favorite places to grocery shop - except on the weekends or after 5 or on any holiday or really any other time when lots of people are there. I'd rather stick needles in my eyes and then pull my eyelashes out one by one.

BUT I recently discovered they have DOUBLE shopping carts (and I don't mean the big bulky car-type ones that I can't push or turn, although they have those as well) - I mean, just the good 'ole fashioned shopping cart with space and belts for 2 toddlers. So once a week at least, the kids and I set off for a mid-morning grocery shopping adventure. And surprisingly, most of the time it's lots of fun and I try to make it educational while we are there.

"Ry Ry - what is that? Can you say asparagus?" (Never mind that he calls any semi-rounded fruit regardless of color an "apple". We are getting closer.)

"Quinn, see that bag over there - those are momma's CHEETOS." (Then she appropriately freaks out because we HAVE to get the Cheetos. She makes me.)

And the favorite - "Kids, see those large glass bottles? That's mommy's JUICE. Her juice so she can survive your toddlerhood." (Then we have to get Daddy's "juice" too. Always keeping it classy buying "juice" at 11am on a Wednesday)

Oh my gosh. What in the world is wrong with me - ramble bamble.

THE MARINADE.

Ok, this is the marinade. It will change your life.


I like to make my own marinades but sometimes I just don't have all the ingredients on hand and it's a pain. This makes life so simple. And it's fresh, delicious, and low calorie with tons of flavor.

We've used it on pretty much everything, chicken, pork, steak, and even fish for when I make my tilapia or catfish fish tacos (although you definitely don't want to marinate it longer than 20 minutes or so with the fish because of the acid in it).

By far, our favorite recently has been on thick, bone-in, center cut pork chops. One of the only reasons I love summer in Houston is Matt will grill out at least 3 times a week. And this is the perfect marinade for grilling chops - especially thick ones like those. Note: we learned you can marinate those for up to 24 hours and it's AMAZING. But if you only have 3-4 hours, it's still delicious. Served with a side of roasted asparagus and my sweet potato cubes, I was a happy girl.

Now, after all of that - go get your Mojo on! (Typically you will find it on the ethnic aisle with the speciality Mexican/Latin products). Enjoy!

post signature