Saturday, December 22, 2007

Jeana's Balls of Magical Goodness

I think sometimes Ben wishes Jeana lived at our house. One reason is her homemade bread. Another is her awesome dinners - you can count on them to be good. And the most recent reason is her Oreo Balls of Magical Goodness aka Oreo Truffles.

Jeana and I went visiting teaching the other day and she made them to take along. They were really yummy and I thought everyone should know about such an awesome treat, especially around the holidays.

The ingredients are:
1 package of Oreos
1 8oz. block of cream cheese, softened
chocolate - milk, dark, or white

Put the Oreos in the food processor until they are fine crumbs. Add the softened cream cheese and mix until fully combined.

Refrigerate for about an hour. Then roll into balls and place them on a wax paper covered cookies sheet. Freeze the balls for another hour or so and then dip them in melted chocolate.

I tried a few chocolates - milk, semi-sweet, and dark. Jeana used Bakers chocolate. After she dipped them the first time, she froze them until the chocolate hardened and then dipped them again. So they had a lot more chocolate and were harder. I just dipped them once and then I put little chocolate stripes on them. You just have to put some chocolate chips in a Ziploc bag and melt them in warm water. Then, you cut a tiny hole in the corner and drizzle the chocolate on the balls.

Aside from using different kinds of chocolate, you can use different kinds of Oreo's. My favorite were mint Oreos, but I also tried peanut butter. They would also be cute with plain Oreos and white chocolate with dark or milk chocolate stripes.

My other favorite holiday treat was a sugar cookie with yummy fruit filling. Click here for the recipe. Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Grouping, Stacking, Moving, Organizing

I was a really nice mom this morning and let Lucas in the pantry, which is usually off limits. He had a great time taking all the food out and moving it around. He made a huge mess, but it was worth the time that it kept him occupied. Lucas loves to take things, put them in a pile, stack them, move them to a new place, and stack them again. He's so silly.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Mom of the Year Award

The past couple of days have been stressful and bizarre. We had car problems, a stranger stay at our house (one point for charity!), and I stupidly burned a bunch of chocolate while making candy.

Last night I went to pick up a rental car because the Honda dealership forgot to fix our car yesterday. I decided to hit the HEB on the way home so I could get more chocolate and some diapers. The store was packed because it was 6:30, so my shopping cart options were limited. I managed to grab a shopping cart with no belt to strap around Lucas. I was talking on the phone to Ben and made note that I needed to be careful because now Lucas could fall out.

All was fine and dandy until I got to the kid aisle. I was looking at Crayons on one side and Lucas was looking at (and really wanting) the balls on the other side. I had just decided on the twisty Crayons when CRASH - I turned around and there was Lucas on the floor between the balls and the shopping cart. My poor little man tumbled out head first onto the HEB floor. He was screaming bloody murder and this lady came up to make sure he was okay. I assured her that everything was fine, but she went and got the manager anyways. He came over with an ice pack and got my name and number so their corporate office could contact me if need be.

I felt really guilty for not watching Lucas better so, like all good parents, I bought him a toy to make up for it. I was deciding between the sweet dachshund and a lion (Lucas likes to make lion noises these days). Of course, I had to get the dog because it looked just like Oscar (but doesn't bite), plus it was half the price of the lion.

Here's to Lucas and his Oscar doll. If you ask Lucas what a lion says, he says "Uuuuhhhh", if you ask what a dog says, he says "Uhh-Uhh."

Ben and Suzy's Dirty Video

Warning: The following video has been "flagged as inappropriate for some viewers under 18" by some freak on YouTube. It's a video Ben and I took after working in the yard on a hot and steamy day in Austin.

To that mean, mean person I would just like to say whatEVER. There are some freaks on YouTube who do post dirty videos of pregnant ladies, but not ME. Now, when you go to my video, the videos featured next to it are videos that have been flagged too. Ugh.

Sorry if you find our Lucas fountain offensive. We think it's a thing of beauty and we always will.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Christmas time?

Here in Austin, Texas it was 72 degrees yesterday. It just doesn't feel much like Christmas when you break a sweat walking a few blocks to the mail box.

Another reason it doesn't feel too Christmassy is perhaps the lack of a Christmas tree at our house. We do have our wreath and a few other decorations... all in Hanukkah colors, but red and green just wouldn't match!

And I have lights on one tree outside, so that's kind of fun, too.

The other thing I miss is the shopping. I haven't really done much at all this year because we are on a shopping diet. But, I just want the Cutchen girls to know that I miss the endless hours of hitting the mall, the aching feet, annoying crowds & traffic, and being forced to try on more, more, and more. I'll see you at the after-Christmas sales.

We're excited to go spend Christmas in Arizona and New Year's in Albuquerque. And of course, we're most excited to spend time with family. See you soon! Lock up your breakables, barricade your tree, and get ready for some exercise. LucaD is coming to town!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

How Many Licks...

There are two types of people in this world: those who suck on a sucker all the way to the middle, savoring every last bit of sugary goodness (me), and those who bite the sucker at the half-way point, thus ending their sucker experience sooner (Ben).

Well, we found out last night that Lucas, like me, enjoys to suck his sucker all the way to the middle, where one might find a tootsie center or a bubble gum center. Last night Lucas found a bubble gum center in his sucker. He chewed on a little piece of the gum for a minute until I got him to spit it out for me.

You may ask what would drive two sane parents to give a sugary Blow Pop to a 15 month old child before bed time? The answer is simple: a haircut.

We decided that Lucas was looking way to scrappy to visit his grandparents in Arizona for Christmas. After all, it's only their second time meeting and we want him to make a good impression. Normally this means putting him in clothes other than his pajamas. But, for this special occasion we took out the scissors.

Last time, Lucas had his hair cut by a real barber. This time Mom and Dad took over (but Mom was very scared). He just needed a little trim, so we figured we might not butcher the poor kids hair too badly. Ben wanted to buzz it, but luckily I won that battle. Lucas is just a little baby and plus he has a horrible cowlick. He needs his hair.

Anyhow, the results were acceptable. I think the grandparents will all be pleased. The cleanup afterwards proved more difficult than the cutting. Ben took Lucas straight to the shower. (Imagine a kid with sucker slobber all over his body, PLUS hair stuck to the slobber). I took Lucas' chair out to the hose and then proceeded to clean up the hair/slobber in the kitchen.

It was an interesting experience. Hopefully Lucas can go back to a real barber some day...

So, how do you like your suckers?

Tuesday, December 4, 2007


I know it's late, but I have to share the story of Thanksgiving 2007 because it was so magically delicious...

My mom and dad decided that it would be fun to make the drive to Austin for Thanksgiving this year. They got into town the day before Thanksgiving just in time for the horrible weather to blow in, but that didn't stop our fun.

For Thanksgiving a big group of us went to Wendy and Blair's the break in the new house. Everyone brought lots of yummy food and we had lot of fun. My parents proved themselves to be very useful in the gravy making and turkey carving departments! I think they were quite popular among the group.

Lucas was such a good boy for dinner. I put a big sheet on the floor so he could throw his food on the floor just like at home. Luckily he didn't toss that much overboard. AND he sat in his chair tasting and listening to conversation long after most of the adults! I think it was partially due to little bites of Jamie's sweet chex mix...mmmm. It was nice to just have him sitting there and not wandering around breaking the new house.

After our lovely dinner we had about 5 pies to choose from and we all ate too much and felt fat, but it was a nice fat.

Friday was my and Ben's 5th anniversary! I can't believe it's been 5 years. When Ben talked to his mom that day he mentioned that it was our anniversary and the conversation went like this:
Nancy: "I can't believe it's been 2 years already!"
Ben: "Um... higher"
Nancy: "Three???"
Ben: "Um... more."
Nancy (louder): "Four???"
Ben: "more..."
Nancy (loudest): "Five years? I can't believe you've been married 5 years!"

It was really funny. Time sure does fly! My mom thought it seemed like more than five years... maybe because we lived in her house for two years.

That night my parents babysat Lucas and we went to the Melting Pot with Wendy and Blair, who also had an anniversary, as well as someone small and sweet to celebrate. It was lots of fun. We ate more cheese and chocolate than any human should ever eat, but it was yummy.

THEN, Saturday was my birthday. I turned 21. I can't believe I'm only 21!
On my birthday my phone rang bright and early at 6:45. I saw it was Jamie and didn't answer the phone. Then I thought, "Oh, something could be wrong..." But, before I could finish my thought, she was calling back, so I answered. She said, "Suzanne, you need to put on some clothes and come outside." I asked who she was with and she said it didn't matter. So, I put on some clothes, and told Ben I was being kidnapped, to which he replied, "yeah, I know" and I made my way downstairs. Then I saw my mom at the front door talking to all my friends outside. To my surprise, my mom was all done up and ready to go out. So, we all got in the cars and drove to Andrea's to pick her up and we made our way down to South Congress and ate at the Magnolia Cafe. It was really fun. I hadn't been kidnapped since I was in high school, so it was quite the surprise. Thanks Jamie, Jeana, Wendy, Dani and Andrea! You guys are the best. I'll always remember our breakfast with the delicious love butter.

Later than morning, my mom and I went shopping for high boots and a Cuisinart, then headed home to meet up with the boys. We decided to go to The Salt Lick for dinner/late lunch. It was way far away in the boonies, and it was packed. The Salt Lick is famous in Austin for BBQ and I'm glad we went, but I don't think we'll make the drive again for a while. It was really yummy, though, and Lucas loved the bread and the beans.
That night we had birthday pie and were going to stay up and play games, but we were all too tired. That's what happens when you turn 21.

Then next day my mom and dad headed back to ABQ. It's always sad when they have to go home and I have to get back to reality, but I'm grateful that they could come visit. I love having family around. There are more people to entertain Lucas and he has fun showing off and getting all that extra attention. Thanks, Mom and Dad, for all the fun times. I'm glad you made the crazy drive and battled the wind, sleet, snow, and dead car batteries. You guys are awesome! Love you.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

The Wreath and the Pile of Sadness

I have been wanting to make a wreath for a few months now, and last night my dreams finally came true! I had been planning on making a regular green wreath, but then decided that making one out of Christmas ornaments might be more exciting and maybe cheaper.

So, yesterday I headed to the Hobby Lobby to return my green wreath and buy all my stuff for my new endeavor. I was trying to do something similar to this wreath from Pier 1:

I wanted mine to be silver and blue to match our living room. So, after hours of work yesterday, here is what I ended up with:

It's not quite as bright and glitzy as it looks in the picture, but it is pretty sparkly. It cost me about $40 to make and I could have bought the Pier 1 wreath for $50 or $60... It's always more fun to have your own creation, though.

Anyhow, this morning I decided to move it from my pantry door to the front door (but facing inside) so that I could open and close the pantry. As I closed the front door, the plastic wreath hook broke and my wreath fell to what I thought was it's death. I was devastated. I immediately thought of all that money down the drain and all that time I had wasted. I managed to pick Lucas up to keep him from stepping in broken ornaments, and I left my pile of sadness on the floor so I could feed Lucas breakfast and trap him in his high chair. Then I called Ben and told him what had happened and I didn't even cry.

It turns out only a few of the tiny ornaments broke and about 4 big ones fell off, so I was able to fix it. I am going to return that stupid wreath hook to Hobby Lobby. After all, it almost crushed my dreams and my wreath.

So that's that. I don't think I'll go into wreath making business. It's too hard and it can be emotionally devastating. But, for you... I'll make you one for $100 - cash.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

7 Things - Tag

Ok, this tag is for Danielle. I don't owe her $18 that I know of, but she did do an awesomely bad ace job helping me plan Enrichment this month. So, this ones for you, my little clean freak.

7 Random Things About Me:

1. When I was a senior in high school apparently I saw the world a little differently. Yeah, I was a little weird, pretty optimistic, slightly hyperactive, and a little crazy, but I was a good kid. Anyhow my brother named the dimension I lived in "Suzy Land." Whenever I didn't get something quite right, or was a little too optimistic for reality, Robert would say, "Oh, is that how things are in Suzy Land?" Suzy Land was a great place. I don't go back nearly often enough.

2. When I was a toddler we were dropping my sister off at Chapel Hill her Freshman year. Without knowing just how awkward it was to be a Freshman in the first place, I pulled the fire alarm in her dorm just to make her first week of school a little more miserable. Hey, everyone needs a fire drill once in a while.

3. When Ben walks out the door in the morning Lucas and I begin our daily opera. We (I) sing about all things from diapers to lunch to love. We're really quite good. This singing thing is genetic. My mom sang my whole childhood, too. There were specific songs for getting the dog to go pee and for stomping your feet in the garage... "Stomp your feet 49 times, stomp your feet 49 times...." Yep, 49 times is a lot.

4. I have an addictive personality. It's good I don't drink. My first addiction that I can remember aside from candy as a kid is Carmex. I was at The Academy (my school) and I carried it with me always. They eventually had to stop selling it in the bookstore because I think reports came out about it being addictive. They also had to stop selling rubber cement, which was sad - you could make great little rubbery balls with that stuff. Apparently you could also get high. My other addictions were gum, Advil - the candy coating, Jolt Cola, and slurpees. My most recent problem was with Nutella, but I kept it under control and didn't buy another jar.

5. I like thrills - roller coasters, water slides, high dives, etc. I was really sore/bruised after cliff jumping in Utah off a 60 foot cliff. But even more fun than that was when I worked at The Beach and we had our employee party. It was such a rush! We would turn on The Destroyers (the biggest waves) in the wave pool, and not follow any of the rules. The best was making trains on the slides. Sure, we suffered a broken leg now and again, but it was fun... and it was never my leg. I do remember hitting my head on the bottom of the wave pool because I dove off head wall (the timing is very important because you have to hit the water at the crest of the wave), and I think I almost drowned once, but other than that I was good. By the time I was a supervisor, the parties had come to an end - too many injuries. I was grateful, though, because then I was in charge of all the crazy kids. I'm not as wild as I was before. I think I was kind of stupid then....I was 17.

6.When I met Ben he had a girlfriend and I had a boyfriend, but they were in different zip codes, so it didn't count. Ben was upfront and honest with his GF after a few weeks, but she was only an hour away. Mine was 12 hours away, so I could put it off until I went back to ABQ. I thought I broke up with him at Thanksgiving, but then he broke up with me over the phone at Christmas. I just played along with it. I didn't tell him about Ben until we were engaged. He must have thought I was a freak. I guess I don't have a lot of guts when it comes to hurting people's feelings. I think I'm more mature now and I would handle the situation better.

7. I'm PREGNANT! Hahaha. Did you just pee your pants? Good. I'm really not pregnant, but I thought that would be funny. Don't worry - Lucas won't have a little sibling to torture for a while. But, I'm so grateful for Lucas. He has taught me so much about myself. He's given me a reason to really try to make the world a better place. And he brings so much joy to our lives. We love our little creeper so much. I'm so grateful that Lucas is healthy and strong, not to mention very good looking. He's also very funny and I'm so glad that I get to stay home and laugh with him during the day.

7 1/2. I have to include this because I just caught a grammatical error in my entry. There are certain grammatical errors that drive me INSANE. I would like America to strive to use myself and me correctly. Please, America, don't say, "You can give Joe or myself a call if you suffer sever stomach cramps." You would never say, "Hey Joe, call myself Friday night!" You only call ME. Thank you, America.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Tag - 8 things

Ok, I've never done one of these tag things before. I'm doing this for Jeana because I owe her a zillion favors and $18. Hopefully this is as good as $18... I'll try not to copy, Jeana, but I can see your answers bright as day. BTW - Jeana likes Kelly Clarkson's "Since You Been Gone"... a lot.

8 Things I am passionate about
1. my Beanery
2. my little creeper
3. my family
4. church
5. baking
6. my friends
7. finding good in the world
8. cooking competitions with Jeana

8 Things I want to do before I die
1. go to Tahiti
2. make enough $$ to send my parents on an awesome trip
3. help Ben get published everywhere he wants to get published
4. just make sure Lucas is happy
5. go to Europe with my Beanery
6. laugh so hard I almost pee my pants, and I want to do this often
7. make the world a better place somehow
8. write a book or two - definitely a kids book with Ben

8 Books I have read recently
1. Baby Whisperer
2. Some other baby book
3. Some breastfeeding book
4. The Going to Bed Book
5. Peekaboo Kisses
6. Opposites
7. But Not the Hippopotamus
8. Goodnight Moon (which, I might say, really isn't a good book)

8 Things I often say
1. Rittlest Rucas, Mommy ruves rue.
2. Where's your ball?
3. Do you think it would be fun to do something fun?
4. You bring so much joy to mommy.
5. Oh, Holy Macaroni!
6. Where's your star toy?
7. duh, duh, duh, duh, duh, duh, duh, duh... (dancing w/ the stars theme song)
8. hey, creeper.

8 Things that attract me to friends
1. make me laugh
2. fun
3. identify with me
4. spontaneity
5. can handle my craziness
6. can handle Ben's craziness
7. make others feel comfortable and welcome.
8. people who can talk... or not talk. we could talk or not talk for hours.

8 Songs and Albums I could listen to over and over again
1. Sting - Fields of Gold
2. anything by Guster
3. Jack Johnson
4. Tullycraft - Superboy, Supergirl
5. James Blunt - Goodbye my Lover
6. Cowboy Junkies - Blue Moon
7. Ben Folds - The Luckiest
8. Keane

8 Things I learned this year
1. Sometimes it's hard to go to sleep - really hard.
2. Staying home can be more fun that a night out
3. boys like to be in boxes
4. boys like to be in fireplaces
5. boys like to be in cupboards
6. your own kid's poop doesn't smell that bad (unless he ate edamame)
7. vacuuming 2000 sq. feet is a lot harder than 600 sq. feet.
8. sometimes the mess can wait

8 Random things about me
1. I was a lifeguard for 7 years
2. When I was prego, I cried watching Dirty Dancing because "nobody puts baby in a corner."
3. I used to work at a radio station back in the day
4. I talked to Bruce Willis and didn't know it was him (I did take note that he was a hot dad, though). His kid's life jacket was all screwed up. Basically, I saved her life.
5. Joanna and I used to put gum drops on peoples car windows in high school
6. I wanted to be a fashion designer when I was a kid
7. I hate dirty water, boats, anything with algae
8. I love the smell of the beach

8 People I tag
1. danielle
2. becca
3. amanda
4. eva
5.I really don't like to pressure people. I'll feel guilty if you get fired for blogging.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Halloween Parties

This weekend was jam packed with Halloween parties! Friday night was our party at church. We arrived an hour late, but still managed get some grub and hang out with our friends while all the kids got their candy.
Lucas mostly sat on the floor or walked around. Yes - walked!

We didn't know how to dress Lucas this year. Last year he was a food service technician.

This year I was going between a dinosaur (a little comfy sleeper with a hood), something with wings, or a punk/biker with blue hair. I settled on the $5 wings. I was kind of afraid to use the blue dye on Lucas' hair, and being a blond punk just wouldn't be the same.

So, Friday night Lucas was an angel with a devil's tail. I had on the devil horns. Ben thought it was lame, but that's what he gets for not giving me any input. Here's a picture of Lucas refusing to look at the camera, and one of Lucas and his new friend, Sophia.

Saturday night was the awesomly cool party at the Baldwinators. I had a brilliant idea to dress Lucas as Cupid. Anyone who looks so good practically naked should take advantage of his brilliant physique on Halloween! So, I ran around like a mad woman Saturday trying to find a bow and arrow, but just decided to make my own. I think he ended up being really cute.

Who knows what we'll actually do on Halloween... we'll see. I'll post a new picture if we do anything cute to him. (That last picture is of the cake I make, not one of Lucas' costumes).

Happy Halloween!!

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Lucas' First Haricut

Well, my little guy had his first haircut on Thursday. I'm in ABQ visiting and my family informed me that it was due time for a haircut. Lucas had long stringy hair behind his ears and a cute little curl in back. BUT, it did look gross sometimes - especially when he got food in his hair.
I got permission from Ben to have his hair cut and my dad made the call to Ernest, his trusted barber. We were really worried about how Lucas would react to sitting in a chair for 10 minutes, but we were pleasantly surprised! I gave Lucas his first sucker and he sat pretty still for the entire time. I was very impressed with my little guy, as was Ernest.

Here are a few shots of Lucas and his lovely locks.

My mom was a good sport with the lollipop sharing - she hates banana candy... not to mention all the Lucas slobber.

And a video....

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

The Quints

Can you imagine having 5 babies? The Wilkinson family here in Austin recently brought their quintuplets, Ryder, Kindall, Kassidy, Kaydence, and Rustin, home from Phoenix, where they were born. They are members of our church and, as you can imagine, need all the help they can get for a few months. I had an opportunity to go over last week for three hours one night with my friend, Danielle, to help out. It was quite the adventure!

They just moved into a new house and have converted the study and dining room into a cute nursery. We walked in the door and saw 4 little babies in bouncy chairs and one being held getting ready for a bottle. Everything was so organized - each baby has a color, which helps a lot. There is a log book to write down when each one eats, spits up, gets a diaper change, etc. I was pretty intimidated at first, but jumped right in. Rachelle, the mom, went out for a bit so we mostly hung out with the Jayson after he got the two older kids put to bed.

It was fine for the most part. There was about 45 minutes where everyone was hungry and crying at the same time. Jayson had two babies and Danielle and I would go between the other three picking them up, putting them down, changing dirty clothes, feeding, etc. Eventually all five babies fell asleep for a while... they were so sweet. I can't imagine having 5 babies all the time, but if there is a family that can do it, I think this is the one.

FYI, their other two kids are 5 and 7. That makes 7 kids total with an average age of 1.8 years old. Whew!

You can check out the Wilkinson's website here and there are links to their blogs on that site.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Learning to Walk

Lucas is improving his walking skills every day. He's so cute as he teeters around the room.
Here's a little video.

Friday, September 14, 2007

First Swing

Today I took Lucas to the park with my friend, Brenna, and her kids. There's not too much for a little kid to do at the park, but Lucas did swing for a few minutes. I managed to get this funny picture of him on his first ride in the swing. He really liked if for a few minutes, but then changed his mind and wanted out.
Lucas also had fun climbing up the slide, trying to eat leaves and rocks, and crawling towards big group of moms with babies and stealing their water bottles.
Before we left, Brenna let Jackson go down the slide a couple more times, so I let Lucas crawl up a couple more times. I got sidetracked feeling sorry for myself because I was sweaty and sticky, and Lucas fell off the bottom of the slide onto his noggin. Yes, I feel bad. Now he's fast asleep having nap time. He's such a good boy.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

The Boys I Live With...

Last night I had a meeting so Ben and Lucas got to spend the evening together. I realized when I got home that I didn't leave any pajamas out for Lucas. (I kind of have them scattered in bizarre places upstairs - Ben complains that I hide things from him). So when I got home I asked Ben if he found something and he said "yes". I asked if it was the two piece pj's or the one piece and he said two pieces. I figured he found the ones I had sitting on the ledge.

Well, when Lucas woke up this morning I cracked up because he was in a cute onesie and his blue pants that he wore last year. They are size 0-3 months! I had them sitting on the clock in Lucas' room to block the glowing numbers so they wouldn't bother Lucas while he was sleeping. Ben thought I had them out for Lucas to wear.

Here's a pic of Lucas in his 2006 attire:

You'll notice Lucas is playing with some books. He LOVES books now. He will sit for so long and just look at different books. It's kind of nice. Sometimes he just likes to go to his room and "read" his books. He also thinks its fun to get into the drawers and empty everything out of them. That's not so nice. Here he is reading after emptying the blanket drawer.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Mafia Girls

When my mom, sister, and niece were in town we all four wore black shirts to church. The three of them had the same shirt on (except Maddie's wasn't shiny) and mine had long sleeves. After church our friend Adam asked if we were in the mafia. Ben tried to convince Adam that we really were like the mafia. Poor Ben. He had been the only boy for too long, besides Lucas.

I just wanted to share these cute pics real quick. These are our, "Oh no, we didn't take any pictures yet" pictures. They usually happen right before the trip to the airport.

Lucas is holding his little plastic "grenade toy" and wearing his little sailor outfit that my sister, Lisa, gave him. I think it's really cute, as do most other girls. Ben thinks Lucas looks like a weird Dutch boy when I put him in this. Too bad - I'm the fashionator in this household.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Do I look fat with this hair?

Well, folks, my long hair is gone. Today I went with my friend, Jamie, to get our hair cut. I sat in the chair and told Lisa (the hair girl) to take about four inches off, do the same layering business, bang business, etc. She was all done and said, "You know, this would look a lot better if you would just cut your hair to here," pointing to my shoulders. She went on to explain the movement of the hair, the layering, the tapering, yada yada. So, I decided I would think about it while Jamie got her hair cut. After a few encouraging words from Jamie and Jeana (via cellular telephone technology) I decided to whack my hair. I had been thinking about it anyways, but my long hair is just so convenient - I can always put it in a bun, braid, pony. I guess that could really be a problem. I've asked my friends to not let me turn into one of those Amish looking ladies that has really long hair and just always has it in a bun, a braid, or a braided bun... I'm afraid that is what I was becoming. Only with a better fashion sense and better makeup.

Anyhow, what started off as a trim, ended up as a serious haircut. I bet total I got about 9 inches cut off. Ben hasn't seen yet... nor does he know about the 2nd trip to the seat. We'll see what his reaction is tonight. I'm betting he will notice.

I don't know what to do with these bangs. I think I will forgo the bangs next time. I just don't know if I like how the lady cuts them. We'll see....

Oh yeah, and back to my butt. I thought my butt looked bigger after my hair cut. Then I realized it was probably my butt making me look fat and not my hair. :)

And I would like to apologize to JennV for cutting my hair. She's always supported and been a big fan of my long hair. Especially because I could wear it to a luau if I needed to, and that's just fun. I guess now I'll have to purchase a couple coconuts.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

It Ain't Easy Being 1

Lucas has been 1 for only six days now, and already life is getting harder for him.
As we get older the opportunity for more bonks and booms comes into play. My mom and Ben got Lucas to take a few steps the night of his birthday, and he's been working hard ever since. So, he has fallen several times, too. But, he has a nice padded diaper, so it's not that big of a deal.

Yesterday was Lucas' first real pool party. Unfortunately I stink and putting sunscreen on evenly, so the little guy got a little fried on half of his face. This wouldn't have been a problem if he would wear his hat, but like everything else Lucas touches, the hat went overboard.

After the pool party we went home for our afternoon naps. When Lucas woke up he was very sad. I figured he needed to go back to bed, but that just made him more angry. Eventually he was screaming his brains out and shaking... like he did when he was teething. Earlier that day Jamie thought Lucas' gums looked swollen, and she was right. Lucas is getting both bottom molars. Poor baby. After lots of crying, two doses of Tylenol, and some Orajel, Lucas finally settled down and became Lucas again.

We had decided to go to Chili's with our friends for dinner, so I thought I would give Lucas a shower before dinner instead of a late bath. After our shower, Lucas was crawling in and out of the shower (this is considered fun - the shower was dry & clean BTW) when suddenly I heard a little shriek. I looked in the shower and saw blood. Poor little Lucas had cut his finger on the drain.

Ben and I worked hard to bandage him up and eventually got his finger all taken care of... as well as two fingers on the other hand to distract him from the actual hurt finger. Somehow, the distraction band aids always come off first.

Eventually we were all organized and we went to Chili's to meet our friends for dinner. We had a lovely time, but then in the parking lot we had a bloody mess again. After several attempts to put new bandages on, I finally applied pressure with a diaper and elevated his finger while we drove to Wendy and Blair's house. There we got out the first aid kit and fixed him up properly with lots of tape, as well as two more distraction fingers. We also ate ice cream.

Anyhow, here's a video of Lucas with his hurt finger. He's just "walking" around the kitchen.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Happy Birthday Lucas!

I've been delaying this entry long enough! Lucas finally turned 1...o-n-e. He is officially not a teeny tiny baby anymore. I guess we'll have to have another right away - not.

I didn't want to have a huge bash for Lucas. As a matter of fact, I have been known to make fun of people who have extravagant parties for babies turning 1. I just wanted a simple get together with friends for cake... just a plain old cake, which Lucas would have one slice of and we'd call it a day.

Well... then my imagination started cranking. I got excited by the idea of actually making a cool cake. And the infatuation began. A little over a month ago I started my daily internet search of how to make fondant icing. I decided I would have to buy the Wilton's fondant from a craft store, but then read that it tasted nasty, so then I read about buttercream fondant and marshmallow fondant. Mmmm. The marshmallow fondant won whole heartedly because it was easy and not full of butter. A week later I made my first batch of fondant, which was successful. The next week I made another and sealed it tightly in the fridge with the first batch. THEN it was time to start the cake baking. I decided to make the recipe for the most delicious coconut cupcakes ever, sans the coconut. Each recipe makes three 9 inch layers, so I took two days and made the recipe twice, resulting in four 9 inch layers and four 6 inch layers. The next week, I made the buttercream frosting (the glue for the fondant). Before I knew it, Tuesday had arrived and it was time to build the cake.

For the bottom tier, I used apricot jam and toasted almonds for the filling. For the top tier I used raspberry jam for the filling.

The hardest part of the cake-building process was rolling out the fondant and putting it on the cake. I did the small tier first and was successful; although, I did end up with ripples on the side of the cake. For the big tier I calculated that I would need to roll out a circle with a diameter of about 22 inches. This proved to be tricky. During my first try, when I tried to pick up the fondant, it was stuck to the counter because I didn't use enough corn starch. The second try worked out perfectly. I still had the ripples, and a little rip on top, but it looked ok once I doctored it up.

Then I had to knead colors into the fondant and cut out the circles for the decorations. It was all downhill from here. I just focused on covering up the problems I had in the fondant and ended up with a pretty cute cake! Ben said it looked like a Dr. Seuss cake. These are the names he came up with: Kirkle Sake, Layer-Ma-Loo, Boo-Jelly Wahoo, Bort-A-Snort Torte, All-Mundy B'Gundy, and Pizzle Pie.

By Tuesday night I felt good that the whole cake was taken care of. I just had to stick dowels in the bottom layer and stack the cakes right before the party. What I had not taken care of was cleaning the house for my company.

The great thing about having a sister with flight benefits is that your mom can call you on Saturday and say, "Did I tell you we're thinking about coming to Austin?" Me, "No. For Thanksgiving?" Mom, "No, on Tuesday for Lucas' birthday."

Sweet! But, I did have to do a quick house cleaning Tuesday night after Lucas went to bed. It worked out just fine. Mom and Dad got in at 10:45 and we got home went to bed by midnight or 1:00.

Anyhow... this is about Lucas, right? Wednesday morning I took Ben to work and my parents, Lucas, and I had a lovely breakfast with an eggs, bacon and toast. Then we rested and lounged around the house. It was just great. In the afternoon we were taking naps and at 2:37 I did happen to wake up and say to myself, "Happy Birthday Lucas."

We went to get Ben at about 5:30 and left my dad in charge of putting the pizza in the oven. we ate our quick dinner and then our friends came over at 7:00 for cake. Of course Lucas didn't think anything too special was going on. He probably wondered why we were all gathered around singing to him... and why there was a fire on top of a cake, but other than that it was normal. UNTIL he got a huge cake placed on his tray. This was a first for him. He kind of ignored it at first until I gave him a taste of the frosting. Then he ate some cake, threw some on the floor, and used the rest as a drum.

He was very greasy after the cake so my mom and I gave him a quick bath and then he got to "open" presents. He mostly liked the ribbons and the paper. Lucas got a cool Nerf baseball bat, a couple trucks, bubbles, clothes, books, and a tent/tunnel system. I thought he would like to hide in it... like the fireplace.

It was a good night. Lucas was very cute, the cake was yummy, and it was wonderful to have family and friends here.

The celebration didn't stop there. Sadly, my dad had to leave early Thursday morning, but my sister, Carrie, and her daughter, Madison, flew in Friday night. We spent Saturday running around like crazy, but had a good time. Everyone left Sunday afternoon, so it was back to just the three of us.

I still can't believe it's been a year. I keep remembering back to last year and thinking of how I never thought I would survive. I was so nervous, I didn't have an appetite. I was exhausted, but still couldn't sleep. And I didn't think I could be home alone with the baby. Those were a tough couple of weeks! I think you have to have one kid to understand that you won't be up every three hours for the rest of your life, that eventually the kid will sleep through the night, eventually you will be able to leave the house, and eventually, maybe some day you will want to do it to yourself all over again. Crazy stuff, those kids...

Friday, August 24, 2007

The Past Year

When I think about the past year, I feel very blessed because I fell in love with a very special boy. It's been one of the hardest years of my life, but also the most rewarding. Can you believe Lucas is almost one?? I can't.

It seems like just the other day my mom flew to Austin, we got pedicures, went jogging, and the next day Lucas was born. When I think of how my life has changed since then I just have to laugh. A couple years ago I couldn't have pictured myself at home, wearing yoga pants, wiping spit up off the floor and changing diapers all day. Now I can't imagine getting ready by 8:00am, wearing skirts and dress pants, going to work and sitting in a chair all day. How life changes!

Well, I just wanted to recollect about Lucas' first year. He's always been such a sweet boy. He's got a happy temperament and a great sense of humor. We love watching him laugh and laugh. His big blue eyes are so beautiful they can light up a room... or break your heart when their filled with tears. I could just stare at him all day. Ben laughs at me because when Lucas is finally asleep for the day, I sit at the computer and watch videos of him or look at pictures.

Ever since Lucas learned to move on his own he hasn't stopped. When he started rolling he would roll and roll and roll until he hit a wall. Eventually he learned to roll the other direction, for which, I'm sure, he was grateful. Then he started scooting around with all his might. It seemed like such a struggle to use all his energy to get across the room, but he thought it was worth it to reach that shiny cell phone or bright toy. Eventually he got up on all fours and started to crawl like a pro. Now he's got rough, bruised little knees from all his crawling. He's the fastest crawler in town and we can't figure out how he does it. Sometimes I try to crawl after him, but I just get rug burn. In the past couple of days Lucas has started cruising all over the house. He holds on to the table, cabinets, couch, whatever he can to walk all over. I'm sure he'll be walking on his own soon... then running. And I'm afraid I'll be running soon, too, so I can catch him.

We've noticed that Lucas is VERY busy. He never stops. Lucas is constantly playing with, chewing, or banging on a toy. If not, he's hurrying across the room looking for something else to explore. Lucas is very curious and is learning more each day. He loves to look out the window and see outside. I'm sure it would be more exciting if we lived in a high rise downtown, but he seems to like the trees just fine.

I just want to thank all of our family and friends for all of your support over the past year. A big thanks to my mom for coming to Austin when Lucas was born, for staying a few extra days when I didn't think I could make it without her, and for promising that she would come back if, in fact, I couldn't make it.

We've had a lot of fun and we are grateful for all the friends we've made here in Austin. We do miss our family like crazy... and for that we would like to thank the Wright Brothers for thinking it would be a good idea to stick people in a very quickly propelled tube in the sky.

Here are a few pictures of Lucas over the past year. Kisses to everyone.

While I'm here I should make a list of all of Lucas' nicknames. He has so many - I don't ever want to forget them...
Little Man or L.M., Creature (Creatch for short), Rittlest Rucas, Sweetish Meatballs, Lukity, Bubbles, Butters/Budders (sp?), Lil' Crapper (in a nice way), Lucas Austin Harmanator...