Saturday, November 28, 2009

Our Own Turkey Day

For the first time since Matt and I started dating in 2001, we had a Thanksgiving in our own home, without traveling to family. Though we love seeing our families and enjoy spending the holidays with them, we were also excited to try out some of our own family traditions this year in our first ever at-home Thanksgiving.

The morning started out with the fire alarm blaring. Not an auspicious start, but not totally my fault! I had a friend recommend a turkey recipe and then they also told me they always cooked their turkey in an oven bag. So, I prepped the turkey, bagged it, and put it in the oven. Didn't realize that the oven bag wasn't supposed to be under temperatures over 400 degrees, which my recipe called for. It started burning and smoked up the whole downstairs. I really hoped that no neighbors would walk by and stare as we aired out our thanksgiving cooking mistake! I almost cried, so anxious to have a successful dinner, but we made it though okay once I ditched the oven bag.

Despite the rocky start, we had a good morning. As good Americans, we introduced our kids to the Macy's parade and this was probably the first time they had any interest in it, recognizing characters in the parade. Then they had fun with a variety of Thanksgiving crafts ("projects" are definitely Nathan's current fetish!), including these fun little toilet paper roll pilgram and indians. Gotta love for continual supply of craft ideas!

Then dad took the kids outside to get some energy out on bikes while we had a special guest come over for a visit. After a little "preparation" I rushed outside and told the kids they had just missed a special guest - Terry the turkey! He had brought surprises for them but got so scared when he saw the turkey in the oven that I had to chase him all over the house for them before he disappeared. Good thing he left a trail of feathers for us to follow to find where he left their surprises (wink wink ; ). So, we went on a turkey treasure hunt. Matt laughed when he realized that I purposely alternated hiding the clues between upstairs and downstairs. Hey got to get their energy out somehow! They loved it and I think it will be a tradition for years to come.

The boys played the Wii while I put the finishing touches on dinner and then we had our feast! It consisted of our scrumptious turkey, mom's amazing crescent rolls, stuffing (stovetop - nothing but the box stuff for my honey), mashed potatoes, and green bean casserole. We couldn't wait and everything couldn't have turned out more tasty! I was very nervous about cooking my first large piece of meat EVER, but thanks to a great brine recipe from local friends it was the most amazing turkey I have ever had. It even pulled a "wow" out of Matt, who is not a turkey eater.

We followed stuffing ourselves with a family movie (Spiderwick Chronicles - if your kids aren't scared by realistic goblins and mythical types, it's very well done!) and then called it a successful family day. Hope you all had great turkey days!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Are you due any day now?

Yes, it's true. I, at week 21 of my 40 week pregnancy, was asked by my first unsuspecting person if my due date was on the near horizon. The funny thing is they always ask with such confidence, as if I just have to be at my size of belly. I didn't even feel like shaming the poor guy with the knowledge that this is only half way through! So, no, not any day now. People have been asking for a belly shot, which I have forgotten to take for a lot of my pregnancies, so I will try to do one a month for this guy. Here is me at month five:

Now, come on folks, do I really look like I am due any day now? I do get pretty big (sticking out like a watermelon shape wise) towards the end, but don't have any pictures to know if this is as big as normal. My YW told me I look like I have an alien belly sometimes (from the mouth of babes, right?), which I just attribute to my lovely umbillical hernia that came with baby no. 1. No, not dangerous or painful (and no aliens either!), just gives my belly a strange pointed shape.

Among other random Michaelis happenings - Matt was volunteering at a recycling roundup the other weekend and came home with a slide. No, we don't have a back yard. No, we don't even have the wooden or plastic steps leading up the the slide. Just the 6+ feet of plastic slide. I of course was not excited, but Matt saw the potential and the boys love using it to get their energy out in the house when the weather is bad. Here is a video clip of Lukie doing a more ambitious stunt on it:

The boys love to dress up, as I said before. One day Carter wore this hat all day long. I thought he just looked handsome in it and made him pose for some pictures.

Thanks Grandma Heidi for the fun hat additions to our dress-up collection!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Lost and Found

It's been a rough week, to say the least. I have lost some things that were emotionally very hard for me to lose, though in an effort to not be ungrateful or selfish, I am going to counter balance my whining with a does of gratitude. A spoonful of sugar right?

LOST: We will start backwards. Two days ago, I lost my wedding ring diamond. Yup, my solitare is totally gone. Three of the prongs totally broke off in an unknown event and at one point I was playing with my ring (which I do throughout the day subconsciously) and noticed it felt very different. That's because there was a big HOLE where the diamond should be. Now any of you who have seen my ring will know that this is not the size of diamond that would be easily noticed on the ground, it's definitely modest, possibly mistaken for a large piece of lint. I have been looking on the carpet and in the car, but no luck. I never wanted to ever change my wedding ring, never wanted to "upgrade" in my older years - I always wanted it to be the exact ring that we started out with in our humble beginnings. Not quite sure what we will do with this one...For now I am ringless, but I am sure the three kids and big belly are enough to assure anyone I am "taken"!

FOUND: My love for my husband is unmeasureable by any ring or token. He always teases me about movie stars or guys that pass by, asking if I think they are cute. I can honestly say I am not even tempted. Ever. Never had a crush on a movie star. I have the hottest, greatest man already. My looking is done!

LOST: In October we were very excited to take our first family professional pictures out in a gorgeous nearby park. The kids were a handful, but the photographer was great and the fall leaves were stunning. I adore pictures, decorate my house with them and could not WAIT until I got my pictures. Finally, 5 weeks after the shoot I got my package from the photographer only to find out that her harddrive crashed and she lost all but three of my pictures. I cried (granted I am hormonal with pregnancy, but it was sad nonetheless). She did everything right to make amends, but this is one lost thing that will not be coming back.

FOUND: Three heathly handsome boys that are just too cute for words, and apparently someone's harddrive!

LOST: My dreams of having this baby finally be a girl baby. Yup, we had our ultrasound on Tuesday and we are now expecting boy number four. I sulked for slightly longer than the last time and am still occasionally trying to get over myself. My mom asked if they were "sure" about it being a boy. Well, I didn't think it appropriate to post the "flagpole" (as the technician called it) picture, but, yes, we are pretty darn sure.

FOUND: A wiggly, healthy wonderful little spirit whose body is growing inside of me. Babies are still amazing miracles and we are grateful for this little guy. We might have to think a little harder for another great boy name, but we are still thankful, especially for his apparent health. He was actually the wiggliest baby the technician had ever seen - she was chasing him all over the place and we even have to go back again to try to get a few things he wouldn't hold still for. Sounds like he will give his brothers a run for their money!

Hope you are all finding joy and things to be thankful for in this holiday season as well!

Monday, November 2, 2009

The Missing Link

So my brother questioned Matt's choice as a ewok (who are traditionally the size of my children) for halloween, versus a wookie (who are at least 6 feet, which Matt is). That thought had occured to us too. Truthfully, he started out as a wookie, then we just had the hillarious thought (or funny to us at least) that it would be funny to have Matt be an obviously oversized ewok. I guess not everyone got the joke.

However, one of Matt's friends posted this comment on his facebook page that makes the connection for us all:

"That's freakin hilarious, you're like the missing link between ewoks and wookies: ewooks or something."

So, really, Matt was a ewook for halloween.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Halloween Madness!

WARNING: It's been a busy week - long post to ensue!
I am always just tingling with excitement when October finally hits and I can start putting some of my creative and mom energy into holiday celebration. We picked our costumes at the beginning of the month and figured I had plenty of time to put them all together.

Well, lets just say a week before Halloween, those store bought costumes (though seemingly outrageously overpriced in my book) were looking very appealing. I LOVE doing family themes, and will continue to do so as long as my kids let me (which will probably only be a few more years). Nathan was all set early, I had religiously hit craigslist and we had scored a great $5 darth vador costume. Check. Carter we started out with me making a jedi costume, but I had a hard time finding a good pattern, ended up winging it on making the costume, patternless (which I do often), but only ending up frustrated. So, we both happily settled on the less impressive, but less complicated storm trooper costume from the DI. Downloaded, printed, and laminated a mask for him and he was done.

That left Luke, Matt and myself. Luke was the one I was tempted to buy - a yoda costume. But, I finally dove in the morning of a good friend's kid halloween party (realizing at 8 a.m. that this was probably a COSTUME party! Ha!), and had that done in a few hours. It needed some adjustments between the party and Halloween, but in the end I was glad I put my scraps to work and didn't buy the store bought. I thought mine was cuter!

Here are some pictures from the fun party our local party queen Kari put on for the kiddos:

Nathan, his friend Spencer (aka Indiana Jones), and Luke doing a craft
We've all probably done the "use toilet paper to turn someone into a mummy" game, but I have never seen kids do it, and it was so great! Here is my cute little mummy. Plus, as a bonus, the kids loved playing in the toilet paper afterwards, dancing with it to halloween music.

I finally figured out how to do video clips! Yay! Here is the mummy game in live action:

On with the Halloween madness! Thursday I took Carter and Luke to meet up with Nathan at his first field trip - to the pumpkin patch! It was our local one, just up the street, which we hadn't been to yet, so it was fun. The kids loved the hayride, getting to pick out not just a pumpkin but a gourd, feeding the animals (who definitely had Luke captivated), and playing in the playground and haunted maze.

Nathan proudly showing off his "perfect" pumpkin:

Nathan on the hayride with two of his best buds, Mia and Aiden.
Carter loved this horse-shaped tire swing!

Nathan bravely feeding the goats

I thought this pumpkin snowman was awesome. No, Carter doesn't too...he just got a piece of candy and is doing a happy candy dance = ).
Friday I helped out at Nathan's classroom Halloween party and then watched the kids do their little Halloween parade. I had to laugh as at least half of all the boys were star wars themed - I had no idea it was the "thing" to be! Nathan just wanted to be Darth since last year, and we followed suit as a family.

The rest of Friday was spent madly getting Matt and I's costumes ready. I made both of them that day. Maybe procrastination exasterbated the halloween "madness" just a little! Let's just say I used my sewing machine more this week than the whole rest of the year...and am very happy to put it away, maybe until next halloween!

Here's our couple pic and let's see if you can guess who we are (again, think Star Wars):

Here is who we are modeled after (Queen Amidala - Luke and Leahs mother, and an ewok)

In the end, I had a lot of fun with my costume. I think all the girliness in my combined and enjoyed this princess costume. And, man, was I the envy of the 8 year old girls out trick or treating = ). They seemed to appreciate the costume the most, complete with "ooh"'s and "wow!"s. Though, I did have a man tell me that I was the best adult costume he had seen that year, which I appreciated. So, in the end the creative process was fun and worth it (though my husband might still be recovering...).

Finally, here are some pictures from our ward trunk or treat and the whole star wars gang together. Hope you had just as happy of a halloween as we did!

I love my little Yoda! Of course, he was the only one without a mask...masks sure do hide cute kiddos faces!