Friday, December 16, 2011

The one where she jumps

So, no cookies yesterday and unless I get a wild hair, none today. Maybe we will do them at the grandparents house. Let them clean up the mess! Anyhoot, Olivia is trying so hard to crawl these days. She can scoot backwards and forwards and get up on her knees and rock back and forth.

Her latest trick is jumping. I have serious issues with loading a video on the blog so I am not even going to attempt that this morning. Not much time to waste so you will have to use your minds eye to see her jump. When she’s up on her knees and wants a toy that’s out of reach, she literally jumps like a frog to get to it. It’s the funniest thing. She jumps, then flattens out her legs, then draws them up again, then jumps again. It’s a hoot! And just in the last 2 days, she’s started doing the Cleopatra side roll. Y’all know what I mean.

We have 1 week to Christmas. We’ll see if she starts crawling by then! She’s an angel, bless her heart, and she’s fixing to get thrown into the Jon Mizell family Christmas extravaganza!! We are making 2 pit stops on "the way" to Louisiana to do Christmas with my mom and sister and then dad. We’ll be in Louisiana a few days before heading over to Mississippi, to the country house, to wait on Santa Clause. It has potential to be a wild ride but we are looking forward to it so much!!!

We delivered some Christmas goodies to our library ladies yesterday

and then Audrey had her little party at dance class. She told me while we were getting ready that she likes parties and she likes ballet but she doesn’t like ballet parties. Upon further investigation of that statment I found out that she wants to just dance when she goes to ballet. Not eat.  Huh, well then.
I think she had fun any way. They played some games and watched the Nutcracker while eating their goodies. And in case you were wondering, those two elves in the back are the brother’s that got to join in the snacking fun!

And she can sit up by herself.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Gingerbread or bust

Yesterday I broke out the gingerbread house and attempted to put it together. I was very proud of myself when the walls actually stuck together this time! We went out of the room to let it completely dry for a couple hours and when I went back in to get it for the kids to start decorating, I noticed one tiny flaw in my house. I had used the roof as the sides of the house. Seriously? How did I not notice that? How did I not notice how ridiculously disproportionate the sides of the house were? Well I did not feel like taking it apart then so when Jon came home he had pity on me and fixed it! So today when I got the icing out (that I had mixed up yesterday) it was too thick and I added a smidgen of water to loosen it up. Reckon I added a few smidgens too many and got it too runny to be of any use. I was beginning to think it was just not in the cards for us to decorate a ginger bread house this year. Determined not to fail again, I dug out the icing intended for our sugar cookie attempt tomorrow and voila! I give you Gingerbread 2011 (that’s cheesy, I know).

I love James’ evil grin here!

She was getting ready to turn around and lick her fingers clean of icing....she thought I didn’t
know what she was doing. Haha!! I wish I’d had the video rolling. It was too funny watching her think she was being sneaky!

He looks like he’s diligently working here but let me assure you, the only thing Master James was diligent about was eating candy. And icing!

The finished product!

A close up of our abstract house! The point is that they had fun, right? I’m glad we did it but I have to be honest and say that I am seriously rethinking doing cookies tomorrow. Just the thought of cleaning up another horrific mess makes my head spin. I am panicking a little as it is thinking about our upcoming trip and how I am not even close to being ready. But check back tomorrow (if you are interested) and maybe I will have decided to plow ahead and make another mess any way!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Christmas Treats

I have a few things I hope to do with the twins this week before we leave and I also hope to blog about it. So you may get lucky (or not) and hear from us more than once this week!

I wanted to share this delicious and oh so easy recipe I came across via my grandmummy. I made a batch for our partay this past weekend. After tasting the deliciousness of it and the fact that it took less than 30 minutes to make, it’s what I am going to make for Jon to give to his friends at work.

White Chocolate Popcorn
2 bags microwave popcorn (butter kind)
12 – 16 oz. white chocolate chips, melted
3/4 C M & M’s
3/4 C peanuts
1 1/2 C stick pretzels
1 C mini marshmallows (I used about 1 1/2 cups)
6 oz. dark or milk chocolate
Pop popcorn, remove unpopped kernels.  Put popcorn and marshmallows in a big bowl.  In separate bowl, mix together melted white chocolate, M & M’s, peanuts and pretzels until coated with white chocolate.  Pour over popcorn and mix to coat popcorn with white chocolate.  Spread onto two jelly roll pans or cookie sheets. 
Drizzle with melted dark or milk chocolate.  Refrigerate for 10 minutes or longer until chocolate has hardened and popcorn breaks apart in bit pieces.

I know it looks really yellow in this picture and you are probably wondering where the white is but I promise it’s there! *Baker’s note: I didn’t have peanuts so I used more m&m’s but next time I will be sure to have peanuts to put in there. It definitely needed something else that was savory and I probably wont put as many m&m’s. Oh and be careful when melting the white chocolate. It get’s hard fast. If that happens, just throw a dash of oil in it and stir till smooth.
I also made Oreo truffles and they are always a big hit! Only 3 ingredients and super easy but it is a little time consuming. It’s definitely worth it though!
One package of Oreo’s (I used store brand)
One 8 oz package cream cheese (not fat free, mind you)
4 oz white almond bark
Use food processor (or mini chopper but beware using the mini chopper adds a few more minutes to blending the oreo’s since you can’t put the whole package in at one time!) to blend oreo’s until fine. 
Add cream cheese to oreo crumbs and blend until dough like.
Chill mixture for 15 minutes then roll into bite size balls. Chill for 15 minutes.
Melt almond bark in microwave according to package directions. Dip chilled oreo balls in melted chocolate using a fork so the chocolate can drip off. Set covered cookie balls onto wax paper and let set aprox. 30 minutes. If you want to use sprinkles do so before chocolate sets. I usually do 6 at a time, then sprinkle them because the chocolate hardens pretty fast. *Bakers note: This is where your happy helpers can come into play. James and Audrey did the sprinkling for me and it went much faster since I didn’t have to stop dipping every so often to sprinkle!

And I will sign off tonight with a tale of a little boy that is learning the lesson of just why it is better to give than recieve, this Christmas season. Earlier today I was boxing up some of the truffles and popcorn to take to our neighbors and James started freaking out. Seriously. I wont go into all the details because I talked, a lot, about thinking of others instead of ourselves and sharing our joy and the greatest gift of all and why we give gifts at Christmas and I ended with “You know how you feel when someone gives you a present? It makes you happy, doesn’t it? Well, when you give someone a present it makes them feel happy like you do when you get something.” And through his tears and slightly high pitched voice he says “But it’s not gonna make me happy to give something away that I like!!!!!!!!!” Bless his heart. Well, I knew then we had to go immediately and deliver our gifts so that it would be fresh on his mind. We did and he understands a little better now that it is better to give than receive. He enjoyed giving them our little treats and wishing them a Merry Christmas. And he did it all with a big smile on his face! Sweet boy.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

A day late and a dollar short

Woke up this morning (this cold, cold morning) to no coffee in the coffee canister. Rrrggg. My poor husband, my poor self! And I just went to the store last night. Rrrrgggg. But thank goodness I bought 1200 boxes of hot chocolate for our Christmas party that we are hosting Saturday night. I have something warm at least to sip on this cold, cold morning but I sure do miss my french roasted Maxwell house with Peppermint Mocha creamer. Mmmm.

Okie dokie, enough about my obvious coffee addiction. Yes, I am a day late on posting bu,t here I am, so lets not get hung up on that teeny little fact. There’s been a lot going on around here in the last week so I will start at the beginning.

December 1st, James and Audrey (Audrey is taking swimming now too) finished up another session in swimming lessons and we have the month of December off. They really love swimming at the Y and I really love running at the Y. We have a fantastic YMCA in the nearby city of Thomasville. They have a child watch program and all the girls that work in there are cream of the crop. Turns out that one of the girls is the cousin to a family that are members of our church. Anyway, Olivia loves to stay there and James and Audrey do to but they complain that it’s all baby toys to play with! After taking James up there for his first few lessons and I found out there was a child watch program, I decided to join. You get a discount on lessons if you are a member and it has proven to be the perfect outing a few days a week for us. Ok, really for me! They also have a mother’s morning out where you pay just a few dollars more and you can leave the campus for the morning. I took advantage of that last week and enjoyed some peaceful grocery shopping. I am very thankful to have found this special place for us to be a part of!

Over the weekend, Jon was gone and we attempted a ginger bread village. I chose the village because I thought it’d be neat for them to each have 2 houses to decorate but it proved to be the wrong choice! I don’t know if it was just my fingers that morning or what but it was nearly impossible to get those stinkin walls to stick to each other so by the time I finally gave up, James had eaten just about all the candy and it looked like a tiny tornado had come thru our village and leveled the houses. I did buy another one at the beginning of this week so we will try it again before we leave town to start our Christmas vacation!

Like I mentioned before, we are hosting a Christmas party again this year at our house so I’ve been busy this week trying to get ready for that. And, we had doctor’s appointments 3 days in a row in Tallahassee so I’ve been keeping the highway warm as well. On Tuesday after an appointment, I made a quick stop at the mall to pick up just a few Christmas presents. I had all the kids with me so I already had planned in my mind what I was getting and where I was going to get it from. Pretty much anyway. Well, the kids of course were begging for food (because I apparently never feed them) so I stopped and got us a cinnamon pretzel and coke icee to share. I had them sit down on the ground in front of the store we were going in next and this woman passed by pushing a single stroller with a baby girl in it. She stopped and said, with a big smile on her face, “You sure are brave to bring them all by yourself.” To which I replied “Either that or just crazy!” She laughed and then told me how she could never do that and that just “this one” (pointing to the baby) was almost too much for her and she was heading home. I cannot even count on my fingers how many times I have had people tell me that or something like it. And not to be too judgemental or anything but COME ON!! Seriously? Toughen up ladies. Toughen up!

I drug out the exersaucer over the weekend and Olivia has a new love! At first she wasn’t to sure of it but once she figured out how to jump up and down and found a chewy toy, she fell in love. Her laugh gets bigger and bigger every day and one day I am going to bottle it and tuck it away in my closet so I can pull it out and listen to that precious little sound in a bout 15 years when I am ready to pull my hair out. Although, I must admit it’s so very hard to imagine her ever giving us a moments trouble!

She has entered into the stranger anxiety stage and when someone she’s not used to seeing holds her or even talks to her, she pokes that lip out and starts boo hooing. It’s quite pittiful, I must say. However, she does warm up to who ever is trying to hold her, it just takes about 3 times of you going away and coming back. So, just be aware of that little tid bit, all you family out there who are expecting to see us at some point over the Christmas holidays and don’t take it personal. Just be prepared to persevere till she smiles at you. Which she will eventually do!

I started her on rice cereal one night this week and man oh man did she take to that! She didn’t gag or make a horrible face. No, she sucked it like soup and would lunge for the spoon every time we brought it to her mouth. She’s a hoot! And James and Audrey had the best time watching her eat that “nasty stuff!"

James and Audrey had their 4 year well check with the pediatrician yesterday and they checked out well. Ha ha ha!
James weighs 33 lbs and 2 oz and is 38 1/2 inches tall
Audrey weighs 33 lbs and 6 oz and is 39 inches tall
They are both in the 30th percentile for their height and 25th for their weight. They are still small for their age. At least their bodies are, their brains are not!

And I leave you with a little confession. A confession of my 4 year old daughter. She informed me the other night that “sometimes we crawl up under the dining room table where you can’t see us and say bad words. And when we are in the car, we whisper them to each other so you can’t hear us.” I almost choked on my food when she told me that!! I asked her what kind of bad words and she bubbly replied with “poopy and booty and butt.” I have to keep this chick in my confidence fo shore so that hopefully she will still be willing to “tell all” even when they are really “saying bad words!”

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

We spent Thanksgiving day at my Aunt Jan and Uncle Kiah’s new home and it was a wonderful day! My cousin Tammy (their youngest daughter) and her husband built them a small home on their property, behind their pool so that they could be closer now that Aunt Jan is retired. It was an extra thankful Thanksgiving gathering this year as my Aunt Jan was diagnosed with melanoma in her foot a few months back. She had to have surgery and no one was sure what her out come would initially be. But praise be to God that she is cancer free now and you can’t tell she’s been sick a day in her life. I love this woman.

I don’t have a lot of pictures to share from Thanksgiving because I dug out my “old” Canon Rebel that is a film camera and have been using it a lot lately. I am trying to learn how to take better quality pictures and preparing myself for the day (in the far, far, far) future that I get the DSLR I’ve been dreaming of lately. Did you know that no one develops film in one hour any more? And it takes 7-10 DAYS for it to come back. Bummer. Waiting on the film is “teaching me patience.” Ha!

In my last post I mentioned the all night black Friday excursion I would be partaking in. Well, I had fun with my sister and Mandy. We laughed a lot and had some hilarious conversations about all kinds of things because at 2 a.m. standing out in the freezing cold waiting like a herd of cattle for the Belk employees to open the doors so that you can race in and hope to get your hands on a pair (or 2 or 3) of those expensive boots that they are practically giving away, you’re not exactly lucid! In fact, upon review whilest I was falling asleep sitting up at JC Penny, I decided that a person is not lucid to begin with if they are willing to endure such sleep deprivation and freezing conditions for a “good sale!” It was a fun memory to make but not one that I see myself making again in the near or distant future. And I told my husband that if I have a moment of insanity next year and talk about doing it again to please chain me to the wall!

My husband turned 30 the day after Thanksgiving this year and after we had some ice cream cake while LSU whopped the sooooie out of those Arkansas pigs, he and I enjoyed a night out together with no kids. It was refreshing!

In the land of Olivia, hers is now a play yard baby! Meaning she scoots around so much she wont stay on her pallet unless it’s in the play yard. She’s growing so fast, entirely too fast for this mama and daddy and I predict that she will be crawling by Christmas.

She also turned 5 months old last week and since we were in my mama’s neighborhood then we had Olivia’s half birthday party the day before Thanksgiving. It was fun, just like they all have been. I let Liv try a smidgen of cool whip just to see her face! She didn’t like it.

The Christmas season is upon us again and it’s hard to believe Christmas day is less than a month away! I’ve just about got all my shopping done and all our decorations up. We trimmed our "Charlie Brown" tree on Monday night and the kids were beyond excited! They kept asking "and who’s ornament is this one?” wanting to know the story behind each one and they think that all their ornaments are their “first one’s” because they each got like 5 baby’s first ornaments the year they were born! Olivia was enthralled by the lights on the tree and she gets so very excited every time she looks at them!

I’m not sure if there will be a Mizell Christmas card picture this year. I haven’t been able to get a picture of the kids that I am pleased with. And I refuse (yes, I am stubborn sometimes) to use a picture that “will do.” Call me silly but I can’t help it! And I have decided that the world will not stop if we don’t send out a card this year. Maybe we will do New Year’s or Martin Luther King or Valentines or even Easter or maybe just wait till next year because I refuse (yes) to act ridiculous more than one day a year (no comments) to try and get a good picture of my kids. Yesterday (in the freezin cold I might add) I hauled the kids out to the other church that Jon pastor’s where there is one of maybe 3 cotton fields that have not  been picked yet in the state of Georgia and made them sit in the middle of it while I screamed and yelled and did all kinds of ridiculous things to get Olivia to actually look at me. I wasn’t even shooting for a smile, just a look in my direction. Here’s a few that just will NOT do!

And here is what I think when I look at these pictures:
5. What was I thinking with the 10 times too big Santa hats?
4. Why in the world did I have a bow in Audrey’s hair if she had on a hat?
3. Why is there more dirt than cotton in some of them?
2. Was it really that important to get this picture and risk giving my children pneumonia?
1. And too bad that I wasn’t trying to get just a picture of James!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The Land of My Nativity

I love coming home. Even though it makes me a tiny bit sad but only because I know I will be leaving it again in a few days. I am thankful however for the time we do have here and that gives way to any sadness. Words cannot express how excited I am thinking about tomorrow. I can hear that fried turkey and all the rest of the fixins my Aunt Janice and other family members will fix, calling my name. I can also feel that comfortable mattress calling my name when whatever it is that is in turkey to make you sleepy settles into my blood stream. I better take a nap this year for sure. Me, my sister and one of her good friends (she’s mine too....I haven’t had to buy any clothes for Audrey this fall/winter thanks to Mandy!!) are going black friday shopping. But we’re taking it up a notch this year and starting at 10 p.m. Thanksgiving night and taking the old saying “Shop till ya drop” to heart!! May you all have a very blessed and happy Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Size 3 Hipster

Olivia is officially a “hip” baby now, meaning she perches herself on my hip all day long with out bobbling around. The little girlie is getting so heavy I am actually glad of the graduating to my hip. Much easier to get stuff done when she wants to be held. She also has grown out of her size 2 diapers and into a size 3. She also gets up on her knees and rocks back and forth which makes her creep any where she wants to go and she spins around in circles. She is still the happiest, most content baby in the world and any body that meets her will tell you that. She has started to laugh at us when we do silly things (which is a lot of the time!) and it is the best laugh in the world. Kinda reminds me of James’ laugh when he was a baby. Speaking of James as a baby, when Olivia gets upset (which isn’t often, mind you) she sounds just like her Bubby did. She doesn’t have a level 4 though, just a level 2! We had tons of baby toys so we didn’t have to buy any and she already has 2 favorites: Mr. Elephante (which happened to be James’ favorite) and the Star taggie in the pics below. Neither James nor Audrey ever were interested in these taggie toys but Olivia loveees them! She examines those tags so closely she makes her eyes cross!

Last week was parent observation week at Audrey’s ballet class and we had a blast getting to watch and listen up close and personal. I was so proud of myself for remembering to load videos and pics from the camera to the computer so I’d have plenty of room to catch our little ballerina in action. However, I didn’t think about checking the battery so, when we got in there and I turned it on, the battery started blinking. I didn’t get much and the quality of the pictures aren’t that good. But I have a great memory anyways! James did exceptionally well sitting in there watching her. I think he enjoyed it but then when I asked him if he wanted to put on a pink tutu and dance around he made a horrible face and said “NO!! I’d look like a girl.”

Two weeks ago we went out to Louisiana for Jon’s dad’s 60th birthday celebration. It was a short trip but well worth it. It was a beautiful morning and since we were in the French Quarter for a jazz brunch in the courtyard at the Court of Two Sister’s, it was perfect. Another wonderful memory! But this time I got lots of good pictures.

Last Sunday morning the twins lost all television priviledges for the entire week. My sister said “What’d they do to make you punish yourself so bad?” There is so much truth in that question, haha! But they deserved it. No really, they did. I wont give all the details. They are learning a hard lesson and even though day 3 is getting a little hairy, it’s been good for them. I invented “Mommy Boot Camp” and have had them cleaning a room each day. And I must say the play room is as clean as it’s ever been! We’ve all had to get real creative and stretch our imaginations extra far but it’s been good. It’s made me make time to do some Thanksgiving crafts with them that I found on Pinterest and it’s made them (hopefully) appreciate their “priviledges” around here. Ask my kids what priviledge means next time you see them. Betcha they can tell ya!

Audrey reading to her “baby"

Working on our Pilgrim hat’s

The finished product! I couldn’t find my right tip so the 
buckles are a little crooked :)