Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Oh Trent...

We have a feisty and willful boy on our hands.  I'm SO proud as a mother to receive the below from his school.

What's that say?  Let's look a little closer...

Check out the 'Comment' section...proud mommy

So Trent likes to pull hair and push other kids down.  He is definitely testing his boundaries at home and tries to hit us or pull our hair.  We're disciplining him but it's not easy figuring out the most effective way to discipline a toddler.  I got a little defensive to Brent when discussing with him Trent's behavior, so we'll see what happens when this lion mama goes to our 'conference'.  Possible Mommy FAIL?  I guess time will tell!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Baby Time Is Close!

Patty thought she was in labor yesterday.  My sister is not one to get emotional (God saved the dramatics for me), but when we talked on the phone we both teared up, and she asked me to come over.  Of course I said yes!  Turns out it wasn't labor, but it just really makes it sink in that this baby is almost here!  I am SO excited to be an aunt (again).  Brent and I are not ready for another baby of our own, but I look forward to spoiling this babe like no one but an aunt can do. 

I keep thinking about what life was like before Miles was born (and Trent).  Patty and I were both SO naive about what motherhood would be like.  I feel like the bloom is definitely off the rose on this one, and it kind of makes me sad.  This baby deserves for us both to be super excited about his/her (but we all know I'm right and this baby is a girl) arrival...and we both keep thinking about how HARD it is...sleepless nights, crying (both the baby and the parents), I keep thinking about my post partum issues with Trent.  So keeping that in mind, I vow to do whatever I can for my sister to ease her load.  It is definitely such hard work to care for a baby, to be entrusted with something so infinitely precious as life, to have a hand in raising this child into an adult, but it is life's biggest blessing and worth all the sacrifice.  We both remember (too vividly) how hard it is, so I am going to focus on the magic - of being someone's mommy - and welcome this baby with such joy!  Come on, baby, come on!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

I Should Be Embarrassed...But I'm Not...Mostly

Did you know that in North America, romance novels are the most popular genre in modern literature (according to Wikipedia)?  I should probably be embarrassed to admit I read them, but I'm not!  I'm only embarrassed by the silly covers! {grin} 
There's one book in particular, Shanna by Kathleen Woodiwiss, that I read every year or so.  I started it again this weekend.  It's been about a year and a half since I last read it...maybe longer because I'm not sure if Trent was here yet.  Do you ever re-read a book?  When I start reading this book, I start remembering parts and get so excited to get to those parts of the story.  Brent calls me his 'nerd' all the time - this weekend I took Shanna with us so I could read in the car on our way places.  I fully embrace my nerdiness, but I promise if you want a good book to read, this is it.  Now off to read before bedtime... 

Thursday, March 24, 2011

I'm Worried

It was 90 degrees yesterday.

It's only March.

We're already breaking out the hose to keep cool in the backyard. 

How are we going to survive the summer...

...with a little boy who ONLY wants to be outside?

I guess if I have to sweat in 105 degree heat come July... least I get to spend it sweating with this little guy! 

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Baby Bump Watch: The Sister Edition

Patty is 38 weeks pregnant!  I am busting with excitement to meet my new niece or nephew and know what this baby will be named!  David's latest {hysterical} choice: Serro (for a boy) - I can't remember the girl name that is totally ridiculous but I think Serro is enough to give everyone a chuckle. {grin}

She's looking good, huh?
Miles vs Baby #2

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Finally...My Blog Feels Like Me!

Jessica over at Diamond Doll Design is a goddess!  I took advantage of her March special and got a totally new, custom blog look.  And blog feels like me!  I literally told her I like bright colors (especially pink and turquoise), hearts and nothing too busy.  Poof!  Magic!  We're still tweaking a few things, but overally I am SO happy with how everything turned out.  Let me know what you think - is anything hard to read, anything hurt your eyes, or is everything just perfect?? {grin}

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Hi, My Name Is...

Hi, my name is Allena.  I am addicted to Starbucks Chai lattes {grande, nonfat, no water if you must know}.  They are heaven to me when I'm having a bad day...or a good day...or any kinda day...  It has been 14 days since my last Chai because I gave them up for Lent (among other things).  It has been ROUGH.  How will I survive the next 35 (or so) days?

{google image}

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Giddy Up, Y'all!

Miles turned 2 on March 6.  He had a Cowboy birthday party to celebrate.  Patty's intent was to keep it low-key, but it wouldn't be a production at Patty's house without some of her old schoolteacher coming out in cute cowboy decorations, a cake she decorated herself, and (of course) hand-made t-shirts for the kiddos!

Some of the decorations and the yummy barnyard cake!

 Busy boys!  These 3 are going to be such a handful one day! {Can you see their precious shirts?}

Lots of family pictures!

Time for cake!  David is such a kid at heart and 'helped' Miles get his hands in the cake.

More Swope family pics - the next time we're all together will be when Patnode Baby #2 makes his/her grand entrance!  SQUEAL!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Easy Recipe: BBQ Chicken Pizza

It's been awhile since I blogged abut pizza.  I really like pizza.  Brent LOVES pizza.  Trent has had a few bites of it and seems to be following in his daddy's footsteps.  So I decided I should make it myself to be able to control the ingredients.  One of my favorite kinds is bar-b-que chicken.  Yumm-o!  And this recipe is SUPER easy - the only way I roll.  My only complains is that H-E-B doesn't have whole wheat crust, so I'll have to look around for that next.

Pizza crust
2 cups cooked chicken cubes (I bought pre-cooked in the freezer section - super easy)
1/2 cup BBQ sauce
1 1/2 cups grated Colby Jack cheese (I use low-fat)
red onions, bell peppers - chopped (Let's be honest - this isn't happening at the Gurley house!)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees
Mix together chicken and BBQ sauce
Roll out pizza crust
Layer 1/2 the cheese, the chicken mixture, then cheese (and veggies, if using)
Bake for 15 - 20 minutes

Next time I might put some pineapple on it and see if I can sneak in some fruit for our picky baby boy!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Mow Grass

Trent wakes up saying 'Mow grass.'  ALL he wants to do is mow.  It's only March and I have MANY pictures of mowing.  It's going to be a LONG summer.  We're already coming up with activities to do to not be at home. {grin}  This times Miles got in on the action at Babs and Pops' house.

Hurry up, Pops!  We want to mow!

Taking turns with Pops

Tantrum time!  Trent's was WAY worse than Miles'!

What is she thinking?  Trying to induce labor maybe?  Ha!

I'll try not to make this blog all about mowing (and being outside) for the entire summer...but I am making no promises!

Any suggestions for activities to keep Trent occupied this spring/summer?  We're thinking swim lessons, lots of trips to the park, our neighborhood pool...what else???

Saturday, March 12, 2011

It Never Gets Old

These 2 playing in bed together, that is!

Aunt Patty and Miles came over today for haircuts for the boys {also known as torture sessions}.  We decided to go SUPER short on Trent today - Mommy can only take the screaming in the hair place so often, but it looks adorable.  Trent and Miles played together really well today and seeing them in the crib together is still just adorable.  Miles was actually rubbing Trent's back - which makes me think he's going to make a great big brother!  Aren't they just precious?

Friday, March 11, 2011

Words With Friends Trent

I have wanted to videotape the funny things Trent says but it's obviously impossible to time when a toddler is going to say something.  So I wanted to record them in another fashion to never forget.
  • For a lot of words, he repeats the first syllable.  Movie = moo-moo. Miles = My-my.
  • Fish (goldfish) = bi (like the first phrase of big, not like bicycle).  It took me forever to figure out what he wanted to eat when he said 'bi'.  Now I know.
  • Water...this one is hysterical.  It started as him only signing water (the sign for 'W' bounced off your mouth but he only used his first finger), then he started wiggling his tongue and saying 'bah, bah, bah' while his finger was in front of his mouth.  Now he just goes 'bah, bah, bah' and wiggles his tongue.  HYSTERICAL!
  • He pairs people together.  When he sees one of us or one grandparent, he immediately names the other person missing.  If he sees 'Nana', he immediately says 'Papa'.  He does this with the owners of his school, too.
It is so funny having a toddler in the house! {grin}

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

An Unhappy First

Today I gave Trent his first spanking.  I almost cried.  Brent and I have discussed spankings many, many times and have been unsure of the right time to start.  We have always said we didn't want that to be our 'go to' form of punishment, but with our hard-headed son, it was becoming inevitable that this might be one of the few things that would work...  What felt right (and I use that word loosely) was as a punishment for deliberate, willful disobedience.  Today, he kept kicking me while I was trying to change his diaper.  I grabbed his legs and told him not to kick mommy.  He smiled at me and kicked again.  I warned him that he would get a spanking if he kicked me again.  He smiled and kicked.  Pop!  He teared up a little and said 'spank' but then proceeded to get 2 more spankings for continuing to kick me.  Seriously?!  Am I a horrible mommy?  I know I'm not but sometimes I sure feel like it!

Monday, March 7, 2011

All About Cloth Diapers

When I was pregnant with Trent, I saw pictures of kids in cloth diapers and was totally surprised at how they looked.  It wasn't the cloth diapers my mom used on me - they had velcro, snaps and were colorful!  I was enamored and immediately started doing research.  A lot of mothers were very discouraging about how much work it would be, how I would quit, but I was resolved to stick to it.  Everything I write in this post is going to be an accumulation of what I've read other places (no plagarizing here!) and what I've figured out by trail and error.  I hope this information is useful and maybe encourages another mom to try it!

Why? I get asked A LOT why I choose to cloth diaper Trent.  Here's why.

It's better for the earth - An estimated 27.4 BILLION disposable diapers are used each year in the US, resulting in a possible 3.4 million tons of used diapers adding to landfills each year.

It's better for your baby - Babies who use cloth diapers have less diaper rash, and fewer chemicals touch your baby's bottom. It's also supposed to be easier to potty train because children understand being wet more in a cloth diaper because they feel it more (without the super absorancy of the chemicals in a disposable), but we'll see on that one {grin}.

It's cheaper - Yes, it's a bigger investment on the front end, but over the life of your child (or children), it is more beneficial.  You can use the same set of diapers for the entire time you diaper your child and can use them on future children!

It's cute - There's not much cuter than Trent in his cloth diapers!

My cloth cutie

Types of diapers
Pocket Diapers - these are the ones we use most.  You can buy these sized or 'one size fits all' which uses snaps to grow with the baby.  It's called a pocket diaper because you have a separate liner that goes into the pocket for absorbency.  You take the liner out and wash the pieces separately.

All-in-Ones (AIO) - I just bought my first AIO recently and love it.  It really is just like a disposable (and is also a one size fits all).  I would say the downside is it takes longer to dry because it has more layers of fabric for absorbency.

Fitted - We haven't tried these, but from what I've read they are similar to the AIOs except they aren't waterproof so you have to buy a cover for them.  This is most similar to what our parents used on us (except they weren't fitted - that style is called a 'prefold' where you have to fold the diaper, pin it and then cover it).

{Some of my favorite brands - Bum Genius, Happy Heinys, Fuzzi Bunz}
{Pictures from}

How to clean 
I have developed a pretty good routine (I think) for our diapers.  I rinse ALL the diapers (you'd think the poo is what stinks the most but the pee gets really stinky after a few days).  I have a sprayer (similar to what's in your kitchen sink) that I attached to the toilet and use it to rinse out the diapers. 

My sprayer

I then put them in a pail in the laundry room and wait a few days until I have enough to wash.  I wash on HOT with about a half scoop of Tide.  I have read conflicting information about using 'special' soaps but have read more than 1 time that something like Tide is great, and I have to agree.  I do an extra rinse and maybe once a month do a 2nd wash.  I usually dry in the dryer but that's more because I'm lazy.  Drying them in the sun is probably the best way to get them dry and remove any remaining odor or discoloration (and is more economical).

I also tried G Diapers and don't use them nearly as often.  I just found them to be easier ONLY when the baby pees, and there's no predictability for what a baby will do!  I know they now have a cloth insert with the G Diapers and I might give it another try...we'll see though...

So there you have it!  That's the gyst of the hows and whys of cloth diapering for our family.  There are SO many great resources out there and I am in NO way an expert, so I hope I've just piqued your curiosity to learn more yourself!  Let me know if you have any questions - I was trying to provide a lot of information without being overwhelming - I could always do a Q&A post if there are any questions!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

03.06.09 **UPDATED**

UPDATE - Let me clarify - this is Miles. {grin}

I can't believe this little guy is TWO today!  We celebrated with a cowboy party, and of course, there are tons of pics to share...  But for now, I just want to remember this day...

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Project 52: February Update

Still having a blast with Project 52!

I had my first failure this month - a monthly goal that I didn't achieve. 
35. Try 1 new recipe per month. - This should not be hard for me, but I failed miserably.  I'll keep trying going forward but will be paying $5 for this one.

New goals accomplished:
2. Eat a tomato (this one is for K-Dub). - This was awful.  Confirms my absolute hatred of tomatoes.  But I did it!
3. See all movies nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars. - Done!  I'm sure all y'all are thrilled for less movie reviews!
10. Create 'pages' on blog. - See top of blog!
15. Try ‘My Fit Foods’. - I tried this with my friend, Angela.  I will do a post about it.
37. Buy leggings/tights (and wear them). - Thanks Target for your $4.20 clearance leggings!  I love them!

Recurring goals:
26. Use my crock pot at least once a month. - Check!

33. Do something creative w/ Trent (like Children’s museum) at least 1 time per month. - Kiddie Acres

34. Wear more of my ‘fun’ jewelry. - Check!
36. Comment more on other blogs. - Check!
39. Get more followers. - Started with 53, up to 57!

So I have 7 goals that I have completely knocked out, which I'm very proud of!  I also have several in-progress and can hopefully have those checked off soon. {grin}

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

You Know You're a Texan When...

  • "Fixin' to" IS a real phrase
  • You call salsa "hot sauce"
  • You're more proud to be a Texan than an American
  • You could eat a breakfast taco any meal of the day
  • If it's below 80 degrees, you're chilly
  • You think Mexican food is the best in Texas, even better than Mexican food in Mexico
  • You know "All y'all" is the plural of "Y'all"
Happy Texas Independence Day, y'all!

What other ones can you think of?

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Welcome to the Family!

After 36 days, 2,000 miles driven on a rental, a few arguments, 2 staples/3 stitches, a million cars researched...we finally bought a car!  She's cute, huh?