Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Tailgating with Babies?!?!?

Alright, Jessica has been quite adament about myself posting on this blog. Rather than write about something just for the sake of writing I will share with you my answer to a question that was on the Big10 Blog on ESPN.com but was too long to post in the comments and didn't make the mailbag the next week so no one, save a couple buddies and Jessica, got to read it. First I will quote the question:

Leighton from Iowa City, Iowa, writes: Adam, love the blog.
Keeps me going during the winter season especially! My wife and I are big Hawkeye fans and particularly enjoy Big Ten Football Saturdays here in Iowa City. We've got a great group of friends who all tailgate together, and as luck would have it, over half of us are having babies for the first time this summer. Any advice on how to transition into family tailgating and/or how to keep my marriage in good condition as I face this significant college football fan challenge?

My answer was as follows:

This is a difficult situation. If I did it over again i'd say 4 or 5 is a better age to start them at the football games. My first son went to his first game at the age of 2 and a half and even then he got to spend the 2nd half of the game running back and forth in an empty section of the michigan state bleachers (thats right, his first iowa game was an away game!) he also ended up with an empty case of beer (just the cardboard) on his head looking through the handle (calling it a mask) because it was making passer bys laugh at him and egg him on. i hope those pictures dont surface when i run for
office ;)

Until they are 2 i wouldnt recommend taking them tailgating either (even with someone arranged to watch the kids) since most of your attention and focus will be on taking care of the baby and not on having a good time tailgating. Id say for this year and probably next you and your friends are better off getting someone to watch the kids on saturday morning or trading off on who takes the kids to their house.

Also keep in mind that your friends without kids won't quite understand why they should need to transition into a more family oriented tailgate which you probably dont need to do until the kids start coming and are able to run around and throw a ball. The easiest is to find a place that has a large field (rather than a parking lot), think finkbine driving range, as there is a large field inbetween the course and driving range that cars cant go into, and golfers arent hitting towards which makes for a safe place to run around.

Needless to say i dont go to many games (without a babysitter at home) anymore but i do take the 2 year old, soon to be 3, to the tailgate to see my friends and let him use his extra energy running around and then grab a pork on a stick on the way home
where we watch the games.

One last thought if your wife isnt too big on going to the games, is to make sure she can do whatever she might like to do on the saturdays that iowa is away while you take the baby. I know coralridge mall or tanger outlet would love an amount of money equal to or greater than what would be spent on an average gameday

Hope this helps.

For all of you not familiar with Iowa City, Finkbine is the golf course. This coming fall should definitely be full of fun Saturdays as Thomas will be old enough to enjoy all the food and toss a football around at the tailgate, assuming my friends still decide to goto Finkbine's driving range. Otherwise it'll be backyard grilling before games.

Monday, March 30, 2009

St. Patricks Day Photos

It is almost April but here are some photos we took on St. Patrick's Day. It's ironic really because Oliver looks soooo cute in green! We were fortunate that day to have some BEAUTIFUL weather and were able to walk downtown and enjoy a nice dinner out.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Yummy Taco Foldovers!

Repost from my other blog http://uniquemoms.blogspot.com/
I needed to use up some ground beef from the freezer and didn't have a lot on hand. So I decided to make taco meat and use it to make taco foldovers. I used crescent rolls (you could also use your own homemade dough), shredded cheeses, and the seasoned taco beef to make them. I also set out sour cream, queso dip, and salsa for dipping with the foldovers and some tortilla chips. To make the queso dip I used up the remaining meat, added some velveeta cheese, spices and some salsa and green chilies and then microwaved them together on high for 2 minutes. Together everything was delicious! Thomas ate over 1/2 of the foldovers and my Brent wants me to make them again sometime instead of our regular tacos that we normally have once a week. Next time I am going to sneak in some green and red peppers and try it with fajita seasoning and chicken!

My future troublemaker...

What a stud! These are pictures Melissa took 2 weeks ago at grandma Patty's house. Thomas looks so cute in these. I just love them. Melissa is really great at taking photo's of him. She even got him to pose a little. That never happens for me, Thomas always closes his eyes or gives me a big cheesy grin. Wish I could take pictures like these! Thanks Melissa!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Cold night in with the family

Ughhh its snowing out! Just when we thought spring was finally here winter showed her ugly face again. Tonight it was just a mess outside with tons of slushy and icy snow. We decided to spend the evening in watching some movies. We also made some yummy banana bread tonight. I doubled this recipe but it still turned out great!

Banana Bread
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs, beaten
3 mashed bananas
1 teaspoon of vanilla
Nuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 2 9x5 pans with nonstick spray or vegetable oil.
Whisk together dry ingredients in large bowl. Set aside.
Beat butter and brown sugar until smooth in a large bowl. Add eggs, vanilla, and mashed bananas. Stir until even, will still be lumpy.
Next, slowly add dry mixture to the bowl. Stir together until well mixed. Pour into greased pans. If you would like you can also pour some chopped nuts over the top at the end.
Bake for 45 minutes. Let cool. Serve alone, buttered, or with banana slices and honey.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Brotherly Love

Thomas got his bike tonight!!! Target finally had the big wheeler in stock so we made a trip there to pick it up. We also got ice cream tonight because Thomas officially went 24 hours without going in his pullup during nap and bedtime. We were pretty excited to celebrate this milestone. We have been all out of diapers for a week now without any problems. I'm so proud of my big boy!
He is getting to be really great with Oliver too. This week he has been very happy to make Oliver smile or laugh when he has tummy time. Today he even tried to get Oliver to "play" with one of his cars. A true sign of brotherly love in this house for sure!
Enjoy the pictures of my cuties! They are getting so big!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Funny things the kids do...

My kids are really making me smile these days. Thomas is always saying something silly. Here are some things Thomas says that make me laugh:

"Mom I HAVE to eat the fish"
"Stopbt dit MOM"
"Drive Dat"
"Sun's Out. It's not dark out--I not sleepy!"
"Cheeeeeese! Pickles, Kessup, Mutturd."
"I went potty! Go get my bike now?"
"I not naughty."
"I'm a good pooper!"

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

April is less than a week away!

It's hard to believe March is almost over! Thomas is officially enrolled in a soccer class that starts April 1st. It's his first soccer class and its at the local rec center. The class is designed for preschoolers between the ages of 3-5 and goes through the end of month. Thomas got a "soccer outfit" for his birthday this month and wants to wear it to his first class. Here he is in his cool threads.

Oliver's baptism is set to be Easter weekend. Its going to be so great to get the family all together for Easter and celebrate. Thomas is very excited for the Easter bunny to visit too. He found the Easter eggs I picked up from Hobby Lobby that were 3/$1 and got really excited. He wanted to play with them but I had to take them away (mean mommy!) so they wouldn't get broken. We told Thomas that he would have to leave them out for the Easter bunny to fill with treats. We warned him though that he is really sneaky and would hide them from him because he's a trickster. The plan is after our Easter egg hunt we will head to church together and have Oliver's baptism. After the baptism we will have brunch together.

For the boys baskets they are each getting a swim and beach themed basket. Both needed new swimsuits and summer outfits so that will go in their baskets along with some bath toys and beach toys. I am still looking for the "right" baskets. I would like to get some bright large beach pails that they can use this summer. Since we will be moving into a place just a block from the city pool I imagine they would come in handy. Plus if we head to Myrtle Beach condo this summer the boys would love using them there!
Oh and April 25th is our wedding anniversary. If things don't get too busy around here mom and dad might try to attempt a night out at our favorite restaurant where Brent proposed! Can't believe we have known each other for 7 years!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Splashing in the rain!

Today Thomas and I went on a rain walk. It was rainy outside until about 5 PM so when it finally started to slow down he and I got on our rain boots and jackets and stomped in some puddles. It was very muddy so we had more than our fair share of mud splashes on mom's jeans but it was worth it. Thomas learned that the rain helps the grass and flowers grow and that it can't rain without a rain cloud. He is really starting to take quite an interest in science--I think he will follow in his dad's footsteps and be an engineer!

Thomas also baked cookies with Lindsay. He helped roll them out and decorate them with sprinkles. We used cutouts to make bunnies, flowers, and Easter eggs. I think my kitchen floors ended up with more sprinkles than the cookies but at least the cookies were yummy!

Oliver is getting bigger every day. He hasn't rolled over yet but he is getting so close. He had his first "big boy" bath in the tub with Thomas. Thomas squirted him with a bath toy and he thought it was hilarious. He's like his brother though and doesn't like getting his hair washed. My boys like dirt in the hair, what can I say!

Brent and I have decided to do a pantry challenge and eat only from our pantry every night for the rest of the month. The rules are to only eat foods that are nonperishable and still keep it as healthy as possible. The only exceptions are milk, eggs, butter, etc.--necessities we have to buy every week anyway. If it goes well we are going to do it for the month of April as well! Tonight we ate tomato basil pasta and managed to get Thomas to eat a couple veggies too.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Not a bad Monday!

Today we were lucky to enjoy a beautiful spring day. This morning it was raining and looked pretty yucky outside but my the afternoon it had warmed up and the yard was dry enough for Thomas to play soccer with his dad and take a quick bike ride around the block in his trike. No big wheeler yet, but we think its definitely time to get a new one because Thomas is too big for his old one.

The tulips and daffodils are starting to pop up. I think they will bloom maybe around Easter weekend. I will have to try and get photos of that when they start showing all of their colors. Surprisingly, my lack of a green thumb has not caused them to die on us yet. I will have to remember to plant them in the new place next fall since they are plants that even I can't kill! Even the pesky little rabbits we have under our shed haven't eaten them all up. Shocking right?

Potty training is still going great. Thomas still has only had 1 accident since last Friday. It seems to have taken just one time for him to figure it out, knock on wood. He is super excited for his new big boy bike! Once Target has it in stock again we will make a family trip and go get it. It will be quite a big event! We also are considering enrolling him in a preschool age soccer class. He LOVES soccer! Daddy would rather he LOVE hockey just as much, but hey the kid has time to change his mind right? :-)

Even better, the cherry on top of the iced cake was that the stock market jumped 500 points today! YAY! We made money for the first time in months in our 401Ks. Now lets all hope it lasts and that this is good news for our weak economy. Doubtful, but I'm trying to be optimistic!

Anyways, going to do today's crossword puzzle and watch Jay Leno with Brent. Monday night is headlines!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Crazy Weekend!

This weekend (or week rather) has been so crazy! We are wrapping up spring break week at our house and Thomas is in the middle of potty training while Oliver is teething! Brent and I are VERY tired. And I could really use a coffee, or two, or three right about now. Everything has been great though!

The weather was awesome this week. Brent and Thomas got a chance to play ball outside and for St. Patrick's Day Brent and I enjoyed a nice walk around downtown with Oliver in the Stroller. Grandma Patty took Thomas for 5 days so it was a little bit of downtime for us. But we missed Thomas too much and made her bring him back ASAP so we could enjoy all the nice weather spring has given us this week!

We think after being at grandma's house Thomas is almost fully potty trained. He still goes during nap and bedtime sometimes but he has been great about going potty. We still have to figure out how to handle his fear of regular toilets so we can take him out to places without a diaper on but that will be a future battle for us I suspect. But YAY for Thomas potty training so fast! Brent and I had been holding it off for fear of what would happen to our carpets and sofas but all is going well so far with only 1 accident in his new underpants. We actually headed to Target tonight to get a big wheeler for Thomas now that he is a "big boy" but they were sold out. Probably due to all the wonderful weather. But Thomas is excited and knows he will be getting a bike soon.

Oliver just turned 3 months on Wednesday and is growing super fast. He is almost in the 6-9 months size completely and has outgrown most of his 3-6 month outfits. I think he might outgrow Thomas at this rate, and Thomas is TALL! However, teething is really upsetting him I suspect because he is very fussy and drooling all over the place. Its finally time to break out the bibs because some days he nearly soaks himself. He is also close to rolling over from back to front. But he still hates tummy time so once he does finally flip over I suspect he won't do it again! :-)

I am 1/2 way through my last full semester and happy to say that things are going well despite very little sleep. I'm not getting perfect grades but I'm settling for almost perfect at this point. It's going to be great to be finished this July. Hopefully the job market looks better and I can possibly find something part time. Otherwise, I will stay at home with the boys and love every minute of it!

Brent and I also just signed a lease. The place is closer to Brent's work and right by a pool and library in an AWESOME family neighborhood. There is a walk path and pond right across the street so we might invest in a good set of bikes or jogging stroller to use every night as a family. It's going to be great to be away from downtown and have a big yard at last, not to mention no more noisy ambulances passing by since their won't be a hospital anymore!

In the next couple of months we have lots of plans. We have 3 weddings to attend to in the next 3 months so its going to be fun watching friends and family get married! Plus, we have Easter coming up and might be doing Oliver's baptism then since it will likely be the best weekend to do that with all the event's in May and June keeping us occupied. And....April 25th is our 1st Anniversary so love is definitely in the air this spring! And then at the end of July we are moving so the craziness will start all up again!

Introducing...the Schenks!

I thought I would start this up for everyone to follow how things are going for our growing family of 4. Thomas is 3 now and Oliver is 3 months old! Hard to believe our two boys are here and keeping us VERY busy. Jessica graduates this summer with her degree and only has 3 hours left to go. Brent is still working in Cedar Rapids at his engineering job. From here on out its going to be interesting. We have a very busy spring ahead of us so its going to be a crazy household for us.