I think I first hear about the uses of little ketchup packets for medicinal purposes from Sue Anne. I believe it was her sister-in-law Jeanette (who we later became friends with AND she is a long lost cousin of mine, anyway) she would freeze the fast food ketchup packets for little kid-sized ice packs. My kids are somehow hurting themselves all the time and they have LOVED having their own ice packs.

It is nice too because our freezer is on the bottom. Anytime there is a little bonk, the non-injured sibling loves to run to the freezer to get the ice pack. It is just enough of a distraction to make the pain of whatever happened usually go away very quickly. Jane has chewed through a couple of them to eat the ketchup, but that has not happened in a while. I guess we could go by a Taco Bell sometime to give her a little spice.

Colin was posing for me and knew to make a sad face.

Our rug not long after the Easter Bunny came.
We have shoes everywhere in our house.

Someone got a ring pop.

I think this is only the 3rd time since Brian and I have been married that we colored eggs, and the first time we did it with kids. (We have spent a lot of Easters away from home.) Ideally we would have done this sooner and let the Easter Bunny hide these eggs too but instead, we colored them after dinner. Our kids were delighted and actually do love hard boiled eggs. Very exciting.

I made them take of clothes, I already do enough laundry and did not want to deal with more stains. (Although, has anyone noticed how the liquid OxyClean foams up on grass stains? I kind of love that.)
Brian got some little q-tip things that were filled with color too.

And we ended the day with this lovely mango tart. Brian has a major disagreement with
Cook Illustrated on this one since they say that mango is too weepy for tarts. Turned out just fine.

Happy Easter

Colin and Jane looked pretty cute in their pale greens.

Our Easter Bunny came after lunch to the delight of the kids.

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It has been a crazy weekend. My brother throws a big Easter party that included a bouncy castle. Our kids were lucky and had some fun time in the castle before it was over-run with other children.

Easter basket love.

And below, exhausted kids. They have even been very worn out today on the real Easter.

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20 weeks

The kids love to cuddle the new baby. We are half way there, but meeting the baby still seems far away. Granted, the photo exaggerates, but I cannot believe how much bigger my belly is this time around. We have our ultrasound appointment next week and we hope to find out if it is a boy or girl. We thought about keeping it a surprise since we have one of each but we would like to know. Maybe the baby will not cooperate and keep it a surprise.
Jane was having a wild afternoon. She would have fallen asleep in the car but it was warm and we had the windows down. How can you fall asleep with the excitement of the windows down?
I took Colin's preschool photos again today. I was glad to see all the other preschoolers who are funny in photos (not a phenomenon unique to Colin).

Funny Colin.
Here are a few more out-takes, but some cuter ones. I still have some work on the photos and am excited to get it all done.


Brian might not miss this scene, but the little guys who made it are pretty cute when they are not fighting. Jane just looked at the photo and said "that is a fun dumping of the Little People!" The mess has gotten even worse as now the kids are building a train track through the pre-existing mess. I was curious and playing with my Dad's old fish eye lens this morning. It is super wide and focus free. I need to play with the old lenses more.

We also had a Jane potty training breakthrough this morning. I won't be too graphic in the explaining, but it is very exciting. The process is probably not over, but things are going. Obviously this is from before Brian left. When he is home, he plays Disney songs for the kids everyday and they dance. My Mom made this skirt for the new children's exhibit at the Church History Museum downtown and Jane thinks it is hers.
On Fridays we have cousin time with Mallory and Mia. The kids are all very cute together.
And a while back, we got a special Pie of the Month 3D card. The kids take turns sleeping with the 3D glasses.


Brian has been gone for almost 2 weeks and has 2 more to go. (He is home for one day in between, which I worry may be hard on the kids to have him leave again so quickly, but I will be glad to see him even briefly.) I have been not looking forward to this time away for a LONG time. The kids have been on a whole, pretty great. We started a fuzzy system to reward good behavior and it has gone very well. Colin was excited because his church group is also collecting fuzzies and Jane, although she maybe a little young for it, has gotten very excited. Colin was funny this morning. He was cleaning up some toys for fuzzies and he later told me "I thought the clean up was just going to be annoying but it was not so bad!"
I was planning on keeping the fuzzies only for positive things, but Colin brought up that if they do bad things, they could lose fuzzies.

Today since their jars were filled, they got to go pick out a couple of things at the Dollar Store. Colin knows the Dollar Store does not have quality products but he still loves it, even when new $1 toys break the same day. After we got home from the Dollar Store, most of the afternoon was spent fighting over each other's toys. If there had been fuzzies in their jars, both kids would have lost some.
Colin chose this little lantern that he loves. He has already fixed it a couple times but thankfully, it does still light up, for now.
We are watching for the new tooth but nothing yet, and nothing else seems to be wiggly.
Jane chose a hula hoop and some necklaces. The hula hoop has already broken in one place, and has been banished to outside of the house. I wish I knew where my Mardi Gras necklaces were, the kids would LOVE them. I had a lot, and from the real Mardi Gras in a different lifetime.
Jane has 2 pairs of leg warmers and she wanted to wear both today. The pair under her trousers are hidden, but she also wanted a pair to be arm warmers. In Italy I would occasionally use the kids' leg warmers on my arms if I was cold, it was very nice.
A relatively normal smile from Colin. How strange.

And from a few days ago, Jane playing in one of the toy boxes. It was just kind of cute. To the left in the photo, our pink exercise mat is visible. Jane has been so funny because of course we are eating jelly beans these days and she likes to tell me what flavors the colors taste like. She says yellow tastes like lemonade, orange like an orange, and pink tastes like the pink exercise mat. She frequently does yoga with me and has a great downward facing dog. Maybe she does know what the mat tastes like.

For extra fun this week, the herniated disk in my back that has mostly left me alone for 18 months wanted to say "hello" a few days ago. I was laying down reading a story to my kids Monday night and I could barely get up. I was very concerned since Brian is gone and I knew most of the pharmaceutical remedies were not an option to me pregnant. Thankfully within a few days I was feeling nearly normal. My Midwife had me check in with a physical therapist to make sure I am doing everything possible to ensure this does not happen again. I really liked the therapist and I am doing all the right things (minus doing abdominal exercises on an exercise ball pregnant. I thought this was safe but she said it can encourage a separating of the abdominal muscles so no more). My Mom has been very great to pick up where I cannot (literally) but I hope things are really on the mend.

AND, when standing normally, my pregnant belly no longer lets me see my feet. It is getting serious.