Sunday, December 20, 2009

any predictions?

There is a woman in our church who has correctly predicted the gender of my last two babies. She looks at my hand, lightly touches it, and then says, "It's a....". She said boy for both Lincoln & Malacai. Last night, I saw her at church. Marla & I asked if she had any predictions for me this time. Once again, the magical hand wave. And then, "it's a boy". What?! Again?!
I must admit that recently I've been thinking it's a girl. This pregnancy has been quite a bit different than the other two. So, since I've been thinking it's a girl, I feel slightly disappointed, even though for a while there, I thought I really didn't care. Oh well, at least we won't have to buy new things, right? (I don't know how I'm going to come up with a third boy name though...Malacai was hard enough. And I have two girl names that I love right now - maybe why I wanted to have a girl. And no, I will not be revealing name choices to anyone - unless your name is Michael Alan or Marla Christine - since I already told you. And let's just be completely honest, also Lyndsay Lorraine - because I just can't help myself, I tell my sisters everything).
I have my ultrasound scheduled for the 28th. And that evening, I'm having a fantastic gender reveal party (it involves cake, that's why it's fantastic). Anyone have any predictions they'd like to make before then??

Also, this morning Linc and I were looking for a screw driver so we could change the batteries in one of his toys; and lately every time I go to get the phillips-head from Mike's tool drawer, it's not in there. Of course, this morning, it was not in there. I told Linc to go tell daddy to get his phillips-head. So Linc walked into the living room and said, "Daddy, you need to go get your head filled up."

Also, I found out this morning that a car was burning not 200 feet from our house last night and Mike never woke me up to see it! There were police cars, ambulances, fire trucks and a BURNING CAR (even a fire truck in our driveway)!!! And he didn't wake me. Because he thought I might get mad if I got woken up. Now I shall remain mad all day that I didn't get to see the commotion. Imagine the pictures I could have had for this post! (And for those wondering how I could sleep through such a commotion - in the country, it is very rare for an emergency vehicle to turn on its siren - so there were no sirens to wake me. Also, I am pregnant, which makes me pretty much able to sleep through anything - normally everything wakes me. And also accounts for the early bed time for those that noticed the post time on The Batavian says 11:10).

Friday, December 18, 2009


This year, I really wanted an Advent Calendar to start doing with the boys. So my wonderful big seester made one for us! Isn't she the greatest?! All the boxes have magnets on the back so I can put it on the fridge. I love that we can put a slip of paper with an activity in it or put in some treats! It's nice too because I'll be able to change out the activities from year to year if I want to. Lincoln loves doing it and asks me all day long if we can open a box. He's even excited about the ones that don't have candy in them. (I'm just waiting for the day when he discovers he can pull a chair over and open them all and steal the candy out. That's probably more likely to happen with Malacai though.)

Our advent activities for this year are:
Set up the Nativity
Get Christmas tree & decorate it
Shop for Angel Tree gift
Put candles in windows and decorate house for Christmas
Have family game night
Go for a walk in the woods and collect pine cones
Donate canned goods to a food pantry
Build a snowman
Eat dinner by candle light
Make Christmas goodies to give away
Make paper snowflakes
Read a Christmas book together
Watch a Christmas cartoon
Go for a drive and look at Christmas lights
Eat peppermint stick icecream by the Christmas tree
Go sledding
Decorate sugar cookies
Drink hot chocolate by the Christmas tree
Read the Christmas story from the Bible together
Set out cookies for Santa

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

the city, a train and a sprain

the city
Two weekends ago I headed off to NYC to visit my favoritest brother who lives in Brooklyn. This was only my second trip to the big city; although many trips have been planned and then never taken place due to my killer pregnancies. I was determined to get there this time during my very brief lull of relief from severe hyperemesis and before the so-much-pain-I-can't-walk phase. So I packed up a suitcase full of drugs and my picc line and I were off. [Along with Marla & Justin, Mooms & Pops, and Aunt Jan & Uncle Stu]. This was unbelievably Aunt Jan's first trip to the city (she's a world traveler, I thought she'd been before)! She was disappointed that everyone was so nice & helpful; that is not what she was led to believe about people in the city.

I decided that I didn't feel like lugging my camera around with me [like it's so big?], so Justin is my photog from the trip. You can see some of his amazing shots here and here. [I know there is a ton of photos of Marla in these photos, and I am barely in any of them, but I guess I can't complain, right?...Thanks a lot Just.]

-the cute coffee shop where I got to try my first Flat White ever! (Mar & Just's favorite drink in New Zealand).
-visiting the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens
-so, so much amazing food [I think all we did on our trip was eat & walk. Uncle Stu wore his pedometer and day one we walked 9 miles, day two, 7 miles].
-seeing the city dressed up for Christmas
-riding in a taxi for the first time
-riding the Staten Island Ferry and seeing the Statue of Liberty...Hey, it was my first time; I can be a typical tourist.
-hanging out with my little brover and seeing his cute cat!
-hanging out with my fresh air brother, Cosheem! [um, I just realized I don't know how to spell his name, is that right?]

the train
We took a train into the city and I would highly recommend it. So much more room and less stressful than air travel. I think that's the first time I've taken a train since I was kid; and that was way up in Canada - and when you flushed the toilets, they flushed right on to the tracks! That's the only thing I remember about that train ride. Oh no, I did take a brief train ride in Alaska on our honeymoon. So guess this was my third rail trip. However, you might want to avoid the train diving that I tried out at the end of our trip, doesn't seem to end well as you can see from the photos below.

the sprain

Shoot, I think my mom sent a picture of this to my grandma - did she even know I had a busted.

Yup, both sides of the ankle, up the leg...

and down to my toes.

The offending train (shot by Justin of course).

I must also add that shortly after my graceful fall off the train, my mom said to Marla, "Oh Marla, why couldn't you have fallen off the train?". great. This was said in jest for those thinking horrible thoughts about my mooms, and it's only because everything always go wrong for me medically, especially lately. Makes me laugh though!! And then later on, Justin said, "I'm just trying to think of how your mom's prayers go...Please be with all my kids and keep them safe, but if something does have to happen, please let it be one of the other three and not Manda." Haa...

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


I have been throwing up since September 15th. And yet find myself getting chubbier. This little bean is the reason why.

(Sorry for the bad picture. It's about a month old and not the best picture I have, but I just haven't gotten around to scanning in the others yet).

And the reason why I've been absent from this place. And absent from a lot of things. At 17 weeks along, I can finally, finally say things are getting better. And I hope that I am now officially back. But this pregnant momma makes no promises or commitments, because you never know what is going to come up (or come back up...couldn't resist). I have lots & lots to share with you in spite of being so sick. And lots to share with you about being so sick. (Who wouldn't want to see pictures of my picc line??!). So hopefully you will be hearing from me again soon, I know the world hasn't been the same since I disappeared from blog-o land.

And for those who are bad at doing math (like me) and can't figure out when this baby is making it's entrance into the world from me telling you I am 17 weeks along; it's May. Fifteenth to be exact. We'll see when the bean really decides to show up though.

And for those wondering, no we do not know the gender yet. Yes, we will be finding out. In 19 days.

Monday, November 2, 2009

curious george and the man with the yellow hat

i promise i have a really good excuse for not blogging since like, forever.


spent my saturday night with curious george and the man with the yellow hat. it was super windy. and cold.

*these pictures make me laugh*

we made linc's costume, and i never want to do a handmade (homemade?) costume again. way too much time and ends up costing more money than a store bought one. they were a cute pair though. i was surprised at how many people were clueless as to who they were. are we the only household that watches/reads curious george??
after trick or treating down one measly street (the man with the yellow hat was cold & scared. yes, scared. not of the ghosts or goblins; but of the people so willing to give him free candy. yea, not sure where he came from.) we headed over to my parents for a lovely fall dinner. squash soup, cabbage soup, pumpkin biscuits, cajun cornbread, cheddar chive bread, apple pear salad, cocktail meatballs, caramel toffee apple dip, sparkling grape juice, and fresh homemade donuts. so delish.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

the tenth commandment...

is sometimes hard to keep when you see dreamy things like this.

this guy can pretty much give his entire house to me. sigh. trying hard not to break the the 10th commandment.

i have been looking for some time for a super cute vintage dish pattern to collect. my big seester has some pretty rad ones. i didn't think i would ever find one i would swoon over, and now i've found three!!! (that's one exclamation point for each dish, that's how exciting this is!)

my top 3 - in no particular order...(drumroll please)

(all photos from here - edited by me)

wheeeeeeeee!!! vintage dishes make me giddy!

ps - so, so sick of wiping the snotty noses!!! (that's one exclamation point for every snotty nose i'm wiping)

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

happy 6th on the 6th

(i realize this is a few days late...i'm a busy girl)

on the 6th, michael and i celebrated our 6th anniversary.
2,190 days of wedded bliss.
6 reasons i love him:

he is selfless.

he makes me tea...every.single.night.
and will give me a back rub anytime i ask.
and that is just fantastic.

he is an amazing dad. never tiring of being with them. playing with them. he is so incredibly helpful. and they just adore their daddy, which says so much.

he's cute. enough said.

he makes me laugh all the time. i love funny people. i love that my boy is a funny person. i love to laugh. especially with my michael.

he makes me feel cherished.


Wednesday, September 2, 2009

who is greener??

and it just goes to show you that no matter how green you are,
you're still going to want that mcburger.

photo by him

Friday, August 28, 2009

favorite summer dinner

this is one of my most favorite summer dinners. i say summer because it has lots of veggies in it and when you can walk out to your garden and pick your own it just makes it that much better. (or in my case, walk across the road and get veggies from your neighbors...why grow it if they do??) i have been known to make this during the winter too, it's just that good, even with supermarket veggies. it is a little bit on the "involved" side, but so worth it.

roasted vegetable quesadillas & sweet potato fries

for the quesadillas:
(i cannot begin to estimate the "amounts" of each ingredient listed, so i'm just telling you what's in it & how to do it. it's a "use-as-much-as-you-like" recipe)
onion, caramelized*
summer squash
peppers (pick the color(s) you like)
black beans
sun-dried tomatoes (a lot of times i leave these out)
sun-dried tomato vinaigrette dressing (i like ken's)
grated parmesan cheese
crumbled feta cheese
shredded mozzarella cheese
whole wheat pitas

  • preheat oven to 425º. cut the zucchini, squash and peppers into chunks. line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, throw on the veggies. brush with olive oil (or the vinaigrette dressing), add a little salt & pepper, and bake for about 20 minutes, flipping once halfway through. (you want your veggies to be tender, might take a little longer or a little less, depending on your oven and your veggie-tenderness preference).
  • in a small bowl, mix together some of the vinaigrette dressing and parmesan cheese.
  • spread the dressing mixture on two pitas (like you're making a pb&j)
  • top one of the pitas with some of the onion, roasted veggies, black beans, feta, and mozz.
  • set the other pita on top (dressing side down of course)
  • in a large, greased skillet, brown the pita on each careful flipping!! i know, they're big & it's hard to do. some fillings might spill out, that's okay, you'll get better at it (at least that's what i tell myself). you should see my mom flip those babies...what a pro!!
  • cut into wedges, serve, and enjoy your masterpiece!!
to give you an idea of serving size for this recipe, i can't finish a whole one of these by myself. for mike & i, i usually make two, but we always have leftovers. which i then look forward to eating for lunch the next day.

*i highly, highly recommend caramelizing the onions. the flavor of caramelized onions is out of this world and i'm not even an onion person. ('cept for the bloomin' onion at outback...and caramelized onions of course). it does take a bit of time, but so worth it. google it if you don't know how (oh how we do love mr. google).

for the sweet potato fries:

i use the recipe from this site, so i'll just send you there. we make these a lot in our house.

this meal is best enjoyed while sitting at the picnic table in your backyard!

disclaimer: if anything is confusing, let me know. i do not do well in the writing-up-recipes department. so if you are confused, about this recipe that is, it is most likely my fault.

and please let me know if you do make this and what you thought of it!!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

see what a little complaining can do??

ahhh...perfect!! (temperature people, not the rain!! please, please let the rain go away for cousin is getting married...outside!!)

however, i did just buy some super cute dresses and a skirt from cait's store to help deal with all the heat, and um, now there's no heat. that's okay though, i'll just be a little chilly in my cute vintage dress. better than being a hot, sticky mess.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

have you been?

i've been meaning to post on caitlin's vintage boutique for months. you NEED to go check it out. it's now in batavia on ellicott street. right near south side deli (they have delish subs by the way...and cannolis!).

she has amazing vintage clothes at great prices (as in cheap!!). and a super cute children's section. and lots of jewelery, shoes and accessories. and awesome furniture. and antiques too.

this weekend (yesterday & today), she's doing a 70's themed special. there's even going to be a book signing there today....fannnccy! so if you're headed out to batavia's summer in the city, you should go check out calista miakoda too! and if you hurry you might get some of the best ever hippie sugar cookies!!

just please don't buy anything that i'm thinking about buying, okay?

here's some pictures to entice you in. (and to show you my photoshop skills i've been working on).

Thursday, August 20, 2009


i HATE heat. hot weather and i just do not mix well. and lately it's been so hot & humid that you break a sweat just breathing. ughhh...bring me back the coolness of july!!

i just cannot function when it's above 80 degrees. i want to lay down and cry. (how i lived in florida for a year is beyond me). i can essentially blame my parents for my heat-coping issues. for one, they are responsible for the genes which don't allow my body to cool down properly. (yea, i don't really sweat. just enough to give me a nice "glow" and a shiny face. real nice. deodorant...i just use it cause it smells good, and honestly, a lot times i just don't use it all, well, because i don't need to.) and secondly, i grew up with central air. it never got above 72 degrees in our house. (70 if mom was out of town!)

so there you have it. me whining and complaining on my blog.

and as someone who has spent the better part of two summers nursing, one of these would have been so nice. kookles nursing cover giveaway! i can remember sweltering under blankets while nursing. so i want to win this. because i still haven't decided if two kids is enough, so maybe i'll need it in the future? or maybe i'll have a nice gift to give to someone like this. (mctoria - you should so do this giveaway!)

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

dresser it up

my michael is the best at finding free things alongside the road. or at getting great steals at garage sales. one of his most recent finds - for free - was a dresser that malacai was in great need of. all it needed was a little paint and some new hardware. total cost for us: about $30.

i didn't get a great "before" shot because mike was so anxious to get this project done for me. i walked out onto the porch one morning and there it was, done. i just happened to have this one that i took with my phone while we were trying to figure out whether to paint it or strip it & stain it. (lately i've wanted everything painted, so paint we did).

the bottom drawers weren't in when i took this, they had ugly plastic hardware on them. the top drawers actually had nice white old porcelain knobs, but we couldn't find any to match. plus i don't think the white on white would have worked.



Tuesday, August 11, 2009

twenty eight

last week i turned the big 2-8! i spent the morning at kingdom bound with my big seester watching justin's band, relevant worship, play. and taking lincoln on rides for the first time ever! he loved it. and i spent the evening eating icecream cake. (mike also took me canoe camping over the weekend for my birthday, more to come on that experience!).
i just had to share photos of some of the super cute vintage birthday presents i got. love them!!

vintage cake carrier from mooms

vintage casserole dish from my love

vintage glasses from craigie-eggie
(front & back)

and i just got my very own reusies in the mail today - thanks lyx!!

i will try to do better on posting. it's so hard to post during the summer, so much going on!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

love it

i hate washing out and reusing plastic sandwich bags. (sorry mom saves any and every baggie she can...including bread bags; how green is she?!). i also hate how many baggies i throw out. problem solved with these super, super cute reusies! the best part: they can be machine washed & dried or go in the dishwasher!! amazing. and wouldn't your sandwich look so much cuter in one of these?? i want some for the snacks i have to carry around in my purse for the boys.
adding to the birthday wish list.
check 'em out here.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

necco baby

one of the things i'll always remember from childhood vacations with the hempel's (that would be my mom's sister, aunt jan, uncle stuey and their 4 kiddos), is uncle stuey with necco wafers. he always had a pack on him, usually in his shirt pocket. while driving, he would toss necco's from his station wagon into ours.
[oh yes, our families rocked station wagons big time. even better though, we had CB radios ("brown to blue, come in blue")! made for some very fun road trips. and some very annoyed truck drivers.]
back to the necco's: besides throwing them from car to car, there was even a contest to see who could suck on their necco for the most miles. it ended up being some ridiculous amount of miles and probably uncle stuey winning. (anyone remember??)
malacai recently had his very first taste of a necco, given to him by uncle stuey of course.

other than being a little disappointed at not receiving his thrown from a window while driving 70 miles an hour down the highway, he enjoyed every last lick!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

chasing rainbows

last night after the storm, cait happened to glance out the window and noticed that the end of the rainbow was in our backyard. literally, dancing through our backyard. by the time we all got out there, and got our cameras out there, the rainbow had danced its way to the field. and eventually danced out of eye sight. but it was so incredibly amazing.

my question is, where's our pot of gold??

Friday, June 26, 2009


the other morning, lincoln was balking at the idea of us walking. (teehee). here's how our conversation went:

me: linc we need to go for a walk
linc: i don't want to
m: mommy needs to go on a walk. i need to get strong.
l: are you little and tiny?
m: no...mommy's a little bit chubby.
l: you need to chub-down?

i love him so! he makes me laugh every day.


i had my court date earlier this week. i showed up. officer v. did not. he sent replacement officer. replacement officer would not dismiss my charges as officer v. had promised. i tried. and tried. no budging. so i had a choice, come back and go through all of it again or pay for a "reduced" ticket - parking violation. i really hate those kind of things. i get nervous. really nervous. and stressed out. so i played wuss, and payed a fine. i keep going back and forth on the whole thing. glad it's done and over with. wishing i had fought harder.
my hubby thinks that no matter what, i would have ended up having to pay some kind of fine. so that makes me feel better.


off to syracuse for the weekend.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

happy pappy's day

i love my daddy. he has always been there for us kiddos. he leads by example. he loves jesus, he loves his family, he loves life. he is strong. he is caring. he is fun. he is a superb grandpa.

from my dad i learned that most important in life, is to love and serve jesus. to love and take care of your family. to work hard. to be organized. to laugh often. to never spend more on your credit card than you can pay each month. that if you're too rambunctious in the car, you might get your heads knocked together. that life is not fair, and it's no carnival either. that you need a little bit of ice cream every day.

i am blessed by my dad. love you pops!


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