Saturday, May 22, 2010

Happy Birthday, Baby!

The baby turned one today!  Such a milestone for both mom AND baby.

We started the celebration with cupcakes made by my friend who has her own cupcake company.  The cupcakes are Creme Brulee, yum!

I let the little guy take a peek at the cupcakes before we sang to him.

They were delish!

Look at how much he's grown in the past year!

Friday, May 21, 2010

A Week of Firsts

It's been a busy week and it's going to continue to get even busier!  We've had a number of "firsts" this week.

Swimming With the Sharks
Ok, so they haven't done that yet.  But the boys did complete their swimming lessons and they are now very capable swimmers!  They take lessons each year at the university; it's intense.  Lessons run daily for 2 weeks and the kids pretty much hate the lessons.  But I told them that if they did really well and were able to swim by the end (they were already swimmers, I just wanted to know that I could take my eyes off them this summer at the pool since my attention is going to be on our littlest family member who most definitely cannot swim) then they would never have to take lessons again (unless they want to).  Not only did they progress to the next level of lessons, but they are ready to swim with the sharks at Disney!  Whether or not they actually swim with the sharks will determine whether or not they have to take lessons again next year!

Family Run
The kids' school sponsored a family run and the middle 3 kids participated.  (The baby is too small and my oldest was on a school trip.  The run was scheduled for last week, so as to not interfere with the trip, but just as it was about to start, the skies opened and it rained for hours.  Soooo, they rescheduled the race for tonight, which meant that my husband, who is chaperoning the trip, and my oldest daughter, could not race.)  The kids have never raced before, and I had my doubts, but they did a great job!  My 5 year old ran the 200m race, FAST!  And then he got in line to run the 1 Mile Loop!  He lost steam towards the end, but overall, it was amazing that he kept up with the big kids!  After a rest, he got in line to do the adult 5K!  There was no way he was going to make it through that so I pulled him out but his enthusiasm made me proud!

No Training Wheels
My 5 year old also mastered riding his bike without training wheels!  He still isn't comfortable navigating intersections, but otherwise, he is keeping up with the big kids.  Once a Langan kid learns to ride without stabilizers (as my Irish husband refers to them), they get to cycle up to Seven Eleven and choose a treat.  Can you guess what he chose?  Gum!  I don't know if I've mentioned this before or not, but my rule is that you have to be 5 to chew gum in our house.  (I found out the hard way that 5 is the minimum age to chew/discard appropriately.)  So it's been a busy week since my little guy turned 5: birthday, biking, running, swimming!

First Birthday
And last, but not least, the baby turns 1 tomorrow so stay tuned!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Green Smoothies

A couple of weeks ago I started drinking green smoothies.

For those of you who don't know what I mean by green smoothie, you can find out more here, at the Green Smoothie Queen website.

There are lots of reasons that I decided to try green smoothies (which I won't bother to write about) but my main motivation was to improve my overall health by eating (or drinking, as the case may be) more fruits and vegetables. 

I started drinking my smoothie each day at lunchtime, in place of my meal.  I had read about the benefits of eating raw foods and couldn't wait for miraculous results.  Every morning I would get up and look in the mirror and expect my wrinkles to be diminished.  (They are still present.)  I would then get on the scale and expect to be down 5 pounds from the previous day.  (I wasn't.)  I kept thinking, surely, any day now, I can toss my acne medicine and revel in my amazingly clear skin.  (I'm still using Proactive.)  When I couldn't really see any physical changes, I finally concluded that for me, the main benefit was just knowing that I was doing something really healthy for my body and a great deal of peace of mind comes along with that.

So about 10 days into my green smoothie experiment (during which time I was eating fairly healthy foods for my other meals/snacks), during a moment of weakness, I opened a jar of Jif and a bag of chocolate chips and ate a few spoonfuls of peanut butter and chocolate chips.  Then I went to Target.

I started to feel awful.  Like the shelves at Target were spinning past me.  Headache.  Dizzy.  Stomach in knots.  Seriously?  Just from eating a few spoonfuls of crappy food?  Apparently so.

Ok, so maybe there are some benefits to this lifestyle.

And then I started to notice that I'd forget to have my Cherry Coke Zero (which I treat myself to each afternoon.)  It would be dinnertime and I'd realize that I forgot to drink it.  (Prior to that I would hit the fridge without fail by 2PM.)  And I noticed that I'd make a pot of coffee in the morning but only drink one cup and then not really want the rest.  And then I grabbed a Junior Cheeseburger from Wendy's a few days later and threw it away after 2 bites because it tasted weird.  And last night I ate a Jello pudding and it tasted all chemical-ly and gross.

So I'm now on Day 19 of my Green Smoothie Experiment and I think it's safe to say that it is now a habit.  I really do like them and look forward to them.  (I must confess, I made one that was REALLY terrible and I had to pour it down the drain.  But I'm learning what to use and in which quantities so most of my smoothies are yummy.)

And the baby likes them too!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Happy Birthday

Yesterday started our marathon of birthday celebrations.  All five kids have birthdays within the next five weeks.  (That's a lotta cake!)  We kicked off the celebrations with a s'mores cake.

My first attempt at this cake failed miserably.  I needed parchment paper and thought I had some but didn't so I tried it without.  Big Mistake.  The cake was completely stuck to the pan.  To make matters worse, the cake was completely flat.  When making the batter, I had noticed that the baking powder was really lumpy and wondered if that had anything to do with the cake disaster.  So I checked the expiration date and it said Best if used by July 2005.  (Yep, that probably had something to do with it!)  So after purchasing parchment paper and baking powder, my second attempt was a success.  Recipe here in case you're curious about what goes into a s'mores cake.

Stay tuned for more birthdays, cakes and pics!  The baby turns one on Saturday!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Mother's Day Moments

The kids all gave me homemade cards for Mother's Day -- very sweet and cute.  It's always nice when the classroom teacher gives them some direction . . . .

Thanks to teacher prompts, I discovered that my 4 year old loves me because I pack snacks for him when we go on an airplane.  I learned that my 6 year old thinks of me as the color violet.  My 8 year old thinks I'm a good mom because I pay her for doing chores.  And my 10 year old thinks that my favorite thing to do in my free time is clean.

Hilarious, right?  I guess a 10 year old would think that anyone who cleans in their "spare time" must enjoy cleaning.  Oh, does she have a lot to learn!

In addition to the cleaning comment was a report card.  There were about 15 items on the list and I got As in everything except for the first item:  patience.  I got a "E" for patience.  An "E" means "try harder". I guess it's kinda like an F but a little more friendly than an F.  ANYWAY,  I find this ironic because I think I am fairly patient but whatever.  Nevertheless, I was patting myself on the back for earning As in everything else.  I was feeling smug that I am so good at every aspect of being a mom.  I commented to my daughter that I was a "Straight A Mom" and she said, "Oh, actually, I just didn't feel like reading all the things on the list so I just gave you A's in everything."

Did I mention that she suffers from ADHD?

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Baby Talk

Photo courtesy of Guest Blogger

The baby has been babbling for a while now:  all done, dada, mama, etc.

But he calls Emma by name every day.  When he sees her walk into the room, he raises his hand and says, "Hi Eh!"  Lucky dog, she's the only person who gets consistent chatter from the baby!

Until the other day.

I thought he was trying to say my oldest daughter's name.

And now I'm sure of it.

We were at the mall yesterday and I was walking through the store, pushing the stroller and calling her name.  And then the baby shouted out her name!  And then when he finally spotted her, he shouted her name again and waved his fist at her as if to say:  Where the heck have you been?!  I've been looking for you!

And today he's been dragging himself from room to room (still not crawling!) calling her name as he goes.  So cute and such a gift to be adored by a baby.