Thursday, December 31, 2009

Family Christmas #1

As usual, I'm behind in my blogging.
I haven't told you about an event I look forward to every year . . .

The Keller Family Christmas Party

This year, John and I hosted the party on December 19.
Family gathered from near and far . . .
Dayton, Cincinnati, Chicago, central Pennsylvania and Indiana.

We sang carols . . .

shared a few giggles . . .

spent quality time with our sweet loved ones . . .

and felt the joy of Christmas through the eyes (and wide open mouth) of a child . . .

Most importantly, it was a time to gather together and realize . . .

there is just nothing like the warmth of family, the magic of Christmas, and the sense of peace that comes from knowing you are loved by so many.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

To you and yours . . .

“Behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.”
(Luke 2:10-11)

Merry Christmas to you and yours!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Just in case . . .

I'm ever kidnapped by aliens or decide to run away with the circus, I've decided someone else on the planet should know how to properly put Brendan down for a nap.

Step One: Feed him an 8 oz. bottle of formula. If you're extra-talented like me, you'll use your other hand to make Megan a sandwich, your foot to answer the phone, and your other foot to do a load of laundry. Don't forget to burp him.

Step Two: Wrap him in the miracle blanket. He will not sleep without it. Then again, he won't sleep with it either. Just wrap him. I'm not really sure why.

Step Three: In his bedroom, walk around and bounce him gently while quietly whispering, "Shhh shhh shhh." If your arms get tired, you might be able to sit down in the rocking chair. Then again, you might not. Toughen up!

Step Four - After about 45 minutes of this, you might think he is asleep. HE'S NOT. Keep walking/bouncing/shhhing for at least 20 more minutes.

Step Five - Ok, he's asleep.

Step Six - Slowly, and I mean slowly, lower him into his crib. Oops, not slowly enough. He just opened his eyes. Repeat steps three and four . . . again.

Step Seven - OK, he's asleep. Ooops, no he's not. Go back to step four again.

Step Eight - Alright, let's try this again. Slowly lower him into his crib. Like, so slowly, that if people were video recording this, the only way they would be able to tell you were actually moving was to play it in fast forward. That's how slowly you need to move.

Step Nine - Attempt to delicately extricate your arms from under him. Be very careful!!! Moving too quickly during this critical phase of the process could set you all the way back to step one.

Step Ten - Creep out of his room.

Step Eleven - Awesome! He's sleeping. You now have approximately 8 and one half minutes until he wakes up. Great job!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Sitting Here

with a bunch of tears streaming down my face.
That husband of mine! That sweet husband of mine.

He sent me this song today from work.

Even with two screaming kids, a cat that won't stop throwing up, and a dog that hates me (seriously hates me), a broken ice maker, six loads of laundry laying on our bedroom floor, and some substance (of unknown origin) all over the family room carpet . . . we still got it!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Megan's Letter to Santa

Dear Santa,
This is Megan. I've been a good girl. This year for Christmas, I would like an Elmo guitar, a little tiny goat that's not real, Littlest Pet Shop and Polly Pockets. I really love candy in my stocking, especially candy canes. Please bring my baby brother Brendan some toys and please don't be mad at him. He cries a lot. Goodbye.
3 years old

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Christmas Miracles

When I was mommy to only one child, I had the time to fret over inconsequential things,
like the yearly Christmas card.
I would start planning the Christmas card in mid-October, early November.
What an annoying over-achiever I was.

This photo is from 2 years ago.
See Megan's adorable, furry boots that went just perfect with the outfit?
The store didn't have her size and I just HAD TO HAVE THEM for the Christmas card picture.
After traveling to every Gymboree in Central Ohio and not finding her size, I ordered them online . . . but I was worried they wouldn't fit when they arrived (so I ordered five pairs of them, in five different sizes, just to make sure I had the right size.) I'm honestly not kidding.
That night, I greeted John at the door with, "Honey, don't be mad at me but . . . )
And you wonder why they call him St. John.

This year, things are a little different.
I haven't slept in 4 months and if Gymboree is selling $50 boots for toddlers I sure don't know about it.

Then I started receiving some holiday cards in the mail and had an "Oh Crap" moment.
That is, oh crap it is mid-December I haven't even made our Christmas card yet.
Oh the humanity!

I took approximately 93873209584975 photos, attempting to get just ONE that was usable.

Here's how it went . . .

Why do they both look terrified???
It's not like I threatened "no lunch" until I had the perfect photo.
Or maybe Brendan is thinking, "Mom will you take me out of this stupid basket.
I feel like an idiot here."

And then you have the adorable-Megan-going-in-for-a-kiss-while-Brendan-pulls-away photo.
Not pictured: Megan "delicately" grabbing Brendan's head, kissing him so hard he had an imprint of her lips on his temple for the rest of the day, all while accidentally poking him in the right eye, leading to 20 minutes of hysterical crying.

Then a complete and total lack of cooperation from the both of them.

This is Megan growing a little tired of my plan.
I keep a little pack of orange tic tacs in my purse for just such moments.

If you look carefully in the bottom right corner of Megan's mouth, you will see the orange residue from the tic tacs I was feeding her to smile.

Part of me is ashamed and part of me just isn't.

And finally, proof that Christmas miracles really do happen.
Both my little elves managed a smile at the same time.
Oh, how full of Christmas cheer I am :)
P.S. I did return the boots that didn't fit her.
P.S.S. Her sweater this year was from Walmart.
Oh how times have changed.

Friday, December 11, 2009


I've been a cake baking fool lately.
I made this one for my niece's birthday on Thanksgiving.
I already posted a picture but I'm posting another one.
Deal with it :)
And this one is my first "paid" cake made for someone outside my family.
It was for a little boy's baby shower.
The theme was green, blue, and brown polka dots.
My sister threw the shower and now owes me multiple hours of babysitting.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The Fun We Have While Megan's At School

Amount of time you spent crying and fussing, indicating you might need a nap:
12 minutes
Amount of time I spent trying to put you down (including the shushing, walking, rocking, bouncing, singing, swaying, lay you down ever so gently, oops not gently enough you just woke up, start all over again, ok you're really asleep now, quietly creep out of the room and try to get something done.)
43 minutes

Amount of time you actually spent sleeping

6 minutes

Monday, December 7, 2009

My Two Turkeys

Just getting around to posting about Thanksgiving.
Better late than never I guess.
Thanksgiving #1 was in Dayton at John's sister Laura's house.
Here is Grandpa K and our little heavyweight.
And Grandma K just a short time after having BRAIN SURGERY!!!

And my two turkeys sharing a snuggle on the couch.

Then we moved on to Thanksgiving #2 with my family. . .

We celebrated my niece Austyn's 8th birthday with a little Hannah Montana cake I whipped up for the occasion. I love to see the excitement in the kids' eyes when they see their cake for the first time. This was a fun cake to make.

My brother, single and ready to mingle.

Carter and Brendan
Can you believe Brendan is only 3 weeks older?

Katie and Brendan

And last but not least, my dad and his little mini-me Carter.

They are like twins separated by fifty-something years and few gray hairs.

And that, my friends, was my two turkeys.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Weight Watcher Wednesday

Aw c'mon, it was Thanksgiving.
I had two of them, even if I haven't gotten around to posting pictures yet.
I have a personal rule.
I don't diet on Thanksgiving.

It is the one holiday that is really all about the eating.
Can't I have one holiday a year? Or in this case, two?
A couple years ago when I said that in a Weight Watcher meeting,
the teacher asked me to stay after class to speak with me about discouraging others.
I'm not kidding.

So anyway, Thanksgiving is over.
I didn't gain any weight last week but I didn't lose any either.
That is between me and my big, fat bum.
And I guess you too since I've chosen to share this very private battle with you.

One of the most important weight loss lessons I've learned . . .
If you screw up, stop watching what you eat, have a weak moment, a weak week, whatever -
If you are still worrying about it, still talking about it, still weighing yourself,
you are still on the battlefield.
Don't wait for Monday to start your plan again. Don't wait for a fresh new day.
Calories don't care about Mondays and they don't know what day it is.

I love food.
I've lost a ton of weight before.
If I can do this, anyone can.

How about some new recipes to try this week?
I love recipes that don't taste like Weight Watcher recipes.
Recipes you can feed your husband and he won't complain.

Speaking of my husband, I want to tell you about him.
He doesn't have a weight problem. Never has.
He doesn't eat when he's not hungry. Weird.

When we first started dating, I asked him if he wanted a cookie. He replied that he wasn't hungry. My reply: "What the hell does hungry have to do with eating a cookie?"
A guess there is a lesson here. Don't eat when you're not hungry. Novel idea.

So here's a recipe folks. Eat it only when hungry :)

Taco Soup
Makes 12 (1) cup servings

Ingredients:1 lb. ground turkey (or lean ground beef )1 large onion, chopped 1 pkg. Hidden Valley ranch dressing mix1 pkg. Taco Seasoning mix1 can Pinto Beans1 can Chile Hot Beans1 can whole kernel corn1 can stewed tomatoes (Mexican flavor)1 can stewed tomatoes (any flavor)Brown meat and onions, drain. Mix Hidden Valley Ranch dressing mix and taco seasoning mix into meat. Then, without draining, add all of the other ingredients. Simmer 1 hour. If you can find the reduced sodium taco seasoning and the reduced sodium Hidden Valley it is very helpful because of the high sodium count in both the seasonings and the chili hot beans

And don't forget to dance while you cook to burn a few extra calories.

C'mon, close your eyes and pretend you're a bad ass.

Pretend you live in Compton.

You're tough. You're rough. You're packing some heat on your ample hips.

You can win this battle with your thighs. Yes you can!

Push yourself to work harder than you thought you could.

Shake it while you open those cans.

Shake it shake it baby.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Only You

I have so much I want to tell you about.

We had TWO THANKSGIVINGS - one with John's family and one with mine.
I made a Hannah Montana cake for my niece's eighth birthday.

Oh yeah, and I've been Nana-sitting. (i.e. taking care of my grandmother while my mom is away . . . counting out her pills, making her special meals low in sodium, potassium, and phosphorous, making sure she gets to dialysis, etc.)

If I had the time, I'd post a bunch of pictures of all this stuff and come up with witty little captions, cracking myself up as I type.

Instead, I just put Brendan down for a nap that is guaranteed to be only 7 minutes long. No time for wit. Sorry.

Until I have more time to blog, please be patient with me. Listen to my baby's theme song and you'll understand. It explains perfectly how he feels about me . . . he cries when I put him down, cries when he is in the car seat and can't see me, cries when he is in the stroller and isn't being held by me, cries when he can't see me for two seconds, cries when someone else tries to hold him, cries when I'm doing anything but holding him and walking around or attaching him to my boo boos like my permanent, conjoined twin . . .

ONLY YOU!!!!!!!

He is a high needs baby . . . my second high needs baby. You know how some people get one tough baby and then get one "easy" baby. Yeah, well not me.

It is flattering yet so very exhausting.

Tune back later when I'll perhaps have time to upload some pics . . . after I take Megan to preschool and pick her up, empty the dishwasher, fold the clothes in the dryer, make dinner, make another dinner for Nana, take Megan to her doctor's appointment, buy formula, return the red box movie, borrow a sweater from my sister, entertain Megan, read and understand all 192873294 pages of the city's budget and be able to speak intelligently on the subject when the newspaper reporter calls (all while holding my 18 pound infant under my left arm) and attend my city council meeting tonight . . . without forgetting to put on my breast pads (to conceal embarrassing leaks) like last meeting when I had to put on my coat and run out the door. Good times!