Saturday, January 31, 2009

Too big vs. too small

There are times when I realize how much bigger Jackson was than Caroline. Jackson was just short of 4 months old in this picture of him, and Caroline is over 5 months old in hers. Maybe you can't tell, but Jackson was huge... can you see all the rolls in his arms.

So, was Jackson a giant, or is Caroline just a little peanut? I couldn't have imagined how different they would look.

Have I told you recently?

How frickin' adorable my daughter is?

It never hurts to mention it again, right?

Friday, January 30, 2009

I have a confession to make!

So, I have been on a serious diet for the last 2 1/2 to 3 weeks and have lost 12 pounds. I am very proud of myself... oh how to hate to diet, but oh how I hate being 20 pounds heavier than I was this time last year even more.

I have been doing so well, but I saw it all flash before my eyes, as I opened the cupboard today, and realized my name was being called and I was feeling weak...

Thats right, by the chocolatey, hazelnutty goodness that is Nutella...

So I did it, I stood at my kitchen sink with an open jar of Nutella and graham cracker sticks... and for a moment, I was in heaven.

I even let Jackson taste it, and he couldn't shovel them in fast enough. After our few goodies I put it away feeling defeated... I gave in... but for those few moments, it was all worth it!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Playing dress-up

Jackson got into my jewelry today...

Can you believe he actually let me take a picture him, I can't remember the last time that happened. He was awfully proud of himself.

Does he remind you of anyone?

Think "Never Ending Story"

Are you singing the theme song in your head?

Thats right, Princess Alia... I never knew her name until I did a google search for the picture

Making Babies

According to a website ( our kids "should" look like this...

Thank goodness they don't! :)
My real kids are sooooo much cuter!

Boys, Boys, Boys

I got TWO exciting phone calls yesterday...

one from Christal and one from Kelly...

and guess what...

there are THREE baby boys on the way!!!

YAY for baby boys!


I typically don't use my blog to talk about issues of real importance, but I read an article from the Washington Post on another blog and it got me thinking...

Why is it, that as women, in different stages and phases in our lives, and in different circumstances, we judge those around us in different circumstances than our own, especially as mothers? Aren't we all just doing the best we can?

I am a Stay At Home Mom... I capitalize that because it is a job... the best one, but also the hardest one I've ever had. I did work full time before I had kids, and I have a wonderful mother who worked full time our whole lives. I have friends who work, and friends who stay home. I feel that due to these different experiences in my life, I have seen the whole spectrum, and have appreciation for the circumstances that women and mothers find themselves in. I know that I have been looked at by people with no kids like I have a cushy life because I don't go to work all day. I also know that I can get more done in a day than people I know that do work outside the home, and I don't get to "go home" and the end of a long day. I also know that there are days when I would gladly go to work just to have adult thoughts and conversations. And I know that those who work have days when they would gladly trade places with me.

See... we really do all work hard, and you super moms out there who do it all... my hat goes off to you. But please, those of you without children, that work full time, don't think that I am any less busy or that I get anymore time to myself than you do.

Can't we all just get along?! :)

The article form the Post is as follows...

Its a type of Q&A column, and I was actually a little shocked that someone really asked this question for real!


Best friend has child. Her: exhausted, busy, no time for self, no time for me, etc. Me (no kids): Wow. Sorry. What'd you do today? Her: Park, play group . . . Okay. I've done Internet searches, I've talked to parents. I don't get it. What do stay-at-home moms do all day? Please no lists of library, grocery store, dry cleaners . . . I do all those things, too, and I don't do them EVERY DAY. I guess what I'm asking is: What is a typical day and why don't moms have time for a call or e-mail? I work and am away from home nine hours a day (plus a few late work events) and I manage to get it all done. I'm feeling like the kid is an excuse to relax and enjoy -- not a bad thing at all -- but if so, why won't my friend tell me the truth? Is this a peeing contest ("My life is so much harder than yours")? What's the deal? I've got friends with and without kids and all us child-free folks get the same story and have the same questions.

Tacoma, Wash.

Relax and enjoy. You're funny.

Or you're lying about having friends with kids.

Or you're taking them at their word that they actually have kids, because you haven't personally been in the same room with them.

Internet searches?

I keep wavering between giving you a straight answer and giving my forehead some keyboard.

To claim you want to understand, while in the same breath implying that the only logical conclusions are that your mom-friends are either lying or competing with you, is disingenuous indeed.

So, since it's validation you seem to want, the real answer is what you get. In list form. When you have young kids, your typical day is: constant attention, from getting them out of bed, fed, clean, dressed; to keeping them out of harm's way; to answering their coos, cries, questions; to having two arms and carrying one kid, one set of car keys, and supplies for even the quickest trips, including the latest-to-be-declared-essential piece of molded plastic gear; to keeping them from unshelving books at the library; to enforcing rest times; to staying one step ahead of them lest they get too hungry, tired or bored, any one of which produces the kind of checkout-line screaming that gets the checkout line shaking its head.

It's needing 45 minutes to do what takes others 15.

It's constant vigilance, constant touch, constant use of your voice, constant relegation of your needs to the second tier.

It's constant scrutiny and second-guessing from family and friends, well-meaning and otherwise.

It's resisting constant temptation to seek short-term relief at everyone's long-term expense.

It's doing all this while concurrently teaching virtually everything -- language, manners, safety, resourcefulness, discipline, curiosity, creativity. Empathy. Everything.

It's also a choice, yes. And a joy. But if you spent all day, every day, with this brand of joy, and then, when you got your first 10 minutes to yourself, wanted to be alone with your thoughts instead of calling a good friend, a good friend wouldn't judge you, complain about you to mutual friends, or marvel how much more productively she uses her time. Either make a sincere effort to understand or keep your snit to yourself.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Is it over yet?

Today was a long day... I hate to complain on my blog, but I am glad that the day is almost over. Sometimes being a mom is just hard.

The last couple days Jackson, for some reason, has been in a really bad mood. Today that was compounded by the fact that he has decided he is not going to talk, but point and grunt and whine instead. Teething has not been as kind to Caroline as it was to Jackson, and she spent the majority of the day crying.

I was so glad when Cameron walked through the door tonight!

Can I tell you what made it all better... the [four pieces of] homemade bread and jam I had for dinner... yummy!!!

this was my first attempt at homemade bread... it wasn't gorgeous, but it was delicious!

I Can't Believe I Forgot!

I didn't tell you about our milestone around here...

Can you see them?!

Let me get a little closer...

Caroline has 2 cute little teeth... and two more coming in!

What a BIG girl!!!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

5 Months!!!

I know I say this every month, but seriously?! 5 months old already?!

5 months old today

We couldn't get Caroline's 4 month check-up at the doctor's office until this past Tuesday, so I have really recent stats...

15 pounds
24 1/2 inches long

She is still my little peanut. She is definitely growing alot, but still about 5 pounds less than Jackson was at her age. She is such a funny, happy girl. She laughs all the time and always has a smile on her face. She loves her big brother, and won't take her eyes off of him when he's around. She is a great sleeper, and is starting to go to bed on her own without being rocked. She loves to play with toys, and loves just hanging out with mom and dad! She is a sweetheart!

She is trying to watch TV in this picture, craning her neck back as far as will go.

Her favorite toy

She is getting chunky... but she's got nothing on Jackson!


Thursday, January 22, 2009


Every Thursay, a few of my girlfriends and I have playdate for the kids (thats what we say, but I will admit that we probably enjoy them more!)

Today we were eating lunch and had the two babies (Caroline and Royale's little boy, Reid) in their chairs on the table. We looked over and they were both fast asleep.

We all laughed and immediatley thought og the Tostitos commercial where the moms are talking about how good the playdate is for the kids ...

(Caroline looks so huge next to new baby Reid!)

I couldn't find a video to post, but I did find a link:

click on "playdate"

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Oriental Chicken Salad

I know there are many ways to make this salad, but this is the way I do it!

Ingredients: 3 chicken breasts
bag of cole slaw mix
bag of shredded lettuce
green onions
frozen peas (thawed)
2 packs ramen noodles
Dressing: 1 envelope Good Seasons Italian dressing
(prepare dressing with vinegar and oil per directions)
add 1/2 cup sugar and 2 T soy sauce
I double up the dressing recipe because I cook the chicken in it and I like extra dressing. It also makes enough if you make the salad for a big group by using an extra bag of the cole slaw cabbage.

Cut the chicken into pieces and cook it on the stove top with some of the dressing. (The dressing is also a great marinade for any meat you grill. The sugar makes the dressing carmelize on your meat... yummy)

Combine your cabbage and lettuce, green onions, peas and chicken. Just before serving add your two packs of crushed ramen noodles and almonds and toss in your dressing. It will usually keep in the fridge for another day if you have leftovers. Your lettuce and ramen noodles will soften slightly, but still yummy.

There it is... one of my favorite things to eat!

Big Brother Jackson

We are all well aware of the fact that Jackson LOVES Caroline, but sometimes I'm amazed at just how much.

He listens for her to wake up from her naps and he'll come and find me and tell me that she's awake. He gets very concerned when she is sad, and gets so tickled when she's happy. He loves to hold her and talk to her and make her laugh. She is equally smitten with him and doesn't take her eyes from him when he's in the room. I feel so lucky and so blessed every day that these sweet children are mine. I'm also humbled that Heavenly Father loves me and trusts me enough to have these sweet babies in my care.

Silly boy... Caroline was taking a nap and when I came in the living room after laying her down was Jackson was having a great time being "baby sister"

He always wants her play cars. On Saturday I was at a church meeting so Cameron took this picture of Jackson "helping" Caroline play with cars.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

By the way...

...Tyler Hansbrough is pronounced Tyler Hans-BRO!

not Hans-BORO and no Ty. Tyler Hansbrough.

That is all.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

All about him...

1.When did you meet your husband?
At a stake break the fast dinner. I had previously refused to be involved in the Young Single Adult program, but my friend Josh convinced me to go. Good thing I did!

2. How long did you date before you got married?
We dated for 5 months and were engaged for 3 months.

3. How long have you been married?
Just over 5 years

4.What does he do to surprise you?
When he takes the trash out or puts his dirty clothes in the laundry without being asked.

5. What is your favorite physical feature of his?
His eyes… he has beautiful eyelashes, and luckily my kids inherited that trait from him.

6. What is your favorite quality?
He’s a wonderful daddy

7. Does he have a nickname for you?
he calls me sweetheart

8. What is his favorite food?
ice cream, ice cream, ice cream

9. What is his favorite sport?
that’s a toss-up… probably a tie between baseball and ACC basketball. Baseball might be a little higher

10. When and where did you first kiss?
We had been out with some friends and went back to his house to hang out. We were in the basement and he told some retarded story about Listerine and kissing, so I kissed him!

11. What is your favorite thing to do as a couple?
We don’t do much as just a couple anymore, I would have to say watching TV and talking after the kids go to bed.

12. Do you have children?
Yes! My two precious, cute babies… Jackson will be 3 in March and Caroline is almost 5 months!

13. Does he have any hidden talents?
He can pick up any instrument and play it, pretty much without even trying that hard.

14. How old is he?
He will be 30 in May… he’s getting so old.

15. Who said I love you first?
He did… also in the basement

16. What is his favorite music?

17. What do you admire most about him?
He works so hard to take care of us!

18. What is his favorite color?

19. Will he read this?
he always reads my blog

20. People I tag:
whoever wants to

How did I do, honey?

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Okay, I admit it...

I did it...

I bought a Bumbo!

A bumbo is a foam seat that helps a baby that is not big enough to sit up on their own, sit up on their own.

I resisted the Bumbo for a long time. When Jackson was a baby I thought they were the most rediculous thing. $40-$50 for a piece of foam... seriously?!

But, I knew Caroline needed one, or should I say, I needed one for her! :) SHe is always trying to stand and sit, and she's just not old enough or big enough yet. Plus, I found one on Ebay for less then 1/2 price, and it came with tray (which is usually an extra $10.99), so I can feed her in it. It is great...

...and to say she LOVES it is an understatement!

Definitely worth the $25. Definitely!!!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

My name
LogoThere are
people with my name in the U.S.A.

How many have your name?
There are 176 Courtney Howards in the USA, but 1300 Courtney Johnsons.
I guess marrying Cameron did make me a little more special. :)

Monday, January 12, 2009

Silly Girl!

Need I say more?!

The Easiest Chicken Pot Pie

Ingredients: 1 (2 pack) frozen pie crusts
1 "big" size canned chicken breast
1 can of veg-all
1 can cream of chicken soup
If you get deep dish pie crust you can double everything up
combine ingredients (plus 1/2 can of water, salt pepper, and some minced onion) and put in one of your pie crusts.

Remove the other pie crust from the tin and place it on top

Bake at 350* for an hour or more... until top pie crust is gloden brown
Super simple, and for what it is, super yummy!

Wally World

So lets be honest... we all love "the Wal-Mart."

We do frequent "the Wal-Mart" quite often, and Jackson has grown to love going to Wal-Mart as much, if not more, than I do. He asks to go atleast once a week, and most often, I happily oblige.

I think you know you go a little too often when your almost three-year-old asks to go on a regular basis.

The other night Jackson was moving his cars fron on top of the piano, accross the living room and parking them on the couch. He told me to look at where his cars were going, and so I asked him, "where are your cars going Jackson?" The answer... "to Wal-Mart."

the cars parked at Wal-Mart

Its so funny to me what little kids pick up on from hearing it. After the cars at Wal-Mart incident, later that night Jackson was putting "grocery bags" in his cars, on Sunday his cars were going to church to go to Nursery, and Chris (his uncle) and Amy (my friend) were talking in his cars.

Thank goodness for cars... they make my boy a happy boy!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

He Knows where his Loyalties Lie...

We were watching the Duke/Florida State game today, and at the beginning some Carolina fans were chanting, "Paulus sucks." Jackson was sitting in his chair and eating, and the next thing we hear is, "Paulus sucks!" coming out of Jackson's mouth. I think Cameron was crushed, while I was very proud!

The caption under this picute on Google Images was "why do people hate Greg Paulus" so I thought it was appropriate!

Friday, January 9, 2009

It's a Sad Day...

when you have to make the decision that your almost three-year-old will no longer be taking naps. I know, I know, I have your sympathy... I'm going to need it!

You know of Jackson's sleeping issues that appeared several months ago... the waking up in the middle of the night, the waking up at 5am or earlier every morning, etc.

We discovered while we were in Florida that the days he didn't take a nap, he was asking to go to bed at bedtime and was sleeping untl roughly 7am. So we made the decision that his napping days are over. The last couple hours of the day he is pretty ornery, but its the price I'm willing to pay.

We have had some interesting days since Tuesday. On Wednesday we had to go to the bank to make some deposits just through the drive-through. Jackson loves to get in car and go anywhere, so he was excited to go. It was around 2:00 in the afternoon and because of the whole no napping thing, he was literally asleep in his carseat before we got out of the driveway. He slept the whole time we were gone (which was only about 30 min.) and when we got home and he woke up, he kept begging me, "nease, mama, nease" to go to the bank. He didn't think we had gone anywhere, and he was very sad. Yesterday, he told me he was going to his room to play with his cars, but when I went to check on him, he had crawled into his bed and was asleep... shoes on and all. When he came out I asked him if he had taken a nap and he said, "no, mama." In the tone of voice as if to say, "no, dummy, why would I take a nap, those are for babies."

And guess what... last night was miserable at bedtime, and he was before 6:00 this morning. So, today was a long day but he was ready for bed tonight. Maybe this is just a phase, but I doubt it. I think my days of having both my kids asleep at the same time for a couple hours a day is OVER.

You can all feel bad for now... I feel bad for myself!

This was the day we left for Florida. He was so excited for our trip that he wouldn't take a nap... but he fell fast asleep on the couch just before we had to leave.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

One of My Favorite Places...

This year we got to spend New Years' in Florida, and we had a great time. Dad and Dianne flew us all out (us plus David and Leda). We were all able to sit together on the plane, and let me tell you, flying with 2 adults per child is definitely the way to go!

One of the first stops we made was to the beach. The water was freezing and the wind was blowing so hard, but when you can drive right out onto the beach, why not.

Jackson didn't mind the cold at all, and immediately took his clothes off (of course) and was in the water. Caroline got her first taste of the beach as well, although she slept most of the time we were there.

Jackson's sweet footprint

and yes, my son did end up naked!

me... just as happy as can be at the beach, rain or shine, its my favorite place to be!

Another really fun thing we did was take a boat tour of the lakes and canals near where my grandparents live in Orlando. It was really fun! The kids were each required to wear a life-jacket, and I was a little worried that it would make for unhappy babies, but let me assure you... they both LOVED them!
Those of you that are the freaked-out-by-germs type, just skip the next picture...

For a whole hour Caroline actually didn't eat her fists, because her life jacket was so yummy. We couldn't keep it out of her mouth. I guess I'm lucky that germs don't bother me!

Jackson loved being on the water and just kept pointing at it telling us he was in a boat on the water. He just couldn't believe it!

While on our tour, we saw some of the most BEAUTIFUL homes I have ever seen! It's really a shame that people have to live like that, huh?! :)

Cameron, and David and Leda left a couple of days before the kids and I did. On the last day they were there we went to "Downtown Disney". It was the only real "Disney" thing we did because this time of year (around Christmas and New Years') is one of the busiest. Its just an area full of shops and eating... most of it Disney themed. We went into a really big toy store and Jackson didn't even know what to do with himself. He just kept looking in amazement... guess what his favorite was... thats right... all the "Cars" stuff.

He liked the big characters...

... especially the "pretty girls". What can I say, he knows what he likes!

Then we all went to lunch before they had to catch their flight. Cameron didn't fit in the picture, but thats okay, because for those of you that know him well, know that "he doesn't participate" :) hah!

(Leda was taking the picture)

Papa's and Grandma's house is probably about a block from a lake, and the houses that are on the lake did a beautiful fireworks how on Friday night after everyone had left. Papa got out the sparklers, and Jackson had a great time! He wouldn't take his eyes off the sparklers. The last time he used them was on July 4th and I don't even think it was dark yet. He really like using them outside in the dark!

We had such a good time and are so grateful to Dad and Dianne for flying us out and to Papa and Grandma for always making sure we have a place to stay! We love you guys and miss you already!
The best part of our vacation was just being there... there is something about Florida that is so RELAXING!!!

I walked into the Florida room one afternoon and Cameron and Leda were fast asleep watching TV

Sweet Caroline asleep at the beach

When we were all at luch after going to dowtown Disney, I looked over at Jackson and he was asleep on Grandma's shoulder with pizza in his hand. It was hilarious!

One more thing... the flight home was a little more interesting being alone with two kids, but the flight attendants thought Caroline was so cute (and who wouldn't) that they all took turns holding her! It was such a big help.

Then, once we got and everything was unpacked and all the laundry was done, we needed another vacation!