Sunday, October 31, 2010

30 Day Blog Challenge: Day 21

Day 21: A Picture of Yourself

 There are very few pictures of me since I'm always the one taking the picture and even fewer that I like (who likes pictures of themselves anyway...), but our Honeymoon was so much fun and I thought this picture was funny. This was after a day on the beach - in the sun if you couldn't tell. I was a little toasty (both from the sun and the tequila) and we were about to head back to the ship to rest a while! Image of a fun day, though!

 (link up at Katie's site)


Happy Halloween

Saturday, October 30, 2010

30 Day Blog Challenge: Day 20

Day 20: Nicknames

I've only had one real nickname - okay, being named Hanna everyone has called me Hanna Banana at one time or another, but that's not my nickname!!
Since I was born my father has called me MishMish - it's the Egyptian word for Apricot. I don't know why he chose this name for me honestly, but it is what he has always called me. He rarely calls me Hanna. I also use it online all the time now - my site is MishMish.Org - when I don't want to use my real name online I use MishMish - it's what most of my online profiles say.

Michael has a name that can be shortened. A lot of people call him Mike - I don't!! My children don't really have names that can be shortened. Emma & Aaron. I mean, I've called Emma "Em" a couple of times - but I can't really shorten Aaron unless I just call him "A" - LOL! I call them brother & sister a lot, but I think a lot of moms do that. 

Honestly I really didn't want names that could be changed by folks when I named my kids - like Kathy for Katherine or Vicki for Victoria or Jimmy for James - I like those names, but I didn't want people to take liberties I guess is what I'm saying and call my children something else unless that's what we called them in our family. Make sense? It's weird I can't shorten Hanna either, that's why the only thing people have ever called me was Hanna Banana - that is until Hanna Montana hit the screen (and yes, I know she spells it Hannah, but I don't spell mine that way!!)...

So - what's your nickname?
(link up at Katie's blog)

Friday, October 29, 2010

30 Day Blog Challenge: Day 19

Day 19: Something You Miss

Well, being a parent there are those typical things like sleeping late, sleeping all night, being able to pick up and go out whenever you want, having no cares or worries b/c you aren't responsible for anyone but yourself...but to have those things back would mean not having my babies and well...then I just don't miss those things!
I do miss traveling, though. We go on vacations a lot now, but they are short weekend trips or sometimes week long trips (and I do love every minute of them!!!). I used to travel internationally a lot. I have family in Switzerland & Egypt - I've gone on vacation with friends to Spain & spent spring break my senior year of college in Italy. For now my kids are too young for that kind of travel really - I do want to take them places, but I'd like them to remember the trips, too! I want them to be cultured and see what the rest of the world is like!! So hopefully - this is something we'll get to do again one day as a family.

Yesterday I said I regretted that I hadn't lived abroad while I was single - as much as I would hate to be separated like that from my kids - when they are older I want them to have that desire, too. The world is a big place - I want them to know all about it!

(link up at Katie's blog)

Thursday, October 28, 2010

An Award! YAY - thank you TY!


To accept the Versatile Blogger Award the rules are:
1. Thank and link back to who gave you the award.
2. Share 7 things about yourself.
3. Pass it along to 7 blogs you've recently discovered and enjoy
4. Leave your recipients a note, telling them about the award. are 7 things about myself:
  1. I am half Egyptian - my father is Egyptian
  2. I grew up in a teeny tiny town...I mean it. TEENY tiny. I graduated with 25 people. I was Salutatorian for the class & my niece was Valedictorian.
  3. I come from a HUGE family! There are a LOT of us!
  4. I've never ice skated - really, never! I would love to try it, though.
  5. I suffer from Migraines - have since I was 4 years old. I've discovered that sugar is a major trigger, so I've pretty much had to give it up. Which is sad, b/c I love chocolate.
  6. I have an MBA - went back after being out of college 7 years, but I finished it!!
  7. I wish I could make my same salary being a full time photographer - what a great job that would be! I have an idea for a coffee table photography book - it's on my Bucket List!
Okay - now it's YOUR turn:
Hanna (no, not me - the other Hanna) 

30 Day Blog Challenge: Day 18

Day 18: Something You Regret

One thing I have always said I wish I had done was live abroad - either just on my own or as a student. There were great college programs to do a semester abroad & I really wish I had done that. I know it would have been such a rewarding experience and I would have gained a lot from the time. I hope that my kiddos have the opportunity and the desire to do it as well - though I know it would be so hard to be so far away from them. Every time I flew without my parents (even when I was grown & out of college) I could always see the worry on my mother's face. And now that I've had kids of my own (and b/c I saw the movie Taken - Ha ha) I can understand where she was coming from.

Have you seen Taken??? OMG!!!

Sometimes I also regret not continuing my piano lessons...but shhhh...don't tell my daddy that! He always told me that I would regret quitting - and I do!! Don't ya hate it when your parents are right about something?? :) And sometimes I really regret that haircut senior year! LOL!

Otherwise - I can't really say there is too much else in my life that I really regret - mainly b/c any other avenues I would have pursued probably would not have led to my life today with Michael, Emma & Aaron - and well, that's just not something to regret at all!!! Everything I've done in my **cough cough** 33 years has brought me to exactly where I am today and it is exactly where I'd like to be. Any other path just isn't an option!  True - sometimes I wonder what life would be like if I had done this or done that - but not enough to make me want to go back and change anything that led to right here!

What's something that you regret??

(Link up at Katie's blog)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Aaron's Menu - I'm Talking Homemade Baby Food

So...I've been making homemade baby food, like I said before...why, oh why haven't I been doing this all along? Why didn't I do this with Emma? It's awesome & tasty - even I like the taste of it. I taste everything I feed my children - I figure if I don't like it I can't really expect them to either. 

I started with just veggies - mixed veggies - then mac 'n cheese - then chicken - then on to fruits! So basically whatever we're having for dinner I usually set some aside for Aaron (so it doesn't get all seasoned up) and whatever he doesn't finish for dinner I take to the babysitter for his lunch. On the weekends I make big batches & freeze some then the babysitter has some on reserves just in case!

I don't know why I thought this was a grueling process before:

 First off - I love my Pampered Chef Steamer - this is the best thing I've every purchased from PC. I use this almost nightly when I cook dinner. It too easy not to - just put in my veggies (fresh or frozen), seasoning & about a tablespoon or two of water - put it in the microwave for about five minutes & my side is done! Awesome!
 So, last night for Aaron I steamed yellow squash - we're big squash eaters in our family. Emma LOVES zucchini - especially grilled zucchini. YUM! 
See the steam coming up out of the bowl??
 When it it cooked I just put the cooked squash into the small blender cup...
put the cup on the mixer and puréed the squash...
 andhere is the finished product. Another thing I've noticed making Aaron's baby food - the color is a lot more intense in everything I've made myself when compared to what I've bought in jars. I'm taking that to be a good thing!! :) 
And if it's too thin I just add a little dry cereal or if it's too thick I add a little milk or water (depending on what the food is) till I get it just right!
 Last night I also fixed fruit for Aaron - Pears (we did apples once before & he liked that)! I've bought jarred pears for him before & he seemed to really like them so I figured he would LOVE fresh pears! I started by slicing the pear in half and then baking them in the microwave like baking an apple. I left the skin on, but...
 next time I might peel it first b/c it wasn't very easy to get the skin off like I thought it would be after it was cooked. When we baked the apple before the fruit pulled away from the skin very easily and I was able to use a spoon to scoop it out - the pear took a bit more finesse.
I eventually got it all out, though and after I cleaned the squash out of the mixing cup I filled it with the fruit...and commenced to purée it as well...
 So, this was what Aaron had for dinner last night & is having for lunch today!
 Sunday I made mixed veggies and chicken & mashed potatoes - I kept out some for Aaron to eat that evening & then the rest I froze in ice cube trays to take to the sitter.
While it was freezing I labeld a couple of ziploc bags and then popped the food cubes out of the trays, filled the bags & off to the sitter they went! Easy peasy!
So - again - why did I think this was a grueling task?? If you're even thinking about trying it, please do - you'll see it's such an easy thing to do & kinda fun, too! And it actually tastes good - like I said I always taste what I feed my kids and though they eat it and seem to be okay with the taste, the jarred stuff tastes gross to me sometimes. The fruits are usually okay, though!

We are supposed to carve our pumpkins tonight & I am going to see if I can't google a yummy pumpkin recipe. If you make your own baby food I would love to know your secrets - what great recipes do you use if any? So far what I've been making is pretty basic. I haven't added anything - no salts or seasoning or butter - just plain fruit, veggies or chicken. I am sure though Aaron should be at the point where I can add a little something for him - guess that's something I need to research, too though. 

And fruits? If you make fruit how do you prepare it. So far I've only made the apple and pear. I figure banana wouldn't need any preparation and probably not strawberries - but what about other fruits?

Look what's growing in our backyard!

Michael is so excited - though I don't know why he's surprised - the man can grow anything!

30 Day Blog Challenge: Day 17

Day 17: Something You're Looking Forward To

Yesterday I wrote about our fantastic neighbors & that we try to plan a yearly get-away for all of soon as we came home from our last little get-away together we immediately starting thinking about what we were going to do next year...

We threw around ideas for a while then the idea of renting a beach house came up - turns out a friend of my neighbor's owns a beach house that she rents out & it will more than accommodate our whole group!! Her mother has actually rented it during the summer for the last few years and we've decided that's what we're doing next year. We've already booked it for the Spring!! It's a 5 bedroom beach house that will sleep 18 (there's 14 of us) with its own private pier! I am so looking forward to relaxing at this beach house!!

I found a few pictures online:
 Look at that porch - won't it be awesome to sit out there in the morning & drink coffee!?!?
 And the kids are going to love sitting up to the island to eat on bar stools - I love all that space. With so many people the kitchen can easily get crowded!
I can see myself spending a lot of time here!
This is a shot from the water - you can see the higher deck from the previous picture as well as the pier down below - the kids will love fishing off that pier!
And this is just another view looking back at the house from the deck!

Ahhhh...can you say relaxing!!!

(link up at Katie's blog - and Katie you're doing such a terrific job hosting this blog challenge! I love it!)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Monster Mash - Kubeczka Style

Personalize funny videos and birthday eCards at JibJab!

30 Day Blog Challenge: Day 16

Day 16: My Dream House

Any dream house that I can dream up has to meet one general criteria - it has to be able to fit exactly where I live right now!!! I never want to move. 

When we built our home no one lived on our street. There were empty lots & half built homes so we had no real way of knowing much about our neighbors b/c we didn't have any. Well, the Lord truly blessed us b/c we live on the best street - we have the greatest neighbors. 

The two houses on either side of us have quickly become our best friends. One already had two girls when they moved it, but then we all had babies together so we now have 5 little ones all within a couple years of one another - they'll grow up being best friends & the old kids are also now our babysitters as well as friends. We go on family vacations together and have get togethers all the time.  Actually, we have all said that we'll be neighbors at least until our kiddos graduate b/c we don't plan to separate them! 

Besides these two families the rest of the street is pretty great, too. We have friendly neighbors all up and down the street & a lot of kiddos - we actually have a brand new little girl at the end of the street & I'm sure she'll be out playing with our kids when she is older!!

BUT - if I could pick up my house & replace it with another house here are a couple of things I would love to have:

First I would love to have a kitchen big enough for an island. I have a galley kitchen now (and it's slowly being remodeled), but I cannot really incorporate an island into my kitchen space. I do love my kitchen and the changes we're making, but an island would be so awesome along with a low bar to eat at (I grew up with a low bar & miss it). We have a high bar now, like a lot of homes do and since we've redone our counter tops it is a lot bigger - but a bar like these two and an island would make my kitchen the perfect kitchen!!

The next thing on my list would be a bigger laundry room. Mine is a tight fit now and all we have in there is the washer, dryer & upright freezer. I have shelves (not enough), but would love some counter spaces for folding & ironing (not that I ever really iron!!) and a little extra storage. So far I haven't paid much attention to our laundry room as far as making it nicer, but that's a project for "some day", too! And even a window would be great - so I don't feel like I'm stuck in a closet when I'm folding clothes - I hate doing laundry as it is and it's much worse when I am cramped in a little room!

Other than those two things and maybe a little more square footage in the bedrooms I love my house! We have a great open layout & an awesome game room (that one day my kids will actually play in so I can have my dining room back)! We have also recently moved our fence up in our back yard so we have a lot bigger back yard now, which is great with two little ones.

Honestly, I think my dream home is wherever my family & I are happy - and we are so happy where we are! The cosmetic stuff is simply that - cosmetic! Now, don't get me wrong I still dream of a bigger kitchen & laundry room (and probably always will) and I plan to update where & when I can! LOL! And who wouldn't love a home that could make the cover of Better Homes & Gardens or Southern Living - but if I have to move to get that then it'll never happen b/c we couldn't find a better spot to live!

(link up at Katie's blog)

Monday, October 25, 2010

Jacob's 2nd Birthday - A Pirate Party

First off - well done Jamie!! The party was adorable - even down to the Pirates of the Caribbean playing in the background. Nice touch!! All the decorations were cute & the favors & well, just all of it! Especially the birthday boy - he and his sister were dressed up in pirate costumes!

Emma had a great time AND she got to jump on their new trampoline - this was a first for her. She was a little timid at first (as she always is with something new), but after a while she didn't want to get off!! LOL!

There were treasure maps & eye patches as favors and the next day at my parents' house Emma & Anne (friend visiting) went on treasure hunts for the pumpkin that Emma had decorated at the pumpkin patch. She would put on her eye patch and then have to go take a look at her map to figure out where the "treasure" had been hidden! They did this for the longest time - it was hilarious! So - great favors Jamie!!

The birthday boy was having such a great time he didn't stop for pictures much - the few times I did catch him for a picture he was too quick and I ended up with a picture of him running offs somewhere! Both of my kiddos were fast asleep by the time we made it home - we walked in the house & put them both straight in their beds. Ha ha - another sign of a good party!

See my loot??
Arrrr Matey!
This hat belonged to the birthday boy, but Aaron wanted to try it out once!

Visit to the Pumpkin Patch

Saturday was a busy day - we had errands to run & a birthday party that evening, plus we have wanted to go to the pumpkin patch that is near the house for a while now - so we were up and at 'em early Saturday!! (Update about the birthday party to follow - it was fabulous!!)

There is an exotic animal farm near our house - I've driven past it a time or two, but never paid too much attention to it. I just thought it was someone with an interest in camels & kangaroos and such! Well, our neighbors informed us that they have a pumpkin patch there, too with lots of activities for the kiddos! So, off we went Saturday morning to visit!!

They had tons of pumpkins of course, but they also had a lot of crafts - face painting, pumpkin painting, paper crafts, etc. They also had several photo sites set up to take pictures of your little ones. Now I've mentioned before that lately Emma doesn't want to sit & smile for pictures for me much anymore and when there are tons of activities around she wants to even less - well, now my handsome little man is getting distracted, too! I tried to take pictures of him in a couple different places I we couldn't get him to look to the camera...

He'd look left, he'd look right...
He'd look left, he'd look right...
So, we took a break from the pics & just played a while...
and picked out our pumpkin...
Then we tried again for pictures - I got her still for a moment!!
Look at that little Buddha Belleh!!
He didn't mind sittin' still a while longer!!
Daddy got to play, too - he showed us all how to hula hoop!
And Emma got to paint & decorate a little pumpkin, too. She had more fun doing this than anything I think!
Pretty!!! Sparkly!!
  And she was very serious about getting it just right!
It had to have all her "favorite colors"!!
Then she & I made a bird feeder together...
It was messy fun, but thankfully they had plastic gloves for us! Now we just need to get daddy to hang it up for us!
We didn't ride the camel or the hayride, but we did get to pet this little guy!! 
(Don't ask about the diaper b/c I don't know either...)
 She was very friendly & super soft!! There were some cute little pigs, too but believe it or not they were napping with everyone running around. I guess they are just used to it - they spent the whole time we were there cuddled together in the corner of their pen snuggled in the hay!
Aaron picked out his pumpkin, too! "This one's mine!!!"
The morning was a blast! We had a good time & have a great pumpkin at home now to carve - maybe we'll get that done tonight! 

Happy Halloween!!