Saturday, August 6, 2011


Mica has been wanting a pirate patch for awhile. He carries around a plastic hanger; pretends it's a hook. Last night when we went to Borders, I saw a pirate dress up outfit from Melissa and Doug. Of course it was on sale! I bought it for both boys to share. It will soon go to Isaak because it's for ages 3 to 6. Mica loves dressing up. I love encouraging that.

Call it an early birthday present! His birthday is on Wednesday! We won't have his party until next weekend.

Tonight Was Date Night

I'm so glad my one and only niece drives and can babysit!

We went straight from work to Borders. Where I stared at chilidren's books, and Daddy went upstairs to look over the adult ones. I've always loved children's books. They are not just for the kids, but for me to. Oh Borders, how I will miss you!

Then we went to a small place to have a yummy falafel. I haven't had one in a really long time and it was GOOD! I have to say that I like Daddy's falafel's! They are pretty damn good, and hard to top! I didn't know what one was prior to 2000. When he asked me if I wanted one I was expecting some cousin to a waffle. HA! It's far from a waffle.

Then we went to 3 gallery openings downtown. It was nice to walk around.

The first place was at Kent Bellow's Studio. He's an artist that was super realistic. He passed away. Rumor has it, that he committed suicide. He was also sick with cancer. They turned his studio into a gallery for high school students, some of which Daddy has mentored. Much of his studio is still in tack. Paint tubes are left untouched, huge flat file of charcoal bits and his easel is still up. I'm glad they left some stuff for outsiders to see.

The other one was the Co-Op gallery where Daddy has his work.

Then we went to a gallery, which is owned by a guy I grew up going to school with. He does nude fashion photos. The photo's are pretty racy. They had the most amazing screen prints in another room! We really liked them!

We went back home and listened to videos on YouTube. The pick of the night was Ani DiFranco. I haven't listened to her for a long while. I love her music. She has enthusiasm, passion and is willing to write what she wants. All of her albums are self recorded. Even the artwork on the CD's are Ani's. My favorite song is: 32 Flavors. That one is a little less bouncy, but super meaningful.

A few lines:

"I'm beyond your peripheral vision, so you might want to turn your head. Someday you are going to get hungry and eat most of the words you just said."

"Both my parents have taught me about good will and I have done well by their names. Just the kindness I lavish on strangers is more then I can explain. Still there's many who turned out their porch lights just so I would not think they were not home…"

"God help you if you are an ugly girl; course too pretty is also a flaw. Everyone harbors a secret hatred for the prettiest girl in the room."

All her lyrics mean something. I saw her in concert once, and she has a lot of energy. She has pissed people off a time or two. I just love how she writes how she feels. Sometimes when you write how you feel people find fault with it. I find that interesting because this is supposed to be a free country. People are free to write what they want; I guess people are free to find fault with it to. What is being free really? 

Friday, August 5, 2011

Happy 6 Weeks to Cousin Emerson!

Emerson had his 6 week birthday party yesterday!

Daddy held him, then I held him and then Isaak held him. Emerson wasn't fussy the whole time Isaak had him, but got that way right before I took pictures! Stinker! After I shot this I got to hold him again.

I thought this was perfect since Emerson is screaming: "Sometimes a scream is better than a thesis." - Ralph Waldo Emerson
Boppy: One of the many things we gave up. Thank you Terra for taking it off our hands. She used her's so much that it's flattened out a bit. For some reason I never got into using mine. I used pillows though.

Dessert: Grandma Spiehs made a Sorbet dessert. Graham cracker crust with melted sorbet, graham cracker crumbs on top, and refroze. Everyone liked it!

Emerson: He keeps gaining weight, he's 8 pounds 11 ounces. He got his hands taken away {not literally}. Why? because he keeps being naughty and pulling on his tubes. It's so great that many infant nighties have the hand protectors. Then of course there are baby mittens to.

Us: We left earlier then the other times. Our kids were being feisty! Isaak's now realizing that he needs sleep I think. Last week he fought naps and bedtime. This week he needs naps and has gone to bed on time.

Video: I watched a video that made me cry yesterday. You can see it here. It's on the discriminatory care of babies with Trisomy 18.

Isaak's New Bed

Aunt Angela was selling cousin Ethan's bedroom furniture. I jumped at the offer! I could never buy what I bought from her in the store right now! Aunt Angela is much cheaper! She took off $100 for Isaak's old dresser that we didn't even buy. She even knew we didn't buy it.

Isaak's room does look tiny. He has a tiny room! We got things to work.

Here he is in his new captains bed:

He looks tiny in that big bed! They grow fast! He'll fill it up in no time.
Night Training: The boy is getting much better about staying dry at night! YAY! I've been putting on underwear and then a dipper over them. Daddy's idea. Sounds weird I know. I'm hardly what anyone would call, "Normal." Training pants just leaked out the sides too much. I wanted him to feel the wetness though. It's all about layers. I had wet pad, fitted sheet, wet pad, fitted sheet, wet pad, fitted sheet. If he peed, I didn't need to wash and change his sheets in the middle of the night. I could just strip the layers. The bedding being in layers was Aunt Terra's idea! It helps that we get him up right before we go to bed around 11 pm to pee. He goes 95% of the time!
I was so excited to dig out the Dr. Seuss bedding I got a few years ago on clearance at Pottery Barn! The Dr. Seuss sheets were a hit with Isaak. The decorative pillow has the cat's face on it. The comforter should last for a long time.
Boys! I think Isaak was asked to stop holding Mica soon after I took this photo. He was strangling him!

  New Bed + Boys = A lot of Excitement!

Isaak's so stinking cute!

We've been busy this week! Going through toys, rearranging furniture and crates. Daddy spent one night painting the house some more. That's a project!

Funny: Mica calls going through toys, "Research!" It's our "research" project!

Sucky: The Good Will doesn't take toys anymore! After all the lead scares they simply throw your donations out in front of you. I'm going to call a mission to come and take them. I'll wait until after Mica's birthday party to call them. Right now my laundry area has lots of toys in it.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Would You Like Some Cheese With That Wine?

Isaak has been incredibly fussy! Last evening he got mad because he wanted my help putting on his shoes; then he wanted to do it himself. I let him put his own shoes on; he gets mad because he can't get them on. Back and forth we go. I finally I just put them on; ignoring the wine. We leave Grandma and Grandpa's Spiehs' house. Isaak fell asleep in the car. This rarely happens. Daddy takes him inside, Isaak crashes on the couch. This to rarely happens.

When it was bedtime he got mad because of I don't know what. He was so worked up, I couldn't understand him. Daddy stepped in and calmed him down; I'm not even sure how.

This morning Isaak tried pulling on Daddy and hurt his own arm. He cried like he was in pain for awhile. Milking up all the attention from me as he could get. He always wants the parent that's not in the front line of his problem.

Then he fell in the driveway, busted his knee and cried some more.

Grandma and Grandpa Spiehs took the boy's over to Aunt Terra's house where they made homemade cheese. Isaak I ask you, "Would you like some cheese with that whine?"

Isaak's three and he's acting the part. Stubborn and sweet all mixed into one little boy. He wants to do things that he just hasn't masted yet. He wants to skip naps like his older brother, and can't function as well with less sleep. If I ask him what he wants for breakfast? He says, "What's Mica having Mommy?" I tell him, and he wants what Mica's having. Even though he really doesn't want what Mica's having at all. Yogurt goes left untouched. I won't serve him that for awhile! Food wasting isn't a habit I want to start!

Isaak secretly looks up to his older brother. Mica of course is blind to Isaak's admiration.

Are You Afraid of Snakes?

I got a few comments yesterday about how different readers loved the potato dig, but the photo of the snake freaked them out! 

I'm actually pretty girly, but tom boyish when it comes to worms, snakes, lizards, frogs, toads and turtles. I used to find toads at my Grandparents house. They would get me a bucket to put them in. Then I would scare my older sister with them. Mean, I know! She used to try and tease me about how she was going to push me down the steps. I have a fear of falling down them now. Sibling payback is brutal.

Why do I like snakes?

It started when I was very little. All furry things, especially cats would close up my lungs. I actually get a high after being around them. Kind of like how a diabetic gets a high when they don't have enough sugar. It's an odd combination to wheeze, cough, have watery eyes and be laughing all at the same time! My mom did everything right with raising my butt. She breastfed me, gave me well balanced meals, kept the house pretty clean, we had little soda to drink and we had two dogs when I was born. All those things are supposed to help prevent allergies. Genetics won! 

They had to get rid of the dogs when I was 5 because I got sick so much! Sorry Dad I know you loved those dogs! I had asthma, so we had trips to the emergency room to help me breathe. I've kind of out grown the asthma thing, except when I lived in Georgia. My allergies were pretty bad there!

I grew to like other kinds of pets. The abnormal pets. I've never had one as a pet, but if my kids wanted one I'd be open to the idea.

A friend of mine in high school had a basement that had 5 tanks full of snakes. I held some of them. He had an albino boa constrictor; that was pretty cool. In college he called me up to go to a snake convention. I went. It was kind of odd, but the people were really nice. They were passionate about snakes and lizards! It was cool seeing all the tanks. I don't know how I'd feel about feeding the snakes though!

I actually get excited to see a gardener snake. We have no poisonous snakes in Nebraska, so that worry is out. They kill off other unwanted things in your garden. Really they are good!

I'm an odd girl I know!

Our boy's like snakes.

The only animal they are afraid of that I've seen: Mica seems to be stand offish with dogs. Grandpa Spiehs {Dad} took him for a walk when he was early 3. Grandpa went to talk to someone he knew, and their dog pounced on top of Mica. The dog didn't hurt him, but it scared him and me! He's been stand offish with dogs ever since. Isaak on the other hand loves them! As far as allergies go, our boy's have some, but not as bad as mine. Mica seems to be worse then Isaak. Mica's always needed more sleep then Isaak. He wakes up with allergy eyes sometimes. Just puffy eyes. I can tell when he's had a nap! I don't know if they are allergic to furry things, or not. I think it's more environmental.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - Digging Potatoes

The boy's loved digging for potatoes!
 A potato hand-off.
Working together.
Isaak called the potatoes, "Tomatoes" over and over again! ;)
Mica's into dressing up. He wants to look, "Handsome" everyday, all the time! Frustrating for me because he has all kinds of fun t-shirts in his closet. I found this t-shirt at Crazy Eight. It's both a t-shirt, and has a tie on it. Perfect combo!
Daddy found this gardener snake.
We had 2 buckets of potatoes by the time they were done digging.

Enter my latest giveaway for Organic Tropical Traditions Brown Rice Syrup!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Tropical Traditions Organic Brown Rice Syrup Review and Giveaway!

Tropical Traditions sent me Organic Brown Rice Syrup to review and giveaway!  
This giveaway is open to US and Canada.

I decided to try out the recipe Chocolate Almond Granola that I found on their site. Yummy!


Preheat your oven to 325 degrees.

Combine the brown rice syrup, coconut oil, almond butter and vanilla in a large bowl until well mixed. Fold in the oats and add the rest of the ingredients stirring to coat.

Once mixture is well combined pour onto a lined baking sheet and bake for 22 minutes in preheated oven, stirring once. Let cool and enjoy!

My boy's and I loved it alone! Then this morning Mica asked to have some in his plain Fage Greek yogurt. We mixed in some blueberries to. For my breakfast, I made some plain oatmeal, added the yogurt, berries and sprinkled granola on top. It was so good!!!!!!! I also tried the brown rice syrup in my coffee. Yummy to!
About Tropical Traditions Organic Brown Rice Syrup:
  • Gluten Free
  • Certified Organic
  • Ideal sweetener for hypoallergenic diets
  • Easy to digest
  • Great source of sustainable energy
  • Non-distinct flavor
  • Complements a wide variety of foods
  • It is made without the use of any cane or beet sugars (no cane juice crystals), corn syrups, or other refined sweeteners of any kind
You can win what Tropical Traditions sent me! A 16 ounce glass container of their Organic Brown Rice Syrup.

You can enter if you are not a blogger. Leave a separate entry for each. Make sure the first entry is filled out before all others.
  1. For your first mandatory entry, check out Tropical Traditions and tell me a recipe you would like to try! Leave your email address only with this first entry. one entry
The other entries are optional. Be sure to leave a new comment for each.
  1. Google Friend this blog. one entry
  2. Add Planet of the Apels button to your site. Leave me your site link. one entry
  3. Become a verified email subscriber. two entries
  4. {Like} Tropical Traditions on Facebook. Leave your Facebook name in your entry. one entry
  5. {Like} Apel Mom on Facebook. Leave your Facebook name in your entry. one entry
  6. Leave a comment on one of my other posts. Just leave the title. one entry
  7. Blog about this giveaway. Link back to this post and Tropical Traditions. Leave a link. five entries
  8. Vote for me on We're on the Fence! Just click on the button to the side to vote. one entry
  9. Subscribe to Tropical Traditions Email Sales Newsletter here: one entry
You do not need to enter all of the entries to be qualified, just the first mandatory entry.
This contest closes in 2 weeks, August 15 at 10 pm.
The winner will be chosen using


The opinions on this post are my personal take on the products. This blog is a personal blog written and edited by me. I am not compensated to provide my opinion except for receiving the products themselves to test out. Tropical Traditions provided me with a free sample of this product to review, and I was under no obligation to review it if I so choose. Nor was I under any obligation to write a positive review or sponsor a product giveaway in return for the free product.

If you have questions about this post please contact me at: alissa4illustrationAThotmailDOTcom

Isaak and One of His Bestfriend's, Emerson

One thing about Isaak, he LOVES babies! I've said before, I had my kids in reverse order. I LOVE both of them! Mica doesn't get into babies as much as Isaak does. Isaak wants to hold a baby whenever he sees one. Isaak would have been a wonderful big brother helper! We're done having kiddo's, so sorry Isaak.

When I had Isaak a little more then 3 years ago, Mica wanted little to do with him and his cousin Elijah. I think this is pretty normal for a lot of 2 1/2 year olds boys to be this way. Mica is very all boy! He plays with lots of sound effects and likes to impress the lady's with his choice of clothing, charm and looks.

Isaak is a little of both. He has both a sensitive and has a rough side. Isaak's much more protective of small things like puppies and babies. I think he'd be even more sweet and sensitive if he wasn't always struggling with having 3 older boy's around him. My co-worker that has 7 kids told me that the youngest one in the bunch has a mean side to them because they feel like they have to. They have to stand up for themselves. I'm beginning to think he's right.

Last night Isaak held what he calls one of his "Best Friend's Ermasen." His other best friend is baby Alex. My cousin's baby. He sat there all nice for a good long while.

We took my sister's family dinner last night. They looked like the could use it {they all looked tired}. I made stroganoff, corn on the cob, green beans, blueberry muffins and brought over lemonade I bought from Whole Foods. I now make stroganoff with plain yogurt instead of sour cream. Daddy says he can tell a difference. I can't. Maybe it just needs a squirt more of lemon juice?

Sunday, July 31, 2011

The Kids Will Eat Sushi! Right?

I went to Costco, and saw a yummy looking tray of Sushi. I thought, sushi looks yummy and artsy! The kids are great eaters and will try it!

They are good little eaters. Mica's a little more open minded then Isaak. They both love salad, any fruit, most any veggie, most any meat and rice. Isaak doesn't like buns very much, but they will both chow down on waffles, pancakes or toast. It's when things are mixed up that they are sometimes unwilling to try something. I'm just glad I don't have kids that will only eat Mac and Cheese!

Here was their dinner last night:

Both kids gave thumbs up to the teriyaki chicken, pineapple, broccoli and sparkling juice. Mica started giving thumbs up when things are good. Isaak quickly followed.

Along with thumbs up is a thumbs down. Both boy's didn't want to try the sushi. For Mica it was because there was avocado in it. As if you can taste that! I convinced Mica to push the avocado out and eat the rest. He did. Isaak on the other hand wasn't going to budge at all! I told him all about the outside being rice, and he wouldn't open his mouth up to taste it at all.

Oh well! I tried. If they were like this on a regular basis with normal everyday foods; I would pushed them to eat. They are good little eaters, so I let it slide. What little kid eats sushi anyhow? They did eat more broccoli, which is a good thing!

*Do you like the sparkling juice glass? I thought it would be easier to hold and drink out of over a wine glass and still seem special! It's a Sunday ice cream dish.


The opinions on this blog are my personal take on products and topics relating to motherhood. This blog is a personal blog written and edited by me.

I am not compensated to provide opinions on a variety of topics. The views and opinions expressed on this blog are my own. If I claim to show knowledge of certain topic or product I will only endorse products or services that I feel, based on my expertise, are worthy of such endorsement.

If you have any questions about this blog, or want to get in contact with me please email me at: