When Your Husband Is A Sports Fan...

...Your toddler mysteriously knows that pitchers and catchers report for spring training in two weeks.

...He turns your daughter's hair into Pat Riley's...and thinks it's funny.

...You notice the DVR is suddenly filling up with NFL Pre-Draft shows and information. Internet browsers are left on NFL Draft prediction pages. You think, gee, I bet the draft isn't even happening for a couple more weeks! This conversation ensues:

me: You really like the NFL draft, huh?
husband: Why do you say that?
me: There have been four draft shows recorded in the past 24 hours.
husband: Yeah, I guess I do love it.
me: (Thinking, I know the draft has gotta be more than a week away -- I know I'm in for more of this) So just how long is it until the draft?
husband: Not gonna answer.
me: I need to know how much more of this I'm in for.
husband: It's in April.
me: *gasp*


Wanted: Valentines


Elly Mariah Sieh

Age: 8.5 months
Diaper size: 3 or 4, depending on my outfit

Recent milestones: Eating table food, scooting across the floor (almost crawling), saying "Ma Ma," "Ba," "Pa," and "Da," downsizing from 3 naps a day to 2.

Things I love: Teeny tiny bits of bread, cheese, peaches and bananas; my brother!!!!; sleeping and snuggling on my tummy with my left thumb in my mouth; watching Praise Baby and Little Einsteins with Cam; putting blocks/toys/shoes/diapers into bowls/boxes/bags; when Daddy comes home; when Daddy gives me bites of his ice cream; chewing on Cam's Hot Wheels; when Mommy comes to get me up from my nap; a rousing game of peek-a-boo.

Things I don't love: Baby food (ugh, Mom, that is so two months ago! I mean, the texture...eww...); being held down for shots or for my crazy parents to pierce my ears (I do like the sparkle, though); Mom constantly trying to comb my hair down or put it in barrettes and ponytails; napping - there's so much to get done in a day; getting my face and hands wiped after I attempt to self-feed.

Milk or Juice?: Juice, in a sippy cup, please. No way this girl is drinking out of a bottle.

Front or back of the double stroller?: Back. It's slightly elevated and I like to feel as though I'm in control, yet plenty comfortable.

Your idea of a perfect date: Well, first and foremost, my brother or Daddy would have to come along. They're my favorite guys in the world and always will be. I'd like to go dancing, preferably to praise & worship music, maybe read a few Dr. Seuss books, practice walking together, then end the evening sharing a graham cracker square.

Favorite quote: "Sugar and spice, and everything nice, that's what little girls are made of." "Diamonds are a girl's best friend."

Who is your biggest inspiration?: Gonna have to go with my Grandma B and my Mema. They're pretty amazing and always make sure I'm looking my cutest.

What would you like for Valentine's Day?: Chocolate pudding.

Cameron Christian Sieh

Age: 2 years
Diaper size: Really a 5, but Mom thinks I can still wear a 4 (she says it's easier to carry one size in the diaper bag).

Recent milestones: Sharpening my enunciation and vocabulary, working on my vertical with both feet off the floor simultaneously, scaling the heights in my own home (tables, dressers, counters), sitting at the table with my parents instead of in the high chair.

Things I love: My navy blue blankey (ladies, what can I say, I'm a secure man), my cup of water before bed, my sister!!!!!!!, berries and fruits of all kinds (daily, perhaps hourly, I ask for cranberries, raisins, grapes, blueberries, and oranges, in that order); the movie Cars and all the characters therein; my Hot Wheels cars; when Daddy gets home from work to "battle" (tackle match on the bed or couch); pepperoni and macaroni (both are "roni" to me); playing with Uncle Jay; hugging my sister; going to church nursery (recently I was asked, "What do we do at church, Cameron?" Don't know what my parents expected me to say, but I replied, "Basketball!").

Things I don't love: Potatoes (Mom wonders whose child I am), mushrooms and olives (see previous), not getting my way, sharing (working on it), not being able to play on the court during Daddy's basketball games, having to stay inside all the time, getting my teeth brushed at night, using (or the thought of using) a potty chair or -- gasp -- toilet; when my sister chews on my slippers.

Milk or Juice?: PediaSure, 16 oz. per day. Doctor's orders. Don't tell Mom, but I'll sneak some of Elly's juice, too.

Front or back of the double stroller?: Front. If Mommy doesn't buckle me in, I can slide out in less than 5 seconds.

Your idea of a perfect date: I'd find a nice, long piece of hardwood floor, and we'd race cars all night. I'd probably read her "Goodnight Moon" and get her home before 8pm bedtime.

Favorite quote: "KA-CHOW!" - Lightning McQueen

Who is your biggest inspiration?: My Grandpa B and Papa are totally awesome...they laugh at all my jokes and antics and let me get away with lots of things my parents don't.

What would you like for Valentine's Day?: For it to warm up enough to go to the park.

Scary Pillsbury

Ok, you know what scares the dickens out of me? The little cans of biscuits/pizza crusts/crescent rolls that you're supposed to unwrap, then they magically pop open. And when I say pop, I mean suspensefully, unexpectedly, irregularly, POP open, and perhaps hurt your hand a little.

I can't stand it...not knowing when the little roll is going to mini-explode?! I have an irrational fear that the can is really going to combust, and the lid or the pastry inside is going to hit me in the face. I avoid using these products if at all possible, and if I need to, I make sure Caleb is home. Or I peel the label little by little, and use a knife to break the seam. I can never keep my eyes open.

Silly? Yes, I know. Still terrifying to me!

Us Lately

Here's what we've been up to lately...this is especially for fam/friends who check the blog for pics of our babies.

Watching Daddy fly a little helicopter.

As always, lots of hugs :)

Playing tickle monster with Daddy.

Generally being cute...and trying to crawl...

Doing happy dances (in "nightning lippers")

So happy together!


Funny Boy

Cameron, my sweet, intelligent little boy, came up to me today and put his hand on my, um...back side. He looked up at me with the sweetest twinkle in his eye and said, "BIG!"

Thanks, son.

Running commences when the thermometer reaches 40 degrees. :)

In [clearly] related news, the boy loves Spam. No joke!
(Survival food was discovered during the full week of below zero temps!)


I'm A Serial Nicknamer

Ok all you supermamas out there, I have a question. Am I the only one that uses incredibly random, sometimes strange, nicknames...most unrelated to my kids' real names? I don't know where they come from, but I seem to have a habit of assigning silly nicknames to my children and using them over and over!

No identity crisis here...they still respond to their given names, but also to most of my "collection" of names for them.

Here they are (try not to laugh):

Cameron: Bubba, Bubba-loo, Buckwheat, Peaches (Elly's the "Cream"), Honey Heart, Broth-ee (like "brother" with an eeee on the end), Boom Boom, Looney, Pumpkin Boy.

Elly: Lissa, Lissa-dee, Lulu, Lu-lee, Tweeter, Sissy, Sister, Elly Girl, Miss Priss, Ells Bells, Ellers, Peanut, Peanutface (ugh, that looks so not pretty when I write it down).

What's wrong with me? What a strange list. If you have silly nicknames for your kiddos, I'd love to hear about them!


True Peace

John 14:27

"Peace I leave with you, My peace I give you.
I do not give to you as the world gives.

Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.


Peas In A Pod

Cameron and Elly are getting closer and closer to being able to truly entertain each other. They already have lots of fun together. When Elly wakes up from her nap, her head is literally on a swivel, looking left and right for her brother! They're also starting to give reciprocal hugs (instead of one fighting while the other attempts to love). They're pretty good pals. See for yourself! (Okay, really just looking for an excuse to post pics of my super cuties...)


Fw: Minnesota Cold

If you can't beat the cold, at least make jokes about it! Okay, I know it's cold and nobody will stop talking about it...but I just love this forward. The one bright spot: it can only get warmer...

60 above zero:
>Floridians turn on the heat.
>People in Minnesota plant gardens.

50 above zero:
>Californians shiver uncontrollably.
>People in Duluth sunbathe.

40 above zero:
>Italian & English cars won't start.
>People in Minnesota drive with the windows down.

32 above zero:
>Distilled water freezes.
>The water in Bemidji gets thicker.

20 above zero:
>Floridians don coats, thermal
>underwear, gloves, wool hats.
>People in Minnesota throw on a flannel shirt.

15 above zero:
>New York landlords finally turn up the heat.
>People in Minnesota have the last cookout before it gets cold.

>People in Miami all die.
>Minnesotans close the windows.

10 below zero:
>Californians fly away to Mexico
>People in Minnesota get out their winter coats.

25 below zero:
>Hollywood disintegrates.
>The Girl Scouts in Minnesota are selling cookies door to door.

40 below zero:
>Washington DC runs out of hot air.
>People in Minnesota let the dogs sleep indoors.

100 below zero:
>Santa Claus abandons the North Pole.
>Minnesotans get upset because they can't start the Mini-Van.

460 below zero:
>ALL atomic motion stops (absolute zero on the Kelvin scale.)
>People in Minnesota start saying..."Cold 'nuff fer ya?"

500 below zero:
>Hell freezes over.
>Minnesota public schools will open 2 hours late.

Oh My Darlin'...


Okay, with a -41 windchill up in good ol' Minnesota right now, these little cuties are one of the only good things about January. As Cameron calls them, "dittle owanges." I could eat 5-6 a day, and so could he! Since we're not leaving the house until the temperature approaches zero, the two of us may end up taking care of the entire box...


Work In Spurts

As most probably know, I don't work outside the home. I coach cross country in the Fall -- which I can hardly call work because I enjoy it so much -- but I do receive compensation. The only other income I generate for this household comes in the form of editing jobs I receive sporadically, sometimes from friends and former colleagues, sometimes from actual clients (gained only by word-of-mouth).

My main client this past year is a gentleman (Mr. H.) working on his doctorate, whose first language is Hebrew. He's been required to put together numerous papers and projects, and I am able to help him with minor edits in sentence structure, spelling, and proper grammar as he writes in non-native English (I am certainly of NO help with the actual content of the paper...yikes! Way over my head).

Mr. H. has been beyond excellent to work with. He has been so very understanding about my unpredictable days, my time crunches during XC season and after Elly's birth, and my random, aggravating Internet outages. I believe the Lord has really orchestrated this relationship -- it allows me to help Caleb with the burden of providing financially for our family (albeit a drop in the hat), gives me another outlet to utilize my degree in journalism, and helps me build credibility and a resume. Thankfully, he's not looking for a seasoned veteran, just someone to help him along for now. It fits perfectly for both of us!

I've gone months without work, then months with perhaps too much, but I see God providing in all of it. When it looks like we may come up a bit short, or when there's a special occasion that we need a little extra for, or when we just need more diapers -- haha -- God always provides. Sometimes it's in the form of an editing job, sometimes it's in other ways, but He's ALWAYS FAITHFUL!

I'm working on a little project for Mr. H. right now! I'm just so thankful for the opportunity to exercise other parts of my brain (not that teaching Cameron numbers, colors and letters isn't stimulating), to earn a bit, to be always home with my babies, and to bless someone in the process. Also very thankful right now that my husband has a job, and praying for friends who are looking for work.

Naptime = editing time! :) Hooray and thank you Lord!


I love sharing coupons and good deals! :) Click here for a free bottle of Suave! The offer is good ONLY today, January 14, so you must do it now!


2'9" Reminder

My little Cam is in a precious phase right now - he's the cutest combination of a parrot and a sponge. He really picks up on every little thing we say, consequently it has made me MUCH more conscious of what's on TV in the background of our daily lives (even the news).

His sweet little tendencies have also made me stand up and take notice of what I say on a regular basis. Now, I don't swear at my children, I try my best not to yell, and I strive to put good things into my mind and heart so that good things come out...but...well, sometimes it doesn't always work. Cam's not yet blurted out anything embarassing or utterly shocking, but what his little mouth sets on "repeat" is a great gauge for me as to what I'm saying most often -- or, more importantly, what he is hearing most often -- throughout the day.

Last week, it was "NO! N-n-n-n-NO! Mommy says, NO!"
(Lots of discipline in this house as of late)

A couple days ago, it was "Hi, Honey!"

Others have included, "Obey Mama/Daddy," "Have BIG sleep," (for naptime and bedtime), and "Elly sleeping."

I know I can't always control what phases and stages we're going through here, and exactly what's on the agenda to communicate and re-communicate to the babes, but it really is interesting to have a precious little mouth echo back to me what his heart is absorbing. He's the cutest, most wonderful, 2 foot, 9 inch reminder. :)

1 Timothy 4:12: "Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity."


Blondes vs. Brunettes

The Sieh blondes (in pjs!)

The Sieh brunettes

Who has more fun? :)


Let's All Eat Cake

This is a recipe you simply MUST have on hand. It's one of the most decadent, moist, delicious chocolate cakes I have ever tasted. I usually find myself baking it when I need to cope with something emotionally...hahaha. I eat one slice while it's still hot, then refrigerate the rest and serve it cold. Cold dark chocolate cake with hardened chocolate chips inside...

Need I persuade any more? You should make this cake.

Darn Good Chocolate Cake
(my Momma's recipe!)

1 box dark chocolate cake mix
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup cooking oil
1/2 cup warm water
4 eggs
1 small box chocolate pudding
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Combine all ingredients except chocolate chips, beat on low speed (1 minute) until integrated. Scrape bowl, then turn mixer to medium-high and beat until batter is thick, a bit fluffy, and well-mixed (about 2 minutes). Fold in chocolate chips. Pour into prepared (greased and floured) bundt pan and bake at 350 for 45-50 minutes.

Cool on wire rack for 20 minutes, then use a knife to loosen edges of cake from pan. Turn onto plate or cake stand. May dust with powdered sugar, frost, or drizzle melted milk chocolate chips over cake. I prefer it straight up. :) Enjoy!


I'm back! Oh how I've missed you all! Just wanted to wish you all a Happy New Year! Here's our Christmas letter too...just a little late. Love from the Siehs!

Dear family and friends,

2008 has absolutely flown by, and has been filled with wonderful memories. We want to give you a quick update on our amazingly blessed, never boring, sometimes-a-bit-crazy life!

Our family grew by one as we welcomed Elly Mariah on May 13. Elly was born at 7 lbs, 10 oz, 21 inches long, with a full head of dark hair, dark eyes, and ready to take on the world! Her hair has lightened a bit and her eyes waver between hazel and brown, but she is still the strong, passionate girl we knew she would be from the moment we met her! Elly is a true joy – it’s so much fun to watch her interact with and enjoy her brother, try to roll her way across the floor, and even babble her first words (just for the record…”MAMA” was the very first!)

Cameron turned two on December 5, and is an excellent big brother. He is gentle with Elly, and even endures her grabbing and pinching as she attempts to “love” him back! Cameron is curious as ever, and although he still loves to cuddle, read, and listen to music, his days are mostly filled with learning new sound effects, racing cars on any hard surface available, and preparing for his future as a track star by yelling “ready…set…go!” and speeding around the house. He is becoming quite proficient at his colors and longer phrases, so we usually get a play-by-play of what’s going on in his mind, i.e. as we are driving down the road: “Mommy! Yellow truck! Big truck! Whoa! Bye, truck!” It is a blast to see our little boy’s mind at work!

Caleb is working for Kay Jewelers and is the store manager in Woodbury, MN. We all had to adjust to his commuting farther away from home, but we try to make it out to see him occasionally. His employees are always excited to see Cameron and Elly and give them lots of attention. J Caleb is also assistant coach of the men’s basketball team at North Central University, and enjoys the opportunity to interact with the coaches and young men there.

Most days, you’ll find me (Michelle) at home attempting to synchronize naptimes, mealtimes, and keep clothes clean. It is a joy and blessing to be able to be at home with my babies on a regular basis, and I try my hardest to be patient and enjoy every moment I have with them! I am honored and humbled to have completed my fifth year as the coach of the North Central University women’s cross country team. This impressive group won the women’s NCCAA Championship for the fourth consecutive season this November, and the men’s team took third in their race! Doubly exciting was the fact that my brother, Jay, ran on the men’s team.

Luke 2: 10-11: "Then the angel said to them, do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born; he is Christ the Lord.” Our gift, our salvation, and our hope is in Him and ONLY Him! As Cameron would say, He’s the reason for our “happy heart!” We pray that your new year is safe, healthful and abundantly blessed, and that Joy and Peace fill your home in 2009!