Monday, November 19, 2012

Giving Thanks

As the holidays roll around this year, I look back and wonder where time went.  But then I look forward and realize that time has just begun.  I have so much to be thankful for this wonderful husband and I celebrated our 4 year wedding anniversary this summer, we have two beautiful, healthy little girls and I get to spend every day with them, watching them grow and become the wonderful people they were meant to be.

This all hit home for me a few days ago when I sent a text message to a friend of mine who was expecting her first child.  My first text said, simply "Hey!  How are you doing?"  She replied with "I'm doing ok."  So then I asked her if she knew the sex of the baby yet.  She then informed me that she had lost the baby two months ago.  Wow.  First I felt like an awful friend for letting that much time go by without talking to her, and then second, and more obviously, I felt like a jerk for bringing it up.  I mean, granted, I had no idea, but I still can't imagine having to deal with a loss like that and then to have someone ask about the baby. 
She said she and her husband were getting better, dealing with the pain and left it at that.  I told her I'm always here if she needed to talk to me, but I know her well enough to know she probably won't talk to me.  She was always a very private person. 
After that conversation, I just sat here and thought about how awful it would have been if I had lost one of my girls, even before I met them.  I know how lucky I am every day, but having something like this happen just makes me even more aware of the blessings I've received in life.  Sure, I complain from time to time about tantrums and sleep deprivation, but if I couldn't imagine life any other way, this is the norm. 

So, while the holidays have always been a special time for me, this year they mean just a little bit more.  I'm just so happy that I get to spend them with my lovely family.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Times flies when you're...

...a stay at home mom.
I was informed recently that I hadn't made a blog post since October 1st and that I was "slacken"  :)  So, while the girls are eating their pancakes and eggs I thought I would update a bit.
I haven't had much time for blogging recipes, but with the holidays coming up, I'm hoping to be able to make some neat gifts and perhaps share those on here.  We shall see.

Yesterday my sister and I took the girls to the zoo.  It was second Tuesday which means it only cost $4 to get in (the girls are still free)  once I calculated the cost of riding the Max (which gives you an additional $1.50 off your admission, making it only $2.50) I realized that with the recent price increase in tickets, it was actually cheaper to drive and pay the $4 for parking.  I wasn't really looking forward to parking though because it always takes at least 20 min to find a spot. 
We pulled in and...whoa...the parking lot was pretty much empty.  I took a picture because I couldn't believe it.
This never happens.  But we parked and headed up to the entrance.  It was chilly, but dry and not very crowded so it was a great day for the zoo. 
Squishy spent most of the time in the wagon drinking from Munchkin's sippy cup or eating crackers.  Munchkin on the other hand was behaving really well and it made for a nice trip.
We were there for about 3 hours or so, I knew it was time to leave when I asked Munchkin if she could see the tigers and she replied "No! I don't wanna see them!"  :)
All in all, it was a fun day and I feel lucky that we're able to create memories like this for our girls.
With Auntie in the eagles nest

Look! Zebra butt!!
Riding the lion
Squishy checking out the Lorakeets
It was a long day...



Monday, October 1, 2012

Fall is here

Today, being the first day of October, really feels like fall is here finally.  I love summer, don't get me wrong, but I love fall just a little bit more.

First, there's Halloween.  Something I've always loved and am so glad to have children now so I can go trick-or-treating again!  This will be Munchkin's third Halloween and Squishy's first and I'm way more excited than I probably should be.  Munchkin wants to be Cinderella and since Squish can't tell me what she wants to be, she's going to be an Angry Bird. 

Another reason I love fall is getting to take the girls to the local pumpkin patch.  It gets a lot more fun as they get older too.  Going on the hay ride, visiting the animals and picking out the perfect pumpkin followed by a cup of hot cider, sounds like the perfect fall day to me. 

I've also found so many DIY decorations on pinterest that I just can't wait to try, I think Hubby might be getting annoyed. 

And then comes Thanksgiving, my favorite holiday...I love food...and getting to spend time with family. 
Our situation is a bit different though.  Hubby's parents live in Japan and of his two sisters, one lives in Boston and one lives just down the street.  That's pretty much the extent of his family.  My siblings have sort of spread out and I've lost touch with a couple.  My mother...well that's a whole other story, but lets just say I don't usually spend holidays with her.  Most of our holidays are spent with my ex-boyfriends family...yeah, I told you it was a bit different.  It seems strange, but it works.

This December is extra special this year since not only do we have Christmas, but one week before is Squishy's first birthday!!  Doesn't seem possible that in just 2 1/2 months my baby girl will be one. 

So much fun to be had in the next few months!  The holidays are such a wonderful time!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

I'm (Not) a crappy mom, just ask my girls

This photo has been making it's way around facebook, I've seen it posted by several different pages.  I read it and thought it was great.  The mommy wars are getting ridiculous, it was nice to see something celebrating our differences instead of throwing them in every ones faces.

But that's not what everyone thought.  There were some women who decided to take this photo and use it against other moms who they disagree with.  One particular discussion happened on Life With Levi's facebook page over the choice to circumcise.  I didn't get to read the actual posts, but I did see some of the aftermath on other posts.  It just seems so ridiculous to me that moms are attacking each other like this.  Being a mom is hard work, why make it harder for others by saying they're horrible parents because they chose to do things differently?  I mean, I know I was the perfect parent...before I had kids...and then I was given a violent reality check when my first daughter was born.  So, to help out and not let the few "perfect" parents out there win, I'm going to let you all know just how crappy of a mom I am!

  • I tell my daughters I love them on a daily basis, sometimes multiple times a day
  • I let my two year old eat fast food sometimes
  • We switched my oldest to forward facing in the car when she turned one and will most likely do the same with her little sister
  • I pierced my older daughter's ears when she was 11 months old
  • I don't make them wash their hands as often as I probably should
  • I make sure my two year old brushes her teeth before bed every night
  • I only breastfed my oldest for 4 weeks, then she was on formula
  • My youngest is 9 months old and still breastfed
  • I use disposable diapers
  • I read books to them both several times a day
  • I let them watch age appropriate TV
  • I swear in front of them both and my two year old has repeated me a few times
  • Sometimes I yell at them when I'm angry
  • I only spank when it's absolutely necessary
  • I don't "baby talk" to either of them
  • I let my two year old have soda sometimes
  • She also drinks way too much juice
  • I just started letting my 9 month old cry it out at bed time
  • I threaten time out/spanking more times than I've actually done it
  • I've bribed my oldest with ice cream/cookies
  • I love them unconditionally and they love me back

I could probably go on, but I think that gets the point across.  I'm not perfect, I know this, but I'm doing the best I know how and if you don't agree with my choices, that's fine, but calling me (or anyone) a bad parent because of that is just plain childish and wrong. 

We have to realize that we're all raising the next generation together and if we want to make this world a better place, we need to teach that to our children.  I don't want my girls growing up thinking they're better or worse than everyone else just because of how I raised them.  I want them to treat everyone with respect and not judge people based on their beliefs.  I can only hope that others treat them the same way.

So to all you other crappy moms out there...keep it up!  :)

Monday, September 17, 2012

Road trip!

We got back yesterday from a week long trip to Spokane.  All four of us (Me, Hubby, Munchkin and Squishy) drove over there from Portland on the 7th and then Hubby flew out to Ohio Saturday morning for a work seminar thing.  He was gone for all of last week, returning Friday morning.  The girls and I stayed with some friends who have a little boy 3 months younger than Munchkin.  It was a lot of fun, we went to the park several times, took the kids to a children's museum, and just hung out.

We left Spokane this last Saturday and drove to Meridian, ID so Hubby could check in on a customer of his.  We stayed the night in a hotel there and then woke up Sunday morning to Munchkin having a fever and dry heaving.  Great.  We had a 7 hour drive ahead of us and sick kiddo, not going to be fun. 

We went through a drive through to get breakfast for me and I decided to get Munchkin some oatmeal (which wasn't bad for fast food).  She would have eaten the whole thing if I had let her, but I made her stop and she eventually fell asleep.  About 3 hours later, I saw the oatmeal again...We had to pull over on the side of the freeway and get everything cleaned up and get Munchkin calmed down.  We managed to make it home without another incident, but she didn't really eat or drink much the rest of the trip. 
Once we were home I was able to take her temperature and she had a fever of 102.5!  I gave her some Tylenol and she went to bed.  I was a bit surprised she didn't wake up during the night, but she was up bright and early at 6:30 wanting water.  I gave her some and then had her lay in bed and watch cartoons with me and Squishy.  She then decided to get off the bed and throw up all the water she drank.  And then, promptly asked me for oatmeal.  Kids, huh?  I convinced her to have some toast and a few dry cheerios and so far, so good. 

But of course, now Squishy and I are coming down with something.  I think we caught a cold from someone we met while in Spokane (I won't hold it against her, these things happen). 

So, today I get to take care of two sick girls and try not to get too sick myself.  Thinking it's time for some tea.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

God blessed the broken road....

I must preface this by saying, while I was having a pity party for myself last night, this is in no way a ploy to get sympathy from anyone.  I just needed to write it out.

I was thinking about my social life, or lack thereof, and it got me thinking about the course of events that have led me to where I am today.  There have been things that happened in my life that I would rather have not had to go through, but I'm trying to look at them like stepping stones on this particular path I'm on. 

I see posts and pictures on Facebook from women I was close friends with in high school.  They're still hanging out together, having fun...without me.  Do I feel left out?  Sure.  Do I feel cheated?  Sometimes.  You see, something I did at the end of my senior year was the worst thing I could do for my friendships; I lied about something.  I do admit I made a mistake, but at 18, who doesn't make mistakes in life?

This event led to being in a relationship that, for the better, changed my life forever.  If I hadn't gotten into this relationship, I never would have gotten so close to his family, which in turn (after we broke up) is how I met Hubby.  If I hadn't met Hubby, I wouldn't have my two beautiful girls.  So, while I sit here feeling sorry for myself that I have no friends and no social life, really, it's because of that that I have my wonderful family.  It's like a lose-win situation...kind of. 

I'm sure there are plenty of people out there who think "well, just go make some new friends."  Sure, that's easy said than done for an introvert like me.  I'm still an awkward kid inside who doesn't know what to say and feels stupid when meeting new people.  Having lost all my high school friends means I have to start from scratch which isn't a pleasant thought for me.

Again, this isn't me trying to get anyone to feel sorry for me (I do that enough), but I sometimes feel like if I can just get it out there it'll make me feel better.  I'm happy where I am, I love Hubby, Munchkin and Squishy with all my heart and I wouldn't change a thing about them.  It's just...a girl needs friends, ya know? 

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Shepherd's Pie

I got this recipe from Rachel Ray's 30 minute meals.  It looked delicious and the best part, it seemed easy.  I've made it enough times now, that I don't even really need the recipe, though I do have it out just in case. It's a big hit in our house, even picky little Munchkin will eat (most of) it. 

I was uploading some pictures off our camera that Hubby took while camping this last weekend and found the ones I had taken awhile back with the intention of blogging the recipe, but never got around to.  Now that I have a free minute (and a minute is probably all I have) I decided to do it.

Start by boiling potatoes in salted water until tender, about 10 to 12 minutes. Drain potatoes and place them in a bowl. Combine the sour cream, egg yolk and cream and add to potatoes and mash until potatoes are almost smooth. 

While potatoes are cooking, preheat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add oil to the pan and add in ground beef or lamb. (Traditionally, Shepherd's Pie is made with lamb, but I always use beef because it's what we have).  Season the meat with salt and pepper. Brown and crumble meat for 3 or 4 minutes. Add chopped carrot and onion to the meat.

I didn't have an onion this time, so that's why it's not in there.

Cook veggies with meat 5 minutes, stirring frequently.

In a second small skillet over medium heat cook butter and flour together 2 minutes. Whisk in beef broth and Worcestershire sauce. Thicken gravy 1 minute. Add gravy to meat and vegetables. Stir in peas.

Preheat your broiler to high. Fill a small rectangular casserole with meat and vegetable mixture. I use an 8x8 square dish and it always works out just right.  Spoon potatoes over meat evenly.


Top potatoes with paprika and broil 6 to 8 inches from the heat until potatoes are evenly browned.

I didn't get a picture before everyone started dishing up, but I'm planning on making this for dinner tonight so hopefully I can remember to take a picture of it before it's all gone! Hope you enjoy!


  • 2 pounds potatoes, any kind, peeled and cubed
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, 1 turn of the pan
  • 1 3/4 pounds ground beef or ground lamb
  • 1 carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup beef stock or broth
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 1 teaspoon paprika

Potty Training: The Saga

I realize that Munchkin won't be in diapers forever, but I also would love to only have one in diapers right now to  make my life a lot easier.  Selfish?  Probably.  But I'm not pressuring her to train, we're doing this at her pace... no matter how much I want it to happen NOW!

I've read a LOT about toilet training.  All different opinions, ideas, tips, tricks, you name it, I've probably read it.  Potty train in 3 days?  Sounds nice, but with an 8 month old in tow, I think that one would be kind of hard to manage. 
For now, I'm watching her signs and not forcing the potty.  Today we made a big step, she acknowledge she had to go, before she went.  She got up, ran to her bedroom and said "Gotta go poop!!"  :)  So I said, "Let's go on the potty!"  To which she replied, "No, go poop in room."  I finally convinced her to go to the bathroom, but she already went in her diaper.  But this is going in the right direction, in my opinion.

Several articles I've read said to put the contents of their diaper into the potty so they understand that's where it needs to go.  That seems like a big mess to I haven't done that.

All in all, I'd call it a success in the big picture.  We're getting diaper at a time.

Thursday, August 23, 2012


Squishy has been running a fever for the last day and a half.  We went to the Dr yesterday since it had been over 24 hours that she had the fever with no improvement.  Last night she was sweating a lot...I'm talking, her onsie was wet under the arms like she just ran a marathon...and she felt kind of clammy, so I was hoping that meant her fever was breaking.  When she went to bed, she didn't feel warm so I figured we were good.  She woke up this morning feeling hot again and her temp was 100.3 (before she ripped the thermometer out)  so, not as high as it had been, but still not back to normal.

She's never been sick.  Being 8 months old and having spent the beginning of her life in the winter months, I'd say that's pretty good.  They say breastfed babies don't get sick as much and I guess it's true, but I guess I was also hoping it would mean she NEVER got sick.  I don't like it when my babies are sick. 

Munchkin is having a hard time too, she doesn't understand that Squishy is sick and is constantly wanting to play with her.  I told her Squishy doesn't feel good right now and needs to rest, but she still asks me to put her down so they can play. 

Today is day number 3 of this fever, if she's not feeling better by tomorrow afternoon, I may have to take her back to the Dr.  I just wish I could make her better now.  It's unfortunate that my kisses don't make fevers go away.  Maybe some day.

Monday, August 13, 2012

I guess it's not that strange afterall

I always knew breastfeeding was the best for my children.  I wasn't able to do it as long as I would have liked with Munchkin since she took at bottle at 4 weeks and never looked back.  Pumping once I went back to work was hard since I only had a 10  min break and had to use the managers office in our stockroom.  So she was a formula baby from about 4 months on.  Nothing wrong with that, it happens.  But when I had Squishy, I knew I wanted to make it work, for her and for me.  Saving the $1000 a yr that would have spent on formula was a pretty good motivator too. 

Here we are, one week away from her being 8 months old and we're still going strong.  She's eating some solids, not a lot, but she's still nursing just as much as always.  The one thing that has changed, is that, if needed she will finally drink milk from a sippy cup.  I had been helping out an old manager of mine doing late night store transitions which meant that I was gone from 7pm until usually 1:30am for the last 3 Sunday nights.  So, Squishy HAD to either wait for me to get home or drink what Hubby had for her.  Thankfully she drank the milk he had, in fact she drank more than expected.  I had pumped each night before I left so she had "fresh" milk (rather than the frozen stash).  But she was not only finishing that bottle, but Hubby would have to defrost another bottle which she hungrily ate.

This morning I discovered that my breastfeeding relationship is not only between Squishy and I, it affects Munchkin too.  She's learned that when Mommy is feeding baby, she sometimes has to wait to get what she wants.  It took awhile, but she's OK with that now.  She knows that Squishy eats milk from Mommy's boobs ( I find nicknames for things like this is what it is).  As I was talking to Squishy, asking her (with signs) if she wanted milk, Munchkin said to me "Me want milk too!"  So I got up and went into the kitchen to get her a glass of milk, she says "Have milk from boob?"  That stopped me in my tracks as I looked at her standing on the other side of the gate with an expectant look on her face.  I wasn't sure what to say at first.  She hadn't nursed since she was 4 weeks old so I know it's not that she remembers, it's just that she sees her sister doing it, so why can't she? 
While my views on breastfeeding toddlers has changed quite a bit, I still wouldn't start up with a 27 month old who has a full set of teeth and hasnt' nursed in about 2 years.  I do however feel that the "if they can ask for it, they're too old" argument is a bunch of BS.  There are plenty of arguments for both sides, but I think most of them against "extended" breastfeeding are unfounded.  I just read an article about the natural age of weaning and found it to be interesting. 

I still don't know for sure when we're going to be weaning.  My first goal was 6 months, now we're aiming for a year.  After that, who knows.  If both Squishy and I are happy, then who's to tell us we have to stop just because she's getting "too old"??  It's the best thing for her nutrition wise and it's also a comfort to her when she's hurt or upset, nursing calms her down.  It allows us to be close and it's something only we can do together.  I don't see why that has to have an expiration date. 

Lastly on my little rant here...they say breastfed babies are smarter (I haven't read much on that yet) well, if that's the case, I'm worried.  Munchkin is too smart for her own good most days and she was formula fed.  I'm going to have my hands full with Squishy if that's really the case.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Bippity Boppity Boo

How can kids grow up over night?  It's like magic perhaps.  Munchkin has discovered movies and can now put a DVD in the player by herself.  If it has Fast Play she doesn't even need me to press play, the movie will just start.  This is a big milestone in my opinion, but it also means that she only watches about 20 min of a movie and then wants to put in another one.  I've seen the beginning of Bambi at least 6 times.  I've finally convinced her that we need to finished one movie before we start another, but man, as soon as those credits start to roll, she's up there hitting the eject button! 

And my little Squishy...or not so little, I guess...she just started crawling a week ago and she's already pulling herself to standing using whatever she can get her hands on.
Just standing around...
My girls are getting bigger everyday, which I know is what happens, but why does it have to happen so fast!?!? 

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Easy Meatloaf

Last night I was going to make Shepard's Pie for dinner, a favorite around here, but after I had cut up the potatoes and the beef was almost defrosted, I realized that I didn't have everything I needed.  So, I remembered I had a meat loaf recipe on my computer.  I went and checked the ingredients and saw that I had almost everything except a sweet potato, but I thought I could just use a green pepper instead and it turned out great!

First I chopped and partially cooked the green pepper in a saute pan with a little olive oil.  Set that aside when it's just starting to get a little translucent look to it.

Then mix together all ingredients (except green pepper) in a bowl until combined.

This was before I added the bread crumbs
Once every thing is incorporated, gently stir in the green peppers.  Place mixture into a greased loaf pan or for individual servings (which freeze nicely) you can use a muffin tin (greased as well).  Mix together ketchup and BBQ sauce and spread on top of the meatloaf.

Bake in a 375 degree preheated oven for 50-60 min (only about 40 if you used a muffin tin) make sure the meat in the middle is at least 160 degrees.  Take out and let rest before slicing.  I served it with garlic mashed potatoes and corn.

It was a big hit and I forgot to get a picture before everyone served themselves...

Here's the original recipe (which calls for a sweet potato, but feel free to try something else like I did this time)

Easy Meatloaf
1 lb ground beef
1 small sweet potato (peeled and chopped up small)
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp Italian seasoning
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 egg
1/2 tsp dry mustard
1/2 to 3/4 c. bread crumbs (start with less, but if the mixture is too wet, add more)
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 c. shredded cheddar
salt and pepper
ketchup and BBQ sauce mixed together for the top of meatloaf

Preheat oven to 375*.  Grease  loaf pan or muffin tins (I lined the muffin pan with tin foil and then sprayed with PAM).  In a saucepan, boil salted water, cook the sweet potato until partially cooked, about 3 or 4 min. Drain, set aside.  Mix all other ingredients in a bowl, stir in sweet potato.  Place into loaf pan or divide between muffin tins (I used a jumbo tin and made 6, but they weren't mounded up very high).  Mix together ketchup and BBQ sauce and spread on top of each meatloaf.  Bake until cooked through and brown on top, about 55 min.  (40 for muffins)

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Home Sweet Home

We just returned home from a road trip.  We left Portland early Sunday morning and started our drive to Meridian, Idaho (or "hideaho" as Munchkin calls it).  Hubby had to go out there for work and we decided that we would go with him and then drive up to Joseph, OR for a few days. 
A beautiful scenic drive

That little blue sign says "Welcome to Idaho"
 As expected, this took a lot longer with two kids than it did if we had been by ourselves. It was four days of messed up schedules, no nap times, several meltdowns and lots of fun.

Hanging out in the hotel while daddy was working.

Hubby and Squishy in the pool. (Sorry ladies, he's taken)

Getting ready for bed in the hotel.
 Monday afternoon we left Meridian and headed through Hell's Canyon to Joseph, Oregon.  Most of the trip was pretty uneventful until Munchkin decided to get car sick.  Luckily I saw she was about to get sick and we were able to pull over and avoid a huge mess.  We got cleaned up, changed her clothes and were able to continue on.  But then of course, Squishy woke up and was hungry, so we found a safe place to stop where Munchkin could get out and run around while I took care of feeding Squishy.  We made it in five hours, which was only one hour longer than mapquest told me it was going to be, not too bad.
As we drove into Joseph we had the most amazing view.  The clouds had opened up right over the city and made for a great photo op.

We got into town, had dinner and then went to our motel (the same one we stayed at on our honeymoon) to relax for the night.  Getting ready for bed was going well until we realized we left Munchkin's monkey slippers in Idaho.  She wears these things to bed every night, so she wasn't not too happy about it.  We managed to convince her it was OK and she fell asleep in my bed.  (Still pretty jealous that Hubby got a whole queen size bed to himself both nights, while I shared mine with both girls).

Early the next morning we headed up to the tram at Wallowa Lake to take us to the top of Mount Howard.  Munchkin wasn't too sure about the gondola at first, but she had fun once we got to the top.

In the gondola on the way up Mt Howard

Hubby and Munchkin at the top!

Feeding the "chipmonkies"

Squishy was trying to grab them and was laughing hysterically
every time she touched one.

The amazing view from the top!
We had lunch then went back to the motel to relax.  We walked around town for a bit, headed to the lake to play in the water for awhile, then went back and changed clothes and went out for dinner. 

After dinner we went to bed early because we were planning on leaving first thing in the morning.  Hubby was up at 6:30 and being in a small room all together meant that all of us were up by 7.  We were on the road by 8 and headed home.  We stopped for breakfast in a tiny little town called Elgin at a place where everyone knew each other.  It was like something on the Andy Griffith Show.  Someone would walk in and the waitress/cook would say "Hey (insert name here)!" And immediately pour them a cup of coffee without being asked to.  The place filled up quick and the conversation turned to bull riding and the movie '8 seconds'.

We left and continued our journey home.  The rest of the trip was pretty boring, all of us girls fell asleep and left Hubby to drive in peace and quite.  We didn't make another stop until just after the John Day Dam when we crossed the river into Washing to stop at Maryhill Winery to pick up a couple bottles of my favorite wine that is only sold there.  We went to the museum/park and had lunch while Munchkin ran around.

There's a little bird on the other side of the hose thing that Munchkin was feeding crackers to.

After lunch, back in the car and our next stop was home!  It was so nice to be back home even though we all had a lot of fun.  Our next big trip is to Spokane in September for a wedding...another 6 or 7 hours of least we know we can make it!  :)

Friday, July 13, 2012

Mommy has a potty mouth...

I always thought it would be Hubby who ran the risk of having his swearing repeated once our kids got old enough to talk.  I didn't think about the fact that I would be the one with them for the majority of the day, every day.  I'm the one who got the first toddler throw up in the car...I got locked out of the house by that same toddler just the other day...why I thought I could escape "teaching" swear words is beyond me. 
Munchkin wanted chicken and french fries for lunch, which I have to bake in the oven.  No big deal most times, but today after having opened and closed the oven door several times, when the final timer went off, I tried to open the door and the handle came off right in my hand and caused the front of the door (not the whole thing) to come forward like it was going to fall off.  Needless to say, a word I would rather not have my two year old say, came out of my mouth.  It's a hard habit to break when things like this happen. And if course she repeated it immediately. 

I guess now is the time I have to make a decision, do I work harder on not swearing at all, or do I teach her that those are adult words and there is a time and place for them when you're older?  I know she's two and doesn't understand, but I think most kids swear to get a reaction from adults. 

Either way, I do need to cut back on the swearing (which I must admit, I've managed to do quite a bit, just not when oven doors come flying at me)

Monday, July 9, 2012

Blueberry Pound Cake

We have a ton of blueberries that we picked from a local farm and I've been doing different things to use them up...smoothies, frozen yogurt (kind of) and Munchkins favorite, blueberry pancakes!!  But I found a recipe on pinterest and just had to try it...blueberry pound cake.  Now, I love me some pound cake so adding blueberries seemed like a no-brainer, but I've never made pound cake so I was a little hesitant.

But, nothing ventured, nothing gained, so I made sure we had what I needed and baked two loaves yesterday (technically only one was a loaf though, I had to bake the other half in an 8x8 pan and it turned out just fine).

Blueberry Pound Cake

  • 3 1/4 cups flour (plus 2 tablespoons for tossing blueberries in)
  • 1 tablespoon coarse salt
  • 3 sticks ( 1 1/2 cups) butter, softened, plus more for greasing pans
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 9 eggs
  • 2 cups blueberries

    1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Butter two 5x9-inch loaf pans. (or in my case one 5x9 and one 8x8)
    2. Combine 3 1/4 cups flour and salt in a bowl.
    3. Cream butter, sour cream, and sugar with a mixer on high speed until pale and fluffy, about 6-8 minutes. Scrape down sides of bowl. Add vanilla and mix.
    4. Beat eggs, and add to mixer bowl in small additions, mixing thoroughly after each and scraping down sides. Add flour mixture in small additions, mixing until just incorporated.
    5. Toss blueberries in remaining 2 tablespoons flour; fold into batter. Divide batter between pans. Tap on counter to distribute; smooth tops.
    6. Bake until a tester inserted into center of each cake comes out clean, about 65 minutes. I started the timer at 45 min since I had the different shaped pan. The 8x8 went for about 55 min and the 5x9 went for the full 65.
    7. Let cool in pans on a wire rack for 30 minutes. Remove from pans, and let cool completely on wire rack.
    We had a BBQ that we went to and I took this loaf, it was a huge hit!  Plus everyone loved that it was made from scratch with fresh picked blueberries.

    Mmm...just look at that berry goodness!

    Friday, July 6, 2012

    The joys of technology...

    I typed up a big long entry yesterday, only to have the website freeze.  I highlighted and did ctrl-c to try and save it that way I could just paste it into a new entry...but that didn't work either.  Blah!

    So, rather than re-type everything, I just slammed the laptop shut and went about my day. 

    I haven't had much time to bake/cook anything lately, but we went and picked some more berries so now I need to do something with those. 
    Munchkin and her "raspberry fingers"
    I did find a recipe for blueberry pound cake that I'm wanting to try, just need to pick up a few things from the store.  I'm wondering if raspberries might work too, but they're pretty juicy even when they're not cooked, so I'm not sure I'd be willing to sacrifice a whole pound of butter to find out.

    I hope everyone had a good 4th of July...we had a BBQ at our house with some friends, the kids played and then we lit off some lame fireworks since all the cool ones are illegal here in Oregon, I left those to the idiots in my neighborhood.  I'm all for watching, I just don't want to pay the fine should the cops show up! 
    Munchkin and her very first sparkler, or as she
    called it "candle"
    (She was riding her trike and wouldn't take her
    helmet off...hence the headgear)

    Friday, June 29, 2012

    They're not all winners...

    Well, my first attempt at a recipe using puff pastry dough...let's just say, didn't turn out like I had thought. I figured it would be easy to make some strawberry turnovers for the BBQ we had tonight. I figured wrong. Last night I made the filling, that part was easy. I even took pictures to blog the recipe. Then today, after taking Munchkin to get her first professional haircut, I pulled out the dough and got to work. I guess I tried to fill them too full, but the filling was oozing out of the sides. I sealed and crimped the edges with a fork, refrigerated them as the recipe called for, and then baked for 15 min. I looked in the oven when there was about 6 minutes left to find every single one had burst open and the filling was bubbling out all over the pan. *sigh* I finished baking them and took them out of the oven. They were...uh...not so great looking. BUT....they tasted good!! So, the moral of this story is, I'm not giving up on puff pastry just yet! And I ended up with a ton of the strawberry filling left over (even though I filled the puff pastry too full) so Hubby is making waffles for breakfast, so I can have strawberries on top!! :)

    Thursday, June 28, 2012


    As of around 1pm yesterday afternoon, I cannot find my wedding rings.  This is making me very upset.  I've lost plenty of things before, but not something that meant THIS much to me.  And it's the most expensive thing I own to make matters worse.
    I know it's in the house somewhere.  I took them off before putting sunscreen on Munchkin before we went to the park yesterday.  I am 90% certain I set them on the kids table next to the couch.  Less than an hour later, I went to put it back on...and I couldn't find it. 

    I looked in all the usual places I may take my rings off...the kitchen while cooking, the bathroom while showering, my bedroom, the girls room.  Then I searched under the couch, in the couch, in everyone of Munchkins toy boxes.  Nothing. 

    I keep asking her "Did you take mommy's ring?"  She says "Yeah"  So I ask her where she put it, so far she's told me under her bed (not there) and in the light on the ceiling (no, I didn't look, but I'm pretty sure it's not there).

    I'm at a loss as to what to do now.  Could someone have swallowed it?  I'm highly doubtful that Squishy could have gotten it down without choking on it and I would have noticed that.  Plus it would have had to have been on the floor first.  Munchkin might have been able to get it down without me noticing, but I would think she'd get an upset tummy or something, plus she hasn't been putting things in her mouth recently.  The only other culprit would have to be the dog.  Now, he's not known for eating things like poop, sure, but not rings.  I may have to ask Hubby to check out in the yard though...I guess you never know.

    So, for now, I have a very large, fake looking (because it is) "diamond" ring on my finger just because it feels weird not to have something there.  I'm saddened everytime I look at my hand, but I know it's just a's not like I lost one of my kids or something. 

    Still, it sucks.

    Tuesday, June 26, 2012

    From the mouths of babes

    Kids really do say the dardest things.  It amazes me every day when Munchkin will come up to me and say complete sentences (she's 25 months).  Yesterday, it was "Mom, sit on couch, watch ball and play iPad?" ("ball" is what she calls a program called Word World that she watches every day).  Today she said to me, very matter-of-factly, "Mom, I ready to go moon."  I responded and asked where the moon was.  She then looked out the window and said "Moon not outside."  So we postponed our moon trip for another day.
    This girl, knows all her letters by sight and can do a pretty darn good job at singing the ABC's too.  She's counting to 15 (though 14 and 15 sound the same as 13, I still give her credit).  Where did my little baby go??  I guess I still have Squishy, but even she's growing up too fast for my liking.   

    Before I know it, both my girls will be in high school and I'll be fighting them on what to wear (or what not to wear) instead of fighting them to take a nap or eat the rest of their vegtables.  While I am excited to see them grow into mature, responsible adults, it still scares the crap out of me to think that I'm responsible for how they turn out (well, half responsible...Hubby isn't getting out of this). 

    Am I yelling too much?  Not hugging enough?  Do we need to play together more?  Should I give in and let her watch more TV?  There's just so many choices we have to make for them.  Seems like it would have been easier to just get a goldfish.


    But I know I wouldn't be as happy with a goldfish.  Goldfish can't cuddle or give kisses.  They don't let out a little toot and then look utterly surprised by it. I love my girls more than life itself and I would do absolutely anything to make sure they are happy and safe. 

    This sort of turned into a rambling, but as I was sitting here playing on the floor with Squishy, it just got me thinking about how quickly the grow and how much I think we all wish they would stay little forever.  :)

    Monday, June 25, 2012

    Strawberry Rhubarb pie

    As strawberry season is coming to and end, I can't help but reminisce about when I was a kid and how every summer my grandma would take my brothers and me to a local farm to pick strawberries.  We always ended up with red stained fingers from eating more than a few while picking.  This last weekend we went on our third outing to get more berries. 
    I'm so glad I get to do this with my girls now.  Squishy just sat in the wagon and chewed on whatever she could get her hands on, but Munchkin was stomping around the field, picking and eating the delicious red berries.  I wish I had gotten a picture, but her face was stained red to the point she looked like a vampire who fed on ripe strawberries.  She also kept stealing berries Hubby and I had already picked, so it seemed to take us a little longer to fill up the flat we had...something I'm sure my grandma went through with us as well.  :)

    Matilda the pig and Munchkin at the farm

    After we got home, we talked about what to do with all the berries we had.  I decided on a pie since I had also picked up some rhubarb at the farm.  This was something else my grandma used to make every year, along with rhubarb bread, which might be my next endeavor.

    I read a couple of recipes, along with the comments and decided that most pies were turning out too runny for people, so I tried to think of a way to thicken the filling (without cooking, because that's just more work for me to do).  At the store, I found some minute tapioca that could be used in fruit pies and decided to give that a shot, plus I think that's what my grandma used in her pies. 

    I made the pie dough from scratch, but forgot to take pictures (sorry, I'm still getting used to this whole blogging thing).  Hubby found a simple butter dough recipe and just told me what to do, so I don't have a link, but I'll put the recipe up later.

    As for the pie, here we go:

    Mix the rhubarb, strawberries, sugar, tapioca, zest and juice of orange, dash of cinnamon, and vanilla. Mix in a large bowl and pour out into crust.
    You can't see it, but I used my grandma's pie dish, I thought
    it was fitting :)

    Dot the top of the filling with the butter. (forgot a picture of this step, but it's pretty self explanitory) Brush edges of pie crust with egg white wash. Roll out the other piece of dough and place over filling. Crimp to seal edges. Brush with egg white wash and garnish with sugar.  Cut 4 slits in the top, to allow the steam to escape while baking.

    Cover the outer edge with foil and bake at 425 degrees F for 15 minutes. Lower the temperature to 375 degrees F and bake for an additional 45 to 50 minutes, or until the filling starts bubbling and the crust is golden brown.  I also removed the foil for the last 10 min to make sure it got cooked all the way through.

    Ta-da!  I think Grandma would be proud! :)
     We haven't tried the pie yet, so I can't say how good it taste, but I'll update later once we try it.  I think we'll have some after dinner tonight.

    Here's the actual recipe:

  • 2 1/2 cups chopped red rhubarb, fresh
  • 2 1/2 cups washed and cut strawberries (in larger pieces)
  • 3/4 cups sugar
  • 4 tablespoons minute tapioca
  • 1/2 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon orange juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons butter, cubed small

  • For the top of the crust:

  • 1 egg white beaten with 1 teaspoon water
  •  sugar (for sprinkling)

  • While I was making this pie, Hubby was keeping Squishy entertained (Munchkin was in bed already) and I said that I needed to take pictures so I could blog it and he said he wanted me to blog him too (his words, not mine) since he was helping with the, here you go, hunny...
    Hubby and Squshy  (this is why I usually can't bake without
    someone to watch the baby)

    Saturday, June 23, 2012

    Breakfast Bacon, Egg and Cheese Wreath

    Saturday mornings are usually the days when we get to have "real" breakfasts since everyone is home.  During the week, Munchkin and I just have cereal or oatmeal, but on the weekends either Hubby or I can make a real meal for all of us.  Today, I decided to try a recipe I found here.  Mine didn't quite turn out like hers did (at least they didn't look the same).

    So here it is:

    Bacon, Egg and cheese breakfast wreath

    1 can of crescents 8count
    5 large eggs
    1 cup of shredded cheese ( I used cheddar and Italian blend because that's what we had in the fridge)
    8 slices of fully cooked bacon

    Preheat oven to 375.
    Cook the bacon and scramble the eggs and set aside.
    Mmmm....bacon goodness

    This is what happens when you turn your back
    on a 2 year old and a carton of eggs

    Place the crescents in a star formation on parchment paper lined cookie sheet (I didn't have any parchment and I think I needed to put the crescents a little closer together next time)

    Lay the bacon strips out on the crescents and sprinkle a ring of cheese.

    Add the eggs on top, then some more cheese.  Fold over the crescents and press the tips together (mine didn't quite meet up, so I pressed them down as best I could)

    Place into preheated oven for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the crescents are golden brown.

    We were all very hungry by this point, well not Munchkin because she was eating already.  You see, she loves eggs, bacon and cheese but apparently not when you put them all together.  So, I made extra eggs, she had one slice of bacon and a banana (or two, actually).  But Hubby and I were anxiously waiting for the timer to ding.

    Mine got a little stuck because I didn't have parchment
    paper and I forgot to grease the pan
    So, Saturday breakfast was a success...there's only two slices left (and there's only the two of us eating!) Not too shabby for the first attempt.

    Friday, June 22, 2012

    To cosleep or not to cosleep...that is the question...

    Well, last night went a little better with Squishy sleeping.  The last few nights, she has been wide awake until at least 11pm.  Usually she falls asleep while nursing around 9 or 10 and then goes to bed in our room whenever we go to bed.  The fact that she's 6 months old and still sleeping with us (both in her bassinet and in bed with me) has got me thinking. 

    Today, I was reading some responses to a question about how your little one does or doesn't sleep through the night that was posted on The Leaky B@@b Facebook page.  Most everyone who said their child, didn't matter the age...from 2 months to 2 yrs...wasn't sleeping through the night consistently ALSO said they cosleep or bedshare.  There's obviously a correlation here. 

    Now with my oldest, Munchkin, I had her sleeping in her own crib in her room by 3 months old because I went back to work.  She was sleeping through the night, or at least able to put herself back to sleep if she woke up, a lot quicker than Squishy.  Munchkin was also bottle fed from 4 weeks on, where as Squishy is still only breastfed (not by my choice, the stubborn girl refuses bottles).

    Her still sleeping with us isn't entirely a bad thing.  Yes, I do think if she was in another room she and I would both get more sleep, but on the other hand it's the convenience that keeps her there.  At 2am when she wakes up, I can just reach over and pick her up to feed her without even getting out of bed (go ahead and call that lazy, but after 6 months of getting woken up several times a night, you'd be doing the same thing).  And if she wakes up anytime after 6am, I can just put her in bed with me and nurse while laying down so we can both go back to sleep, just like we did this morning.

    So, it's just all got me thinking...can I sacrifice my comfort of being able to stay in bed in order to possibly not have to get up at all eventually?  How will putting her in her crib affect Munchkin's sleep, since they'd be sharing a room?  Do I really want to risk having both of them wake up every time Squishy is hungry? 

    It's a good thing these kiddos are cute...they sure make things difficult. :)

    Thursday, June 21, 2012


    When I decided to start this blog, I really didn't know what I was going to write about.  Quite honestly, I still don't.  I think I really just want to share my experiences with others, who may find it helpful or interesting or perhaps just something to read while their waiting at the Dr's office.  One way or another I just wanted to write. 

    Today, after a very long, sleepless night being up with Squishy (not her real name, obviously), my 6 month old daughter, I'm trying to be productive mostly to keep myself awake because falling asleep on the couch while you have a 2yr old awake, is not something I would recommend.  So I decided to figure out something for dinner tonight.  The weather is finally getting warm, which makes me happy, but it also makes turning on the oven pretty much the worst idea ever. 

    I also don't have access to a vehicle when my husband is at work so I needed to make sure that I had all the ingredients here.  Plus going on outings with a 6 month old and a 2 yr old is not something I do on my own very much out of pure terror of losing my mind (or worse, one of the kids). 
    So, I searched through my Pinterest boards ( if you're interested) and found a recipe I've tried before with much success: Crock pot Hawaiian BBQ Chicken.  Delicious and easy. 

    I checked the ingredients list:
    Chicken - check (it's frozen, which I think makes it more moist)
    Pineapple - check
    BBQ sauce - check (no, it's not the one in the original recipe, but I like to try new things)
    I also add a chopped up green pepper - check

    All you have to do it dump it all in a crock pot (yes, mine is very was handed down to me by my grandmother who I was very close with so while I would LOVE a new, bigger one I can't bring myself to get rid of this one)

    Cook it on high for 2-3 hours or on low 4-6 hours. I prefer to cook it on low, it seems like when I cook things on high they tend to get dried out, though it could also be because my crock pot is so old. Shred the chicken and make sure it all gets coated in the sauce.  Serve over rice. Even my hubby who isn't a big fan of white meat thought it was delish.

    Well, as my first attempt at a real blog, I hope someone found this interesting.  :)  More to come I'm sure!

    Monday, June 18, 2012

    6 months

    Today, my youngest daughter turned 6 months old.  I realized this as I was thinking about her check up coming up later this week.  I really don't know what happened to the last 6 doesn't seem possible that it's been that long since I had to have a c-section in order to meet our newest addition.  Every day, I love being blessed to be able to stay home and watch both of my girls grow.  They amaze me with how smart, funny and just plain awesome they are. 
    Sure, it's been difficult at times, a test of patience for sure, but I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world.  My girls make me realize just how lucky I am.  My life could have gone down a whole different path if I had let it, but instead I fought to be where I am today and I'm so glad I did. 
    I couldn't imagine my life without them and now thanks to this blog, I can document my life and theirs. And hopefully ward off any chance of insanity being alone with a toddler and an infant for most of the time.  :)
    And now to begin another 6 months...