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.