Thursday, December 18, 2008

Little Girl's Christmas

So we went to the Christmas Tree Shop today to try to find some cute stocking stuffers, but Phoebe found something for her room that I couldn't refuse...
It's a 32inch pink christmas tree. It was 12 bucks and came with the pink beaded garland, a TON of pink ornaments and even the little pink star tree topper. She's in heaven!! As you can see, she found all of her pink toys and placed them underneath, because it's their "new home". hehehe

Little Girl

Muffin Tin - Christmas Theme

I've been so stressed lately, trying to get everything done. Unfortunately, then I try to conquer it all at once and never actually make any head way. The other day I popped over to Her Cup Overfloweth and saw the Muffin Tin Challenge of the week... Christmas! We do muffin tins all of the time in our house, but haven't participated lately due to time or lack of creativity, but I was up for this one! I put the gate up to keep the kids on one side of the house and I told them I was making a special lunch. They didn't try bothering me once!! Gonna use that again... lol!

Anyway, this is what I came up with:

Ham cut into stars, grape "ornaments", carrots (reindeer food)

tree and star marshmallows, snowmen, cinnamon sugar gingerbread man waffles

Oh well, it was fun, they loved it and I actually settled down a little. Phew... for a minute anyway! Back to the run around today. Wish me luck!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Cherry Garcia Truffles...

From back to front:
Cookie Dough Truffles in milk chocolate coating
Carrot Cake Truffles in white chocolate coating
Homemade Marshmallows dipped in milk chocolate and rolled in crushed graham crackers
Cherry Garcia Truffles in dark chocolate coating

So I found that I love making truffles. They are so easy and I'm starting to get pretty good at it! Last year I made cookie dough truffles from a recipe that I got from Taste of Home magazine. It was so yummy and a serious hit! This year I decided that although it was pretty amazing, I needed to make it even better.

I decided that I love Ben and Jerry's Cherry Garcia Ice Cream and seeing as though it has been in the top 10 since it came out, a lot of other people must really like it too, right? Well, I took the perfect cookie truffle recipe and added some dried cherries and cherry flavoring, dunked them in dark chocolate instead of milk chocolate and OMG... it was awesome!!!

Here is the recipe:

Cherry Garcia Truffles

1/2 cup butter, softened
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
14 oz sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
1/2 cup dried cherries, chopped
1-1/2 pounds dark chocolate candy coating, chopped
5-7 drops of cherry flavoring (not extract)

In a large bowl, cream the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in vanilla. Gradually add flour, alternately with milk, beating well after each addition. Stir in the chocolate chips. Shape into 1-in. balls; place on waxed paper-lined baking sheets. Loosely cover and refrigerate for 1-2 hours or until firm. In a microwave-safe bowl, melt candy coating; stir until smooth. Dip balls in coating, allowing excess to drip off; place on waxed paper-lined baking sheets. Refrigerate until firm, about 15 minutes. If desired, re-melt remaining candy coating and drizzle over candies. Store in the refrigerator.

Note: I used a candy making kit to melt the chocolate so I didn't have to worry about it hardening, but last year I used a crockpot on high to melt and then put it on low to dip. This allowed me to dip all of the truffles without having to remelt the chocolate.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Almost Done...

So I made it through the Holiday Open House!! We had so much food and not so many people. I don't know what happened. I think it was a big flaw in our invitation send outs. Chef Hubby sent some invites inside with Christmas cards that he sent out, BUT then when I went to send out the rest, he wasn't sure exactly who he had invited with the Christmas cards - ugh!! So anyway, we will have a new system in place to remedy this problem prior to next years event!

Come back soon though to see all of the stuff we made!! I will have lots of recipes and pics of the items. Everything was so yummy!! I was going to do it today, but I've wanted to eat it all so I've been avoiding it today. I hope that I have more will power tomorrow! Wish me luck... you have no idea how much stuff I am talking about. Chef Hubby even made a homemade (edible AND palatable) Fruit Cake. He used dried fruits instead of candied and to keep it super moist used a spray bottle filled with Brandy to mist it after it cooled. mmmm

OK... gotta go to sleep so that I don't attack the goodies - AAAaahhhh!!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Craving Chocolate??

OK, so I decided to make a recipe my mom used to make many years ago. If you have a chocolate craving, this is the perfect fix! It's one of those pies that say to divide it into 16 pieces, and trust me, you can. It's that chocolatey!!

Chocolate Delite Pie - No Bake

2 pkg Baker’s Sweet Chocolate
1 8oz pkg cream cheese
1 8oz cool whip
2 Tbsp granulated sugar
½ cup milk
1 Chocolate pie crust

Put aside 3 squares of chocolate. Melt remaining chocolate with ¼ cup of milk. Beat in cream cheese, granulated sugar and remaining milk. Fold in cool whip and pour mixture into pie crust.

Shave the remaining chocolate squares over the top. Freeze for at least 1.5 hr. Serve.

I took this one out of the freezer to get a pic, so don't mind the little crystals... lol! It's perfect after about 10 minutes at room temperature... mmm mmm

If you end up trying it, let me know what you think!!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Holiday Cooking...

So I'm still cooking for the holiday swap, more recipes to come soon - I promise!! I'm so behind on everything right now though!! I have to pull it together! Wish me luck, but in the meantime, feel free to check out Talk About Tuesday over at the Lazy Organizer today. It's pretty cool some of the things people come up with; maybe you even have something to add!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Athletic Training

So right now I'm in the process of completing my continuing education units (CEUs) to maintain my certifications in Athletic Training and as a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist. On top of that, I have to work the Thanksgiving day Football game, have the family over for dinner that afternoon (thank goodness, hubby is a chef!!), and prepare for an open house in a week. Oh yeah, and I'm doing a cookie swap so I need to get the invites out and decorate the little books I will be sending everyone home with, including all of the recipes! Wish me luck!!

But this is something that I think is hilarious. If you don't know who an Athletic Trainer is, a simple, very basic description would be the person who runs out onto the field whenever you see an athlete go down. We evaluate, treat, rehabilitate, and educate the athletes. It's fun!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Holiday Cooking...

I've been reading blogs for a while now and I love find recipes on them that I can't wait to try! Well, for a few months now, I've seen all kinds of people posting about Red Velvet Truffles and I've really wanted to try them. I love love love making truffles, even though mine never ever come out as smooth and professional as all of the ones I've seen, but I have yet to find a box mix for a red velvet cake. I looked online for some scratch recipes, but to tell you the truth, that's where I get lazy! So I was thinking... What kind of cake would go well mixed with some cream cheese?! I actually figured out one morning, in the shower of all places!! LMAO. CARROT CAKE!!

I don't really like carrot cake, but my hubby LOVES it!! So much in fact, that one year I went to this special bakery and spent $27 on a carrot cake for his birthday... bad idea since we didn't even have a party and the cake had to weigh about 8 pounds... he ended up bringing it to work with him to share it... lol

So anyway, after looking at so many blogs with the recipe I kind of did my own. Some people used 12oz cream cheese, some 16oz, but all with red velvet... ok a few with chocolate. Here's what I came up with!! I hope someone else tries it and lets me know what they think. So far in the house, it's a hit!

Carrot Cake Truffles
1 box Carrot Cake mix
3/4 cup raisins
3/4 cup finely shredded carrots
1 can pumpkin puree (15oz)
1/2 cup water
16 oz cream cheese - softened
16 oz vanilla melts

Mix the carrot cake mix, pumpkin, and water together well. Then fold in the raisins and carrots. If your mix has the raisins and carrots, you don't have to add more (I buy the cheap mix and add my own). Bake it according to the directions on the box. If you would prefer, you can mix the cake the way it explains on the box (with the oil and eggs) but I always make my carrot cake this way, and have never had a complaint.

Allow the cake to cool completely. Then crumble into a big bowl. Add the cream cheese to the cake crumbles until completely blended. Then roll into 1 inch balls. Finally, melt the vanilla melts. I used a candy maker my mom had gotten me last year and it was so much easier. I can't do the double boiler thing, it always fails, so I had been doing the crock pot. It works but it's big!

Anyway, coat the carrot cake balls and allow to cool. Enjoy!! This is how a few of mine came out...

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Anniversary Weekend!!

Tomorrow is going to be my 7th wedding anniversary. It doesn't seem that long, but in ways it seems like forever. I mean, thinking about my life and how comfortable I am with my situation and my relationship, it's hard to think about "before us". I've already explained the start of our relationship, but if you need a refresher, here is the link for my Growing Love!

Anyway, last year was the only year that I actually took part in planning anything for this special ocassion. I'm horrible at the romance stuff... I mean just plain awful! Thank goodness Chef Hubby is Mr. Romance to the rescue! He had it all planned.

We headed out about 6:00pm with the kids at my mom's house watching "Kung Fu Panda", and sure as heck, not minding us leaving. He had informed me that we had reservations at 8:00 in Providence, RI, about 30 minutes away, and that I needed to pack an extra set of clothes to change into in the morning... Yes! It's an overnight!!! heheWestin in Providence (yes, Chef Hubby is also a hotel snob!) and man, oh man, it was nice!! I mean, seriously... you needed to use the room card to activate the freaking elevators

Anyway, we had time to check out the price list for the mini bar and laugh, before heading out to dinner. Can you believe that a 2oz can of "homemade chocolate chip cookies" was $7.50?! I mean, what kind of flour did they use?!

We caught a cab at the taxi stand in front of the hotel and headed to XO Steakhouse.. OMG!! We walked and were actually greated by the Chef de Cuisine Benjamin Lloyd. How cool is that? He was checking something on the computer and headed back into the kitchen. We were seated by an adorable hostess and were greeted shortly after by our waiter, Johnny. The feel of the restaurant was modern, sophisticated, and very comfortable. From the moment we were seated and scanned the menu, we knew we were in for something amazing

We started the evening with some water and a martini (I don't do those manly ones though... I had Flirting with Style... hehe) I don't remember which one Chef Hubby chose. We continued to scan the menu trying to figure out the perfect plan. It was a difficult choice, there were so many options that we wanted to try!! When Johnny returned, Chef Hubby asked if they did tasting menus. The reply was a quick, "Of course, how many courses would you like". SWEET!! We had the option of picking our items or having the chef choose... the latter is always the way to go!! We actually ended up tasting 8 different dishes, most of which were not even included on the menu.

I have to say, I did not have a single complaint for ANY of the dishes! Thank you Chef Benjamin and Johnny for an absolutely amazing experience!! The only bummer came between the entree and the dessert. The Chef came to our table and asked how our meal was, and then informed us that at the end of service next Saturday, they would be closing to implement an entirely new concept. Initially, it was a serious let down! I saw a TON of dishes I wanted to try and would never get the chance, but then thought, hey if the quality stays this superior, I can't wait to try a French tasting menu starting on December 1st!!

We ended up going home with a doggy bag because although we were served two incredible desserts, a Creme Brulee Trio and a Hot Molten Chocolate Cake with Coconut Ice Cream, we couldn't leave without sampling the Bread Pudding with Maple Ice Cream. That was sooo yummy later in the evening... hehelol! I know, I can't believe I was hungry still!! We got ready and headed to the Concierge in the Lobby to find a place for some good food. Being only 8:50am we were informed that most spots were not open until 10... BUT there was a little place about a 10 minute walk away, if we were ok with that. Heck yeah, bring it on!

It was a beautifully quiet walk in the city that morning. The air was crisp but clean and all of the storefronts seemed so calm and welcoming without the bustle of midday. We took a wrong turn but eventually found the spot, DownCity.

Upon, entering we grabbed seats at the bar and once again scanned the menu. It was so hard to choose. Why do they make it so difficult?! I ended up asking the bartender what her favorite option was. I hesitated a moment before taking opinion, because as any good employee should, she tossed out without hesitation, the priciest item on the menu... the Downcity’s Uptown Crab Cakes Benedict, two poached eggs with hollandaise on a bolo over crab cakes and sweet potato homefries. It was actually the choice I was leaning towards. Chef Hubby opted for the Our Slow Braised Corned Beef Brisket Hash, served with 2 eggs, toast, and sweet potato homefries. We also ordered a Blueberry Banana Sour Cream Muffin and some coffee.



Yes, they were as yummy as they look!! Oh and as huge!! Neither of us came close to cleaning the plate, but it was fun trying... lol! My clam cakes were perfect, moist and sweet, but not soggy. OMG!! Even the hollandaise is amazing, nice and light and creamy... mmm!

Chef Hubby's Corned Beef hash included potatoes and carrots and he thought it was phenomenal! Well, we finished what we could. I grabbed a bag for my muffin to bring home to my mom... I knew she'd love it! and we headed back to hotel to get the car and head home... to reality. Oh well, we knew it couldn't last forever, but I can't wait to get back!!

Have you gone anywhere special lately?

Saturday, November 15, 2008

New Blog

I started a new blog! This one is going to be about weight loss, nutrition, exercise and just plain feeling good! If you're into that kind of stuff, feel free to check it out!! Hope you like.

One with the Scale

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Before I was a Mom

I was checking my email tonight and a very close friend sent me the following message. It really touched me and actually when I was reading it aloud to my mother, I even teared up a little, thinking about it. Anyway, I thought it was something special you might enjoy.

Awesome Mom

Before I was a Mom,
I never tripped over toys
or forgot words to a lullaby.
I didn't worry whether or not
my plants were poisonous.
I never thought about immunizations.

Before I was a Mom,
I had never been puked on.
Pooped on.
Chewed on.
Peed on.
I had complete control of my mind
and my thoughts.
I slept all night.

Before I was a Mom,
I never held down a screaming child
so doctors could do tests.
Or give shots.
I never looked into teary eyes and cried.
I never got gloriously happy over a simple grin.
I never sat up late hours at night
watching a baby sleep.

Before I was a Mom,
I never held a sleeping baby just because
I didn't want to put her down.
I never felt my heart break into a million pieces
when I couldn't stop the hurt.
I never knew that something so small
could affect my life so much.
I never knew that I could love someone so much.
I never knew I would love being a Mom.

Before I was a Mom,
I didn't know the feeling of
having my heart outside my body.
I didn't know how special it could feel
to feed a hungry baby.
I didn't know that bond
between a mother and her child.
I didn't know that something so small
could make me feel so important and happy.

Before I was a Mom,
I had never gotten up in the middle of the night
every 10 minutes to make sure all was okay.
I had never known the warmth,
the joy,
the love,
the heartache,
the wonderment
or the satisfaction of being a Mom.
I didn't know I was capable of feeling so much,
before I was a Mom.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Holiday Cooking

I don't know about anyone else, but my hubby and I love love love the holidays!! Actually, my hubby will be cooking Thanksgiving for my family this year. I get out of all the cooking and cleaning stuff that day because I get to stand in the cold, on the side of the football field, hoping that no one gets hurt so that I don't have to actually work!!! Keep your fingers crossed for me! Thank goodness for Mom though, because while I'm working and Chef Hubby is cooking, she'll be dressing and monitoring the kids. It's a great little setup.

Then that weekend my mom and I get both houses all glammed out for christmas! Follow that a week later with a HUGE holiday party complete with food, drinks, and great company... did I mention we have a two tenament house? My mom lives downstairs so we open both houses and let people roam... fun! Then we finish up before Christmas with a cookie swap, the following weekend.

I've actually started decorating little books I got at Target. I figure that I will give one to each person who comes with all the recipes, and a few extras that will be served at the parties. Phew... wish me luck!! Keeping watching for some of those recipes!! I start posting some of them!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Miss me?

Man oh man do I need to start blogging more!! I have so many in mind, even have the pics, but for some reason everytime I sit down to post something comes up. Hopefully with the day off tomorrow I'll be able to throw a few up.

Just a small preview of the things we've been up to:

My loving hubby took me to see the So You Think You Can Dance Tour!!
Payton turned 2yrs old this week!
I've been doing some cooking!
And then we have the boring stuff like work, but I won't be getting into that... lol

More to come, very soon... I promise!!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

So You Think You Can Dance!!

This was the Ballywood dance... I think I spelled that correctly, if not, you know what I mean!!

Yes, I am a total geek, but I absolutely love this show!!! So much, in fact, that my loving hubby bought me tickets for their tour. He even bought two extra tickets so that I could have a friend come (of course, she brought her hubby to keep my hubby company too... hehe)

Well, not only did he get me tickets and let me bring my buddy, but he went on the website and blog and found out that they sign autographs at the end of the show... SWEET!! So after an hour and a half waiting in the cold... once again... Sorry Brian and Jenny!! I got to meet them all! BUT most importantly, I got to say "hi" to Twitch. He's been my favorite since he tried out for the show last season.

He's really down to earth and super cool. I know I sound like I'm about 16 yrs old right now, but oh well!! I actually searched and found the t-shirt he wears all of the time, but I'm struggling with spending 20 bucks on a t-shirt. It's cool though... it has a big "T" in the superman emblem on the front, because he likes to fight villians... lmao!!
Here he is... Twitch!!!

I'm really bummed though because I cropped out two other dancers and then saved the pic under a new name... so I thought! I actually somehow managed to delete the other pic so no more pic with Gev and Jessica.

Anyway, that was the start of my week last week! It was sooo much fun!!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Just Vote!!

Ok, this is my little plea for everyone who's registered (those who aren't, well, I'm not gonna go there!!) be sure to get out there tomorrow and VOTE!! I know that everyone has different views and opinions on this election and that's what is so great about our country... that's what is supposed to happen!!

So which ever Candidate you think is the right choice, VOTE! Local and national, it's all important to have our voices heard. Oh yeah, and if you don't actually make it to the polls, please do me a favor and don't complain about the outcome. You had your chance.

Friday, October 31, 2008

I found it...

I've been looking for a winter hat for some time now, with no luck. BUT today I found it... the perfect hat!

So, what do you think?! Is it too young? Phoebe thinks that now I'm "Dectective Mommy"... lmao!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Cranberry time!

In New England cranberries are a big thing. There are bogs everywhere and there was even a Cranberry Festival a few weeks ago, only about 20 minutes away from our house. Actually, come to think of it, my grandfather has a cousin who owns a dairy farm, with a corn field and a cranberry bog... lol!! Like I said, it's a big thing!

Well, I am a cookbook addict and while at the festival I found a cute little 30pg cookbook, Crazed for Cranberries - Low Fat Recipes, and I had to have it so I could try the Cranberry Square Crisp. Then it just so happened that a vendor at the Fairhaven Marketplace this Sunday was selling fresh cranberries! Sweet, for a total of $5 I got the book and the berries and was ready to cook!!

Monday I whipped up a batch and OMG I thought it was really really good. My mom wasn't at all thrilled and Chef Hubby said that it would have been amazing with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Well, of course, what doesn't?!

So Here it is:

Cranberry Square Crisp - serves 9

  • 2 cups chopped fresh or dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar1 egg white
  • 1/4 cup skim milk
  • 4 Tbsp melted butter
  • 1 cup unbleached flour
  • pinch of salt1 tsp vanilla or almond extract (I used vanilla)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 9" square baking pan with nonstick oil. Mix cranberries, walnuts, and 1/2 cup sugar. Spread in baking pan. Mix together remaining cup of sugar and all other ingredients. Stir until smooth. Pour over cranberries. Bake 40 minutes or until top crust becomes light golden brown. Cool 30 minutes. Cut into 3" squares.

It was soo good! I hope you like it, if you try it!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Muffin Tin - Halloween Theme!

I know it's been a while since I've last posted a muffin tin, but we still love and use them ALL of the time!! My grandparents watch the kids a couple of afternoons a week and Nana uses a muffin tin for snack just about every time... lol!!

Anyway, as I mentioned Sycamore Stirrings was having a Halloween Challenge this week. So here is ours:

Chocolate Graham and Cheddar Goldfish, multicolor ghost marshmallows, PB&J sandwich shaped like a pumpkin American Cheese shaped like bats, Pumpkin and bat pretzels, cheddar cheese rice cakes

Isn't it spooky... hehe! I had fun finding some of the items. I also bought some little pumpkin muffins, but Payton had already eaten when I got home to make to this for the kids. She had some of the snacks, but nothing major. The kids actually really enjoyed the muffins for breakfast this morning!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Buy 'em a box

Have you ever been told that you'd be better off buying your kid an empty box instead of the actual toy, as a gift?! Well, my kids take that to the extreme!

They each have their own bedroom, they also have toys on the bottom shelf of our Bar rack in the living room AND toys to play with in the basement, but what do they decide to do...

Yes, they are actually playing IN the toybox in Payton's room... that lasted for almost 40 minutes too! Do you believe that?!

Creating a space for mommy!!

So we have a sun room off our house. It was once a regular outdoor porch, but at some point was enclosed, panelled and carpeted. It's approximately 20 feet by 8 1/2 feet, so definitely not a bad size. The only unfortunate part of it is that it isn't insulated, but hey with a small portable heater, that's not an issue. So mommy is going to take it over!!

We've lived here together for about 8 yrs now (Chef Hubby grew up in this house) and that room has had several transformations. Shortly after moving in, I turned it into my sitting room. I had a wooden framed futon, an awesome pompeson chair, my mom made curtains and matching cover, it was awesome!! Then my brother in law needed a place to stay, so lived in that room for 17 months! After he moved out, it became our dumping grounds. It had everything in it. For a while you could barely walk to the back of the room, there was that much stuff.

Then I started to sort some of it out and it looked pretty decent... but not something calming or welcoming, or even the least bit organized!!
This is what you see when you walk in and look at my "workspace". No wonder I've lost a few of my swap items, thinking that I had already sent them!!
And this is the "lovely" site I view when I'm actually working. Doesn't it make you just want to finish that project and get out!?! I wanted something more.

So, now I am working on setting it up so that it's welcoming and cozy. I have plans for 2 work "stations" so that I don't have to craft alone. I also was able to talk Chef Hubby into letting me go to Ikea and search for the perfect bookcase... I love that place!! It's about 40 minutes away though, so I don't get there very often.

Anyway, stay tuned for the finished product... well, that may be a while, but stay tuned for the!!

AND this week Sycamore Stirrings has a Halloween Themed Muffin Tin Challenge. I grabbed some items last night with my mom at Target, so we are ready! I will posting those pics tomorrow.

Friday, October 10, 2008

The Renaissance Faire!

Ok, so I never ever have pics of myself, but today is an exception... Today is the renaissance faire and I think I look pretty cute! This is actually my best friends Maid of Honor dress from my wedding. We had a medieval wedding and trust me, it looked amazing! My grandmother and my mom made all of the dresses, including my wedding dress. I am actually going to be calling the photographer soon to find out if he has the pics on disc that we can buy, or I'm going to have to scan some to show off!!

This is me and Phoebe in our backyard before heading to the faire. Payton was supposed to be in the pic which is why I'm yelling... hehe!

Chef Hubby (AKA... King Henry) does role playing and this is one of his outfits. Don't we look like the royal family?! OK, except for the chainlink fence behind us.

The faire is an amazing place! This is what you see as soon as you start walking in. How can you not want to run in and play?! All of those windows on the bottom are actually where you pay, then you enter through the gate. It's really an amazing scene.

And this is the end of the day. The kids were screaming, my feet were starting to get tired, but hubby thought I still looked pretty cute... lmao. Hope you enjoyed our little adventure!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Not so bad brownies... hmmm

So Chef Hubby heard of brownies made with Black beans instead of the oil and egg and wanted to try it. I was a more than a little hesistant because of Elizabeth's experience, but then found out that she had used a different type of bean. Anyway, he made them... I tried them... and man oh man, you can't even tell!!

I even had my mom try them, but didn't tell her they were made with the beans until after she fell in love with them. She couldn't believe it!! OK so the general jist of this post is... Try the black bean brownies!! They rock! lol.

Another week, another trip to the doctor's office...

So Last month Phoebe had strep throat, then a few weeks ago, she had another infection. We still aren't sure exactly what it was, but there was some trace blood in her urine. This was supposedly indicative of a possible kidney infection, but my kids never show any signs of being sick other than the runny nose or vomitting. The doctor said she should have been in a lot of pain, etc. Oh well, she gets to pee in a cup Saturday and we'll know more - great! right?

So now both kids have colds. No biggy, right? Wrong, apparently! Payton has a really bad cough at night and then it goes away during the day. I figured it was post nasal drip and the fact that it gets worse when you are sleeping, but decided to get it checked out anyway. Yeah, well my happy little kid with what I thought was a common cold, has 2 ear infections that are "at least a few days old" and croup! So now I get to monitor Phoebe to see if she has a progression of symptoms. So far, so good.

I don't know about anyone else, but neither of my kids are willing to "take" medicine. It's a throw down and it's tiring. It's only two doses in and I'm pretty sure that I'm not going to have enough of the meds left to finish the entire series. She's taking a steriod and an antibiotic 2 times a day... can someone shoot me now?!?!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Too much Couch

So have I ever mentioned that every time I buy new furniture, it's too big? Here's one example:
Yes, it is the only piece of furniture in the room! Nothing else fits!! They had to take completely apart in order to get it into the house. I felt so bad for them. The only good thing is that if it were 1" bigger in any direction, it would not have fit in the room... lol. Lucky me!!

So now is the other dilemma... the walls were a raspberry color venetian plaster. It looked awesome because we had an olive green couch with golden accents. The rug had all of the colors and it didn't seem that dungeon like. Now it feels like a cave!!

I had bought this putty color a while ago and painted the one wall to see if I liked it. I do, but haven't finished painting. I think I need to do it now. And before, near the window on the left was a media cabinet, so the picture on the wall looked far bigger. Now it's just floating there in limbo... ugh!! Well, at least there's plenty of room to stretch out...

This was our lazy morning! I cancelled my appointment at the gym, didn't go walking, and haven't gotten dressed yet, but I got some stuff done that I've been struggling to do...
Put away some clothes that have been folded and sitting in the baskets for days
Cleaned the kitchen
Washed and cleared the front of my refrigerator - small but important!!
Vacuumed the whole house
Finally put the AC in the attic
Worked on some swaps that have been breathing down my neck and couldn't get to them!
Anyway, I still have 2 more hours before I leave for work so now I have to feed and dress the kids and me, wipe down the bathroom, and finish cleaning off the top of the bar... it's our catch all place, that I dread!
Hope your day is going well!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Wow it's been a while!!

I knew that I hadn't made a post in a little while, but I had no idea that 2 weeks had already past!! I've been very busy, but after thinking about it, I'm not sure why. I've definitely been more productive in the mornings. I've decided that I'm making me a priority again... go me!!

I mentioned a few weeks ago that I was going to be meeting with a personal trainer, right? Well, I met, I worked, I hurt, I loved it!!! I signed up for 2 sessions a week for the year. I figure that hopefully in that time I will finally get down to where I want to be. I pretty much stayed at the same weight now for almost 6 months.

I know that isn't all the bad after losing close to 70 pounds, but seriously, I'm only 25 pounds from my goal weight, why not just get it done? Right?!

I've done 5 sessions now and I've already dropped 3 lbs and noticed a big improvement in how my pants fit. It's so exciting!! I was going to post pics to show just how far I've come, until I realized the only real pics I have of me are when I'm wearing a really big t-shirt. I swear I don't always wear them, but it seems that way in our photo library!!

Now I have to get sorta cute and take a pic! Anyway, I'm back!

BTW - I know I was tagged and I will post that, I promise!!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Muffin Tin Monday

So I haven't actually posted one in a little while, but trust me, it isn't because I haven't been doing them. I did however, miss out on last weeks' challenge over at Sycamore Stirrings' site. It was to make a muffin tin inspired by some children's literature. Although I loved the idea and couldn't wait to do it, I never got around to it. Bummer, I know. But I'm still thinking about it... it's going to be perfect when I actually get around to it... lol!

Anyway, this was what I came up with for supper for the kids...
Phoebe's Muffin Tin (I love this 8 muffin tin!!):
Ranch Dressing, chicken nuggets, american cheese cubed, chicken hot dog
french fries, edamame, dry roasted peanuts, trix yogurt
Paytons' Muffin Tin:
French fries, dry roasted peanuts, american cheese cubed
chicken nuggets, edamame, chicken hot dog

They loved them!! Success... and for some reason, my kids actually behave soo much better when they've eaten a decent meal. I swear I think they have a hypolgycemic thing going, but I was told that it's probably not an issue. Anyway, it works - usually!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

I made it!!

OK, so I made it through my crazy day... but not without a little extra stress. The personal trainer thing was awesome, so I decided to sign up for 2 sessions a week. It was a bit more expensive than I had expected, but you what, I'm worth it, right?!?! Anyway, so that starts tomorrow. I'm actually still a little sore from Tuesday, but I'm tough - I hope!

I got to the zoo late because instead of leaving the gym at 10:30 like I had told them I had to, I got in my car at 10:56... not good! Supposed to meet LH and EL at 11:00 at the zoo... EL wasn't able to make it, we missed her and the boys, but we rescheduled... lol. So LH and the girls went for a stroll. The weather started looking not so good, so when we finished up, we headed to the cars, fast!

I was able to pack lunches and shower and change before having to leave to pick up Phoebe at pre-school. Got there just as they were letting the kids and flew over to work. Of course, both kids fell asleep in the car AND it was downpouring!! I'm not talking a little rain... it was bobcats and coyotes!!! Anyway, I had to make the decision to wake them up and drag them through the rain half awake or run into the school, grab my babysitter and have her watch them in the car. Being the insanely paranoid mommy that I am, I chose to wake them... not good!!!!

When we got through the rain, after Phoebe fell in a puddle fighting to gain control of the umbrella that I was carrying, there were no lights in the school!!! The darn power was out and no one called me to let me know that all the sports had been cancelled! The kids could have stayed sleeping and woken up nice and refreshed... but no... that would have been way too easy!!!

So we made it home, dried off, had a picnic lunch in front of the television, and waited for Chef Daddy to come home. In the end, we all survived and both kids were in bed by 7:45pm... hooray! Well, at least until Payton woke up sick at 11:00pm, but that's another story... lol

Have a great night! I have an appointment with my trainer tomorrow morning, so I need some rest. Wish me luck!!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Getting into a Schedule

Have you ever tried to get into a schedule? It initially sucks, doesn't it? Right now Phoebe needs to be at school for 9am on Monday and Tuesday. I need to start going to the gym A LOT. So I decided that everyday we should be out of the house by 8:45 latest. Doesn't sound like a big deal do it? Well, it is!!

I don't know about anyone else, but my kids eat soo slowly!! It actually freaks me out knowing that at school Phoebe only has 15minutes to eat lunch! It seriously takes her longer than that to pee because she just sits there. In the mornings I've been lucky that both kids manage to get up by 7:30 or 8am. They used to sleep til 9:oo easy but now we also have a bed time routine... we used to fake one... lol!!

So now, we get up, try to eat and get dressed, brush teeth, fix hair and get in the car on time to get Phoebe to school. Then I get to go to the gym with Payton... she loves loves loves it! It's got toys and kids and plenty of room for her to play. Mommy loves it because she's in competition with Daddy to get in shape. It's to help keep us both motivated. So far, it's working well :o)

Anyway, now I am exhausted and need to go to bed!

By the way... we have a new sink and my bathroom is almost done! Yeah!! I will try to finish up the molding and chair rail and post pics for anyone who is interested. This week my focus is to finish painting the walls in the living room because my new sectional is being delivered on Saturday. I am VERY excited!!

OK, that's it. I have to drop Phoebe off, run to the store, then run to the gym where I will be meeting with a personal trainer. Yes, I am a certified strength and conditioning specialist and a certified athletic trainer, so I shouldn't need his help, but there's a big difference between creating a kick ass program for someone else and one for yourself... I know what exercises I don't like to do!! lmao! Hey I've always known "how to get in shape" but it's the doing it that makes all the difference. THEN I get to meet EL and LH with the kids at the zoo for a mommy walk. Man, if I make it through the morning I will be very excited... I'll let you know!

Monday, September 1, 2008

My 50th Post... woohoo!!

Phoebe is 4 yrs old now!! We had a big party and under direct order, had to have a doll cake!! So my mom decorated the cake, I decorated the cupcakes, and Chef Hubby put on the rest of the spread. All in all, everyone had a blast, left stuffed, and the birthday girl could not have been more thrilled!!

Aren't they pretty?!?

She was kinda bummed it didn't look like the box, but my mom convinced her that the doll on the cake box was a mommy doll and this is a kid doll... thankfully, she bought it!!

This was the whole gang... well, most of the gang! We missed you H and W!!!

Anyway, now she starts pre-school tomorrow!! I thought that I was going to be fine, but I actually feel a little nervous. I'm afraid that she's not going to like the lunch, or she'll be too shy to play with the other kids. I know I'm just stressing, but it's a little overwhelming!! I'll let you know how it goes! I also bought a new battery so I'll be able to get a first day picture and all that demented mommy stuff!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Check List

Ok... so while blog hopping last night I was reading The Lazy Organizer and she had a punch list called Mommies Mission Impossible. It's all the stuff that wants/needs to get done. She made it last year and then had an updated one recently. I decided that I need to go through everything that I've done just within the last few months and maybe I'll feel better. Right now I just feel like a big slug!!

Things that we've done in the past year(ish):
  1. Completely re-did Payton's room
  2. Completely re-did Phoebe's room
  3. painted one wall of my living (2 to go)
  4. bathroom wallpapered
  5. bathroom ceiling wallpapered - it looks soo cool!
  6. bathroom panelling almost done - one more piece left
  7. bathroom woodwork painted
  8. had professional install ceiling fan in dining room and on porch
  9. rearranged 4 rooms!
  10. bought new couch, a sectional... hehe (still waiting for it to get delivered though!)
  11. bought new computer
  12. finally hung wall mirror in my room

Just a few things that need to get done:

  1. Replace vanities in both apartments
  2. Replace oil tank
  3. Yard sale in september to get rid of all of our stuff!!
  4. Empty sunroom to turn it into my work zone
  5. Finish the bathroom
  6. Finish the walls in the living room
  7. Paint cabinet in Kitchen
  8. Stain the deck
  9. Somehow set up an organizational system Chef Hubby can work with!!
  10. Find a new rug for the bedroom

OK - that's all my little brain can come up with for now, but I'm sure there's more! I will try to keep it updated... wish me luck!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Cool Ideas!

So I don't really feel well but don't want to go to bed... Chef Hubby already let me take a nap, so I'm blog surfing again. I just wanted to share some of the stuff that I've found:

  1. Cheap and free toys for young children by Simple Mom
  2. Stapleless Paper Chains by World Press Mom
  3. Scrabble Tile Pendant Tutorial by Make and Takes

OK - so those are a few... I ended up reading a whole bunch of stuff in hopping from place to place forgetting that I was making my list... lol! Anyway, Chef just shut off the tv and did the "Goin to bed?" groan, so I guess I'm done for the night now too. Have a good one!

I have tons of pics that I have to post... Lots of the kids outside, with ice cream, with their future boyfriends... hehe, Muffin Tin stuff, and even a few recipes. We also have Phoebe's birthday party tomorrow so definitely more to come! Everything has been so insane, I even had to pm one of my swap-bot partners to ask for an extension... man I'm tired!!! I will take pics of that stuff too!

Good night!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

What Makes You Believe?

I can't sleep for some reason tonight, so I decided to do some of my blog hopping. I went to The Girl Loves to Talk and read a story about a couple who were severely injured in a plane crash. Another pilot on the plane was killed. He was a father of four older children, 13-25yrs. The couple have 4 small children, although I am not sure of their ages.

It's an awful story. They were both loving, caring, devoted individuals. VERY faithful mormons, apparently. The family is so upbeat. They are talking about how there is a purpose one way or the other and seem to be hopeful; almost eager. The couple has improved from critical patients to burn patients, and I can say that my prayers are with them.

My question is What Makes You Believe? I was never a religious individual. Growing up, I went through the motions, baptism and first communion in the Catholic church, then confirmation in the Episcopal church. I was even an acolyte in the church, but never really religious. I would even tell people, to the horror of my grandmother, that I was an aetheist. I don't think I ever really was an aetheist... possibly an agonistic, but still didn't really have anything to believe in.

It wasn't until I had my children that I started to believe something greater than me, or my husband, or the world, could possibly exist. But, when tragedy struck my family a year and a half ago, I wasn't looking for guidance of the church or the "purpose" behind it. I was looking for "WHY?". Why would something so horrible happen to someone I love? It was tough to believe that anything would want this to happen. That something awful happens for a reason. That in the end, it would all work out. So, what makes you keep believing?

Monday, August 18, 2008

Breakfast Muffin Tin

Can I once again profess my love for the muffin tin idea?!?! I love this thing! We do it all of the time actually. I think breakfast is actually the most popular just because I never know what I will be able to get the kids to eat. Today Payton had a banana before she ate breakfast because she got up a lot earlier than Phoebe and she only nibbled at the muffin tin, but man, Phoebe made up for that!!

I was going to make a blueberry coffee cake for breakfast, but I remembered that it was Breakfast Muffin Tin day, so I made some mini chocolate chip corn muffins instead. (They only took 10mins to cook instead of 45-50mins... don't think the kids would have waited) I still have to make the coffee cake now before the blueberries go bad, but I'm going to ship it out tonight with Chef Hubby when he goes to play cards with his buddies.

Anyway, here it is...

chocolate chip mini muffins, ham and egg scramble, bacon
Peanut butter english muffin, watermelon, waffle with cinnamon and sugar
They ate a LOT of it today too!! I'm very excited... hehe. Ever made a muffin tin, or even a meal that your kids just won't touch? I go through that just about everyday... it's so defeating after a while! Well, one meal down today. I actually bought the english muffins so the kids could make their own little individual pizzas for lunch or dinner. We have some cheeses and meats they can use. Hey, I should just make that into another muffin tin!! lol... I'm on a roll!
Hope you all have a great day - I get to start pre-season conditioning at the High School today. OK, well, I don't actually do the conditioning. I make sure that everyone has clearance, and there aren't any medical conditions, etc. I also get to take care of all of the athletes who decided they weren't going to prepare themselves over the summer for the fall sport. The first two weeks are AWFUL!!!

Friday, August 15, 2008

mmm... sleep!

So this morning I rolled over and looked at the clock... it was 9:45. Yes, 9:45! I freaked out. Chef hubby was just getting out of the shower and I asked him if the kids were ok. He said he thought so, but hadn't heard either of them yet. How could he have not at least checked on them? What if something was wrong? What if Payton fell off her little toddler bed and bumped her head on... I don't know, something?? They just don't sleep this late...

I jumped out of bed to make sure nothing was wrong! As I peaked into Payton's room, I saw that she wasn't in bed and neither were her blanket or stuffed bunny. She had crawled onto the cozy quilted rocker in the corner of her room and was "reading" a book to her bunny... hehe! When she saw me, she jumped down and ran over, "Mama"! It was cool.

Then we walked over to the other side of the house where Phoebe was sitting at her table, in her room, with a book and she had turned on her tv. Is it already that time where my kids can entertain themselves until I wake up, or is this a fluke?!?! I guess it doesn't really matter. In a few weeks, Phoebe is supposed to start pre-school, at least for two days a week, so we will be getting up earlier. I have to tell you though, after staying up to watch the olympics this week, this was a very welcome surprise!

Well, now I have to get my lazy butt into the shower so I can get ready for work. After waking up that late, there isn't much time left to get things done before heading out. Have a great day!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Commercial Break...

OK... so I am an athletic trainer. I get to help protect against injuries, as well as, care for all of the injuries that do occur at the high school I work at. I've worked in the collegiate level in both Division I and III... and I have to say, after seeing all I've seen, I can't figure out what sports to get my kids involved in!

I was thinking maybe soccer, but then there's year round soccer camps that I've had to cover, but not much equipment to buy. The same pretty much goes for volleyball and basketball. I love my athletes and think that girls should have the same opportunity for variety in sports... can we please get rid of the skirts in field hockey and girl's lacrosse though?!?! I mean come on, they have to wear goggles and mouthguards, they're tough sports, wear shorts!!

Then there's dance and cheering. Both are awesome physically, but dance has all these specialities and cheering has the bimbo stigma. Gymnastics is cute when they are little, with the tumbling and cartwheels, but Chelsie in the olympics was supposedly competing with a fractured ankle... what the heck is up with that?! I think this sport takes it a little too far. I mean, in China they take the kids away from their family when they are just 3 yrs old! Isn't the cruel?

Right now, I'm thinking that maybe I will put them both into Karate so at least they will always be able to protect themselves. I guess my big fear is that later in life they won't just be arguing over who stole who's shoes, but instead duking it out! OK - I guess that I won't be able to protect them from everything so I should just be thankful that football, at least in high school, is just for boys, and at this point, there are no rugby teams prior to college.

Am I alone in my concerns? I might just have different views because of my position on the sidelines for so long now. Who knows? All I know is I have 2 little kids with lots and lots of energy and at some point, I am going to have to chose an outlet for them to release it all!! Aaahhh!!


OK, so this week I have been completely exhausted! I mean, I am dragging some serious butt! It's the olympics... I'm hooked! Sorry, I'm a little stressed. It's 10:45pm right now and they just said "Girl's gymnastics all around begins live, in 40 minutes"...

LIVE IN 40 MINUTES - are they serious?!! I have kids that get up in the morning. I haven't even really snuggled this week. I have a few swaps that end next Friday and I am trying like hell to force myself to get those done by the end of the weekend. I'm writing this while they are doing yet another background story of Michael Phelps... not that I'm complaining, this guys is freaking amazing!!

Well, I have to go - race is starting! Wish me luck!!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Getting Out with the Girls!

Today Elizabeth, Jenny, and I decided to get together for lunch because this is my last Monday off. Starting Monday, preseason at the high school starts and I get to work usual 5-6 day work week again... good and bad.

A major plus is that I don't have to be at school until 2:00pm instead of 12:30. That doesn't seem to make much of a difference, but it's HUGE!! I mean, the zoo doesn't even open until 10, so if we want to go, we have to rush in and out in order to get home to have lunch and do whatever needs to get done before mommy heads to work. I have to admit though, i am going to miss my three day weekends!!

OK, so anyway, we decided to meet for lunch. It sounds simple until I add the torrential downpours we had. I'm not even exaggerating! My camera decided to die on me so I didn't get any pics, but there were entire streets closed off due to flooding. Chef Hubby was in downtown and said that manhole covers were blown off by mini geisers. I wish I had picks!!

But we are diehards... we still got to lunch with the 4 kids in tow. We each had a helper though. Elizabeth came with her mom and I picked up Jenny on the way. It was yummy. Phoebe was sick, so she slept on the comfy bench while we chatted etc. Oh, for all of those people thinking I am an absolute horrible mom for bringing my child out in the rain while she's sick... She has a cold. She is a drama queen, and she was completely protected from the elements... I promise!!

We were able to chat and eat and enjoy the warm of the local diner. We like frequenting the local places, as opposed to the major chains, because it's usually cozier, cheaper, and the service rocks! Face it, with the big chains they don't care if they aren't going to see you again. They have so much money to put into advertising that if you leave, someone else will find them. It's just as important to support the local stores, restaurants, lumber yards, to name a few, as it is to shop at the local farmer's markets. Keep it in the area!! But always have fun!!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Blog Award...

Elizabeth from My Crafty Mess and Anne from Bee Handmand have nominated me for a blog award. Isn't that soo cool! I found this out before I went on vacation and couldn't get time to sit and think about my acceptance speech until now... hehe!

The award comes with these rules:
1. The winner can put the logo on their blog.
2. Link to the person you received your award from.
3. Nominate at least 7 other blogs.
4. Put links of those blogs on yours.
5. Leave a message on the blogs you’ve nominated.
6. Write an acceptance speech in the style of the Academy Awards, thanking every body’s mother, father, sister, brother, aunties and uncles and the kitchen staff at your favorite restaurant! So here are a few of my favorites!! I hereby nominate the following blogs:
A Little Bit of Life
How to Eat a Cupcake
And now I get to do my acceptance speech... ugh!! The pressure...
I would like to thank my hubby for allowing me time to write this by occupying the kids, making breakfast and changing the laundry. I would also like to thank Elizabeth for turning me onto blogging, and swapping, and now even flickr! Thanks girl!! I have to thank my mom and my grandmother for always being crafty and always letting me use my imagination and enhancing my skills as I was growing up. I hope I can do as well of a job with my little girls! Thank everyone who actually reads this!! It's been fun :o)

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Oh yeah...

I was reading Anne's blog and realized that I forgot to mention the meal that Henry cooked for my brother and SIL's friends on Saturday night. It was so cool! We stayed local and made a whole meal using what the area had to offer. We went to the farmer's market in Manhattan, KS saturday morning and were actually trying to figure out whether we wanted bison, beef, lamb, or pork... yeah. That's when you know you aren't in New England anymore!

We ended up getting some bison tenderloin, pork loin on the bone (pork chops), and some polish pork sausage for the protein portion of the meal. We headed over to the veggies and although the corn looked super fresh and yummy, Chef Hubby said it was too "everyday". He instead grabbed some carrots, red potatoes, and acorn squash.

He marinated the bison in balsamic and coriander, brined the pork chops (salt/sugar solution), and then threw all of the meat on the grill. As far as the veggies, he roasted the carrots and acorn squash and salt encrusted the potatoes. After roasting the squash, he removed the "meat" from the peel and mashed it with some salt, butter, and brown sugar... can you say yummy??!

I didn't even think about getting a picture of the spread, but you can probably imagine it was awesome!! Anyway, that was one of the highlights of the weekend and I haven't posted any food stuff for a while - hope you liked it! As usual, if you want more specific preparation descriptions, feel free to ask!

We made it!!

So Chef Hubby and I were able to get away for almost 5 full days... hehe!! It was so much fun :o)

We went to Kansas State for a few days and then spent a few days in Kansas City, Missouri with my brother and sister in law. It was fun, restful, and much needed! Thank guys for a great time - it was awesome!

I also was able to fly without incident. I wore what are called "Sea Bands" instead of having to resort to dramamine or Kava Kava, a natural relaxant, so I actually felt normal and highly recommend them to anyone who gets motion sickness!! I bought them a few years ago when I had to go on a boat while I was pregnant and unable to take the meds. They cost less than 10 bucks and are reusable... and as I stated - YOU FEEL NORMAL!! No recovery period or grogginess... it was great!

See how awesome the sky looked while we flew... and yes that is another plane. We saw it while we were flying. I think we were over Washington DC or something. We saw 4 or 5 other planes, but it took a little while before it ocurred to me that it might make a cool pic.

So there, I flew and felt good. I missed the kids, but I wasn't stressed... well, not the whole time anyway. We called them one day when they were going to bed and Phoebe cried, that made us feel really bad, but she was just tired.

We saw the Red Sox too!! Not at a game, but walking from the hotel to a restaurant on the streets of Kansas City. Here is where I have to admit that I had no idea who they were. Actually none of us did, except my brother... and it didn't register with him until they had walked by, so I was only able to get a picture of their butts... lol!! Oh well, I can still say, I saw the Red Sox!

My brother would be so disappointed in me for not remembering any of their names, but all I can say is one of the two guys in the back is Tim Wakefield. I know, I know, I definitely would not make a good journalist or anything, but at least we had fun!! I actually felt bad for the players though. We were staying in the same hotel and when we were heading back, there were a bunch of people camped out with bags of balls and piles of bats. I don't think that would make for a fun trip, what do you think?

Shouldn't these guys be able to walk down the street without getting stopped? Should there be a one item limit? Would it be rude for them to walk by without signing? Why isn't it considered rude when people chase them? I don't know, I was just wondering if anyone had any thoughts?

Well, we've been back for a few hours and I need some recovery time from my time away... lol. Good night everyone!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Something to Make You Laugh...

Ok, so I keep thinking that I should post some of the hilarious things that come out my kids mouths, but I always forget. Today I was websurfing and saw someone actually did just that, so I had to pop back onto my blog and type it out.

We had an older computer that didn't run very well, so you would have to reboot it a LOT. I went into the den (now it's Phoebe's room) and started working on it while the kids were playing in the other room. As usual, it froze and I had to shut it down. Immediately after I shut it down, Phoebe came in, looked at the computer and in the most serious little voice said, "Mommy, are you all done pretending to do something?" I didn't know what to say!

Figured that I would make your day - hope it worked!!

At That Point...

I'm at the point where my baby is becoming a big kid and although I thought I was, I'm not quite ready for it.

Payton has been showing off her climbing skills and recently climbed out of her pack-n-play with ease. She's almost 21 months old and I know it's normal for the age, but Phoebe never escaped "confinement"... lol. This is entirely new to me. I switched Phoebe into her "big girl" bed when she was almost 2 yrs old, but that was because we were expecting Payton and I was not about to buy another convertible crib. Fortunately, the first was a gift from Chef Hubby's grandmother. I also, wanted to do it well before we were going to actually need it for the baby so Phoebe didn't think she was kicked out because of the baby (I know, she was, but she didn't have to know that!!)

Anyway, so back to Payton's big girl bed... Chef Hubby picked out the crib and it's beautiful and sophisticated BUT it's a 2 step bed. This means it converts simply from a crib to a full size bed. We recently ordered the conversion kit, because the crib had been discontinued and we had to contact the company, etc etc, but I wasn't ready to put her into a full size and risk her "cracking her skull". That's one of my favorite sayings, BTW. "Don't climb on that, you're going to crack your skull!!" or "Don't throw that, it's going to crack Payton's skull"... lol!! I think it's cute!

Can you tell I have the attention span of a flea today?! Sorry about that... So Payton slept in her bed and part of me was cheering inside!! Yay! All that's left now is the potty training and the baby stuff will be gone... yippee!!! But then a little part was sad. my baby girls are growing up. Phoebe is going into preschool this year... seriously! OMG!!

Phoebe is going to go to school and I won't be there to make sure she actually eats, or shares, or doesn't get her "skull cracked". I won't be able to kiss her boo boo if she falls. It's kind of scary and I never thought I would feel like this! I'm not the overprotective type. I have the high school kids babysit and my grandparents and my mom. Hubby and I are going to visit my brother for 5 days without the kids and I'm ok with that (mostly!). What is my problem?

Anyway, I'm gonna go hug em tight and figure out what we are going to do today. I already made two loaves of bread this morning so my house smells super yummy!! I made a Blueberry Banana Bread that I found in the Taste of Home magazine (you can never go wrong with these, even though they are $10!!) I have never bought one and not wanted to try at least half of the recipes!

I also made a loaf of Blueberry Streusel Bread. I used the blueberry muffin recipe from Mrs. Letourneau's blog. It looked yummy! Then I topped it with some crumbs that Chef Hubby had made.

I should get going and see if the girls are ok - they are being very very quiet... in my room. Never a good thing... lmao! I will post the recipe for the Blueberry Banana Bread as soon as I find out if it actually tastes good!!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

The Beach... and Playground... and well everything!!

Remember, I'm on vacation, so we've been doing lots of stuff these past two weeks. This is a quick recap... with a bunch of pics!

We started by heading over to Elizabeth's family's house with the kids to take a swim in the pool and play in the sandbox and all that fun little kid stuff.
Did you know that you could tie the noodle around the kid and it works better than a swimmer?!?
Me either!! It was soo cool!!
Then I had to get my hair done so I headed downtown. While I was there, I figured that I would go to the visitor's center and hit up some of the local stores to grab some items, postcards, maps, magnets, etc, for my swaps. I have to tell you, though, I never expected to see this on my journeys...
How cool do they look?? Can I just say, it was 93 degrees that day! I wanted to get them some water. It's cool to live in a historic district, huh? Bet you wanna come visit now??

Elizabeth and I were able to sneak out of the house without any of the kids!!! Isn't that the best feeling, every now and then?! We went blueberry picking... This is what 6 pounds looks like!
THEN!!! My mom and I grabbed the kids, and LH and headed to the beach with the girls. I'm not telling her I put her picture on my blog, cuz I think she'd kill me, but I think she looks awesome in her cute little swimsuit!

Anyway, we had a great time. We packed a lunch and brought a cool little half tent and blanket and toys... it was fun! Payton, once again, way more of a daredevil than Phoebe.

AND... Chef Hubby and I brought the kids to the playground. They loved it... freaked out when we left, so we had to hit up one of the local creameries before heading home... lol! Did I mention I've been avoiding the official weigh ins right now? I weigh myself to make sure that I don't get out of control, but I haven't been to WW in a few weeks... oops!

And finally... We had a big storm. There were tornado warnings and everything!! Nothing actually really happened, but we had a lot of rain... it was sideways!!! So we let the kids play in it... They had fun, it was free, and practically no clean up - YAY!!

Well, I go back to work Tuesday... wonder what I can squeeze in between now and then?!? hehe

The Fair!

We headed to the Barnstable Fair today. It was the last day which meant, now or never. See, now the worst part about the fair is that it's in the Cape Cod area which is very touristy. I have lived here for my entire life and have never really been to Cape Cod because I HATE traffic!! So today, what should have been a 30 min drive turned into a little over an hour. I know for traffic, that doesn't seem bad, but I HATE traffic... remember. Just to let you know, I'm not a road rage traffic hater. I'm actually a very very nice traffic hater because I terrified that someone's going to shoot me if I'm not - now do you understand the traffic thing?

Ok - so we are on our way... until we get to the Bourne Bridge. A very scary bridge. Just before you get on it has a big sign that I wanted to get a pic of, but couldn't reach the camera. Anyway, it basically is supposed to urge someone who is suicidal to call good samaritans instead of jumping... isn't that insane?! I mean I got depressed seeing it! So then we have to go over this super big bridge... Chef Hubby finally reached the camera while we were decending...

Then we got to the fair, grabbed the kids and headed over... They loved the animals. Well, Payton was a little more comfortable with them than Phoebe, as you can see

(I missed her getting licked - I know it's gross, but it was really cute - honest!!)

Then there's the food!! Chef Hubby found a meal "made for him".... lol! I didn't think it looked very good, but it tasted yummy. This is a "Pot Roast Dinner Sundae". It has mashed potatoes, corn, pot roast, gravy, and a cherry tomato on top!! I had to get a picture... lol

I had a chicken pita with lettuce and tomato, nothing to write home about. It was good, just not picture worthy. BUT... a giant chocolate eclair for dessert! This thing was about 8-9 inches long and ended up feeding me, hubby, and the kids! Look at it after I gave Phoebe a chunk... it's huge!

So we headed back and recovered from our day. Aaaahhh... hubby let me take a nap... hehe

Friday, July 25, 2008

Pics later

While I've been on vacation, I've been keeping busy. We started by heading to the campground, then wound up going to Regal Reptiles, Buttonwood Park Zoo, putting around the downtown area, playing mini golf and hitting some balls on the driving range, taking the kids to the playground at the Fort and going to the beach, having a girl's night out, saw the "Dark Knight" (without the kids) and I managed to sneak quite a bit of shopping into that. We even had some ceiling fans installed.

So now, I am home with two kids that aren't feeling well, and Chef Hubby is off doing a catering... it isn't the best way to end a vacation, but at least it makes it a little more tempting to go back!

Anyway, tonight I am going to try to post some pics, but please don't hate me if I don't get a chance. As usual, stay safe!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

It's Hot!!!

OMG... I am so not good with the heat. I mean, I've gotten better than I once was, but still not good with it! Today showed that it felt like 96 degrees. I think it might have been an understatement. We have one little AC in the bedroom so right now the kids are bunked up in our room. Payton has her pack-n-play and Phoebe is sprawled out on her toddler bed... they look so cute and innocent. Isn't it amazing how no matter what the day throws at you. All the chaos, and tantrums, and fights... and when they fall asleep you can almost see the little halos bobbing above their heads.

Well, I'm gonna go settle in on the couch with the hubby. He got back from Vegas yesterday and we're still trying to catch up :o) Have a good night!!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Recipe Cards

I had become obsessed with making recipe postcards, but then I was introduced to the 6x6in recipe cards that apparently, people collect. I was nervous about making them. I didn't want to disappoint the collectors, but I think I did a pretty good job!! Let me know what you think...

BTW - if you are interested in any of the recipes, just leave me your email and I will get them to you!