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!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Mommies Day

Chef Hubby left this morning to go to Vegas for three days, for a food show. I'm actually on vacation for the first time in about 5 yrs, so I think that was pretty nice of me, huh? I had a plan though. I figure I'll be OK as long as I have a plan. So my plan for today was to have my grandparents babysit, as usual, even though I wasn't going to work. Pretty cool, huh?

So we headed over to their house by 10:30 and after mingling a little, I headed on my way by 11:30. I was free to enjoy some alone time... ahhh...

I grabbed some coffee and be-lined it to LH's house. She had some work to do and a doctor's appointment later in the afternoon, so I only stayed for a little while, but we planned to meet tomorrow at the beach with the kids and my mom. (My mom has been trying to get me to go to the beach for years - seriously!!)

I got to run some errands before starting home to pick up, Rebel, my little chihuahua. He hates being alone and it had already been about 3 hrs. When I got there my mom was home (she lives downstairs) so we got to chat a little without the kids. It was so cool. Usually, we are juggling adult conversation and knock-knock jokes!

After a while, I off to nana and pepere's. They had us over for supper, and my aunt was there too... this day was awesome. I think I'm gonna have to do it more often.

Oh yeah, I guess I have to squeeze it all in now. In less than 2 wks, I'm back to work. Oh well. Enjoy it while I can, right? I hope Chef Hubby's having fun too!

Camping... sort of!

So Friday we went camping for the weekend with the kids...

It seemed cool when we got there and were setting up. Don't you notice that things don't always stay the way you planned?? I mean, seriously, that whole "best laid plans of mice and men often run astray" doesn't even begin to cover it! See these two cuties? Don't they look peaceful? Well, this was the last time they got along!! Not fun!!

We go to sleep. The big ginormous tent we bought had a TON of room. We had a queen size mattress, a pack-n-play and all of our stuff on one HALF of the tent... lol! I told you we went camping, but I never said I was roughing it! Anyway, the kids woke up at 5am... seriously. I know many of you are saying, what's the big deal? They're kids. Well, my kids get up at 8-9 o'clock, not 5! Chef hubby actually thought we were gonna be packing up and going home right then. I was not being a good person at that time of the morning.

So being the awesome, amazing, adorable... (I could go on and on) hubby, he made us all an awesome breakfast. She how hard he was working? Well, if you look closely, you will notice our little hamburger grill sitting on the picnic table... it didn't start there. At first, he was cooking on our plastic table. I'm sure you can see where this is going - yeah, he started to smell melting plastic and had to move it! That was hot!!

See - told you it was a yummy breakfast...

He made scrambled eggs, bacon, and homefries... and COFFEE!! My man actually bought a percolator so we could have coffee in the morning! He even thought of the nondairy creamer stuff. Isn't he awesome :o)

Notice the ginormous tent?? Now this is the funny part that you can't see. Inside that tent we had a queen size air mattress, a CD player/radio (battery operated), a ceiling fan/light/nightlight (battery operated), a lantern (rechargeable), and a cool little travel potty for Phoebe, that uses diapers, so no worrying about spillage. Yeah, we were so hooked up!!

Then we went to the beach...

Trust me, they look cuter when you can't hear the whining, fighting, and shreiking... but we made it and now we are home. Think we should try it again?!?

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Muffin Tins!

Have I mentioned recently how much I LOVE the whole muffin tin thing?!? Thank you once again Katy!! I love it and I want to do it all the time... lol. The funniest thing is Phoebe loves it too! I asked her what she wanted to breakfast sunday and she said the muffin thing... lmao! So I couldn't let her down!

I was looking through our cabinets and actually found an awesome little muffin tin that has 8 spots instead of 6, or even 12. It's the perfect size! I used that for Phoebe and gave Payton her own. I usually use anything I can think of, but because it was Sunday brunch, I decided to limit myself to breakfood only...
Payton's Muffin Tin: (left to right)
Watermelon, waffles, apple jacks, scrambled egg, cinnamon french toast, cookie crisp cereal
Phoebe's Muffin Tin: (left to right)
Maple syrup, cinnamon french toast, cookie crisp cereal, watermelon, waffles, puffins, apple jacks, yogurt

This is the family enjoying our new little setup on the porch. Don't you just love the large pack-n-play feel I got when I used the railing guard I found on the One Step Ahead website! Now, I don't have to worry about the kids busting through a rail or throwing their toys over the side. I hope that you all enjoyed the weekend as much as we did!!

Friday, July 4, 2008

Ladies - You MUST read this!!

I was checking out some of my favorite blogs and hopped onto Glued 2 Paper and her blog today is HILARIOUS!!! You have to check it out. Anyway, that's it for today. Heading to the shower now... I have a friend picking me up in the morning so we can head to a local farmers market - without the kids!! hehe

Thursday, July 3, 2008

A Little Perspective for the Day

I have always been one of those people who want it all. I know that sounds horrible, but I can't describe it any other way. I've never minded having to work harder to actually get it, but I've always wanted it. I guess that's what happens when you grow up in a rich town, not being so rich. I actually remember signing up for an art class in college and then dropping out because I was going to have to pay for the materials, and didn't want to ask my parents for the extra money.

Don't get me wrong. We never went without, and we were a very happy family. I told my mom recently that I never really knew that we were cutting corners growing up until I was on my own. I actually believed that corned beef hash from the can mixed with mashed potatoes was the best supper ever!! It wasn't until my husband and I owned a breakfast place, that I realized that was a side dish.

We also never went on "family vacations". There were four kids, my brother and two step brothers. My parents didn't really have the money to bring us to Disney, like all of the other kids. We went camping in Vermont every year and we looked forward to that! It cost my parents 100 bucks for food and gas and we had a blast!

But I always thought that when I had kids I'd give them all I could. I've started changing that a little. Talking to friends and coworkers, I've started changing my ideas of what "everything" is. A friend and I would bring the kids to the zoo and each time, Phoebe would ask for a toy and I'd give in. It was starting to get costly. EL suggested the squished pennies once. Ya know what, Phoebe LOVES them!! I also try to offer her special time instead of toys now too. I've started to realize that what I had was enough. It isn't the toys or the clothes or any of the stuff you buy.

It's being a family and teaching the kids to cherish what they have and who they are. It's teaching them to care about others and learning that what you have, no matter how little or how much is actually "everything" you need. I was searching blogs tonight and saw this and it put it into Perspective.

So I wish everyone "enough"! Goodnight :o)

Not Feeling Up to It...

That's how I felt today...

I woke up this morning and felt like I had been hit by a truck. Never a good thing! I decided that I would walk anyway... at first anyway. I feel really bad because lately EL and I haven't been doing a very good job getting out and walking like we had been. It's difficult with all of the kids, then all of appointments we both have in the mornings, and of course that fact that the hubbies have been home more. But basically, it comes down to the whole motivation factor... it's just not there! What happened to it?!?! If you see it, can you let it know we miss it!

So this morning I woke up and tried to feel better. I drank some water, tried to eat some breakfast, and then decided that there was one thing to do... climb back into bed and admit defeat. Chef Hubby was sweet and actually let me sleep until the phone woke me up at 11:00am. Wow, that was pretty awesome! I had to go to work for 12:30 so i decided to make lunch for the kids and get ready for work. Chef Hubby took that time to work on the yard. He's so cute. We're having a cookout this weekend and hope tons of people are gonna come, so we bought LOTS of food... yummy!

Then I went to work and I started feeling yucky again. All of a sudden the pregnant jokes were flying!! NO - I am NOT pregnant!!! Can't a female just not feel well without that whole thing being thrown about!?! Men suck sometimes!

Anyway, so I worked til 6:00, came home, announced that I wasn't feeling well and went back to bed. Now, it's 10:30 and Chef Hubby is tired and well, I'm not. Funny how that happens, huh? I am probably gonna check out Swap-bot some more. Maybe work on some paperwork that I've been putting off for a while and then head to bed.

Man, I hope I don't wake up like that tomorrow!! I love my hubby ;o)

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Summer Days

Is it just me or does everyone go into summer thinking "OK, it's summer and I'm gonna eat a bunch of fruit and salad because it's fresh and yummy, and it's about time I get in shape", but instead end up eating the comfy summer foods... You know what I'm talking about:

Ice Cream


Adult Beverages to make the summer not feel so hot

Chips and Dip or Salsa

Any of this ringing a bell?!?!

Well, I'm not the only one. We had a friend over for dinner the other night and she brought over dessert. Cupcakes AND whoppie pies. Isn't she sweet... she couldn't remember what I liked for dessert, so she brought both. You'd figure that after being friends for over 15 yrs she'd remember that if it's dessert, I LOVE it!!! hehe Actually, in all fairness, I was a strict "do-gooder" weight watcher for so long that now when I totally splurge, people think it's weird. It's just so sweet... lol

Well, as I was saying, it's not just me... Here's what Payton though of the cupcakes...

And then came bathtime!! Aren't these towels great?!? I got them at Kohl's for super cheap, the day after Thanksgiving... hehe!!

Here's to eating healthy!! or maybe not...

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Better Late Than Never, Right?!?

So once again, going with Sycamore Stirrings' idea of Muffin Tin Monday. We actually do this a lot now... lol! The kids absolutely LOVE it! AND with the hot weather I don't really want to cook a meal so I get to wimp out a little - good for me and them!

From Left to Right:
bagel with cream cheese, cookie crisp cereal, cubed american cheese, cubed watermelon
edamame, cubed watermelon, diced chicken, parmesan cheese cheez its
bagel with cream cheese, cubed american cheese, grapes, granola bars chopped

So this week had a little less diversity because some of the stuff I knew was going to go fast, I doubled up on. It was really funny though when I was making it because Phoebe kept telling me I forgot the beans... apparently my kids are hooked on the edamame! Thanks Katy!!

I think that I am all caught up now - Sorry I've been slacking... I'm sort of hooked on Swap-bot!

"Quick and Easy Recipes"

OK ... so I have to share two of my very, very favorite recipes from my Campbell Soup cookbooks! These are awesome and super easy. I know everyone is trying to avoid processed foods right now, but hey soup is still better than a stuffed crust pizza, right?? And besides, this isn't a Campbell soup commercial, but most of their popular soups come in the "Healthy Request" option which means far less fat and significantly less sodium!

Here's my #1 Favorite - the first time I tried this, I made it three times that week because I LOVED it!! I've had it with potatoes, pasta, rice... pretty much anything!

Broccoli-Beef Stir-Fry
1 lb boneless beef sirloin
2 Tbsp water
2 cups fresh broccoli florets
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1 can Healthy Request Tomato Soup
2 Tbsp low sodium soy sauce
1 Tbsp vinegar
Salt, pepper, onion and garlic powder to taste for meat
Cooking spray

- Slice the beef across the grain into thin strips
- In a lightly sprayed, non-stick pan cook the beef until browned. I season it as soon as it's in the pan. Also, it may be easier to do half of the meat, remove, then the other half. If there is a lot of grease from your meat, drain it. Usually it's pretty dry, but it depends on the meat you use.
- Add the water, broccoli, ginger and garlic to the pan. Stir-fry until the broccoli is tender.
- Stir in the soup, vinegar, and soy sauce. Heat until boiling, then return the meat to the pan.
- Heat thoroughly, stirring occasionally.
- Serve over rice, pasta, or potatoes - Enjoy!!!

Shortcut Chicken Cordon Bleu
cooking spray
1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast
1 can of Healthy Request Cream of Chicken Soup
2 Tbsp water
2 Tbsp dry white wine
1/2 cup shredded Swiss cheese (2oz)
1/2 cup chopped cooked ham
4 cups cooked egg noodles

- In a sprayed medium skillet over medium-high heat add chicken. (I found this whole recipe easier when I cubed the chicken into 3/4 inch cubes). Cook until browned. I also seasoned this with salt and pepper as soon as I placed it in the pan. Set the chicken aside.
- Add soup, wine, water, cheese and ham. Heat to a boil, stirring often. Return chicken to the pan.
- Reduce heat to low. Cover and cook 5mins, stirring occasionally. Serve with the pasta!

OK, with this one Chef Hubby and I were a little divided... he thought that I should have made twice the amount of sauce, but I thought it was just right. Try it and let me know what you think! I have 5 different Campbell Soup cookbooks and I love them all!! You can't find them just anywhere anymore. I found mine on ebay, but they do have a website. Check it out!

The Countdown Begins

I am soo excited! This week I get to work for three days then I have 4 days off (I get the holiday on Friday and I don't work Mondays in the summer), then I work 4 days and I get my 2 week vacation which means 17 days of just being a mom and wife. Aaahhhh.

I haven't actually done that in so long. I haven't taken a vacation since the summer of 2002. Now, don't get me wrong, we've been away a couple of times for the weekend, but that doesn't really relax you at all. You just rush to leave after work on Friday and make sure you get home early enough on Sunday to be ready to head back to work on Monday. I'm sure you know the drill!

I also get to go see my big brother and sister in law, the first weekend in August. So just in case you are doing the math, that means 17 days off, then work 4 days and head out that evening to see them, then fly back Monday to go back to work Tuesday. I have to admit that little trip should be awesome, but I am so stressed about it, I can't tell you!

I have this issue with planes so we aren't taking the kids like we had initially planned. I can't do it! I can't take care of the kids on the plane while I am trying not to have a meltdown... breathe!! There are many problems with me and a plane. First, I am a claustrophobic and afraid of heights. Throw in the idea that you are giving up all control to some guy in the cockpit that you can't even see and a big old "machine" that sure as hell doesn't look like it should be in the sky!! Anyway, you probably get the picture.

My other problem is the whole babysitting thing. I always feel like I am imposing whenever I ask anyone to watch the kids. I'm telling you, we have very well paid sitters just because I feel bad! Does anyone else have this complex?!?!

Well, I have to get Phoebe some milk and see if Payton is awake yet. Hope you all have a great week! I am sure as heck gonna try!! I'm outta here!!