Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
Monday, August 2, 2010
Both of them will be spending time with a young stay-at-home mom whom I have been slowly been able to get to know. We made the switch from the daycare ministry Jonathan was attending because he is going off to the big "K" and I would rather have little "T" in more of a home setting. You know, besides the fact that I was able to pick the kids up one day when Jonathan was playing on the playground with no teacher outside and drove off, no one the wiser. That's another story for another day! Let's get back to me being a mess!
Let's face it, I do not do change well. When it involves my kids, it is even worse! I love working-at least the line of work I do. And we really wouldn't be able to pay all the bills if I were not working, but the GUILT sometimes just kills me! And the debate of whether or not I am making the right decision plays over in my mind like an old record. I have been secretly glad that Jonathan is spending the first few weeks with the new babysitter, because he is old enough to grill when I get home. "What did you do today?" "What did you eat for breakfast?" "Did the babysitter commit any crimes while Mommy was at work?" you know, the usual.
Speaking of which, I should really call in to see how the "drop off" went. Be prepared for a bigger mess in three weeks...in the mean time, I need to do some stalking...
Friday, July 23, 2010
Romaine lettuce ripped into pieces, tossed with Light Italian dressing, topped with dried cranberries and pecan pieces.
I prepared this salad for some mommy friends who recently had babies and got rave reviews back. Along with it, I prepared this yummy pasta dish that is meant to be a freezer dish--but works well as a meal meant to feed more than one family.
Ham and Cheese Penne
2 boxes of penne noodles
1 cup butter or margarine
4 cloves of minced garlic
2 tsp salt
8 cups milk (I use skim)
2 tsp Dijon mustard
8 cups of shredded Colby cheese (I buy it in a block, then shred it myself to save money)
16 oz of deli ham, cut into thin strips
*This makes (2) 13 X 9 casseroles
In a really large pot, cook the pasta according to the box directions and drain it. Clean the pot so that you can use it again. In a large skillet, melt the butter and roast the garlic. Add the flour and salt, whisking continuously. Place the mixture back into the large pot. This is easier than trying to find a skillet deep enough to hold the milk.
Cook over medium heat until all the lumps are gone. Once the mixture begins to bubble, slowly add the milk--again, constantly whisking. Once it begins to boil, allow it boil for about a minute before adding the mustard and cheese.
Continue to stir until the cheese is melted. Add the ham. Then the pasta. Pour the pasta mixture into the casserole dishes. Either freeze or bake uncovered for 30-45 minutes at 350.
If freezing, allow the dish to thaw overnight in the refrigerator before baking.
I have one more recipe to share...
Baked Summer Squash
While in past years I have fried the heck out of my summer squash, this year I was looking for a healthier way to get that crisp flavor. I simply sliced the squash into circles with a medium thickness, sprinkled them with seasoned salt, and bake them at 350 for about 10 minutes. I made this while family was visiting and all the children gobbled it up!
That's what I call summer lovin!
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
I've heard other mothers say that as long as their child is eating, they don't care how they eat. That is just ridiculous to me!
That is why I really take the time to try and teach what I think is considered modern day manners. I don't expect my children to be seen and not heard--which is exactly what was expected of me as a child. Instead, I want them to be polite individuals that don't push people out of their way in public, say please and thank you, and don't gross me out or embarrass me at the dinner table. So, last night, my little T-Rex ate with his fork...albeit he only used two fingers to hold it, but that was okay. And just because my son's favorite dinosaur happens to be a carnivore, doesn't mean T-Rex can't try something new--so the veggies were eaten too.
Experts say that it is best to model manners to children. They also suggest correcting them physically, not verbally, at the dinner table. That is something I will keep in mind for the future, because I do tend to get in the trap of "complaining" about behavior at dinner, which doesn't make for easy digestion for any of us. Handing my son a napkin will probably give him a better clue anyway than telling him fifty times to wipe his face.
It is not often I get to dine with a T-Rex, so it was a rather fun meal and I think we were able to watch our manners and still remember that sometimes a five-year-old just really needs to be a five-year-old. We left the stomping and the growling, however, for after desert!
Thursday, May 13, 2010
Doesn't look so healthy does it? Alright, we have far to go on our healthier journey, but at least it wasn't made with fat filled beef! Here's the recipe (via allrecipes.com) if you would like to give it a try:
1 1 /2 pounds potatoes
6Tbs. butter or marg.
1 cup milk
salt and pepper to taste
1 lb ground turkey
2 packages of instant gravy (although I used premade in a can)
1 cup water
1 (16 oz) package of frozen peas and carrots, thawed (although I cut up some organic carrots)
2 cups shredded cheese of your choice (that's where the low-fat cheese comes in!)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease medium baking dish.
Cover chunked potatoes in saucepan and boil for 20 to 30 minutes, or until soft. Drain, beat and add butter, milk, salt and pepper.
Brown turkey in a medium skillet, add gravy. Stir often until bubbly.
Add turkey mixture to the baking dish. Next, layer peas and carrots, then top with mashed potatoes. Sprinkle on the cheese and bake 20 to 30 minutes.
Monday, April 12, 2010
The new view to the dinning area---complete with dishwasher AFTER!
I love our new kitchen and it seems so much larger!!! Not to mention, that the space is so much more user friendly! When we took out that line of cabinets to the dinning room, we extended the counter top to create a bar area, which is perfect for entertaining! And my oldest son can sit there when he comes home from Kindergarten this fall and do his homework while I make dinner! My husband and I can actually be in the same space at the same time too. Before, we would bump into each other because there wasn't enough counter space.
I would say our DIY was a success!
Wednesday, February 3, 2010
Why do we, as moms, however, feel guilty for now matter what decisions we choose to make? I am already 3cm dilated and 70% effaced, so doesn't that count for something? After all, my body has been somewhat busy! Not to mention, when I am at work, I have to suffer through stupid questions and some times down right rudeness from fellow employees. One "gentleman" actually asked me if I was having twins! Another "gentleman" keeps telling me not to sneeze, or I might have that baby...which is of course, followed by laughter on his part. So, you, see making sure I have all my ducks in order and having some special time with my son before this baby arrives makes a heck of a lot of sense to me! On the flip side...I want to make sure I spend as much time with my new baby as possible and taking an earlier leave means I need to return to work earlier. Although, I think it is crazy to think that the hard work of having a baby only begins once the baby is here!
Did you take an early maternity leave, or work right up to your due date?
Friday, January 29, 2010
The Cat in the Hat is also turning 50 in the year 2010...and who doesn't LOVE the Cat in the Hat?
Since there is a 15 year age difference between me and my eldest sister, we didn't exactly "grow up" together, but she certainly helped ME grow up and I have some wonderful memories of her throughout my childhood. One of those memories includes my 13th birthday, when my "big sis" didn't realize exactly how old her "baby sis" was, and gave me some pretty pink plastic princess shoes! They were about three sizes too small!
My big sister has always been there for me...no matter what! She knew what to tell me and when to tell me things growing up, like mom and dad really aren't as evil as they seem, or that boy doesn't know what he's missing! Most of all, though, she was FUN! She took me places my parents normally wouldn't--because there were just too many of us and not enough time or money to go around--and I loved it! We went to movies, the circus, the mall, the zoo, you name it!
The thing I am loving about her now that we are both grown women, is that she has now become the fun "aunt" to my son! Just this past weekend she showed up at my door, unexpected, and asked if she could take Jonathan home for the weekend. I most certainly needed the break, being 9 months preggers and all, and Jonathan was ready to go---after all, Aunt Gail has 5 doggies to play with at her house and all the junk food you can dream of! They watched movies, played cards, and stayed up waaaay too late--all the things I remember loving when I went to stay the night with her as a kid!
So, in the spirit of youth, and not looking or acting 50, I hope she loves these pretty pink princess shoes I got her for her birthday present!
Happy Birthday, Gail! I love you!
Monday, January 25, 2010
Anyone who really knows me knows that making babies has not been easy for me. It took two years and some minor surgery to become pregnant with Jonathan. It wasn't that my parts weren't working, they just had some serious issues. I'll save all those details for another time...but the point is, even though we were committed to keep trying, I never really thought that I could have another child. Needless to say, my hubby and I were elated when we found out we were adding to our family! And Jonathan was just as ecstatic!
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
This is an easy and cheap form of entertainment. Simply find some squirt bottles you might have around the house i.e. workout bottles or old dish detergent bottles. Fill them up with cold water (warm water will just melt the snow) and add some food coloring. Open the doors to outside and let your little Picasso squirt his heart out on the snow to create works of art! We used the back yard...just in case our neighbors were not so fond of my budding artist.
Building A Milk Jug Igloo
Okay, so this is a little bigger activity to tackle, but after seeing one, I decided we simply have to try it! A friend of mine is a preschool teacher and she does this with her class every year and it is quite impressive!
We are in the process of collecting our milk jugs for this project. Luckily the one thing I have been craving with this pregnancy is milk, so hopefully we will have enough gathered to build a small igloo before the winter is over.
If you would like to attempt this project, here are a few tips:
-make sure to clean out the jugs, there is nothing like the smell of sour milk! Even after cleaning them, you might want to keep the caps on to ensure no odor leaks! And it adds a little bit of flair!
-Use a HIGH temp glue gun. This is important, because if you use a regular glue gun, your jugs will not stick as nicely and all of your hard will will topple into a pile of jugs.
-Get friends and neighbors in on the art of collecting those milk jugs...it will take about 100 jugs to make the size igloo pictured above. You can get away with using less though if you are only building it for a single child. Although the sky is the limit, if you build it, they will play!
-Create a foundation first by simply placing jugs in a semi-circle the size you want your igloo to be.
-Placing a yard stick in the opening for the door may help your igloo keep its shape until you have it built. Simply remove it when you are done!
Something I haven't tried, but have been interested in, is snowshoeing. Our local parks department has a wonderful program that allows you to rent shoes for just $3. They even give you a lesson on how to put them on and how to walk in the them. Since all you have to do is walk, this is an easy way for the family to get some exercise in a fun new way, and to see some great scenery! Check with you local parks department to see what else they might have to offer!
Wednesday, January 6, 2010
In the past, I have thought that I needed to put "fancy" meals on my meal planner, which usually ends up in failure, because I NEVER cook anything fancy, and our families tastes buds usually don't lend to the finer delicacies. So, this time, I have included our favorites right off the bat and things that I like to cook, hopefully making it easier for me to stick to. I really wanted to knock out a whole month of meal planning at once, but so far I have only figured out this week. That's okay, though, because it will still save on our budget as we will not be as tempted to run out and get fast food. Not to mention I can plan our meals to what happens to be on sale in the grocery stores. Since my energy level is a little low these days, I am LOVING my slow cooker...so if you have any recipes you would like to share, please do so!
Also--I have never cooked for the freezer and I need some help! Anyone have any tips and meal ideas for me?