Monday, February 27, 2012

When "Mind" has no power over "Matter"

"Nobody likes me. Everybody hates me. I think I'll go eat worms."

That, extremely juvenile, statement is how I felt yesterday. It is amazing how the body can mess with the mind, isn't it. I haven't been feeling well. I was on week 3 of a cough and decided to go to the doctor on Thursday. I have bronchitis. Yay. Due to the combination of the coughing, congestion, headaches, inability to exercise and exhaustion from children that wake me up at all hours of the night, I have just been off. Add to all of that hoopla, girlie hormones, and you have the perfect storm of blah.

I got to a point in my day where I sat in my car at the grocery store and cried. I even had the brief thought that maybe I wasn't cut out to be a mom; that I had made the wrong choice. I hate when the self-doubt creeps in. It is maddening that all rational thought can just fly out the window like that! I consider myself a smart person and, under normal conditions, think I am a great parent. We all have our days when we slip and I acknowledge those, but overall, I think I do pretty well. How do we get to that point? How do we go from feeling we have it all together to feeling useless? I hit that point yesterday.

When I began to emerge from my haze in the afternoon, I hugged my children and apologized for how I had acted (which may or may not have included throwing a remote, that my son accidentally hit me with, across the room). I don't know where I am going with this except to ask you what coping mechanisms you use to get yourself out of a funk like that. How do you find the rational thought when you're drowning in your irrationality?

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Menu Planning Sunday

I'm feeling good about the meal planning lately! The last 2 weeks have been an overall success as far as family satisfaction goes. This is huge. Even my husband has been liking the new meals. Let's hope that this week is equally successful.
Sunday: Sloppy Joes with roasted cauliflower (delicious) and cucumber salad
Monday: Chicken tortellini soup with mushrooms and spinach
Tuesday: Shrimp Stir fry over soba noodles
Wednesday: Baby back ribs with coleslaw and baked beans
Thursday: Crock pot Indian butter chicken (Thanks Amber for the idea!)
Friday: Pizza night
Saturday: Dinner with the in-laws

Notes on last week's dinners:
  • The mini corn dogs were delicious. I love corn dogs and hadn't had one in forever and these hit the spot. Nate doesn't like hot dogs (weirdo), so he wasn't a huge fan.
  • Turkey burgers and zucchini fries were great. The kids didn't like the zucchini fries (surprise, surprise). I think next time I make them I will add a little more spice to the coating like some cayenne and some more garlic powder.
  • The stuffed shells were a hit all around! They have spinach inside and are not covered in cheese so they are a bit better for you than the ones I usually make. I made my own marinara for them instead of the turkey meat sauce in the recipe. My son asked for seconds.
  • The chicken taquitos were also awesome. I am not just saying this. I followed the directions, but to make them not spicy for the kids, I put 1/3 of the cream cheese in another bowl and used only a tbs of the green chile sauce and substituted the pepper jack cheese with shredded Mexican cheese for their taquitos. I made ours the normal way. They weren't all that spicy, but were good.
  • The broiled chicken was a little boring. It is funny how grilling makes things taste so much better. I didn't end up making the orzo salad because I ran out of lemon and time, so I subbed with a box of pearled cous cous instead and just broiled the asparagus. 

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Arielle at 2 years & 3 months

Hi, my sweetie pie! It has been a while since I did an update on you and I don't want to forget all of the things you are doing at this stage.

You are a ball of energy. Still my toddler tornado, you dump out every bucket, basket and bin of toys possible and play with the contents for 4.2 seconds before moving onto the next. We are still working on the cleaning up part with you. You will sing the clean up song but think picking up 2 out of the 20 items is sufficient.

You are so affectionate. You snuggle and smooch me to death when you wake up. Speaking of waking up, you stand in your crib (still covered by the tent) and call my name until I come get you. I laid in my bed for a while once to see how long you would rhythmically chant for me....I got to 15 minutes before I was laughing so hard I had to come get you.

Your language skills are crazy! You remember words we read and use them in the right context. When I asked how your dinner was the other night, you replied, "Delectable"! (Thanks Fancy Nancy) You used to say "ama-als" for animals and just last night you progressed to saying "aminals". You are getting closer every day!

There are a few things you say that crack me up. "Nouth" (mouth), you can say bath but say "dafroom", you still say MY instead of I when talking about yourself, you call your brother Natey or Nath (no one ever calls him Nath so I think it is so cute).

You have this SUPER annoying habit of pooping in the tub. I even put you on the potty before you get in. You will sit there for 10 min, say you are done and then, like clockwork, say you have to toot and then poop. This has happened more times than I can count and is so disgusting!! Natey never did this. Please stop. K, thanks.

You are currently obsessed with: princesses, castles, brushing your teeth every time we walk in the bathroom, your shoes, 2 little people lift the flap books that we read e.v.e.r.y. night, snacks as soon as you wake up, your dress up princess 'heels', baby animals, and "scratching my back" (which really means you want to stand behind me in the computer chair and hang on me).

You have regressed a little on eating. You will still eat most of what we put in front of you, but you no longer want to use your utensils to feed yourself. You will happily eat if we poke the food for you to feed yourself, or if we feed it to you. You also are the slowest eater in our family. We are all done and staring at you and you are not 1/4 of the way through your meal. We should all follow your example because, half of the time, I don't think I even taste my food as it is gone so fast!

You have started taking your pjs and diaper off in your crib at night and then yelling that you are nakey. I think I will have to do what I did when Natey started doing this and sew the zipper on your footie jams to the fabric. A few times of doing that and Natey stopped disrobing. Hopefully it works for you too.

You know most of your colors. You sometimes mix up blue and green, but only when they are not obvious or when they are together on the same page. You can count to 3 and often tell me if you see 2 of something in a book or around the house.

You attempt to sing songs and they are so cute. You can get through whole songs if I sing a couple of words and then let you finish each line. You love to dance. I will have to post the "Shake, shake, shake, your booty" video I took last night. You and Natey love our family dance parties and will ask for specific songs.

You would take every stuffed animal in the house to bed if I let you. Currently we have a 6 "friend" rule in the bed. If not, you'd suffocate under all of them.

Some naughty things you've said lately, "dammit" (my fault) and "shush you nouth" (said to anyone who chooses to talk without your permission). When people say things they shouldn't you remind them "no potty talk".

You are growing and changing each day my beauty. I just love your sweet smile and infectious laugh. You keep me on my toes in new and differed ways than your brother did and I love that you have your own unique personality.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

It always feels like...

...somebody's watchin' me!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Pinterest Inspiration: Week 2

Week 2 Project: "Toddler Busy Bag/Book"  
AKA: Crap that can keep my 2 year old entertained for a 6 hour flight.

We went on a trip in January. It was the trip from H-E-double hockey sticks, but that is another post completely. My son is 4 1/2 and pretty well versed in technology. You could park him in front of of a TV or video game, or smart phone for that matter for hours on end. I don't allow this, but long flights are where I give up all rules and use whatever I can to retain my sanity. Needless to say, I wasn't worried about keeping him quiet on the flight. My daughter couldn't care less about TV. She will watch half an episode of Caillou and then wander off from lack of interest...or desire to upend something then walk away. I was most concerned about her on this trip.

A few of my friends had pinned "Busy Bag" ideas so I did more searching and found an Etsy store that makes "Quiet books". I started to work on the different pages with the grand plan of having it all neatly bound in a book by the time we left. These pages are time consuming! All made from felt and, while not difficult, just require a fair amount of time. Needless to say I didn't get them all into a book, but I did bring a clipboard with us and we played with one page at a time. 

I got 6 pages done: 2 pages of counting beads, 1 textures page with all kinds of fun embellishments on it, a color wheel page where the pie pieces are attached with Velcro for matching, a tic-tac-toe page, and a lift the flap button counting page. (All inspiration pins are listed at the bottom of the post)

 I also glued a ton of stuff to magnets and had a magnet board for her to play with. I used a small cookie sheet and a bunch of felt stickers, colored pom poms, some googly eyes and made a couple felt mouth options to make faces. This was also a big hit. Arielle loved playing with the "mag-a-nets" (as she called them) on the plane and while we were out West for the trip.

I made a few other things for the trip, but I will save them for another post. And let me just say, those busy books cost $70 on Etsy and are worth EVERY FREAKING PENNY! They take so much time to make that it justifies the amount they charge! Trust! Time is money people.

Number bead inspiration: Sweet Dreams Shop
Color Wheel, Tic-tac-toe page and lift the flap numbers inspiration: Sunset Blue Gifts
The textures page I thought of myself while wandering through the trim aisle at Jo-Ann fabric. I've always wanted a use for pom pom trim, and white fur!
Magnet board inspiration: Life: Styled

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Menu on Sunday

I always like to include our Sunday meal in the weekly plan, so I think it makes more sense to post on Sunday. That way I can start the week with a more fun, rather than utilitarian post like what we're eating for dinner!

Sunday lunch: Mini corn dog muffins with grapes and Stonyfield tube yogurts on the side. I just had to include lunch since it was something new and fun...and delicious! I am totally making these  again for a party!
Sunday dinner:Spinach stuffed shells and Caesar salad. I decided to do just a marinara instead of the turkey meat sauce since we'll be having turkey burgers later in the week.
Monday: Turkey burgers and baked zucchini fries.
Tuesday: Chicken taquitos with black beans and rice (my sil's recipe) and my guacamole.
Wednesday:  Beef Stew. Hubby's recipe, he's making it. In the pressure cooker. It is delicious, but I will never get him to write down a recipe for me.
Thursday: Marinated broiled (can't wait until we can get grilling again!) lemon herb chicken breast and asparagus orzo salad.
Friday: Pizza movie night! I think we'll make our pizza this week. It will help me stay on track with my eating. I am going to make a fresh motz margarita pizza on wheat crust (from our local bakery) for the grown ups and some cheese and olive pizza for the kidlets.

Notes on last week's dinners:
The Mexican lasagna was a huge hit all around, so I will post a recipe this week with pictures.
The Hamburger buddy was devoured as well. Delicious, quick and sneaky with its shredded carrots and mushrooms mixed in.
The puffed pastry chicken was a flop. No one liked it...not even me. It's a shame because it looked so good.

Friday, February 17, 2012

When you don't

Thank you, honey, for bringing in the garbage cans before I got home on Tuesday.

...because I usually notice when you don't.

Thank you, my sweet little girl, for giving me a full night's rest every day for the last week.

...because I often complain about it when you don't.

Thank you, my feisty boy, for getting ready this morning with a cheerful attitude.

...because I usually stress out when you don't.

Thank you heavy can of garbanzo beans, that fell out of the cupboard, for just missing cracking me in the head.

...because I always scream expletives when you don't.

Thank you, best friend, for knowing I need a night out and giving me something to look forward to after a crazy week.

...because I miss you when you don't.

Just a little reminder to myself to catalog the random, good things that happen to me and not just dwell on the bad. Hopefully, if I do it more, I can change my point of view just a little every day towards the positive.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Be my Valentine!

I don't care how many times I have seen this on the Internet, I still love the idea of it! I took his picture, fancied it up in Photoshop and printed them at Walgreens. Easy and so cute. Of course, picture it with a lollipop in his hand. I tried to take a picture of it with the lollipop, but it blocked the words and, my procrastinating self waited until it got dark to try to get a pic of the completed card, so it looked like poo anyway. OK fine, it was bugging me not to put in the final...

 Arielle is still going to a home daycare (For a couple more months...more on that later...sniff) so I attempted to make her caregiver a cute card. I was ill prepared since I got the idea to do more than just a Hallmark yesterday. I love the picture of Arielle though. She did that to herself because she wanted to be a princess. I think she looks every bit the part...long underwear jammies and all.

Arielle helped make the cards for the 3 kids she is with every day. She wanted to show me where each button and pom pom should go....except she kept trying to cover the holes I had punched for the lollipops. I think they turned out exactly how she wanted. ;)

Last but not least on this day filled with hearts, a little Valentine's Day breakfast...actually made on Sunday since I have zero desire to attempt this on a school day!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Menu Planning Monday

Since I am jumping back on the blogging wagon, a few other things need attention meal planning. I try to do it every week and then go to the market on Sundays. If that doesn't happen we end up with at least 3 nights of takeout. That isn't good for the wallet or the waistline. I am going to try to pick recipes all during the week so I don't have to do it all on Saturday or Sunday morning.  If you want to put a link in the comments of a favorite recipe I would love you forever! I hate getting bored with dinner. I have been trying some recipes I find on Pinterest, so I will link to them if you want to try them out too!
I am adding Sunday even though I'm starting on Monday so I can remember what I made!

Sunday: Whole roasted chicken, *scalloped potatoes, and **beets.
Monday: Hamburger Buddy
Tuesday: Stuffed chicken breast wrapped in puffed pastry, roasted carrots and butternut squash.
Wednesday: Mexican lasagna (I got this recipe from a friend & will post it if we like it.)
Thursday: Farfalle pasta with chicken, asparagus, pine nuts, black olives and caramelized onion. (My own recipe. I will do a step by step of this one. It is delicious!)
Friday: Pizza movie night!
Saturday: Dinner at the in-laws

*The scalloped potatoes were DELICIOUS! OMG, I could eat them all day. I substituted 50% reduced fat cheese since you use a cup and a half of cheese. I also used Yukon gold potatoes and left the skin on.

**The beets...I thought they were delicious. My hubby thought they were ok. Then again, he likes them with just vinegar on them. He does this to his broccoli too, so I think I won't count his vote. Both kids ate them all up! Yes, my 2 and 4.5 year olds chowed down some beets. I call that a big win. The recipe called for something called Golden syrup. I couldn't find it at Whole Food or my regular market so I substituted equal parts honey and pure maple syrup.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Pinterest Inspiration: Week 1

I love me some Pinterest. Before this lovely site, I would bookmark the crap out of things and they would get lost in the reaches of my favorites, never to be seen again. Now all of my inspiration is organized so neatly onto boards. I know a lot of people just sit and pin their time away, but I actually make many of the things I pin or at least use them for inspiration for something else I want to make. I thought it would be nice to do a weekly post of my completed projects or recipes that I found on Pinterest. I actually finished this one in time for the first week of January, but as my lack of posting shows, life just got in the way!
Necklace Organizer: pinned from here

I found a towel bar that I liked. I wanted one that didn't scream, "I'm a towel bar" and that went with the decor in our room. I also bought some double sided shower curtain hooks. I love the way that it turned out and now all of my necklaces are hanging neatly instead of being on top of my dresser or hanging from the side of my earring organizer in 2 big clumps!

Swap-a Roo!

I am excited to be back! I have been swamped with work and life, but I feel like I am not whole without my blog. I am jumping back in with a swap. What better way to get back into the bloggy spirit than to send and recieve a box full of surprises in the mail!