Thursday, February 27, 2014

This is how I roll - bad pun

    Ok, ok yeah I couldn't help myself. Last year over the summer at a Farmer's Market visit I grabbed a big ol' egg planet and made a vow to cook or try something new at least but not limited to once a month. We have tackled lots! Plantains, romanesco, artichokes, kumquats and a persimmon to name a few. Some were hits and others were clear misses BUT kudos to us at least we tried them. *Pats self on back*

    This month was a big month for me. I attempted 2 dishes. The first was a huge success, the later was a gigantic swing and miss! 

    First meal was homemade egg rolls. (Spoiler alert - this was the HUGE success!!) I followed the recipe on the package for the most part - I forgot the sprouts and I just couldn't bring myself to buy an entire bottle of oyster sauce for a few teaspoons. In went the ginger, carrots, pork and cabbage. It smelled delish!! I was nervous about the wrapping part but I totally nailed it! I chose to bake them instead of fry them. The family scarfed them down. Lulu ate 2! The Hubs tried to hide the leftovers in the fridge but I found them the next day for lunch. 

    The second meal aka the major flop was a personal goal to conquer a childhood fear. In my husband's house growing up he feared lima beans at meal time. My fear was beef liver. I remember slathering ketchup in layers on the smallest of pieces just to choke it down. To me, beef liver starts off okay then turns into a grey icky paste that lingers all over my mouth - bleck! But there I was at the meat counter and it was looking at me. Fresh beef liver. With determination to tackle on this meat and whip away any childhood fear that was still lingering I nabbed the smallest sized package. I read that soaking it in milk could help take some of the "sour" taste away so I let it sit in milk overnight. 

    I fried up some bacon and onions and then came the liver. The smell alone transported me back to my parent's house and I was a child again. (In the mean time I had a pizza firing up in the oven as a back up meal as I feared the worse and didn't want to scramble when the verdict came in.) 

    I braved a bite. Going in with confidence and strength thinking this time would be different I started to chew. Then I wanted to stop chewing, it was turning. My childhood taste buds jumped up and out of their seats and started screaming "What are you doing??" "Don't do it!" "NOOOOO" 

    The Hubs, who eats practically everything, tried a bite and had the same reaction. In fact, he said lima beans had nothing on liver. The kids were ok sports about it. Lulu said it looked like poop on her plate (I hid my laughter as best as I could). T.W struggled with a few bites but he did it - it also helps that we have a "new bite" rule where the kids have to try a bite or two of something new. Bear ate it as long as it soaked in Dinosaur BBQ sauce. I choked down my piece and the Hubs did the same although he cheated as well with the BBQ sauce. Then Jax enjoyed the leftovers in her dog dish. 

    It wasn't a win but like I said, I conquered my childhood fear of the meal and that is one meal I have vowed to keep at bay forever. Do you try to do anything bold or new in the kitchen every now and then? Try a new ingredient? Make a new dish? 

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Wordless Wednesday

The girls exploring the science museum with DziaJoe
- my heart melts -

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Two Truths Tuesday

     I need to spice things up here and have some fun. Not sure if it's going to be a good or bad thing but here we go! I'm going to share 2 truths on Tuesdays - as long as I remember - ha. 

    1. I am incredibly happy with 3 kids but often think about adding a 4th. It's crazy. I am up to my eyeballs in things to do, stress and quiet honestly don't get a chance to sit down for longer than 5 minutes unless the kids are all asleep BUT every now and then I think a fourth kiddo would be great! (It's never going to happen - but the thought is there).

Three on Snow Mountain in our backyard! 

    2. I'm scared that my oldest is just like me - a creative spirit that doesn't want to be told no and will have earth shattering disappointments when things don't turn out how her dreams went. I can see it starting. She creates these elaborate ideas and pursues them with all her energy and sometimes when they fall short her disappointment is just heart breaking. I can relate although now I know that certain paths will just be that a path and not lead to an incredible flower field. I'm learning to take things how they are and not what I dreamt them to be. (I'm not trying to crush her dreams before they happen, I'm just making myself more aware that she's going to feel the same way I did and I have to be mindful when she seeks comfort. I want her to have to dreams, I want her to pursue them, I want her to have some failures and I want her to succeed plenty! I just know that she will have a blood thirsty hunger about her when she does act upon them and I want to be ready with my compassion and comfort if she fails.)

Here she is counting out her "100th Day of School" project 
- Starbursts - Yum!

Care to share two truths today? 

Monday, February 24, 2014

Don't shoot the messenger

    Ever try to do something nice for someone and then you feel like they just took a big shat on you? I swear that happens half the time with my brother. It's got to be a sibling thing right? Or maybe it's just me because sometimes I get that feeling from my in-laws. Uhg!

    Just this morning I messaged my brother about contacting my cousin back. In this particular case I was placed at middle man. I simply asked if he returned her call and that it might be about the bassinet which would be in his best interest seeing how they're having a baby come June. I got a "sob story" about how he was busy that day when she called at the start of the month. 

    I wanted to blurt out "Time to be an adult yo. Time to keep your crap together. I manage to do it with three kids, a household and everything I have to keep up with" but I didn't. Little things can set off a blaze. I simply said I was passing along the reminder and that I didn't like being middle man and to get a hold of her soon. OY! Talk about shooting the messenger. I put my phone down and walked away. 

    I don't know where I was going with this - all I really had to do was vent. I just got super annoyed that I was trying to do something good and instead of a thank you I got snapped at.

    Do you ever feel like you're trying to do someone a favor and instead they burn you? What do you do?  

Friday, February 21, 2014

That time of year.., its a seasonal thing

    I didn't fall off the face of the earth. I've just been unplugged. This year it has hit me pretty hard - it's seasonal depression. I wasn't officially diagnosed, I've diagnosed myself. I am tired of the cold, tired of the snow, tired of the icy rain, tired of not having the sun shine through the big bay window all the time, tired of having the lights on during the day time, tired of seeing the mounds of grey dirty icky snow piled up at the end of people's drive ways, etc etc etc. 

    Top that all off with my current physical condition. I am struggling with the state of my body right now. I am sore. I hurt. I ache. It's been 4 weeks of going to laser therapy and now we've even tossed in the infrared sauna. I don't feel better. I might even feel worse. My hips hurt to walk, shift my weight, go up/down stairs and bend. My upper back hurts to move my arms. My chest hurts when I'm laying down and if one of the kids pushes up on it. Now I'm wishing it had been kidney stones like that idiot doctor thought it was! 

    It's hard to explain over and over again how I feel. I lay in bed in the morning and have thoughts that I'm back in my "old" body. That I can just get up and scoot to the bathroom, kitchen and down the stairs. That I can just jump up and welcome the new day! That I can curl over on my side and cuddle up to which ever little body has managed to find themselves in my bed and under my covers. 

    Truth is - I cant even take a deep breath in without fearing an entire body spasm that is painful from shoulders to toes. It feels like it takes for-EV-er to push the covers off just so I can start the descent from my bed. The bad news is I chance a full body muscle spasm - good news is if I have one I can try to just power through it so I negate another one from trying to get up. Either way - IT SUCKS!

    I've cried twice now at the doctor's office when he asks me how am I doing. I feel like a whimp. I feel defeated. I hate putting this time (and money) towards something and not feeling like the old me yet. (Have I mentioned I have the tendency to be impatient?) 

    I don't get it. I'm young. I'm 5'5" and 120lbs. I eat healthy. We cut back on red meats almost four years ago - although we still enjoy burgers and steaks every now and then but not as much. I drink water throughout the day - there's no soda pop in this house. Before all this started I went on walks daily with the family, danced with the kiddos around the house, etc. I was very active. 

    I'll keep going on my laser therapy. I was given an 8 week program. The doctor seems confident that this will work and I'll start to feel better. I'm nervous because we're half way and it doesn't feel like there's been any difference. I'll refuel my efforts to think positive even though now it may feel fake and forced - after months of trying that mantra and eventually part of that glittering hope dies down BUT I will push forward because I want to be better for me, for my Hubs and for my kids. 

    So today as it's raining icy rain, I'm looking at dirty grey icky snow mounds at the end of the neighbor's driveway and my toes are "fah-reezing" in two pairs of socks, I'm going to push forward even though I feel blah

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Some "Kool" Valentines

    I take part of an awesome group of ladies where we have product and goodies exchanges. It's been a blast and I've lots of fun (and luck) finding things to trade from various subscription boxes. Recently to celebrate Valentine's Day there was a two part exchange. First part was to send a Valentine to everyone in your set group and keep it within one stamp to mail. Second part was to prepare and send a package of goodies to a match within that group. 

    Since T.W is mastering the fine art of writing his name I signed him up for this exchange. What better way to motivate a 4 year old than the promise of mail just for him and an awesome goodies package??! 

    Figuring a number of people would send stickers with their valentines, I wanted to look into something versatile and fun for all the ages within in our which ranged from 18 months to 8 years. After some brain storming searching we decided on focusing our Valentine on a packet of Kool-Aid. 

    This is what we came up with - just a simple one sided 5x7 card with his name (signed on a sticky label so it didn't smudge on the photo paper and he could write his name plenty of times if he had to) and a packet of Kool-Aid double sided taped to the empty space. 

"Ohh yeah! You are one KOOL Valentine!"
That's what Kool-Aid Man would say right? Haha.

    My cards just had one hitch and that was with the paper insert of ideas I needed more than one stamp to send, but I asked the ladies to let me know when they received our card so I could send them the pdf of ideas that T.W picked out. Side note - after searching online at all the Kool-Aid ideas I realize now there is a crap ton of things you can do with a packet of Kool-Aid!! 

    Since I didn't have to condense all the ideas down to one paper I rearranged them and blew up the text for better viewing. Here are a few of the ideas we included on our pdf.

** Add a smidge to plain yogurt or applesauce for flavor.

** Color Easter eggs. Choose your flavor and color of Kool-Aid, all have their own specific color usually matching the color on the packet Add 2/3 cup of water and packet to hot or cold water and stir. Add hard boiled eggs and let them sit in the mixture until the desired color is obtained. You don't need vinegar as Kool-Aid contains citric acid Let the eggs dry completely

** An oldie but a goodie! Make popsicles.

** Kool-Aid Cookies Pack Kool-Aid your choice of flavor 1 2/3 Cups sugar 1 1/4 Cups butter 2 eggs, beaten 1/2 tsp salt 1 tsp baking soda 3 Cups flour 1/2 Cups sugar for dipping Mix Kool-aid with sugar. Add softened butter and mix until fluffy. Add eggs and mix well. Stir in salt and baking soda. Add flour in 1/2 cup increments and mix well after each addition. Roll dough into 1 inch balls and roll in the sugar. Place them on greased cookie sheet and into 325 degree oven for 10-12 minutes. Remove cookies from sheet after 1 minute, let cool.

** Kool-Aid Water Colors
Pour several different packs of Kool-Aid into individual glass containers (Plastic will stain) add a tablespoon of water to each container stir until dissolved. Give the kids paint brush and paper and let them go to painting

** Colored Rice for sensory play Rice uncooked we used about 3-4 cups Kool-aid packet water vinegar 1/3 cup ) How to make: Add 2-3 cups of water, Kool-aid packet and vinegar in a bowl. Stir for couple min. then let rice sit for about 1/2 hour to get the color to set. Drain and let it sit over night on a cookie sheet to dry.

** There are many, many recipes online to make a dough to play with that involves Kool-Aid. We had 2 on our list - one that was "regular" and one that was "gluten free" 

    What fun ideas do you have for mail-able Valentines that only use one first class stamp? Would you send stickers? Scratch offs? Giftcards? 

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

10 minutes next to him

    Lately I have been seeing more friends who have recently turned into mums mention how fast time has been flying with their wee ones. And lately I've been making it point to "breath in the youth of my children". (Almost sounds all American Horror Story-ish) 
    So today I didn't sort through all the boxes in our front entry way that we piled in from the storage unit (I mentioned that in this post here and figured no better way to pull that plug than the ol' grip and rip method. I am forcing myself to get rid of this clutter and make no more excuses or at least I think I'm putting myself in this position....) Instead I played with Bear making sure to gather up all her little giggles and grunts, cuddling her, squeezing her and showering her with lots of kisses as best as I could - she's friggen fast for 19 months!
    Today I didn't get annoyed when the school called telling me I had to pick up Lulu because she had a fever and couldn't stay for the last three hours. I picked her up and we just cuddled up next to each other while she read on my Kindle Fire. 
    And when it was time to tuck in the kiddos I laid down next to T.W. and snuggled up with him in bed for 10 minutes or so. I wrapped my arm around him and curled up. I closed my eyes and could feel the warmth of his soft cheek near my face. His soft little kisses on my forehead took my breath away. (Even as I write this post now I'm letting him sit next to me bundled up under the blankets on the sofa - little stinker snuck down while having a coughing fit and I wasn't going to shoo him back to bed..., I'll unplug and cuddle!!)
    So before you realize how much time has passed by - take that moment now! Sign off, unplug, leave it dirty and "breath in the youth of your kiddo(s)!!"