Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Wordless Wednesday 5/30/12

Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day Manic Mommy Monday

Manic Mommy Monday!

So I missed last week...  We had some stuff going on and I was a bit MIA when it came to the internet.
This weekend held quite a bit of excitement for our family.  I think the best way for me to move forward is to go backwards...
Today is Memorial Day.  Last year (that post was actually on my other blog site) we visited a local Veteran's cemetery for an amazing Memorial event!  We decided to make it a tradition and went again this year.

My dad actually belongs to a motorcycle group that is comprised of mostly veterans and police officers.  They have escorted fallen soldiers to their final resting place, welcomed home soldiers with their families and do regular events to raise support and awareness of different veteran groups.  In support of this event, they wore their "colors" and rode in support and remembrance of today's event.

Like last year there was an amazing turnout.  Boy scouts, local school bands, family members, and of course the veteran's we were there to honor.  This year, like last, we were honored by the attendance of a Pearl Harbor survivor.  He told a few stories of days long past and of never forgetting those that were taken too soon.  Never forget, and I don't think anyone in attendance today will...

Yesterday the hubby took our girls out for the better part of the day so that I could pay a bit of tribute to my own veteran.  My own hero.  My brother.  He asked me if I could sew the patches onto his uniform and I gladly accepted the mission.  I was honored to do it.  Privileged that I was not only asked, but allowed to do it.  And I did it with my own humbled pride...

Of course that brings us back to the beginning of the weekend and the surprise arrival of my brother!

My Sister-in-law changed the date of my nephew's birthday party by a week-and-a-half.  Many questioned having it on Memorial Day weekend, but she was sneakier than we imagined!  And we are thankful for it!!!

Of course with all that said and done, it leaves me at the end of this long weekend with some regrets.  Don't get me wrong, we had a wonderful weekend and I got the important things done!  It's just that I'm having a hard time keeping up with the everyday stuff.  And while I'm trying hard not to be a whiny baby, I still feel like it!  The bathroom sinks are clogged, I don't think we have a single clean dish in the house, the laundry has been piling up, my office/sewing room makes me want to cry, the living room looks like a bomb went off and to top it all off, while my brother and sister-in-law look fabulous I feel like...  Well, let's just say I don't feel very good about myself.  Today I went to make myself a sandwich and felt like we had no food in the whole house!  Of course we have food, I just saw the dishes and knew I didn't want to have to make any thing that would make more of a mess.  I did end up having a tuna sandwich, not too shabby!  And to prove not every dish is dirty, I made myself a banana split!

It's actually not as much ice cream and chocolate syrup as it looks, but I did use a whole large banana!

And with that, we decided we need to make a few changes in our household!  After a long talk with the hubby, we both want to be able to keep up with our kids, so things will have to change.  Eating habits will be adjusted, exercising will need to take some priority and housework simply needs to get done more regularly so that I don't go into crazy fits of anger issue tirades!

We'll see how it works out!  How did your Monday go?
Please don't forget to check out some of these other Manic Mommies this Monday!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Food For Thought Friday, My Brothers Favorite Cookies

My nepnew'sbirthday is coming up and I was asked to make some cookies for him.  Not just any cookies, they are his father's favorite cookies!  Our mom used to make them when we were little (and not so little) and they are simply a family favorite!  I'm pretty sure any camily that has ever made no-bake cookies has their own special twist on this recipe, this is ours...
I think what will make this birthday so special for me is that he is asking for the cookies.  This year my brother went into the army and won't be back in time for the birthday party.  I think this special request will make him that much closer to him!

1 3/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup butter
4 Tbsp cocoa
1/2 cup coconut
3 cups quick cooking oats
1 tsp vanilla

Combine sugar, milk, butter and cocoa in pan, bring to a boil and boil for 1.5 minutes then remove from heat.  Stir in coconut, oats and vanilla.  Drop by the spoonful (we've been doing teaspoonfuls to make them last longer) onto wax paper.
We almost always make at least a double batch.  Word of caution:  it's best to pack some away before you dig in, these babies go fast!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Working Mom, Where Do I Fit In?

Manic Mommy Monday!
First of all, I found a spider on my desk today...  AAAHHHHHH!!!
It was a LARGE spider.  I'm pretty sure it was a wolf spider (brown and extra hairy!) and it was about as big as my thumb!  He was hanging out (literally) between my calculator and my phone.  He might have been on something because he didn't move very fast.  I was able to get my shoe off and smush him into a small pool of guts in a matter of seconds.  I'm kind of on the fence with spiders.  They don't exactly paralyze me with fear, and I mostly leave the daddy-long-legs variety alone, but when they are large and furry, it's me or them!  I'm usually bigger and win.  Sometimes they are faster and get away.  Not often.

With that said, I had both of my girls with me in the office and all during and after my ordeal I kept thinking "What if this thing had been on one of them?  What if it would have bitten them?"  Shudder...

And that brought on my thoughts for this post.  Well, that and the fact that Big Sister in all of her two-year-old-ness had a meltdown while I was dealing with a work crisis...  Ok, maybe crisis is too strong a word...  I was dealing with a work Monday, which is busy and confusing and people are not as nice Monday morning, not very patient.

I am not a work "at" home mom.  I am a "go to the office with two little girls and work" mom.  Sure, during the slower season (we do heating and air conditioning in central California) I can work at home which is nice because naps can happen in the kids rooms and we have the general "normal" flow of being at home.  We have tried to create a space for both girls in my office so that they can stay entertained while I work.  We brought in a t.v.  Big Sister kept putting DVD's into it, now it's out of commission.  We have an octagon gate that we have opened up so that Big Sister has about half of my office space.  She has a desk and bench, a fold-out couch, a princess tent, blocks, puzzles, trains, toys, dolls, books, and sometimes crayons and play-doh, and she spent an hour today screaming and trying to get to mommy.  Usually I can just sit with her for a few minutes and calm her down, find something for her to do and get back to my work.  On heavy-calling days that's not so easy.  Not to mention the fact that I can nurse Baby Sister while I work, so I'm sure that just makes Big Sister all the more angry.

Today I considered day care.  I am not opposed to day care.  My nephew did day care for a few years and it was great for him!  The problem is, I can't really afford it.  Working for my dad, I make a bit less than my last job with the benefit of being able to keep my kids with me.  So where does that leave me?

That is my Monday...  We've re-modeled this office multiple times to accommodate my growing two-year-old and the addition of the new baby.  Now it's simply a matter of figuring out how to balance it all.  How do you balance your day with your kids?  Even stay-at-home-moms have work to do, how do you do it?  How do you get all those things done in your day while keeping your kid occupied?

And please don't forget to check out the other Manic Mommy Monday posts!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Food For Thought

Sorry I've been MIA!  In an effort to make up for it, I have two recipes!!!
I made both of these for my daughters birthday party this year.  We did a Princess and the Frog/Mardi Gras theme and I wanted some good home cookin'.
The first thing I wanted was some macaroni and cheese!  The birthday girl was turning two, so you know I had her vote!  We are crazy Disney fans and a couple years ago we bought this book:
First of all, the recipes are all yummy looking!  They have a picture of every recipe in the book, which is really nice when you are thinking of cooking for or with a kid!  Down side?  Nothing I make ever looks like the photo!

I'm not sure how copyrights work, and I don't want to type out the entire recipe, so you can see the above photo and I will let you know how I made it, and how I would modify it in the future.
I doubled the recipe, we didn't really invite enough people that I was worried I would run out, I just wanted left-overs!  We used elbow macaroni (cooked), whole milk, cheddar cheese, buttery crackers and salt and pepper.  I cooked about two pounds of macaroni and salted the water, I didn't use any additional salt after that.  I ended up using 16+ ounces of cheddar cheese for the recipe and six cups of milk.  The recipe says you don't need to melt the cheese but I think I would do that next time.  The actual recipe calls for slices of American or cheddar, I might mix it up a little next time, 1/3 American, 1/3 Cheddar and 1/3 some other cheese, melted with the milk to make a nice creamy mixture that I would toss the macaroni in.  Then it all goes into a baking dish (buttered, but you know me, I'm using my Stoneware Rectangular Baker so I don't need to butter it up!) and then top it all off with buttery crackers.  Throw it in the oven to get it nice and brown and then serve it up!  Mine turned out okay, I just wanted it to be more creamy and less with melty "chunks" of cheese.
The "main dish" of the day was inspired by a recipe in the book for Po' Boy Sandwiches.  I wanted something easy to put together that could be served warm but not dry out.  I decided to not do roast beef and instead to do a pulled pork.  At first I was thinking a BBQ pork but I found a great recipe for Shredded Savory Pork from my old faithful cookbook:

My mom has had a Better Homes and Garden cookbook since I was a little kid!  It is my go-to for any and every recipe or idea.
At first I thought I might revise the recipe but it sounded pretty good as-is so we went ahead with it.  I did end up leaving out the onion and garlic because a family member has allergies to those but let me tell you, it was still AWE-SOME!!!

Okay, that's it.  That's all I've got for today!  Let me know if you end up trying these out and how you like them!

Monday, May 7, 2012

MMM, When Weekends Make Us Tired...

Manic Mommy Monday!

Here I am...  Sitting at the computer...  Thinking about what I want to say.
I am tired.  Aren't you tired?  Did this Monday kick your but like it kicked mine?  Work wasn't even that hard today!  The girls were pretty good for me, only a few screams during phone calls with customers.  (ha-ha, too tired to really laugh)
We did have an adventurous weekend...  Friday I went to work for a couple hours then hopped in the car with my mom and two little ones for a quick trip up North.  Mom needed to get her passport and it was in her 5th wheel, about 3.5 hours from where we live.  No worries, cause we could stay at Mom's baby-sisters house and they could soak up and evening of my little ones!  Yeah, except that the "typical" 3.5 hours turned into almost six hours!  Off-again-on-again screaming fits.  Mommy meltdowns.  The whole sha-bang!  When we finally reached the 5th wheel, we brought the girls inside (mom found her passport within seconds!) and we just hung out.  I asked my girls if they wanted to become gypsies!  Of course my two-year-old said "OK!"  I don't think she knows what a gypsy is...
Saturday morning Aunt A made us some french toast and we got all packed up.  We did follow Auntie to a garage sale (block long) got a few cute things we just couldn't live without and got back on the road for home.
The trip home did not take quite as long but we did have our moments.  Mom and I took turns getting ready, hubby re-loaded the car and we were all off again in the Southern direction (I think?) to Mom's brother's house for an annual birthday bash!  That trip was just over an hour in the car (you gotta love California, right?) and the girls fared much better that time!  Of course Big Sister never got more than an hour nap and wasn't feeling the Mexican food (Cinco de Mayo) so she hit "the wall" about two hours into the shin-dig.  We said our goodbyes and started back for home.  That's when the day caught up to us all!  Baby Sister was melting down fast.  We pulled over at one point to change her and then had to figure in another stop within minutes!  Chicken nuggets and chocolate milk for Big Sister while Baby Sister nursed and we were back on our way!  Thankfully both girls tucked into bed relatively quickly.
Sunday, Mommy made pancakes!  Both plain and chocolate chip!!!  Then as nap time arrived I snuck out of the house to a baby shower, Big Girls Only!!!
I guess I have a little reason to be tired...  But I thought that when we become mom's we get super powers? I see all those mom's in their tailored outfits with fresh mani-pedi's and well coiffed do's...  You know the ones, they spend hours at the gym and then get their lite coffees while they discuss their perfect children?

Whatever!  Those b*tches can bite me!  (Oh, there's my evil grin!!!)

Happy Monday ya'll!!!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

5/2/12 Wordless Wednesday

Remember my giveaway from 4-1?  I never posted pictures of the winners final bag!

diaper not included

Diapers and wipes not included