Monday, January 31, 2011

Today I Made Trail Mix Bars.

I found this recipe in my All You magazine.  I need to do something to help Hubster eat better.  He never has breakfast and eats out almost everyday.  His metabolism has taken a beating due to these things.  Having a desk job PLUS night college doesn't help either (though we are all very grateful he does those things!).  My plan is to rubber band a pack of cut apples (won't eat fruit unless it's prepared for him either), a string cheese and a granola bar together.  Then, all he has to do is grab and go.  He can eat on the run.  He leaves waaaaaaay before I even roll outta bed, so it's not like I'm going to get up and make everyone pancakes before he leaves.  Though, I do hope that will be possible in our future. 

Here are the bars. 

They are yummy.  I started cutting them too soon and they were crumbly (impatient kitchen maid here).  So I stuck them in the fridge to speed up the cooling process and harden them.  Perfect.  Ash inhaled the pieces I gave her.  Dontcha just LOVE it when you try out a new recipe and it works? 

P.S.  I used raisins instead of cranberries and whole wheat flour instead of all-purpose.  And, of course, I used Earth Balance spread in lieu of butter. 

Friday, January 28, 2011

Today I Had a Couple of Echos.

Britt will now say "Ah" and "Buh" if I use those sounds while talking to her.  It's pretty darn cute. 

Ash is also repeating everything I say.  It's bringing me back to the days when I was a kid and my brother would copy everything I said. 

Me: "Do as I say."

Matt: "Do as I say."

Me: "No, not like that."

Matt: "No, not like that."

Me:  **growl**

Matt:  **growl**

 Me:  "Stop copying me!"

Matt:  "Stop copying me!"

Me:  "Stoooooooooooooop!"

Matt: "Stooooooooooooooop!"

Me: "You are so annoying!"

Matt: "You are so annoying!"

Me: **thinking**  **smiles**

Me:  "Matthew is a poop"

Matt: "Matthew is a....HEY!"

Anyways, I have a little echo.  It's cute though.  Not annoying.  She calls herself "Ada" but says Britt's name almost perfectly, even getting the "r" in there sometimes.  I thought I'd post another list of of her current pronunciations.  Some of them are borderline embarrassing.  Hehe.

Ity = Itchy

Ma-ee = Mommy

Da-ee = Daddy

Hap = Help

Poot = Pooped

Eeeps = Ooops

Gabby = Tinker Bell

Bish = Fish

Mouse = Mouth (and mouse)

Bugga = Bug

Piss = Chips

Mo-ee = Movie

Rock/Rog = Frog

Mokie = Monkey

Gog = Dog

Cheesh = Cheese

Owange = Orange  (just so you know, I pronounce orange with two syllables, not one - so Ash does too)

Little kids are so funny when they talk!  I want to remember these things always.  What were some of the funny words or pronunciations your child used?

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Today I Ate Mango Curry.

And it was gooooooooooooooooood!  That's about it.  The four of us went out for Indian food and I chose something new.  So glad I did.  :)

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Today I'm Hoping For A Good Night's Sleep.

Britt and I both have a cough.  That dry, itchy, nagging cough that usually means you're at the tail-end of a cold (yippee!), but could drag on for a while (bummer).  It attacks at night and especially when you lay down in bed.  It takes me forever to get to sleep. 

And poor Britt is woken up by hers throughout the night (which means I am too).  Anybody know how to relieve a baby's cough?  The cough syrup I have is natural but honey-based so she can't have it until she's a year.  I'm still nursing her so I don't want to take anything strong for myself. 

I end up popping a cough drop after falling into bed, but that only offers temporary relief and if I don't fall sleep right away, I need another one.  The scary thing is that sometimes I fall asleep with the cough drop in my mouth.  I'm afraid I'm going to choke to death on one someday! 

Did I mention that Britt is sleeping in our room so I have to smother my face in the comforter while coughing, so as to not wake her?  Yeah.  Any suggestions on this topic will be desperately tried out with gratitude!

I wish I could fall asleep quickly and sleep as soundly as the girl in this video.  :)

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Today I Took Pictures Against Her Wishes. **mwahaHAH**

We got to dance classes a little bit early so I started taking a couple of snap shots.   A few seconds later Ash looked up at me and said, "Mommy.  No cheese!"


Too bad Babe.  Whether you smile or not, I'm taking pics of your cute, tutu'd self!

My little dancer.

She's trying to hide from me.  **giggle**

Monday, January 24, 2011

Today I Finished Mom's Present.

My sister, Molly, and I collaborated on Mom's birthday present this year.  I got the idea for it while perusing the awesome items at Pitter Patter Art.  Molly has a cricut, so she did all the lettering and figured out how to make it fit.  I took a canvas, glued a linen-looking fabric on it, layered paper on top of that and then the shape of Africa.  I got the Africa by printing out a template off the Internet and then used my printer to blow it up big and then taped the pages together and cut it out.  Then I mod podged scrapbook paper on top of that and followed the shape to cut it again.  Lastly, I mod podged all of Molly's letters on top.  Tedious!  In case you don't know why this art is meaningful to my Mom: my parents have (so far) adopted 8 children from Ethiopia.  So, yeah, she liked it.  :)

Friday, January 21, 2011

Today I LOL'd. Big Time.

THIS is why.

seriously.  i can't stop.  i laugh just thinking about it!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Today I Had Worried Eyes.

(please excuse my just-woke-up-and-threw-on-some-clothes style.  and no I did not perfectly position myself in front of the curtain.  interesting though, no?)

You'd probably have made a similar face if you'd been greeted by your baby looking like this:

(you may have to click the pic to get the full effect.  the spots cover every square inch of her body)

The doctor said it's a reaction to her antibiotics.  Poor lil bum.  She's cute with spots or stripes or otherwise.  :)

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Today I Went To Costco For Nothing.

I ran some errands today. 

Target was perused for baby wipes, sales racks, gift wrap, and cereal.

Gymboree and Gap were given some merchandise back. 

Origins was asked some questions about their self tanner.

Michaels was were I bought some glue gun sticks.

Costco was were I parked, fed the baby, and then realized I didn't have my Costco card.

Keep in mind, it takes at least 45 minutes to get to Costco from where I live. 

I had a choice.  I could be irritated and grumpy, or I could laugh at my absent-mindedness and shrug my shoulders.

I chose the latter and I'm glad I did. 

At least my babies got to bed on time. 

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Today I Made Cake Pops.

I've never been one to be at the forefront of the latest and greatest trends.

I didn't read Twilight until all the books had been published and I only had to wait for one Harry Potter book to be written before I jumped on that bandwagon.  I bought my first pair of skinny jeans only two months ago (Jeggings, I will NEVER wear you) and the ugg-like boots only went on my feet last winter.  So - yeah.  I guess you could say, I'm a late blooming, trend follower.  

(Kate, my sis, enjoying a cake pop)

This is my first attempt at cake pops.  I can only assume that the rest of you have already done this and

a.) won't repeat the attempt

b.) tried it once; have made them a few more times since then

c.) are now cake pop masters


So, this probably won't be my most inspiring post ever, but hey.  If you are someone who hasn't gotten with the cake pop groove yet, just know this - if you never mimic this fad, you can still live a rich and fulfilling life.  :)

Just in case you want to know how to do this and you want me to tell you, here's the play by play.

I bought Dr. Oetker chocolate cake mix and vanilla icing mix because there are no milk or soy products in them and because they don't contain anything hydrogenated.  Woohoo!

(used Earth Balance Natural Spread and Pacific rice drink instead of butter and milk to make the icing)

I won't be buying the icing mix again.  It wasn't until I opened up the package and dumped it into the bowl that I took a second look at the ingredients and realized it was powdered sugar, vanilla, and corn starch (basically).  A definite "duh" moment.  I was supposed to just add milk and butter.  Could have left $3 in my pocket and used what I had at home. 

(using rice drink in the cake mix)

Seriously, Earth Balance and Pacific Foods need to hire me and pay me because I use their products every day and then blog about it.  But, then why would they do that when I'm sitting here advertising their stuff for free?  **laugh**

I used bamboo skewers because the local grocery store didn't have lollipop sticks (or I just didn't see them, which is very likely since I had to keep one eye on an active Britt in the shopping cart).  But I really recommend you use lollipop sticks, or even popsicle sticks over the skewers.  Skewers are just too long.

This isn't a very organized recap, is it?  Ok.  You bake your cake according to instructions.  Make your icing how you like it (or buy it). 

When the cake is done and cooled off, scrunch it up into crumbs. 

Then, take between a 1/2 cup and a full cup of the frosting and add it to the crumbs.  You want the cake to feel like play-doh.  Not too crumby, not too sticky. 

(Anyone else hate plastic wrap like I do?  The darn stuff never works for me!  It only ever sticks to itself.) 

Roll your cake into balls and put on a non-stick surface.  Cover with plastic wrap and throw in the fridge for at least an hour.  Or, if you're impatient like me, put them in the freezer.

Now for the best part!  For dipping, I melted chocolate chips and 2 Tbs of coconut oil in the microwave.  I highly recommend using coconut oil in place of any other oil you might use for your recipes.  Especially if it's a chocolate recipe.  Mmmmmmmmmm.

Next, take your sticks, dip them in the chocolate, poke them through a cake ball, dip the cake ball in chocolate and then hold it over the dipping bowl to get rid of the excess chocolate.  Honestly, this was the worst part. 

It is tedious to stand there and watch chocolate drip off a cake pop.  **sighs** 

Then you have to come up with a place to put the cake pops to dry completely.  Styrofoam would work great.  I used a box with holes stabbed into it.  :)

(Molly, another sis, enjoying a cake pop)

Put them in the fridge for 10 minutes so the chocolate can harden.  Then, you can eat them or serve them or whatever you have planned for them.  :) 

My thoughts and feelings about cake pops:

I probably won't do this again.  It's a bit too boring for my impatient style of baking.  Half of the cake balls were turned into pops and the other half are dipped cake balls, on a plate, in the fridge.  Spear them yourself cake pops, I guess.  :)  They are VERY scrumptious though.  Well, these ones I made were dang good.  I can't speak for anybody elses.  So, if I do make them again, they will be of the poke-your-own-cake-pop variety. 

Just a bit of exciting info.  I found chocolate chips without milk OR soy in them!  **doing a happy dance**  They are mini chips made by Enjoy Life and contain only three ingredients: evaporated cane juice, chocolate liquor, and non-dairy cocoa butter.   Sooooooooooooooooooooooooooo good! 

The end.  :)

Monday, January 17, 2011

Today I Celebrated MLK Day.






a fabulous day! 

Sure wish I'd remembered the camera.  I'll just have to paint a picture with my words.  :) 
We snacked on the peanut butter m&m's (my fave) while we were in the car (we were in the car a lot).  I really shouldn't have given any to Ash (due to her milk and soy intolerances), but she said "please" so nicely and what cruel mama is gonna nosh on candy in front of her kid without sharing?  She got pretty hyper from the food coloring.  Hehe. 

We went to listen to a lecture, at the Washington State History Museum, by Ana Maria Spagna, award-winning author of Test Ride on the Sunnyland Bus: A Daughter’s Civil Rights Journey.  Tony got extra credit for his communications class for going.  I'll be honest, I heard enough to peak my interest, but I spent most of my time trying to keep a tired Britt-Britt happy.  I'll have to read the book.  This is my opportunity to just say how grateful I am for Martin Luther King, Jr. and the many, many others (those known and those not given any credit) who worked to make it possible for my siblings to be treated with kindness and respect and equality regardless of the shade of their skin. 

If you live in the area, make sure you go to this museum.  I'd call it a hidden gem.  I had no idea it was there and it was actually really good!  Babies make it harder to fully enjoy, but we did our best.  Gregoire (our governor) may cut the funding for this museum, so now is the time to run to Tacoma and go.   You may not get to see it again after July of this year.

We ended our outing with lunch/dinner at Old Spaghetti Factory.  Not as good as it has been in the past, but it was quality time with the Hubby and Ash.  Britt was passed out asleep - Hallelujah!

Actually, all three of us girls were sleeping when Daddy pulled us into the driveway at home.  Haha! 

How did you celebrate today?

Friday, January 14, 2011

Today I Feel Icky.

Britt shared her bug with me. 

Sore throat, headache, aches and pains and chills.  The works. 

Guess I'm not going snowboarding this weekend. 

I'm staying bed with some lemon n honey tea and a book. 

Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Today I Scooped Up A Fallen Baby (over and over).

Britt is feeling better. We still have 9 more days of forcing medicine down her throat (makes her extremely angry), but she had a semi-normal day. She did I lot of pesting her big sister, gleaning edibles off the sofa and floor (she dumps everything out of her bowl because it's more fun to eat that way!), and practicing her walking (and falling). She currently in my lap right now because she just fell and bumped her head on the shoe bench.

She took her first steps on the 28th of December and has been improving every day since. Go Britt!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Today I'm a Nurse.

I was wrong.  Britt isn't teething.  Well, she might be, but probably not.  She's been running a temperature for going on three days now.  Plus the icky nose, drool, sleepless nights and cranky disposition.  All of those are symptoms Ash experienced while teething.  What else was I to think??  Well, Britt's been sleeping a TON!  But not at night and she just seems so tired anyways.  She woke up this morning with a goopy eye and a loud, angry ROAR.  Yikes!  Not getting better and no sign of a tooth anywhere.  So, I decided to take her temp.  It was 103!  Not a teething temp.  As you can imagine, off to the doctor we went as fast as we could.

My poor Britt-Britt has pink eye (in both eyes), and ear infection (in both ears) and is dehydrated.  I feel so bad for her!!  Ash has never had antibiotics.  And I hate to give them to Britt so soon, but she's so little and could have been dealing with this for days, for all we know.  So - she's got cream for her eyes, amoxicillin and garlic/mullein drops for her ears, extra probiotics to keep the antibiotics from giving her thrush, clear pedialyte for her dry diapers, and motrin (hopefully will work better than the tylenol) for nights. 

So - here's what else I've learned (figure I might as well pass it along):

  • Everyone's pain tolerance and immune system goes down at night, which is why everyone sleeps worse at night when they are sick or in pain, yet naps tend to happen without a hitch and are very beneficial. 

  • Babies will, sometimes, chew on their fingers (looks like teething) to relieve the pressure in their ears.

  • Putting cold, wet, wrung-dry socks (and then slippers over those) on the feet of someone with a fever will draw the fever down from their head.  We'll be trying this trick tonight.

  • If none of the teething remedies work, your baby probably isn't teething.  Duh.

  • Do not, I repeat, do NOT try to wrestle the garlic drops into your child's ears while sitting on your side of the bed.  You will end up spilling the bottle all over your sheets and then your bed will smell.  Bad. 

No rest for the wicked, that's for sure!


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Today I Danced.

I signed Ash up for dance classes.  It's a parent and child class, so we all dance together.  So much fun!  Today was her first day.  She started out feeling super shy (that's a first!), but half way through she decided that it was all good and let her normal, outgoing, happy self out to play.  Yay!

The other fun thing is, her teacher used to be my teacher when I was a teen and I used to take my little sister, Molly, to this same class (14 years ago!!).  One of the perks of coming back to live in your hometown.  :)


I'll have to try to get to class early some time and take pics in the studio. 

On another note,  Britt slept better last night, but based on how she's behaved all day, she is still feeling bad.  Poor lil bum.  The Camilia didn't do jack.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Today I Took A Nap.

As far back as I can remember my mom would take a nap.  Every afternoon.  She still does. 

Me, though?  I look at naps as a waste of precious time.  Sometimes I go to bed too late at night because there so much I want to accomplish.  But when my babies first come home, I nap.  Everyone tells you to sleep when your baby sleeps.  So I did.

With Ash I slept when she slept for the first week or two, but her night schedule so quickly became the same as ours, I abandoned napping pretty quick.  "She's sleeping!  Yay!  Quick, get stuff done!" 

I assumed that when Britt came along it would all be the same sort of routine.  I'd nap when she'd nap for a bit and then after a week or so, she'd be "normal" and I'd get projects done. 

Thought WRONG!

Britt has never slept through the night.  Not once in her short nine months so far.  I napped with her for months because I had to.  She would go to bed at 8pm and wake up at 1am and not go back to sleep for HOURS!  It was pretty rough going for a while.  I experienced, first hand, the insanity that sleep deprivation brings.  Not pretty.  It took Britt at least four months to get her night and day sorted out. 

Then things got better.  She went through a little bump in the road a couple months ago where she thought it would be fun to wake up every hour or two, instead of every three or four, just to demand a feeding or play time.  But, I nipped that in the bud by simply laying her down and only feeding her every three hours.  She quickly learned that we sleep at night and snacks are served at strict three hour increments.  It was quite easy actually.

Except now.  Britt is getting a molar.  Ugh.  She's running a temp, dripping drool like faucet, has a stuffy nose, chews on everything, and, of course, won't sleep.  The past three nights have been absolutely horrendous and until that beastly tooth comes in, I'm back to napping.  **sighs**  At least Britt and I are getting extra cuddle time in.

This is the best shot I could get of my littlest princess.

The rest of them looked like this because the light on the camera bothered her poor, watering, extra light sensitive eyes!

P.S.  I'm trying everything (not all at once, don't panic): baby tylenol, bach's rescue remedy, lavendar/chamo/lemon balm tea, teething oil with clove, and even used up the last of the hyland's teething tablets (can't get anymore because of the recent recall).  Nothing is getting use through the night.  Any tips are very appreciated.  :D  I'm about to try Camilia teething relief.  Will let you know how that goes.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Today I Took A Shower.

I know, I know.  You're thinking, "Uh....good for you, Jamie." 

But as I was enjoying the warmth of a hot shower, I started to say a prayer of gratitude because I realized what a huge blessing it is to have running water.  Warm, clean, bug-free, germ-free, pesticide-free water!  Water that I don't have to heat or pump myself.  I turn a handle and it's all there. 

So thankful.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Today I Made A Treasure Box.

One of the scriptures on the top.

I am the secretary for Primary (basically, the Sunday School program for ages 3 through 11) at church.  That means I keep assignments and papers straight, make sure all the teachers have what they need to teach the kids their lessons each week, and whatever else the Primary president and councilors ask me to do.  One of the things I was asked to do was to make a treasure chest.  Well, mission accomplished!  Woot! 

The finished product!

The treasure chest holds strips of paper for the kids to write their names on when they've read their scriptures during the past week.  Then we'll link each strip to the other.  By the end of the year we'll have a long chain to show how much reading the kids have done.  The chain will be a physical manifestation of the spiritual growth the kids can gain as they read about Jesus Christ and his teachings each week.  And of course the scriptures, being the word of God, are a treasure.  Hence, the treasure chest.  :)

The papers for chain making inside.

Basically, I took an empty diaper box, measured three inches down from the top and drew a line, box cut around that line to make a lid, used packing tape on the back to give it a hinge (of sorts), Mod Podged brown packaging paper (in pieces) to the outside, put several layers of Mod Podge on all sides except the bottom, printed out the scriptures and pasted them on, then hot glued all the "gemstones."  Ta-da!

This would also be fun for a dress-up box or for a bunch of little pirates hunting for buried treasure!  :)

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Today I Labeled Toy Boxes.

I have a bunch of these storage containers.  When I put them on the shelves, the girls can't find their toys.  When they can't find their toys, they spend more time pestering me when I'm trying to get other things done.  This just wouldn't do!  So, I hopped on Flickr to download good pics, jumped over to Picnik to add the "label" and then hit print on my computer!  Voila!  Threw them into a plastic sleeve, added glue dots to the back and applied.  The only part that took up some time was searching for the perfect picture.  I'm so pleased.  Ash was pretty impressed too.  Britt.   Well, we'll cut her some slack.  It takes a little more effort to impressed Miss Britt-Britt.  :)

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Today I Celebrated Ethiopian Christmas.

My parents and siblings have a tradition of going to an Ethiopian restaurant on the 6th of every January.  Ethiopia celebrates Christmas on the 7th so my family celebrates on (or round) that day too.  We went a couple days early this year because my brother and his family are in town right now.  It was fun, the food was good, and they had catchy Ethiopian music playing (made me wanna get up and dance, so I settled for dancing in my seat).  The following are just a few of the many pictures that were taken.  :)

Haha!  I just had to include the first two pics I took.  It was like both of my kids were saying, "Where are we and why have you brought me to this loud, weird place?

Don't worry, the girls loosened up and started bobbing to the music.  I tried to get  a video of it, but when I aimed the camera at them they stopped.  Of course they started right up again as soon as I gave up on catching their dancing on film. 

Group shot. 

Ash reading the menu.  Kept her entertained for about two seconds.  Haha!

Here's the food!

And more (that's an egg in the middle)!  So, we picked up pieces of injera bread and grabbed whatever looked good on the community plate.

Ash only ate two bites and then refused to eat any more of the strange food.  She finished off the cereal puffs after that.  :)

Britt, on the other hand, couldn't get enough of the injera and the yummy green lentils.

Despite not liking the Ethiopian food, Ash had a great night.  We all did.  Another successful Ethiopian Christmas (of sorts)! 

Monday, January 3, 2011

Today I Made Scones.

Let me back up a bit.  For breakfast, this morning, I made oatmeal for the girls and myself.  Homemade oatmeal with raisins, and rice drink and xylitol added after cooking.  We all REALLY like oatmeal.  And it totally hit the spot.  After all the rich and flamboyant things we've been eating for the holidays, it was nice to ingest something simple and wholesome. 

Well, I made too much and I don't care for waste so I got online and looked up recipes for leftover oatmeal.  This recipe here is what I found and tried and we are all very pleased with the results.  Leftover Oatmeal Scones for breakfast tomorrow!  Just kidding.  There aren't any left.  :)  Next time I make these, I'm putting pumpkin butter on them.  YUM!

P.S.  I substituted Earth Balance spread for the butter in the recipe and rice drink instead of milk.  :)