Thursday, April 30, 2009

Thousand Word Thursday

SweetPea helped me pick out this picture. We both really like it. I remember the statue she is sitting by from my childhood. It used to sit on the steps leading to my grandparent's back door. I used to sit down next to it and trie to pose the exact same way, but I could never get my head to tile back quite far enough.

I just love the way SweetPea is laughing with that cute little hat sitting croocked on her head. It always makes me smile.

Cheaper Than Therapy

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

A Talented Year!

This years American Idol and Britain's Got Talent a pumping out some real star power!

American Idol:It has been enjoyable to watch each week. Much better than years past. I am not exactly sure which horse I am betting on yet. I have liked almost all of them at some point.

Adam So many people are talking about this guy. I have heard people say they should just take him out of the competition because he is in a different league. I think he puts on a great show.

Danny I think he has an interesting story. I don't like him as much as Paula does, that is for sure. I think everything is starting to sound exactly the same from him. Any album he would drop at this point, might be a little boring.

Allison I just can't believe she is 16! Hello! I think they are a bit harsh to her at times.

Kris I really like how Kris has a lot of variety, but it still is his style. He has suprised me more than anyone else, meaning I didn't originally expect him to get this far. Which I don't mind, I "know" him through 6 degrees of seperation.

Matt I don't like him. I admit it. That isn't to say he can't sing, cuz he is way better than I ever will be, but I just don't care much for what he has done so far.

Britain's Got Talent: They have been all over YouTube

Susan Boyle If you haven't since this video, take a look. It will suprise you.

Shaheen Jafargholi He is 12 years old.

Hollie Steele I think Simon has a few good tips for her, but wow!

Diversity Good Dancers, not the sharpest, but enjoyable. Not the best camera angle! What more can I say besides, we are all so different and yet so much the same

I am anxious to see what else is in store for this year, since we aren't even half way through! Is the platform too high for So You think You Can Dance?

Why are you talking to Me?

I have had many people mention to me that they think I have never met a stranger, but honestly I think it boils down to the fact that I must look like I want to listen. Now don't get me wrong, I LOVE meeting people, usually. It is has changed a bit in the past few years. I think it comes with me being a mom and way paranoid about people around my children. Where did this come from, not sure, but it has made it harder for me to try and meet people when i have my kids around. Or maybe it is because I am too busy trying to keep them from running off and knocking over bystanders. But that is a tangent.

When I was in school becoming and then later working as a Social Worker I found this little "gift" (you know the one I mentioned above, "looking like I want to listen") kinda handy. It made my job a bit easier because people would unload, or disclose if you are in the biz. It can be handy for making friends too.

But let me tell you, it has some major downfalls. One that I noticed sometime ago, unrequited love. I don't mean mine either! I had more than one fella express his interest in me and I had no idea why. I mean, I know I am quite the catch and the ENTIRE human race should be aching to be near me, but I thought I was doing my best to throw the "no" signal, without being rude. Especially since they were all friends of mine, or at least friends of friends, or at least the drive through attendant at Taco Bell! What I could best figure was they felt some connection to me because they had noticed I looked like I wanted to listen and they spilled their guts. Their deepest darkest fears, their big golden dreams. And OBVIOUSLY you only tell those things to someone you like! Oops! Wrong. You just thought you liked me BECAUSE you told me those things. By the way, there is some scientific proof to this concept, but I will not be discussing it here.

Second major downfall of looking like I want to listen is I get stuck LISTENING! Now I don't mean people I actually want to listen too. I don't mind listening to good friends talk. I mean the stranger I don't know who stops me on my way to the restroom when my bladder is about to explode because I am 11 months pregnant! If I really wanted to hear what you had to say I would ask you to follow me and talk while I peed. Or if I was feeling polite I would ask you to pause and I will come back. But with strangers, well, I really don't want to take a pee break with them. Nor do I want to return to continue the conversation we shouldn't be having in the first place because I DON'T KNOW YOU!

Here are a couple of examples. I do a lot of my shopping late int he evening because it works best for my schedule. I don't have to take the kids because Hubbs is watching them and I get a mini vacation. I can truly meditate on which bunch bananas will meet my families picky eating needs. One night while at the store alone I decided to buy some yogurt for Hubbs' lunches for the next week. Oh the fateful yogurt. Why did you call to me? As I was digging through the refrigerator case to find just the right type and flavor it happened! Ms. Chatterbox cornered me. She trapped me with her cart and WOULD NOT STOP TALKING! I heard all she had to say about the stores price fixing and conspiracy to snatch every single one of her hard earned pennies. This was amusing to me to some degree since she had a bunch of junk in her cart. I was half tempted to ram her cart and run with all my might. It wasn't like I would see her again, right? Oh no, I was wrong. You see, she kept popping-up throughout my shopping experience. As if enduring her 3 minute rant on Cool Whip in a can wasn't enough. I know 3 minutes may not seem that long, but try timing it and thinking about being stuck in halfway in a refrigerator case listening to a crazy woman, not knowing exactly how long you had to remain there, contemplating whether you should begin to place your frozen items in the case for safe keeping)

So at the check out I chose failed to use the fast cashier choosing method learned. (for those of you that don't know, usually the ugliest cashier is the fastest! Hey, don't judge me, I didn't not make them look ugly, I am just sharing the knowledge bequeathed to me. It works.) So I was in the SLOWEST line ever. Guess you shows up 3 carts behind me. You guessed it, Ms. Chatterbox. As the cashier was ringing-up the person in front of me Ms.Chatterbox walked up to me and starts to continue on with her diatribe about "Kroger: the Conspiracy." Mind you, at this point I tried not to make any eye contact, but it was hard. I was just in so much disbelief. She finally returned to her cart. She continued to talk to me though. She felt it was madness we had to wait in a line so long. She then noticed something in my cart and decided she HAD to have it. SO she asked me to move her cart for her if the line moved. At least I think she was asking me. She could have been asking the young boy behind me eyeing a snickers bar. It was a bit hard to tell with her lazy eye. (I guess in her case, she would NOT have been the fastest cashier) I am not totally sure how she expected me to move her cart. I was already at the cashier by that point. I guess I was suppose to excuse myself and climb over all the carts behind me.

The second situation has happened on multiple occasions. As we are preparing to leave somewhere someone corners me and talks my ear off about who knows what. Mean time Hubbs and the kids begin to walk off. Apparently, the "talker" can't see that my ride if LEAVING ME! Hubbs usually returns with 3 crazed kids running around like dogs chasing their tails. This honestly happened to me. I teach a lesson at church and someone catches me in the hall to tell me every thought they had during the lesson. Why they didn't share it at the appropriate time, during the lesson, and feel the need to share it during the inappropriate time, after the lesson, I am not sure. And frankly, your personal thoughts are not what I am interested in now. I am interested in getting home and feeding my growling tummy. And maybe a few kids too. Hubbs might even get a snack if he is good and comes and RESCUES ME!

I recognize I love to talk to. I even love to listen and enjoy a good story. Especially from my friends and family. So most likely, if you are reading this, I won't mind listening to you. So PLEASE don't stop talking to me because you are afraid I am talking about you right now. Just don't corner me.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Daring Baker: Cheesecake

The April 2009 challenge is hosted by Jenny from Jenny Bakes. She has chosen Abbey's Infamous Cheesecake as the challenge.

This is my first Daring Baker Challenge. I am very excited about it. Luckily it is something Hubbs is actually willing to eat, or at least try. I happen to LOVE cheesecake as well.

I had lots of fun with this one, and one TERRIBLE accident.

I started by making the crust.

Then I began to make the actual Cheesecake.

I then filled the pan
It was at this point that things went a little wonky! I am not exactly sure how it happened, but one moment I was taking the above picture and the next I was fishing the camera out of the camera out of the pan. I really have no idea how it happened. But it kinda threw my groove off. Luckily the camera stilled worked after I cleaned it up a bit. (by worked I mean it turned on and took pictures. It took about 2-3 days for the lens to open and close properly and I had to clean the lens every time I wanted to use the camera, and by cleaning a bit I mean I took a break from Cheesecake for about 20 min trying to figure out how to get the white creamy goopy goodness out of every crack and crevice on the camera)

Because of the camera mishaps I stopped all photo taking until the cake was done, SO sorry I do not have pictures of the next little bit.

I decided not to do a water bath because I knew water would leak into my springform pan. So I decided to try a couple of different things. I found many places online that talked about using a steam bath instead of a water bath with cheesecake. SO I went with that option, but I also added my own idea. I have some baking strips from my cake decorating days. I know they are meant to help cakes to come out even and prevent cracking. The water bath is to help cheesecake from cracking. I gave it a try. It worked.

I thought the camera had a hard enough day, so i gave it a rest and took pictures the next day. Here they are.
We really liked it.

The Recipe in case you want it!
Abbey's Infamous Cheesecake:

2 cups / 180 g graham cracker crumbs
1 stick / 4 oz butter, melted
2 tbsp. / 24 g sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract

3 sticks of cream cheese, 8 oz each (total of 24 oz) room temperature
1 cup / 210 g sugar
3 large eggs
1 cup / 8 oz heavy cream
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1 tbsp. vanilla extract (or the innards of a vanilla bean)
1 tbsp liqueur, optional, but choose what will work well with your cheesecake

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (Gas Mark 4 = 180C = Moderate heat). Begin to boil a large pot of water for the water bath.

2. Mix together the crust ingredients and press into your preferred pan. You can press the crust just into the bottom, or up the sides of the pan too - baker's choice. Set crust aside.

3. Combine cream cheese and sugar in the bowl of a stand-mixer (or in a large bowl if using a hand-mixer) and cream together until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, fully incorporating each before adding the next. Make sure to scrape down the bowl in between each egg. Add heavy cream, vanilla, lemon juice, and alcohol and blend until smooth and creamy.

4. Pour batter into prepared crust and tap the pan on the counter a few times to bring all air bubbles to the surface. Place pan into a larger pan and pour boiling water into the larger pan until halfway up the side of the cheesecake pan. If cheesecake pan is not airtight, cover bottom securely with foil before adding water.

5. Bake 45 to 55 minutes, until it is almost done - this can be hard to judge, but you're looking for the cake to hold together, but still have a lot of jiggle to it in the center. You don't want it to be completely firm at this stage. Close the oven door, turn the heat off, and let rest in the cooling oven for one hour. This lets the cake finish cooking and cool down gently enough so that it won't crack on the top. After one hour, remove cheesecake from oven and lift carefully out of water bath. Let it finish cooling on the counter, and then cover and put in the fridge to chill. Once fully chilled, it is ready to serve.

Pan note: The creator of this recipe used to use a springform pan, but no matter how well she wrapped the thing in tin foil, water would always seep in and make the crust soggy. Now she uses one of those 1-use foil "casserole" shaped pans from the grocery store. They're 8 or 9 inches wide and really deep, and best of all, water-tight. When it comes time to serve, just cut the foil away.

Prep notes: While the actual making of this cheesecake is a minimal time commitment, it does need to bake for almost an hour, cool in the oven for an hour, and chill overnight before it is served. Please plan accordingly!

Some variations from the recipe creator:

** Lavender-scented cheesecake w/ blueberries - heat the cup of heavy cream in the microwave or a saucepan until hot but not boiling. Add 2 tbsp of lavender flowers and stir. Let lavender steep in the cream for about 10-15 minutes, then strain the flowers out. Add strained cream to cheesecake batter as normal. Top with fresh blueberries, or make a quick stovetop blueberry sauce (splash of orange juice, blueberries, a little bit of sugar, and a dash of cinnamon - cook until berries burst, then cool)

** Cafe au lait cheesecake with caramel - take 1/4 cup of the heavy cream and heat it in the microwave for a short amount of time until very hot. Add 1-2 tbsp. instant espresso or instant coffee; stir to dissolve. Add this to the remainder of cream and use as normal. Top cheesecake with homemade caramel sauce (I usually find one on the food network website - just make sure it has heavy cream in it. You can use store-bought in a pinch, but the flavor is just not the same since its usually just sugar and corn syrup with no dairy).

** Tropical – add about a half cup of chopped macadamias to the crust, then top the cake with a mango-raspberry-mandarin orange puree.

** Mexican Turtle - add a bar of melted dark chocolate (between 3 and 5 oz., to taste) to the batter, along with a teaspoon of cinnamon and a dash of cayenne pepper (about 1/8 tsp.). Top it with pecan halves and a homemade caramel sauce.

** Honey-cinnamon with port-pomegranate poached pears – replace 1/2 cup of the sugar with 1/2 cup of honey, add about a teaspoon or more (to taste) of cinnamon. Take 2 pears (any variety you like or whatever is in season), peeled and cored, and poach them in a boiling poaching liquid of port wine, pomegranate juice/seeds, a couple of "coins" of fresh ginger, a cinnamon stick, and about a 1/4 cup of sugar. Poach them until tender, then let cool. Strain the poaching liquid and simmer until reduced to a syrupy-glaze consistency, then cool. Thinly slice the cooled pears and fan them out atop the cooled cheesecake. Pour the cooled poaching syrup over the pears, then sprinkle the top with chopped walnuts and fresh pomegranate seeds.

Some variations from Jenny (from JennyBakes):

**Key lime - add zest from one lime to sugar before mixing with cream cheese. Substitute lemon juice, alcohol, and vanilla with key lime juice.

**Cheesecakelets - put in muffin tins, ramekins, or custard cups. Try baking 20-35 minutes, or until still a little jiggly, and cool as before.

Friday, April 24, 2009


Bubba turned 2!

I can hardly believe it. He is such a big boy, I have to remind myself how young he really is, he is just such a big boy. We love him so much. He just brightens the day in so many ways.

He is such a great brother and really takes care of his sisters. Our family is really lucky to have our Bubba!

Bubba also got his first entry into Silly Saying. Check it out!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Thousand Word Thursdays

A picture really is worth a thousand words. I love this picture. It is a picture of the first time Hubbs got to hold our first child, SweetPea. It was a crazy ride that seemed to end quickly, only to immediately get on the next ride. What I mean is, my pregnancy with her was rough, not as rough as many that I hear, but rougher than either of us would have liked. Now she brings us lots of joy and a little frustration too.

In that moment it was so peacful and sweet. I just love the way Hubbs is looking at her.

Cheaper Than Therapy

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

United Airlines Cuts the Fat

United Airlines has announced they will begin to charge Obese patrons for 2 seats. (here is an article from the Chicago tribune) They are supposed to actually get 2 seats then. United Airlines reported they have received over 700 complaints from passengers complaining that someone was spilling over into their seat. It will be up to the airline attendants discretion as to whether a person needs to go back and fork out more dough. I think I read somewhere that the rule of thumb was if the seat belt extender is not enough of an extension. (for those of you that don't know, the little demo belt to show you how to use the seat belt properly is actually an extender to make the belt bigger for those that need it.) If there are not 2 seats available, or a seat in business class they will be have to take a later flight that can "accommodate" them.

So here are my thoughts. Do you have to pay extra if the person next to you doesn't care, like your travel companion (ex: spouse, child)? Do they get to take extra luggage because they paid for a seat? Can I just pay for half a seat for my small child?

I guess many other airlines (not that there are that many anymore) already have similar policies.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

9 Mommy Confessions

Through my Mommy-ing I have heard many confessions from Mom's on how they get through the day. Some I have done myself, some I wish i had thought of. Here is a list of 9 I thought were noteworthy. Please add to the list to help us all feel a little better. Post anonymously if you like, or pretend you heard of someone through someone. But please know, we all know it was you anyway! (here is a real confession I made)

1. I have turned on (or up) the radio in the car so I can't hear my whining/crying/fussing/jabbering child

2. I have used the Television as an electronic babysitter

3. I have put off (or maybe forgotten) to feed my child a major meal

4. I have forgotten to schedule check-ups for so long, I have to skip to the next check-up.

5. I have dug clothes out of the dirty laundry because I got a little behind on the laundry

6. I have put my child to bed without brushing their teeth

7. I have bribed my child with candy...lots, and Lots, and LOTS of candy.

8. I have given in to my child, just to stop the whining.

9. I have left my child in their PJs for over 48 hours, and they weren't even sick.

Monday, April 20, 2009

You could win!

Give it a try. I am! Who could use a little extra help!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Picky Eater Chronicles: Mission Rainbow

SweetPea is a Picky Eater. I HATE the fact that she is a picky eater. It drives me nuts. I love being adventurous in eating and living with a picky eaters truly thwarts my adventure. And I add a plural to the end of Picky Eaters because Hubbs is Picky too. I would have to say food issues were the biggest challenge at the beginning of our marriage. I hated it when I would take the time to prepare a meal and Hubbs wouldn't touch it. But I have learned what and how to make what he does eat more fun for me. And I do have to say Hubbs is good at picking around stuff. I mean, he has been picking around for over 30 years so he has developed a skill. I just try not to look at his plate because it makes me sad to see all the good stuff in a rejection pile at the edge of his plate.

Anyway, I now, and so does Hubbs, blame his genetic make-up of food pickiness, as the reason for SweetPea being picky. I have tried so many things to try and "break" her of the habit. I just find her will is stronger than mine. I should have realized it when she was a baby and refused to nurse at first. I guess the cards were laid at the beginning. Overall she has liked, at some point, many different foods. Currently, she eats primarily noodles with Parmesan cheese and peanut butter sandwiches.

The main thing I try and do is ALWAYS offer lots of foods AND try and be creative. So the following is my latest failed attempt at diet diversity.

As we were driving to the store I began to lay the foundation for dinner. We were going to have a Rainbow Dinner. I explained we needed to find foods of every color to eat. Food, Glorious Food! of every color!

Red: strawberries and watermelon
Orange: carrots and cantaloupe
Yellow: bananas and corn
Green: grapes and broccoli
Blue: blueberries
Purple: grape juice
I also added Black Olives for another color.

SweetPea makes me laugh because the girl is practically a vegetarian, a raw vegetarian.

I then plans to make a Rainbow Cake. The deal was IF you eat at least one bite of every color (black was not required) then you get to have the rainbow at the end of dinner. It turned out really cute, but it was still a hard sell. Even though she picked out the food, and she helped prepare it ALL she really only ate the watermelon. Then she got whiny, then she began to argue, then she went on time-out for not doing as she was asked and being disrespectful. Then an hour after Hubbs and I finished our rainbow she began to nibble a few things. So I guess I can't call it a complete failure!

Here is my plate
The cake

The directions on how to make the cake a re pretty easy. I first saw the cake as cupcakes on my friends blog (She made it for St Patrick's day.) So I did a Google search for it. I found this woman's directions. I have made cake with diet soda before and I have found it to be a bit more delicate of a cake, meaning it loses some of its durability and become fragile. She is smart and makes the layer WHOLE cakes, so it keeps some of it integrity. I was trying to make a layer cake and cut it. (I did it during a cake decorating class. I was TRYING to cut some calories. I decided to make awful flavor combos instead.) ANYWAY. I thought a bundt cake would make a cute rainbow cake. SO I took her idea and modified it as follows.

The recipe I used is a modification of my Aunt's AMAZING chocolate bundt cake recipe.

1 - package white cake mix
1 - 5.25 oz box of instant vanilla pudding
1C - sour cream (I had to use part sour cream part plain yogurt this time)
1/2C - oil
1/2C - warm water
4 - eggs (I used whole eggs, the yolk didn't yellow the batter too much)

for the colors I used gel food coloring

I mixed it all together.

Then I divided the batter into six parts
I added the food coloring

SweetPea helped mix

I then began to layer the batter into the well grease pan. Since I wanted Red on the "top" I put it in first. The batter is thick so I had to work it around a bit.
I then layered in orange and worked it around, then yellow and worked it around, then green.Blue came next and purple last!
I then baked it at 350* for a little over and hour. The outside got a little dark(I think the temp is off on my oven, I NEED to get a thermometer,) but it wasn't burnt. A burnt bunt would be no good! The colors seemed to come out really nice.
I then frosted the top of the cake for a "cloud" effect. I was planning for whipped topping, but I ended-up using that for something else a couple of nights earlier. So regular ol' white frosting and some marshmellows to add to the cload effect and to help stabilize. A few sprinkles and *poof* a rainbow!

Here is a picture of SweetPea begging to skip a few colors to get to her Rainbow!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Pack it all in

I often have great intentions to do fun things with the kids, but sometimes I just get a little overwhelmed by my own ideas. Then either the time will pass, or I try to cram it all into one fun filled day. Last Friday was just one of those days. I realized I had done nothing with the kids for Easter. So I pulled out some sugar cookie dough I had in the freezer and we made some cookies.

I sometimes find it difficult to balance letting the kids be kids and make messes and have fun, and the idealized movie version I play in my head while setting-up the activity. Poor SweetPea and Bubba. There is no way they can know what my head has made-up. It is a good thing we have fun despite my romanticized notions.

Some how they always know I have something fun planned because they show-up in the preparation stage, which is a bad time to show-up. All you get is "just wait," "don't touch," "hold on," "give me a minute," and "not yet" And I always seem rushed and something ends-up a not quite right. This time, it was the frosting. Some colors I just didn't make enough of, some ended-up soupy (which is weird since it was all made at the same time,) and it was ALL messy.

I of course helped the kids. The story in my head had pretty cookies with perfect icing. HELLO- they are both under 5 (Bubba isn't even 2 yet!) What kid under 5 can hold a pastry bag. When I took a cake decorating class there was a significant number of ADULTS who couldn't figure out the pastry bag. (as a side note, even Martha Stewart has trouble getting the "ideal" response from kids.)

We ended-up with two cookie sheets full of cookies. The first sheet I got just about perfect. They weren't under baked or over baked. If only the second sheet could have been so lucky. I completely forgot about it! At some point things clicked in my head, so I ran for the kitchen. I opened the baby gate and reached for the oven and as i took the next step I realized I was stepping ON something and it was not going to let me maintain my course, which would be on my feet. As I am falling I am praying I do not pull the oven out of the wall on top of myself, cuz not only would it be a mess, and expensive to fix and replace, but it would be HOT. A shower of hot sugar cookies is not what I want at the time. But the oven held and I landed in the trash can instead. It isn't very often that you are thankful to land in the trash! The cookies, amazingly, were still edible. The orange that caused the fall, not as much. (yes, I stepped on and rolled upon an entire unpeeled orange. I am not exactly sure how it ended-up on the kitchen floor, but I have a hunch it has something to do with Bubba.)

Later that evening we dyed eggs. I really try hard to not let the kids in on any planned ideas. I keep them in the dark as much as possible that way everything is a surprised. Not to mention, I don't have to be badgered with a millions questions regarding when something will happen. But sometimes they figure it out. This time boiling eggs was the give away. But somehow they managed to wait for Hubbs to come home.
Hubbs and I decided to do our Easter egg hunt on Saturday morning. I would like to say it is for some noble reason like keeping the Easter Bunny separate from the the religious reason for Easter, but truly, ore reasoning was purely pragmatic. We just have trouble getting the Church on time. I used to be a punctual person, but I am far out numbered now and I just can't get ahead of the game. So having an egg hunt added to the schedule would not work. Not to mention I knew I would get home Late Saturday evening (I was working at a consignment sale,) so Easter preparations just seemed daunting and tiring.

I remember as a kid running into my parents room as soon as I woke-up to wake my parents so we could get to huntin'. It never seemed that early to me, but now that I am on the other side of the encounter I just have to say "I am sorry mom and dad." I woke-up to SweetPea jumping up and down on hubbs' back yelling "wake-up, the Easter Bunny came and brought baskets and ....." with a detailed list of ever item she had already found. I began to cry from laughter, until SweetPea realized I was awake and switched her attention to me. At which point I begged her to get off before she broke my bladder. I ran to the bathroom laughing so hard at the realization I was living a caricature.

We hid the eggs in the kids playroom. When I rounded the corner of entry to the room I found Bubba sitting in the middle of a circle of plastic grass and basket contents. There were plastic eggs scattered about and chocolate slobber running down his chin. I just hope I remember for next year that we need to make things a little less accessible by the children and maybe set an alarm to wake us up. Things all happened so fast I wasn't even able to get my camera. Not to mention for some reason SweetPea was running around in her underwear, so picture taking seemed a bit odd. We did find all the eggs, I counted twice. And we were still late for Church the next morning.

Friday, April 10, 2009

The Perfect Hard Boiled Egg!

With the Easter Season here I thought this would be a good post.

  1. Buy your eggs a week in advance. Eggs that are a bit older are a LOT easier to peel. (fresh eggs lay flat in water, bad eggs float. Good peeling eggs don't lay perfectly flat, they tip up just a tad)
  2. To center you yolk lay the carton on its side the day before you boil them.
  3. Bring eggs to room temperature
  4. Place eggs in a sauce pan in a single layer
  5. Fill pot with cold tap water to a level about 1 in. above eggs
  6. Bring water to a boil
  7. Remove pot from heat and cover
  8. All eggs to sit in hot water, covered for 15 min (that gives you the lighter yellow, more dry yolk. To get the darker yellow more moist yolk they only need to sit for about 10 min)
  9. Immediately place the eggs into ice water. (this prevents that greenish ring from appearing on the outside of the yolk) I usually just pour out the hot water and run the cold water over them and throw in some ice cubes.
  10. Allow eggs to sit in the ice water until cool, then transfer to the refrigerator for at least 30 min.
To peel the eggs, the best place to crack them should be on the flatter end because the air pocket should be there. Running the egg under cold water while peeling can help as well.


Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Before Naptime

This morning I woke up to the mess in my previous post. About the time I get all cleaned up I hear my phone ring. It is a reminder alarm that in 15 minutes I need to have Bubba at the doctor's office for a recheck of his ear tubes. What? Why do I only have a 15 min notice. I apparently didn't look very closely when I set the alarm, or I thought "I'll remember this!" So I call reschedule for an hour later.

I find the kids watching morning cartoons and Bubba has snot running down his face. He then sneezes and the biggest snot wad I have seen lads on the coffee table. Are you kidding me, now? I throw some clothes on everyone, throw the kids int he car and drive over to the doctor. Now, when I walk into a location with all the kids, people have similar reactions. I am usually wearing Banana. I can be carrying, chasing after, or holding Bubba's hand. And I am usually telling SweetPea to either slow down, hold my hand, or speed-up. So at first people think "How cute" cuz they see Banana smiling and content, but then they take in the whole picture. They never quite know what to say. This day was no different. I walk in, the kids were REALLY good. Then they got comfortable. Bubba proceeded to "sweep" their floors by army crawling under ever line of chairs he could find. SweetPea pulled out all the books. Such a hassle for a 2 min appointment. I mean seriously, all they did was look in his ears!

As we were leaving SweetPea begins to talk about McDonald's since it is conveniently next door. I lied and told her it wasn't open yet. She then begins to state she want sot visit Hubbs at school and have lunch. I call, no go. Everyone begins to meltdown in the car. I turn up the radio and sing away with Lady Gaga. I get an idea. How about the store. I need to pick-up a few things to complete my Daring Baker challenge. Everyone is agreeable to the shopping trip. I find a parking spot with a cart next to it, Perfect! I strap Banana on, as I put Bubba int he cart I realize the seat is missing and the wire is jabbing him in the leg. So he starts to complain. SweetPea is complaining because she can't be in the cart at all and has to walk. I drag everyone over to a new cart, switch Bubba to the new cart. When I realize I now have a crowd of people watching the events. At which point SweetPea loudly asks "Why is everyone so old?" The crowd scurries away, as if not to be caught being old and watching. All except one woman you proceeds to tell me about her daughter who is pregnant currently with her third boy, to which I have no idea what to say.

About half way through the store and an argument about what type of crackers to buy, which actually has nothing to do with the crackers, but how the crackers are served on the box. SweetPea has to go potty. What? I wait by the bathroom with the cart full of groceries, Banana and Bubba. We now head over to the eggs. EGGS! Oh no. We have a Mom's Group activity to dye Easter Eggs in 45 min. We speed through the check out. I drive home. I find out when I get home not only did I not lock the door, I didn't even shut it, but one less step to do at this point. I print out directions, grab a loaf of bread and a jar of peanut butter for lunch.

We get there on time. luckily I still have a blanket still in the car from another picnic event. We dye eggs and eat lunch. I am finally able to give a baby gift to someone I have been meaning to for weeks. I get some CDs from someone else, but of course I forgot to write her a check. I spill a plate of fried rice on my lap. Bubba dumps a can of soda all down his front then sits in my new plate of rice. Nice! Time to go. I strip Bubba down to his diaper. Drive home and put my groceries away. Nap time!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Re-inventing Myself

I was watching Oprah today. It really made the old wheels turn. I have thought about the act of being a mom so much. I find it to be a very challenging job. I really wasn't ready for it. It kinda caught us by surprise, but that is for another post for another day.

At about six months postpartum with each of my children I get "weird." I just find I don't know who I am anymore. I feel as if I have lost myself. I get panicky and a little blue, some, like Hubbs, may even say depressed. I am not sure why. It could be hormones. It could be the change in routine. It could be the fact that I have focused so intently on a little creature for so many months I REALLY do not know who I am any more.

Here I am again at this point. Who am I? I love my kids, but I don't love motherhood. I don't like the job description, but I am not exactly sure how to rewrite the job description. part of the problem is, I don't think I knew exactly who I was BEFORE I had kids. So where do I begin.

I guess I begin by trying to figure out who I want to be. Does anyone know who I want to be? I think I want too much. I have never been much good at balance. I am not sure how I manage three kids without balance, but somehow I do it. Maybe I should start to find myself through balance.