Wednesday, November 2, 2011

A Halloween Surprise

I'm sure the cat has been let out of the bag... Of course I don't think it would be something I could hide much longer. We are expecting out family to grow in the spring!
I am 12 weeks along. I have made it through the first trimester, without telling my family. I can't believe it was my idea to tell everyone with our Halloween costumes. I was dying trying not to say anything, and wearing baggy shirts around my mom!
The best part was watching the Grandparents try to figure out my costume! The Grandma's only took a moment, however the Grandpas were in need of a hint! We told the girls about their future the day before Halloween, in hopes they would give the ultimate hint to the Grandparents. Maybe Big Girl J would say something like, "There is a baby in Mommy's tummy!" But no, she said trick or treat, got her candy and was ready to move on to the next house.
Little Miss O could care less about our big news. Big Girl J is very excited, as long as it's a girl. She even got Little Miss O on her side of wanting a sister, not a brother! Of course we keep telling her we won't know till Christmas, and she will have to deal with a baby brother, if that is the case.
The biggest problem I am having with Big Girl J being so curious about the baby and wanting to watch videos of how the baby is growing, is the big question. Not how did the baby get in there, but how does the baby get out? I often respond with, "Do you want a cookie?" or "Hey, what was that, let's go look!" Those responses last me a day or two, but I think I may have to tell her soon...
So back to happy thoughts. I didn't put a lot of effort into the girl's costumes this year. The t-shirts were purchased months ago, but the blue hair was a last minute effort. But I think they pulled it off. Also, Big Girl J, really wanted to be a bat for Halloween this year. So in order to tell the family in my fun way, I talked her into wearing a cape with her Thing 1 costume and going as Super Thing 1. And it worked. She also wears the cape on a regular basis since we got it. She loves it!

They had a blast trick or treating and I enjoy my job of candy inspector. This holiday is only evil if you are on a diet, and obviously I am off my diet for the next 6 months!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Really, I might start doing this again!

Most days I don't feel I was that busy, but I am tired enough to believe I must have. Also, many days, I think if I actually were being paid to be a 'homemaker' my family would be starving. It's probably a good thing I can't get fired from that job!
My awesome garden went a little down hill when my new puppy (he may be a puppy but he is about the size of most full grown dogs) got into my garden, multiple times, and pretty much destroyed many plants. I tried to put up fencing to block him, but then he jumped the fence in a different area. I again tried to block him, thinking the only other place for him to try is so blocked by very large plants, he won't jump because there is no place for him to land... Unless he is not afraid to land directly in the middle of my pumpkin patch. The Jerk!
I still have many and very large tomato plants, however the crop seems to be struggling. First, I kept those plants very well labeled and I am most certain I did not put grape tomatoes in my garden, yet I have very red and ripe looking grape tomatoes on the same stem as large tomatoes. So I am struggling. How could I have expected a great veggie year my first go around?
Also our house is up for sale. So depending on when it sells, my second go around for a veggie garden might not even be a consecutive year! Let's hope that is not the case, because my little girls are loving helping me. Big Girl J has been very involved in helping me in every step. And she loves those little grape tomatoes while she is playing outside. And so does Little Miss O. At least someone will eat them if I can't get enough tomatoes at once to can them.
Speaking of canning, I purchased two boxes of apples and have been (slowly) working on making applesauce. I have already made some plum jam (Christmas presents) and today I made 7, 12oz, jars of grape jelly. I hope to add tomato sauce to this list, of course finishing the apples before that wish comes true would be helpful!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Still figuring this out

I know, it has been yet another month since I last posted. I am mostly posting currently to let you know I have changed my comment settings. I was getting comments that sound like spam with links that I wouldn't even try to click on. I change the comments allowed to only members. I wanted to make sure my family who wants to keep up with me (when I get back around to posting regularly) still can. I also changed the comments to be previewed by me before they will post.
At first the comments were on my cake picture posts, and they were odd, but at least sounded like the person read my blog, but then had a link to plastic surgery sounding link. Then recently the comments were on random post and had nothing to do with the post. So I am fed up. I do not need plastic surgery. You spam people ruin everything. EVERYTHING!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Little O turns 2

Little Miss O has turned two! I know it's hard to believe. My little one is already two, but just wait, in week my next post may say she is turning 16! It is amazing how fast the time goes.
Everyone has hear of the terrible twos, and I think Little Miss O has perfected it. She has been practicing her temper tantrums for months now. Her best fit is the one she throws while I am cooking dinner. She waits for me to open the pantry, stands in the way so I can't close it, then begins to demand animal crackers. Her tantrum involves real tears, that seem to claim I starve her, screaming, I'm sure there are words but I can't understand them, and most importantly the stamping foot, because if you stamp your foot it gets results. If I open the freezer while she is in the kitchen the tantrum is over ice cream rather than animal crackers. No matter the scenario, my two year old has defiantly perfected it. She has also learned to over dramatize when her sister is mean to her. In many case her sister is pulling her hair, because Little Miss O has already done so to her. The real problem is Big Girl J does not pull Little Miss O's hair in the same vicious manner as what is done to her. However, the result seems to be the same, crying, yelling, and foot stomping.
As horrible as I might be making this sound, it really is. Just plain maddening! Lucky for me this is not a constant event. This at best is a once or twice a day happening. Usually resolved with a threat of no chocolate milk with dinner, or taking the number of books we read before bed down a number. Some nights the book count has gone from 4 to 1 and it seems the lesson still isn't learned, because both children throw a fit when I say no more books because they didn't behave earlier!
Alas, the real reason of this blog post, show off the cake! I attempted a topsy turvey cake. I am concerned that my decorations were a bit too big and took away the effect of a purposely slanted cake, so it just looks crooked...

Little Miss O seemed to enjoy her birthday, with minimal crying. I made the bottom tier chocolate with chocolate chips, the most popular by far. The middle was a homemade cherry chip with the lesson learned, this cake is wonderful fresh and does not freeze well. The top was white almond sour cream, I thought was very tasty, but still not as awesome as the chocolate cake!
Wonderful Husband and I had decided when Big Girl J was one, that we don't like to force people to bring gifts, and his dad can be a little overwhelming with gifts for the wrong age range. So we asked for no gifts at the party, just for people to come and have fun.
Grandmama thinks she is an exception to the rule, and likes to torture me, by bringing presents. At least the gifts are either homemade or good educational, needed toys.
For the record, on the no gift policy. My favorite part, now, is that my girls do not expect gifts. They do not open the door for their friends with the words 'where's my gift.' I have been to many birthday parties with bratty little kids. I have also found my least favorite part of the parties we have attended is the forcing of sitting a child down who was happy playing to open presents and having to thank people they don't really know. It makes me glad I don't do that. I understand why people do it, it was in all fairness the way we were raised. I just want my kids to want to have their friends to celebrate with, and be happy with that!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

It seems time does fly!

While I look at the summer flying by, I realize that this is just the beginning of 'busy' summers. Big Girl J has had two different vacation bible school weeks, one in June and on at the end of July. She had a week with an afternoon hour of soccer camp. Little Miss O has turned two! Little Miss O and Big Girl J both had two weeks of swim lessons for a half hour each morning, however it seemed the day was shot after that half hour! We have traveled to the zoo, gone to an interactive farm, and many trips to the splash parks.
While I feel this summer has been great, quick and busy, I know that every summer with my growing girls will be different yet equally busy, and with any luck all of the summers will be fun!
One thing my girls have enjoyed this summer is working in the garden with me and eating the fruits and veggies of their labor, (mostly my labor, they just hold the basket!)
Now to catch you up with pictures in case you get bored reading all those words!

My Goal: Post about the birthday, the garden, the plum jam I made, and what ever else I am forgetting!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Momma, Momma, quite common, how does your garden grow?

I am feeling very good about my garden so far. Well most of it. I have had my fair share of salads and given bags of lettuce to a few friends. I planted the lettuce and carrots at the same time in early spring directly in the ground. Both just one packet of seed. They have both done great. However lettuce doesn't like the hot weather, and was going to seed soon. So about two weekends ago we found a great sale on pepper plants at a local nursery. With the thought of canning some salsa with all those tomatoes we purchased 8 to 10 different varieties of peppers. The next day I pulled up the lettuce and planted all the peppers.
One is a chocolate pepper, more on that when I get to taste it.
I was feeling like my tomatoes were growing very slow, and the eggplant, red bell pepper and banana pepper plants hadn't grown at all since they got planted.
 Red Bell Pepper
Banana Pepper, these really are about the same size they were when they got planted. I did start all of these plants from seed, in the green house corner of my garage. So I am really hoping for these guys to do something big, like the squash, or corn, even the pumpkins.
From left to right, pumpkin plants, squash, and corn, with the tomato plant in front. The corn is about chest high, the squash is more than half as tall, and they are all doing great!, But those tomatoes... So I decided to visit Loveland Hydroponics for some grow food.
Side note, big shout out to the guy who runs that place. It is very friendly to those who don't know what they are doing, like me. He answered every question, requested pictures and is very friendly. He is the reason my garden has gone so well. I am glad I found that shop!
Back to the story, he hooked me up with some grow food. And my big garden helper applied it wonderfully!

See, what a big help! The carrots are in front of her, the patch of peppers to the side with soybean and green beans behind them. There are also red onions next to the carrots. I am very excited about all that my garden is producing! In fact I have baby green beans growing and hope to be eating fresh green beans shortly!


Friday, June 24, 2011

Jodie's Race

I recently ran my first 5k. I was able to run most of it. It took me about 40 minutes with roughly 5 to 10 minutes of walking, only when I need a little break. But I never stopped. Even thought I need to use the restroom when the race started and saw a port-a-potty about half way through. But I was concerned if I stopped to potty I might not be able to start running again!
I was quite passionate about running this race due to the cause. Jodie's race is for ovarian cancer awareness. Not a cause I hear much about, so I wanted to help get the word out.
I saw on facebook that there wasn't too much support, and this was my first 5k. When I arrived to see over 2,000 people gathered, I was surprised, to say the least. But it was wonderful, I got an email recently that said they raised over $200,000 from the race and the race teams that did fundraising.
This really gets me stoked for next year. I think I would like to try and get a team together and do some fundraising... But first, I need to find another 5k to keep my exercise motivation going!

Thursday, June 9, 2011


One of the many wonderful things that make my children so much better than anyone else's, is there ability to go on road trips without going crazy and taking me with them!
Of course the travel DVD player helps, a lot.
The girls and myself loaded up in Grandmama's car and travel across the not so wild, more boring west into the great belly button of America. Greensburg is where my mom and her family have called home. It is where my grandma was recently buried and where a F5 tornado tried to wipe off the map.
Four years ago the family had planned a Memorial Day weekend get together in Greensburg to bury Grandma's ashes next to her husband. The morning after confirming our plans, we woke to see on the news that a mile wide tornado had just hit the mile wide town.
I didn't feel the same loss as the rest of the family, however the chance to see the house my mom grew up in was no longer an option. Big Girl J was barely two months old when we made that trip. Being able to go into Greensburg and see the devastation was an experience that left me amazed and feeling very insignificant.
This last Memorial Day weekend was Grandma's sister (Aunt Sissy's) 90th birthday. So the families made the travel plans and endured the drive to celebrate with each other. We also got to enjoy the festivities of the Greensburg annual High School Reunion. This included a parade, much smaller than the ones my girls have seen, but it was still enjoyed.
They got lots of candy for such a small parade, but of course there weren't many children fighting for the handfuls!

The next morning Aunt Sissy blessed up with her presence at breakfast. This is the first time she had met Little Miss O, and the played a game of pass the jelly for a while!

Wise Aunt made our family's favorite treat, blarney stones. This is a treat the Aunt Sissy was known for making at all of our family get togethers. A treat that many of us had missed for years, and a treat my girls got to experience for the first time, and then at least five more times that day!
Grandmama did Big Girl J's hair for our BBQ that evening, so Big Girl J wanted to return the favor. She did much better than the time I did my Grandma's hair and decided she needed a trim. I believe that may have been my first realization that once hair was cut simply putting it back would not get you out of trouble!

At the BBQ in a local friend's backyard a town over from Greensburg, we found the world's best swing set. Big Girl J and Little Miss O certainly didn't want to leave, not even for the left over blarney stones!
We survived the trip home, and really had a wonderful time.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Quick Update

What another fun packed month! And it would appear the this next month may not allow much more free time. With the sun going down so late, Big Girl J is having a hard time staying in bed when she goes down. Last week, after I took a day for training without the girls, I promised Big Girl J that we would spend the whole next day together. After putting her to bed that evening, with the sun still showing, she came out of her room and said, "Mr. Sunshine is still up, and you promised we would spend the whole day together."
What do you say to that!?! Not fair, so we cuddled for a little and I got her to bed just as the sun went down.
Little Miss O is getting very feisty. She has learned how to pull hair (since she has none, it is a safe fighting move.) She also uses her little nails to try and stop her sister from taking toys from her, and yesterday she bit her sister! I put her in time out and she kept getting down from the chair, so her time out ended in her room, in her crib. After a minute, and she quit crying when I had closed the door, I went to get her out of time out. She had covered herself up and was going to nap! What is silly little girl!
Yesterday my children tested me and my patience. I learned a few things and still need to figure out a few things. I am just glad that day is done, and I hope we can have a better weekend. Please can we have a better weekend, I beg that it gets better!
On a lighter note, I had three cakes I did this month, and 2 due for next weekend. I helped my sister-in-law make her 8 (almost 9) year old's birthday cake.
I don't know much about Sponge Bob, so I am glad Mister C came wearing a shirt that showed Sponge Bob, so we could reference him!
I made Momma's birthday cake. These were actually small cakes, but larger than cupcakes.

I tried to make them took like flower pots, I ran out of time to make flowers (obvious bad time management) so I used peanut butter cups as the flower. I claimed that this was the rare butter plant from the south western peanut farms of Antarctica....
And then step brother's girl friend asked me to make a cake for her dad's birthday.

From the golf game step-brother, step brother's girlfriend's dad, and Wonderful Husband played that morning, it sounds like I should have place all the golf balls in the water feature!
I also had my first Iris blooms!!!!! I am bad at names, so why should my iris be any different. I think I should place name tags on them this year.
 The first, and many of these guys have bloomed since!
Second to bloom! Love the pastel coloring of this one!
I had one more open yesterday, white up top and yellow on the bottom, again don't know the names, so help would be great, so I can give them name tags and call them something other than "little guys."
And lastly, my veggie garden. I planted most of the plants I had started from seed in the garage. I think I will attempt a time laps of the garden, by taking a weekly picture of the garden. more on that later!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

First Communion Cake

I really do have fun making cakes. I know I am not a professional cake maker, but I am quite happy with this one. My fabulous hair dresser had a daughter, whom on May 1st had her first communion. She asked for a cake, that we talked about during my previous hair appointment, and also maybe dyed my hair a few minutes too long because of the cake talking! But I am still happy with my hair.
I wanted another shot at making good branches. She wanted flowers. I went with a two sided cake.

I used melted chocolate piped onto wax paper and then placed in the fridge to make the branches. I was much happier with these. I was not happy with my cross on top. I made it from rice crispy treat that I should have made a day ago and forgot. So I made it an hour before and it was not completely hardened, so it leans a bit. In fact it was leaning enough that I placed a plastic fork behind it, to prevent it from completely falling off the cake!
This is the front. After setting the cake on the table, I turned around and realized that I still have a lot of flowers left. And I don't really want to take them home, so...

I tossed them all on the table in front of the cake. I must say, I think that really finished the cake wonderfully!
During the cake making process, Wonderful Husband had a birthday. I used the left over blueberry batter and the leftover strawberry batter and made small 'tuna' sized cakes. At a recent booth a Tupperware lady had a set of plates, cups, pitcher, and cake holder. I had met this lady at other events, and I have debated on purchasing this set. At the latest booth she informed me that this was the last set. It is no longer in the catalog and she has no more available. I thought for a minute and responded with, "do you take checks?"
She informed me that the small cake container will hold a cake the size of a tuna can.

Actually you can bake a cake in a tuna can, just clean it and get the paper off it. So I made 3 little cakes and set each girl down with their own cake to decorate for Daddy's birthday.

 Cake decorating is something Big Girl J very much enjoys. She takes it very seriously!
However, Little Miss O didn't understand why she couldn't eat the cake and lick the icing. If you look close at the picture, there is a bite sized piece of cake missing here. Just after this picture was snapped she licked the spreader. But the look she gave me when I told her no, was the best.
Since the cakes were so small, Wonderful Husband only got one candle to blow out. Big Girl J was hung up on that for a few days. Kept asking 'how old are you?' with a follow up question of 'then why did you only have one candle?'

Monday, May 9, 2011

Mother's Day Fun

I was going to post on the cake I made a week ago, but I have not prioritized the blog, therefore more fun things have happened since my last blog! I will try to blog about the cake tomorrow or the next day. Maybe the day after, I will make the goal to post again by Wednesday!
Back to it. Mother's Day. I love Mother's Day. Not because I think I deserve some sort of special day to be loved a little more, or that I need a special day to be appreciated. I feel appreciated (almost) everyday, and I know even though they don't show it, my babies love me most days, hopefully. I love Mother's Day because it seems to be the official kick off to the gardening season. I have also made it clear that I don't need anything other than being allowed to enjoy a garden nursery and have no judgment passed at checkout.
The girls seem to enjoy the nursery, they like all the flowers. I had them help me pick out Dahlias. I picked a dark red, Big Girl J picked a yellow and red one and Little Miss O picked a hot pink color! I love them, I just hope I can grow them this year. All the plants I purchased yesterday went in the back yard. My front bed it full and we have sprinklers through the back beds this year. The back beds are still considered full sun, but maybe an hour less than the front.
Big Girl J was upset on this trip to the nursery, they were so busy there weren't any little carts for her to push. In fact if I hadn't grabbed the run away cart in the lot, I would have been without a cart!
After enough pouting, Wonderful Husband went in search of one. He came back with a wagon, and it worked! Little Miss O was a little jealous, so we put her in the wagon, and she got to go for a ride!
They didn't actually knock anything over, but they did try! Everyone kept stopping to say 'how cute' and then laugh a little when the wagon wheel caught  the corner of a table or a trellis. Then they switched!
That didn't last too long, but she tried. Wonderful Husband had to give a little push on occasion to help her along.
There was a station for kids to plant a plant for mom. The girls were a little hot and seemed uninterested, but when there is a chance for me to get a free plant I push for it. Little Miss O picked out a lovely yellow pansy and Big Girl J picked out the plant with lots of little white blooms. Not sure on it name, but it is a creeper plant. Either way, my girls enjoy playing in the dirt and when they realized that was part of planting a plant, they were on board.
Big Girl J's wagon was commandeered while she was playing on the playground, just prior to planting her plant. When she finished her plant she went to put it in the wagon and was very displeased to find it missing. I tried to explain that it is a busy day and someone needed it, Wonderful Husband tried to explain it as you left it unattended and you lost it. I hope she got the gist of both!
I suggested her not to be upset but to go home and play with her own wagon. We pulled it out, put Mommy's plants in it along with gloves, shovels and kneeling pads. We went around the garden, I picked a place to plant something and she picked out what plant would go there. It was wonderful team work, and I really enjoyed my entire day!
She also helped me plant my corn, soybean and green bean seeds in the vegetable garden.
Wonderful Husband made me my favorite Belgium waffles for breakfast and took me to one of my favorite lunch places for lunch. At lunch my little girls waited patently for their mac and cheese. But they were too adorable, I had to take a picture!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

First Hair Cut

Little Miss O finally grew some hair! So in honor of that, the hair hanging over her ears looking shaggy and the hair on the back of head was very rough, I let her get her first hair cut.
I actually did not plan to cut her hair. In fact I was only planning to get my hair did and when we arrived at my friend's house, Big Girl J asked to get her hair cut. Her actual words, "Can I get my hair cut long?"
I have decided I will allow the girls to choose their hair cut. After Big Girl J had several hair cuts, I started asking if she would like it to look like Dora's or other TV characters she can relate to. No, Elmo's hair cut was not one of those options!
So mommy sat in the chair and turned into foil head, getting my highlights. When I got out of the chair to let it sit, Big Girl J promptly climbed up. My hairdresser smiled, because she is such a great 4 year old to never fight getting her hair trimmed. After just a few minutes and a nice clean trim, Big Girl J jumped down. Then Little Miss O tried to climb up. As a 20 month old, she found it difficult to climb into the chair! But I helped, thinking just let her sit there and be comfortable with it when it is her turn. Then jokingly I commented that she didn't have enough hair to cut.
But our hairdresser said, "\We can trim it and clean it up."
Initially I had a fear of what happened when Big Girl J got her first trim. She looked like a little boy. I was not pleased with that trim, nor was I very pleased with that hairdresser. But there is a reason I am not getting my hair trimmed by her any longer. In fact, my current hairdresser is the best I have ever had! The first time she did my hair, I just told her what I did not like about my hair. She fixed it, made it wonderful, and I have trusted her ever since. Every time she says, "what do you think if we do this?" I say yes, I trust you. If you think it would look good then do it!
So I look at my wonderful hairdresser and say, "OK."
 She gave a smile, but wouldn't give a full smile. She was a bit unsure, but did great!

Little Miss O didn't fuss one bit. She sat there quiet and turned her head as directed. And never go mad at mommy for taking about one hundred pictures! I was not prepared with my real camera, although my camera phone does a wonderful job. I was also not prepared with a bag. However my wonderful hairdresser came through with a fresh clipping of hair and a baggy! And to make the hair cut the best ever.... Little Miss O didn't look like Little Mister O when it was done! My wonderful hairdresser cut Little Miss O's hair just like a little girl's hair should be cut!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Delicious Hot Smoes

Yes, I know, I took a line from Toy Story 2.
But really. After Big Girl J's fourth birthday bash, she requested to toast marshmallows. Unfortunately that evening the winds picked up and being high fire danger season, no need to mention the on going and recently put out wild fires. So even just a fire in the pit out back wasn't such a good idea. We stalled her for a day, and the winds did not subside. That night we did the next best thing. Fire in the fire place, marshmallows on BBQ skewers and an outdoor table cloth on the floor.
This picture melts my heart.... just like they are melting marshmallows!
I had a tray of the fixin's right behind them. So the mallows came of hot and I was ready. This was not the first s'more experience for anyone in my family. I am happy to offer a s'more at the youngest possible age.

Two s'mores later, marshmallow and chocolate traces on the white couch and table, I dunked the girls in a bath and sent them to bed. What a wonderful way to wrap up Big Girl J's birthday celebration week!

On a side note, still about the Birthday Girl, I didn't show off the cupcakes we made for her preschool class.
Got the idea from the cutest cupcake book from my wonderful Wisest Aunt! The fish were made from circus peanuts!

 Really, she wanted to help this much making her cupcakes, no need to reference child labor laws!
 She did get to enjoy her hard work when the cupcakes were done!
So did Little Miss O!