Friday, November 30, 2012

the binkie dilemma

Avery is almost 19 months old. At this age Parker was weaned from his binkie. Actually there was no weaning...we just did it cold turkey. We thought it would be a battle b/c it was part of his bed time routine - he knows it's nap/bed time when he gets it. Once in a while we gave it to him in the car if he was fussy, but he rarely had it during the day. He used to go to daycare and although I told his nanny to limit it to naps, she often would send me pics and I would see his binkie nearby. I actually didn't think to wean him until 1 morning as I was handing his bag over to the nanny I realized I forgot to pack his binkie. I told her I would check my purse in case I had one, but she said she hadn't been giving it to him at all. WHAT?!? Why didn't you tell me...ok we will quit too...and so we did. He didn't cry or look for it and that was the end of that. 


If weaning her from her bottle is an indication then it will be a battle war! Again, with Parker we just did it cold turkey the weekend of his 1st bday. I tried that with Avery on her bday weekend and she screamed bloody murder. So off to Target I went and bought a new can of formula. Less than 2 weeks later she was ready to quit her bottles, but I still had a half a can left (she was only getting bottles at night at that point). Avery gets her binkie a lot more than Parker ever did. It started out just for nap and bed time too. Then a little more as she started to have a really hard time with teething and sucking on her binkie helped (we did this a few times with Parker too). She is the sloooowest teether ever! For example, her upper right molar broke through on 10/17 (that I noticed anyway) and it's still only half way in! I asked Kevin if we should get it looked at...maybe it's stuck?!? Is that possible? It's just weird! Anyway, if she gets fussy in the car, I give her the binkie. She starts to flip out about something while Parker is napping (she's a horrible napper), I give her the binkie. Also, we gave it to her quite a bit when we went to San Diego last month. Flying, being in a strange house, and I have this thing where I don't like my kids flipping out in front of others even if it just their Lolo (grandpa) so she had her binkie constantly. Then she started to really ask for her "beh-beh" in the last few weeks or so, I'd cave and give it to her. I mean her poor teeth! HOWEVER, this past weekend really made me realize how reliant addicted she had become. My mom and I took the kids out shopping and we were going to go to Panera for lunch. But Avery started yelling for her binkie, which unfortunately I forgot to pack one (GASP!!!). It's a wonder the screaming shrieking did not shatter my windshield! She's in the back pleading as big fat tears rolled down her cheeks: "Mah-may, beh beh! MAH-MAY! MAH-MAY! BEH-BEH! BEEEEEH-BEEEEEH!!!". It would alternate between screaming her demand and whispered pleas. It really broke my heart! I turned the car around and we headed home...and ran straight to the drawer to get her a binkie. Hey I figure, we also save money by not going out to lunch! lol

This was from a couple of weeks ago, but look at that bottom right molar! That actually broke through on 11/19 and is almost all out! The bottom right incisor is really about to pop through...but of course its been looking like that for a couple of weeks now.


I've been saying for a while now that after her molars come in I'm going to wean her. But at the rate that her teeth are coming in, it could be another 6 months before they come in then we will be battling the 2 year molars. I know I can't compare her and Parker (first he already had all of his molars and incisors way before 18 mos) and I'm not wanting to wean her b/c he was weaned by 19 months. I want to b/c I don't want her teeth to get all messed up b/c she's still sucking on a binkie at 4 years old and the longer she has this binkie, the harder it will be for us to break the habit addiction! And truthfully, I'm tired of trying to keep track of it and making sure I have one with me at all times. So, I'm writing this so that I'm going to be held accountable! My New Year's resolution (which by the way I never make one, so this will be a first!) is to wean Avery from her binkie starting on 1/1/13 and my goal is to be rid of the binkie by the end of Jan. Any binkie weaning tips??? Oh and prayers (and ear plugs) would be appreciated.
watching the FSU vs UF game last Saturday...binkie in mouth since Bubba is still sleeping and she was trying to scream the house down.

taking a walk around the neighborhood with a binkie in her mouth...

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

my lovies

Between working tonight and still being sick (I think I actually got worse), I've got nothing, but just wanted to post these videos of my little lovies!

This was Avery eating drinking her chili. Ok so she had eaten most of the turkey, veggies, and beans and was trying to get to the cheesy "soup" at the bottom of her bowl. I was really surprised when she grabbed her bowl and tipped it back! She apparently has been watching when Parker and Daddy drink the milk from their cereal bowl.
video

Parker and I were having our cuddle time after reading books and before going to sleep. He occasionally requests to be tickled. It reminds me of when I was little and I would ask my dad to tickle me. Parker's laugh and that dimply smile just melts my heart! 
video


Saturday, November 24, 2012

Black Friday

I worked today...BLACK FRIDAY...at Old Navy. I was a bit relieved when I was scheduled from 4 pm - 1 am. I didn't want to deal with the crazy wackos who stand in line for over 4 hours to shop at midnight and trample over people who get in their way. Then I realized I would have to close the store and "recover". Recover basically means folding/hanging clothes in the right spot. The store would be upside down!

I got to work and saw this! This was nothing compared to some of the tables I passed on my way to the back of the store! What drove me nuts is that people would grab a shirt, walk literally 2 feet away, decide they didn't want the shirt anymore and just plop it down on the nearest surface instead of walking 2 feet back to put it away! GAH!  


I "recovered" (no worries, I fixed the sweaters on the bottom shelf too) and as I was "recovering" the $4 long sleeves in the back, a crazy man started picking up random sweaters to see if he liked it and would just plop it back down all crumpled. Hello, the stripes are gonna look the same at the bottom than they do at the top! I may or may not have given him a horrified look.

As I took my dinner break, I looked at my cell and saw a text from Kevin w/ a pic of chicken noodle soup (all of us sickies needed some comforting soup) and asking if I wanted him to bring me some. It was 1 hour before I went on break. I called him and said no worries about the soup since I had eaten a quick bite already, but if Parker was still awake, can they come up b/c I barely saw this sweet boy all day b/c we were out running errands before work and he was napping when we got home and was still asleep when I left for work. Parker was excited b/c he had been asking to come to "Mommy works". He said hi to my co-workers, danced and played with a little girl, and fell in love with an army jeep (Old Navy always has nifty little items by the checkout line and something always catches Parker's eye). I told him he didn't have his coins so he couldn't buy it. His reply: "Oh man! I want gween jeep!". That reply made me think of a big boy - not my little baby! They stayed for over 30 minutes so I got my cuddles and kisses and Parker told me: "I wuv you. Miss you!". That boy broke my heart and I almost just went home with them!

By the way, getting that Lightning McQueen thingie that snapped onto his Crocs that I mentioned here has been fantastic! When we got home I started to think that maybe we should have maybe gotten Thomas (the Train) to put on the left shoe. But the next day as he tried to put his shoes on the wrong feet, a BRILLIANT idea popped in my head: I told him that McQueen goes on this foot and tapped his right foot. He seems to have remembered this since he hasn't put his shoes on the wrong feet that I know of since then. Now if I can just get him to remember that the little pocket/window on his undies goes in the front then we'd be golden! 

Friday, November 23, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving


Not our best pic, but it's the only one we got of the 4 of us. Yes our tree is already up. Kevin put the actual tree and lights up last Sunday and we decorated on Monday. We normally put it up the day after Thanksgiving, but I knew I would have such a crazy schedule at work and may not have time to. I like to put it up right after Thanksgiving so I can enjoy it for a long time. If I could get away with it, I'd keep it up all year - I love all the lights and it's so festive and cheery!

Anyway, today was a rough day for me. I got home last night not feeling well. I was sneezing like crazy at work, but I wasn't sure if it was from the dust or getting sick. By the end of the night my throat felt all scratchy. I went to bed feeling like somebody had beaten me with a bat. Parker woke up around 2:30 am to pee and he came to my side of the bed to tell me he had to go potty. I could NOT get out of bed. I asked him if Daddy could take him (he typically prefers I take him - good thing for him b/c Daddy could probably sleep through a hurricane!) and thankfully he said yes, so I may or may not have smacked Kevin awake after he didn't respond to me asking him to take Parker to the bathroom. I passed out after I felt Kevin get up.

Kevin and Parker woke up early and did the turkey trot with my sister in law and her family. I would have gone (maybe...possibly) if I wasn't feeling so crummy and if I didn't have to WORK!!! Yep, Old Navy was open on Thanksgiving day! Apparently last year they were busy. Well...not today. I spent the 5 hours I was there eating (we had our own mini Thanksgiving dinner), playing Mario on the Wii, getting to know some of my co-workers, following guests around and folding stuff they just discarded and helped a handful of them out.

When I got home I made my desserts and loaded mashed potatoes, cuddled my little who just wanted her "mah-may", and trying nto to keel over and die. Then we (including my mom who came down to visit) loaded up in the truck and headed over to my sister in law's house for dinner. Let's say that we had PLENTY of food including a big table full of dessert. Everything was delicious and I ate A LOT!!!

Although, I'm sick (Parker has an occasional runny nose and cough too), I have a lot to be thankful for. My family is generally in good health, I have a husband whom I adore, 2 precious kids, and family and friends that are just amazing. Life is good!

Oh and here's some pics from Parker's Thanksgiving program at school last Thursday...he is of course sitting right next to Mrs. B. He adores her! Or he could be sitting next to her b/c he's a big troublemaker! lol We talked to Mrs. B after the program for a bit. Parker ran right up to her and gave her a hug and she picked him up and gave him a cuddle - I love that! She told me that Parker was so sweet and his first words when he got to school was to ask her if she was feeling better and if she threw up. I explained to her that the first thing he told me when I picked him up through the car line on Tuesday was to tell me that you weren't at school (which I already knew b/c she wasn't in the car line). I told him that you may not be feeling good and he interprets being sick with throwing up. Poor kiddo was so concerned about Mrs. B. that he kept asking about her on Wednesday (no school) and on the way to school on Thursday.


singing...glad he participated!

and then he was done...no more hat...and yawning...

waving hi to me...the boy in the green shirt kept saying "Hi Mommy" so anytime he said that Parker felt like he had to one up him and also say hi to me. Of course the other 3 year olds also felt like they had to say hi to their mom's so there was quite a few choruses of "Hi Mommy" throughout the program. lol

"Hi Mommy, I see you!"

the kids didn't get a snack at school and apparently all Parker could talk about that morning was having popcorn for snack. lol

Monday, November 19, 2012

Chicken Adobo

This is one of my husband's favorite Filipino dishes. He used to request my mom make it every time she came to visit. He always watches her cook and asks questions. Me...I'm content on waiting for my mom to come down for one of her monthly trips to visit me her grandkids. Kevin, however, started to make it years ago so he wouldn't have to wait for her to visit. 
   
I decided to add it to our menu for the week. I sent Kevin a text asking if he wanted me to make it tonight and if so to email me the directions. I'm sure he probably fell out of his chair at work. lol Is it weird that I asked my Irish/Italian husband for the recipe this afternoon b/c I, a full blooded Filipino, do not know how to make it?!? lol 


Ingredients:
chicken drumsticks (Publix sells them in a large package of 14 - enough for dinner and leftovers and then some; you can also use any part of the chicken that you want, but Kevin prefers drumsticks)
1 cup of soy sauce (YIKES!!! But we like a lot of sauce to go on top of our rice)
1 cup of white vinegar
2 cups of water
 minced garlic (we love garlic and I ended up using about 10 cloves!)
~ 1-2 Tbsp of oil (I don't measure this - I just eyeball it)

Instructions:
1. Wash chicken legs and pat dry - I didn't do this step b/c I get a little grossed out by raw meat.

2. Heat oil in wok over medium heat.

3. Place chicken in wok. Throw garlic on top (so that it doesn't fry and burn). This was probably 5-6 medium cloves of garlic. I realized it wasn't enough a little later on and minced an additional 4 large cloves. Then Kevin asked if I used a lot of garlic b/c it needed more. Told ya we like love garlic!


4. Let the chicken brown for about 5 minutes; turning over on all sides to brown. I kind of skipped over this a little bit b/c I had a crazy 18 month old begging for a snack and I was trying to keep her quiet since Parker was still napping. Mine only "browned" for a few minutes and I only tossed it around a couple of times so it didn't really brown - it still turned out fine. 

5. Add soy sauce, vinegar, and water. Turn up heat to medium/high and let vinegar cook off for about 20 minutes. 

6. Cover and cook for an additional 20 minutes.

7. I didn't see the point of this step and only did it for a few minutes. I won't do it next time and probably just let the chicken cook covered for a little while longer: Try to transfer most of the soy sauce mixture into a large bowl and let the chicken fry for about 10 minutes. 

8. I somehow skipped this next step all together so I'm making it a step all on it's own b/c Kevin had it combined w/ step #9: Transfer chicken to a plate.

9. Pour soy sauce mixture back into the wok to allow it to thicken - about 5 minutes. 

(So next time, I won't remove the soy sauce mixture at all; I will just transfer the chicken to a plate and allow the sauce to thicken.)

10. Add chicken back to wok and coat in soy sauce mixture. 

Serve with rice - make sure you pour some of the yummy sauce over your rice! We had it with green beans too since both kids love green beans. Both kids LOVE this dish and always eat a ton. 

Shhh....don't tell my mom, but I used 5 minute rice. Years ago after getting tired of eating "rice that doesn't taste like anything", she bought us an "authentic" Asian rice cooker and started to bring rice when she visits. She buys a HUGE bag of rice at the Asian store and she usually brings down half the bag for us. We are all out of the real rice, but I refuse to bring 2 kids to a tiny store with narrow aisles so 5 minute rice it is! 

brother and sister love...

brother and sister love...

looks so sweet and innocent, but the back story is that Avery took some of Parker's cereal and he calmly moved it to his other side (see orange bowl on it's side by his left shoulder). Avery did not like that and whacked him on his head with her hand. He poked a finger at her chest and told her not to hit. She got mad and hit him on his arm. I told them hitting wasn't nice and it hurts and to say sorry and hug. 

Friday, November 16, 2012

Shrimp Linguini Alfredo

After a little Pinterest browsing, I saw a fettucini Alfredo recipe. I'm not a huge alfredo fan normally, but I was craving some. I clicked on the link and low and behold I have ALL the ingredients...well kinda. I didn't have cream, I had half and half (leftover from this recipe). I didn't have "real" butter, but the kind that comes in a tub. I didn't have fresh Parmesan, but the kind that you shake out of a bottle (my Italian mother-in-law, would be shaking her head at me!). I didn't have fresh parsley, but again the kind that you shake out of a bottle. I didn't have fettucini, but I had linguini. So I guess I didn't have a lot of the ingredients except for the shrimp and the black pepper. Anyway, I started googling to see if my substitute ingredients would work. I saw that half and half would work. I wasn't concerned about the others except for the cheese. But if it didn't work out, there's always Papa John's! I didn't didn't work off of a single recipe - most of them were the same anyway. For my first time making it, I thought it turned out pretty well. Although now that I'm thinking of it...I totally forgot to add garlic!!! WHAT?!? The recipes didn't call for garlic, but Kevin and I LOVE garlic. Darn! Well here's the version that I made:

Ingredients:
about 1 1/4 cup half and half (I only have a 1 and 2 cup measuring cup, so I eyeballed it)
about 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese (fresh if you have it, but the "not fresh" kind turned out pretty yummy)
about 1.5 Tbsp of butter
parsley (fresh if you have it, although dried worked well and Parker loved helping me "cook")
freshly ground black pepper (to your taste)
shrimp (slacker me...I buy the pre-cooked, peeled, and deveined shrimp, I eyeball how much my family will eat)
1 lb of pasta

(I didn't use these but will add the next time)
minced garlic
diced white onions

Directions:
Allow water to start boiling in pasta pot. Meanwhile, melt butter over medium heat in a fairly large pot/pan that will be big enough to hold everything. Add half and half, black pepper, and parsley (garlic and onions, if you want). Water should be boiling around now - add pasta to pasta pot.

Add Parmesan into cream mixture in small amounts and incorporate into sauce before adding more. I started out using a wooden spoon, but found that a whisk did a better job. Allow sauce to thicken.

Add shrimp to sauce and simmer. 

Drain pasta when cooked and add to sauce mixture and toss to incorporate the pasta. I did add a little lot more parmesan cheese on top then tossed it some more. 

My early dinner b/c I had to work. The kids of course wanted to have several bites of my dinner then had a little bit more with Kevin about an hour later. 

This totally just hit the spot for me and way cheaper than going out for dinner! But, next time, I'll use regular pasta - I used whole wheat, which has that nutty flavor and I think regular will taste better. Besides, the hubby has repeatedly told me that he doesn't like whole wheat pasta. And I might as well try using using fresh parmesan, fresh parsley, and real cream and butter. lol 

Oh, and I had a side of veggies with mine...I hope the kids did too. I told Kevin to make sure to make them some sort of a veggie side dish. I forgot to ask him when I got home. 

Thursday, November 15, 2012

who stole my measuring spoons?!?

Seriously...who stole my measuring spoons??? My kitchen utensil drawer is a hot mess, but while making last night's dinner I actually decided to measure some ingredients and could not find my measuring spoons! There's a measuring spoon thief out there...

Anyway, after a crazy morning of running around, I'm sitting on the couch while the kids nap, eating lunch and watching Everyday Italian (with Giada de Laurentis). LOVE her shows! Anyway, she was measuring some stuff and used this ceramic measuring spoon. I have always liked these spoons, but never even thought about buying them. Well folks, now that a thief has stolen my measuring spoons (I swear I did not lose them on purpose!) I decided to Google "ceramic measuring spoons" and Giada's spoons came up.


http://www.cooking.com/white-set-of-4-measuring-spoons-by-sci-scandicrafts-inc_132683_11/ They are $11 - a bit expensive, but so adorable!!!! Well then I decided to look for "other" ceramic spoons and found these that I REALLY want!!!!

http://www.pier1.com/Zinnia-Measuring-Spoons/2520716,default,pd.html?cgid=housewarming $10 at Pier 1 Imports...and guess what...they have matching ceramic measuring cups. So now I want measuring cups too. I think we are missing some cups anyway b/c we used a couple for Bailey's dog food - so now my cousin has those cups along with Bailey. Give me back my cups, Ryan! lol


Kevin had just asked me the other day if we were exchanging Christmas gifts this year. We typically just do something small for each other since we have so many to buy for, but this year I decided to forgo presents. But I REALLY want these...so I'm tempted to tell him we will exchange presents after all and tell him I want only these and nothing else (demanding aren't I?!?). 

I must resist.......but I do NEED them...well at least the measuring spoons. Ok so I don't need these specific ones. I could just get a cheap plastic set, but these are so cute. Maybe I'll start cooking more if I have these spoons and cups. And maybe my food will turn out better b/c I'll start measuring more instead of eyeballing things. At least that's what I keep telling myself. Maybe I should write Santa a letter too or better yet, grab Avery's pink phone and give him a call like Parker did last night. lol

I must resist! I must resist! I must resist! I've got lots of nieces and nephews to buy Christmas presents for...


Christmas gifts

Around October, I start making a list of things I think the kids would want for Christmas. And something new this year...Parker has started to ask for things he wants. When did my little boy grow up??? We aren't doing much for the kids this year since we are down to basically 1 income, but still want a few presents for them to open. Besides, they're still little and they will be getting other presents from relatives.

Oh and one thing I'm going to start doing this year is NOT wrapping Santa's gifts. I read this somewhere and thought it was a great idea so you don't have to buy different wrapping paper b/c you're kid is wondering how Santa could possibly have gotten the same exact wrapping paper as you. My kids are still too young to notice this (I think Parker's still too young, but he surprises me with the things that come out of his mouth on a daily basis), but I do have a niece who notices this kind of stuff and my sister in law told me last year that she has to buy different paper every year. GAH!!! No thank you!

Below is my list of gifts for the kids. Most of them I've already bought (GASP!!! Yes, I actually started my Christmas shopping before December!) and are hidden from prying eyes. I've caught Parker looking up at my closet shelves since he spied a Thomas the Train box up there back in September for his bday - great job "hiding" it, Daddy! lol

Parker:
1) He has been asking for "Mack" (from Cars2) for a couple of months now...ever since he went over to his cousin's house and saw that he had a small Mack die cast car (which I cannot find anywhere!). I figured we'd get him a big one that can also house his other Cars cars so that they're not just being thrown into random baskets and totes. This will be a gift "from" Avery. I bought it about a week or so ago when it went on sale at Toys R Us - it was $35, now $25!
2) Christmas pajamas to be opened on Christmas Eve and to be worn that night. I used to call Parker my little monkey when he was a baby (I still call him my crazy monkey) so this was the perfect pj for him! Old Navy had it on sale for $11 and I used my discount.

3) Undies - I know...I really feel like a mom with this gift! But the kid is starting to outgrow some of his 2T/3T undies and I thought I might as well buy him some for Xmas. I've been looking for boxer briefs for over a month now and I CANNOT find them anywhere! Parker has a handful of them right now and they are so much easier for him to put on than regular briefs b/c they don't bunch up and give him wedgies. I did a happy dance in the middle of Old Navy last week when I saw these. They were $12.94 and also used my discount. 

4) growth chart - I 'm planning on making my own. I made one for my best friend, Lauren's, daughter b/c I couldn't find any that started at 1'. Everything started at 2'...and let's face it, unless you and your hubby are a giant, you more than likely did not give birth to a baby that was 24". I wanted the growth chart to document his length at birth too (20.25")! I think his will have a train theme. I have an idea of how I want it to look, but we'll see if it actually works out! 

5) stocking stuffer: more Cars2 cars, Thomas & Friends trains, and scissors (weird I know, but he had fun using a pair last week at a speech assessment - more on this later). I still need to buy this.

6) Santa's gift: He has been asking for this EVERY single day...MULTIPLE times a day...a "big black train" - the kind that you put under the Christmas tree. At first I was just going to buy the train and then put it under the tree for the whole month of December, but figured Parker would get a lot more enjoyment out of it if he gets it for Christmas. Besides, every time he asks for the "big bwack trays" I tell him that he needs to be a good boy and we can write a letter to Santa asking for it. Call it bribery, call it bad parenting, but it usually stops whatever bad behavior is happening. If you read my post the other day then you know that we saw Santa at the mall. Tonight, I actually heard the following from Parker who was sitting on the floor with his toy magazine open with of course the page showing big black train and his sister's pink phone held to his ear:
     Parker: "Santa, you hear me? I want big bwack trays!"
     Pause....
     Parker: "Ok, Santa. I get big bwack trays. Bye!"

I actually need to find him a train...the one in the magazine is $150 and I'm NOT paying that much money for a train for a 3 year old who may chuck it across the room in the midst of a tantrum or an 18 month old who will come and grab it and run off with it, only to throw it across the room if her brother chases after her. Kevin said he saw one at Publix for $50 for the larger set and a smaller one for less money. But really, Publix??? I'll have to go check it out. 

Avery: It was pretty hard trying to figure out what to get Avery. Her vocabulary is limited and she doesn't really NEED anything, but I guess Christmas is about getting fun stuff.
1) Cabbage Patch Doll - I saw this at Costco for $20 while I was just browsing around. I can't remember if I bought this exact one or not - there was quite a few different ones to choose from. This was the one that was closest to me so I took a pic to send to Kevin to see what he thought. But it might have been since she kinda looks like Avery. It is currently "hiding" on the top shelf of our closet - Parker has seen the back of the box, but since it doesn't show a car or a train, he's not interested. Anyway, I thought she'd like it b/c it's soft and has a "bee pee" (binkie) like her. Plus she's soft and cuddly, not like the PBK doll we got her last year that is more structured. She also got 2 small dolls last year, but I wanted to get her a bigger doll. This will be a gift from Parker. 

2) Christmas pajamas to be opened on Christmas Eve and worn that night. This matches Parker's monkey pj. I call Avery my little bunny, but once in a while I call her a crazy monkey too b/c...well she's wild and crazy. Bought at Old Navy, on sale for $11 and used my discount. I also bought a thick pair of fleece footsie pj from Costco for $8. It's super cute - it has owls all over it! Don't have a picture of it and it's "hidden". 

3) Undies - We I'm probably going to start potty training around March or April of next year. Avery is showing some signs of reediness now and telling me "poo poo" AFTER she poops. Once in a while she will also ask to sit on the potty, but she won't do anything. We usually have her sit on the potty before bath, but she really wants to sit down b/c she sees Parker going potty before he climbs in the tub. I'm not rushing her at all - she just turned 18 months. Parker didn't start training until he was 31 months old, but we bought him undies months earlier and just got him familiar with them. Bought these at Old Navy for $12.94 and used my discount.

4) growth chart - making Avery one too

5) stocking stuffer: baby doll bottles - the kind that "disappear" when you tilt it towards the doll's mouth. I got a package of 2 from Toys R Us for $5-6. I'm also going to buy her some bows that come in patching pairs since her hair can FINALLY go in pigtails. Although, most bows I see only come in singles. HELP?!? Where should I go look?

6) Santa's gift: Radio Flyer Girl's Classic 10" Trike. Target had it on sale for $39. I get free shipping and 5% off since I have a Redcard debit card. With tax, it was still under $40. 

It will be nice to finish Parker and Avery's gifts...now I must figure out what to get our nieces and nephews!!! 


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Beef Stroganoff turned Pot Roast

I had to work last night and wanted to make an easy crockpot meal. I had bought a huge chunk of meat last week to make beef stroganoff...only I slacked and never made it. Besides I didn't have the "golden mushroom soup" that the recipe called for. Apparently this soup is hot commodity b/c I've gone to 3 different Publixes (uhhh, is that grammatically correct?) and 1 SuperTarget and none had it! I had added it to our grocery list on Sunday and I thought Kevin had picked it up when he went shopping. I rummaged through our cupboards before frantically calling Kevin asking where the darn soup was. I stared wide-eyed at the 2+ lb of meat I just cubed up and the diced onions as Kevin tells me he couldn't find any at the store.

What the heck was I supposed to do with this cut up meat and onions?!? Well I went to Pinterest of course! I realized I had all the ingredients to make a crockpot pot roast. Only "problem" is that my meat was cubed. Oh, well! Cubed Pot Roast...it's what's for dinner!

Ya'll I've made this pot roast before and it's super yummy and super easy! I pinned it through Pinterest, which led me to this blog for the recipe. As always, I tweaked mine a little bit, but not a lot. Here's my version:

Ingredients:
1 beef roast - I typically buy 2+ lb of meat, those suckers shrink a lot! Next time, I'll buy a bigger roast b/c we don't really have enough for leftovers for lunch (best part!)
1 package ranch dressing mix
1 package Italian dressing mix
1 package brown gravy w/ mushrooms
1/2 cup warm water
1 large onion
black pepper
dried parsley

Directions:
Place roast in crockpot. In small bowl, mix together all 3 seasoning packets, black pepper, and parsley. Sprinkle mixture all over meat. If you don't mind getting your hands dirty, then rub mixture into the meat. Add onions. Pour 1/2 cup warm water into crockpot. Cook on low 6-7 hours. You can thicken the gravy, but I never do - too lazy!

I usually serve it with mashed potatoes with gravy slathered all over the meat and potatoes and a side of veggies. However, since this was supposed to be a beef stroganoff, I had egg noodles to go with it. I have added some frozen mixed veggies or carrots and peas into the crockpot about 30 minutes before the time is up to warm up the veggies, but tonight I decided to go with broccoli.

Sorry, ya'll, I did not take any pics since I was in a rush trying to get everything in the crockpot so it would cook in plenty of time for me to eat it before work. Then the whole dishing out a serving was difficult b/c Avery was wrapped around my leg or trying to push me away from the counter. Avery ate some of my dinner then ate more with Kevin and Parker after I left. Apparently Parker slurped his meal down too. Make this easy meal...trust me, it's a delicious meal!

My next crockpot meal will likely be chicken and dumplings...just waiting for cooler weather, which we may get this weekend! Stay tuned for another Pinterest meal!

These are the seasoning packets I use. I've started to buy a small box of the Ranch and Italian mixes b/c I have a handful of recipes that call for these ingredients. Also, the gravy I normally buy has mushrooms in it. I like the extra texture, but Kevin went shopping and when I say buy brown gravy, he takes it literally and does not deviate...so then why did he come home with a 12 pack of Yueng Ling?!? I'm 100% positive that was not on MY grocery list!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Family time and mean mommy

We decided to keep it low key today and just went to the mall to let the kids play in the playground. Yes, it's the same mall we went to last week when the craziness/epic meltdown happened. Kevin wasn't sure he wanted to go to the mall b/c it was 11 am by the time we were heading out the door and nap time is around 2 pm. If the kids are in the car between 12 - 2, it's almost guaranteed that 1 if not both will fall asleep, which will likely mean they won't nap when we get home. If the nap in the car is of any length (at least 1 hour) then it would be fine, but the car ride home is about 25 minutes, maybe a little more if there's traffic. My kids NEED to take longer naps. Mommy NEEDS them to take a longer nap!

But today, I had reinforcements and was ready to tackle the world mall! We even braved going to California Pizza Kitchen for some lunch! Both kids were so well behaved...I kept suspiciously looking at them and just waiting for either or both to start flipping out. Avery did let out a few shrieks, but we were saved by her chicken finger and broccoli meal arriving. Parker was amazing - he colored and drew for a long time. This activity usually only lasts about 5 minutes. He asked for my phone once (to watch Disney Jr App) and I reminded him that he broke Daddy's phone when we were at Sea World so he is not allowed to use our phones anymore. He let out a pathetic little "Ohhh!", but kept on coloring.

Parker and Daddy drawing squiggles trains. 

Avery and me in our hot pink tank tops - you can't see it, but we both had on plaid shorts. No we did not plan on all of us dressing like our kids. Kevin dressed Avery and I dressed Parker.

The kids played at the playground and there was a moment of sheer panic when I heard shrieking...and because he's mine, I knew instantly it was Parker! I turned over to where I saw him last (I literally looked away for 2 seconds to itch my leg) and he's on his hands and knees (what?!? he was just standing!). I ran to him and as I trample over dodge little kids to get to him, he gets up and is hobbling on his left foot. I think: "Sh*t!!! He broke something!". I scoop him up and bring him over to my bench and ask him what hurts. He grabbed his left foot and said his toes hurt. Now I was confused b/c I thought it was his right foot that was hurting b/c he had it lifted up. But who am I to argue when he's yelling his toes hurt?!? I asked him to wiggle his toes and he couldn't . HEART DROPPED! But I told myself to calm down and examined his toes - no swelling. Call me a MEAN MOMMY...I gave all ten toes a little tweak. He squealed and cried out, but it wasn't a "my toes are broken and you just squeezed them kind of cry. It was more like I stubbed my toes kind of squeal. MEAN MOMMY set him down and told him to run and play. Then my heart dropped again when he wouldn't put pressure on his left toes and was hobbling around trying to walk. As I was about to get up and pick him up, he took off running like nothing happened. WHEW!

We also visited the Disney Store b/c there's just no avoiding it when it's right in front of the darn playground. To Avery's credit, I think she only tried to make a run for the store 5x. That's 2 less than last Wednesday's escapes! It's gotta be a record! Daddy did the honors of running after her. Parker visited his beloved Cars section and Avery colored a princess coloring sheet then we left after about 15 minutes...without any tantrums. Que: heavens opening and angels singing! 

We walked around for a bit afterwards and saw that Santa was already at the mall. Parker wanted to see him so I took him around the side where we got a great view of him (MEAN MOMMY wasn't about to pay an arm and a leg for pics!). Parker was mesmerized by Santa. He leans over and whispers to me: "I want black train!". I laughed! He has been asking for "black train" for a couple of weeks now ever since he saw it in a toy magazine. He has carried this magazine everywhere: to bed, to my bed, to the bathroom, to Avery's room, to the dining table, on the couch, EVERYWHERE! Every time he asks for it, I tell him: "You need to be a good boy, no more tantrums, yelling, and crying. Then I can help you  write Santa a letter and you can ask for it." So I reminded him of behaving and writing Santa a letter. But I'm not paying $150 for a stinkin' train (MEAN MOMMY)!!! So ya'll let me know if you find a cheaper set (the kind that goes under the Xmas tree) somewhere! It's gotta be black!!!

So after that we made a stop at the bathroom b/c little boy downed his chocolate milk and I don't want any accidents in the car seat and left to go home. As we were walking through Nordstrom's, Parker and I had the following convo:
Parker: "Mommy, where Santa house?"
Me: "In the North Pole."
Parker: "No Mommy, Santa house in mall!"
Me: "Ok, buddy." (I tried not to sound exasperated b/c if he knew the answer, why ask?!? I know he asks questions just to get the answer confirmed and then tells you off if you get it wrong.)
Parker: "Mommy, where Santa at?"
Me: "Over at his house. Remember near where we went potty?"
Parker: "Mommy, Santa goes pee pee too?"
Me: "Yes Parker, I'm sure Santa goes pee pee too." 
And a couple older women overheard the tail end of our convo and started laughing...yep ladies, my little man is HILARIOUS! 

Avery was falling asleep so I moved to the back of the truck and kept tweaking her nose to wake her up. Laughing means she's not sleeping. MEAN MOMMY?!?

While I was busy trying to keep his sister awake, this little guy all of a sudden fell asleep! I threatened to take away his Mack (from CARS 2) gidget (or widget - whatever it's called that kids stick on their Crocs) on his new Crocs if he doesn't wake up and then would tickle his foot. MEAN MOMMY?!? Maybe...probably...

Avery getting mad that I kept grabbing her hand, waving it around trying to sing Itsy Bitsy Spider to try and wake her up. MEAN MOMMY?!?

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Old school yogurt

In the midst of this fro yo craze (and I love me some Pinkberry just like the next person!), I just fell in love with old school regular yogurt. Well Greek yogurt. I've bought regular Greek vanilla yogurt before and topped it with homemade granola (reminds me to make more...), but I've never been a fruit in the bottom of yogurt kind of person. In fact, I don't even like yogurt! I think it's just the taste - I'm not a fan of that tangy after taste that yogurt has. The only time I really ate it was when I was pregnant and trying to get as much calcium as possible and even then I ate the Yoplait Whips and it was like eating strawberry whipped cream (YUM!). Or I'd get vanilla that came with bits of candy or cookie topping (I think Breyer's makes them). Healthy I know! The yogurt and granola thing lasted about 2 weeks.

But ya'll I went to Costco and they were giving away samples of Chobani Greek yogurt with pineapple at the bottom! I about died and gone to heaven in the middle of the aisle between the yogurt and the frozen entrees. I bought a box of 15 cups for about $14 (at least I think that was the price...is that a good price?).


I tasted the black cherry when I got home and it was delicious! I can't wait to try the blood orange...maybe for dessert tonight??? Bonus is that both kids LOVED it! I called it special yogurt since both kids normally just drink the drinkable yogurt. Parker asked for more "special treat"! If he thinks that yogurt that is packed with protein (more than regular yogurt) is a special treat then that's great!

Parker had some black cherry yogurt too and he was a hot mess! lol 

Friday, November 9, 2012

18 months

On Tuesday Avery turned 18 months old (I'm one of those weirdos that still goes by months and likely will until she turns 2 - that's when I stopped with Parker). She is becoming such a 'big girl'!


She also went in for her 18 month check up. Her stats:
Weight: 25 lbs, 4 oz (70th percentile)
Height: 34.25" (>97th percentile)
diapers: size 4
clothes: 18 months - 2T
shoes: 7
hair: hair is getting longer after getting 2 trims and can now go in pigtails (YAY!!!)

Loves: to sit on my lap and read books; to put shoes on (whether it's her Crocs, which she is obsessed with, my flip flops, or Parker's sneakers); play with Bubba's choo choos and cars; too stand and jump on Bubba's bed as well as Mommy and Daddy's even though she's already bounced off of ours once; push her PBK Anywhere chair to the dining room bench to use it as a stool to climb up (our dining table is tall); pickup my decorative pumpkins and throw them around; wagon rides; cuddles (she can't be laying down like a baby though - it has to be chest to chest with her feet around my waist); playing outside; being tickled; singing songs (especially Itsy Bitsy Spider); dancing (she will usually stop whatever she's doing when she hear's music)

bad habits: hitting when she doesn't get her way (she usually gets sent to time out and we tell her it's not nice and it hurts - she usually looks down then tries to be cute to make you smile); closing her eyes when you tell her no or you're telling her something she doesn't want to hear as if she can't hear you so she can continue doing whatever she wants; her new thing is to half chew food then spit it out as if she changed her mind mid chew and doesn't want it anymore - she does this too when she is offered something she thinks is tastier

words that she consistently says: dah-yee (daddy); mah-mah and occasionally mah-may (mommy); Baba (Bubba/Parker); sissy (she says this when Parker is calling her); Lala (Lola - my mom; Lolo - my dad also sounds like this; so does cousin Lila); nana (banana and Nana - Kevin's mom); Papa (Kevin's dad) no; nack (snack); moh (more); see (sit); shoe on; shoe oh (shoe off); bye bye, see you; hi; nite nite; beh time (bed time); nah time (nap time); bah time (bath time); pah-yee (potty); beh-pee (pinkie); side (outside); boo (as in peek a boo); wah-teh (water); buh (book); choo choo; can (car); meeh (milk); teh you (thank you); peas (please); sigh (sorry); peh pee (pee); pooh pooh (poop); whaz da (what's that); wha dis (what's this); oht (hot); gen-tuh (gentle); hep (help)

signs: more, hungry, sorry, and milk

She understands 2 step instructions like: pick up your toys and put them in the basket; take your snack and sit on your chair; go get your cup and give it to me; let's go to your room and change your diaper

She's usually a good eater and eats whatever I give her. I don't make separate meals for the kids - if they don't eat what is given to them, then they don't eat. Sounds harsh, but I don't want them to start refusing the meals I cook b/c they think they will get chicken nuggets or hot dogs if they fuss a little.

*** As you can see from this pic she's not exactly malnourished ***

Twice yesterday she came up to me and said "pooh pooh". The first time, I could smell her and changed her. The second time, I felt her diaper and didn't feel anything - it was a little wet, but I had just changed her. So I asked, "you poo poo?". She repeated it and turned to walk away to go to her room, but she saw that I hadn't moved from the couch and I swear she said "leh go!". So I got my lazy butt up and sure enough she had a tiny bit of poop! Maybe it's time to start potty training soon. I remember when Parker was about 21 months (I was on maternity leave with Avery) he would start telling me when he pooped too. Slacker mom that I was, I didn't train him until he was 31 months! I just wasn't ready to deal with a newborn and potty training. Then I went back to work. I did it when I started staying home with him - he was 31 months old.

Avery's height and weight is crazy...in other words, she's a big girl! Our pediatrician that we usually see (there are 4 in the practice) always comments on how tall she is every time we go in and asks where she gets her height from (b/c obviously at 5'1" she didn't get it from me). Before I can answer her, she always remembers Kevin and asks how tall he is (6'3"). She looked at a chart of some sort and said that if Avery continues to grow like she is right now that she will be about 5'8" - 5'9". They say that at 2 years old you can double their height and estimate how tall they will be so I'm assuming this is where she's getting her calculations from. Parker and Avery have been pretty much neck and neck with their height and weight at each check-up at the same age. Parker at 18 months weighed 25 lbs, 13 oz (50%) and height: 34 3/4" (97%).

She also got 1 vaccine. She screamed bloody murder (just like I expected) and let out an occasional whimper during the 5 minute drive home.

LOVE this fake cry/shriek...this was right after I took her clothes off and the Dr. Kathy hadn't even come in yet and def no shots yet!

Before we left for school - we had a little photo session

touching their shoes/floor?!? not sure why?!?

HAPPY FRIDAY ALL!!!




Wednesday, November 7, 2012

I'm that mom...

I'm that mom who finally fell asleep around 3 am b/c I have self diagnosed insomnia. I'm that mom who woke up 4:30, 4:40, 4:45 b/c her 3 year old was cold, then hot, then had to pee. I'm that mom who woke at 6:45 b/c her 3 year old doesn't understand day light savings time. I'm that mom who doesn't check the weather, walks out the door with kids dressed for summer and Florida freaky weather is actually cool and have to race back in the house and grab sweatshirts. I'm that mom who goes to a somewhat upscale mall with 2 young kids for a play date in the big playground with hopes for some adult conversation with friends. I'm that mom who chased my 18 month old no less than 7x out of the Disney Store (that DS sure knew what they were doing when they rented the space right in front of the playground!). I'm that mom whose daughter ate half chewed then spit out her chicken nuggets. I'm that mom who nearly mowed you over with my stroller as I chased my 3 year old down the mall! I'm that mom pushing a stroller with an 18 month old in it, sweatshirts stuffed in the canopy, once organized diaper bag has been torn apart and now overflowing out of the basket, and a 3 year old screaming shrieking w/ huge tears pouring down his face, snot flowing out of his nose, feet stomping and arms flying. I'm that mom whose shrieking 3 year old caused a flock of pigeons to fly away in the parking garage in a flurry of dust and feathers. I'm that mom whose 3 year old continued to throw a tantrum for 30 minutes in the car while stuck in crazy traffic. I'm that mom whose 18 month old took a 20 minute nap in the car despite her screaming brother and now refuses to nap. I'm that mom who needs a big glass of wine or a heavily padded room.

I'm that mom who whips out her cell phone to take pics despite the chaos...

Parker and Miss C - she says that Parker is her boyfriend. Parker is still in denial. They don't know it yet, but Cammie and I have already arranged their marriage. lol

Cammie bought the kids a special treat - not sure why Parker got one. Crazy kiddo!

Avery scarfed her half of a Snickerdoodle (she split one w/ Mr B - Miss C's younger brother)...or so I thought. I found a couple chunks of half chewed cookie smeared on her lap and stroller.