Friday, February 29, 2008

Sweet peace and a random rant

Ahhh...sorry, I'm just enjoying the peace that is in our house this morning! I think we are OVER the nutchie. It has been 2-3 days of decent naps and sleeping through the night. We are all so much more fun after a good night's sleep! Just now, Mo was reading a lullaby book that includes Twinkle Twinkle and he went and found that book. He's been reading them quietly for over 10 minutes. Ahhh...It's been a busy week, but good. Mo's wearing 3T pants on a regular basis now. We used the facilities at Goodwill, Younkers and the library. He seems willing to go with me every hour, which helps avoid accidents. Sometimes I can't believe he is doing so well. He counts up to 14!! Usually just to 10 though. We got a letter in the mail about Creative Play, a 3 yr old program through the Rec Dept. It costs money, so Dave was pretty flippant about not putting Mo in it. It's only 2.5 hrs for 2 days a week, so I was thinking why not? I know I have no job, but I'd certainly get a lot more done around here if he wasn't in my hair. (Did you read the beginning of this post? He's not always that way...but...) Then we talked about how we might have more kids in the house by that time! We also talked about how the brochure has a pretty significant mathematical error. That sucks. It really makes them look dumb. I hate that. Especially when it's supposed to be an educational thing. Here's the teachers' names, come to our school, ps we can't do simple math. Yeah, I want you to teach my kid! (Note the dripping sarcasm!) I really want to call. I know the Rec Dept is not a school per se, but here it's part of the school district. We figure they probably use the same flyer every year and the price has gone up so now the 'less than $5/day' is no longer accurate. I guess I could understand if that was the case, but I just can't excuse lack of editing. I used to find errors in the newspaper all the time, when we got one, and I'd rumble around the house for a while saying I should work for them! So that's today's random rant. I'm ok now, really I am...

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Cookie recipe and other food talk

A fellow blogging mom suggested I post the cookie recipe I mentioned. First of all, I will say that I based the recipe I used loosely on one I found in the Sneaky Chef cookbook by Missy Chase Lapine. And I know that there are some people out there who don't agree w/sneaking vegetables in your kids' food when you really should just get them used to eating them from the start and you won't have to sneak them in! But Mo eats a fair amount of veggies on his own, like this pile of red and yellow peppers we were supposed to share at lunch today! I checked the cookbook out from the library more for me and Dave! We are trying to eat healthier. The way I see it, why not have a veggie on your plate as well as something like cauliflower snuck into your mac and cheese? Which by the way, I have decided must have been my high school cafeteria's secret ingredient too. I remember the mac and cheese being really stiff and glue-ey, not that I'm complaining - I ate double portions most times they served it, but that's what this turned out like. Mo really gobbled it up and Dave was hesitant, but he couldn't turn down hot mac and cheese. Anyway, back to the cookies!
1/3 C whole wheat flour, 1/3 C white flour, 1/3 C wheat germ
1/2 tsp baking SODA (sorry, I always get them confused!)
1/4 C rolled oats, finely ground in a food processor
8 Tbsp unsalted butter
1/4 C sugar, 1/4 C brown sugar
1 lg egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 C white bean puree
1/2 C mint choco chips
(the book said you could also grind up 2 Tbsp blanched almonds or add chopped walnuts, berries, raisins, etc. but I didn't.)
Preheat oven to 375*. Remove butter from fridge to soften. Whisk together flours, wheat germ, baking soda, salt, oats and almonds if using. Set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat butter and both sugars until creamy. Beat in egg, vanilla and white bean puree. Add dry ingredients and mix on low speed. Stir in choco chips, berries, walnuts, whatever you're using. The book suggested using a rounded half-teaspoon to make bite size cookies. I tried that for the first batch and they were so small they almost got burned. Anyway, bake for 12-14 minutes. I never really got up to the 14 minutes, but keep an eye on them. Hope you like them! I know Mo enjoyed helping me dump stuff in and pushing the buttons on the food processor. We had a serious discussion about that mixer. "That could hurt me," he kept repeating. At least he got it, right? And he never tried to touch it. We had a lot of fun and the best part was that they were getting done just as Dave was walking in. "We made cookies!" That's the best way to welcome your man home =)

Monday, February 25, 2008


For Make It Monday, Mo helped me make (sneaky chef) mint chocolate chip cookies. yummy! There was oatmeal, wheat germ, whole wheat flour and white bean puree in there. They turned out crispy, crunchy and GOOD! The 3 of us went for a walk when Dave got home, too, so we're trying to work out before Wednesday. This past weekend we went walking at the mall and we both 'felt the burn' afterwards. Don't get excited - we're so out of shape, that only took about 20 minutes of speedwalking! Hope you're on track w/all your goals and resolutions so far this year...

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Grow it

We're still knee deep in snow, but I can't help thinking of what I want to grow in the garden this year. We're hoping to get a lot of veggies from a CSA (community supported agriculture) but there's just some things I want to try. We already have a lot of raspberries, but I wonder about winter raspberries. I'm thinking about asking the local nursery about growing blueberries. Then there's beans! Black beans and kidney beans...can they be that hard? I remember growing these little beans in a paper towel in grade school! Not sure if they were plain old green beans or whatever, but I'm curious. I was reading about growing potatoes in a bin, but I've heard about piling up old tires to keep them growing too. Most CSAs don't include too many melons so I was thinking about those yellow watermelons that are small. Have any of you successfully grown any of these things?? If you have a garden, what are you thinking of growing?

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Police Beat

Crime: Damage to personal property, more specifically a nutchie (a.k.a. pacifier) with intense sentimental value.
Date: Wednesday, February 20.
Suspect: Female, about 5' 4" tall, brown hair and brown eyes. Wearing jeans w/some stains, a ratty old green Brett Favre sweatshirt and slippers. Wielding a pair of scissors in a hand w/incredibly dry skin.
Victim is offering reward of one kiss and bear hug for the return of the damaged nutchie. If you have any information about this nutchie or have the means to provide a replacement one, you are asked to call 1-800-4MO-SES.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Swiff no more!

It's a belated Make-It Monday post...I made my own swiffer duster covers. I was almost out and looking at the price of new ones. Not very cost effective! I was already using both sides of them...being the college educated, internet addicted person that I am, I went online to see if there was a way to make them. Despite being college educated, I don't always think of easy solutions right away! I found lots of ideas out there from knitting/crocheting to putting a sock over it. The idea I 'stole' was to cut some fleece the same size as the swiffer cloth. You know how it seems like your fleece sweatshirts collect all the hair and lint everywhere you go? Yeah, it just never occurred to me to put it on a swiffer! Well, I did it and Mo helped me make a pass under his crib. Eeew, I guess it worked! Actually I think it worked better. It seems to pick up bigger chunks that the swiffer cloths just pushed around. I'm sold - plus I can toss these in w/the laundry and re-use 'em. Nice!

Now for the Tues portion of this post...Mo and I did our civic duty today. He was a flag-waving American! He liked the marker in the ballot booth. He wanted to vote! He said to me at lunch, "Thanks for voting w/me!" Aww...

Monday, February 18, 2008

Is this normal?

Alright, who shook the snow globe again? After all that rain yesterday (it rained from like 3am-5pm!) now it's snowing. There were LAKES everywhere and now they are all ice skating ponds I'm sure. I was going to go out today but decided against it. Preserve the brown bohemoth that is our remaining vehicle =) What a crazy winter. I know it's not normal! My question is about potty training - today we are in Spiderman underoos and we have been running to the potty every 3 minutes! Ok, thats an exaggeration, but we honestly go about every 10-15. He actually does something, so that's good, but I feel like running in there that many times is not normal. Is this normal? If you've potty trained before, please let me know!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Back on Track

Well, I've been reading some of the past posts about resolutions and goals and stuff, and I think it's time to announce that we are getting back on track! Sometimes I feel like you all are part of my 12 step group. "Hi, my name's Mel and I am an unorganized person." (Say it - "Hi Mel." There you go!) Anyway, to recap some of the things going on around here...
1) We're trying not to spend $. Yeah. How? By not going shopping! I just haven't been buying much lately. Food, a new-to-us car, clothes...I have to say I put this one as #1 b/c I am doing awesome! I have so much more time, we have more money left and I am bringing in less junk. I almost didn't believe the difference it has made. I am proud of myself!
2) We're making a lot of our own foods and not buying convenience things like granola bars, micro dinners or mac and cheese (**sniff**). Goes w/#1, I guess. I've been cooking more, with Dave's help at times, but we've been doing well w/making a plan and sticking to it. The hardest for me is to check the plan in the morning and then set out frozen stuff or make sure I have enough prep time.
3) Eliminate/Simplify things, like I mentioned about chemical dependence. No more shampoo, conditioner and gel. Already ditched the gel. Stay tuned for the shampoo switch. Goes w/#1, too. Simplify the cleaning routine too.
4) Monday is a day to make stuff.
5) Wednesday is a day to work out.
6) Don't eat out!! Goes w/#1.
7)Eliminate clutter. Everyone who visits leaves w/something, like a table or a book or an unused thingamajig. Take lots of trips to the thrift store.
8) Keep working w/Mo on school type stuff. He's got a lot of Spanish, numbers and letters down already! He amazes us! He's also learning about notes and musical stuff.
9) We got our adoption packet today! SOOOOOO much easier than the foster care packet. FC packet is all these open-ended questions, really broad and hard to answer. The adoption said check all the boxes that apply! I breezed through it in less than an hour.
10) The booth in our kitchen is not started yet. The guy was totally free to do it and then got hired on a 'real' job. He's been pretty busy lately, which is good for him, but sets our project back. Oh well...
11) Potty training is going well. Mo has a lot of dry diapers! Soon we can make the switch to underoos I think. I plan to poke holes in the 'nutchie' tomorrow. Supposedly that takes away the fun of sucking it. We'll see! Once we get over that, we'll try night time sleeping in the toddler bed, not the crib. My baby's growing up!!
12) I had been doing pretty good about going walking at the mall for a while...but then it just got too nasty out. With all of our snow, it's a workout just to clear the driveway!! We've been trying to 'health-ify' what we eat. Dave can't even believe the amount of veggies we go through in a week! He's lost a few pounds and so have I, but we haven't seen any drastic change yet. This goes back to the workout thing...
13) My sewing machine is fixed! Before I vowed to try to keep busy in the evenings while Dave was working on school stuff. I went strong for a few weeks, but then got lonely. Now that my sewing machine is fixed, I hope to spend at least one night a week trying things out. I will try to use that as a reward for cleaning on the other nights! I've been doing ok at that, but there's always room for improvement.
14) Yes this is long, but I could not end it on unlucky #13! So the last one is our commitment to our faith. We try to read the Picture Bible w/Mo each week, but we can do better. As for us adults, we haven't been spending much time in the Word at all. We need to get back on track w/at least a half hour a week.
Wow. That's quite a list. We can do it! We were just having a conversation the other day about how we were both impressed w/how far we've come in the last 3 months even. Maybe you don't see it, but hopefully you will soon! Are you making any changes in your house? Are they easy? Does everyone agree to be a part of them? Dave's pretty willing b/c so far he's seen the logic in simplify and save $. Soon I'll have him write about our progress - stay tuned!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Video Valentine for the Hearing Impaired

Happy Valentime's Day
(and yes, I spelled it wrong b/c this is from Mo.)

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Winter wonderland

I don't know about the rest of you, but we have a lot of snow. There is a little hill in the back yard, and we occasionally go out sledding. That's when it's not below zero!! What is it w/the weather this winter? Personally I love snow, the cold I could do without. Well, last night I gave Mo a push on the sled BY HIMSELF for the first time. Dave was at the bottom I watched it and the end made me crack up. I don't know why - cabin fever??
We're running out of indoor ideas. What are you doing to stay sane? We've been to the library, the indoor playground at the mall, the kids' museum, the art museum, story times, hotel pools, swim class, Saturplay and the Family Resource Center. We're starting to get bored w/all that! Hard to believe. We've also furiously decorated our house w/hearts - Mo wakes up every day now and asks to make "Valentime's"!

Monday, February 11, 2008

No gel

I don't like having my picture taken...

But here's me the last day I had gel in my hair.

And now here's me without gel - Mo took this one.
Ugh...yeah, it's really cripsy and dry. It keeps touching my face. I suppose it doesn't look that different, but it has a lot of flyaways and it's flatter, which I didn't expect. Overall I barely notice. So I think this has been pretty successful. I'll let you know if it changes at all...

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Quick link

I don't have time to write much, but I just found this recipe for homemade body scrub on a great site....I'll be back later with before and after photos of my 'do. Today was the first day w/o gel - **Sniff** I'm ok. Really...

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Summer can't come fast enough!!

We just finished the meeting with the adoption social worker. The only question we had for her was, "How fast?". Ok, that's the short version, but you get me. She said by summer we could have a child! I actually got a little dizzy w/excitement!!! Or maybe it was the small lunch. Either way, we are both beyond excited and happy to hear that. After hearing some of our thoughts about what we are open to, she said, "Oh you'll be snapped right up!". She did warn us not to take the first child offered until we learn everything about them, which seems logical, but I think she said that to counter-balance her other comment. Anyway! I need to go jump around w/my boys now!!! Does anyone remember Song #2 by Blur? We're cranking it!!

RIP Hair Gel

This morning is my last morning using hair gel. If you're wondering what I'm talking about, click here. In trying to get the last drops out of the bottle, I realized that neither the bottle nor the cap are recyclable. Another good reason not to buy anymore! I wasn't really using any expensive stuff so it's not like I'm going to have a huge bonus in the savings category, but I think every little bit helps there too. I'll try to get a final pic of my hair before the next time...

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Picking a fight with God

First of all, I don't recommend it. But have you ever tried to pick a fight w/God? I feel like that today. I'm sure from reading this blog and knowing us, you know how much we want to have more kids. Eleven more. And we wouldn't complain if it turned out to be even more than that! So by now you know we are trying to foster/adopt kids. Not that we haven't given up on having more of our own, it just seems like this is what we should be focusing on now. Lots of our friends are turning up pregnant lately and even some people we didn't expect, which is exciting! Everyone's being really thoughtful about our feelings too, which is amazing. Well, I recently found out about an acquaintance who is going to have a baby, too. Here's the thing...her circumstances are not the best for having a baby. She's single, having a tough time making the ends meet and she seems nervous about having a baby. Who wouldn't be, right? I remember being nervous before Mo! He was going to be OURS, ALL the time!! Well, today I was doing dishes and it was just too quiet. My mind tried to wrap around the fact that she was going to have a baby and I wasn't. I felt like yelling, "That doesn't make sense God!! Don't you want more for that kid?" Now, I feel ashamed to write this. In fact, I felt so conflicted even then...I started to cry b/c I was mad at myself for feeling this way and questioning God. His plan is the BEST. I know that. Dave saw me crying, and I spilled everything out to him. I kept I'm trying to wipe the tears and get over it when the phone rings. It's the state adoption social worker! She's coming tomorrow!!! Remember before when I talked about the roller coaster? (Here.) I am tumbling down and about to hit the ground when WHOOSH! Back up again!! My point in writing all this is to ask you to please pray. Pray for my crazy, messed up feelings. Pray for peace. I don't need to understand it, even though I want to. I just need to feel at peace. Pray for this girl and her baby. All the other pregnant people, too. Pray for our meeting tomorrow! And if there is some way I can pray for you, please leave a comment...I believe prayer makes a difference. Thank you for your prayers!

Friday, February 1, 2008

Chemical Dependence

Ok, no, I'm not going to write about drug addiction today. I am almost out of hair gel and I have been thinking a lot lately about the chemicals in that stuff. Ugh! I hate it. So I'm torn about not buying any more hair gel vs. having this big 'fro. I already have big hair...and it's really dry too. Wait, that was dumb, who has great moisturized hair in this weather?? Anyway, I have looked into homemade recipes, but they all involve gelatin. Ugh! I hate it. Are you seeing a theme here? I think my hair may soon be going after-shower-product-free. So please don't be scared if the next time you see me, you actually see my hair enter the room first! In other news...I know it wasn't Monday, but yesterday I made some homemade granola bars. I think I'm going to try one of the other recipes I've got next time. This one used a lot of oats...not that it tasted bad, just very oat-y. Know any other recipes for homemade snacks like that? I'm trying not to buy those type of things b/c I know we have the ingredients in the cupboard! (Already paid for, I might add.) The other thing is all the preservatives and hydrogenated oils and really not-good-for you stuff. So yeah, I guess after reading this post you're thinking I'm a little weird or whatever. So far, no dreadlocks or June Cleaver-esque changes. Just some little changes I have been trying to make. I believe we are to be good stewards of what God has given us (even if it's big hair, money or the Earth!). I don't think of it as 'saving the Earth for generations and generations' or 'millions of years to come'. In the Bible it says the Earth will some day be destroyed...we don't know the date! For me, I am trying to take care of what we have been given at this time. If you're interested in learning more, read 2 Peter 3:10-13, Genesis 2:15 or Romans 8:18-23. There's a lot of good stuff in the Bible and this is of course only a sample of the verses that have sparked me on this topic. Ok, now that I've taken this post all the way from chemical dependency to the Bible, I'll let you get back to whatever you were doing! Thanks for sticking w/me on this wild ride!