Sunday, February 28, 2010

Chocolate Bear

My poor deprived child doesn't have a teddy bear. He had a bear that talked, but wasn't very cuddly. A few weeks ago he threw up on said bear, making him impossible to clean. Bear had to be put to rest. After weeks of Shane talking about how bear was thrown up on and all gone, I decided he deserved to have his first trip to Build-a-Bear. We had walked into the store before and browsed, so he knew what I was talking about when I told him where we were going. He got to pick his bear out with some slight guiding from me. His first choice was the green shamrock bear, which I just had to say no to. We then went to stuff him, put a heart and a shamrock in him, and clean him (which terrified Shane with the loud noise the "bathtub" made). I had already planned on skipping the additional costs of clothing the bear, but when we walked by the clothes and I said he doesn't need any clothes, right? Shane said, NO! Bear cold! How could I ignore that. We picked out a cute Mariners top and white shorts for bear. Then we got to name him. Shane decided all on his own to name him Chocolate Bear. Chocolate Bear is now a much loved member of our family.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Feels Like Spring Outside.

It was a perfect day for a romp down the "mud puddle road". Also, a great way to get two toddlers tired out for a nap.

You can take a peek at their fun in the water last year. They were so short.

Dahlia decided early on that she would not go in the same puddle as Shane. Hmmm, I wonder why??

I did coax them together for a quick second if I promised Shane wouldn't splash.

D and I like to call him "stick man". It cracks me up when she says it.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Menu Monday

For the next few weeks I'll be working through the stuff in my pantry and in my freezer so we have less to move in March.

My meal plans for the upcoming week:

Monday: Sweet and Sour Chicken with Rice and broccoli (one kit left in the pantry)
Tuesday: leftovers
Wednesday: Chili (frozen from a large batch I made a few weeks ago)
Thursday: leftovers
Friday: Baked Ziti (see recipe below)
Saturday: leftovers
Sunday: Surprise Night

Baked Ziti

·1 pound lean ground beef (ground chuck or ground round)
·1/2 cup chopped onion
·1 green bell pepper, chopped, about 1/2 cup
·1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
·1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
·1/2 teaspoon dried leaf basil, crumbled
·1/2 teaspoon dried leaf oregano, crumbled
·1/2 teaspoon garlic powder or small clove garlic, minced
·1 1/2 teaspoons salt
·1/4 teaspoon pepper
·8 ounces ziti or elbow macaroni, cooked and drained
·2 cups (8 ounces) shredded mozzarella cheese, divided

Sauté ground beef, onion, and green bell pepper in a large skillet until onion is tender and beef is lightly browned. Drain off excess fat; add tomatoes, tomato sauce, basil, oregano, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Stir well; stir in ziti or elbow macaroni and 1 cup of the cheese; transfer to a 2 1/2-quart casserole. Top with the remaining cup of cheese. Bake at 350° for 25 to 30 minutes, or until hot and bubbly.
This baked ziti recipe serves 6.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

What a Crappy Day!

Crappy is an understatement, too. I'd really like to use a bunch of four letter words to describe today. It all started around 12:30am when I woke up to Kenny out of bed. When I asked what was wrong he told me had had been throwing up. Oh, Great! He told me to get some sleep, and I knew I needed the sleep because Shane would be up soon enough and he would be all mine.

5:30am arrived and Shane was up and ready to "play". We'll I sure wasn't ready to play and neither was Kenny. Shane got a privileged hour in front of the tube with milk. His Saturday started off with a bang. Ours not so much. Kenny told me he felt like a truck had run him over and I just wanted to have a fun Saturday with my family in the sunshine.

9am I rounded Shane up to make the best of the morning by hitting a few garage sales (which he normally loves) and getting a couple errands completed. The garage sales were terrible and Shane was a mess on and off the whole time we were out of the house.

12pm lunch was completed and I was super excited for my 2 hours of down time while Shane napped and for the prospect of playing outside in the beautiful 60 degree blue sky weather when Shane woke up. I was even thinking about maybe going to the evening church service with Shane. Just to get him out of the house so Kenny could rest more. My little buddy REFUSED to nap. Three hours of struggling and trying to get him to nap ended in defeat. During this struggle when I thought for sure he would nap he lost outside privileges if he didn't take a nap, and evening TV privileges, too. Thinking those would get him to sleep for sure, well, I was wrong and had backed myself into one hell of an afternoon. No escapes outside and no TV for the wary.

4pm I'm hungry and going crazy. I dragged Shane to the car to go pick up a $5 pizza for us. He just about falls asleep in the car. Which he NEVER does. I quickly fed him dinner, give him a bath and got him into bed around 6pm. With massive crying and screaming during the whole process. The kid was out cold by 6:15 at the latest.

The cherry on top of all of this is that I was suppose to go to knitting class tonight, but since Kenny was sick, I didn't want to have him put Shane to bed so I canceled. I didn't just cancel I didn't even get the things I needed to be able to do anything at class tonight which I was going to do during errand time today.

Ugh! What a crappy day for all of us. I sure hope tomorrow is at least just slightly better then today because I'm not sure the 3 of us can make it through another day like today.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Mommy Chopped My Hair Off

Shane's hair was just out of control. So I took the problem into my own hands. I can't say I did the best job, but no one else out there seems to do much better and at least my hair cut was free. I did nick his ear a little bit, and make a small small mark. Opps! I'll be taking him to some one to fix it up in the next few weeks. The poor kid has cowlicks coming out of every corner of his head. It just makes all hairstyles impossible on his head...short or long...nothing looks good.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Shane Update

Our little buddy sure is growing up. Every week I can't believe what he can do and how old he acts. Here is a list of some of his most recent happenings:

**Over the weekend at Mema and Papa's house he took on saying "idea". He now will tell us he has an "idea" and then ramble on about his "idea" which can range from using a stick in the water so he doesn't get wet or to a toy he wants to play with. Cracks me up!!

**He is officially potty trained during the day. And hasn't woken up wet from naps in weeks (I'm just not ready to take the nap time diaper away) and is often dry in the mornings (again, still not ready for night time potty training even though he probably is). Except this morning at 5:20am, he came into out bedroom saying "pee, pee". He had his diaper off and his PJ's unzipped. We ran into the bathroom together and he went potty. Guess he decided to night train himself, as well. Doesn't matter if Mommy is ready or not.

**He is back into a naked phase. Last week he ate lunch naked, and he loves to run around with out a shirt on and only one sock. I often hear "not cold, Mommy". He likes to make sure I don't attempt to try and put any more clothes on him.

**Shane transitioned into a toddler bed a few weeks ago flawlessly. It was a breeze. We so far haven't had any problems with him getting up out of bed. The one concern has been that he is waking up more at night. He seems to wiggly around more in his new bed and get uncovered. Or feels more vulnerable in there, because there has been a lot of talk about "roars" (scary noises) at bed time.

**Last week we went to a place called Kindering Center where Shane took a developmental assessment. I was only concerned about his speech, but they have to do a whole evaluation which includes cognitive, social/emotional and motor skills (gross and fine)testing. It was an interesting experience to be on the "other side of the table" after being an elementary school counselor I was very familiar with the tests and procedures.

He easily qualified for speech services in the area of articulation. Which is what I had anticipated, so no surprise there. He fell into what can be referred to as the "shady 80's" for expressive language, but since he already qualified for articulation services, they will also provide him with expressive language services as well. He scored perfectly in the cognitive and social/emotional areas and very high in the motor skills area.

Shane will have a speech therapist come out to the house once a week (or we'll go to Kindering Center). Kindering only services kids birth-3. After he turns 3, he'll have to be retested by the school district and transfer to there if he qualifies still. It feels good to know that he'll be getting the help he needs. He is still picking up multiple new words every day and so far his articulation problem hasn't affected him, just those around him that are trying to understand the million stories he tells on a daily basis.

**His love for Sadie (Dede) and Dodger (Dodo) continues to grow and grow. This love I speak of can be a little overwhelming and I often think they are ready to pack their bags and move out. If they can't find one of their toys, they have learned to look high, since that is where Shane likes to hide them. But when he came home today, I don't think I've ever seen Sadie as excited before (and I've seen her pretty darn excited), so I guess they like all the rough love and games he plays with them. Maybe they won't be packing their bags any time soon....

**Shane's favorite toys continue to be anything involving modes of transportation: trains, cars, tractors and diggers. As well as building with legos. Coloring and making things in his kitchen are other daily highlights.

**We got our first "I Love You, Mommy and Daddy" this weekend. Very appropriate for Valentines Day. He said it to me first out of the blue Friday afternoon, and of course I had to call Daddy, Mema and Papa and have him repeat it to each and every one of them.

**He can reach the light switch! What a new found freedom for a little guy. And one less thing we have to do for him.

Monday, February 15, 2010

CTMH Gathering Projects

Today I was prepping for a couple CTMH gatherings I have in March. I wanted to share these examples of what I bring as projects when you host a CTMH gathering at your home. This is a great way to learn new techniques, spend time with friends, get your craft on and earn free products from CTMH.

You can either pick to make a 12x12 scrapbook page or two cards. Click on the images to enlarge them. I used the upcoming March Stamp of the Month on all three of these.

When you book a gathering for February, March or April you'll receive one of our new size A stamp sets (page 81). Email me today to book your gathering.

A big thanks to Vicki and Jeanette Lynton for providing some inspiration for my projects today.

Menu Monday

This is my first Menu Monday post. I hope to inspire you with some dinner ideas and along the way keep me on track for planning my weekly dinner menus. Do note that in our house because of my working schedule I pretty much only make dinner every other night. I plan so that the following night is left overs. Which helps so that Kenny doesn't have to make dinner the nights I get home late, and saves me time and energy of coming up with something new 7 nights a week.

Here is what we'll be eating this week for dinner. I am not so great with making side dishes, I seem to forget that part of the menu planning, so that is also one of my goals in posting Menu Monday.

Monday -- Sweet and Sour Chicken (this is actually from a kit that I get at the store that Kenny really likes, I would eventually like to be able to make it from scratch though, probably a lot more healthier). Rice and Broccoli on the side.

Tuesday -- leftovers

Wednesday -- Pot Roast in the crock pot (I'm challenging myself to use my crock pot once a week). Carrots and Potatoes on the side.

Thursday -- leftovers

Friday -- Terrific Taco Meat with oranges on the side.

Saturday -- leftovers

Sunday -- Surprise Night (Sundays are usually what may be left in the frig from the week, or a frozen pizza, just generally a very low key day for dinner).

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day Weekend

The weather hasn't been very nice this weekend, but luckily we were so busy getting things done that it really didn't matter. It helped to not feel guilty that we weren't outside in the sun at least.

Shane went to Mema and Papa's house this weekend. Which freed up time for Kenny and I to prepare for our pending move in a month. I did lots of shopping on Friday, gathering some needed new house items and of course some much needed clothing for myself. It felt great to not have a time line of how long I could be out and about. Hours of free time to go where and when I wanted. Something I never thought much about when I didn't have a kiddo in my life. But is so much appreciated now that I have a little buddy who takes up all my time usually in a good way.

Saturday Kenny and I hit Ikea for hours of browsing and imagining. We have some grand plans for a new office/scrapbooking area in the downstairs of our new home. But weren't sure how exactly how to pull it off. Thanks to Ikea our question was answered, now we just need to narrow down all the options. Fun, but stressful at the same time.

Of course, we had a lovely time eating out a handful of times and having some down time at home as well. We watched The Hangover Friday night. I've heard so much about it, the plot drove me cray, but I loved all the great one liners.

Today has been a productive day of packing, organizing and even selling some furniture. Less to move and more money for that crazy desk plan we have! We'll also be having pink heart shaped pancakes for dinner tonight!

Happy Valentine's Day to you! Hope you had a nice relaxing weekend, as well.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010


I feel like I've been MIA on my blog lately for various reasons. Some of which include: not enough time in the day it seems like during the past couple of months to get everything completed, during the winter months it just seems like we don't do that many fun and exciting things like we do during the summer, and we've been house hunting. Now that the house hunt is over I get to spend the rest of my free time packing and getting ready to move.

I've been wanting to start a Menu Monday post the past couple of weeks, I'm going to try to get it up and rolling next week. Stay tuned for that one. My hope is that it will help keep me motivated in my weekly meal planning and help inspire some new meals at your house. Don't we all get so tired of figuring out what is for dinner!!!

Also look for upcoming posts on our house we are in the process of purchasing! It's been a long time coming and I can't believe the house waiting/hunting is just about over. And a Shane update will be coming soon as well.

Really I am here, just crazy crazy busy. Not the best excuse, just the truth.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Blog Hop Candy Winner is.....

I used the true random number generator and got #3 -- which is Cupcake Stamper (Danielle C). Congrats! Please email me with your address.

Thanks everyone for taking a peek at my blog hop projects this month and leaving comments.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Close To My Heart Open House

Join me on Saturday, February 6th from 2-3:30pm for a chance to check out the new spring idea book. There will be door prizes, games, chocolate, raffle drawings and even a sneak peek at our new online scrapbooking program called Studio J.

Ways To Earn Raffle Tickets for the Door Prizes:
--RSVP before February 5th (2 tickets)
--Bring a friend with you (2 tickets)
--Arrive on time (1 ticket)
--Bring your CTMH spring idea book wish list (1 ticket)
--Bring your calendar (1 ticket)
--Book a gathering (5 tickets)
--Sign up for a workshop (3 tickets)
--Place an order (3 tickets)
--Sign up to be a consultant (7 tickets)

Please email me at for more details on location and to RSVP.