Monday, March 31, 2008

Gumbo Fun

Here is my gumbo, courtesy of a Martha Stewart recipe which was super easy! It includes Andouille (sp?) sausage, chicken, peppers, onion, and celery. It's pretty basic! And super good!

Fresh French crusty bread. YUMMY!

I tried a new recipe this past weekend and made some homemade Louisiana style gumbo. It was YUMMY! My first time making roux went very well (essentially, it's flour that you brown in a frying pan and then add butter -- it gives the gumbo a yummy, nutty flavor and brown color) I also was inspired to make a homemade loaf of crusty French bread. Nathan helped! When all was said and done, it was sooooo good, made the house smell divine and hardly took any time at all and quite frankly, I think it cost less than 50 cents a loaf to make. WOW. For fresh French bread at the grocery store, you would pay around $3 at least! Maybe we'll make bread like this more often!

Friday, March 28, 2008

Things that baffle me this evening ...

* How you can get the songs from High School Musical permanently lodged in your brain until your want to bash in your skull with any blunt object nearby. (my kids are addicted to this movie right now)

* How, when parenting, you would actually use the words: "Get your fingers out of your hole and eat your breakfast!" (actually, having to do with holes in CLOTHING ... but still....)

* Why on earth you NEED to stir instant jello for THREE STINKING minutes for it to dissolve ... according to the box. SLOWEST three minutes in the world.

* Why the ginormous flagpole (one of the largest in the country) in Sheboygan has sat at the same stinking height for about four months as it is being rebuilt. And why it looks closer to the highway than the last one. (which fell over and could have landed across both lanes of traffic ... ummmmm ... can we say lawsuit waiting to happen!)

* Why every man looks 10 times sexier in a cowboy hat. (I'm addicted to country music right now. Yes, I'm listening to it right this moment on Check it out if you haven't ... you can design your own radio station that only plays the music/songs you like ... shameless plug)

* Why/how my oldest son found it was funny to wack my baby girl in the belly with her stuffie today to entertain himself ... and her apparently ... judging by her belly laughs ... !!!

* Why the stupid fat squirrel (incidentally, that is an amazingly good local beer, Fat Squirrel...) actually CAME BACK to our yard as of this week, despite the ongoing game of "deathwish" that he plays with our neurotic dog Roxy everytime we let her outside and she chases him down the fenceline of our yard... all...stinking...summer...long. Looks like we're in for more fun this summer.

* How opportunity can knock very loudly at your door, but you're not really sure you want to answer after all. "Maybe if we're really quiet and don't move, it will think we're not here!" Sigh!

* How one, simple "You're amazing." uttered in your direction from your dear hubby can transform a day full of tantrums, burp ups, screaming and time outs into a warm fuzzy thing of the past.

Miss Puddleduck

Here is Miss Puddleduck. In the third photo, she is wearing her Jemima Puddleduck outfit that grandma and papa got her from England (that's a Beatrix Potter reference for those who were wondering!). I think she looks cute in it, so I've been calling her puddleduck. Speaking of which, look at how my little puddleduck holds her own bottle now! She started that about two weeks ago already!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

My Easter bunnies

Gabe finds his basket!

Ash finds his basket!

Baby girl bunny! She couldn't have candy, so I bought her bunny ears and a stuffed duck for her first basket!

Miss Rhylah in her Easter finest!

My Easter bunnies!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Sick of winter in spring...

Today is the second day of spring and it snowed. And snowed. I think we only ended up getting about 3 of the predicted 6 inches they said we would get. Milwaukee however, got hammered with about 10 inches.

Unbelievable. It took Nathan an hour and 45 minutes to get home from work.

I'm a big fan of snow. But I don't want it anymore. It can all go to the place where snow goes to die and I will not weep a single tear. Ugh. I figured out why Wisconsin snow irks me. There's so much of it. You can't even send your kids out into it. If I had dropped my two-year-old into the drift that lived outside my back door like a great, sleeping white beast for the last four months, the little guy would have disappeared and I'm not sure how I would have found him again. I would have had to tie an orange flag to his head to be able to see where he was while he played in the yard. As a result? There was very little playing in the yard this winter. As a further result? We all have cabin fever BIG TIME.

Now, granted, the snow had begun to melt before today. But up until this past week or so, it was still laying about in massive amounts. I'm so sick of it.

But spring is begining to "sprung" whether we like it or not. I noticed yesterday that there are tulip bulbs peeking out of my garden. How??? I really don't know, since the weather has not really topped the 40s. You wonder if they just had a conversation down there under the dirt "It's been six months of snow, you think we can come up YET? Aw... the hell with it, let's give it a go!" And then to be confronted with THIS!

Ah, well. Tulips were never my favorite flower anyway.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Proud of the men in my family



I'm so proud of my little "man" Gabriel! He got his first tooth pulled yesterday and handled it like a champ! (His big tooth was coming in and the little one wasn't giving way soon enough) But there was not a single tear! In fact, he was quite excited about it! That fact alone pretty much baffled the dentist and the nurse, who I think ... were expecting a fit and a few tears at least. So was I, to tell the truth. I mean, this is a boy who basically has to be hog tied anytime he needs to get a shot at the pediatrician's office. But he did great! I was more nervous than he was! And of course, the tooth went right into a sock, under his pillow at bedtime. When I got home from work, Nate and I had fun playing "tooth fairy" and filling his sock with $2 in change. He was soooooo excited when he woke up and found the money! He's now saving for a new Lego set!

The other man that I'm proud of today, (and always of course!) is my daddy! My mother told me last night that the democratic party contacted him on Monday and want him to consider running as a Missouri state senator. Whoo hooo! I'm so proud of you dad! What an awesome opportunity!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Two things I did this weekend

1. I am feeling OLD. For the first time ever, I woke up on Sunday morning, stretched luxuriously (as I always do...enjoying my stretch immensely ... we even have certain rules in our household ... no tickling mom when she's enjoying a good stretch!) when ... POP!!! My neck spasmed violently all the way down through my shoulder. And I COULD NOT MOVE. Seriously. I thought to myself, "Well, this is interesting." and painful. As I lay there waiting for it to pass ... I soon realized that it wouldn't. And to make a long story short, Nathan had to help me stand up, with me sobbing the whole time. And I went to church like Frankenstein, turning my entire body whenever I needed to turn my head. This was not great since Nate's band was playing so it was my Sunday to baby wrangle ALL THREE KIDS alone in a church pew. Ohhhh, Lordy help me, is what I was thinking. Especially considering the Saturday we had had with Asher -- who was in top form, deciding it would be fun to be Indiana Jones and swing from the curtains in our dining room, practically pulling the hardware out of the wall. Yeah. His energy levels this weekend were through the roof. It was not a fun Sunday. I pretty much just hauled his sassy butt into the nursery and let them deal with him. Cop out, I know. But I had taken an Excederin PM that morning (the only pain medication we had in the house) and could barely see the pastor due to my drooping eyelids. I couldn't even bend my chin to look down at the baby in my arms!!! Oh what a fun Sunday. I should have just stayed at home. I spent the rest of the day flat on the couch with a heating pad. Nate was a champ and took good care of me and the kids during my convalescence. This morning, I am finally able to turn my head from side to side (not all the way! But most of the way!) Ugh, do I feel old.

2. I canceled my account because the addiction was growing much too big. Actually, I've been playing it less and less, but I'm tired of dreaming about it at night (I usually play right before bed) and people were being rude online last night, hence my sudden desire to make a clean cut. Sigh!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Halfway there ... maybe

Well, it's been four weeks since I challenged myself to lead a healthier lifestyle by exercising and eating less junk ... with the ultimate goal of losing 20 pounds. Well, so far I've lost 10! Which is the good news. The bad news is that I think my scale is off. So, while I've still lost 10 pounds, my starting weight was off, meaning that I think I may need to lose 30 instead of 20 pounds. UGH. I'm trying to not feel defeated by this. But good gracious! How discouraging to find that your scale is 10 pounds off! I checked it against the scale at my work, and also the scale in a bathroom at a house party we were at. (am I strange, or has anyone else done this before???) So, while 10 pounds feels mighty good ... I may have 20 more to go. And I know these last pounds will be like glue ... stuck good and fast! But for now, I will keep my goal at 20 pounds. Mostly because I want to reach that goal and celebrate before setting a new one.
What has been the hardest part of this experience? Not snacking! I can't tell you the wonderful treats I have turned down in the last month! (Chocolate fondue at work for one! That was painful to ignore!) Now I've moved into the Slimfast for lunch mode, and I find that if I set aside one night a week where I allow myself to snack, then I at least have something to look forward to and don't lose my discipline earlier in the week! (Thanks for that idea Gretchen!)

Here is my primary inspiration -- little Rhylah-roo as I affectionately call her. As strange as it sounds, I want her to think her mama is pretty and working hard to stay so! Everytime I think of that it makes me run that extra mile!

Monday, March 10, 2008

When it comes to wearing pants on your head...

Miss Rhylah takes a nap with her pink pants strategically placed on her noggin.

My kidlets, all on the couch last night, enjoying each other's company.

My baby does not nap. My baby does, however, sleep 12 hours at night, and has been doing so for four or five weeks. (So I'm told that I shouldn't complain...) But she won't nap.
Last week, in a dramatic, exciting, edge-of-your-seat exhilarating experiment, I wondered if she was getting too chilly while napping in her "nest" (her car seat with the fluffy top, which she likes to sit in while in the living room). So, as she drifted off, I looked around .... not finding a hat nearby, I quickly put some spare pants on her head to keep her warm. Bingo. She slept for two hours. The next day I tried to let her nap without the pants ... a placebo test if you will ... 20 minutes later, she was awake. So who knows if this phenomenon really is a keeper, but it definitely seems to help ... odd as it may seem!
In other news, Miss Rhylah broke her first bottom right tooth through last week Thursday and now she's got two coming through. My little girl is growing up so fast!

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Miss Rhy

Just a few shots of my darling girl that I took this afternoon. Ain't she sweet???

Sunday, March 02, 2008

At the movies

I went to go see "The Other Boleyn Girl" at the theater it Mequon with my good pal Heather last night. We both arrived at the cinema feeling like we had "escaped" for a short while, from the madness of children and feedings and bedtimes and could just hang out like we used to do in high school. It was super great fun! And the movie was excellent! It was sort of predictable, as we all know what happens to good old Ann Boleyn, but the actors did a great job and it was good fun to watch!