Dr. Apppointment Anxiety

 

I am one of those mother’s who is a 100% advocate for not comparing your child to your own children, or other people’s children.  Yet, Dr. Appt. time comes around and I find myself looking through baby books to see how much the other kids weighed and what tricks they could do by the same age milestone.  I dread getting the Dr.’s question when I’ll have to say that No, my child cannot do what you think he should be doing.  Then I put the blame on myself that I should be doing more to make sure each of my kids is developing at the rate he should be.

I need to read more with Mikey, work on letters and numbers more with Riley, introduce Ty to all the words and sounds around him.  More.  I always find myself needing to do more.  It’s not because I would even love them less for not meeting the milestones, I just want the best for them.

Ty had his 9 month appt. today, even though he’s been nine months for a couple of weeks.  Look at that chunky monkey.  He really is such a sweetheart.  The Dr. didn’t want to give him back :).  I got to tell him that Ty started crawling a few days ago (yeah, we’re constantly running here) and then had to admit that he still won’t sleep through the night.  After everything I got to breathe a sigh of relief because the Dr. said he was just perfect and such a good boy.  Good news.

Am I alone in my Dr. Appt anxiety?

A Favorite Family Night Activity

Whenever Jon and I don’t have anything specific planned for Family Home Evening, this is one of the simple activities that we often resort to.  The kids both love it.  I did it with them today after church.  No matter how many times we sing the song or play the game, it’s always a success! 🙂

We start out by singing “Nephi’s Courage“.  I love that song!  It’s actually a song that the primary kids are supposed to know for the primary program this year.  A couple of years ago, I made simple little stick puppets to help Lizzie learn the song.  My kids love singing the song and using the puppets!  We have to sing it over and over again so that they can each get their turn with their favorite puppets. 🙂

You can make your own puppets quite easily too!  I just looked at a few of my favorite LDS clipart websites (here, here, and here), found pictures that correspond with the words (as closely as possible), printed them out, colored them, laminated them, and attached them to Popsicle sticks.

The kids choose their puppets (or I assign them out of necessity) and we enthusiastically sing the song over and over and over again. 🙂

After we sing the song, we play “CTR Bingo”.  A few years ago, I was able to print out the game for free, however, the company is now charging about $2 for it (which isn’t too bad).  You can buy your own game out here.  Or, you could easily make one yourself.

We use anything from chocolate chips to cheerios for our bingo markers.  The kids like chocolate chips the best, of course. 🙂

They sit on the floor (or table) with a bowl cheerios between them.

I flip a CTR card over and they place a cheerio on the correct color.

The first person to get three in a row yells “Choose the Right!!!”.  I ask the winner to name one good choice that they have made recently.  (Lizzie’s good choice was that she helped to clean her room).

After each bingo, they are allowed to clear their board by eating the cheerios.

We keep playing until the cheerios disappear, or the kids become bored.

Anyway, we love this easy FHE activity at our house!  I like it because it incorporates music, an activity, a treat, and a gospel discussion.  What more could you ask for?! 🙂

Broccoli Potato Cheddar Corn Chowder

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Say that ten times fast!  I know it’s summer and not really the season for soups, but Ty and I have serious colds/sinus infections and soup seemed just the thing to help us feel better.

This soup is one of the best soups I have ever tasted.  And I love soup.  I was putting the soup away after dinner and my husband asked why I wasn’t leaving some out to pack for his lunch tomorrow.  I said that he never eats leftover soup.  He said I’ve never made a soup this good.

I’m tellin ya, it’s really good.

Here’s what you’ll need:

2 1/2 cups chicken/veggie broth

1/4 cup butter

4 cups of diced potatoes

5 green onions diced

1 head of broccoli (pre-steamed)

1 cup of corn (fresh/frozen/canned….it’s all good)

6 Tbsp butter

6 Tbsp flour

1 cup  milk

8 ounces sour cream

2 cups grated cheese (I used cheddar, but any kind would taste delicious!)

First thing I did was microwave the diced potatoes for 5 minutes.  I am a real stickler about crunchy potatoes in my soup.  You don’t have to do this, but I do.  Then you put the broth (water will work too if you don’t have any, it’s just more flavor with the broth), 1/4 cup butter, green onions and potatoes in a large pot and bring to boil.

After it’s boiling you add the broccoli and the corn and mix well.  Then you add the 6 Tbsp of butter and the 6 Tbsp of flour and mix in really well.  Then you take it off the heat, add the milk, then return it to the heat and stir until the soup creams up.

This step is really nice for me because I always burn a rue when I make it and this step worked just as well and you use it in the middle.  So nice!

After it’s as creamy as you’d like, you take it off the heat again and add the sour cream and cheese.  Then it’s ready to serve!

We served it with grilled cheese but if I had planned ahead I would’ve loved a bread bowl.  This is a keeper in our house!

Yellow Ecuadorian Rice

We LOVE this side dish at our house.   This is another one of my “mother-in-law” recipes.  In fact, my mother-in-law learned it from her mother-in-law.  I’ll have to teach it to my future daughter-in-laws just to keep the tradition going. 🙂  I always make this rice for my mom when we get together.  She is an incredibly picky eater (not by choice) and even she considers this moist and flavorful side-dish an edible choice! 🙂

Yellow Ecuadorian Rice

4 cups cooked rice (not instant)

1 can of corn (or about 2 cups of fresh or frozen corn)

1/2 cup cilantro, chopped

1/2 cup green onions, chopped

1/4 cup of butter (use more or less, according to your own taste…or desire to cut calories!  Jon’s grandma has been known to put an entire cup of butter in her rice…please don’t do that!)

Salt (to taste)

Approximately 1 teaspoon of “Bijol” (you can find it in the Hispanic section of the supermarket)

*Note: If you can’t find “Bijol” anywhere, no worries.  It’s purpose is mainly to give the rice its yellow color.

Instructions:

After cooking the rice (I use a rice-cooker), add the butter, salt and bijol and mix thoroughly until the butter melts.  Then add the corn, cilantro, and green onions.  Mix until all of the ingredients are combined.

EAT IT.

A super easy side-dish that always impresses guests! 🙂

I Wanna Talk About Me

Any country fan may be hearing Toby Keith singing in their head right now, and that would be all right with me.  I know the song is about dating, and Michael and I laugh about it sometimes, but it also says a little bit about parenting.  Of course, the whole song won’t apply, but any mother/father will understand that when you have children, especially if you stay home with those children, most of your day is spent talking about your children, or addressing their needs, or existing in make-believe worlds.

“Me Time” is a swear word in some homes, and I just want to say that I think that it is healthy.  I wouldn’t trade staying home with my kids for anything.  It really brings a lot of joy into my life.  But……that joy wouldn’t be as full if I didn’t get a break every once in a while.  I like to go on dates with my husband, or take a walk….or my favorite guilty pleasure….a nap.  I also spend time every day on ME.

I know everybody is different, but I can’t block out 2 hours of every day to spend how I like it.  It doesn’t always work out that all the kids are napping or occupied at the same time for that amount of time.  I find, for my kids at least, that they don’t feel as neglected (I know they aren’t, but you will feel that they are) if I fit in 20 minutes here and there to read, write, craft, blog, workout, or watch some Downton Abbey.

Those 20 minutes revive me for the next two hours that I spend being Wonderwoman.  Like, really being Wonderwoman, running around with a cape on and fighting Batman.  Not because I get so much done and am so awesome.  Because most days I don’t get a whole lot done and am not that awesome.

It’s the little moments where I feel like I better myself that I make myself a better mom.

Felt Pizza

This little activity is super easy to make and it keeps the kids occupied for at least a few minutes. 🙂

You need one piece of tan felt for the pizza crust and one piece of red felt for the pizza sauce.  (I didn’t have any red felt so I had to resort to a maroon color).

Cut the pizza crust and sauce to resemble a pizza.  Don’t worry, you don’t need a pattern.  It doesn’t have to be perfect!

Next, use some scrap felt to create the toppings of your choice.  I made purple onions, green bell peppers, black olives, white cheese, red pepperoni, yellow pineapple, brown sausages, and tan mushrooms.

Finally, let your kids create their very own pizza with the toppings of their choice.

You can make one for yourself too!  I’m not embarrassed to admit that I kind of enjoy doing these types of activities! 🙂

Healthy Strawberry-Banana Muffins

Please excuse this ugly picture.  I promise that these taste better than they look! 🙂

We buy a lot of bananas at our house.  But no  matter how many we eat a day (it isn’t unusual for me to consume 3 per day!), we always end up having a few bananas out of each bunch that go bad before we can eat them.  I don’t like eating over-ripe bananas plain, so I usually throw them in fruit smoothies or mix them with pancake batter to make banana pancakes.  I also make banana muffins quite often.  I wanted to try something different this weekend, however, and so I found this recipe for strawberry-banana muffins that looked appetizing.  And it was even quite healthy, which is a major plus.  They were absolutely delicious and I will definitely be making them again!

Strawberry-Banana Muffins

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup whole wheat flour

 1 tsp baking soda

1 tablespoon cinnamon

pinch of salt

2 eggs

3/4 cup brown sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 cup apple sauce

1 cup mashed banana

1 cup sliced strawberries (fresh or frozen)

Preheat over to 375.

1. Line 12 large muffin cups with paper liners, or spray with non-stick cooking spray.  (I actually used my mini-muffin tin for these).

2. In a medium bowl, combine flours, soda, cinnamon, and salt and set aside.

3. In another bowl whisk together eggs, brown sugar, vanilla, applesauce, and mashed bananas.  Stir in sliced strawberries until just combined.

4. Spoon batter into muffin liners until full.  Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.  Let cool for a couple of minutes before flipping out of pan.  (Since I used a mini-muffin tin, they were done in about 10 minutes).

Book Wreath

If anyone knows me, they know I love to read.  Knowing that, you’ll see why this wreath was so hard and so wonderful for me to make!  I knew I would love a decoration in my house that looked like a book, but didn’t want to tear up an actual book to do so.  I went to the dollar store and got a random book, and it helped, but ripping out those pages still stung a bit.

Here are the items you will need to make this wreath:

One round foam wreath, any size will work

One book, pages ripped out

Fabric or Ribbon to wrap wreath in

Pearl beads

Hot glue gun

Scissors

First I took my wreath and some scrap fabric I already had lying around the house and hot glued the fabric around the outside and inside of the wreath.

Then you take your book pages and cute them in half.  You will use three pages at a time for each flower.

Then you take that half of a page and round off the edges.

Then you start at one side of the oval/circle and cut a spiral into the middle of the page.

Starting at the outside and moving in, you roll up the pages.

There will be a tab at the middle of the spiral that you will hot glue on the bottom of the rose and push down.  Take a pearl bead and glue it in the middle.

I also made these other flowers.  Truthfully, the roses are a bit time-consuming and I wanted another flower to add variety and take up more space.  I didn’t take pictures as I was making these, but it’s pretty straightforward.  You cut a flower shape out of your page and then layer it and scrunch the middle for texture.  Hot glue it all together with three pearl beads in the center.

Then hot glue all the flowers on the wreath until you have your desired look.  I LOVE LOVE LOVE this wreath.  So beautiful!

Posted in DIY

Mookies

Lizzie came up with the name “Mookies” for these because we both decided that they taste like a mix between a cookie and a  muffin.  This is one of those recipes that I threw together on a whim because I was in the mood for oatmeal chocolate chip cookies but we didn’t have any chocolate chips.

(Actually, I don’t allow myself to buy chocolate chips unless I know that I’m going to use them immediately.  I have a problem with having bags of chocolate chips in my pantry simply waiting to be used.  I seriously can’t resist opening up the bag just to eat one.  And then I obviously can’t stop at just one.  Before I know it, the entire bag is gone!  I just have no control whatsoever when it comes to certain things – and chocolate definitely makes the top of my”no control” list!)

Anyway, we didn’t have any chocolate chips but I wasn’t in the mood for plain oatmeal cookies.  I looked in our pantry and saw that we had a bunch of instant oatmeal packets that needed to be used up before they expired.  Why not use them for baking cookies?  The first time I tried this recipe, I used the instant blueberry oatmeal flavor.  Since then, we have also tried the peaches and cream as well as the strawberries and cream flavors.

These taste so good!  They aren’t as sweet as a typical cookie, which is why they kind of remind me of muffins.  Jon really likes these as well and he isn’t particularly a fan of cookies, so that’s really saying something! 🙂

Anyway, here’s the recipe.  If you have any packets of instant oatmeal needing to be devoured, why not give these mookies a try? 🙂

Mookies

1 cup flour

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

6 Tablespoons butter, melted

1/3 cup brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1 egg

1/2 cup instant oatmeal (any flavor)

Mix all of the ingredients together.  Chill in the fridge for 1/2 an hour.  Roll into 1-inch balls and place on cookie sheet.  Bake at 375 degrees for approximately 8 minutes.

Karma

*Warning: Poop tales follow*

On our way home from Logan, we stopped in Payson to see some good friends of ours who had just had a baby the week before.  We were excited to break up the drive and to see the tiny little wonder.  They had just moved into this new house the week before as well, so we were one of the first to see their new place.

They rent the bottom level of a farmhouse in the countryside of Payson.  I didn’t know Payson had a countryside, but it’s true.  And it’s beautiful.  Their house was pristine and you could tell it had just been cleaned and all their furniture and decorations were being put in place and they were getting settled.

When we got their they had that look of “we are so happy to see you but we could also fall asleep at any moment while you are here”.  It had been a busy week for them with having the baby, moving, and then having family over.  We were just going to make this quick visit and then let them get some rest.

While Michael and his friend went outside to show the boys the chickens, I stayed in and nursed Ty and spoke with my friend.  I hadn’t nursed Ty for hours because we had been busy visiting people all day, so I had been slipping him the bottle instead.  Needless to say, the overabundance of milk didn’t settle with Ty too well; he projectile vomited all over their couch.  I mean, really, all over.  At least half of it.

My poor friend had to get up with her baby that had just fallen asleep to get the items that I would need to clean up the couch so we didn’t permanently stink it up.  She was so nice about it too.  But I felt horrible.  I set Ty on the ground and got to cleaning.

He was happy on the ground so I left him there to play, and soon the boys and the husbands were back inside as well.  About ten minutes later, I noticed Ty had his bright red, grunting, pushing face.  I watched him for a minute and when I thought he was done I laid him down to clean him up.

I should’ve known before I laid him down that the smell was awfully strong.  Too strong to be contained by his diaper.  Once on his back, I could see the poop had run down both his legs and was covering a pretty good area of their carpet.  There were also numerous whole raisins in it.  I only mention that because they are the culprit for causing this huge mess.  Well, technically, I was for giving them to him, but he was starving at my aunt’s house and that was all I had left in my purse.

Once again, my poor friend was getting out the carpet cleaner and fetching plastic bags for me to put the nasty leftovers in.  I had to enlist Michael’s help in changing this one it was so bad, and I never do that.

They were so nice about it, laughed it off, and even agreed with us that this was better than it happening in the car, where it would be a lot harder to contain the mess and the smell.

Needless to say, I don’t think they’ll be inviting us over again anytime soon.

I had been home from Utah for a couple of days when my sister came over with her kids.  We had been having a nice day and the kids were playing well together.  I had just finished telling her this poo story because she had mentioned that she needed to change her baby’s diaper.  I should’ve kept my mouth shut.  In retrospect, I should’ve never fed Ty that first raisin.

While she was changing her son’s diaper, he pushed out a squirt that went all over her pants and my carpet.  Projectile poop.  Who knew?

She kept saying how sorry she was and I really didn’t care.  I should’ve seen it coming.  That’s karma, man.  It will always get you.