Friday, December 30, 2011

do better

Here we are, another year gone, another year eagerly awaiting.  And what comes with the new year?  New Year Resolutions of course.  I've never been one to join in in the whole resolution thing but this year I think it would do me a bit of good to give it a go.

So what's mine you ask?  To do better.  That's it, simple and to the point.  There are so many things that I could "do better" and this is the year I'm going to.  

I'm going to read more, blog more, eat better, feed my family better.  I want to spend better and ultimately save better.  I want to take time to knit, and learn to crochet.  I want to get organized, to clean better, run this house better.  Yeah I know that's a whole lot in one little resolution, my first one none the less, but the way I figure the more it includes the better my chances are to follow through with something in it.

I have a few concrete plans...I want to commit to read a book a week, blog twice a week...ok ok once a week, twice would be a bonus in which I would earn a cookie, start planning a menu each week/month.  The hubs and I have already decided that this January is no spending month, and one place I shamelessly admit to wasting money is fast food, so January I am going to eat out at most....once!  I would say none but as soon as I do the hubs will want to go out to eat so I will give myself one meal out.  This isn't the only way I/we will be saving and lessening spending, it's more of a tid bit of info for the time being.

I already have my first crochet project picked out.
Obviously this isn't my picture, it is a picture I found on flickr of this blanket.  I can only hope mine turns out half this nice.
I must say that I have taken a crochet class, and did well.  I have also crocheted a pot holder.  So maybe "learn to crochet" isn't exactly the best terminology, but I wouldn't go as far to say that I "know how to crochet", so I'm sticking with it, maybe I'll just add a disclaimer.  I want to learn to crochet...even though I know how to chain and technically do not only a single crochet but also a double crochet, however I haven't the slightest clue as to how to read a pattern or how to actually construct something!  Anyway you look at it I want to have this finished by the end of the year.  I have no concrete way of adding in more knitting time, all I know is that I haven't knit anything the entire month of December, and not much prior to that, so at this point anything would be an improvement.  Honestly I love knitting and I want to make my lazy self get out the pointy sticks while I'm watching my trash tv in the evenings, that's really as simple as it is.

Organization...oh how I've let you go.  I want to find you again...  You know really a meal plan has to be one of the simplest things you could do around the house.  I mean it takes 5 minutes to come up with a week worth of food, so why don't I do it...LAZY!!!  That's it.  I've also come up with a plan to make next month, year, ect. even easier.  Simply keep up with what we are having each night and copy it the next month.  Obviously switch it up with the season or change a meal here or there depending on grocery sales but really this takes 99% of the work out of meal planning.  2012 will also be the year of decluttering.  Our house is shrinking, ok fine my stuff is growing.  Either way I have to do something about it.  I found this great calendar for decluttering in the year 2012, so here is where I'm going to start.  Also I'm going to create and stick to a cleaning/chore calendar.  

This is just a small sample of all the things that are floating around in my head for the upcoming year.  It's not really as broad and general as "do better", but do better just covers it all.  So here's to a new year, hope yours is even better than the last.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

a christmas cheat

Ok you caught me.  I'm adding in our Christmas photos in February, oh yeah it's March now.  I'm totally back dating it though, hence the "cheat".

 Little man was not cooperating for the photo taking this day.  Apparently there was something on TV that was more interesting than the lens of my camera.

I don't think I got a single picture of him looking at the camera.

My sister in law told me that the older your kids get the more excited you are at Christmas.  Well Christmas has always been a fun time in my of the family, we have always found the holiday spirit, but even so she was definitely right.  This year was so much more fun than last.  This year Gammy, Aunt Heather, myself, and the kiddos loaded up one night to drive around and check out the Christmas lights.  I hope I never forget the image of Heather and Cohen, she calls it car dancing, I call it seizures, whatever it was it was some funny hand movements, in the back of the car jamming away to Christmas Carols.  The kids really seemed to enjoy the lights.  I can't wait to do it again next year.  And of course we have our second annual Santa pic...

Heather and I are going to have to start dressing all holiday-y if these kids don't man up and start getting their picture taken with Santa by themselves.  That was the picture Gammy liked, I think it was because of Morgan.  I mean who can blame Gammy really, your eyes go straight for her, she is so happy.  Heather however preferred this picture...

And who can blame her.  I mean what was she doing in that first pic.  I, on the other hand, would prefer if the kids would've sat with Santa alone.

It was so great to see Cohen wake up and stumble out to see the tree.  He had woke up in the middle of the night and I carried him into our room to go sleep in our bed.  For some reason Jody had gone outside after we woke up that morning, I'm sure he had good reason, I think he was checking something out.  I was trying to keep Cohen in our room until he came back in, without being too obvious, because when your kid is 2 you don't want to be too obvious I guess.  Anyway I failed.  I didn't get to see his expression because I was behind him, but I could picture it.  He walked to our door and just froze in awe.  Then the rest of the day was just kind of chill.  We opened presents, played, ate, and just hung out.  It was really nice.  PS, the tool bench is from Aunt HC, Uncle Rob, and Morgan and there were a couple presents under the tree from Gams as well.  

I can't decide which of these is my fave, this one of the first (the one that is pulled back a bit).  

Thursday, October 13, 2011

it's been a while kyle

Yeah so apparently the month of September just doesn't exist around here, since I skipped blogging the whole time.  I have no I have excuses, just no good excuses.  However I'm going to ease back into this whole blogging thing with a short but sweet post today.

So we went to Aunt Heather's this past weekend.  It was filled with fall festivals, pumpkin patches, and screaming kids...lots of screaming, mostly from Morgan...ha ha ha, ok ok Cohen did his fair share plus more too.

I didn't take my camera out anywhere near as much as I should have.  The only reason it went with me to the pumpkin patch was because Heather's was dead, then all my pictures were way over exposed.  To say I was lazy in the photo area is an understatement.

We have a few pictures of the two punks because Uncle Rob suggested we toss them in front of the pumpkins once we got home.  Good call Uncle "Rah" (as Cohen says).  So Gammy did get to see the little ones after all, not many pics mind you, but beggars can't be choosers.

Friday, August 19, 2011

a week ago

A week ago today little man attended his first day of school.

So far so good.  He's doing much better than I thought he would.  I didn't really know what to expect in terms of his behavior at school.  Part of me thought he'd cry all day long, and part of me thought he'd love running around with all the other kids (after a few days of course).  In terms of at home behavior, I really thought I'd have a super clingy kid on my hands for at least a week or two, until he settled in.  Nope, nada, not at all.  The kid really seems to love it.

By the second day, he's going Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 8:30-12:00, I was hearing good reports.  By the second day, he was starting to enjoy himself.  By the second day, he was no longer throwing tantrums that resulted in him hitting himself or hitting his head on the floor.  He comes home from school in a great mood, and of course Mom is in a great mood because of this not to mention her time alone.  All in all the kid is growing up, and we're excited to see him do so...of course we're crying because he has to, but still we're excited.

Monday, August 8, 2011

morning routine

The little man starts school this week.  Wednesday is open house.  Then Friday is officially his first day of preschool.  Do you hear the crying?  Oh no it's not me, it's the lovely ladies that will be wrangling him in each day.  Actually it is bitter sweet.  The little guy is all grown up and leaving the nest for bigger and brighter things.

Since he's moving on...seriously before I know it he'll be heading off to college, luckily we live in a college town so he won't be going far, no dorm rooms for you buddy...I thought it was perfectly acceptable to get a bit more snuggle time in last week.  Every morning he woke up, I fixed his breakfast, and we promptly headed into my room to climb on the bed, watch some toons, and eat.

Lately he has been asking to watch movies.  And on top of that he has to watch them in our room.  He is perfectly content to sit on our bed all day, watch movies and play with his cars.  The only thing better is going outside of course.

Caught him mid cough.

Even Sophie has enjoyed our morning routine.  Enjoy it while it lasts Soph.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

hey good lookin'

whatcha got cookin'?
We got laundry soap a cookin'

I've wanted to try to make my own laundry detergent for a year or so now.  However I've always been too scared to, in fear that it would fade our clothes.  A week or so ago I decided to make a few of my own cleaning supplies and after making one I wanted to make another then another until finally I was only left with laundry detergent.

So I gave it a go.  All went well until the next day.  I had read not to be alarmed when you wake up the next day to find a few lumps, that it clumps as it cools, to just shake it up a bit.  I put mine in two milk jugs, and I really believe that I could of cute the jugs in half and the detergent would have stood on its own.  There were no lumps, there was one big lump.  I had to stick a wooden spoon handle down in the jug to break it up some, then squeeze like hell to get it out, then mush it up with my hands until it was finally more of a liquid form.  Fun times.

We do however now have homemade laundry detergent and I have used it a few times.  So far it has been a success.  We'll see how it continues in the future.

Here is the recipe I used for the laundry detergent.
I did make a couple changes, because I heard that with hard water you need more stuff to water ratio.

Homemade laundry detergent

1 bar of soap grated (I used an orange honeysuckle softsoap, who knew they made bar soap now)
1.5 cups Borax (I used 1.5 rather than the 1 cup it called for)
1.5 cups Washing Soda (again 1.5 rather than the 1 cups it called for)

Pour a gallon of water in a pot with your grated bar soap.  When the soap has dissolved add the Borax and Washing Soda.  Bring to a boil.  Then add another gallon of cool water.  I let mine cool slightly then poured them in two gallon sized milk jugs...actually one gallon sized milk jug and one gallon sized tea jug.  It will thicken as it cools.

The next morning you could be in big trouble.  Next time I plan to just let mine cool in the pot overnight then mush it the next morning and put it in the jugs afterwards. 

Next up an all-purpose cleaner.  I've looked around trying to find where I found this and can't.  There are tons that are very similar but not exactly like this.  I haven't tried the others so I have no idea if this one is better or not, it's just what I started with and it works so I'm sticking with it for now.

All-Purpose Cleaner

1 T Vinegar
1 tsp Borax
3/4 c warm distilled water
2 T liquid Castille Soap

Mix the vinegar and borax together in a spray bottle.  To that add warm water and mix well.  Add castille soap and 10 or so drops of essential oils if you want.  

For the castille soap I used Dr. Bronners, which I have found in the fancy bath soap aisle of both Publix and Target.  I was unable to find unscented the first time and bought almond honey or something like that but this eliminates the need or desire for essential oils...a cheaper route if you are interested in that sort of thing.  Also I used this on the Mr.'s shower and OMG the soap scum practically jumped off the walls by itself.  Who would've known, I sprayed it, left it on for about 10 minutes, and effortlessly wiped the walls down with a magic eraser.  I'm sure a rag would work fine too, I had the eraser so I used it.

Next we have the best glass cleaner there is.  I used to be a vinegar whore.  I'm a bit ashamed to admit it but it's true.  I used vinegar for everything, my favorite thing was glass and mirrors.  It, especially when used with newspaper rather than paper towels, will give windex a run for its money.  I've seen the light.  This stuff is the bomb diggity.  I compare it to HD tv.  Yeah it's that good.  Just like when you first get HD you sit there flipping back and forth between HD ESPN and regular ESPN...because we all know ESPN is the clearest for some will sit and look back and forth between the window that you have cleaned with this stuff and the others.  It's that good.

Alvin Corn Glass Cleaner

1/4 c. rubbing alcohol
1/4 c. vinegar
1 T cornstarch
2 c. warm water

Combine in a spray bottle and shake well.  The cornstarch will settle between uses so shake before using as well.

Let me just say that when you put warm water in a spray bottle with other stuff and shake it, it will create pressure possibly expanding the bottle and possibly leak a bit.  So maybe just stir it with the lid not screwed on.  Or shake then unscrew the lid to release the pressure until the contents are warm.  I'm not sure if this happens with everything but it has happened with everything I've made so far.

Just when you think you've found the best glass cleaner and you think it can't get any better...I will present you with the greatest furniture polish.  I'm not one to believe in conspiracy theories, or even start them but shhhh....I think pledge is trying to screw us.  I'm only kidding here, no lawsuits please.  I gave this one a go and I must say that the dust stays away far longer than it does with pledge.  I've used it on older furniture, that isn't sealed, and so far so good, but please use this at your own discretion, I'd hate to be the reason your Great Aunt Edna's buffett was ruined.

Furniture Polish

1/2 tsp Olive Oil
1/4 c. Vinegar

Mix in a glass jar and use a rag to apply/polish.

I actually used more than 1/2 tsp of olive oil, it just didn't seem like enough.  I actually just poured a slow skinny stream for 3 seconds.  I only dust once a week now, could probably go longer.  I probably only dusted once a week before, could have definitely done it more often though.

And last is just a simple trick.  Dump some baking soda in a jar that has some hole poked in the top, sprinkle in some essential oil, I used lemon.  Cover with saran wrap and shake around.  Let it sit overnight and tada instant carpet freshener....ok not instant but freshener none the less.  Sprinkle on your carpets or rugs and let sit for 15-30 minutes and vacuum as normal.

Ok so go grab you some spray bottles and old pickle jars and go to town.  You will thank me later.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

extreme makeover home edition

We've been living in this here little abode for roughly 8 years now.  Boy it doesn't seem that long.  It seems like just yesterday that we were lying on the floor with Chris, Jackie and their only two (at the time) kids when we rode over with them to show them the place...ok I was lying everyone else was sitting, no I distinctly remember Chris was lying as well, see I'm not the only weirdo.

We've made a lot of changes to the place.  I believe each room has been painted at least twice.  Poor Eric, I picked out the most awful orangey copper for his room, good thing he is color blind.  Though I'm not certain the color blindness helped, it was bad.  He lived with it for a good year, then we lived with it for a few after that until I just couldn't take it anymore.  It's a soft yellow now, and I love it...for now.

Now that I'm an official blogger...that's right I have a badge and everything, ok no badge...I figure it's about time I start recording some of our wonderful ideas, and the not so great ones too.  I have this plan to start one room at a time and make over the entire place.

First up, because it was/is going to be the cheapest is the laundry room.  Even though the hubs thinks it's small we are actually blessed with a good size laundry room.  Some people have literally enough space to put the washer and dryer and that is it hon, I'll show you sometime.  Ours is actually too big, did you just hear him scream "what"?  I'll tell you why.  It's too big because we tend to store everything in there.  That's the problem, not the size.  However we don't have another place to put the vacuum, broom, and other random stuff, so it goes in the laundry room.

Back to the point.  I give you what we started out with.

and here is what we've done, so far.

We cleaned off the top of the washer and dryer!  Ha, I'm kidding.  We put them up on a platform.  I know this post was such a letdown.  This is only the beginning, I assure you.  The Mr. wanted to put a counter top above the washer and dryer, to stop things from falling behind, and once he decided to do that he decided he'd lift them up just a bit.  Now we can open the doors with a clothes basket under them, and you don't have to bend over quite as far.  As for the counter top, it is in place as well.  We still need to add molding and trim to it and the front of the platform.  I also want to put two cabinets up rather than the wire shelves.  See...only the beginning.  I'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

waiting game

Friday we went to the Speech and Hearing clinic to have the little man checked out.  WOW.  It was not a good day.  The Mr. had a meeting so he came about half way through.  He missed the meltdown of a lifetime.  Cobra was not liking being confined in that room.  Nor did he like the high chair they tried to put him in in the middle of the tantrum.

We are now aware of a few "concerns".  We also now have a few things to put into the practice.  This is the biggest relief of all.  From the get go it has just been a waiting and guessing game.  Waiting to see what we need to do and guessing what the next person is going to say so it's nice to actually have something to do rather than just sit and worry.  

A couple of the things she was worried about I'm a little iffy on.  In the middle of his fit, little man slung a cup (it was empty, not that this matters, I'm just stating it as a fact) off the table.  She felt this wasn't "age appropriate", that this is a "6 month old" thing to do.  Now I don't think he should be doing this, I think he should know better, and I think I should correct it, but I don't think it's unreasonable behavior at this age.  I think that if she is seeing this behavior stop at 6 months with the kids she is seeing, then she is seeing some super well behaved kids.

She also felt that "the tantrum", which was life altering I will admit, was a bit much.  It went on for far too long,  for no reason.  She said it was as if he was mad about being there then by the middle he didn't even know why he was mad, he was just mad (but don't all kids go through this at one point or another or am I crazy).  That he needs to learn to self calm.  I felt, that the kid didn't get a good night's sleep, he was up for two hours in the middle of the night just lying there and tossing and turning, then he feel asleep 5 minutes before we got there, even though I left a half hour early in hopes that he would fall asleep on the way so he could get a half hour nap in before the appointment.  And he was left to freely walk to the room, which he didn't want to go into, but was made to go in, so we started off with resistance.  All this plus the fact that I really didn't know how much they wanted me to intervene so I didn't try to settle or soothe him much at all, lead to melt down central. 20 to 30 minutes of pure hell to put it exact, actually the fit itself wasn't too bad it was just never ending.  

The main "concern" is eye contact.  He makes good eye contact in general.  He looks strangers straight in the eye.  He makes friends with the cashiers at Publix weekly because of this.  He made a three point....look?  I can't remember what she called it exactly but he looked at a toy, then made eye contact with her, then back at the toy...a good sign.  However, as I've been saying, when he makes a request the eye contact is lacking.  I have been thinking that his lines of communication have been growing, in part because he has been grabbing you and taking you to what he wants, or putting what he wants in your hands, etc.  But apparently I haven't clued in enough.  When he has been doing this he hasn't been making eye contact.  This was a major concern of hers.  I understood and instantly knew what she meant when she brought it up.  He would stare at your hands almost willing them to work to his benefit, it almost seemed like he didn't know that you were attached to them.

We have been working on this all weekend.  If he wants something that I'm holding, I won't give it up until he makes eye contact, as per her suggestion.  If I'm pushing him in his car, I will stop and wait for him to make eye contact, as if to ask why I stopped, before I start back.  If he hands me something to open I will sit motionless until he looks me in the eye.  It's amazing the number of times throughout the day that this little exercise can be worked in.  And it has made great changes.  Now I will say that while I recognized it had been happening once she pointed it out, I didn't notice it before so I hadn't been paying any attention to it.  So I really have nothing to judge his performance now to, but it does seem that he's making that eye contact with less resistance and often times initially on his own, in just 3-4 days.  

So obviously this is a social behavior issue which of course brings us back to the "a word".  I asked and her response was it's too early to tell.  But regardless of what the future will bring if she were us and there were any concerns she would address them.  Which is how I feel.  I mean can it really hurt to teach him to make better eye contact.  However with such great change in such a short time, I'm beginning to wonder that since we can teach him to make better eye contact maybe we just didn't teach him.  

She also told us to talk, talk, talk, talk, and talk some more.  To be his "play by play announcer".  This weekend I have talked, talked, talked, talked, and talked some more.  So much that Sunday night my throat was sore.  Mimic him, and don't put pressure on him to talk.  Treat his babbling/jargon as real speech.  It really does feel good to actually have something to put into play.  This weekend I would pick every little thing apart that he did and wonder if it was a sign of anything.  But now that I have processed things, and had a few meltdowns of my own, and most importantly seen changes in the kid, I'm back to a positive state of mind.

And now we wait again.  Wait for Thursday when the E.I. therapist will come out to play with Cobra and see what she says.  And wait to see what the speech and hearing wants to do.  And wait for Thursday when the new season of Project Runway starts.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

let's get this wagon rollin'

With the recent appointments and family in just prior to that I didn't get time to share our recent trip to Georgia.

So here's a bit of a catcher upper.  For the fourth we went over to my sister's and my mother and her boyfriend came down.

The ride over was fairly uneventful.  The Mr. drove, I relaxed, the kid watched Despicable Me...
a couple times.

All in all it was a pretty chill few days.  There was a bit of 4-wheeling.

A bit of wagon pulling...

...actually a bit more than a bit of wagon pulling.  Even their "Aunts" Bobbi and Brenda were forced offered to pull the kiddos a bit.

There was a bit of popsicle eating.

And apparently they were good popsicles.

And apparently Morgan's mother is much more brave than I am, or she has better stain remover.

Cohen + white shirt + popsicle = a deadly combination.
We have hand me down red shirts dedicated for popsicle time in this house.

There was also a bit of foolishness.

The Mr. is such a wuss...pick your foot up honey.
Not to toot my own horn here but can I just say that I am the best roller racerer ever, or at least in our fam. 
toot toot
Everyone had excuses as to why I was winning, I cheated and jumped the gun, I had the fastest roller racer, but they were all what I like to call
sore losers!

ps  this is the consequences of racing and subsequently stopping a roller racer on a hill.

a small price to pay to be
roller racer champ!

Monday, July 18, 2011

just the boring stuff

So we had our evaluation on Thursday.  We know nothing more than we did before.  It turns out that it is actually a two part evaluation.  Thursday we had the first part.  A super nice lady, and I mean super great, came by to go through a list of questions with me.  You know how there are certain people in this world who just get up each day and trudge to work, well this is not her.  Well it could be but if it is she puts on a good show.  She was very accommodating.  I had put Cohen down for an early nap thinking she would need to see him, she came at his usual nap time.  Turns out she didn't need to see Cohen but didn't seem bothered by him, his outbursts, or his desire to go outside at all.  We started out inside, shortly headed out to the porch, and finally ended up walking around the house, all while she went through her list of questions.  She was so great.

However like I said she really couldn't tell me anything.  She said their saying was "walking by one, talking by two".  But who knows what the next lady will think.  The next gal comes next Thursday and this Friday we go in to have the evaluation at the speech and hearing office.  I have a feeling Friday they will tell us a bit more.

We also checked out a preschool for the little man on Friday.  I'm pretty excited about it.  It is of course bitter sweet.  My little man is going to be going away for half a day three days a week.  I think he's going to love it though.  He needs this time with other kids.  I will of course reap the benefits of some alone time as well.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

what's up in our neck of the woods

We'll rewind just a bit.  A couple weeks ago little man had his 18 month check up.  Who doesn't love the waiting room wait.  After breaking a sweat chasing my kid around, pulling him off not only the table but also strangers laps, we made it back to the second waiting room, where the nurse grilled me.

She didn't really grill me, actually we had a bonding moment, it was great.  Anyway so she went through her list of questions as we were cutting up with each other and made her way to the dreaded question "7-20 words?".  My reply was "on the low side of that".  She asked if I was worried, I wasn't...until I left the appointment.  I told her he stayed home with me and wasn't around a whole lot of other kids (something we were planning on changing prior to the appointment by the way).

Then the actual doctor comes in and we begin discussing Cohen's speech...or lack there of.  He seems concerned, very concerned, well much more concerned than I was.  I even downplayed it, well not downplayed but tried to assure him that everything is ok by going into what Cohen does do, since he doesn't talk.  It didn't work.  We now have two appointments for speech evaluations, one with early intervention and the other with an actual doctor.  

Now let me say that I'm not trying to make my child ok by not accepting the fact that something may be wrong.  Actually since the doctor's visit the Mr. and I have been knit picking everything little man does to decide if it's a sign of autism or not.  I don't think he is, I don't think the doctor thinks he is.  And I'm very much going through with the appointments, because if something is wrong I want to know and make the necessary changes.  Also he asked me to come back in in three months to check on Cobra's progress, so I kinda have to go through with the appointments.  But really I do want to make sure there isn't anything wrong.

So now here I sit waiting on 2:00 to roll around when the lady from early intervention will be here to tell me if we/he needs therapy or not.  And the bad thing is, since the appointment we've really been paying attention to his talking, you know to determine if he is autistic or not, and it seems he's actually talking more than we thought.  He is a quiet child, no doubt, he mumbles and talks very softly.  Don't get me wrong this kid can and does get loud.  

Apparently we just don't pay attention to him.  He actually uses a few more words that I thought, he just doesn't talk often, or when you want him to.  He's stubborn, and possible strong-willed, and at times I think he thinks we're beneath him, that he shouldn't possibly have to waste his time telling us what sound a cow makes sheessh.  He's also a been there done that kid.  He doesn't need to say tractor anymore, he said it three weeks ago for 9 days straight.

So in the end I don't really know if he's delayed, if there is anything wrong, or if there's absolutely nothing wrong.  It will be nice to have someone look at him and let us know what the they think.  So while I am nervous, slightly, I am happy with today's appointment/evaluation as well as the one still to come.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Mom's Chocolate Frosting

This is what I am eating as I type this here little diddy up.

I swear if I would stop making desserts I would drop 10 pounds like that.  Anyway since Mondays no longer seem to be for memories and milestones, I figured I'd carry on the tradition and share another recipe.  This one is courtesy of my mother.  First let me give a bit of a back story of how recipes go in our family, frankly put they're a joke.  There is this baked macaroni and cheese that we all make.  I first knew it as Aunt Jane's macaroni but whenever you would ask for the recipe she would say "there isn't one".  Then my mother started making it, again same story "there isn't a recipe".  Oh they've both gotten my sister and I in the kitchen and tried to show us how to make it, but for some reason a recipe just doesn't exist.  Now I will say last summer when my aunt came into town she started a story about giving the recipe to someone at work only to end it with "there isn't a recipe".  So in the end what you do is stick to their instructions, some what, and add in a bit of your own little touch (your own little touch being prayer, and lots of it) and poof you have baked macaroni.

So back to my mother's recipe.  I call her up on Saturday and ask how she makes her chocolate frosting.  "Oh it's real simple"  Of course it is mother...oh God another one of these!  So she proceeds to tell me, loosely this is how...
{ First you get a half stick of butter, then some powdered sugar, a dash of salt, hot milk (just a little, you'll know when you add it), cocoa powder (you'll know, if it's not brown enough add some more), oh and vanilla don't forget the vanilla. }
So that's it.  She gave me a list of flipping ingredients.  A list of ingredients to basically any chocolate frosting out there mind you.  Would someone like to tell me how brown is brown enough for frosting?  Oh oh, slight correction, I did ask if this would frost a 3 layer cake and she said "better use a whole stick, I would do two dashes of salt then".  Thanks mom.

I don't know, can anyone tell me, is it brown enough?

Here is what I came up with...

Mom's Chocolate Frosting

1/2 cup of butter
powdered sugar (I honestly didn't keep track of how much, I think it was about 2 cups)
2 1/2 tablespoons cocoa powder (I had dark, so that's what I used, it may be different with regular)
2 dashes of salt
1 teaspoon of vanilla
1/4 cup warm milk

So cream the butter and some powdered sugar together.  Add in the cocoa powder, salt, and vanilla.  Add some milk.  Then add more powdered sugar and milk until you get the taste and consistency that you want.  

Like I said that's what I got, but I was too busy trying not to forget the list of ingredients that my mother gave me I didn't remember to jot down the amounts I used.  So follow the recipe at your own risk.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

happy dada day

After seeing this post, I decided I would try to make the hubs a thumbprint heart key chain for father's day. 

Well as usual, what starts out as an innocent little project snowballs into a full blown craft day.  We didn't stop at the key chain.

It's not my fault this time.  I went in to buy magic mold and they didn't have plain white so I grabbed some a tub the size of cool whip.  I looked for the small key chain size tub, apparently they don't sell that small of amounts, imagine that.

It turned out for the best though, because now in addition to the hubs new fancy shmancy key chain, he also got a set of not just hand prints but...

a set of footprints as well.  I already have the wall picked out.  We also got him an orb, it streams music from your computer to an audio device.  This, however has only added to my hatred for our router, but that's another story for another day.  And of course since it was father's day, dada got a nice relaxing day of doing nothing right?  Nope, not a chance, not in this house.  He was made pleasantly agreed to hang Cobra's shelves.

After all it wouldn't be dada day without some dada chores now would it?  I won't mention how thanks to me, we finally found a stud and hung them equal distance from the walls.  We're both happy with how they turn out.  Now I just need to figure out what to fill them up with.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

drips and spills

So for the past couple weeks after supper we head outside for about 20 minutes, well it should be 20 minutes it usually turns into about 40, before Cohen has to get his bath.  Recently I started giving the lil guy a popsicle, which quickly turned into the hubs and I having one as well.  Monday when I was cruising around Target I found some of those popsicle molds and the idealistic dreams starting floating in my heads.  I could make homemade real fruit popsicles for the squirt, so I tossed one in the cart and away we went with the rest of the necessary shopping.

After tossing some strawberries and plums I had frozen for smoothies, a box of apple juice, and a bit of yogurt in the blender and pureeing the hell out of it, we had us a concoction that may be popsicle worthy.  That night I pop out one of my homemade popsicles as Cobra was heading out the door, instead of the usually store bought sugary glob on a stick.

The Mr. and I of course decide to have one as well.  Turns out the sugary glob on a stick that you can buy on a stick is way better than my not very sweet, full of seeds homemade version.  

The kid, of course, didn't complain.  But the hubs, he went back to the sugary store bought goodness the next night.  I stuck it out one more night but I think the kid is on his own with the rest of this batch.

Maybe I should stick to kool-aid next time.

Like I said the kid obviously enjoyed it.  Thank God for Spray 'n Wash!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

just the pits

The bestie came in this past weekend.  As we do when she always comes over we came up with this crazy make s'mores.  

Now I know what you're thinking how is making s'mores crazy?  Well when you have to go to three different stores to get a s'mores making thingy, aka fire pit, it becomes slightly crazy.

the bestie

Even more so when your hubby doesn't come through with making a fire in the s'mores making thingy so that you can actually make them in the first place.

Now I know that looks like a fire, as a matter of fact it is a fire...gasp.  It however was made with newspapers and therefore only lasted like 5 minutes.  So the bestie and I just sat around complained about how the kids were put to bed early for nothing.  It didn't help, the hubs wouldn't be swayed, he was too busy playing on the iphone to be bothered by making us a real fire.

All in all it was a fun no s'more making weekend with some shopping, food, and plenty of other things that weren't really of much importance, as it generally goes when she comes over.  And now we have a fire pit and s'more making stuff so we'll be ready at a moments notice.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

watch out he's now on wheels

Oh how my child is growing up.  He got his first bike last week. 

His super cool Aunt Heather bought it for him.  I swear the kid knew it was his as soon as the UPS man rang the bell.  I wasn't planning on opening it until the Mr. got home that evening.  

Oh no, the brown box was opened prior to nap time and the bike itself was opened and put together just shortly after said nap.

Look at that kick a.. bike!  Aunt Heather says the cool KTM racing stickers will make him go faster.  In my mind 
faster = more broken bones.
But really is a man a man without a few broken bones in his youth?  I think not!

His first fall...

well actually his second.  Dad is responsible for his first.  I wish I could say that this picture is blurry because the kid was moving, but no.  It's blurry because the hubs took it.  The white those are my fault.

The hubs pictures.  I must remember to put the camera on auto when I give it to him.  You may not be able to tell in all the pictures, the small size hides it in some, but they are all out of focus.  I also must remember to get some tan in a can and never wear a v-neck when helping the little guy ride his bike (half the pics were boob shots, lovely).