Names have been changed to protect the innocent...and my husband...and me...but not the dog. His name is Dexter.

Saturday, February 28, 2009


So it appears that I forgot about my blogiversary. I remembered that it was coming at the beginning of February, but by the time it rolled around on the 22nd, I had forgotten about it. That just seems like something that should be celebrated. How to celebrate......

How about a little new blog bling? My dear friend Kristina P. ,that I just met last week, has some pretty, um, descriptive blog bling and I've been toying with the notion of being a complete rebellious follower (is that an oxymoron?!) and adding some to mine. So, in honor of my blogiversary I'm going to put it to a vote. I'll put up the two possibilities and ya'll can tell me which one you like best. Or, if you have another suggestion please feel free to let me know. The blog bling possibilities are endless. I think we should also have some cake to celebrate. Cake is always good. And it's something that I can actually eat. Mmmmm.....cake.......

Option #1


Option #2
I can't get it to work right. It looks the same but says "I'm a Comment Junkie".

Let the voting commence.......NOW!

Friday, February 27, 2009

Friday Favorite-Not Really

I don't really have a favorite to expound upon today. I'm kind of cranky in a my-mouth-is-killing-me sort of way. Yesterday was my big dental day. Yay! And while I don't remember much there are a few little things that stand out in my fuzzy memory. Like how they'd be drilling or whatever and zing! they'd hit a little spot that wasn't actually numb. And my pathetic little self would be trying to say sorry around that giant plastic thing they put in between your teeth to keep your mouth open and to make it easier for your tongue to completely dry out and swell with parchedness (totally made that word up). Good times. My cute SIL came over last night and we chatted a bit. I don't really remember what we chatted about but I'm sure it was entertaining. And very, very important.

So, today I find myself still in my pajamas. Yes, I know it's almost 2 in the afternoon. But, really, when I keep falling asleep no matter what I'm doing, why bother getting out of them?! We'll just say we're having a pajama day. They do that in schools so we might as well do it here! I'm also finding that I can really only chew with my front teeth because they didn't put the cap back on the tooth that had abscessed so there's just a jagged, painful little stub left.

This originally was leading up to some sort of ironic Friday Favorite, but for the life of me I can't remember what it was. We'll just go with Demoral. It makes mouths happy! Except for when you can't take it because you're being a "responsible parent". Or trying to be. And now I sound like a drug addict. Go me.

Happy Friday Everyone!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Recipe Swap Wednesday-Homemade Bread

Mmmm....don't you just love homemade bread?! The smell. The taste. The feeling of Domestic Goddessness. Perfection.

Over the past couple of years I've slowly been turning into a hippie earth mother and decided to make my own bread, but lacked the fabulous recipe needed for success. My neighbor, who is a bread making goddess, took pity on me and shared with me her recipe. The recipe she gave me was for four loaves (cut down from six) and with my short attention span, I sometimes had problems. Also, it drove me absolutely batty trying to get the loaves to be equal. It actually got to the point that I considered weighing each loaf in order to make it even. And then, as I was trying to figure out where to store four scales, I realized that I would be crossing a boundary of stable mental health that I didn't really want to cross. Since then I have halved the recipe a couple of times and now have a one loaf recipe that does not require any dividing. I've never made it in a bread maker, but I think it would work just as well. If anyone takes pity on me, reads this blog and tries the recipe in their bread maker, please let me know how it turns out. For future reference and all. And because I'm nosy.

So, here it is.....

Homemade Bread
Mix together:
1/3 cup warm water
1 tsp. yeast
1 tsp. sugar

Add and mix together:
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 cup sugar
1 1/2 tbsp. oil (or 1 tbsp. + 1 1/2 tsp.)
1 cup warm water

Add and mix together:
3 cups flour (I use 1/2 white and 1/2 wheat flour....see above hippie earth mother reference)

Cover and let rise to about double the size. (I'm not sure if this is what you're actually supposed to do, it's just what I do.) Punch back down. (I use a wooden spoon because I don't like dough on my hands.) Let rise again. Transfer to bread pan and let rise to as big as you want it. Be careful not to let it rise too much because it will collapse and make your bread look funny. Not that I've ever done that or anything. Bake at 350 degrees for 31-33 minutes. I do 31 minutes.

And then you can enjoy your wonderful homemade bread. And make someone else clean up since you just slaved making bread. This is also great for pizza and with wheat flour that totally makes it a healthy meal.

And in case anyone wants to play and post a recipe on their blog today, here's a handy dandy Mr. Linky that will link people to your fabulous recipe. Or it will remain blank and I will spend the rest of the day feeling just a little loser-ish. No pressure though. ;o)

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Another Successful Day of Preschool

I have shamelessly copied an idea from That Girl In Brazil and decided to do this cute little body tracing/coloring project for Lolly today during preschool (I'm home-preschooling her this year, but next year is a totally different story). It kept her son completely occupied during the other kids nap time.

Today we pulled out the butcher paper and began our project. And you wouldn't believe how long Lolly was enthralled with this activity. 13 minutes. 20 minutes if you count the time I spent coercing her to color more and coloring the back of it. Yep. 13 minutes.

She is now playing with our make shift sensory table. I lack the space to have an actual sensory table so right now we have a pan filled with beans. That's kept her busy for about 15 minutes but she's now bored.

At least she's cute.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Sharing The Sub Love

If you go here, you can get a coupon for a free Quiznos Sub. Yummy. Plus you get to see a stylin' lady doing a super cool dance move.

An Act of Bravery

This weekend I went to The Blunch hosted by the fabulous Kristina P. Now, this may seem like a simple thing, but for the socially inept, such as myself, it was literally an Act of Bravery. I'm happy to report that every single woman there (and one very brave man) were so super nice and absolutely amazing. There was no shunning or tar-and-feathering. It was great. And what, you may be asking yourself, was I doing there lunching with a group of such wonderful lady-bloggers?! I was trying to be cool like them. Hopefully I've picked up a few things!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Pure Magic!

Tonight we were frantically finishing up some grocery shopping at Walmart around 7:30 pm instead of being at home following our new bedtime routine. Our girls were practically begging us to take them home, do our bedtime chart and put them in bed. If that's not magic then I just don't know what is!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Friday Favorite-Bedtime Routine

Recently I have been reading a parenting book, which is pretty unusual for me. This particular book is focused on raising spirited kids, which, if you've been reading this blog lately, you know that I have a couple of them. Cute, but spirited. I've always called them high octane. The phrase "force of nature" has also been used as an accurate description. But today I'm not going to write about this book because, ahem, I haven't finished it yet. What I am going to talk about is sleep.

No, this book doesn't put me to sleep, like parenting books of the past have. It puts Babs to sleep. When I first got this book, I was flipping through it reading random sections because that's so helpful when reading a parenting book. Anyway, there was a reference to a sleeping section, specifically getting children who have difficulty sleeping to sleep. Through the night and everything. For a few weeks leading up to this books arrival, Babs had decided to wake up each morning at 4 am to start her day. She would be content in her crib as long as CG or myself was in her room laying on the floor, thinking of the sleep we were missing out on. I'd usually make her stay in her crib until 6 am before officially starting our day. It was painful. And I was at a complete loss as to what to do. And I was exhausted. Oh, so exhausted.

So I speedily skipped to the sleeping section and read each page greedily, and slightly maniacally. There must be an answer! Lolly has always been a phenomenal sleeper and as much as I'd like to take full credit, with the addition of Babs I realized that it was just not true. Poor Babs. She's ended up being just as much of a guinea pig baby as Lolly has been.

It was a pretty simple solution. The point is that spirited children take a bit longer to adapt to a change, in anything from activity to sleep to a new environment or person. DUH! Like I didn't already know that about my kids, but I had just never connected it to Babs sleep problems.

The book recommended a four-step routine to help them transition to sleep.
  1. Transition Activity
  2. Connect & Calm Time
  3. Cue For Sleep
  4. Switch To Sleep
So I mentally figured out a routine that incorporated the things that we already did with a few minor adjustments. One of those adjustments being that on a regular night we start at 7 pm and on bath nights we start at the latest of 6:30 pm. The next night we did it a miracle happened. Both girls slept from 8 pm to 7 am WITHOUT WAKING UP!!!! Hallelujah!!! Yes, it takes a long time, but it is so worth it.

The next night I was at my sketching class and so CG had to go it alone on the new routine. To help him out I made a list of the new routine and Lolly really got into that. Almost every night after that she asked about the list so I decided to make a bedtime routine chart with Lolly as one of our little projects. And here is this fabulous thing that has brought such peace and happiness into our home.
It works because, although Lolly doesn't need the longer routine to get to sleep, she loves doing each thing on the chart and telling us what's next. Lolly gets the chart, Babs gets to sleep, everyone is happy!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Suck It Up Update

First of all, thank you to all of you who expressed empathy for my current dental plight. And because you guys are so thoughtful I thought I would keep you abreast (hee hee, makes me giggle just typing that) of my situation.

I went to my dentist on Monday and my stupid tooth is indeed abscessed again. He's going to attempt some sort of root canal treatment magic to see if he can save it from itself and if that doesn't work, it will have to be pulled. Here's the exciting part. The next available appointment long enough to do all that fun stuff is Thursday. Not day after tomorrow Thursday, but a week from tomorrow Thursday. Two full weeks after the pain started. Yay. Which is where the "suck it up" part comes in. I'm thinking (knock on wood) that the antibiotic is finally starting to help out with the pain. But if not, I have my dear friend Demoral to help me each night once the girls are being safely monitored by CG. Bless the heart whoever it was that invented Demoral. It's gotten me through many a painful moment.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Valentine Love

So, I'm a little late getting my Valentine post up, but my teeth are currently rotting out of my head so I figure that's a good enough excuse. At least, that's what I'm telling myself. I will now share a lovely photo montage of our lovely Valentine festivities.

We gave the girls hobby horses this year along with their t-shirts and socks. I have a thing with fun socks that I'm hoping to pass on to my girls.
I made a Valentine cake for the family. You just can't go wrong with a funfetti cake and pink frosting.
And my husband, he knows me so well. He bought me flowers 2 days before Valentine's Day. He bought them at Sam's Club because he knows I like arranging flowers and also because he knows that if he spent $50+ sending me flowers on Valentine's Day I would FREAK OUT! Because I'm cheap like that. I mean, frugal.
Aren't they beautiful!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Friday Favorite-Dental Insurance! @#$%&*

This weeks Friday Favorite is dental insurance. It's a good thing we have it since we already spend an arm and a leg on my dental work with insurance so I don't even want to think about what is would cost without. You remember last fall when I had my little day off? Well, here we are again a few short months later. Same tooth. Same problem (abscessing tooth). That just won't go away. Happy Valentines Day to me. Excruciating pain is just how I wanted to spend my weekend. Yes, I am bitter. Thanks for asking.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Letter From A Consumer

Dear Automakers (not just the Big 3, but all of you),

You have done amazing things with family vehicles in the past few years that are worthy of the many awards that you award yourself. There are my personal favorites which include separate driver and passenger side climate control, dual side doors on minivans and just minivans in general. But you don't stop there. The options are endless. There are rotating seats, built in car seats, seat warmers, automatically shutting doors, and let's not forget the built in DVD player so that the kids don't have to be away from the television for that 10 minute drive to the grocery store....although I do heartily approve of them for loooooong trips in the car. (On a somewhat unrelated note, I recently read about stores that actually have mini TVs built into carts to keep kids entertained. I've never seen them myself, but, um, wow!)

The improvements are truly impressive! But might I make a helpful suggestion? Three words: sound proof glass. And not for the outside of the car, although some people might appreciate it. I'm talking about inside of the car. Directly behind the front seats to be exact. Ya know, limousine style. Most of us have been there: the kids are bored and their choice of entertainment is to harass their siblings. It doesn't really matter what you say or what meaningless threat you make, they continue tormenting each other. And, basically, they're not actually harming each other, at least not in a blood shedding kind of way, because that's pretty much restricted by car seats. And here is where the sound proof glass comes in. The bickering is driving you crazy and you can just roll that baby up and no longer hear it. It can be clear so that you can still check up on them to make sure it hasn't escalated to warfare, but you can enjoy the remainder of the car ride in peace.

Best of luck in your future vehicular designing.
Lady of Perpetual Chaos

Yes, they're cute, but boy do their voices echo in confined spaces!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Recipe Swap Wednesday-Homemade Pancake Mix

This weeks recipe is for a homemade pancake mix that you make in advance and then use a portion each time you make pancakes, like the pancake mix you buy at the store. It's super yummy and very easy. Plus, you can feel all domestic by making homemade pancakes!

Homemade Pancake Mix
6 cups flour (I mix 1/2 white & 1/2 whole wheat)
1 tbsp. salt
6 tbsp. baking powder
6 tbsp. sugar
2 cups powdered milk

Mix well and store in airtight container.

For making a batch of pancakes:

Combine in a bowl:
1 & 1/2 cups pancake mix
1 cup water
2 tbsp. oil

Mix and make pancakes as usual. Now would be a good time to add any food coloring, mini chocolate chips or, ya know, fruit, if you're into that sort of thing. And Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Tip Tuesday-Beauty Treatments

It's been quite a while since I did a Tip Tuesday because, well, I ran out of ideas. This may be the only one I do for another long while unless anyone out there has some suggestions...hint, hint.

As many of you know, I recently turned 30 and although I don't believe that I started aging rapidly on that day (it actually happened the day Lolly was born) I do think that it's a good idea to start taking care of the body before it starts falling apart, instead of doing damage control later on. Of course, with busy schedules and budgets, that's all much easier said than done. Which brings me to today's Tip Tuesday! I'm looking for some help, some suggestions, some inspiration. Whatever you got! Anywho.... I'll go first.....

Pedicure Pointers
I tend to have dry skin. Everywhere. But it seems to effect me a lot on my feet since they get so much abuse being barefoot and/or shoeless most of the time. I've tried several different kinds of lotions and creams but have found that they don't work as well as my beauty tip. Vaseline. Yep, that's it. After I do a pedicure, I put Vaseline on my feet, cover them with socks and just let it absorb. It can be a bit goopy....I recommend using a cotton ball to put it on. And definitely don't skip the sock part. And you'll be amazed at how soft your feet are.

What do you do or use to stay looking young and lovely? And being the hippie that I am, if you have any home made remedies tell me all about it. And, most importantly, how on earth do you find time to do any of it with kids?!?! Seriously?!?!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Giveaway Winner!

Now that I have risen from my sick bed, we have our two official winners.

Random Integer Generator

Here are your random numbers:

36 100 

Timestamp: 2009-02-02 03:51:32 UTC

Commenter #36, Christina, said:

"I love the American Bird Village, and also I'd like to know why you don't protect the name of your dog Dexter - isn't he an innocent?"

Commenter #100, Kaia, said:

"I love the tug along toys! So cute!"

Congratulations! You will be receiving an email from me shortly.

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