Wednesday, September 11, 2013

No more blog

Not that I get a whole lot of traffic on this blog anyway, but now that I am working I just don't have time to mess with this. I do have a blog for teaching and will attempt to keep up with that. 

It's been fun but I feel like I've put a lot of effort to post and I'm just not getting anything out of it. 

 Of course the blog will still be here if anyone wants to look back for recipes or ideas.


Saturday, August 31, 2013

4 ingredient "cookies"

This is another Pinspired recipe that I added my own little twist to.

The basic recipe called for two bananas and one cup of quick oats. As I started I quickly realized this was going to be way too small of a portion so I doubled it. Then added a couple handfuls of chocolate chips. After I got two batches loaded into the oven I had a little left over for a couple more cookies so I. Threw in a handful or so of coconut flakes. PERFECTION!

So here is how the final recipe would look:

4 ripe bananas
2 cups quick oats
1 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup of coconut flakes (maybe more depending on how much of the coconut flavor and texture you want)

Mash and mix the ingredients together then spoon onto a greased cookie sheet (well, I prefer parchment paper). Then press them down to make a more solid cookie. If you don't shape them they will come out looking just like little lumps! (Yes, I did that with the first two sets I made lol)

Bakes at 350 for 15 minutes

They aren't EXACTLY like a cookie but they are really tasty and with out all the sugar a healthier option.

Monday, August 19, 2013


I wanted to give an update on my progress with the No-Poo method! Honestly, I was pretty close to giving up recently. I didn't want to go back to regular shampoo so I started too look for other options and quickly realized that it was just way too expensive to go with organic shampoos. Luckily while I was searching I came across a blog, which of course I can't find now, were the blogger described her first attempt and used the term "waxy" to describe the feeling she had of her hair. I realized that was EXACTLY how I felt. My hair didn't feel greasy like it once did but it definitely didn't feel CLEAN either. The conclusion was that I needed to get more of the baking soda/water mixture into my hair. This was difficult with the spray bottles I started out with. I'd found myself taking the spray top off and dumping the mixture on my head... But what a waste! Then, it dawned on me! A water bottle! I could still basically dump as much was I needed but I would have more control. So I bought a new water bottle and set to work on the mixture, added bonus it is much bigger so I can double the amount I was making at a time, and haven't looked back! I still used the spray bottle for the ACV mixture and I have the water bottle for the cleaning portion and it's been great! I am so glad that I took the time to trouble shoot instead of just giving up. Now I can keep my hair healthy and not spend an arm and a leg on organic shampoos!

Ok another update on this. I came across a recipe for doing no-poo with just a honey mixture and decided I wanted to give it a try. So I mixed a batch up yesterday and today is night number two. I think I'm loving this even more and added bonus, my hair SMELLS awesome! Now, I read there may be another transition type period. The baking soda and ACV can over strip your hair and the honey is more conditioning. I did notice that today but it wasn't a greasy or waxy feeling, just different. My hair looks way more shiny too which was something I felt I had kind of lost with the other method.

This recipe is similar to the baking soda, 1tbs of honey to 1 cup of water. I made sure it was hot water to aid in mixing with the honey. 

I also don't have to used the ACV which is nice since that stuff, even diluted, smells horrid. 

I will update again soon on how this honey recipe works on a more long term basis... Right now I'm pretty sold!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Frozen banana peanut butter bites YUM!

I saw this idea on Pinterest and decided it looked too good not to try it! Not to mention it's super easy! 
So here's what you do:
Grab some parchment paper and slice one banana onto it
Grab some peanut butter (we used all natural) and scoop it onto the banana
Grab another banana and slice it up on top of the other banana slices with peanut butter to create a sandwich
Toss it in the freezer and eat when you want! I took mine off and put them in a container to save for later!
Done and Done!

Friday, June 28, 2013

Going Green: No-Poo

Ok so I know what you are thinking.

"What is No-Poo?!?"

Or maybe you have heard of it and are thinking "EWWWW!! That is so gross!"

Before you run away in disgust, hear me out, because I thought the same thing. And to be honest, I woke up this morning sure that I was going to have to take another shower to try to clean my hair. However, I was pleasantly surprised!

Ok so to answer your first question, what is No-Poo. It's kind of what it sounds like, you stop using shampoo! Ok go ahead and get the EWWWW, grosses! out of the way. This method does NOT mean that you don't WASH your hair, you just don't use chemical filled shampoos. When you use shampoos that you purchase in the stores they strip your hair of oils. Wait, that's the point, right?!? Well, yes and no. You don't want your hair to be greasy and oily so you wash it but then these shampoos strip so much that your hair then fights back to produce the natural oils that you hair needs to be healthy which makes you overly oily! Really what you are doing is making your hair get oily faster by washing with these shampoos! 

Who knew?! No wonder I HAD to wash my hair every day!

Ok, but if I don't condition my hair it gets too tangled! Well, you can use a no-poo method for conditioner as well! 

Trust me, I was hesitant too. I thought it was disgusting at first but as I read more and more about it, it really started to make sense. So here I am, giving it a try!

It's been about 3 days since I used shampoo. I washed my hair one night and the next night decided to skip it. Of course when I got up that morning my hair felt incredibly greasy and gross. Up in a pony tail it went! Last night I made the washing and conditioning mixtures and set to work when I took my shower. I got up this morning expecting the worst, but so far, so good! There is a transition period for you hair to adjust to not being stripped of its natural oils so I expect for a while I will still be washing my hair every day but I know it is just in the healing process. I really think I am going. To be happy with this change!

So, if you want to give it a try, here is the mixtures I used.

Washing mixture:
1tbs baking soda
1cup cold water

Shaken up in a spray bottle. Just spray it around the roots of your hair and massage in. Rinse as usual.
Don't expect suds, I've heard that is one of the hardest parts for people to adjust too. You don't have to bet all soapy and sudsy to be getting clean!

Conditioning mixture:
1/2cup apple cider vinegar
1/2cup cold water

Shaken up in a spray bottle. Spray it to the ends of your hair and put your hair up in a clip while you finish your shower. Rinse as usual. 

I hope you will give this some consideration and if you try it let me know what you think! If you already use no-poo share your recipes and experiences!

Saturday, June 8, 2013

ADD Adventures

There is a growing trend of learning disabilities being diagnosed, I've seen first hand as I have gone through getting my masters degree in special education. When my boys were little, ok they still are little but when my oldest was younger, I always thought he was so smart and would just breeze through school. We enrolled him in the dual language program at his school so he wouldn't get bored and would be more challenged. He just finished second grade and this year proved to be a very trying one.

First we thought he may be slightly dyslexic or dysgraphic as he was prone to saying small words backwards when reading or writing many letters backwards. However, through the course of this year we have noticed a great improvement so that went out the window. Then it stared to click. Reading over all the notes in his conduct folder there was an overwhelming pattern.

"Not finishing work"

"Not completing tasks"

"Needs to pay better attention" 

Suddenly visions of all the inattentiveness flashed through my brain. It dawned on me. Logan likely has ADD, attention deficit disorder. This learning disability is more often referred to as ADHD where in the H stands for hyperactive, however I haven't observed much hyperactivity in my son so I intend to leave that out. Logan is very inattentive and had extreme difficulty in focusing. This is where his difficulty in reading comes into play. As he reads a sentence by the time he has finished the sentence he has forgotten what he has read. 

Disclaimer: I am no diagnostician and this is just from my observations and opinions of what I see in my son from research I've done. My son has NOT been formally diagnosed.

Through more research we decided to attempt to combat this in attentiveness through diet. Unfortunately there is a lot of conflicting information in this area, however there is a strong consensus that eliminating artificial colors and flavors and maintaining a more organic diet is helpful. This website also has some other information

While we haven't determined if this will work we decided that it wouldn't hurt us to eat healthier and more organic. This journey has been an expensive one. We have been spending a lot of money and more frequently shopping for food. Once we get a better hold on this we hope that we will be spending less money. 

I think Logan has taken to it really well. Fortunately we have been an overall healthy family but this has limited a lot of our snack and breakfast foods. I have adopted a new "have a piece of fruit" philosophy when the boys are "still hungry" or want a different snack that isn't as healthy. They love fruit so it's working pretty well.

What an amazing feeling today, after going shopping at a farmers market, organizing the fridge and seeing almost everything fresh and organic. I know that while we started this adventure to help with the possibility of ADD in Logan it is an amazing step in transforming the health of our entire family.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Can I get a "woot woot!" ?!?

Let us just go ahead and make it official... ORC day... Wait for it... 2!

Go ahead...


Granted, my husband was home and taking care of bed time, which causes most of my stress yelling but they still count! Now I am bound and determined to make it through longer. This should be an interesting task as tomorrow is the last day of school and then it will be all day, everyday, with all four boys. On the plus side, I will be home and should be able to get my house clean.

Now I have two challenges to get through. 

1. Keeping up with the Orange Rhino Challenge and no yelling
2. Cleaning and organizing the entire house while implementing a plan to keep it clean when I am working

Yes, working... I haven't officially been offered a job yet but I have had two interviews and will likely be a full time working mom come next fall. Two kids in school and two in daycare. Hopefully no one being home will make it a little easier to keep things clean but it also means I won't be home as much to actually do much cleaning. I am nervous but I am sure we can figure it all out, it will just take time and all of us working together. 

But for now, we focus on the important things... No yelling... Two days.... Here we go for number 3!!!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Staying positive

Yes, I'm slacking. No excuses this time, I just have been lazy. 

Sad to report that I'm still not back on the rhino wagon. Although, I know that I have still be yelling less than I was before. So that's a plus! I still need to get back on the NO yelling wagon though. Tomorrow will be the day. I'm sure of it. I can do it. 

I will do it!

On another positive note... The healthy eating is going well. It's been tough and we aren't completely artificial crap free, but getting there. For Logan especially. Really hoping that by the end of summer we will have a completely revamped fridge and pantry with all natural and organic foods. It's hard because so many foods you buy have this outrageous list of ingredients it takes forever to look and see what is ok and what isn't. My goal this summer is to try to start making some more things from scratch but if I am working full time next school year it is really going to be hard to do. Even if it doesn't help with the in attentiveness issue in Logan it is better for all of us in the long run to eat healthier and more organic foods. More expensive.... But better. 

I think the hardest part is parties and school events. We went to a party the other day and of course there is cake and candy and all these things Logan can't/shouldn't have and since we are just starting on this adventure I let him have little. But it's not even just the sweets, it is food in general. There was hot dogs so just that right there we know likely has artificial ingredients in it and things he probably shouldn't be having in the white bread buns. Then there is the ketchup and the relish that has stuff he shouldn't have as well. Luckily he is a really amazing eater and after the hot dog when he was still hungry he at a ton of plain lettuce and tomatoes (that were meant as garnish for hamburgers) until he was full. I think if it was any of my kids that we HAD to do this with, I'm glad it was Logan. He loves fresh fruits and vegetables and all that stuff so it's not a crazy hard transition for the most part. 

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Failing, failing, failing away

Yes, I've been slacking in my blogging. 

Biggest reason? 
I just haven't had the energy. 

2nd biggest reason? 
I am failing miserably with the Orange Rhino Challenge. 

I thought for sure it would be easier working and not being home all day to keep from yelling. But I have found that I come home and the minute I walk in the door I just feel stressed. The house is a mess, the boys are acting crazy, I have to make dinner, and I just went from a day of working to more working. Add carting the boys to tball and cub scouts alone and trying to deal with bedtime and it has just been a big recipe for disaster. I'd love to say that as I post this I am back at at least a day of no yelling, but I'm not. Logan called me lazy and I could have calmly talked to him about it, but I didn't, I regret it now. But what's done is done and I have to move on. Tomorrow is a new day. Hoping for the best. 

Until then.... 

I am also fighting illness. I haven't been to the doctor yet to confirm but I am pretty sure it's issues with my gallbladder. So until I can get in I have put myself on a no/low fat diet and it seems to be helping a lot. I went through this same thing when I was pregnant with Wyatt (about 4.5 years ago) and haven't had any issues since then. I am going to try to make it through this last week working my long term substituting job and see how I do from there. 

There are also other stress factors building up. I am having issues with Logan's school. I think he has some type of learning disability but his teacher wants to pull him out of the dual language program with out exploring the possibilities and I don't think it's right, or fair. So for now we are learning towards possible ADD and until we can progress with some testing in that area we are going to look into a dietary change. We've both (my husband and I) have started to read up on some things to eliminate from his diet and we will likely just be changing the entire way we think about and purchase food. What a HUGE undertaking. Time to dive into some more research and see what we need to be stocking in our pantry and fridge from now on. Even if he doesn't have ADD it wouldn't be harmful to eat more healthy and organic foods so we are definitely going that route. 

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

And Again

Uhm, so I think I did good yesterday. I got home late and my husband did bedtime so there was really no reason for me to even think about yelling. Today, on the other hand, I didn't even stand a chance. I got home late again (about 4:30) and dinner was on the table but the house was a mess. I went upstairs to get CJ's uniform for his game (which didn't get washed because my husband told me he would deal with laundry so I didn't do it yesterday when I usually do) and walked up to the awful smell of cat poop. When went to get some toilet paper to clean it up with I walked into a bathroom filled with toys, wet towels, and dirty clothes. I was fuming but took a breath and told Logan to come get his dirty clothes and figured I'd just deal with the other stuff later. Then I told Logan again to get his clothes... Then again... And then AGAIN. That last time is when it slipped. I yelled. Then he tried to get away with just picking up a handful of things... Yeah... I yelled again.

I'm pretty sure I have yelled again since that but the rest of the night has been a bit of a blur. We rushed to tball, which was an emotional roller coaster, and then came home to bedtime. Walking into the house in the state it is in just stresses me out. And here I am typing this and I stop to yell... You would think as I was typing this I could contain myself, but seriously, this kid is just ridiculous. And by this kid, I mean Wyatt. He decides to randomly get out of bed and run around the room and hit the wall so Jameson mimics. I put him on the wall for a time out and all I hear is "I hurt! I'm tired! I want to be in my bed!" Well, good for you. Maybe next time you should stay in your bed LIKE I TOLD YOU.

Stressed. Stressed. Stressed.

I just want to spend time with my babies, love on them, tuck them into bed, and then get a little while to relax alone before I go to bed. But I don't get to do that. I spend half the time arguing with them, trying to get them to do as they are told, and then I just have to practically wrestle them to stay in bed. When they FINALLY get to sleep it's already time for me to shower and go to bed.

I'm over it. Starting again tomorrow. Fingers crossed I can make it. I was on such a high those first 2 weeks. I want to get back to it.

Tomorrow. I will.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Big Fat Fail

Well, regardless of where I was or how I did I just jumped my grumpy hiney all the way back to 0 today.

Man, I hate to admit it, but I just lost it... Twice.

Earlier today we were running late and it just seemed like we were never going to get out the door. Logan hadn't gotten ANY homework done in the 2 hours he had been home. He "couldn't find" his Cub Scout uniform, which was hanging up neatly in the closet where it should be. And he lost his neckerchief slide because he just drops his clothes wherever the #{|| he feels like it when he takes them off. I held it in until I was trying to get them all out the door and all four of them just decided they didn't speak English.

Fast forward to bedtime. Yes, we all know how irritable I get at bed time. Add to that the fact that it is a Monday so we don't get home until past bedtime as it is and it's already the set of for holy terror time. Then add to that Logan having to stay up late now so he can get some homework done and Wyatt being his usual non-stop pain in my butt that rubs off on the baby.

Thank God for CJ. Out cold with out a fight, just hugs and kisses after quick tucks. To think, he used to be such a pain to get to sleep. I hope every day that when Wyatt turns 4 he will hit the turning point like CJ did when he turned 4. I swear, terrible twos my butt. Tremendously tumultuous threes is much more accurate.

After 9pm and still only one asleep. One in time out on the wall. Another doing homework. The last rolling around "sleeping" on the floor. And me, just sitting in the middle of it trying not to lose it.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

What day is it!?

Holy cow! I don't even know what day I am on... Or if I have even made it with out yelling. I suppose if I had it would be memorable right? This past week has just been such a blur! It started on Sunday when I worked my regular Sunday job at a church nursery for 4 or so hours. Then on Monday I started my long term sub job. Thankfully this was a short week, no school on Friday, so it was a helpful transition to working so much. 6 day work weeks start tomorrow.

I wish I could say that I had a nice relaxing long weekend where I slept in and did nothing all day Friday and Saturday but instead we had a yard sale. That meant getting up and pulling out loads of stuff and stressing over people wanting everything for a dime. On the plus side; we had our most profitable yard sale ever!

Mind you, this busy week is just the basics. This run down doesn't include extra curriculars and all the other stuff that I was doing after work every day... Pretty much every day this week I didn't sit down to relax until about 9:30pm and I was then in bed asleep by 10pm. LAME. It also makes this bedtime junk even more stressful. I am so tired and want to sleep. Sitting here while the boys don't sleep makes me really irritable and that makes it hard not to yell.... Then that makes me bottle it up... And that makes it even harder not to just blow up. Usually when I get to that point I find myself kind of growling at them. I guess it's better than screaming at them. So here is to day... Whatever it is... The boys aren't asleep but I'm about to be. Good night.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Does it count?

Does today even count as a day of not yelling? I hardly even saw my kids! I didn't even get home from work until almost 4:30 so I saw them about 3 1/2 hours.

We did,however, spend about half of that time with them acting insane in the grocery store. And I did have to yell TO them several times as they bolted down the isles not paying any attention to anything. Boy, did they stress my husband out. At one point, at the end, I sent him alone to go get in a check out line and I held onto the boys. Er.... I tried to at least. They were being weirdos and I just did my best to keep them close to me and away from other people. But by that time it was already their bed time so it was completely understandable that they were acting like little nut-cases.

I was so busy getting groceries put away and making lunches for tomorrow I didn't even get to tell them all good night. :( I was pretty bummed when I realized they were all asleep. It was nice having my husband home to help get them to bed though. I love his days off.

Now here I sit, dozing off on the couch I have been on for less than 30 minutes. 10pm. Bed time.

Wow. When did I become such a loser?

Well, at least I'm a loser who hasn't yelled at her kids in 2 weeks! Yes people, that is 14 days! Cheers to me!

Uhm, well, no cheering, there are sleeping kids. I will just tiptoe to bed and get some sleep!

Monday, April 22, 2013

If mommy doesn't yell, can you?

What a wonderful way to get some affirmation! Wyatt was screaming... And screaming... And just being a noisy butt (and mean too). So when we got to CJ's tball practice I didn't unbuckle Wyatt right away and we had a little chat.

Has mommy been yelling or screaming?


Then should you be able to yell or scream?


PERFECT! This is a big part of what I was going for. And the best is that my 3 year old told me that I hadn't been yelling. That means even when I am talking sternly to him he isn't viewing it as yelling.

I spent the day working today. When I got home it was already about 3:30 so I didn't have much time with them. It was nice to just play with them, make dinner, and then chill out at practice. Seriously, if I could just get this bed time thing under control I would be SO happy!

Trying a different tactic today. I can't get the babies to stay in bed so they are sitting on the wall. Maybe I can get them to sit still and quiet long enough to get sleepy. I don't know. I am at such a loss. Give me other people's kids and I can work great with them. Give me my own and I can't figure them out for the life of me! At least I had a good time working today. I really love teaching, and I tell ya, pre-k is just so much fun!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

ORC day #12

Seriously, one of these days bedtime is going to get easier, right?

We've barely even started and I want to pull my hair out.

I try to read a story and I have one yelling and covering his ears. Another one not staying in his bed. And the others whining they can't hear the story.

Monster spray. Hugs and kisses. Tucks. And goodnights.

Then.... Still talking, screaming, and not staying in bed.

It's just SO STRESSFUL. I seriously HATE bedtime. If I could just say goodnight and go down stairs and do what I need to do it would be so nice. But it's even worse if I try to walk away. Then it's more screaming and following me. My husband has it a little easier, they at least will stay in bed and be quiet for him until they fall asleep. He still has to sit outside their door until then though. This time of day just makes my blood boil. I could have a fantastic day and come 7:30 I am ready to jump out of the second story window.

I will not yell. I will not scream. I will not yell. I will not scream. I. Will. Not. Yell.


Here's to day #12!

Now I start being a full time working parent. These next few weeks should be interesting. I hope we can get bedtime figured out so that I still have a little quiet alone time before I have to get to bed since I will be getting up and out early to work.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Pressing my luck

So it's bedtime... Well, actually, it's past bedtime, and we just sat down for a movie! I have my fingers crossed that I am not kicking myself later. Maybe I will get lucky and they will just fall asleep during the movie!

This morning was no picnic either. I was trying to sleep in since this is the last day I will be able to do so for a while. Starting tomorrow I am working 6 days a week for as least the next 5 weeks. (Although technically this week I will have an extra day since there is no school Friday so I won't be working, but I think working every other day during the week for the first time is going to wear me out) Where was I? Oh, yes. I was trying to sleep in but the boys had other plans for me and were in and out of my room all morning. Then CJ had a tball game which started INCREDIBLY rough. I had to get VERY stern with him, on the brink of a yell, but that is the ONLY way to get him out of a funk when he starts acting the way he does about his games.

So he sat in the dugout until the second inning (they only play 4 innings) when I gave him my final ultimatum. You get out and bat like you mean it, or you sit in the dugout the rest of the game, AND can take a nap when we get home. And wouldn't you know it? He went out and hit like he meant it and ran like a champ! A small snag again when they swapped to go to the outfield again though. However, that was partly due to the fact that coach had mentioned CJ playing 1st base and didn't put him there either time. He doesn't do well with that kind of stuff. Fortunately coach let him cover 1st and all was well with the world again.

After I took the boys out for lunch (and ended up spending more than I planned). They were awesome for me in the restaurant, very rare for all 4 of them when I am alone with them. One thing I have been sure to do lately is ALWAYS tell them how much I appreciate it when they are well behaved for me.

Positive reinforcement is very important, I know that. I can admit that I am not diligent about it all of the time. It is something that I am working on. Whenever they are doing something I like I make sure they know I appreciate it.

So, the bottom line of the day is that I have made it to day #11 with out yelling! Who would have thought when I began this challenge I would be able to do it at all, let alone 11 days!

Friday, April 19, 2013

So Blessed

Right now, this past week, has been a very tragic time for America, and Boston, MA in particular. Being so far away it's hard to really grasp all the horror and I feel so blessed that my boys are safe tonight in our home. Both of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects are either dead or in police custody so that is two less insane and dangerous people off the streets.

It's times like these that make it easier not to yell at my boys. I look at them with different colored lenses. Yes, they can make me nuts but they are mine, and they are here, and they love me with all that they are.

So after a fun filled day at the park with good friends and tasty snacks we snuggle up on couch with some popcorn and a movie and just... Be.

There is nothing more important that the time that we have with our loved ones. You never truly know how much time you will have together. Tomorrow may not come so we must live for the moment. We mustn't dwell on the negative in the day, but instead look to the positive. Look into the eyes of our little ones and see that undying love and affection. And most importantly, we must reciprocate.

Our babies aren't babies for long, time goes so fast and in a blink they are grown. Don't spend these days wondering if your kids know how much you love them. Make sure that you do everything you can each and every day to SHOW them, to TELL them, to ENVELOP them in your love. Cuddle them. Kiss them. Tell them those short, but oh so meaningful words, "I love you". Every day. They need it. You need it. And it is the most important thing you can ever do for them.

So here I sit. Up past bedtime with my four amazing little boys. I know they will fight me going to sleep tonight, but who cares? I love them and they love me. And in the end, that's all that really matters.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Moving forward

After talking with some friends about my dilemma yesterday we decided that whatever level I was at it didn't merit going back to 0. I am happy with this decision! Today was another great day. I don't even find myself raising my voice as much.

How do I do it?

I'm glad you asked!

I have become more diligent about getting up to talk to the boys when I need to. I have been lazy and created a bad habit of "hollering" to them from another room. Not just as a means of yelling when they are misbehaving, just in general when I need them I don't seek them out, I call out. Now I am trying to go find them or grab the closest child and send him on a manhunt for the brother of his that I need. Ok, so that is still kind of lazy, but at least I am finding more ways to keep my voice level down.

I am also stopping to just take deep breathes when I feel like I can't talk to them and want to yell. This actually usually prompts them to ask "Mommy, what are you doing?" To which I respond, honestly, "trying not to yell at you" and I keep breathing until I am ready to talk to them in a calm manner.

I have, however, discovered I need a whistle or something. When they are all playing together they get VERY loud and if I need their attention it is impossible to get, even if I try to go up to them they just run and think I'm playing. Not that yelling even works most of the time but it was my default, I think a whistle would be an amazing help.

Now... If I could figure out a way to get the babies to lay quiet in bed I'd be golden!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Set back

I didn't blog yesterday but I was really excited that I got through a full week with out yelling. I was sailing on high.

Then today happened.

Honestly, I'm not even sure what level I was at but I think I have to reset to 0 and I'm a TOTALLY bummed. It almost ruined my whole day since it happened early but I decided even if the rest of today won't count I still have to stick with it.

Everything was going great. I got up, took Logan to school, came home and was working out, and then IT happened. I was doing my Xbox Zumba and the boys were in and out being irritating instead of working out with me or playing like they are supposed to. Then came Jameson, he had to go poop. That one was an emergency, he can't go himself and so I had to rush over and help him. Shortly after Wyatt started pestering me. I had told him to go take his pull up off and get dressed and so he needed help getting his shirt off, then he needed help with his underwear and then he needed help with his pants. I couldn't get the stupid Xbox game to pause like it's supposed to so I was missing out on a lot of steps and thrown off my rhythm. I kept telling him to just go play and I would help him when I was done... Then he started telling me he needed me to put his socks on. I told him no, he didn't need socks and I would do it after, I was done helping him until my work out was done.

So here is where I get confused. I wasn't really at a level 3 because I could tell that I was angrier than what that level calls for. A level 3 according to is

The firm voice (potentially raised). This is the I am starting-to-mean business voice accompanied with occasional raised eye brows and introduction of idle threats. Signs: you are still calm and there are no hurt feelings, but you’re wondering when (not if) you’re gonna snap and you are growing impatient, quickly.

And I definitely was NOT feeling calm. But it also wasn't a level 4 which says

The “oopsie” snap. Stop! Alright! Ouch! This snap is starting to get nasty, but hasn’t gotten there yet. It isn’t a long tirade, it’s just a quick sharp voice where you stop yourself…it’s just enough to make the kids stop what they are doing for a second and think whether or not they will continue annoying behavior. Signs: blood pressure is picking up a little, but you are back to calm quickly and think “oh sh*t I really didn’t mean to do that.”

Because it was longer it seems to be more fitting as a level 5. A level 5 is

The nasty snap. Darnit! Knock it off! Cut it out! This snap might be short, but it’s filled with venom. Signs: blood is starting to boil inside; vocal chords are warming up, preparing for a long tirade; you think to yourself “oh sh*t” was that a nasty snap? If you think it, it was.

At the same time I don't think it was actually a NASTY snap, it felt, to me, in between a 4 and 5. It was an oopsie in the way that I really didn't mean to do it but it came out in several sentences. I would just hate to start back at zero if it is a level 3/4 but I just don't think it was a nasty snap either.

I think I need some input on this one... So what do you guys think?

Monday, April 15, 2013

Energizer Bunnies

Please, someone, explain to me how these kids can still have so much energy after 3 hours of playing around and being up over an hour past bedtime?!

Clearly I didn't give birth to children. I have a house full of energizer bunnies, obviously.

But! BUT! With all their obnoxious little boyness (yes, I know it isn't a word) I managed to keep my voice calm and not yell at them. Let me tell you, that was REALLY TOUGH with the way CJ acted at tball practice and even harder when he gave me attitude when we went to cub scouts for Logan.

When we got to cub scouts the boys wanted to get a drink and Logan walked over to the room and so did CJ.... I thought... When I had made my way with the littles to the room I looked all over and couldn't find CJ! He is normally very good about going straight in so I started to panic a little. As it turns out he had gone into the bathroom, but not the ones that I had checked in the room, the ones out in the hall. When I told him he had to tell me when he goes somewhere other than where I expect him to be his response was "NO!"

Uhm, I am pretty sure I did NOT ask a question.

He got to spend the better part of the night next to me until he could apologize. Which, if you know CJ at all, is a nearly impossible task. But he did and he got to go play finally.

So of course cub scouts ran late and in stead of getting home around 8:30 we didn't even leave the building until then. So here it almost 10pm and I'm only about 20 minutes into bed time. Only.20.minutes!! I've been averaging an hour and a half so.... This pretty much is going to suck.

At least the older two are quiet... Hey, they may even be sleeping already, although how they can sleep through all this noise is beyond me.

Bottom line is that I am really proud of myself. I have to raise my voice a little still, they don't listen to me 99% of the time, and I want to pull my hair out of my head at bed time, but I have done really well and for that, I am proud.

Here is to day #6! I am determined to make tomorrow a full week of no yelling!

Sunday, April 14, 2013


Wow, I thought it was a trying day yesterday. WRONG! They are wearing on me hard right now. I am taking a breather before I lose it.

It's my own fault though, and I know it. I let them, and myself, have a lazy day. The TV was on all day and I didn't enforce going out to run around (and I really should have, it was gorgeous out today) and then I had the brilliant idea for a movie and popcorn before bed, ya know, because they were so well behaved today. :/ Of course they got really restless and I eventually had to turn the movie off and send them to bed. I gave them more warnings than I probably should have too before enforcing.

I really need to get better about that.

So we sprayed for monsters, got hugs and kisses and tucks, and no one is in bed. I closed the door so I could breathe. Then I hear them spitting, a HUGE no-no in our house. I stormed in there and it took everything in me not to loose it. I just went right up to them, starting with the oldest, and told them they needed to stop. Now they have stopped spitting but I can hear ALL 4 playing.

This is when I am really at a loss.

What do I do?! Telling them it's bed time doesn't work. Tucking them in again doesn't work. I know screaming and yelling at them doesn't work but at least that gets them moving and into bed for a few minutes. It's a school night and they need to go to sleep! Do I just leave the door shut and let them scream and play around? Hope they finally go to sleep on their own? The past few nights have been going so well!

I am hoping that I can make it through and today will be ORC day #5.

In the mean time any suggestions at this juncture of bedtime would be greatly appreciated!

Saturday, April 13, 2013

ORC day #4

What a trying day! But... I did it!

Today it was CJ pushing me. He had a game today and I was so excited that his daddy could be there to watch him today. His game on Thursday was AMAZING! He told me that he was going to he great again today. He started out a little rough by not paying attention the first inning when he was in the outfield but nothing too major... Then came their turn for batting... I don't know WHAT happened in the dugout but somehow CJ got skipped. Honestly, from what I could see and CJ's account, it was completely the adults fault. Either way... When it comes to CJ all it takes is one thing to set him off and the activity is ruined. He was a miserable little brat the next inning in the field and even worse the next time at bat. He finally hit but hardly ran and of course lost his mind when he got tagged out. I was so huffy we left very quickly and I got an email from his coach that he had wanted to talk to me about what to do in those types of situations.

If only I had the answer.

But hey, I didn't yell at him!

Even more amazing... The boys have destroyed, yet again, the toy room. The floors are covered in Legos... Guess they climbed up and some how got them down off the top shelf to "play" with. ::sigh:: I am really starting to hate Legos.

So they were given the task of cleaning the up mess, just the oldest two since they were the two to make the mess. You would think at 5 and 8 years old they would be fairly capable of this task. They are, in fact, not. Or at least they aren't unless I sit there and watch them and remind them every 2 seconds they are supposed to be picking them.

Luckily we had a party in the evening so that saved the day. They seem to be really awesome when we are out at certain places and this was one of those places. Then we came home, snacked on some of their goody bag treats and then had a movie and popcorn! Unfortunately all the jumping and running around didn't wear them out enough. Now Wyatt is really testing me with his screaming.

At least the monster spray seems to be working and he isn't crying about being scared of the monsters climbing out of his wall.

It really is the little things.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Monster Spray

So here we are on the Orange Rhino Day #3! I did it! I did it! Today was pretty easy since it was Friday and after school we go straight to the park and spend the majority of our day with friends and eating snacks.

Here I am again though, probably posting my win too early. All 4 boys are still awake so there is always a potential for yelling, but I think I can get through it since we took care of the monsters.

Ah, yes, the horrible monsters that plague Wyatt and have spread to torturing the other boys at bedtime as well. I promised Wyatt last night that I would get some monster spray to keep the monsters from coming out of his wall. I had seen (on SuperNanny) that if you put some water and some lavender oil in a spray bottle it was a great monster spray. Well, I don't have an lavender oil but I did have some lavender scented fabric softener so I put a tiny drop of that in with some water. After our story I tucked the boys and let them spray a few sprays around their bed while they said a little spell. They loved it.

Monster Spell:

Monsters, Monsters, stay away!
I'm going to get you with my spray!

Yeah, kinda lame but it's what came to me lol

Hopefully the monster spray will keep those mean monsters at bay and work for a while.

Now if I could just get these boogers to SLEEP!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

ORC day #2

Wow! Did I really make it?!? I guess maybe I am calling it a little early as I am still sitting here (at 9pm) struggling to get the 2 littles to quiet down to sleep, but so far I only yelled at the tball game and that was to cheer on my awesome baseball player! I didn't yell at Logan when I noticed that he had cut holes in his jeans. I didn't yell at Logan when he lied that he couldn't find his homework and had in fact hidden it in the closet. And I'm not yelling now.

For now I sit outside the boys room listening as the 2 little boys alternate between discussing and acting like monsters. And then racing to go potty. I know typical bedtime suggestions are to not let them go once they have been tucked and you have taken care of that before bed (which we do) but when you have a potty training 2 year old and a 3 year old bed wetter we like to encourage always going when we need to. Granted, they are in pull ups just in case, but I'd rather them go in the potty then sleep in pee.

Anyway... Enough with the potty tangent!

Here I am, an hour after I tucked the boys into bed and 2 still awake and I haven't done more than raise my voice slightly! YAY me! I have actually found that this has helped me stay calmer. I just have to keep it in check and not let the desire to scream at the top of my lungs get to me. I think the boys were happier today too, evidenced by the way CJ did such an amazing job at tball (another HUGE struggle). I really have to make this work, I just have to! Not just for the boys well being but for my sanity! There has to be a better way and I am finding it.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

ORC day #1

Well, day #1 of making it with no yelling! Yay me! But I don't know if it counts since I wasn't even home most of the day. I worked so I didn't really even see the boys until after 3:30pm. Then again, bedtime is my worst time and even though they were ridiculous tonight I held it together.

Tonights bedtime show consisted of the following:

My older two weren't even as good as usual with the 5 year old kicking his feet around in the air and the 8 year old making some random comment about nothing or sitting up and trying to read in the dark at 8:30.

The 3 year old was all over, as usual, making silly noises, rolling around in his bed and dangling his head over the edge. His antics prompted the 2 year old to roll around and get out of his bed and apparently he had the need to act like a monster, or maybe he was an angry gorilla? He was squat stomping in the middle of the room alternating arms in the air and making some strange noises. I wanted to laugh but had to tell him to get back in bed... the rest of the night he wasn't so funny. Just getting out of bed and running around and racing back to bed when he realized I was looking at him.

But I didn't yell.

So I guess that's a start.

Tomorrow will be the real test. The hubs will be at school and then work so I'm alone all day. Add to that carting the boys to a tball game alone too and I might be nuts before bedtime even rolls around.

So here's to hoping that I make it to day #2!

Sunday, April 7, 2013


Maybe you have heard of it, maybe not, but it is all the rage in the stay-at-home-mommy world (do I count as a SAHM anymore??)! The Orange Rhino Challenge is a challenge to stop yelling. I have heard about it through several people posting on Facebook and decided today to really check into it. I'm a yeller, I can admit it. I hate it, but I do it and as hard as I try I can't seem to stop. Fortunately, I am not the only one! It feels so good knowing there are other parents out there that really struggle with this.

I feel like you hear and see about these perfect parents with their perfect kids who never yell and I want to be one of them. Well, maybe not perfect... Where's the fun in that?

So here I go, starting tonight hopefully but officially tomorrow. I actually have a lot of things starting tomorrow. We are kicking it into high gear and getting things figured out (my husband and myself) and on a schedule. The kids need it, and we do too. Tomorrow is a new day in our home. I am excited and incredibly nervous!

Make sure you check out for more information and check in with me and let me know how it goes for you if you start the challenge too (or how you are doing if you have already climbed on board!)

Wish me luck!

Friday, March 22, 2013

4 ingredient deliciousness

A while back I posted a recipe for banana "ice cream" with just frozen bananas and vanilla in a food processor. While that is amazingly delicious on its own I decided to try something to change it up a little. This is a recipe for chocolate peanut butter banana ice cream and it is just as easy and only 4 ingredients! The batch I made today is a little smaller as I only had 2 frozen bananas and I cut down on the vanilla since I knew I was going to be adding other favors. So, here ya go.... And ENJOY!

2 frozen bananas (slice and the freeze)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbs cocoa powder
1 heaping tbs creamy peanut butter (more or less to taste)

Add the bananas into a food processor until they start to get creamy. Add vanilla and cocoa powder and process until mixed and then add peanut butter until thoroughly mixed.

Scoop and serve!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Experimenting on my kids O.o

Ok, that sounds worse than it is.

Really I just tried a new kind of smoothie/orange julius and made them drink it! They were less than thrilled by the "green stuff" I put in it but I thought it tasted really good and you couldn't even taste the "green stuff" (kale).

I had to use ice since I my bananas weren't frozen yet ( see my smoothie blog for more info on that here and I think the ice took away some of sweetness of the juice and banana so I added a dash of Splenda that I don't normally add so I am posting the recipe as it should be if I was using a frozen banana and no ice :)

Green-orange banana Julius
1 frozen banana
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup orange juice
3/4 cup kale
1tsp vanilla
Blend until smooth

I also topped it with a maraschino cherry and a little of the syrup just because ;)

Friday, February 15, 2013

The 5 things to do to stay in LOVE from MY perspective

My husband and I are coming up on our 7 year anniversary in a couple months. We are told all the time what a cute couple we are, and how we make people want to vomit we are so sweet! So I thought maybe I could give a little input on why I think we are the way we are.

1. Communicate
I know, it's cliche, but it is also true. We talk. A lot! More, probably, than he would like. I make sure he always knows what's going on with the kids. What my plans are for the day. And most importantly we talk about things when we are upset. Ok, that's not entirely true. He tends to shut down and go into his grumpy bubble while I talk about how I feel. But that brings us to number 2.

2. Don't hold grudges
Yes he pisses me off and I piss him off, but we get over it and move on. He does his grumpy bubble and I talk and talk until my face turns blue and then we kiss and hug and move on with our day. Things aren't always going to be picture perfect. You are going to irritate each other, you live together and see each other every day, things are going to get annoying. But you have to know when to put it aside and move on.

3. Be affectionate
My husband doesn't pride himself on being the touchy-feely lovey-dovey type, especially in public, but he is still affectionate. We hug and kiss through out the day and hold hands when we are out. There is something about maintaining that physical connection that can strengthen the bond of 2 people. Even when I'm mad at him I still make a point to kiss him and we always kiss good-bye and good-night. Those, I feel, are two big things to remember as well.

4. Make time to be a couple
Now, this isn't something we are particularly good at in the traditional aspect of going out on dates. We just don't have the time or the money for that. But we stay up a little later most nights to cuddle on the couch and watch our favorite TV shows and we make snacks for each other and always ask the other if he/she needs something when we get up. I'm not. Saying we never go out, we make it a point to at LEAST go out for our anniversary every year (we have a special tradition of going to the restaurant he proposed to me in every year) and we try to. Go out alone a few other times when we can manage because I do feel that is important too.

5. Stay committed
Not only to each other but to the idea of being in love. Sure, it was easy to fall in love, and maybe easy to fall out of it, but you have to work at staying in love sometimes. You have to make a conscious effort to be there for each other and for your relationship. You have to know that you are both willing to do whatever it takes to make things work.

So there it is. This may not solve all your problems, maybe it won't help at all, but maybe it is worth giving it a try! Also, this is just off the top of my head so I reserve the right to come back and a) edit and b) add more than 5 things :)

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Easy sugar cookies

I wanted to make cookies for Valentine's day today with my boys that they could decorate. Obviously sugar cookies are the go to for that, but I has no desire to deal with the extra work and mess that comes with shapes and frosting! I peeked into my baking cabinet and saw the different sprinkles and decided that would be PERFECT! We could just roll the dough into balls and dip them in the sprinkles and they would be ready to go.

I also added some coconut to the mix of toppings and that ended up being my favorite! YUM!

Saturday, February 9, 2013


Pinterest has inspired me a lot lately. I decided to go all out with Pinspired ideas for Logan's valentines for school this year. He and I sat and flipped through all the ideas I had pinned and he chose his favorites and we set to work. So as an 8 year old boy he of course favored the monster style of valentine boxes. Last year I let him do the whole thing himself and it looked kind of a wreck so I opted to help him a little more this year. He wants to keep it simple though, and in the end it turned out super cute!

We just used construction paper and glue and some letter stickers I had laying around.

For the actual valentines he liked the "you rock valentine!" idea I found on Pinterest from I opted to try and make the cards myself and definitely would have to make them bigger next year... You live and you learn though, right? I picked up some valentines bags at the dollar tree (40 for $1) and the Pop Rocks as well (a pack of 3 for $1). I left a blank space so he could sign his own name and stapled the little cards to the bag. Easy peasy! It probably ended up costing me more than the other pre made valentines but I like that we went the more reasonable and creative route this year.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

A Letter to Yourself

3 years ago I was finishing my bachelors degree and this was an assignment I had to do. It is really powerful to sit back and reflect and write a letter to yourself in the past. When I made the decision to go back to school as a single mother I really had no idea how far I would come or where I would be in 5 and now 8 years later. Every time I read this letter I wrote to myself I get teary-eyed. Partly that may have to do with the fact that I envision the way my mom would have spoken to me in this way. 2005 was such an incredibly trying year for me, having my first child as an unwed mother, living in a state that never felt like home, and discovering my mother was dying all within the first few weeks of the new year. Loosing my mom was the hardest thing I had ever experienced and add to that the horrible emotional state I was as a 19 year old new mother and it's amazing to me, even now, to think that I made it through. 

Although I am sure I huffed and puffed when I was given this assignment, it is something that I think people should just do sometimes. Take the time to really look at yourself. Look to your past and see how far you have come. If you could go back in time and leave a letter for yourself to find and read, would you? What would you say to yourself? Would you even listen to the advice your future self gave you? Should you? Remember that it is your past experiences that make you who you are today. Perhaps you don't need to change anything, just remind yourself that things happen for a reason and the choices you make and those you have made in the past have lead you to who you are now. 

I that think it may be time for me to do this again!

Here is the letter I wrote to myself... We had to read these letters in front of our class and I could barely make it through it with out choking up and there were plenty of wet eyes in the room. I didn't really intend to be so... sentimental?... But it is what it is, and I am who I am.

Dear Self of the Past in 2005,
There will come a time when you will feel at a loss in the world; that you don’t know what step to take to make your future brighter. Times will be tough but you will make the right decision. You will look into the innocent big blue eyes of that gorgeous baby boy that has already brought you so much strength and he will continue to give you the strength to persevere. Getting back into college is the best choice you will make to move forward to become successful for yourself and for your baby. You will continue to develop your skills and become a very mature and educated woman.
From childhood you have wanted to be a teacher, don’t give up on that goal EVER. It may seem impossible at times, but it is achievable. You will come out of your shell and finally feel comfortable in your own skin and with your opinions. Speaking your mind will no longer be a phobia, you will be strong and people will look to you for answers. There may be classes that you take that you think you will never get through or that you thought you would never take, but you will find in the end that they are all worth it. GEN/101 SKILLS FOR LIFELONG LEARNING I will prepare you for the next few years and you will enjoy it, even if you are terrified that first week or two. COMM/110 INTRODUCTION TO ORAL COMMUNICATION will be tough to get through, but in the end it will help you more than any other class to overcome your fears of speaking in public. PSY/430 TEAM DYNAMICS FOR MANAGERS will show you so many dimensions of psychology and into team work you finally start to understand ideas of psychology that never really made sense before, not to mention the professor will make every day interesting. REL/134 WORLD RELIGIOUS TRADITIONS II, I know it sounds crazy you would take this class, but you will find it immensely interesting and give you a new insight into not only your religious beliefs but a new understanding of others.When the day comes that you walk the stage to get your bachelors degree you will proudly accept the honor and realize just how far you have finally come. All the hard work will finally pay off and you will see how valuable your education is to you, even more than you ever thought before. You will look to your husband and your kids (I don’t want to spill the beans too much, but I promise life has some amazing things in store for you in your personal life as well) and you will see how it was so worth it to get back into school in the first place. The future is bright for you now. With a bachelor’s degree in hand and getting registered for your master’s degree in progress you will see that there is nothing that you can’t do!
To you, Julie in 2005, I say… Be strong. Be proud. Never give up and know that you can do it. You are a stronger woman than you ever thought you could be and life, with all its trials and tribulations, will work out for you.
With Love,
Julie of 2010

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Facebook thank yous

After my youngest son's 2nd birthday party I wasn't really sure how to do thank you cards. I will admit I have never been very good about sending them out in the past. This year my 8 year old wrote out his own (his package of invitations came with thank you note so that made it easier). So I ran through some ideas that would be something other than me just writing a thank you card.

These we some options:
1. Have Jameson color on a card after I write thank you
2. Do a hand print to say thanks
3. Tape off "thank you" or a little card and have him paint over it

I felt like all of that kind of relied on the fact that Jameson would be willing to cooperate to color or paint and it would take a bit of prep work. Finally it dawned on me to use a picture, but who has the time to go print out pictures and mail them off? Plus, some of the people came because of a Facebook invitation so I didn't have their address.... WAIT! What did I just say? FACEBOOK! Of COURSE! I could sent or post thank yous via FaceBook!

There is a neat little app called "InstaFrame" that you can add text to a picture that I use a lot just for fun. I realized that would be the perfect way to send a thank you! So I went to the app and created little thank you notes that were personalized with the gift Jameson had received from everyone and proceeded to post the picture (see top of this post for an example) on the Facebook wall of the person or family we needed to say thank you to. I also tagged the husbands if I could so everyone could see the thank you!

I think they came out really cute and they are simple and personal and most of all an easy way to include a young child in the thank you note!

Next time I may take pictures of him playing with or using the gift as well and use that picture so each thank you is different!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Personal and Reusable Worksheets {teaching idea}

During my student teaching I spent a couple hours working with some 3rd graders for math. I discovered that they had difficulty with word problems and figuring out how to write the equation for the problems. I decided to create a word problem that I would laminate and leave the numbers blank so the problem remained the same but they had to keep redoing the equation with different problems. I also made this more personalized as I had one with their name and something they liked so it was more relatable for them. I left space for them to write the equation and show their work. We would use dice to determine what numbers to put in the blanks and it made it more like a game so it kept them engaged. The kids really enjoyed having their own page and kids love using dry erase pens so it was perfect! They got a lot of practice reading word problems to see how to find important information and they had fun doing it too!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Finished Folder {teaching idea}

This idea was inspired form an idea my cooperating teacher saw on Pinterest during my student teaching. I took the concept of a folder that the students can use to keep track of the work stations they have finished and adapted it as a "potty planner" to help with potty training. 

The Folder
I took a plain Manila folder and cut half of one flap off. On the small flap that was left I cut it into 5 equal sections. I then cut out 5 different colors and numbered them 1-5 and glued them in behind the small flap sections. 
On the outer side of the small flaps I wrote the word "done".
The folder is then laminated and ready to go.

The Potty Planner Process
The way the potty planner works is a way to help motivate young children at first to at least attempt to go to the bathroom. We allotted 5 times to bring the students to the toilet and if they would sit and attempt to go they would be "rewarded" by covering up the number. 
The top part of the folder is open space for stickers as a reward for when the child actually used the toilet. 

By the time I left we hadn't had a whole lot of success, but I was working with young students with learning disabilities so we hadn't had this plan implemented long enough to see any real results. I think with continued and consistent use this would be a great tool.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Sonic the Hedgehog Party!!

When my oldest son decided on a Sonic party for his 8th birthday I have to admit I was a little nervous. I had no idea what foods to do to fit the theme or how on Earth I was going to make Sonic cupcakes. So of course I did what any mother would do... I headed off to google images and spent many hours scrolling through pages on Pinterest to get ideas!

We decided on Funyuns as the golden rings that Sonic collects and Logan also asked for pineapple rings so I tossed some of those into some blue Hawaiian Punch hoping they would float at the top (they didn't). I asked Logan what Sonic likes to eat and he informed me, with great certainty, that he loved to eat chili dogs... No way was going to make chili dogs for an 8 year old boys birthday party! TOO MESSY. But the idea dawned on me that I could maybe make some with the lil' smokies franks and crescent rolls!

I set out, again, to google. I couldn't really find a "recipe" to show that it was a successful idea so I decided to just wing it (I probably wouldn't have followed a recipe anyways). They were actually a really big hit and only 3 ingredients. Crescent rolls, lil' smokies franks, and a can of chili. I laid out the rolls and used a pizza cutter to slice it to a size I thought would roll the weenies and added a dab of chili and a weenie and rolled them up. I baked them at 350degrees for 11 minutes and they were good to go!

For the cupcakes I just pulled up a picture of Sonic and hoped for the best as I drew his face with icing free hand. I also created a game that was Pinspired and drew Tails from Sonic and cut out some tails to play "Pin the tail on Tails". It was a lot of fun. And I think the party was a big success!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013


Blueberry Banana Smoothie
 If you are anything like me, you have fruit that you buy and end up tossing because there is always a little bit that doesn't get finished before going bad. I buy a ton of fruit and some weeks we just don't eat as much as we do other weeks, bananas especially. Normally when I have very ripe bananas I toss them into the fridge with plans, that often fall through, to make banana bread. I decided I needed to start freezing stuff for smoothies! Over the summer, in particular, we always want smoothies to help combat the heat but I always find I don't have a fruit I want in the house to make the type of smoothie I want. Well, problem solved! Two problems actually. When I have fruit that is on its last day I cut it up and toss it in a ziplock bag and toss it in the freezer. This way I have fruits ready to go when I want it. Usually I will have a couple fruits so I make mix of favors that I like.

Another great thing about this is the fact that when you make a smoothie with FROZEN FRUIT there is no need to add ice! This makes the smoothies even more creamy and tasty! I just toss in the frozen fruit add in about 1/4 a cup of milk and 1/2 a teaspoon of vanilla exact and I am good to go!

Today I had a smoothie bag with blueberries and banana and decided to add a little pineapple juice too and it's delicious! I wasn't really hungry for lunch but a smoothie was perfect when I knew I needed to put something in my stomach. I also realized I could probably freezer some different juices in an ice cube tray to keep those on hand too!

The bag below has enough fruit to be more suited towards a double batch for when I am making a smoothie. For myself and my husband or to share with my boys. A little bit of frozen fruit goes a long way in a smoothie.

Friday, January 4, 2013


I don't do this often, post about my personal opinions on things often considered to be controversial, but with the anniversary of my oldest sons due date approaching it has been on my mind.

8 years ago I was pregnant with my first son. I was young, only 19, and coming close to my due date. I was anxious to meet my little bundle of cuteness but knew I had to wait... Well, I guess I didn't really know I *had* to wait, I didn't really know there was any other option. A c-section was never in the realm of possibilities for me so I just had to wait, didn't I?

It wasn't until I was pregnant  with my second son that I learned about inductions. That word never came up during my pregnancy with my first son, not even as I passed my due date did a single one of the midwives I saw say anything about it. Looking back now that I know more about labor and delivery I suppose I got lucky having midwives even though I didn't realize what that meant that the time. Logan, my oldest, made me wait it out for 3 days after he was due but it was worth every second.

With my second son I told my OBGYN (whom I adore btw) I didn't think I wanted to induce even though it would be nice to know my dad would be at my house to watch Logan and everything would be planned and relaxed. I finally gave in and set an induction date on my due date, hoping CJ wouldn't be late like his big brother and I wouldn't have to show up for an induction. In the end that appointment was a blessing in disguise. The night before my due date I was pretty sure I was going into labor and went into L&D when my husband got home from work, after we stopped at Taco Bell for some dinner. After a little observation they decided I wasn't in labor and they were going to send me home. I told them I had an appointment to be induced in the morning and asked if I could just stay so I wouldn't have to come back early in the morning and the agreed. Good thing too since CJ was born shortly after I was admitted and in a room!

That brings us to my third, and what I thought was going to be my final, son, Wyatt. Oh my sweet little Wyatt. I didn't even schedule an induction with him, even though I was very tempted with my history of fast labor and having two other kids at home. In the end I decided not to because I had heard inducing made labors longer and more painful and I was determined to have another fast and drug free labor. Maybe I should have induced considering he was almost born in the car... But that was mostly my fault waiting until the last minute to call the Dr (who wasn't convinced I was in labor) and my dad and wake my husband to take me in. I didn't want to risk getting sent home because I "wasn't in labor" and then have him at home.

With Jameson, our surprise baby, I thought for sure he would be early and hoped at least a week early so he wouldn't be born anywhere near his due date, which happened to be Logan's birthday! Little did I know I would get my wish, just not in the direction I had hoped. I told my Dr again that I didn't want to induce. I had done more research and was confident in my decision that my babies will bake until they decide they are ready to enter the world. There I was at my 40 week (well a couple days after) appointment saying I had made it this far I would just stick it out. I couldn't believe my 4th pregnancy was also going to be my longest. After Jameson was born (6 days past his due date) I found out my OB had went ahead and scheduled an induction for the following Friday, I guess she didn't want me to go too far past 41 weeks (fairly common and a pretty good for most obgyns to let me go that long with out a fight). I am so thankful that I didn't decide to induce early, if he was born about a week after his due date if I had induced a week before he would have been more like 2 weeks early which is an important amount of baking and developing time!

I'm not trying to say other people shouldn't induce or schedule c-sections. That's not my place, and I am not a doctor or midwife. All I am saying, as I stand up here on my tiny little soapbox (and I mean tiny as I don't think many people even read this thing...) is that I hope you think about it before you introduce medical equipment into your labor before you baby starts to tell you that he or she (not that I know much about the latter lol) is really ready. I know you are anxious to hold your sweet little baby, but what is a couple of. Days if. It means the full health and development of your child?

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Inital Name Art

My second oldest son's name is Caleb but we call him by his initials, CJ. When he was a baby I got the letters for initials as a gift. His color scheme was green and white so I had always left them alone. For a while now I wanted to color them and make them different. Today an idea came to me, I would make each initial have his name on it so it was his initials AND his first and middle names! I am really not all that artistic, as much as I like to pretend I am, but I did the bet I could. I painted the backgrounds of each letter and then used a stencil to paint the letters of each name on the letter for the initial. While they didn't turn out as nice as I would have liked, I think they are pretty cute! Maybe one day I will work on it and have some patience and make them perfect. For now they will get popped up on the wall just like this.