Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Oh, the places you'll... never mind

So there are all these neat ideas on Pinterest of stuff do for your child as keepsakes. One of my favorites is the book where you get all the teachers to sign over the years and then you give as a gift when they graduate. Now I wonder how many poor kindergarten teachers are going to be inundated with "Oh, the Places You'll Go!" this year to sign. And I wonder through the years how many well-meaning moms will lose or misplace the book or just give up in the middle. I would probably be one of those moms. I have come to accept that flaw in myself that I get bored with long term projects. Still I'm hoping to keep up the first day of school project at least. That one should be a given. I think it is cute that so many people are of the I'm going to do that! varieties. I just feel for the teachers.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

The Great Food Truck Race

It's not really a secret amongst my family and friends how much I love food trucks. Sadly there is only one in my town but luckily it is just awesome. Anyway, I had never saw an episode of The Great Food Truck Race before but I have been watching Cupcake Wars steadily and they have been advertising it. So I settled down the other day and watched it with Button. The show has eight teams competing for a cash prize. This year the twist is that none of the teams have any food truck experience. They just have the concept. So the winner gets $50,000 and to keep the food truck.  The teams are:
Barbie Babes - cooking Australian BBQ. They were behind the entire episode and I really wanted them to go home first. But they slid by.
Coast of Atlanta -cooking seafood. One of the ladies was quite rude and I wasn't really invested in them either.
Momma's Grizzly Grub - cookin comfort food pasta. No real feelings on them.
Nonna's Kitchenette - cooking their nonnas’ Italian dishes. They seemed ok.
Pizza Mike's - cooking pizza. These guy's were pretty cool and I hope they make it far.
Pop-A-Waffle - cooking waffles. Now I love a waffle truck but I'm not sure about the food they were serving. Also I really wanted the one to quit waving that flag around.
Seoul Sausage - cooking Korean-style sausages. I liked these guys and I have a feeling they will be around a while.
Under the Crust - cooking savory and sweet mini-pies. The main chef had a really sad story and I wanted them to stick around another episode just so she wouldn't have to go home first. Unfortunately they made the least amount of money so they had to go home.

The first episode consisted mainly of the teams learning their food trucks and figuring how to cook, price and sell from them.The Seoul Sausage and the Pizza Mike's guys have been cooking together as a business for a while and that was to their advantage. The Barbie Babes were just terrible and they just couldn't pull themselves together but they were more aggressive in selling and I think Under the Crust priced too low so that is why they came in last and Barbie Babes squeaked by.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Yummy Things

Yesterday I decided we needed some snacks at our house being that we are woefully lacking.  I've made these No-Bake Chocolate Chip Granola Bars before and I always have trouble with them crumbling even with the changes noted on the recipe.  C'est la vie.  They are still good.  Now my husband loves the cheap Sunbelt chocolate chip granola bars. He thinks partly because they have coconut in them.  So this time I bought some shredded coconut and added about 1/4 cup of that along with the other dry ingredients. I also threw in a handful of chocolate chips (I use the mini-chips) into the dry ingredients. Doing this will make some of the chocolate melt. Not a problem for me but if you want to have chips then you might want to want til after you pour your hot liquid.  I added a handful of chips to the top of the granola bars and put it into an 8x8 pan. They still didn't stick like they are suppose to but are still delicious to eat. I also found out this morning that it is good to eat in a bowl with milk.

Chocolate Chip Granola


The other yummy thing I made was chocolate peanut butter popcorn.  This was very simple. I just melted about a 1/4 of cup of chocolate chips til smooth and then added a tablespoon of peanut butter to the chocolate then poured it over the popcorn. We have an air popper popcorn bowl so I made a 1/3 cup of popcorn kernels (about 5 cups of popcorn).  It was pretty good. I wish I'd added more peanut butter. Oh and we have some chocolate jimmys so I threw some in there as well. I wished I'd had marshmallows because then I would have made s'more popcorn. Maybe that will be on my list of things to try next.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Popcorn

Friday, August 17, 2012

"Back" to Sleep

Button is mastering the art of rolling over. Exciting, I know. This morning when I went to get her for her morning meal she was on her tummy. Now she rolled over for the first time on the floor at her aunt's baby shower at the beginning of August and she has been giving a halfhearted effort ever since. But yesterday I was on the phone with BT and he said she was working hard at rolling over and she did while we were talking. Cut to this morning and she is stomach sleeping. I nursed her and put her down on her back. She immediately rolled to her side, a position she has become comfortable in lately. I peeked in at her before I left for work thinking she would be on her stomach, but no she was still on her side. Then I got a text from BT this morning saying he found her on her tummy too.

I was telling a co-worker about it (she has a 6 month old) and I said that in all the pre-baby classes, they emphasize "back to sleep," putting your baby to sleep on their back. It's a big deal. But they never address the fact that the baby will one day learn to roll over and parents will never be able to keep them on their backs. When my co-worker's son start rolling over I told her not to freak out the first time she sees him asleep on his stomach. She did a little but that's normal. I did when I had Bub. I was so worried because it had been drilled into me "BACK to sleep." But once babies are able, of course they want to make themselves comfortable. So this morning I put my hand down on her to let her know I was there before I picked her up and to check to make sure she was still breathing (paranoia is not something that will ever leave me) and I found myself touching her bottom instead of her stomach. She lifted her head, turned it, sighed and settle back down. I patted her and then picked her and feed her.

So now begins a new phase in our lives where she won't stay exactly where we put her. Mobility is going to be achieved soon. It's both a good thing and bad thing. But at least now she can make herself comfortable when she sleeps.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Big day!

So today was a big day at our house, specifically for Bub. It was his first day of kindergarten! I got up early and made his favorite muffin waffles for breakfast. We got a few pictures and then it was time to take him to school. I expected to cry but I only got a little emotional when his teacher hugged him and when we were leaving. We got there, found his classroom and meet his teacher. She had us put his stuff away and we looked around a little and then BT and I left him there. He said he was scared but I think he just meant nervous. There was a lot going on in the room. I really hated leaving him there but he will be fine. It's also going to be his first trip on the bus home. I can't wait to hear what he thought about it all of it though.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Photography (new hobby?)

Not that I'm looking for a new hobby but I'm feeling cheap right now. I want some great pictures of Button and Bub but just some causal ones. Later I'll have to get some of just Bub for his 6th birthday. But for now I want some of the two of them and also one of the 4 of us. But I don't feel like paying for a photographer. We have too many other things that need attention like my brakes and the dogs and the oven to spend on a photographer.

BT has taken up photography as a hobby but he just started school and so between that, watching Button in the mornings and working at night he doesn't have a lot of time for it now. He is really good with landscapes but doesn't really have the patience for working with the Boy. I am better at that. So I guess I will have to study up on lighting and camera setting and give it a try myself. Now where I am going to find that time?

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Advice for new moms

I have a few ladies in my life who are currently pregnant with their first babies. I have a few friends who have recently had their first babies. Occasionally I get asked about this and that because I am on my second baby so I have some experience with this whole thing. I will say that the second time  baby care is easier because you (mostly) remember the things you are suppose to do. Time management is another story. Anyway, I was thinking about what kind of advice I'd really give to a new mom. There are a lot of things I could say. I have opinions on most everything. But really my advice comes down to two things:

This is only applicable to breastfeeding moms. If you don't want to breastfeed, then don't. It will be fine, your baby will be fine, you will be fine.

1. There is a good chance that breastfeeding (especially the first time) will hurt at first. And don't let anyone tell you differently. Hell, it hurt the second time, but not as bad.

With Bub it hurt about 2 weeks but a lot of that had to do with a late milk supply. So he'd nurse forever but without getting very much. My milk didn't come til around day 7. He was starving and he was supplemented for a while. Because he was hungry and there was nothing there he'd suck and suck and the friction and strong suck just killed my nipples. He also got thrush which didn't help. With Button, my milk came right away, but I still got really sore and cracked nipples. It's just something your body has to get use to. Plus she had a lazy latch when she got sleepy and we had to work to correct that.

My point is that breastfeeding does not come easily to everyone and even when it does there still can be problems. If this is a priority make sure you try whatever you can to fix it. If you have to give up do not feel like a failure.  While breast is best, it is luckily not the only food available. Happy moms have happier babies and if feeding time is filling you with dread than it is not good for either of you.

2. This is your baby, not your mom's or your mother-in-law's. Yours and your partner's (if you have one). So while it is helpful to hear what has worked for others it doesn't necessarily mean it will work for you. There are things that most babies like in general but not all babies. Most people like cupcakes, some don't. Babies are the same.  Button is completely different from Bub so I've had to work out new tricks with her.

Relatives mean well for the most part but when it is suddenly your job to take of a new little person, it is hard when they seem to be up in your face all the time pointing out what it feels like you are doing wrong. Those relative do genuinely care for you and your baby. They just can't seem to understand that you are actually old enough to care for an infant yourself.
Also older relatives like to say things like Well, in my day, we used X baby thing and it didn't kill you. Well, you know what? Science, ok. Maybe sometime in the last 30 years things have become more advanced. Perhaps a reduced rate of infant mortality can be explained by the use of, let's say, car seats as well as many other wonderful baby safety items. Just because your kids made it out alive and with all ten fingers doesn't mean a rocking horse on a giant spring is a good idea.

Don't be afraid to stand up and say this is my baby, thank you for caring but I will take care of him/her in the best way I know how. The truth is you know your baby better than anyone. No one else will ever have that bond so you will know what to do whatever may come.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Waffles

We got a waffle maker for Christmas last year. Well, technically we got a gift card that lead to us getting a waffle maker, but still. I love waffles and I was sad that we did not have a waffle maker. BT wanted to make chicken and waffles. You see where this is headed.

Anyway, I was on Pinterest (of course. Damn I love that site) and I saw Waffled Cinnamon Rolls. Bing! I also love cinnamon rolls. What a coincidence! My new waffle make and I were going to be best friends. Waffled cinnamon rolls are so easy and quick. I love them a lot. This has lead down a waffley and delicious road. I've tried muffin waffles which are a big hit at my house. Cookies did not turn out so well but I think that is because I used pre-made cookies. I would not recommend this. Brownie batter worked out much better though I need to thin it out a little more.

Triple Berry muffin waffles


The other day I tried biscuits and they were delicious. The first time I used Grands Flaky and dipped them in cinnamon sugar. The second time I used regular Grands biscuits and sprinkled the cinnamon sugar on top. I like how the flaky biscuits turned out but with the sprinkling rather than the dipping. I froze them and they are great heated up in the microwave in the morning.

Biscuit waffles

I've learned that pretty much all you need is a batter and it will cook in the waffle maker. I've yet to try cake batter in the waffle maker but guess what is next up in my waffle experimentation. I think you can guess.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Moments

The important thing is to remember that this moment will not last forever. And that goes in both directions. When someone is being unreasonable, doesn't want to listen or behavior, or go to bed/sleep/take a bath, that moment won't last forever. Eventually that someone will become reasonable and do the things I want them to do. When Button refused to sleep in her crib and cried and cried, I reminded myself that this moment won't last forever and she will sleep in her crib with no problems. It happened with Bub, it will happen with her. When Bub is being a pain and not eating his food, I remind myself that this moment won't last forever and he will eat his food and he will grow and he will be ok. The way I get past bad moments is to remind myself that it won't be this way forever, just right now.

The flip side and the sadder side is that these moment won't last forever. She won't snuggle into me, sighing after nursing, falling asleep satisfied. He won't sit on my lap and tell me I'm the best mom and give me Eskimo kisses. She won't look at him like he is the best thing she's ever seen and he won't look at her with pride forever. I won't get these moments back. So I'm trying to pay attention and remember that, these moments, they don't last forever either. But there are new and wonderful moments coming up that I am not prepared for and I hope that I appreciate them then like I appreciate the ones now.


Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Nursing in Public

Now I am a big believer in breastfeeding, obviously. But I have a harder time with nursing in public. It's not something I do a lot and never without a cover. I don't have a problem with those who can nurse without a cover. That doesn't bother me though I know it bothers a lot of people. But whatever, gotta feed the baby. Usually the only time I nurse in front of others is at my parent's or my in-law's. Both sets of parents are supportive. But I always use a cover even at their houses. I remember with Bub at my in-law's house I would go upstairs every time and after a while I began to feel isolated. I wanted to be in the company of other people and watch whatever they were watching. So I asked BT if they would mind. No, he said, they won't care. And they never did. Never even blinked. It is very nice to have parents who are supportive especially knowing that a lot of people's mothers or mothers-in-law give them a hard time.

This weekend I went to a baby shower and I knew that Button was going to need to be fed. I thought ok, I am going to be in a room full of people I mostly don't know. But I am fairly good at getting her under a blanket and nursing without it being a big deal. But yeah, she was not quiet about the whole thing and so I don't think it went as well as I hoped it would. I'm pretty sure I flashed the left side of the room when she flailed under the blanket. And it was so hot in there that the second time I tried nursing her she got really mad because she got hot. I hate making people uncomfortable so I hope they were all understanding. No one said anything to me. I'm sure it was fine. I just don't like being so awkward about something that is perfectly natural. And that it is my own hang-up. I need to get over that.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

6 Layer S'mores Cake AKA the Death Cake

Yet another Pinterest creation. This comes from Fat Girl Trapped in a Skinny Body. She calls it the Ultimate S'More Anniversary cake and her version has 7 layers and is much prettier. BT requested this for his birthday after seeing it on Pinterest. Yes my diabetic husband wanted this delicious monstrosity for his birthday and so I complied. It is suppose to have 2 layers of brownie, 2 layers of cheesecake, 2 layers of cookie, a graham crackers layer plus marshmallow frosting and chocolate frosting. I only have one springboard pan so I made only one cheesecake but I used the entire recipe so it wasn't like the cheesecake was halved or anything. And while the recipe called for everything to be made from scratch I don't have that kind of time on my hands or anything so the only from scratch in this thing is the cheesecake. Still it was all kinds of delicious. I used a triple chocolate chocolate frosting in the middle and whipped frosting on the outside. I'm pretty pleased with how it tasted though I will never make it again. It is so good yet I found myself losing the will to live half way through a piece. It was just so very very much, very decadent. I know that I'm not selling it here but if you have the time and the inclination I recommend making it at least once.  Because you have never experience any like this cake.


My version

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Bean sock

Button was an excellent sleeper as a newborn because that is all she basically did. I was amazed though because Bub never slept when he was a newborn. Too nosy. Anyway, around mid-June (2 1/2 months old) when we were visiting my in-laws, I put Button down in the playyard bassinet area and she slept all night in it. Amazing considering up to that point she'd only ever slept in her swing all night. So when we got home I tried her in her crib and she slept in it all night. This went on for about two weeks. And then she suddenly decided that no, she was not going to sleep in her crib anymore. After a few weeks of back and forth and relying on the swing, I started to try new things.

Luckily I came across this pin for a baby snuggler and a light went off. Maybe when I lay her down the coolness of her sheets was part of the reason she was waking up. So I've started warming a blanket in the dryer and laying it in her crib. And I gave up one of my knee socks to the cause. I bought some cheap white beans and filled the sock. I warm it up in the microwave for one minute and put it in her crib. So far about 5 minutes after I have done this I've laid her down (taking the blanket out obviously) and putting the sock right next to her. Monday, the first night, she was sound asleep and only made a few snuggling down sounds. Tuesday she was awake but very sleepy. She let out a few protest cries but then settled down to sleep and didn't wake up at all. Both nights I took the sock out about 15-20 minutes after she was asleep and she didn't wake up. I think she just needed a little extra warmth to fall asleep and maybe the sock feels more like a warm body. Babies do like to sleep next to someone. Now I can go to sleep at a decent hour. Who knew a sock full of beans would make a difference in my life?

The sock in question. I realized later that I picked a four leaf clover sock. Maybe I was hoping it would be my lucky charm.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

21 days followup

So I wrote at length about my 21 days to form a healthy habit. I'm happy to say I stuck it out for the most part. And then I decided to take up running. Did that like twice and quit everything all together. It's too hot right now for outdoor activities at least for me. I'm going to try again in September. Anyway, I got sick around mid-July and I realized that I am pushing myself too far. Right now I'm trying to get up at 5 a.m., nurse the baby, pump, work out, and then get myself and Bub ready for the day. I think that is why I got sick and I realized as much as I want to be skinny, I need to stay healthy in order to take care of my kids and in order to work out. A sick mommy is nobody's friend. So I decided to take a couple of weeks off of working out, figure out how to get Button asleep earlier without a lot of drama, and get to a better rested place in my life. It looks like next week I'll be able to start again. Though weirdly enough I have lost a little weight since I started getting more rest.