Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Christmas Party

This last weekend we had our first military Christmas party to attend.  
I hung out with the kids.  For some reason they all gravitated toward me (maybe because I was one of a handful of adults that didn't have a phone, iPad, or laptop in front of their face?).
There was dancing.  Ok, the kids are the only one that danced, but it provided entertainment.

We tried to get a family photo, and a little one snuck in.  And Miss O decided to do a cheesy smile, so yes it was a fail.

We had yummy food, made by the guys in the unit.  

There was also a Santa that handed out small gifts to all the children.  O was rather caught up in all the excitement the other children showed.  We've never taken her to sit on Santa's lap before, and it was interesting seeing her reaction to all the hoopla.  

Monday, December 16, 2013

Yummy Food

This dish is what we lovingly refer to as 'Homemade Hamburger Helper'.  I am not sure why we call it that, because there isn't any hamburger in it, and I don't think it actually taste like the boxed meal.  It is one of the few things O will eat all mixed up.  My husband will tell you it is healthy because it has kale and tomatoes in it.  I am not so sure about that.  However, I do like this meal for its versatility.  Don't have kale, but you do have spinach?  Improvise.  Missing a few ingredients?  No worries, it will be fine.  This dish has been photographed and put on here before.  Here's how I make it...

1 box of pasta (we like penne--it doesn't matter.  You can do gluten free or whatever)
1 pound (ish) bulk sausage
1 can Fire Roasted tomatoes (I have also used tomatoes seasoned with basil and oregano)
2 garlic cloves (or more depending on your preference for garlic)
1 small onion (we have used every type of onion in this dish)
A few handfuls of kale (baby or regular chopped up)
2 Tablespoons chicken stock or vegetable stock
Palmful of italian herbs (oregano, basil, rosemary)
Pepper and Salt
Parmesan (we use a lot of parmesan 1/2 cup or somewhere around there)

Heat water to boil
Start cooking bulk sausage.  While these are cooking, chop up onion and garlic.  Add the onion and garlic to sausage.  Cook until browned.  Add the pasta to boiling water, cooking as long as suggested for tender pasta.  The last 2 minutes toss in kale.  Drain pasta/kale mixture.  Return to large pot, and add sausage, fire roasted tomatoes, chicken stock, herbs, salt, pepper, and parmesan.
Mix and cook on low for a few minutes until heated through.

What are your go-to recipes for an easy dinner?  I have been doing some research on freezer meals for when baby arrives.  Any suggestions?

Friday, December 13, 2013

This Week (In Photos)

Snowflakes are everywhere.  O has become slightly obsessed with making them.

We recently were gifted an enormous supply (totes and totes) of Lego blocks.  They have resided in our living room since we got them, and have been played with every spare second of the day.  

Truth be told, I've let them stay in the living room mostly because I have no idea where their home will be.  There are a lot, and I have no idea how to store them.  So until I figure out a good method via Pinterest they may just hang out in the living room.

They are getting a lot of use.
By everyone.  Mostly the 5 year old, but daddy can't resist.  He has built a few things as well.

Hey Look, more Legos.  Seriously, they have taken over our lives.  Anything my daughter gets for Christmas is going to have to be really really amazing to get that little girl's attention.

My shop is getting a make over.  It was moved, and now needs some sprucing up.  A chair?  Hooks to hang things on the lattice work?  I haven't decided yet.  It probably won't get finished until after Christmas.  I just don't have the motivation to leave my house lately.  

I have been testing out some new burlap baskets.  I like the idea of larger baskets.  What do you think?  I might tinker some more.  I feel like it is still missing something.

This new basket is much larger than my other baskets, as you can see in the photo.  

Friday, December 6, 2013

This Week (In Pictures)

School, school, school.
Lots. Of. School.

Mama has lost her mind, and made a large stack of worksheet type pages for O to do.  O has loved doing them.  Note to self:  Go out and buy a workbook.  Stop making the pages.  It takes forever.

O made a Christmas tree from various sized strips of paper (per my request), then created her own thing.

O has been living in dance costumes, and mismatched ballet slippers.
She thought it was hilarious (and maybe like she was getting away with something?)  when I let her draw on the windows with dry erase markers.

My 80's child.

Her Christmas story all drawn out.

A typical week at our house.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Some Favorite Things Online

I have not been sleeping well lately.  Third trimester hit, and bam my body has started practicing for late night feedings.  I am up every evening several times to go to the bathroom, and then I am Wide Awake for an hour or so.  I will call it preparation, and not exhaustion ;)  
Being up all hours of the night (and not wanting to wake everyone else, I have been looking online for fun items.  Here are a few of my favorites.

I would probably never wear this shirt, but I find it rather amusing, since this little man packs quite a punch/kick.  He is super mellow and hardly moves 90% of the day, but when he moves, my goodness he has quite a strong kick.  

Stacking Houses
I love these wooden toy houses.  They would go great with O's train tracks and building blocks.
I think I would enjoy playing with this puzzle as much as O.

The little one will be staying in our room, and I love that Montessori mobiles look nothing like the cutesy animal mobiles one would see in most bedrooms.  I could totally hang this in our bedroom without it being weird, right?

This butterfly mobile is pretty fun too.

Did you know if you google 'labor aides' or 'natural delivery' you get about 9 million different opinions of what is important to bring to the hospital.  I am overwhelmed.  I know I am bringing food this time, but other than that I am lost.  Suggestions?  Anyone?

I love the idea of this scarf--I may need to make one.

Tied Carseat Cover--I would love to make this, if I can ever find the time.  Oh, and after we confirm we will actually need this.  I may not use this style of carseat, since we only used our other carseat carrier for O for 9 short months.  That girl was(is) a bean pole and outgrew it far quicker than we anticipated.

I think this photo is pretty stinking adorable.  I prefer more natural looking photography to the staged, 'I placed by baby in a bucket, and put a hat on him' look.  Although, those can be cute too.

Oh. My. Goodness.  Little boy outfits are quite adorable.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Breakfast Cookies

This has been my go-to quick breakfast for the last month or so.  I love it.  It takes 5 minutes to mix the ingredients together, and then 15 to bake.  Lately, my husband has been wanting to wake up 20 minutes before he has to leave for work, take a 10 minute shower, and then run out the door.  Although it drives me crazy, I can usually tell he is going to do this, and get started on the cookies, to hand to him as he walks out the door.
So, without further ado, here it is.

2 bananas (doesn't matter if they are ripe)
1 cup quick cooking oatmeal
1/4 cup chocolate chips
2 Tablespoons peanut butter

The original recipe didn't call for peanut butter, but I throw it in, because a)  I loathe the taste of bananas.  I will eat them, but I am gagging a little each time I taste them/smell them. b)  I need extra calories anywhere I can find them.  You don't have to add the PB if you don't want.

Step 1:  Mash the bananas up, and mix in the oatmeal, pb, and half the chocolate chips.
Step 2:  Scoop the mixture onto a baking sheet, and place the remaining chocolate chips on top.  (Dividing the chips is probably unnecessary, but I find that they get more evenly distributed, and my daughter tends to go for the cookie with the most visible chips.)

Step 3:  Bake at 350 for 15 minutes.
Step 4:  Enjoy :)

Seriously, easy peasy, right?

I love easy things like this.  

Have you tried anything like this before?  What is your go-to breakfast?

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The Return

It's been awhile.
I was wanting to do a blog themed month (30 days of ____) and it turns out I did a blog break instead.
30 days of break.
Although I haven't been writing about life, we have been super busy and productive.
This has been a month of making and a month of change.
I can hardly believe that we have been home for 4 months.  The same amount of time we were in Virginia.  Whoa life seems to be zipping by us.

Here is a recap of the month.

Little O is not so little anymore....We moved her up to the twin size bed we were holding in the guest room/office/catch all room.  She loves it.  I let her choose the bedding, and she chose a super soft blanket rather than a quilt or comforter.  The first week we had the bed she just wiggled on the blue blanket and squealed 'it's so soft!'  I like it because now our extra room is just and office/catch all.

We did very little for Halloween.  It rained.  We went to a church event and she did a little trick or treating there.  

Art and Creating were the words of the month.  O was dabbling in drawing, painting, charcoal (pictured above), clay and her invention box daily this month.  

Ok, so do you remember when I wrote about a bad start to the morning, and I thought I saw a spider?  Well, it was because we had several run ins with large wolf spiders.  We have a field very close by, and I suspect that the reason for so many of them was because it was getting tilled up.  Whenever I would say that there was a 'large spider' people would sort of roll their eyes at me and think 'sure it was big'.  Well folks, I took a picture.  I woke up first (as usual) and went into the kitchen to start making breakfast and such, and there he was.  Ugh.  I think this spider was the one that broke the camel's back per se.  I had been holding out saying I didn't want to spray outside or inside because of O and chemicals like that bother me.  Well, the spiders freak me out more, so we sprayed and haven't seen anymore (thank goodness!)

More artwork by O.  This is a picture of Mango.

 Here are a few little snowmen I crocheted for a shop I sell at.  This project was difficult for me, mostly because I don't keep stuff like this around my house, so I don't think to make things like this.  I prefer practicality.

I started stocking up on little boy clothes.  My goodness!  It's been fun, and yet challenging.  I am not a fan of onesies with sayings on them like 'Keep Calm and Carry Me'  or 'Mom's cute, and Dad's lucky'.  I have been rather picky (even more so than with O--is that even possible?  I thought the second one you were supposed to not be so crazy?)

Here is my little shop, all decked out for the holidays.  Cup cozies, snowflakes, and fingerless gloves oh my!  

One of the many brightly colored outfits worn by a lively 5 year old.

There are no words for this ensemble.  We stayed in that day.

Mid-November we got to go on a trip with F.  He was there on business and we had 3 days of field trips.  In the above photo we had our first experience with Cinnabon.  Yummy!

We checked out the state museum.  I had no idea they had such a large section on Civil War history.  I thought I was through with that when we left Virginia--apparently not.  I did some speed walking through there, and moved along as fast as possible.  

One evening O and I went to Chic-fil-a for dinner, and it happened to be family night.  They had a Thanksgiving craft and a lady making fancy balloons.  I didn't know this happened?  It was odd, and yet kept us entertained for almost two hours.

The following evening we went to dinner with all of F's co-workers.  We arrived at the restaurant at 6:30 (red flag number 1).  There were almost 50 of us there (red flag number 2).  Dinner did not reach us until after 7:15 (O's bedtime is at 7 normally warning warning danger approaching!).  We had a very hungry, very impatient, very grumpy little girl who was less than pleasant to be around.  At one point she asked me if she could sleep on the booth and I said, 'yes please'.  She fell asleep at the restaurant and had to be carried out.  This event was proof positive to F and I that if someone is cute enough they can act like a total brat and people will still oohh and ahhh at you.

After some rest, the following day was spent at the Art museum.  It had a great area for children.  O loved it.

After the museum, O and I checked out a local knitting shop.  I drooled over the yarn, and then looked at the prices.  Um, no thanks super soft Merino wool made in Maine.  I am sure you would be lovely as a scarf, but this girl can not pay $40 for half a scarf.  Yikes.

So, I came home and whipped up some basket instead.  The above ones are for O's room.

Then, I made some more :)  These are going in the shop.

Next week, I shall be back.  Have a Happy Thanksgiving!