Monday, February 28, 2011

Pumpkin Pancakes

This Fall I heard lots of talk about Pumpkin Pancakes... but for whatever reason I never gave them a try.  Then for some strange reason I had an insatiable craving for them this past weekend.  We re-visited our tradition of Saturday Morning Pancakes with a little twist, a sweet pumpkin twist.  I found this recipe on, I tweaked it a tiny bit.  They were a hit!  Even B devoured the little crumbs we put on his tray!

What you need:
1 cup flour
1 Tbs sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 eggs
1 cup of milk
1/2 cup pumpkin
2 Tbs Vegetable oil or Apple sauce (I did one of each)

What to do:
1. Mix all dry ingredients in one bowl
2. In a different bowl mix eggs, milk, pumpkin and oil
3.  Add dry ingredients to wet, mix well.  If too clumpy add 1 Tbs of water
4.  Pour 1/3 cup of batter onto greased griddle or frying pan. Cook each side until golden!


Friday, February 25, 2011

8 Months...

So this is a week late... but better late than never : )
B-man is 8 months old!  Not only is each month flying by, but he is changing WAY faster than my other 2 did at this stage!  {Slow down buddy, it is not a race to beat H and Bug}

This month-
  • Crawling on hands and knees... will still do the army crawl at times, but is getting faster by the day on his hands and knees.
  • Prefers finger-foods to being spoon-fed
  • Had his first ear-infection, therefore first round of anti-biotics
  • Has 2 little teeth poking through!  H and Bug didn't get teeth until they were almost 12 months old!
  • Way more aware of his surroundings... Won't sleep on the go : (  And won't transfer if he does fall asleep in the car : ( 
  • Pursues mischief!  If there is something to get into that is not for him, he is sure to find it.  
  • Loves sucking on shoes (YUCK)
  • Still has a smile that melts my heart and is one happy little man!

Watch out world... I might be walking by my 9 month update!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Bro and Sis

Love my 2 big kids

Love their growing relationship
Love the smiles they bring us all... 

I can't wait to see more of the unique blend B's personality will bring our family!  I am feeling so incredibly blessed to have such amazing kiddos!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Best Chocolate Chip Cookies...

So I know, that I know, that I know that I posted this recipe on here last winter.  But it is gone, vanished, no where to be found!  How in the world does a post disappear???  The only reason I know it is gone is because every time I make these cookies, I have to look it up on my blog... and today, it is gone : (  So here goes round 2 of my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe.  Including pictures I took last winter...

1 Cup Sugar
1 Cup Brown Sugar
1 Cup Butter
1 tsp. Vanilla
2 Eggs

2 Cups flour
1 3/4 Cups ground oats (old fashioned oats in blender or food processor)
1/2 tsp Salt
1 tsp Baking Soda
1 tsp Baking Powder
1 bag of chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 375.

2. Mix sugar, brown sugar, butter and vanilla.
3. Mix eggs into butter/ sugar mixture
4. In separate bowl, mix all dry ingredients
5. Mix 1/2 of dry ingredients in butter/ sugar mixture.  Mix well then add in the rest of dry ingredients.
6. Add chocolate chips

7. Spoon cookies onto cookie sheet (I really recommend using a baking stone/ pizza stone)

8. Bake for 8-10 minutes
9. Cut a paper shopping bag in half, open up and lay flat on your counter.
10. Once you pull out of the oven. Let cookies sit on stone for 1 minute.  Then place on paper bag to finish cooling.


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Bug vs. Truck

So sweet Bug is finally getting some hair that we can do cute girlie things with!  I am loving that it is finally long enough to pull back into pig-tails! However when it is down, it is long in back and short on top... a.k.a. the girl has a mullet!  But the sweetest toe-head, mullet you have ever seen : )
{Side note, doesn't she look so grown up in this picture?!?!}

Anyway, back to the story... Bug loves to play with her brother, and his toys, including his trucks, which is great!  They play together and have fun... However, this time it back-fired on her when she decided to "listen to" the noise the truck was making.  {You see where I am going with this}  She lifted it to her ear, and the next thing I heard was screaming.
Uggh, can you see her hair wrapped around the wheel???  I tried for 10 minutes to unwind it, gently pull... anything other than have to cut her precious hair off, poor girl doesn't have much to start with!!!  To no avail!  So Little Miss Bug is missing a small chunk of hair!  We were both a little sad about it, but have moved on!  Hopefully Bug learned her lesson of not putting motorized moving wheels up to her ear!

Final Score
Truck 1
Bug 0

Monday, February 14, 2011


I recently had a birthday... inching in to my 30's one year at a time : )  So something those that know me well, already know... I LOVE to play games!  Any game that is somewhat fast-paced is great!  So to celebrate my birthday this year we had a "Minute-To-Win-It" party.  Based off of the TV show.  The premise of the game is that you have an assigned task to complete in 60 seconds... such as, empty a tissue box with only one hand, one tissue at a time.  Or stack 5 apples on top of each other without the tower falling over.  Thanks to Kathy for helping me decide on the games, buy the supplies and set everything up!!! It was a hit!


Team Black

Team Grey

Team Green

Highlights from the night
 It turned out to be such a fun night!  Thanks friends for the fierce competitiveness, many memories and laughter that brought tears!  Loved every minute!!


ps. if you want to plan your own "Minute To Win It" party it is so easy.  Go on the TV shows website, watch demo videos, choose your games and buy your supplies.  I can email you the list of the 10 games we did if that helps : )  We printed up signs for each game with a brief description (you will notice the white signs in the background of pictures) this helped keep things moving.  We had all supplies pre-setup under the sign in the area the game would be played.  Then invite over your friends, small group or family and have some fun!!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Traveling with a baby or small kids

So the timing of this might be less than stellar, since Christmas vacation is over... but while it is on my mind I wanted to share with you some tips on traveling with the little people in your life.  Many of these things I have learned by mistake of not doing, other ideas I have adopted from friends, some I may have even conjured up on my own.  Anyway, hope this helps... 

Baby (0-12 months)
  • Always bring 2x the food, diapers and formula you think you should need while traveling
  • When you check-in ask for a plastic bag to cover your car seat.  Some airlines might charge for it, but worth it to keep your baby's car seat clean if they have to check it.
  • At the gate always ask if there is an open seat by you where you can bring your car seat on.  If they answer is no, ask if they can move your seat around so you can have an open seat for you little one.
  • Bring your car seat on the the flight!!  Even if they tell you it is full, bring it onto the airplane, once everyone is on the flight, you can see whether or not it truly is full.  On 2 of our 4 flights for Christmas we were told the flights were over-sold so there wouldn't be an open seat for B's car seat.  Yet, on both of these flights 2+ seats were open.  And once we gate checked our carseat they couldn't get it from under the plane.  So bring it on.  If the flight is full, they can always gate check it at the last minute.
  • Feed your baby (nurse or bottle) for take off and landing
  • If nursing, wear a shirt that is incredibly easy to nurse in.  Like a huge scoop neck or something.  Seriously, it makes all of the difference for take of an landing to nurse.  Yet if your outfit is too complicated, you will be stressing.
  • Bring a change of shirt for yourself.  B spit up on our 1st flight of 2 for our way home, and I smelled yucky the rest of the day.
  • Bring new toys baby has not seen before, or items that can be played with.  On one of our flights I asked for an extra cup.  B loved it for 5 minutes, until he dropped it.  But hey, 5 free minutes of entertainment.
  • If you baby uses a binky make sure it is strapped on.  Or it will fall on the floor... and then what? I actually bring 2 binkies on straps, that way if one touches the yucky arm rest I have the back up ready.

2 years+
  • For 2 and 3 year olds, I think that it is worth the hassle of bringing their car seat on the plane.  Something about sitting in the big seat with one little seat-belt make for a VERY squirmy kiddo.  Yet if they are in their car seat, they are used to being contained and in one spot.  Bug cannot sit still if her life depended on it, yet magically when she is in her car seat she sits still for hours!  We have a really big bag that we carry the car seat in.  It is helpful for getting to and from the gate... it is huge too : )
JL Childress Ultimate Car Seat Travel Bag, Black

  • Skittles are key!  I think they are they great for kids to chew on for take off and landing to keep their ears from popping.  I also think that in the world of candy, they are not too messy.  You can give them one at a time and it make a bag last a long time.  Worth the $.50, I promise!
  • Snacks, snacks, and more snacks... have more than enough to eat... most flights are not even giving free pretzels or peanuts these days.
  • Screen-time!  DVD player, games on phones, shows on the iPod.  Any kind of screen is a great distraction when flying... in my opinion : )
  • Coloring, no need to bring an entire box of crayons (which would probably get spilled)... We usually just bring 4-5 crayons and a small pad of paper or a coloring book.
  • Sippy-cups or re-usable water bottles.  I made the mistake once with H, of not bringing on our own bottle/ cup.  He spilled a cup of water all over... not fun.  I even bring on my own nalgene so I don't have to worry about one of my kids knocking over my drink. 
  • Run and play at the airport, so they are ready to sit on the plane.  Mr. Steady let Bug and H run around with him for 45 minutes before our last flight home, it made ALL of the difference in the world with their attitudes and ability to just chill on the flight.
  • Dollar store surprises.  Buy a couple of new items from the dollar store and let your kids have (or open if you are ambitions enough to wrap them) gifts every 30 minutes.
  • Slinky is another cheep find that offers all kinds of entertainment on the plane.
Slinky Jr.

  • This falls into the snack and dollar store categories... one of my friends suggested buying a weekly pill box, and stuff each day with mini-marshmallows or fruit-loops.  It takes a little work to open each compartment but the pay off for your kid is a special treat they don't normally get.  This was a good 15 minutes of fun for Bug, because I kept refilling the spots.
Apex Weekly Pill Organizer, Twice-a-Day, 1 Pill Organizer (Colors May Vary)

Have really low expectations!  Then anything will seem great!
Get to the airport early, so there is no rush getting through security.  As much as possible, don't stress, make the experience fun for your little one(s) and have an extra dose of patience.

And when all else fails... put on your "Whatever Dust."  One of my dear friends once told me that whenever she is getting onto a flight, she puts on her "whatever dust," she said, "It is like a coating around me... I am not going to stress because my kid is crying for a few minutes! It will all be fine, we will all get off this plane soon.  Everyone on the plane have either had kids or were once a kid themselves!  So whatever!  Besides, I am doing the best I can here!  Whatever you want to think about me is just fine!"

Please hear the whatevers, not as a mean, "screw you" kind of whatever, more like a "brush it off" or "water off a duck" kind of whatever... just to keep the story in context : )

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The Ultimate Push Present

Do you know what a "Push Present" is?  You see, I didn't know for quite a while.  A push present is the gift that an adoring husband gives his wife after she sacrifices her body to push their baby into the world.  I was always under the assumption that my push present was my sweet baby!  Then as more friends had babies I started noticing more diamonds, rubies, and sapphires!!  Oh, something shinny to decorate our forever changed body to help us remember that we pushed a baby into this world... I guess that serves as a better reminder than our stretch marks or saggy you know what : )  {I digress}  I teased Mr. Steady on and off that he never gave me a push present with our first 2.  To which he reminded me that he spent the money on our amazing Doula Claire that helped me push our first 2 kids out!  Ha!  So true and I can't imagine a better push present for when I had H and Bug!

Sweet Claire was not able to join us for the birth of Baby Bro.  Which freed up some funds and allowed Mr. Steady to surprise me with an AMAZING push present...  BOB... to some it is just another stroller, but to me it is my Manny (male nanny).  HA!

Honestly, having BOB around almost makes me feel like I have another set of hands.  It makes going somewhere with my three little darlings that much more manageable.  H can sit on the front, on the foot-rest above the wheel.  All three of them can sit on it at one time.... well until Bug starts to kick H.  Then H has to get off an walk again... but as long as Bug is being sweet and not feisty, H hitches a ride too! 

It was a bit of an investment, but honestly it has given me a whole new level of freedom.  Can you put a price tag on that : )  If you are going to make an investment on a double stroller I HIGHLY suggest the BOB Duallie with Revolution!  It swivels on a dime, fits through all standard doors, I can even fit it through most isles at stores, and of course it is amazing for walks/ jogs.  Not to mention they hold their resale value really well.  I imagine we will be using this stroller for the next 4 years, it will still be worth selling even then!  So if you are going to get the double BOB, here are a few other must haves...

Car Seat Adapter
BOB Infant Car Seat Adapter For Duallie Strollers
Bug loves to put her cup and snack on the tray, and without this Baby Bro's carseat wouldn't attatch.

And the Handlebar Console is a must
BOB Handlebar Console For Duallie Strollers - Black
This is where I stash my water-bottle, keys, cell phone, iPod, extra binkies... anything I need easily accessible.

Thanks Mr. Steady for my amazing Push Present.  I love it and use it almost daily!  It makes getting out with 3 a little less intimidating too!

I heart you BOB!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Heart Probing Questions

Shepherding a Child's Heart 
If you haven't had a chance to read Tedd Tripp's book Shepherding a Child's Heart, you really should!  It is an excellent book!  The chapter we are going over in our parenting class is on communication.  And how good communication is not talking to others in a monologue sort of way (our kids in this example), but really drawing out the heart of others and entering into a dialogue with them.  Does it come naturally to you?

In regard to parenting I realized how un-natural that really is to me.  Sure I ask the question "Why did you do that?" but 9 times out of 10 that gets me a response of "I don't know!"  Am I seeking to understand what is going on in my kiddos hearts and minds if I leave it at just that question?

The other day I told Bug to do something and her response was "Got it Mama!" Which made me laugh and cringe at the same time.  I realized that I had been barking orders at my kids lately and then ending with "You got it??"  Uggh, ugliness and rushing on my part, translates to not taking the time to consider their little hearts!  Who wants to be told/ asked "Got it"???  {I am working on not saying that}

As Mr. Steady and I talked about it a little this evening, we decided we need to have a quick reference sheet of questions that get to the heart of our little ones.  Since this really does not come naturally to us, we need a little help to keep us on track.  Here are some suggested questions on our sheet...

Heart Probing Questions:
Hey love, can you tell me what just happened?
What were you feeling when you ______?
How did you respond?
Did your response get the desired outcome you were hoping for?
How else could you have responded?
Were your actions considering the feelings of the other person?
How could you have better put the other person's needs above your own?
Was your response honoring to God?
How can mommy help you in this area?

A good reminder is to ask our kids the questions and be okay with a little bit of silence.  Give them time to reflect on what you asked.  After a few minutes ask them if they remember your question and re-word it if necessary if they seem to not be understanding.  Also, don't be afraid to help them discover the answer.  You can give them multiple choice, especially when they are younger and don't fully know how to describe all that is going on in their heart.  Example: "Buddy, how were you feeling when you head-butted your sister?" (yes actual example from our home).  "Were you angry at her? Was she frustrating you?  Were you trying to ask her to give you more space?"  It is not easy and though you may ask the best questions, it won't mean that you will get the best answers : )  Don't give up on trying to understand the heart of your little one!

The purposes of a person’s heart are deep waters,
   but one who has insight draws them out. 
Proverbs 20:5

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Chicken and Sweet Potato Yummyness

Oh my, this is our new favorite recipe!  I realized how much I loved it when I was jealous of Mr. Steady taking the leftovers to work the next day.  It is comfort food, with out the heaviness, flavor so rich you anticipate the next bite, over all delicious... so I had to share!  And it is a crock-pot meal, doesn't get any better in my book : )

What you need:
2-3 sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced
3 chicken breasts, cut in half
1 tsp salt
1 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cinnamon
dash of pepper
dash of garlic powder
dash of curry powder
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup orange juice
1/2 tsp. of orange zest (grated orange rind)
2 tsp. brown sugar

What to do:
1. Place sweet potatoes in bottom of  crock-pot
2. Place chicken on the sweet potatoes
3. In a separate bowl mix all remaining ingredients together.  Pour over the top of the chicken.
4. Cover.  Cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 3-4 hours.
5.  Serve over rice or rice noodles.

Enjoy!!  I would love to know if you try this recipe... and if you do, if you like it as much as we all do!


B even had some for his dinner...
 (For those of you that don't have a baby, don't let this picture of ground-up food ruin your appetite)
* on a side note: We are loving the food mill... It makes dinner time so much easier for B.  He really enjoys the more flavor-full regular meals over plain veggies and fruit.
** Yes, those are Mr. Steady's manly hands in the 1st picture!  What a guy, helping me prep dinner!


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