Wednesday, November 28, 2007
B says I look drunk. It's because he was cracking me up trying to take this picture. First my sweater wasn't tight enough to show the actual size of my belly (I'm past being able to call it a bump, aren't I?) So I was pulling it back with one hand. Then he was complaining that he could see the hand. This was already after having me move forward, backwards, sideways, etc. so that his bike, the tv, and a picture frame wouldn't be in the picture. Which I guess he succeeded at. So, don't mind the cracking up weird face.
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
We have always been in agreement on girl names. In fact, we could have 6+ more girls and still be somewhat happy with our name choices. As for boys... we used the only one we could ever agree on. So if this baby is a boy, it may be "Baby Boy" coming home from the hospital with us.
Both of our other kids have pretty common names. Names that even show up in our family history . . . a lot. Not on purpose mind you, we went out of our way to make sure we weren't actually naming our kids after anyone. They have important names, meaningful names, but not names that belong to someone else who we are honoring. We just aren't that sort of people.
Today I entered the new realm of naming a baby... I typed in all our baby name combinations into a Google search to see which were the most uncommon. Our girl name is a winner combined with our last name. Our boy names... one had no hits, the rest all had pages and pages of links.
My biggest problem right now is that the girl name is my all time favorite girl name. I'm still not sure why we didn't use it with our first girl. The boy name we're leaning towards right now is that girl name's cartoon character brother. So if this is a boy, can I still use my all time favorite girl name next time?? Can we have two kids who are cartoon character siblings? Will people notice? I guess we already have two kids with British royalty names... sort of. Then the added confusion of do cartoon character sibling names really match up with British royalty names? AHHHHHH!
And you are even more confused than I am because I can't tell you these names. (And due to my crazy idea of internet privacy, I can't tell you our real kids' names because someone will then kidnap them from our home). Not telling our possible baby names is our rule. We'll find out if it's a boy or girl and tell everyone (yes... this pregnancy has been a sort of exception to the rule, but I should be finding out soon). But we won't tell you our name choices. We don't want to hear everyone's thoughts and opinions. With our son, our daughter was 20 1/2 months old and my family kept quizzing her on what we were going to name her baby brother. All they got out of her was "Baby Numnum." They couldn't figure it out.
Monday, November 26, 2007
And while we were in St. Louis at my in-laws for Thanksgiving we checked the weather back home... 12 degrees. Boy am I glad we weren't here. It was like 36 in St. Louis... WAY warmer.
Having grown up in Southern California, Winter is not really my favorite season. I went to BYU, I lived in cold Utah weather for 4 1/2 years. My first year there the snow seemed so high, and I had to walk across campus for a 7 AM final in 8 degree weather (I called time and temperature before I went outside each day). And everyone kept telling me it was such a mild Winter, it was usually much colder and much snowier. I never saw it. My final year at BYU I was student teaching at Copper Hills High School in West Jordan and had to drive from Provo to West Jordan every morning, early... the snow and coldness that year came close. But none of that compares to Kansas. Although I don't think we get that much snow. It's consistently 20 degrees here in the Winter. Brr! And much colder. My mom has already asked if I wouldn't rather have the baby in California so they don't have to fly out after it arrives and freeze.
I'm glad I have my Cocomotion. A heater that works. And I'm about to go see about some sort of insulation for my windows. Winter here we come.
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
I saw these in a Pillsbury ad and thought they were so cute.
Monday, November 19, 2007
There are these two women who live in my town and go to my church that are awesome cooks. I'm sure there are more than two, but these two always do our food demonstration at our Super Saturday craft activities. This year one of them gave us this recipe she calls:
1/3 cup presweeteened powdered lemonade mix
1 1/3 cups sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl. Mix well. Put in a 1-quart airtight container. Label. Store in a cool, dry place. Use within 6 months. Makes about 3 1/2 cups mix.
To serve: Add 3 tsp of Russian Refresher Mix to 1 cup hot water. Stir to dissolve.
She wraps some up in a cute jar or mug and gives it out as small Christmas presents. Like you sometimes see Cookies in a Jar or Hot Chocolate given as gifts.
It's a lot like Hot Apple Cider, but with Orange instead. I loved the tiny little sample we each got and woke up this morning with a sore throat thinking how good this drink sounded to me right now. Unfortunately I don't keep Tang on hand or I'd be drinking it right now.
Friday, November 16, 2007
One of my all time favorite authors is a woman by the name of Louise Plummer. I had her for a class at BYU... sadly not a creative writing class, but an Introduction to the English Major class. It was a wimpy class that I totally didn't need, but I'm glad I took it because I had her as a teacher. She's hilarious. I don't think I even knew she wrote young adult books until taking a Young Adult Literature class later on and my friend Jazzy chose one of Louise's books to present... or maybe Louise, I don't remember. So I read The Unlikely Romance of Kate Bjorkman and loved it. And I've read all of her others now as well. And her nonfiction, and her husband's nonfiction. I went and saw her talk about alzheimer's, I think it was a BYU radio broadcast. I've gone to her book signings. With my group of English major friends at BYU, she was a celebrity. I wish I could write like her. I wish I was her best friend.
Since I love her writing, I'm constantly awaiting a new book release from her. I just happened to check the other day, and to my surprise she had a new book being released the next day. Woo hoo. It's already been ordered for my husband to give to me for Christmas. I can't wait.
Thursday, November 15, 2007
But I absolutely love candy cane ice cream. Love it! It's like Vanilla Midgees at Halloween, Cadbury Mini Eggs at Easter, or Girl Scout cookies (and the accompanying Girl Scout Cookie ice cream). It's only around for such a short amount of time that I feel like I need to buy it every time I see it and eat it all up before it's too late. Before that sad day after Christmas (or Halloween, or Easter, etc.) when I enter the store and my favorite ice cream (or candy) is no longer for sale... for a year.
My question for you: Of all these limited edition holiday ice creams, have you tried the others? Are they any good? More specifically the Pumpkin Pie ice cream. I'm intrigued, but if I'm buying ice cream this time of year, I'm buying Candy Cane ice cream. So I'm not even going to try the Pumpkin ice cream unless someone assures me that it really is quite tastey. I need one of those ladies with a little sample spoon of it offering me a try as a scoot through the ice cream aisle at my grocery store. Mmm, then I could try them all.
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
This book is basically a children's book with huge illustrations throughout. It is the collection of letters that Tolkien wrote to his children, over a twenty-three year period, as Father Christmas. The first letter arrived in 1920 when his oldest son, John, was three years old. He continued on through the childhoods of his three other children; Michael, Christopher and Priscilla. The last letter arrived to Priscilla in 1943.
In these letters Tolkien creates, through words and pictures, his friends, his house and the events that take place at his home in the North Pole. We are introduced to Polar Bear, an elf assistant named Ilbereth, and various other characters. They save Christmas from Goblins, from Polar Bear's mischief and disaster, as well as the limited resources of World War II.
The book includes Father Christmas's illustrations, copies of his beautiful letters with his exquisite handwriting, along with notes from Polar Bear and Ilbereth.
It is a fun, quick read. I read it in two separate nights about a week apart, but it could be read in an evening curled up next to the fireplace. I love that Tolkien's kids were so important to him that he went through the time and effort to create all of this. So fun.
Monday, November 12, 2007
Here are some of my prime spots for good recipes:
Taste of Home magazine (if you buy a copy at the store, they have the little tear out post card subscription things... and it's only like $12 for a year - 10 issues) and it's totally worth it. Tonight's dinner recipe is actually coming out of their Contest Winning recipes cookbook from 2004 which I purchased awhile back... in 2004 presumably.
Food and Family magazine (which technically, is just kraftfoods.com. Somehow, even though the magazine has a selling price on it when it comes in the mail, I get it, as does my mom, for free, a few times a year. Just sign up at their website... somehow, because as I'm looking at the website, I can't seem to find where you'd sign up. But then again, it's just one of those days and you may have better luck than me).
Pampered Chef I know some of you are haters, but a lot of their recipes are really tasty. You can do recipe searches on their website, but not all recipes are available to view. Same with Taste of Home.
Unfortunately that's all I have time for since, as I stated before, I was looking at tonight's dinner recipe, getting ready to start. And I got distracted by all the recipes, then started this post, then saw that Kraft had recalled some Baker's White Chocolate so I had to go check the expiration date on my Baker's White Chocolate, etc. So now, I REALLY need to start making dinner.
But before I go, here's tonight's recipe:
1/3 cup butter
1/3 cup flour
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1-1/2 cups water
2/3 cup milk
2 tsp chicken bouillon granules (about 3 cubes?)
2 cups cubed, cooked chicken
1 cup veggies (I like carrots, green beans, corn)
1-2/3 cups flfour
2 tsp. celery seed
1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese, cubed
1/2 cup cold butter
In a saucepan, melt butter. Stir in flour, garlic, salt and pepper until blended. Gradually stir in water, milk and bouillon. Bring to a boil; boil and stir for 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in chicken and veggies; set aside.
For pastry, combine flour and celery seed in a bowl. Cut in cream cheese and butter until crumbly. Work mixture by hand until dough forms a ball. On a lightly floured surface, roll two-thirds of dough into a 12 inch square. (Or, if you suck at making crusts like I do, I cheat and roll it out directly in my square pan.) Transfer to an 8 inch square baking dish. Pour filling into crust. Roll remaining dough into 9 inch square; place over filling. Trim, seal, and flute edges. Cut slits in pastry.
Bake at 425 for 30-35 minutes or until crust is golden brown and filling is bubbly. Serves 6.
Sunday, November 11, 2007
I didn't realize there were people who actually liked brownie edges until I saw this pan. When I was a kid, my mom always made these things called Hot Fudge Squares (which aren't really hot, or fudge) to take to church functions, etc. She'd cut out brownie squares and place them on a plate and leave the edges for us kids to eat. But they were baked in a huge, Texas Sheet Cake sort of pan, and the edges were never crunchy. I can't handle the crunchy brownie. I like them chewy. But everyone is different aren't they. I have a friend whose entire family likes crispy cookies. So when she's making cookies for other people, she has to fight her instinct and take them out of the oven when they still looked unbaked and doughy to her, so they'll be edible to the other people who aren't fans of the over-baked cookies.
my Mom's recipe
2 cups sugar
2 cups flour
4 tbsp. cocoa
2 sticks butter
1 cup water
1 tsp. soda
½ cup buttermilk **
½ tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. vanilla
1 stick butter
6 tbsp. milk
2 tbsp. cocoa
1 cup little marshmallows
1 tsp. vanilla
1 pound powdered sugar (1 pound = 3 ½ cups)
1 cup chopped nuts (optional)
Mix together sugar, flour, and cocoa. Melt butter and add water. Pour over dry mixture and beat. Add slightly beaten eggs. Combine soda and buttermilk, add to batter and stir. Add cinnamon and vanilla. Bake in greased, floured cookie pan/bar pan (large cookie sheet with edges: 10x15) for 30 minutes at 350. While cake is hot, add hot frosting.
Frosting directions: melt butter, add milk, cocoa, marshmallows. Stir over low heat until marshmallows are melted. Add vanilla and powdered sugar. Add chopped nuts.
Let stand 5 minutes. Serves 20.
**(Substitute 1 tbsp. vinegar in regular milk if buttermilk is not available.)
Saturday, November 10, 2007
I like Molly Shannon. It seems like she usually plays the best friend in the movie, oftentimes the slutty best friend. I'm not a Molly Shannon expert, but I think this is her first movie in the leading role. And it was a way different role than she usually plays. Molly Shannon was great. She's a comedian, and this wasn't necessarily a comedic role. I'm not even sure this movie should be considered a comedy, although it did warrant a few laughs.
What I was most disappointed about was how misleading it was. It's supposed to be a romantic comedy, says so in the summary on the back. Maybe I should broaden my definition of "romantic comedy," but I kind of like it where it is.
The basic storyline is that Molly Shannon is middle aged, single, and has a dog. The dog is her best friend, her companion, her everything. The dog dies. To paraphrase my take on the dvd box summary, it says she then has to find new companionship to fill that void and that her life changes. Being that earlier on in that same summary it says this movie is a romantic comedy, and all the pictures on the movie box are of Molly Shannon in dating situations, I assumed the new companion was going to be a boyfriend/husband.
(These are two of the pictures from the back cover of the dvd.)
Has anyone else seen this? What did you think?
Thursday, November 08, 2007
I'm all for you brave women who give birth naturally. It's just not for me. Never has been. I think I decided I wanted an epidural when I was a teenager and learned of their existence. Pain is not something I seek after, nor am I strong enough to take it.
With Princess Sparkley I got an epidural. It didn't work. I was actually chewed out by the hospital anesthesiologist at three something in the morning because according to him I was being a wimp. Turns out, I wasn't being a wimp. My body started to go numb, and then stopped. After delivering my baby, the nurses saw that the needle or tube or something had fallen out of my back, thus the medication had stopped dripping into my spine and all feeling had returned to my body. I had about 30 blissful minutes of numbness and then felt it all. And the jerk anesthesiologist . . . my super cool doctor chewed him out and made him come to apologize to me in person in my hospital room.
With Boy, (who I think I'll start referring to as Buddy, since that's what we call him 70% of the time), there was no time for an epidural. It wasn't bad. If I had to pick between quick labor and delivery and an epidural, I'd totally go with quick labor and delivery. Buddy was born about an hour and a half after checking into the hospital. I had been to the doctor at nine that morning, had my membranes stripped to try to induce labor, and he was born around two that afternoon. My doctor almost didn't make it to the hospital. My husband feared for a moment that he would have to deliver the baby himself since the nurses were pretty much ignoring me until I told them I felt like I needed to push, they checked me and I had gone from a 3 cm. dilation to 9 1/2 centimeters in a very very short time, they all ran from the room to call my doctor, etc. As soon as the nurse said I was at 9 1/2 centimeters I said, "I don't get an epidural, do I?" Sadly she said no.
With this pregnancy, the way insurance is working out with my husband being a student and only working part-time, if I want an epidural, we're paying for it. Is it worth $1000 ... or more??
Tuesday, November 06, 2007
I need to preface this with the fact that I'm really not a car person. Not at all.
I saw one of these in the parking lot at the grocery store the other day and I totally want one. An old school Jeep Grand Wagoneer. But I want a new and improved one with LATCH and airbags, a cd player, etc. But not Jeeps's current one. I want it to be just like this, but better. Wouldn't that be cool?
Sunday, November 04, 2007
This was much better than last year when our entire family was clueless about the time change. Thinking we were late for church we showed up, and with two kids and a giant bag in tow, I walked right into the middle of the other ward's sacrament meeting. Twice. First I walked in, thought it was strange that everyone was sitting and seemed to be in the middle of a meeting, not the first ten minutes and confused because I didn't recognize anyone. Then I walked out. Then I walked in again, just to be sure. Then we realized we were an hour early for church. They were at the very end of their meeting, ours didn't start for an hour. At least we only live one minute from our church, so we went home, relaxed for a bit, and went back... right on time.
Friday, November 02, 2007
I finally looked it up online the other day after my kids were telling me all about the ladybugs crawling on their bedroom window, still on the outside at that point. I didn't really take them that seriously until I saw that there really were quite a few. And then they started making their way INSIDE downstairs. It turns out they are looking for a place to hibernate for the winter.
When there were only 20 or so, I figured maybe it wouldn't be so bad. Supposedly they don't do any harm. My mom would catch them every once in awhile when I was a kid and put them in our atrium because they were good for the plants. I could handle a few, I guess. But they aren't just a few and they aren't sitting still. Every once in awhile they fly. That freaks me out a bit. And more keep showing up. There's one crawling across my family's picture right now.
I called my mom because even though she's never lived anywhere cold, (only Las Vegas and California... and I guess Provo), I always call my mom with random questions. And she was helpful. Apparently my sister has ladybugs in her house one winter she was living in Oregon. That pointed me in the direction of hibernation and seeking warmth. But where were they last winter, and the one before?
The kids love it. Especially since I still haven't bought the promised fish. Which I realize I need to do soon since the other day a fly was in the house and they named it "Fly Try" and were trying to catch it in a tube to be their pet. So today, when I caught all those lady bugs in a cup and threw them out the door, Boy was a bit upset. Partially because the "lid" I was using, was his favorite train postcard he got from his Grandma and Grandpa M a few months ago. But mostly because "I really like them" he claimed. Finally he asked if we could keep the ones on the ceiling. Which I whole heartedly agreed to since I can't reach them... yet, especially as they crawl higher and higher on our vaulted ceiling.
It reminds me of my pet butterfly, Melon, that I caught in Utah one summer when I was little. I brought it home in our motorhome and released it into my parents' atrium as soon as we got home. I never saw Melon again. My daughter loves hearing that story. I guess because Mommy used to be a silly kid that did silly things too.