Friday, September 26, 2014

Shocking!

I was sitting working on Heidi's stocking yesterday while Sophia was watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and I suddenly hear a tinkling water sound. My first thought was "that stupid dog" as Gizmo has taken to peeing on the floor right in front of us lately when I realized it was toilet sounds.

Oh no.

Which toys are getting a bath in the toilet????

I urgently get up and head towards the bathroom and when I look in there, I see Sophia sitting on the potty. She just had to go poo and so she went. Took her bottoms off, threw her old pull-up away, and sat herself on the potty.  I am still not entirely sure how she did that. She just says to me "I go poopoo Mommy" as if this is part of her normal routine.

When did my little girl get to be so big and independent?

A day in the life...

We have had a fun day around here today. When Sophia woke up, Heidi was doing some tummy time so she grabbed her doctor kit and started doctoring Heidi. She was singing songs from Doc McStuffins the whole time as well. It is so adorable to see Heidi smiling at Sophia. I love watching Sophia enjoy being a big sister. They are growing up way too fast.

Then we went outside to draw with sidewalk chalk. Wow. Sophia is quite the artist, on the sidewalk and her body. :)  She mostly asked me to draw Mickey and Minnie so there are little circles all over the driveway.

After chalking we came in for lunch. I made Sophia her current favorite (a pepperoni sandwich with a gogurt and an apple) before Heidi woke up fussing. I picked her up and she had leaked out of her diaper. After changing Heidi and her outfit, I ate my sandwich then sat down to feed her. When she finished I had her sitting on my lap and I was just playing with her when she makes a big baby poopy sound! Yikes!  She started in on some massive smiles...but about 5 seconds later that sound came again. This time, I felt that familiar and frightening warm sensation on my stomach and leg. I looked down and it was like lava just pouring out of that diaper and getting everywhere! So much poop! I grabbed a burp rag (so glad I had one with me) so catch the flow. It got all over her outfit, my outfit, boppy pillow cover, burp rag...

And it is only about 1:30. Can't wait to see what the rest of the day has in store! I will really miss maternity leave. I start back two weeks from today.

God, please bless my beautiful girls and thank you for this precious time with them!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Stocking

So I am making a stocking for Heidi. I made one for Sophia too and worked on it the autumn after she was born. I briefly shopped for a stocking but Sophia's turned out so cute I wanted that same style for Heidi.

Making a felt stocking from one of those kits (if you do not know what I am talking about google "bucilla stocking kit") is a lot like giving birth. When you look at the finished stocking, you just see how lovely it looks on the mantle. You forget about all of the excruciating pain that goes into making the stocking.  If you think to yourself that you want to undertake this project, I have some suggestions. It is best to not have pets or toddlers or anybody in the house who might think of disturbing the stocking kit. You should be well versed in EVERYTHING EVER that has to do with sewing and embroidery. You should have mounds of free time. Since probably nobody meets these requirements, pay somebody on Etsy to make it.

The most difficult part about sewing (anything, not just a stocking) is that the people who make the pattern assume that anybody who picks up this pattern has a wealth of knowledge about embroidery (sewing), including different stitches. They are difficult to read. Actually, that's like saying skydiving is taking a small hop off the ground. If they could somehow get individuals who create patterns to put secret military dialogue into these patterns, the code would never be able to be cracked by the enemy.  

If a cake recipe were written the same way, it would look like this:

Combine ingredients in the appropriate order that will result in moist cake. Bake at appropriate temperature for correct amount of time.

You get the picture.

Aside from all that, it really is a fun project because 1) it is for Heidi and 2) it is easy to see progress, even if it is slow. I mean, I spent over an hour sewing a face on a snowman last night. I'd like to be done before going back to work but I doubt that it's possible. (*cue song from Cinderella: "impossible things are happening every day"*). 10 steps down, 68 to go.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Bean Dip

Thank you, Erica for this recipe! Everything is better with cream cheese.

Oven at 350°

8 oz. cream cheese
8 oz. sour cream
15 oz. (one can) refried beans
20 drops tobasco sauce
1 package enchilada or taco seasoning
Cheddar and pepper jack cheese to sprinkle on top

Mix everything except cheese and spread in two pie dishes or a 9x13 pan. Sprinkle cheese on top. Bake at 350° for 15-20 minutes and serve warm with tortilla chips

Friday, September 19, 2014

Coconut bars

This is one of those Facebook recipes that you repost then never try. I actually tried this one and it was great! And easy.

Coconut bars:

3/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup coconut cream/butter
2 tsp vanilla
2 cups shredded coconut

Topping:

3 ounces dark chocolate
2 TSBP coconut oil

Combine oil and cream in a saucepan over medium heat until melted. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and coconut.

Spread in an 8x8 baking dish and let chill until firm (at least one hour).

Once chilled, make the chocolate topping using a double boiler (or a pyrex bowl over a pan of boiling water). Melt the chocolate with the coconut oil. Spread over the top of the bars. Chill until chocolate is hardened.

Cut into bars with a sharp knife.  Enjoy!!

Next time I may add almonds...

Pizza Crust

Usually I make pizza crust with RapidRise Yeast because this is what I usually have in the house. Yesterday I only had Active Dry Yeast so I searched for and found a very easy recipe and it tasted great.

Oven to 450°

1 package Active Dry Yeast (if you are one of those active, professional bakers who buys the canister of yeast I will assume you know how much is in a package) (probably a moot point because if you were you wouldn't be reading my blog for a recipe)
1 tsp sugar
1 cup warm water (110° F)
2 1/2 cups bread flour (confession: I used all-purpose flour and it was fine)
2 TBSP olive oil
1 tsp salt

Dissolve yeast and sugar in warm water and let stand until frothy (10 min).

Stir in flour, salt, and oil and beat until smooth. Let rest for 5 minutes.

Knead dough on a floured surface for about 5 minutes, then let rest an additional 20 to 30 minutes.

Roll out on a floured surface and transfer to baking pan before adding desired toppings. If you like, put some corn meal on the bottom of the crust.  I used a red sauce, mozzarella cheese and topped with pepperoni and bell peppers.

Bake pizza 15 to 18 minutes or until crust is golden brown. Yum!

Apple Coffee Cake

Bear with me, the next few posts will be recipes that I have tried and liked so I don't lose them. And I don't have any pictures, because I am not a food blogger and my food doesn't usually turn out with internet worthy pictures (except for "nailed it" pinterest pics).

Preheat oven to 350°

Cake:
1 stick butter, softened
1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
2 eggs
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup sour cream
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups peeled, cored, chopped apples

Topping:*
1/2 stick butter
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Cream together butter and sugar. Add eggs one at a time, beating between each addition.

In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.**

Slowly combine dry mixture with egg mixture, alternating with sour cream and vanilla.

Fold in apples and place in 13x9 baking pan (greased or lined with parchment paper).***

Combine topping and spread on top of cake. Bake for 45-55 minutes.****

Enjoy!

*original recipe calls for a glaze on top as well, of 1/2 cup packed brown sugar, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, and 2 TBSP water combined and then drizzled on top. I omitted this.

**in an ideal world you would sift these together. My kitchen is not an ideal world.

***lined with parchment paper is what I highly recommend. Stole this idea from my Mom as she did this when she made it and it works wonderfully.

****I like to bake the cake for 10 to 15 minutes before adding the topping but the original recipe calls for you to put the topping on prior to baking.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Goodbyes never get easier

My mom just left three days ago after spending just over the last two weeks here with us. It was her first time meeting Heidi. It's always fun to see my parents interact with my little girls because I feel like I am watching how they probably were with me when I was that age.

We started her trip out with a visit to the Great Minnesota Get-Together - the state fair. I am not a fan of the state fair. To me it is just crowds of people and fried food, but it is just one of those things that Minnesotans do. Mom wanted to try fried pickles, which we never actually did because along the way we had corn dogs, fried veggies on a stick, a bucket o' cookies (Sweet Martha's, another tradition), and a deep fried twinkie. You can only take so much fried on a warm day.

Anywho... the fair was considerably more enjoyable this time around than it has been ever before. This year, we did the kid stuff. We wandered up to Little Farm Hands and it was so adorable. They put an apron on Sophia and gave her a bucket with some "seed" in it. Then there are some little tractors that you pedal around, chickens and lambs to "feed" and eggs to "gather", a cow to "milk" (squeezing fake udders and water comes out), and apples to "pick" from little wooden trees. At the end of it all, the kiddos sort their little buckets into bins for the Farmer's Market,  and then are given a paper dollar which will purchase any one item in this little store. They had capri suns and apples and little stuffed sheep (which Sophia picked).  We also rode some kiddie rides and the merry-go-round. She loved it and really wore herself out. Heidi mostly slept/ate the day away but was not happy by the end of the day as she had had enough car seat. The fair is so much better through the eyes of a child.

The Zoo is always a must see and even though Sophia is going through a bit of a clinging-to-mommy phase she let Nana take her on the carousel. They rode on a giraffe and she is STILL talking about it. We also saw the little prairie dogs giving little squeaky alarms, which was adorable.

We kept busy during the two weeks. We went to David's Bridal and other bridal stores looking for a flower girl dress for Aunt Meghan's wedding (no luck, but we did find shoes). We also went estate sale shopping (found an awesome dresser!) and garage sale shopping (Sophia made out with several new toys, plus we found Aunt Meghan a practically new food processor and diaper bag). Naturally we spent time at the Mall of America and new outlet mall. Luckily my bridesmaids dress is taken care of because the dress Momlo largo wore to my wedding fits me and is an adorable style.  I did manage to find perfect shoes and a great deal on a bra that will work with a halter dress. I can't wait for Meghan's wedding! It'll be fun.

We also went to an Apple Orchard in Jordan, MN. Very cute orchard with a petting zoo type area with goats, ducks, sheep, chickens, and peacocks as well as a sunflower maze, hay bale play area, and large gift shop. They apparently roast their own coffee beans and make apple wine/hard cider as well as several pastries. Sophia didn't really want to pick the apples to bring home...she much preferred to pick and sample them so she had her arms full of apples, all with one bite missing. A highlight was a couple of dogs herding the goats. At one point, the goats had wandered to the apple trees and somebody walked over with two leashed dogs. The dogs didn't really do anything other than show up but the goats responded immediately and it looked as though they were standing at attention before they leapt back over the fence.

Across the highway from the orchard is the Biggest Candy Store in Minnesota! So we had to go. There is a very old man hand making pies, and lots and lots of of every kind of candy you could think of. And over 150 kinds of root beer. It was overwhelming and awesome. I got dad some Over the Hill popcorn (hehehe) and Meghan an emergency box of bandaid chocolates. It's a dangerous place to bring a toddler though... took a LOT of reigning in and close watching.

Mom's last day visiting is always hard. I feel like I spend the day fighting back tears, and the time always moves way too fast. On the way to the airport she told me she thought I was doing a good job raising my girls, which did make me tear up. I mean, you always hope your parents think that. And it's a huge compliment coming from somebody who I feel like I couldn't live up to, and who has like 24 years more experience than I do. Maybe I just have better parents than most people (actually, I'm positive I do). And as always I cried after I dropped her off then we spent the evening with 'aunt' Erica so I could avoid quiet at home. I am so grateful for my parents and so happy my Mom could spend this time with us. I really like her new teaching schedule with the year round school, I think we will see her more! It'll be a lot of fun for my girls, too. By God's grace I'll be as good of a parent to my girls as I had growing up.

Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should grow...