Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Big Girl Changes

If I had known a month ago that a new bed would stop the bean bag sleeping, we would have splurged a month ago.  Fighting bedtime was starting to become epic battles and I was exhausted from it.  B was TDY or working nights, leaving me to deal alone.  Ironically, on Saturday she kicked him out of her room to nap in her new big girl bed. (I meant to snap a pic, but she went to to bed before I could).

Once again we ventured into the cheaper build it yourself model and went 2 for three in the success department.  You could almost call it 2 3/4 as there is only one drawer that won't open.  Of course that is item I built, but I must say this is one of the higher quality things we have built. A lot more sturdy than a few other things we have built.

So I knew when I bragged about all my Christmas shopping being done before Thanksgiving that procrastination would set in and I would wait until the last minute to ship things.  True to form, that is exactly what I did. Thus far, all packages arrived prior to needing for opening.  Two more to go though, scheduled for Friday UPS delivery. 

I totally thought you could buy Christmas presents in front of a two year old and they would be none the wiser.  Either I was mistaken in this assumption or Houdini is to wise for her own good.  A few things she has taken out of sacks and opened, but a few I have been able to wrap or shove into her stocking.  I am a little bummed with my stocking purchases this year as typically they are more creative.

We anticipate enjoying a nice Christmas and maybe starting some of our own traditions since it will be the first time as just us.  Our Charlie Brown tree is starting to fill up with presents since we had two boxes arrive today.

Safe travels to all my friends and a Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

I am not above bribery

I learned a few things about my parenting since Thanksgiving.  Mostly that I am not above bribery.  When my child decided her diet could consist of only milk, we really weren't sure what to do.  Even worse, we both left town leaving her with my sister, with good luck, we hope you survive instructions.  I got home on Thursday and the house, the dogs, the Kid, and the Sister all still standing.  Hoping she would eat for someone else, not a complete fail.  But it's Sunday and I have resorted to scrambled eggs (well that was breakfast, yummy), McDonald's and the promise of suckers.  She is a sucker for a sucker.  So far so good.  Now if we could lower the milk consumption, we would probably be in good shape.

Moving on.....

I am losing faith in humanity, er Facebook friends.  Some of it's politics, some of its life choices, and some of its just plain old stupidity.  I have always joked that I keep some "friends" because they are train wrecks and I just can't look away.  Well the train wrecks are dominating my news feed.  I am either going to have to go on a hiding spree or a hiatus.  The sad part is there are truly some awesome people I like and want to keep up with, why can't Facebook decide that is the top news. 

Restoring my faith, The Bloggess is working on her 2nd Christmas Miracle.  I have only recently started following her due to "Beyonce" (I will have a metal chicken B!), but had read about her Saving Christmas last year.  Very inspiring.

Happy December Peeps.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Apple Stuffing Porkchops

I don't make this very often, but it is so yummy when I do.  I can't remember where I got the recipe, probably a Kraft magazine, but it is so easy to remember.

Make one box Pork stuffing according to the box
Spray casserole dish with non-stick spray
Pour in one can apple pie filling.  Layer on thawed pork chops and stuffing.
Cover with foil and bake for about an hour at 350 degrees.  I usually take the foil off for the last 10 minutes.
I am half tempted to marinate the chops before baking just to see what it does to the flavor, but why mess with a good thing, right?

Enjoy!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Some Saturday Fodder

We have had some snow the last few days, but as far as snow goes, it's been a nice snow.  Just a light powder and today there was no wind.  B had to work since they were doing a flyover for the Cat/Griz game and about 11:30 he asked if we were going to watch the planes.  I thought to myself this might be a good chance to let Willa play in the snow.  So I bundled us up and herded everyone outside.  Being the nice person that I am, I also decided to shovel the walks and our porches.  I tried to start a snow fight, but Miss Prim and Proper was not impressed with getting snow on her coat and scolded me accordingly.  I thought she might want to try a snow angel and again she was not impressed.  We got all the shoveling done and I had decided we missed the planes coming back so it was time to head inside.  It was then that I found out I had locked us out of the house.  No keys, no phone, and no unlocked windows.  We had a few options in my mind.

I thought if we did miss the planes, B would be heading home soon.  We could go see if any of our neighbors were home, but I wasn't to comfortable with that.  Or we could walk to Walgreens and try to get ahold of B.  Since the sun was shining, I decided we would just play outside and if we got cold we would try something else.  I didn't even have my watch on to know what time it was.  Sadly, we soon saw the planes come back and land.  I knew though that as soon as we left the house we would miss B and he would freak out if he found all of our stuff at home and not us.  I peeked into the house to see what time it was and realized we were way past lunch and just past nap time.  My toes were getting cold so we headed up the street.

Luckily, B answered on the first ring and was heading home, so we warmed up browsing the store.  The saddest part of the whole story is when B texted if we were going to watch the planes, he meant on TV.

Monday, November 14, 2011

A -Poo story

I think I am truly a minimalist at heart.  My house might not show that, but I love when I use something up and can get rid of it.  Just recently, I got to use up a few things.  I always use up my conditioner before I finish up a bottle of shampoo, but I always start a set together so before I knew it, I had three bottles of mostly empty shampoo bottles in the shower.  That made for a cluttered shower for sure.  But being the coupon savvy person that I am, scored a free bottle of conditioner and decided it was time to rid myself of shampoo.  I got through two and almost the third before I ran out of conditioner again.  Around that time I also finished a bottle of moisturizer too, so it was really exciting times I am telling ya.  Anyway, I love when everything is hidden and in its place.  Because I put the pro in procrastinator I have been trying to take baby steps getting rid of our clutter.  Sometimes that means only one thing goes out of the house or maybe sometimes 2 things come in.  But hopefully soon, I can be content with all the stuff we still have or at least develop a little bit better organization.  Or maybe, I will decide to go the No-Poo route and not have to worry about shampoo bottles anymore.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Baked Ziti


I received this recipe from my cousin Melissa when I got married in my box of recipes.  It is probably one that I have made the most in our marriage.  I love it and B likes it most of the time.  This makes a lot so I have had to adapt a little for just the 2 of us and not so much now that we are 3.  Tonight I made way to much and used some of the sauce that my Mom and Grandma canned for me.  On B's request I also added some cheddar cheese.

1lb. ziti noodles-boil until soft and rinse.
Spray glass pan with Pam, add noodles, 1 1/2 jar of spaghetti sauce (she recommends the Great Value-onion and garlic), add finely chopped onion and 4 tsp minced garlic.  Mix and stir.  ( I tend to pour it back into the pot I boiled the noodles because I usually slosh noodles every where).  Top with 8 cups mozzarella.  (I also like to mix in a little cheese to the mixture).  Bake for 30-40 minutes.  Just don't burn the cheese.  Serve with salad and fresh bread.  Yummy!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Funnies

Willa hoarding things in her pockets:
      Seriously, I find the most random things when doing her laundry.  Dominos, snacks, hair clips, rocks.  I am worried though, B's aunt once found a lizard.  She comes home with a lizard, I don't care how old she is, she will do her own laundry from then on. 

Changing clothes to have a pocket:
      She does this too, because she likes to put her phones in her pocket.  She is pretty particular because one of her phones (yes, she has two) isn't small enough to fit all the way into the pockets.

Just the Right PJ's:
      Her jammies must match, do not try to put her in unmatching jammies, even if the character matches.  Typically she will tell you which ones she wants.  Right now she is on a 4 day frog jammie kick. At least she is not naked right?

Calling me woman:
    So long ago in the beginning of our marriage, B started calling me Woman around groups of people to a) think he was asserting his authority (ha!) and b) so he could get my attention and c) he likes The Quiet Man.  Some people are appalled by it, but now it's just funny.  Even a few of his friends only know me as Woman.  He now falls out of his seat in fits of laughter when little sweet Willa yells Woman from across the room.

"Bye, see you later!"
    Playing with our babies is a huge thing right now and Willa will pack her bag and purse, strap a baby into the stroller and proceed to yell "Bye, see you later!" as she struts herself to the back door to play.  Funny enough, but now she has added in a "Give me hug" before she goes and we both have to hug her before she goes to play.  It's hilarious and so sweet at the same time.  She even did it when I dropper her off at daycare which is a step up from her ripping off her shoes and sprinting away from me every morning.

These are the things that keep us hopping at the Moylan household.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

A Fun Week

I had firm-wide CPE this week, which usually means boring CPE and fun times with the firm.  This time we had the added bonus of getting to see REBA in concert!!!  Plus all the quality bonding time.  I also actually understood most of the CPE and only had a handful of times where I thought I would fall asleep.  I even won a couple of prizes.  So what if one was for being the biggest complainer of temperatures in any room at any clients, who got a new space heater?

We took part in the corn maze yesterday, but did no corn mazing.  Willa was taller than some of the corn and even though there would have been no chance of getting lost and having to call 911 we just did the other activities.  She really didn't care for the corn boxes but loved the hay jump and the big slide.

I finally understood what people mean by how quick kids change.  Coming home on Friday, Willa seemed to be talking in longer sentences and making more sense.  That has been typical recently and she can be pretty funny and sassy.  The sassiness is sometimes over the top and we are still wading through how to respond to it all.  Her little independence streak can be a help and a hindrance depending on the time of day.

In a little Mommy pat on the back moment:  I created a big bag of stuff to take on our trip a few weeks ago and didn't get through it all.  So this weekend I got one of the activities out and she loves it!  I bought some pipe cleaners and some beads and she sits for a long while stringing the beads.  The beads don't fall off, she works on some fine motor skills, and most of the beads stay on the cookie sheet so easy clean up.  Win-Win for all.

BTW, Go Wildcats! EMAW! Go Chiefs.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Barbecue Beef and Bean Sandwiches

The Crockpot 365 website has so many yummy ideas.  We tried this one probably a year ago and leftovers for days.

3 pound chuck roast ( I think I used a shoulder roast)
1 yellow onion, sliced in rings
3 gloves chopped garlic (I may have just added garlic salt....oops)
1 can BBQ baked beans
2 T water
1/4 cup BBQ sauce (You know it was KC Masterpiece!)
cheese, optional
jalapeno slices, optional

Add meat to the crockpot and top with everything else. I used a fork to squish the beans a little bit.  Ok, then add the BBQ sauce.  Cook on low for 8-12 hours or until it shreds with a fork.  Serve on rolls or buns or whatever you want.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Life as We Know It

We just returned from Kansas on Monday and of course it was a whirlwind weekend.  It was a little touchy getting there and took us a little longer than we expected but we made it.  The wedding was beautiful and we had a wonderful time.  Lucky for us, Willa had a much better time on the drive back.

Apparently since turning 2, Willa has decided it was time to take a bigger role in her wardrobe.  Yesterday she was the most specific she had ever been when I was changing her diaper and she told me she wanted to wear Owl's.  I was trying to get her into a Chiefs outfit but she remained persistent.  As the wardrobe battle is not one that I will fight as long as it is weather appropriate and matches.  I also have to be able to do her hair since she shares my Medusa hair in the mornings.  She won yesterday and still looked cute.

Because of the long drive Willa watched a lot of her DVD player.  Now that we are home she continues to watch her movies.  Luckily now, she will watch more than just the LeapFrog Letter Factory.  So now we bounce from Scooby, Big Bird, Monkey and Ariel.  Ariel is the funniest because she yells at the shark to be nice and go away.

Her new move now is jump off of anything.  The couch, the curb, her bean bag.  If it is a jumping opportunity she is going to seize it.  Yesterday when I picked her up, because the ground was wet and she wanted to be dry, she jumped all the way to the car while holding my hand.  I was sure she was going to slip, but she did all right.

My other Willa favorite that I don't think I have written about is how she answers B these days.  He will say "Willa" and she will either replay What? or No!  He might not make it to the teen years. :)

We had high hopes of going to the corn maze today but it is raining so we might just be stuck at home.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Diva

I feel like I have tons of stories I want to write down and I just never sit down to do it.  But lately they have been pretty funny.  Most of them have to do with hair and clothes, Lord help us.

I am in charge of the clothing combinations, but lately Willa has wanted to challenge my choices.  Many times she wants a tank TOP.  Lady, it's September, tank tops are done.  Jammies are pretty hilarious.  I think she usually goes through the drawer at least 3 times before she can make her selection.  And don't even think about giving her mis-matched jammies because she knows which one goes with which.  We had a power struggle one night when I couldn't find the top to the correct Dora jammies.

Hair is a new interest as well.  She likes to pick her own bows and clips and as I am putting her hair in a pony she is usually picking out an elastic from the tub.

She had her 2 year well check on Monday and she is still hitting all the milestones expected.  She had taken a pretty nasty spill at daycare the other day when she tripped over her own feet, so I asked about her pigeon-toedness.  Most toddlers are a little bit, but it seemed like a lot of people had mentioned it.  Long-story short, Willa will now be getting arch supports.  Sadly, I haven't found any yet for children so she may be getting some new shoes.

I feel like this age is so exciting.  She has been putting sentences together and it's almost like holding a proper conversation with a little person.  She is starting to remember more things and surprises us regularly with things she mimics.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Soft Pretzel Bites

 Look I remembered to take picture before I ate them all!

I found this recipe on Pinterest and for once didn't procrastinate!  Delicious and so easy.  Rhodes rolls are becoming my favorite. We love the warm and serve ones and now I have two recipes for the regular ones.

Let rolls thaw, then cut into quarters.
Let rise, doubling in size.
Boil in water for about 45 seconds, do about 10 at a time.
Bake for 15 minutes on a greased cookie sheet.

I then melted butter, poured over the top and added some kosher salt.  They were divine.

The original explains other toppings:  Just Get off your Butt and Bake

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Whew!

4 weeks, 3 weekends of visitors, a company picnic and bleacher party, and one trip to Denver.  Crazy, sure.  Incredibly fun, absolutely.

JP left yesterday and we made a dent into our craft piles.  She made some adorable sock monkeys and I worked on some bows and crocheting.  We were each the only person we could think of that craft and watch football with a friend all weekend.  We also watched almost two complete seasons of Alias.  Now I want to watch all five again.  It has been awhile and we enjoyed them so much.

JP and I also took the Gates of the Mountain tour (B took Joe and Ashleigh when they were here) and we couldn't have asked for a better day and their new boat is pretty cool. Willa also realized how cool Jenny was and keeps telling me that things in the house that she are Jenny's.

So this weekend will be our first weekend by ourselves at home since the beginning of August.  Not ball games, no guests, no trips.  We probably won't know what to do with ourselves.  Except.....

Willa's birthday is Monday.  Two years has flown by so quickly.  I have been enjoying the feature on facebook where it tells you what your status update was on the days in the years prior.  2 years ago Emily and Q were fighting over my baby countdown announcements.  The client where I am working at this week keep talking about how I was there one day and gone the next.  It is hard to believe how quickly she is learning and growing and chatty she is.  One of the daycare teachers thought she was turning three!  Her ABC's are coming along nicely, she only misses K,L,M,N now.  The "Country Girl-Shake it for Me" dance is hilarious in the living room and in the car.  Our conundrum right now is which treat to take to daycare.  Pretzel, rolo, m&m bites or little cupcakes?

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

A Labor of Love

I am skipping a few weeks and will come back to them, but I figured I should start with what is fresh in my mind.  In the last week I have learned several things.  Namely, that my husband can never tell me that I am not spontaneous again.

Because I learned:

You should say yes to impromptu trips to Denver suggested by said husband the Tuesday before Labor Day.
You should prepare to sit on a runway for 45 minutes for 1.5 hour flight.
You should check out road construction in the area husband booked for you to stay.
You should pack a soft-side cooler to keep milk on ice in the hotel for the milk-a-holic named Willa.
Anti-nausea medication should be given regardless of how short the drive through Denver is.
You should also pack not only an extra outfit for the kiddo but for the parental units in the case of forgetting to give the anti-nausea medication, including undergarments. :(

I also learned:
My little chica is such a little person and not a little baby anymore.
She knows most of her animals and the sounds they make.
She loves snakes more than I realized.
She can almost say the whole alphabet.
She knows sharks from regular old fish.
She provides great assists at putt-putt golf.
B is afraid of my bumper boats prowess and refused to partake.
Skee-ball is not what is used to be.  The balls are wussy.
I learned that the items you needed on the to trip are not the same items you will need on the return trip.
We learned that the Ugandan North American Alliance can party all night long.
We found out how busy the walking mall is on a Saturday night in Denver and all the interesting people that entails.
We learned the Nissan Versa is not the car for the Moylan family.
We learned that B hasn't had to deal with toddler tantrums in public very often.

I think all-in-all we had a pretty good time and the weather was really nice.  We did all the things we planned and even watched some football and relaxed a little.  Luckily for B, he asked me just as I was planning all our Labor Day weekend projects or I might have been tempted to say no. 

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Texas Roadhouse butter

Since we have company and we have actually been cooking good meals.  I found this recipe a while ago and finally tried it.  I am now on batch two we liked it so much.  Very easy.

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup honey
1 tsp cinnamon

Blend all together and voila!  Serve with yummy breads.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Like Mom, Like Daughter

Willa has been cracking me when I go in to check on her before I go to bed. I think I am pretty nutty in my sleep habits and she is following right along. I typically sleep with 3 pillows; one under my head, one over my eyes and one at my legs. I have been finding her all wrapped up in her “ele-ant” pillow or with it over her head lately. Which is here is my non-compensated plug for Angel Dear. We loved her little buddy blankets and we love the toddler pillows. They would make great gifts if you ever need one. I am happy to say that our little sleep regression phase is over and we are back to a calm bedtime routine that for is now is working wonderfully. Now if I could just fall asleep as fast as her and B maybe I wouldn’t be an insomniac.


The little chatterbox has been on a roll lately. Our daycare said she probably says at least five new words to them daily and she has started counting to 10, though she sometimes skips 2 and 8, but she does pretty well. My favorite phrase right now is “See you later.” She has also learned how to pop off the door knob covers to open doors and then says, “Uh oh, it broke.” ::knock on wood:: No houdini 3.0 yet.

So I talked last time about how busy our month is but that hasn’t stopped me from dreaming of a crafting world. A friend has set up shop at our local farmers market and I am green with envy. Then my cousin says let me know when you want to start selling stuff, I know a few ladies that would want some stuff. I have been doing pretty good not buying more crafting supplies, even getting rid of some to a teacher friend. I have made a list of things I want to finish and few things I would like to make for gifts and/or sell. I so wish I had the time to take a week to hole up and create non-stop. Pinterest is not helping me either. There are so many neat things on the internet, but at least now I have one place to store them all instead of my massively growing excel spreadsheet. So maybe I will just continue to dream or create and maybe next summer I can set up a little shop or something.

Anyway, the audit from Hell is almost in the bag, the audit I am working on is going about as expected, and the other two I need to do this month I haven’t started on. Good times.

P.S. JP, you haven’t updated me on your life yet. This is your callout!

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Goodness Gracious

July is basically over!  Craziness.  I have spent the last two days cleaning, purging and organizing our office.  In the next two months we are expecting several visitors and it was starting to become a catch all.  Willa was pretty cooperative while I was working, which was probably because she discovered markers.  I have a vision for how I want to finish the room, just need to hang some pictures, take out the computer and desk and find the right dresser.  So a few more things to do in the next couple of weeks, but at least I know what craft items I have and what projects need finished.

We got to get a sneak peak at the Blue Angels on Friday.  Willa was pretty excited about the planes.  She wanted them to C'mere.  She was also pretty excited about the petting zoo at the fair on Saturday too.  Not sure if she was excited as her dad about the corn dogs though.

I can't remember if I blogged about our free sod, but for the last three weeks B has been watering the heck out of and over 95% of it took.  The backyard looks great!  With the tree and swing set gone (well, we still have a few pieces to haul off) we actually have a yard to play in.

Seems like August is going to be pretty busy.....state softball, baseball games, visitors, firm picnic and few more audits.  I have the audit from Hell to finish this week and then I should be able to breath just a smidgin easier.  B is also back on the day shift which should make my life a little easier and increase our family time quite a bit.

So what are your plans for August?

Thursday, July 21, 2011

One Small Change

A couple of bloggers I follow do one small green change a month and then at the end of the year decide which ones to keep, toss (ha ha) or work on.  I am pretty sure I talked about carrying my reusuable bags only for non-grocery trips, but I am proud to say that I slowly bought some on each grocery trip and now have enough to buy groceries.  I love it!!  Less bags to carry in and it's so much easier.  Anytime I use a bag, I empty the contents and then hang it ont he back door to take back to the car in the morning.  B does not use the cool bags so he continues to supply us with small trash bags.  It's so nice to not have to wrangle plastic sacks and I feel less guilty on my small shopping trips.  Plus I get $.05 off for each bag I use at Target.

Another small change we have made is our shower cleaner.  I will admit we were pretty dreadful at cleaning the shower.  B gave it a good scrubbing a while back and now we spray it either before or after we shower and it is maintaining pretty well.  Cheap and evironmentally friendly.  Win, win.

Shower Cleaner:

1 part vinegar
3 parts warter
A few squirts of shampoo
TBSP baking soda

So I haven't really done a change a month, but I figure I am 2-2 for on changes so I am on the right track.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Weekend Recap

For the long weekend we tried to balance some relaxation and busyness.  Our friend Liz over at Our Busy Bee wrote a post that is something we are also going through.  We had two situations this weekend that I think relate very well to her points.  But our weekend:

We went to the Farmer's Market on Saturday and got some Flathead cherries and zucchini.  I also discovered that I have a hard time looking at the homemade items without thinking, though they are nicely done, I could make it so much cheaper.  But it was nice to get out of the house and the morning was gorgeous before it got hot.  B made us a nice dinner and we relaxed playing outside.  We also let Willa stay up later than usual to watch B shoot off some of his fireworks.  Which may not have been such a good idea.

On Sunday, we (ok I) decided to change our locks since I had broken my key in the deadbolt.  During B's installation process we were offered some sod for our backyard.  Of course, laying sod on the hottest day of the year was probably not the best move of the century.  But for now we have a backyard and I am going to enjoy for as long as it lasts.  After that we headed to a BBQ that started later than planned and after about an hour Willa was done.  Stick a fork in her done.  We immediately evacuated the premises to save everyone's (ok my) sanity.  This time she slept through the fireworks.

Monday capped off our event filled weekend with the parade and the Voyagers game.  She sat still for the parade and the first three innings of the game.  After that she wanted to explore and was not content to watch anything.  Unfortunately, the 4th of July game is also the most attended game of the season.  B was ready to pack it in, but in this case I knew she just had extra energy and if we want to keep attending games we needed to stick it out.  An employee of the team thought she was pretty cute and procured a ball for her from the bullpen.  She was very excited to get the ball and to have Orbit sign it.  An instance where beauty will get you something.  About the 8th inning she was ready to rejoin the party and then chattered until the fireworks started.  She varied between covering her eyes and saying "Wow!"  I can't say I blame her, some were pretty bright.  We finally made it out of the parking lot and all crashed when we got home.

We have been figuring out on the fly what works for us and what doesn't, but at least we aren't those parents profiled on CNN this week letting their kids run rampant.  Thanks LZ Granderson.

But it was a nice weekend and I hope you all had a nice one as well.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Mark you Calendars People

Willa AND B both ate a dinner I made.  Well B skipped the scalloped potato because well...he has issues.  But the packet chicken was a success.  My mom and dad started the foil packet chicken and I think we have liked no matter the combo of spices, but this was time it was extremely tasty.  I also made applesauce bread today and its probably a good thing I made a big loaf instead of small ones again because Willa and I could probably eat the whole thing in an afternoon.

Mandi and I created another cake on Friday.  I didn't get home until midnight but we sure had fun making it.  I FINALLY figured out how to make presentable cake pops.  Unfortunately poor little Ellie in Kansas didn't get as pretty ones as Gracie.  But now I know.

I thought this posted a long time ago.  I guess it didn't.

Relay for Life

In March, JCCS was called to have a team in the Relay for Life.  It wasn't until May that I could recruit enough members to have a team.  It wasn't until the first week of June when we started our first fundraising activities.  JCCS employees and other friends came through big for us in just a few short weeks.

Luckily for me, Willa and I were able to attend the Relay in Kansas a few weeks before ours.  It was moving, inspiring and I was ready to rock our efforts even as I wasn't able to convey in words why I wanted to do it.
I was worried that we wouldn't be reach our $800 goal and then surprised as we crept toward it that $1,000 seemed reasonable.  As we flew by $1,000 I thought, wow, wouldn't it be great if we raised $1,500.  Tuesday morning I had the funds in hand surpassing that amount as well.  I was so excited, I just couldn't believe it.

Friday night we started our walk and joined the other teams around our "track."  I believe we were one of the few teams that everyone stayed the entire night.  We didn't have someone walking the entire night, but it was a good first effort I think.  There was one guy that ran, jogged, and walked the entire night.  He carried a walking stick as well.  I don't know his story, but he was one of the top fundraisers and has done the same for many years.

Overall, if I could mesh together the two relays it would be even more amazing.  Kansas' luminary ceremony would win hands down.  GF would get some points though for the slide show and having the luminaria in letter order.  The activities in Great Falls were great and really helped keep the night moving.  Over $81,000 was raised and fundraising isn't officially complete until August.  As the coordinator said, "Fighting Cancer isn't cheap."  Our team was #14 out of 47 and I think they are already planing for next year, what we want to do.  I know one thing for sure, our goal needs to be higher and we will be better prepared for the temperature drop in the middle of the night.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Home

Willa and I headed to Kansas on Thursday and I had hoped to do a full post on the entire thing, but now I am too tired.  So cliff notes:

Thursday:  She traveled so well on both flights, but was very unhappy to have to get in the car after being cooped up for 5 hours.  This is her last trip flying on my lap so it will be interesting to see the next time how she rides in her car seat.

Friday: We went to the Deanna Rose Farm for a few hours and had a blast.  Bottle-feeding the baby goats was probably the best and Willa wasn't scared of anything.  Plus we ate at Jalapenos and went to Hobby Lobby.  Willa surprised everyone by eating salsa with a fork.

Saturday: I went garage saling with my Grandma, cousin and aunt.  Didn't get much but we had a good time.  Then Willa and I went to B's grandparents 50th wedding anniversary.  I think it's pretty cool that we both have a set of grandparents that have been married that long.  Mine are well on their way to 60 years.  That night I went out with some of my cousins and we spent the night reminiscing, telling stories, and contemplating Kim writing a book about it all.  We hope to do it again and include a few more of our cousins.

Sunday: We drove to Missouri for my Grandma's family reunion.  We didn't know many people but it was fun to see those we did.

Monday: This was supposed to be a relaxing day but we did some running around to see more people and then I had friends travel to see me!  It was so nice to see JCF and SEW and get to catch up with them too.

Tuesday: We traveled back to GTF and it wasn't as smooth as the ride their.  She got more squirmy the longer we were on the plane and we weren't as fortunate to have our own row with full flights.  She didn't eat well and refused to nap which is a terrible combination.  It culminated into a 10 minute screaming session while we sat on the tarmac.  The most helpful flight attendant offered her cups to play with, like that was going to make her stop.  Puh-lease.  Luckily, she finally went to the sleep and so did I.  Our nice seatmate was very encouraging and praised me for staying calm as he said many moms he has seen panic and the kid never goes to sleep.  But we made it home and B had flowers for me and we ordered a pizza.

Our house is a disaster and we are still pretty tired, but that is life and we will deal with it.  For B's birthday today, he made dinner and it was delicious.

We had a great time seeing everyone and it seems like we crammed in a ton like we always do, but it was nice to sleep in our own beds and be home with 'Sco, Belle, and B.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

All Tangled Up

Gracie requested a Tangled theme for her 6th birthday a few weeks ago and who were we to say no.  We have said this about all our cakes, but this one is our favorite yet.  It was most definitely the biggest, time-consuming one.  But it turned out better than we had imagined.  Of course, if we do it again, we would change a few things, but they were pretty minor.  We bought the Wilton cake tier and just opened a whole new realm of possibilities for cake.  We also used 3 batches of rice krispies for the tower and roof and they tasted pretty divine too.

For favors, I made Cake pops and dyed the batter purple and dipped them in pink and green.  They were a hit as well.

More pictures on Facebook at  Counting Cakes

I am going to do some linking up:

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Real Quick

Since Willa and I are home recovering from the bout with the chicken pox, I am getting to see a few things that she does that I normally haven't picked up on the weekends when we are doing other stuff.  She used to be mean to her baby doll.  Today she wrapped her in a blanket and then was walking the floor, bouncing her gently and shhh-ing.  It was so sweet.  We have also I think read every single book she has on her "can have" shelf.

Luckily, I think this case of the pox is a very mild one and she hasn't hardly felt puny at all.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Washed out

The rapture didn't come, but that didn't stop mother nature from keeping us on our toes.  Not only were there tornadoes in the Midwest (it just breaks my heart), but Montana was filled with water.  A bridge even got wiped out.  Fortunately for me, I made it to Billings with my co-worker only to have all but one route back home be closed to water.  Even the interstate was closed in several areas.  We had talked about going somewhere for the holiday weekend, but I am glad we didn't since it is wet everywhere.

I know I always talk about Willa's word explosions, but now it seems we are not just getting new sporadic words, but they are repeated over and over.  The mimicking borders on comical, but that just means the Daddy and I are having to watch our P's & Q's a little more.  We do not want a repeat of last summers daycare convo.

The little Chickster has also developed a wonderful sense in handbags.  I scored a $12 Vera Bradley bag (it's reversible too!) at A Time or Two and the only time she lets me use it is when her stuff is in it.  So now it is a semi-diaper bag.  She also loves her "crays" very much.  We have to watch her pretty closely, since she will color on pretty much anything.

We have gone to a birthday party the last 3 Saturdays and I am pretty sure it just means Willa is not having a party until she is 12.  On the plus side, I now have a list of do's and don'ts for little kid parties.

We are trying to Martha Stewart this week and hopefully one day I can get all of our pictures uploaded because I have been doing some fun things.

Happy Memorial Day.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Fresh Herb Mayo

I love a good sandwich but somewhere along the line I got tired of my little brown bag lunches when they contained a sandwich.  Which usually led to me going and grabbing something.  Then I stumbled on to this little recipe and I have ate 2 sandwiches since last night.  Belle ate a half as well.

So simple:
2 cups Mayo
2 Tbls. Dill
2 Tbls. Basil
2 Tbls. Oregano

I halved it to make sure we would like it first.  I also think that is too much Oregano and B tossed in some Cayenne, but overall we are loving it.  Even Willa at a whole half sandwich by herself.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Recap

Last week seemed pretty busy it seemed.  I was doing fieldwork for an audit, B started his "new job" and Willa went with the flow.  We learned this week that Willa and I will not be attending any out of town softball tournaments, she is way to busy for me to keep up with her and flying softballs.

Mandi and I created our coolest cake to date we think and I know I have said it before, but now with utmost confidence I can say I have conquered the cake pops!!!  It was pretty grand.

We have enjoyed some pretty nice days as of late and Saturday was a great day for a birthday party.  Willa was totally stoked about the bounce house since she knew how it worked this time.  She had a smile a mile wide as she bounced with the big kids.  Thankfully, she got over being shy and I didn't have to climb into the bounce house this time.

Her daycare moved to a new location today and even though it is different from what we are used to, I think it's going to be just fine.  It will definitely change my shopping habits since now I can make some stops before picking her up instead having to haul her out of the car all the time.

For a Monday, today was very productive for me.  I hope that is a sign of what is to come for our week.

And....a Congrats to our favorite Kay-ee on being valedictorian of her class.  Way to Go Kayleigh!

Nice

I had a nice little post about our week yesterday and then the laptop battery died and I lost it all.  I will try to recreate it this evening.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Inspiration

After 101 posts I am having a hard time typing what is in my head.  It feels like we have had a lot going on lately but I think I am just in decompression mode.  Willa is still spitting out new words everyday (it still amazes me) and expressing interest in potty training.  As much as I thought we were ready for that (& believe me, ditching diapers would be grand) I realized once again I have no idea what I am doing in this parenting business.

I have a to do list a mile long and while it would be nice to crank the whole thing out in the weekend, I have been trying to crack out at least 4 items a day.  Of course I keep adding to it, so its a moving target.  But I have been reading different blogs lately about minimalism and obviously from my previous posts going green.  So despite being on the hunt for a book shelf and two end table drawers, I did NOT go to any garage sales today despite there being some very close.  Instead I want to continue to focus on purging for a while but still keep my eyes peeled for the perfect items that I know I will eventually find.  Patience, I continue to work on it.

We learned several things this week.  1) You can not dye candy melts with icing coloring.  Bad things ensue.  2) Cheese Nips + Milk = Bad business.  Learned that one twice for us to figure out the combo.  3) I can make a car seat mat for my car in under one hour.  However, it makes me want to make more and gift/sell them and want a better sewing machine.

So, 2 things off my list today and it's not even one o'clock.  Maybe I should strive for 6 items today if I get my butt in gear and get all my work done at the office quickly.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Day of Firsts

A big day in the Moylan household.  Willa had her first dentist appointment, first happy meal, and her first haircut!

She totally rocked the dentist appointment and haircut.  She fussed a little bit getting laid back at the dentist but was very friendly to everyone.  Then she just sat on my lap for her haircut and watched the girls that were getting their hair done for prom.  Mimi took lots of pictures and I am pretty sure she had a good time this last week with Mimi and Aunt Rue.

I was out of town for the beginning of the week and game back to several new words.  We even web-cammed with Uncle Q and my cousin Marc this week.  She said both of their names and showed them how far she can throw a ball.  Last week she got to webcam with my cousin Megan too and she is really getting the hang of people being on the other side of the TV or laptop.

Easter was pretty fun.  She got lots of new things from the grands and her aunt & uncle.  She is way spoiled. 

Since I am getting flak for not updating as much I will keep this short and maybe do another one tomorrow.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Balance again

It has been a busy week around here.  We got the rest of our tree taken down and despite the whole dynamic of our backyard changing in June when we started, having the last "branch" gone has changed the whole neighborhood.  Our tree used to tower over everything and now it is wide open spaces.

Yesterday was super nice and we spent the morning playing outside.  I didn't go to work and funnily enough, I wasn't the only one.  We wrapped up tax season basically on Friday morning and had our party last night.  Dinner was fun, though over priced.

Chatty Cathy continues her word explosion and it is so fun to wonder what the next word will be.  My favorites at the moment are sssnack and stink!  AND she is asking please on a more consistent basis!  I couldn't be more excited about that.

Sadly our bright, shiny day brought snow today and the sad realization that I lost one of my diamond earrings.  Of course, it was on the day we vacuumed and played outside so it could be anywhere.  I feel so naked without them.  I hope it turns up, otherwise I will be investigating the cost of one earring to match.

Besides getting some balance back in the home/work ratio, I am still working on the green/frugal balance.  I have been having fun learning the register rewards at Walgreens and have started thinking out my standards of when I want to do a deal.  Obviously if it is something we use I want to get the best price that I can.  If I can get something under $2 and we could use it or at least donate it, I will probably get it.  We now have nice little stockpile of health & beauty products and toothpaste, so I really only want to keep buying if it's a great price.  But one of the rules of couponing is to buy the smallest size usually to get a good deal.  This goes against being green of buying the biggest size or least amount of packaging.

I really wish it was easier to recycle around here and that we had a little more space in our house to have a good recycling "center" for us.  I have been trying to make small changes around here and one of my favorite little switches has been to cloth napkins.  I am hooked and on the look out for more fun ones.  My biggest internal struggle right now is procuring more shopping bags.  I have a few and my favorites are my Neela bags.  The debate is....do I order more or just buy the ones in the stores around here?  I was going to use the Walgreens BOGO coupon today, but found out they had been recalled due to having lead in them!  I haven't started using them to get groceries but I have been making the concerted effort to use them for all my other shopping expeditions.  So far, it's been easy and I get a lot of compliments on my bags.  I just have to make sure I unload them and put them right back in my purse.

So I am sure I will be blogging more about it, and I would love to hear your thoughts and/or ideas of what you are doing. AND I am totally jealous of the family back in Kansas with their green thumb gardens.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Days

Only a few more days and we can get back to some normalcy, no more worrying about weekends, feeling bad about not working late and back to a clean house.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Mime

Willa has been such a sponge lately.  I was putting on some lotion and she wanted some.  Gave it to her and she rubbed her legs then needed more to do her arms just like I was doing.  She is becoming such a big girl, I called her name and she responded What? before she came toddling back.  She looks at her pictures and says Willa!  It is pure hilariousness.

She has been enjoying the 2 year old room at daycare and seems so much happier and better behaved.  I truly think she was getting bored being with the babies.  Only now she brings home so much more artwork, I am not sure what to do with it.  Usually I give it to her and she colors on it some more. 

On a nerdier note, I have a light up Harry Potter wand that I needed for a costume (I was Hermione thank you very much), and she has figured out how to push the button on it.  She thinks its pretty cool and is all "Whoa, cool!" (seriously, she says that) and I am sure it is only a matter of time before we are reading Harry Potter together. ;)

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Crafty Mom

There seem to be a plethora of mommy bloggers crafting with their toddlers lately.  I am not that creative to do a project with Willa.  Ok maybe creative but not brave.  Since it was just us girls this weekend, and I was in the crafting mood, I decided to attempt some bow making with the chica supervising. 

Only one firm no when she went after the hot glue and then she was content to play with ribbon and her crayons.  The funniest part was later in the day we were in the office and I caught her trying to "hot glue" some ribbon. She is one smart cookies and soon to be crafter I think.  Maybe we will plan some fun one weekend after tax season is over.

Speaking of work...I got two audits out the door on Friday and my boss did the final billing on a third one and I came in under budget! Whew, makes up for being under my billable hour budget in March I think!

I also keep forgetting to take a picture of my recipe before we dig in.  I hope to work on that.

Tasty Taco Bake

A co-worker found this in a Cooking with Kids type thing I think and her family loved it.  So we Chicketarian-ed it and enjoyed.

The original recipe

1-1/2 cups crushed nacho tortilla chips
1 can (15 ounces) chili with beans
1 can (4 ounces) chopped green chilis
1 can (3.8 ounces) sliced ripe olives, drained, divided
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1 jar (4 1/2 ounces ) sliced mushrooms, drained
4 green onions, thinly sliced
1 cup shredded lettuce

Spread 1 cup chips in ungreased 8-in square baking dish.  In small bowl, combine the chili, green chilies and 1/2 cup olives; spoon over chips.  Spread sour cream over the top.  Sprinkle with cheese, mushrooms, onions and remaining chips and olives.

Bake uncovered at 375 for 10-15 or until heated through and cheese is melted. Top with lettuce.  Serves 4

I have high hopes for the leftovers!  I cooked and shredded some chicken to mix in with my chili beans and vetoed the olives, mushrooms, and onions for this batch.  Next time instead of the shredded cheese I am going to make my queso dip and pour that over the top.

Enjoy!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Limits

The Edge, the breaking point....whatever you want to call it, I have hit it.  My Superwoman cape needs to goto the cleaners like yesterday!  But moving on, there is a light at the end of the audit from hades tunnel and I am hoping that by Monday at the latest, part 1 will be completed.  Part 2 should go much faster and they are friendlier people to work with.  Sometime transistion sucks, no?

Our happy little girl is a very happy little girl except when she has an over abundance amount of fun at daycare and comes home exhausted.  Then happy little girl turns into the Very Angry Elf.  Angry elf is not to be dealt with, usually meaning an early bedtime.  She returns that favor by waking me up and hour early and wanting to play with the dogs.  She has yet to learn there is no such thing as 6 am.  We are working on this leasson very hard, because truly any good night owl knows you must not rise before the sun.

Her 18 month appointment went well and we spent most of the time talking about dental hygiene.  Our pedi was impressed with her ability to floss and wanted B to make an instructional video for you tube. :)

Shots are next week so we have to stop back in.  She made it all week in the 2 year old room and my gosh it is baby palooza there.  3 of the 5 teachers are pregnant and 1 is "not avoiding."  Craziness.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Talking Smack

Stepping on soapbox;

Like any good state in America, Kansas has a college rivalry.  K-State/KU goes back forever.  Some years the competition is good and some not so hot.  Especially the 90's in basketball and really the early 2000's. Ok, so KSU was horrible at the round ball and people didn't even know KU had a football team.  Really you are either a Wildcat or a Jayhawk and maybe the exception to the rule, my Dad who will root for KU because it's better when we beat them if they are good.  I think he has just rooted for them forever and now that is his excuse.  But I digress. 

I love watching KU lose.  Not because I don't respect the team or the players, because I do.  I love a great game and they are usually a great team.  But because it brings out the whiny hypocrites I call facebook/high school friends.  Last week after a great KSU/Wisconsin game that left us a little short, KU fans were out in force.  Today I witnessed several statuses that made me shake my head.  My favorite I think was, the first person to say anything Anti-KU is getting deleted, then there was the wow, I am pretty sure I don't know anyone that went to Butler/VCU, etc. but all this hate.   Then there is the hating of the refs.  I really can't stand that, because besides the rare games, the refs do a pretty good job.  Make your shots and quit fouling, then the refs won't matter.  However, one guy admitted defeat and said gotta hit your shots to win the game.  I think those are the fans that get it.

I feel bad for all the seniors in the last weeks that have suited up for the last time. I've been there, witnessed it and it is always emotional.  So in conclusion, I am all for a good game of smack talk before the game, because it's fun to defend your team and show some school spirit.  But after, shake hands, say good game and leave it at that until next year.

Off soapbox.

After my craptacular beginning of the week, it started looking up and my stress level lowered.  My ticked off client is not completely off my back yet, but I do feel like I got some things accomplished this week.  I got some tax returns out the door on Friday and finished up some loose ends on a couple audits.  I still have a ton to do and not so many hours to do it, but at least it is forward motion.

We went to a Birthday party yesterday and Willa had a good time.  The bounce house was fun and she got to stuff one of those critter things.  I think I got about 5,000 steps over my average just chasing her around.  It was about a half hour to long in my opinion only because I was tired and just wanted her to sit down for a few minutes.  She kept wanting to run out into the mall.  Maybe I should suggest to them to gate off the bounce house so kids can't escape?  We went a saw the baby chicks and rabbits today and we were nervous she would call them a dog.  She called them ducks which was pretty close.  Sadly, B learned you are allowed 3 hens and no roosters if you live in town.  He is now trying to figure out to keep the Fox (Belle) out of a hen house.  Lord help me....

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Rough days

I have to say that I work with some very great people and that we have some really great clients.  Some are weird, crazy, high maintenance and sometimes all three.  For the most, they are pretty go with the flow.  I learned a new side of the business today and it is not one I want to experience again.  I was basically yelled at today because an audit is not done.  It was supposed to be done in February, but the management company has finally got me the information I need last week.  Unfortunately for them, I have been booked solid on projects that are normally scheduled at this time and there is only so many hours in the day.  Thankfully, my boss was outside my door when the guy called and totally went to bat for me and that guys "boss" called later and was a lot more reasonable.  I feel for their predicament too, because they are waiting on the audit to finish tax returns.  It's also going slow because it is an industry I am not completely confident in myself in.  One of those learning curve ones where I feel like I know something and then I second guess myself.  I just want to make sure it is right.  So instead going out to a clients today like I was scheduled I spent the day trying to foot a cash flow and working on memos.  Le sigh.  It made me want to throw up knowing a client wasn't happy with the service I am trying to provide.

Willa has been having some good days.  She has been transitioning to the 2 year old class and will be over there full time as soon as two other kids move to the 3 year old class.  She goes over most preschool days and the teacher is ready to have her everyday.  B has been working on colors with her and so far she says green, pink, and I have gotten a few blues out of her.  She pesters the poor dogs to no end though when we are at home, I almost feel sorry for them.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Granola

This might be one of my all time favorite snacks and it is so easy.  I thought I had posted it before, but I couldn't find it.

2 1/2 cups oats
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
1 tsp vanilla
1/8 cup flour
Extras of your choosing (nuts, flax seed, raisins, chocolate chips, etc) 

Preheat oven to 300 degrees-lightly grease baking sheet and toast oats and if you like a nutty taste....the nuts for 20 minutes.  In a small saucepan heat butter, brown sugar and honey until melted.  Remove from heat and add vanilla.
Raise heat to 350-mix flour with oats and stir in brown sugar mixture.  Bake for 5 minutes, add extras and bake an additional 5.

I don't like my raisins and chocolate chips "cooked" so I add those afterwards.  I let the mixture cool a little bit and then toss in the in the chocolate, it melts so nicely.  Often, I double the recipe because I eat it so fast.  I have experimented with adding more brown sugar mixture if I want chunky granola and less if I want it more loose.  I eat it by itself, but my favorite is to mix it with some yogurt for breakfast.

Enjoy

Monday, March 14, 2011

3 in a day

My new page links are now working!!!  I just had to get that out so somebody would notice.

A Test

I know I have talked ad nauseum about Willa's love for Lady Antebellum, but you might be glad to know she is starting to branch out and like other artists. She is already passing her Dad's tests in recognizing music only a few bars into the song. Because I am horrible at that game, I am amazed at how well she does.

Last Sunday, her and I were having lunch when she cocked her head and got really quiet. I couldn't figure out what she was doing until she started dancing in her high chair. She could hear the music on in the living room and it was one of her new favorite songs.

My new favorite word of hers this week is Oh Jeeze which is usually proceeded by Uh Oh. My not so favorite this week is the temper tantrums that come out of nowhere. So far, the only way to combat the meltdowns is bedtime. My other favorite is her attempts at picking out her clothes. It's pretty comical. If mom is home I help direct to matching outfits. If dad is home, she gets to wear what she wants.

I took a break from work on Saturday and went with B and Willa to feed the geese at Gibson Park. B was not impressed with a loaf of bread I bought so he donated it to the birds. He thought it was rather comical when the geese wouldn't eat it. They liked the jelly filled powdered donuts better I guess. I did find a squirrel to partake though. We also went to feed the fish at the hatchery. Little girl just wanted to chase birds and watch the fish. She was not happy to leave either place. We went for a walk on Sunday up to Walgreens and Joann's (next post!) and a little while later she was trying to climb back in her stroller to go out again.

I hate to break her heart, but I am sure winter is not over yet. She got to play outside today and help B grill and she was just so happy about it.

Then she went to bed early.

Pinch Proof

I meant to take lots of pictures for this post but just got too excited and didn't.

I saw the idea over at Skip to My Lou and knew my little Irish one needed a new shirt.

This has all my favorite things....craftiness and thriftiness. I was at Target looking for a shirt I could do this to and what do I find but $1.50 boys shirts! They had little pockets on the front, but if there is one thing I have learned from blogging is that it only takes a little effort to make something into something else. I broke out my seam ripper and took those little pockets off. We headed off to Joann's and spent $1.11 on velveteen fabric paint. Printed off the template, traced it onto my freezer paper, painted, and voila! For $2.61, you can't beat it.




Note to self: Do not let child play with unopened paint container, despite it having a seal. Childproof seals are not childproof and child's mouth will be covered in green paint. Parent points: paint was non-toxic and a little teeth-brushing can cure many problems.

Thanks  Skip To My Lou

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Words Galore

It seems like there was a new word a day around here. Some I didn’t know she knew but B did and some really were new. The one I taught her was REBOUND. We had to break that one out for the K-State game. They need to work on that as much as they do their free throws.

She really worked on her animal names and I am pleased to say Duck is definitely Duck. Piggy sounds like kitty but goat is pretty good. Please and thanks is still pretty hit or miss depending on how badly she wants something. She has decided she can replace book with please when she wants to be read to. Milk and more is getting more distinct too.

The in-laws got us a kitchen aid for Christmas and it truly is one of the greatest things to have in the kitchen. Its so nice to just throw the ingredients in and turn it on and then go about mixing up the rest and pouring it in all hands free. B asked for chocolate chip cookies and we have all ate a few to many this weekend.

I am off to a rough start reaching my billable budget this month. B had guard drill this weekend and my babysitter didn’t show up today for me to go into the office. I have decided I am not worried about my hours per se, I just want to get some of my audits out the door. It’s been a pretty strange tax season thus far, mostly laid back and easy going. We are about even with the number of returns we had done at this time last year.

Pretty boring week though, we are just getting used to B’s new schedule and trying to fit everything in and get it all done.

Monday, February 28, 2011

A moment if you please

I am not sure where my thoughts would take me if I started blogging this week. I knew I would be all over the place so I have been putting it off. It’s been an emotionally draining few days and I have been all over the spectrum. Plus work is completely crazy and I am trying to stay caught up. Needless to say, the stress level is high and I should probably be taking some Lysine to keep the cold sores at bay.

Little Willa-menia has been great. She asked the dogs yesterday, or told rather, to Go Potty! Complete with nudge to their backs. It was rather comical. She also got to hang out with her God-mom for a few hours this weekend while B and I went to a movie and dinner. We saw Hall Pass and it was funnier than I thought it would be.

We were also reminded in two separate occasions in the last few weeks just how quickly life can change and to not take things for granted. In an effort to not go off on a tangent, I am going to leave you with a story from a few weeks ago.

If you had ever met my Uncle Richard or had ever ridden with him, you know that he could spot a bungee cord or any other useful object in the middle of the road from like a mile away. He would usually stop and make one of us jump out to get it regardless of where we were at; highway, gravel road….. Anyway, I was coming home from work on a very cold day and was about a block away from our street when I saw a ball hitch laying in the middle of the road. Uncle Richard would be very disappointed to know I did not stop to get it. Mostly because it was cold and it smack dab in the middle of the intersection and Great Falls intersections are not the safest to drive through let alone stop and pick something up. But it made me think of him and I thought I would share it with you.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

A-DORA-ble

We had so much fun making this cake.  I think I finally got the marshmallow to powdered sugar ratio figured out and I am digging dying the cake batter.
Mandi and I put in a long week at the office and then spent Friday night decorating the cake.  We split up and I did the bottom tier and she did the top, conspiring on the fondant flowers.  The family loved it and we were very pleased with how it turned out.  Our only snag was finding the Dora accessories.  We hit every store in town and finally resorted to buying a Dora Chutes and Ladders game at Ross.
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I think the stars were my favorite to make.  They turned out really cute and I am told they really looked like the stars on the show.  While I am excited to make another cake soon, maybe after tax season will be a little less stressful.


Thursday, February 17, 2011

Fondant

My marshmallow fondant making keeps improving!!  I am so excited for Mandi and I to make our biggest cake to date.  Not only did I make two batches of fondant tonight I tried a tie-dyed cake batter.  It’s pink and purple and I am hoping when they cut into it they are excited to see it.

I will update this weekend with pictures and the experience as it has been a pretty boring week around here.  Work and class is what our routine is settling into.

One funny story though, I asked Willa if she was ready to put her jammies on and a few minutes later she randomly went into her room and brought out a pair of jammies to change into.  Now if I could teach her to get her diapers and wipes with out destroying the wipes box we would be in business.

I am also trying to figure out how to link some of my posts up above, so please ignore my construction of my banner.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Lessons Learned

 

I learned several things this weekend…some a little surprising, one kind of exciting, and one pretty sad.

Sad….I have over 100 billable hours still to work this month to reach my budget.  Even sadder is my budget in March is higher than this month.  Hopefully my 86 hours that I am ahead of budget going into February will give me some cushion if I don’t make it.  I really want to though, because two years ago I was pregnant and didn’t make my budget thanks to morning sickness…and evening sickness.  Last year B left for Texas, so my budget got slashed then too.  Still, working all those hours really isn’t that exciting.  Funnily, it’s the 13th and I have only done 3 returns and punched in the numbers for my own.  Pesky audits.

Surprising… I took Willa to get her pictures taken yesterday and realized my stubborn little girl is also pretty shy.  She wouldn’t smile for anything.  Finally like 45 minutes later and about 12 Pullen for Threeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee’s later, we finally got her to toss up her 3 hands, come out of her shell and smile.  We got a few good pictures and hopefully the next time won’t take so long.

She is also driving me crazy because she will only tell B please and thank you.  Not me!  She even does it unprompted to him when she wants something, especially treats.  On the upside, at least she is saying please and thanks.

Exciting….I am totally getting into couponing.  Mostly just at Walgreens, but at the Commissary today I scored Gain dryer sheets for $.20 because I had a $3.00 off coupon.  I already feel like I am getting a little stockpile on the just the few things I have bought.  I don’t plan on being a crazy coupon lady, but if I can save some money on the things we use all the time, why not?

I attempted cake pops again for the Daycare’s Valentines party tomorrow.  I think I have a new strategy for next time I make, though this time was a vast improvement.  I doubt the kids will notice they don’t look so hot if they taste good.

Happy Hallmark Holiday to you all.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Houdini 2.0

B had guard drill this weekend so it was just us girlies.  The dogs woke up after he left, so I let them out, fed them, and then went back to bed.  Usually I close our door so they don’t get out but I was to lazy that morning and it was a good thing.

I woke up and could hear Willa babbling but it wasn’t over the monitor.  She was just hanging out in the living room playing with her blocks, just waiting for me to get up.

Needless to say, I went out and bought door handle covers so that when she wakes up, we will too.  It was very surprising too, because I usually hear her waking up, but she must have been very sneaky that morning, or really just in a good mood to play by herself.

At least it wasn’t like her last Houdini adventure.

Chicken Casserole

One of my favorite dinners of all time is my Grandma Jo’s chicken casserole.  She usually only made it around fair time and my birthday if I could wrangle a dinner.  She gave the recipe to me at my bridal shower and I have only dreamed of it since.
You see, I thought it was far more complicated than it really was, so I am sharing it with you and adding to our rotation of dinners.

  • 1 whole chicken shredded or use breasts
  • 1 can cream of chicken
  • 1 can cream of mushroom
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 2 boxes of stuffing made according to instructions

Mix the cream soups, sour cream and broth and mix in with chicken in a 9x13 pan.  Top with stuffing and bake at 350 for 30 minutes.  Pure heaven.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Versatile Blogger

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I am super pleased that my little blog Moylan Mayhem has won a Versatile Blogger award! It was presented to me by my friend Liz over at Our Busy Bee.  I have only met Liz one time but over the last year and a half I have come to consider her a wonderful friend.  We “met” via a pregnancy message board when we realized we both lived in GTF, were military wives, and due around the same time.  Cute little Audrey was born a week before Willa and they have spent the last 16 months hitting milestones and keeping us on our toes.  Pretty much every post of Liz’s I just nod my head in agreement and wonder how she got in my head.
I have never received an award, so it’s nice to know there is someone out there reading.
How it works is that I tell 10 things about myself that people may or may not know. Then I pass the award onto 7 other bloggers whom I want to participate.

My 10 things:

  1. It may come as no surprise, but I love to craft.  I am starting to get addicted.  Every time I see something cool on a blog I wasn’t to try.  I have excel spreadsheets of links to crafts, recipes and decorating designs I want to try.  But accepting the addiction is the first step to recovery right?  I am working on having attainable expectations and finishing what I start.
  2. We have so many books in our house I think we could start a library.  I re-read all of my books practically and have such a hard time parting with any of them.  I also remember a lot of them.  Usually not titles, which is frustrating when I  buy and start reading a new book, and one paragraph in I know I have already read.
  3. My friend JP, in retaliation for getting her hooked on Alias I think, got me addicted to Harry Potter.  I held out for a long time, waiting until after the last book came out.  Which was fortunate for me because I plowed through all 7 books in 2 weeks.  I have since re-read the series at least 3 times and now own all the movies.
  4. I am the world’s biggest procrastinator.  It’s mostly because everything has to be all or nothing.  It must done completely and has I envision it.  Cleaning for example.  I always want to declutter, reorganize, and make it sparkle.  As soon as I realize that is unattainable, I shut down and don’t want to do it.
  5. There is nothing better in the world than a long, hot shower.  I could spend an hour just standing under the water I think.  Mostly, I try to be very conscious about the environment, but I throw it out the window when it’s time to shower.
  6. I really wish there was a class I could take to learn how to do my hair.  I would love to be one of those gals that looks put together all time.  I know several of them.  I just want nice hair that isn’t frizzy and has some style that doesn’t take hours and a stylist to do.  Is that so much to ask?
  7. I think my fashion style has greatly improved over the years.  I had no style in high school, but after we got married and I started working at JCCS I really started caring and paying attention to the world of fashion.  I can smugly say that I have even helped/inspired a few co-workers expand their horizons as well with a few of my bold choices.  Plus everybody knows about my fun handbags too.  Now if I could just find that person to help me get my whole look together I would be in business.
  8. B calls me a hippie liberal, but I am fairly confident in my moderate ways.  Depending on the topic, I dabble to the left or right, but mostly I am just very open-minded.  One of my mottos is your rights end where mine begin.  So as long as your are not breaking laws or harming people I think people should be able to do and believe what they want.  It kind of drives me crazy when people try to force their beliefs on to others, but that is a topic that could stir quite the debate, so I will leave it at that.
  9. Since getting pregnant and becoming a mom, I am more emotional.  I used to not be a crier and now I can tear up at commercials!  I think things just affect me different now because of the new perspective I have.  Before, I could just block it out and not let it bother me but now, I am just a big old empathetic, sympathetic mush.
  10. It’s very ironic that one of the easiest thing I have ever done (saying YES when B proposed), brought the most change to my life.  Accountants really don’t care for change you know.  We like things to be all neat and tidy.  It takes me a long time to decide to do things and I am not very spontaneous. 
And without further ado, here are the blogs I have chosen to receive the award, except I only have 6:
  1. Jenny P from Me. She is one of my best friends and I would not have had the most awesome sporting experiences at KSU without her.  I was truly blessed to have her as a neighbor and then a roommate to get me out of my room and out to the games!  I live vicariously through her life in NYC and her travels across the world.
  2. Sarah or SEW from The Life of Me.  Another KSU “roomie” that helped rock my years at KSU.  She is blogging more this year and I am loving it.  Her and her B just bought a new house and I am so giddy to watch her redecorate.
  3. Dr. JCF from The Backwoods Arkansas Veterinary Times.  Our fourth roomie and the most studious I think.  She rocks the DVM behind her name and we want her to blog more! 
  4. My favorite red head, my cousin Megan from Dangerously Dunn.  She is new to the blog world and I can’t wait for her to dive in.
  5. Another cousin, the artistic Paula Nichole at
  6. My Art. Life in Letters.  She is fantastically talented and the mom to the cutest little girl who is about to become a big sister!
    6.  Last but no least in my little tagging……Kayleigh! She harasses me enough to update my blog, it’s time for her to get one of her own.   She has been dating my brother for three years now!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Winter Wonderland

So all I keep hearing about is snow and ice, and schools closed.  Blah, Blah, Blah.  It’s freaking cold here and for some reason today just felt extra cold.  I am going to be out and about town on Thursday and next week, but I am really not looking forward to it.  It’s just miserable to have to walk outside.  I am tempted to ask if I can just work from home in my jammies.
Today kicked off the official start date of tax appointments and the way things are looking, I probably won’t be doing returns for a while.  Sad thing is, I am not very motivated right now with the audits I will be working on.  Two of them are the same company just different owners since they sold in the middle of the year.  Their management company is just a pain to deal with and are not cooperating.  Then I have  a cranky client, our personalities just don’t mesh.  I guess I shouldn’t call her cranky, she is just very abrasive, which is good for her job, just not for me.  I am also not very excited to start working weekends again.  I guess the up side, the rest of the office will be working as well.  Not sure how I will swing this weekend since B has guard drill, and it is not good to get started off wrong.  We all have billable budgets and these next few months are when we crank out the hours.  I totally missed my budgets last year and I am determined to stay ahead.
I added it up yesterday and I am 80 hours over my budget because of a very good August.  It is one of the aspects I dislike about my job; keeping track of my hours and managing my productivity rate with the efficiency rate.  Not easy when they basically work against each other.  But my mentor comes back from maternity leave next week, so hopefully she will help me get back on the right track.
Stay warm everyone.

Oh yeah, we got another cake order and I making a diaper cake for a co-worker.  Fun times in craft land.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Weekend Wonders

Winter Wonderland.  It started snowing on Saturday and hasn't really stopped.  We did a little shopping on Saturday and today Willa and I went on a play date to Barnes & Noble and then to the play place at McDonald's.  We had to leave B&N because we couldn't keep track of the little rugrats and there were too many people for them to run into.  Mickey D's though was having a birthday and the play place is really for those 3 & up.  Milo was all for trying to get in the mix but Willa only ventured into safe areas.  She about got ran over once, but she wasn't scared or anything.  I did discover they have really good hot chocolate.  Yummy!

Other than that we didn't do much this weekend.  We are trying a new technique at dinner time for our little big girl.  We took her tray off the high chair so she can be up close to the table.  It did stop her from throwing her food all over so maybe we are on the right track.  We also discovered if we let her stay up until she is exhausted she will fall asleep in her bed and sleep in in the morning.

We didn't quite follow the meal plan I had all laid out last week, but we did pretty good with dinner anyway.  B finally got us some groceries so now we have more options. 

Forewarning:  I refuse to talk about potty training on facebook, but it is possible I will bring it up here.  That is what you get for reading the blog.  We are attempting potty training because I don't think she is ready but I did buy the seat thingy to get her used to it.  It seems like the whole world is potty training right now so I guess it is on the brain.

To all of you east of Montana, enjoy the snow headed your way.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Jinx

I don't think I get to watch the K-State games on TV anymore.  They win when I don't and lose when I do.  We started struggling last night so I stopped watching and we won!

We tried/created a new recipe tonight.  We tried out a rump roast.   (The recipe said to just slit the top and put in some garlic gloves and then season with salt, pepper, and steak sauce overnight.  We skipped the steak sauce and instead injected it with a garlic marinade.  This morning B popped it into the crock pot and I covered it with an onion soup packet.  It was really good with mashed potatoes and Hawaiian rolls.

Toddler bed sleeping has been interesting.  She falls asleep on her floor most nights and then we move her into bed.  Last night is the first time she has woke up in the middle of the night and not gone back to sleep.  It was pretty much like the night she crib jumped.  I am not sure if she is having night terrors or what, but I would like to figure it out.

I really can't believe January is almost over.  It has gone by so fast.  I had a night out this weekend with some co-workers.  We went to a benefit for a gal that has cancer ( www.helpingmichelle.com ).  We had a good time and scored during the silent auction.  I can't wait for the weather to keep warming up so I can rock my new red high heels and I have to decide what I want to use my gift certificates at the spa for.  I am debating either a massage or a pedicure.  Probably massage because my hands really need worked on and I just don't think I can justify a trip out to one of my audit clients to have her do it.  Might be a little weird.  We didn't stay out too late and we all functioned on Sunday at the office so I would call it a success.

The work week is a little wonky already but I am hoping tomorrow and Thursday go a little better.  One more audit is going out the door but the problem audit is making it hard to stay motivated.  Must stay Motivated!!!

I hope you enjoy yours.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Sensing Success??

The first night in the toddler bed was a little rocky.  When I went in to check on her she had fallen asleep by her door.  Moved her over to her bed and there she stayed until morning.

Last night went a little smoother.  She was crying at the door for a few minutes but then it faded.  A peek a little later found a sleeping child on her pillow and blanket.

Tonight, we were just two bachelorettes to get dinner and cleaned up.  We caught up on our DVR’d Martha Stewart and read a few books.  She started acting tired so I asked her if she was ready for bed?  She climbed in and grabbed her milk.  I thought she had gone to sleep but I can’t be sure since she usually babbles to herself before she falls completely asleep.  I don’t want to jinx this, but we really thought this would take a week for her to get acclimated to her new set up. 

I have been trying to get more organized and worked on our meal plan for the next week.  One of the perks of blogging and finding blog link ups is there is something for everything.  Crafting, cooking, organizing, finances, blogging.  I found some really neat stuff, I just have to watch myself that I don’t get into a time suck. 

Today I stumbled on to what I think will be a great resource.  I have meal planned before but inevitably every week I ask B what sounds good and he shrugs his shoulders.  This suggested making a list of your favorite, go-to meals.  She suggested 21-30 to get started.  I made a list of 17.  There are  few more recipes I want to try and hopefully add to the list.  I don’t think I could plan out meals for the whole month but having the list should inspire me each week.

I also love our crockpot and if we had more storage space I would have several.  Especially during this time of year when I am working late, it is so nice to come home to dinner being basically ready.  Since we have half a beef in our freezers and some newly acquired pork I have really been trying to cut down on our chicken consumption.  For each cut of beef I have been hunting for new recipes so that I am a) cooking them right and b) we don’t get bored with the same things.   Luckily, even some of my improvisations have turned out pretty good.  I have always thought I was a picky eater, and I am, but I have concluded so is my hubby.  Unfortunately, our tastes don’t always mesh.  But we have broadened our horizons and hopefully we will make Willa a well-rounded eater.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Houdini 1.0

Yesterday brought a few interesting stories to share with you. First off the little fashionista decided to pick out her own jammies after bath time. She had on a pair of flannel bottoms and a sweatshirt. She rocked those for a while but then decided she should attempt to put on her footie jammies over top. She has really been trying to dress herself which is a big step up from trying to put clothes on a squirmy alligator.

The second story might have brought the scariest moment of parenthood to date. Willa woke up at 2 just screaming. I went in and rocked her for a while and then laid her back down. She was still fussing but that is pretty typical. I was just about to lay back down in bed when it happened. The noise from the baby monitor was getting quieter and the noise coming towards our room was getting louder. Our room is at the back of the house and you have to go through the kitchen, which is gated at the living room. It sounded like she was getting closer to us each cry. B jumped out of bed and went to fetch our girl as she was climbing over the gate. I was rendered motionless as I was trying to figure out just what was going on. Several things crossed my mind, but obviously she escaped her crib and was on the run to our room.

This set off a circular event where she would fall asleep and we would lay her down, then she would wake up and scream some more. We each tried our best but I ended up laying on the couch with her until I had to get ready for work. We took off the crib rail in exchange for the toddler rail and we are now fighting bed time. Not sure how this is going to go, but hopefully, the cold turkey/transition gets easier.008

Tonight when I picked her up our daycare provider told me they are considering moving her up a class. She isn’t really napping, likes to be at the wall with the big kids and has even been helping get ready for circle time after breakfast. We are hesitant in not wanting to push her to fast or for her to get hurt, but at the same time, not wanting to hold her back.

Seems like lots of changes in just 24 hours but we will get through them.

002A pic from the Children’s museum courtesy of my new camera.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

The work week finally ended and I felt fairly productive. Three audits got off my desk and into review just in time to start another on Monday. It seems like we have several things going on at work but we seem to be getting them done. I am also in charge of planning our firm-wide picnic this year which should be an interesting feat.

I made a sad discovery on Saturday morning. I noticed the other day when B got home that our digital camera was dead but I just figured he hadn't charged it at all while he was in Hawaii. However, it must have got smashed in his bag on the way back and was not longer functional. I really liked that camera and figured I would just buy the upgrade from it. I only used the new a few times, but it's just not the same. :(

We did have fun at the Children's Museum though. My office went there on our day of giving and I knew Willa would love it. The upstairs area where the big kids normally go was closed off for a function so there were some bigger kids running around so we had to stick pretty close to her as she trotted around. She was scared of a grandma that was reading in a chair. Almost like what is that lady doing? She really loved the car racing ramp, but was not to keen on sharing for the other kids to race. We stayed about an hour and I think it is something we can keep doing when it is cold outside.

I also finished rearranging our home office this weekend. We were keeping so much stuff that we did not need. I was able to move my sewing machine back in there now that our visitors are gone. Willa likes playing in there because she can climb up on the couch by herself.

The snow is finally melting and I hope it stays gone for a little while. There was an earthquake last night in Helena (a 3.8), but not strong enough for us to feel it here. Just more craziness around here I guess.

B started class this week. He had it so rough too. He only has class on Monday and Wednesday, so only one this week and tomorrow is a holiday, so another one day week. I feel so bad for him I tell ya. I would guess though, it will still be a busy week but I hope not like the last.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Holy Cow

I feel like it is Thursday already, but then while making dinner I realized it wasn't. It has been a kind of crazy week with B starting school, me getting a flat tire and a new one to replace it. I feel like all we have done is run around but really I have only been going to work and we had one Target stop this week. I feel semi-productive at least. I got two audits off my desk this week, with the potential to finish two more by Friday. That gets me ready for the other 5 that will be happening in the next few weeks.

Willa has been working on animal sounds at daycare, specifically ducks, dogs, and pigs. She says cow occasionally and they told me today she has really been working hard. They have also been working on parts of the face which we have noticed. She is really good at eyes, ears, and nose.

But a fast paced week none-the-less. Plus it was COLD. Not snowy like the rest of the country because ours was already on the ground. I also realized in all the time we have lived here, I don't think they schools have ever had a snow day. We have higher standards up here I guess.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Twice-baked potatoes

I found this on allrecipes.com. I like this site because you change the serving size and it will change the recipe for you.

  • 2 large baking potatoes
  • 4 slices bacon
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese, divided
  • 4 green onions, sliced, divided
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. Bake potatoes in preheated oven for 1 hour.
  3. Meanwhile, place bacon in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium high heat until evenly brown. Drain, crumble and set aside.
  4. When potatoes are done allow them to cool for 10 minutes. Slice potatoes in half lengthwise and scoop the flesh into a large bowl; save skins. To the potato flesh add sour cream, milk, butter, salt, pepper, 1/2 cup cheese and 1/2 the green onions. Mix with a hand mixer until well blended and creamy. Spoon the mixture into the potato skins. Top each with remaining cheese, green onions and bacon.
  5. Bake for another 15 minutes.
I ended up breaking a potato skin, so my potatoes were a little full when I put them back in the oven. I also was tentative about scooping out the skins after I broke the first one so they were a little hard in places. I learned a trick from Martha Stewart that I will try next time to help with the scooping. She suggests slamming the taters on you counter to break up the insides and make them fluffy. Willa dug right in and I ate two myself, so I think we will be having these again. I have always heard they are so time intensive but really with a little practice I could get good at it.