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


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 ( ).  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 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.

Crock pot rotisserie chicken

I originally found this over at New Nostalgia, and she had it linked to A Year of Slow cooking. Both good blogs. I am also making chicken stock from the leftover bones following New Nostalgia's directions. I'll let you know how that goes.

Crock pot rotisserie chicken

-1 whole chicken, skinned (4-5 pounds)

--2 tsp kosher salt (if you'd like it as salty as the ones in the store, add another 1 tsp.)
--1 tsp paprika
--1 tsp onion powder
--1/2 tsp dried thyme
--1 tsp Italian seasoning
--1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
--1/2 tsp black pepper
--pinch of chili pepper (probably not necessary) (I didn't add any!)

--4 whole garlic cloves (optional)
--1 yellow onion, quartered (optional)

The Directions.

I used a 6 quart crockpot for a 5 pound bird. It fit nicely.

Skin the chicken and get rid of the neck and other stuff from the cavity. This takes a while, and is gross. Keep small children away so you don't freak out about salmonella. (I did do this!)

In a bowl, combine all of dried spices. Rub the spice mixture all over the bird, inside and out. Plop the bird breast-side down into the crock pot.

If desired, shove 4 whole garlic cloves and a quartered onion inside the bird. (I had garlic but I forgot to add them.)

Do not add water.

Cover and cook on high for 4-5 hours, or on low for 8. The meat is done when it is fully cooked and has reached desired tenderness. The longer you cook it, the more tender the meat.

I think the next time I would do it on low for 8 hours. I started on high but should have realized since I started it early I needed it to stay warm for awhile. B also suggested that along with the spices I inject some marinade which would keep it juicier. My tinkering with the temp's caused it to dry just a little.

A week in review

B finally made it home in the wee hours of the morning on Wednesday and we are glad to have him back. He got open all his Christmas presents with a little help from Willa and I finally got all his laundry done. He always packs to much and this time was no exception. From the looks of it he might have worn half of what he took.

It seemed like a busy week at work as well. We wrapped up an audit, I completed fieldwork on one, moved two farther along, and started prepping for two more. Plus, there are two more on the horizon.

B had guard drill this weekend as well, so Willa and I worked on some things. Mainly a meal plan for the week and prepping for the dinner I made today. We also made granola and I started downloading some books to my new e-reader. It is going to be an adjustment for me paying more than a few dollars for books. I am used to garage sale and thrift store prices. I didn't get everything done on my list, but marked off enough to feel productive for the weekend.

I know I posted it on facebook, but since this is my official keep trap of things place, Willa's 15 month stats were 23.6 lbs and 31 inches. She finally started saying cold!, after everything has been Hot!

I also thought I might start posting the recipes I try because I usually forget where I have found them when I go to make them again. Today we had crock-pot rotisserie chicken and twice baked potatoes. I also made granola and its a good recipe. I hope you don't mind.

Sunday, January 2, 2011


I have spent many days writing several posts in my head, but the procrastinator in me kept putting off actually putting my fingers to the keyboard.

The last two weeks have been very out of the ordinary. B left for another TDY, Willa got sick, we had visitors for the holiday, and I took some vacation days. Plus a few sick days before the vacation and holidays but it is what it is. We are on the mend, the guests have left and B will be home in a few days. Before we know it we will be back in the swing of things.

I am not one for setting New Year's Resolutions but I since I haven't been at work for what seems like forever it has given me some time to reflect. Reflection is usually not good for my ego, but it's what I do. My hope and I think this is probably typical for many women is to find a balance in life between all the hats we try to wear. B said something to me a while ago and I have really tried to take it to heart. "Why don't you do 1 thing 100 times well, instead 100 things once. " It was in relation to all the crafts I wanted to do, but I think it can be used across the board. I have really been trying to finish all the things I have started before picking up new things. (However, somebody sent me like 5 books for Christmas and I have already made it through 3. But I am on vacation right?)

Christmas was bittersweet. We missed B, but I was so excited for everyone to open the gifts I had made and purchased. I hope to keep this up and give everyone something homemade and as my skill level increases, I think I can handle small projects without letting them get out of hand. Blogging has broadened my horizons and spawned an excel spreadsheet with all the projects I think would be fun to do someday. And with tutorials, my life gets so much easier.

Being sick for Christmas dampened the Chicksters enjoyment of present time, but it hasn't slowed her down this weekend from playing with most of her new things. The Fisher Price toys may have evolved but they can still provide hours of entertainment. I am pretty sure she told me to Go Away today and ask me Why? when I told her to sit down. Never thought I would get sass from a 15 year old but it takes all I can to not laugh sometimes. Pretty sure I am going to eat those words soon.

I know I talk a lot about how much she amazes and surprises me, but there is something new everyday. Mostly, its just things I think she isn't big enough for and then she seems to master them quickly. Even though she wants to eat the crayons she does enjoy coloring. She can't get all her puzzle pieces to lock in place but she usually puts them in the right spot. Her self-feeding spoon techniques improve each day and she makes less of a mess. I can't help but praise our daycare, because it seems like just when I think we should be introducing something she already has it down. I really think there is a BALANCE between letting her be a kid and super strict structure of learning. I think we are doing a pretty good job despite coming home some nights to throw something on the table, have a tub and getting ready for bed in a short amount of time.

I hope we continue to work towards balance and continue to grow. Despite not having resolutions, I have a pesky goal that I hope to conquer at last.

Welcome 2011 and the anniversary of my blog.