Thursday, March 29, 2012

Pinterest Attempt #2: Bacon Wrapped Chicken

Pinterest original source: Diary of a Recipe Addict

This meal is going in the books as the best meal I've ever cooked! It was Matt puts salt and pepper on EVERYTHING, but this was the very first time he ate something I cooked without needing to sprinkle it on. That right there is about the best compliment I can get!

But wait, there's more! This recipe is also ridiculously easy. All of you, I insist, you must make this dish tonight. Your family will thank you for it.

Sweet & Spicy Bacon Chicken

3 chicken breasts, sliced lenghthwise into 3-4 strips each
Bacon, regular sliced
Chili Powder
Garlic Powder
Brown Sugar

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix together spices (not the sugar) and roll the chicken pieces in the mixture. Wrap one slice of bacon around each chicken piece. Coat the bacon wrapped chicken in brown sugar. Place in a shallow baking dish and bake for 30-40 minutes, or until bacon is somewhat crispy. Done!

For the spices, I just poured a small amount out without measuring, but I estimate I used 1/2 tsp each of chili powder and garlic powder, and 1/4 tsp each of salt and pepper. After rolling the chicken in the spices, I put the remainder in with the brown sugar.

Seriously, go make this chicken. You're gonna love it! Pinterest Attempt #2: Success!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Totally Cute Tuesday

She's loving her new zoo! (and mommy is loving that it was 50% off with the coupon in Sunday's paper for Target!)

Monday, March 26, 2012

Pinterest Attempt #1: Home Fragrance

I actually tried this out a couple of weeks ago, but am just now getting around to blogging about it. We were having our aunt & uncle over for dinner, and our house smelled of cat piss and rotten eggs (cat piss because bitch cat is peeing in the fireplace in the basement, and rotten eggs because our water has a lot of sulfur in it), so I thought it was the perfect occasion to try the Lemon Rosemary stovetop potpourri I found on Pinterest. The source, who used to work at Williams Sonoma, claims it's the recipe they use to make the store smell fantastic (I can't afford Williams Sonoma products and have never gone in the store, so this has no meaning for me, but I thought it seemed like it would smell lovely, so I decided to try it).

The recipe is a sliced lemon, sprigs of fresh rosemary, and a couple drops of vanilla in a small stock pot two-thirds full of water. Easy, cheap...but does it smell good? I say yes, it smells good, crisp, and clean. However, the scent failed to travel throughout my house. It didn't even make it out of the kitchen, and I have a fairly open floorplan. I even got creative and made a tiny batch of it in my Scentsy burner, located on my fireplace:

I was super excited for my sister to come home, because she has the nose of a hound dog. She could smell the needle in a haystack and promptly find it. I thought she'd bust into the living room raving about how wonderful it smelled. Unfortunately, she couldn't smell it unless she put her face right over the pot.

I had bought enough lemons and rosemary to make two batches, so I tried again the following weekend. The second time around, I put in less water and more rosemary and vanilla. And finally, we all smelled it. I definitely recommend trying this. It's super simple, super cheap (especially if you have a small rosemary plant), and adds a nice touch of fragrance to the air. Pinterest Attempt #1: Success!

Sleepover at Grandpa & Gammy's!

This past Saturday, Addison had her first play day and sleepover at Grandpa and Gammy's house - and it was a total success! We set up a crib for her in their den, put a dark blanket over the window, plugged in the baby monitor, dropped her off Saturday morning, and hoped for the best. Not only did she manage to take a good afternoon nap, she went to bed without a fuss and slept soundly through the night. And when I picked her up Sunday morning, she wasn't even all that excited to see me! (*heart breaking just a little*)

It's no surprise my professional-photographer-wannabe father documented the whole event. It seems as though she had a wonderful, exciting, and exhausting time! There was some reading...

And some eating...

And lots of pushing...

Clearly, she was well taken care of and she had a blast. So what did mommy and daddy do with their free time?? Well we had a blast too! We started off Saturday by going to see The Hunger Games movie. We both thought it was fabulous! After the movie, we drove to Coventry Village and enjoyed dinner at BD's Mongolian Barbecue, followed by a stroll down the quaint streets and through Big Fun toystore. Then we headed home and spent the remainder of the evening hanging out with Aunt Stephanie. Sunday morning, we enjoyed our coffee and morning newspaper without interruption. It was a wonderful, much needed break, but I was happy to see my little munchkin again!

Thank you Grandpa & Gammy for taking such good care of Addison!!!!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Great words...

A friend of mine pinned something great on Pinterest today, something that really inspired the mommy in me. And I want to share it, word for word (content was lifted from here, which that author lifted from the original source, which is uncopyrighted material).
The Way of the Peaceful Parent
There is no such thing as stress-free parenting.

A reader requested that I share my thoughts on stress-free parenting, as the father of six kids. And while I have learned a lot about being a dad, and finding joy in parenthood, I also know that stress-free parenting is a myth.

Parents will always have stress: we not only have to deal with tantrums and scraped knees and refusing to eat anything you cook, but we worry about potential accidents, whether we are ruining our kids, whether our children will find happiness as adults and be able to provide for themselves and find love.

That said, I’ve learned that we can find peace.

Peace isn’t a place with no stress, but a place where you take the stress as it comes, in stride, and don’t let it rule you. You let it flow through you, and then smile, and breathe, and give your child a hug.

The Way is only learned by walking it. Here are the steps I recommend:

  • Greet your child each morning with a smile, a hug, a loving Good Morning! This is how we would all like to be greeted each day.
  • Teach your child to make her own breakfast. This starts for most children at around the age of 3 or 4. Teach them progressively to brush their teeth, bathe themselves, clean up their rooms, put away clothes, wash their dishes, make lunch, wash their own clothes, sweep and clean, etc.
  • Teaching these skills takes patience. Kids suck at them at first, so you have to show them about a hundred times, but let them try it, correct them, and let them make mistakes. They will gradually learn independence as you will gradually have less work to do caring for them.
  • Know that when you screw up as a parent, everything will be fine. Forgive yourself. Apologize. Learn from that screw up. In other words, model the behavior you’d like your child to learn whenever he screws up.
  • Older children can help younger children — it’s good for them to learn responsibility, it helps the younger children learn from the older ones, and it takes some of the stress off you.
  • Read to them often. It’s a wonderful way to bond, to educate, to explore imaginary worlds.
  • Build forts with them. Play hide and seek. Shoot each other with Nerf dart guns. Have tea together. Squeeze lemons and make lemonade. Play, often, as play is the essence of childhood. Don’t try to force them to stop playing.
  • When your child asks for your attention, grant it.
  • Parents need alone time, though. Set certain traditions so that you’ll have time to work on your own, or have mommy and daddy time in the evening, when your child can do things on her own.
  • When your child is upset, put yourself in his shoes. Don’t just judge the behavior (yes, crying and screaming isn’t ideal), but the needs behind the behavior. Does he need a hug, or attention, or maybe he’s just tired?
  • Model the behavior you want your child to learn. Don’t yell at the child because he was screaming. Don’t get angry at a child for losing his temper. Don’t get mad at a kid who wants to play video games all the time if you’re always on your laptop. Be calm, smile, be kind, go outdoors and be active.
  • When a stressful time arises (and it will), learn to deal with it with a smile. Make a joke, turn it into a game, laugh … you’ll teach your child not to take things so seriously, and that life is to be enjoyed. Breathe, walk away if you’ve lost your temper, and come back when you can smile.
  • Remember that your child is a gift. She won’t be a child for long, and so your time with her is fleeting. Every moment you can spend with her is a miracle, and you should savor it. Enjoy it to the fullest, and be grateful for that moment.
  • Let your child share your interests. Bake cookies together. Sew together. Exercise together. Read together. Work on a website together. Write a blog together.
  • Patiently teach your child the boundaries of behavior. There should be boundaries — what’s acceptable and what’s not. It’s not OK to do things that might harm yourself or others. We should treat each other with kindness and respect. Those aren’t things the child learns immediately, so have patience, but set the boundaries. Within those boundaries, allow lots of freedom.
  • Give your child some space. Parents too often overschedule their child’s life, with classes and sports and play dates and music and clubs and the like, but it’s a constant source of stress for both child and parent to keep this schedule going. Let the child go outside and play. Free time is necessary. You don’t always have to be by her side either — she needs alone time just as much as you do.
  • Exercise to cope with stress. A run in solitude is a lovely thing. Get a massage now and then.
  • It helps tremendously to be a parenting team — one parent can take over when the other gets stressed. When one parent starts to lose his temper, the other should be a calming force.
  • Mom and dad need a date night every week or so. Get a babysitter, or better yet, teach the older kids to babysit.
  • Sing and dance together.
  • Take every opportunity to teach kindness and love. It’s the best lesson.
  • Kiss your child goodnight. And give thanks for another amazing day with your beautiful, unique, crazy child.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

K is for...


Make sure your volume is up for this one!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

I'm branching out!

The focus of this blog since I started writing has been, as the subtitle indicates, my adventures in mommyhood. But the subtitle also states, "and everything in between (in between eating and pooping and sleeping of course). Lately, I've been finding myself wanting to write posts about those things in between, such as recipes I've tried, ideas for my upcoming wedding, or my latest addiction to Pinterest. And since I am the owner of this blog, and the sole decision maker, I've decided I'm gonna go ahead and write those posts. You're welcome!

(Don't worry, I promise I wont forget about my little munchkin)

And what the heck, why not start right now? Let's talk about the major time suck that is Pinterest. It's awesome, right? If you haven't immersed yourself in it, you should. It's like having thousands of magazines to flip through, with the ability to clip and save the pictures of all the awesome things that inspire you, and it's absolutely free. I've planned out practically every detail of my wedding from it. I've found numerous DIY projects that look so awesome and simple. I've pinned lots of stuff that will help me be a creative, interactive mom. It's really very cool. The problem is, it can also be a huge daily reminder of how un-crafty I am, how little skill I have in the kitchen, and how I completely lack any sense of style. I promise I will attempt some of the DIY crafts and recipes I've pinned, but I imagine they'll turn out to be a total catastrophe. In fact, there's actually a website devoted to crafts that have failed, with a special section for Pinterest fails. Check it out, it's pretty funny. I look forward to sharing all of my Pinterest fails with you!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Chapter Closed

Today is a fresh start for Addison and me. It's the beginning of our first week without Baby J. He was a special part of our lives for the past six weeks, but on Friday, we said bye-bye for the final time. And if I'm being totally honest, I'm very happy about it. Baby J is just over three months old, and although he is beyond easy to take care of, a three month old drains energy no matter what. I'm happy to be spending all my time and energy on Addy going forward, rather than dividing it between the two. I think it's pretty difficult to do when one of them is not your own.

I am very happy that I had the opportunity to babysit him, though. Addy absolutely shocked me with how well she handled him being here, and I absolutely shocked myself with my ability to juggle the demands of the increased responsibility. My house certainly wasn't as clean as I prefer to maintain it, and dinner wasn't always ready on time, but overall, I think I did a great job of keeping things in order.

Baby J - we're gonna miss you, little smiley man!

Looooong toes!

Addy checkin' him out


Thursday, March 1, 2012

I guess I got it all wrong

Yesterday, I picked up a huge coloring book and jumbo crayons at the craft store. Addy is always trying to steal my pen when I'm using it, so I thought she'd really enjoy coloring. I thought wrong, as the following video proves:

Notice the shredded paper behind her; the remnants of the first page we tried to color. I guess she's just not ready for crayons yet. BTW, the entire line of Crayola products is BOGO 50% off at Michael's, through 3/3 I believe. Great deal.