Kids Cooking

My 8 year old daughter has always shown interest in cooking, so recently I taught her how to brown ground beef. She did very well and enjoyed it, too. Now she is an expert taco salad maker. It is great to have a break from cooking dinner every now and then. She enjoys doing it and really feels proud of herself.

Today my 11 year old son was asking to cook dinner! I took him up on it and taught him how to brown ground beef also. He is currently in the kitchen making spaghetti sauce. It smells really good so far.

I figure I can teach them each a meal or two and they can make their speciality whenever they feel like it- giving me a break from kitchen duty. Hopefully they won't get tired of cooking every once in a while because I'm sure it will be even more awesome after the baby is born.


Doin it all for my baby!

This has got to be my most healthy pregnancy of all. Just before we found out about this pregnancy I made a giant decision to go off of sugar, my life long friend. At first it wasn't so bad, but some days are much more difficult than others. There have been occasions of falling off the wagon and the hardest part is getting back on. I am not using any sweeteners at all, so the goal is to defeat the addiction to sweets. The sugar cravings are worse some days and the funny thing is that they come out of nowhere. If I ignore them (which I do) and don't indulge the craving (which I don't) then it goes away! The next day, whatever it was I was wanting the day before, doesn't even sound tempting anymore. But then a new craving emerges, raring it's ugly head. So the battle rages on! My fight against the sweetest enemy will continue and I refuse to surrender! Here is a list of a few of the sugary cravings which have come and gone. Some items are totally random.

Reese's peanut butter cups (who can blame me??)

lemon bars

fruit snacks

lime juice bars (with salt)

lemon meringue pie (ok- I did indulge this one :-( but only one time and only one piece)

double fudge cookie co. cookie

banana taffy (???)

bubble gum

Starbucks mocha frapucchino

yogurt with granola

swedish fish gummies (???)

cinnamon toast

peanut butter and jelly sandwich

those mints from Cracker Barrel with the candy shell

and lots of different fruits

Carbohydrates are also off the menu for me. These are a bit easier to resist except for biscuits, pasta, and corn chips. So far, this new way of eating has been paying off as I feel better than I have in years and my baby is healthy and big! My hope is to not have to contend with gestational diabetes or birthing a giant baby.



Monday was our 13th wedding anniversary. We kicked off the day with a good old fashioned 3 hour glucose test at my doctor's office where I had to drink 10 oz. of sugar syrup and have blood drawn from my arms 4 times. It wasn't fun, but my precious husband went with me and waited the whole darn time, holding my hand for each blood draw. After that we had lunch at home and just hung out while the 2 year old napped. At 5:00 we got to drop our children off at my mom's house so we could go out on a date! This is a rare treat. We really couldn't think of anything fabulous to do and there was a crazy thunderstorm going on that night, so we just wandered around in Target and a couple other stores until we got hungry for dinner. Then we went to our favorite Mexican restaurant where we each ordered our favorite dish. It was nice just taking our time eating and talking. After that we picked up the kids who had a great time at their grandparent's house. When they went to bed we did our anniversary tradition of looking through our wedding album. Then we remembered that we hadn't taken a picture. We always take a picture on our anniversary. So, even though we were already in our pajamas, we snapped a few shots. Nothing fancy, just a record of what we looked like this year. It was a low key kinda celebration, but relaxing and nice for Scotty to be off work for the day. And now it is back to real life for the rest of the week.


I Wanna Hold Your hand

....but when I can't this just might be the next best thing! Any mom with more than one child knows this feeling: you're in a parking lot, gathering the little ones, diaper bag/purse, keys, floppy seat*, or whatever else you need to take in the grocery store with you. With only 2 hands this can be a challenge. It is scary not to be able to hold on to each small child's hand as you cross the parking lot, install the floppy seat*, and finally make it inside. In the past I have designated a pant leg or pocket for each walking child to hold onto. This way I could feel them at my sides as we crossed the lot (or made our way through a crowd). But recently my friend sent me a link to a brilliantly simple way to keep them close and safe during these "I don't have enough hands!!" moments. It is a toddler handle. It only took me about 10 minutes to make and maybe $3 in supplies. This smart yet simple idea is perfect for my cautious two year old who will gladly hang onto her handle- as parking lots and such make her nervous. After I made it and showed it to her she got a big, proud smile on her face because it is something just for her- her own handle! When our new baby arrives it will be an extra hand for mom. I do realize that not every child will oblige, but if it will work for you I highly recommend the toddler handle. It's cheap, it's easy to make, it's fast and simple to slip onto the handle of your bag or stroller, it tucks in when not in use, and it's a great way to keep that little one safe when you can't hold their hand!
Here is the easy tutorial I used

*I might be a bit of a germophobe, but I swear the Floppy Seat has kept my child from getting sick many times! Plus it makes the cart more comfy for them.


Naming Baby

We make a pretty good team in the game of life, the challenge of parenting, or whatever else we set our minds to. So why do the Mr. and I have such a difficult time naming our offspring? The firstborn son was 3 days old before we were forced to settle on a name. They would not let us leave the hospital with the baby until the birth certificate was officially filled out. My sister ended up selecting his name from our (short) list of agreed upon faves. Then, our second born was named at birth and then re-named at 2 weeks old. Number 3 was the only one who had her name while still in the womb and it was so nice! But here we are again, struggling in a sea of names, desperately searching for the one. It's like the perfect name is in the back of my mind and I just can't make it come to me. The criteria is stiff and we might be a little picky. But this is a major decision! A little pickiness is in order.

1. First, common names are ruled out off the bat.
2. Second, trendy names are a definite no-no. So if a name has been in the top 10 in the last 5 years it will not be considered.
3. Of further importance: the meaning. It has to be good. For example, if the name means "obnoxious one" or "bringer of intense pain and sorrow" or "chronic liar" or "son of Lucifer" well, that's just not good.
4. It must also go well with the middle name- which was a no brainer since we decided to carry on Scotty and his dad's middle name- Daniel. So, like Manuel Daniel would be a no (not that we would consider Manuel in the first place)
5. Also, it can't be a fake, weird, or made up name like Huntwell or Kensingdell or Peyxton.
6. No one likes a copycat, so "stealing" a friend or relative's recently selected baby name is out. (However, flattering a friend or relative by naming the child after them is o.k.)
7. Associations. Must a expound on this one? Okay, for example: let's say your husband coached a soccer team with a child who was so exasperating that it made the coach want to snap off his pencil in his own eye socket at every practice, game, and even on picture day. That child's name will most likely get a thumbs down from the hubs.
8. Finally, and most dauntingly, we must both agree that we like, or better yet, LOVE the name. This is not easy since we have very different taste. His idea of a great name is usually my idea of lame. And he scrunches his nose at most of my suggestions.


We've really got our work cut out for us. The little fella is too important to pick just any old name. So, even though I have already been through the 3 name books we own, plus at least 4 more from the local library, plus the entire Bible (twice) the search must go on!
P.S. Would you believe we had a girl's name already picked out this time?
P.S.S. Spell check picked up the 3 fake, made up names. hee-hee-hee


Drumroll, please....

And Mippi came too!
Yesterday morning we went to our much anticipated ultra-sound. Our little baby is healthy and happy and wiggly and sweet. As the tech measured the brain and recorded the heart rate, looked for the 4 chambers of the heart and took the length of the leg and arm bones, Scotty and I were watching closely. We smiled and "Ahhh"ed at our little miracle. But mostly we squinted and concentrated, trying to catch a glimpse of the most important part we came to see: between the legs! Would we see something there or wouldn't we?? At first I thought maybe it was a girl because every time that wiggly baby flipped around and flashed it's bottom end I didn't see anything there. But then we caught a glimpse and there was no doubt!

It is a BOY!!!