Saturday, May 29, 2010

One small step....

Jelly is at that stage where she is crawling everywhere. Standing without holding on, walking with rolling things...but is still just one step from figuring it all out. That stage where it is hard to bring your baby anywhere because you just don't want them crawling on cement or dirt or whatever suface is not baby friendly. She's at the point where being held is not fun when we are at a new place. She just wants to crawl and explore...or in her case, crawl and climb. And of course I refuse to put her down because, my baby is still perfect. No bruises, no scrapes, just perfect beautifully soft baby skin. I know that if I put her down to crawl on cement, those chubby knees will get scraped, her legs will have little bruises and then I have to admit that I no longer have a baby but a toddler.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

OOOps I think these are Granola Bars

Today I attempted to make granola bars. It is not my first foray into making homemade ones. I have made the super yummy ones over at Evolving Mommy's site. But I wanted something sweet. Something to replace my Quaker Chocolate covered ones. I had some ideas on how to put it together, but I wanted some inspiration. Of course I went to my favorite recipe website and got a few ideas. But really I wanted three items in them: mini chocolate chips, Mini marshmallows, and coconut. So I started to just throw together items that I liked from all of the recipes I found online. I can not stop eating the final product. Cookie even loves it. Unfortunately I can not give to jelly quite yet, but I am sure she would ask for more and more. So below is what I came up with.

While this recipe may need a little tweaking, here it is.

2 cups of rolled oats
2 1/2 cups rice crispies
1/2 cup raisins
1/4 cup coconut
1/4 cup mini marshmallows
1/4 cup of mini chocolate chips
1 tsp flax seed
1 tsp of cinnamon
1 egg beaten
3/4 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup molasses
1/2 cup of honey
1 tbsp vanilla
1/2 cup of cashew butter

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Generously grease a 9X13 inch baking pan.
2. In a large bowl, mix together the oats, 1/4 cup of the brown sugar, rice crispies, raisins, coconut, marshmallows, chocolate chips, and flax seed. Make a well in the center and pour in the honey and the egg. Mix ingredients well.
3. Combine the rest of the brown sugar and molasses in a small saucepan over medium heat. Heat until just boiling, then remove from heat. Stir in cashew butter and vanilla until smooth. Pour over mixture and mix well.
4. Press into prepared pan using the back of a large spoon.
5. Bake in the oven about 25 minutes.
6. Allow to cool, cut into squares.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Childhood Memories

I realized the other day that things that were staples growing up for me, things that were taken for granted will not be part of my own kids lives. The summer weekly trips to the beach, playing hookey to go to Disneyland, celebrity sightings and movies being made down the street.

It's weird to think my kids won't really know the beach. Won't know the sticky feeling of dried salt water on their bodies during the drive home. Or tar stuck to the bottom of their feet and sand in places they didn't know existed. Piles of sand at the bottom of the car, or sand burn from walking bare foot on the blazing hot surface. Seaweed wrapping around ankles, or finding buckets of seashells. They will know the beach as vacationers, not locals. In fact, I was so out of practice, that when we went to San Diego and the beach, I forgot to bring towels, changes of clothes, extra washing water and of course sand toys. Maybe next time.

After our recent trip to Disneyland, I realized that as kids, we probably went once a year. My own kids will get to go, maybe every two to three years. I used to know Disneyland so well, that I could tell you what company sponsored what ride. I could tell you when a cue was changed. Now, I didn't even know there was a new Winnie the Pooh ride. My parents used to take us kids once a year. They'd wake us up early in the morning, tell us to get dressed, and that we were going to visit family and had to take the day off school. We'd end up at Disneyland.

Movies were made right in my own backyard. Little House on the Prairie and Poltergeist just to name a couple. Celebrity sightings was an everyday thing. It got to the point that when you saw a celebrity it was no big deal. Moving making became more of a hindrance than anything. Street closures, detours, and rude celebrities was just another day in paradise. I can even claim to have taught a celebrity's offspring.

I am not quite sure what will become memories and every day past times for my kids. Maybe it will be summer bike rides on the trail or hikes in the Rockies. Maybe trips to Horsetooth Resevoir or one of the many lakes that I can't quite bring myself to go to because a lake is just not the ocean. Whatever we decide to do, my kid's memories will not echo my own childhood. I know we moved here for all the right reasons. I know we moved here for them, and maybe a little bit for us, too. But it is a little sad to acknowledge that the beach is now a vacation destination.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

For the Record

If you read my last entry than you know that I desperately need a break. Hubby gallantly offered me one, albeit not truly. He suggested I take break when I put Cookie down for a nap and take Jelly with me to get some coffee. Ummmm...last time I looked that would mean I still had an appendage. When I said I just needed some quiet down time away from the whole entire house, I did not mean time away from just Cookie. But, really I was happy to have Cookie just take a friggin nap. So I told him that I would rather stay home where Jelly could crawl around than be unhappy in a high chair somewhere...he then asked me to run errands.

So for the record, running errands is not a break. Taking one kid instead of two is not a break. It is easier, but not a break. A break is a blissful couple hours sans kids, sans screaming, sans someone hanging on one's leg. I am tired of taking Cookie places to play, and all she wants me to do is read to her. I paid $8 yesterday at the local play place for me to read to her! I can do that for free at home, at the library, and at the bookstore.

But, after she did nap for an hour today, I felt much better, a little more even, a little more less like I was going to loose it. And it helped that I told hubby that if he didn't stop provoking me, I really was going to loose it.

Tomorrow is a new day, let's hope it is full of happy kids and healthy kids.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

I Quit

I Quit! Sometimes as a Mommy I want to quit....well for just a little while anyway. Those days where it starts at midnight with multiple awakenings by the kids every hour until they fully awake at 6 a.m. full of energy, raring to go, while I slog through the morning trying not to fall asleep while playing endless block stacking. Those days where the whining is in fever pitch and that it is so bad I start whining. Those days that I actually turn to caffeine instead of decaf. Where I would like to go to the gym, but the whole idea of changing clothes, getting in the car and going just tires me. The day where getting on my bike makes me want to cringe.

Well today I quit! Or wish I could. But snotty noses have to be wiped. Teething babies need to be comforted. And meals need to be made. I remember my mom used to yell this same thing sometimes, "I QUIT!" Then she'd leave the room. Of course I totally had forgotten this, until this morning when I wanted to shout it at the top of my lungs, walk out the front door, and not come back until I had had some sort of caffeine laced chocolate ice cream concoction. I had a very clear memory then. Poor mom, she made it look soooo easy, or maybe I was just a rude clueless kid.

Hubby thought he was being funny when I went out to get the paper in my bathrobe and PJ's and he shut and locked the door. I yelled back, "I don't think you want to do that today, cause I'll just keep going. I don't care how I look." Plus my neighbor is out of town, I have the code to her garage, and she has told me that I am welcome to come and sit in her house and enjoy the quiet. Let me tell you, her house looked mighty inviting this morning.

Today, I wanted to say the words, "Goblin King, Goblin King, come take these children away from me." But really, I don't want my kids to be taken away, I want to get away, or be taken away to someplace far far away, for just a little while. If you've seen the movie "Date Night", Tina Fey's character admits that no, she has never thought about cheating on her husband, but she does fantasize about going to a hotel room, sitting in nothing but quiet solitude for a couple hours, and just enjoying a cold Sprite. Now I know I'm not the only one.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Amish White Bread

My friend over at Evolving Mommy has challenged herself to make a new type of bread every week this year. I must admit, she is my hero when it comes to baking. I look forward to reading her blog every week to see what kind of bread she has made and if it turned out okay.

I have been on a mission to try and start making my own bread for the family. The first step in this process has been to find a recipe that I can make and have it turn out every time, something that not only tastes good, but something everyone in the family will eat. I wanted a recipe that was good for sandwiches, good with soup, and overall just plain great alone or with butter.

One of my favorite websites is I have found more fantastic recipes on this site. Some of course are not so good, but I have begun to be able to read through people's reviews and even the recipes themselves and determine if it will be worth the trouble. This said, I turned to the site for a great bread recipe. No offense meant to my friend Catherine, but her Honey Whole Wheat Bread, while good, did not do it for the family. Maybe it's because we're more of a white bread people, or maybe I just had to figure out how to make my yeast foam....whatever it was, I tried it, it was yummy, but the family wasn't sold.

After some trial and error, I came across the following recipe for Amish White Bread. I love that it is simple, the ingredients are simple, and that I can alter it, add to it, and it has always come out great. Add to the fact that hubby and kids like it. The family prefers the recipe as is below. But I have switched out 2 cups of the bread flour for whole wheat flour. I always add about a tbsp of flax seeds to each loaf. And I have also made this a breakfast bread. Since the recipe makes two loaves, I will take half and add cranberries, chopped up cashews, and some cinnamon. Yummmy.

Amish White Bread

2 cups of warm water
2/3 cups of sugar
1 1/2 tbsp yeast
1/4 cup of vegetable oil
1 tsp salt
6 cups of bread flour

1. Dissolve the sugar in the water in mixing bowl. Mix in the yeast. Allow yeast to activate about 10 minutes (should be foamy)
2. Mix in the oil and the salt. Add the flour one cup at a time. Knead Dough about 10 minutes (I use my Kitchen Aide with the dough hook).
3. Place Dough in a well oiled bowl. Cover with a damp towel and allow to rise about 1 hour until double in size.
4. Punch down dough and knead about 2 minutes.
5. Separate dough and place into well oiled bread pans, shape into bread shape. Cover both with damp towels and allow to rise about another hour, until dough is about 1 inch above pans.
6. Bake about an hour at 350 degrees. (I know when mine is done by sticking a temp. gage into the loaf and when it reads 180 degrees, bread is done.)

* I add flax seed when I add the flour. Also, if I want to add anything extra to one loaf and not the other, I separate the dough after the first rise, and then add to one half, and knead them separately.