Saturday, March 31, 2012


So this is it. The end of the month long challenge. It was pretty intense. Some days were a lot harder than others. And some days were unbelievably easy. Writing wise anyway.

In life, those days had their ups and downs too. Today for example, Day 1 of spring break and I wake up not feeling well. Stuffy, coughing, achy.


So I get up and chug a glass of juice, pour some cereal for DD and myself and start my day. We've got big plans to spring clean everything. Today was the playroom. Most peoples first choice for cleaning? No probably not. The method behind my madness? To have the playroom cleaned and the arts center set up to entertain DD while I do the rest of the house. Genius? I think so.

I got the whole room done.

You might have noticed a lack of toys. They're not in the toy box either. Part of my spring cleaning plan is to take advantage of Husband and make him take DD shopping for a new toy tomorrow morning. New lego set perhaps? I'm not sure what yet, but I do know that while they're gone I will be going through the 3 1/2 totes full of toys and throwing away anything broken, packing away baby stuff, and making a donation pile of the toys she never ever plays with.

This way I won't have to hear "Mommy, no, I want that. I promise I'll play with it." Only to find out next week it already has a layer of dust and the faint smell of an ignored toy on it.

Afterwards, God willing, I will have an empty tote ready to pack up the kitchen toys (food, dishes, etc..) and it will be the kitchen "island" to help her cook. And the rest of the keeper toys will go in the colored bins.

The accomplished feeling I got looking at the room while I took those pictures made me feel so much better. I think the lunch of subway helped also.

I'm so glad to have been part of this month long journey with you all. Thank you.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Where's my sunshine?

Today was shaping up to be a gorgeous day, the sun was out in full force, the temp was warm enough for short sleeves. It was great. Took DD and Nephew to see my husband's grandma, and while we were in her house the clouds rolled in and the rain started p o u r i n g like it needed to be filling up glasses and buckets for our next drought. We drove back to Nephew's house and the kiddos laid down for a nap. It is STILL raining. Monsoon season in Washington? The cherry blossoms in Nephew's backyard are drooping from the weight of all this rain. Please mother nature let me have my sunshine back.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Amazing Submarine Adventure

So today I really needed to clean my car. I had to pull out the stuff and vacuum the floors and the seats and wash the outside (stupid in WA where it rains every day but it still needs to get done sometimes). Nephew and DD came with me first thing this morning to the self service car wash where, $3 later the small bag of trash was out, the stuff for inside my house was in a box in my trunk and the floors and seats were vacuumed up, and I had wiped down my dash with one of those nice lemon scented wipes that cleaned my window too.

Then as we started to drive home, inspiration struck in the form of commercial memory. Maybe you've seen this. Instead of goldfish food, DD and Nephew had toy whales and we went on our own submarine adventure. They came up with the submarine being attacked by jellyfish. I didn't even mention that part to them, which is why it's not an octopus. They had a blast and immediately started talking about going through the carwash again tomorrow. Oh boy, how to explain to two preschoolers that the carwash isn't an everyday thing, when all they see it as is an adventure.

After the adventure we headed home for real and had crescent sandwiches. Meats and cheeses and hot dogs were the fillings for these sandwiches. They filled the little tummies and after picking up Nephew T from his half day, DD and Nephew took naps that they both desperately needed. It was a good day. I made a good memory with the kiddos, I made a good lunch, a yummy dinner and finished off making a few Pinterest recipes.

'Crack' bread, S'more Trail Mix, and Bailey's Irish Coffee Creme Fudge

Nephew's mommy is my taste test guinea pig and she complained just tonight how her jeans were a little too snug this afternoon. -evil laugh- My plan is working! (Shhh don't tell). 2 More days. Happy blogging!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

SOLCS - 28

So, who can believe there's only 3 days left in March? Not me. It seems like just last week we started this challenge. There have been hard days, there have been days where nothing seemed to make sense when I was writing, or reading, I get so brain-dead sometimes. But here we are, almost all the way to the end! We did it slicers!

Pat yourselves on the back for me because you all are amazing and fantastic! I have been blessed to be part of this community for the past month. Thank you for welcoming me in with open arms! Thank you for sharing your ideas and thoughts.

lunchtime fun

It started with a note.

Tucked delicately into an egg for Nephew T to read. I made their "Muffin Tin Monday lunch" and put everything in Easter eggs. Hid them around the kitchen and dining area. then I called them all down to lunch.

"Uhhh, Auntie Kara. Where's my lunch?" Nephew asked when they got to the table. I gave them the rules and made sure the little ones listened to Nephew T read the note very carefully. Then it was on! they had a blast finding the eggs and Nephew T asked that I hide his better next time (Next time?! You actually WANT me to make lunch again? -happy dancing-) but other than the eggs being too easy to find, they loved the lunch.

You may wonder why I'm doing an Easter lunch almost 2 full weeks before Easter, but I'm not going to get another Monday with my Nephews before Easter because next week is SPRING BREAK! Nephew's mommy has conferences all this week, so Nephew T has half days and is looking forward to lunches with me.


Nephew T

 They all look so happy! These are the pictures of the memories I am making, that make everything else I do in my life as a mom worth it!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Mamma Mia!

MIL and SIL go to a play, once a month or so. I've tagged along for a few of the family type ones where we've gotten tickets for the moms and kids. We've been to see Mary Poppins, Aladdin, Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast! I love it. Yesterday was Mamma Mia! No kids. Just a nice girls day. We did lunch, we saw the play (fantastic!) we stopped by Pike's Market to grab some flowers. It was a wonderful day. then we went to MIL's house where the men had stayed home with the kids.

They spent the day playing football and going on an adventure hike! The kids had lots of fun. We were greeted to the wonderful smells of perfectly cooked steak as we drove up to the house. SIL had to run home right away to let her doggy outside and Nephew decided to go home with his mommy. Nephew T however wanted to stay and keep eating steak, so we brought him home after dinner. DD talked a lot about all the fun they had yesterday, so while I was a little worried she might be upset about missing Mamma Mia (she loves the movie) I think she had an even better time with her Daddy and Grandpa than she would have with me.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Try as I might

Try as I might to sleep in today I was up and about by 7. My internal clock was blaring, then my bladder joined in and that was the end. Was able to do stuff on the computer and get breakfast for DD before she even woke up. Then once the sun burned off the fog and clouds we all got dressed and went outside. DD played on her swing set, with chalk and on her bike while Husband and I cleaned out the shed in the backyard. It was a project we needed to get done so we can move things from the house out there. And we finished. Hurray for productive Saturday. I bet if I had slept in I wouldn't have felt so productive though.

Friday, March 23, 2012

So tired.

I'm very tired tonight so I apologize ahead of time if my post is a bit of a yawn. It was a gloriously sunny day out and DD, Nephew and I got some good old fashioned fresh air and outdoors time. First we took a music class. They learned how to creatively move their bodies to music from a different culture, they learned to sing in a different language, they learned to play instruments and learned to read/write music. Non of this stuff was mastered. It was our first class and it's for young kids. So it's basics. But then we went to the park and they ran around and jumped and climbed and rolled around until their bellies hurt from laughing so hard.

Then we got back to Nephew's house and I started making dinner. I sliced the potatoes, coated them in olive oil stuck them in their foil pouch and baked them for about an hour. They were nice and tender and Nephew T gave them great reviews. I pan cooked some thinly sliced steaks in minced garlic and olive oil and served it on crusty french bread. Made a Caesar salad (from a kit) and cracked open a fruit bowl. It was a big hit with Nephew T who hasn't liked many of the chicken dinners I've made but has gobbled up everything beef. He even asked for some seconds! DD, well what can I say, she's a s----l----o----w eater. But she eats. She finished everything on her plate except her salad, but she's not my salad eater, and she did give it a fair try. Nephew, however, didn't eat his meat or his potatoes. He wanted to eat fruit and salad for dinner. -pouts- Even the dog got in on some of the meat. I cut up a slice of steak and mixed it with her dinner. I love steak sandwiches, if I could eat them everyday and end it with something marshmallowy for dessert I'd be the happiest girl in the world.

But I am tired now. I think the kids enjoyed the music class so it may become a regular Friday activity until one/both of them start kindergarten. TGIF! Happy blogging!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

5 senses and a deformed butterfly

The title will make sense in a few minutes, and it will be funny. I promise. Just keep reading.

Today DD and Nephew learned about the 5 senses. I was a little baffled as to how to make a fun lunch to show the 5 senses, but we sure did A LOT of sensory work while they ate.

"Mommy, what's that yummy smell?" DD asked as she bounced into the kitchen. She got brand new socks today, and gets very bouncy in brand new socks (cheaper addiction than shoes right?)

"Well sweetie, that is one of your senses telling you that I'm making a quesadilla for lunch. Can you tell me which sense you used?"

She was very puzzled and had to think about it for a minute, but got it soon after. I find that if I don't work with them right after school, they both seem to lose everything they learned. I thought little minds were supposed to be sponges, not sieves.

I asked lots of questions like that, aiming them at both DD and Nephew, sometimes switching off, sometimes asking both and seeing who could get it first. After 30 minutes the game got old and they were ready to go play. So I had them wash hands and they I pulled out a surprise treat. Chocolate dipped marshmallows covered in sprinkles with a pretzel stick for the handle. I am not ashamed of trying to turn the kids into marshmallow lovers like me.

They each had one and spent the rest of the day being angels. Or so I'd like to let you think. Nephew T and SIL came home and Nephew T had lost something of his and SIL was very upset. Understandably so because this is the second time this month he's lost this item and he acts like he doesn't care. But she was upset and so she told him he couldn't play until he found the item. Well, boys will be boys and immediately started fighting over something.

Again, if I could just let it end here I would. But then you'd get the impression that my Nephews are rotten and I have an easy kid. Well, I'm here to correct any wrong impressions I may have given.

Nephews both went to bed so I let DD cuddle up and play a drawing game on my iPad while SIL and I finished a movie (Friends With Benefits ...SO FUNNY!) DD got dessert a little while after the boys were asleep because she finished all her dinner and SIL has Push-pops which are easily "the best dessert ever!" if DD's opinion is the end all. Now onto the troublesome part...

As soon as she finishes her Push-pop, she turns on her whiny voice and says, "But mommy, I wanted to have dessert at home." "Well sweetheart, you shouldn't have asked for a Push-pop, or you should have told me before we opened it that you wanted dessert at home instead." Now...she didn't REALLY want dessert at home instead, this was her way of trying to get two desserts. But instead of batting her eyes at me, and giving me the sad lost puppy look, she scrunches up her nose, squints her eyes, drops her jaw and cries. She looks like a deformed butterfly that fell out of it's cocoon too early (thanks Elizabeth for that description that will forever live on in my brain.)

I may need to take Elizabeth's advice and put her in front of a mirror next time she makes that face, and ask if she would give into the ugly face she makes. I can't help but roll my eyes, sigh and chuckle to myself when she gets like that. It's going to turn into an eye twitch moment I know it.

I gave her extra love at bedtime, but she dealt with having only one dessert. Happy blogging!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Skating lessons

I redid the Triangle lunch today. Same sandwich, except it was PB&J today, but I cut up the apples into triangles and they had lots of fun building pyramids with food. It was a good day.

DD and Nephew have been in a beginners ice skating class the past few months and tonight was the last night of their session. Well, DD came off the ice and said "Mommy, I want to keep skating, I really like it, but right now my foot hurts." So we hurried her to a bench and took off her rental skates and helmet and when I turned them in I signed her up for the next lesson. She'll be going on Saturdays now which will be lots more fun because Husband almost never works Saturday mornings so he'll get to watch her skate more.

We have two weeks to use up her free skate passes she got with her lessons, before the next session starts. I guess I know what we're doing over spring break!

Today was much better than yesterday. I appreciate all the "been there" comments. It means a lot to me to know I'm no the only one who goes brain dead sometimes. Happy blogging!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Bad Day

After Nephew's mommy and older brother being sick yesterday, I wasn't sure what to expect today, but they both went to work/school. So DD and Nephew had pre-school today and they learned about triangles. Easiest sandwich ever. Grilled cheese cut into 4 triangles and banana slices, carrot sticks and fishy crackers. I was not up to making something super fancy after the morning I had.

Drop DD and Nephew at pre-school, head back to my house to change my wash from before I left, make Husband's lunch, turn off lights and such and without thinking and lock my door and shut it, without grabbing my keys. So I'm locked out of not only my house, but my car as well. It was freezing, it had been raining on and off all day, and thank God this was an off moment. My cell phone was in my car and all I had was husband's lunch and a desperate desire to find a phone. My new neighbors across the street are getting a very big welcome basket this weekend for helping me out.

Husband was able to get to me and unlock the house and get me in with plenty of time to spare before picking up DD and Nephew. I am very very lucky to have him. I hope tomorrow is a good day for everyone. Goodnight, sleep tight and happy blogging!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Shooting stars and sick days

Nephew's older brother and his momma were sick today. She had to go into work for a half day but Nephew's older brother (Nephew T for this story) was able to join us for lunch. He opted out of a fun sandwich though. DD and Nephew had shooting star sandwiches, banana slices, carrot sticks, goldfish crackers and water to drink. Nephew T had the same thing except his sandwich was just cut in half. It was a very quiet day and I hope that they're all feeling better tomorrow. No pictures because they were too busy gobbling and Nephew T was in a very grumpy mood during lunch. Poor guy. :(

Happy blogging!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Apple slices and snuggles.

DD's dessert tonight was apple slices. First I cut them off into chunks. Then I slice them up. However, tonight she got two apples and I took two chunks of the apple and use little cookie cutters just for something special. Then, while she was munching we cuddled up on the couch and watched a kid show and read books.

The time was so special to me already and when I asked her what her favorite part of the day was she smiled and replied "This." So simple it made my heart burst.

And then she told me that I could cut her apples into shapes anytime I wanted because they taste better that way. Back to waking up early tomorrow. DD is looking forward to spending more time with Nephew and Husband is going golfing with his dad for his day off. Should be a good Monday all around! Happy blogging~

Saturday, March 17, 2012

St. Patrick's Day

I'm part Irish...admittedly a very small part, but it's there. I'm also part Italian. That part is quite a bit bigger. So any traditional cooking from "the old country" was done by my Italian grandma. We've never been big on corned beef and cabbage. In fact, they never made it until after I grew up ad could cook my own meals. The only time I ever had it was as a child at a dinner with my Dad's family. I did not like it. So I never ate it after that.

My mother in law has a dinner every year, but we haven't attended. Either because we lived out of state or my husband was working and we only had one running car or, like last year, she decided to just make a small dinner and we could skip it if we wanted to. This year, the Husband was working the close shift and MIL asked me if DD could come to the dinner even if I wanted to skip it. So I figured I'd go rather than stay by myself at home.

Now, I am a rather picky eater, and I do the very best I can to expose DD to lots of things and make her give them a fair try. If she doesn't like it, that's fine. We'll reopen it in a few months or a year. I get it, tastes change. So tonight I gave corned beef another try. It's been nearly 20 years since I've had it anyway. It was very good. The whole meal was good, but I ate around the cabbage. It's probably not something I will ever cook though. Brisket is one of my least favorite cuts of beef. But I will be a lot more open to going to St. Patrick's day parties and trying the food again.

Thank you, Mom, for not pushing me to eat it when I didn't like it as a child. And thank you, MIL, for giving me the time to try it again without pushing.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Egg rolls

"Mmmm. Yea, you can cook Asian food for me anytime you want." Elizabeth says that as she bites into a warm crispy homemade egg roll.

At least, she says that now. But a while later, as I was finishing my last batch of egg rolls she started "complaining" that the problem with me cooking for her is that she's not too tired after working and cooking, so she's eating more than normal. I just roll my eyes and scoff, like I do every time she talks like this.

The egg rolls turned out great, and I didn't burn a single one, which is more than I can say for making them at my house. But they cook faster on my stove, so I don't usually have time to fold my next batch while the first batch is frying, but her stove cooks nice and slow, so they came out perfect.

My recipe is simple.

1 pkg refrigerated egg roll wrappers
1 lb chicken breast cooked and shredded
1 small pkg of coleslaw mix
2-3 tbsp soy sauce

Combine chicken, coleslaw mix and soy sauce in a bowl. Add more sauce if desired, I tend to add more when cooking for my husband. Lay 1-2 tbsp of mixture in center of egg roll wrapper and fold. Wet the seam lightly to get it to stick closed. When you have enough for a full batch, I fit 5 in my sauce pan, start heating vegetable oil in a pan just until you hear it sizzle. Turn the heat down to medium low and place the egg rolls seam side down in the pan. Fry until brown, 2-3 minutes on each side, then lay the fried egg rolls on a paper towel to absorb the excess oil.

I was able to make my next batch while my first batch was cooking by using Elizabeth's stove. Have I mentioned I love cooking at her house? Because I do. Happy slicing. I hope you all enjoy your weekends.

Lucky in lunch

Today was our St. Patrick's day meal for the kiddos. It was a smash!

On the plate's:
Green Mac & cheese.
Rainbow cupcake pot o'gold

Center plate:
Fruit rainbow
Marshmallow clouds (you remember my marshmallow love from a few posts back)

For the Mac & cheese I added a few drops of green food coloring as I mixed in the cheese packet. For the cupcakes I simply added food coloring to the batter in 5 individual bowls and dropped a little into each cup. The fruit plate had watermelon, cantaloupe, pineapple, green grapes, blueberries, purple grapes, and of course mini marshmallows.

Fruit plate

 DD's                              Nephew's

Rainbow cupcakes

Homemade egg rolls tonight for dinner, maybe tomorrows blog will be the recipe. Happy slicing!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Quesadillas and peanut butter with bananas

So it was pouring rain all morning and the kids asked for grilled cheese for the umpteenth time this week. I was loathed to oblige because I was in a rainy day gloomy mood. So I improvised. Pulled out the tortilla shells and freshly shredded some cheese and whipped them up a pan grilled quesadilla. I cut it in half and each half into 3 and the ate it up. They also wanted banana slices instead of just a half. then they got cookie cutter shaped bread smeared with peanut butter for a little protein.

DD's Plate

Nephew's Plate

Neither of them wanted the peanut butter bread, but they ate it anyway.

Then we stayed at Nephew's house and made dinner for Elizabeth and her family again too (Husband joined us after he got off work). I made Teriyaki chicken, with a recipe I found on BeyondKimchee. Her food looks divine, and I am so glad I tried this recipe. I used chicken breasts instead of legs, because that's what's preferred in our family, so you work with what works for you..right? Right! It came out so good. Mine didn't look quite as pretty as the pictures on her blog, but it was yummy, and now it's my favorite teriyaki recipe.

Happy blogging!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Lunch with the Scorpio Races

So the kids asked me not to make them a fun lunch today because they were very tired. Does that mean tired of trying new foods? Tired of coming up with stories to tell while they eat? Neither of them got enough sleep last night? I have no idea, but they ended up with bologna bagel sandwiches, pretzels, banana slices, carrot sticks and milk to drink.

Made making lunch easy again which gave me time to finish up reading The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater. It was recommended to me by my sister-in-law, Elizabeth (some of you may know her). Well she told me about how it grabbed her from the very beginning and she couldn't put it down until she was done. It's one of those books that makes getting things done very very hard. Well I started it, and I could tell right away I was going to like it, but it didn't grab me the way it grabbed Elizabeth. I'd pick it up, read a couple chapters, put it down, make lunch, check facebook my email etc, make dinner, go home... and then my day would be over. The book would sit there until the next day when the process would repeat itself.

Today I hit the grabbing point for me. It was a little more than halfway through the book and all I wanted to do was read. It's days like this I am very grateful that DD has Nephew to play with and that they have such great imaginations. It also helped that it was a snowy day so we were hunkered in for the whole day except for school. So if you haven't read this book, it comes very highly recommended.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Quiet days and a big Thank You

With everything that's been going on lately I decided to have a quiet Sunday with Husband and DD. Well that quiet Sunday led to me forgetting to blog for my slice and forgetting my Sunday slice led to me being upset about missing a day and forgetting pictures of lunch today, which wasn't all that special anyway. But all that led me to me missing my Monday slice too! UGH!!! Quick someone build me a time machine so I can jot down the funny things DD and husband did Sunday and not get myself into a small blogging rut.

Today's lunch:
Sandwiches. Nephew had grilled cheese, DD had bologna.
Pickle spear.

Husband got to spend the day with us and he enjoyed a sandwich too, so it took me less than 10 minutes to fix and plate lunch for 4. I wish every day was this easy.

When Nephew's mommy and old brother got home from work/school we all had dinner together. I made meatloaf for the first time since meeting Husband. But I didn't actually make a meatloaf. I took my sister-in-law's recipe and made the meatloaf mixture and filled muffin tins with it. Baked for 50 minutes and voila! single sized servings just right for all three kids with enough for the grown-ups to have a couple muffins. Round off the meal with mashed potatoes and gravy and it was delish.

I'm happy to say that, Husband has the best sister ever. While she gets a home cooked meal a lot of the week after a long day, I'm getting to eat healthier and serve the kids healthier meals by using her kitchen. It's got infinitely more counter space/prep room than mine does which makes cooking and cleaning up easier. Not to mention my kitchen is lacking a dishwasher. That won't always be the case, God willing, but in the meantime I'm getting to hone my cooking skills and finding out what my family at least will eat.

So, thank you, Elizabeth. Thank you for being the very best sister-in-law I could have asked for. Thank you for being my friend. Someone I can confide in, laugh with, share my favorite books and music. Thank you for being the type of mother who I can go to for advice because I trust your child raising judgement as well as that of both of our mothers. Thank you most of all, for letting me take over your kitchen and step all over your dinner plans, whatever they may be!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Daddy Lunch

Well another weekend rolls around and DD is loving her grazing ways. Big bowls of grapes, watermelon, a veggie medley all fill my fridge and whenever she's hungry she grabs a handful and chows down.

Her daddy can't do that because he's working today. Husband does not have a 9-5, M-F job so sometimes he works weekends, sometimes he works until way past our bedtime. There's even been times he's worked overnights. So sometime I have been hard pressed to get him a lunch before he leaves. I've taken it to him after, sometime he's just told me not to worry and sadly gone 9+ hours without eating.

A few weeks ago I had a delicious roast beef sandwich from our local pizza place. It's hot and cheesy and I love it. I used to get a similar sandwich from a pizza place down in Phoenix too. So I looked it up online and was able to recreate it, kind of. I made Husband try a bite of it and he thought it was pretty good, which surprised me because he doesn't typically like cheese with roast beef unless there's lots of other stuff and it's swiss cheese.

So today he asked me for a hot roast beef sandwich for lunch. I was up early enough and he told me he could zap it in the microwave to warm it, if I could make it ahead of time. We'll see how it tastes but I am very happy to now have another option my whole little family loves.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Hockey in the spring

Today the kids had a small lunch because lately, our big eaters have not been eating their dinners. I think it's because they're eating a good deal more at lunch. So we're going to try to proportion out lunch a little better and see if we can't find a good balance between lunch and dinner.

They very gently reminded me today that they're getting bologna sandwiches with chips on them (no yucky red ketchup for Nephew). That's how I eat them, because I like a little crisp with my bologna. So they wanted it, and they both scarfed the sandwiches.

Nephew had a Hockey helmet (yes I know it's really a football helmet, but he plays hockey so he went for it) sandwich, a pickle spear, carrot sticks and Hockey stick cheese slices. I also cut them up one large strawberry to share but they both ate the berries before I could snap the pictures. -sigh- Today was the first day there was no carrot stick negotiating and in fact he tried to pawn one of his carrots off on DD's plate.

DD had the same thing as Nephew with different shapes. He had the hockey she had in the spring. A tulip shaped sandwich, ketchup included. A pickle spear, carrot sticks and heart shaped cheese slices in the form of another flower, or as DD tells me, a three leaf clover. Whatever. I'm very glad she's using her imagination and recognizing different shapes but my intent was another flower because there will be a very very big clover theme for St Patty's Day in a few short days.

Plates were emptied and they asked for a small snack so I gave them a few goldfish crackers. The balancing seemed to have worked because it's 20 minutes to 5 and they're both hungry! I guess I better start dinner. We're having tacos!

Happy blogging!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Dinosaurs go roar!

Or so I was informed by DD today.

"Mommy, mommy there's a dinosaur on my plate! ROOOOOAAAARRRR! That's what dinosaurs say. Did you know that, Mommy?" She squealed excitedly as they sat down to eat. They had sandwiches again today. Nephew asked for turkey and cheese, with only a little bit of turkey and lots of cheese on his sandwich please and thank you very much. I gladly gave into that request because he said he'd eat the turkey.

Well lunch time came and he took exactly two bites of his dino-sandwich and proclaimed himself done with it, because he doesn't like it. So I gave him a bite of my bologna sandwich and he asked if he could have half, because he DID like it. So I cut my sandwich in half and gave him the half he already bit from. When lunch was officially over, and seconds of pickles and apples had been dished out, Nephew told me he'd like bologna again tomorrow, as long as I didn't put the yucky red stuff on it again (ketchup), but kept the chips. Which in my opinion is probably the only reason he ate it to begin with, but you gotta do what you gotta do sometimes.

DD's Plate
Lunch today consisted of a dinosaur sandwich. Turkey with cheddar, mayo and mustard for DD. Bologna with ketchup and ruffles chips for Nephew. A pickle spear, kiwi slices, apple slices, carrot sticks, small handful of chips and 2 birthday oreos.

Nephew's Plate
For those of you who don't know, Oreo celebrated it's 100th birthday yesterday, so sometime mid February they released their birthday cake Oreo. Which is mighty tasty but doesn't taste much like birthday cake...More like birthday cake frosting stuffed between the classic dark chocolate cookies.

This is the design for the limited time cookies. But they are very good. If you like Oreos, you should pick up a package while you still can.

After lunch we did, some worksheets inside their workbooks. DD is preparing for her early entrance to kindergarten test she will take later this summer. Today we worked on penmanship and they did A LOT of tracing and writing. Then after workbooks they got to go outside and enjoy a nice *almost* spring day.

We had a very nice day and hopefully there will be some more sun tomorrow so they can have more outside time and maybe we can take Nephew's doggie on a much needed walk down the street. Happy blogging!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012


Papa - DD's first venture into photography. Aug '10
My Papa has always been one of my favorite people. Both of them really, but my Dad's dad passed away a number of years ago. My Mom's dad has been going downhill since just after I moved to Washington with my husband.

Now understand he had typical old age things wrong with him before, his vision wasn't great without his glasses anymore, he had a hard time hearing things and they usually had to be repeated 3 or 4 times. But he was still fairly healthy. They eat well, he used to take the dog for 2 walks a day, he had his routine and it kept him going.

Then he took a fall and hurt his hip. So that affected his walks. With his lowered activity rate, his health is going downhill fast. He's tired all the time and just wants to sleep. I worry about him, but he's not listening to anyone in our family. When he's sick he never takes his medicine. He stopped wearing his hearing aides. Sometimes I think he's just giving up on life, even though he promises he's not.

My mom called me today, he's being admitted to the hospital. He has pneumonia, but they want to do some tests to see if he has Congestive Heart Failure. I'm scared. I want to pack up my family and move back down to Arizona because I'm afraid of all the people I won't get to say goodbye too. I miss my Papa, and this news scares me.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

to all my reader friends

I just found a giveaway for an ARC of Edenbrooke by Julianne Donaldson. Click here for the details and to enter.

I've got sunshine...on a snowy day!

Officially, spring is just around the corner, and it seemed to be full steam ahead on it's way here the last few weeks. Then we got a major cold front that brought lots of

and lots of    r

Then out of the blue I wake up this morning to a couple inches of snow and a 1 inch sheet of ice on the windshield of our cars. I was cold and not prepared with my hat and gloves to be scraping ice off a window. So needless to say, my Tuesday started off even gloomier than my Monday.

Nephew's backyard during lunch
Lunch was a chance to bring myself out of the funk and sprinkle a little sunshine on my little ones. I am also taking responsibility for bringing the sun out of his funk by doing a sunshine lunch tribute, because not terribly soon after I started lunch prepping the sunshine made an appearance and melted the snow.

HURRAY! HURRAY! It's sunny today!

Don't get me wrong. I think snow is super pretty, and it's makes up for any bad qualities it has by helping to cleanse the earth. Washing away dirt and muck, watering the plants and grass as it melts, sparkling like diamonds on the trees as the sun makes it's first appearance. Snowscapes are breathtaking. Truly. But I can be a fairly nervous driver when temperatures drop to freezing or below. Especially because it's so so wet up here in the Pacific Northwest.

Icy roads + Kara driving = car in a ditch on the side of the freeway. Yes it really has happened. With DD in the car no less, but everyone was okay that night. It just makes me extra super cautious when the weather turns cold.

Enough of my rambles and onto some plates!

Nephew's Plate
DD's Plate
Clockwise from top left
Orange slices
Carrot sticks
Macaroni & cheese
Smiley face sun (cheese slice)
Milk to drink

 DD tried to convince me she needed applesauce right away, even though I told her she could have it after she ate her food. Nephew spent the first 10 minutes of lunch negotiating for more carrots before he even touched the ones he had. In the end, both plates were cleared of everything except a few stray pieces of macaroni that never seem to make it onto the fork nicely and DD left part of her sun.

For a day that started off so dreary, in my opinion anyway, it turned pretty cheery by lunch time. I was very surprised at how bright a plate of orange and yellow food could be, and even more surprised to be blessed with the real sun making an appearance at his tribute party. Now if he could just stick around for the next few months I'd be a very very happy girl. Time to go read some yummy slices. Happy blogging everyone!

Monday, March 5, 2012

muffin tin monday

Happy Monday, everyone. I am not a Monday lover. In fact, one of my very favorite sayings is, "People would like Mondays better if they started later." I tend to agree. I'm not an early person any day of the week, but 6:30 am Monday morning seems to come a good hour earlier than 6:30 am any other weekday.

Nephew couldn't wait for DD to get here with her daddy today. He was bouncing off the walls asking for her a lot. So when time came to start cooking lunch and they walked through the door, the cook time seemed to fly. They were too busy talking about their weekends to complain about being hungry. Today was a typical Muffin Tin Monday lunch.

DD's Plate
Nephew's Plate
 In the Muffin Tins:
Celery sticks with peanut butter
Crescent Roll sandwiches
Vanilla yogurt w/sprinkles
Orange slices
Ranch dip
Broccoli and carrots

They each had half of two different sandwiches. I made crescent sandwiches with roast beef and provolone cheese and ones with turkey and american. So I cut one of each sandwich in half and gave them each half. Sadly, this lunch was not as much of a hit as past ones have been but they ate plenty. Both kids ate the sandwiches, Nephew doesn't eat much lunch meat so this was a small victory for me. All the broccoli and carrots were eaten, all the celery was left (mommy got to eat it though!). The yogurt was used as a dip for the oranges and after about half the oranges were gone they both finished their yogurt.

After lunch, the little super heroes decided they were going to save the city and now are pounding back and forth upstairs, so at least I know the lunches are giving them tons of energy! Welcome to slice 5. Happy blogging!