Friday, February 26, 2010


This summer while I was uber preggo and my dad and stepmom were here visiting and helping us get ready for Peanut J's arrival, my stepmom bought me this book. I LOVE it!
One of my wishes was to be able to cook more meals with fresher and healthier ingredients, but not have to do it from scratch and take forever to prepare. While they were here, my stepmom fed us like royalty! We had a home cooked healthy meal almost every single night for the entire time. It was so healthy, that even though I was eating like a complete horse, I only gained 3lbs during pregnancy in the months that they were here....I actually weighed less after delivery than what I started out at. For those who are shocked...all my bloodwork and an extra ultrasound showed everything was fine with me and the little one during the pregnancy. Because of my low weight gain, they did an extra one in the 8th month just as a precaution. We tried several of the reciepes and they were all very good. I think we only made 1 addition to one of the reciepes and took out an ingredient on the same reciepe. Once my dad and stepmom left, I was unsure if I would be able to continue the success with this book, since I'm really just your average cook.
Anyway, most of the reciepes we have tried in this book I can complete in just about 1hour from start to serve. This is perfect! Even with my limited cooking abilities, the dishes have all turned out delicious! The other things I like about this book is it's small instruction sections for different cooking techniques and it recomendations on different ingredients brands. Try some Rotel tomatoes and Santita tortilla chips (these are only $2 a bag at Safeway) they really are so much better than Tostitos or the other brands!
If you want to read more about the book, go to America's Test Kitchen Bookstore.
I plan to explore the site America's Test Kitchen a bit more as I noticed that they have some other reciepes online for free.
I also plan to check out these 2 titles as well. We actually picked up the skillet book at Costco, so I plan to look there first for these other titles. Otherwise Barnes & Noble carries it. Amazon carries it as well, the prices are all about the same, so I would check your local Costco first. It was $19.99 there. Enjoy!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Bowling Princess Style...

This week while Little J was at school, we decided to take Princess J to the bowling alley. She loves to stand up her books in the hallway and knock them over with her various balls, so we thought she might enjoy a bowling game....

We were right! She had a great time, but was pretty tired after just one game.

She loved watching the ball roll down the alley and knock over the pins...she only tried to chase it a couple of times. She loved cheering when the ball knocked over any pins. She loved cheering for daddy who bowled with her! Soooo stinkin' cute! The only thing that upset her was they brought her a boy blue ball instead of a girl pink ball.....sigh....

We have a busy week ahead! I hope to snap lots of pictures this week! I hope to make progress on my reading goal. I hope to make progress on a few other things as well.....let's see what the week holds...Bring it on!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


I've been a lover of books for as long as I can remember. I'm so glad to see that in Princess J too. She loves to sit and look at books, listen to books and she always has one or more with her in the car no matter where we go. I used to read so much before my last two were born. Since Princess J and Peanut J have come along finding time to sit and enjoy a book as been difficult. There are so many other things roping me in during my free time (read here when all the kids are asleep). One of my goals in the new year is to get my reading fix in....and I don't mean reading The Cat in the Hat or I Do Not Like Green Eggs and Ham! I do love those books too, but after you've read them 100 times you need something new.

To get me started, I've selected 10 books I'm going to read before the year is up! These don't include new releases coming from a few of my favorite authors that I plan to add to my list as I'm plugging along. Most of these are easy reads. Nothing that Oprah would select for her book club, but they all seem to be entertaining and that is exactly what I'm looking for right now. I'm not putting any pressure on myself that I must end up reading these 10, maybe others will replace these or maybe I'll start one and *gasp* hate it so much I'll put it down. This would be a difficult task for me as I've never done that before...once I start a book, I've got to finish it....but maybe I could try....afterall who has time to waste. So, here is my current list which may be changed, added to, subtracted to, or dumped all together depending on how it goes.

I'm going to do my best to keep it updated here on the blog and I'll let you know what I think of the books too as I go along!

1. Twenties Girl by Sophie Kinsella
2. LA Candy and Sweet Little Lies by Lauren Conrad (I know they are two seperate books, but I'm listing them together, because they seem like one and the same to me)
3. My Sisters Keeper by Jodi Picoult
4. Dear John by Nicholas Sparks
5. The Shanghai Girls By Lisa See
6. The Secret Shoppers Revenge by Kate Harrison
7. The Girl With the Dragon Tatoo by Stieg Larsson
8. Family Tree by Barbara Delinsky
9. Against Medical Advice by James Patterson and Hal Friedman
10. Mayhem in High Heels by Gemma Halliday
11. The Time Travelers Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
12. Outside In by Courtney Thorne-Smith

See, I couldn't narrow it down so I'm already up to 12......wish me Luck!

Monday, February 15, 2010

That {Elusive} Smile

Happy Presidents Day! Since today was a holiday and G had to work, the kids and I stayed home. Most of the day was spent in jammies and playing.
Later in the day, I took advantage of the beautiful sunshine, Princess J's sunny disposition, and Peanut J's napping to play around with the camera. I took almost 200 photos of this little girl! I got lots of good photos, but many of them are going to need some photoshop of my goals to work on! These photos will be lots of fun to play around with.
In general, Princess J is an unwilling model. Mostly, it's mommy looking like a fool, laying on the ground, jumping up running after Princess and singing silly cartoon songs and telling her that different characters are in my camera and that she should look for them. Oh, what my neighbors must think when they see this spectacle! Today, Princess J still was on her own program, but she was tolerant of the camera. It was still me jumping through hoops, but she was having a good time and it didn't hurt taht she was in love with this little outfit from Target. She spent lots of time twirling the skirt around and just exploring the front yard, since it's been awhile since we've been able to play on the grass. As I was looking through the photos, this one just popped out at me....that smile! This little girl has such a beautiful smile, but she never wants to show it to the's always just mommy snapping away hoping to catch it. Usually, if I ask her to show me her smile, she turns her back to the camera and does it facing the other way! Such a stinker! I captured that elusive smile!!! It made mommy's day!
Some of Princess J's favorites are:
Cartoons: Backyardigans, Umizoomi, Max and Ruby aand Wow, Wow, Wubbzy.
Words: NO! Boo! My Room! Stay Home! and now.....she says that Daddy is the Po Po!
Foods: McDonalds Happy Meal (Chicken Nuggies and French Fries), Grapes, Strawberries, Princess Cookies (Madelines at Starbucks) and Lolipops. She's still a stubborn eater....sigh...
Toys: Little People Princess Castle and books!
Latest Stinker Moves: She likes to have the door closed in our room when she goes to sleep next to mommy or daddy. The door was open and she didn't want us to close it, she wanted to do we let her....she ran to the door, went out of the room and shut the door quickly behind her heading to play with toys I'm sure! Removing baby gates from where they belong.

Just for Me

I love my kids......but....other things I love have taken a backseat. I certainly don't regret that and I wouldn't go back to the days when they were my priority either....but....I miss them anyway. That being said, I didn't make any New Year resolutions. I find it hard to stick to something like that. The minute I slack....and with three kids and lots of activities and other things to think about...slacking will happen, I feel guilty. When I feel guilty, I get in funk and then I slack some more. It's a vicious circle for me. resolutions. I do however have some things I'd like to work on. Nothing set in stone, but try and find a way to carve out just a few minutes or hours here and there to give my other loves well...some love.

1. Read more. This one, I've been working on and while it's slow going I've been carving out some time here and there. During Princess J's monday appointment, Little J sleeps and I read. During Little J's hour of Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy..the other littles nap in the car and I....I read. Not setting a goal here, just finding time to enjoy it.

2. Scrap! I miss it so much! I've worked on this as well. The space is a bit cleaner and there is room to work. I need to stop over thinking my pages and just get in an do it.

3. More photos please! I took an awesome photography workshop with the fabulous Krista Lund and have been working on this. I just need the rain to go away so I can take the kids outside more often to just shoot away! Lighting inside is something I'm also working on, but I love to just go outside and play while they explore. I'm hoping that Krista is still planing to do another workshop in the spring....I'll be there if she does!

4. I need to take the time to figure out my photoshop program. I've sat down a few times and I'm just a little challenged here. I have some websites that Krista recomended...I just have to take the time to check them out and quit getting sucked into Facebook! LOL!

5. Date nights! Hubby and I need these! I'm working on this as this posts. It's not as simple as finding a random teenager to come over and babysit when you have a child with special needs. Not only do you have to find someone you trust with your little hearts, but you have to find someone who can lift him, deal with seizures if it should happen, and interact with your littles and keep them safe and entertained. Thankfully, Little J's new case manager is working on helping us with this now. I really hope we find someone fantastic, so hubby and I can go out into the world together and have some kid free time. I have a plan for our first date, when it all comes together....stay tuned!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Super Slacker!

Yes, yes. I am still here. I wonder if everyone has completely given up on my blog? I have been a super slacker as of late. I don't really have any excuse except that getting used to being a family of 5 has been much more of a logistical challenge than being a family of 4. That's not saying that Peanut J is any more difficult than either Little J or Princess J was. We just no longer have any advantage. The littles officially outnumber us.....and they know it!

I also have been posting a lot on Facebook, which I think has taken me away from this sweet little blog and's been easier for sharing photos and such. I think though that I'm ready to embrace my blog again. I'm not going to hold myself to any posting standard, I'm not going to feel guilty for all the things I wanted to document here but didn't.....but I'm ready to embrace, share and document on this ol' blog again.
We've had a rough winter so far. The kids have all been sick now off and on. Peanut J thankfully missed most of the bugs that came passing through this house. Little J brought quite a few of them home for visits. We were able to keep Peanut J from coming down with anything other than a few runny noses and a cough or two...thankfully nothing serious. He finally had his first illness with a stubborn fever the day before his 6 month check up. He got his 6month vaccines and his flu shot....and then we had the night from heck. He was completely miserable. For 2 days this went on and then just as quickly as it made him miserable, he was back to his sweet little peanut self.

He is maintaining his peanutness well too. At his 6 month check up he was 26 1/2 inches long and only 14 sweet little pounds. While he only makes the 10% mark for weight, we are not concerned as he was ill and that can account for some weight loss and he is growing length wise like a weed!

Little J is doing well in Kinder. He loves it! He gets so excited to see his teacher and aides in the morning. I swear he practically runs away with them at drop off and barely looks back at us. He's always happy to see us when we pick him up, but I think he'd still much rather stay at school longer. The other day I went to pick him up and his teacher came out and said that he was in a business meeting. Ha! Little J was selected to have pizza with the principal at his school! Every month students are selected for lunch with the principal for good behaviour and for demonstrating a positive character trait. Little J's positive character trait....Bully Free! It's good to know that my Little J is not bullying his classmates in kindergarten! His walking skills are constantly improving. He loves being so independent! We've seen some sleep issues and some seizure issues lately, but with a slight increase in his seizure medication and a plan for trying to control the sleep issue I think we'll survive.

Princess J's favorite word is NO! You can ask her, she'll tell you it's her favorite word! She is quickly approaching the terrifying 3's! I swear, this little girl is going to get the lifetime acheivement award for dramatics before she turns 3! Even with all the drama and NO yelling, she is so amazing. She looks out for Little J all the time. She makes sure he has toys, shares snacks with him and helps mommy whenever she can. She's still warming up to Peanut J. I think she still wants to be the baby....little does she know, she always will be! She's finally willing to give him kisses although these are mostly blowing kisses at him. She loves to make sure he has his binkie in his mouth whether he's crying or fast asleep. There is nothing like seeing her shove his binkie in his mouth while he's sound asleep and he's turning his head back and forth trying very hard to stay asleep and avoid the binkie thrust. Princess J is very good at letting me know when Little J or Peanut J need something and she's really good at tattling on Little J! There are still days in the car where Princess J will hold hands with Little J, but these days are growing further and further apart as she loves to tell him NO! Little J still tries very hard to console her when she's upset, but gives up much more quickly as she screams louder and louder at him! It really is hilarious to watch them together. While they "bicker" like typical siblings, they are also very protective of eachother. While Princess J is more than happy to tattle on Little J, she still doesn't like it when he gets in trouble and Little J does not like it when she gets in trouble.

We're already 2 months into the new year and while I didn't make any resolutions, I do have some things I'd like to work on in the new year. I'll recap those in a later post. So far progress is slow.....but tomorrow is a new day!

Enjoy the photos! Photos of Little J coming soon!