Tuesday, November 29, 2011


Holy Cow! It's a girl!!

I had my 20 week ultrasound today and everything is checking out well and it's a girl!! I still can't believe it. I had just assumed that it was going to be another boy (and I would have been just as excited for boy #3), but boy, is it a paradigm shift to know that we will have a little girl in the house next spring! It took quite a while to see what was between those little legs. She had them closed tightly and finally, after we got a peek, she kept hiding her little face, so it took even longer to see her little profile. I think she's cute, but Jesse just said that everyone thinks their own child is cute. duh.

Jesse had the typical Jesse reaction: a little smirk on his face. Later, he said he was excited and that he knew it was a girl.

I'm excited to go shopping on the other girly side of all the kids' clothing stores now. I have to admit, I feel a little lost. I browsed some of the clothes at Target and Old Navy and it's like a whole other world that I've admired from afar, but now it's about to consume me...

Now to come up with a name.... Jesse has his choice. He's had it since he thought Sloan was going to be a girl. We shall see what the negotiations bring forth...

here's a picture of her profile!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Christmas decor

So, truth be told, I started decorating for Christmas a couple weeks ago. I know, I know, some of you think that it is awful to do Christmas stuff before Thanksgiving, but I personally don't see any harm in celebrating the birth of Jesus a little sooner so that it feels like Christmas longer.

I love Christmas and I love Christmas trees. W have three in our house this year. Our "normal" tree is in the living room and is decorated with the fancy ornaments and the special ones like the boys' handprints and first Christmas pictures. We have a small one on our entry table that has ornaments that represent each family member's interests and other special ornaments that didn't fit on the big tree. Fnally, the third tree is up in our basement. Yes, I said UP in our basement. We don't have basements in Texas and we miss ours in Michigan, but this room essentially serves the same functions as our old basement did: tv, video games, toys that are too big/complicated to be out in the everyday rooms, and it is where our guests sleep. This tree is reserved for decorating by my dad and Jackson. I didn't get a pic of it to post here, but let's just say that the bottom half of the tree is fully loaded down with ornaments and the top is a little bare. I still love it because Jackson and Sloan and my dad had a good time decorating it and hopefully it will serve to make good memories.

Oh, and on our entry table, I put out a new nativity set that can withstand my boys. The people are made out of some kind of flexible resin/putty. I just hope we don't lose them. We had a few tense moments last week when baby Jesus was MIA. I found him under the refrigerator. If you'll notice the nativity scene is set up in Jackson's apparent interpretation of the Christmas story. The angel always has to be up in the window and the other people are shuffled around the the building. In this re-enactment, baby Jesus is outside and behind the building. Not sure why...

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


So as I type this, I am having my very first housekeeper experience. I have never had a maid before, so this is all new to me and I was/am not sure what to expect. So far, these are the things that are running through my mind: she has been here for 2 hours and is still cleaning the upstairs, which, to me, is the least dirty part of the house. So, either she is extremely thorough in cleaning and I am not, or my house is a complete pig sty. I choose the former. I caught her dusting my blinds. Um, yeah, I have lived in this house a year and a half and never dusted blinds. I figured I'd dust them when large clumps started falling off. Good thing no one in my family has serious allergies...

Also, being the first time, I stayed home so that I could show her where everything was if she needed it. So, normally, if this contintues, should I stay here while she is cleaning or just find somewhere to go--which will be a problem if she takes two hours to clean the upstairs and another 2 to clean the downstairs... I mean, where would you go for four hours??? Especially on the days my two year old and 5 year old are not in school...?? I guess if she cleans this thoroughly every time she comes, I will only need her to come once a month, but I was really looking forward to having someone else mop my floors every other week...

On a totally unrelated topic, I can't believe Thanksgiving is tomorrow! We are having a small Thanksgiving for the first time in a long time. It will be just us and my parents coming down, so I didn't want to make a huge turkey, so we are having ham. I know, I know, my brother (who is not attending) has informed me that this is sacrilege. Well, it's because of him that I am waiting to cook my turkey for Christmas Eve dinner instead of Thanksgiving. I do like cooking and I love cooking a turkey, but I ain't doing it twice in the span of a month!! So, ham, sweet potato casserole, hash brown casserole, pumpkin pie, brownie bottom pie are on the menu for Thanksgiving at our house. How about you?? Do you ever have something other than turkey for T-day??

Monday, November 21, 2011

Turkey time!

It's almost thanksgiving and I am signed up to cohost Jackson's class thanksgiving party. I'm a tad nervous because it is my first time being a "room mom"- and I actually can't believe I'm old enough and have a child old enough for me to be a room mom! So, today, I am making preparations and I made these cute turkey cupcakes for the party. I'd like to say they are my own idea, but I borrowed the idea from a friend. They are super cute and super easy!!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Dinner for all

A lot of my posts latly start with something caused by my being pregnant, but it really is a good scape goat for many issues in my life right now. So, being pregnant, usually in the first trimester, I have horrible food aversions and some morning sickness so I never feel like cooking. My poor family is at the mercy of my husband's cooking, which isn't bad, if you like eggs and tater tots for dinner every day.

Now that I am into the second trimester, I have my appetite back and the will to cook again. Also, it helps that the weather is coolng down. I enjoy cooking so much more when it's not 109 degrees outide. So, last night I made two new things (for our family) for dinner. Every one of us ate BOTH things and didn't complain. I'd say that's a good meal! It wasn't anything fancy, just meatballs and "Cracker Barrels" hash brown casserole, but it's definitely going in the recipe book as a keeper. I know that at least 4 out of the 5 of y'all who read this blog ;) have children around the same age as mine, so it might be helpful.

Jelly meatballs:

-1 jar of grape jelly
-1 jar of barbecue sauce (the tangier, the better to balance the sweet jelly)
-package of frozen meatballs

Place all ingredients in slow cooker and cook on low 4-5 hours.

Cracker Barrel hash brown casserole:
(this recipe seems super super indulgent because it's so creamy, but it gets the creaminess from low fat cream of chicken soup!)

Preheat oven to 350

-2 lbs frozen hash browns
-8 oz low fat sour cream
-1 stick butter, melted
-1 can reduced Fat cream of chicken soup
- 1/2 cup diced onion
- 1 to 2 cups shredded cheese

Spread frozen hash browns in greased 9x13 pan. Season with salt and pepper.
In a large bowl, combine sour cream through diced onion. Pour mixture on top of hash browns and spread evenly. Sprinkle with shredded cheese. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Furniture and food

I've been known to be random when I'm not pregnant and it only gets worse when I am pregnant, so there. That's my explanation for this post.

First, furniture. Maybe this isn't totally random because I am currently in the middle of painting Sloan's dresser. Anyway, here's a random tip for painting furniture: use spray primer instead of the brush on kind. Super duper time saver, and, in my opinion, works better and is easier to paint on.

Second, food. I think they invented preshredded cheese sometime during the years I was in law school. Or maybe that's just when I really started buying groceries for myself (and husband). Anyway, since that time I first discovered it...now almost 10 years ago, ahem, I've always just grabbed the preshredded bag and thought nothing of it. With this third pregnancy though, texture is a big deal when I'm eating. I've been craving salads (don't give me credit for being healthy, i also crave chips and salsa like nobody's business), and I only like cheese in my salad when it's a salad from a restaurant. I finally realized that it tasted much better from them because they shred it themselves. Freshly shredded cheese. If there is such a thing. So, I've been buying the blocks of cheese and using it for everything that calls for cheese at my house. My kids even like it more and will just sneak up behind me and grab some out of the pile (yes, pile, what? when a recipe calls for cheese I take it seriously).

So, there you go. Two tips to improve your life insignificantly if not significantly: shred your own cheese and use spray primer.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


So yesterday evening was one to forget. Between the hours of 4 pm and 7:30 (when we put the boys to bed for an early bedtime) my children were apparently abducted and replaced by screaming, fighting, whiny,misbehaving banshees. Had to have been. So, once we got them to bed, the husband and I collapsed on th couch to watch some mind-numbing tv. We needed it. Somewhere towards the end of the show we were watching I started getting a terrible headache. Finally, after trying to tough it out, I asked Jesse to get me some Tylenol. I could barely even see straight when I took them. Two minutes later, I felt like I was going to throw up. I did. It was not pretty (but I guess I've never heard anyone use the adjective pretty when describing puking). I felt much better afterward.

So, the whole point of this post is that I wonder if this was a migraine, and if so, I hope I never get one again and I feel so so bad for those who get them on a regular basis. Yikes.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Sloan's dresser

I finally found the perfect, old, not in great shape dresser to use for Sloan's clothes when he and Jackson finally share a room (which, may be a long time away...). I found this beauty at the Salvation Army. What love about using old dressers and painting them to make them new, is that I can find one that is solid wood, well built with dovetail joinery and a classic look. This dresser cost me $65 and has similar detail to Jackson's dresser (which cost me $35 at Goodwill in Traverse City....sigh, I miss that Goodwill. It always had nice stuff). Anyhoo, it's getting primed and painted burning umber, or red. After picture to come soon (hopefully).

A typical day

This is a typical day with Sloan. Here, he is sitting in timeout, but it's self-enforced (he wouldn't tell me why he was in timeout) and he's eating a piece of bread while the dog patiently, pathetically waits for the inevitable crumbs to be dropped. Oh, and Sloan has staked claim to Jackson's cowboy boots.