Saturday, December 22, 2012

Diapers for Sale

Selling the following diapers for my brother:

 1 USED wetbags (1 white) $5 each,

16 NEW Organic Cotton Soakers $7.50 each,

1 NEW small Bummis Whisper Wrap velcro girl design $10 and 1 USED medium Fleece cover girl design $10

2 NEW Planet Wise Pail Liners $15 each,

1 USED Dark Pink Flip cover (needs elastic repair in legs) $5.

(can get photo if you're interested)

Steal ALL for only $150!

Prices are plus shipping.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Yes, I Let Them Get Away With That

A few things I "let" my girls do:

Tank, showing me what she wants for lunch
And that's what we had!
Monster climbing the wood pile.
Helping decorate their Aunt's birthday cupcakes
And eating their Aunt's birthday cupcakes
First snow of the year; Eating snow from the dirty exercise ball.
Helping Papa fix the chainsaw
Creating a "net"/"trap" with the Christmas tree decorations to "save"/"catch" something
Monster, painting Tank's nails violet
Going to The Nutcracker Ballet with Monster (3 yo)
Building a fort out of the couch cushions
Sitting on the fort just like her cat

Turning the box car I made into a cradle

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Real Life Eating

So many bloggers post about the great, healthy, fun food that they make for their children. In my attempts to be as real as possible, I'd like to take a day a week to explain exactly what my girls are eating. I'll post recipes for some of the best meals, but at least you'll know I'm not perfect.

The girls each had a bowl of Froot Loops with organic milk, an organic apple, and three or four clementines. I had a bunch of Pinterest no-bake breakfast bites, which I'm going to call "Everything But the Sink" bites. Find a link to the recipe I used and my alterations below.

While I was in the shower, the girls helped themselves to a bowl of goldfish crackers. I ended up having more breakfast bites and a clementine that Tank was rolling on the floor with her foot. Tank figured out how to open the fridge. Not good.

We all had hot dogs, cheddar cheese, and Ritz crackers. This is not a normal lunch for us. I love hot dogs, but they are disgusting, aren't they? We usually don't have them in the house, but when we went shopping the other day, Monster asked for them and then Tank said "hot dog" for the first time and I couldn't say no. The truth is, I can rarely say no to them.

Monster had some local/organic carrots during Tank's nap. And home-popped popcorn with coconut oil.

Everyone has water to drink today.

Herb Roasted Chicken (local, w/ local/organic herbs) & roasted root veggies (local/organic). The girls and I devoured a fair amount of the veggies and half of the chicken - just the three of us.

After dinner, I picked the rest of the chicken off the bones and froze the bones. They'll become broth in the future. The leftover chicken and veggies will become a chicken pot pie once I make my own crust and add some gravy. (The pot pie was actually better than the chicken dinner, I think!)

So yeah, that's what we had the other day to eat. I'm posting this a bit behind schedule because the week got crazy. I'm sure they had more snacks than I wrote down. Monster always eats a pre-bedtime snack as well. Tank nurses like crazy still.

Everything But the Sink Bites
Monster calls them "dessert balls" or "donut balls" (because they look like donut holes). Here's the original recipe I followed, and my alterations. We've made 3 batches of these in the last 3 days. I've eaten most of them... [Update 12/9/12: This morning we made 3 more batches. Monster made her own batch, with a little of my help. Hers included chocolate and white chocolate chips and no coconut. My batch (doubled) included chocolate nibs from Askinosie, peanut butter chips, unsweetened coconut, and cranberries.]

1 cup oatmeal
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/3 cup honey
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup coconut flakes
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1 tsp vanilla

Combine all ingredients in a bowl, refrigerate for 30 minutes, and roll into balls. Easy!

In the second batch, I cut the chocolate chips down and added crushed pecans, chia seeds, and dried cranberries. To help it stay together better, I added more peanut butter. In the future, I'll cut down the sweeter things (sweetened coconut, sweetened cranberries, chocolate chips, etc) even more. You can substitute whatever you want for all of it - just think of the possibilities!

The girls really love baking with me, and this recipe was fun and easy for them to help with.

Herb Roasted Chicken
1 Roasting Chicken, 3-5 lbs
1/2 tsp black peppercorns, crushed (I just use pepper)
1 large clove garlic, crushed (I minced it)
1/4 c fresh rosemary needles, chopped (mine were dried)
1/4 c parsley (again, I used dried)
2 tbs marjoram leaves (I used dried oregano)
1 tsp sea salt
2 tbs red (or white) wine vinegar
2 tbs olive oil
1/2 c red (or white) cooking wine

Gravy (optional)
1 tbs flour
sea salt & pepper

Preheat oven to 400*. Prepare chicken by rinsing and drying it. Loosen skin.

Combine herbs, pepper, garlic, salt, vinegar & oil.

Rub 1/2 herb mixture into flesh under skin. Spread remaining over chicken and into cavity.

Place chicken in roasting pan. (I roast mine separately from the veggies, which I just chop and sprinkle with olive oil. I put them in the oven with the chicken. I save all the cuttings from the veggies and freeze them; later, I'll make veggie broth from them.)

Bake for 30 minutes, add wine and lower to 350*. Bake 20 minutes more for each pound, or until 165* internally. Baste several times.

For optional gravy, reserve cooking juices in a pan on low, whisk in flour, salt & pepper. Simmer 10 minutes.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Box Cars

On Tuesdays we have a friend come over to play. Bug's mom and I switch childcare time - on Tuesdays I watch Bug for 4 hours and on Fridays she watches Monster and Tank for 4 hours. I highly recommend finding someone to do this with. It's been a lifesaver and it's FREE!

Bug is only 6 months older than Tank and they play very well together. Sometimes Monster plays well with them, but sometimes she wants to spend time playing by herself. I didn't have anything planned for them today, and Monster got bored quickly. She wanted to watch TV, but I don't allow her to watch TV while we have friends over. Then she wanted to play with all the boxes we've been getting in the mail, since I bought most of my Christmas presents online this year. (Another lifesaver for a SAHM of two - I don't have to worry about finding time away from the girls to get them the perfect Christmas gifts.) Monster specifically asked to make cars, and luckily I'm adept at following online instructions, which I found here.

Box Car Materials:
* Larger box
* Packing tape
* Box cutter
* Paper plates
* Glue
* Crayons/Markers/Paint

First, I got out the boxes. Luckily, I had three relatively big ones. Of course, the kids had to play in them before we did anything else.

That's Bug in the box in the front. Monster's hiding in the box in back.

Build the Box Car
1. Tape the boxes up really well. I've decided there's no such thing as too much tape in this case.
2. Using the box cutters, cut a semi-circle at the back end of either side of the box. These will be the doors. If you want doors that open and shut, don't cut it all the way through. It'll be able to swing open (but you'll probably need to reinforce it with tape). Make sure you cut the pieces all the way off - I didn't do it at this step and had to do it later. It's easier here!
3. Cut from the back of the car to 2/3 the way (or a little less) towards the front to make up the seat part. Do NOT cut the part off the middle, though. (Here's Tank checking out the first car after I did this step.)

4. Fold the piece you just cut on top of itself and tape tape tape! This will become the windshield.
5. Cut out the window for the windshield. Make the edges thick so it doesn't break very easily. Then tape it in place.

6. Using paper plates (or circles you've cut out yourself), glue on the tires. Finally, a part the kids can help with!
7. We also taped on paper plates for a steering wheel, but they ripped off the first time the kids tried to turn them. (Tank, since she's the smallest kiddo, go the smallest car. It was a bit too small.)

8. Monster spent some time coloring her car and gluing extra pieces of paper on it so it would have com devices and lots of buttons. (She's been watching lots of Lunar Jim lately.)

I had to let go of my perfectionism and the kids had to practice patience while I made it. Then I had to let go of my creations so they could play with them - and ruin them. One of the first things Bug did was rip off all the glued-on parts. And Tank squished one of the cars pretty quickly too. But they had fun!

After we were done, the living room was trashed. Cars are everywhere, broken into pieces, upside down, and on their sides. Here's a photo - after a couple more hours of playing with three kids. I've decided to post at least one "real life" photo of my house every week. I'm sick of mom sites pretending they can play with the kids, teach them (even home school them), cook the meals, and keep the house clean all at once. It's not possible. (Notice you never see photos of the moms themselves. Maybe they don't shower or do their hair or even get dressed...)

Have fun with your cars! It's a lot of work, but it's so much fun once they're done. Right now Monster has hers on its end, sitting inside it (apparently it's a cradle... and a boat... and she's using it to build a fort with a blanket too).

Playtime with Monster and Tank

Switching focus a bit on the blog. I'd love to start working toward something I can use to catalog my time with the girls, but also have a better audience. So today, I want to share some of the things the girls and I have been doing.

Sand Castle Dough
Emma loves building sand castles, but the problem is that we don't live near enough to the beach to do it, and we don't (yet) have a sand box. When we're up north at Gram-Gram and Papa's house, she spends a lot of time in their "sand" (aka: dirt) pit. At Grandma and Grandpa's house when she's in the sandbox, she always asks for water to make her sand wet enough to build castles. So when I saw this Mouldable Sand Recipe from The Imagination Tree, I knew we had to try it.

The recipe is very simple:
* 5 cups plain flour
* 1 cup baby oil
* lots of glitter

We tripled the batch and could have probably quadrupled it for the size of our bin, but I'm glad we didn't because that stuff is messy. Luckily, I had read a post earlier about how cloud dough (which really, this is) is so very messy, and I was prepared. We had the drop cloth from our painting supplies down, I had the girls stripped (mostly), and I was prepared with a broom (and a vacuum if that wasn't sufficient).

I made sure the girls knew that the sand stayed in the bin and that they weren't to get off the drop cloth until I'd cleaned them up. Still, we (I) tracked it through the house. Thankfully, it sweeps up really easily on our wood floors.

I wanted to take a good photo of the entire invitation to play, with everything set out, but they weren't that patient. We had plastic containers for building sand castles, trucks, spoons, knives (plastic butter knives, don't worry), forks, animals, sea shells, a potato masher, cups, and that great cupcake filler thing I've only used once on cupcakes but that they love for play dough.

Both Tank (20 months) and Monster (3 years 2 months) loved helping me create the sand by measuring it out, pouring it in, and mixing it. (We started mixing with a wooden baking spoon, but soon just gave in to using our hands.) The sand smells amazing because of the baby oil and isn't too sticky or oily on your skin. Tank had fun until she realized she was dirty. Monster loved it and spent a lot of time creating sand castles, burying/digging for treasure, and then stripping naked and getting in the tub to bury herself. She finally decided she'd had enough when she realized she was too messy to eat her snack. :)

When they were finished, clean up was relatively easy, as I said before. I shook out the drop cloth outside, put the toys in the sink, and plopped the lid on the bin. It's waiting for next time, which will probably be tomorrow when we have a friend over to play.

Have fun!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

31x31 - Reality Strikes

I have just under 7 months left until I turn 31. So I decided it was time to revisit my 31x31 and see how I'm doing. And decide if I need to make a few realistic changes, since so much of what I have on the list is lifestyle stuff that is hard to cross off... So here's the list that I so neurotically made for myself (let's see how I've done)...

Date Night
This is going very well. Date night is something that's almost religious for me. It was pretty much a cheap shot to include it in the 31x31...

  • January
  • February
  • Date Night in March
  • Date Night in April
  • Date Night in May
  • Date Night in June
  • Date Night in July
  • Date Night in August
  • Date Night in September
  • Date Night in October
  • Date Night in November
  • Date Night in December
Pretty Toes Fridays
I've been slacking with Pretty Toes Fridays... Some weeks, it doesn't get done. Some weeks it's not on Fridays. There have been a TON of weeks when Emma hasn't wanted her toes painted, or I haven't done Fia's toes because it's just that much more difficult. But my toes have been painted since my birthday. So that counts for something. (Also, I'm branching out with colors. It's not just Grand Central Carnation anymore. And that's a lot of fun.)
  • In January
  • February
  • March
  • April
  • May
  • Pretty Toes Friday In June
  • Pretty Toes Friday In July
  • Pretty Toes Friday In August
  • Pretty Toes Friday In September
  • Pretty Toes Friday In October
  • Pretty Toes Friday In November
  • Pretty Toes Friday In December
Outdoor Playhouse
I did email the cousins and got the plans for their playhouse. I've talked it over with my dad and with Mike. The decision I've come to is that the plans are way too complicated for what I want to do. So now I have to figure something else out. The girls WILL have an outdoor playhouse soon, though...

Create a Will
I asked Mike & Barb who did their will. I emailed that attorney. That's as far as it got...

College Accounts
Yay! I should probably write a quick post about this, but it was much easier than I thought. The girls now have college accounts and that's where all their money goes. :)

Love Letters 
I wrote a couple, Then I stopped. I have no excuse. They're coming with me on our vacation so I can do the May ones... in June...
  • Sophia in February
  • Sophia in March
  • Sophia in April
  • Sophia in May
  • Sophia in June
  • Sophia in July
  • Sophia in August
  • Sophia in September
  • Sophia in October
  • Sophia in November
  • Sophia in December
  • Sophia in January
  • Love Letters to Emma in February
  • Emma in March
  • Emma in April
  • Emma in May
  • Emma in June
  • Emma in July
  • Emma in August
  • Emma in September
  • Emma in October
  • November
  • Emma in December
  • Emma in January
Finish the Playroom
We've barely gotten anywhere. And I keep bringing more toys in. I need to get that hammock up and the book nook together!!!

Less TV
I'm happy to say that Em's down to a MAX of 1.5 hours a day. She gets three shows - one after breakfast, one after lunch, and one after dinner. It's going well. I am happy about it. :)

Family Fun Day 
I'm pretty religious about these as well. I love them. We've done something different each time. I should be taking photos and blogging about them. There's a lot on my plate right now. (Insert excuses here...)
  • in February
  • Family Fun Day in March
  • Family Fun Day in April
  • Family Fun Day in May
  • Family Fun Day in June
  • Family Fun Day in July
  • Family Fun Day in August
  • Family Fun Day in September
  • Family Fun Day in October
  • Family Fun Day in November
  • Family Fun Day in December
  • Family Fun Day in January
Play with my girls in the snow
This was so much fun that I'm looking forward to doing it again next year. Blog post with great photos at some point in the future. I have such great ideas... 

My Tattoo
Yay! I love it. So much. Which is good since it's on me for the rest of my life.

Continue to Work Out & Make it to 150 lbs
I hit 150 lbs right around Fia's birthday and stopped working out because her nap schedule changed and my life got super-busy again. I told myself that if I could maintain 150 (or below) and not work out, I wouldn't worry. But I'm slowly creeping up again. So as soon as we get back from vacation, I'm back on the elliptical.

Purge the Stuff & Bring it Home
Well... I went through the stuff at Mike & Barb's. I brought some of it home and took some of it up north for Mom. I even made a list of what can go. But I need to save SO MUCH of it. And since my basement is an exercise room/craft room/cat room/laundry room/work bench/storage area there's not much space for a ton of boxes. But I do need to coordinate with Barb about how/when to Freecycle the rest of it.

How to Change a Flat Tire

How to Use the Drill

How to Sew

How to Knit and make a Sky Scarf
I got sick back in February and stopped recording the sky. So maybe just "How to Knit"? And then make a Sky Scarf next year... or learn to knit and start the Sky Scarf as soon as that happens that work on it for a year after that? I really wanted one for my 30th year. Oh well.

Learn How to Bake Bread
This one has been so much fun. I've made at least three types of bread. I love it. The only problem I have right now is that the bread goes bad before we eat it all. And I need to find a better sandwich loaf. I'll keep trying. I love baking!

Take a Cooking Class

Hang Out With Friends 
Oops. This hasn't happened. Why? Because I'm really busy. Because it's not a priority. Because I'd rather spend my time at home with my family. Because I hate asking Matt to be the primary caretaker for the girls. (I don't know why...) So this one might need to be revisited.
  • In January
  • Hang Out With Friends In February
  • Hang Out With Friends In March
  • Hang Out With Friends In April
  • Hang Out With Friends In May
  • Hang Out With Friends In June
  • Hang Out With Friends In July
  • Hang Out With Friends In August
  • Hang Out With Friends In September
  • Hang Out With Friends In October
  • Hang Out With Friends In November
  • Hang Out With Friends In December
Read 25 Books
  1. We Animals
  2. How to Raise An Amazing Child the Montessori Way
  3. Money Hungry
  4. Right Behind You
  5. The Sojourn 
  6. The Outliers (only counts for half)
  7. Dreams from my Father 
  8. An Island Like You
  9. A Step from Heaven
  10. Monster
  11. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
  12. Animal, Vegetable, Miracle
  13. Skim
  14. American-Born Chinese
  15. Persepolis: Part 1
  16. Persepolis: Part 2

Roller Derby
Matt & I went and I loved it. It was a great date night. We completely want to go again with Joe & Nina. Hopefully that'll work out... I have it on my calendar. 

Sunroom Garden
This one is in-progress, finally. I've got part of it weeded. I need to keep working. It's never-ending. Plus I've started thinking about the other gardens that need some love, and the new garden I want to put in up front...

Kitchen Herb Garden
I bought everything (except Cilantro... I want Cilantro...) I need to figure out a way to attach my boxes to the wall and then I'm going to plant them. This may happen tomorrow. It needs to get done before we leave on Friday....

GJB Business Plan
Haven't formally done the business plan yet, but I've written a few ideas down and things are going better with GJB. Five tutus in May alone. Plus some new items. I just need to sit down and formalize it. Yep.

Locavore Month in June August
We have a CSA for veggies and a CSA for meat. I tried the goat-milk share but didn't like it, so I canceled it (but I made cheese!). I know how to make bread. This will be easy with the farmers' market going on. It just can't be in June because we've got our vacation.... And I still need to set my parameters... What do I mean by "local"? What percentage? How local? Any exceptions? These are things I need to figure out soon.

Wired-less Wednesdays
I thought I was doing terribly with this, but according to my previous parameters for what "wired-less" is, I'm not doing too bad. I don't watch TV, I don't get on my computer except for class. But I need to do better with checking FB and my emails. And it'd be nice if I could nurse without playing games on my phone... :/

Daily Housecleaning - DAILY!
I suck at this. It needs to be removed and something else put in its place. Besides, I have a monthly maid service.

MilkShare - pump daily/weekly
Well, I pumped at first. Then I donated all that milk to a local family (50+ oz). Then I stopped pumping. And gave my pump to Mariah. So this one needs to be replaced too. Or. Does it count, since I did share my milk? Hmmm. Let's count it.

Stone Circle
I should probably start memorizing my poem. Immediately.

Dinner Crawl
I have this all planned out. I cannot wait. And I hope that a certain couple will still be able to come with us, for at least part of it, even if they should have a newborn by my birthday... or be ridiculously pregnant... 

In conclusion (I hate when people say that), I should have spent this time working on my midterm instead of writing this. Also, I'm not doing as terribly as I had thought. I need to replace two (monthly with friends and daily housecleaning), so I'm going to take a look at my longer list to see what's there that's worth anything. I've gotten a lot done partially. I've completely taken 6 things off the list (one a month, pretty good... but that means I have 24 to do in the next 6 months...) So I need to kick it into high gear if I'm going to cross everything off!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Photo Card
View the entire collection of cards.

Friday, February 3, 2012

31x31 Week Two Update

Some day I'll work on this during the week instead of Friday night when I'm tired and want to go to bed.


  • 30 minute work out
  • 15+ minutes house cleaning
  • Sky Scarf: Light Gray
  • Pumping - 4.5 oz in the freezer
  • Worked on the playroom - shelves & hooks up!


  • 30 minute work out
  • 15+ minutes house cleaning
  • Sky Scarf: Light Gray 
  • Pumping - 2 oz in the freezer


  • 20 minute work out
  • 15+ minutes house cleaning
  • Sky Scarf: Light Gray 
  • No pumping


  • 15+ minutes house cleaning
  • No working out because Em wanted to snuggle, and how could I turn that down?
  • Sky Scarf: White-Blue 
  • No pumping
  • Education Accounts - Some guy showed up at my doorstep with info about this. Ok, that sounds sketchy. But really, the Universe wanted me to remember that it's on my list. ;)


  • 20 minute work out
  • 15+ minutes house cleaning
  • Sky Scarf: Light Gray 
  • No pumping
  • Wired-less Wednesday - check


  • 20 minute work out
  • Sky Scarf: White-Blue
  • 15+ minutes house cleaning
  • Pumped 1.5 ounces (I hate pumping) and fed it to Emma because she's sick


  • 30 minute work out
  • 15+ minutes house cleaning
  • Sky Scarf: Light Gray 
  • Pumped 3 oz - in the freezer
  • Pretty toes! We are all wearing It's All Greek To Me by OPI
  • Playhouse - Emailed Nana & Papa to get the contact info of someone who has the blueprints of the house I like (but want to expand)
Week-long TV fail. Emma's been sick and cranky. I haven't fought with her about it... But I haven tried to get her down to 4 shows a day. I'm hoping to get her down to 4 shows and then cut those shows to 15 minute blocks... 

And pumping fail because the girls are sick and it's hard to pump when they need all my attention. That's only 10.5 oz total this week, with only 9 oz in the freezer. And I just realized I have milk in there from May and June that I should probably find a home for. It's not a lot, but I need to use it or donate it soon.

I'm really liking Wired-less Wednesdays. Some day I'll write a post about it, thus breaking my wired-lessness. Maybe I'll write it on paper first. ;)

Keeping the house clean is great. The girls help me clean up at the end of every day, I sweep a lot, clean the kitchen a lot. And we bought a great Groupon - 12 housecleaning sessions! I'm so excited about that. I'll use it soon, but I need to organize the house a bit better soon. Everything needs a place before strangers come in to clean everything. It's only for 4 rooms, but the first time I'll have the entire house cleaned. This makes me very very happy. 

And now that Matt's ill-mood has leached to me, I'm going to post this and go have another drink.