Tuesday, February 26

Just Something to Keep in Mind

Last night Adam and I were driving home from somewhere and our daughter was babbling in the back. I tried to listen and respond, until I realized she wasn't making any sense. I shared a wry grin with Adam and reassured him,
Logic will kick in any year now.

Friday, February 22

Advice Forum: Parenting with the Flu

We're still sick here. Well, no, actually I am the only one who is still sick. Sigh. The big guy is back to work and the little girl is itching to run and jump and bounce. All I want is to curl up in bed with a warm cup of tea and nap all day.

I did get about 45 minutes of peace (following 30-some minutes of yelling at her to leave me alone and go watch TV) this afternoon. But it just wasn't enough.

Anybody have some great ideas for actually getting rest during the day while you're sick but the rest of the household is starting to think you're no fun anymore?

For more questions and answers, drop by the Queen of Dirty Laundry.

Saturday, February 16

Happy Bir-bi-ba-choo!

Today is my daughter's third birthday. We had a big Teddy bear (indoor) picnic party planned for today. Then we got the flu.


We've rescheduled for next week.

But Daddy made cinnamon rolls for breakfast anyway.

<wavering grin>

Love and hugs to you, Birthday Girl!
I promise we'll celebrate with you better next Saturday.

Tuesday, February 12

By the numbers

My weekend:
82 hours without DSL service
1 technician visit
3 computer restarts
2 trips to the grocery store
8 lbs of butter
18 lbs of pasta
4 gallons of milk

Their weekend:
29 hours in labor
8 calls through the phone tree
3 days in hospital
1 baby girl
7 lbs, 5 oz
19 inches long

Congratulations and welcome home!

Friday, February 8

Advice Forum: Keeping Up with the Messies

I pose this question to the bloggy universe: How do you keep your house clean with little ones trailing after you messing it up? My regular visitors may remember my discouraged post a few weeks ago, when I felt sure I'd never have a clean house. I checked out one website a commenter left, but it didn't seem like it would be especially useful at this point, since I need to learn how to manage my own house, not have someone come in and motivate my daughter for me.

Basically, it works out this way: Adam and I will get ourselves all motivated for a day (or a week--depending on how messy the house is to start with) and clean all up. Then we are usually pretty good and pick up after ourselves, and get our daughter to pick up before bedtime for a few days. Then our schedule is disrupted, or someone gets sick, or there's a big holiday, and suddenly another week has passed and the house is all messy again.

Anybody have some good ideas to get us through these transitional times?

For more questions and answers, visit Queen of Dirty Laundry.

Thursday, February 7

Recipe Box Swap

This post originally appeared on By Hook or By Cook.

Randi is hosting a recipe exchange today over at i have to say....

I have already posted two of my favorite recipes, but I wanted to play, too, so I'm linking to them below, with some extra bonus history.

Wild Rice Casserole

About once a week, my mom used to make a dish we called "Chicken Rice Casserole." I hadn't had it for years after she passed away, but one day I was playing around in the kitchen and came up with a reasonable substitute which didn't require condensed cream of chicken soup. After I married a "foodie," we played with the recipe some more until it turned into this yumminess.

Chocolate Cheese Fruit Tart
Sorry, I didn't get a photo of this one!

My husband and I were having another couple over for dinner and going all out with the homemade food. Adam was making pasta with pesto cream sauce and garlic bread (all from scratch). I was in charge of dessert. I wanted something fruity, but also creamy. I found a recipe for a plum tart in a pine nut crust and adapted it to fit the fruits and nuts that sounded better to me! This is one of my few creations that turned out just right on the very first try.

Wednesday, February 6

Ash Wednesday

Remember that you are dust,
and to dust you shall return.

Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.

Nostalgia Oatmeal Muffins

This post originally appeared on By Hook or By Cook.

As a kid, I would eat my oatmeal with either peanut butter and brown sugar or peanut butter and maple syrup. They are just as tasty baked!
click photo for larger image       

1½ c flour
½ c whole wheat flour
1½ t baking powder
1 t salt
2 c cooked oatmeal (cooled)
2/3 c milk
1 egg
½ c maple syrup
¼ c unsalted peanut butter
1 c raisins (optional)

• Stir together flours, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl.
• Add oatmeal, milk, egg, syrup, peanut butter, and raisins.
• Mix until thoroughly combined.
• Spoon into 12 greased baking cups (fill cups nearly completely).
• Bake at 375°F for 20-22 minutes, until a toothpick picks up moist crumbs.
• Let cool in pan 5 minutes before transferring to cooling rack.

The muffins fell a bit after I took them out of the oven, but I kind of like the way the muffin tops are reminiscent of peanut butter cookies!

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1 muffin (68 g)
Serving per Recipe 12
Amount per Serving
Calories 111 Calories from Fat 9

% DV
Total Fat 1g
Saturated Fat 0g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.5g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.5g
Cholesterol 20mg
Sodium 50mg
Total Carbohydrates 23g
Dietary Fiber 1.5g
Sugars 8.5g
Protein 3g


Tuesday, February 5

More Thoughts on Wonder Woman

If you've been a long-time reader of this blog, you may remember I've remarked on Wonder Woman before.

I had a conversation with my sister once upon a time. She told me she'd made an amazing discovery. As she looked at other women, and saw herself coming up short, she was comparing her collection of strengths and weaknesses (especially the weaknesses) to their best qualities.

Very wise words.

Go read more on this theme in Shannon's post over at Rocks in My Dryer.

World Nutella Day

This post originally appeared on By Hook or By Cook.

If you've never tried Nutella, you positively must. Celebrate World Nutella Day, try it today!

It's made by Ferrero, the same folks that brought us Ferrero Rocher, the tastiest chocolate candy on the market (in this blogger's humble opinion).

I was first introduced to Nutella after my sister had spent a summer in Germany, back in the early 80's. We had it on toasted bagels for breakfast. The whole family was sad when our jars ran out, because we couldn't yet find it here in the states. Thankfully, the Ferrero people got their act together and expanded their distribution, so it's now pretty widely available throughout the US. To find a shop near you that carries Nutella, visit their Store Locator.

One of my favorite dishes made with Nutella is chocolate blintzes. I can't give you a full recipe, because I mostly made it up on the spur of the moment one morning and didn't write it down. However, if you want to play for yourself, mix Nutella (maybe half a jar?) with cream cheese (I'd guess about 6-8 oz), and beat it with a fork until it starts to get a little fluffy. Fill and roll the crepes, bake them as per any standard cheese blintz recipe. As I recall, we served them with sliced strawberries. Ummy-yummy!

Monday, February 4

The Funnest Game

I've seen this meme around the past couple of weeks. Each time I see it I end up playing for a good half hour or so. It's just so much fun!

Here's how it works:
My favorite combination so far?

NOTICE: To those of you who may be concerned about such things, I have no idea what sort of filters these sites have in place. It is possible that clicking one of the randomizing links will bring you to a page that you find offensive. I haven't found any to date, but my standards may be different than yours. Proceed at your own risk.

Saturday, February 2


The Spirit of God has made me; the breath of the Almighty gives me life. If it were his intention and he withdrew his spirit and breath, all mankind would perish together and man would return to the dust.
Job 33:4, 34:14-15 (NIV)

Trust is not an easy task for me. I suppose it's not easy for most of us, but if you spent your growing-up years waiting impatiently for the day when you can control your own destiny, trust may be especially hard. How do I trust in God's protection when, it seems clear from any newscast, God's idea of protection and mine are not the same?

The other night as I lay in bed, I was fighting a not uncommon flood of anxiety. I became very conscious of my breathing: in and out, in and out. A thought struck me, "Were it not for God providing my every breath, I would die."

As I consider the implications of that statement, I realize there are many things that I expect God to continue to do, just as He has done before. The sun will rise tomorrow, spring will follow winter, I will take another breath. Wouldn't it be fair to restate the above as, I trust God to give me breath/bring the seasons/send tomorrow at the end of today?

When I look at it that way, there is an awful lot of my life I have already entrusted to God. I worry about making enough money to pay the bills or being physically attacked or getting into a car accident. How much of my life is on-line billpay and driving when compared to making sure I'm breathing and my heart is pumping? My heart has to beat 100,000 times a day; I don't spend my days and nights worrying about it suddenly stopping. I only have to pay bills two or three times a month. Why do I waste so many hours worried about that?

Trust isn't so much a new thing I need to figure out how to do as something I already do with most of my life. I don't need to learn to trust God, just apply what I know to do in the rest of my life to these areas where I do fear. And somehow, that doesn't seem quite so hard.

Friday, February 1

Scribbit's Write-Away Contest

Michelle over at Scribbit hosts a monthly writing contest for bloggers. Her theme for February's edition is, not unexpectedly, love stories.

I have entered this post.

What do you think of my chances?