Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

LOVED this book!  I had many friends that had read it and finally jumped on the bandwagon. After hearing me talk a bit about it, JB actually read it too. We both finished it (sharing it) in under a week.   We are both now sharing the second book and speeding through it as well.

Good story, keeps your attention.  It is classified as young adult science-fiction, if you look for it in the library.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Easter 2011

We had a good Easter.  Woke up in the morning to find the Easter bunny had left all three of us baskets with a few goodies and some eggs filled with cheerios scattered around the living room.  We enjoyed Sunday service and Wyatt must have played hard with church friends, b/c when we go home we decided to change into shorts and head to the zoo for a little bit, BUT Wyatt asked to take a nap instead and slept for 2 1/2 hours.  We went to the stockyards to walk around for a bit and then had dinner with the Strong family. 

Here are a few pics:

Chowin' down on cheerios from our eggs!

Wyatt picked up his basket after he had some eggs in it, waved goodbye and went to tote it around the house.

Checkin' out the new bubble gun the Easter Bunny left him.
Wavin' bye!  Time to head to church!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Prior Read Books

So, I don't know if anyone even reads my blog all that much or takes any of my book suggestions, but I wanted to list out some books that I have read over the past few years that I liked and would recommend.  I actually own all of these (bought before I smarted up about using the FREE library), so let me know if you want to borrow one!

1.  Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen : Definitely not what I expected but it kept me interested and I finished it quickly.  You might want to read it before the movie comes out this summer.

2.  Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers :  One of my all time favorites and I DO NOT like mushy love stories.  It is actually by a Christian author and is the story of Hosea and Gomer told in a different setting (the western frontier).

3.  A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier by Ishmael Beah : A wonderful story of resilience. 

4.  Saving Fish From Drowning by Amy Tan : About a motley crew of people on a travelling adventure, I read this a few years ago on our trip to Europe.  It was a perfect read while travelling. 

Friday, April 22, 2011

Tyra's Eviction

My sister, Amanda, has not so affectionately named her tumor Tyra.  We are less than a week away from surgery (Thursday, April 28th).  Amanda started a blogsite to allow everyone to keep track of her progress and help spread the word about her recovery to our family and friends.

Amanda's Recovery Journal

She is so blessed to be surrounded by family, friends and God's love that will help her through this challenge. 

I want to say a thank you to my friends, many of whom have never had the opportunity to meet my sweet sister, but who have already offered their support, help and lifted her in their thoughts and prayers.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Shampoo Rinse Cup

I have been using this little cheap rinse cup since Wyatt could sit up in the tub and not until I said something about it to a friend the other day did I realize not everyone knows about this great thing!  In the picture they actually don't look like they are using it effectively - I use one hand under Wy's chin to tip his head up and then pour with the otehr one, pressing the yellow rubber section to his hairline.  It keeps water out of his eyes and we don't get much whining when it comes to rinsing his thick head of hair.

I think I got it at Target, but when I went online to find it, there was only this yucky all plastic one.  I got this picture from the "One Step Ahead" magazine online.  They sell for about 10 bucks and I highly recomend one if you are struggling with a whiney kid when you rinse their hair.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Johnny Wy

Realized it has been a while since I posted pics of our growing little boy who turns 16 months next week! 

It is such a pleasure to spend my days with him!  He seems to learn a new word everyday and is such a little ape to everything we do.  JB isn't fond of it, but he borrows my makeup brushes and makes himself "pretty".  The other day he was toting around a soft cooler over his arm and called it a "purse" HAHA.  SEE, I need a little girl this time around! ;)

This is Wyatt's "CHEESE" face.  Looks a little demonic, so now I actually prefer is old "toad face" he used to give in pictures.

Thanks to my sister, Trac, for the singing birthday card.  Wyatt has been dancing to James Brown's "I Feel Good" for many days now (dang those are some good batteries).  The funny thing is he really likes to open and close it quickly so it just screams out the "OOOOH" at the beginning. It makes him laugh SO hard.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Cheering for the Chinese

With Wyatt's pregnancy I was really indifferent as to whether we had a boy or girl.  I was actually kind of hoping for a boy (having a family FULL of girls) and being the 5th grandchild for my parents, it was fun when we found out he would be something "new".  The chinese gender charts actually predicted Wyatt to be a girl.

They also predict this little one to be a girl - I am hoping this time they are right.  For the first month or so, I actually thought I would prefer another boy - seeing as how my family is still FULL of girls.  Also when them being so close in age, they would be life-long buds and the practical side of me realized I would have to buy nothing if this child is a girl. time goes on and we are just 6 weeks away from finding out, I am really trying hard not to get him hopes up for a girl.  JB has his golfing buddy.  I want my girly buddy.  I want to decorate a room in frills.  I want to have someone to go shopping with for her prom dress and wedding dress.  I want someone to watch become a mother, just like my mom has done with her daughters. 

JB and I have always said we wanted 3 kids, but who knows if after this one, we just might decide our family is complete and I would really like a daughter to nuture and watch grow and mature.  So, I am hoping the Chinese are right this time.  AND, of course I will still be happy with another boy, but I would feel so privileged if God blessed me both a little boy and a little girl.


Friday, April 15, 2011

Paid to Parent

What is my ideal job....well, it would be the one I have  (being a full time mom) with two added bonuses - 1) I would get paid to do it.  2) JB would get to do it full-time with me. 

As I waited for my OB/Gyn this past week I was reading a trashy celeb magazine and there was a pic of Jon, quite overweight, working an hourly construction job.

Hmm..wonder if he is getting attention from hot young chics now?  I just shook my head as I looked at it.

I am not ashamed to admit that many years ago, "Jon & Kate Plus 8" was one of my guilty pleasures.  I loved watching the chaos of their house and the very OCD Kate try to keep it in check (yes, I related to her back then).  They had the perfect setup - paid to parent.  Not only were they paid to parent, but paid VERY WELL to parent and be a family.  They were able to afford an incredible home and take their children on vacations multiple times a year.  Somehow they lost track of that though....I will not put fault on a certain party b/c I do not know the ends and outs, but somewhere I think Jon's new hairplugs and too tight Ed Hardy tshirts messed with his head and caused him to lose touch with reality. And Kate's obsession with her looks and loosing sight of what was really a blessing surrounding her, caused their perfect situation to fall apart. 



Wednesday, April 13, 2011

I've Still Got It

Alternative Title: That Poor Child Needs Glasses

While walking back with Wyatt from the park this afternoon, a young gentleman (appeared to be a high school boy) in a truck pulls up beside me on the road and the following conversation takes place.
HIM: What’s your name? Do you live in this neighborhood?


HIM: Where do you go to school? What’s your name?

ME: MOM (pointing at Wyatt with a “what the hell” look on my face)

HIM: What?

ME: MOM, that’s my name. This is my kid.

HIM: Oh, I thought you were a babysitter (total look of mortified on his face and he races off in his pickup)

To his credit – I was wearing purple Nike running shorts and a grey college tshirt.  So I was dressed very similar to the way high school and TCU girls dress. And I had on large sunglasses that hid the dark circles under my eyes and the growing pores on my cheeks.

I was just sad he drove away so fast and I didn’t get the chance to tell him he was hitting on a pregnant lady in her 30s.


So, my 81 year old neighbor called me during Wyatt's naptime today while I was busily doing things around the house.  She is the sweetest thing and checks on us about once a week, seeing how I am feeling and she tells me how she is doing. 

I was super distracted doing other things and suddenly my cell phone started ringing as well and I was telling her I had to go.  So as I get off the phone, in my distracted stupor I saw "Bye.  I love you.  Talk to you later!" though she were someone in my family or close friends.  We hung up.

So awkward.  I mean she is a nice lady but we are not super close.  You do the whole - do I call her back and tell her I didn't mean to say "i love you" but then you wonder, did she even hear me say that? So strange...I feel horribly weird about it.  I guess it could be saying "I love you" to your accountant or something.

Anyone else have an awkward phone moment like this or does it just happen to me?

Strong Baby # 2 - 12.5 Weeks

Since I did updates with Wyatt, I wanted to do updates for S2. 

How far along: 12.5 weeks.

Total weight gain: Had my doctor's appointment last Monday and I am up 2.5 lbs (about the same as Wy's pregnancy).

Maternity clothes: I thought I was supposed to "pop" earlier with this one, but it is about like last time.  I have days that my stomach sticks out and days that I can easily fit in my normal pants. But usually I wear my looser jeans.

Food cravings: With morning sickness, fruit and sweet foods, like cinnamon rolls taste the best to me.  But no real cravings. With Wy's pregnancy I practically gave up eating my favorite food, pickles, but still like them a bit this time around.  Although eating 1 or 2 a day which is normal for me has now reduced to 3-4 a week.

Morning Sickness: Still sticking around.  I work really hard not to whine too much about this, b/c I know it is just a sign that my levels are high and we have a healthy baby in there, but I am ready for it to start waning. 

General Feelings/Thoughts: I told JB today that I am finally starting to get my energy back and feel normal again.  I have REALLY been struggling and down on myself the past few weeks. It is so unlike me to nap during the day, let housework go by the wayside and just generally be lazy.  I was not cooking dinner as much and hadn't been the energetic mom Wyatt deserves.  Last week, I finally start to feel like doing housework and baking while Wyatt napped.  It made me feel like I finally starting to be "me" again.  I still have "lazy" days but am feeling much more energized.

Getting Ready for S2:  We still have a while before the baby comes, but I have started looking into ratings for double strollers and we are beginning the long painful process of purging and cleaning out our junk room/office. 

Here is the belly pic (excuse the poor photography and shadow....JB sucks at taking pictures):

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Lazy Mom Dinners

Here are two crockpot dinners I made this week.  Truly I am not an avid crockpot user because my crockpot cooks WAY too hot and I don't like having it going if Wyatt and I leave the house during the day.  BUT there were some meats on sale at the grocery store this week and this is what I made with it.

Again, sort of creations with ideas taken from various recipes, so I bet altered to fit your taste and higher level of cooking expertise they could be even better.

Beef Stroganoff
1.5 pound cubed beef stew meat
1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup
Jar of sliced mushrooms
Small chopped onion
About 2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 – 1 cup beef broth (I used about half the can….I think too soupy is better than too dry)
Some black pepper
1 tbsp corn starch w/ 2 tbsp water
4 ounces cream cheese

1. In the crockpot, combine the meat, soup, mushrooms, onion, Worcestershire sauce and beef broth.

2. Cook on Low setting for 8 hours, or on High setting for about 5 hours. (This all depends upon your cooker – mine is SUPER fast, so I have to start it at lunch on the 8 hour setting).

3. About an hour before you are going to eat it, make a mixture of 2 tbsp water with 1 tbsp corn starch and mix it in (this just helps thicken it a bit)

4. Stir in cream cheese just before serving. (many times this recipe calls for sour cream which I think would be fantastic, but JB HATES sour cream so I used cream cheese and it was good, but not as tangy as it would be with sour cream).

5. Serve over egg noodles (prepared according to the package – I think they take about 7-9 minutes to cook).

BBQ Ribs
Ribs (either boneless or small with bones - I get whatever is on sale but make sure it is UNseasoned)
Your favorite BBQ sauce (you can make your own sauce and there are many recipes on line, but this is the LAZY Mom's version)

1. I usually spray some Pam at the bottom of my crockpot and put the ribs in one layer on the bottom.

2.  Pour about 1/2 to 3/4 of a jar of BBQ sauce over the ribs.  I like for it to ALMOST cover them. 

3.  I cook mine about 5/6 hours on medium high, flipping them over (if not all the rib is covered) after about 2 hours and then usually the juice from the ribs and the ribs "sinking in" will have them covered soon.

4.  Add some easy sides and enjoy!  The boneless ones would be great torn up a bit on hamburger buns for rib sandwiches.

Friday, April 8, 2011

2011 To Do List - EPIC FAIL

Who I am to buck this new catch phrase of "EPIC FAIL".  I don't know when it became so popular but I see it in Facebook statuses all the time and I thought it was appropriate here. 

With the upcoming new addition to our family in October, I was going to do a revision to my 2011 list but decided it was not proper to "alter it" but instead should just scratch the whole thing.  With my "create a new mom style" being converted to "find room in my closet for the maternity expando pants" and "start playing the guitar again" being replaced wtih "find time to move the office to make room for another nursery" there just seems no point. 

The one thing I do want to complete is my book goal.  If you would have told me even a year ago that I would enjoy reading so much and make time for it, I would have called you crazy.  But it is something I really enjoy finding time for. 

So drumroll please........"2011 To Do List" has been changed to "2011 Book List"

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The Shadow of the Wind

One of the best, most well-written books I have read in a long time!  A MUST READ!

ignore the "click to look inside" only image I could find (from Amazon)

Summary according to the author's website:

Hidden in the heart of the old city of Barcelona is the 'cemetery of lost books', a labyrinthine library of obscure and forgotten titles that have long gone out of print. To this library, a man brings his 10-year-old son Daniel one cold morning in 1945. Daniel is allowed to choose one book from the shelves and pulls out LA SOMBRA DEL VIENTO by Julian Carax.

But as he grows up, several people seem inordinately interested in his find. Then, one night, as he is wandering the old streets once more, Daniel is approached by a figure who reminds him of a character from LA SOMBRA DEL VIENTO, a character who turns out to be the devil. This man is tracking down every last copy of Carax's work in order to burn them. What begins as a case of literary curiosity turns into a race to find out the truth behind the life and death of Julian Carax and to save those he left behind. A page-turning exploration of obsession in literature and love, and the places that obsession can lead.

Here is a link to the author's website: Carlos Ruiz Zafon 
Zafon is so interesting because he has actually composed music to go along with the book and I think the thing I most enjoyed about the other than the characters and twists and turns of the story, was that most all of the places he writes about in Barcelona are real places (there is actually a map on his website of the places he refers to).  JB and I took a trip to Barcelona a few years ago and although I can't recall those exact places, I could picture the streets and how the must have also looked back in the day the book is set.