Monday, March 31, 2008

Menu Plan Monday - March 31, 2008

Here's this week's edition of Menu Plan Monday.

Monday: Leftover assortment
Tuesday: Crab Meat Quiche
Wednesday: Sloppy Janes
Thursday: Beer Braised Beef
Friday: Craft night - TBD

Sunday, March 30, 2008

One under his belt

Yesterday, Ian got the opportunity to bowl in his first tournament in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. I don't know where he finished in the grand scheme of things because I know absolutely nothing about handicaps in bowling and such, but we were very proud of Ian as he bowled three great games and wound up averaging 20 pins above his average. Not bad for his first year bowling without bumpers!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Thursday Thirteen - My First Edition

Thirteen Things about Becca

I have been enjoying reading Angie's Thursday Thirteen for quite a while now. I'm going to try to give it a whirl. I got my idea yesterday as I was grocery shopping. This week's theme is :


1. Milk

2. Romaine Lettuce (we eat a lot of salad in this house)

3. Yoplait Light Thick n' Creamy Yogurt

4. Red peppers

5. Ball Park All Beef Hot Dogs

6. Sugar Free Pudding

7. Diet Coke

8. Fat Free Cool Whip

9. Mushrooms

10. Fresh spinach

11. Newman's Own Light Sesame Ginger Dressing

12. South Beach Living Granola Clusters

13. Sliced mozarella cheese

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others' comments. It’s easy, and fun! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Another reason I love being a mom

Ian skidded into the kitchen yesterday with a big smile on his face. He looked at me, said, "Mommy, you may have a photographic memory, but your lens cap is on." Then he giggled and ran back to his room.

It makes me wonder how long he was in his room practicing his comedic timing, but it was just so darn cute and made me laugh out loud!

Slow Cooker Thursday - Crockpot Oatmeal

It's Slow Cooker Thursday at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom.


1 c. steel cut oats
4 c. water
1 c. cream or half and half
1.5 c. dried fruit (the drier, the better, i.e., craisins)

Place oats, water, cream and dried fruit in your crock pot before bed. If you must stir, do so very lightly. Thurn your crock pot on LOW and go to bed. The oatmeal will be ready in the morning. Add milk if desired but no sugar will be necessary. Caution - regular raisins get too water logged but tropical fruit bits and dried apricots work well!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

I suppose I'm serious now

I finally did it. After several months of deliberation, I went and plunked down a fair sum on a pair of cycling shoes for myself. Funny thing is that they cost a heck of a lot more than any shoe I wear on a daily basis and I'll only be wearing them 3-5 hours a week at most. Of course, that being said, they will undoubtedly last a lot longer as well. I can't wait to give them a try tomorrow morning though!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Menu Plan Monday - March 24, 2008

Here's this week's edition of Menu Plan Monday.

Monday: Pomegranate Chipotle Grilled Pork Chops
Tuesday: Italian Chicken Breasts
Wednesday: Beef Vegetable Soup
Thursday: Scallop stir-fry
Friday: Fish fry fundraiser

Thursday, March 20, 2008

That's what friends are for!

I will admit that I am horrible about making doctor appointments. I will take the kids in at the drop of a hat, but when it comes to scheduling "necessary maintenance" for myself, I always find a not-so-good excuse to procrastinate. It's especially difficult when you've moved to a new area and don't know any of the doctors and their bedside manners.

On recommendation from Miss J, I scheduled an appointment with her doctor and what can I say? She was the BEST! Now, I don't think you'll see me running to sign up for my next appointment, but at least I know the next time I go, I can't blame it on the fact that I don't like the doctor!

Slow Cooker Thursday - Hungarian Chicken Breasts

It's Slow Cooker Thursday at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom. I haven't made this in a while, but it is really good:

6 boneless chicken breasts
1 medium onion, chopped
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp fresh-ground black pepper
1 T Hungarian paprika
1 c chicken broth
8 oz sour cream
1 T cornstartch or flour

Add onions to crock pot. Add seasonings, chicken and broth. Cover and cook on low 5-6 hours.

Shortly before serving, turn to high and stir together sour cream and cornstarch. Stir into crockpot and heat through. Serve with dumplings.


3 eggs
1/3 c water
2.5 cups flour, sifted

Beat eggs, add water and flour. Beat with spoon until smooth. Drop from teaspoon into boiling salted water and cook until dumplings rise to the top (about 10 minutes)

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

A spoonful of sugar does not help the medicine go down

Yesterday after Bible study, I walked over to childcare only to find Kyra in the hallway with one of the caregivers and she was inconsolable. It was a different kind of inconsolable than a "she took my toy" or "I don't want to share" 2-year-old inconsolable moment though. I took her home and sure enough within 15 minutes of being home, the "ick" has hit our house (again).

When I can get medicine in the poor child, she is in very good spirits. Unfortunately, she is getting wise to my medicinal deceptions (although blending it with her applesauce worked last night). So, today before nap, I attempted to give her small baby spoonfuls and alternating with M&Ms. Although a good idea in mom theory, little missy wasn't buying that plan either. She now just looks at me and puts her hand over her mouth. If anyone has some sort of brilliant suggestion on how to get Tylenol into the system of a 2-year-old, please help!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Another great recipe - Pineapple cake

Thanks to my friend Andora at Lifetime Moments, I made this delicious cake for Bible Study today. It was unbelievably easy and sinfully good!


* 2 cups all-purpose flour
* 2 cups white sugar
* 2 eggs
* 2 teaspoons baking soda
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 1 (20 ounce) can crushed pineapple with juice

* 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
* 1/2 cup butter
* 1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
2. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugar and baking soda. Make a well in the center and add the eggs, vanilla and crushed pineapple, with liquid from can. Mix well to blend.
3. Bake for 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into cake comes out clean.
4. To make the frosting: in a medium bowl, combine cream cheese, butter, confectioners sugar and 1 teaspoon of vanilla. Beat until creamy. Spread on warm cake.

I refrigerated the cake overnight. It was so good. I'm wondering if you could also throw in some mandarin oranges in place of half of the pineapple. This makes the house smell unbelievably good!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Happy St. Patty's Day!

Happy St. Patrick's Day! Though I am in no way, shape or form Irish, who can resist a $5 T-shirt from . (Besides, it will make a good workout shirt after the day has long since past!)

Kyra just thinks it's neat that we have matching shirts today and finds no significance to the day!

On another note, depressingly, it is snowing again! UGH! Fortunately, I think it is melting as it drops, but I so thought we were over this stuff!

Tonight is also Pinewood Derby night! We set up the track last night and Ian's car was pretty fast compared to the other cars there. We'll see what happens when the other cars enter the field!

Menu Plan Monday - March 17, 2008

Here's this week's edition of Menu Plan Monday. It's kind of abbreviated because we are "on our own" this week for a few days:

Monday: leftovers
Tuesday: dinner out w/the kids
Wednesday: Apple Chicken Quesadillas
Thursday: Beef Stir Fry
Friday: up for discussion

Friday, March 14, 2008

The Joy of 2

We are having a "heat wave" here. Temperatures are into the 40s and the snow is finally beginning to melt. Last night after dinner, we decided to go for a walk. Rich rolled his eyes when I pulled out Kyra's new springtime boots. How was I to resist these adorable pink butterfly boots from Target? Besides, Kyra loved them even BEFORE she knew what fun they would be! She could not believe we would readily allow her to stomp through the puddles. She got a little carried away and actually fell down a couple of times to which she said "Wow! That's really cold!" and "Hey! I'm all wet!" Still, the walk was way more fun than it was traumatic because she was asking me to go for a walk with her boots as soon as I set foot in the door this morning.

It's moments like these that help me to realize that even though being a mom of a terrible-two-year-old can be frustrating and exhausting at times, experiencing my darling curly-top taking her first pre-spring rainy romp makes it all worthwhile.

Now, where can I find me a pair of those boots in my size?

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Slow Cooker Thursday - Stuffed Peppers

It's Slow Cooker Thursday at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom. And it's a healthy, low fat option too!


1 Jar Marinara Sauce (My family likes Prego)
1 T Red-wine vinegar
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
4 large peppers
8 oz ground chicken
1 small zucchini, diced
1/2 c quick-cooking barley
1/3 c finely chopped onions
1/4 c raisins

1. Stir sauce, vinegar, cumin & cinnamon in a large bowl until mixed well Spoon 1.5 cups sauce into the bottom of a large slow cooker. Slice off top 1/2" of peppers. Remove seeds and reserve tops.

2. Add ground chicken, zucchini, barley, onion and raisins to remaing sauce in bowl; mix well. Evenly spoon mixture into peppers and replace tops. Stand upright in slow cooker.

3. Cover and cook on low 5-6 hours until peppers are tender and instant-read thermometer inserted in filling registers 160. Serve with sauce.


Tuesday, March 11, 2008

What IS that?

Could it possibly be? This morning as I was driving back from the gym, I happened to notice that the 4-foot snow banks along the parkways are starting to recede and lo and behold you can see actual GRASS!!! Now, said grass is still smushed, mashed and muddy brown, but it is a start. I am keeping my eyes peeled for the first robin! C'mon spring!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Menu Plan Monday - March 10, 2008

Here's this week's edition of Menu Plan Monday.

Monday: Grilled Boneless Pork Chops
Tuesday: Ranch Beef Stroganoff
Wednesday: Flat bread pizzas (we never got around to these last week)
Thursday: Italian Chicken Breasts
Friday: not sure

Friday, March 7, 2008

Perfect timing

This weekend, I am going to a scrapbooking retreat with some of my old friends from Illinois. Even though I am always hesitant to commit to a weekend away, I always come back refreshed. I think this weekend's timing couldn't be any more perfect as my nerves have been rather frayed in the past week or two. I love my children dearly, but I can say I don't feel one ounce of guilt sneaking away this weekend.

I'm taking a couple of mini-album/altering projects with me this weekend as I didn't really have time to plan pages in advance. Hopefully it will be as productive as it will be fun to catch up with my old gang!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Safety in numbers

I am mentally drained this afternoon. Last week, I wrote about how Kyra has definitely hit the terrible twos in stride. Today, we have hit an all new level of two-ness. We hosted our weekly playgroup today and all morning, she was excited that her friends were coming over. Heck, she was waiting by the window at the front door at 7:30! Of course, then said friends came over and I guess in Kyra's mind, having friends over does not mean that you have to share your toys with them! Needless to say, she spent most, if not all, of the two hours in hysterics and temper tantrum. Even after attempting several "time outs", she could not be calmed down so I left her to cry/kick/scream it out for herself.

I sure am glad my mommy friends were here because I seriously was ready to trhow her outside. Thanks to Misses M., J., M., N., T., and T. for keeping me sane this morning despite the circumstances! They keep telling me that this, too, shall pass, but I'm still trying to find my sea legs on this adventure!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

It's ALL Good!

The Happiest Day in this Bears' Fan's Life

Et tu, potty!

Any mom of a young boy has probably had to ask said young boy if he needs to use the "facilities" when you see him squirming in his seat. For us, it is always a challenge with Ian because he becomes so engrossed in what he is doing that he ignores that feeling and then will go shooting off like a rocket until he can absolutely, positively not hold it in for one second longer.

Of course, it frustrates me to no end to see him wiggling like that, but this morning at Bible study, the lesson was so interesting to me that I had a similar experience. Even though I had to go, I didn't want to get up and leave and "miss something." As a result, the second the study ended, I shot out the door. I guess I don't have the right to get frustrated with Ian anymore!

Monday, March 3, 2008

Terrible 2s is RIGHT!

I remember when Ian was little that I didn't think 2 was such a bad age. He didn't really start working me until he hit 3. Ms. Kyra, on the other hand, is another story. Let's just say the past week she has been "getting all 2" on me. I'm trying to be patient and stand my ground though. I just keep chanting "it's only a phase, it's only a phase, it's only a phase." Maybe if I say it enough I will actually believe it and not want to sell her to the lowest bidder! If anyone has seen my "sweet" baby girl anywhere, please send her back to me!

Menu Plan Monday - March 3, 2008

Here's this week's edition of Menu Plan Monday.

Monday: Roast chicken
Tuesday: Scallop stif fry
Wednesday: Italian chicken breasts
Thursday: Flat bread pizzas
Friday: Mommy's going away (HOORAY!)