Thursday, December 31, 2009

The Convenient Pooper

Anyone else have one of these? A "convenient pooper"?

This boy:

Is the master (and a superhero).

Time to clean up? "I've gotta poop!"

Time to go to bed? "I've gotta poop!"

Time to eat supper? Yup, you've got it, "I've gotta poop!"

Now...this girl has started in too.

Seems that she hates shopping (seriously? I'm not sure she's mine! I think I need a "maternity" test. Hate shopping? Why I never...)

When we're out and about...and she is in her stroller...if she's not: A. Screaming at the top of her lungs...she's B. Saying "Poopy? Poopy?"

And dagnabit! When you've gotta freshly potty trained little've just gotta take their word.

Well...NO MORE!! I'm on to you, you little poopy liar.

No more believing for one little second that you indeed need to "poopy"...I know...oh, yes, I know (insert sarcastic, knowing laugh here)...that you just wanna be sprung from your stroller confines!

HA! I'm on to you, little missy!

And as for you, Little A...well, gosh. I guess there's not much I can do 'bout YOU, since, do perform when you say you need to.

You just need to work on your timing, my dear.

Tip #9--The Last One!!

Well, this is it!

The 9th and final Health tip from yours truly! I'm not sure if Keely's doing a tip today...but head on over to her anyway...she's having a rough day!

Today's tip isn't so much about being healthy (well, ki
nda it is...), but more about being smart, and sensible.

Friends, I just wanna give y'all a friendly reminder to not drink and drive! With all of the celebrating going on tonight, I just want you all to be smart...and alive tomorrow...and not in jail.

So, have fun tonight! And make sure you have a designated driver!!

Happy New Year!!!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

My "Worrier"

My Baby Girl is a worrier.

No, not of the "oh, where's my mommy and is she okay" kind...I'm quite certain she couldn't really give a rat's booty where I am or if I'm still alive...she's a that way!

Her worrying is more along the lines of this:

Not the best photo...but, if you look closely, you'll see Mr. Wonderful's shirt, folded just so and tucked inbetween her pudgy little fingers.

She love to worry our shirts...or, yoga pants.'s a yoga pants day. I know, I know...why do I even bother changing out of my jammies, right? Well...makes me feel slightly more put together...wearing yoga pants vs. jammie pants.

You know?

Anywho...she's been a "worrier" today! She'll run off and play, then come back for a quick worry...and then she's off again...only to be back shortly for another little rub.

I love it. It makes me feel like she needs me.

Do you think if I continue to wear jersey knits that she'll always and forever keep running back for a "quick worry"?

'Cuz if so...I might never change...never. ever. ever.

Winter Wonderland

I'll level with ya here...I'm not a real "out-doorsy" kinda gal. I like to be warm, and cozy, and warm...and inside...and did I mention, warm?

But, the other day...we were invited to a Christmas party with some old (but good great) high school buddies! It was a balmy 20+ degrees, here in sunny MinneSOOOta, so I took one for the team, and ventured outdoors.

It's so fresh out there!

My BFF, Dr. J, had shoveled...well, maybe her hubby did...b
ut, honestly...she probably did. Seriously...I don't know when she sleeps. In between seeing patients, gestating her third baby, mothering, hosting numerous get togethers, cooking up a storm, creating Christmas treats, and shopping for presents. Sheesh, some girls just have it all.

But, I digress. So, I took to the ice...(insert photo of Bambi all awkward on the ice...that's me...), and just sort of stood there.

Then, I realized, that my pregnant friend had strapped on her cross-country ski's, tied not one, but two sleds to her self, loaded said sleds with four fairly large children, and took off across the lake.

And, I'm totally not exaggerating. That paragraph above? That is the honest to goodness truth.

Anyway, after being witness to that scene, I was totally shamed into strappin' on some skis. And away I went. And I got sweaty. (And, praise the Lord, no photos exist of that scene!!)

And then I was grossed out...and my feet were hurting. So I said, "the heck with all y'all, I'm outta here"!! And turned around and hightailed it for home.

What awaited me there, was nothing short of a Winter Wonderland:

A fire, Christmas lights, Christmas music, giggly kids! And then...the snow started.

I felt like I was in a snow globe!

We played and played, and fell down and bonked heads and soothed owies. I fell in love with lake homes. We ate, we laughed, we talked, we ate some more, we had hot cider, and took home sleepy kids (well, all but one...Miss E. got to stay over night!!).

It was awesome.

Can't beat great friendships and good times, that's for sure!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Spillin' the beans...

Nope...still not pregnant! (And, hopefully, it'll stay that way!)

What I'm talkin' 'bout, is my mama...spillin' the beans.

See, I used to live this bloggy life of mine, with my family and friends totally unaware. With the exception of Mr. Wonderful.

He knew...I had to tell him what I was wasting all of my time on during the day! Oh, and my bestie Tara...she knew, 'cuz I knew she'd support me 110%!!

But, anywho...for about 6 months, me and me blog (said with your very best Pirate accent...) existed in our own little world. No family, friends, neighbors or grocery ladies knew of my blog's existence.

Then, Keely and I started this thing...this "Hot and Healthy" thing (which, in it's last week!) launched on a day I was shopping at the MOA with my mama.

And, there was a glitch...I needed to find a computer to get the MckLinky, I casually mentioned to my mom that I needed to find a computer, only to have her do a little *eye roll*...a la "can't you give up your computering for just a day?"!!

So, in my defense, I spilled it to her...mentioned I was making a little moulah from it, that I probably had made enough that I could splurge on a cup of coffee for her.

Well, we found a computer (hello, Apple store...), I got my business done and we shopped to our hearts content.

Meanwhile...back at the ranch...(have you ever read that book? I'd forgotten all about it until just now...when I wrote that...), anywho, so we return home, life carries on...and the phone rings:

"Ohmigosh...I found your blog and I LOVE it!!" And so on and so forth with much carrying on and complimenting and "you are the greatest" that mother's do for their daughters.

So, she tells my dad (on the right, with my Old Man Uncle, who said "What's a blog?!"):

And my bros:

(The Great One)

(Everyone say, "Hi, Treehorn!"...)

(And, the Baby Bro...with Baby Girl...fitting...):

And the mailman, the baker, the candlestick maker...

She told her friends, the grocery girl (no lie), my aunts and uncles, cousins...I'm quite certain that when she was sitting on Santa's lap, she was telling him of my blog. aunt (I believe I called her "Nature Girl" in a previous post, that's her, above...) told my great uncle...and now, he's reading too (Hi Uncle Louie!! Lemme tell ya...everyone needs an Uncle Louie in their lives...)...that same aunt and my cousin (we'll call her "Filly", 'cuz she loves horses, and I love the word "filly"...that's her below, left...) have been slowly making their way through this beast which is my blog (um...they may want to watch out for posts like Mucous Plugs and #2 in Second stage...Filly might not see the humor...).

Wow. You'd think I'd've been on the Today show by now...what with all the people that know about me. (*snort, cough, choke, sputter*)

Looking back, it's I was afraid of those close to me "finding out" about my blog. There was a certain level of comfort for me, putting "my stuff" (and, that I mean my blog stuff...) out there when only "strangers" read it. Strangers who have now become friends!

So, welcome...Filly, Uncle Louie, grocery lady, (Santa?) this silly little blog of mine! Pull up a chair and a cup of coffee/juice/tea/hot chocolate, have a little look around!

I'm glad you're here.

Hot and Healthy--Week 9

Ohmigosh. This is IT!! The last week of Hot and Healthy!

I totally can't believe it.

Anywho...let's move on!

After nine weeks of being "present" to your health and do you feel?

Do you see any changes...any new habits formed?

Are you glad to kiss this program good-bye or are you clinging to it's leg, begging it not to leave?! ;)

Do you think you will continue on with the tips and ideas that we have given you?

Anything we could've done differently? Longer time frame? Shorter time frame?

Oh...were you able to take Mama M.'s tip last week and make it work? ;)

How 'bout Keely's stretching?

Too many questions...sorry...answer what you want!

The winner of last week's awesome stainless steel water bottle is: Audra!! Congrats! Contact Mama M. with your info, and I'll get it out ASAP!

Didn't win this week? Well, my friend...we have ANOTHER fabulous water bottle to giveaway this week! It's the pink one this time! Just link up below, or head over here and leave a comment on the giveaway post!

And just wait! Just you wait!! We have one humdinger of a giveaway still to do. Working on the final deets on that one!


Well, I hafta say...I'm glad to be done with hot and healthy. I feel like it was just a couple of weeks too long.

I know for sure, that I've got a good foundation (and fabulous fitness "expert" in Keely) to keep me going with healthy choices and working out!

I hope we did you justice with what we offered you!

Great job to all of you!!

MckLinky Blog Hop

Monday, December 28, 2009

Fun, Exciting Announcement!!!

No...I am not pregnant! (*Phew!!*)

But, I know someone who has given birth to something...

My bestie, Tara, has started her blog!!!

She rocks.

She's awesome.

She is just so stinkin' much fun!

So, my friends...without further ado...I'd like to announce the birth of:


Stop by, leave her a little bloggy love and encouragement (and stay tuned...this girl can cook!!)!

Way to go Tara! Love ya girl!

The BEST Christmas Ever!


Why does Christmas hafta end? I love completes me.

I look forward to Christmas year round, I've actually figured out that we have 361 more days until next Christmas. The countdown is on!

I totally made one heckuva motherload of a haul this year! Wow...I'm still amazed! Although...I coulda gone without the stomach flu we received...

Mr. Wonderful (have I mentioned how wonderful he is?!!), got me this:

And I have named him, "Marlboro Man" (the mixer, not Mr. Wonderful).

Okay, I didn't. I just had to throw that in for Kate. She makes me laugh.

But, wow. Isn't he handsome? (I'm figuring it's a he...since he's gonna do all my hard work for me...and, yes, I am a princess at heart, and not ashamed to have a big strapping guy come to my rescue.)

Mr. Wonderful...being the goofball that he is...wrapped one of his 20lb dumbbells in a KitchenAid mixer sized box. To throw me off:

He had me laughing so hard...I was afraid my bladder of steel would actually give out!

And, my parents? They got me these:

Adorable, aren't they?!! I love 'em...but, for 140 bucks, I think I might trade 'em in...even my mom's encouraging me too! I saw the price, gasped and said, "140 bucks?!!!!!"...she said, "I know...for a sweater with sole!"

So, looks like I'll be trading 'em in...for something more practical, still cute, and needed more than another pair of Uggs...I mean, how many Uggs does a girl need?!! But, dang!! They are sooooo stinkin' cute.

Adorably cute.

And, they'd go great with my new brown jacket.

Not to mention, they're all soft and fuzzy on the inside...and so cute! Have I mentioned that? That they're cute?

Now, I'm torn.

Ugh. Decisions. They get me every time.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Oh my word...

Reports are filing in...

It appears as tho' we've infected much of everyone we've come into contact with, spent time with, or even just thought of.

And, it has the potential to spread...through mulitple states, as my parents spent time with relatives that live in Illinois.

Oh my word...I am so sorry. So very, very sorry.

Please forgive me.

TreeHouse Chronicles--Day 140

While I stay home with a sick kiddo (poor E.W...went from the stomach flu to an earache and a sore throat!! Not fair...) and the babe, Mr. Wonderful took the other three children to church!

I'm supposed to work tonight...hoping to be "on-call" (will you cross your fingers for me?) so I can spend time with my fam...word on the street is that things are slow up in Birthing, it's possible I might just get my request!

In the meantime...I have something fun to share with you! Today, day 140 of Operation TreeHouse (still counting...even tho' no progress has been made in, what...6 weeks?!!), we find ourselves buried in the aftermath of a winter storm!

I love it! I have no idea how much we got...doesn't really seem like much, since I was expecting TONS...but I'm pretty sure we're right around 14 or more inches!

But, anywho...

I digress...the TreeHouse Chronicles...

A couple (three?) months into my chronicling of our treehouse project, I noticed I was getting some traffic from people searching "TreeHouse Chronicles".

"Hmmm...that's strange", I thought...and I looked into it. Turns out, a book...a real, live, bonafide book, exists with the title "TreeHouse Chronicles".

If you were privy to my tweets (*snort*...privy, ha!!) around that time, you may remember my "woe is me" twitter about my "uncreativeness" and being a day late and a dollar short with creativity. (An aside by me...did you know that the original title/URL of my blog was, "My Mamalogue"...then I accidentally discovered that I was in violation of a trademark. See what I mean, a day late and a dollar short...)

Well, back to the TreeHouse Chronicles...a few weeks before Christmas, I received an email. An email from certain someone named Peter, who wrote a certain book called "TreeHouse Chronicles", stumbled upon my blog and my TreeHouse Chronicles!

The short of it, is this amazingly nice and generous man, gifted my family with a copy of his book. Gloriously shiny, full of fantastic photos and folksy illustrations. It made my heart swell (and, now...unbeknown to him, we have ourselves a seasoned vet and "go to" person in treehouse building!!)...and...I'm afraid.

After seeing his treehouse (HA!! Treehouse...yeah...actually, more of a tree MANSION!!), I'm terrified that ours will now require a drawbridge, fancy windows, a spiral staircase...and who knows what else!! (And yes...Peter...I will hold you responsible!)

A peek inside this awesome book of his (which, btw...his gift to us did not require a "review"!! I'm just in awe, and very grateful to him...and wanted to show you his book's amazingness!!!):

His treehouse is hexagonal (I had to google that...):

Ugh...just look at those windows...think of all the awesome food blogging photos I could get with that natural light...I think I'm moving, into the his treehouse:

A drawbridge? Oh, bestill my beating heart. It's official, I am moving in...natural light, and a way to assure aloneness? Sigh...some people have it all!

Thank you, Peter! For such an awesome book (and, probably, some crazy inspiration for things waaaayyyyy above our heads!!)...we are very grateful!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

A Top 10 List

Top 10 Ways You Know the Stomach Flu Just Went Through Your Family:

10. Every spare "bucket" you own is currently awaiting a good disinfection.

9. Every single bed in you home is's sheets waiting their turn for the washer.

8. An innocent *cough* has you jumping up and running for a bowl, bucket, box, shoe...anything.

7. Your pantry is stocked with crackers and ramen noodles.

6. Your fridge is stuffed with Gatorade, 7-up, and popsicles.

5. There is an odd, greenish hue to your children's complexions.

4. You feel hungry, but refuse to eat, because you wonder, "Is it my turn now?"

3. You have toast for lunch (even though you feel like you could eat an entire turkey) just. in. case.

2. You are constantly reminding your children, "don't fart unless you are on the toilet"!

And, the Number One Reason You Know the Stomach Flu Just Went Through Your Family:

1. The odd...sour smell that seems to have permeated EVERYTHING you own.

The Day After Christmas...

'Twas the day after Christmas, when all through the house,

Children's tummies were rumbling, yucky tastes in their mouth

The bedding was heaped in a pile on the floor

In hopes of this flu bug being present NO MORE!


Ugh. Yup...that was our Christmas! Started with Miss E...but we weren't sure what exactly was goin' on with her.

Then, a reprieve for a day...only to start up again, with E.W...last night, just as all of our Christmas company was arriving.

We initiated a "quarantine" room...and soon, Little A. joined him. And, not long after, Baby Girl.

Mr. Wonderful, wasn't feeling he willingly offered to "hold down the fort" with the sickos. I got to mingle and talk and eat...and then I became terrified...

"UGH!! Why did I eat?!!!!!" I was sooooo afraid I was gonna be the next to fall...but (*knocking on wood*) so far, so good.

Needless to wasn't a restful night.

And now...I've gotta crapload of laundry to do (and yes, it is a bit "crappy"). And a house to clean, presents galore to sort, and empty tummies that I need to start "re-feeding"!

Can I take a nap? ;)

Hope your Christmas was all you dreamed it would be! (Stay tuned for a more positive, upbeat, less disgusting post about our Christmas!!)

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!!

We are on day 2ish of 3ish of snowfall! It is breathtaking!

I just want to say...

Happy Birthday, Baby Jesus!!!

Merry Christmas, my friends!!!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve

Right about now...we will have just completed Round 2 of 3 of present opening madness!

We will be stuffing our faces with the yummiest foods...talking loudly, teasing incessantly, and reveling in the spirit of Christmas!

The weather outside will be frightful, but the fire will be sooooo delightful! And soon, my extended family will be arriving...and we'll start all over again!

Christmas, my "The most wonderful time, of the year!!!"

From my family to yours...wishing you a Merry Christmas, safe travels, and happy times!

Tip #8--Check it out...

Merry Christmas Eve, my friends!!!

I thought long and hard about this tip...and, this is what I came up with:

Enjoy, my friends!!

Don't deny yourself! It's Christmas, for Pete's sake!!

I want you to have fun, and be happy! So, dang it...just don't worry. It's one day (maybe two for some of us..or heck, even a week!) out of the year, a little indulgence isn't gonna hurt any of us.

I know I'll end up having one piece of pie too many, way too many cookies, a coupla extra helpings of ham or potatoes or meatballs...and I'm not gonna worry!

Merry you and yours, from me and mine!!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Heaven from a Bag

Okay, this next recipe...I slaved over it for hours on end. I was sweaty...and exhausted...and...and...alright. I'm totally lying!

For the record...I don't make things I hafta slave over. Or get sweaty for (yuck...I hate sweating...hence, my aversion to exercise). This recipe is the easiest, peasiest, lemon squeeziest recipe ever invented. Evah'!

I can't take credit for it's invention tho'.

I wish I could. But I can't.

Anywho...first things first, you'll need a nice cle
an paper bag from the grocery store, and these ingredients:

Yup...that's it.

First, dump the butter, brown sugar, corn syrup, and vanilla in a microwavable bowl:

Then, pop it in the mic (seriously, can it get any easier? ** Why, can...stay tuned...) (oh, and this is where I'm gloriously thankful for flash completely glares out the nasty mess that's in my microwave!! Man, I love flash photography.):

While it's nuking, toss the cereal into the paper bag:

When the caramel mixture is done "cooking" (*snort*...can you even call it "cooking" if it's in the microwave?!!)...we all get to put on our magician's hats, and work a little magic.

'Member that baking soda from above? Now's it's time to shine, baby!

Dump the soda into the caramel stuff (here's where I enlisted Mr. Wonderful to help snap photos...hence the "far awayness" of the shots...he's gotta learn that closer is better...either that, or I've gotta get the hang of this Photoshop stuff!!), and begin to stir:

Getting there...

Are we there yet?

Just a little futher:

We're there!!

Now, take the caramel mixture, that's all freaky and fluffy (**this is where it gets easier!), and pour it right over the cereal in the bag. Yes, that's right. In. The. Bag.

Pop that whole darn bag right into the mic, and then thank me later for giving you a recipe that you cook in a bag. Disposable cookware, at it's finest!

During the cooking, you'll "shake it, shake, shake it...shake it, shake, shake it...shake it, shake, shake it...shake it like a Polaroid picture" (name that tune...), so make sure you've got oven mitts handy to protect your tender little mitts! (I was feeling brave...and a little I went commando. No mitts for this chick!)

When it's all finished, spread it out onto parchment paper, let it cool, break into pieces...and marvel in it's ridiculously easy deliciousness!

And, because you simply can't stand the garish flash photos any longer, wait until morning to snap a "naturally lit" photo of your masterpiece:

You're welcome. I love you, too.

Caramel Snack Mix:

1 12 oz. box Crispix
1 stick butter
1 c. brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 c. corn syrup (i.e. Karo)
1 tsp. baking soda

Place cereal in a brown paper grocery bag, set aside. Mix together butter, brown sugar, vanilla, and corn syrup in microwavable bowl, and cook on high for 1 (one) minute. Stir, return to microwave and cook on high for 2 (two) minutes, stir well to combine butter, then add baking soda. Stir well until mixture if fluffy and foamyish. Pour caramel mixture over cereal in bag, shake bag gently to coat, and place bag in microwave for 1 1/2 minutes. Shake bag gently to distribute caramel, and return to microwave for 1 minute. Give bag one last gentle shake, and pour caramel cereal onto parchment paper, spreading into a thinish layer. Cool, and break into pieces. Store in airtight container.


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