Saturday, July 16, 2011

My Crazy Life

I haven't blogged in two weeks due to complete craziness! Two weeks ago my sister and her boyfriend came to visit my house for the first time. It was great to see them over the 4th of July! We had lots of fun and a ton of great food!

Last weekend my parents came to help us pull carpet out our upstairs. Tom and I had been discussing for a while now moving the two bedrooms upstairs and the office and guest room down stairs. That way we would have all of our living space down stairs and it would turn our guest room into living space instead of storage or wasted space. I had thought that we would pull the carpet out and then get everything ready to move. Tom had other ideas. I looked like a deer in headlights.

He was right of course it was the best idea to go ahead and do it with everything pulled out of the rooms upstairs for the carpet removal. He underestimated the magnitude of the job. That through me into a week of cleaning, organizing, and moving. I am still not done! I am 70% done. I still have to finish sorting through and switching the closets.

When I haven't been moving stuff I have been making pasta from scratch!! It has been quiet the adventure of it's own! I have had several failures and one success. I think I have an idea of how to make this work now. I will post more on this once I am sure.

I have also been planning a vacation to visit my brother in Texas!!! We haven't been on a vacation in 2 years! I am extremely excited!!

That is all I have for now! I can smell my lasagna baking (and yes I made the noodles from scratch)!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Small Successes

It is important for us moms to recognize our small successes that add up to one big success!

1) Lulu gave up her paci this week! I know she is almost 3-years-old and still uses a paci to sleep but this week we started sleep training with her and teaching her how to sleep without one. It has been more difficult even than I dreaded it being but I have stuck to my guns! Last night she fell asleep after only 30 minutes and no screaming!

2) I made Kolaches for the first time! They are a Czech pastry that my husband loves!! I actually made them to get him out of a bind so I was cooking until 1 am. That is a story for another post.

3) I am having a friend and her children over today for a play date!! My first real play date since moving here two years ago. I am SO excited!

4) I actually got invited to a dinner party last weekend! It was fun, strange, and a bit awkward but I am really really glad I went! This is also a long story and would be better for another post. Suffice to say after an awkward experience I might have made a new friend! Our two families are going to eat lunch today!

5) It happen! I am so glad I am back on FLYlady! My husband called me out of blue while I was busy with the kids and said, "Sweetie, I am bringing a friend over. We will be there is 10 minutes." I looked around my house was picked up, my dishes were clean, no laundry out anywhere. I was completely fine, not embarrassed at all! That night I wound up doing a huge cooking project (making Kolaches) and my kitchen was already clean and prepped for cooking!

6) I started a potted herb garden!!! I have talked about doing this since Tom and I got married 4 years ago! I am so excited!! I am starting it from seed and know nothing about seeding plants so I am hoping I am doing everything right. Only time will tell!

My Life as an 'I Love Lucy' Episode

I was joking about this with my mom the other day and she said, "That would make a great blog!"

Have you ever found yourself trapped in a comedy of errors? Or feel like this is something out of a t.v. show? I was cleaning house the other day when I found the pen Tom normally carries in his pocket. I was on the phone with my mother and I started saying, "Oh dear. If Tom notices he doesn't have this before he gets home he is going to think he lost his pen." I started describing the conversation we would have.

Suddenly it struck me: This is like that "I Love Lucy" episode where Ethel is eating breakfast with Lucy and Fred yells from the apartment below, "ETHEL! ETHEL!" Ethel looks at Lucy and says, "He thinks he lost his glasses. They are on his head. When I tell him they are on his head he will say, 'huh! If it was a snake it would have bit me'!" Sure enough Fred comes in and the whole scene plays out exactly how Ethel described.

While I was reminiscing about "I Love Lucy" it occurred to me that I have been living my own comedy of errors. Lulu still uses a pacifier to sleep... that is until a few days ago. I have been planning on weaning her from it this fall when the days are shorter and it is a little easier to get her to sleep at night. A few nights ago I was scrambling to find one when I heard Tom in the other room say to lulu, "Lulu, the pacifier went away! You are going to be a big girl now and sleep through the night without one!" He then proceeded her to bribe her to sleep without one. He promised her rewards for taking such a big step into being a big girl. His intentions were good but his communication before hand wasn't. Which is exactly what creates those hilarious debacles in "I Love Lucy."

I walked back in and looked at him like a deer in head lights. I decided to commit to Tom's promises and push through. I started sleep training Lulu. Over an hour later when she had finally fallen asleep I went up to Tom's office where he was working on his school work and explained exactly what he had done. I said, "This means two weeks of sleep training. Both night and nap training." I went through what all that entailed. He looked at me and said, "I guess I didn't think about the consequences." I laughed and said, "NO!"

We are stumbling through sleep training completely unprepared. Each night is a new adventure but if we laugh at ourselves the same way we laugh at "I Love Lucy" then life will never be dull!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Brownies

This is by far my favorite gluten free recipe that I have made up! It is also my first one. I use this whenever I want or need a treat, when I am having company over, to take to gluten households for dinner or when they are in mourning... it is my go too recipe! I love to serve this with vanilla ice cream and hot fudge sauce during the summer!

2 cups sugar

1 1/2 cup flour (any flour mix you like or you can use your favorite flour and simply add 2 tsp. of xanthum gum)

12 tbsp. cocoa

1/2 cup canola oil

4 eggs

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 cup chocolate chips (optional if you like a more fudgy brownie)

Mix dry ingredients and chocolate chips if you are using them. Add in wet ingredients and mix well. Bake at 350 until toothpick or knife comes out clean. Around 30 minutes.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Small Successes!

It is important for us moms to stop each week and count our successes and realize that they add up to one big triumph.

1) I have done the routines from FlyLady all week! This means my house is staying picked-up and my kitchen is always clean! I haven't done the "zone challenges" so my room is still a disaster area. Baby steps!

2) I have kept the laundry washed, folded, and put away all week! AND have cooked a nice dinner each night! I am proud of myself!

3) This week we picked out first produce of the season from our garden! Three beautiful onions! We have tomatoes and pepper forming on the plants already! I can't wait to pick the cucumber, raspberries, tomatoes, and peppers!

4) This is not really my success but it is a great mile stone! Zizzy said her first word last week (Mama or Milk depending on who you ask. I think she said milk first but Tom insist is was Mama). She has since added, "No" and "More"!! I think I might have heard her say "Stop!" to Lucy...

Small Successes is being hosted by Chocolate For Your Brain.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Parenting Breather

After I wrote Mommy Going Crazy Tom very very sweetly announced he wanted me to take a parenting breather. He kept the girls and sent me away for 30 minutes. I know 30 minutes sounds like nothing but it actually was amazing! With his summer finals coming up this weekend he really didn't have time to do that so I am extremely grateful!

It was incredible to walk to the car with my wallet, keys, phone, and nothing else! No big diaper bag, no kids wailing or trying to squirm away as I buckled them into the car seat, no trying to entertain the kids as I drive... it was just me!

As I drove out of the driveway and waved bye to my little family I had to decide where I wanted to go. I thought, "Ice cream! No, StarBucks! No,...." I finally decided to go to the grocery store and buy those pull-ups I need.

It was amazing to walk through the store without kids! No annoying cart with a car on it. No worrying Zizzy is going to try to turn around a look at Lulu or that Lulu is going to jump out of the car while I am pushing. No dealing with fussy children while I try to make decision about what to buy. No entertaining and explaining every.single.thing.I.am.doing. I even bought one of those fountain drinks I have walked passed 100 times but never got because it was a) not necessary and b) I couldn't balance it while shopping and making sure my kids don't jump out.

After I finished shopping I headed over to Braums and picked up a little treat for everyone. I came home to very happy kids who had had a great time playing with their father. It was the perfect parenting breather!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Mommy Going Crazy!

I love my children. I love them more than I love .... well... everything and everyone except my husband. But there are days when I feel like I am going crazy.
Today Lulu pushed every single one of my buttons! It has been this way for a few days now. She pushes her sister, she doesn't do as I say, she is throwing fits constantly, she won't go to sleep when she is supposed too... I am going crazy! It doesn't help that Zizzy has decided she needs to be help every.sing.waking.moment.
I have hit that point where I want to scream "I AM BURNED OUT!!" But then Lulu looks at me and says something completely adorable and Zizzy laughs then I remember why I love being a mother.
Somehow I need to find a balance so I don't get so upset. What have you moms out there done to help you avoid that burnout feeling?

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Small Successes

After neglecting my blog I thought I would do my usual Thursday blog and give 3 small successes of the week.

1) We took care of Tom's and my neglected medical needs. After Tom's glasses broke I arranged an eye exam for him then decided to have my medical needs looked after. I saw the doctor, he went to the eye doctor and we are both making appointments to have our teeth cleaned! All those little things we put off!

2) I ordered a great Father's Day gift for Tom!! I will be able to pick it up tomorrow!

3) I started FlyLady again and am on my way to a more organized house! When we lived at the apartment I was great about doing FlyLady and keeping my home clean and organized but I fell out of it while moving. I have kept the house decent but not as clean as I would like it. I seemed to have hit metal blocks on getting the house organized and settled the rest of the way. With FlyLady I will get there!

Small Successes are being hosted at Chocolate For Your Brain.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

My Fairly Tale

Do you ever wake up and feel like you are living a fairy tale? I do! I am amazed every day at how deeply blessed I am. My fairy tale began in college when I met Tom.

We have two different stories on how we met. I transferred colleges at the beginning of the spring semester in 2004. Tom remembers meeting me my first week there when I was lost on my way to meet a friend and her boyfriend so he walked me to the guy's dorm. I don't remember this meeting so clearly he did not make an impression on me.

I remember meeting him right after spring break in the cafeteria. I had made friends with "James" and one day at lunch Tom walked in and sat down with us. James introduced Tom as, "This is my fiance's younger brother and (pointing to the girl sitting next to him) is my fiance's younger brother's girlfriend." I thought it was really funny and strange that he phrased it that way. Tom struck me at the time as an interesting person but I didn't think much of it. We ran in similar circles but rarely saw each-other.

The one conversation we can both clearly remember we where in a mutual friend's room with her boyfriend who was a music major. Tom came in and started showing off some flutes he had made out of PVC pipe. I thought those where ingenious! I had never seen anything like it! The music major started playing with it but wasn't able to make music out of it. So feeling a little foolish and dejected started making fun of Tom's flutes. I knew that I could make that flute play and no one else in the room even knew I had ever played flute. I picked it up and played a quick and playful little Irish jig. I twinkled over the flute at Tom when the music major went red.

After being at my beloved college for an all too short year and half I was forced to leave due to health reasons mid-semester. My mother came and picked me up. After crying a lot, hugging all my friends, and saying goodbye to almost everyone single person on campus I was ready to leave. It was late one evening I was about to walk out of my dorm for the last time when I looked up and saw Tom walk in. I called out to him as I had so many other people, "Goodbye Tom! I am leaving!" He looked shocked, "When?" "Now." I gave him a hug (I don't know why) and walked out. My mother looked at me in the car and said, "Hannah who was that young man at the door?" I responded, "Oh he is a friendly acquaintance. I barely know him." My mother said, "He looked like someone just dumped a bucket of cold water on him. I think he is more than an acquaintance." I blew her off.

To my shock a few days later I received a hand written four page letter from Tom. That sparked an almost 6 month correspondence via snail mail.

His letters were something to behold! His paper was made in France in the oldest paper mill still in existence today. His ink came from England. His fountain pen was the last pen made by an American Indian who was famous for his pens. That pen would normally have cost a few hundred but it was sold to Tom's sister for $50 with the promise that it would be used regularly. His letters were sealed with a wax seal just like what Bohemians would have used 500 years ago (his ancestors). The wax was from Scotland. He covered the front of the envelope with 1 and 2 cent stamps. Each letter was full of his personality, care, love... who wouldn't fall in love with him!

Letters led to phone calls, phone calls lead to meeting up at friend's weddings, meeting up at different weddings lead to him coming to visit me at my parent's house on my sister's birthday.

The brave young man trekked 495 miles to ask me to date him. I was so nervous about him coming! I wondered what my family would think. I wondered what he would think of me after meeting my family. I needn't have worried though my family loved him from the beginning! His first conversation with my father was a philosophical discussion defining the difference between grandeur and beauty. He could discuss everything from gardening to theology with my mother. He even managed to tease my sister non-stop without offending her!

One night during his visit he and I sat up late together talking. He went through a long speech then asked me to date him. I responded, "Let me pray about it." When my mother and sister got up the next morning they asked me in Sign Language (so Tom would not hear us talking) "Well??? Are you dating??" I said, "No... I asked to pray." "ARE YOU CRAZY!!!!!"

Tom and I went to mass later that morning and after mass I said, "Tom repeat your question to me."

"What question?" He quipped with a quirky smile.

"Ask me to date you."

"Ms. Holmes will you date me?"

"Yes, Mr. Voboril! I would love to date you!"

He startled me by responding, "Well, I don't want to make it official until I have you father's blessing."

"MY FATHER'S WHAT! Papa will not know what to do with that!"

Tom persisted in asking my father who told him, "I never asked to date Hannah's mother. Heck I didn't even ask to marry her!" (They eloped).

I have to admit as strange and funny as I thought it was that he asked Papa's permission to date me I loved him for it. I have always been slightly old fashioned and it made me happy to find someone who was quirky and old fashioned like me.

Throughout our relationship no matter what stage of the relationship we were/are in he has always taught me what it really means to love and care for others. I couldn't have a better husband or father to my children. I am the most deeply blessed woman on this earth.

I linked this post with Project Marriage.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Sleeping At Last

Sleep has always been a struggle for me. If you ask my mother she can regale you with stories about how badly I slept as a child. Well... I have reaped my reward! I have two children who hate sleeping! I realized one morning as I sipped my fourth cup of tea and was contemplating moving on to Diet Coke at 7 am that maybe I should make some drastic changes.

Zizzy was co-sleeping with us and she would toss, turn, breastfeed, and kick all night. Not even Tom was sleeping. Lulu was waking up regularly and was just as difficult to get back to sleep in the middle of the night as she was getting her to go to bed in the first place. Sleepless, frustrated, and at my wits end I called my cousin Kate who had taken her son from co-sleeping to sleeping through the night in his own room. I said, "How the hell did you do that Would you mind explaining to me how you managed that?"

Kate told me about the Sleep Lady system. The concept is you use sleep schedules to work with the baby's natural Circadian Rhythm to improve sleep at night and you conquer the baby's fear of being alone through her "sleep shuffle" and reinforcement. When you read her book it is actually simple and brilliant! That is until it is 2 am and you haven't slept yet and the baby is still screaming.... (this is not a typical response to the sleep program as lined out in the book. I realized later that I had made some mistakes that caused part of Zizzy's reaction to the sleep changes.)

The first night of Zizzy in her own bed I thought I would die! I almost gave up but all the older more experienced moms around me told me to "stick to my guns." It took two weeks but I got Zizzy to sleep in her own bed! I was so proud of myself!

Then she got sick...

I wanted to comfort her but that unfortunately led to me getting up with her every two hours. I didn't mind while she was sick but she kept it up after she got well! I thought I was going to go crazy! One morning after an almost sleepless night I checked my email and I had a promotional add from the Sleep Lady saying that she had a great deal for a conference she was going to give. Only it was on the other side of the US from me. Frustrated, mad, feeling like that just added insult to injury I fired off a response not thinking anyone would respond. They did.

I received a very nice email from her assistant who said that they had some trainees for their program who needed hours to fulfill their training and they would be happy to help me FOR FREE!!! The way this program works is you have someone who helps you create a sleep program for your child and then talks to you everyday to help you stay on track. It normally cost a few hundred dollars (this is beyond generous! I felt like I had been drowning in the ocean and someone threw me a rope!)

After talking to a sleep coach I realized I had made a few small mistakes that had led me down a slippery slope and into the awful sleep situation I was in. By after correcting those and spending a a little time talking to the very helpful sleep coach I quickly and very successfully sleep trained Zizzy!! Somewhere along the way Lulu picked up on what we were doing and she greatly improved too! Most nights I now get uninterrupted sleep!!!! Now they sleep from 7 pm to 6 am and I am NOT a morning person but I am adjusting quickly and happily! It helps that I am now so well rested!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Small Successes

I need to stop and count the small successes of this week. It has been a rough week so it is important to remember it hasn't been without it moments!

1) I cleaned out the huge pile of clothes in my room and did all the laundry in the house! I had let this get WAY out of control so I spend two days washing, sorting, folding, and putting away clothes. I am glad to announce I AM CAUGHT UP!

2) I took up running! I found I really enjoy running! I don't go far or for very long (I don't have any stamina) but I love it! I do it right after the girls have gone to sleep and the dishes are washed!

3) I have stayed caught up on dishes! I don't know why I struggle with this. I hate hand washing dishes and we don't have a dishwasher so it is easy to get behind but this week I stayed on top of it!

I also want to take a moment and count some of my blessing:

1) I have the blessed opportunity to attend daily mass on a regular basis!

2) I have the most wonderful, amazing, loving husband! I could not have asked for a better partner in life!

3) I have the two most adorable girls of all time! They are so affectionate and loving!

4) I own a very beautiful little home! We have a big yard for the girls to run in and have a wonderful garden!

5) I have wonderful in-laws!

6) I have loving family who I talk to on the phone everyday!

7) Out garden is beautiful! It looks like we are going to have a great harvest on our first year!

 

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

A Beautiful Life

There was a girl who grew up in a wonderful family with 3 siblings and parents who love her. Her name is Kathleen. She was the star of her high school basketball team; she had just finished her first year of college; she had declared a degree in Physical Science; she had won a spot on the college basketball team; and she was working with disabled children. Then the worst happened.

On Thursday May 19 she died in a car accident. Kathleen was known for always smiling and she was very popular. Yesterday at the rosary over 700 people showed up to wish her farewell.

Today is her funeral. Please pray for her family and that her soul may rest in peace.

And on a last note. Since most of you have children: Please hug your children and say I love you!

Betty Crocker Mixes

So I was thinking I have never talked about Betty Crocker mixes on here! I am CONSTANTLY recommending them so I should talk about them here!

Betty Crocker has two cake mixes (white and chocolate), a chocolate chip cookie mix, and a brownie mix. I LOVE the cake mixes! You can't tell the difference between those and gluten cakes! They have a great texture and flavor; they are moist but not crumbly; the flavor is the same as the white cakes I used to make before going gluten free! I use these for birthdays and other special occasions.

The cookie mix is a little crumbly and dry but not bad. I actually prefer the General Mills cookie mix. They have a cookie mix that can make 5 different flavors and is cheaper than Betty Crocker. The General Mills cookie mix is not perfect but it is not too crumbly and it is not dry.

I have never tried the brownie mix. I have a great brownie recipe that I prefer to use. It is actually the first recipe I ever made up for gluten free cooking! It might be the best recipe I have made up! I will post this recipe VERY soon!!

You can find all of these in the aisle with the cake mixes. They are slightly more expensive than normal mixes but anything that is gluten free does.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

To All Parents

Dear Parents,

A friend's day started exactly the same way it always starts but it ended in a parent's worst nightmare. A beautiful, vivacious, spunky teenager tragically died in a car accident. She was only 19.

Please pray for all parents who have lost a child. And please hug your children extra tight and tell them you love them.

God bless,

Hannah V.

Small Successes

Every Thursday Danielle Bean says it is important for moms to celebrate their small successes so she does just that! Here are my small successes for the week:

1) For almost two weeks now I have been sleep training Zizzy. I have successfully used the "Sleep Lady" system. It is AWESOME!!! No crying it out! NO feeling like a terrible mom! There are tears don't get me wrong but you are there with your child every step of the way. You slowly back out of the room over a period of two weeks until your child is comfortable and feels safe sleeping on their own. I am all the way to the door of the room. Zizzy only woke up ONCE last night!!!

2) Last week I threw a great party for Zizzy! I can't believe she is one! Tom and I made several different kinds of snack foods. I made cup cakes. We had ice cream but I forgot to serve it. I printed about 50 pictures of Zizzy and we had them hanging across the living room for everyone to see how much she has changed in one year!

3) I took Zizzy to her one year check up! She got her shots (I hate those). She is 16.9 pounds and 27 inches tall! She is still in the 25% in height and weight. She has been since birth. While there I had Lucy's allergies checked and made sure she doesn't have another budding ear infection (she doesn't). All in all it was a very productive appointment!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Wonderful Moments

I have been terrible about blogging recently. I have been bogged down with Lucy's allergies turned double ear infection, Zizzy's teething and one-year-shots, not to mention I am also sleep training Zizzy which means no sleep for mommy! But I wanted to take a moment and capture some of the best moments:

One evening Tom was sitting in the living room playing with the two girls when he said,"Zizzy, do you have a poopy diaper?" Lulu immediately jumped up and ran over to Zizzy. Smelled her and looked in her diaper! Tom looked at me and said, "Did she just check Zizzy's diaper." "Yup. mm hmmm! That is what just happen!"

One night right after putting the girls to sleep I ran upstairs to check something on the computer. When I came down stairs Lulu was sitting on the edge of her bed, the curtains where pulled wide open and she was starring outside. Zizzy was standing in her bed and looking out the window. I said, "Lulu!" Zizzy looked at me with a look of horror that said, "OH NO WE HAVE BEEN CAUGHT!" She face planted into her bed and layed still until I left.

When Lulu tries to escape me at mass she now stops on her way out of the pew to genuflect and make the sign of the cross! (or at least her version of the sign of the cross)

Zizzy has taken to immitating everything Lulu does. If Lulu points at a plane in the sky Zizzy points to the sky. If Lulu dances then Zizzy bounces up and down. If Lulu is eating Hot Dogs for lunch then there better be a Hot Dog on Zizzy's plate!

Zizzy is not interested in pacifiers or stuffed animals.... that is unless Lulu has them THEN she wants to steal them!

Lulu has decided she loves to dance to my singing! My voice is starting to give out. So when she looked at me for the 5 thousandth time and said, "I dance! Sing peas!" I responded, "YOU sing!!" So she ran around the yard yelling on the top of her voice "ANCE ANCE AAA BAA!!" And dancing to the best of her ability!! I could barely control my laughter.

 

Monday, May 16, 2011

Caramel Corn Chex Mix

I found a version of this on the Betty Crocker web-page. I love this stuff! Last time I made it I burned it so I was going to throw it away but my sister-in-law insisted I leave it out. It was still eaten! This is ALWAYS a party favorite!

4 1/2 cups corn chex

4 cups popcorn

1/2 cup honey roasted nuts (optional)

Mix those together then melt together:

1/4 cup butter or margerine

1/3 cup packed brown sugar

2 tbsp light corn syrup

1/4 tsp vanilla

Pour syrup over Chex mixture stir to coat. Put in a roasting pan and bake at 350 for about 10 minutes. Stir frequently.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Happy Birthday Zizzy!

One year ago today at 9:46 pm Zizzy made her grand entrance into the world! What a year it has been!

Yesterday I went through all the photos I have taken over the last year (there where a lot it took me a couple of hours). I have more pictures of the two girls hugging, holding hands, or kissing each-other. As I look back on the last extremely short, all too fast year I am amazed at how blessed I am.

Looking through the pictures, thinking through my life all I have to say is: I LOVE MY LIFE!!! I love my girls!! I love my husband!! and I LOVE ZIZZY!!! Thank you Jesus for such a wonderful blessing!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Blog Vacation

Once I finally got my internet working, my computer working, and my website working after everything fell apart back in December I was eager to start blogging again! I jumped right in! I wrote 7 blogs a week, I started drawing new designs for my blog, working on upping my readership, and so on. Life quickly caught up with me.

Zizzy stopped sleeping at night. She got up every 2 hours for almost 2 months. Lulu's allergies got completely out of control. Between long sleepless nights and obsessive house cleaning to get down the allergies I found that everything in life was becoming a chore. My days looked something like this: Wake up at 6:30 Feed kids, do laundry, wash dishes, pick-up, put kids down for nap, fold laundry, put away laundry, take kids out to play, fix lunch, take a short break, vacuum, cook dinner, eat dinner, wash dishes, .... you get the idea.

One evening I was rubbing my exhausted head thinking, "What am I going to blog about today?" Then it occurred to me this was just another chore. My outlet, my hobby became my chore. It had lost its joy. I don't think I decided to take a break from blogging I just did. I shut my computer and took almost two weeks off.

In those two weeks I have almost completely sleep trained Zizzy! (more on that later). I have relaxed about the house cleaning, and I have gotten more than two hours of sleep at a time. Now I am ready to hit the blog world again!!

Have you ever had to take a break from blogging? Or found an outlet/hobby became a chore?

Monday, May 9, 2011

Mommyhood

A mommy is:

That person who stays up with you all night when you have fever four nights in a row.

She dances, plays, and reads books.

She is the disciplinarian.

She is the nurse, advocate, confidante, and chauffeur.

She is your personal chef, coach, and teacher.

She will always love and care for you no matter what!

Being a mommy means no matter how exhausted you might be you get up to take care of your little one without complaining because you know they need you.

It means being completely overwhelmed with the two you have one minute and thinking they are so cute you want another the next minute.

It means you are thanked for all of you sacrifices, all your frustration melts away every-time your little one smiles at you.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Reality Check

Easter is THIS WEEK!! We had Christmas in our house but that was just days after moving in and we where simply happy a tree was up and my parent's had the forethought to mail us gifts to put under it (we didn't gift shop for our girls until Christmas Eve due to the crazy move and stomach bug).  Easter is a big deal to me. As big as Christmas and I want to go all out!

That is simply not going to happen. First Zizzy stopped sleeping at night. So in my sleepless haze my house has deteriorated to a junk heap. Lulu's Godfather(Daniel) who always joins us for the first time in 4 years will not be able to make it. I have a messy house, no baking done, and I am feeling sorry for myself because I will not get to see Daniel this year. To make matters worse I woke up this morning with a slight stomach bug. Needless to say I have been having a major pity party.

While I am wining on the phone to my mother about how bad I feel the topic turns to my brother and his wife (J&J). J&J have 6 children; 5 of whom have a stomach bug that causes vomiting and diarrhea for up to a week; and the 6th is a 1-year-old with RSV and currently in the hospital. If that is not bad enough today is the birthday of the eldest. They are not sure she will be able to participate in her birthday celebration; they had purchased a horse back riding lesson for her.

Yeah..... suddenly my problems sound like nothing. I have time to clean house by Easter Sunday. I have a Betty Crocker Gluten Free cake mix and a gluten free cookie mix. If nothing else we can have those here and still enjoy all the wonderful festivities at my in-laws.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Rebbecca's White Bread

I have not been able to make GF white bread that I like yet. I have a friend however who has used her bread machine to make this bread. She loves it! I have had it once and really liked it. I was wondering if any of you have used bread machines to make bread? Was it successful? How did it taste? Here is Rebbecca's recipe.

3 large eggs room temp

1 tsp cider vinegar

1/4 cup canola oil

1 1/2 cup milk room temp

 

2 cups rice flour (white or brown rice flour. Rebbecca prefers brown.)

1/2 cup potato starch

1/2 cup tapioca starch

1/3 cup cornstarch

1 tbsp xanthum gum

5 tbsp sugar

1 1/2 tsp salt

2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast

Bread machine instructions are to put the wet ingredients in first, then dry, placing the yeast in a depression made in the center of the dry ingredients, not allowing them to be wetted by the liquid ingredients. this is then mixed by the machine.

Friday, April 15, 2011

The Miracle of Walking

It finally happen! On Wednesday Zizzy walked! I love watching babies learn how to walk! It is so amazing to watch the miracle unfold. They start out as completely helpless babies who can't even hold up their own heads to walking on their own in less than a year! Have you ever stopped and wondered at how amazing that is? What could adults do if we learned that quickly?

At one point on Wednesday Lulu was upset and I was calming her down. Zizzy had stood up and was watching us. So I looked at Lulu and said, "Lets see if she will walk this time!" Then I held out my hands to Zizzy and SHE WALKED! I was completely stunned!! Zizzy now stands up and walks short distances before either sitting or getting down and crawling. It won't be long before she is running right behind Lulu!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Small Successes

On Faith&Family Daniel Bean says it is important to celebrate each small success that adds up to one major triumph.

1) I have gotten the girls allergies under control. It took locking them in doors for two days, washing everything, vacuuming daily, and giving Lulu Children's Allergy Relief medication.

2) I called another mother and finally started to reach out into a community of moms. Maybe I can make actual friends!

3) I have consistently had an outing for Lulu and Lizzy this week. It is so easy to get caught up in house work and errands and not realize that they have not done anything fun. This week we played at an indoor McDonald's play ground, we went walking with cousin's at the mall, we played with the girl next door, and we turned some of our errand running into something fun.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Basic Corn Bread

I love corn bread! This is a very easy and basic recipe. I use this bread to make Thanksgiving stuffing.

1 cup cornmeal

1 cup corn starch

4 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

2 Tbsp. brown sugar

Mix dry ingredients. Make a small well and add:

2 eggs, beaten

1 cup milk

1/4 cup oil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Stir until smooth. pour into a greased 9x9" pan and bake 25 minutes or until knife comes out clean. You can serve it with honey and butter.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Sleepless Season

Most people think at the end of winter, "Oh Good! Winter is FINALLY over!! Spring is here!" I think, "Oh NO!! Winter is over! Spring is HERE!" Spring in my house means allergies. Tom, Lulu, and even Zizzy gets sick.

Tom gets stuffy, headaches, sore throats, and every Spring he gets either bronchitis or pneumonia (this year he got pneumonia and it lasted a month).  Lulu and Zizzy have a runny nose and a horrible cough that keeps them up all night. Mid-week last week Zizzy came down with a horrible runny nose that kept from being able to breath well much less sleep. I was up all night with her three nights in a row. By Sunday I was so out of it I went to the party for my nephew's 1st communion and I could not tell you a single conversation I had.

That night Zizzy was finally comfortable enough to sleep. But Lulu had spent a long time out doors and was coughing out of control all night and couldn't sleep. At 5:30 am I finally got her cough under control but she had been up so long she couldn't get back to sleep and therefore was asking to potty over and over and over even though she didn't have to go. I suddenly cracked.

I started saying, "I can't do this! I can't do this! I can't do this! I NEED SLEEP!!! I CAN'T DO THIS!" I picked her up under the arm pits like she had something stinky in her diaper and ran to her bedroom threw her in bed tossed the blankets over her and hoped they didn't cover her head. Then I flew to my bedroom. I jumped in bed and told a sleeping Tom, "I just cracked. I need sleep!"

Lulu got up 30 minutes later coughing again. I gave her some Children's Allergy Relief medicine, sat her up in the rocker recliner, and turned on a movie so softly you could barely hear it. Then I grabbed a blanket and pillow, curled up on the couch and went to sleep.

When I got up I was a woman on a mission, a mama on the war path, I was not going to take any hostages,

I WAS GOING TO SLEEP!

First I washed everything in the girls room; I put the air purifier in their room; I turned on the cool mist humidifier; I vacuumed and dusted. Then I did the most horrible thing of all. I looked at the perfect weather outside, the cute little girl next door looking to play, and told Lulu, "You are not going outside!" I kept both girls indoor all day.

It worked! Last night Lulu slept all night (she did cough some but her father got up and took care of it and it was not so bad that she couldn't sleep). Zizzy slept MUCH better! Not as well as I would like but she only got up three times!

So what am I doing now that I have had sleep? I have cleaned house, danced with Lulu, went for a walk with my sister-in-law and her kids at the mall, and did my grocery shopping. Maybe I will let Lulu outside briefly then bathe her right away.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Tea Parties

Tom has always been old fashioned and would have done very well in the 1800s. He has a love of fountain pens, wax seals, hand written letters, and tea. His old fashioned ways have always suited me but none more so than his love of tea.

Growing up I always loved tea, tea parties, and anything to do with tea or tea parties. I threw countless tea parties for my friends until they where too old for tea parties then I threw tea parties for the children of my mother's friends until they where too old to have tea parties. When I went to college I took a collection of tea with me and continue to this day to drink tea every morning.

While engaged we built many pipe dreams about what kind of family we wanted to have, how we wanted to raise them, all the random things we wanted to do. One of those pipe dreams was to have regular tea parties with our children and use that time to teach manners. I had thought that when our girls where 5 or older we might try to start.

Well.... one day Tom was at the grocery store when he saw an old fashioned tea service on sale. It was a Churchill Blue Willow tea service set on sale! He looked at the price and knew it was wrong but decided to ask anyways. He popped his head in the office and asked what the real price of the tea service was. A very kind lady was in the office and she told him, "That was mislabeled. Well... buy it at that price anyway and just tell the cashier Rebbecca approves this price."

At the checkout Tom told the cashier, "The price was mislabeled as $8. Rebbecca told me to tell you she approved that price for this sale."  The cashier looked incredulously at Tom and said, "Well we will see about that!" She made a call and said nastily, "Some guy is trying to get this tea service for $8 he said you approved it!" Suddenly she went white and said, "But we sell it for $200 at our market place...... Yes I know your the owner..... yes he is standing right here..... I am sorry it will never happen again."

After bringing home his new tea service Tom quickly acquired a little tea cup for Lulu (I think it is technically an espresso cup). Lulu has had a fascination with tea due to her mother constantly drinking it so she was excited to finally be able to taste it! We bought some Decaf Apricot Brandy tea and have had tea at 3:00 on Saturday and Sunday. Tom enjoyed his old fashioned tea time and I had great fun using our "tea time parties" to teach Lulu to say "Please" and "Thank you" consistently.

Maybe the pipe dreams we built while engaged aren't pipe dreams after all....

Friday, April 8, 2011

All Time Great Toddler Moment

Tom likes taking Lulu with him when he runs errands. One day they where walking through a store when Lulu spotted a lady wearing short shorts. Lulu very loudly and clearly said, "WHAT! No pants! On-ee panties!!! Da-eee Look!!! NO PANTS!" The woman gave Tom looks of death as if to say, "Make that child apologize right now."  Tom muttered something about it being cold outside and rush on.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Small Successes

Danielle Bean on Faith&Family each Thursday hosts a link up for all of us to celebrate our small successes that add up to one big success. This week this is very appropriate for me. Late last week a dear friend of my husbands passed away in Omaha, Nebraska. The family requested Tom be one of the pall bearers. This meant taking a major road trip in two days with kids plus major church events. We pulled it off!

1) After hearing the news and realizing late Sunday that we would be attending I turned on a dime and had us ready to leave Tuesday morning. I even found time to buy all the beverages and snacks we would need along the way to save money from buying them at gas stations.

2) We were able to attend both the rosary and funeral. My children went crazy at the funeral due to their schedule being completely thrown off but my husband didn't notice because I was able to give him the space he needed to grieve and to be there for him when he needed the comfort. We took the time to stop of a few of his old haunts in Omaha and gave him the opportunity to remember.

3) We made it back in a timely manner. We completely threw the girls sleep routine so they where grumpy and feeling bad for one day but all thing considered it could have been a whole lot worse. I overall was proud of how my girls handled everything.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Jacinta's Coffee Cake

My sister-in-law used to make this for my family when she came to visit. We all loved it! I loved this cake so much that on the morning on my wedding I realized that no one had fixed breakfast for the many children running around the house so I made this cake for them but I was too excited to eat any of it myself. I got married on an empty stomach!

4 cups rice flour (or really any GF flour that is your favorite. If you use a GF flour mix omit xanthum gum)

4 tsp. Baking Powder

1 tsp. salt

2 tsp. xanthum gum

1/2 cup canola

1/2 cup brown sugar or honey

4 eggs

2  3/4 cups water

Streusel Topping

1/4 cup Brown Sugar

1/2 cup Almond Meal (or any good GF flour)

1 tsp. Cinnamon

2 tblsp. oil

Mix all ingredients together put into a greased 9'1/2" x 13'1/2" pan. Mix streusel topping and spread evenly on top of cake. Bake at 425 for 30 minutes. You can add fruit to the batter for a fun twist on this coffee cake. I personally love to add frozen blueberries!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Cute Moments

I have to share/brag about my girls! Here are some of the highlights of their most adorable moments:

3/2/2011 I was bathing Lucy and I stepped out for less than 30 seconds to grab her toothbrush. When I came back her pull-up was floating in the tub. I was getting on to her for it when I saw Lizzy stand up grab a her diaper off the pail, crawl to the tub, and start to dump it in.

3/2/2011  Lucy got into my eggs and neatly cracked them into my egg carton. Then she threw the egg shells away.

3/2/2011 Last night Lucy woke up and cried for me. I went she had her pacifier and blanket. Everything was fine so I asked, "Hey Kiddo! What do you want?" she sat up & said, "A hug!"

3/2/2011 Lucy put on her coat, brought me her shoes, pointed to my keys and said, "car keys! I want to go!"

3/2/2011 Lucy has been taking herself potty all morning! It is amazing and hilarious to watch the positions she contorts into as she learns how to pull down her panties!

3/1/2011  Lucy is starting to understand the concept of bladder control. Last night she figured out that sometimes she can make herself go even she doesn't really need to and when she does that she receives MORE chocolate! Let's just say her bladder was very empty when she went to bed.

3/1/2011 Now that Lucy has seen "Ice Princess" she dances around the living room, jumps into the air and falls down. Then she gets up, dances, bows, then claps. Like the skating routine!

3/1/2011 Lucy has taken to running up to people and demanding "Hug!" or "Need Hug!" and sometimes "Big Hug!"

3/1/2011 Zizzy has suddenly decided she LOVES the baby carrier. Something she had previously hated. She likes to kick &bobble her head while riding but her favorite thing is when I rub her feet or legs. She cackles and giggles when I do that!

3/1/2011 Lucy now loves to play "Peek-a-boo" with Lizzy. They both laugh uprously and can entertain each other for a full 15 minutes.

3/1/2011 Lucy called her Godfather at work. I had no idea! They talked for 4 minutes until he had to get off because his co-workers in the other cubicles were laughing.

3/1/2011 Lucy and Zizzy are crawling around on the floor talking and giggling! It cracks me up!

3/1/2011  Lucy put MoMo (her favorite stuffed bear) in the high chair and said, "food food" she then in search of something for MoMo to eat.

3/1/2011 Lizzy was throwing a fit about going to sleep. I heard Lucy make some noise then Lizzy stop crying. I looked in the room. Lucy had climbed up on the bed she standing on one side of the railing Lizzy on the other. They were leaning their heads together and talking.

Monday, March 28, 2011

S'Moreables

I realized the other day that I had originally planned on this blog to explore both motherhood and being gluten free. I have found ample writing material in motherhood and have forgotten or abandonned the gluten free side of the blog. I plan to change that. I am going to start by reviewing some of the different gluten free products.

One of the things that I greatly miss after going gluten free is Graham Crackers. I love the taste, texture, making S'mores... I thought there was not a substitute that was gluten free. I was pleasantly surprised to find the Kinnikinnick Foods company has a "Graham Style Cracker" called S'moreables. These crackers taste very much like the original graham cracker. It is not too crumbly, it is much denser than graham crackers.

I was pleasantly surprised by how similar it is! I no longer miss Graham crackers! My one complaint is the price. It cost $3.69 for an 8oz box of them. They are the type of snack that if I had a child who has gluten free I would pay the price to have them around. I do plan on buying a box or two next time we go camping so I can partake in making S'mores!

 

Friday, March 25, 2011

Potty Training

I have dreaded and dreaded potty training. I watched as all my friends who have children the same age start potty training. I didn't. I worried about it and talked about it and worried about it and talked about it. Long after several of Lulu's friends where potty trained she was still in a diaper and I was still worrying about it. Lulu and I even discussed how big girls go in the potty like her cousins but that is as far into potty training as I ventured.

One morning Lulu came in said,"Potty! Potty!" I was really confused so she went and got out the bright pink potty her Grammy had given her. Finally I understood. I took off her diaper and let her try to go potty, nothing happened but I congratulated her on trying. Lulu repeated this performance a couple of more times so I decided to pull out the Tinkerbell panties I had been saving for her. Her eyes lit up at the panties and she simply refused to go back into diapers!

The first two days she rarely made it to the potty but she was trying so hard. I had some M&Ms in the pantry that I happily gave her in relief when she finally made it to the potty. That solidified it in Lulu's mind that she was GOING to potty train. This determined little girl, I am happy to say, two weeks later now goes potty with very few accidents! I keep a big bowl full M&Ms in my kitchen at all times.

Now she just needs to figure out how to make it to the potty when she has to poop then my (... ok her) job will be complete!

Have you ever heard before of a 2-year-old who decided to potty train themselves? How did you potty train or are potty training your child?

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Small Successes: WAY TO GO!

"It is important for moms to recognize that small successes in a day can add up to one big triumph" Daniel Bean from Faith&Family says that and so each Thursday on her blog there is a link up to celebrate each of our small successes.

1) I AM BACK ON THE INTERNET!! After massive confusion with our internet provider and my 2-year-old crashing my computer I was absent for more than two months. I am happy to announce that I am back!

2) This is Spring Break week for my husband and we have truly spent it as a family. We have done something each day that makes it feel like a true vacation at the same time doing productive things along. It has been a wonderful week.

3) I have read a novel. I know that sounds odd but I had stopped reading for a long time. I found it difficult to balance family life, personal pleasure reading time, and chores. Last week I read Mansfield Park and this week I am reading Sense and Sensibility both by Jane Austen.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

I'm Back!

Last December after we moved to our new house we switched internet providers and discovered that not all internet providers support you having your own web-page without an additional monthly fee. Needless to say we switched back. The switch was just in time for my 2-year-old to crash my computer.

I am happy to announce that I am now back and fully intend to catch you up on the wild crazy life of a stay-at-home mom with a two-year-old and a 10-month-old!