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!