Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Night owls.

We don't play outside too much lately because it's so freakin' chilly here! But, yesterday we did because we needed to get outside the casa; it was a decision that resonated throughout the rest of the night.

You guys have probably heard a time or two how we're sleepers in this house. When sleep issues arise, it might as well be armageddon because WHISKEY. TANGO FOXTROT. where'd our sleep go?!?

(maybe not that dramatic, but the alternative's no fun to talk about)

So, when Jake began waking up throughout last night it was a total shock. Until I opened the door to his room just enough to Grinch-slither my way in & saw him crying in his crib. He had a bit of a runny nose from playing outside and it freaked him out that he had trouble breathing.

I picked my giant boy out of his crib, cuddled him into my nook, and rocked him in the rocking chair. I wiped his nose and watched as his little eyes lost sight of me as he fell back asleep. There I sat, for some of the best minutes of my day, watching my boy, draped across me, sleeping soundly as if he were an ittybitty infant again. And, I felt the tears well up in my eyes.

My boy. He may be working on becoming a giant (91st percentile!), just like his daddy, but, I swear, I'll scoop that boy up and lay him across me when he's 10, and for as many years as he'll allow me.

So, last night, our 3 different wake-ups before our final early-morning wake-up, wasn't so bad. I got to have that moment; the moment that reminds you exactly what life is all about.


He'll always be my baby <3

Saturday, November 26, 2011

We deal in pumpkin, yo.

With how many pumpkin-inspired eats I've made lately you could swear I've lost a bet, or am supporting some sort of habit. I'm not. Swearsies.

But, GAH! I can't help but to want to flavor everything, within reason obviously, pumpkin. So, like a crack addict needing a fix, I took to google because google be my biatch.

First up? Pumpkin chocolate chip muffins!


Since I got all these recipes online, I can actually link 'em up to you lovies, so no need for specifics, right? Anywho, mix the dry ingredients.

And, the wet

That's what she said.

Combine the two sets of ingredients, add chocolate chips----always a little more than the recipe says ;-) DUH.


Make sure to grease the muffin tins well; these came out so smoothly!

TO. DIE.
Gary, "These are slap yo' mama good!"

We're pretty gangsta for being so.....Irish

Pumpkin chocolate chip cookies!



Gary's adjective for these: life-changing.

He's right.



I needed to make another batch of waffles for my boys' breakfasts, so of course they had to be pumpkin! Although, the recipe I usually use needs to be doubled, this recipe got just as many without being doubled; maybe I'm just overdoing it on the original? But, they both taste awesomesauce, so run to the kitchen!




I just quarter them and store them in my loves, aka Pyrex containers, and they stay good!


Pumpkin scones!
Cutting in butter is the bane of my existence.


Combine wet with the dry ingredients...

Shape into a disc and cut into 6 equal wedges

They turned out enormously!

Gary just grunted at how good these were ;-)

And, lastly, pumpkin fudge!


You guys, can I just blow your minds a little bit? This recipe calls for evaporated milk, but I didn't have any so I took my own advice and put it in my google box! I made evaporated milk! Here, you can do it, too :-)

Leave on the counter to allow to cool


Cut into teenytiny pieces because whoa mama these fudge squares will satisfy even the most insane sweet tooth!

Good thing we have willpower, right?

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

2012 is going to kick serious ace

If we're friends on Fbeezy, you know the husband came home...because I sang it from the rafters! And, it wasn't awkward at all.

The monthish that he was gone felt exactly like a monthish. Time dragged on exactly as it might, regardless of how busy we stayed. Lamesauce. Totes. But, it's over and I got to thinkin'....HE'S HOME THIS YEAR!!

Through the end of this year, and into next year, I think I'm going to be officially spoiled; I get the husband for this Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years---real life smooches for me this year!! Then, we head straight into the new year with the season of peace, aka my birthday! Then, husband's birthday. As far as we know we'll be in the same country AND under the same roof for all those extravaganzas and I plan for us to live the shadoobie out of it! Our little family of 3 all together...what a concept :-)

In the next few months, taking us into 2012, we get to find out if we can get to the baby-makin' when we'd hoped. Pee Ess, if another person I know gets pregnant I'm going to throw an adult-tantrum. It won't be cute.

Along the way, there have been a few "Holy crap, are we having a surprise baby?!". I never saw that happening, not that it'd be a big deal if it did, so it was a find-my-big-girl-undies kinda moment. But, it looks like we may have some say in when we add to Team LaMay. I think that's pretty rad.

But, OH EM GEE!! Isn't it totally different thinking about having TWO kids? That's double the amount I have now. And, I think the difference now is that I know exactly what I'm getting myself into....and I think it's pretty incredible :-) We're, like, really grown-ups now.

So, I plan to stay pretty blessed for a while. Ya know, no biggie. I get to make cute little Christmas goodies, that'll taste amazing; I get to decorate a tree WITH my husband (real trees are the only way to go. Sorry, but if you have a fake tree you may be a Nazi); I get to wear my adult-sized Christmas onesie because I'm just that cool; And, best of all, I get to drive cross-country with my familia, and have one of my 3 favorite brothers under my roof until we make it to California and are all under my parents' roof. Which comes after spending much time under In-N-Out's roof.

DOIY.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Jake.


This kid? He's pretty much the cat's pajamas. I love him so much it borders on creepy, and the pride I feel in watching his everyday twoyearoldness just tickles me.

But, every once in a while, there's some sort of werewolf-esque thing that goes on and I stand there, with outreached arms, asking, "Whiskey. Tango. Foxtrot??"

Last night was my first girls' night in Colorado and it was great! Had such a great time, with great mamas. YAY for adults! ;-) But, Jake had a bit of a hard time. First, contrary to what his solid-as-a-rock figure may indicate, he's got a healthy appetite and that's it; he eats fruits and veggies every day, appropriate portions, almost never on the junk food front, and everything is made by moi. But, yesterday? He ate every meal like he's never eaten a day in his life, so maybe growth spurt? But, that's also in conjunction with something new: babies. Our girls' day included smaller babies he's never been around, an infant and a 6 month old.

Aside from hearing them across a restaurant, he's never spent time around a newborn, let alone heard a newborn cry; I think it freaked him out. He'd burst into tears when he heard crying. Or when he dropped his sippy. Or when the stars, and the moon, and planets don't freakin' align.

This is not my child.

OK, at first, I could definitely appreciate that it was all new to him and he was in a situation that was unfamiliar. But, after a while, it felt like he was milking it. So, I had to use my stern mama voice to get him to simmer. It just felt like it kept happening and, in my head, I was like, "Hey. Chilll"

As we sat down to eat, total 180. It's like he finally adapted to the new sights, people much tinier than him, and the new sounds, babies. And, then I felt like a raging asshole.

Ya see, I know kids "act out" , or "different", or whatever adjective applies, for a reason. I know that Jake, & all his tear-bursts, had a reason for being, but it didn't make it any easier to digest. He's been around other kids plenty of times; there's never been an issue. Yesterday, he just seemed super sensitive, or maybe I was just super sensitive to him? I. DON'T. KNOW. Either way, I just couldn't seem to rectify the situation. And, it killed me, both in frustration and disappointment that I couldn't make him kosher.

So, as we got home I walked the tightrope between bursting into tears myself, all the cool kids were doing it..., and squeezing the stuffing clean out of him because I was proud that he did end up adapting to what was around him. I just feel bad when I get frustrated with him because I do know it comes from somewhere so my rationale goes like this:

"He's upset for some reason. There IS a reason"
"Are you not over it yet?"
"I don't know what the reason is, so tell me or learn to love it. Pretty please."
Face bashes wall.

I just feel bad that it gets frustrating sometimes. Is that lamesauce? I feel like it is, but I also feel like mamas out there would get me. Yes? Please say yes.

It's like, I have this pipe-dream that I love him so much so that means I never need to have a frustrated moment. It's just hard when he can't look at me and say, "Well, you wonderful mama of mine, I'm perplexed because I've never been near a crying newborn and haven't the faintest idea what's going on. Please resolve this situation"

In my internal monologues Jake's Doogie Howser. Or Stewie, with that kind of vocabulary at his age.

So, we came home, read a book, put the boy to bed, and reminded him I love him to the moon and back. Got a phone call from the hubster that made it all better, because he assured me it's normal to get frustrated, and it's definitely normal to feel bad about it.

And then, I watched Angry Beavers.

Because, obviously.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Put that in your google box and smoke it.

With the holidays around the corner, I know people are setting budgets and hitting sales so I thought I'd throw some more money-saving techniques atcha!

Before I throw a zillion links your way let me preface them by saying, in my very humble opinion, you should only do what interests you. I mean, if you snatch up these suggestions, but you mega-loathe life while you're making (or whatever the case may be) them they're not helpful! I, personally, like doing this stuff so I hope it helps at least one person :-)

I know "couponing" isn't everyone's deal, so I hope that these, most likely, household scenarios help somebody out! Couponing isn't the the only way to save cash-money!

One of my best assets has been the interwebs. Fo' shizzle up the spat, that's where I get my intel and that's what's helped us to save so much. With small changes, that have become second-nature, we're really seeing a difference that makes me like this stuff even more! So, moral of the story: Light up your google box.



Homemade fingerpaints

I blogged about this not long ago, but this is a sure cure for, I don't know, when you're living in Colorado and it snows and you don't even consider driving somewhere unless applicable in sustaining the life of the short person in your care. But, that's just spit-ballin'. Either way, it's totally adorable when they end up like this:

Think I've lost my marbles for letting him go paint-crazy inside? Well, I'm not so loca; the recipe is here and contains dish soap so it's very easy clean up!

This is probably, hands down, what has helped save the most: from-scratch cooking. That bag, which perches atop our fridge, is a 10 lb bag of flour that has made it possible for me to make these tasty dishes---->

Monkey bread
(I'll email you the recipe if you like!)

Blueberry scones

Blueberry Waffles

In addition to all the other food pictures, I get AT LEAST 4 batches of waffles from that one 10 lb bag of flour, which is 44 waffles (the entire circular waffle) or 176 mini-waffles (waffles that had been quartered). I haven't done the math versus frozen, store-bought, but I'm fairly positive this wins.

The bag cost $5ish.

HAYOOO!!

Light, flaky biscuits

Pee Ess...I love feeding my boys this way because I know exactly what's traveling down their gullets; so much healthier!

Crust for my from-scratch apple pie (crust). This? TO. DIE. FOR. I have uber-luck on finding recipes online.

Google be my biatch

Cloth Wipe Solution

For all the madres and padres out there, this is cloth wipe solution (I make the first one). For those that are newbies to our bliggity-blog, we use cloth wipes with our cloth diapers; meaning, we spray this solution, which I make about once a month, onto cloth wipes, clean the fanny and wash them when we wash the cloth diapers. Never once have I had to run out to buy wipes, and that's what I prefer. I prefer to not be forced into needing more of something, ya feel me? If I'm running out of wipes I just wash the ones we've got.

Pee Ess...again----> All I did was buy $6 (I think) packs of washcloths at Target. Total, I probably have about 30 wipes, which is more than plenty. And, I can't even remember the last time I bought the ingredients to make the cloth wipe solution up there. That's how long it lasts!


Diaper Rash Oinment!

aka, Vegetable oil. I had a coupon, which is why I got the more expensive kind, but this more than makes its money back because I pour into a bowl to apply to Jake's hiney, should he be a little irritated on his captain's quarters, and can continue using it to cook. No need to run out and buy Desitin, or baby powder. Jake had a nasty flare up of diaper rash, so I googled natural remedies and this was one that works amazingly! Just apply directly to the skin! But, if cloth diapering, make sure you put some sort of barrier between the veggie-oiled booty and the diaper (we use the cloth wipes)!

Laundry Detergent

Honest to Grilled Cheesus, the first container was a little more than 3/4 of the way full. I started using it on August 30th (I'm not some sort of freaky Rain Main; I wrote the starting date down to see how long it would last) and I still have a couple loads before I even open the second one. That's over two months ago. Holla!

As with anything that, ultimately, saves you bundles, you buy the products up front, but they last forevah! In the interest of honesty, this is one of my lesser favorite things to make; I have to grate 8 bars of soap (that's the only hard part!), which isn't the coolest thing in my life, but it's so worth it. I take 30 minutes out of my day, every however many months!, make the detergent and then it's done. You guys, I imagine the rest of the detergent will get us through the end of the year which means those two containers of laundry detergent will have lasted four months! Did you just choke on your Cheerios? Because I think that's cooler than the flip side of my pillow!

Oh, and this stuff really works. It was first tested when, while getting ready for a bath, Jake had a shadoobie-related incident on our bath mat. Washed it with this detergent and there was no residue or smell whatsoever! Oh, the triumphs of motherhood....

Fabric Softener

Wait until you finish the bottle you've got now, make this, and then pour it into your, now-empty, bottle. Voila!

As you can probably guess, we already have the vinegar in the recipe, which I use in multiple aspects of the house, so I had to buy the conditioner, at $.90. Basically? Paid $.90 for my fabric softener! Can you beat that??

Making this stuff takes up almost no time and lasts forever and saves you more than you know!

Furniture Dusting Spray

I got this one from Pinterest, so here it is:
*2 tsp olive oil
*1/2 tsp lemon essential oil (which can be found at Whole Foods and Natural Grocers)
*1/4 c vinegar
*1 3/4 c water

(I double the recipe)

This is a new addition to our casa and so worth it! It smells very clean and does an amazing job! Leaves no residue behind and looks like you spent a pretty penny on some expensive name-brand!

All-purpose Cleaner

Hang onto your socks because I plan to knock 'em off: This is a cleaner I use for everything, from the kitchen to the bath tub to spills on the carpet. IT. WORKS. AMAZING.

It's equal parts water and vinegar (I can get 2 cups of each into the bottle--oh and the bottles I use for my homemade sprays can be picked up at Walgreen for, like, $1.29), plus a packet of lemon Kool-Aid! I got the generic packet, at Walmart, for something like $.15. Why the addition of lemon Kool-Aid? From what I've read, it kind of acts as an equivalent to how OxiClean boosts your laundry detergent. You can even throw a packet into your dishwasher to clean it out!

I know, in this super-stellar economy, nobody really needs to watch their wallet, but I thought I'd post some stuff we do that might help someone else ;-) I think these are great ideas, dontmindifuhdo, so I wanted to make sure to pay it forward so, hopefully, everyone can have the holiday season just as they imagined it!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Quad Eff!

Finally, amiright?!?

We've been here barely over a month, and in our new house about 3 weeks, and I think we've finally gotten into a swing-of-things!


:::finger guns:::


Gary's gone, so I don't cook as much because the meals are stretching that much further, but I think we've got some pretty effin' good things on this effin' post. Get it? Triple Eff

::: creepy winking :::

It has been so chilly here so I've developed a serious boots + leggings fetish! I adore this outfit. Uh-Door. Fo' shizzle. I have no idea why, but I feel very snow bunny in it. Although, I've never worn anything remotely like it when we've gone snowboarding. People? I don't have to have reasons; this is my blog ;-)

This little sweater is from Vanity; I completely recommend them! They've got some super cute stuff and give out coupons, and let you keep 'em!, like nobody's business. Normally, I wouldn't wear such a light color near my face, because I'm the definition of fair-skinned, but I dig it with the blue tank underneath.

I swoon for these boots. I got them at Target and, to quote Monica, 'they go with shirts, with dresses, with pants'. Name that episode. Go!

This may seem like an awkward picture for something that's supposed to display an outfit, but my favorite part of it is the big belt! And, I got to wear it with the boots. See? Fetish.


I'm trying to branch out with what I do with my 'do. I get compliments when it's just down, so I think that's why I tend to leave it, but it's getting too boring! So, here's another waterfall braid; I think I'm getting better at it!

Madre---stop looking at the background of the pictures to try to figure out our house. Wait for the house tour.

I love this little headband from Vanity! Definitely different, but it's good to shake it up, salsa-style.

Like I said, trying to do new stuff with my hair. If you can tell, I did two braids on either side of my face, just to try it. What do you think? Love it or leggo!?

FOOD!!!!

Sometimes I forget to take in-the-process-pictures, but G-unit loved this dinner. Baked chicken, mashed sweet potatoes and sauteed veggies. It was really very flavorful, and healthy!

For the chicken, I place how ever many chicken breasts as my dish accommodates, season with salt and pepper, maybe a little oregano, and put a couple dollops of butter in there. I bake for, like, 2 hours, at 200*. Apparently, the cooking at such a high altitude, like the one we're in now, is supposed to be altered; I haven't really found an issue. Maybe it's because I tend to cook things slowly anyway? I've found that the slower something cooks, the better it tends to turn out. It comes out super juicy and very, very tasty.

The sweet potatoes are boiled, mashed, and mixed with some milk, some butter, and some brown sugar....not too much though! Sweet potatoes have amazing vitamins so I prefer to just add some flavor without drowning out the healthy aspects!

If I had to pick a favorite meal for the boy it'd be this: Salmon and sweet potatoes. He gobbled up the veggies, but I wouldn't say he loves them. Salmon is super amazing for brain and eye development, so I try to feed him some pretty frequently.

I marinated the salmon for about 6 hours and cooked it the same time I cooked the chicken (but in its own dish, obv), and cooked it for about as long. I did check it frequently, so as to not dry it out, but it turned out great! We got 3 meals for him out of one piece of salmon!

Homemade hot cocoa!

We had our first snow day, since we've been here, last week so I thought it fitting to make hot cocoa!

Salt, sugar, and unsweetened cocoa

Added to very little boiling water. I think it was 1/3 c boiling water, so I just put it in the microwave and then added it to the pot.

Add milk


Voila!

Hot cocoa that was rich, but not too rich, and a perfect way to stay inside and enjoy the falling snow :-)

And, our second snow-day inspired food: Pineapple chicken and sweet potatoes

3 Sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped.
I prefer to keep the skins on, because of the great vitamins, but the recipe called for them to be peeled. Plus, it's not like sweet potatoes aren't amazing sans-skin!

Flour, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon, onion powder and black pepper

That mixture coats each chicken breast. I used 4, the recipes says 6, but I think my slow cooker is on the smaller side. And, placed on top of the sweet potatoes

The sauce: condensed cream of chicken soup, pineapple juice, mushrooms, flour, and brown sugar

Poured onto the sweet potatoes and chicken in the slow cooker. It can be cooked on 'low' for 8-10 hours, or high for 3-4. I cooked on high for just under 3 hours because my slow cooker is a freakin' supernova.

You guys? So good. Like, I-just-salivated soo good. Jake absolutely adored it! It's nice and healthy and served atop white rice that, literally, took about 5 minutes to make. There's "WIN" all over this meal, ifidon'tsaysomuhself

And, because the snowy day means you need a warm desert in yo' belleh: homemade peanut butter cookies!

The great thing about cooking everything from scratch is that, on days when the weather doesn't permit or you just don't feel like getting out of your bum-clothes (chew on this: Home is a place where you can be ugly and enjoy it), you almost always have ingredients for something you'd like to whip up. I want to make biscuits and gravy on a day with icy roads? I have a 10lb bag of flour, so I'll just go whip some up! Plus, it's 3 million percent cheaper. That's math, yo.

I greased the baking sheets extra because, not only do things tend to stick to these sheets, it's the first time I've baked cookies at this altitude, so I wanted to play it safe. I'd like to say they turned out pretty perfect---->


Hope I came back to these posts with a bang! Oh, and if you'd like me to be more specific, on measurements and such, lemme know! I like to try new recipes all the time, so if there's something you want to try I'll be happy to help a sista out! That's not sexist. That's just reality.

Happy Friday! :-)