Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Now I have to pack up the 4 kids in various stages of getting ready from still in PJ's to showered and run to the church where I work as a nursery attendant. Luck for me there are two Pack N' Plays in the nursery. One I keep set up and hardly ever use and another I have never even opened. Crisis averted. Once we return it is nearly 10:00am and besides another fresh diaper I also decide baby boy needs a snack before nap time. After all this fuss his he is finally asleep at 10:40am for his 8:45am nap. So much for a schedule today!
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Old-Fashioned Carrot Cake
2 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups all-purpose flour
3 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 cups grated carrots
1/2 cup butter, unsalted, softened
3-6 oz cream cheese, softened (the recipe called for 3oz cream cheese but the frosting was a little sweeter and less cream cheese flavor than I like so I would use 6 oz cream cheese but if you don't like the cream cheese flavor do 30z).
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 and 3/4 cups confectioners' (powdered) sugar
2-3 teaspoons milk
3/4 - 1 cup chopped walnuts depending on how nutty you like the frosting
1) In a large mixing bowl, combine the eggs, sugar and oil. Combine the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg; beat into egg mixture. Stir in Carrots. The batter will be thick but should not be lumpy.
2) Pour into two greased and floured 9-in. round baking pans. Bake 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes before removing to wire racks to cool completely.
3) For frosting, in another medium mixing bowl, cream butter and cream cheese. Beat in the vanilla. Gradually beat in confectioners' sugar. Add enough milk to achieve the desired spreading consistency. Stir walnuts into remaining frosting.
Thursday, December 25, 2008
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Of course Jesus' birthday.
And my new favorite, The Nutcracker Ballet. Not because it is our tradition but for my Christmas present this year my husband took me to see the Nutcracker Ballet put on by the Colorado Ballet in downtown Denver and I loved it! I want to go on a date with my husband to see it every year.
My handsome husband
Merry Christmas! Now that Christmas is here enjoy it. It will all be over too soon.
Monday, December 22, 2008
I found this delicious recipe in my Pampered Chef 29 Minutes to Dinner cookbook. I know, a knock off of Rachel Ray but I find the recipes to be almost as flavorful and a little simpler.
When I was a working mommy I never cooked unless you call enchiladas, lasagna, spaghetti, chili, etc., cooking. OK, I did cook some but nothing elaborate, and I HATED it! So if I can do it, you can do it!
The Final Product
Curried Chicken with Couscous
Chicken and Curry
1 lb boneless, skinless, chicken breast
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
4 medium carrots
1 tsp vegetable oil
2 tsp curry powder
1/2 cup golden raisins
1 can coconut milk (in the Asian food section of my grocery store)
2 cups chicken broth
1 1/3 cups uncooked plain couscous (in the rice section of my grocery store)
1 tbsp butter
2 tbsp snipped fresh cilantro plus additional for garnish
1. For chicken, cut chicken into 1 inch pieces. Add vegetable oil to skillet. Heat skillet over medium-high heat until hot. As skillet heats, season chicken with half of black pepper and salt. Cook chicken about 2-3 minutes or until golden brown, each side or until center of chicken is no longer pink (I use a meat thermometer and look for an internal temperature of 175-180 degrees). Remove from skillet; set aside.
2. As chicken cooks, peel carrots; cut in half lengthwise, then thinly slice on a bias. Cut onion in half lengthwise, then crosswise into 1/2 inch wedges. Add oil to skillet. Saute carrots and onion 5 minutes or until crisp-tender, stirring occasionally. Stir curry powder, raisins, coconut milk and remaining black pepper and salt into skillet. Add chicken; simmer 3-5 minutes or until sauce begins to thicken.
3. For couscous, pour broth into pot, cook on medium-high until boiling. Stir couscous and butter into broth. Cover; remove from heat; let stand 5 minutes. As couscous stands, snip cilantro. Fluff couscous with fork; stir in cilantro.
4. To serve, divide couscous among serving plates; spoon chicken mixture over couscous. Garnish with additional snipped cilantro.
Friday, December 19, 2008
B got to take home one from his science teacher since they couldn't stay at school over Christmas break. There were 5 fish to give away and they had to have a note from their parents. I gave in said yes, assuming B would not win. Lucky for me only 5 kids got permission so they all got fish, lucky day!
Of course B was convinced that his goldfish was lonely and had to have a friend so we promptly headed to my favorite store, WalMart, where we were greeted with excellent customer service. Who I am I kidding, I much prefer Target but they don't have goldfish and I remembered seeing a cheap tank there so we headed there instead of PetsMart or PetCo. We waited almost 20 minutes, I had to tromp around the store, asking two people for help unsuccesfully before I finally went to the front and got a manager. Fish #2, it sure was a lot of work to get you to come live with us. I was tempted to head home without a companion for fish #1, happy to have a home and some food for him, but B looked so sad and even brought his own money to buy everything. So super mommy persisted. B even said I sounded "frusturated" to the manager, which I was. At least he didn't say I sounded "bitchy" because sometimes that happens at WalMart too. Their high level of customer service never ceases to amaze me but if I was getting paid $8 per hour to scoop fish, maybe I would be a little less chipper.
So now I have this lovely aquarium with two even more lovely fish in it but if you can't tell my son is very, very happy.
He set up the tank, got the water ready, fed them, and even turned off their light so they could "sleep". He also told me when he wakes up if they are not moving it is ok because they are probably just sleeping. I hate to break it to you darling but if they are not moving they are dead. So far, so good, we have two live goldfish, and one really happy kid. I think I did OK today.
I am not sure if it was my husband or my son's brillant idea to set up the fish tank near the stove but I am happy to say it is now moved to the counter area with the barstools, away from where I prepare food, how nice.
That is our jump into sharing our home with someone from the animal kingdom. I will keep you posted on how fish #1 and fish #2 do. If my childhood is any indication, they won't make it long but we can only hope B has better luck.
P.S. If anyone knows why my camera is doing that line in the middle like in the last shot, please email me! I love my camera but it is almost 3 years old and I have taken thousands of photos on it so I hope it is not breaking. The line thing started a couple weeks ago and it does it about 50% of the time now.
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Yesterday was one of those days. We are on a tight budget and while there are many fun kid friendly things I would love to take my kids to we often can't afford them and stick to free or low cost things like our zoo and museum membership, the library, and free skating passes the kids get from school. Last night we got to spend the evening all 5 of us having fun. Since my husband has been in school full-time since we met and just graduated Saturday, he was often gone most evenings. So we said heck with the budget for a little fun.
We went to Fish City Grill, and the kids ate free. Then we went to Color Me Mine, the local paint your own pottery place by our house. We made handmade presents for 5 people as well as 5 ornaments for our tree. The bill was outrageous but it was so worth it. I can't remember the last time my kids had so much fun and I got to sit down and enjoy the time with both my kids and my husband. The kids probably told me thank you for taking them there 10 times each.
If that isn't worth it, I don't know what else is?
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Don't get me wrong I played sports my entire childhood, swimming, basketball, soccer, and gymnastics, but looking back I was pathetically uncoordinated, and never any good but I did have fun and got to be outside and get some exercise.
B unfortunately inherited by athletic ability or lack there of. His dad was not much of an athletic person either so I blame half on him.
At least I have one athletic kid, LOL! Actually FiFi seems to be on her way to being a great soccer player and gymnastics star as well. In the meantime, I will continue to tell B how great he is at basketball, (he actually does ok because he is a head taller than the other kids in his league) and hope when he grows up he can look back and look at his childhood like I can and smile at his lack of athletic ability.
Yeah for Wyn, go pre-team!
Monday, December 15, 2008
First, Wyn and B are 6 months apart, how is this possible? I am a super-human, baby-making machine. Just kidding! Wyn and FiFi are not my biological kids but of course they are still my kids. My amazing husband raised the two girls all by himself since FiFi was 3 months old. I will have to say he did a pretty amazing job considering he is a dad and all and they don't have the same super-human powers God gave to moms.
Max and I met when the older two were 5 and FiFi was 3 so when I only reference B being a baby that is because I didn't know the girls when they were babies.
Besides running my kids back and forth to school, which involves three round trips a day, driving them to their activities, which today is drumline, gymnastics, and basketball (mind you I also work at my part-time job at church tonight), and helping them with their homework, I spend my days playing with a super sweet, and super cute 14 month old, "Baby Boy".
I hope it all makes sense now!
I am going to try to post a variety of things, once daily going forward. Wish me luck!
1) 1 year olds need contained! I mean this in a nice way but shopping at a store without carts, without bringing a stroller with a 14 month old, BAD IDEA!
2) The don't make baby gear like the used to! This is a good thing. When B was a baby there were no such things as LATCH systems for carseats, and 5 point harnesses for strollers and high chairs. Oh yeah and Pack 'N Plays are harder to set up then they look.
3) 1 year olds don't drink as much milk as I think they need but they can sure out eat my almost 6 year old sometimes.
Otherwise it is pretty much the same, play, laugh, sing, dance, read books, eat, sleep, change diapers.
I think I can handle this!
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
My friend Catherine, started her blog (Evolving Mommyhttp://evolvingmommy.blogspot.com/) a few months back and recently I have been reading it more as well as other "mommy" blogs. The blogging community seems like a great place so I am going to give blogging a shot.
Here is a quick run down of me and my family:
I am Michelle, a 26 year old stay-at-home mom, wife, babysitter, nursery attendant, maid, dish washer, you get the idea.
My husband "Max" is one of the smartest people I know. He is graduating on Saturday with his Bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering with honors, after serving 6 years in the Navy. He currently works as an R & D Engineer at a Fortune 500 company about 30 minutes from our house. I love him a lot!
My oldest son "B" is 8 years old. He is cute, he is sweet, he is growing up too quickly! I can't believe he will be 9 in May and is already in the third grade. He is also one of the smartest third graders I know but I may be partial.
B at 18 months old B at his eighth birthday party this past year
See what I mean about the silliness.
I hope you enjoy reading my blog. Just as an FYI, my name is really Michelle but I have given my husband and kids "nicknames" for the sake of the blog.