Saturday, December 29, 2007

Blogging neglect

We've been here at my parents' house for 6 days now. We have 3 more to go. It's been good. We've been busy. We've seen old friends. Enjoyed Christmas. Visited family. Played and napped and stayed up late and slept in. I just have not taken the time to turn the computer on even though it's here.

Not to mention all the blogs that I'm not reading (or commenting on). They are still in my reader, and I will try to skim through them at some point. But I can't promise too many comments.

I will try to get online a few more times in the next couple of days, but for now I don't feel like writing much. Maybe I'll update you on all the fun things we did eventually. Also I have lots of great pictures, so I'm sure I can share a few from our Christmas festivities.

Goodbye for now, dear readers. Have a safe and Happy New Year.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Let's chat

Have a seat. Can I get you a warm cup of coffee? Tea? Hot cocoa? I just wanna chat.

First let's talk about my new mixer. I'm in love. We're running away together.

OK, maybe that's a bit over the top, but only a small bit. In the short few days that I've been the proud new owner of a KitchenAid Professional 600 Series Stand Mixer I had managed to use it 4 times! And I'm already thinking about all the other homemade treats I can make with it. I think about how wonderful it will be to whip up a made from scratch cake mix with icing. Mmm. (Actually I'm probably doing that tonight, because they want me to make dessert for our Christmas party luncheon tomorrow.) I think about making cookies for all my loved ones for Christmas (even though I've already made more cookies than I can count). I think this mixer will get plenty of use.
It may seem silly, since I had already told you Matt and I had talked about it, but I was totally surprised that Matt got me this mixer. We'd talked about it briefly, where I professed my love for this machine. I also pointed out all the wonderful things I could do with it. Plus who can pass up a deal like this (less than half price). But Matt kept looking at all the other things he could buy. He was considering getting me some jewelry (so I thought). And he talked about other things he could get for himself. Usually Matt can't keep a secret this well, so when he does it knocks my socks off. He put the mixer in the kitchen, so I would see it when I got home from tutoring. I couldn't figure out why things were moved around in the kitchen...until I turned on the light. I was thrilled and shocked! I did a little happy dance right there in the kitchen. Really, I did. I'm sure it was embarrassing.
I really could have used the mixer last week and earlier this week when I was having a horrible time making cookie dough. Matt knew it was on its way, but he refrained from telling me. He told the guys at work that I would be mad I had to make all that cookie batter with my hand mixer. Ha ha. I really wasn't upset. I was just happy to have it now.
Speaking of baking all those cookies I'm exhausted. I made so much stuff for Matt to sell at work. Today I took a break. I don't want to think about cookies. There are at least 10 dozen still in my kitchen waiting to be decorated. I will take those to family for Christmas. I'll probably leave some of the mail carrier, garbage man, and our neighbors. But that can wait another day or two. Now I need a break. I've been on my feet doing non-stop baking for 3 days. Whew.
Tomorrow we had a Christmas luncheon for the people who work at the center where I tutor. Then my sister is coming into town to do some shopping...actually all her Christmas shopping. She's been working 60 hour weeks for a month now. She finally gets a little break tomorrow, so she needs to get her shopping done. I told her it would be fun to go along. Matt has taken the day off, so he will be able to stay home with Zachariah. I'm sure he'll need a nap after the party.
At some point I should dust, vacuum around the baseboards, and all those other little things, Since our small group Christmas party was cancelled last weekend, we invited everyone over here this Saturday. So, I'll probably spend Friday night and Saturday morning cleaning up.
And sometime before Monday afternoon we need to exchange gifts with our little family. It's easier to do it before we leave for all the family festivities. We usually pick a morning a day or two before we leave and open our gifts then. Our only real options this year are Saturday morning or Sunday afternoon. I'm leaning towards Saturday morning. I like the idea of getting Zachariah up and going straight for the presents. Although, I don't know if he'll do that or not. (The kid likes to eat, and he usually wants breakfast right way). Well, we'll figure something out I'm sure.
I'm going to try to keep blogging a little bit through the holidays while we're gone, but I don't know how good I'll be. We will be staying with my parents (who have wireless Internet), so I will plan to take this laptop and check in once in a while. So we'll make do.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

My Christmas Gift

Guess what was sitting in my kitchen when I got home last night.

I had no idea. Do you?

Santa must have come to our house early.



What do you think? Is it a keeper?

It is a really hard choice between using this new KitchenAid heavy-duty 6 qt. mixer and my puny little old hand mixer.



So, out with the old, in with the new.





**No actual hand mixers were harmed during this photo session. I guess I'll keep it just in case it would be handy for something.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Holiday recipes, Pt 1

Here is a recipe that I've made lots of. This is the easiest thing, because I turned them into Peanut Butter Kiss Cookies. Instead of needing to decorate these cookies, like I do all the rest, I just put chocolate kisses on top. The hardest part is unwrapping all the kisses. I've seen packaged, unwrapped kisses for baking, but I was not able to find them when I bought stuff for the cookies. I'll give you my altered recipe (the real one doesn't use kisses, but has crushed peanuts and melted chocolate on top instead).


Easy Peanut Butter Presses


1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 cup creamy peanut butter
Chocolate kisses (1 for each cookie; about 36)


1. Preheat oven to 350. Combine sugar and egg in bowl. Add peanut butter; mix until blended.
2. Fit cookie press with desired disk and fill with dough. Press dough onto baking pan, 1 inch apart.
3. Bake 12-14 minutes or until cookies are set and light brown. Remove from oven; cool 2 minutes on baking pan. Place unwrapped chocolate kiss on top. Remove to cooling rack; cool completely.


MD's hint: I put them on a plate and let them sit in the freezer for a few minutes for the chocolate to set. Otherwise it gets all melty on the cookie.






**********

This was my first attempt at this kind of fudge. It turned out well. It is very smooth and creamy, but it will melt in your hands quickly. It's best to keep it refrigerated until you need to use it.


Tiger Stripes


1 package (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
3 tablespoons chunky peanut butter, divided
2 white chocolate baking bars (2 ounces each)


1. Line 8x8-inch square pan with foil. Grease lightly.
2. Melt semisweet chocolate with 2 tablespoons peanut butter in small saucepan over low heat; stir well.
3. Pour half of chocolate mixture into prepared pan. Let stand 10 to 15 minutes to cool slightly.
4. Melt white baking bar with remaining 1 tablespoon peanut butter in small saucepan over low heat. Spoon half of white chocolate mixture over dark chocolate mixture. Drop remaining dark and white chocolate mixtures by spoonfuls over mixture in pan.
5. Using small metal spatula or knife, pull through the chocolates to create tiger stripes.
6. Freeze about 1 hour or until firm. remove from pan; peel off foil. Cut into 36 pieces. refrigerate until ready to serve.




**********

This yummy sweet bread is easy to decorate and use for a small hostess gift. I will also make the variation, but I haven't done it yet so I don't have pictures. But I'll put the variation at the bottom of the recipe.

Double Chocolate Swirl Bread

Bread
1/2 cup sliced almonds, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup white chocolate morsels, chopped
2 packages (11 ounces each) refrigerated French bread dough
1 egg
1 tablespoon water
1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate morsels, grated, divided

Chocolate Drizzle
1/2 cup white or semi-sweet chocolate morsels
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
Additional sliced almonds or chocolate morsels (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 375. For bread, lightly spray a mini-loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray. Coarsely shop almonds and white chocolate morsels; place in bowl.
2. Unroll on package of the bread dough on lightly floured surface; do not stretch. Lightly beat egg white and water in small bowl; brush dough with a portion of the egg white mixture. Grate half of the semi-sweet chocolate morsels evenly over dough. Sprinkle with half of the almond and white chocolate mixture; roll lightly with rolling pin, pressing mixture into dough.
3. Unroll remaining package of bread dough directly over first dough layer, matching edges and rolling lightly to seal. Brush dough lightly with a portion of the egg white mixture. Grate remaining chocolate morsels over dough. Sprinkle with remaining white chocolate and almond mixture; roll lightly with rolling pin.
4. Starting at narrow edge, roll dough up tightly; pinch edge to seal. Slice roll into four equal portions; place seam side down in pan. Make deep cut down the length of each loaf without cutting through ends. Brush loaves with remaining egg white mixture. Bake 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven; cool in pan 5 minutes. Remove loaves from pan. Cool completely.
5. For chocolate drizzle, place chocolate morsels and oil in small microwavable bowl, microwave, uncovered, on HIGH 30-40 seconds or until chocolate is melted and smooth. (Do not overheat.) Drizzle over loaves; sprinkle with additional almonds or chocolate morsels, if desired.

Variation: White Chocolate Cherry Swirl Bread: Substitute 1/2 cup chopped maraschino cherries for the grated semi-sweet chocolate morsels; proceed as recipe directs. Drizzle finished loaves as directed in Step 5; garnish with halved maraschino cherries and sliced almonds.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Ba ba baking

I feel like I've baked enough cookies (along with candy, fudge, etc.) to feed a small army. I have baked/cooked almost all day long today. And it's not over yet, folks.

Matt and I decided that we would sell some baked goods as a fundraiser towards his trip to Mali, West Africa. (I'm sure I've mentioned it before, but I can't find a post to link to, hmm.) Anyway, we got some orders for cookies from people Matt works with. In addition to that I've made fudge, candy, and other things to sell too. I hope that this works out well for him. I know I've put a lot of time and energy into it. It's worth it to be a part of his trip.

And I promise when I have a chance (and the motivation) sometime I'll post recipes that I used for things. Yummy, yummy goodies.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Pee Pee on the Potty

Zac went pee-pee on the potty! Zac went pee-pee on the potty!

I'm doing a happy dance!

He's pooped once and only once...it was about a month ago.

Today, he sat on the toilet before bath time (which he usually asks to do) and he PEED! I was so excited. He missed the toilet, but that's only a minor detail. When he sat, he was facing the side a bit and he wasn't protected by the little shield. But he purposefully peed just a little bit. YEAH! We came out and told Daddy and had a little treat. Zachariah was pretty proud of himself.

I have been thinking we'll start more potty training after the first of the year. I wanted to wait until we're settled and done with all our Christmas travelling. But now I'm thinking maybe we need to start this week. And I can take the mini-potty with us.

For now I'll just enjoy the fact that he went in the potty! WOO HOO!

Snowy mess

It is just there here today. It's a big snowy mess. I'd say we have 4-6 inches of snow...plus it's blowing and drifting now. I have a feeling the schools will be closed part (if not all) of this week. I hear that it's going to stay cold and windy, so that makes it rough for them to keep the roads clean.





For today I'm happy just to stay home cozy and warm. Although I did miss not having church today. And our small group Christmas party was cancelled. And when they want to reschedule is when we'll be away. Bummer. Other than that it's OK that we're snowed in with no where else to be.





Yesterday while the snow was still coming down we took Zachariah out to play in it. It was his first time really playing in the snow. A few weeks ago when there was snow, I never got him out in it to just play. He was sick, then it got too cold. But I think it was more fun yesterday, because Matt was home and went out to play with us. He loved us pulling him in the sled. He wore us out dragging him across the yard, but it was worth it to see the smile on his face. Last year he was too little to play much in the snow, plus we didn't get much snow last winter. We took him out once in the baby sled, but Matt hit a snowdrift with it and Zachariah went face-first right into the snow. That was the end of that. Luckily he doesn't remember that trauma. ;) I'll see if I can post a video of the fun later. It was great.





Friday it wasn't snowing and Matt took a day off. We went to Columbus and had a fun day there. We had lunch at BD's Mongolian Barbecue, then shopped Tuttle Crossing Mall. Zachariah got to ride the holiday train there. Then he played at the little kids "playground". That was a new experience for us. I'll write about it sometime.




After the mall we went to the Columbus Zoo to see the WildLights. That was really nice. Zachariah loved it. He was excited to see the "lights, lights, lights" and of course some animals too. Then we finished that trip with a visit to Santa and the model train exhibit. I think those were the highlights of the whole time. He literally ran up to see Santa and sit on his lap (good thing no other kids were waiting right then). So we paid (a fortune) to get a 5x7 photo. It turned out pretty cute. Then the trains....oh, he loves trains. He sat there in awe at all the neat trains going by. It was a really nice display and they let the kids run a train for a little bit.





After we left the zoo there was a lot of crying. This poor boy had gone all day with no complaints and no naps. He had done really well up until that point. We stopped not far from the zoo for a quick supper, but we couldn't get him to stop crying. Finally we convinced him that he could eat, then we'd go home. He ate a little, and then fell asleep less than 2 miles down the road. And he slept until we got back into town. Even though we were all worn out, we had a great time. We don't get out and do as much as we used to since we've had Zachariah. But it is fun doing more this year than last. It's a little easier to pack up for a day away with him. And it's a little easier to drive farther away and not worry about a complete break-down.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

My week in 5 paragraphs

The snow, the pretty beautiful snow, has all melted. It has been cold and rainy here ALL week! This is way worse than lots of snow. I'd much rather have snow. Rain, in and of itself, is bad, but when it's only 34 degrees and raining...ugh.

I have officially started my holiday baking. I have about 10-12 dozen cutout sugar cookies in the freezer now. All I need to do is decorate them before next Friday. I also made about 5-6 doze peanut butter kiss cookies. And today I plan to make pressed butter cookies. That will probably turn out at least 12 dozen of those. And I still have plans to make several different kinds of fudge and other candies. Whew! I predict a break-down about mid-week next week. Be prepared for complaints.

Luckily we have all our Christmas gifts bought and wrapped. Well, I still need to pick up a little something for our 3 brothers-in-law. That will be easy to get finished.

There's still the little matter of what to use Matt's gift card on now. I have told him that I'd love to have the stand mixer, but he's still looking at other things. It's not so much that or wait for the Wii now. He's thought about buying me jewelry for Christmas (mostly because he likes spoiling me), but I have told him I'd much rather have the mixer. We'll see if I can talk him into it. I was sure wishing I had it already when I started my holiday baking.

Tomorrow Matt took a personal day, because he still had an extra one to use up before the end of the year. We decided to go for lunch and shopping in Columbus. It's been 2 years since I've done that, and I miss it. We used to go several times a year and have a fun time. It will be nice to shop in stores we don't have around here.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Advice needed

I can't believe I'm asking you this, but I need another opinion. Matt and I like to think purchases to death before we buy, especially something big like this.

Matt got a gift certificate recently for a work-related thing. He was supposed to be getting a Wii instead of the gift certificate, but they ran out. So, he was thinking about using the gift certificate to buy one. The amount is enough for what the Wii retails for, but we cannot find one for that price. They're going for double if/when you can find one. We could still wait and try to get one for a lower price in a few months.

OR we could get a Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer for me. Matt just found a great deal on the one I want. It retails for $499.99, but we can get it for about $210. I would only have the choice of "Meringue" or "Licorice", but I think I could live with that. In fact, if I had 30 colors to chose from I'd probably go with a black or white, because I couldn't chose one over all the other colors.

I have wanted a stand mixer for years. It would get a TON of use in my house, because I LOVE to bake. I'm not real sure that I have counter space or cupboard space for it, but I would find somewhere to put it in the kitchen. And the clincher is Matt is willing to buy it for me instead of getting the Wii.

The problem is I feel really guilty thinking that he'd use his gift certificate on something mainly for me. But he already has several gaming systems and a new one would mean spending more money to buy games for it. Plus it would be more time he'd spend in front of the TV or not spending with me.

Here's where I want your opinion. What do you say?
#1 It's his gift certificate, let him wait on the Wii he wanted in the first place.
#2 Buy the Mixer, you deserve it.
#3 Other advice.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Ugh...Monday

*I've been trying to upload this adorable video of Zachariah. He was playing with his Little People toys and "telling" me about the animals. It was cute, and I thought you might enjoy hearing him finally talking. Guess it wasn't meant to be...for now at least. I'll keep trying.

*Friday night was rough. Zachariah is normally a great sleeper at night. He has always been this way, and we know we're pretty lucky for that. Friday evening we were out late, so it was about 9:30PM before Zachariah got to bed. Plus he had woken up with a cold that morning, so I know he wasn't feeling great. I heard him fussing at about 2:30AM. I went in his room to see what the problem was. He seemed pretty wide awake. I noticed right away that he felt warm, so I got him up to take his temperature. He had a low-grade fever, and I gave him some infant motrin then tried putting him back to bed. I went back to bed and could not sleep. I tossed and turned and couldn't relax. About half an hour later Zachariah was crying again. I went and rocked him for a bit and tried putting him back to bed. This continued off and on for the next hour. Then Matt finally woke up and asked what the problem was. I told him Zachariah just won't sleep at this point. So he got up with him for a while. Umm, I think he tried for about 20 minutes to get Zachariah to sleep. Then he brought him into our bed! Ha! This child hasn't co-slept with us since he was a little baby. Once he started sleeping through the night, he slept in his crib in another room. He laid with us in our bed, wide awake, for about 1/2 hour. He finally started getting squirmy and was not going to lay there any more. (Matt is asleep again by now. Me, I've been laying there awake the whole time. Ugh.) So at 5:00AM I got up with Zac, came to the living room, laid on the couch, and let him play with toys. He wanted to eat breakfast, but I refused to let him. I told him it was too early for breakfast. He played quietly for a while. (Quietly, because I hid any toys he drug out that made noises.) He started getting pretty grumpy after an hour, so I told him it was time to go back to bed. I put him in bed, and he slept. I was afraid to go back to bed, because I figured he wouldn't sleep. So I ended up sleeping on the couch for 3 hours while he finally slept. What a night! Luckily he was pretty good the next day. After lunch he took a 4 hour nap. And I took a 3 hour nap while he was sleeping. Matt stayed up, so he could take care of Zachariah if he woke up before me. And he slept well Saturday night too. I was sure hoping that was a one-time thing.

*I didn't mention that I've been sick too. I have a stuffy/runny nose. And now Matt has a bad cough. He didn't sleep well last night (and kept me awake with all his coughing). But Zachariah's cold seems to be going away.

*This morning the kid woke up too early. He was wide awake, so we got up. I fed him lunch really early and put him down for a nap. He got up earlier, so he didn't notice that it was an early lunch. Now I'm hoping I can get a shower and pull myself together. I have to take my car in for an oil change, and I'm really looking forward to chasing my son around the car dealership for an hour with they do that. Woo Hoo, don't you wish you were me today? No, oh, I guess I understand that. It's a good thing I have pictures like this around the house to keep my sane (and a cutie running around being adorable ... most of the time).

Friday, December 7, 2007

Holiday Traditions - Pt. 1

Stockings



Do you do stockings? We didn't really do them when I was young. (Mom tells me we did for a short while, but I don't remember.) But I always thought it was neat that my cousins did it. They got "extra" little gifts in addition to the other things Santa sent them.



Now, in my parents' new house with fireplaces, they have stockings for all of us. And my mom fills them with candy, chap stick, and other small things for us. It's a fun thing to do.



Matt's family did not have a fireplace growing up either. But they did do stockings every year. In fact those we the only gifts that were hidden. (His mom didn't wrap gifts. They each had a pile of presents on the living room floor when they got up Christmas morning. We enjoyed the fun of sorting through all the presents under the tree and handing them to the person who's name was on them. We still do that. My sisters and I end up passing out all the gifts at Christmas. It's fun. I digress.)



Matt's family always had these awesome customized stockings. An old family friend had knitted these stockings when the kids were young. They met this lady on a group tour trip to Israel. Matt's mom was pregnant for him at the time, but they didn't know that yet. They've kept in touch with her over the years. At some point she knitted stockings for them (I guess she has made them for other families she knows too). I always loved seeing these green and while stockings with Santa on them. They hung them on the wall in order with dad, mom, then the three kids.



When Matt and I were about to spend our first Christmas as a married couple, Matt's mom took down his stocking and gave it to him to hang at our house. The problem was that I didn't have a stocking to match his...or even one at all. We hung onto Matt's stocking for several years. Then out of the blue one year, Matt's mom gave us a surprise. This sweet, old lady had made a stocking for me too. I was beyond thrilled and couldn't wait until Christmas to put both of our stockings up.



Last year I put both of our matching stockings up, then I bought Zachariah a "Baby's First Christmas" stocking. I hadn't heard whether or not this family friend was going to make one for him, and I didn't want to ask for one. This year I wasn't sure what I was going to do about a stocking for Zachariah. A few weeks before Thanksgiving while we were at Matt's parents' house, his mom told me she had something for us. I peeked inside the bag and squealed. Their friend had knitted a stocking for Zachariah with his whole long name on it. The color is a bit different on each one, because it's hard to get the same yarn after so many years. But I could care less about that. I love that we can continue this tradition that Matt's parents started. We don't have a fireplace to display our lovely stockings on, but they look just fine hanging on the wall (I like how they look on our one wood wall in the living room). I just hope that the family friend will be around long enough to make the rest of our kids stockings to keep our collection complete. If not, that will be OK, but it would be awesome.





**Matt's stocking actually says "Matthew" but I like that you can just see "Matt" on this side. It's what he goes by anyway. Zachariah's has his full name on it too.

***I understand that you will probably be able to figure out my name now. I'm OK with that. Just please only use my screen name. (And if you'd like to know if you're right about my name or just want to ask, please feel free to e-mail me. I especially don't mind discussing it with you if you're a long time reader/commenter and I read your blog. I don't want to talk about it in the comments or here. I will probably delete this photo after a few weeks/months. Thanks for understanding.)

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Clean Bean & Snow

What child actually likes to clean their room? Uhh...well...mine I guess. I caught him picking up his blankies and putting them on his dresser (where they belong when he's not sleeping).


Usually when he wakes up in the morning he throws his little lovey blanket. Then we pick it up and put it in a dresser drawer. Most times as soon as I put him down he picks them up for me. This morning we were too distracted looking at all the snow outside to take care of them. So he went in later and put them away.


He comes by this honestly. I hated having a messy room growing up. Most times I had the cleanest room in the house. I'm not a crazy cleaning nut now but I do like things neat and tidy.






**Sorry for the lack of commas. My "comma" key is broken on the computer. It's driving me NUTS!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Things about the kid + an important question!

*Zachariah tried to trade his cereal in for a cookie this morning. Nice try, son, nice try.

*He has started trying to sing. This morning he sat in his glider rocker in his bedroom and was trying to sing a song. I realized that he was singing “Rock-a-bye Baby”, which I like to sing to him when we’re cuddling in that chair.

*I’m thinking that Zachariah has outgrown his highchair. See photographic evidence below. He has his feet resting on the footrest, which means his knees are pressed against the tray above. This kid is tall, really tall. (I ran into an old friend the other day, she said she doesn’t think her son was that tall until he was 5! Ha.) I don’t know what to do with him next. He’s not quite (pretty darn close though) tall enough to reach the table just sitting in a regular chair. I don’t know if the chairs we have will hold a booster-type seat. I feel like he may still need a buckle, so he doesn’t constantly get up and down while eating. Any advice? When did your kids stop using their highchair? Where did you put them next? Any fantastic products out there that I don’t know about yet? Help me.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Parades and OSU football

Oh, it's been a long day. But I feel like typing up a little blog post before I go to bed. Maybe I'm stuck on posting every day from NaBloPoMo or something. I don't know.

This morning I went carolling with the church choir. We get dressed up and go to all sorts of downtown Christmas festivities. There are lots of things going on such as visiting Santa and Mrs. Clause, cookie decorating, craft fairs, ornament making, free coat give-aways, and a parade to wrap the whole day up. We went from place to place singing and wishing people a Merry Christmas. It was fun, but it was VERY, very cold. Brrrr. Matt came out later in the morning with Zachariah. They followed us around a little, then watched the parade. We sang from a horse-drawn wagon in the parade. Here is something I love about this parade. In most holiday parades Santa comes last. He's the grand finale. Not in our parade. He leads the parade here, and Santa and his missus are pulled in a sleigh by a 4-wheeler driven by Brutus himself. It's really neat. Then at the end there are Joseph and Mary walking donkeys. I love it. The true reason for Christmas right there for all to see.

We rested this afternoon and went to run a few errands later. Then tonight Matt and I watched college football games. If you haven't noticed already, we are big Ohio State fans. Our Buckeyes are ranked #3 currently and their season ended 2 weeks ago. This meant that there was a possibility for us to move up in rankings if teams above us lost. Well, last week we went from #5 to #3. Tonight there were 2 big games on that could mean a spot for us in the National Championship game. If either of the top 2 teams lose, then we will pretty much be a shoe in. Both of those games were on at the same time tonight. #2 West Virginia lost to their big rival Pittsburgh. This was a shocking upset. We figured our only chance was for #1 Missouri to get beat by their big rival Oklahoma. But West Virgina lost giving us a chance at the big game. And right now I'm watching the end of the Missouri game and they are going to lose also! This will quite possibly make us #1. I think we definitely will play a championship game when they both lose. Wow! We didn't think we'd get THAT lucky. But we couldn't be more excited. Maybe this year we can win the National Championship.

Have a great weekend!

Friday, November 30, 2007

He's home and I did it!

Matt came home this afternoon. There has been much happiness in the house. Zachariah was so thrilled to have his daddy home. Of course I was excited to see my love again. And the dog, he needed his moment of attention too.

Not only did he come home, but my dear husband came bearing gifts. He brought me Sees chocolates, peanut brittle, and peppermint lotion. And he brought Zachariah a set of 3 little trucks. He couldn't have brought more perfect gifts. I'm ashamed to say I've already eaten about 3 pieces of chocolate.

Today is the last day of NaBloPoMo. YEAH! I did it! I don't know yet if I'll keep up with it every single day. I will try to keep posting often, but I won't worry about missing a day when I'm busy of have nothing to say. Still, it's over and I did it!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Today

Today was a nice day. In the keeping-us-busy-to-keep-our-minds-off-Matt-being-gone theme, we went shopping with my mom and grandma. It was fun. Zachariah was really good the whole time. He didn't want to let my mom (who he affectionately refers to as "Maw Bahb") out of his sight. And every time we got in our car to go to the next shopping destination, he cried. I think he enjoyed seeing someone else...especially since Matt is away. And the good news is that Matt will be finished early tomorrow, so Zachariah will get to see him before he goes to bed. YEAH! Anyway, here are a few fun photos from our day.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

2 more days

After today there are only 2 days left of NaBloPoMo. I'm enjoying it. I usually try to post every day, but normally I don't fret if I miss a day. I think I will just go back to that after this month. I will try to post every day, but not a big deal if I can't.

More importantly there are only 2 days left until Matt comes back home! Only 2 more days as a single mother. Thank God! I have enjoyed this time alone with my son, though. We've done a few more fun things that normal. We've gotten out of the house more than normal, just to keep our minds occupied (and from getting on each others nerves). So far it has worked pretty well. By late afternoon and on until bedtime, Zachariah asks about Daddy a lot. I keep telling him that Daddy is away working. He's in Columbus, can you say Columbus? He usually tries to say it, then nods his little head and seems satisfied by that answer.

Today we got some of our Christmas decorations up. I need to put up one more nail now that we have 3 stockings to hang. I will do another post about that later...it's a good story. For now good night. I miss my sweetie pie, but he'll be home in 2 short days.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Christmas decorations

I haven't begun to decorate for Christmas yet, but it's in the front of my mind. I usually start as soon after Thanksgiving as I can.

Last year I remember putting the tree up in the evening after Zachariah went to bed. He was almost 9 months old then and he was starting to crawl and cruise. He did really well staying away from the tree. I also made sure to not have any ornaments on the bottom 6 inches or so of the tree.

This year I'm thinking Zachariah will like helping me decorate. We helped my mom put up some of her Christmas decorations while we were there over the weekend. He really like "hanging" the ornaments, so I will let him do that with our tree too. You could definitely tell where he put them, because he would clump them all together in the front. But it was really cute that he loved helping, so we just left them there.

I did ask Matt to get my boxes out of the garage before he left. I would like to really clean the living room before I get everything out, though. I usually rearrange the furniture, but I can't think of a good way to put things this year. I will probably just move the couch a little and see if that give me enough room. So far I have dusted EVERYTHING in this room. Tomorrow morning I plan to vacuum the floors, under furniture, and baseboards. And I should probably wash the big picture window too. Then I'll feel ready to get everything out.

I don't go all crazy for Christmas, but it is the only holiday I decorate my house for. I put up an artificial tree, some lights and ornaments to complete it. Then I have some greenery with lights that I put on the piano. And I have several candle holders, a nativity set, and a few other little knick-knacks that I set on the tables, piano, and other places like that. That's pretty much it. I had some Christmas towels I put in the kitchen too. But it's fun to do something new to the house every year. I like getting things out.

Two years we put white icicle lights up on the front of the house, but it's been a while since we've done that. Matt told me that he'd like to get some big colored bulbs to line the front of the house next year. That will be fun. I've always been after him to help decorate, but he isn't usually interested.

Do you like to decorate for Christmas? What is your favorite part? And what types of things do you do? Does your family help or does it mostly fall on you?

Monday, November 26, 2007

Care Package

Matt left today. He's going away for a week of training for work. We will miss him. Besides just missing him being here, I'll miss him being able to help with Zachariah. I'm not looking forward to this single parent gig. But we will make it. I'll be able to talk to him on the phone a few times at least.

Before he left he made up this great "care package" for us. It was so sweet. There were snacks for me, Zachariah, and Chip in there. I know he'll miss us too.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Mad Driving Skillz

How many things can you do while you drive? Talk on a cell phone? Apply makeup? Grab a lost toy/pacifier? Eat? Talk? How about just driving? Is that too much to ask?

This morning on my way to church I say a wonderful driver. He was driving an old beat up truck. He had the window all the way down (it was 27 degrees outside). He was smoking a cigarette AND brushing his teeth. Doesn't that defeat the purpose of brushing your teeth anyway? Then he spits out the open window. When did our cars become our bathrooms?

One day on his way to work Matt saw a woman multi-tasking. She was "driving", eating - A BOWL OF CEREAL WITH MILK, and applying make-up while stopped that the light. Yikes! And we wonder why our insurance prices are so high. I think it's because people like this cause accidents every day.

OK, I think I'm done complaining now. So, what's the craziest thing you or another driver you saw ever did while driving?

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Little Piggie

We headed up to my parents' house Wednesday evening. We just got home late this afternoon. I am EXHAUSTED! But we had a great time. We enjoyed Thanksgiving Day, complete with two big meals. We loved seeing all our family that we see only twice a year or so. And it was great staying with my parents. We all get along great, and Zachariah loved spending so much time with "pa pa" and "maw bahb" (Grandpa & Grandma Barb). Plus, I was thrilled that my sister and her husband ended up staying the whole weekend with us too. They live nearby (about 1/2 hour drive), but they were enjoying our company. Rachel even had to work Friday and Saturday morning, but she just went to work while we did other things and we saw her in the afternoon/evening.

Grandpa & Grandma gave Zachariah this cheap little piggie bank Wednesday night to play with. It's something one of them got at work for a promotional thing. He thought it was pretty neat. We only had to show him once how to put money in it. Then he was off. Friday night after dinner Zachariah decided to feed his piggie. He went around asking everyone for "more" money. When he realized that they were reaching into their pockets to find this money. So he tried cutting out the middle man and getting into everyone's pockets himself. It was so funny. Then he'd go ask someone else for money. He did quite well getting his piggie fund started. (I'm not sure what he's saving for yet...maybe a rainy day.)


Friday, November 23, 2007

Late

I don't have time for a long message tonight. Zachariah is sleeping in the den with the computer, so I'm typing this short message before he lays down.

Hope you all had fun on Black Friday. We got a few good deals, spent time with family, and we're watching movies tonight. Enjoy! What was your Friday like? Shopping? Decorating? Eating left-overs?

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Turkey Day

The turkey was carved, the ham was sliced, the stuffing was moist, the potatoes were mashed, the bread was broken, and the pie was sweet. We did this twice today! I feel like a stuffed turkey now. But it was great to see our families. Now we'll do a tiny bit of shopping tomorrow then meet my father-in-law for a post-Thanksgiving breakfast (tradition).

Today on the way to my grandmother's house I noticed the cars on the road. They all seemed to be a little more lazy and relaxed about getting to their destination. While at a stop light, I looked at all the cars around us. Each one was full of families. It just seemed so ideal and peaceful. Families spend this day together, and I'm so glad we enjoyed ours with our families.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Giving Thanks

Last weekend while we were at my parents' church (the church I grew up in), I heard a great sermon about being thankful from the pastor. He didn't talk about the traditional Thanksgiving stuff. He spoke about how thankfulness is about relationships and not things. It went into a discussion about what are things without people in our lives. It was very neat.

Of course I am thankful for the usual things, my family, my husband, my son, etc. But I am really thankful that I have two loving parents who didn't always give me everything I wanted...but they've always loved me MORE than I needed. I'm thankful for two caring sisters in my life. I'm thankful that God provided for me a perfect (for me) husband that can put up with all my silly ways (like waiting for me to finish dishes before we left the house today, when he just wanted to get going already).

I'm very thankful for my son. I prayed for him for over a year before he was even conceived. I prayed that God would bless me with a child who would grow up to serve Him. I knew God had a plan for my family. I knew that if I wasn't meant to had children He could take that burning desire in my heart for one away. I prayed daily, and every day it got harder. I finally came to a peace about it. I knew God's plan was better than mine. And before I ever expected, I found out I was pregnant. Now I see this beautiful little boy every day. And I'm thankful, very thankful to be a mother. I'm very thankful Matt is his father. And I'm thankful to God for my wonderful family.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Bonus baby name discussion

OK, so I thought about some other baby name things that I'd like to discuss. I'm going to continue this topic.

Do you think the first child's name sets the precedent for future baby naming? I worry that since I picked such a strong boys' name, a Biblical boys' name, that I'll be expected to stick with that. It's possible that I'd chose another boy's name from the Bible. But I'm more unlikely to chose a Biblical girl's name. I lean more toward trendy-sounding names for girls especially. I don't know why. So, did the name Zachariah restrict me for all future names?

Also, I wanted to tell you the girl names Matt and I like in case we ever have twin girls. Since there are twins in both sides of our families it is always a possibility, but mostly we just joke about it. It would be Laila and Anya. What do you think? Do those work together?

That's all I had to add for now. Just wanted to get those things out there before I forgot about them.

The boy names

Sorry that I didn't finish this post last night. I was exhausted. I'm not sure why. Matt and I both went to bed by 9:30PM. And I slept soundly all night long. I feel really rested today, though, so I'm glad. I don't usually go to bed early, and it felt good.


So, here are some of the boys names we threw around before our son was born (some of these may or may not be considered for future boys).


One of the first names we both fell in love with was Jamin. But after discussing it briefly with our parents, we were concerned that people might mispronounce it. So we decided it would be spelled Jaymin if we used it. Matt was set on this name for a long time, and it gradually grew on me. In the end I loved it, but I wanted to use the original spelling - Jamin. I liked that it was easy to say/pronounce, but it wasn't very common. It had slight appeal because it was in the Bible (hidden in there though).


Matt fell in love with the name Ryan somewhere along the line. I was OK with it, but it was never really a serious contender for me. I felt like it was too common.


We decided somewhere in here that we would for sure use Matthew for the middle name. And it seemed to fit all our possibilities. Jaymin Matthew, Ryan Matthew, etc.


Some other names I like(d) but we didn't really consider...mostly because Matt didn't like them. *Josiah (I've always loved that, but for some reason Matt doesn't like it at all. I tried over and over to convince him.)
*Hayden (He didn't like. Now I would not consider it again. Too many girls with the name. I have a thing about boy names being used for girls or vice versa. I want people to look at my son's name and KNOW it's a boy or look at a girl's name and know it's a girl.)
*Graham (I loved this, but Matt didn't like it because of graham crackers. :( Then a boy was born at our church with this name. It suits him well, but I didn't want to use it them because they would be close in age and have two of that name.)
*Levi (I don't remember why we didn't consider this more. I won't use it now, because my cousin just had a baby and used this name. Can you tell I try to steer away from names other people in my life use?)


I know that I had a whole list of names for possibilities, but I don't remember any more. I might still have the list, but it's probably buried in with other baby things. If I ever find them I'll come back and edit this post.


Matt came across the name Zachariah in a baby name book as well. He instantly loved it. This was probably in the 7th or 8th month of my pregnancy. He came to me and said "What about Zachariah?". At first I though "Ehh, it's OK." I did have Zachary on my list, but I was leaning away from it because it's too popular. Matt liked Zachariah better and liked that we could use the nickname Zac (and he wanted it spelled that way). I sort of blew the suggestion off at first. He was convinced about this name though. I kept turning back to Jamin/Jaymin. Then Matt would also try to push Ryan. A few weeks after he first suggested Zachariah I moved it towards the top of my list. Then I realized that it was a Bible name, only spelled Zechariah. I really liked that about it. I had some reservations about the length of the name though. Since we knew it would go with the middle name Matthew, it made the name really long. In the end that didn't matter.


I remember a few weeks before I had the baby Matt was telling his friends that he wanted the name to be Ryan Matthew. I would never say what my first pick was, but it was Jamin Matthew. I went into the delivery room ready to use my name choice. I still wanted to wait and see the baby first to be sure, but I was pretty sure it was for him. And I thought I could probably get my way.


My labor and delivery nurses kept asking if we had a name for the baby yet, and I kept telling them no. I fell in love with my son at first sight. He was such a big squishable baby. The doctor and all the nurses were shocked at his size. They couldn't wait to weigh him. While the nurses were cleaning him up, weighing him, and all the fun stuff, one of the shouted "Do we have a name for this little guy yet?" I looked at Matt and asked him what his choice was. I was just not sure. Then one of the nurses said "He needs a good, sturdy name for such a big, sturdy guy." With that statement, I knew she was right. And I knew that Jamin did not suit him. I looked at Matt, who looked back at me waiting for me to name this child, and I said he is a Zachariah. Matt smiled and agreed. So, we introduced Zachariah Matthew to our family. And we both insisted that his nickname be spelled Zac. Most of our family knows him by that, but I call him by his full name most of the time as do a few other people. And his full name is quite long, but it doesn't really matter. We get people that misunderstand and call him Zachery, but I just correct them. It's not a big deal. I'm sure he'll explain that all his life, but I always have to tell people how to spell my name and it doesn't hurt me. He is Zachariah Matthew S______, and I do not regret a thing about it.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Baby Naming

I love thinking/dreaming about baby names. That's just one more reason I love Swistle. Here she is having another baby name discussion. And I am glued to the comments. I love this. Just this weekend my cousin was asking me how I chose my son's name and what some other possibilities were. I thought maybe you'd be interested in hearing it. And I think I'm going to tell you some of the other names on my list. (I can't believe I'm doing that, because I'm usually pretty secretive about revealing baby names.) I may or may not use any of those names for future babies. Mostly I think I'll want a whole new list of names for next time. In fact I've already started a girls list, because I didn't get very far with girls' names last time.


I was very funny about sharing baby names. I think I will be for all future children too. I did NOT want to decide on the baby's name until I saw him, but I wanted to have a few names that we both loved on hand. I also was really hesitant to tell people about the names that I really loved. I didn't want people to judge the names and then "ruin" them for me. Matt didn't care about all that. I think he talked to more people about our possible names than I thought. But that was even more reason for me not to name the baby early. I asked Matt for names he liked and told him names I liked. Then we compiled a list, but I had the final say.


For me when I looked for baby names I wanted something people (maybe) knew, but something less common. I wasn't sure I wanted a name in the top 50/100 for the past few years, but I wasn't dead set against that. I seemed more likely to want a unique name for a girl (but nothing too crazy) and a classic name for a boy. Although that wasn't exactly the way I went.


OK, I had no ideas about boy names. At first we threw around Mark, David, John, Matthew, and sometimes Charles as first and/or middle names. These are all family names. My dad is Mark David (and I'd love to used some kind of his name for a future baby), Matt's dad is Charles Edward (Matt's name is Matthew Charles and his brother's name is Benjamin Edward, so they both got a part of their dad's name), and John was my grandfather's name (He passed away only 2 years before I got pregnant and I think this could still be a possibility for at least a middle name in the future.).


When we were looking at girl names (before finding out it was a boy at the 20 week ultrasound) we had one we both really liked. Since we didn't look much more that became our back up name, in case it was really a girl. It was Laila Nicole. Laila (spelled that way), Matt came across it in a baby name book and fell in love with it. He said to me "Laila, how do you feel about that?". I liked it. Then Nicole came in for a middle name, because a childhood friend of mine (named Nicole) died in a car accident when we were seniors in high school. For whatever reason I was thinking of her when I was pregnant, and I felt strongly about using her name for a girl. I don't know if I still would...maybe. We had a few other girl names that we liked, but we didn't get far so I didn't get a chance to keep changing my mind. There is one girl name that I mentioned before that I would consider again. If I had to name a baby girl right now, I know what her name would be. I don't think I want to share it though. It's different. I've never heard it before, but I saw it in a baby name book and loved it. It's not traditional, but it's more trendy sounding. But I don't think people will have too many problems saying it...just maybe spelling it.

OK, tomorrow more about how we settled on some boys names.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Happiness

I'm happy about my life right now. I'm just content today, I guess. Right now everyone, except me, is napping. Then we're leaving for a quick birthday dinner with our small group (assuming Zachariah is up in time). After that we have a community Thanksgiving service at church. Matt and I have to be there early for him to run projection and me for choir practice.

After church this morning we went out for pizza with a young couple with a baby. It was fun getting to know them a little better. Usually we just say hi in passing. Their little girl is 11 months younger than Zachariah. It's fun for me to watch her, because she's doing things that Zachariah was doing last year at this time. We're hoping we can hang out with them again. I think we can all learn a lot from each other and maybe there are some friendships forming.

This is a REALLY short week for us. Matt only works (and I tutor) Monday and Tuesday. Then we'll head up to my parents' house on Wednesday sometime. I'm hoping to clean and put a few things away that day as well, so I can get Christmas decorations out when we get home. I'm not sure when we'll be back home yet. We are planning to go out to eat with my parents and maybe Matt's parents on Wednesday evening. Sometimes we go out for breakfast with Matt's dad and maybe sister the day after Thanksgiving. Other than that and Thanksgiving Day, we don't have definite plans.

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. I think I'll write a separate post about why later this week. For now I'll just keep relaxing and finish up laundry. How about you? How are you spending your Sunday?

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Parties, sisters, and football

That title sums up my day. Oh and some cousin loving. (I visited with my cousin who was in town for a short while this morning. It was nice to see her again.) We went to my parents' house today for our annual Ohio State vs. Michigan game. This is practically a state holiday. And it's a family tradition to gather for the game, cheer on our Buckeyes, and stuff ourselves with wonderful food. And in case you care, Ohio State won! Thank you, Beanie!

Look at the picture below of all that yummy food. I took close up photos, and I plan to post a few recipes for your enjoyment. We ate very well.

I hope that you had a fun Saturday like us. Enjoy!

Friday, November 16, 2007

The key to sleep

People, I figured it out. I know the magic answer to getting your child (well, maybe my child) to take a REALLY good nap. Zachariah has been sleeping now for 3 1/2 hours! Yes, I said that right. (And just as I typed it I hear him awake in his room. AHH!) Regardless, he did sleep 3 1/2 hours this afternoon.

Here's what I did. Got him up at normal time this morning and went about our typical routine. About 11:00 when we usually eat lunch, I got him ready and we headed out for lunch. I took him to a local pizza joint. We had their buffet. (I suppose this part will only work if your child is a good eater.) I filled him up with veggies, fruits, cheesy bread, potato wedges, pizza, and dessert bread/pizza. Have I mentioned before that this kid can eat? (I wonder how he's still so skinny. It does explain the height though. He has to expand somewhere.) Anyway, he ate a lot. We'd been there for an hour by the time he finished eating. At home lunch would take 1/2 hour, then he'd go down for a nap right after that.

So at this point we were running about an hour past his nap time (he's very flexible about naps). He was happy and well-fed, so I wanted to walk around the craft store for a bit. He was up for it. We were in there for a while, and I noticed he was getting really sleepy. When I asked him if he was ready for a nap, he would nod and then lean his head on his shoulder and pretend to sleep. In the car I kept making him talk to me (counting in Spanish) to stay awake. We were only a 10 minutes drive from home.

He stayed awake. Then he was ready for a nap. And he took a LONG one. See, I think that's the key to success. I don't think I can do this every day, though. It's worth remembering in case I need it.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Uno, dos, tres

Zachariah has started doing this funny thing lately. On Sunday he visited with my sister-in-law and mother-in-law. He had a great time, and they really enjoyed having him around. Well, my sil told me that they got Zachariah to repeat Spanish numbers 1-10, but when they tried to get him to say them in English he wouldn't do it. I thought that was funny and told them he will only repeat a few numbers. He'll say "one" (and hold up 1 finger), then he'll refuse to say any other numbers. However, when I say "uno" he says "uno, dos", then he'll repeat most of the other numbers after me. Sometimes he'll say no to certain ones, but he tried most of them. It's really funny. We have been doing this with him all week. Still he likes to say numbers in Spanish and not in English. And I think the English words would be easier for him to say, because he doesn't use "s" in words much. I am trying to get it on video, so you all can see how funny this kid of mine is. For now, you'll just have to picture it in your head and take my word for it. He is hilarious.



***
He "tried" to use the potty again today, but we got nothing. Ahh well.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Mommy's Big Boy

Zachariah has been gaining so much Independence lately that it never ceases to amaze me. He loves to say "helpa" when I ask him if he's a good helper. And he really is. He's starting to put toys away after playing. He will go get his shoes when it's time to leave. He'll get things off the shelves for lunch or dinner and bring them to me. He likes to put the empty laundry basket in the kitchen when I finish laundry.

Here's a cute story. This morning while Zachariah was playing I mentioned that we needed to go to the store today. "Go," he said, which means he wants to leave right now. Then he went and got his shoes. I told him he needed socks before we could put his shoes on. I said I'll go get your socks if you'll pick up these toys you just got out. Then I left to get the socks. When I came back every last toy was put where it belonged, and he was trying to put the lid on the toy container. I helped him close it, then he picked it up to put it on the shelf. There was no room for it, then he remembered that he'd brought it out of his room. So he waited by the door until I opened it, then he put the toy on the shelf and off he went. What? When did he learn to do all of that when asked once? I definitely praised him for all that.

I tell him "You're a good helper."
"Helpa!" he says with pride in his voice and a smile on his face.

My little boy is growing up, and I love him so much.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

No right time...a talk about poop and the potty

I don't know if it's time or not, but we've thought about potty training for quite a while now. My pediatrician has told me twice that I'm probably nuts for thinking about it, so I stopped bringing it up starting at his last appointment (18 month). My second (or whatever distance we are) cousin has their little boy, who is 3 weeks younger than Zachariah, already fully potty trained. I don't worry about that so much, because she was sitting him on a potty as an infant.

Zachariah has been telling us about his poops since before he was a year old. But I could never get him to sit on the potty for very long. He's been really interested in the potty and everything else for months. He just wasn't ready to take that step, so I didn't push it. I occasionally asked him if he wanted to go potty, mostly before bath time. He always refused. Then there was the time that he was about to poop in the bathtub. He'd been constipated for 2 days, and apparently he liked the warm water. He told me he was going potty, and I could tell because he was trying really hard. I picked him up and told him to go in the potty. He screamed and cried and jumped up off the potty. He wouldn't go, so I put him back in the tub. As soon as I did he pooped in there. That's been months ago.

Since then he's sat on the potty, briefly, a few times. But he's never done anything...until 2 weeks ago. He was doing the same thing in the tub, so I said let's do that in the potty. When I picked him up he didn't protest, and he sat on the potty and finished going. YEAH! We celebrated. He wasn't quite sure what to think of it, but he wasn't scared and he enjoyed the praises.

After that I've been asking him at each diaper change, before bed, before naps, etc., if he'd like to use the potty. He's never wanted to. Once in a while when he comes in the bathroom with me, he'll go sit on his potty chair with his clothes on. He's been doing this a lot lately. Then this morning he told me he wanted to go potty. I was so excited, I couldn't believe it. We got his pants and diaper off, and he sat there. And he sat and he sat. Nothing happened, but it was a miracle for him to sit still. I went and got books for him to look at. He took his time looking over the books, but he still never pottied. (His new-ish diaper was wet, so I suspect that he has just gone.) He sat there for at least 10-15 minutes. This was a huge milestone for us. First of all because he told me he wanted to go potty, then because he sat there for that long. He hardly sits that long for ANYTHING.

So, I'm thinking it's time to get more serious about potty training. I don't plan to go all out. (I think he's too young to push it.) But I want to start taking him to the potty first thing in the morning, after breakfast, after lunch, after nap, and other times throughout the day. If I can get him to sit there for a while each time, I think it will only be a matter of time before something happens (even if accidentally). Then I think he'll catch on. Whether we're ready or not, I think this is what needs to happen. Wish us luck.

Monday, November 12, 2007

A yummy snack


I'm sad that I don't have left-overs from this yummy snack. I took it as an appetizer for our Thanksgiving dinner on Saturday. There was only a tiny bit left, and I didn't feel like hauling it home. Plus my grandma asked if she could have a little of it. That's unusual, she's usually trying to pawn off her left-overs on us. I will definitely make this dip again though. It is a recipe from my pal, Bethany.

Bethany's Best Ever Dip

1 can Hormel chili - no beans
1 jar chunky salsa
1 large package Velveeta cheese
1 container sour cream

Mix all together and heat. It works great in a crock pot. Serve with tortilla chips. Yum. It makes a lot, so you'll have plenty to snack on.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Short

Home. Tired. No naps. 2 days. Photos. Didn't load yesterday. Tomorrow = Monday. Catch up. Laundry. Yikes! Bye.


Saturday, November 10, 2007

Is it Thanksgiving already?

It was for my family today. We had an early Thanksgiving dinner with my mom's family. It was nice to see everyone. I got to talk to my mom's cousin's wife (they are my age) who is having baby #2 next week. She is a sweetie, and their first son was born 3 weeks after Zachariah. The boys are still a bit young to play together. They are both only children (until next week, then Sam no longer will be the only child) and they're used to being home with mom. But they got along ok...except when I left (to see Mary's new place nearby). I guess Sam grabbed Zachariah by his hair. They said he had a handful on both sides, and Zac just stood there looking at him strangely until someone took Sam away. Ha! My kid is so laid back. The rest of the afternoon every time Sam came too close, Zachariah would hold out his hand (as if saying come no farther).

We stuffed ourselves with yummy turkey, all the trimings, and lots of desserts. My grandmother kept feeding Zachariah everything! The poor kid was almost overflowing. Plus we kept him up through nap time (there was nowhere for him to sleep there). And honestly he did pretty well. By the time we got back to my parents' house it was silly for him to take a nap. But he usually stays up later here, and he was in bed before 7:00. He also never ate supper. He threw up once, and then ate a few grapes. He wasn't hungry, and I wasn't thrilled about giving him more food. My grandma just kept him fed the whole time we were there. Cookies, fudge, pie, pie, and more pie. Besides he'd already eaten a good meal.

Anyway, we had a fun time. I hope you had a good Saturday.

Friday, November 9, 2007

My Best Friend(s)

Sara over at Suburban Oblivion gave us NaBloPoMo-ers some ideas to post about for her enjoyment. I think I'll take her up on that, because today I find myself at a loss of words.


This is all about how I met my best friend. This is a big hard for me to answer, because I can't really pinpoint a "best" friend. So, I will tell you about my favorite friends.


First and foremost, Matt is my best friend. We were friends first, then we started dating. But maybe I'll save that story for another time. This seems to be a popular blog topic with fellow bloggers. Matt is my lover, friend, and confidant. But there are some things that we just don't talk about. He's not a woman, so I think that's the clincher with certain topics.


I am very close to my mom (and dad really). I've know her all my life (duh), and we've always gotten along nicely. I was an easy teen. And I remember coming home and telling her all about my day every day after school from Elementary school through part of college (until I got married). If my parents asked me how my day had been, they really cared. And I always told them. I love that I had this relationship with my parents growing up. And I respect them even more now. I love seeing my mom with her one and only grandchild, my son. She's an awesome grandma, and Zachariah adores her. I have a new respect for my parents now that I have my own child. Plus I think I see that they did what was best for us, but that doesn't mean that's what's best for my life or child.

Then another of my best friends is my sister, Rachel. Rachel is 4 years younger than me. And it's great that we get along so well. We've always gotten along well, but our friendship really grew after I got married. Then once she was out of high school it got stronger, and stronger yet when I had a baby and she got married. I don't have to watch what I say to Rachel. She understands and she won't hold things against me. I also never had to fear judgement from her. And if she has a problem, she can just tell me. I love that our friendship has gotten stronger and stronger over the years. And I know once she has children, we'll have so many things that we can share.

So, these are my best friends. It's hard to define what a best friend is. But I have plenty of people who care about me greatly, and it's nice knowing I have people who truly understand me.

How about you? Who is/are your best friend(s)? How did you meet? And how do you define a best friend?

Thursday, November 8, 2007

A note to the handy man

Dear Plumber,

I don't know who you think you are. We are not pleased with the service we received from you.

First you tell us that you can some by at 11:00 Tuesday morning. No problem, we can wait until then. My husband kindly takes off from work at 10:45, so he'll be home to deal with you. By 1:00 we figured you weren't coming. It was nice of you to call, but 2 1/2 hours after our original appointment is a little late to say "oops, I think I missed your appointment". And we're glad that you agreed you'd still come by since we'd be home. Next time please tell us in advance that you're going to be late, so my husband doesn't waste his time off from work. And when you call again 4 hours after the appointment and say you'll be here in a little while, well maybe I can handle that.

But when you come, don't even look at the problem, then say you'll call in the morning before you come by, I get a little angry. Especially since this will be costing us an arm and a leg anyway. I see that you figured out what makes me really mad. Sure, go ahead and don't call us Wednesday morning. It's no inconvenience for me to stay home and wait for you. (I'll save my errands for another time.) But when the whole day goes by without you calling or stopping by, now I'm mad.

Don't worry, though, I honestly think you did us a favor. Since my sweet husband has already done quite a bit of plumbing work on this old house, he decided it wouldn't hurt to see what he could do. If all else fails, we'll call another plumbing company. And no fear, we won't bother you again. In the end we were able to fix the problem, and it saved us $325. So really I owe you a big Thank You.

A happy home owner,

Mommy Daisy

P.S. At this point don't bother calling or I might feel like telling you off. Thanks.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Yummy caramel dip

This may just be the simplest recipe ever.

World's Best Caramel Dip

1 stick butter
1 small can sweetened condensed milk
1 cup brown sugar

Put everything in a pan. It will melt together and warm. Once it seems hot and well mixed (and the butter is all melted) turn it off and let it sit a while. Serve warm with crisp apple slices. It also reheats nicely in the microwave.

This also stays warm well in a crock pot for get-togethers. I will serve it that way with whole apples, a cutting board, and an apple wedger setting beside it. It's always a hit.

Make it, enjoy!




Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Voting, organizing, recipes

Today I voted. I always vote, even when there isn't much on the ballot...like today. For my personally it is so important to vote no matter how little the issues. I have never missed a vote since I turned 18 and could vote.


Also, related to yesterday's post...I am making progress on things here. That helps me feel more sane. Shauna mentioned making a list and going with that. Actually, I tend to be a list-maker, but it was starting to stress me out seeing all those things. It was easier for me to get overwhelmed with everything and then do nothing. So, my plan of attack now is just to pick one project that I see each day that needs done. Yesterday I cleaned the bathroom and painted the closet doors. Today I finished painting, organized/cleaned the laundry closet, and then I cleaned out my dresser in the bedroom. Tomorrow I may possibly reorganize the hall closet. But we'll see.


Hmm, there was one other thing that I wanted to blog about today. Oh yes, I remember. I think I'll save it for tomorrow. I am going to share my mom's awesome carmel dip recipe for apples. Yes, my mom rocks! She is a great cook, and I love her. So, come back tomorrow. Also, I have pictures. Mmm!

Monday, November 5, 2007

Pulling it together

Sometimes I feel really organized, and other times I feel like the most scatter-brained person alive. I've found that the scatter-brained thing has gotten worse since having a child. If something comes to mind, I have to write it down immediately or I will not remember it until it's too late.

This also affects things in my every day life. My house is in general order, but I feel like behind the scenes it's falling apart. And I'm so overwhelmed by the things I should do that I do nothing instead. Then I get angry with myself and beat myself up for doing nothing. I keep up with the daily tasks, but beyond that is where I feel myself falling apart.

With the holidays approaching, I want to get some things in order before gearing up completely for Christmas. Today I detail cleaned my whole bathroom. I also put up a new shower curtain that I've been holding onto for over a year. (That's another story for another time.) But I felt like there is no reason to be saving it, so why not enjoy it now. It felt so good. I have also finished painting the closet doors, so that's one more thing that will make sure a difference for me.

My goal for this month is to find one extra thing (like deep cleaning the bathroom, or sorting through a closet, or other details like that) each day. I think this will give me more peace of mind. And in the end I will feel better about my house and be able to relax and really enjoy the holidays.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Testing

My son is testing my patience today. Let's hope that tomorrow (and the the of the week) is much better.

Good points:
* He went back to sleep for about 1/2 hour this morning, so the daylight savings time didn't bother our schedule too much.
* I got a 2+ hour nap this afternoon while Matt played with Zachariah.
* I went to the grocery store by myself tonight after Zac went to bed. That only leaves a few errands to run tomorrow with the kid.
* I bought 5 pints of candy bar ice cream (Bryer's Snickers, Twix, Reese's Cup, etc.). Yummo!
* My friend is hoping to come visit me this week!

Bad points:
* He needed an early nap (since he got up a little earlier), then didn't take another nap all day. So by bedtime he was exhausted.
* We couldn't go to church, because Zachariah has a cold (still). I won't leave him in the nursery with a cold (and I hope other mom's will keep their sick kids out too), but he can't sit quietly through the whole service.
* Zachariah had 4 time-outs today. (We just started doing this and it seems to help, but this is the most he's gotten.)
* He sure likes to push my buttons.
* Tomorrow is Monday. No one likes Mondays.

And so I won't dwell on all the bad, there is one final good. I stocked up on Halloween candy the day after Halloween. At least I have that to keep my company tomorrow!

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Lovely Days


Before I go to bed tonight, I must blog. Must blog. Must not skip a day in November. That's been running through my head all day, but I don't know what to blog about.

Today was a lovely day. We had fun together as a family. Matt and I felt like we accomplished a lot around the house/outside. And I bought things! Yeah!
Zachariah let me sleep in this morning, but I thought it was too early and tried to get him to go back to sleep. He would not be conned into sleeping more. So, I gave in and let him come out to get breakfast. On the way to the kitchen I noticed the clock, it was 7:50AM. He DID let me sleep in, but it sure hadn't felt like it. I'm happy for the coming time change, and I don't like that they moved it back so far in the year. It is just too dark in the mornings here. At 8:00AM the sun was just starting to rise. I hate getting up in the dark. HATE. IT. But I do worry a little how the time change will affect Zachariah's waking, napping, sleeping times for the next few days. Usually he does OK and adjusts rather quickly.
Then this morning we went shopping. Kohl's was having a big sale today, plus we had a "15% off your entire purchase" coupon. You just can't beat that. I was in desperate need of some new pants (I only have 2 that I wear over and over; I do laundry often). So I got a pair of jeans and two new shirts. We also bought a little shirt and pants outfit for Zachariah, and Matt got a new pair of shoes. And we didn't spend that much at all, because we got some great deals. We also looked around at a few other stores, then went out for lunch.
By the time we got home, Zachariah was begging for a nap. (He usually gets one between 11:30 - 12:30, and at this point it was 2:00. Poor guy.) He went to sleep quickly, so Matt and I were able to get some things done. Matt changed a belt in his truck, I pulled plants out of the garden, Matt mowed the yard for one last time, we cleaned out the garage a bit, then I painted the laundry closet doors. It felt good to get some things done.
We spent the rest of the day inside watching football. And this evening, Matt and I watched a movie after Zachariah went to bed. We don't watch many movies, so it was a rare treat.
A boring, but lovely day. What did you do?

Friday, November 2, 2007

Too much to drink

You know you haven't had alcohol in a while, when 1 wine cooler, less than half drunk, makes you feel a bit woozie. HA!

Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary

I feel compelled to write about my youngest sister, Mary. I don't even know where to begin (or where to end for that matter). Mary has been calling me a lot lately. This after about 2 years of only talking to her maybe once a month. Granted for a while they didn't have a phone and now she has a cell phone with lots of minutes. But I still don't get it. I'm civil and nice to her on the phone and in person. But I don't always really feel that way about her. To be honest she drives me nuts. Matt knows that, and so does my other sister, Rachel. Rachel gets it. She feels the same way.

There are just so many things that are messed up with my relationship with Mary. And what really gets me sometimes is that she likes to act all buddy-buddy and best friends with me. That's not really the way it is. I don't tell Mary everything. In fact, I hardly tell her anything about my life. I don't, because I feel like I can't. Part of it is none of her business and there are just things that I don't want to share with her. The other part of it is that Mary doesn't listen very well. Most of the time she cares more about herself and her husband, and she completely neglects everyone else in her life. I hate that. I think that's my biggest problem with her.

Mary has been married for 2 years now. Her husband is....well, I don't know what to say about him without saying something I'll regret later. He can be nice, but most of the time he's not. He is more moody than most women. He's terribly clingy. He doesn't like my sister to have too many friends or dress too nice or look too pretty. He hates staying more than an hour at anything. This is horrible for family dinners. Mary tries to enjoy everyone's company and he goes to the other room to pout. She always goes to check on him and sometimes spends the whole time in there with him. She caters way too much to him. I mean he is her husband and all, but he usually asks way too much of her. She just goes along with it, and it drives the rest of us crazy. Long story short, he can be a real jerk and she puts up with him. I hate it. (And so does the rest of my family.)

Mary works very hard...in a factory. She has always been the bread-winner in their little family. Tony has worked for less than 1/3rd of their married life. When he's not working he's an unbelievable bear. Mary's job is wearing her down, and she's only in her early 20's. I don't want to imagine how she'll be in another 20, 30, 40 years of this. She just can't do it. Tony spends their money on stupid things and runs around with his friends all the time. (And that's all he does when he's not working.) He is currently working a decent job and has been at it for about 2 months. We're hoping that he finally keeps a job.

They just moved into a new rental house. She makes it sound pretty nice, and I hope that they can keep it and make payments. They have lived in 5 different places in the last 2 years. I don't know why. And one of those places was a tent in his friends' parents' yard. Yikes.

My parents do way too much for Mary and Tony. First they were paying for their cell phone, car insurance, and other small things. Then it was money for Tony to fix up a truck. And recently (about 5 months ago) my parents gave them their truck. I don't understand this. I'm not really jealous about it, but my parents never did anything like that for Rachel or I. They are very generous people, but I have never asked them to pay my bills. Goodness, I'm still paying my students loans, because I had to pay my way through college. Mary never even went to college.

The list goes on, but I'm having a hard time putting my thoughts into coherent sentences about this. The only person who truly understands how I feel about Mary is Rachel. And she feels the same way. We can talk about Mary and agree on everything. We don't understand why our parents keep helping her out again and again. Rachel and I (and our husbands) have worked very hard to get where we are. Maybe that's why our parents don't worry as much about us. I don't know. But being friendly to Mary can sometimes be very hard.