Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Gidget goes wild

The POOL is OPEN!!!
Annie has been waiting all winter long for the pool to open back up and for swimming fun to begin.  To start off the summer right she spent 5 hours on Monday swimming in ice cold water, with blue lips and chattering teeth.   We finally had to force her out and drag her home. She then past out on the sofa before she even ate dinner.  Thankfully she ate a huge lunch. 

My little Gidget she meets Moondoggie and trades in her snorkel and flippers for a surf board.

Elsie just napped and hung out in the stroller.  She does not like the icy cold water, and the sun is not going to be her friend.

The terrible tumble

Annie had her first real fall this weekend.  It seems strange that at four and a half she's just now had her first real fall, with real injuries.  She broke her two front teeth, scraped her nose and bit her lip.  I was so not prepared for this.  I guess I assumed she'd just never get hurt.  How awesome would that be?  Thanks to the Holiday weekend we had wait until today to go see a dentist about her teeth.  So glad I took her in.  She had cracked her tooth all the way to the nerve.  After a long day of driving to dentists, talking to dentists on the phone, calling the insurance broker, the insurance company and the dentists financial office my fully charge cell phone died before 1pm today, and my head was spinning with post tumble stress syndrome.  I had no idea that dental insurance does not cover accidents, or that if you don't file the accident with the health insurance within 72 hours of the accident they don't cover it either.  I hate phones, health insurance and financial offices, but I still love our dentist (who was nice enough to call and see how Annie was Sunday morning).

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Uh oh...

You can call me a bad mom, but at this point it won't matter because Elsie is rolling over despite my best efforts.  I did everything I could to prevent this tragedy of a milestone.  Limiting tummy time, buckling her into anything and everything instead of putting her on the floor, but no it didn't work.  She rolls over and she gets her knees under her like she's about to crawl away.  Please Lord, don't let me have another early crawling/walking kid.  I need to set her down and know she will stay put, my sanity depends upon it.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

A day at Gigi's

 My brother is getting married if a few weeks in our mom's back yard.  The girls have been getting really excited as the house gets ready.  We put up a trellis in her back yard for the where the ceremony is to take place.  The girls spent an entire day playing under the trellis.  Singing, dancing, and in the end playing wedding.  I am so grateful that they get to spend time together at Gigi's.  My mothers house has nearly no toys, yet it is their favorite place to play? It makes me wonder why I bother buying toys at all.  All they need is to be outside and all is well.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

A day with the girls

Friday Annie had two of her cousins over for the day.  It was a jam packed day of craziness.

 Ruby and Annie worked on painting a bird house from Tex's dad.

 While Poppy painted a can?  Yeah, it was a kinda strange, but she really wanted to, and if I've learned anything about Poppy it's, "just it's go with it."
 The girls made pizza dough.  They played with the dough so long it was like a rubber band by the time I stopped them.
After running around and playing house outside they finally settled down to read a story.  They made a little spot at the stairs. I guess  should make a seat cushion for over there.

What I learned from my day?  Girls are exhausting, and it's a miracle my sister is still breathing and still has all her hair.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Pie post

So the pie season has officially started at our house.  Every Spring the first pie of the year is Strawberry Rhubarb, and every spring I swear it's my favorite pie, until peach season starts and I fall in love with Blueberry Peach pie. I have made pies for as long as I can remember.  My mother used to have the most amazing cook book with the best pie recipes in it.  I say used to because years back I borrowed it and never returned it.  (Sorry mom, I promise I'll bring you a slice of pie in the morning to make up for my thievery).  It is old and tattered with the binding broken away.   The cover is long lost, but I still remember the sadly outdated picnic scene with fresh bread and a pie laid out under an apple tree. 

If this makes it through the night, it will be a miracle.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

whole wheat bread, again

 I have been on a mission to make whole wheat bread that doesn't suck, that my kids will love and my husband won't complain about.  I finally caved and got a new cook book all about whole wheat bread.  This is one of the three I bought a few weeks ago.  It doesn't suck.  The book that is.  You'll have to read the rest to find out about the bread.

This Morning while Elsie sucked her thumb, Annie and I got started on the bread.  The book I'm using is actually the second book by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois.  I have the first book they came out with about bread and use it all the time, so I'm familiar with the process. 

Put all you dry ingredients in the mixing bowl.

 And all your wet ingredaints in another bowl 
(I use a small pitcher, because it's easier to pour into my mixer).

 Finally, you combine the two, until just mixed.

It gets really sticky.

Let it rise, and then use it right away or refrigerate it for later.  
I stuck it in the fridge till I got home from work.

When I came back from work I got the bread dough out.
I put the dough in a greased bread pan and let sit on the counter for 90 minutes while I did laundry and other yucky household chores.  (I'm comparing how it bakes in a ceramic pan vs. the non stick.  The book calls for non-stick, but I am not so keen on the chemical leaching of non-stick into my kids food). 

Bake for 40 min. @350

The bread smells awesome, and tastes great.
Both pans worked great, so Mom, you can have your bread pan back. (note: if you use ceramic or another non-non-stick pan, let it cool almost completely before removing from pan. The moisture released as the bread cools helps it release from the pan). 

 So thank you Jeff and Zoe for yet another awesome cookbook.
Annie loves the bread,  but of course Texas complained that it was to heavy.  Curse you, commercial bread companies and your chemically leavened foam bread.

I also made this today while baking the sandwich bread.  Super easy to assemble for a great lunch or snack.  Potato and pea stuffed flatbread.  It's in the book.
Best part of these books, no kneading the dough, at all.

Monday, May 16, 2011

The side yard mess

 Texas has been working like crazy on the right side of our house.  It was a mass of ivy and weeds.   He's also been tackling the mass of tree limbs and brush on the other side of the house.  By tomorrow morning both sides will be emptied of all random tree limbs, construction debris, and random screen doors we had piled up.  I bet my neighbors are really excited.  Or at least they will be until we pull the trailer into the back yard and start construction on the mobile chicken home.

 This was the only photo I could find of the side yard pre-cleanup.

 Texas, swinging on a vine.

The new cleaned up side yard.  There was a tree under all that ivy!

Sunday, May 15, 2011


Thank you God, for this amazing gift.  I would be lost without my sister and I am so happy that Annie now has a sister of her very own.   Yesterday Annie told me that Elsie and her are going to raise their kids together and be "best sister evers."

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Little bits of order in a giant mess

 I do love my husband, but he has this mindset of only doing something once.  Never a temporary fix.  Let me just fill you in on how this works in our current situation.  We have a house that is, lets say, in a state of disrepair.  The amount of repair needed far exceeds our current financial/time situation. Solution, don't touch anything.  Keep it clean, but wait till we have the time/money to do it right.  This is driving me nuts.  I'm totally fine with the band aid approach.  In fact, right now, I would love a few giant band aids to put in my house.  Especially in the kitchen where storage is lacking and disorder reigns king. 
Thankfully, Texas, finally succumbed to my constant pleading (or he found me with the power tools), and I now have a few kitchen band aids.  My spice cabinet is fixed and on the wall, which he see's as a giant ugly band aid (he does not share my love of rustic furniture).  Then we found a file cabinet in the basement to store the food processor and blender.   A few more random furniture pieces and the kitchen will soon be functional for the level of abuse it will lovingly receive. 

 I am a little obsessed with my spice cabinet.  I made it out of an old dry sink a long time ago.  It's perfect for lining up spice jars.   I love having all my jars where I can see them.  No longer crammed into a box on the floor of my kitchen.

The best dessert ever

Annie and I finally made it to our local farmers market this Wednesday.  She took her little coin purse with the money she's been saving. It was really fun watching her count out her coins, and make her purchasing decisions.  What she bought: a dog treat for Banjo, a tomato plant, and a quart of strawberries.  As soon as we got home Banjo was greeted with a treat, the tomato plant went in the ground and yes, the strawberries were devoured by Annie in record time. 
Later in the evening after we ate dinner and I was shoeing Annie up to bed she asks, "what about dessert?"  I didn't make dessert.  "I made dessert," was little miss Annie's reply and sure enough she walks back into the dining room holding a little plate with three of the tiniest strawberries I've ever seen.   So we get out dessert plates and forks, pray again (at Annie's request) and we each have our little dessert made by Annie. 

Friday, May 13, 2011

Baby Bubbles

 Blogger has been eating my posts lately.  I'm not sure why, but it's really making me mad.  What you missed (because blogger is evil) is:

 I made laundry detergent, and then Texas and Annie played in it.

 Annie built a new caterpillar home. The first one didn't go so well
(she woke up to five dead caterpillars).

 Elsie did the same thing she's always does.  
You gotta love the consistency with this one.

And I made Texas fix my spice cabinet and hang it up.  
It only took 5 days of me begging and 10 minutes of his time.

The girls need a new home

 Mabel and Whiskey

So this weekend we are planning to start building the girls a new home.  We are using the parts from the old house but reconfiguring things to fit on our new super ghetto-fabulous modified boat trailer.  Yes, we are those neighbors you hope to never have.   I sadly find myself constantly apologizing to my neighbors for the mess.  Our back yard is basically a heap of tree limbs, car parts and construction debris.  Lets not forget the chickens too. They add a touch of class to the place.  Sorry neighbors.

 The best Craigslist find of the year.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Todays Solution to Yesterdays Frustration

 Annie, Elsie and I all loaded into the car this morning and headed over to our old house.  No one is living there yet and I still had loads of plants left behind.   Elsie napped under a tree while Annie and I worked.

 We collected strawberries.
 Ann was vigorously searched for her Roley Poley family.

This is her last year visiting with them.

 I can't believe how much she's grown. 
(and yes she brought the Roley Poleys home with her).

Eating a few strawberries from our old garden,
made me remember why I hate store bought strawberries.
 We brought lots of them home.

I'm feeling mildly better today after digging in the dirt for a few hours this morning.  We brought home more strawberry crowns, mint, a few herbs that I found hidden in some weeds and a couple more Lillies of the Valley.   The best part is we were able to send my sister off with a bunch of plants for her yard.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

to much shade

I need to spend $40 on elderberry bushes right?  I must have another $15 blueberry bush to complete my set and I most definitely can't survive without my own rhubarb crowns.  I'm obviously having some major garden cravings.  I didn't start any seeds this year due to: getting married, buying a house, moving and having a baby all within the time span of about 9 months, so I'm feeling a little lost as far as gardening goes.  I need to be planting, but I find myself without anything to plant and a severe lack of funds to buy what I desire.   My backyard is big enough to grow all that I want to grow if it weren't for the lack of sun; making want to cut down all the perfectly healthy trees that didn't require emergency cutting to prevent smashed house syndrome.   This kind of frustration is dangerous with me.  It makes me rather impulsive and very edgy.  I can't sit still, but I'm completely unproductive with my time.  I look outside and see all that yard covered in shade and I can't stop thinking about the chainsaw just sitting there in the basement.   If it weren't for the fact that my husband would never leave a power tool out where I could get it again, I would be tempted to use it.

Old photos

 I was scrolling through my photos this morning and found some random photos.  Annie used to have the strangest habit of storing thing in the refrigerator and planting utensils.  She's gotten over both thankflly.  I'm happy to report that she now plants seeds instead of forks and her shoes are stored in neat little row in her room. 

Monday, May 9, 2011

A proud mommy moment

 Saturday night Annie had her dance recital.  It was so awesome.  I spent most the time trying to keep from crying I was so proud of her.    She went to class even when she didn't want to.  She got up on stage in from of 800 people, and she did try to dance a few steps.   The best part was that she sang along with all the songs.
Annie wanted everyone there to see her dance including our mailman.  I couldn't afford that many tickets, but I sure tried to buy as many as I could.  They sold out every seat in the auditorium.  The moms and volunteers that run this fundraiser really know what they're doing.  That was probably my favorite part of this dance class. All the money goes to the Brentwood school district and their teacher is such an amazing role model for the girls.  Non of the dances were provocative or inappropriate, the costumes were conservative and all the dances were about having fun.  

Annie admiring her wand.

My little lady bug.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

New obsession

Elsie cried all day while I washed the laundry, cooked the meals, transported the children,  went to the grocery store, finished transplanting the Hostas and Lillies, and worked on the boarder of the kitchen garden.  And yes, she cried the whole time.  My body is tense and I'm about to loose it.  To calm myself I'm going to blog about dinner.  I ran across this post the other day Broke Ass Grouch.  This post is for making one chicken last three days.  This is near impossible in this house due to the Texas size appetite of my husband.  But regardless I love the lack of instruction, the figure it out on your own guidelines and the complete lack of measurements.  Now I don't have a very big dutch oven so I used two small ones, but here goes:
 Put your chicken in the pot cut up or whole.  
Squeeze in some lemon.

 Add what ever herbs you have dried or fresh, and lots of garlic if you have it.

 cover 3/4 of the way up with milk.

Add some olive oil.
Cover and bake at 350 for an hour.

  After the first hour add some lentils, quinoa, or other quick grain.  If you use brown rice add it earlier than this.   I like to toss in carrots, include the tops (very high in Vitamin K and potassium) and potatoes if I have them.  I pull out the herbs before adding the next ingrediant (less to fish out later).
Now bake for another 30 minutes or so.  Done.  The best part?  My niece Ruby loved it and she is THE PICKIEST eater I know.   I haven't tried the squash step but when making your stock toss seaweed into the pot to add more vitamins and trace minerals. 

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