it’s a mom’s life…

so, hubby’s big 3-0 bday is tomorrow. i had the fabulous idea to go out this morning with a 21 month old & a 2 month old to “get daddy a birthday balloon!” “yeah, ok.” that’s what my almost 2 yr. old says to everything appealing & she especially loves balloons. she cracks me up. as i type she’s actually sitting next to me coddling her sippy cup, “i hold you.” haha she’s a trip. guess nurturing comes before eating her chicken nuggets…

anyway, got said kiddos in the car…drove 15 mins, passing lots of backed-up traffic, to the party supply store that mysteriously closed down who knows when…on to plan b. the other supply store is now 30 mins in the OPPOSITE direction & i can’t throw in the towel b/c ava will ask about daddy’s balloon for the rest of the day. lovely.

break out the garmin. thank you, Lord for that little invention, (since i still have a “dumb” phone). find an alternative route to avoid that traffic jam i passed on the way…drive 20 more mins to the other store…spend waaaay too much on supplies, but rationalize it b/c my 2 yr old picked out a $6 balloon amoungst a truckload of other fun things, & what kind of a mom would i be if i didn’t get the stuff she picked out for daddy’s big day?! ok…leave the store w/2 kids in tow…forgot the double stroller btw…thankfully, i had the single & a free arm…

get the gang in the car…fight w/the ridiculously over-priced, but totally necessary balloons that wanted to follow the breeze out of the car…stinkers were persistent, but i won…buckle everyone in…baby cries…15 mins past feeding time & out of gas…adding to plan b…or would it be plan c now?

pull into nearest gas station….80 cents off! woo hoo! makes up for the ridiculously over-priced but necessary balloons…pump gas…overflow the tank all over my right foot trying to hit an even 50 bucks…baby now screaming…

find an inconspicuous parking spot…climb into the backseat w/the girls (my car has no middle seat mind you)…nurse screaming infant on a 10-inch-wide plastic hump while keeping the older one happy by discussing french fries…she really enjoys french fries…put baby back…hit up a drive thru to acquire promised french fries & chicken nuggets…forgo plans to grocery shop b/c it’s now past naptime…arrive home…eat fries…abandon chicken nuggets to nuture the sippy cup as mentioned above…too late now for naptime, b/c we have a doc appt in 40 mins…reality of evening errands & impending tantrums thanks to no nap set in…tis a mom’s life & i love it…

a-ya-ya

haha

yes. i am crazy. the title says it all…

ok, i have SO much to do today i just realized, but i’m feeling like blogging – i have a whole 5 minutes maybe btw, so bear with me, i’m typing e’s on the end of everything & i’m wired from suppressed panic & strong coffee… 🙂

so here’s my to-do list today:

1 – take care of babies (2 are mine, 1 is my friend’s). that is first & foremost – burn the cookies, forget to eat, skip bathroom breaks…the kiddos are numero uno. check. they’re all sleeping & one just headed out w/nana for the day.

2 – ready maternity clothes for a friend who’s stopping by later today. check.

3 – finish baking incredibly awesome oatmeal cookies. check. my teeth hurt. (i’ll explain later. just whatever you do, refrain from adding fenugreek to your cookie dough. trust me.)

4 – catch up on e-mails. still undone. blogging just happened to happen first… 🙂

5 – clean kitchen. it’s early & it’s already a disaster from numbers 1 & 2. bottle prep, breakfast & baking is a recipe for a kitchen atomic bomb…

6 – take tylenol. stupid fenugreek. i know, stupid is not a nice word, but i don’t like it very much right now. the things a nursing mother will do for her milk production…geesh.

7 – make meatballs before said infants rise & need fed & snuggled. (or at least try to have the ingredients ready for afternoon nap time.)

8 – laundry. nuff said.

(clipped to polyvore.com)

HAHA – did you like that? i did, too. see? i’m wired today…

ok – so i’m coming down from my caffeine high, but i still can’t type or spell. this is quite frustrating. hopefully, i can write again later. i’ll tell you all about the cookies once the tylenol kicks in & i can stop thinking the word stupid & tell you how AMAZING these things taste!

6 – take the cat downstairs to her lair & shut the door. don’t worry, people, it’s like her own little condo down there. the only thing lacking is a hot tub, but she hates water, so i don’t feel bad… if she rubs all over my arm one more time as i poorly speed type, i’ll give her the shortcut over the banister. just jokin’ – she’d land on her feet though, right? 😉

ava & isla’s first family vacation top 10 memorable moments…

10 – changing isla’s massive diaper explosion in a vacant lot across the street from “clay’s beach house” of one tree hill…

9 – major public milk leakage in a 50’s style diner…oh the joys of being a nursing mother…

8 – making smore’s in the microwave with my mother & sister-in-law while the kiddos snoozed & the hubby was pier fishing…a mess that was never more worth it…

7 – watching the dolphins swim & play every morning & spotting a sting ray in the shallow surf…

6 – seeing the girls in their matching bathing suits that i bought before isla was born & realizing this day had finally arrived… *tear*

5 – family game night…my in-laws are hilarious…hubby’s pretty comical as well…”sounds like coast ricky” (clue given for “costa rica” in catch phrase. hmmm…) 🙂

4 – taking ava into the ocean & a wave hitting us in the face. thought she’d cry, but we laughed & licked our lips instead… 🙂

3 – saying good-bye to the beach & “jesus’ pool” in the moonlight while fireworks went off overhead. perfect ending…

2 – strolling along the shoreline looking for shells w/isla sleeping peacefully in my sling…about the only time she slept btw…

1 – watching ava & her chubby little legs run & play on the beach w/her daddy & cousins…
i miss that scene so much already…

i love my girls & i’m so thankful we could take them on vacation. i can’t wait until next time!

daily blessing…

thanks to a christian friend, i receive these “daily blessing” e-mails. today’s was especially good at ministering to me. i have, like everyone else, encountered some pretty major blows & disappointments over the past several months.

a particular family situation has left me especially down. i force myself daily not to think about it or tell myself i don’t care. as soon as i let reality strike though, it’s right back to that plethora of undesirable emotions…disappointment, sadness, disbelief, & most unfavorable…resentment & a truckload of bitterness.

i found this article on bitterness, b/c i think it’s at the root of the lack of forgiveness i feel at times & the hopelessness when i consider reconciliation as possible & it had some pretty good thing to say about finding victory over bitterness…

The Holy Spirit fills you & controls your life when you have no unconfessed sin in your life. You can trust the Holy Spirit to reveal sin to you when you commit it, or even before. When the Holy Spirit is in control, He produces His fruit (Gal. 5:12). the fruit of the Spirit does not include heaviness, bitterness, discouragement, disillusion, anguish, sadness, dejection, or loss of productivity. Consider these points:

* love is free from bitterness.

* joy pushes bitterness out.

* bitterness can not coexist with peace in the soul of the believer filled with the Holy spirit.

* long-suffering gives the ability to deal with bitterness & other troubles.

* gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, & temperance are fruits of righteousness, which is divine good. divine good takes the place of bitterness.

so, although my struggle is w/those emotions, i will be praying these points rather than battling those feelings. bitterness, resentment, sadness, unforgiveness, discouragement…
they will all fade away if i let the Holy Spirit take control over helping me develop the fruit of the Spirit in my life.

here is my “daily blessing” – hope you find it useful as well…

Dealing with Disappointment

Though the fig tree does not bud & there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails & the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen & no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior. The Sovereign LORD is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to tread on the heights. – Habakkuk 3:17-19

After preaching a sermon on disappointment, several men & women approached me with the same reaction: “I desperately needed to hear those words.” Countless people feel defeated & let down by disappointing situations. But our response can make all the difference. Frustrations can be either an opportunity for spiritual growth or a destructive blow.

A right response to disappointment begins with resisting the natural tendency toward bitterness. If someone else was involved in the situation, don’t be quick to judge his or her conduct. We can’t fully understand what is going on in others’ lives or what motivates them to act as they do. Our second step should be to ask the Lord, “How am I to respond?” God can guide us to a wise & righteous reaction because He has all the facts.

Third, follow His direction, even if it isn’t what you want to do. Oftentimes the Lord’s way contradicts our own desires & the advice of friends. However, His plan is the one that will bring about growth & result in our greatest good.

And finally, keep your focus on God & His higher purpose in your life. People are prone to dwell on their hurts & the harm that comes to them, which is what makes disappointment so destructive.

There is only one healthy method for dealing with letdown—pursue the Lord’s way & His will. Though human plans can be derailed, nothing alters God’s purpose. No matter how deep your hurt goes, He will shepherd you through setbacks & sorrows while growing your faith.

Charles Stanley

freezer fanatic

so i’m so much into this freezer stuff that i’m becoming a fanatic i think…

last night, after the bean went to bed, i cooked up ms. drummond’s enchiladas & bagged 4 cups of fresh blueberries (they were bogo @g.e. this past week, plus i had a $1 off coupon on blueberries from our cheerios purchase) to go along w/the 4 cups of chopped carrots & 3 bags of sliced bananas i finished the other morning. delightful.

this is a recipe you should try…i had a little left over – not enough to roll another full enchilada, so hubby & i sampled it – delicious! my sauce is a little reddish, b/c i went heavier on the paprika (hungarian influence has changed this girl’s taste buds forever…) & the mexican cheese blend i used included cheddar, so…orange vs. white it is!

white chicken enchiladas

so, anyway…i thought about my blueberries this morning & took a gander at pw’s site for something fantastic & came upon this recipe for blueberry crumb cake. aaahhhh…(imagine angels)

problem – taking so many blueberries from my stash kind of gave me a pang. i suppose it’s like when you hoard money, then have to fork out a big chunk & you have trouble letting go. i wouldn’t know how that feels 🙂 but i would imagine the it’s close. haha i need help. yes, i am becoming proud & attached to my freezer stash created mostly for the purpose of an easier time once isla debuts, but if she should continue to tarry, the blueberries won’t be the only stash to be depleted…

my only real challenge w/something like this is to make it completely ava-friendly, so i substituted our smart balance tub butter (made w/soy & olive oil) for real butter & soy milk for moo milk. now, the tub butter worked out fine for the batter, but as for the crumb topping…mine turned out more like a buttery 2nd layer, probably b/c it didn’t stay chilled as long as real butter. it looks gorgeous – i just covered it w/a healthy layer of sugar… 🙂 it tastes sooo good. ava & i are both sporting blue tongues this morning.

click the link below for the recipe. you won’t be sorry…

blueberry crumb cake

also, i stumbled upon pw’s link to “knock you naked brownies” this morning & just had to check the recipe out. i mean how can you not check out a recipe w/that title? crazy title… they are surprising similar to the “ooey-gooey peanut butter brownies” i posted a few days ago, so they must be equally amazing. i will have to test them out after next week’s grocery run…

knock you naked brownies

well, off to be mom & eat more cake w/my lovie. she keeps saying “mama, more cake.” haha i love it. at least it’s fresh blueberry cake! 🙂

ps…this is what she does to “help” me in the kitchen…this morning, her cheerios found a new home on the floor & in my stock pot…i love my little cupboard raider…

i must try this…

why do i not own cheesecloth?!? i must get some & i must try this…yummo!

are you addicted to iced coffee in the summertime as well? do you, like me, cringe at the thought of paying 5 bucks for the shrimpy cup they offer at starbucks, but get it, b/c you love it & haven’t splurged in months, only to finish it in 5 minutes & are left wishing your head could somehow fit inside the cup to lick the caramel off the bottom…after all, that caramel probably cost you a whole dollar!

yes – i am that addicted, which makes me that much more bitter at the cost & that much more eager to try this recipe out!

click on the link “perfect iced coffee” below… thank you, ree!

perfect iced coffee

anticipating the arrival of isla rae!

well, i went to the doctor’s this am for my 1st exam of this pregnancy expecting the “nothing’s going on” kind of feedback (which happened every exam w/ava, even up until the day of her birth), but instead i heard “you’re 2cm dilated.” what??!! yay!

but then it hit me when i came home that i am no where close to ready house-wise or nursery-wise & the reality sent me into overdrive & panic. i have accomplished a lot today though…laundry is complete, just needs put away. floors are swept. all of my hundreds of mini piles of papers & magazines that plague our dining room table have been sifted & sorted through. dishes are done. bags are packed. sheets are fresh. toilets…scrubbed. dinner is sitting out, ready for the grill & brownies are eaten. well, all but a small slice i left for baby’s daddy… 🙂

i think all i have left, besides the nursery is some ironing, dusting & charging the cameras.

i really want to take some time over the next few days though to soak in ava bean. although i’m excited to bring this new member of our family into the world, i’m just a little sad that my days of solely focusing & doting on my little angel are coming to an end. it was a very quick season of my life. i know this change is a wonderful one, but i’ll have to make a serious effort not to lose track of mommy & ava time in the shuffle. poor hubby has already taken a backseat… i need to work on that aspect of marriage & family.

i’ve noticed also that as the pregnancy is drawing to a close, i’m a little nervous about the delivery process again. ava’s was so fast! i dilated 6cm in just 30 minutes! so, the fact that i’m 2 already has me a little on edge. but, like everything else in this pregnancy – what if everything labor-related is totally different?!? will i recognize labor? will the contractions be the same? will it happen just as quickly?

plus, i couldn’t have an epidural w/ava – b/c of how quickly i progressed, so i’m opting for the good ‘ole naturale approach again. it’s what i know. i’m gonna stick w/what i know… but, that certainly makes it all the more nerve-wracking… ugh the pain i am in for again… pray for us!

i remember i barely said anything, but i did ask hubby for ice cubes over & over again, only to call him back to my side before he took 2 steps & i repeatedly apologized for not paying any attention to him – labor can make you weird! 🙂

i’m curious as to others’ experiences the 2nd go around…similar to the 1st time?

don’t leave me hanging – who knows how much time i have until i find out! 🙂

ooey-gooey goodness

so…my hubby & i will never look at brownies the same after last night…

i came upon this post a couple of weeks ago – perfect timing, right before grocery shopping day, so i picked up all the ingredients (& used a duncan hines coupon!), & boy am i glad i splurged! hubby thanked me at least 3 times last night for making these for him! (not typical ppl…)

ooey-gooey peanut butter-chocolate brownies…

not only is the name of this recipe right on – i don’t think you could come up with a better one if you tried! only downfall, besides the fact you too will oogle an ordinary brownie as blasé from this point on & you may get a belly ache from eating one for breakfast…your dentist will probably smack you up side the head for eating something so gooey & indulgent!

just force yourself to put down the 3rd piece (2 is always ok in my book!) & only make them every other week…good luck w/that by the way…i’ve already noticed that the only ingredient i’m lacking for round 2 is a half stick of butter!

ok – some adjustments i made, b/c i had to…

i only had 2/3 of the butter i needed, so i substituted the lacking amount w/veg oil…
also – no milk in the house, b/c we don’t buy it anymore, so i used soy milk…
lastly, i used the peanut butter/milk chocolate chips & they are fabulous!

all of the substitutions made for a delicious brownie!!! seriously.

last thing i want to say before letting you get to this link…
this brownie could be an incredible base for so many different variations…
not into peanut butter? consider adding all chocolate chips & graham cracker crumbs for a smores-like brownie….or nuts for a rocky roadish brownie…or caramel for something just wonderful…i’m telling you, you will NOT be disappointed!

let me know if you try something new & it’s a keeper! have fun licking the ooey-gooeyness off of your face!!!

http://www.ourbestbites.com/2011/06/ooey-gooey-peanut-butter-chocolate-brownies/

use the link above…