Saturday, October 29, 2011

Oh, The Things We Do

Like I have mentioned we are in full blown Princess Mode in our house.  So when it was suggested that Clover could indeed have a "Princess" pumpkin, you know she jumped on that as fast as she could.  She expressed that she wanted a Repunzel pumpkin.  Daddy/Flynn Rider got involved, googled and found a stencil from Disney Family Fun.  I have to admit that I am not talented when it comes to anything Halloween related.  Usually my Jack O Lantern gets two wonky eyes, a nose and a goofy mouth.  This year I felt that I could step it up a bit.  That and I wanted to give my darling princess her very own princess pumpkin.  About two minutes later I realized I had no idea what I was doing.  I guess it's good to step out of one's comfort zone every now and then.

I suggest that if you are going to attempt any pumpkin stenciling that you not chose a pumpkin that is 8 inches thick.  Okay it wasn't 8 inches thick, it was about four.  The small knife that came in the carving kit wasn't long enough to go through the pumpkin.  Several of the pieces I had to cut more than once.

Picking the stencil was the easiest part.  She already knew what she wanted before we even knew if we could do it.  Disney Family Fun has lot's of other stencils/templates to choose from here.  Use plain o printer paper because you will be poking lot's of little holes in it.

Notice the M*A*S*H shirt?  I was preforming pumpkin surgery!
Just call me Hawkeye!
Tape down your template and poke lots and lots of little holes to transfer your design onto the pumpkin.  The paper folded here and there because you are trying to put a rectangular piece of paper onto a round pumpkin.  I wasn't going for exact science so I made it work.

Poke, poke, cut, cut, saw, saw, comment on how the knife hasn't broken yet.  *Knife Breaks*  Then curse under you breath so the little one can't hear you.  Continue on with the little knife that won't go all the way through your massive gigantic pumpkin.  *Little Knife Breaks*.  This is the part where you resist the urge to bash your forehead on the table.  Laugh it off and move on.  

Oh the things we do for our children!  It was fun stepping out of my zone but for the next pumpkins I'm going simple!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Little Bits

Little insecurities have been making their way through lately.  I'm not even sure where they are coming from but it seems like bits here and there are coming off my outer suit of armor.  Most of the time I have a pretty good self confidence level going.  So I'm not sure why I am letting little things get to me.

I've been concerned with how people perceive me.  What image am I putting out in the world?  Is that a true reflection of who I am?  I find myself concerned if so and so likes me or not.  I find myself thinking about friendships of the past and wondering what I could or should have done differently.  Right now I have more questions than answers.

The only positive spin I can put on it is that perhaps it's a system of checks and balances to help keep me grounded.  Every now and then I stop and self reflect if only to help stop me from keeping my head in the clouds.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Phases of the Princess

There are a lot of things on the "I'm never going to do that when I'm a parent" list.  Right up there with the binky and the kid in my bed thing was anything related to Princesses.  I remember when I was pregnant and we found out we were having a girl, I did my best to avoid anything related to pink.  Even when we did her nursery we avoided the pink walls and went with a Care Bear theme.  Okay I will admit that the Care Bear theme was more for me than it was for her.

If you haven't figured it out yet, my poor Clover does not have a girly girl as a mom.  I've been making more of an effort.  I do my nails now and sometimes sport pink.  I am making baby steps.

I wondered if she would make her way towards the pink princess girly girl light.  Every time she was given a choice she would choose whatever the opposite was.  She was stuck on Toy Story for awhile.  It was one of the first movies she actually sat all the way through.  When we took her to see Tangled, she hardly seemed interested.

It's so funny how in the beginning the Princess thing was the last thing I wanted but now that she's three and half, I was wondering if we had skipped that phase.  I was a little sad.

Then like a roar of thunder we entered the Princess phase, booming.

Every day we dress up.  Mostly Clover, but I have been known to sport a crown every now and then.   Even right now I had to take a break to paint some very tiny, very wiggly fingernails.

It seems as if every hour we are playing a new "pretending" game.  If she is Repunzel then Daddy is the dashing Flynn Ryder and I am "Mudder" or Mother.  Yay, Daddy gets to play the good guy and I get to play the witch who dies from rapid aging while falling out of window.  However when she is Alice, I get to be the beautiful White Queen.  WQ is a little spacey but at least I am a good guy in this game.  In the last week I have been Tiana, Arista, Cinderella, Ursula, Mother, and the White Queen.

I've been surrounded by tule, crowns, costumes, pink, purple and everything in-between.  She grabs the detangler and the brush at any chance she gets so she can do my hair.  It's a phase that I never thought I wanted and somewhat dreaded but now that I am in the middle of it, I wouldn't have it any other way.  I know there is a balance because this is the same girl who isn't afraid to get dirty and still manages to paint her entire body when she paints.  If there is a mud puddle you can guarantee she is in the middle of it.  After she is showered and fresh the first thing she wants to do is dress up again.

She had declared that she wants make-up for Christmas.  I'm not sure if I am ready to make that leap yet so we might wait til next Christmas or maybe put that off another ten.  I'm not sure how long this phase will last but for now we seem pretty comfortable in the Princess phase so I will just sit back and enjoy it.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Focusing on the Highlights

This week started out well...and, then...uhm...yeah.  It was a long and stressful week.  But I am choosing not to focus on that.  Everything will get worked out and we will continue on, so I am focusing on the positives of this week.

Happy Meal buckets are back!

Yes, this is a positive.  During all of the chaos I stopped by McDees and got Clover a Happy Meal bucket. And yes, I bought one for myself.  The one on the right with the band-aid mouth is Clover's.  She didn't really understand why Mommy was so excited about a bucket.  It's one of those things from my childhood that I get to share with my daughter.  Halloween was one of the rare times we got to go to McDonalds when I was a kid.  We went for ice cream when we got shots and we went for Halloween to get Happy Meal buckets.  So when I found out they were doing them I got a little excited.  Yeah, my friend looked at me confused too.  She wondered why her friend was getting excited about a bucket. 

Also this week, I became a Dance mom!  Lot's of excitement about going to class.  Especially since she was going with her "bestest little friend".  It took a few minutes for her to warm up and she totally made me sit by her for a few minutes so I joked that I joined dance class too.  They were so incredibly cute on the dance floor in front of the large mirror.  I have to give props to the teacher.  Talk about infinite patience.  The toe taps...oh..the toe taps were so adorable.  I will probably be sending out pictures to family soon.  I took video as well and I plan on cutting it all together.  I like to keep everyone in the loop and I'm not at all bragging (go ahead and insert eye roll here).  

I'm pretty excited that I took all the footage and pictures on my phone.  I will probably never carry another camera again.  I started to get a little bummed that the video was choppy but it just turned out that I was using the wrong program to view them in.  Good thing I have a nerdy Hubby to help me out with such things.  

I like to catch everything in a picture.  Time moves so fast that it's nice to have it all documented.  The only problem is that iPhoto is pushing 3 thousand pictures and it takes a while to load the poor program.  

Speaking of time.  I can't believe that it's almost November already.  October seemed to fly by.  Halloween is right around the corner.  Time to get some punkins and start carving!  That sounds like a fun activity to highlight my weekend.  

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Nyan Cat

Because you already know that I love a good internet meme!  I bring you Nyan Cat the scarf version.

Brought to you in all it's rainbowy goodness!  It's a mixed medium scarf.  The rainbow is crochet with lots of bright colors!  The pop tart is crochet with puff paint pink sprinkles.  The head, legs and tail are gray felt with puff paint and an acrylic paint/fabric medium combo.  The most surprising thing about this scarf was how quickly it all came together.  

If you have not experienced the awesomeness that is Nyan Cat you can educate yourself with this video.

I have a few in the que getting ready to finish up and send out :)

Monday, October 17, 2011

Let's Play Catch Up

Since the Summer was winding down I thought that our schedule would slow down as well.  Silly me.

This fall has turned out to be a blur of playdates, zoo adventures and little trips.  Not that I am complaining.  I enjoy it.  For some reason this all includes massive amounts of laundry.  I still feel as if I am not caught up.

I keep finding myself traveling on my Laundry Day.  A couple of weeks ago Hubby said he wanted an extra day to sleep in and some time to goof around on his computer.  Being the respectful wifey that I am, I gave him his free time by taking a quick trip to Disneyland.

Every Disneyland trip is memorable.  This last time we found ourselves there on a very busy Sunday.  I kept wondering why it was so busy.  It took me about half the day and several red shirts later to figure out that we had found ourselves there right in the middle of Gay Days.  Now, I have read a bunch of stuff trashing this event and a few people have sought out websites to complain.  To be entirely honest, we had a great time.  Everyone was very polite and friendly.  Not once did we see any lewd behavior.  I did see some questionable fashion choices.  Yes, dude in the skin tight leopard print jeans I am specifically talking to you.  Every time we go we see questionable fashion choices so I can't really blame it on Gay Days.  Had I not noticed the Gay Days T-shirt I probably wouldn't have put it together on my own.  I'm either that progressive or that self centered that I didn't notice and while I would love to claim that it was the first, it was more than likely the latter.  I need to look it up and see if they sell the T-shirt after the event because now I want one since I was there, even if I didn't realize it right away.  That and they were cute Tees.

We also found ourselves traveling withe the Hubs lately.  He had some training in San Jose and it was either go and spend some time in a hotel or sleep in my bed by myself.  Being the total baby that I am, I chose to go and sleep next to my husband.  It wasn't that bad of a gig.  A very nice lady comes in once a day and replaces my towels and makes my bed and vacuums.  It's kinda what I imagine heaven to be.  We were stuck with hotel tv but Clover and I managed to keep ourselves busy.  We went exploring and even found a day to hit up a mall.

On one of our exploring trips we found ourselves at Real Beauty in Milpitas on Calaveras St.  It's a beauty supply shop.  Lot of stuff in a small space.  I found myself chatting with a very nice lady that was super helpful.  I am alway amazed by people with great customer service.  I find myself amazed because good customer service no longer seems to be the norm.  Even though we don't live anywhere near Milpitas, if I find myself that way I would stop by again.  Faria "like Maria, but with an F"  was super helpful and so nice.  She didn't freak out that Clover wanted to touch everything, and understood that my little three year old was just as amazed as I was.  My eyes glossed over as I found myself in the polish isle.  So many pretty colors!  I left with several colors and some mini bottles.  Along with some automatic tweezers since I stared in the mirror and all I could focus on was the two fuzzy caterpillars above my eyes.  I will never go back to using regular plain o tweezers after discovering automatics.  

I would love to sit and catch up some more but my eye balls keep rolling back on their own so I think this is a good place to pause.

If they roll any further in the back of my head I will be able to see my brain.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Differing Opinions

Both conversations took place today...

Me:  Patience is a virtue.

Hubby:  Patience is YOUR virtue.  I am instant gratification, YOU are infinite patience.  That is why this marriage works.

Me:  Oh really?  Is that why?

Hubby:  Yes.  Yes it is.

Later that evening...

Hubby:  Your a hypocrite.

Me:  *blink*looks bewildered*blink*

Hubby:  You are a hypocrite

Me:  What?!?

Hubby:  You will watch CSI:New York before bed but you won't watch Transformers 3?!?  That makes you a hypocrite.

Me:  *Thought* Gary Sinise vs. Shia Lebouf?  Really? */end thought*

Me:  I never said I wasn't.

Hubby throws side eye.

Ahhh the joys of marriage.

Thursday, October 6, 2011


Poor September only had 8 blog entries.  Looking at that makes me kind of sad.  I've been hesitating lately.  I'm not exactly sure when this feeling started to form.  Lately I find myself second guessing everything I want to post.  Yes, some thoughts should probably stay up in my brain.  But some stories are funny and need to be shared.  Like the time I took twenty pairs of socks and spelled out I <3 U on my Hubby's desk in my very own passive aggressive "here are your darn socks" note.  Then again, some thoughts are interesting and I wonder if I am the only one wondering why there are so many characters under Disney named Max?  So why am I not posting these thoughts?  

Maybe it's the weather, or the Moon?  The Moon gets blamed for a lot around here.  I think I had the "Do I really want to write about THAT?" question too many times in September.  Perhaps I was trying to be someone else.  One of the cool kids?  Maybe I didn't want to come off as the whiney chick who writes about whiney stuff?  Who knows.  I surely don't.   But I have been putting some thought into why I'm not writing as much anymore.

I am working on fixing this situation.  

Pass Me Another Slice

I got tapped to do some baking for a bake sale.  Of course I said yes.  How could I turn her down?  Baking lots of goodies?  Yes.   Which will be sold and profits will go towards helping out teen moms?  Double Yes.  Win all around.

So what did I make?

The first, I am calling an experimental recipe.  I have not tested it before but It was pretty easy to make and is totally yummy, not to mention totally sticky.  The smell in the house this morning was heavenly.  Fall mixed with popcorn mixed with caramel.

This recipe was from Make it and Love it.  I couldn't stop eating it.  Then I ate some more.  Then I stopped eating it long enough to pack it up.  Now that I am finally sitting down to write this I am seriously thinking about getting up and snagging a bag.  I will hold off a bit because I don't want my poor keyboard to get sticky since I am not done writing yet.

My fall back recipe that I use every year, multiple times a year is the good o Tollhouse recipe.  I didn't actually have the tollhouse bag since I use Guittard chocolate chips.  I have experimented in the past and I find that I love the quality of Guittard.  The milk chocolate chips are so good that I will eat them straight out of the bag.  I made triple chocolate chip cookies with the recipe.       

I set some goodies aside for the Hubs since he swears up and down that I never save him anything that I make.  But since it's all sitting nice and neat on the counter for him I can't help but think that maybe I want just one more cookie.  After all the taste testing I did today I didn't think it would be possible to want one more cookie...but they are tempting.    

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Little Slice of Fall

I was nostalgic as I peered into the pot.  I'm not exactly sure when I perfected my recipe.  I can not describe how great it smelled to have Chicken and Dumplings simmering on the stove and the smell of wet foliage floating in through the open window.  It was a little slice of Fall.

My mind wandered as I stirred the pot, I thought back to learning how to cook.  When I left my parents nest I had a basic set of skills.  We were a family of five and did the best with what we had.  I could pretty much whip up anything with hamburger in it.  I knew how to cut up and onion and make pasta.  I was a pro at cooking for five.  I had done it since I could remember.  Learning how to cook other things came slowly.

I first starting cooking things from a box.  Grocery stores now days are filled with easy to make meals that come nicely packaged in a box.  They also came with lots of preservatives and other things I can't seem to pronounce.  My first Chicken and Dumplings was from a box.  It came with a can of chicken stew and a pouch of baking mix that you add to it and bake.  It was tasty but as my skills improved so did my confidence.  Soon I became adventurous.  Thanks to the Hubby for always eating it or mostly eating it!

The last three dumplings.

   Today I made a short cut and used canned broth and poached the chicken breast.  If I have the time I use a whole chicken and make the stock but I didn't have a whole chicken and I was way to lazy to go to the grocery store.  Or leave the house in that matter.  So basically I used what I had.

I poached the chicken in three cans of chicken broth.  When the chicken was done I took it out and let it cool for shredding while I put the stock aside for later.  Then I sautéed some onion, celery, carrots, and a clove of garlic.  When they got soft I added the chicken stock back along with a pinch of oregano, thyme and a bay leaf.  I shredded the chicken and added that back in.  Then let that simmer for about twenty minutes while made the dumpling mix.  Most of the time I use Bisquick, since I was out of that I used this substitution recipe from Erika Jurney except I used butter instead of Crisco.  I also added 1/2 a teaspoon of garlic powered and a teaspoon of poultry seasoning.  After I made the dumpling mix I used the dumpling recipe from the back of the box, or the website if you don't actually have the box.  I scooped them out with a mini disher or other wise known as mini ice cream scoop.  The instructions say 10 minutes with the lid on and off but I usually find that 8 works well for me.  Probably since I use the mini scoop.

It didn't occur to me to take a picture of the bowl while it was full.
I was to busy stuffing myself to think about that.  

I am a floater kind of a person.  Not that I mean to offend anyone but if you are a fan of sinkers then you are just a fan of Chicken Noodle Soup.