Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Belated Merry Christmas

We've had a blast this holiday season. The 4 of us (hehehe I never would have thought there would be 4 of us by 2012) attended 3 Christmas dinners (one of which I made). We were blessed with so many gifts and such good food. Even though we had 3 turkey dinners, I am not sick of them. I can never be sick of turkey dinner.

I loved watching Sadie play with my cousins kids. My cousin has 2 little girls, Emily and Lilly. Emily is a month older than Sadie, and they just had a blast together. They would chase eachother down a dark hallway screaming and laughing and running back and forth. It was the cutest thing ever.

Sadie also got the hang of unwrapping presents. She is a master now. She even found one that I forgot to give away and she unwrapped it today.

So I'll have more to share later, but I thought I'd say hello.

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Saturday, December 24, 2011

Gingerbread house!

Sadie and her Aunties decorated a gingerbread house a couple days ago.
 Apparently those kits didnt come with enough candy for Aunty Beth's liking, so more was purchased.
 Copious amounts of candy was applied (and eaten)
 The roof could have collapsed. Maybe we should have read the directions or just not add that much candy.

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Friday, December 23, 2011

couch snoozer

My littlest child is not a sleeper. If he could be awake all day long, he would be. He has been. Its not pretty. I'm used to him taking a longish nap (like 2 hours) once a day. ONCE A DAY?!?! Really, is this how its going to be? Sadie took 2-3 2hr naps every day when she was tiny. She was a sleeping pro when it came to naps. Now, I'm reduced to hoping he has his one nap and is good.

I've cluster fed him before naps, I make sure hes kind of on schedule, but its still tough.

Today was different, and I think I know why. He hates our room.Our room is right above the garage like all the other blessed bedrooms in the house. This makes them unreasonably cold. I make sure to keep him all bundled and warm, but in there he only naps 2 hours and then thats it. Today he was getting way too tired (probably from lack of sleep during the days) and fell asleep at 10 am on the couch. He then slept for 3 HOURS! What???? The only difference was that I had him in my big fleece blanket and in his smaller one. So he was warm, and cozy and happy on the couch. It was awesome. Right now its 6:30pm, and hes sleeping on the couch again. Even with his sister running around making noise and building block towers as high as herself.

So my boy likes it warm. I dont really want him to nap on the couch all the time, cause then I can't sew things up with the noisy sewing machine, but I can do dishes, and cook and watch tv. So for now to get my sanity back, I think he'll be a couch sleeper, just for naps.

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Thursday, December 22, 2011

Hello new couch and chair!

This is only some of the furniture that I bought last weekend. Aren't they cool?

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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Keeping Warm {homemade marshmallows}

Last Christmas I was looking for ideas on new treats to make while watching the food network. Lo and Behold! Alton Brown was creating marshmallows on his Good Eats show. It looked so easy. Of course, last year I attempted to make them with a hand mixer -its possible, just not recommended cause you have to stand and mix for 15 minutes or so.

Here is the recipe that I used -

Alton Browns Marshmallows

  • 3 packages unflavored gelatin
  • 1 cup ice cold water, divided
  • 12 ounces granulated sugar, approximately 1 1/2 cups
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • Nonstick spray


Place the gelatin into the bowl of a stand mixer along with 1/2 cup of the water. Have the whisk attachment standing by.
In a small saucepan combine the remaining 1/2 cup water, granulated sugar, corn syrup and salt. Place over medium high heat, cover and allow to cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Uncover, clip a candy thermometer onto the side of the pan and continue to cook until the mixture reaches 240 degrees F, approximately 7 to 8 minutes. Once the mixture reaches this temperature, immediately remove from the heat.
Turn the mixer on low speed and, while running, slowly pour the sugar syrup down the side of the bowl into the gelatin mixture. Once you have added all of the syrup, increase the speed to high. Continue to whip until the mixture becomes very thick and is lukewarm, approximately 12 to 15 minutes. Add the vanilla during the last minute of whipping. While the mixture is whipping prepare the pans as follows.

For regular marshmallows:

Combine the confectioners' sugar and cornstarch in a small bowl. Lightly spray a 13 by 9-inch metal baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Add the sugar and cornstarch mixture and move around to completely coat the bottom and sides of the pan. Return the remaining mixture to the bowl for later use.
When ready, pour the mixture into the prepared pan, using a lightly oiled spatula for spreading evenly into the pan. Dust the top with enough of the remaining sugar and cornstarch mixture to lightly cover. Reserve the rest for later. Allow the marshmallows to sit uncovered for at least 4 hours and up to overnight.
Turn the marshmallows out onto a cutting board and cut into 1-inch squares using a pizza wheel dusted with the confectioners' sugar mixture. Once cut, lightly dust all sides of each marshmallow with the remaining mixture, using additional if necessary. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks.

For miniature marshmallows:

Combine the confectioners' sugar and cornstarch in a small bowl. Line 4 half sheet pans with parchment paper, spray the paper with nonstick cooking spray and dust with the confectioners' sugar mixture.
Scoop the mixture into a piping bag fitted with a 1/2-inch round piping tip. Pipe the mixture onto the prepared sheet pans lengthwise, leaving about 1-inch between each strip. Sprinkle the tops with enough of the remaining cornstarch and sugar mixture to lightly cover. Let the strips set for 4 hours or up to overnight.
Cut into 1/2 inch pieces using a pizza wheel or scissors dusted with the confectioners' sugar mixture. Once cut, lightly dust all sides of each marshmallow with the remaining sugar mixture and store in an airtight container for up to a week.

The stand mixer made things so easy. I set a timer, turned it on and walked away until the marshmallows were ready! Totally my kind of treats. Now they are ready for Christmas presents. Enjoy!

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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

sneak peek

There are some new additions to my house, and you will all see them soon. Here is a peek at what I bought.

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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

i turned into my dad today

Yesterday we attempted a Christmas photoshoot. It started out ok, but turned bad. Within minutes, it was me vs the childrens, and I lost (it). I had a great idea, it took half an hour to get the lights fixed, hung up,and get Sadie dressed. I sat my girl down and was about to take a photo when she saw a yellow teddy bear. She would not smile until I got it for her. This light yellow easter coloured bear was not going to be in my photos. I threw it out of sight. Well! that just did it for her. The whining started, so I tried making faces, noises anything to get the kid distracted. Nope, she was determined, as determined as I was that the bear was not going to be there. So then the wailing happened. Im still trying to get her to smile, and then I lost it and out came the sentence that I had heard before "JUST STOP CRYING!!!!" "STOP CRYING AND SMILE" Yep, I went there. It did no good, she just cried the entire time, even after getting that stupid bear back.

When we were younger, my dad would take pictures of us (whether we wanted to or not). He would get things all set up and we were to smile. No silly faces, no wasting film, and so if one of us didnt want to (like Mikaela) we would be told these words. She would cry between takes, but smile for the picture. There were family photos done of us where Mik in particular didnt want to be there but in a lot of the photos she was smiling with red puffy eyes.

So I went there and it didnt work. I took down the lights, I had to laugh and think back to some of our family photos.

Over the years we just accepted having photos taken of us. Having a photographer for a father just does that.

She'll have to get used to me...

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Friday, December 09, 2011

Christmas present for Sadie


I made her a bunny. Its my first attempt at sewing a stuffed animal as you can probably tell... One leg is fatter than the other and its not that hard of a pattern, but I finished it last night after Sadie went to bed. I am making a blanket for bunny and maybe a skirt and bow. Bunny is nice and soft, made out of fleece and flannel.  I hope she likes it.

I plan on making Lucas a blue and green bunny just as soon as I hit up fabricland for blue fleece.

So far its been a very homemade Christmas. I've only bought Sadie one present from the store (cause every kid should play with megablocks) and I think I'll keep it that way. I've got a few more ideas on things to make them for Christmas, and then I've gotta finish presents for everyone else. I figure if the kids sleep for a solid 2 hours a day, I can get them all done in time. Wish me luck!

Are any of you making Christmas presents this year? What are you making?

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Thursday, December 08, 2011

Keeping Warm {pocket warmers}

So its been getting colder out. Lots colder. Apparently its expected that this winter is going to be a bad one. Well, I've got a few tricks to combat that coldness. Right now as I type my hands are super cold. Once I'm finished this post, I'm going to nuke my pocket warmers and get my hands warm again.

These little babies are wonderful. They are like beanbags essentially (only I fill mine with rice), only you microwave them for 45 seconds or so and they warm you right up. I keep them in my jacket pockets or tuck them by my feet at night.

To make them you will need the following:

Sewing machine
Fleece or felt material

Cut out your shape from your material. I like the hearts, so I made a not so perfect heart and pinned it all together. 

Note: The pin that's circled is just a reminder pin for me not to sew the thing closed without putting the rice inside.

Sew almost all the way around the heart leaving a small opening for your rice. You can see I'm not perfect in turning corners yet, but I'm trying. 

Add your rice. Now dont fill it too full, you need to sew this bad boy closed yet.

What I did here was smush all the rice away from the opening and pin it away so it wouldn't get in the way of sewing it closed. You don't want to break a needle on a stray piece of rice. Sew up the hole carefully.

Now you're done! I hope this helps you keep warm this winter. Check back soon, I'll have a few other Keeping Warm posts to do.

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Tuesday, December 06, 2011

angry boy

Its been quite the challenge to find any time to myself lately. This week has been rough. It seems that Lucas only wants to sleep in half hour increments, and when hes awake, he wants all my attention. Heaven forbid anyone else hold him. Getting him to sleep is also hard. Very hard. I bounce, rock, walk, everything. We've been slow dancing with him lately to get him to calm down.

Yesterday evening we were dancing and Lucas was still screaming. He screamed himself tired and fell asleep. He started out being a good sleeper, and then things regressed so terribly. I know that you're not supposed to get them in the habbit of rocking or bouncing or whatever, but when all you want for them to do is sleep and not wake the other child in the room next door, you'll do anything. I'm frustrated, I'm so tired, and my house is looking pretty gross.

Yesterday I promised Beth I'd help her organize the garage, and I had to keep Lucas in the moby wrap the entire time. Some help I was! Couldn't lift any boxes, and couldnt bend over. Ever time he'd fall asleep, I'd take him out and tuck him in, and he'd wake up and cry. Eventually he did sleep on his own, but not for very long.

I hope he gets out of this funk soon. I'd like to clean this place and take a nap. Its particularily frustrating when Lucas will not have anyone else hold him.

I snuck out of the house last night while they were both sleeping so I could get a couple things from the store. I arrived home 10 minutes later to find a screaming Lucas gnawing on Tony's finger. He wont sit with anyone for longer than a few minutes before he freaks out. Hes doing the "You're not my mom!!!" thing already it seems.

Maybe hes teething, maybe hes just not getting enough to eat. I guess I'll be trying to feed him a bunch more and check his mouth when hes got it all wide open whilst yelling at me. In the meantime, any tips on fixing this as well as praying for my sanity are welcome :)

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Friday, December 02, 2011

Christmas DIY --- Advent Calendar

 Its a little late to start it, but its such a nice thing to have. I much prefer this to any cardboard calendar with cheapie chocolates. This year I used random scraps of stuff I had lying around to make this.
6 sheets of different coloured felt
Piece of material 20x30 inches
Sewing machine
Glue gun
3M removable hooks to hang it from
24 little things for the pockets

 So I found an old flannel christmas sheet that was too small for our bed. I hacked cut it up and hemmed around the edges. Then I grabbed my felt and I was bad and eyeballed how big I needed the squares. Personally, I like that they aren't perfectly all the same.The average square is 3.5 inches and I left about half an inch inbetween them.

I pinned them up and got to sewing. Nothing fancy, but they will hold nicely.

 I'm just learning to sew, so the numbers intimidated me. I was too afraid to sew them on. I'll just say that I tried it out, and it looked like I closed my eyes and went full speed. I opted for my trusty glue gun.
We started a day late, but this means that we got 2 treats this morning instead of one. Sadie likes it so far.

Its kind of a girly calendar,  but that just means that I could make Lucas his own next year. I got Sadie a little people race car for the 24th, but its just a little too big to fit, so I am gonna stuff it in there on the 23rd.

What kinds of things have you been making for Christmas?

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