Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Total Wine

Have you heard of this place called Total Wine? Do you have one in your city? If not, I would strongly encourage you to write to your state Representative and try to get it passed that all states must have a Total Wine in their state.

This place is an alcoholics paradise. For real. A neighbor of ours told us about it a couple months ago and we have been meaning to check it out. On our Friday night date night hubs and I just happen to pass one at Desert Ridge Marketplace. If you live in Phoenix, you know where I am talking about. We went in and stood there in awe. This place is huge. It's like a Costco warehouse filled with wine. Okay maybe I am exaggerating a little, but still, it's huge. They also have your vodkas, whiskeys, rums, beers, etc. too, but man, the amount of wine they have is amazing. Now if you actually know something about wine and aren't like me who picks up a bottle because (a) the bottle looks really cool, (b) the price is cheap or (c) you think that is the kind you had a few years ago at a restaurant and have been trying to find it again ever since, then this is the place for you. They were even doing a wine sampling that night. For a penny you could try as much wine as you wanted. I am pretty sure the men next to us were there for a free happy hour. But there was only one small problem.

I can't drink.

I know, I know. Some doctors now say that you can enjoy a glass of wine every once-in-a-while while you are pregnant. I even know people that have enjoyed a few here and there and their kids are fine. But me, I am so paranoid that I would take one sip and my kid would come out looking like this:

There was even a time when I was pregnant with Kaiden that I ordered a Virgin Strawberry Daiquiri and only drank a few sips because I was convinced that the bartender spiked my drink.

So in the meantime, when hubs is mean and drinks right in front of me when he knows that all I want to do is relax and have a cocktail enjoys a nice cold beer or glass of wine I ask him if I can smell it. Yep, I have been reduced to "smelling" his beverages in hopes of catching a buzz. Meanwhile, I order something lame like a Sprite and cranberry in the hopes that I may trick myself into believing that it's got some alcohol in it.

So go check it out. You won't be sorry. And if you have any mocktail recipes for ole preggo over here, don't be afraid to share. Otherwise, I'll just smell your drink.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Tackle It Tuesday

Tackle It Tuesday Meme
I am feeling quite ambitious today. That might not last too long, but hey, I figured I better go with it before I run out of gusto. I slept in today and didn't go to the gym at 4:45am. That might have something to do with it. But, whatever the case, I got lots to do and today's my day!
  • Morning walk with Kaiden and Paco. Check!
  • Clean bathrooms. Master-Check! Powder room-in progress (I needed a break!)
  • Clean kitchen
  • Print and fill out application for social security card for Kaiden. Check!
  • Laundry
  • Make appointment to get my hair did. Check!
  • Vacuum
  • Dust
  • Look into dental insurance for Kaiden and fight with HR to find out why he was never added.
  • Nap

If all goes according to plan, and Kaiden manages to nap well for me today (I'm not too optimistic on that) then I may just get everything done that I need to. Well, that is if I can stay off the computer and stop blogging when I should be cleaning.

What are you tackling today?

Monday, October 27, 2008

Random Thoughts

I have had some random thoughts going on in my head today. Probably explains why I didn't sleep well last night. But I figured I get them off my chest for all of you to read.
  • PA teams are on fire! The Phillies are kicking some major boo-tay in the World Series, Penn State beat it's big time rival Ohio State and the Eagles actually won yesterday. Did I read that right?
  • I can't believe how many times the words, "No. Kaiden. We don't eat coasters" comes out of my mouth. Never in a million years would I have thought I would ever utter those words once let alone a couple times per day. Or "please don't eat the dog's food" or " no we don't feed the dog bananas," or "Mommy doesn't want you to eat her shirt, please." I am sure that is just the beginning and as he discovers crayons and paint and dirt that'll go in his mouth as well. I wish I could tape record myself. It probably is pretty funny to hear the things that I say on a daily basis. It's amazing what motherhood does to you.
  • Hubs and I enjoyed a date night on Friday night thanks to our dear friends that volunteered to watch Kaiden. What a concept to actually be able to eat at a leisurely pace while at a restaurant instead of just throwing food down your throat in an effort to hurry up and leave since you have a screaming kid! We realized that we need to make a better attempt to go on date nights. Hopefully at least once a month.
  • I am exhausted lately. I mean EX-HAUS-TED! Even after I take a nap. I feel pretty good for about an hour or so and then I am totally pooped again. So, nobody come to my house unannounced. I don't have the energy to clean very well, so it's not pretty.
  • Can you believe it is the 27th of October? It'll be Christmas in 58 days. But who's counting?
  • I am making Crockpot Tortellini Soup tonight for dinner. Have you tried it yet? It's super yummy and super easy. I wanted to make it yesterday, but when I went to the store to pick up the beans, I bought bananas, lunch meat, apples and pears. But forgot the beans. The whole reason I went to the store in the first place. There was no way I was going back to store for a second trip so I'll have to go pick them up today. Pregnancy brain has officially set in.
  • Kaiden has started to stand unassisted on his own. Sometimes only for a few seconds, but still. Oh boy. He'll be walking soon.
  • I started getting my free 2 year subscription to Parents magazine the other day. I read the October issue last night. I am not sure if they are still offering that deal, but if so, I highly recommend it. I learned some really great info. Like did you know that the American Pediatric Dental Association recommends that you should take your child to the dentist when their first tooth appears and no later than their first birthday? Who knew? I guess I better make that appointment for Kaiden. Pronto.
  • I hate unloading the dishwasher. Loathe it. I know it's silly cause it's one of the easiest jobs to do. Probably takes all of about 5 minutes, but I just hate it. It think I would file it under the same category as unpacking your suitcase from a trip. I hate that too. But I will tell you that I am extremely anal about loading the dishwasher. There is a right way and a wrong way to load it people, to maximize all the space but still get all your dishes clean. It's one of my pet peeves when it's not loaded "properly." The reason I mention it is because there is a clean dishwasher that needs to be unloaded right now. Ugh.

Okay. I think that is all that I have going on right now. I am off to take advantage of Kaiden's morning nap time and enjoy a nap myself. I'll unload the dishwasher later.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Stuffed Peppers

I had never eaten a stuffed pepper until this past February when I decided to make them for hubs on our anniversary. He loves stuffed peppers and I had always wanted to try them, so I found this recipe. I remembered I had it in my recipe collection on Wednesday and decided to pull it out again and give it another go. Super easy and pretty good, if I do say so myself. It's one of those, "can't mess this up no matter what you throw in there" type of recipes.

Ingredients:
  • 4 med bell peppers. Color doesn't matter, although I prefer the red ones.
  • 1 lb ground beef, browned over medium heat.
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2-1 cup rice, cooked
  • 1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
  • 1 T Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • Shredded cheddar cheese

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Place rice in a saucepan and cook according to directions.
  3. Cut off tops of peppers, remove membranes and boil for 3 minutes. Drain on paper towel.
  4. In a skillet, brown beef with onions (and I added chopped up the tops of the peppers and threw that in too).
  5. Place peppers hollowed sides facing up in a baking dish.
  6. In a bowl, mix the browned beef, cooked rice, can of tomato sauce Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, salt and pepper together. Spoon an equal amount of the mixture into each hollowed pepper. Sprinkle with cheddar cheese.
  7. Bake for 20-30 minutes until the peppers are tender, cheese is melted and slightly browned.
  8. Enjoy!

P.S. Hubs said that his mother used to throw in peas or corn into the meat mixture as well. I am sure you can get very creative!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Thankful Thursday



Thankful Thursday is a time each week for me to reflect back on all the blessings that I have been given. Today I am thankful for:
  • The blessing of another child.
  • Nausea. I know as demented as that sounds it gives me comfort to know that I am, indeed, still pregnant.
  • A husband that is loving regardless of my fluctuating hormones.
  • Naps. I don't know how I would function without them right now.

For more Thankful Thursday visit here.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

...and test #3. Because sometimes I need things "spelled out" to me!


For more Worldess Wednesday click here and here.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Tolmachoff Farms

I take it back. I take it all back.

In my Thankful Thursday post last week I said I was thankful for the weather. I guess I was trying to be a "glass is half full" type of gal and be optimistic about seeing the end of this hellish weather in sight. I was wrong. Cause this past weekend we decided to venture outside. In doing so, we melted into a pool of goo on the pavement in the 97 degree heat. I cursed Mother Nature the whole time. Even nice Christian girls reach their breaking point eventually. So sue me.

Anyways, we went to Tolmachoff Farms. It's a pick your own produce farm and during this season they have a Halloween theme. Corn maze, petting zoo, pumpkins, etc, etc. It was fun despite the hot sun beating down on us with no shade to get away from it and not even a slight breeze to cool us off. But we dealt with it and made the most of it. I probably won't venture out again until at least November. Just to be sure that this stupid summer is over. But I'm not bitter, can you tell?!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Thankful Thursday


Today is going to be a simple Thankful Thursday. Because today I am thankful for the weather. And if you live in Phoenix, you know what I am talking about. We have officially made it to the low 90's. And we are even forecasted to get into the 80's by next week.

Can I get an Amen?!

In the recent weeks we have been fluctuating between high 90's and even a weekend of the mid 80's. That was a fluke, though, and it shot right back up again into the 90's. But I think it is now safe to say that we are finally getting into the Fall around these parts and can look forward to some bearable temps. I have even been able to enjoy our morning walks once again with Kaiden and our dog, Paco.

This really is my favorite time of year. And even though we don't really see the leaves change and fall to the ground like I remember from the Northeast, God's beauty still shines through here in Arizona.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Broken Record

Question: How many times must you repeat the word "No" before you officially consider yourself "sounding like a broken record?"

Is is 10? 100? 1000?

I think today I am already up to 100. I am feeling like I sound like a broken record. So, does that mean that I can actually start using that phrase? I am looking to you, old wise Mommies, because I am new at this game.

Seriously. I think I may just lose my mind. What does it take to get Kaiden to stop touching the TV, stereo equipment and glass on the fireplace? How many times must I say, "no" and remove him from the area before he "gets it?" And when he just laughs at me does that mean that he thinks it is a game?

I'm exhausted. I'm going to bed.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

My New Awards

Wow, y'all. I am truly honored to have received these two new awards. There are so many awesome women bloggers out there that I don't feel worthy of such praise. But, if you insist, I'll take 'em anyways. Mine, mine!

The first award is from Dorsey over at Searching for my Inner Skinny. She says all the things that I am thinking but don't have the nerve to say out loud. I love people like that. Tell it like it is, sista, tell it like it is.

With this award I am supposed to tell 6 things that make me happy. Only 6? Here is goes...

  1. Chocolate chip cookies. Right out of the oven. With a tall glass of cold milk. Come on, does it get any better than that?
  2. Snuggling. I have turned all of the boys in my house into snuggle bunnies. It's a rule that you must snuggle if you live in this house.
  3. Arizona sunsets. Ahhhh....God's true beauty right out my back door.
  4. A great dancing flick. Ain't nothin' better than seeing professional dancers cut a rug.
  5. My family, of course. This should probably be #1, but hey, I got chocolate on my mind.
  6. A great book. I love to end a long day laying in bed curled up with a good read.

My next award is from Tracy over at Seed Thoughts. She has a true heart for God and her words are inspiring. She has a little one the same age as my little guy so she gives me words of encouragement as we seem to go through the same scenarios at the same time. Thanks Tracy!


Now with both of these awards I am supposed to choose different people to pass them along to. I usually don't follow those rules. Which is weird for me, cause I sooo am a rule follower. Usually. I guess I never feel right just picking out a few people since I love so many blogs that I visit. If you read this whole post, consider yourself awarded....I heart you!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Sippy Cup Training

Reason 1286 why I was a better parent before I actually had a child: "I'll have my kid off a bottle by 12 months old. Come on, how hard can it be for them to get used to drink out of a sippy cup?"

Reality: My kid wants no part of a sippy cup and actually freaks out if I offer it to him instead of his bottle. He. Ain't. Havin'. It.

So we went to Kaiden's 12 month checkup last week and the doctor walked in just as I was sticking a bottle in his mouth. During our appointment as he was asking his typical developmental questions:

Doc: "Is he walking yet?
Me: "Just behind his push truck."
Doc: "Is he saying any words?"
Me: "Just MaMa and DaDa."
Doc: "Did you switch him to milk yet?"
Me: "I am in the process now of making the switch."
Doc: "Oh, and you really want to get him off a bottle by 15 months and have him drinking out of a cup."

Gasp.

Me: "Oh, okay. But I am having a little trouble getting him to take a sippy cup still." (Little trouble is an understatement.)
Doc: "Just keep offering it to him. He might even like it now since he will be drinking milk from it. Some kids like milk better."
Me: (Easy for him to say.) "I'll keep trying."

I walked out of there in a panic.

My mission (and I guess I have no choice but to accept it):
Get my kid to embrace the sippy cup within the next 3 months, and I'm so not sure how to get this done.

I actually bought his sippy cups when he was 6 months old and started to, infrequently, offer it to him. He never got the concept of sucking from it. But, I would remove the valve and actually just pour the water or juice in his mouth thinking if he knew what was in there he would then he would want to take it. Nope. I gradually started to offer it to him more and more during lunch and dinner and sometimes in between meals. But, he would rather play with it or use the spout as a teething toy and chew on it. Actually drink from it? No such luck.

This past week I decided to "up my game." Kaiden still takes a bottle when he first wakes up. Just about 4 oz. So, I have been putting half of the milk in the bottle and giving that to him first then trying to give him the other 2 oz in the sippy cup. He. Freaks. Out. I still offer it to him all through the day. Even still taking the valve out for the first few sips, which he will take willingly. But as soon as I put the valve back in, it becomes a toy.

So, the training continues. I may be down, but by golly, I'm not out. This Momma will win this fight once and for all.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Thankful Thursday: I Love My Hubby Because...



I have been tagged! Tracy over at Seed Thoughts tagged me, and this time I get to share five reasons why I love my hubby. I figured I would post this on Thankful Thursday since these are also reasons why I am so thankful to have hubs!
THE RULES:

Grab the graphic and insert with these rules, in your post.Give at least 5 reasons why you love your hubby. List more if you want. Tag 5 people (or more) to play along and link to their blogs in your post.Then visit those women’s blogs and leave them a comment on any of their posts.


I CHOOSE TO TAG:
-All Thankful Thursday participants. Come on, you know your husband rocks so join in!


5 REASONS I LOVE MY HUBBY:

  1. He is a hard working man. Seriously, I don't know how he does it. He gets up at 4:45am, leaves the house by 6am, battles the crazy Phoenix traffic on his 35-45 minute commute to the office, works all day (while sometimes getting yelled at by ignorant clients), battles the same traffic to get home and greets us with a smile. In his "off time" he researches stocks on the Internet, stays up-to-date with all the current events and reads mind boggling amounts of financial information, emails and magazines so to stay on top of the market. Phew. All so he can provide a wonderful home for his family and I can stay home and eat bon bons and blog all day take care of our son and home.

  2. He is funny. Actually, goofy is a better word. You probably wouldn't know it from outside, but if you were able to tape us on hidden camera, you would think we are a bunch of 6 year olds. I often ask him, "Where did you come from?"

  3. He loves his family. The thing that warms my heart the most is to watch him with our son. Whether it is reading to him or playing with him, he does it with so much love that it often brings tears to my eyes.

  4. He's really smart. Like really smart. I can pretty much ask him anything and he knows the answer.

  5. He puts up with me. And does it with a smile on his face. Despite my moodiness and irrational emotions and ADD tendencies, he still loves me. Even telling me often how lucky he is to have me. It's a good thing too, cause at this point, he doesn't have any other choice.

I love you honey!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Chicken Tortilla Soup

I have been feeling a little under the weather the past few days. Hence the fact that I have really been slacking on doing any posts this week. But truth is, when I feel so crappy, I don't have much to say that is worth while.

Anyways, feeling on the sick side made me think of this recipe for Chicken Tortilla Soup that I just LOVE. About a year ago, I was on a quest to find the perfect recipe that was quick and easy and I stumbled across this one. It seriously take all of about 5 minutes to prepare and is really, really good. So enjoy, whether you are sick or not!

Ingredients:
  • 1 (15 oz) can of whole kernel corn, drained
  • 2 (14.5 oz) cans of chicken broth
  • 1 (10 oz) can chunk chicken (I substitute shredded rotisserie chicken that I buy already done at the grocery store, cause canned chicken...yuck!)
  • 1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (10oz) can diced tomato with green chili peppers, drained
  • 2T taco seasoning

Pour everything in a large sauce pan. Simmer over medium heat until chicken is heated through. Top with cheese, avocado, sour cream and tortilla chips.

Yum-O!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Makeover Monday

I need a makeover. Not me, silly, my blog. Well, actually, that is debateable. I could probably use a makeover too, I suspect, but that is definitely for another day.

I would like to get a whole custom blog done at some point, but hey, maybe I'll ask for that for my birthday or Christmas. So, for now, I would like to at least get a custom header done. Mine is so, well, booorrring! I don't have the slightest clue as to how to do this myself, plus I have no programs on my computer that would allow me to achieve this new look, so I am looking to you, my faithful readers, for some advice.

Who have you used that you would recommend to do a design for me, OR is there a way that I can do a pretty cool header by myself without being, ahem, computer savvy?

Of course, I would also be willing to let someone design something for me for *cough* free and I would post your name all over my blog for kudos.

I'm just sayin'.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Happy Birthday, Kaiden: Part 2

Kaiden's actual birthday was Thursday and ended up being slightly uneventful. Partly due to the fact that he didn't take a morning nap since we were out at our Mom's club meeting at church. Then, when we returned home, he decided he didn't want to take an afternoon nap either. After many unsuccessful attempts, I just quit even trying! Some days you just need to know when to throw in the towel! So our original plans of going out to dinner and getting ice cream were replaced with ordering in pizza and putting Kaiden to bed early. He was just so tired and cranky by the time 6 pm rolled around!

But despite the day not turning out like I had hoped, we did enjoy opening some presents with the little man and he enjoyed playing with his new toys before bed!

Here is Kaiden eating his birthday breakfast. Notice that it still gets all over him!

Kaiden opening his presents



Kaiden "forward facing" for the first time! Yay!


Happy Birthday little man!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Vacation

So hubs left us this morning (again) on a much deserved vacation. For a week. To Cabo. Without me. No, I'm not jealous. Ok, so that's a lie.

His friend is a Cabo freak. Seriously, he goes probably 8-10 times per year. No joke. Anyways, he has been bugging hubs to venture along with him one of these times for a "male bonding adventure." I don't know if men really have the ability to "bond," but hey, who am I to judge. So, they have been planning this vacation for the past 5 months or so. They are going to golf, fish and hopefully get some good relaxing beach time in.

I know hubs needs it. He works in the financial arena and with all this stock market craziness going on, he has been super stressed out. Clients calling constantly. Some nice, some not so nice. People have been losing a lot of money in this crazy market and some of them like to blame hubs. Like he has control over the market or something. People. Don't you wish they would all go away? I know, I know, "love thy neighbor."

So anyways, last night we were having a conversation that went something like this:

Me: "So are you excited to leave for your vacation tomorrow?"
Hubs: "Yeah. I feel bad leaving you, though."
Me: "You should." (smirk) "Are your clients going to miss you?"
Hubs: "Yeah. You know the last thing I should be doing is going on vacation right now with the market the way it is."
Me: "So what are you going to do then?"
Hubs: "Go on vacation."
Me: (laughing)

Don't you just love a man that has his priorities in line?!

Have fun, honey. You deserve it. And when you get home, if I survive this week without you, then I'll need a vacation too.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Thankful Thursday-Happy 1st Birthday, Kaiden!



Dear Kaiden,

It has been an amazing year and I can't believe how quickly it has all gone by! Bound and determined, a year ago, you made your way into this big, bad world. Leaving the comforts of my belly for the sterile surroundings of the incubator where you would spend the next six weeks growing bigger and stronger before we could bring you home. It was a stressful time for Daddy and I as we made our daily trips to the hospital to hold you and comfort you before we would have to come home. Without you. But for however brief those visits were, I somehow found comfort in knowing that you were in God's hands. That when we weren't there, He was looking over you and, in the end, it would all be okay.

I still remember that wonderful day that we finally got to bring you home from the hospital. We loaded you in your car seat and cautiously drove the freeways to our home. Your new home. When we got there, Daddy and I just looked at each other as if to say, "What do we do now?" Unfortunately, you didn't come with an instruction manual but we soon started to figured it all out, through trial and error and a whole lot of prayer.

Since then it has been an amazing roller coaster ride. We have enjoyed watching you grow, change and discover the world around you. I remember your first smile, your first laugh, the first time you slept through the night (cause I sure didn't!), the first time you rolled over, the first time you ate "real" food, the first time you crawled. I remember the first time you said "Mama." And even though you were looking at the dog when you said it, I knew that you really were saying it to me!

As you turn 1 today I find myself experiencing a mix of emotions. I have slight feelings of sadness. Sadness that a whole year has gone by in a blink of an eye, wishing that I could have just one of those days back. Happiness about the immense joy that you have brought me each and every day. And feelings of pure excitement as I look towards the future. Hopeful of the person that you will become through our guidance.

I thank God every day for giving you to me. For trusting me as your mother to help teach you and love you. I thank God for giving me a husband, and you a father, that will provide and protect you and teach you over the years what it means to be caring, compassionate, hard working and teach you how to be a leader of your family that you will someday have. I thank God for your health. Even though you had a rough start, you were a fighter and have been amazing us all along by your utter determination. I couldn't be any prouder to have you as my son.

I love you forever, I'll like you for always, as long as I'm living, my baby you'll be.

Happy 1st birthday, my precious baby boy!

Hugs, kisses and oogles of love,
Mommy


Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Feeling Fat

I feel fat today. Not too sure why.

Maybe it was the Spinach Artichoke Dip that I have left over from Kaiden's party that I ate Saturday. And Sunday. And Monday. Oh, yeah, and yesterday.

With chips.

Or maybe it was the cake and ice cream that I ate on Saturday. Then it called my name on Sunday and I answered.

Nah.

How 'bout the cookies?

Nope. I'm sure that wasn't it.

I know, it was probably the chocolate chips that I keep in the cupboard that I had a handful of the other day. Or two. Maybe three. Okay, four handfuls, but I'm sure that was all I had.

Hmmmm, I can't quite figure it out. I mean, I have been eating salads for dinner the past couple of nights. With a roll. Or two. And butter.

Like I said, I am feeling fat today. I am still not quite sure why.