Monday, January 31, 2011

The Lisa/Jessica Project: Banana Marshmallow Dip

Recipe: Banana Marshmallow Dip
Purees: banana and butternut squash
Reaction: Yum!
I really loved this dip. Russ, not so much. I served it warm which was probably the issue with him. This was super simple to make, too! It was just butternut squash (she really seems to favor butternut squash, it's in way too many of her recipes), banana and marshmallows. Throw it in the microwave (not literally!) and eat with fruit slices. I chose apple. I'm so glad that I made something that we actually like since the last few recipes have been downers.

The Lisa/Jessica Project: Quesadillas

Recipe: Quesadillas
Puree: butternut squash
Reaction: It was okay.
These quesadillas were just okay. The texture was not appetizing at all. The cheese did cover up the butternut squash taste pretty well, but not enough to our liking. CJ didn't like this at all and Russ and I only ate a few bites. I couldn't get over the texture. These did have navy beans in them and that may have thrown off the texture for me. I'm going to change things up and go on to desserts for the next few recipes. I feel like I haven't been having much luck with the dinners lately.

Sewing Lesson

While CJ and I were visiting my parents in Missouri (I know, these MO posts are getting old...last one, I promise), my Mom gave me a sewing lesson. I had already made an apron with my new sewing machine because I just couldn't wait! Well, my Mom set me strait on a few things and I learned how to sew properly. I did know most of it, but there were a few important things that I definitely needed to know.

I didn't finish the project we started. We just ran out of time so I brought it home to finish on my own. And I did it! Okay, it was only part of the hat that I had to finish, but I'm proud of this little project!
And, of course, I had to have CJ show off her little bloomers.
I love having projects to do...even though I sometimes have a hard time finishing them. It is therapeutic to me to work with my hands and make beautiful things. I finished cutting out another pattern today and am planning on pinning the pattern onto the fabric tomorrow. I hope I can do as well when my Mom isn't looking over my shoulder!


I've been in a funk for the last few weeks.

A funk that I never wanted to find myself in again.

And it stems from infertility.

Last year, along about November, I started finding real peace with the fact that Chloe Jo might be our only child. I started feeling like it would be okay if we weren't able to give her a sibling. Life would go on and it would be fine. I can't describe how unbelievably happy Chloe Jo makes me. We are so blessed to have her and everything else we have in this life.

Then I went to Missouri.

And I saw how Chloe Jo acted with her little cousin. Even though she didn't want Brianna to touch her or talk to her or even look in her general direction, she loved her. Chloe Jo was always concerned about little Brianna. If she got in trouble, Chloe Jo cried like she was the one that got in trouble. If she coughed, Chloe Jo would pat her on the back. If she spit up or drooled, Chloe Jo would wipe her mouth with her burp cloth. She loved Brianna so much.

And I started to feel like I wouldn't be okay anymore. I want another child so badly right now I can't hardly breathe. Chloe Jo would be an amazing big sister and I want to give her that opportunity.

I know God has a plan for me. I know that He will give me the peace and comfort I need right now if I look to Him and pray. And I have prayed so hard the last few weeks for that peace I had before going to Missouri. I need that peace back. Or I need to have another baby. If only it were that simple.

And to top it all off, Enfamil has sent me two samples of their formula in that last couple of weeks. Jerks.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Another book from the Imagination Library

I've wrote on here before about Dolly Parton's Imagination Library. This is a program that sends FREE books once a month to children from birth to 5 years old. I signed Chloe Jo up a few months ago. Our librarian had said that there was a waiting list so I didn't expect CJ to get anything for a while. To our surprise, we received a book in December and we received one today for January.
I can't stress enough how important I believe reading to your children is. Not to mention these are FREE books. It takes little effort to sign a child up for this program if you are able to do it online. I had to go to our local library to sign CJ up because our library wasn't accepting online applicants. Even if you have to go to the library, it still is completely worth it. As long as we live in this town, CJ will continue to receive a book each month until she turns 5.

If you have children under the age of 5, please look into this program!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

About a trash can...

One day, while in Missouri, my sis and I packed up our girls to go on a lunch date. I buckled Chloe Jo in and hopped in the driver's seat. Chelley and I were chatting along and I put the car in gear and let off the brake. The car starts going forward...right into Mom and Dad's trash can! Luckily, since I hadn't even hit the gas yet, I stopped the car and put it in reverse (Chelley will say that I slammed on the brakes in a panic, but that's not the point of this story). A little bit later, as we were driving down the road, out of the back seat came a sweet little voice:

"Twass can. Hit dat."

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

I Won't Let Go by Rascal Flatts

I heard this for the first time today. I love it.

You May Kiss the Groom...

Chloe Jo's cousin, Brianna, brought tons of toys to Missouri for them to play with together. Right now Chelley's...uh, Brianna's... favorite toys are Little People.

She brought this set with her.
How cute is that? The wedding cake plays the wedding march and the girls love it! I never want to hear the wedding march again...

I had no idea what the consequences of letting Chloe Jo play with this wedding set would be.

Exhibit A:
Yep, it's that bad. That is my precious *not yet* 2 year old kissing the groom. Did she want to kiss any other Little People? Nope. Just the groom. And Brianna brought at least 20 others to kiss...uh, play with. Chloe Jo didn't care. Every time she walked by the groom, she would pick him up and kiss him. At least it wasn't the bride...
Okay, so he is pretty cute...and charming...and look at that rock he's holding!...

Wash. Rinse. Repeat.
And yes, that is her room that she is kissing the groom in. After knowing how much she loved Little People, I went and bought her a few things...including her very own groom to kiss. Now she doesn't have to steal Brianna's groom...

Where did she learn to kiss the groom at, you ask? I have no idea. Seriously: none. We don't have any books with weddings in them. She doesn't watch much TV and nothing with a wedding in it that I can remember. We've never taken her to a wedding. It's a mystery.

We're going to have our hands full with this one.

The Lisa/Jessica Project: French Toast

Recipe: French Toast
Puree: Sweet potato
Reaction: Yummy!
I really enjoyed this recipe. It tastes just like conventional French toast. I also added a dusting of flax seed meal to give it a little more nutritional value. I couldn't taste the sweet potato puree, though. I think it would have been nice to be able to taste it a little more. One thing that I don't like about this cookbook is that the recipes that are cooked in a skillet all use 2 tablespoons of butter. I do not cook with butter in my skillet so I haven't followed the recipes to a T. Since my skillet is nonstick, then I don't think I need the butter. It may make things taste a little better (everything is better in butter, right) but it is unnecessary to me.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

The Lisa/Jessica Project: Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

Recipe: Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
Puree: Sweet Potato
Reaction: Blech!

This is another epic fail in my book. The recipe called for either sweet potato puree or butternut squash puree. I don't see this being any better with butternut squash. There was way too much sweet potato taste in these sandwiches. Chloe Jo tried a teeny tiny little bite and wouldn't eat any more. I ate a few bites and decided to go with soup instead. Russ got through half of his and couldn't eat any more. Also the consistency of the puree and cheese was nasty. This was completely unappetizing.

The Lisa/Jessica Project: Macaroni and Cheese 1

Recipe: Macaroni and Cheese 1
Puree: Butternut Squash
Reaction: Blech!

We hated this recipe! Butternut Squash does not belong in macaroni and cheese. In my book this was an epic fail! Chloe Jo took one bite and wouldn't eat any more. I took a few bites and decided that a peanut butter and jelly sandwich sounded better. My sister ate all of hers (she didn't think it was quite as bad as I did), but she said it got worse as she ate more. I will not be making this again. The sad part is that I love butternut squash and I love macaroni and cheese so I was excited to try this. It just didn't jive with me.

The Lisa/Jessica Project: Applesauce Muffins

Recipe: Applesauce Muffins
Purees: Carrot puree and Applesauce
Reaction: Yum! Yum!

I made these while I was in MO and they were such a hit that I ended up making them again. My sister especially loved these and she was the one who requested it again. Even our littleset critics loved these. They are more of a banana bread consistency instead of fluffy muffin consistency, but it worked for them. The best part is the strudel topping. I think the muffins would be a little bit bland without it. I did end up putting more cinnamon in the second batch and I thought they were even better. We couldn't hardly taste the carrot in them which I honestly thought was a good thing. I will make these again and again and even serve them to guests!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Catching Up

Chloe Jo and I are finally back from our 2 week stay with my parents in Missouri. It is really nice to be home, but I'm also suffering from a bout of blahdom. You know, when you get home and there are a million things that need to be done that you don't really want to do? Yeah - blahdom. I know that these super long posts are annoying to some, but I like to just get it done all at once.

The first thing that I want to address is the fact that Chloe Jo turned 21 months old on the 10th. She is currently measuring in at 33 inches putting her into the 50th percentile.
She is weighing in at 24 pounds putting her into the 25th percentile. She lost over a pound when she was sick at my parents house and that is why her chart looks so off. She just didn't have an appetite at all and didn't eat well for that week.
Chloe Jo's speech has really taken off this month. She is saying so many new words that it is impossible for me to keep up. While we were in Missouri I did learn that I just can't understand a lot of what she says. My sister can, though, and I realized that she is saying a lot more than I was giving her credit for. We are working on learning colors and shapes right now. I am trying to find educational things to do with a 2 year old and am having some trouble with it. Most of the stuff I find looks like it is for a child that is ready to start reading and writing. If you have any suggestions of things we could do to help learn colors and shapes feel free to leave me a comment! Chloe Jo loves to read so we do that a lot. She still loves Elmo. We have two Sesame Street videos for her to watch, though I don't love for her to watch a lot of TV so she doesn't get to see them very often. She is still doing awesome with her potty training. She doesn't have accidents hardly ever now (only 2 while we were in MO and one she couldn't help because she was sick and it was diarrhea). She also doesn't wake up with a wet pull-up from nap time. I don't think she has had a wet pull-up for several weeks, but I'm still not quite comfortable with letting her sleep in her panties. It's too much of a mess to clean up if she has an accident! We are making progress with night-time, but I'm not counting on taking her out of pull-ups during the night for another year or two. All in all, I think Chloe Jo is developing beautifully. She is so sweet and loves to give hugs and kisses even when we don't ask. Those spontaneous hugs and kisses make every bad day completely worth it.

Okay, moving on to our trip to MO! Chloe Jo and I got home Tuesday night. The trip home was, unfortunately, not as uneventful as the trip there. Our flight to Chicago (our connection) left Kansas City 20 minutes late. We had to run through the Chicago airport because the gate we came out of was in the A concourse and the gate we needed to be at was in the B concourse. After running and just making it on the plane, we sat on the tarmac for an hour before taking off. The pilot said they were waiting on bags. They were probably our bags (and one other passenger's that was on our Kansas City flight bags) since we came in late. After the bags finally were loaded, the plane had to be de-iced and that took a while. But, we made it home (an hour later than we were supposed to) and I finished unpacking our things yesterday.

Chloe Jo finally warmed up to Brianna enough for us to get this cute picture of them.
Chloe Jo just didn't know what to think of Brianna. Brianna is an in-your-face type of personality and Chloe Jo is a leave-me-alone type of personality. She doesn't want anyone touching her, talking to her, or looking at her unless she instigates it. Poor Brianna loved Chloe Jo so much and Chloe Jo didn't want much to do with her at first. After about a week she finally warmed up...just in time for Chelley (my sis) and Brianna to go home! Sigh. We're working on Chloe's little quirks.

We had so much fun with Grampy and G-Jo, though. They also had a blast playing with the girls. Although, Brianna taught Chloe Jo her bad habit of not liking G-Jo. Chloe Jo was great with G-Jo until Brianna came. Brianna, for some unknown reason, does not like G-Jo very much and cries whenever G-Jo has her. Chloe Jo learned that bad habit. I'm hoping it goes away when Grampy and G-Jo come out to South Carolina in March.
Here is my sister's family: Chris, Bri and Chelley. Chris was able to come for a weekend while I was there. Chris travels for his work some and he works in North Carolina from time to time. We have seen Chris twice since we moved out here and we are hoping Chelley and Bri will come out with him one of these days. We would love to show them all around our new home!
My sis is has an obsession with taking professional-like photos. She took our family photos last summer and I would have her take them again this year if we could get together. She does as good a job as a lot of professional photographers. We were going to take the girls to get professional pictures done together, but the sickness ruined those plans so Chelley and I ended up taking them ourselves.

We started with individual pictures. I love the way all of the individuals turned out. They are so cute! I'm going to have to find some frames for a few of these!
I seriously love that smile!
She is such a little sweetie!
Brianna is also a little sweetie!
She loves to clap for herself when we get excited over something she does.
Our girls are our precious blessings.

We did a wardrobe change and moved on to the together pictures.
This is completely typical. Brianna wants to touch Chloe Jo so Chloe Jo bails. HA! I'm really glad I didn't waste my money having professional pictures done because once Chloe Jo realized Brianna was going to sit by her, she was completely uncooperative. I hope she grows out of that if we are ever able to give here a sibling...of course that is a bit doubtful at this time.

They did decide to be nice to each other when we gave them this little tea set to play with. I don't usually like props in pictures, but I really do like these. I love the outfits with the tea party theme. Too cute!
After we finished with the girls' pictures, my sis wanted to do one of just us. This involved using the self-timer and we had to try several times to get a good one. I do love how it turned out. Well, except for my hair. I didn't realize I was going to have my picture taken so I had let it air dry after my shower and didn't do anything with it. Oh well.
Then we had to take one of us with our girls. This was the best we could do after several tries. It isn't bad for having 2 littles in it.
My sis was loving playing the photographer so she had to get one of just Chloe Jo and I. Turned out pretty cute!
And then I had to take one of Brianna and Chelley. I love this one.
I realize this was a way long post, but we had so much fun in MO and especially doing pictures with the girls that I wanted to document it.

When we went to Bible class Wednesday evening, Chloe Jo didn't want to give hugs or talk to anyone. I hope she warms back up quickly. She is a quirky little thing.

That's it for now. I'm going to go watch some House and rest for a while. I'm going to try to get to the Lisa/Jessica Project posts that I haven't done tonight or it might be tomorrow.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Yummy Chocolate Mug Cake

This recipe was posted on one of the blogs I read and it turned out so yummy that I had to share! This is a great recipe for kids to help make.

Chocolate Mug Cake

4 Tbs flour
4 Tbs sugar (I made it with Splenda for my Dad who is diabetic and he liked it)
2 Tbs cocoa
1 egg
3 Tbs milk
3 Tbs oil
3 Tbs chocolate chips (we used semi-sweet)
a small splash of vanilla (I used 1/4 tsp)
1 large coffee mug

Spray mug with cooking spray.
Add dry ingredients to mug and mix well.
Add the egg and mix well. (You may have to help children with this step)
Pour in milk and oil and mix well.
Add chocolate chips and vanilla and mix again.
Put your mug in the microwave and cook for 3 minutes on high.
The cake will rise over the top of the mug, but it won't overflow (one of mine did, but not much).
Allow to cool for a few minutes and enjoy!