Tuesday, August 31, 2010


Along with "Raccoon Tales", I am starting another new series on my blog called "Stuck."  Big baby T is always getting stuck in the most random places.  He is just a baby in an over sized body that he doesn't quite know how to maneuver.  The poor child has also inherited my clumsiness, and my lack of agility.  When I decided to document this strange phenomenon, within two days I had five different instances of Teddy getting stuck.
The cozy coupe

Getting on the tricycle backwards.

The bunk bed ladder and the top bed.

He got his foot stuck while trying to climb out of his high chair.
My personal favorite, getting his thumb stuck in a hole in the door.

Don't worry Teddy was never hurt in any of these photos.  
I bet you can guess there will plenty more "Stuck" posts to come.

Monday, August 30, 2010

I Heart Faces- Photojournalism

The theme on I heart faces is 
Here is the story of a boy and the annihilation of his corn on the cob.

Posted by Picasa
Love that baby crocodile!!
Click the button above to to see other great entries at I Heart Faces.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Golden Beer Bread

This is one of the best bread recipes I have ever made.  
It was nutty, sweet, and chewy.  Perfect for a jam and cheese sandwich.  
I got it from a healthy living blog I read, click here to check it out.

Here is the recipe:
  • 3 cups bread flour
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 tbsp wheat gluten
  • 1 12 oz beer at room temperature (I used Budweiser because that is what I had.  Use your favorite beer to get the flavor you want.)
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp rapid rise yeast
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • 1/2 cup toasted wheat germ
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds (optional)
  1. If your beer is not at room temp, pour it into a microwave safe dish and microwave for 45 seconds.
  2. Toast the wheat germ by tossing it in a skillet over medium high heat for about 1.5 minutes
  3. Combine all of your dry ingredients and whisk together.
  4. Add the honey and beer.  Mix for 3 minutes on level one speed, then another 3 minutes on level two speed.  Then knead the dough for another two minutes.  ( I mixed with my hand held beater with dough hooks for about two minutes, and then I kneaded the dough another two minutes.)  Here is the link to the actual recipe, READ IT.  He shared a great kneading technique for this bread.
  5. Shape dough into a ball.  In a warm spot cover and rise for two hours.  Fold over over after the first hour.
  6. Then shape into a loaf and placed in a greased loaf pan.  Rise again for another hour.
  7. Preheat the oven to 430 degrees at the 30 minute mark during your rise.
  8. Slash the top of your dough;
  9. Throw 1 oz of water into the oven to make some stream.
  10. Bake for about 30 minutes.
I LOVED this bread, and was very simple.  I should have baked it a little longer maybe 35 minutes in my oven.  Use your best judgement.  
Here is a fresh slice covered in butter.

 I couldn't resist...

Yoda is a Cat

One day Josh was flipping around on the TV and he came across one of the Star Wars movies.  Sonya spotted Yoda on the TV, and declared, "He is a cat.  Look at that cat."  That being said, Josh took Sonya to Pudd'nhead Books in Webster last weekend and let her pick out a new book.  
This was the only book she wanted.
   She absolutely loves this book, and has it pretty much memorized.  Phrases like, "B is for Boba Fett.  Boba Fett is a bounty hunter."   
I totally remember watching Star Wars when I was her age, and I loved it, and still do to this day.  So we decided to let Sonya watch the Star Wars: New Hope, not too scary.  I think she watched it every day this week for her rest time.  While she watches the movie she flips through her book, and looks for the characters she sees on the TV.
Here she is showing me Luke.
"L is for Luke.  Luke is a legendary Jedi."
Notice the outfit she is wearing below.  You may think it is just jammies with rain boots, but you are wrong.  This is the Sonya version of a Stormtrooper.  She came up with this look all by herself.  Now she has to wear it every time she watches Star Wars.

The best part of Sonya's calling Yoda a cat is the accent she uses when she says cat.  It comes out like, "caayat."  Imagine if you can, Little John as a three year old little girl because she also says "yaayah."
Mama, "Sonya do you want to watch Star Wars?"
Sonya, "Yaayah," while she wears her grill and swirls her pimp juice.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Monday Manifest on Saturday

I honor of Gap Inc.'s Give and Get Friends and Family Weekend, where you save 30% on your entire purchase, I am listing all of the Gap stores I worked at through out all my years with the company.

  1. Gap Women's at the Galleria 1998-2000
  2. GapBody at Plaza Frontenac 2000-2004
  3. GapKids at Plaza Frontenac Spring of 2004 - Fall of 2004
  4. Gap at Chesterfield 2004-2005
  5. GapKids at The Galleria Summer of 2006 - Fall of 2006
Other random Gap stores where I helped out
  1. Gap at Crestwood Mall
  2. Gap at Mid Rivers Mall
  3. Gap Men's at the Galleria
  4. Gap in Champaign IL (store opening)
  5. Gap in Carbondale IL (store opening)
  6. GapBody on Michigan Ave in Chicago

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Pesto Chicken Pizza

We eat semi-homemade pizza at our at least once week.  For three reasons it is cheaper than delivery, it is an easy meatless meal because we usually just eat cheese (that is Josh's favorite kind), and I love pizza.  I buy a pizza dough ball from Trader Joes every time I go because they are so cheap, just a little over a dollar, and stick it in the freezer so I always have one on hand.  I also buy their mozzarella, and fresh pizza sauce.  Since the sauce is fresh I freeze that, too.  This week I decided to change things up.  I made homemade pesto and chicken pizza.  Making pesto is so easy, you probably have most of the ingredients on hand already.  
Here is the recipe:
  • 2 cups fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup walnuts or pine nuts
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp ground flaxseed (optional)    
  1. Toast your nuts in a skillet.  Then set aside to let cool.
  2. Combine all ingredients, except olive oil, in a blender or food processor and puree.
  3. Stream the olive oil in while you blend.  You may have to scrape down the sides to make sure it all gets blended.
I have actually have some step by step photos this time.
toasted walnuts
fresh basil
grated parmesan
minced garlic
kosher salt
ground flaxseed
chicken stock
When I measured this I thought I only needed 1/4 cup, but I took a second look at the recipe and it said 1/2 cup.  I had already taken the photo and dumped the chicken stock into the blender.  
So remember 1/2 cup chicken stock.
All the ingredients in the blender.  I thought they looked pretty all together.
then comes the olive oil
After I blended it all together, I thought it looked and tasted runny. 
 I looked around and thought about what I could add to thicken it up.  Then I saw the walnuts sitting to the side.  I forgot to add them in the first place.  Whoops, problem solved.
We had roasted chicken the other night for dinner and I had one breast leftover.  I shredded it and scattered on top of the pizza.  I also toasted some more walnuts and scattered those on top of the pizza, too.  Other great items you could add to this pizza are sun dried tomatoes, whole roasted garlic, red pepper flakes, caramelized onions, chile oil, or capers.  You could also dip it in pizza sauce. 
Here it is pre-cheese
post cheese
I like to sprinkle cornmeal on the pan when I make pizza for a little extra texture and flavor.  I also like to sprinkle a little paprika and Penzeys Sandwich Sprinkle on top of the cheese.  I like things salty.  I am my mother's daughter.
Here is the finished product
Whenever we eat homemade pizza I put raw veggies on the table and whatever fruit we have.
Here is my plate
Apple slices, yellow bell peppers, carrots, and pizza.  Don't let me deceive you, I definitely had more than one slice of pizza.
Oh, and how much do you love my new plate?  I got new plates for the kids in blue, hot pink, and orange with this confetti pattern.  
Sonya was just OK with this kind of pizza, but Teddy loved it of course.  I will make it again and have Sonya keep trying it.  
Simple and tasty dinner.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

More Paint

chalk paint equal parts:
tempera paint
have fun

Monday, August 23, 2010

The Waterslide

The other day when we were playing in the backyard with the hose, and I had a genius idea to make this
 A water slide out of our play set.  At first Sonya was scared to go down the slide because she knew it would be really fast.  
Teddy, of course hated it and wanted nothing to do with the slide.
Here he is yelling, "WHUZZAATT?!"  about the train going by, and grabbing his belly button, the favorite part of his body.
Sonya warmed up to the whole water slide idea by climbing onto the slide and jumping off the end into the pool. 
Sonya finally started going down the slide and loved it.  She would count herself down and then push off down the slide.

I think Teddy looks AMAZING in this photo, and notice the touching of the belly button.  
Pure perfection.
We played for a while in the morning, took a little break, had a swimsuit change, and came back out after lunch.  There was no fear this time around. 
 Sonya was an old pro.

We have a little inch deep baby pool that Sonya and I made into a boat she could ride down the slide.  I love her face going down the slide.  
Pure three year old JOY!!

I was so proud of my creation.  Josh was impressed with what I made, and my use of the bungee cord to rig the hose.  It seemed like such a "dad" thing to build, but I did it all by myself.  Sometimes as a mom I a afraid my kids won't think I am fun, just that daddy is fun.  I know this isn't true, but I am so easily distracted through out the day with worrying about what Sonya and Teddy are eating, are the rested, do they need a bath, do they have clean clothes, I am reading to them enough, the list goes on.  Just meeting all of the basic needs is exhausting, but Sunday I made a point to be a fun mom, and I was.


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