Monday, February 28

White Lasagna

I know, I know.

The "red" is better for you.  Yes, the red does have less calories, but butter isn't bad as we were led to believe.  And while I love the traditional red sauces, I have a thing for the white counterparts of the red classics.  Like my white enchiladas or white chili.  I just like the fun and different variations of the dishes we all know and love.

When I visited home last week, my Mom had started to make this for dinner but the Peanut was begging to go outside and play, so I shooshed my Mom and Peanut out the door and I took over in the White Lasagna preparation.   I would definitely make this one at home if seafood wasn't so expensive, as this is my kind of dish! 

White Lasagna

2 (14 oz.) cans plain artichoke hearts, drained and quartered
2 lbs. large shrimp, cooked and tails removed
1 Tbsp olive oil
8 oz. lasagna noodles
1 box frozen chopped spinach (thawed and squeezed completely dry of moisture,then crumbled to small pieces)
2 cups cheddar cheese (white cheddar is even better--you know, to make this "white")


1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup flour
1 tsp seasoning salt
1/8 tsp pepper (white if you have it)
1 1/4 cups whole milk
1/2 cup chicken stock
1/3 cup white wine


2 cups Ricotta cheese (cottage cheese works too, although Ricotta has a smoother texture)
2 eggs, slightly beaten
3/4 cups fresh, grated Parmesan cheese, divided

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Butter a 9 x 13 baking dish.  Cook lasagna noodles in boiling salted water with 1 tablespoon of oil until just shy of al dente.  Rinse in cold water and drain.

Sauce:  Melt butter over low heat.  Add onion and cook until tender.  Add in flour, salt, and pepper to make a roux.  Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture bubbles for about two minutes.  Whisking constantly, pour in milk, chicken stock and white wine.  Bring to a simmer, whisking until mixture thickens--about five minutes. Remove from heat and set aside to layer with other ingredients. 

Filling:  Mix together Ricotta (or cottage cheese) and egg and 1/2 cup of the Parmesan.  Combine with cream sauce.

Place 1/3 of lasagna noodles in bottom of the prepared baking dish.  Spread with 1/3 each of artichoke hearts, shrimp, spinach, cheddar cheese, and sauce.  Repeat twice and top with remaining  1/4 cup of Parmesan.

Now here's another trick when making any type of lasagna:  When layering your lasagna noodles, start the bottom layer of the noodles going one direction (usually the length of the dish), add your fillings/sauce, then with the next layer of noodles, alternate the direction of the noodles.  Continue alternating the direction of the noodles with each layer thereafter.  What this will do is provide a little more structure/sturdiness to the lasagna so when cutting into it (and when combined with the cooling tip as suggested below), you it won't just be a mess'o'lasagna.    

Bake for approximately 40 minutes or until the middle is heated through.   Let stand (covered in foil) 20-30 minutes prior to serving.  Makes 8 to 10 servings. 

This recipe is linked to:

Beauty and Bedlam's Tasty Tuesday
Blessed With Grace Tempt My Tummy Tuesday

Designs By Gollum Foodie Friday
Grocery Cart Challenge Recipe Swap

Hearth 'n Soul Recipe Swap  
Miz Helen's Country Cottage Full Plate Thursday 
Paisley Passions Fun With Food Friday  
We Are THAT Family's Works For Me Wednesday

Sunday, February 27

Menu Plan Monday

We have been having a wonderful time with Hubby's parents and tomorrow we say goodbye to them and then rush off to Hometown to tie up some loose ends with our rental house.  We found new renters (yay!) but we have to go and clean carpets (boo!) and get things all ready for the new renters moving in at the end of the week.  But at least we have been blessed to find new renters with very little time in between!  So for this abbreviated week, we will be having....

Sunday-Pizza with homemade crust and sauce, green salad with ranch dressing

Monday through Wednesday-In Hometown

Thursday-Tortellini Bake, green salad

Friday-Butternut Squash Soup (recipe to come!), green salad

Saturday-Birthday Dinner for Hubs to be determined

For other great menu plans, visit the Organizing Junkie

Saturday, February 26

Tried It & Loved It: Biscuits

Many moons ago if I ever got a hankering for biscuits, I would on occasion (gasp!), purchase the kind in the tube.  However, two and a half years ago, when a very frugal grocery budget was of utter importance, to save money, I started making my own biscuits at home after finding a recipe online*.  Then, during the last year, as whole foods have become more of a concern, I have altered this recipe just a tad in order to incorporate more whole foods.  These are wonderful--a complete indulgence when using all purpose flour and still wonderful even when incorporating a little more nutrient-rich whole wheat flour.  Either way, definitely worth the extra effort to make these at home.

I also love this recipe because it doesn't call for buttermilk--which I don't always have on hand.  I know you can make your own using milk and vinegar.  While I never hesitate to do this when making my homemade ranch dressing, for some reason I can't bring myself to use "fake" buttermilk when making "buttermilk" biscuits.

I know.

*I wish I could give credit where credit is do, but I wrote this recipe down on a slip of paper and I couldn't tell you the original source.  So if this is yours or you know who's it is, please tell me!

Buttermilk Biscuits ~ adapted from somewhere on the World Wide Web

2 cups flour (all purpose or a mix of both white whole wheat and all purpose, as pictured above)
3 tsp. aluminum free baking powder (if you use standard baking powder, use 4 tsp)
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp. sugar
1/3 cup butter, cubed in small pieces
3/4 ~ 1 cup milk (I start with a three quarters cup, but I usually add a bit more to get the dough to all come together)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

In a large bowl, mix together flour(s), baking powder, salt, and sugar.  Using two knives or a pastry cutter, cut butter into flour until mixture resembles course crumbs.  Add in milk and mix until dough just holds together.  On a floured surface, turn dough and kneed several times.  Flatten dough to a half of an inch thick and use biscuit cutter or a floured drinking glass to cut biscuits.  (I get eight biscuits.  Every. time.)  Bake on an ungreased cookie sheet for 10-12 minutes, or until biscuits are just starting to brown on top.  Serve with lots of butter and jam, if desired. 

This recipe is linked to:

Tuesday, February 22

Works For Me Wednesday-Turbo Tax

Do you pay an accountant or tax preparer to do your taxes?  Or do you save money and do them yourself?  I always used to do our taxes myself but then Hubby and I bought a house--so that meant no more filing short form.  And deducting the blessed mortgage interest?  Somebody help!  That's when someone I worked with told me about Turbo Tax.  It was like the heavens parted and showered me with tax preparation blessings!  This is the seventh year I have used it and I know for certain we will keep using it.

In fact, I called around last year because now that we have a rental property, I knew things were going to be a lot more complicated.  Turbo Tax walks you through all sorts of different scenarios/questions to make sure you are taking advantage of your write offs.  Now, some people worry about the accuracy, but I fully believe as long as you are completely honest in answering all the questions that are asked (did you move this year?  was your move more than xxx amount of miles? was your move for a job? how much was your mortgage interest? etc, etc.) you should have no reason to worry about being arrested for tax evasion. 

Plus, Turbo Tax keeps all your information year to year and compares your current year to the previous years and suggestions things like, you had donations last year, what were your donations for this year?   If you want you can print out all 70 pages of your taxes, or it allows you to download a nice little Adobe file on your computer--yes, they are green too!

Now, back to the cost.  Most accountants/tax preparers were going to charge anywhere from $150-$300 for doing our taxes with our rental/investment property and with Turbo Tax it would be around $50.00 + tax.  That right there is a savings.  But wait, there's more! 

This is the best part of the tip~

Most financial institutions partner with Turbo Tax and offer some sort of discount to their customers.  You can start your taxes just by going to BUT when you get ready to file, go to your financial institutions site and find their link for Turbo Tax and log on to Turbo Tax using your financial institutions link.  That will trigger the automatic discount you receive for being a customer with that institution.  We have several institutions (our main bank, our credit union, where our mortgage is held, etc.)--make sure to check out each of your institutions because the Turbo Tax discount will vary.  Our main bank offered a 20 % discount but one of our other banks offered nearly a 40 % discount--which of course is double the savings.  With the discounts we received, we paid just over $35 to get our taxes done.  Nice, huh?

Using Turbo Tax and getting discounts definitely Works for Me!

***This post is in no way affiliated with Turbo Tax.  They have never heard of my blog, nor do they care.  I just think it's a great tool and want to share it with the world.***  

Monday, February 21

Asian Meatballs with Sesame Rice

My last issue of Taste of Home came a couple of weeks ago--I love getting those little surprises in the mail and I am so sad that it is over!  This little gem of a recipe was in one of the issues a few months ago and the meatballs were quite tasty!  Of course, I changed it up to suit our tastes and what I had on hand and we all loved them--especially the Peanut!

The rice recipe is twist of Rachael Ray's--we had it a few weeks ago and we loved it!  Again, I changed it up a little to what I had on hand.  Since I am already reusing the recipe for something else--clearly it was a hit!

Asian Meatballs

2 green onions, finely chopped
1 egg
1 1/2 Tbsp soy sauce
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup finely chopped water chestnuts
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp minced fresh ginger
1 pound pork sausage (no flavorings like breakfast or Italian--just plain sausage)
1 Tbsp toasted sesame seeds

Chili Sauce for serving (like Sriracha)

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Place all ingredients (except for chili sauce)  in a bowl and mix thoroughly.  Shape into one inch balls and place on an ungreased broiler pan.  Bake for 15-20 minutes or until no longer pink.  Serve with hot sauce for dipping.

Sesame Rice

2 1/4 cups chicken stock
1 cup brown basmati rice
2 Tbsp toasted sesame seeds
2 Tbsp green onions, finely chopped
1 1/2 Tbsp sesame oil

In a medium pot, bring chicken stock to boil.  Stir in rice and bring back to a boil.  Cover pot and reduce heat to a low simmer.  Simmer for approximately 1 hour or until rice is cooked through (brown rice always takes much longer--mine is usually just shy of an hour).  To serve, fluff rice and stir in sesame seeds, green onions and sesame oil.  Season with salt if needed. 

 This recipe is linked to:

Beauty and Bedlam's Tasty Tuesday
Blessed With Grace Tempt My Tummy Tuesday

Designs By Gollum Foodie Friday
Grocery Cart Challenge Recipe Swap

Hearth 'n Soul Recipe Swap  
Miz Helen's Country Cottage Full Plate Thursday 
Paisley Passions Fun With Food Friday  

Sunday, February 20

Menu Plan Monday

Getting back into the swing of things after our short trip to Hometown.  We get to have some visitors this week with Hubby's parents visiting for a pre-birthday celebration for him, so we are excited for that!  Last week didn't all go as planned, so there are a couple of repeats, which if you know me, is fairly common.  But it still nice to have a plan in place, regardless!

Sunday-Pesto Pasta with grilled chicken, green salad with ranch dressing

Monday-Meatless Winter Chili, green salad

Tuesday-Flank steak with mushroom cream sauce (recipe to come!), baked potatoes, steamed veggies, green salad

Wednesday-Roast Chicken, mashed potatoes, horseradish carrots

Thursday-Cajun Jambalaya Soup, green salad

Friday-Pork Fried Rice, Chicken Subgum

Saturday-Chicken Tortilla Soup, Green Salad

For other great recipes, visit the Organizing Junkie

Saturday, February 19

Tried It & Loved It: Homemade English Muffins

These are so yummy...and once you have homemade, there's no going back.  Are they more work?  Of course they are--but they are soooo good--and if you have a bread maker, they really aren't that hard at all.  This recipe is from my friend Lucy.  You can find her here as she navigates the new role of mommy and you can also find her here to see the goings on in her kitchen.  This is one that you should definitely try and love as well.

English Muffins ~ adapted from Lucy's Kitchen 

1 cup milk
2 eggs
just under 1 tsp salt
2 T sugar (these are pretty sweet, so I just do one tablespoon now)
2 T oil (I used coconut oil)
2 cups white whole wheat flour
1 1/4 cups unbleached white flour (or bread flour)
1 1/4 tsp yeast
Cornmeal for topping

Place all ingredients, EXCEPT CORNMEAL, in the breadpan in the order suggested by your manufacturer. Select dough cycle. When dough is complete, turn out onto a floured surface, knead gently and cover for 10-15 minutes.

Roll dough out to 1/4 inch thickness. Make sure it is thin enough or else your English muffins may not cook through before burning.

Cut dough into 4 inch circles--these do tend to shrink so I find the larger the cut out, the better.

Place English muffins on a baking sheet sprinkled with cornmeal. Sprinkle cornmeal evenly over the tops as well.  Cover and let rise in a warm place for 30-45 minutes. I use the trick I got from Gayle--set your oven to warm up to 350 degrees and set the timer for five minutes.  When timer beeps, turn off the oven and place the muffins in the nice warm oven to rise.  It works like a charm every time. 

Heat an electric griddle to 350-400--mine was good at 350 degrees.  Place English muffins on griddle and cook for 5-6 minutes on each side, until browned. Flip and continue cooking for another 5-6 minutes. English muffins are done when they are browned on both sides.

Makes 24 English Muffins.

Thursday, February 17

Where Do I Start?

The Peanut and I were able to make a short trip to Hometown last week.  We both had tons of fun and Peanut has been coming down off of her GrampaGramma "high" for the last several days.

Hold me.

My parents don't let her run wild by any means, but for some reason she can be SUCH a pill after coming home from their house.  Now I know how my parents felt.  A fellow Grandma my mom ran into at Trader Joe's referred to it as the "GrandpaGrandma Hangover."  I think she hit the nail on the head.

When we first got there, the Peanut was spoiled indulged once again by my parents.  It has gotten to the point where Peanut asks where her pwenants {presents}are and my Mom happily obliges.  It's a little horrifying--not my Mom--but the Peanut expecting that.  How do you tame that beast expectation?  I want the Peanut to love her grandparents because they are her grandparents--not because they give her lots of things.  I know she is still young and we are constantly reminding her that we don't ask someone for presents, but promise me this will take root sooner rather than later?

On a lighter note, my mom scored a winter coat for next year.  It is a Columbia Sportsware coat--regular price $120 and my mom snagged it for around $20.  What a deal!  And can you believe that someone would actually pay $120 for a coat for a small child who most likely only wear the coat one season?  That's just insane!  Thanks, Mom--that was a fabulous deal!

The Peanut got to have all sorts of fun with Grandma and Grandpa.  She got to make homemade marshmallows (for hot chocolate) and coconut cream cupcakes with Grandma.  She had some fun walks and got to play with the neighbor kids next door and she spent lots of time with Grandma on her iPad doing those puzzles like Auntie has on hers.

Between Grandma's park (their big back yard), my parents Lab, Grandma's cooking activities, and the kids across the street--Peanut was never lacking for things to entertain her!

I also got to help my mom make an amazing white lasagna (recipe to come!) and those coconut cream cupcakes.


My parents also had the whole extended family over and Peanut got to play with my cousin's little girl.  I think that would make her Peanut's second cousin?  Cousin--that's just easier.

We had a yummy brunch with the family and the dogs waited patiently for their share of the ham.

Can I just share what a good dog my parents Lab is?  She is just so wonderful with Peanut.  I don't let Peanut be mean to her by any stretch, but the Peanut is two and a half and is probably a little rougher with Jet than Jet is used to....and Jet is SO patient with her.  I probably dote over Jet's sweet personality more than necessary, but my parents previous dog--well, he was a little devil--and that's being kind.  A Cocker Spaniel/Welsh Corgi mix makes for a very temperamental dog.  My parents loved that dog, but I firmly believe it was in God's hands that he passed prior to the Peanut joining our lives.  He just wasn't a "kid" dog like Jet is.

My mom also colored my grays which seem to be mutiplying rather quickly, although my Mom swears it isn't as bad as I say.

She's just being nice.

The Peanut also had lots of fun bath time with her new bath dolly Grandma found for her.  Peanut is such a good "mommy" and cleans the dolly really well, full body submersion in the water and all.

I'll explain that that's child endangerment to her later. 

The Peanut slept really well after the fun she had each day.

She was just plum tuckered out from all the fun. 

Me too. 

Monday, February 14

The Trick to Homemade Nachos

Making nachos at home is a fairly new thing for me.  Nachos used to be something I always got at Taco Bell (don't judge), but they were never something I made at home.  Then I met the Hubs.  These were his standby, late night meal after he got done with a closing shift at the restaurant.  I always thought that nachos had to have the bright orange goopy cheese, but Hubs taught me otherwise.  Once you get used to the finely shredded real cheese--it is so much better.  That of course is combined with my stand alone food group, sour cream.  But I digress.

When we moved to Smalltown in late 2009, we didn't have a microwave.  Our house we have back in Hometown has a built in microwave and I made do without one after moving for nearly six months.  (Sidenote: a sure way to make a man panic in the kitchen--ask him to reheat something for his daughter for lunch when there isn't a microwave.  Yes, I did nearly all the reheating during that six month stretch.)   So when I planned nachos one night for dinner, having no microwave, I decided to stick the nachos in the oven on the top rack beneath the broiler.

Can you say yum?  

It makes the cheese all melty and bubbly and the chips nice and crispy.  We did finally get a microwave....and I still make our nachos in the oven. 

They are just. that. good.

Nachos ~ at least according to our house

Taco meat (I usually use only about a half pound of ground meat that is browned and seasoned with homemade taco seasoning and then mix with a can {about 1 1/2 cups}black beans....makes the meat stretch further)
Shredded cheese
Sour cream
Salsa or grilled salsa, if you have it.
Tomatoes, diced
Fresh cilantro, chopped
Jalapeno rings

Set broiler on oven to low and move oven rack to highest position.

Layer chips on a baking sheet or oven proof plate and top with taco meat.  Sprinkle shredded cheese on evenly and place under broiler with oven door cracked.  Broil until cheese is melted and chips start to brown around the edges.  Top with remaining ingredients and serve.

Do you make nachos at home?  If so, what do you like to include?  

This recipe is linked to:

Beauty and Bedlam's Tasty Tuesday
Blessed With Grace Tempt My Tummy Tuesday

Designs By Gollum Foodie Friday
Grocery Cart Challenge Recipe Swap

Hearth 'n Soul Recipe Swap  
Miz Helen's Country Cottage Full Plate Thursday 
Paisley Passions Fun With Food Friday  
We Are THAT Family's Works For Me Wednesday

Sunday, February 13

Menu Plan Monday

With the Hubby in restaurant management, Valentine's Day just means a L-O-N-G (like 14 + hours long) day for him, so we are just going to do something special on his "weekend."  That's the reason for the uninspired menu on Monday.  Just in case you thought he was in trouble for some reason.  ;)

Sunday-Burritos with meat, black beans, lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, sour cream, and salsa


Tuesday-Flank steak with mushroom cream sauce (recipe to come!), baked potatoes, steamed veggies, green salad with Asian dressing

Wednesday-Fish tacos, black beans, green salad

Thursday-Cranberry Orange Pork Loin Chops, garlic mashed potatoes, green beans

Friday-Barbecue Chicken Pizza with homemade crust, green salad with ranch dressing


For other great menu ideas, visit the Organizing Junkie.

Saturday, February 12

Tried It & Loved It: Homemade Coffee Creamer

What can I say?  This is a staple at our house now.  My wonderful friend referred me to this blog and I have been following it ever since.  I love the organic part of it, I love her photos, and her recipes all sound so wonderful.  I haven't quite got to her level of organicity (yes, that's a word--at least to me), although one day I hope to when the budget allows.   I haven't purchased store bought coffee creamers in awhile, but it was always more of a cost thing--then when Carrie mentioned that most don't even contain cream or milk, that just cemented my decision even further!

My personal favorite is the French Vanilla, while the Hubby's favorite is the Peppermint Mocha.  The Chocolate Almond is very good as well.  Carrie also just had a new post last week for two new creamers that readers suggested she make a version of and the Carmel Coffee Creamer with homemade caramel sounds won.der.ful.  Haven't tried that one yet, but I know I will--caramel isn't Hub's favorite (yes, I know) so that is the only reason holding me back.

But then I guess that means more for me, so I really don't know why I am waiting...

Peppermint Mocha Coffee Creamer ~ from Carrie at Deliciously Organic

1 cup whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
4 tablespoons maple syrup
3 tablespoons cacao (I used standard, unsweetened cocoa powder--I told you I wasn't at that level yet)
1 teaspoon peppermint extract

In a two quart saucepan over medium heat, whisk together milk, cream, maple syrup, and cacao.  When mixture begins to bubble around the edges of the pan, remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the peppermint extract.  If desired, strain through a fine mesh sieve and pour into a glass bottle and store in the refrigerator.

Monday, February 7

Grilled Eggplant Pizza

I have a new thing for eggplant.  I like it for sure, but it is mostly because I am trying to find some more meatless meals to incorporate into our rotation.  Not that we don't love meat, because we do.  But I am trying to buy more organic meat and that is just plain expensive, so my alternative is to get creative.  Without meat.  So I have been trying. 

I came across a roasted eggplant pizza in an Everyday with Rachael Ray issue a few months back and I wanted to try it.  However, it calls for caponata and I had to google it because I had no idea what it was.  Although I thought it sounded good--anything with an Italian flavor is good in my book.  Anyhow, I couldn't find caponata anywhere here in town.  I found it online, but that wasn't happening--I just have a problem with paying $10 for shipping for a $7 item.  Of course I also waited until the day before I planned to make the pizza, so I had to get creative without having the caponata.

I decided to take a spin off of the bruschetta I made last summer and the Hubs even liked it, no meat and all!  And the Peanut?  Well, she LOVED it and ate two pieces. 

Grilled Eggplant Pizza

1 recipe bread dough 
1/3 cup pizza sauce
1 medium size eggplant, cut into 1 inch cubes
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 can black olives, drained and chopped
2/3 cup green olives, drained and chopped
Mozzarella cheese
Feta cheese crumbles

Set oven to low broiler setting and move oven rack to top position.  (Alton says that grilling is just broiling upside down.  I like his logic.)

In a large bowl, drizzle chopped eggplant with a generous amount of olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Spread in an even layer on a baking sheet and place under the broiler and leave the oven door cracked.  Broil until eggplant has started to char and it has reduced to about half its size, rotating about half way through.  Remove from baking sheet and set aside.

Move oven rack back to the middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees. 

In a bowl, mix together garlic, black and green olives and set aside. 

Press pizza dough into pizza pan or baking stone and spread pizza sauce in a thin layer on top of the dough.  Spread olive mixture and grilled eggplant evenly over the sauce and top with mozzarella cheese.  Bake about 15-20 minutes or until crust is baked through and starting to brown on the edges.  Top with feta cheese crumbles and serve immediately. 

This recipe is linked to:

Beauty and Bedlam's Tasty Tuesday
Blessed With Grace Tempt My Tummy Tuesday

Designs By Gollum Foodie Friday
Grocery Cart Challenge Recipe Swap

Hearth 'n Soul Recipe Swap  
Hey What's For Dinner Mom? Just Another Meatless Monday
Midnight Maniac Meatless Mondays
Miz Helen's Country Cottage Full Plate Thursday 
My Sweet & Savory's My Meatless Mondays
Paisley Passions Fun With Food Friday 
Veggie Converter Meatless Mondays

Sunday, February 6

Tumbling and Other Things

It has been a long time since I've put up anything that is family related.  And truth be told, I've been kinda busy.  We've had lots of things going on around here lately.  So in no particular order, here are some of the things that have been going on in our house over the past few weeks....

1.  Peanut is still enjoying her tumbling classes.  Things have definitely gotten better since her first few weeks in class, but now she is starting to get timid during the various tasks they are asked to do.   I think she has become more aware that she isn't invincible and so she is much more cautious then she used to be.  According to the instructor, I guess this is completely normal and means she is getting ready to advance to the next class up.  

2.  We I have been attempting to wean Peanut off of her naps.  There has been a lot of kicking and screaming.

From me. 

Then why, you ask?  This has all stemmed from putting the Peanut down for bed at her normal bedtime and she has absolutely no desire to go to sleep.  I used to put her down at bedtime and she was out within 30 minutes.  But over the last several weeks, she is literally bouncing up and down in her crib until she finally goes to sleep about 2 1/2 hours later.  I've tried shortening (the glorious) three hour nap, but this child is HARD to wake up.  She is like her momma.  If she wants to sleep, she sleeps.  There is simply no waking that child.  So we have been foregoing the naps all together and it has been quite the adjustment.  I mean it's nice because she goes to bed several hours earlier, but from (the old) nap time on throughout the rest of the evening--she is a PILL.  She is tired and cranky.  I am tired and cranky.  Getting dinner ready with her getting into everything is a challenge.  But we are learning and somehow I am still surviving.

3.  Our washing machine has done it's last load.  So, so, sad because I don't want to have to spend the money for a new one.  We had a repair man come and fix it just six weeks ago.  At that time, he warned us that the part that was causing it to make noise wasn't the only thing that was wrong with it.  He said there was several other parts that really needed to be fixed, but the cost to repair all of those wasn't worth it.  He said if I did lighter loads we maybe would be able to get another six months out of it.  I guess he was a little optimistic.  My mom found the washing machine along with an old dryer at an estate sale when I moved out on my own nearly 10 years ago.  We got both for about $120--and we were able to get about three years out of the dryer (it was old to begin with) and we got nine years out of the washing machine.  I truly think we could have got more out of the washer, but I know I have a tendency to overload the washing machine.  "They" always tell you to do "full loads" to make it the most energy/water efficient.  I think I took that advice to heart a little too much.  So now the search is on for a new washer--hopefully we can get another smokin' used deal like we did previously.

4. We are having to find new renters for our house back in Hometown.  This wasn't a complete surprise like last year, but it is still a time consumer nonetheless.  Trying to coordinate times to show the house around the current tenants and their schedules and combine that with the fact that I also have to coordinate with my very, very gracious dad who has spent a LOT of his free time showing the house and the fact that lots and lots of people like to make appointments to see the house and then don't bother to show up--well it's just exasperating!  We just had some new people see it today, so hopefully one of them will pan out!

5.  Go Packers!  (That's for you Dad, as we all know I don't get pay attention to football!)

6.  And the biggest change around here (and the most time consuming)....the Peanut is now potty trained!  Can I hear an amen?  Or at least a hallelujah?  It's been nearly a month since we started this process and even longer since I bought our last pack of diapers.  We are still working on nighttime, but she is having a dry Pull Up in the morning more and more as the weeks go by, so hopefully we are nearly through with those as well.

Let me tell you though, it's not just training them--it's training Mom and Dad too.  One of the potty training books I read said that you shouldn't even attempt potty training until the child can go potty, wipe sufficiently, do their pants and wash their hands all on their own--otherwise you are just training the parent.  While part of that might be true, I don't agree with that.  Waiting until that time would arguably be easier, but I don't think the wiping sufficiently will happen for awhile, and I was not willing to pay the expense of diapers until that occurred.  Every child is different, but good grief, for some kids they wouldn't be expert wipers until they are five or six and I sure wasn't going to wait to find out.  And honestly, she completely knows/understands when she needs to go and is more than able to communicate that with us--the rest of the stuff, well, that will all come in time.

The poor thing though, her little delicate patty hands are just so red and chapped right now from all the washing.  And the treats we've been giving her?  Well it has been going against all my new(er) real food beliefs....but the bribery has completely worked and and is currently being phased out.  Although I can't blame her, as I love nem-a-nems {M&M's}too.

For the record, she does have an occasional accident (but just with #1's--we are so good with the #2's) and combine that with washer issue as mentioned above, well that's just a real damper.  No pun intended. 

And last, the Peanut now gives all sorts of accolades when I use the potty.  And as I left the bathroom, Peanut stopped at the pantry asked me, "You get a piece of candy too?"

Such is my domestic life....


Related Posts with Thumbnails