Saturday, May 31


So said potty training? I cried "uncle" on Thursday afternoon.  Like I said before, you sort of know what you are doing the second time around.  

Maybe I tried too soon. 

Maybe I didn't try long enough. 

Maybe he likes the idea of the potty, but he isn't ready.  

Maybe he is ready but he is stubborn and I need to be more stubborn. 

Maybe, maybe, maybe, maybe.....
Given the fact that he is not even two (but will be soon!) and summer has just begun, we are shelving it for now, but rest assured we will try again soon. 

That dear, sweet husband of mine has some time off at the end of June, so we are going to attempt it once again in about four weeks. 

I'll keep you posted and you keep me in your prayers!


Thursday, May 29


Although, I don't eat it by the finger full, I have this self-admitted, irrational fear of running out of butter.  There is no explanation why, except that I'm weird. 

I buy butter in bulk at Costco.  I almost always have a full four pounds out in our garage fridge.  But then a few weeks back, there was a special on Tillamook butter, combining store coupons and manufacture coupons, making it only $1.50 a pound, which with today's skyrocketing food prices, is a STEAL.  So I went and picked up my limit of two.

Three times.

Does anyone else do this?  


Tuesday, May 27

Thousand Island Dressing

Well, h*e*l*l just might have actually frozen over.  'Cause I'm posting a recipe here, folks.

We won't even mention just how long it's been since I've done that.  (It's been since November of 2011.)

This one is just too good not to give mention to, and I have my mama to thank.  She's pretty awesome like that. 

We have our family favorite homemade ranch dressing and it's awesome.  I seriously haven't bought salad dressing in a sweet forever.  Although I'm not nearly on the whole foods bandwagon as I was three years ago (but certainly should be!), I still don't buy salad dressing.

Like ever. 

I've heard it's one of the worst processed foods out there, with all the preservatives and junk that manufactures put in them.  I know for darn sure that my homemade salad dressing isn't good for like six months after I make it.  It's probably good for two weeks, tops.  Not that it ever lasts that long--because it's so much better.   

Anyhow, thousand island dressing.  Seriously NOT my favorite dressing out there.  I mean, if it was the only dressing available, I would eat it.  Begrudgingly.  I would never choose it from a restaurant  when eating out.  It's simply is not my go to dressing. 

Until now--at least when eating at home!

My mama added several things to give this some kick, including horseradish, Sriracha hot sauce and cayenne pepper. And it is yum.

It definitely gets 10 stars in my book! 

1,000 Island Salad Dressing with a Little Something Extra 

3/4 cup mayonaise
1/3 cup to 1/2 cup of ketchup
2 Tbsp dijon mustard
1 Tbsp prepared horseradish
2 Tbsp Worsteshire sauce
2 Tbsp pickle relish
2-3 tsp Sriracha hot sauce (I don't like things super spicy, but I seriously had to add a fair amount to give this some noticeable kick)
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
Salt, to taste

Mix ingredients together thoroughly.  All of these ingredients are approximate.....that's how I (and my mom) both roll in the kitchen!.  Feel free to add additional of any of the above ingredients to suit your tastes! 

Refrigerate until ready to serve. 

This recipe is linked to:

Flour Me with Love's Mix it Up Monday
Premeditated Leftovers Hearth and Soul Hop


Sunday, May 25

I Know This May Take Longer Than I Think

The benefit to having more than one child is that you sort of know what to expect the second time around.  Key phrase being sort of.

This week I am attempting to get the Little Brother potty trained.  I know "they" say that boys always take longer, and that very well may be true, but this little guy has been asking to go in the potty for probably the last month or so.  And he will actually "go" in the potty.  Each time.  When Peanut was that age, she asked too......and she just smiled sweetly and sat there and didn't do anything.  So while we've definitely encouraged it with the Little Brother, I haven't pressed it with Peanut still being in school.

What does Peanut being in school have to do with it?   I learned the first time around {much to my surprise!!!} that it takes just as much discipline on the parent as it does on the little one.  I had to just get down to business when it came time to potty train her.  No random errand shopping, post office visits, limeade fixes in the middle of the day.  I figured out not so quickly that you just have to been done with diapers.  Put 'em underwear and you'll be cleaning up lots of messes and doing lots o' laundry for several days.  No Pull Ups....because let's face it, they are just like diapers in that your toddler won't feel wet.  And they need to feel wet.  Makes them cold and uncomfortable...makes them figure out that hey, maybe I should be telling mommy.  All this to say, that with Peanut, I stayed home and stayed put. While it took about a week....I finally had her potty trained. 

In the interest of full disclosure, I am talking about potty trained during the took about another year until she was potty trained at night.  But again, the night potty training?  Mommy and Daddy discipline as well!  Changing lots of wet sheets, but within about three weeks....she started being dry all night long.

And I know that many will argue who are you really potty training?  Me or the toddler?  Because sure, I wasn't comfortable letting her "go" completely by herself until probably about a year and half later (she was just over two when we potty trained).  It's hard for little ones to get their pants down, do their business, wipe well, get their pants done back up, and wash their hands to mommy's satisfaction.  They need some help to do all that.  And to be perfectly honest, some kids still can't do all that even at age seven!  But the way I figure, if they can tell you that they need to go, then they are ready.  So what if you're helping them with all the logistics for some time after?  You still are helping them with everything else when they are just two years old anyhow, right?  Bathing, getting dressed, meals, drinks, laundry.....obviously the list is endless! 

And even still, if all those logistics take a year (or two!) to get down....the savings on diapers alone are so worth it!  I estimate it's anywhere from $500-$1000 in savings--and for this tight budgeted family?  I'll take it!  

Plain and simple.  

Anyhow, all that said, I am attempting it with the Little Brother this week.  I did all my shopping, running errands, etc., and we are staying home this week.  Got him a potty seat (Peanut's was pink, of course!) and a set of training pants.  I actually already purchased some underwear for him awhile back because they had them at Costco a few months back.  So today when he woke up from his nap, the training pants (the thick cotton Gerber ones--they absorb more than underwear!) went on.  No pants/shorts, just the training pants.  And for the next four hours?  He told me probably 5-6 six times that he had to go--and he did, each time!  I only had to change him out of wet training pants twice.  That's a huge victory as far as I'm concerned because Peanut didn't go down that easy.  I changed her out of wet bottoms probably that many times in the first hour! 

But we will see....for the rest of the week, we will be at it again each day.  Hopefully we will have victory by the end of the week?   If not, I am not going to sweat it.  (Can you say second child???)  We will just try again in another month or so and do a repeat of this week.  But by the end of summer? 

Definitely hope diapers will be a distant memory!  


Friday, May 23

This Girl officially done with preschool.  They had a little "graduation" party for the students today--the last day of school!  And can I just say that I cannot even tell you just how much I have LOVED having her at this school?  Her teachers are such special people and it has been such a blessing.  There are no two ways about it, that's for sure!

I tell you, she is just growing right before my eyes.

It's like a gentleman commented to me at the store the other day.  He complimented me on my cute kids (his words not mine!!) and then he gave me this serious look and said, "But you've made that common parenting mistake."  Well, I was all smiles until he said that.

He continued without missing a beat, "You feed them and then they grow."

Indeed they do.

Indeed they do.  


Thursday, May 22

Happy Anniversary....You Are My Favorite

10 years.  


In some ways, it feels like it wasn't that long ago that you made the brave phone call to ask me to dinner.  And for the record, I'm so glad you went against your better judgement and went ahead with our matchmaker's crazy idea!  ;)

In other ways, it feels like a lifetime ago.  Four moves, 7 job transfers (8 if you count my "retirement" from the bank), two little loves, nearly six years of parenting, and endless amounts of laughter. 

Like last night when we took the kids for a walk and I nearly wet my pants, I was laughing so hard.  

I've loved every minute--even when I haven't loved every minute. 

I'm so glad it's been with you.  

Love you so,

Wednesday, May 21

The Sandbox

I said two years ago that the money we spent on the used sandbox on craigslist was so worth it.

Well,  I'll say it again, it was SO worth it.

This is the third summer Peanut will be using it and the first for the Little Brother.  Even though the Peanut is entirely too tall for it, she still LOVES playing in it.  In fact, this little girl has an obsession with pretending to be The Pioneer Woman while "cooking" in her sandbox.  How you ask?

Well, let me tell you.  

I often have the TV on when I cook dinner.  Mostly, I like it for noise, and cooking shows are something I've always loved to watch (since I was like 10--I kid you not).  Anyhow, cooking shows are about the ONLY thing that are appropriate for children when little ears and eyes are around.  The Pioneer Woman comes on right about the time I usually am cooking dinner.  Peanut has liked watching her shows from the nearly the beginning.  To the point of referring to her little brother as Ladd (Marlboro Man) and telling me about her {Peanut's} four {imaginary} kids.  Just like PW.

Imagine that. 

Then to further solidify her obsession (my mom got her the Charlie books nearly a year ago), when I read PW was going to be in our metropolitan area this past December, we trekked out to the book signing.

For Peanut.  Really.  I honestly didn't get my cookbook signed--I didn't even bring it actually.  Peanut brought her two Charlie books and I was just trying to be considerate of PW and all the other attendees.  I was not about to have THREE books signed.  So Peanut's two books it was.  Little did I know, that others there would have like 20 books each! 

Anyhow, back to meeting PW.  My girl?  A little star struck.  This is the girl who can strike up a conversation with ANY cashier at ANY store and tell them half our life story before we walk away from the register.  To put it nicely.....there really isn't a shy bone in her body.  So when she walked up and met PW, she didn't know quite what to say at first.  At first.  Then by the time we left, according to Peanut, they were old friends.

She has, in fact, asked me during several occasions, just when exactly she will get to meet PW's kids.  'Cause you know her and PW are tight.  I've tried to explain that probably never she lives very far away, so most likely that won't ever happen.  Besides, can you say stalker?   

Her innocence makes me laugh.  Seriously.

So yes, Peanut can be out playing cooking in her sandbox for hours at a time.  And the Little Brother?  It's his favorite past time as well.  (Well, that and going to Papa's and Grama's MawMaw's--my mom isn't quite ready to let go that he can now say Grama instead of his coined phrase, MawMaw)

Upon waking up from his naps:  "San?  {Sand?}  Pway? {Play?}  Quocs? {Crocs?} aka {let's get my shoes on so I can go play in the sand. Pronto.}"  He LOVES that sand box too.

He also likes to drink the dirty sand water.  Which Hub's insists that he won't do for long--it can't taste good, therefore he'll figure it out soon enough.  But after 6 or 7 times?  I'm thinking it's more like wine and it's an acquired taste.

But that's a story for another day. 

Until then, I am loving this view out our backdoor:


Monday, May 19

Spring Happenings

Spring has been busy!  I just got done with the spring clothes resale, like the one I did last fall.  It has proved to be a profitable endeavor, so I can't see not doing them anytime soon.  Although it seems like it takes forever and a day to get ready for these sales, they are very much worth my time, effort, and cardstock!

Our little Peanut kicked off our beginning of spring with her spring voice recital.  If you are interested in her fair performance at the end of last summer, click here.   She also did a Christmas recital last December as well, but sadly I never posted anything.  Ahem

Anyhow, the spring recital.  

Be still my heart. 

I mean, I know I am full of COMPLETE bias, but she is just a brave little girl!  I hope to be like her someday.

First, the costume.  My amazing mom ROCKED the costume making.  Peanut's voice teacher requires each of the students to wear an outfit/costume that coordinates with their solo.  Peanut's solo was My Favorite Things from The Sound of Music.  I searched online and couldn't find any type of Swiss Miss costume to purchase, so I offered asked my mom to make one.  And she so kindly obliged and the little Peanut was oh. so. darling.

The voice students all sing an opening song together and it was Be Our Guest from Beauty and the Beast.  Complete with cabaret kick line.  A fabulous opening song performance, I must say!  Then each student does their solo song and they all close in a group song as well.  The closing song for all the students was So Long, Farewell from The Sound of Music.  (Why yes, it was a von Trapp practicing three months in our household!)  Peanut's voice teacher asked her to preform the role of "Gretl," so she had a small solo in the closing song as well.  Made this mama cry.  Of course, that really isn't saying much, but still. It made me cry.  

In other news, I had a good birthday.  I am officially half way through my thirties, which honestly isn't really that big of a deal, but I could do without all those crows feet marching across my face.  Name that movie.  I just have to post this picture, since I am nearly almost always behind the camera and don't get hardly any of me with the little loves.  

We had a great Easter, and while I'd like to say that my sweet girl and sweet boy ALWAYS get along so charmingly and NEVER ever bicker (as exhibited above so deceivingly), can I just say I so wasn't prepared for the bickering and squealing from a nearly six and two year old?!?!??  While I knew that definitely was to come, I just wasn't expecting it so soon!!  And really, for the most part they get along great, but MAN, do they know how to push each others buttons!! 

While they do bicker, the Little Brother still goes along quite a bit with his older sister's antics.  Because on most days, he still thinks she hung the moon.  Here he was told to wear her pink super hero cape as a "hair cutting apron," while she "cut" his hair.  And then she tells him right where to stand as they wave goodbye to Daddy when he leaves for work.

The days are long, but the years are short, right?

We had a fun trip to the local aquarium for one of Peanut's field trips and Peanut got to "pet" the sting rays.  She had a blast, just as she always does on any adventure.

My dear sweet cousin, graduated with her Master's degree last month (she is SO much more motivated than me!) and what was my contribution?  I brought the cutest cupcakes EVER.  Yes, I might need to work on my humility.  But they were the cutest.  Ever.

For my acceptance speech: Pinterest, what did we ever do without you???

And last, many of you may not know this, but apparently in the male DNA in my bloodline, there is a strong affinity to closing one's eyes (purposefully!!) when grinning for the camera.

Who knew?

This is, of course, not to mention that our little son is a Mini Me for my dad.  It's kinda scary.  


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