Saturday, February 28, 2009

Can-Am Crown

We're missing out on a fun family activity today. Alas, it's the last weekend of hockey so we couldn't make the trek to Fort Kent.

If you're missing out on the action like we are, here's a link to your front row seats!


Thursday, February 26, 2009

Cold weather goals update:

I haven't updated in a couple of weeks.

My original goals are posted here: (Part 1 and Part Deux).

1) I haven't done any knitting in this amount of time. Because I've been too busy doing other things.

2) T got some information on how to buy raw milk. I haven't taken the next step yet. I'm running out of time, but I haven't given up yet!

3) We had a small mishap with our bread. I lost an entire loaf two weeks ago to mold. For starters, two loaves of bread are usually nearly gone by that point in the week. For some reason, we had only consumed one loaf by Friday. When I grabbed the second to make toast that Friday morning, I found the entire thing was moldy, much to my disappointment. Because we had company that weekend, I didn't get to make more, so we bought a loaf. And the timing has been off on my days available to bake since then, so we've since bought two more loaves. Sunday, I'm getting back on track. Monkey and I will be whipping up another batch.

5) I don't know why I lumped "paint our bedroom" in the "small miscellaneous" project list. This deserves to be a list item all on its own! T painted the ceiling in our room last weekend. Monday, I started painting trim. This is difficult because I have to time it for Monkey's naps. Monday, I got to put two coats of fresh white paint on the window trim. It still needs a third. Tuesday, I was at work. That night, T removed the closet doors and bedroom door so I could get to the trim/casings. Yesterday, I got two coats on the door trim. Today, I plan on putting a third coat on the door and windows. I feel like this one small room is going to take me a year to paint at this rate! I want to be finished trim by the end of the weekend. Next week, I can move on to walls... hopefully. Then I can take a trip to JoAnn's with my comforter to find fabric for new curtains and a new bed skirt. At least sewing is something I can manage while Monkey is awake! (Putting in an Elmo video helps, too. HA)

7) My Dad put up a cabinet for me above my desk. I purchased two unfinished wooden drawer units at JoAnn's yesterday. I need to paint them and put them up. I am already extremely excited because I can see most of my desktop!

9) I even impressed my Mom with this one. When they came to visit a couple weeks ago, I got her stamp of approval. I guess I'm doing a good job.

10) I have to keep reminding myself to not get caught up in the little things. For instance, the bedroom paint job taking forever started stressing me out. I just keep telling myself that one thing at a time, baby steps, and it will all get done.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

I've died and gone to heaven

Pregnancy has made me cut out my two favorite indulgences in life: booze and sushi.

I obviously won't give in on the booze (except maybe a few sips in the heat of summer at the end of pregnancy) and we don't think I should even order cooked and veggie variety rolls at the places in town JUST in case.

Hannaford to my rescue. California Roll Salad was for dinner tonight. Monkey didn't like it. T and I did. Very much. Enough so that I gorged myself tonight. Oink.

I also needed to pull out another recipe for dinner Saturday night. I grabbed the top one on the pile of ripped out recipes and came up with another Rachael Ray recipe. Cheesy Hash Brown Chili sounds pretty tasty and looks pretty easy, too. And all I needed to buy for it was kidney beans and frozen hash brown!

So, I'm a little off on my schedule this week, but I had to share my extreme pleasure in dinner tonight.

Monkey's bedding has been ordered.

Thanks to Gram and some coupon codes for JCPenney's, I got an even better deal than I expected.

SHOPPER--- for 20% off til 3/13
CASPREPC-- for 20% off $100 til 3/13
REWARD-- $10 off
VALSJCPC-- 15% off til 3/1

I went with the quilt, shams and curtains from #4 (here) and we're going to try the bed skirt from #3 (here).

Since I'm changing her curtains (the ones I made her just don't go with the new bedding), I'll need to buy her some shades. We're going to check Target this morning, but we can leave up her current curtains until I find some that work.

I'm not sharing pictures of her new, big girl room until I've got her bed dressed and rearrange accessories a little. I'm making a few changes since we had to change the layout of her furniture.

It's very bittersweet. My little girl is a big girl now.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The end of an era

Yesterday was a fantastic mail day for us. T's new debit card arrived two weeks earlier than expected (his was one affected by the recent breach in security in New England), our seeds arrived and I received my latest edition of Country Home (the picture above is from the January/February edition - March isn't online yet).

Much to my immense disappointment, there was a letter to subscribers telling us this is the last edition to be published. And to make matters worse? I didn't enjoy the final edition all that much.

Country Home has been my most adored magazine since I started taking an interest in decorating at the ripe age of 13. If you look through my binders of ripped out pages from magazines, more often than not, you'll find "Country Home" printed in the bottom of the page.

And to rub salt into the wound, my subscription was just renewed for this month. And they'll be replacing it with Ladies' Home Journal.

I hope to enjoy Ladies' Home Journal, but I doubt it's a subscription that will be renewed again next year.

Now I need to find another magazine to enjoy as much Country Home. I already get Country Living and Martha Stewart Living - they're both OK, but still don't compare for me.

It was a sad day for me.

Monday, February 23, 2009

I'm putting it to a vote:

We did the daybed setting on Monkey's bed for one night. That's it. After spending 4 hours up in the middle of the night, T decided converting it to full sized was the way to go (no more Mommy attempting to get someone back to sleep by sitting on the floor for multiple hours at a time - pregnant bones were not appreciative).

Now I need to find full sized bedding a little earlier than I had originally planned.
I'm looking for just comforter/quilt and pillow shams right now. And I'm thinking something that could potentially grow with her (to teenage years, if it will last!).

Here's the color scheme in her room.

Vote on your favorite:

See other views here.

2) See it here.

3) JCPenney is impossible to share photos from. See the bedding here.

4) This is another JCPenney option. See it here.

I like them all and just can't chose!

Thank you for your help!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

This week's new recipes:

I'm being ambitious again this week. I've got three new recipes on the menu (I'd have more, but I didn't get to do groceries today and I'm not leaving the house tomorrow in that snow - so spaghetti it is!).

I've been wanting to try this one for quite some time. Since Wednesday is Ash Wednesday (it IS this week, right?), I'm pulling it out now. I got it from Hannaford's May/June 2008 edition of Fresh magazine. It's a California Roll Salad. I think since I've had to temporarily give up sushi, this will help me get a bit of a fix. (I don't even dare get the cooked or veggie varieties because how sure are we they are preparing it on a different counter than the raw fish? As much as it pains me, I'm not chancing until I have the baby).

I'm back in Rachael Ray Magazine for the next two.

Thursday, we're trying a Samurai Soup. I can't find it online, but it's from the March 2009 edition on page 89 titled Family Matters. I've been digging soup lately, can you tell?

In order to keep T from throwing a soup bowl at me from too much soup, I'm making Fisherman's Bake on Friday. It's kind of a chowder, but you turn it into a casserole so I think I can get away with it, right? Also, I realize Friday is usually pizza night, but it's Lent (right??? I don't have a calendar in front of me!), so I'm making something fishy.

WAIT a minute. I just realized we have hockey Friday night so we'll be eating at the hospital with T. We'll make it next Friday instead. And I'll dig around for another new recipe to make before the game on Saturday.

Back to the drawing board and grocery list, I guess. I'll let you know what I come up with.

A review of last week's new recipes:

I've had a semi-busy and semi-lazy week this week. What? I'm entitled to being lazy every now and again! HA

The Spring Noodle Stir-Fry with Asparagus and Walnuts was a huge hit. I had to pick all of the walnuts out of Monkey's plate, but she devoured everything else. I pan fried a piece of boneless skinless chicken breast to shred and add in to add some extra protein. It's a keeper.

It was also unanimous to keep the Lasagna Stoup recipe. I did have to note on the recipe card not to boil it too hard next time. It was perfect the night we had it, but as leftovers, it was more lasagna than stoup. (It was still really good, though).

Monkey didn't like the Tomato-and-Cheese Pizza. She took one bite and spit it out. We offered her a few more and she continued spitting it back into her plate. T & I thought it was OK, but it was more work than it was worth, especially if Monkey couldn't/wouldn't eat it (I really think it was the red pepper she didn't like - we don't eat spicy food all that often, especially now with my pregnant heartburn in full swing). I decided to toss the recipe.

We ended up having leftovers for dinner last night, so T made the Lemon Orzo with Mushrooms and Pine Nuts tonight. I'm not sure the difficulty because I was taking advantage of Monkey helping him cook so I could clean the bathroom unassisted. HA! It was OK. I found it needs a little something - so I put freshly shredded parmigiano-reggiano on mine. I liked it much better with the cheese. It does make a pretty big portion and we put quite a bit in the fridge, so I think it will be a party recipe. It's just too much for just the three of us, even to use as leftovers.

If anyone else gave any of these a try, I'd love to hear how you liked them!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

This week's new recipes:

First, a quick review of the Creamy Tortellini Soup. T & I enjoyed it. Monkey, on the other hand, isn't a fan of green leafy vegetables. She's not a picky eater, but there are a few things we offer over and over and she continuously spits it back into her plate. So I'm going to hang on to the recipe, but we'll probably wait quite some time before we make it again.

On the menu for tonight is a Spring Noodle Stir-Fry with Asparagus and Walnuts. I can't find this one online, but it comes from Rachael Ray Magazine, the most recent issue (March 2009) on page 24. Sorry, I don't feel right posting the actual recipe because it's probably copyrighted.

Thursday night, I'll be making a Lasagna Stoup. This is also from the March 2009 Rachael Ray Magazine. Lasagna is a favorite in our house, so we'll try this spin on it.

Friday is pizza night. I'm trying a "new" pizza recipe. This was in the February 2009 Rachael Ray Magazine and it's a Tomato-and-Cheese Pizza. Normally I just toss on some green peppers and mushrooms and call it a day, so this will be something different.

aturday night, we're trying out a Lemon Orzo with Mushrooms and Pine Nuts. This, too, was from the March 2009 Rachael Ray Magazine and I can't find it online yet. If you're interested, it was in the Talk section on page 16. It's this month's "Take 5" recipe (it only takes 5 ingredients - Olive oil, salt and pepper are "freebies"). It looks pretty tasty and pretty easy. I think it will go great with pork chops for something different.

So there you have it. My ambitious new recipe week. They all seem pretty simple, so I don't think it's going to be a difficult week in the kitchen. I may be busy writing out recipe cards by the end of the week, though!

ave a good day!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Last week's new recipes: A review:

T's schedule is off again this week, so I'm in the office today. I'll review last week's recipes today and post new ones tomorrow.

The Smashed Potato Soup was horrible. None of us liked it at all. Monkey would not take more than two bites (Yes, my piggy! Only two bites!) and I only barely ate a bowl full. T did attempt to eat as much of the leftovers as possible by bringing them to work for lunch, but I ended up tossing most of it. I despise being wasteful and tossing leftovers, so that tells you how much we disliked it. Our first new recipe to end up in the trash and not on a recipe card in the recipe box. Not bad, considering we've been doing this for six weeks now.

I was supposed to make the Creamy Tortellini Soup on Friday, but I got carried away around the house and missed my deadline for getting it started to have in time for dinner. So I threw together a pizza instead and T is making the soup for dinner tonight. I'll review it tomorrow before posting the new recipes for this week.

Yes, I used the plural. I am actually being extremely ambitious this week and trying out five new recipes. One is a side dish and the rest are the main course. Granted, it includes the one I didn't make last week, but it is still a lot of new stuff!

I have too many loose recipes floating around my kitchen again (even after taking these five out of the pile and putting them aside with my grocery list!), so I'm being proactive. I absolutely can not allow my recipe files to become a mess again.

Have a great day and watch for tomorrow's ambitious list!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Meet New Bean!

I had an ultrasound this morning.

Everything looks fantastic.

New Bean is about 10 oz.

He didn't cooperate for a face shot.

He also didn't show Mom & Dad a money shot (though when I asked the tech, she verified that she DID see male or female).

And, without further ado, New Bean:

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Housework 101

Some time back, I drunkenly complained about keeping up with housework.

I think, finally, after 20 months of parenthood, I've found my groove.

My biggest problem was keeping the house neat enough to actually get to the cleaning portion of the program. Because, honestly, how can you vacuum if you can't see the carpet?

So now, every night before bath time, I go through the house with Monkey and pick up everything. All toys get put away so we can start the day fresh in the morning. This way, I can run through with the vacuum right after breakfast, I can! It takes me less than 10 minutes to go from one end of the house to the other.

Mornings are the best time of day for me to get any kind of cleaning done. I've still got energy from a night of sleep. And it doesn't interfere with Monkey's nap (and I get my couple hours of quiet Mommy time when I need them, too).

Every morning, it takes me less than a minute to make my bed. It's lovely to climb into a bed with straight sheets every night.

Anything Monkey can help with, I let her. I am no longer trying to work around her. I am working WITH her. She loves being Mommy's Little Helper, so I've been stupid to not do this earlier.

She wants to help dust? Here's a dust rag. Help wash the floor? Here you go. Have a rag. I just point her towards the spills on the cupboard doors and she wipes those up for me. And don't get me started on the vacuum. She LOVES the vacuum. I "chase" her around with it and when I finish, I let her play with the wand attachment so she can feel like she's helping (though after she sucked her cheek with it last night, I don't know that I'll be letting her use it with it actually running anymore - at least until she's a little older).

Another big problem I had was dishes. My sink was constantly full. By the time we've had dinner, my energy has sputtered out and it's just so much easier to go sit and play with T & Monkey before it's time for bed. Not anymore. The minute leftovers have been packed up and put into the fridge, I'm at the sink doing my dishes. T & Monkey get a little time together since they haven't seen each other all day, and I get a clean kitchen before bed.

It's the little things that make it easier. Having small routines are keeping me on track.

I've been managing this for 2 weeks now. I no longer feel stressed out about how my house looks or how clean it is. No more panic if someone knocks on the door unannounced because the house is a pig sty.

No more.

It feels fantastic!

Monday, February 9, 2009

I need to vent.

This weekend, we ended up at Target on Saturday night to stock up on a diaper sale ending that day. We decided to look for a plastic sled (the kind to go down a hill - not pull a kid around in)while there. All summer outdoor toys are already out. There were a few kiddo snowboards, but the snow toy selection was slim. And there were no sleds.

So we made a pit stop at Walmart to check them out. Same deal.

We had to get home at this point because we were pushing Monkey's bed time as it was. T made a bunch of phone calls yesterday.

Not a sled to be found.

I called my Mom this morning and asked her to hit Miller's department store in Fort Kent on her lunch break.

Guess what?


It is the beginning of February in the State of Maine. Where are all of the sleds? We'll have snow in this area for at least another 6 weeks - and probably another 3 months up north.

So completely and totally irritating.

And thank goodness for Grammy. They are coming to visit this weekend and making a delivery. Monkey is going to get to experience sliding down a hill with her Daddy this winter!

New recipes of the week

Last week's Scallop Stir-Fry was a huge hit. We all absolutely loved it. T did comment on it being unfilling when he was rifling through the refrigerator for a snack an hour after dinner, though. So next time, we'll need something on the side to help make it more filling (biscuits are always a possibility).

I'm being overtaken by ripped out and printed out recipes again, so I have two recipes this week in my attempt to tame the chaos!

About a month ago, I saw an article on MSN for slow cooker recipes (the recipes themselves are from Being a lover of my crock pot, I decided to take a look at them. Both are from this article.

First, we'll be trying a Smashed Potato Soup. It looks extremely simple. And you can't be County born and bred and not love a good potato recipe. There's cheese, too? Even better!

The other I'll be trying is a Creamy Tortellini Soup. Monkey loves pasta and mushrooms, and this has both. It also calls for 6 cups of fresh baby spinach, so it's getting in some leafy greens, too.
I'm really enjoying this winter goal T threw at me. Too bad we haven't found anything we don't like yet. My recipe box isn't going to be big enough come summer with all of the new additions!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

100 Mile Wilderness Race

We decided that since we can't do the Can-Am sled dog races this year, we wanted to take Monkey to the 100 Mile Wilderness Race.

This is only the fourth year they put it on, as opposed to this being the 17th year for Can-Am. After our experiencing Can-Am so many times, we were a bit disappointed in the set up. The first race started at 9. All teams were gone by about 9:30 and the second race didn't start until 11. Unlike Can-Am, it's not RIGHT in down town, so we couldn't just walk around and window shop (or visit with people we knew), so we went riding around for an hour and a half.

Monkey did enjoy seeing the dogs. We left when there were 2 or 3 teams left to go on the second race because she was about to fall asleep in the back pack, and we still hadn't had lunch.

We ate at The Black Frog. They are "famed" for their Skinny Dipper sandwich. You could get it for free if you run off the dock and jump into Moosehead Lake - butt naked, of course. They had to stop offering the deal this summer after charges were pressed against 3 customers who made the plunge (no other customers were offended but people in town witnessing the event were not pleased, it seems).

On to the pictures!

Bright eyed and bushy tailed:

And they're off!

Here come the doggies!

Family picture

Sleepy girl. Time to go.

We couldn't have asked for better weather. Or better company!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Prayers, please.

Follow the story of one of my many "imaginary" Internet friends here:

Fertile Hope

Her son, Robbie, was a preemie and had to be admitted to the hospital this week after weeks (months?) of problems with feedings.

They could use prayers and good thoughts right now, to get them through this extremely scary time.

Thank you.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Cold weather goals update

My original goals are posted here: (Part 1 and Part Deux).

1) I liked Monkey's scarf so much I decided I needed one for myself like it. In blue. For hockey (instead of the striped scarf I was working on). I put the striped one aside for now so I can get this one done, hopefully, for the last weekend of hockey.

3) We are now on our third week of enjoying homemade bread. No more store bought for this family! I use the Honey-Whole Wheat Bread recipe from Betty Crocker's Best Loved Recipes. It makes two loaves, which lasts us a week.

4) I had a checkup this week. My OB is pleased with my weight and with our general progression. We have an ultra sound scheduled for next Thursday. This would be the BIG one if we were planning on finding out the sex of New Bean. Alas, tough cookies. HA!

7) I finally have all of our old paperwork sorted out. Anything we don't need has meet the shredder. My parents are coming to visit next weekend and are supposed to bring me the carpet piece my Grandma D offered me. T & I are also going to take advantage of extra help with Monkey. We're going to put up the cabinet above my desk so I can finally organize my day to day paperwork and get stuff OFF the desk so I have room to work (specifically on my crafting stuff! My sewing machine is going to finally have a home!).

9) I'm doing very well with this one! I decided this week to spend a little money on myself. I ordered a bunch of cute tops. I remember how important it was for my mental well being to feel good about how I look while I was pregnant for Monkey. So I've really taken the time to focus on myself a little. I think it will be even more important this time around because I haven't felt as wonderful as I did last time. (I was one of those glowing women other women get annoyed at through my entire pregnancy for Monkey.. haha).

10) I don't update on this one often, but I have been enjoying my family very much. It's so much fun watching Monkey grow and learn new things. We're in the beginning stages of her verbal explosion, and it's a hoot. "Where going Daddy," "Here you go," and just this morning "Here Mommy" have all caught me off guard. We go from one random word here and there to small sentences at the snap of our fingers! I even got an "I love you" last week, which really made me melt. We're taking a family day on Saturday to go to the 100 Mile Wilderness Race in Greenville. The weather is looking fantastic, too!

I feel like I've been extremely productive. And we all know how I do love to feel productive!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Two organization projects in one day!

In finishing my hall closet, I emptied off the top shelf of my bathroom closet (it's where I previously had some spare bedding and all of my rags).

An empty shelf?

Must organize!

Here is the before. I had already started a little with the 2 little drawer units, but I still had a ways to go. Our extras were a jumbled mess. And, I hate to confess, but I never cleaned this closet out last spring when I did my Spring Cleaning (Grand Menage for you Franglais speaking people like myself).

The entire closet is nice and clean now. Not to mention, organized! I'm able to store my paper towel, toilet paper and tissue on the top shelf now, instead of in a heap in my basement. I also sorted through all of the old hand lotions I had and all of the medicine. We had quite a bit of cold and allergy medicine past it's time.

It's not pretty to look at, but at least I can find things now.

Turns out, we've got about 10 spare (new) toothbrushes. Good to know!

Hall closet - CHECK.

I finally started my hall closet organization project last week.

I finished it this morning, with Monkey's help.

Let's not forget the mess it was before (actually, I'd very much love to forget it):

I put sleeping bags and spare pillows on the top shelf. Then I put in the 2 hanging garment organizers I got at Target on clearance for $8 a piece. They organize spare sheets, air mattress and air pump very nicely.

I wanted to use an S hook to hang my cleaning bucket from the shelf but had nothing on hand. I'm impatient so I found a teeny bungee cord in T's work bench and used it as a hook. My step stool fits nicely to the side and my vacuum has just enough space to be parked, also. My seldom used ironing board is hiding against the back wall, but still in easy reach should I ever need it (I couldn't tell you the last time I used it. I think it was to iron T's clothes for the wedding we attended back in October...)

This peg rack was already installed inside the door when we bought the house. I decided to utilize it for more organization. We had the hardest time finding this backpack on Sunday to use for Monkey's paraphernalia to go to the hockey game. Now, it has it's very own special spot. The tan bag I made to store clean rags (I even embroidered "Clean Rags" on the front, because I'm cheesy like that).

Now I just need T to paint the door. We did the 2 kids' rooms when we remodeled during my pregnancy for Monkey. Perhaps we'll get the rest done this time?

All in all, I'm extremely pleased with the end result!

Monday, February 2, 2009

This week's new recipe

Last week's Beef Bourguignon was pretty good. We all enjoyed it very much - myself even more so leftover.

This week, I hauled out my trusty Betty Crocker cookbook. I noticed bay scallops on sale at Hannaford for $4.99 a pound this week and was hoping to find something to make with them (in keeping with my quest of seafood once a week).

I found a recipe for a Scallop Stir-Fry. The recipe calls for sea scallops, cut into 1-inch pieces. It also says whole bay scallops can be substituted. I'll be giving it a shot tonight!

I'd also like to mention I use this same cookbook for my bread recipe. It's the Honey-Whole Wheat Bread and we all love it.

We now need to go get ready to head to town. My GFT is joining Monkey and I for lunch later. And a jaunt to Jo Ann's is on the menu for today as well. That always puts a smile on my face!
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