Monday, April 30, 2007

Pretty, Pretty Princess

Bacon Cheeseburger Meat Loaf
1 lb ground chuck
10 slices cooked and crumbled bacon
1 - 8 oz package sharp cheddar, shredded
2 eggs beaten
1/4 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup mayo
1 T worc. sauce
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/3 c ketchup
2 T mustard Frenchs Fried Onions

Mix your first 8 ingredients. Combine your ketchup and mustard in a small bowl. Stir 1/4 into beef mixture and reserve the rest.

Press your meat mixture into loaf pan and put remaining ketchup mix over the top. Bake 40 minutes. Top with FF onions and bake another 10 to 15 minutes or until meat is no longer pink.

Recipe courtesy of "SuperMom" who borrowed it from Paula Deen (gotta love her!).

Thursday, April 26, 2007

$1.59 Kids Meals on Wednesdays at Des Moines area Burger King locations! (For a limited time - excludes Big Kids Meals and not valid w/any other discounts or offers).

* Vista Dr., WDM
* University Ave., Ste B
* 100th St., Clive
* E. Court Ave.
* Martin Luther King
* Kaleidoscope Mall
* Windsor Heights
* NE 14th St., Quick Trip
* E. Euclid
* SE 14th
* E. University
* Grand Ave.
* 9th NW, Altoona
* Jounston
* Indianola
* Carroll
* Stuart
* Perry
* Denison
* Newton
* Fort Dodge
* E. 1st, Ankeny
* SE Delaware, Ankeny

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Thank you, for this recipe idea!

Baked Crescent Churros
Prep Time: 15 min ; Start to Finish: 30 min
Makes: 12 churros
Nutrition Information

2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 can (8 oz) Pillsbury® refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
2 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted

1 . Heat oven to 375°F. In small bowl, mix sugar and cinnamon; set aside. Unroll dough; separate into 4 rectangles. Press each to 6x4-inch rectangle, pressing perforations to seal.

2 . Brush tops of 2 rectangles with melted butter; sprinkle with about half of the sugar mixture. Top each with remaining rectangle; press edges lightly. Brush tops with melted butter.

3 . With sharp knife or pizza cutter, cut each rectangle stack lengthwise into 6 strips. Twist each strip 3 times; place on ungreased cookie sheet.

4 . Bake 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown and crisp. Brush tops with any remaining melted butter; sprinkle with remaining sugar mixture.

High Altitude (3500-6500 ft):No change.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

This was our city's Spring Cleanup weekend. This means that we all haul as much junk as we can to the curb and the city will pick it up for free on garbage day. What a wonderful service! We cleaned and cleaned, sorted through closets and boxes so we could take full advantage of this weekend. We were focused on ridding ourselves of the things we don't want or need anymore.

Sadly, this isn't always the items that are broken, ruined and un-donatable. This is why beginning Friday night, you see cars and trucks and vans and trailers slowly stalking the streets for treasures. Up until today, I found this entertaining.

But earlier today, a car pulled up to our curb. If I were to make judgements based on the vehicle they were driving, this was not a well-to-do family. This car had two children in back. They had just taken shoes, a plastic safe my daughter didn't want anymore, and an old jewelry box and it was as if they had just experienced the best Christmas of their lives. They then hit the neighbor's curb and we saw them digging through bags, pulling out clothes for the kids. I have been in tough spots before. I have had my electricity turned off and I've bounced a check to put gas in my car to get to work. But I have never had to rummage through garbage to find clothes for my children.

I was saddened to tears. Not only for their situation, but for ours. We are so blessed - and we obviously have way more than we need. And here is a family THRILLED with the clothes and toys tossed off by strangers.

Tonight I'd like everyone reading this entry to take a moment to say thank you for what you have. For the electricity that is running the computer you are blessed to own. For everything you have in your life - give thanks. And then I ask you to think what it is that you don't need - what your kids don't need...and please find someone who does and give it to them.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

I have a wonderful husband. Today he volunteered to go to Wal-Mart - ON A SATURDAY....WITH buy this hot-flashing pregnant lady an oscillating tower fan. While there, he made a purchase for Lauren in the form of this totally Wal-Martish Tee. Funny...but wrong. And I don't mind a bit - because I had over an hour without chasing, reprimanding, redirecting or soothing a toddler. Thank you, Mark!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

It's GARAGE SALE SEASON - WOO-HOO!!! Here's an adorable outfit I picked up on the cheap at a garage sale a few weeks ago. How cute is this?!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Potty Seat Update: I finally returned the dud of a potty seat and picked up a new one. We settled on an insert instead of an actual chair. We went with the Munchkin Deluxe Potty Seat (see below). Lauren was SOOO excited when we bought it...and we tried it out right when we got back from the store. Nothing. But she liked sitting there - all proud like a "big girl." Grandma sat her on it before bedtime last night (we were all at a softball game), and VOILA! She did it! "Tinkled" in the big-girl potty! Yeah! And this morning? First thing? She did it again! YEAH!!!! We are a long way off yet - but at least she likes it and seem to connect what it is for. YEAH!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Discovery Health Channel is NOT one expentant mothers should watch. I just spent my lunchtime watching "Birth Day," which means I spent the last 30 minutes bawling as new babies were being born. Yeah - that's what I call entertainment. All three births on the show, by the way, were C-sections. I hope to VBAC this next one...I'd love to hear your opinions on the subject if you have knowledge or experience!

Monday, April 16, 2007

Shoes so cute you just want to kiss her feet....

Friday, April 13, 2007

It is no secret that the time between 4 and 6 is horrendous. I'm trying to get dinner together, the baby is whiney and fussy and demands attention, the oldest is trying to get homework done, the dog needs to be fed...very much a Calgon moment every day. So yesterday, my 11-yr-old offers to "help" watch her little sister since she is done w/homework, so I can make dinner. The result? A passive-aggressive form of torture....or maybe it is just fun...whatever the case, caption should read "My sister did my hair."

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Showing her artistic side...

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Perhaps it is that I'm "advanced maternal age" this time, or maybe it is because this pregnancy is on the heels of a miscarriage....or maybe it is just a clearer view of the blessing within - but I'm finding myself PARANOID this time around. Today was my second prenatal appointment. I was worried they wouldn't find a heartbeat. This isn't a rational thought based on any sort of facts - just a purely neurotic unnecessary worry that contradicts my faith.

After a TON of paperwork (didn't we already cover that last visit?) the Dr. entered the room to discuss a few things. He wanted to know how I wanted to deliver this one. I've had one vaginal delivery and one via c-section. To the nurse's surprise, I do NOT want another c-section if I can help it. Comparing the two births - no way would I want that surgery again. But I am also reasonable - if as I progress - things point toward that - then I'll definitely take my Dr.'s recommendation.

He then measured me at 17 wks (I am actually 14 wks, 2 days today)....but I'm pretty sure I remember measuring "big" with my last two also....and then leveled off at a certain point. But you know - can't help but get my hopes up that maybe - just MAYBE I'm farther along than they think. ha. And then the moment I'd been worrying about....time to find the heartbeat.

I'm NOT skinny....and the baby is still a tiny I was prepared that he'd have to fish around awhile to find a heartbeat....during which I imagined worrying and fretting the whole time. But - just as amazing as the sound emerging from within, the second he dropped the doppler on my stomach, a strong and GLORIOUSLY MIRACULOUS heartbeat was heard. SHWEW! And then I giggled uncontrollably because how can you do anything but cry or giggle at the sheer beauty of that sound? That healthy and reassuring sound that the life inside of me is not only real, but doing well.....and that I have been blessed beyond anything I ever thought I deserved. Thank you, God!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Lauren's new house: (It really IS true...they'd rather play with the box.)

Saturday, April 07, 2007

I'm DYEING to tell you about how much fun we had coloring Easter Eggs! =-) Lauren is still a bit little to really enjoy it - but she had fun trying to pick up the egg and splash it in and out of the dye. She kept saying "pretty!" And Bailey, even though a cool middle-schooler....well she really had fun, too. Her and her friend Taylor had a blast trying to invent new colors. They did come up with a great olive green egg - cute! Now we'll see if Lauren can get the hang of hunting for them tomorrow morning. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Speechless and Angry

Gina was one of my favorites. I wish I knew how I could protest this craziness. I hope someone signs her - and I"m buying her album. Poor girl - she didn't deserve to be voted off.

Easter Craft for Kids from Good Housekeeping

Edible Easter Baskets!
Photo Credit: Tria Giovan
Fill a sugar-free ice cream cone with jellybeans. Carefully cut two holes into the sides of the cone with a small knife and fasten an apple licorice stick to serve as a handle.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Crispy Chicken BLT Salad (from

4 small boneless skinless chicken breast halves
1 pouch Shake 'N Bake Extra Crispy Seasoned Coating Mix
6 cups torn mixed red & green leaf lettuce
4 slices Oscar Mayer bacon, cooked, crumbled
1/4 cup Kraft Ranch Dressing
1/2 cup Kraft Natural Three Cheese Crumbles

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Coat chicken w/coating mix as directed on package; place in shallow baking pan.

Bake 20 min. or until cooked through (170 degrees). Let stand 5 min.; cut into slices.

Toss lettuce w/tomatoes, bacon and dressing. Spoon evenly onto four plates; sprinkle w/cheese. Top w/chicken.

** We tried this recipe tonight and it was FABULOUS! And so easy! It looked like something you'd receive at a restaurant and everyone loved it.
A friend of mine told me about a local church that has a drop-off type program for kids 18-months & up a couple days a week for 2.5 hours. It is $9 a pop - and soooo worth it! They play and interact with other children, have a snack, do a craft and play some more. BRILLIANT! Lauren benefits from the social interaction and I benefit from a couple hours of productivity without a toddler in tow. This place is a saving grace! And here is today's craft, representing the REAL saving grace:
Today I paid $3.04 for a gallon of whole milk....and that was the STORE-BRAND! The name-brand stuff was $3.14 and up! When did this happen?!@# I'm pretty sure I haven't always been paying over $3 a gallon. The 2% is significantly cheaper, but her pediatrician says she needs to be on whole milk until age 2....that they need the fat in whole milk for brain development...or something like that. Anyway - I'm outraged at the price of milk! Anyone else???
I need to go get groceries..but I need to plan meals first…and I’m not in the mood. What should we eat this week?

Monday, April 02, 2007

Lovin' the Easter Bunny....umm..not so much.

Today was the day Lauren was going to see the Easter Bunny. I told her he was big, but nice and soft and that he had a toy for her. We arrived at the mall and she was excited to see him. That is, until it was her turn to walk up to him. She started out very slowly....and then looked up at his larger-than-life head and started to cry. She was scared! I snapped a quick picture and then off we went.

I tried to distract her with the nice toy the Bunny had given her - but now she didn't really like that, either...because it came from the creepy Bunny. And then her eye caught the Easter train. Fun! I could see excitement in her eyes. So we walked over to the train.

I explained to the money-taker that I wasn't sure if she'd really like the train..and could he stop it if she freaked out. He was a wonderful man - said he wouldn't take my money until we saw if she would be okay. So on the train she climbed. We taught her how to ring the bell (the coveted seat on the kiddie train). And off the train went.

Lauren was the only kid on the train - and she wasn't so sure this was fun anymore once it took off around the little track. I waved enthusiastically from the sidelines...shouting many things that only Mommies shout in "Wee!" "That's Fun!" "Hi!" "I see you!" and many other phrases that would have had Bailey diving under the nearest rock.

Finally, after four times around the track, the train stopped. Lauren emerged from the train with HUGE tears on her cheek. She wasn't actively crying - but had the saddest look on her face!
Honestly - I was just trying to let her have fun this morning - but it turned into a torturous ordeal! I thought I'd make it up to her by getting her a Happy Meal for lunch....but she replied, "No, no, no" a terrified voice with big scared-to-death eyes. "Home," she said.

As we left the mall, she waved at the Easter Bunny and said "Hi" repeatedly. I think she was so relieved to be leaving that horrible place with that wretched bunny.

Who decided it was a cute idea to incorporate a GIANT furry rabbit into the holiday anyway? Little tiny bunnies - cute. Big, giant-headed bunnies...scary! Mommy's sorry, Lauren.