Friday, October 30, 2009

The dog ate the bat's balls

Eyeballs, that is.

Night two of carving didn't go so well. Poor Fatty Batty never had a chance. My heart just wasn't in it. And in the end, neither were his eyeballs.

I made my last cut, popped the eye chunks out and the eye balls broke off. So I stuck them back in thinking I would just glue them in. I then bumped the table causing the eyeballs to fall out onto the floor and Jake just happened to be laying under the table.

*gulp* Buh-bye eyeballs!

Last night's owl is by far the superior pumpkin!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

I love pumpkin seeds. Love them. And since I just ate an entire pumpkin worth of roasted seeds, I felt I should share the love. The following is a picture tutorial. Enjoy!

Olive was not too happy about her pumpkin going under the knife.

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Clean, raw seeds from 1 Pumpkin
Olive oil or cooking spray
garlic powder
chili powder

1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
2. Give your pumpkin some pre-op love.

3. Cut open pumpkin and assess the guts. (Someone WILL have to touch them)

4. Using a large spoon or scoop, scrape seeds/guts out. Give them to your assistant to sort seeds from guts.

5. Rinse seeds in cold water to clean off remaining slime.
6. Spread seeds in a single layer on a baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray
7. Spray seeds with olive oil (or spray of choice) and season with spices*
8. Roast in oven for 45-60 minutes. Stirring every 15 minutes or so.
9. Carve pumpkin while seeds are roasting.

10. Enjoy seeds while marveling at your pumpkin carving skills!**

*Feel free to use whatever spices and seasonings you are in the mood for. I think tomorrow night we will try cinnamon and sugar.

*Yes, I used a pattern. But I am still pretty darn proud of my skills. Even if Owli's (get it? "Owli"? Like Oli, but with a "w" because it' nose is a bit more bulbous than the pattern called for. It's ok I like it. It reminds me of Hoots from Sesame Street. Remember Hoots? He plays the saxophone? Sings classics like "Put Down The Duckie"?

Uh, Hoots is a little creepy looking. But man, can he sing.


Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Oh sh!t

So......Olive said a new word today.


"Yes bebe?"


"Uh-huh. Mama's making dinner, just a minute peanut."


"Wait, what?! What did you say?"


And she then grabbed a towel and ran to the laundry CHUTE.

"Yep, that's the laundry CHUTE. CHUTE. Can you say CHUTE?"


Never a dull moment.

Peel and Eat Shrimp

As promised, here is one of the recipes we made this weekend.

This is one of my all time favorite recipes. It tastes great and is insanely easy to throw together. The first time I made this, I was amazed at how flavorful the shrimp were with so few ingredients in the marinade. It has become a family favorite and my go-to dish as either an appetizer or main dish. The shrimp are also great the next day, cold, on a salad.

Grilled Marinated Shrimp (aka Peel and Eat Shrimp)

(adapted from John Ash's Cooking One on One)

For the shrimp
1 pound large shrimp (16-20 size or larger)
1/2 teaspoon salt

For the marinade
1/4 cup olive oil
2 teaspoons finely minced or pressed garlic
1 tablespoon finely minced green onions
1/2 teaspoon finely chopped fresh oregano (or 1/4 teaspoon dried)
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (I use 1/2-1 tsp.)
2 tablespoons white wine, preferably a dry or off-dry aromatic
Salt and Pepper to taste
Splash of lime juice

1. Peel and devein the shrimp. (I leave the peel on. I think the shrimp are more flavorful that way) 2.Whisk the marinade ingredients together, toss with the shrimp, and marinate for up to 45 minutes in the refrigerator. 
3. Prepare a charcoal fire or preheat a gas grill or broiler. Grill or broil the shrimp quickly, 1 to 2 minutes per side, until they just begin to turn pink. Be careful not to overcook; the shrimp should remain slightly transparent in the middle.
4. Enjoy!

A Love Story

I know a girl.

Her name is Olive.

And she is loved.

The end.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Not Me! Monday

Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.

I did NOT use Olive's bib as a tissue when my nose decided to spring a leak during lunch. Nope, not me! And then, when Olive tried to do the same (with a clean bib of course, I am not THAT gross people), I did NOT tell her "No, no Olive. Only Mommies can do that!".

I also did NOT wear my pants inside out out of the house even though I knew they were inside out and I was too tired to fix them. Not me!

I most certainly did NOT just put Olive in her crib for "nap time" just so I could have a few minutes to lay on the couch and feel sorry for my sick self.

And I definitely did NOT just sneeze and wet my pants a little. *sigh* Nope, not me!

What have you NOT been doing this week?

Free Sample!

Head over to and get a free sample of Pampers Extra Protection.

We use cloth diapers for the most part, but lately Olive has been soaking through them at night. So we have been using disposable diapers at night. But some nights even those aren't cutting it.  Several moms I know have recommended Huggies Overnights or Pampers Extra Protection. What better way to try them out than with a free sample!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

A weekend full of fall

This weekend, Chris' sister Emily made the drive north for a visit. As always, we had a great time and enjoyed Emily's company immensely. We spent the weekend playing, reading, walking, singing, sleeping and laughing. (and getting a cold, blah. *sniffle sniffle cough*)

Oh and eating.

We tried four new recipes this weekend and made some old standbys that are always a hit. A little bit of this and a little bit of that and they were all fabulous. I will post recipes over the next day or two as I feeling better.

And once again, I forgot to take pictures before we ate everything. 

Here was our menu for the weekend:

Friday night
Peel and Eat Shrimp
Stuffed Mushroom Caps
Cheese and Crackers
Pumpkin Dip with Graham Crackers

Herbed Baked Eggs
Pizza Luce
Hot Apple Cider
Popcorn with butter, S&P and Chili Powder

Pumpkin Pancakes
Pumpkin and Black Bean Soup
Baked Brie with Apples, Honey, Rosemary and Walnuts.

And lots of tea.

To tide you over until I am up for posting more, here is the pumpkin dip recipe. I found this on one of my favorite foodie/cooking blogs, Annie's Eats. Three of the four recipes we tried this weekend came from Annie's Eats.  I have yet to find a recipe of hers I don't like! Go check her out.

Pumpkin Dip
(adapted from Annie's Eats)

1/2 c. Pumpkin puree
1 (8oz) package Cream Cheese
2 c. powdered sugar (I used 1.25 cups)
2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice (I used a mix of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger. Heavy on the cinnamon because that's how I roll)

1. In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients and mix well.
2. Transfer to a festive pumpkin bowl.
3. Lick mixing bowl and wooden spoon.
4. Enjoy!

We dipped graham crackers and apple slices in the dip. Highly recommend both.

(Ok, step 2 is optional. But really, doesn't everything taste better in a festive pumpkin bowl?)

Off to a hot cup of tea, some Nyquil and my pillow. Ta-ta for now.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Love at First Bite

One of my favorite blogs, Bless Their Hearts Mom, is giving away an amazing cookbook....

Are you ready for this? Are you sure?

Maybe you should sit down, I'll wait.

Ok, ready?

A. CHOCOLATE. COOKBOOK. I am not joking. Seriously. I don't joke about chocolate.

Chocolate: A Love Story

 I couldn't have said it better myself! There are 65 original recipes in this bad boy. That's 65 ways to wrap yourself if the warm embrace of chocolate love. Hello, lover.

Want a copy for yourself? Head over to Bless Their Hearts Mom and try your luck. Because couldn't we all use a little more love in our lives?

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

7 Days, 11 hours and 30 minutes.

Since the last time Olive nursed. But who's counting, right?

Oh yeah, me.

It all started with my departure to the sunny state of Arizona last Wednesday. I had a feeling it would be the end to our breastfeeding adventure, but it still kind of caught me by surprise. Just like that *snaps fingers*, it's over.  No tears were shed; well, not by Olive any way. I may or may not have shed a few. Or cried while rocking her before her nap realizing that she doesn't need me anymore. She is fully thriving toddler, not my itty bitty baby who depends on me for every little thing.

Yes, I could offer and push it on her and I am sure she would pick it right back up. But I've decided not to. The past 16 months have been amazing, but I am taking my cues from her and moving on.

My heart hurts.

And so do my breasts to be honest.

Given time, they will both heal. And I will always have the memories of all of our time together nursing.

And I can stop wearing nursing bras. Which, I think, most people in my life will agree, is a good thing.

But for right now, I am going to take my hurting heart and breasts and go cuddle my baby. Because no matter how big or old she gets or what kind of milk she drinks, she will always be my baby. 


Lasagna Rolls from

Here is another great (and easy) recipe. I made this last night and all three of us gobbled it up. Even Olive, who hasn't been so big on eating anything other than oatmeal and cheese lately. She ate an entire roll. So they must be good! 

I found this recipe, along with many others, at Weelicious. It's a great website/blog that has lots of ideas for quick and easy baby/toddler/family meals. I visit frequently for dinner ideas. Here is the recipe, my adaptations are in blue

Lasagna Rolls
(adapted from

9 Lasagna Noodles (I cook 1 extra in case they tear while boiling)
1 Egg
16 Oz. Ricotta Cheese (my container was 15oz)
1/2 Cup Parmesan cheese, divided
1 Tsp Italian Herbs (I used oregano, basil, rosemary, thyme, garlic powder and a dash of cloves)
1 Tsp Salt 

Dash or two Pepper
1 Cup Spinach or Broccoli, cooked and finely chopped (I used frozen, thawed and drained well) (I use about 3/4 cup of frozen spinach and that made a very flavorful filling. I think any more than that would have been too much)
1 1/2 Cups Marinara Sauce (or 1 1/2 cups 
Weelicious Tomato Sauce)
1 Cup Shredded Mozzarella Cheese, divided

1. Cook lasagna noodles in salted water 2 minutes less than package directions call for and rinse with cold water.
2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
3. In a bowl whisk the egg, ricotta, 1/4 cup parmesan, italian herbs, salt 1/2 cup mozzarella and broccoli or spinach to combine.
4. Place 1/4 cup of the marinara sauce on the bottom of a 9×11 inch baking dish.
5. Spread 1/3 cup of the ricotta mixture on each lasagna noodle, covering the sheet and roll up jelly roll style. (I used a heaping spoon full-not quite a 1/3 cup-and that was plenty)
6. Place the lasagna rolls seam side down in the baking dish and top with remaining marinara sauce and 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese.
7. Cover the dish with foil and bake for 30 minutes.
8. Uncover and continue to cook an additional 15 minutes.
9. Serve.

* You can also prepare the dish through step 6, cover and freeze. When ready to eat, bake for 45 minutes covered and 15 minutes uncovered.


Monday, October 12, 2009

Separation Anxiety

Separation anxiety. Two little harmless words with BIG impact. Any parent who has dealt with a child with separation issues knows what I am talking about. Up until today, those two little words weren't that scary to me. But today they became something more than two little words. They became thoughts and feelings. They became heart break. And not for Olive. 

For me.

Olive had some major separation anxiety at ECFE today. Racking sobs, crumpled up face and big alligator tears. But soon after Chris and I left the room she settled in and enjoyed herself. (Especially once the snack came out. The girl will follow you to the moon and back for a saltine cracker.) (Yes, it's ok to enter an "Oli want a cracker?" joke here.) (And the answer to that question is always "yes")

And what really set this post in motion?

I am leaving Wednesday for four days away from my Stinky Little Lou Lou Bear. My Itty Bitty Peanut. Jo Jo. Oli Poo. Peanut Butter Pants. Lyle. Stinky Butt. I could go on, but I won't embarrass myself. (yes I do call Olive by her given name...occasionally)

I know. It will be good for both of us. Really, I know this. And honestly, I am not sad or nervous or scared to leave her. She will be in loving, capable hands. And I am really excited for this getaway. 

But, plain and simple, I am going to miss her. 

Olive is my sidekick. My partner in crime. The blink to my wink. For the last 16 months we've spent the better part of (almost) every day together. And yes, there have been moments when I wish it weren't that way. But 99.9% of the time I love it. It's been as natural to me as breathing. So I think it's understandable that I will miss her. 

But, I will pack my big girl undies (not to be confused with my granny panties) and have a great time. I will go so far as to say that I will have a fabulous time. And so will Olive. She will get lots of Daddy time which, let's face it, is what she is always asking for; "Da da! Da da? DA DA?!". So really, it's a win-win situation, right? 


Moral of this really long winded and rambling post? 

Sometimes life sucks and it's ok to cry. But don't worry, some lady with crackers will come along and cheer you up. 

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

Two words: Yum. Yum.

Pumpking Chocolate Chip Muffins
(adapted from recipe found on
Makes 12 muffins

  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup applesauce
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 can pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Grease muffin pan or use paper liners.
  2. Mix sugar, applesauce and eggs. Add pumpkin and water. In separate bowl, mix together the baking flour, baking soda, baking powder, spices and salt. Add pumpkin mixture. Stir in chocolate chips.
  3. Fill muffin cups 2/3 full with batter. Bake in preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes. 

Chocolate Chip Waffles. Yum.

You have NEED to make these. No questions, just make them. So good. So SO good. (and so easy!) And they have bran and flax so they're good for you, right?  Right??

Thanks to Kari from The Twim Ports Moms Meetup Group for sharing this amazing recipe. 

Chocolate Chip Waffles
Makes about 8 waffles

2 eggs, well beaten (more beaten = fluffier waffle)

2 cups milk

1/4 cup veg oil
1/4 cup apple sauce (or skip this and add 1/2 cup veg oil total instead)
1.5 cups white flour
1/2 cup wheat flour
3 T ground flax
3 T bran
3 T brown sugar
4 t baking powder
Chocolate chips- 1/3-1/2 bag

Beat eggs in bowl.

Dump everything else in and mix. 
Pour into waffle maker and cook.
Eat waffles.
Thank Kari for her culinary genius. 
The end.

You can substitute the apple sauce for some other kind of puree (spinach, carrot, cauliflower, butternut squash, etc) or throw in some fruit instead of the chocolate chips. But really, who wants to get rid of the chocolate chips? :) 


 P.s. I was going to add a picture or two of the scrumptious goodness, but we ate them all. oops.

Sunday morning bliss

Merriam-Webster defines bliss as; 

1 : complete happiness
2 : paradiseheaven

When Olive was an itty bitty baby, Chris and I used to bring her into bed with us on weekend mornings. We would all cuddle and fall asleep wrapped in warm blankets and that wonderful baby smell. It was blissful.

We tried to recreate that bliss this morning when Olive woke up. 

Needless to say, it was not quite the relaxing, peaceful experience it once was. Instead of cuddling and falling asleep, we jumped on the bed, "honked" noses and even managed to spill some water on the bed. And that was just in the first 60 seconds. 

It was blissful. 

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

I hate it when she is sick...

but man, I love the cuddles.

Olive is, for lack of a better word, busy. From the time she wakes up to the time she goes to bed she is on the go. Playing, singing, walking, dancing, "running", climbing. All day long. 

It's exhausting. We love it.

So needless to say, she does not have a lot of time for Mom and Dad. While I think it is great that she is so independent (sometimes too independent, but that's a whole different post!), I miss my itty bitty little cuddle bug. The only time she will sit still long enough to give her Mama a little love is when she is feeling crummy. 

Tonight was one of those nights. 

With a slight fever, cough and runny nose, she just wasn't her normal busy self. We sat together and read books, sang songs and talked about our day for 10 whole minutes. It was wonderful.

With her 'boo-boo' (blankie), her 'nu-nu' (pacifier) and her mama, she was happy. So was I. 

Another FABULOUS giveaway at Minnesota Mama's Must Haves!

Minnesota Mama's Must Haves is giving away another fabulous Seventh Generation gift! This time it's the Natural Baby Starter Kit which includes the following:

Baby Wipes Tub
Baby Wipes Refill
Newborn Diapers
Baby Laundry Detergent
All Purpose Cleaner
Natural Paper Towels

So click on over there an enter to win! Good luck! 

Monday, October 5, 2009

Not Me! Monday

Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.

Some samplings of Not Me! Mondays...

I would never wipe my child's nose with my finger and then wipe it on her pants because I didn't want slimy slot on my pants. Nope, not me!

When trying to soothe a very tired and crabby toddler I would never say "You need to take a nap right now because you are driving Mommy crazy!" Never!

And I would never even think of giving my child cheese and graham crackers for lunch and calling it good because I couldn't come up with anything better. Nope, not me!

What are some of your Not Me's!?